May 30, 2016

Back in '12 (and '06) — Not to mention '12

The Window Is Closing

It's too cold in late October to be watching baseball live in Detroit, anyway. It was cold in '06 and cold in '12. So I guess there's no reason to lament that the Tigers didn't "close" the loop during the decade–long resurgence that saw the lowly cats go from worst to first in the span of three short years. In '06 I think the Tigers pitchers made five errors in the five game series; in '12, the Giants swept the Tigers on the strength of the Big Panda's bat — and better pitching the the Tigers' beasts. In '13, the Tigers team was probably the one that should have "gone all the way" ; however, Prince Fielder fell down, Torii Hunter, tripped over a wall, and the Boston Red Sox tore up the Tigers bullpen to the tune of a couple of grand slams and the Tigers limped home once again for the winter. 

At least Justin Verlander has found his groove once again. 

The downhill slide started with the trade of popular and solid starter Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals for a package of "prospects" that later was turned basically into Shane Greene. Questionable moves followed, but we gave former GM Dave Dombrowski free reign and forgiveness because he traded the albatross of a contract for Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers for solid and spectacular second–sacker Ian Kinsler. Ironically, the Fielder money was basically redistributed to Justin Upton in one of new GM Al Avila's triad of questionable moves (editor's note: I did like the Upton signing though I questioned it due to his frequent moves and reputation as a clubhouse problem). Fielder made $24 million a year and Upton is getting $22 million. The Tigers must be making some money — or Little Caesar's pizzas are selling better than we would notice. 

The off season moves that netted the Detroiters Mike Pelfrey, Mike Aviles, Mark Lowe, and the aforementioned Upton have failed; acquiring Jordan Zimmermann gains a "plus" for the new general manager — but it doesn't negate the fact that the others have stunk up the house. Acquiring Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Cameron Maybin, and Francisco Rodriguez are solid if unspectacular. Rodriguez may be a victim of the Curse of Willie Hernandez, anyway. 

This season reminds me of the 2010 season when the Tigers struggled, then dominated, then floundered, then mashed … the Tigers finished that season at .500. This season seems quite similar to that season. And it's going to be a long one. 

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