I am not much into making predictions. Mostly, it is because when I do, I want to be right, and often times I am not. When the time comes, I want to be able to say, see – I told you it would be this way! Also, I think it is fairly common to be wrong, (at least not on the mark) in the prediction making business.
Consider the 1984 Detroit Tigers. No one thought that a 35-5 start out of the gate would be in the cards. They did it.
The 2006 Tigers were poised to take it all. They didn’t.
What about the 2008 Tigers? World Series bound? Yes, they were – before the season started! We are all aware of their fast fade into oblivion.
Regardless, I am going to take a step into the uncertain waters of predicting the destiny of this 2009 team.
Before I do, let’s take a look at the thoughts of other baseball soothsayers.
Fortunately, for the sake of discussion, The Detroit Tigers Weblog has posted links to a few of the more notable ones.
According to most of the predictions, you’ll see that there is a general feeling that the 2009 Detroit Tigers aren’t going to be much a player. One of them dares to step out on a limb. Seamheads.com puts the Tigers in second place, calling them comparable to the pennant winning 1987 Tigers.
I am going to side with those who feel that this team will have a second place finish. The possibility that they will end up in first, and take it all, is always there. Like I said, I’m usually wrong!
Defensively, the large hole on the left side has been plugged. The addition of Adam Everette at short, and Brandon Inge back at third, will effectively stop the slew of ground balls from finding their way out of the infield. This line-up still boasts some of the biggest hitters in the game – Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez, along with Placido Polanco, Curtis Granderson and Carlos Guillen. They will provide a lot of the power. Add the base running speed of Granderson and Josh Anderson, plus Gerald Laird (a good catch and throw guy), and the formula for a winning club is nearly complete.
The biggest uncertainty lies in their pitching. Pitching will make or break this team.
Armando Galarraga is poised to be the best on staff, besting his 13-7 record of 2008. He could very easily become Detroit’s ace.
Justin Verlander, must become consistent. He is a better pitcher than his 11-17 record suggests.
Edwin Jackson was 14-11 with Tampa Bay last season, and had a 4.42 ERA. His 1.50 WHIP is high. He had more walks than Tampa Bays other starters, and the least amount of strikeouts.
Zach Miner isn’t ready to be a starter this year, and is a place holder while Jeremy Bonderman is on the DL.
Rick Porcello is untried, but good. Really good. His “older than his years” emotional maturity should go a long way combating any “jitters” on the mound in his first few starts.
The bullpen (ahhh yes the bullpen!) will need to step it up this year. The rookie, Ryan Perry will be fun to watch, and like Porcello, won’t be hampered by nervousness in his first appearances. He will get more confident in his abilities – quickly.
Finally, if there is another reason to support a better than 2008 campaign, let’s look to astrology! You never know, Nancy Reagan may have been on to something. If you consider that the Tigers were born (I know…) in the astrological month of Taurus, on April 25, 1901. According to Yahoo! Astrology,
Go ahead and suggest that wide-ranging change to the way communications are RUN, at HOME or at work… the world is ready for your big changes. Risk taking might not be just what’s called for on the 12th. Don’t forget that sometimes it does pay to PLAY it SAFE. By the 16th, you’ll be ready… everything’s going to be easy.
So, there you have it! It is even in the stars!
Once again, I would like to thank Mark at MLBlogs for making mine the featured blog last week.
I would also like to thank Ian Casselberry at blessyouboys.com for adding me to his blogroll. As a Tigers fan, you’ll find his site interesting and worth reading. I do.
Opening day is nearly here… LET’S GO TIGERS!