The 2012 Tigers may Bring first WS Title Home to Detroit Since 1984
Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer @ChuckBooth3024 on Twitter) - My dad and I were not always Yankees fans. In the past blogs I had written that my favorite teams when I first started watching baseball were the Montreal Expos(because of Gary Carter) and my American League team was the Detroit Tigers (because of Lance Parrish). As a 7-year-old kid playing baseball, our team name was the Tigers. I remember that as I took my position behind home plate, the coach called me Lance Parrish. My dad was the assistant coach that year and would whip baseball’s at me to toughen me up. I asked him too, because I wanted to learn how to block them like #13.
The 1984 Detroit Tigers started the year with one of the most incredible streaks ever in the history of baseball. Their record at the quarter pole was 35-5 and they already had a commanding lead on the AL East. Backed by the awesome play of Kirk Gibson, Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammel, plus All-Star pitchers like Jack Morris and 1984 CY Young winning closer Willie Hernandez, the team would coast to the playoffs with an eventual 104 wins. The team did this while they actually struggled on the 3rd base and 1st base positions, because they were so strong up the middle it didn’t matter. The team clubbed down perennial playoff contending Kansas City 3 games to nothing in the ALCS before crushing the upstart San Diego Padres in the World Series. In somewhat fitting circumstances, Kirk Gibson delivered the final fatal blow off of seemingly unhittable Goose Gossage, when he destroyed a three run homer into the right field upper deck at Tigers Stadium. The Tigers had capped off their best ever year for wins with a World Series Title. The team’s core stayed together for another half-dozen seasons of competitive baseball before the 1991-2005 era set in.
It was the worst era in Tigers history. Their best player was Bobby Higginson for that 15 year stretch. The rock bottom transpired in 2003, when the Alan Trammel led Detroit Tigers finished with an all time American League worst record of 43-119. If they had not won their last series of the season, they would have eclipsed the New York Mets 40-120 season in 1962 for the Major League Record of futility. At least the New York Mets had the excuse of being an expansion team. The team looked like it was heading nowhere fast. Dave Dombrowsi had been the GM for 2 years assessing this club. A few years later, the team’s Minor League Stock had been replenished by future stars. In another popular move after the 2005 seasons end, Dombrowski named Jim Leyland as the new Manager. The 2006 Tigers made it to the World Series after great seasons by Pudge Rodriguez and new pitching phenom Justin Verlander before losing out to the St. Louis Cardinals. The front office was now as solid as it had ever been.
In 2011, the Tigers showed their metal by knocking out the New York Yankees before losing out to the powerful Texas Rangers. So what was the front office going to do find the last piece of the puzzle? Right, they signed some guy name Prince Fielder to a 9 yr $214 Million Dollar Contract. So where does this signing leave them compared to the rest of the league? For starters, their owner Mike Illitch should be commended for putting his money where his heart is. The man has tasted champagne with 4 NHL Hockey championships, now he wants to bring the city of Detroit its first baseball title in nearly 3 decades.
Miguel Cabrera is a potentional Triple Crown Candidate, while Prince Fielder will definitely challenge for the Hank Aaron Award that is given out for the most home runs hit. The Detroit Tigers also have the premier pitcher in the Major Leagues with Justin Verlander. This guy should serve up plenty of great seasons to come and should be in the CY Young conversation every year as the front-runner. The right/left duo of Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera has the chance to be even more potent then the prolific tandem of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz were in their primes for Boston. Cabrera should hit .330 and drive in about 140 Runs. I am thinking that Prince still should crack about 40 Home runs a year or more. He is capable of driving in from 120-140 Runs himself. If anyone can get on base in front of these guys, they will put up even greater monster numbers. Don’t be surprised if Delmon Young has his best offensive season ever with the support he will have around him.
It is incumbent on other players such as: Brennan Boesch and Austin Jackson to show a little more plate discipline in order to raise their OBP in front of these big boppers. I also would not think it is a bad idea to move Alex Avila up in the order to the number 2 slot. However the team presents itself on offence, they are going to score a pile of runs off of homers. The Pitching staff looks to be stronger than last year with a full season for Doug Fister, plus another year of experience added for Rick Porcello. If they can receive a decent campaign from rookie pitcher Jacob Turner, with another year like 2011 for closer Jose Valverde, then the lights may be out for every other team in the AL Central early. This team may not shoot out of the gate 35-5 like the 1984 Tigers did, however I think they might challenge the 104 win total from that World Series club.
*** Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Douglas “Chuck” Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 20 days click here or on the 30 MLB Parks in 20 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” please click here ***
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Posted on March 26, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged alan trammel, alex avila, austin jackson, bobby higginson, Brennan Boesch, Chuck Booth. fastest 30 ballgames, david ortiz, delmon young, detroit, detroit tigers, doug fister, goose gossage, jack morris, jacob turner, jose valverde, justin verlander, kansas city royals, kirk gibson, Lance Parrish, Lou Whitaker, manny ramirez, miguel cabrera, new york mets, prince fielder, rick porcello, san diego padres, twitter, Willie Hernandez. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.