Aug 182013
 
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This blog was written by my good friend Adam Sayre. I felt is was good blog so decided that I should share it here for all of Sport City to see. I take no credit in anything written in this blog. All credit goes to original author Adam Sayre.

It’s one thing to be able to have the joy to watch Miguel Cabrera hit and play the field every day. The slugger who shifted from first base to third base with the signing of Prince Fielder last year was a welcome one. The team was able to rid themselves of the stench of a player known as Brandon Inge, and while his defense was not great, it was good enough. Cabrera smashed his way through the regular season en route to winning the Triple Crown. For the second time in two years, Cabrera is again chasing this prestigious award. Furthermore, his defense at the “hot corner” has improved as well. He continued to make me wonder “Why don’t teams just give him the Barry Bonds treatment and walk him” after he belted his 39th home run last night in walk-off fashion. So for a debut column here, I thought that maybe I should write about how Miguel Cabrera is the reason why the Tigers will win the World Series this year. Anytime a hitter can come to the plate and you have to even consider walking him with no one on base is a true credit to how good Cabrera is.

But I cannot do that. I cannot sit here and say that Cabrera will be the reason why the Tigers win the World Series. The truth lies within the fact that the Tigers are a TEAM of destiny. Guys brought together by master architect Dave Dombrowski (I’ll touch on him later). It does start with Cabrera but Detroit’s success can be attributed to their starting rotation…

A rotation that has been top notch all season, especially after the All-Star break. Led by Max Scherzer (I’m not kidding), Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, and Rick Porcello, have been a force to deal with all season long. Verlander has long been considered the ace of the staff for years, but Scherzer and his effort this season have put this into question. Verlander has been good this season, but not the usual greatness that people have come to expect. Fister has an above average arsenal of pitches, but it’s where he locates those pitches, and the amount of ground balls opponents hit are the reason why he has been so good. Sanchez has been great, posting a 2.50 ERA and making his 60 million dollar contract worth it. Procello and Drew Smyly were engaged in a battle during spring training for the fifth and final spot in the rotation. Manager Jim Leyland opted to go with Porcello due to experience. The move has been a saving point for the Tigers in two ways. Porcello has pitched well during the season, especially the past two months… but that wasn’t the saving grace…

Smyly’s “demotion” to the bullpen has been the ultimate blessing in disguise, as he has been more than phenomenal during this season posting a 2.05 ERA in 66 innings pitched. But the bullpen was in shambles during the first half of the season. If you go back in time to November of last year, Dombrowski came out and said that the Tigers would name Bruce Rondon, a relief pitcher with no major league experience, the closer. Rondon can throw the ball upwards of 102 MPH, making him Joel Zumaya 2.0. While naming a closer in November is not out of the ordinary, it was questionable due to the little experience Rondon had. To make matters worse, he struggled during spring training and was sent down to Toledo. And then came the rumors: “Who will the Tigers go after?”, “Will they trade prized prospects for a Jonathan Papelbon?”. I remember being on the golf course with my friends Mike and Nick and running frantically up to them. “The Tigers have just signed Jose Valverde and are expected to start him in Triple A, and then bring him up to the main roster.” If you could ever see a team hit the panic button, the Tigers had just done that. Valverde had been destroyed in the playoffs, released by the team after the season was over, and had not signed with another team. And now he’s coming back. Sports talk radio was nuts for those few days. Then “Papa Grande” comes in and has 9 shutout innings to start. It was the perfect fitting for a comeback. Except we are talking about Jose Valverde. He would proceed to get shelled his next 10 innings and was released. The Tigers bullpen was again in turmoil. Leyland turned to prize set up man Joaquin Benoit, who has been perfect since getting the job. He has made the contract that he signed three years ago seem like a bargain. Speaking of contracts…

Prince Fielder’s slump can be attributed to many different things. Maybe last year was a fluke. But let’s not forget that before the month of June, Fielder was hitting above .300. Recently, though, there has been information released that he has been dealing with some problems in the home, more specifically getting a divorce from his wife. While the couple has two kids, here is to wishing that Prince can get his life back on track, so that his professional game will not continue to suffer. While all these teams in baseball are considered great, there has to be an architect…

The Tigers architect is one Dave Dombrowski. While owner Mike Illitch has given him an open checkbook to sign players, there still has to be a desire to come play in Detroit. Prince Fielder was signed to a max contract. Anibal Sanchez was signed to a lucrative contract. Verlander signed his contract extension this offseason. And looming are the impending contract extensions of Scherzer and Cabrera. And yet, Dombrowski continues to impress. But then came the Biogenesis report, and Tiger Jhonnny Peralta was linked to be in it. Short of the deadline, Dombrowski traded a low level prospect for Houston Astros closer Jose Veras. Dombrowski claimed the Tigers were done trading. And then on one warm Friday night in Detroit, Dombrowski made a trade that would change the landscape of the Tigers forever. A three team trade between the White Sox, Red Sox and Tigers was completed. Coming out of the deal was Avisail Garcia. He was on his way to Chicago. Boston was acquiring ace Jake Peavy from the White Sox. Detroit was landing shortstop Jose Iglesias. Iglesias is not known for his bat, but has been hitting better at the dish this year. He is known for his shortstop. Since being brought to Detroit, a ground ball towards the left side of the infield leaves me wondering if he is about to make a Derek Jeter-esque type defensive play. He’s a walking web gem. The architect has brought this altogether…

But it’s the chemistry that the Tigers play with each day that has to make them the favorites. They have a deadly 3-4-5 in Cabrera, Fielder, and Victor Martinez. They own a deadly rotation that will give teams fits in the playoffs, and a bullpen that for the time being, appears to be on steady ground. It’s that steady ground that will make or break the Tigers come October.

Tim Klonica

Tim Klonica a.k.a. The Freak was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Tim is a fantasy sports expert and Die-hard Detroit sports fan. He is a fan of the Tigers, Lions, Red Wings, and Pistons. The Michigan Wolverines are the collegiate team he follows. You can find Tim on Twitter @TheFreak313 voicing his uncensored sports opinion. "Go hard or go home, go home if your soft, If your scared, say your scared, But you lost from the start, And I ain’t never met a winner Who ain’t never had heart Full throttle, red line, watch me rip it apart"

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