It's questionable whether the Detroit Tigers really belong in MLB's playoffs
Pennant races don't happen very often in Detroit. The Tigers have not reached the postseason in back-to-back years since the mid-1930s.
|Miggy and Prince, No.7 in the AL and headed to the postseason|
But I must admit, the detractors do have a point, and there should be some concern that baseball is joining other sports by diluting its regular season product.
Through Sunday, the Tigers had an 86-73 record. Before baseball went to an playoff system in 1969, it would have placed the Tigers seventh in the American League. Not only are there six teams with better records than the Tigers in the AL, but only seven who are worse. The Tigers are in a not-so-epic battle with the Cardinals for which team will be the "least" of the "best" to make the postseason..
And the wild card system, even with a team added, does seem to lack fairness. The Angels and Rays are on the verge of missing the postseason if they have better records than the Tigers. You can wax poetic all you want about the glory of a pennant race (certainly I've done my share this summer), but in truth it hasn't been much of a race because the White Sox, literally, lose every day.
There is no downside for this town, however, to the Tigers being in the postseason, and they do have enough talent to make a run to the World Series.
But if we're really honest about it, reaching postseason will be more a reprieve than a triumph.
It'll be about what the Tigers make of the opportunity. Does anybody remember the NY Giants were 9-7 last season, or there were a dozen NHL teams who were better than the LA Kings? Or that the Cardinals sneaked into the playoffs on the last day of last year?
You can debate all you want whether the Tigers are worthy of their spot in the postseason, but it's almost an omen they will do something once they are there.
I don't know if it necessarily good for sports, but it's just the way it has become.