I’m suffering from a malady that’s threatening my peaceful summer existence. I am Detroit Tiger Conflicted.
For those of you unfamiliar with “Who’s Your Tiger?” it’s a marketing ploy that’s recycled whenever the current marketing strategy bombs or gets old. It’s successful with fans that take the team very seriously, the game slightly seriously (or not), and young children. I’m under the impression that those Tiger fans who are die-hard baseball enthusiasts feel that such a slogan is only worthy of the proletariat.
There are as many ways to choose a Tiger as there are Tigers. I’ll venture to say that some fans take the easy way out and choose the superstar that’s currently winning the media popularity contest. Others use stats, and still others have a Tiger chosen for them because they get a jersey with a name on it for their birthday. They’re stuck.
I’d like to say I choose my Tiger by logic or statistics. But I will maintain my integrity and admit I choose my Tiger based on emotions and/or hormones. I’m not proud of that, but it’s a fact of my life I’ve learned to accept. I’ve had two Tigers in my life (although Mark “The Bird” Fidrych will always hold a special place in my heart). Nate Robertson was the first (cut me some slack.) He became my Tiger in 2006 but I was loyal to him until the bitter end, (those of you whose Tiger was Brandon Inge can understand).
I tried to use a form of hormonal logic when I chose a Tiger after Nate left. I’ve chronicled my journey here if you’re interested in the sordid details. If not, suffice it to say Brennan Boesch became my new Tiger in his rookie year. And he still is my Tiger. I think.
This season I started noticing Alex Avila because he reminded me of someone. I finally realized he reminded me a cute Shih Tzu. This isn’t a slam against his manliness. Any man that can start the game clean shaven and have picture-perfect scruff by the ninth inning has no need to defend his masculinity.
I didn’t realize how dangerous the situation had become until Alex was put on the Disabled List (DL in baseball speak. I know a few things) and I missed him a lot. I started feeling guilty when Brennan came to bat and I wasn’t very interested. And I began to whine, “When is Alex Avila coming back?” (nothing against Gerald Laird). As I listened to the familiar buzz of my whining, I realized that I was indeed Tiger Conflicted.
I am a very loyal fan (as the Nate Robertson incident proves), and I will never throw Brennan Boesch under the bus.
But I am ecstatic that Alex Avila will be back in the game tonight.
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