Okay, Now It Seems Real

With the Giants’ saturation of the Cardinals complete — and how delicious was that three-games-to-one comeback? — we can all wrap our heads around this still-confounding factoid: the Tigers are going to the World Series. This year’s World Series.

Since the Tigers broomed the Yankees Thursday evening in Detroit, I’ve found myself watching and re-watching the condensed game on my iPad just to verify that it really happened. And yeah, it happened.

A while ago.

And we had to wait through an NLCS that lingered on with the insufferable Cardinals and the constant shots of the Giants’ Brian Wilson playing the tired  “look at me; even though I’m injured I’m still bearded and desperate to make everyone believe I’m ironic” act.

Now, we can focus on the World Series, on Justin Verlander versus Barry Zito, on Miguel Cabrera and Marco Scutaro, on those wacky people in McCovey Cove, and on Delmon Young in the outfield.

I could list a lot of reasons why I didn’t want the Tigers to face the Cardinals this year. The biggest one for me was the uniqueness of the match up: in these clubs’ 242 years combined existence they’ve only squared off a dozen times in Interleague Play (Detroit is 5-7.)  It’s not unlike how I felt in 1984 when the Cubs and Padres battled in an epic five-game NLCS: I wanted San Diego, and not because I was afraid of the Tigers facing the Cubs. It was because I could imagine the Tigers and Cubs playing each other somewhere along the way. But the Padres? Under what cosmically generated circumstance would the Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres possibly face each other? Back then, if an interleague match up didn’t happen in Spring Training it wasn’t happening until October.

As a friend and San Franciscan said in a Game 7 post-game text message: “Tigers and Giants in the World Series. Old school!” So true.

And now, so real.

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