Monday, March 19, 2012
A Guide To Being a New Tigers Fan
If you are one of these new fans, I bid you welcome. Thank you for choosing the Detroit Tigers as your team instead of an easier, and more annoying, team to support like the Yankees or Red Sox. While this decision does not assure the world that you are a good and decent person, it improves the odds since Yankee and Red Sox fans are all filthy heathens who should be shot out of a catapult into a brick wall.
Now as a new Tiger fan, you may not be familiar with how you are supposed to act toward your adopted team. That is why I, Your Trusted Party Host, am here to help guide you. As someone that has observed Tiger fans in person, online, and at the ballpark for well over twenty years, there are some certain guidelines you need to follow to be accepted by other fans. Note that many, if not all, of these rules do not apply to us fans that have been here long before 2006. We are all grandfathered (and grandmothered) in by the common sense rules that no longer seem to apply today.
So get a pen and paper handy and take notes. Lord knows you don’t want to be caught cheering for a player like Ryan Raburn in front of other Tiger fans. You may end up being beaten to death in the parking lot, or even worse, trolled online by some lifeless putz that claims to have went to college with Don Kelly. I wouldn’t wish that one anyone.
Here we go.
-Jim Leyland is clueless and needs to be mocked at all times. First of all, never call him “Jim Leyland”. “Smokey” is much funnier because he smokes! Hahahahaha! If the team bunts, flip out and scream about how Leyland is obsessed with small-ball and is out of touch with today’s game. If someone hits into a double play, start screaming that Leyland’s an idiot for not bunting and spends too much time waiting for the home run. If a starting pitcher gives up a home run late in the game, Leyland’s a moron for not pulling him sooner. If a regular is given a day off, it’s because Leyland is stupid and looking to play one of his “favorites”. Etc. Don’t worry about making sense. Only nerds try to make sense.
-Dave Dombrowski is an idiot and has never made a good trade or signing in his time with the Tigers. “Dumbrowski” is more like it. Ah, hahahahahaha! DUMB!
-Lloyd McClendon is the worst hitting coach in baseball history. Every time Brandon Inge tries to pull a pitch a foot outside and weakly grounds out to short, it’s Lloyd’s fault. If Austin Jackson strikes out, Lloyd told him it was a good idea. Will Rhymes was going to be an All-Star until he crossed paths with “Legendary” Lloyd. But if a player shows drastic improvement, like Alex Avila in 2011, do NOT give credit to McClendon. Obviously, the player sought out help somewhere else and that is the reason for any success.
-Gene Lamont is old and clueless. He is the worst third base coach in the history of the game. He always holds a runner when they will easily score and will always send a runner when they’ll be thrown out by a mile. He does this because he’s the antichrist. He is also fat and should be endlessly mocked for it. The fatty.
-Tom Brookens is the only good coach on the Tigers and should be named the next manager as soon as possible. This has nothing to do with Tommy’s coaching ability or any leadership skills he’s shown since joining the staff. It’s based only on the facts that he played for the team in the 80’s, he never played for the Pirates, and he has a sweet mustache.
-We start this section with the most important decision you will make as a Tigers fan. In regards to Detroit’s longtime third baseman/catcher/utility player Brandon Inge, you must fall into one of two camps.
First, you may choose to make him your favorite player. By doing so, you need to ignore all of his stats from his decade in Major League Baseball and defend him to no end. Constantly bring up how he’s a class act, he hustles, and his glove is excellent at third base. Anyone that even thinks of criticizing his hitting, his attitude, or his knees should be immediately killed with fire. Pretend you’re a hardcore Christian talking to an atheist about their faith, or vice versa. Also, if you’re an Inge fan, you may want to consider gaining 10 pounds of unnecessary weight and getting an ugly tattoo on your lower back (if female) or barbed wire on your bicep (if male).
The other Inge camp you may choose to join is the anti-Inge fan. You must non-stop talk about how overpaid Inge is and how bad of a hitter he is. Never refer to him by his real name. Always call him “Cringe” because this is original and funny. Talk about how old and useless he is, and in the same breath, say we should somehow try and trade him to another team for their franchise player (David Wright of the Mets is a popular choice).
Whichever way you go, DO NOT be indifferent when it comes to Inge. Do not be objective and realistic when it comes to the pluses and minuses he brings to the team. To do so makes you a pussy and you don’t want to appear weak in front of your new fellow fans.
-Next is left fielder/second baseman Ryan Raburn. NEVER spell his name correctly. Proper spelling makes you seem like you think you’re better and smarter than everyone else. The only accepted spellings of Ryan’s name are “Rayburn” and “K-Burn”. “K-Burn”, like “Cringe” is hysterical and original and will make other fans like/respect you more. See “Smokey” and “Dumbrowski”.
In regards to Raburn’s play, if he makes an error or dumb play, you must act like he raped your mother in front of you. Curse him out, call for the team to release him, pelt him with batteries, and question his sexuality. Even if he makes a diving, run-saving play an inning later, immediately bring up a mistake he made two weeks ago and call him a bum. If he’s in a week-long streak where he’s hitting .500 with multiple homers, bring up his slow May and how he probably cost the team a game or ten by booting a grounder when the Tigers were up 8 runs. Never let the man relax or he might actually get comfortable with his role on the team and become more consistent.
-Any time the team calls up a below-average, white, left-handed hitter from the minors, IMMEDIATELY make him your favorite player. Constantly talk about what an upside he has and how much he hustles. Predict big things for him in the future, despite his sub .240 batting average. Maybe even start a fan club for the guy. Past examples include Clete Thomas, Will Rhymes, Don Kelly, and Andy Dirks.
-While you are encouraged to cheer Miguel Cabrera when he homers, be sure to be ready to criticize him every chance you get, too. After all, English is his second language and thus, he is not worthy of receiving the praise he fully deserves for being the best hitting Tiger player since Ty Cobb. He talks funny, for crissakes! But no making fun of Justin Verlander, though. EVER. What kind of fan are you?
-When dealing with Delmon Young, never acknowledge his clutch hitting and power he’s shown as a Tiger. Instead, mock his lack of defensive ability relentlessly. Constantly bitch and moan about how he never takes a pitch. Meanwhile, at the same time, PRAISE Brennan Boesch for doing the exact same thing. He is aggressive and a rising star! Delmon’s selfish and washed up at the age of 26. Don’t ask why…JUST DO IT!
-Despite a .249 career batting average in almost 2100 career plate appearances, it’s obvious that Ramon Santiago should be starting every day and Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski are stupid for not realizing this. I mean, what do those morons know about baseball? I bet BROOKENS would let him start!
-When a player starts getting older and/or injured, immediately forget everything they accomplished in the past for your team. Start spreading the word that they are overpaid, hurting the franchise, and were never that good to begin with. Begin campaigning for a mediocre Mud Hens player to get their job. See Guillen, Carlos. See Young, Dmitri. See Ordonez, Magglio. See Higginson, Bobby. See Zumaya, Joel. This makes you a good fan that’s concerned about the here and now. The past is boring.
-Identify a pitcher in the minor leagues with minimal talent for you to root for. Whenever a non-Verlander pitcher struggles, immediately start clamoring for the promotion of this pitcher. If/when he does get promoted and gets shelled, blame the pitching coach or Leyland for ruining him somehow.
-If a player leaves the Tigers via free agency, trade, or other means, he is immediately the enemy. Do not root for his success anymore as he is a traitor and probably molests Cub Scouts now. The only exception to this rule is Curtis Granderson who is a saint and should have NEVER EVER EEEEVER have been traded to the Yankees. Stupid DUMBrowski!
-Start a twitter account and pester the Tiger writers like Lynn Henning, Chris Iott, and others non-stop with silly questions. Never attempt to look up the simplest things online yourself. You’re WAY too busy for that! If a player is stupid enough to have a twitter account, bug them for re-tweets non-stop. They love that stuff. And when not bothering writers or players, send a tweet every 45 seconds letting the world know what music you’re listening to, what you’re watching on TV, or the color/shape of your bowel movements. This is very important stuff and everyone is dying to know about it. You are a special and unique snowflake! The world must know what color sweater your co-worker showed up in today!
-Better yet, start a fake account for one of the Tigers players! These are always hysterical and in no way are overdone and annoying. Is there a fake Octavio Dotel account yet? THERE SHOULD BE! Do it before someone else does!
-When attending a game at Comerica Park, be sure to make a HUGE sign to take with you. Hold it up as much as possible in an attempt to get on TV. Never mind those pricks sitting behind you that want to watch the game. Those jerks should have bought better tickets! You are unique and need to express yourself. Your genius “I SEE YOU, ROD!” sign is much more important than little Jimmy behind you attending his first game.
-And also when at the park, get drunk and curse at the umpire as loud as you can. Especially when there’s young children around. This lets your fellow fans know that you’re classy and a good fan. They’ll appreciate you more for having the guts to speak up to the stupid ump that was OBVIOUSLY paid off in coke by Ron Washington.
On the other hand, if there’s an unruly fan of the opposing team in attendance yelling at the umpire, taunt them mercilessly about their most obvious physical abnormality. Make loud claims that their team’s best player is a homosexual. Throw things at them. Your fellow fans will appreciate you defending your team and will have no problem with you repeatedly yelling the words “faggot motherfucker” in front of their seven year old.
-Take your shirt off at the ballpark. No one will mind at all. Especially if you’re overweight and/or have obnoxious/offensive tattoos. Again, you are UNIQUE and must EXPRESS yourself!
-Here's another important tip when at the game. Be sure to get up every two innings to walk around, use the bathroom, get food, or best of all, TRY AND START THE WAVE! I mean, you paid a small fortune for parking and your seats...what are you supposed to do, watch the game? BORING. Your fellow fans will have no problem constantly getting up to let you wander off to buy your eighth beer that you'll probably spill on the small child sitting in front of you. And never do this between innings. Be sure to do it when there's a 3-0 count on Prince Fielder when the bases are loaded.
-When talking baseball with other fans, just make stuff up. No one keeps track of real stats in baseball, after all. Decide on something that you want to accept as fact and roll with it. I learned this trick of the trade from the guy at the bar that insisted to me that Brandon Inge has hit over .300 twice in his career and the guy that told me that Don Kelly was a better power hitter than Ryan Raburn. Oops, I mean RAYBURN.
-Like with the anti-Inge crew, always assume that every other team in baseball is interested in trading their best players for your worst. Constantly complain when a day goes by that DUMBrowski hasn’t traded Daniel Schlereth and Ryan Strieby for Felix Hernandez. Call into your local sports-talk radio show and share your insight with the world. After every opinion you state, insert the phrase "I'm just sayin'."
-Never learn what sarcasm is. Baseball is SERIOUS business.
I hope this gives you a good start in your Detroit fandom. I’ll see you at the CoPa.