October 17, 2012

Wouldn't It Be Amazing …

… if the Tigers return to the World Series. 

I have attended Spring Training for the past few seasons. My parents have a place in Lakeland now, so we'll probably continue to go down. Last February, we were in town when the players arrived — most of them early. There was a buzz in Tigertown. You could feel that the team expected to be playing late into October.

The 2012 season was an up–and–down season with many inconsistencies mixed in. A couple of times  in the season, I was convinced that this crew was going nowhere and that the manager probably was. Jim Leyland is fiercely loyal and a stubborn manager. He sticks with his players through thick and thin, much like we do as Tigers fans.

Throughout the season, my friends and I would talk regularly about this squad. We kept saying one thing: If the Tigers can make it into the playoffs, their pitching could probably beat anyone else's. The starting pitching has been above phenomenal. The bullpen, besides one pitcher, has been solid.
Phil Coke is taking advantage of his new role and throwing well. He made the ninth inning interesting last night, but he struck out Raul "Legend" Ibanez to end the game and the Yankee threat. Make no mistake, the Yankees had the tying run on second base.
Jim Leyland continues to amaze with his handling of the Tigers in 2012. I've complained about him and called for his ouster, but he's done a good job keeping this team focused on the ultimate prize. I suppose he'll be back in '13, with a team that could be posed to do more damage.
This good time in Tigers baseball would have made Grandpa Morgan proud. It's hard to believe we went to our last Tiger game together seven years ago. It was in late 2005, the last season of Alan Trammell's managerial stint in Detroit, and the last season before the renaissance. The Tigers are now in the upper echelon of teams — they have star power (probably the best pitcher and best hitter) and are willing to do whatever it takes to improve. It's a good time to be a Tigers fan!

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