Detroit Tigers Must Win World Series In 2014


USA Today Sports

This is it.

In 2011, the Detroit Tigers finally reached the playoffs for the first time since 2006, but lost in the ALCS.

In 2012, the Tigers made a splash in free agency with the signing of Prince Fielder, but lost in the World Series

In 2013, the Tigers featured a team with a Cy Young winner and an MVP, but lost in the ALCS.

In 2014…

The 2014 season will be the last hurrah for the Detroit Tigers.

This is it.

For the past three seasons, the Tigers have had the talent to win the Fall Classic. But each year, they fell short of their goal. And in each postseason run it seemed to be the same issue of invisible bats. That better not be their fate this year because the World Series window will be closed and boarded up in 2015.

This is it.

General manager Dave Dombrowski was notified of Jim Leyland‘s imminent retirement back in early September of last season. But when the Tigers were ousted from the ALCS by eventual World Series champion Boston Red Sox, the new era of Detroit Tigers baseball was officially underway.

Instead of staying the status-quo and replacing Leyland with either Lloyd McClendon or Gene Lamont, Dombrowski went young and brash when he hired Brad Ausmus. Ausmus has never managed, let alone coached, in the majors. His only coaching experience was with the Israeli national team.

But now he is in charge of a team that must win the World Series in 2014.

This is it.

The manager may be considered young, but one thing the Tigers can’t avoid is the fact their stars aren’t getting younger. Justin Verlander just celebrated his 31st birthday, Miguel Cabrera just touched 30, Victor Martinez is 35, Torii Hunter enters his second year as a Tiger two years away from 40, and recently signed Joe Nathan is only one year away.

The coaching staff has gotten younger, but the players haven’t. And if they don’t win in 2014, they’ll just keep getting older and older…

This is it.

Dombrowski has made some changes to this year’s squad. He traded away one of his biggest free agent catches in Fielder for Texas Rangers 2nd baseman Ian Kinsler. Dombrowski then let Jhonny Peralta, Omar Infante, Joaquin Benoit, and Doug Fister go, all key contributors to the three consecutive AL Central championship teams.

He brought in Nathan, speedster Rajai Davis who is expected to compete with Andy Dirks in left, oft-injured reliever Joba Chamberlain, and slew of Nationals including Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and Robbie Ray via the Fister trade.

As opposed to past offseasons, brawn and power wasn’t on the agenda. A new approach may bring a title, but it has to be this year.

This is it.

There have been rumblings around the league that once current commissioner Bud Selig officially steps down, Dombrowski would be the top candidate to take over. Who knows what will happen there, but that leaves a trail of uncertainty after the 2014 season. And uncertainty is the key word when it comes to Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.

The Tigers avoided arbitration with Scherzer this offseason and signed him to a one-year deal worth $15.5 million. But before Dombrowksi possibly sets sail to be the new MLB commissioner, can he sign Scherzer to an extension? What about Martinez and Hunter after this season?

With stars in their prime and uncertainty following this upcoming season, the Detroit Tigers must win the World Series in 2014.

This is it.