Oakland, Calif. — Bedlam again in the clubhouse. You’d expect nothing less for a team celebrating a deciding victory in Game 5 of a Division Series.
The Tigers had their goggles on. They were holding the bottles of whatever it was they were going to spray.
But the big man, Miguel Cabrera, wasn’t back from his interviews yet.
So the Tigers started chanting his nickname: “Mig-gy, Mig-gy.”
They were eager to get the party going, but they waited.
And when Cabrera came back to the clubhouse, he walked to the middle of where they all were congregated — and it began.
The Tigers are no strangers to celebrating by now. But each one looks more fun than the last. And when it comes to a cramped clubhouse such as the visitors’ clubhouse in Oakland, no one is spared. Everyone gets sprayed.
There was a lot for them to feel good about, though. For one thing, Cabrera’s power had returned in the 3-0 victory over Oakland.
He was happy about that, too — especially after all the pain he’s been through, and the talk about the pain he’s been through.
“Everybody talks about what’s going on with me,” Cabrera said. “Everybody can talk what they can talk. I want to do my job, man.
“I want to play with my heart.”
The way Justin Verlander pitched was a source of huge encouragement for the Tigers. With the rotation set up the way it is for Boston — Anibal Sanchez will start Game 1 — Verlander might still be able to start Games 3 and 7.
“I’m pitching the way I’m supposed to,” he said. “I worked my butt off all year to get consistent and to where I needed to be. It wasn’t easy; it was a battle all year long, but I feel it’s finally paid off at the end of the year.”
As they head to the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox, the Tigers feel it has, too.