I will admit…I drank the Kool-Aid during Spring Training feeling like the Tigers needed only to show up and the pennant would be theirs. But then reality hit. Doug Fister went down with an injury…..the shaky start for closer Jose Valverde….a brief slump by Miguel Cabera…all brought home the fact that you don’t win on paper.
If you heard that one of the Tigers had a homer and three hits to lead the team to a 5 to 2 victory over the Chicago White Six, your first guess might be Miguel Cabrera or Prince Fielder. Nope. How about Austin Jackson, Alex Avilla, Delmon Young, or even Ryan Raybun? Wrong again. The unlikely hitting hero for the Tigs on Sunday was Gerald Laird, getting the start at catcher to give Avilla the day off.
If this past weekend is any indication, this should be a fun summer at Comerica Park. What’s the over/under on how many home runs the Tigers’ Dynamic Duo of Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera can hit? How many games can Justin Verlander win? How many times will the place sell out?
There’s always something special about opening day in Detroit. The fans who start arriving in the middle of the night for their tailgate parties. The signs and tents popping up all over downtown. The green grass and perfectly groomed field at Comerica Park. The optimism and enthusiasm that the Tigers will win it all.
The smoke has cleared and now the Tigers can look at 2011 and be proud of what they had accomplished.
When I sat down and started to think about the Tiger’s MVP it occurred to me that at one time or the other almost every player could fit that category.
1968. 1984. 2006. Those years marked very special seasons for the Detroit Tigers. Now, you can include 2011 with that list of outstanding Tiger teams.
The Tigers have gotten to the promised land ( a division title) for the first time in 1987. Unlike 2006….when they couldn’t close the deal and got into the post season by being the league’s “wild card.” This is also different in another way, in 2006 it was a pleasant surprise to get into the playoffs, while this time around it was expected.
If you had the power to pick when a team should get hot….it would be right now.
Get ready to pop the cork on your Dom Perignon. Better make it a Miller Lite. This is baseball, after all. And besides, who can afford a $500 bottle of champagne? The Tigers are about to celebrate their first division title since 1987.
Everytime I look at the Central Division standings, I find it almost too good to believe. Just like everyone else, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop after the All-Star game. Then I waited for the August fade, and now in September, it’s still early….but there’s still no sign of a collapse.
From the time most of us can remember…Mom always made you share. Each of the Tiger players must of had good Moms because it seems like every game someone else takes a turn at being a hero.
He did it. Justin Verlander has now won 20 games, the first Tiger pitcher to achieve that feat since Bill Gullickson did it in 1991. And tell the truth, would you have known the answer to that trivia question?
Luke Hughes. Sound familiar?? Not to me either, but he came out of the foggy mist and manhandled Tiger pitching over the week end to the tune of 3 home runs and 8 RBI’s.
Sunday’s Tiger victory was significant….but does it herald of things to come?
I know. The big news of the weekend was the Tigers thrilling sweep over the Cleveland Indians. But lost in that excitement is the call up of Third Baseman Brandon Inge. After being exiled to Toledo for the past month, Inge made his triumphant return to the Tigers lineup Saturday night, when he promptly responded with a homerun in his first at bat back in Detroit.
I will not deny it. I have a sentimental attachment to Magglio Ordonez. He provided me one of my biggest thrills as a Tiger fan….his home run in 2006 that sent the Tigs to the World Series. But maybe it’s time to look at facts.
t’s still early. But so far, the results of the Tigers trade with the Seattle Mariners are mixed, at best. The Baltimore Orioles hit Doug Fister early and often on Sunday, as he allowed eight runs in his second straight loss since joining the Tigers. Meantime, rookie Charlie Furbush, who the Tigers traded away for Fister in a six player deal, allowed just one run to the hard-hitting Boston Red Sox, to pick up his third win.
These are the “Dog Days” of summer for Major League Baseball , when teams that were riding high in the spring are fading under the hot July and August skies. And as we move into the second week of August, the Tigers are riding high in first place in the American League Central, with a four game lead over second place Cleveland .
Earlier this season whenever the Tigers were in a “big” series, manager Jim Leyland would always say….”well come back to me in August” before you say any game is a big one. It’s now August and the Bengals have a big week.
Whenever you hear about a matchup of two of the best pitchers in baseball, the game rarely lives up to the hype. Sunday’s game at Comerica Park pitting Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander against the Angels’ Jered Weaver was the exception. Both pitchers were sensational. But Verlander was better.
Yes, yes…it’s nice the Lions are back in business with a promising season ahead. But here it is…early August and the Tigers are in the midst of a real pennant race. So lets not get too carried away with the Honolulu blue and silver yet.
I turn my back one week (vacation)….and the Tigers jettison Brandon Inge and pick up Wilson Betemit from Kansas City. The club had to do something to get more offense from third base…but give up alot in defense
At least it wasn’t a sweep. The Tigers managed to salvage one game of their their three game series with the White Sox, thanks to some clutch hitting by Victor Martinez and excellent work by the bullpen. Some thought the Tigers paid too much for Martinez, signed by the team as a free agent in the offseason. But he has turned out to be worth the investment, unlike some other high priced players signed by other teams, like Adam Dunn, who has been a dud for the White Sox and has become the subject of nearly constant booing by fans in Chicago.
Two halves are supposed to make a whole, right? Unfortunately, the Tigers first and second halves haven’t added up to a strong finish over the past five seasons. Even in 2006, when the Tigers made it to the World Series, they faded fast in the second half of the season and only managed to make it to the post-season because they won the Wild Card spot.
Over the past few seasons it’s seemed like the Tigers would catch fire about 10 days before the All-Star Break, then collapse once they get back. After playing 37 games in 38 games…I think this year the break is much needed.
There is justice after all. Thanks to a last minute surge in fan voting, led by manager Jim Leyland and Pitcher Justin Verlander’s Twitter campaign, Alex Avilla will be the starting catcher for the American League at the 2011 All Star Game. Detroit will be represented at the game, with four Tigers chosen to play for the Americans.
It seems hard to believe, but the season is already half over. In April, if you had told me the Tigers would be at or near the top of the Central Division, I’m not sure I would have believed it.
The title is a quote from the late, great Satchel Paige…which means you can’t live your life or play baseball in fear instead of doing what you did to become successful. Or ‘just win and everything else will take care of itself…..something almost every manager has said at one time or the other. This is how I feel about the Tigers right now.
Even tho the Tigers were gone for just a 6 game road trip….after going 2-4 it seem alot longer. Now 2 members of the “84” Chammpionship team are back in town, Kirk Gibson and Alan Trammell. I’ve always thought Trammell got the short end of the stick when he managed the Tigers. The club had zero chances of winning many games and most of his players had little or no major league experience.