“Now his failure is complete”
Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi
So ends the Tigers season. It was a heck of a game tonight and one that probably would have been more fun if not for the emotional investment. When the dust settled, the Tigers sat as the losers and now their season is done. I’d like to say I hate the Twins and some of that resentment goes all the way back to 1987 but the way the Twins have played down their stretch, it’s hard not to give them their due.
Jim Price or Dan Dickerson (I can’t remember which) tried to defend the Tigers and their stretch run saying it’s more how the Twins played rather then the Tigers collapsing but it’s hard to defend the overall numbers. Since July 1, the Tigers are exactly 43-43. That’s over three months of baseball playing at a .500 clip and while that was almost good enough for the American League Central, the Tigers would have been in third place in a couple of divisions. If they were competing for the AL Wildcard, they’d be nine games back. They’re a decent team in a mediocre division.
Now it’s back to the drawing board with some caveats. To stay in contention, the Tigers had to play Magglio Ordonez so he’s be taking up $18 million in salary next year. Throw in what Miguel Cabrera is making as well as some of the poorer contracts like Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis and I wouldn’t expect anything big happening. The Tigers solid start prevented ownership from making some big league cuts and they’ll probably have to do the same thing next year to prevent an overhaul/rebuilding of the team.
It just would have been nice to see the Tigers in the playoffs. I liked them playing the Yankees in the first round because of the shorter series. If they somehow managed to get past New York, it was fairly wide open. it’s just too bad there wasn’t a new team or two to make the postseason. In fact right now I don’t even know who I’ll be rooting for. The Arizona Fall League starts in a week so there’s always that as well. I’m still hoping to make it out there one day. I probably won’t get it, but the Postseason.TV package looks kind of neat.
Another Tigers season is in the books. Enjoy the postsason because there’s bound to be some good baseball.