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Late-Inning Rallies Cause Bipolar Fans

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Scott Sizemore and Magglio Ordonez / Getty ImagesPeople experiencing mood swings are dangerous to themselves and others. Suppose these people are Tigers fans who watched games so far this season. One minute: angst. The next, your neighbor tries to offer up an unexpected high-five amidst a shrieking "WOO!" You don't see it coming and are errantly conked in the face. Suddenly you can't see out of your left eye.

For the Tigers, they've only had nine games and won six. Pretty sweet start, huh? They're on pace for 121 wins! Not to mention inducing about 15,439 heart attacks directly related to their comebacks.

Let's look at five of their nine games to date:

April 5: On Opening Day, the Kansas City Royals took the lead in the second inning and led 4-1 after six innings.

April 8: After scoring the first two runs of the game, the Royals maintained a 2-1 lead by the seventh.

April 9: Going into the bottom of the fifth, the Cleveland Indians had a 2-0 lead.

April 11: Cleveland scored five in the first, built a 7-1 lead into the sixth, and owned an 8-3 lead going into the eighth.

April 13: Kansas City slowly built a 5-0 lead headed come the seventh inning stretch.

These are all games the Tigers won.

Only one of their victories came the "traditional way" by taking the lead early and never relinquishing it. That was a boring game and will never be mentioned again.

When baseball fans watch their team get walloped with detached sourness, nothing rejuvenates the spirit better than a late-inning rally. It's a wonderful penicillin. In the early innings, the pitching's terrible. They're leaving guys on base. The manager doesn't know what he's doing. The general manager is stuck with some horrible contracts and isn't drafting the right talent. By the end of the game, suddenly the hitting is clutch. The bullpen saved their ass. The manager pushed all the right buttons. These guys can win the World Series. Which is it, you confused, troubled man?

Now imagine this happening routinely.

If only we were Royals fans; we could simply become accustomed to our team blowing games and inventing new cutting-edge ways to lose games. But instead we must endure the dichotomy of exasperation and jubilation. The only comfort, it seems, is the fact that they're tied in first place with the Twins. Given how last year ended, the cessation of this mood swing will not end well.

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