Detroit Tigers: 5 reasons to still watch in 2015 (VIDEOS)
Sep 25, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Al Alburquerque (62) gets champagne dropped on him during a celebration of winning the American League Central Division Championship at Target Field. The Tigers won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
#5: It Ain’t Over ’til it’s Over!
So it’s a long-shot, and that is the reason that the Detroit Tigers ended up selling in the first-place, but the team is far from mathematically eliminated from the postseason.
Heading into Monday’s off-day, the Tigers were 3.5-games behind the Minnesota Twins for the final wild-card spot. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there are four teams between them and Minnesota for that spot.
That’s a tall order, but nothing out of the realm of possibility in the final two months of the season.
You could argue that the Tigers do have some control over their destiny in that the only team they do not play in front of them for the wild-cards are the Baltimore Orioles.
They face the wild-card leading Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (home Aug. 25-27), Toronto Blue Jays (away Aug. 28-30), Tampa Bay Rays (home Sept. 7-9) and Rangers (home Aug. 21-23 and away Sept. 28-30).
They also face the Twins six more times and the team right behind them in the standings, the Chicago White Sox, six more times as well.
Let’s be real here, however. If the Tigers couldn’t really compete with who they traded, how will they compete without them? Well, something can be said about the pressure being off and lowered expectations. It can make the players stop pressing and just have fun while playing the role of spoiler.
It’s the mindset of “who gives a shi-, let’s go out there and kick some as-!”
You’ve been seeing it from the players a lot, including this from J.D. Martinez after Sunday’s victory.
That pressure being off and lowered expectations can also be applied to fans as well. Comerica Park used to be a boisterous, ruckus place when the Tigers were up and coming in 2006, 2007, 2009. Since their divisional domination began in 2011, it has been a library. This is because fans have accepted nothing less than perfection from their teams.
We’ve also seen division clinchers, MVPs, Cy Youngs, ALDS, pennants, World Series–so a bases loaded situation in the third inning of a May 21st game may not excite fans here as it does in say, Houston, with fans of a franchise unaccustomed to success in recent years.
With the reboot, fans can sit back, relax and enjoy the game of baseball. It would be unexpected if these guys had success, so why not cheer them on in an attempt to do the unthinkable?
It may not happen. It probably won’t happen. It is almost certain to not happen, but just be loud and have fun. You never know what might happen.