The Home Opener Issue 2012
Quizzing Tiger fans about the coming year — will they knock it out of the park?
Published: April 4, 2012
Just win, baby. That motto, attributed to legendary Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, is everything a fan could want in a team owner. Despite hibernating during his first decade of baseball team ownership, these days that same motto can just as easily be attributed to Tigers owner Mike Ilitch. With the Tigers already a strong contender to repeat as division winners, the 82-year-old doubled down and added $214 million to the payroll for a superstar with obvious area ties, Prince Fielder. To hell with balanced books or profit margins; with time and patience running low, it's now or never for Ilitch. Cleveland Indians CEO Paul Dolan recently was quoted saying, "I understand that [the Tigers signing Fielder] makes us look bad," and "I don't understand the foundation of what they are doing ... OK, in the short term, I do understand it, but long term, ..." Show me one Tiger fan that would rather have Dolan as an owner. Will this one move put the team over the top? Maybe. Will it look bad when they are paying a 36-year-old overweight DH $24 million? Probably. But for this season, and likely several to come, the Tigers will be competitive, a fan's absolute dream to watch. It's going to be a fun ride. Just win, baby.
My prediction is the Tigers beat the Phillies in six for the series. Here's what someother fans see in the season ahead.—Casey O'Neil
Will the Tigers finish with a better or worse record than in 2011 (95-67)?
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 have 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, 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, blogger
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
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?
No one in the division did much to significantly improve themselves, so 2012 could look a lot like 2011 in the standings. My hometown Cleveland Indians might finish .500 or even a game or two above that, so Detroit's margin of victory in winning the AL Central might be slightly smaller, but still not a squeaker. —Bill Shea
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
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