Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Don’t let looks fool you; new Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus not so different from Jim Leyland – Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press
"In comparing Leyland to his replacement, it’s easy to build a narrative that pits the old school versus the new school, whatever that means. Yes, on the surface, I suppose this is true, in the sense that Leyland is older than Ausmus. It’s also true that the men were shaped in different eras and different circumstances."
Because Brad Ausmus is a rookie manager (and has never managed on any level), it’s hard to tell just what kind of manager he’ll be. This is why sports writers, and yes us bloggers too, try to compare him to other managers, including his predecessor, which is probably not fair. One thing is sure–we’ll soon find out.
Ten predictions for the Detroit Tigers’ upcoming season – Tom Gage, Detroit News
"2: This is the easiest call: Miguel Cabrera will be outstanding once again. In fact, he’ll win another MVP, making it three in a row. 5: Nick Castellanos is a young player who will play like one. He’ll have some games in which he’s a star, but more in which he’s not. 10: Justin Verlander will bounce back and win 16-plus games."
Gage’s predictions are pretty rosy. A lot of them involve many of the questions marks heading into Lakeland. I hope he has some mystical ability to channel the future because if these 10 predictions come true, the Tigers will be in very good shape in 2014.
Former Foe Joe Nathan May Lead Detroit Tigers To Ultimate Goal – Brad Faber, Rant Sports
"The Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins developed a nice little Midwestern tug-of-war in the mid-to-late 2000s. Although it never quite reached the magnitude of the historic rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees on a national scale, the competition may have felt just as intense for some Tigers fans who were around during the 1987 ALCS when the Twins, who won 13 fewer games than the Tigers, ended up winning the series four games to one. Throughout the Tigers-Twins rivalry of the early 21st century, a man by the name of Joe Nathan, the Twins’ closer, was a constant thorn in the Tigers’ side. Whenever Nathan trotted out of the Twins’ bullpen, a feeling of impending doom would sweep over and engulf Tigers fans as the sight of No. 36 would essentially mean that the game was over. The Tigers have come so close to winning it all in recent years, and it could very well be the help of a former adversary that finally pushes the team over the finish line and allows them to win their first World Series title in 30 years."
The Minnesota Twins have been a thorn in the Tigers’ side for decades. From the aforementioned 1987 ALCS (my first ever Tigers’ game was Game 3, the only game they won in that series and they tried so hard to give that one away too), to the 2006 division collapse and the 2009 163rd game, the Twins have tormented the Tigers and their fans. Yet I’ve never been able to ratchet as much hatred for them as I do for other teams like the White Sox, Indians, Yankees and Red Sox. Perhaps because when they won, they never had hateable players and did it the right way.
Minnesota last won the World Series in 1991 behind the heroics of Tigers’ legend Jack Morris. Perhaps Detroit can turn the tables in 2014 and win it all with a Twins’ legend.