Jamal talks Tigers in his blog...

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While I am actually aware that it is football season (and I know to some of you football season is the ONLY season) there are some other things in the sports world that deserve to be mentioned. First of all, I would like to congratulate Magglio Ordonez for winning the American League batting title by having the highest batting average at .363 (teammate Placido Polonco was third with a .341 average). Maggs is a class act and a fan favorite because of his clutch hits and long hair. I always laugh when they have “Magglio Ordonez Wig Night” at the ballpark because it just shows how much he means to the team and how much people love him. I actually asked him once why does he keep his hair so long and he said in his thick Venezuelan accent “To hide my round face”. So there you go ladies, he’s not only incredibly talented but also incredibly humble.

Baseball has the hardest season in professional sports. No other sport has to play 3 days in a row (sometimes more), double-headers, or in the raw heat of summer. It is the norm for most baseball players to miss a few games here and there to try and prevent wear and tear on their bodies during the grueling 162-game schedule. So out of 162 games you know how many Ordonez missed? Try five. FIVE games. When Ordonez got to Detroit the question was can he produce and stay healthy after a few injury-plagued seasons in Chicago? Um, I’m going to say ‘yes’. While no doubt there were times during the year that he was banged up, playing often on a bad heal and a sore knee, but he played through the pain. He showed great heart and leadership by showing up to play everyday for a team that desperately needed him. And he was rewarded with a champagne toast from his teammates as he became the first Venezuelan to ever win a batting title and the first Tiger to do it in 46 years.  He finished with 28 home runs, 139 RBI and a league high 54 doubles.

Magglio will forever be remembered by Tiger and baseball fans alike for his historic moment in the 2006 ALCS. Not many players have ended a playoff series with a walk-off home run. And, arguably, no walk off homer completed a renaissance such as the one the Tigers experienced last year. The announcer screaming “WAY BACK…AND THE TIGERS ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!” will always raise the hairs on my arms. For as long as I live, I will remember that home run. And when I’m old and gray, I’ll be able to tell the next generation about a guy named Maggs who did everything the right way and was rewarded for it.