Root, Root for Detroit!

“Going through this season, with all the ups and downs and the amount of adversity we faced this year — that had something to do with the sigh of relief.”

–Tigers second baseman, Ian Kinsler’s post-game comments, after the Tigers clinched the Central Division for the fourth consecutive year Sunday..

Well, that was exciting, wasn’t it?

Watching the Tigers hold on to win the Central division this past weekend had everyone on the edge of their seats with eyes glued to TV’s, radios and smartphones everywhere.

However, in thinking about the Tigers 2014 season, it really is a reflection of the trials and triumph of the City of Detroit and its challenges and recent successes. Like the city itself, this baseball season had many ups and downs and drove our collective emotional states from high-to low-to high, at various times.

From the exhilarating 27-12 start, to a 63-60 finish over the last 3/4 of the season and all points in-between, the Tigers had this region holding its collective breath as they were pursuing its fourth consecutive division crown.

Just like Detroit.
In fact, Kinsler’s aforementioned comment can also apply to the City of Detroit during its bankruptcy process.

Think about it. Since the historic bankruptcy proceedings started last year, it has been an emotional roller coaster. From frantic negotiations with creditors, to potential lawsuits and contentious meetings, it’s been an emotional ride for everyone involved, including observers.

And like the Tigers with their exciting start, there were many bumps in the road along the way.

However, the common theme between the Tigers and its namesake city is this, the resilience of the people, determination and its “never say die” attitude.

Let’s examine closely how this city and region are demonstrating its determination, focus and attitude:

  • Increased collaboration between the public and private sectors to resolve financial issues,
  • Enhanced emphasis on entrepreneurship and small business development,
  • Turning ideas into projects and ultimately, reality. For example, seeing the construction of the M1-Rail, Red Wings/entertainment district, new residential and commercial development et. al. and continued investment by major downtown corporations is inspiring, refreshing and a boost to the collective psyche of this area,
  • And finally, steering its way out of bankruptcy over the next few weeks by focusing on its balance sheet and improving core services.

However. like the Tigers, the challenge is to ensure we don’t look back and notice the 7 1/2 game lead they had over the Royals, but continue to focus on the future and task at hand of moving this region forward. And everyone knows, there’s more work to be done. Specifically, continue to focus on:

  • Developing a neighborhood strategy which addresses fundamental issues confronting many struggling neighborhoods,
  • Providing improved, quality core services in the areas of public safety, lighting, blight and education.

And like the Tigers, who won in dramatic fashion on Sunday, my hope is that Detroit and this great region will continue to bounce back and overcome its challenges as it prepares for its playoffs and hopefully, the city’s World Series!

Go Tigers & Go Detroit!