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Tigers Lock Up First Playoff Appearance Since 1987

The Tigers and Royals aren’t finished yet, but Detroit already has a 9-0 lead in the second inning.  A win here means the Tigers can do no worse then the Wild Card and assuming the Twins hold on and beat the Orioles, the Tigers will have a magic number of six for the AL Central.  Remember though, because the Tigers have the tie breaker (head to head) with the Twins, it’ll really mean they’re magic number is effectively five.  Regardless, they’re headed to the post season.

This series with the Royals was just what the Tigers needed.  The Tigers were down on Friday but came back to win it, then they blew the hapless Royals out over the weekend.

Placido Polanco made his return on Saturday and had a great game along with everyone else.  He went three for four with two RBIs and a run.  He was eventually replace by Kevin Hooper.  He had the day off today.

It looks like Justin Verlander is going to fall short of the 200 inning mark but assuming Kenny Rogers throws two more innings, the Tigers will have three guys pitch at least 200 innings.  The last time that happened was 1991 when Bill Gullickson, Frank Tanana and Walt Terrell all topped 200 innings. 

Tigers now have the best record in baseball again. Is this a good thing? do we really want the Twins?

Posted by Darryl on September 24th, 2006 at 4:36 pm

I know there was talk of getting rid of the old “the best team can’t play the Wild Card if it’s from your division” rule, but I don’t think it’s happened yet. As I understand it, if the Tigs finish with the best record they’ll host the A’s, and the Twins will head to NYC.

Posted by Thom on September 25th, 2006 at 2:50 am

I grew up a Tiger fan, with my coming-of-baseball age in the middle of the Cecil Fielder, Rob Deer, Mickey Tettleton era. After college I moved to the Pittsburgh area and then the Cincinatti area. I’ve seen a lot of sucky baseball over the last 15-20 years. I enjoyed watching the awful Pirates and Reds teams but they never filled that love I had for the Tigers. I moved to Africa to work a year ago, so I’m sure this is some sort of Murphy’s law thing going on here, but I’ll tell you: I grew up a die-hard Buckeye’s fan and Pittsburgh Steeler fan and I’m more excited about the Tigers making the playoffs this year than I was for OSU beating Miami for the Nat’l Championship or the Steelers winning the Super Bowl.
This has been such a special year. I’ve had to watch from afar, but wow – this is fun! Don’t let down now, guys!

Posted by Thom on September 25th, 2006 at 3:48 am


You’re a Buckeye fan too? I graduated from there in June.

As a fellow Detroit expat, I can attest that following them from afar feels special for different reasons than how I remember watching the Red Wings when I was a kid and then a teenager and they were winning Cups. I get excited to see pictures of people walking around Comerica, all wearing Old English Ds. Every time I see those home uniforms it makes me think of home, and reminds me of growing up and watching Tram, Lou, Gibby, Tettleton, and all the rest at the old Corner. I was born in 1984 and can just barely remember the 1987 playoffs; now they’re finally back.

I live in Philadelphia right now, where we’re in the midst of our own postseason chase with the Phillies. Although it’s been fun to watch them (I’m actually going to the game tonight), it doesn’t even come close to how excited I feel for my hometown ball club to be back where they belong.

Posted by Mark on September 25th, 2006 at 4:11 am

Glad to hear there’s someone else with allegances to both the Tigers and Buckeyes. Most people give me a wierd look when they here that. My Grandpa was a motorcycle cop in Columbus and worked security for Buckeye football games. Sadly, that was long before my time. That was even before the Woody Hayes era!

Back to the Tigers, I was telling my friend here in Mali, West Africa that this would be their first playoff trip since ’87 and his eyes got huge. There’s something special about making the playoffs in baseball. In all the other sports (including international soccer) it seems half the other teams make it. Hey, every NFL team except Houston has been to the playoffs since the Tigers. This has been a very special year, no matter what happens here on out.

Posted by Thom on September 25th, 2006 at 7:14 am

My family moved from Detroit to Chicago in the summer of 1984 (what timing!). I’ve been a Tiger fan from afar ever since and that 1984 team is forever etched in my memory. My other Michigan sports allegiances have drifted away, but not the Tigers. It’s not easy to keep up with a team at a distance (especially in a two team city like New York, where I live now). And it’s even harder through the so many bleak years we’ve all seen. It’s been so great to follow the box scores and internet updates (and Blogs!) this year with hope (early on), a strange confidence (as they built their lead) and now relief (with the playoffs secured).

We’ve waited so long. Go Tigers!

Posted by Ryan S on September 25th, 2006 at 7:16 am


There’s a rule that precludes playing against a team from your own division in the first round of the playoffs. So Tigers winning the division means taking on the A’s. Wildcard means Yanks.


Posted by Fritz on September 25th, 2006 at 8:04 am

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