Friday, September 16, 2011

This version of the Tigers better than 2006? Oh, really

There are certain strengths this team has that the Tigers didn't in 2006. They have arguably the best hitter in baseball in Miguel Cabrera. Justin Verlander was really good as a rookie in 2006. He is great now. Jose Valverde is an upgrade from Todd Jones at closer.
But that team had a little more depth than history is giving it credit for now that the Tigers have gone on this late-season run.
The 2006 team did a lot. They won 95 games (this version of the Tigers is on pace to win 95). They didn't win the AL Central, but the division was much stronger then. Minnesota rolled late in the season and the White Sox were the defending World Series champs. Jones, for example, was really good in the postseason. Players like Craig Monroe and Brandon Inge had excellent seasons. Placido Polanco was outstanding. Alex Avila is having a terrific season, but Ivan Rodriguez hit .300 and was still in a reasonable facsimile of his prime, and is one of the best catchers of all time.
And despite a late-season collapse, the 2006 Tigers did reach the World Series. They won seven straight postseason games. They beat the Yankees. They swept the American League championship series against a club that had knocked off the Twins.
How can this version of the Tigers be considered better until it accomplishes similar feats in the postseason?
It was only until recently anybody, if they are really honest about it, thought the Tigers would have even a fighting chance in the playoffs. Did that 12-game winning streak mean that much? It shouldn't. It was just a snapshot of their season.
The Tigers aren't as bad as the grumblers were complaining about as they were limping through the summer. They aren't as good as they have seemed in the last two weeks. The Tigers lie somewhere in the middle, and we'll see what that means in the postseason.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


It looks like Verlander/Fister will be 1-2 in the playoff rotation. Do you think Max or Porcello will be #3? Between the two, who do you think has nastier stuff and why do you think they are both so inconsistent?

lil rob

12:19 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, If this Tiger team makes it to the World Series, they will be at more of disadvantage than the '06 team,IMO, because unless Cabrera plays 3B, a la Mickey Stanley in '68, when he replaced Ray Oyler at SS, Victor Martinez will sit for up to 4 games, Dave

12:35 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Caputo, who cares? We're in the present ... first division win since 1987. Why try to put a downer on this win streak right at the correct time?

Dave, you have to be writing satire.

7:17 PM 

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