The view from down under...

(This note from my pal John Holland in Melbourne, Australia.)

G'day Gregg,

First of all commiserations on the Tigers' loss. You email of a few days ago not only reminded me that the world series was on, it also motivated me to get out of bed at ungodly hours to watch the last two games.

For game three I got up at 1.00 a.m. For game 4 I got up at 3.25 a.m. That is because I was watching delayed telecasts on free-to-air TV because Janette and I are not prepared to pay $75 per month x 12 months cable so that we can see live baseball for one month of the year. And both our boys - mad baseball fans and players as you know - agree.

I enjoyed watching both games even if game 3 was fairly boring while game 4 was more interesting but neither were exactly rivetting baseball.

So, Gregg, thanks for the reminder. It got me back into baseball even if only for two days.

Not sure what you thought, but I was very disappointed at the Tigers' approach. There was zero team spirit, zero enthusiasm, zero excitement, zero pride. How can players simply sit on the bench (not even at the rails) and just chat as if they were at a sunday school picnic? They owed their supporters and themselves more than that. Leyland needed to give them a good kick up the backside. He owed himself, themselves and their surpporters that.

As for Prince Fielder - well that bloke has always been a flop when the play-offs come. When it gets to game 4 and you are three games down, you bench him - as was done to A-Rod. Performance and a big name during the home-and-away season is irrelevant when it comes to the crunch. Truly great players are great when it counts.

While I wanted the Tigers to win I think the Giants did deserve the victory - they played the better baseball and were a team looking to win rather than being a few individuals on a diamond.

So here is to next year - for either the Tigers or the Rangers. Surely one of them must break through.




  1. (on behalf of my pal Jim Domzal, from Chicago, Ill, USA)

    my sentiments exactly. now that illich has yet again drank the jimmy kool aid for yet another season, I think leyland needs to go to the shoe store, pick up some steel toed specials, and kick some high dollar ass. nice guy, but, where did this nice guy finish now twice, in the final judgment series? I am so tired of seeing him, sit, think, ponder, warm his butt, and show zero, I mean zero emotion. I love the guy as a man. theres no doubt he is a very good person. we all know that. but, just for once, I would have liked to see him slap prince upside the head after yet another pathetic strike out or double play. strong emotion, yes. but, someone needed a wake up. it would have been a message to all in that dugout. so close, to play so lame. its not like they hadn’t seen pitching. it was like their 170th games of the season for chrisakes. glad to see this friend of yours down under follow our tiges however. too bad the games were so bad time wise. now that’s a fan, to get up at those hours to watch. clearly had to make him feel cheated with their performance these last 4 games.

  2. I disagree and I'm sick of hearing these criticisms. Do you think Prince was trying to fail? Anything can happen in a short series. Look what Fielder did during the season. Do you think Cabrera wins the triple crown w/o Fielder hitting 4th?

    Leyland has plenty of emotion. The whole team does. They simply lost to a team that pitched better. Accept it and move on.

  3. Leyland's tenure with the Tigers is one long story of explanations (i.e. excuses) of why they don't finish the season as #1 in MLB. In music and sports, you're only as good as your last hit record or winning game. The Tigers didn't show up for the last four. Out-played? Unmotivated? In the end it doesn't matter. I just wish Mr. I was my employer!

  4. I am flattered first of all that Gregg thought my comments worth posting and that anyone bothered to think them worth reading and responding to.

    Interesting reactions and thank you for them. Just wish we were discussing this over a beer than via the internet.

    No, I do not think Fielder was trying to fail; simply that he is not good enough when it comes to the playoffs (and here is a piece of trivia for you, we call them "finals" in our language. We have elimination finals, qualifying finals, semi-finals, preliminary finals and the biggie: The Grand Final). There are many players in all sorts of sports who are great during the home-and-away season but cannot pick it up a notch in the finals or at an international level (e.g. Harry Kewell: good player for Liverpool but hopeless for Australia at the World Cup level). A-Rod and Fielder fall into this category. Is it choking (a la Greg Norman) or something else?

    The key here is that when you have a bloke like Fielder, A-Rod or Kewell who is not performing, the coach (manager or whatever) has to take the tough decisions and bench those players.

    The other interesting comment was that I must have felt cheated after getting up at all hours and seeing such a poor performance by the Tigers.

    No, I did not feel anything like this; just disappointment.

    Fan reaction is a great topic for a conversation. Having lived in four countries, including the USA, I find the approach to sports watching quite interesting.

    In the USA, you blokes seem to take it much more personally than anywhere else I have been. Nothing wrong with this. It just seems that is the way it is in your country. If that is not the case, please let me know.

    Now, here in Melbourne (yesterday your time) it is Melbourne Cup Day - I will try and figure out how to post a little story about that "Race that stops a nation". Yes, we have public holidays in Australia for horse races.