Monday, August 08, 2005

Disappointing Tigers

The Tigers began this season with hope for competing with Minnesota and Chicago for the division. This was good news for fans that have not seen a winning team in Detroit since 1994. The offseason brought Troy Percival and Magglio Ordonez, and together with rising expectations from the Tigers young pitching staff, there was hope that the Tigers would play a meaningful game in August, maybe even September.

The beauty of the baseball season is in its length. Over the course of 162 games, your record will reflect your play. It is why the Brewers could start a season with 12 wins in a row and then lose 13 in a row later that very season. The very length of the baseball season, combined with its limited playoff slots, means it is unlikely that a team can get lucky over the course of a whole season and get in the playoffs. You need to be good. You need to play well. And you need to play at a high level of consistency for six months. Otherwise, time will expose hot teams, and allow slow starters (Houston, Oakland) to meet their potential.

And now, with two thirds of the baseball season gone, we are getting aclearer picture of the type of team we have. A team that has the 11th best record in the American League, out of 14 teams. Only KC, Seattle and Tampa Bay have worse records, and both Seattle and KC have given the Tigers lots of trouble this season.

The Tigers are 11th in Runs Scored in the AL, an interesting failure when you consider that they have the fifth best team batting average in the American League, and lead the league in Sacrifice Hits. Batters are getting on base, they are getting moved from one abse to the next, but the team just isn't bringing runs home.

Two weeks ago they were five games out of the wildcard spot. Now, they are 11.5 games back, six games under .500, and going absolutely nowhere.


Blogger ClooJew said...

It truly sucks, lulei demistafina, to come into August without a prayer for your team.

My guys, the Phillies, are almost always a hapless bunch come the thick of summertime. I'm happy that they're still in the hunt--albeit due to a weak division.

August 08, 2005 12:20 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

Cloo- I can't remember the last meaningful game that took place in detroit in august.

Its possible it was back in 1987. I will have to do some research.

August 08, 2005 12:23 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

I did some Tiger Web research of the past 17 years since the tigers last won a division (1987).

In 1988, they finished 1 game behind the red sox. Since then, they have finished within ten games of first place twice, in 1990 and 1991. They have finished 20 games back or farther 10 times since 1989, including four times where they finished 30 games back or farther.

Since 1987, they have finished an average of 22 games back, and 32 games back over the past four seasons.

When you think back to the 1987 pennant race, you have to wonder how much of their future they sold to the devil (in addition to John Smoltz) to overcome an almost insurmountable Blue Jay lead.

August 08, 2005 12:38 PM  
Blogger Just Shu said...

Interesting fact they showed during yesterdays game . The last time the tigers finished witha better record then Cleveland was 1993.

Whats really sad, is this isteh best they've been, which makes it interesting to watch. I mean there's a chance they will some games. Unlike in the ast, when you could just assume that they would lose

August 08, 2005 12:43 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

What consoles me is the fact that this season, with all my hopes for the Tigers again dashed, that the Yankees are in real danger of not making the playoffs since '94. That would be soo sweet!

August 08, 2005 1:25 PM  
Blogger Gebrec said...

OC - ditto

August 08, 2005 1:29 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

Every year for the past ten, I have always watched the Yankees in October. I think I will miss them this autumn.

August 08, 2005 1:43 PM  
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