By: Eric Thomas
I learned a lot this weekend. You have to watch the whole game. This should be obvious, but I am not alone in this. The Twitter Facebook world has created instant comment, and these are always uninformed opinions. No matter how much we know about the games, we can’t see the future.
I’m guilty of this. I was on the Twitter machine during the Tigers and Lions games. When Jose Valverde started giving up runs, I screamed and yelled. I texted friends and made overblown analysis. I called people names.
I wrote a blog last week, rubbing Leyland haters face in the fact that they were wrong in calling for his firing midseason. I painted a target on my already large forehead. So when Valverde started giving up runs, my Twitter exploded. People followed me just so they could scream at me. It suddenly became my fault that the Tigers lost game one of the ALCS.
It was because I supported Leyland that the Tigers lost game one, a game that was a shutout until Valverde toed the rubber. That loss was devastating. The team might not recover. You can imagine the psychological aspects of losing a game like that. The team, thinking they had a win, lost it all in a half inning. Baseball players are playing a mostly mental game and shaking their confidence means the Tigers are going to lose the ALCS. Vince McMahon should fire Leyland in the dugout during the game, followed by a body slam. That’s the only way that penance can be paid. In fact, the Tigers should fire him, hire him back and fire him again. Then hire Lloyd McClendon and fire him too.
I watched the Leyland haters declare victory. They hosted a ticker tape parade under a banner of “We were right!!”
Then the Tigers won. They won, the Yankee captain broke his ankle and they decimated their already taxed pitching staff. The Yankee cupboard was bare for the late innings on Sunday, where the Tigers got insurance runs. Twitter was quieter on Sunday.
The victory party for the Leyland haters was too early. They looked like dopes later. The Tigers are up 2-0 going home with Verlander on the mound. Leyland should have pulled Valverde earlier, but that’s a minor point when you’re up 2-0.
Flash forward to Sunday. The Lions looked like they forgot how to play football in the bye week. After Vick threw his last touchdown, I switched to the Tiger game and cursed the Lions on Twitter. I called the team’s effort “pathetic.” Then they won late, again. If Lions fans want to quibble about the Lion’s method for victory, when was the last time they won in Philly? What happened the last time they played Vick? How do you suppose Eagles fans feel about that game?
I was totally wrong about the Lions game. I didn’t just think they would lose, I thought that they already lost. I started flapping my lips on Twitter, not realizing that I would look stupid later. Even though I just saw the Leyland haters make fools of themselves the night before, I was guilty of the same thing.
My point here is that we should reserve judgment. Maybe it would be best to watch the entire game before you make pronouncements on what happened. The Twitter and Facebook is fun, but maybe refrain from excoriation before the last out or regulation time expires. We will spare ourselves a lot of embarrassment when we wind up wrong in the end.