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2014 Stretch Run Survival Guide

We're into the stretch run, and the race is going to be close. Here's how you can survive the coming weeks with your sanity intact.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The month of September has begun, and as of this writing, there are now only 23 games left in the regular season. The Tigers are currently sitting 1 ½ games behind the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central, and own one of the two wild card spots (although, only by a half-game lead over the Seattle Mariners).

Now is no time for panic. Now is the time to strap in, gird up our loins (note: do not take pictures of this activity with your phone), and steel ourselves for the onslaught of emotional ups and downs that are inevitably coming our way in the next few weeks.

Here are a few helpful tips for surviving the stretch run roller coaster ride:

Periodic Avoidance

This one is easy to accomplish, and probably necessary for your mental health.

1. Turn on the television

2. Realize that you're watching a Tigers game

3. Stop doing that

4. Watch a cooking show instead

5. Check the game results the next day

6. Realize that you missed David Price throwing a no-hitter

7. You idiot

Get the Other Fanbase's Perspective

As the old saying goes, "sometimes you need to walk a mile in another man's shoes before you understand how badly you need to stop drinking."

1. Log on to the Internet

2. That's a joke - no one "logs on" to the Internet anymore unless they're using a dial-up connection

3. Find a Royals fan site

4. Can't find one? Try Googling "fiar ned yost lol jerk"

5. Read a hundred comments by fans freaking out that the Royals are for sure going to choke down the stretch

6. Repeat steps 1-5 for Indians fans

7. That's also a joke - the Indians don't have any fans

Practice Meditation

If you find that peace of mind lives inside you, nothing can hurt you.

1. Convert to a religion that emphasizes interior peace through meditation

2. Practice meditating for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night

3. Refine your technique by utilizing it when minor stresses arise (such as when MLB.TV refuses to work and their only technical advice is "try buying a new laptop")

4. Discover that this religion also emphasizes vegetarianism

5. Send me all of that bacon that you're no longer going to eat

6. This worked out really well for me, but not so much for you

Gain Some Historical Perspective

History does not repeat itself, but sometimes it does rhyme - mostly with words like "mystery," "blistery," and "Doug Fistery."

1. Think about the Tigers' 2012 season

2. At this same point in that season, they were a full two games behind first place

3. They wavered between one and three games back for another torturous 14 games

4. They did not even tie for first place until September 25, Game 154, with only eight games left in the season

5. You didn't get any sleep that September, did you?

6. But just look how that season turned out! The Tigers went all the way to the World Series!

7. Then they got swept by the Giants, and the image of Miggy taking that final called third strike is forever burned into our memory

8. See? Aren't you glad history doesn't repeat itself?

With these handy bits of advice, you can confidently charge head-on into the 2014 September stretch knowing that you can - nay, you will - survive and come out in one piece on the other side.

We can do this, Tigers fans, together and united as one.*

*Does not apply to those abstaining from adult beverages.