Oct 28, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; San Francisco Giants outfielder Xavier Nady (12) celebrates in the clubhouse after game four of the 2012 World Series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. The Giants won 4-3 to sweep the series. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

Before I Move On

As you can tell by some of the articles my colleagues on Motor City Bengals have been cranking out today, the off-season of Tigers baseball is in full swing already. Speculation is going to run rampant on who is going to return, who is going to leave, and who the Tigers should acquire. I most certainly will be throwing my hat into that ring before too long. Maybe even right after I finish this article.

But I’m not completely ready to stop talking about the 2012 season. Why? Because I’m frustrated.

I know that most of you know what I am talking about. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a season that had so much success (yes, reaching the World Series is success), yet left me with such a bad taste in my mouth. It boils down to this. The Tigers by failing to live up to expectations for most of the season, lulled its fans into a simmering frustration that almost boiled over several times throughout the season. And with fifteen games left in the season, the Tigers got hot at the right time. That good five week stretch got them through the end of the season and the first couple rounds of the playoffs. Excellent pitching didn’t hurt either, but that excellent pitching also masked the deficiencies the Tigers were experiencing on offense.

The big guns in the Tigers lineup failed this offense. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder just didn’t do enough in the World Series to help their team. And if we want to talk about big guns, you can add Justin Verlander to that list as well. He could of set the tone of the series by pitching well in the first game, but Verlander was the Tigers starter who had the worst outing of all the starters.

The team that just got swept in the World Series by the Giants is the team that Tigers fans saw for 145 games, a talented albeit maddeningly inconsistent squad. The Giants were clearly the better team, so I don’t want to take anything away from them. Defensively there is no question the Tigers couldn’t hang, and offensively, the Tigers couldn’t catch any rhythm. They looked like a bunch of random body parts out there that weren’t connected to each other. Disjointed. The Giants looked like a squad firing all cylinders.

It made me jealous.

I want to be positive. I want to be happy about the Tigers making an appearance in the World Series in 2012. I just can’t. The Tigers play sucked all the fun out of it. Embarrassing is an appropriate word to use. Most people who don’t follow the Tigers who watched the Series have to be thinking, that’s the best of the American League? Well, rarely do the best two teams actually make it…

I think the Tigers proved that theory quite well.

David Dombrowski and company have their work cut out for them this off-season. Could they win the Central again as is? Probably. But I think it’s clear it’s time to go beyond that thinking.

I guess…it’s time to move on…


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  • gstoye44

    I agree completely. For a team as talented as that to barely win their division (arguably the worst in the MLB) is really frustrating. It seemed like the absence of Victor Martinez really affected the atmosphere of the team.

  • Chris Hannum

    Their approach at the plate reminded me of those pre-2006 Tigers squads that seemed to fall apart whenever they fell behind. Everyone starts trying to win the game all by himself and they wind up striking out swinging at garbage or driving the ball to the warning track with nobody on. Victor Martinez really might have helped in keeping everybody’s head in the right place – Prince Fielder and Jhonny Peralta were the worst offenders, though Peralta did come a couple of feet and a gust of wind from winning game 4 all by himself. I didn’t get the impression that – like Dotel said – the team lacked “fight”. I got the impression that they lacked composure and they lacked confidence that they could count on the guy behind them to do his part.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/marianne.nova.7 Marianne Nova

    When you’re up against tough pitching, the thing to do is defend the
    plate, make solid contact, try to go deep in the count, try to
    hit behind the runners, and hit to the opposite field. Make the pitcher
    throw as many pitches as you can, to wear him out! Never, EVER,
    swing at balls outside the strike zone. If they walk you, the next
    batter will be even tougher for them, as there will be men on base,
    and they’ll have to pitch even more carefully.

    Too easy? Don’t believe me? Then check out Nelson Fox, a
    5’10″ , 160 lbs. second baseman lead-off hitter with the Chicago
    White Sox, who in 1959, batted .306, 2 Home Runs, with 70 RBI’s,
    struckout only 13 times, took his team the World Series, and
    won MVP honors for his efforts. Oh, and he could punch the
    ball right down the pitcher’s throat, and was hated for it! No,
    they don’;t have players like this anymore! Look at how the
    Tigers and Yankees stunk up baseball’s seaon ending. Of
    course you have to practice this in spring training, and
    implement it during the season, in order to be ready for the
    World Series! Dahhhhhhhhhhhh !!!