Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to that feeling.
— Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
As we speak, the Detroit Tigers — yes, those Detroit Tigers — are in contention for the eighth and final American League wild card spot. Yes, we know what you’re saying. The Tigers don’t have a chance. It’s just a pipe dream. The odds are against them. There are too many better teams ahead of them. They’ll never make it in so why bother.
These are all justifiable positions one could take on the current state of the Detroit Tigers’ postseason hopes. Detroit Tigers fans are used to having their hopes and dreams stomped on and spit upon by the Detroit Tigers.
The sharp sting of our postseason disappointments are still fresh and painful. The fanbase is reluctant to be hopeful in a season, a year, where Murphy’s Law reins supreme. The Tigers don’t have a chance so why should I get my hopes up? Why are you enjoying this? They’ll just blow it in the end. Don’t you remember 2006-2011-2012-2013-2014-2016, etc.
Why get our hopes up? Well, why not.
Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal are headlining the youth movement in the Tigers’ rotation. Isaac Paredes, Willi Castro, Daz Cameron, and other prized position prospects are emerging from the haze of the alternate training site. The bullpen is finally — FINALLY — somewhat competent! For the first time in four years the Tigers are dancing around the edges of the wild card hunt! The Tigers’ farm system is among the top ranked systems in baseball after years of being maligned for the lack of depth. And there are even more exciting prospects on the verge.
Why shouldn’t we enjoy the ride? Who knows when the next playoff race will find its way back to Detroit? The Tigers went nearly twenty years between postseason appearances not so long ago. Are we all so jaded that a close wild card race isn’t enough to shake us from our perpetually negative, fatalistic mindset?
It’s okay to embrace things that are fun, and have hope that good things will come. Wild card races, regardless of the likely result, are fun and good. Let yourself enjoy it. Sometimes the ending point isn’t what truly matters, it’s the journey taken, the memories made along the way, and the promise of a better future just on the horizon.