Do the Tigers Have What it Takes?

I have
been accused of being an “over-the-top” fan of the Detroit Tigers. I
have been called a, “slappy” and a “homer.” Monikers, I must say, I have
been happy, and proud to display.

But
because of the “name calling,” sometimes I tend to be reserved in my
opinion, or view of a game, or a play.

When I
write, regrettably, I don’t always convey the thoughts of one who
easily wears the exhilaration of a win, or bears the pain of a loss.

In truth, this site can accommodate both —
the emotional point of view and the reserved re-cap. Both can share this
space. And at times it has — just not as often as I would like.

Let’s
face it, that is what being a fan of any game or sport is about.

So
where am I going here, with all of this, you ask?

Of
course, I will tell you.

I have
watched every game the Tigers have played in 2010. Yes, all 86 games in
the first half of this season.

I am
sorry to say that I have emotionally paced myself throughout the past
four months.

But
while I was at Friday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, for the first
time the “slappy” in me knocked on the door of the more conservative fan
inside. When I reached for the handle, I began to get those goosebumps
you feel when you know you are witnessing something bigger than you.

I felt
I was watching something very special. A special team. Although I am
loath to use the word destiny; that is as close to describing the
feeling as I can get. But there was no doubt. I began feeling that this
team will be something special. Am I talking about World Series
special?

Yes.

For
the first time, I felt like I did in 2006, when I thought that each
game, win or lose, was a stepping stone to the bigger prize. I truly
believe that this team can win the Central and take this all the way to
the end. But before we can get the “prize,” most would agree that some
changes need to be made in the second half.

NOW
DOWN TO BUSINESS

What
is it going to take for the 2010 Detroit Tigers to flourish?

Do the
Tigers need to make changes — additions/subtractions — to their
roster? Yes. They do.

I feel
that starting pitching is going to continue to be a problem in the
second half of the season. Of course, there are question marks after
Andy Oliver, Armando Galarraga, and Jeremy Bonderman’s names. You can add Rick
Porcello to the list, too.

When
those names are mentioned, I can not give you a solid, beyond-doubt
prediction about how I think they will do in the next half. I want to
feel as strongly about the bottom of this rotation as I do about the
top of it — Verlander and Scherzer.

The
bullpen needs to be shored up. Let’s get another arm or two in there that
we can count on. Phil Coke, Ryan Perry, and Eddie Bonine all have high
WHIP’s. That
means a lot of trouble down the road.

Also, I
want to see some consistency at shortstop. Santiago and Worth have
been good, however I want to see one or the other in the role full-time.
Preferably Ramon Santiago. If the Tigers don’t want to commit to
either one as the full-time guy, then they need to find one.

SECOND
HALF THRILLS

Our
rookies have performed above and beyond the call of duty in all
instances. The addition of Johnny Damon has been huge to this team.
Brandon Inge continues to impress me everyday with his defensive skills.
Miguel Cabrera’s bat continues to find faraway places to put the
baseball. Gerald Laird has an arm that threatens any runner trying to
steal second base. The strike-out counter goes off the charts whenever
Justin Verlander is on the mound, and Magglio is being Magglio everyday
— again.

I love
the excitement of seeing those sliding catches from our rookies, tight
double plays, and bats hotter than Hades that hit with runners on base
to score those game-winning runs.

I love
the thrill of watching pitchers who have fire in their eyes, while
throwing heat with their arms, and the unabashed showing of a clinched
fist and a hop on the mound as our closer has just forced another batter
to swing and miss.

My heart pounds for the rookie, and
the veteran, who have just gone deep for yet another one long gone,
and is still in mourning for the one who brought such plays to life
through my radio.

Yes, I
have a feeling that this is the year of the tiger -the year of the
Detroit Tiger!

The Tigers are
10 games over the .500 mark going into the second half. They have been
in — and are flirting with — first place.

I have
been happy to share the first half of what will be one of the most
exciting years in Detroit Tigers history.

I am
looking forward to sharing the second half of 2010 with you, too!

Go Get ‘Em
Tigers!!

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