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…