The Tigers were one of the least active teams this winter, making only one significant acquisition in new rightfielder Torii Hunter. They re-signed Anibal Sanchez and cut some of the fat letting Delmon Young and Jose Valverde walk, but ostensibly, this is mostly the same team that won the American League pennant for the second time in seven years.
The Tigers struggled for much of the year in 2012. They were under .500 as late as July 5th and although they were much better in the second half, they still won only 88 games—the lowest of any division winner—and needed the White Sox to stumble in September to squeeze into the playoffs. The addition of Anibal Sanchez, the health of Doug Fister and a more consistent lineup led to a 47-32 record after July 5th and with addition of Hunter and an otherwise weak division, the Tigers are poised to win a lot of games in 2013.
Depth will again be a concern for Detroit. There’s little question that the Major League roster is loaded with talent, but should injuries strike, there’s not a lot of farm system depth to speak of and the bench doesn’t have much in the way of above-replacement-level players.
The Detroit Tigers certainly know a little something about urgency. With their competitive window closing by the pound day, the Tigers realize their best chance to get over the hump and win a World Series title lies in the here and now.
Despite inserting Quintin Berry into the lineup to bat second during the World Series, and thereby make a mockery of baseball, the Detroit Tigers have decided to bring back Jim Leyland for another season. I half-jest about his World Series decision-making, but the flip side of that is that the 67-year-old, who doesn’t look a day over 75, has taken the Tigers to the playoffs three times in the seven years that he’s been in charge, twice going all the way to the World Series.
Obviously, it’s difficult to measure how much of that success is due to Leyland, and how much is due to the rosters that have been compiled for him to use. However, I suppose it’s understandable that a team wouldn’t want to “fix” something that isn’t broken. And despite some glaring holes in the lineup and bullpen, the Detroit Tigers made it all the way to the World Series this season. That’s the type of result that one would assume doesn’t need fixing.
With the corpse of the 2012 baseball season still warm, the stand-up individuals at Bodog realize it is time to focus on the future. Why delay publishing the odds for the 2013 World Series? Heaven forbid a few scant moments in time go by without the ability to throw one’s hard earned wages at a total and complete shot-in-the-dark guess before a single off-season transaction even takes place.
Looking to capitalize on the eager scorn of jilted Tigers fans, the tall foreheads at BoDog install your Detroit Tigers as the early favorite to capture the 2013 crown, paying out at 6/1. The expected return of Victor Martinez is enough to assure the odds-makers that maybe next year will be the season defense truly counts for nothing. The defending champs go out at 10/1, showing not everyone is a bandwagon fan of the Giants.
Because it wouldn’t be a World Series victory without the fine folks from Next Media Animation giving us their interpretation of the events that transpired. And accordingly, those events are sensationally awesome.
As the dying medium with which news is delivered continues its decline into irrelevance, the last part of a newspaper to go gently into the good night will be the iconic status which we give to a front page after something on a large stage occurs.
Here are the front pages from newspapers across California.
About an hour or so before Game Four of the World Series, I got hit by a car. I was walking across the street, and a vehicle rolled through a stop sign, and turned right into me. The driver wasn’t going very fast, but the impact was great enough to knock me down. My first thought was that I wouldn’t be able to jump up and down if the San Francisco Giants won the game, which is telling, not only of my poorly ranked priorities, but also the seriousness of the collision.
Nonetheless, I probably should’ve gone to the hospital, but I toughed it out so that I wouldn’t miss my favorite team winning the World Series. The first few innings were fine, but as my right knee began to stiffen up and the dull pain became a little bit more throbbing, I wondered if I might have made a mistake. By the bottom of the ninth, I felt like Omar Infante looked after getting hit in the hand by a pitch from Santiago Cassila.