There were two article posted to the Detroit News today regarding the Detroit Tigers and the “World Series or bust” mentality. Both authors — Bob Wojonwski and Terry Foster — took the tone that the Tigers “have” to win a World Series this year to have any cause for celebration.
Since reaching the World Series in 2006, the Tigers have contended again and again with plenty of flash, but disappointing finishes. Justin Verlander won the MVP and Cy Young two years ago. Cabrera won the MVP and Triple Crown last season. Six Tigers were on the All-Star team and free-agents readily sign, from Victor Martinez to Prince Fielder to Torii Hunter.
No one should take anything for granted, and the Tigers certainly aren’t. But for it to be a crowning success, all the hefty numbers have to add up to a world championship.
We knew months ago the Tigers were going to win this division and make the playoffs. They have done it the last two seasons and remain the class of the division. This is an all-or-nothing season for the Tigers.
It is World Series or bust.
Let me take it a step further. The Tigers shouldn’t even celebrate winning the division outside of a few handshakes and hugs. They’ve been there and done that.
Let’s be clear about one thing: the ultimate goal for ownership, the front office, the coaching staff, the players, and the fans is a World Series title. That’s always been the goal. But that doesn’t mean that the steps along the way don’t also represent a degree of success. That doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the achievement of more typical milestones in the traditional fashion.
The Tigers are on the verge of their third-straight division crown and third-straight postseason appearance. Want to know the last time they did that? 1907, 1908, and 1909 — more than 100 years ago. I think that could be something to celebrate. There’s been no World Series title in nearly 30 years, that’s true and it’s something we all want to see corrected quite soon, but, that fact aside, we need to step back and realize that we’re in the middle of one of the most successful stretches in the history of the franchise. I don’t see the harm in popping a cork in celebration.
We’ll all be more than a little bit disappointed if the tigers fall short of their ultimate goal, but should we really be pinning all of our hopes and dreams on a few coin flip games in October? Can’t we spend a few moments in celebration as a way of saying “this has indeed been a good season”?
Some curmudgeonly people live to be disappointed, I understand that, but the rest of us logical, realistic people can find ways to get enjoyment and fun out of something that’s supposed to be a game.