By: Scott Anderson
I understand that Tiger fans are disappointed with the start of the season, I am too. This is a team that on paper looked like it was built for success with a staggeringly good lineup and top end starters. The Achilles heel would be the defense as Cabrera was switched to third and the fact they have a revolving door at second. The bullpen was to be a strength in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings.
Instead, what’s happened to start the season is that the lineup has been woefully inconsistent with even the most elite hitters in baseball going through their own struggles. The starters have been much better than advertised lately, going through a stretch of around a dozen games where quality starts became punch button responses. The bullpen has been a major disappointment. Aside from the emergence of Duane Below, the back end has been brutal and the middle relief has been shuffled around to find the right fit.
While people are pointing fingers at Jim Leyland and his staff, I suggest that those fingers be directed at the players themselves, particularly those at the plate. Missed opportunities loom larger when the team isn’t scoring to begin with. At some point, I would expect Cabrera and Fielder to be the MVP type players that they are and that their collective success will have an infectious effect on their teammates. The time is now, the further they slip behind Cleveland and allow for Chicago to become a factor, the more frustrated fans become.
My take is wake me on July 1st and let’s see where they stand, but if they don’t fix things soon, I may not be able to sleep that long.