OAKLAND — What at first appeared to be bulletin board material may in fact have been just a bit of baseball lost in translation.

After his Detroit Tigers won Game 1 of the American League Division Series 3-2 over Oakland on Friday, Joaquin Benoit seemed ready to skip past the A's and the rest of the American League and play a National League team for the ultimate crown.

``I feel like we're on the verge of the World Series again,'' Benoit said. Considering that it will take six more wins to get there, it could be seen as an affront to the A's.

Oakland manager Bob Melvin, however, said he hadn't even heard what had been said, and Benoit said before Game 2 that he didn't mean to sound like that.

``That message was taken the wrong way,'' Benoit said in the Detroit dugout. ``We went to the World Series last year, and what I was trying to say is this is the feeling that we would like to have if we can go back to the World Series.

Like others born in the Dominican Republic and other Spanish-speaking countries, Benoit knows English as a second language, and there can be issues.

"It's really tough when you're trying to say something and they take it the wrong way,'' Benoit said. ``It's really hard, and sometimes it doesn't matter what you say they're going to put it up there the way they feel like.

``If it was taken the wrong way, I apologize. I didn't really mean to say that we were going to go to the World Series. There's a lot of baseball to be played, but hopefully we do.''



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