Published: October 24, 2012
"I love it when a plan comes together." Well, maybe this is not how we or anyone in the Detroit Tigers organization envisioned the road to the World Series, but they have achieved that goal nonetheless. Underachievers for much of 2012, the Tigers were three games out of first place in the weakest division in baseball on Sept. 17. And while the Tigers relied heavily on the collapse of the Chicago White Sox to win their division, they have since shown they belong. The Tigers made their way through a tight series with the Athletics and surprised everyone by dominating the Yankees in a four-game sweep. The reason why is clear: pitching. The Tigers' four starters: Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer have combined for a 1.02 ERA in the postseason.
Some might argue with the best pitcher (Verlander) and best hitter (Miguel Cabrera) in baseball, of course they should be in the World Series. But many teams have superstars and fail, what brought the Tigers to the point and might make them World Champions will be a total team effort. Whether it be for their loyal fan-base, aging owner, or beleaguered city, the Tigers will bring this one home.
Now to look back at what some of you saw in your crystal balls back in April. Overall: Alan Madlane of Hamtramck was closest to correct on predicting the season record. The Tigers finished 95-67 last year. Madlane predicted 87-75 this year, darn close to the actual 88-74. He also predicted the close AL Central Division Race, which the Tigers won by three games over the White Sox.
No one predicted who the Tigers will face in the World Series. —Casey O'Neil (with Dennis Shea)
Will the Tigers finish with a better or worse record than in 2011 (95-67)? REALITY: Worse, 88-74
I think this team has the "potential" to win 100 games. I also think KC is better than last season, but the division as a whole is bad. I'll say Detroit wins slightly less (93) if they stay healthy. Last year they were fortunate with their health and I'm not sure that can continue —Matt Shepard, 1130-AM, The Fan
They finish 96-66. Prince Fielder only replaces Victor Martinez's lost offensive production, meaning he's good for basically maintaining last year's pace (and attracting fans). The additional win comes from Brennan Boesch and/or Alex Avila having a very good year at the plate. —Bill Shea, reporter, Crain's Detroit Business
If Verlander has a better year, the Tigers have a better year. I think they'll have a better record this year, although they came within two 2 games of a pennant last year. —Celeste Headlee, former co-host, The Takeaway
I think they'll finish with a similar record to 2011. To win more than 93-97 games requires a team to catch lightning in a bottle and that's a hard thing to predict. —Jeff Wattrick, staff writer, Deadline Detroit
Tigers record will, perhaps paradoxically, be a bit worse than last year's, at 87-75. —Alan Madlane, reporter, The Hamtramck Review
I say better. I will give them 100 wins even for the season. —John Bennett, Detroit Police officer and blogger
I'm pretty optimistic for this season. They will have over 100 wins. —Danny Methric, guitarist and vocalist, the Muggs
Better by two or three. —Devin Scillian, Local 4 news anchor
Better ... but not by much. —Craig Fahle, host of The Craig Fahle Show, WDET-FM
A hundred wins, 61 losses and one tie (A tie. Why not?) This will be a memorable season for the Tigers. —Charlie Langton, legal expert and 1270-AM radio host
Will the Tigers dominate the division (AL Central), barely win the division, have to hope for a wildcard spot, or not make the playoffs at all? REALITY: They barely won with three games over the Chicago White Sox
They are good enough to win the division. Because of their pitching, I think they are the best team in the American League, but the best team doesn't always win the league (St. Louis 2011 and 2006). I do think they have a good enough mix to win it all with their stiffest competition coming from Texas and Angels. —Matt Shepard
They still manage to win the AL Central by 4 over the resurgent White Sox and by 6 over up-and-coming Cleveland. Minnesota rebounds a little, KC isn't horrible, and our record against all other AL Central teams is only about .545. —Alan Madlane
The Tigers will run away with the Central Division, not even close. —John Bennett
The Tigers will dominate. The rest of the Central has the potential to be pretty weak. —Craig Fahle
> Email MT Staff