July 13, 2015

The End of an Era

When an era ends …

We all remember when it started. The day Jim Leyland arrived in the fall of 2005, we sensed that a sense of urgency was finally in place for the Tigers. Leyland changed the atmosphere quickly in the Spring of 2006. Certainly, the young talent helped the cause but the Tigers were back. During the last nine seasons, the Detroit Tigers have experienced an unprecedented number of trips to the postseason. This is exciting on one point, but it's also a byproduct of a game that allows many more teams into the playoffs. But, regardless, it's been a fun era.

The Tigers do have the best hitter in baseball. 

The 2006 season was incredible and began our run of contending year in and year out. The following season was a disappointment, but not nearly as bad as the 2008 team that just stunk it up. You all remember how 2009 ended with a game 163 loss to the Minnesota Twins. The following season wasn't too great as the 2010 Tigers limped. But 2011 through 2014 were incredible: four straight Central Division Championships and a trip to the World Series in 2012. It was an incredible run — and the 2013 Tigers might have been the most talented team that season but melted down against the Red Sox in the ALCS (see Veras, Benoit, Hunter, Fielder, et al).

I remember when we all said we wouldn't become like Braves fans who never attended the first round playoff series. Many fans stayed loyal through the great, unprecedented run but there were seats available at the Division Series last fall. Tigers fans are passionate and want to see the Tigers in the World Series and a ticker-tape parade down Woodward Avenue. Sadly, the era might be coming to a close. The current talented Tigers team is struggling mightily and looking like a sub-.500 team as the second half dawns.

It's been an incredible nine–year run. The Tigers have done well. Really well. Dave Dombrowski has built a solid team, but has always seemed to struggle to build a good bullpen and bench. This 2015 squad certainly reeks of that. Dombrowski has tried to sign many relievers over the years — it's not his fault that some have been complete, utter failures. I have to believe that Dombrowski will leave the team and the replacement GM (maybe Al Avilia, but maybe not — could be a complete house cleaning) will probably hire a new staff to run the show.

If it's over, it's been a lot of fun. It's better to be a fan when people compliment the Old English D rather than laugh at you (see 2003).

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