When news came down Sunday that Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez would miss the remainder of the season, Rangers fans everywhere had to breathe a private sigh of relief.
Private because you never let it be know that you're happy about an injury — a bad ankle in Ordonez's case — and relieved because the subtraction from the Detroit lineup without question weakens the Tigers offense that was already dealt a blow last week when Delmon Young injured an oblique in the clinching win in the ALDS against the New York Yankees and was left off the Tigers' ALCS roster.
There's no doubt the Tigers are a weaker team without Ordonez and Young, but they shouldn't be written off just yet.
Ordonez, the Tigers right fielder and No. 5 hitter, is 37 years old and in 92 games this season hit just .255 with 5 home runs and 32 RBIs, all far cries from what he did in his prime. But in September, Ordonez got hot when he hit .365 over his final 21 games of the season.
Young, who hit third in the Tigers order, hit .274 with 8 home runs and 32 RBIs after being acquired from Minnesota at the trade deadline. He hit three homers in the Tigers' ALDS victory over the Yankees.
Not only is that two feared bats now absent from the Detroit lineup, but it's two feared right-handed bats, and it's both protectors of the Tigers' MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera in the lineup.
And guess what, the Rangers would likely send a left-handed pitcher to the mound to start five of the seven possible games in this series (assuming Colby Lewis could start Game 7, if necessary).
With Ron Washington's affinity for lefty-lefty, righty-righty matchups, you know he was on one of those people breathing a private sigh of relief on Sunday.