In the end, the Tigers didn’t really have much of a choice. They had to give their pitching ace Justin Verlander the richest contract ever awarded to a pitcher in Major League Baseball History. If they didn’t do it now, they faced the prospect of losing Verlander to free agency after next season, or being forced into a bidding war where they might have had to pay even more for him.
The last two American League MVPs stood about 10 feet apart in a club at Comerica Park, each surrounded by a small pack of reporters.
Miguel Cabrera is waiting for the crown that was presented to him at the World Series to arrive at his home. He’ll give it a prominent spot in his office.
Well, I told you not to panic. It’s a long season, remember? The Tigers start the final week of July in first place in the AL Central, one and a half games in front of the White Sox. I never worried for a minute.
Who would you rather have on your team: Curtis Granderson or Austin Jackson? I have always been a huge Granderson fan, and was dumbfounded and outraged when the Tigers traded him to the Yankees for Jackson, as part of a three-team deal. Jackson seemed like a good young player, with a lot of potential. But Granderson was a superstar in making. This season, however, Jackson has moved even or ahead of Granderson in almost every offensive category.
The only time you would expect to see the names “Brandon Inge” and “Lou Gehrig” in the same sentence would be something to the effect that both men played Major League Baseball. And both were in the American League. But Inge now has the unlikely distinction of being the first player to have at least four rbi’s in four games during a five-game stretch since Gehrig did it way back in 1931.
You knew it was bound to happen eventually. The question was when. The news that the Tigers have finally released Brandon Inge comes as bittersweet to those of us who have followed his career in Detroit over the past 12 years. He has had good seasons, bad seasons, and in-between seasons for the Tigers, the only team he has played for in his Major League Career.
Ten to Three. Ten to Four. Three to Two. And Three to Two again. Those were the numbers for the Tigers and Texas Rangers this past weekend at Comerica Park. And considering the Tigers scored only 11 runs compared to the Rangers 25, they were lucky to win even one of those games.
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.
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.