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ALCS Game 4 (Pregame)

The folks are starting to file into Comerica Park, and there’s a festiveness in the air. Can’t blame them. Any day that you wake up with a chance to watch your team go to the World Series has the promise of being unforgettable. Besides, these fans have watched a lot of hideous baseball over the past decade and a half, so much that you forget the Detroit Tigers once were one of baseball’s proud franchises. They don’t need a win today to re-establish their good standing — the did that long ago — but it would be a nice exclamation point to a magical season.

The A’s, meantime, have to pin their hopes on Dan Haren. If Haren produces a gem along the lines of Sept. 13 in the Metrodome — eight shutout innings in a 1-0 win — then the A’s can push this to Sunday. Then, Barry Zito would get a chance to make sure his last Oakland memory isn’t a dud. And then, who knows, perhaps they get the series back to Oakland and all bets are off.

On second thought, there are way too many “if’s” in that equation. Bottom line is that a superior team is smelling the brass ring. It reminds me of when the A’s swept the Red Sox in the ALCS back in 1988. Attended both games that year, and you could just sense before those games that there was nothing the Red Sox could do to put off the inevitable. Same feeling pervades here.

Yep, Motown most likely will be partying here in a few hours. And then all those “brain-dead” folks who live here — it was a joke, people! — will be the envy of the baseball-watching world.

Joe Stiglich