I guess I need to start taking the Detroit Tigers seriously.

I was slow to jump on their bandwagon, but this team is for real. They just beat the White Sox, 2-1, perhaps leaving behind some bad blood in the process.


Joel Zumaya struck out Joe Crede to end the eighth inning and preserve the one-run lead. Zumaya hopped in the air, spun around, pumped his fist and hollared. He would have gotten perfect 10s across the board if he had stuck his dismount.

The display didn't sit well with Crede, who glared at the right-hander while walking slowly to the dugout.

I'm sure White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen won't let that slide.

Guillen entertained reporters on Thursday with his take on Detroit's Craig Monroe and White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski bumping into each other at home plate after Monroe's grand slam. Here's a sample. And brace yourself for this shocker: Guillen was pretty out-spoken:

''This game is starting to be like, I don't know how to describe it, but the players or major-league baseball ... if you're going to do something, just do it right away. If you're going to fight, fight. Don't wait to the next day and say, 'He elbowed me, he's punching me, he threw me aside.' I think this game's changed a lot. I remember when I was playing, it was a man's game. If you don't like something about him, beat the (crap) out of him and let's go. It's on. Ten-day suspension, 20-day suspension...I'm not saying this about Monroe, I'm talking about baseball in general.

''You slide hard into second base, you're out. If you hit the guy at the plate, you'll be suspended. If you get hit by a pitch, warning. This game, it's boring to play this game now. It is boring. You can't pitch up and in because somebody's going to get mad. You cannot do anything in baseball. There's a warning because the guy is a rival. ... Let the guys play the game. If you don't like something, do something about it. Don't say it. If you get hit by a pitch and you don't like it, beat the (crap) out of him. If you get hit by a pitch and don't say anything, just go to first base and run the bases. That's the way people used to play the game.

''I remember Kirk Gibson knocked the crap out of me at second base. The next day, I threw right at his face. It wasn't bad blood; that's the way people should be playing. You talk about Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Don Baylor, that's a man's game. This now, this is a bunch of little weasels' game. They are. Baseball, major-league baseball, not just the White Sox. Everybody in baseball. Come on, just play the game hard.''

That's how the Tigers played it today. Marcus Thames kept an inning alive with a wicked take-out  slide at second base, and Detroit later scored.

I wonder if that's what Guillen meant.

By the way, Tom Hanks and Ron Howard were spotted at Comerica Park today as part of their ballpark tour.