The Tigers have done it. They have exorcised a couple of demons (2006, 2009) and won themselves their very first AL Central Division title. Time to pop some bubbly!
Just keep those thoughts to a minimum, please.
A lot of people like to criticize every baseball team, player, coach, etc… for celebrating every milestone that they come up upon. Phooey on them, I say. The Tigers have earned this party. And as long as they keep it simple, they can move on to the next challenge: the ALDS.
That seems miles away though, as the recent hot streak for the Tigers, coupled with the struggles of the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians, have this postseason berth wrapped up with plenty of time to spare. Plenty of time to rest up, carefully work the rotation into place, all while playing with what we all hope is still enough intensity to transition into the postseason against what will be much different competition than the Tigers will face in this final stretch run. After tonight’s postgame party, there’s still 2 more games with Oakland, 2 more with Kansas City, 4 with Baltimore and 3 with Cleveland.
Mentally, that seems daunting, as we’re not exactly running with the Yankees, Red Sox, or Rangers. The Tigers have had the easiest schedule to work with down the stretch, and most of us hope that the lesser talent means a lesser playoff run for the team. Jim Leyland earned himself an extension earlier this summer, and it’s on him to keep the Tigers heads on straight.
So enjoy your night, Tigers. As fans, we are all doing the same. Some probably more than others, some not at all. But there’s still a game to play tomorrow, and a playoff run to get ready for. I for one, cannot wait for that run. I just hope the Tigers continue to ready themselves for the challenge.