Hey, we made it! As a fan that has grown up through some of the worst Tigers teams ever, the ability to say that I've witnessed three consecutive division champion teams is definitely a pleasant surprise and something I don't think I'll never forget. Unless your a Yankees fan, the ability to see such a well-constructed team have a long period of success is pretty awesome.
(I found it really cool that, for the post game celebration, instead of having regular champagne and beer present, the Tigers used champagne without alcohol for Miguel Cabrera and Little Victor to participate with. It's called Fre. They had their fun with this stuff, then brought out the real stuff later on.)
The champs take a day off before heading down to South Beach to play an absolutely dreadful Miami Marlins team. Most baseball people were surprised when they signed Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell, thinking they were making a run with a new stadium, but owner Jeff Loria gutted the team (again) and is playing the "We suck, but you are already making me tons of money while my new stadium sits empty" game. The stadium is probably the most sanitary looking place in Miami, even with that garish...thing in left center field (that our own Omar Infante is responsible for lighting up the first time while Elsa Benitez talked about the loyalty of Marlins fans with a straight face). The green of the field and the walls and the blue of the thousands of empty seats make the "sculpture" stand out. With Giancarlo Stanton the only thing worth watching on the team, it's no wonder games are usually attended by invisible people.
I agree with Jim Leyland in that having an AL team finish in an NL park is stupid and dangerous. Obviously nobody knew the outcome of the season before the schedule was made, but I don't like the idea of our pitchers having to hit the last series of the season unless it's Verlander trying to get his first career hit. Manny Machado, a lithe kid, proved that getting to first base can be dangerous, and he does it on the regular. Imagine Kid Rick trying to leg out a hit. I know that in the World Series (knock on wood) our pitchers will have to hit, but those games are a little more important than the last series against the worst team in the NL after the team has clinched its division.
These posts have been a joy to write all season. I have enjoyed the feedback from readers, and I hope that you have enjoyed learning about beer and the many great offerings of our country. I enjoyed writing these almost as much as I enjoyed researching them, and I hope you all expanded your horizons throughout the season. For those of you worried about my liver, I do more than drink. While I enjoy the odd beer or two on a game night, I'm not drinking EVERY day. I do play golf and still go to school and work, and I'm getting married next month to someone that likes beer almost as much as I do. However, homebrewing is a hobby of mine, and you do need to taste your offerings every once in a while, so I still enjoy the chase, as it were.
Since I feel like I don't really know enough about any of the beers in this area of the country (though I have seen that Miami is starting to get into a solid craft beer culture), and since there are several areas of the country we never were able to touch upon in this series due to the schedule (especially Colorado), consider this your own forum to suggest and talk about beers that you like that I haven't had the chance to profile throughout the season. Nothing is off limits, and if possible, help each other out looking for new stuff.
If you want to learn more about beer and how to make it, the three books that I've gotten the most help from are the Oxford Companion to Beer by Garrett Oliver (which I talked a little bit about when profiling the Brooklyn Brewing Company), The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian, and Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher. While I like to pretend that I know a lot about this stuff, these guys actually do, and it shows in their work.