Detroit Tigers fans have plenty of reason to hope that their boys will make it to the World Series this year – and they very well might – but don’t place any bets on the guys from Motown delivering a World Series championship in the summer of 2014. It isn’t going to happen. You heard it here first.
By now, if you’re a true Detroit Tigers fan, you’re probably ready to stone me (if you weren’t already when you read the title). I don’t blame you. I’m a lifelong Tigers fan myself. I watched every game of the 1984 playoffs. My family bought a VCR back when they were fairly new and very expensive just so we could tape the Detroit Tigers in the World Series against San Diego.
So why am I saying the Detroit Tigers won’t win the World Series this year, either, despite the fact that they’re on top of the A.L. Central Division and just snapped a five game losing streak? Simply this: The Tigers have not addressed the fatal flaw that has kept them from going all the way and winning a championship last year. Or the year before.
Don’t get me wrong. Detroit has made some improvements. The Tigers have added faster, more athletic players in skill positions — a move well worth the loss of power, especially given Prince Fielder’s poor start. They’re better defensively, which is a big step in the right direction. They’re capable of stealing a base when they need to, which is another.
In a word, the Detroit Tigers won’t win the World Series because of their bullpen. Or rather, their complete lack of a bullpen.
Adding Joe Nathan was a good move. In theory, anyway. Signing Nathan was supposed to give the Detroit Tigers a legitimate closer, something they’ve sorely lacked. But Joe Nathan’s performance has been abysmal. So bad, that it’s surprising that Detroit fans aren’t crying out to see if we can get Papa Grande back in a Tigers uniform.
Adding Joba Chamberlain has also been a good move, possibly the only move that’s actually improved the Detroit Tigers bullpen. Chamberlain has done a competent job in the setup role. Ian Krol looks like he might be a bright spot as well.
After that, the Detroit Tigers’ pen starts to really fall apart. Can anyone explain why Phil Coke is still in the Major Leagues? Detroit’s bullpen is so bad that twice they pulled backup shortstop Danny Worth to pitch. The crazy part? His numbers are better than a lot of the firemen in the Detroit Tigers’ pen.
In a related article in The Inquisitr, it had been suggested that even Robocop, who threw out a terrible first pitch last week, could improve on the Detroit Tigers relief staff.
I hope I’m wrong, Tigers fans. There’s nothing I’d like better than to see Detroit win a World Series, but let’s be honest. The only reason they have a chance to make it to the playoffs with such a bad bullpen is that the American League in general — and the Central Division in particular — are weak this year. The Detroit Tigers will probably take the division. They might even make it through the playoffs to get to the World Series, but eventually, we’re going to see what we’ve seen the last dozen games or so: starting pitching eventually wears out and can only take you so far. Unless the Detroit Tigers are extremely fortunate, they’re going to need to use their bullpen at some point in the playoffs (assuming they’re there). And when Brad Ausmus gives the pill to someone out of the Detroit Tigers bullpen, there’s a good chance the Cats have just lost the old ball game.