Loyal fans ready for more

Published 4:57 am Friday, April 7, 2006

By Staff
It must surely be spring.
The Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox are back on the diamond and ready to deliver a season full of excitement and heart break.
The White Sox are the defending World Series champions and are among the teams being mentioned to win it all again this year by the experts.
But we know that Tigers and Cubs fans are once again ready to wear their hopes on their collective sleeves.
Both have given their fans nothing but heartbreak over the years.
The Tigers haven't had a winning season in 12 years or a championship since 1984, while the Cubs have been to the playoffs recently, but still haven't won a championship since 1908.
It is hard to figure out just what keeps these fans coming back for more each year.
But one thing for sure is that Tigers and Cubs fans are truly loyal.
One has to respect that type of loyalty in an era where most everyone wants instant gratification.
Detroit has a new manager and a new outlook.
The Tigers are off to a good start and could keep the fans interested throughout much of the season.
The key, however, will be how these young players develop under new manager Jim Leyland.
The Cubs could get off to a slow start with two of its best starting pitchers currently on the disabled list.
If Chicago can stay within striking distance until Kerry Wood and Mark Prior get healthy, then the Cubs could be division contenders.
Regardless of how things turn out in the end, Tigers and Cubs fans will tune in to all the televised games and check the standings each morning to see how their teams are doing until they are officially eliminated from the playoff chase.
Thankfully for those fans, baseball created a wild card spot in the playoffs which allows one team from each league which does not win a division championship to qualify for the post- season.
That gives those teams which are not quite good enough to take their division to still make the playoffs.
It keeps more than a handful of teams in contention throughout the season.
Let's hope the Tigers and Cubs can contend for the division title or win the wild card chase so September and October actually mean something.
But if not, at least enjoy watching the games either in person or on television. There is nothing quite like baseball.
After all, it is America's pastime.