It’s October 14th, 2006. We’re at Comerica Park in Detroit for game four of the ALCS between the hometown Tigers and the Oakland A’s. Detroit, leading the series three games to none, is eager to celebrate. But right now, those plans are on hold - it’s tied in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. Sure, Maglio Ordonez is up at bat, but just being realistic here - we’re probably getting some free, playoff baseball via extra innings tonight.
For both teams, getting this close to the World Series is an accomplishment. They’ve taken long, winding, at times injury-riddled roads to reach here. But getting to this point was never the goal - everyone involved wants and in certain cases deserves more. To fully understand why fans’ hearts are in their throats, fists are clenched, and prayers are streaming from the religious and non-religious alike, we need to rewind.