Detroit — Dan Dickerson drove downtown Friday afternoon with a few victory calls inside his head.
He knows in the next 24 to 48 hours he may make a radio call that officially proclaims the Tigers as American League Central Division champions. Dickerson, the Tigers play-by-play man on 97.1 FM The Ticket, does not know what he will say, but he has a few ideas rolling inside his head.
The process began Friday morning and will continue right up to when and if he must make the call.
The Tigers entered Friday night's game against Minnesota with a magic number of two as they entered the final three games of the regular season with a two-game lead over the Kansas City Royals. Chances are Dickerson won't make the call Friday night because the Tigers game begins an hour earlier than the Chicago White Sox-Royals game. But he could make the call Saturday or even Sunday.
"I don't want to be caught without the right words," Dickerson said. "I can wing it, but hopefully I have the right words."
Dickerson scripted his words when the Tigers advanced to the 2006 playoffs and he regrets it. But he could not script the Magglio Ordonez home run that placed the Tigers into the World Series that year.
"I wrote it out (the 2006 playoff call) and delivered it and when I heard it it sounded scripted," Dickerson said. "And it was kind of. So when you think about my approach after that you just react to the moment. You have to be ready for what is going to happen."
There is a tiny bit of pressure on Dickerson. Whatever he says becomes history. It will be archived and placed in future Tiger promotions and becomes part of baseball lore.
"You are aware," Dickerson said. "The 2006 team you wanted to make sure you capture the moment because it was three years removed from 119 losses. It was kind of amazing. So you think about it. Now this team has been to the playoffs several years in a row. You are aware and you want to make sure you don't use something you used before."
Dickerson is the voice of the Tigers and one of my favorite calls is when the Tigers hit a home run.
It might go something like this. "HOME RUN MAGGEEEEELLLLLLL CABRRRRERRRRAAAAAAA!!" Dickerson likes to scream the name in a long and drawn out manner. It sounds as if he is presenting the Tiger to the audience saying "look what this guy did."
So why does Dickerson do it?
Is he sending a message?
"I don't know," he said. "That is just how I've been doing it."
OK. That makes sense.