It won’t go down as painfully as the Kirk Gibson home run in the 1988 World Series, but A’s fans get to live with the knowledge that another historic postseason home run has broken their heart.
This time, it was Magglio Ordonez, whose three-run blast on the first pitch he saw from A’s closer Huston Street, sent the Detroit Tigers to the World Series for the first time in 22 years. Interesting karma, too. The occasion came exactly 22 years to the day that the Motor City Kitties celebrated their last World Series, a night defined by another Gibson home run.
There should be no regrets if you’re an A’s fan. The Tigers were simply better. The A’s jumped to a 3-0 lead in Game 4, and starter Dan Haren was nasty for five innings. But the Tigers eventually got to him, and once they tied the contest, the ending seemed inevitable.
Want to mention this about Street, too. According to fellow scribes who were there, Street answered every question in the postgame clubhouse. I arrived in there a good half hour after the final pitch, and he was still there, with his head up, talking about the steps he can take to get better. You can’t teach that, and it’s the reason the A’s closing duties should be in good hands for years to come.