By CHRIS ZADOROZNY, Sports Editor
The World Series is coming back to Detroit. Six years ago, the city of Detroit had the World Series return for the first time since 1984.
In 2006, the cinderella Tigers came out of nowhere, and competed in the playoffs for the first time since 1987.
Since 2006, the Tigers have competed, not always in the postseason, but have given fans something to cheer about after the de-clawed years in the 1990s and early 2000s.
So here we are, six years later after falling to the St. Louis Cardinals in five games in 2006. The fans and the team are excited to get this World Series going, especially me because I get to work the games as an usher. So, not only will I be able to see at least Games 3 and 4, but possibly Game 5 too.
There is one problem that many fans are very skeptical about going into the World Series. Just like 2006, the Tigers swept the opposing team in the American League Championship Series in 2012 and they have five days off. In 2006, they had six days off after sweeping the Oakland Athletics.
The off-days hurt them for sure and other factors contributed to their five-game series loss. In 2006, the Tigers were a cinderella team with a staff that depended on veteran starting pitcher Kenny Rogers and veteran catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.
A rookie starter, Justin Verlander was learning the ways of the major leagues and the team was young, under first year manager Jim Leyland. Veteran outfielder Magglio Ordonez captured the hearts and minds of all Tigers fans with his three run walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth in Game 4 of the ALCS.
The starting rotation of the Tigers was young, that included Nate Robertson, Jeremy Bonderman, and Mike Maroth. “Rollercoaster” Todd Jones was the closer and Curtis Granderson was patrolling centerfield at the time.
My, how things have changed since then. Only Verlander, Infante, and Leyland remain from that team.
Verlander, now the best pitcher in baseball anchors the starting rotation, has a veteran lineup behind him that includes Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder at third base and first base respectively, along with Infante and Peralta up the middle. The Tigers do have a younger outfield than their infield, but they have the skills to back it up.
One other thing the Tigers are doing this year is scrimmages with the minor league players. They played Sunday and Monday and will start the World Series on Wednesday. The Tigers have the best chance to win the World Series, and with the best pitching staff in the postseason, along with a powerful lineup, the Tigers won’t disappoint and bring a World Series back to Detroit.
To read the original post that appeared in the seventh edition of The Michigan Journal, on Tuesday, October 23, 2012, go to www.michiganjournal.org