As a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan who has lived through many years of painful mediocrity and worse, I am really enjoying this season’s developments. At about the midway point of the 2006 campaign, it seemed like another good time to pause and reflect on a few pertinent facts:
1. The Detroit Tigers not only lead the American League Central division, they have the best record in the American League and all of Major League Baseball – and have been in that position for many weeks now.
2. Detroit (56-26) is 2.5 games ahead of the world champion Chicago White Sox, 4.5 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox, 7.5 games ahead of the National League’s best New York Mets, 8.5 games ahead of the New York Yankees, 10 games ahead of the very hot Minnesota Twins, 13.5 games ahead of the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics, and 18 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians.
3. The Tigers are tied with the 82-game pace of the 1984 “Bless You Boys” world championship team and two games behind the franchise-record pace of Ty Cobb’s 1911 squad.
4. The Tigers not only lead the majors in team Earned Run Average (3.52), they lead it by a mile. The next closest is the San Diego Padres (3.92), and the second-place American League squad is the Oakland Athletics (4.17). Don’t get me started why there is only one Tiger pitcher on the All-Star team (maybe two, if you select Justin Verlander in Final Vote).
5. The Tigers have been improving month-by-month, with a 16-9 record in April, 19-9 record in May, and 20-7 record in June.
Aaahhh. It sure feels good. But there’s a lot of baseball left to play, and here’s to the Old English D’s chances in fighting hard to the finish to make the playoffs for the first time since 1987 and head to the World Series for the first time since 1984.
Go get ‘em, Tigers!