DETROIT -- Move over, Joe Buck. Giants Nation has a new villain in the media.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today is hearing it from San Francisco fans by the hundreds after predicting in print that the Detroit Tigers would win the World Series.

His crystal ball was bold, saying the Tigers would take it in 5 games. Nightengale wrote:

"OK, do you want to talk about starting pitching? This will be a mismatch. The New York Yankees were absolutely clueless against the Tigers' rotation, so can you imagine how the Tigers will destroy the Giants' pea shooters.

"This rotation went 5-1 with a 1.02 ERA this postseason, yielding a .162 batting average. Now, they will be facing the weakest lineup they've seen all year, with not a single left-handed slugger available to counteract the Tigers' right-handed staff."

The esteemed Nightengale, in his 14th year at the paper, said he's gotten more than 200 e-mails -- and it's not exactly fan mail.

And he's taking it all in good humor. Asked on Friday at Comerica Park if there was a unifying theme to the messages he's gotten, Nightengale said: "Yeah. That I'm the biggest idiot that ever covered baseball."

He laughed. Nightengale has been through this once before -- in another Tigers series, no less. In 2006, he was so sure that Detroit would cruise past the St. Louis Cardinals that "I tried to be a wiseacre. I said, 'The Tigers in 3.'''

Instead, the Cardinals won the World Series in 5.

"I'm still hearing about that one,'' he said.

Contact Daniel Brown at dbrown@mercurynews.com