By: Eric Thomas
Sometimes sports belies logic. Sure, Gene Lamont made a mistake in the World Series, but Tiger fans are actually happy that the third base coach was moved to the bench. The fact that this story is popular with fans is head scratching.
The sports media world has obviously shifted. With blogs, Twitters, Facebooks and Tumblrs, a lot more people can get involved. It takes a pair of eyes and a thin grasp of the English language to participate. When I used to read local sports columns, I would shake my fist at the newspaper or screen and tell my friends how much I know about whatever sport I cared about at that moment.
Now, everyone can participate. In most cases, like 99.7% of the time, this is a good thing. The community grows because of the quantity of language. Libraries are a good thing, and that’s just a large collection of gathered opinion, right? The existence of libraries has been an overwhelmingly good thing for the expansion of knowledge, so why can’t sports blogs? I’m going somewhere with this…
But like every discussion and collection of ideas, something eventually slips through. Some little mutation and poisons the well, and the fan obsession with Gene Lamont is an example of this. Fans lose their breath between bellows, “HE COSTS US AT LEAST 3 GAMES A YEAR!” Fans demand that Lamont be dragged out into the street, tarred, feathered and fired.
Usually, when mutant ideas bubble to the surface, they get laughed away. People usually file them in the same receptacle as the other tinfoil hat ideas, somewhere between the 9/11 Truther idiots and Benghazi cover up nonsense. For some reason that I can’t figure out, the theory of the Tigers losing because of the ineffectiveness of their Detroit Tigers third base coach endures. You’d think that someone would mention that there are 162 baseball games, and losing three is no big deal. Teams lose baseball games for a lot of reasons. Its baseball. That’s how it works.
The people who hate Jim Leyland allow this nonsensical notion to persist. They swallow their tongues and allow this idiotic notion that the third base coach is some kind of scourge in because it supports their already stated opinion that Jim Leyland needs to be fired. “Fire Leyland” isn’t an idea; it’s a religion, so anything that supports their religion is held high as an acheiropoieta. They never acknowledge, however, that the prevalence of the “Gene Lamont loses games” theory only serves to undermine their own case. I shouldn’t be surprised that the Leyland haters can’t see the big picture, because it’s that narrow world view that leads them to their bedrock philosophy in the first place.
So pop some champagne, take a bubble bath, or smoke a single cigarette like the writer in Misery. Whatever you do to celebrate, I suppose that today is the day. You got what you wanted and someone else will stand at third base. Call that friend of yours who has devoted his or her life to the Fire Leyland sect, and maybe there is some kind of ceremony you have devised for the occasion.
I’m serious, because today is the day. Think about all the things you have accomplished this year. Brandon Inge is gone, along with Ryan Raburn and Jose Valverde. For the Christmas coup de gras, Gene Lamont was shuffled off of 3rd base. It’s been a good year if you blame the Tigers’ woes on insignificant parts of the team. While your white whale still smokes in the dugout, you got a lot of things done this year.
Careful though, you’ve gotten a lot of what you wanted. Next year I’m gonna look at you for some results. If Tom Brookens waves somebody home that he shouldn’t, it’s gonna be on you. You hired him.