Detroit Tigers History

Detroit Tigers: This sad photo of future World Series champions in 2014

DETROIT, MI - MAY 06: The Detroit Tigers starting pitching rotation (L-R) Anibal Sanchez #19, Max Scherzer #37, Justin Verlander #35, Rick Porcello #21 and Drew Smyly #33 pose for a photo prior to the game against the Houston Astros at Comerica Park on May 6, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Astros 11-4. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - MAY 06: The Detroit Tigers starting pitching rotation (L-R) Anibal Sanchez #19, Max Scherzer #37, Justin Verlander #35, Rick Porcello #21 and Drew Smyly #33 pose for a photo prior to the game against the Houston Astros at Comerica Park on May 6, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Astros 11-4. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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In this case of baseball nostalgia, we see a Detroit Tigers rotation filled with World Series winners.

There is a quote out there that applies to all walks of life. “The hardest part about moving forward is not looking back.”  For any Detroit Tigers fan in 2021, that quote rang true as manager A.J. Hinch made it easy not to look back at the past several seasons as the Tigers are brimming with optimism for the future.

However, last night, there was a picture that was posted last night on social media that made looking back a bit harder.

Drew Smyly became the last pitcher in one of the greatest rotations ever assembled in Tigers history to win a World Series ring as the Braves won the clincher 7-0.  Smyly finished the season going 11-4 with an ERA of 4.48 in 28 games, 23 of which he was a starter. He appeared in the World Series twice.

The 2014 Detroit Tigers rotation featured Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, Anibal Sanchez, Drew Smyly, and David Price (not pictured) What is impressive about this rotation and a sight we may never see anytime soon is that it features last time three Tigers pitchers who tossed over 200 innings. Scherzer (220), Verlander (206) and Porcello (204) were the three pitchers.

It started with Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander was the first in 2017 when he won a World Series title in Houston. Then in 2018, Porcello with the Boston Red Sox.  In 2019, Scherzer and Sanchez would with the Nationals followed by Price in 2020 with the Dodgers.

Between all six pitchers, four Cy Youngs have been awarded. Scherzer went back to back in 2016 and 2017, Porcello joined Scherzer as the AL rep in 2016 and Verlander won his second in 2019.

Me reciting back the stats back in this article is not a way to remind fans what we are missing out on, that is already pretty obvious but I am taking a cue from Brandon Day of Bless You Boys.com. I am happy that every one of these pitchers won a World Series ring and what they have done elsewhere is damn impressive.

I am just grateful as a fan of watching the Tigers during a dark period between 1994 until 2006, we had a rotation like the Atlanta Braves teams of the ’90s for a few seasons. Detroit was the center of the baseball world.

This picture is like an exhibit in an art museum. A moment caught frozen in time and showed what this team was capable of. You stare at it, give a closer look, almost reach out to it to say “Wow, that was the Detroit Tigers rotation at one point?”

Yes, yes it was.  While this song by Oasis is not about baseball, these two lyrics can be applied.

“Slip inside the eye of your mind
Don’t you know you might find
A better place to play
You said that you’d never been
But all the things that you’ve seen
Will slowly fade away”

“My soul slides away
But don’t look back in anger
Don’t look back in anger
I heard you say
At least not today”

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