2006 Season: The Aftermath

by billfer on October 27, 2006 · 51 comments

in 2006 Season

Once again we’re saying wait til next year, but this time we’re doing it with a banner to hang. The only thing that hurts is that it is so tough to get to the World Series in the first place. The Tigers could field a healthy competitive team next year and still finish 3rd in their division. Nothing is a given and that’s why I tried to savor this experience, even if it was painful at the end.

No matter what happens in the future, nothing will replicate the joy that we as Tiger fans experienced this year. This team came out of nowhere, and that is part of what made this run so special.

I’m not going to use this space to rehash game 5. The bulk of it was covered in the game thread and live blog. At this point I just want to say thank you. I want to say thank you to all of you who made this site a part of your summer. It was an awesome ride.

But mostly I want to say thank you to the Tigers. Thanks for adding drama to those August nights where there would have been none. Thanks for taking a city on your back and carrying us through to the end of October. Thanks for bringing back the Olde English D.

I know that expectations change as things go along, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be writing about the Tigers in the World Series. They are American League Champions and posted 95 wins. I’m so damn proud of these guys. My only regret is that the bulk of the nation saw them at their worst.

Thanks to the pitching staff who chucked shut out after shut out and gave the Tigers a chance every night. Thanks to Jeremy Bonderman who really did turn the corner. Thanks to Kenny Rogers who not only was a veteran presence, but a dominant one at that. Thanks to Justin Verlander turning in the most prolific rookie season in Detroit in I don’t know how long. Thanks to Nate Robertson and gum time and taking the ball and giving the team 6 innings or more every single start. Thanks to Zach Miner and Wil Ledezma who stepped in and didn’t miss a beat. Thanks to Mike Maroth for everything and I’m sorry you weren’t able to be a part of it on the field.

Thanks to the bullpen which was amongst the best. Thanks to Todd Jones for the cardiac work that was largely successful this season. Thanks to Fernando Rodney and the change up of doom. Thanks to Joel Zumaya who turns a stadium electric by simply coming into the game. Thanks to Jamie Walker, the most unsung of the group, but who always did his job. Thanks to Jason Grilli who was as solid a long guy as you’ll see.

Thanks to Ivan Rodriguez for continuing to shut down the running game with a gold glove season and a .300 batting average. Thanks to Sean Casey for coming over and giving this team the bulk of its offense in the World Series. Thanks to Chris Shelton who sparked this incredible season with an incredible April. Here’s hoping you’re back for more. Thanks to Placido Polanco who was always sure handed defensively and was the one guy who could put the ball in play at will. Thanks to Carlos Guillen for another MVP caliber season. Thanks to Brandon Inge and the plethora of web gems at the hot corner.

Thanks to Magglio Ordonez for the most dramatic homer Detroit has seen since Kirk Gibson in 1987. Thanks to Curtis Granderson for a season of nearly flawless defense and timely hits and showing way more poise and maturity than a virtual rookie should. Thanks to Craig Monroe for the late inning heroics throughout the season. Thanks to Marcus Thames who finally got a shot and made the most of each at-bat.

Thanks to Vance Wilson for being a very capable back-up to a Hall of Famer. Thanks to Omar Infante and Ramon Santiago – you’ve come a long way since 2003.

And thanks to Jim Leyland. You made me crazy a couple times with your decisions, but you got a team and a city believing that the Tigers can and should win.

Thank you for the countless memories this season.

 
 

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Andy in NY October 27, 2006 at 11:45 pm

Seconded… Bless you boys!

Jeff M October 27, 2006 at 11:48 pm

Sorry, billfer… I can’t take the time to read your post right now. I’m sure it is accurate and I’m sure it is heartfelt, but I can’t take it right now.

What a miserable way to lose. There can be no doubt that this season exceeded expectations by any measure, but all I wanted was one hard-fought, error-free word series game. Was that really too much to ask?

Sigh. :(

Kyle J October 27, 2006 at 11:49 pm

Here, here! Thanks to you Bilfer for your consistently insightful posts and for giving us a place to congregate.

And let us not forget to thank the man who’s ultimately most responsible for the way this season came together: Dave Dombrowski. Time to put that thinking cap back on and find a way to add a couple bats for next year.

Andy in West Branch October 27, 2006 at 11:52 pm

and thank you bill for hosting the best blog in baseball! you echoed my every thought, as much as this hurts (losing the series) this was a magical season for life long fans. i don’t care what anyone says, this was the most exciting world series i’ve seen in 22 years. hat’s off to the cardinals and their fans.
i’ve played ball most of my life and our motto has always been, spare me the details and tell me the score.
we’ve got a heck of a future, i doubt it’ll be 22 more years.
dread telling my 5yr old that this year tigers don’t eat birds

Matt S October 28, 2006 at 12:00 am

Billfer, just wanted to say that I can’t thank you enough for a great season of covering the Tigers on your blog. I’m a Tigers fan who lives in Washington, DC now, but has been a huge Tigers and Mudhens fan for a long time from when I grew up in Toledo. I remember my Dad taking me to Tigers games at ol’ Michigan and Trumbull since I was ten back in the late ‘80s. This season didn’t end how I wanted it to, but it was one hell of a ride. I’ve been following the Tigers through your blog for the last few years on an almost daily basis (thank you, lame job), and while I’ve mostly been a lurker, it’s been great to see the amount of comments per post go from 3 or 4 to over a hundred this season.

I don’t know a whole lot of Tigers fan here in DC, but you and all the posters have felt like a close knit community over the last few weeks, and lately the only people I can identify with. Your blog has by far the best coverage of this team, including the crappy-ass Freep and Detnews. I was good before, but you really stepped it up this year.

I feel like sh*t right now, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the last 13 years when the last day of season rolls around and the Tigers are a gazillion games out of first place. Being a fan of a team that’s actually competitive is hard work, especially this week. I’m emotionally drained.

Anyway, Thanks again and thank God we beat the Yankees. Tigers – World Champions 2007!!!!!!

Joey the K October 28, 2006 at 12:03 am

Thank you Bilfer for another great year, I’m glad so many more people discovered the blog this year.

Wow what a great year, I couldn’t say it better than you Bilfer. It didn’t end great but I don’t know how many times during the Series I just stepped back and said ‘this is the World Series, and I’m watching my Tigers! and laughed.’ Sure I’m glad to be here but man I would have loved to win.

Hats off to the Cards and their fans, they took it to us. As much as I tried to dislike the cards and their fans, I couldn’t do it (aside from some annoying blog posters) they have great support and I must admit I got a kick out of most of the signs in the new Busch, “Hit it to the pitcher” was really funny (and accurate). A small part of me feels happy for Weaver, he really pitched well tonight.

Lets build on this year and get back there. I don’t know about you guys but I plan on heading to spring training and see these guys as soon as possible. I had so many people rooting for the Tigs, not cuz I asked them to or not cuz they liked them but just because they know how much they mean to me. Thank you for a great year Tigers, maybe next year we get Rod and Mario to call the Series!

Justin October 28, 2006 at 12:28 am

Thanks, billfer.

I’ve been coming here for a long time, but rarely posting. It has been an absolute pleasure to read your blog every day.

Keep up the good work. I know that I will be stopping by all the time as long as you continue to do it.

This Tigers team was my favorite of all time and I loved every minute of this season.

Bless you boys! It was a wonderful ride.

Pete October 28, 2006 at 12:36 am

Billfer, thanks for a great blog all year. It was a fun season, and this site made it even more fun. To all the commenters, thanks for making me feel connected to this team and its fans even though I now live 2200 miles from Detroit (and for putting up with all my ridiculous comments). Congrats to the Cards. It was their year. Can’t wait til opening day.

Ghost of Tigers past October 28, 2006 at 12:41 am

Thank you Tigers for a memorable summer!The most memorable will be our 4 year old daughter running around the house roaring like a tiger,Asking “Who’s your Tiger?”.Her wanting to hear “Go get’em Tigers” song from the 1968 “Year of the Tiger” (about a million times) & Cutting out the faces of the Tiger players from the Free Press website favorite Tiger mask and taping them up on the front picture window of our home.The neighbor’s must think were crazy,But we don’t care!

Detroit October 28, 2006 at 12:49 am

Bilfer, you hit a homerun with that post. Thanks Tigers, you brought my family together. You made my summer fun and my fall unforgetbale.

Bob S. October 28, 2006 at 1:26 am

You forgot to thank the 2003 Tigers for showing up to play in the 2006 World Series.
As for me,I’m heading down to Comerica tomorrow-maybe I’ll get to see Kenny Rogers throw.

Jeff M October 28, 2006 at 2:21 am

Bob, I’m tempted to join you. If there’s a Tiger rally, I’m there. Even if it’s unofficial.

Pam October 28, 2006 at 2:38 am

Omigosh. How could this happen? What a letdown. One thing though, the Cards are a good organization in a terrific Midwestern city with great knowledgeable fans from throughout the America’s breadbasket. It does make it easier.

It could have been worse. We could have lost to the Yankees in the ALDS. That would have been a nightmare.

I like this Tiger ballclub and I’m thrilled for the city.

But who the hell was that chick on the field reporting? I mean I’m all for great female sportscasters – Leslie Visser comes to mind for me…But that woman was awful. Shrill and stupid.

The problem with the Fox sportcasters was they were just damn boring.

Chris J October 28, 2006 at 2:53 am

Thanks Bilf for having the best Tigers blog out there and thanks to the Tigers for a crazy rollercoaster ride. Going into the season I would have taken this crushing World Series loss with a dopey smile on my face.

Garry M October 28, 2006 at 3:28 am

Fire Leyland. Should of went with rogers. No guts!

stephen October 28, 2006 at 4:38 am

Tigers were the worst team over the last 50 games to ever make the world series and provided the worst performance by a team in a world series ever. (i think even after the sting of this wears off that will be empirically true). Sometimes, i think the 100 loss seasons were better.
re: leyland. live by the not so logically sound hunch, die by the not so logically sound hunch. there’s no way you pitch an over-worked rookie when you can go with a 200 game winning vet with an 0.00 era on regular rest.

Cameron in Singapore October 28, 2006 at 4:50 am

Stephen…
C’mon. If you’re really a Tiger fan, there’s no way you’d prefer a 100 loss season to this. This was a great run, lots of fun, a tremendous success of a season. Yes, the ending was terrible, it hurts, but what a run it was.
And now we have real hope for the future. No guarantees, but at least hope.
So be disappointed, be disgusted, but do not wish for 100 loss seasons!

Bobby October 28, 2006 at 5:22 am

Good gravy… fire Leyland??

Thanks so much, Bilfer — this place gave me much joy this year, as did our boys. Very proud Tiger fan today.

NR October 28, 2006 at 5:22 am

Bilfer… thanks for hosting. I know I only started posting regularly recently, but I’ve been checking here on a daily basis for the last couple of years. This has been the best place a displaced Detroiter in Chicago could ask for, and I can’t thank you enough for updating as regularly as you do.

I am unbelievably sad right now, but am working hard at being ok. That ball that got by C-Mo yesterday felt like a punch right to the stomach. It wasn’t his fault at all, but that’s the point I knew it probably wasn’t going to happen for us this year. I still hoped, I jumped and yelled and cried when Casey hit that homer, but I used up most of my emotion last night. Weaver putting the nail in the coffin still really hurt. That guy provided some of the small joy you could find as a Tiger fan for a while, and to see him take it all away from us tonight was torture. I was at Game 2, and felt horrible chanting Weeaaa-ver, Weeeea-ver at him, remembering what we all went through together watching teams containing Melvin Nieves and Chad Curtis. A very small part of me is happy for him, but the rest of me just aches too much right now.

What I’ll take from these playoffs is Kenny Rogers doing his best Frank Tanana impression and then some, Carlos Guillen continuing to be the rock of the team, and Todd Jones speaking candily from the sidelines.

Bless you boys.

Walewander October 28, 2006 at 5:43 am

Bless you boys.

Seriously, what a great year. Let’s celebrate, not mourn. And Billfer, thanks again for giving us all such a wonderful place to share an incredible season.

AL CHAMPIONS!!!

John October 28, 2006 at 5:50 am

Billfer thanks for being the man this year I mean I am 21 and very sad that was beautiful post you really put things in perspective. I mean I am a young cat and I am sure with a team this talented I am going to be lucky enough to witness a couple Championships here and there. And yes this year was no doubt absolutely amazing. I love the Tigers just the same as I did when they lost 119.

Bryan October 28, 2006 at 7:56 am

110 days until pitchers and catchers report.

I can’t really formulate thoughts into words right now…needless to say, this hurts. Just wanted to stop by and say thank you Bilfer for providing all of us a wonderful place to experience this magical season.

Congratulations to the Cardinals and their great fans. They’ve got a very classy orginization, and they earned this one.

Thanks to the Tigers for such a great year. This last week has been pure hell, but who would have thought we’d be playing baseball this late? Very proud of our boys.

We’ll get em next year.

Andrew October 28, 2006 at 9:30 am

Billfer,
Thanks for making this a great place for Tigers fans around the globe to gather and chat. I visited here on a daily basis even if I didn’t always add a comment to the great discussions that took place here.

I surprised myself by not being really letdown after the loss last night. Honestly, I would have been shocked if we had won with the way we were playing.

I told my wife after the game that if we had somehow managed to win this World Series it would have been like stealing. We just didn’t perform the way our guys were capable of performing. Congrats to the Cardinals – definitely a classy and deserving organization.

Great, great season. I am still in disbelief that our Tigers made it to the World Series. I started out the season hoping for a winning season. Even in June when we were playing phenomonal baseball and in first place I was still going to be satisfied with a winning record.

Getting to the playoffs was gravy. Beating the “unbeatable” Yankees was THE highlight of the year aside from just making the playoffs for the first time since 1987. Getting to the World Series was totally unexpected. After beating the Yankees it was like we were playing with house money. Too cool.

Can’t wait to hear the hotstove chatter and see what moves Dombrowski will be making. Let the wheeling and dealing begin!

Time to go watch the clinching game against the A’s that I downloaded. I am sure it will be a constant rotation for me leading up to spring training.

Lets Go Tigers!

Bob S. October 28, 2006 at 9:49 am

Ain’t no rally I’m headed to,Jeff M.-that would be the imaginary game 6 at Comerica today.The one we saved Kenny Rogers for.

hawk October 28, 2006 at 9:58 am

Thanks Bilfer for the great site. It is a sad day right now. But what an exciting season, beyond anything anyone could have imagined. Am not sure how anyone can really criticize Leyland for starting Verlander – he battled his butt off!! Other than the throwing error and an ugly first inning, he threw well. Rogers was not going to be able to pitch all 3 games. Regardless, the boys gave us something to be proud of and excited about – - isn’t that what sports entertainment is all about?

johnw October 28, 2006 at 10:03 am

I’m disappointed in the Series defeat, but that feeling pales in comparison with my gratitude for actually having a Tiger team that’s worth rooting for right now, and that has a very bright future. I feel like the whole 2006 experience was a bonus; we knew the team was improving, but who expected contention, let alone playoffs and a World Series?

As for Rogers vs. Verlander: if you watched the game last night, you may have noticed that our problem wasn’t pitching. When your offense averages two runs a game and never gets above the Mendoza Line, you’re going to lose the Series. The 2007 Tigers need a more consistent offense. The only thing the pitchers need is some infield practice.

Kyle J October 28, 2006 at 10:18 am

Here’s a bit of sunshine for a gloomy day: The thought of having an offseason in which speculating about roster moves is a full-time hobby.

http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061028/SPORTS0104/610280378/1129

Two sentences I like, in particular:

“Casey, who next month will become a free agent, could stay with the team as a key bench player.” (That would be great: back-up at 1B and DH and a legitimate pinching hitting option.)

“Neifi Perez, whom the Tigers added when Polanco got injured in August, is signed through 2007 but would appear to be a long shot to make the team next March.” (That would be great for obvious reasons.)

Mike October 28, 2006 at 10:37 am

Last night after the game, I couldn’t help but chuckle as I went off to bed. Yeah, it sucked losing in the World Series, but I could not get over the fact that this group of players had actually made it there in the first place. In addition to that, look at how it brought the region together again. Real life may suck, but for this summer we all had something to enjoy: For the first time in almost 20 years it was a pleasure to see the American League standings every day. So, while ultimately a disappointment, this season has had an impact on the area that hopefully won’t go away for awhile.

Don’t be surprised if the Tigers slump next year. Depending on the moves that DD makes during the off season, we do reside in the toughest division in all of baseball. Even so, the 2006 Tigers have rekindled my interest in baseball.

Now if we can only get the Lions to turn it around, maybe we will see a Lions jersey on the Spirit of Detroit statue downtown.

Bilfer, your site was a blessing for those of us not fortunate enough to live close to the Motor City. The weblog has allowed me to follow the Tigers, vent my frustration, and learn from others during this magical season. For that I am truly grateful.

BLESS YOU BOYS!

chanupi October 28, 2006 at 10:45 am

I agree with Jeff… I couldn’t watch, I just watched the ninth inning, and various parts of the game I guess. I kept watch on the gamecast though, like I started the season, I guess.

I really enjoy follwing baseball, reading the stats in the paper, listening on the radio. But, I hate to watch on TV. So, the drama of the last two games was more than I could handle. I watched them lose game 3, seriously ruined like two days for me.

But…then again, this was awesome. I am so happy for the Tigers.

Bob S. October 28, 2006 at 10:54 am

Painful as it was,I watched-by the way,we lost,so unfortunately for all of us,we won’t be getting to watch Rogers(3-0,0.00 in the playoffs)pitch today.Yeah,the Tigers hitting was anemic & their defense was borrowed from a circus,but Leyland mismanaged the rotation from the first game by not starting Rogers last Saturday night and setting him up for 3 potential starts in the Series.

Comralf October 28, 2006 at 11:11 am

A great season…..really did give us something to rally around. Hey, how about that jersey on the statue, who thought it was a good idea to hang it up there?

Joey C. October 28, 2006 at 12:46 pm

I’m not ready to fire Leyland, but I’m not at all happy with the way he managed (or didn’t manage) the World Series.

It was an amazing season though and I think in a few days, after the sting has worn off, I’ll realize what a terrific time I had watching these guys play all season.

Thanks for the blog and the forum Billfer. It’s really been a tremendous way to follow the Tigers .

And also, thank you to all the regulars. You all crank out an unbelievable amount of interesting content. I really have a ton of fun bantering with all of you and I can’t wait till we’re all debating the merits of offseason acquisitions.

Go Tigers!

Jimbo Bradley October 28, 2006 at 1:05 pm

I’m a lifelong Tiger fan. Any time The Boys get to the postseason is special, and I’m always grateful. This season was perhaps extra special and I enjoyed nearly every minute of it. Thanks, Boys.

Having said that, I’ll say this: one of those 5 games of this Series was the worst I’ve ever seen – I just can’t figure out which one it was.

Thanks for the season. See y’all next year.

Mike D October 28, 2006 at 2:19 pm

Bill, I want to add my thanks as well for this blog, which I discovered midway through the season (though this is my first post). I’m a lifelong Tigers fan now living in Blacksburg, Va., and you wouldn’t believe the strange looks I got the past few years when I’d wear my Detroit game jersey out to sports bars. Mostly I got looks of pity, as you can imagine. But this year, I wore my jersey pridefully and often, and picked up a few Tigers fans along the way (especially after they beat the Yankees). I can’t wait until next year.

And to those who suggest firing Leyland — come on now. Where would the Tigers have been this year without him? Sure, he made a few mistakes during the Series. But they were IN THE SERIES. Treasure and cherish that, regardless of the outcome. And really, Verlander pitched well yesterday after that retched first inning. True, Kenny Rogers would not have screwed up that throw to third, but purely from a pitching perspective, Verlander delivered a lot more than I expected. Take away that error, say it’s a Tigers win, and Leyland looks pretty darn smart for saving Rogers to pitch at Comerica.

These are all bygones. Thank you Tigers. See you at spring training!

Nick G October 28, 2006 at 3:44 pm

Biller, just like everyone else who has stated as much, I can’t thank you enough for your excellent work on this blog. You truly enhance the Tiger fan experience…right up there with Mario and Rod. :)

Can’t wait till the hot stove league heats up and the Tigs address their needs for next year. Especially looking forward to your posts on what exactly those needs are.

What a magical season 2006 was! It will be remembered in my family for a number of reasons. When the Tigs clinched the pennant on Saturday, October 14. My dad, 65, was in his hospital bed recovering from quintuple (five!) bypass heart surgery with the game on his ICU TV. It was so cool seeing Maggs knock those two dingers, knowing my dad was watching. However, I must say I was afraid Grilli might do my old man in with those walks that day. My dad’s doing great, and the two of us are looking forward to sharing what is hopefully the beginning of a new, winning era in Tigers baseball for years to come. Go Tigers!

Lee Panas October 28, 2006 at 4:24 pm

Great season summary Billfer. Nothing that happened in the World Series tarnished a wonderful season. It just gives us something else to aim for next year.

Ryan October 28, 2006 at 4:33 pm

Bill, I want to thank you for helping this San Diego-transplant feel a little closer to home. Reading detnews and freep keep me informed, but Drew Sharp and Albom are too enamored with their own prose to capture the emotions and joy/heartache of being a fan the way you do. For all the thanks you gave the Tigers, you forgot to praise yourself.

To those calling for Leyland’s head, I’m hoping this subsides as soon as the anger and frustration turns to appreciation. One of the most rewarding parts of watching the Tigers beat the Yankees in the ALDS was the disappointment for Yankees fans. The reason the rest of the league’s fans delight in the Yankees’ misfortunes is the organization’s (and their fan base’s) sense of entitlement. I can deal with Steinbrenner treating the rest of MLB like his farm system, but I cannot come to grips with their sense of entitlement. Sure, they’re successful year-in and year-out, but they’re also spoiled. Given what happened this season, the most deplorable thing we, as Tigers fans, can do is complain about managerial decisions in the World Series. The World Series. The. World. Series. The last time the Tigers were there, I was 2 years old.

Something happened this year between the end of the NBA/NHL playoffs and the start of the football season. Please, can we not take it for granted…?

TM October 28, 2006 at 4:43 pm

Bilfer,

Thank you for this website. It has been a part of my day for the past year and I will continue to visit read the great insight you and the other fans post. It’s been a tough year personally and the Tigers gave me so much joy and hope throughout the season. It’s almost a relief to get back to the rest of my life for the winter but I already miss Tiger baseball! I also want to add my thanks to Dan and Jim on the radio. As one of the many fans without cable, I was unable to watch the bulk of the regular season games. I came to prefer the wonderful broadcasts that those two hardworking gents made every night. I absolutely cannot wait for next season… let’s do it all again, but even better!

Cheers!
Timothy Monger
Britton, MI

Anne October 28, 2006 at 4:43 pm

Hey Billfer, just want to add my thanks to everyone else’s, for providing us this blog. In a season that gave us fans a LOT to enjoy, your site really shines. Thanks also to everyone who posts here, whether a lot or a little or even just once. Sometimes I agree with y’all, sometimes you tick me right off, sometimes you make me laugh out loud, but it’s never boring.

Chris Y. October 28, 2006 at 5:42 pm

1000 thanks, Bilfer. This season was the most memorable Tigers season of all for me. As a lifelong Tiger fan who grew up in Iowa and is now in Seattle, the ’80s were great, but the internet with MLBtv and the Tigers Weblog made this year indelible (not that that hasn’t been the case for us the past few years, but they weren’t winning). Your analysis was always candid, but never lacked the humanity of Tiger fandom. And thanks to all fellow posters, it was good to have a help cheering and venting all season long.

Big thanks to the Tigers, who were supposed to finish with the Royals this year and ended up AL royalty instead. I would take this year’s team against anyone, anyday. All heart.

Best of all, this was my son’s first full year of baseball. He’s already got his high-five down and seeing him run screaming like a madman around the house when Ordonez polished off the A’s was hilarious (’cause I was doing the same thing). This truly is the start of a new generation of Tigers and Tiger’s fans. Here’s hoping the years to come will be just as enjoyable.

Go Tigers!

Rick's Writing Again October 28, 2006 at 6:28 pm

I’ve enjoyed reading all year, Bill. You do an excellent job. I would never criticize Mr. Leyland for his decisions. I didn’t always agree throughout the year; however, they always seemed to work. The only thing that maybe could have been done differently would have been to have The Gambler open the series. Then, he would have pitched against Weaver last night … But, you can’t change history. Getting back to the playoffs will be tough. The AL Central is loaded and any of four teams could win that sucker. The one most likely to fade, I think, is the White Sox. The Indians are poised to jam. The Tigers will be tough once again, and will probably add a bat and a pitcher. Yeah, I know … we don’t need any pitching. A stud, front line pitcher who strikes fear (a starting Zumaya-type) would be ferocious. Similarly, a Jermaine Dye in the middle of the line-up .. YIKES! Mr. Dombrowski, it’s time to go to work. You know, Barry Bonds batting lead off wouldn’t be such a bad thing!

Jimbo Bradley October 28, 2006 at 10:03 pm

Thanks, Bill. I’m new here, but I’ll be back (after it stops hurtin’!!).

adr October 28, 2006 at 10:22 pm

Bilfer – well said. At the end of the day, we won the pennant and had a heck of a fun season. We know there’s a lot of hard work to do, and that no one should take it for granted that we’ll be back in the series next year (according to Bill James, teams that perform radically better one year than the previous one almost always drop back the following one). Still, I’ve got my AL Champion hat and shirt, and will wear them proudly. St L has waited for a WS win even longer than we have. Our turn is coming.

Nick October 28, 2006 at 11:01 pm

Bilfer… Well said and great job…

I just wanna say that… I love baseball and I love the Detroit Tigers and this season was mind blowing.

As I sat on the edge of my chair watching Ramon S. take his led off third and Placido take his lead off first… and watch Inge swing and miss…

I can say that I had tears in my eyes… I just couldn’t believe it was over…

I just wanna thank Bilfer again, also the Tigers for the memories and most of all the fans of Detroit that felt the same pain and joy i did this season…

Go Tigers!!!

Xeifrank October 29, 2006 at 2:37 am

DodgerSims blog correctly predicted the Cardinals to win this series in five games. Many people seem shocked that the Cardinals defeated the Tigers. I for one, am not. I may be surprised that they made it to the W.S., but not that they won it. vr, Xei

Jojo SunDevil October 30, 2006 at 4:12 am

Hey Detroit Tigers, if any Tigers read this, I would like to say thank you for an amazing unbelievable season!

I have been a huge Tigers fan even in the years when we were bad. In fact, I bet I could name the starting lineup when they lost 119. I have been there through the bad players:

Melvin Nieves (the worst!), Ruben Sierra, Andujar Cedeno, Brian Williams, Doug Brocail (opening day starter!?, Are you f’in serious), Bob Hamelin, Matt Walbeck (good minor league manager though, from what I hear), Milt Cuyler, Tony Clark (he just struck out again), Juan Encarnacion (he sucked here), Deivi Cruz, Gregg Jeffries (he was 60 when the Tigers got him) and there’s so many more.

I have been there through the utterly atrocious Juan Gonzalez deal, in which we traded great prospects for a roided up monster, who hated it here, and couldnt hit in the clutch anyway.

And worst of all, was Randy Smith. He was the absolute worst, I have never seen such an acccumulation of horrible talent. Randy Smith was the spurge of hopelessness. I wouldn’t let him GM my kids little league team. In fact if he was at my kids little league game, I would probably kick his butt. There is a worse GM than Isiah Thomas, and his name is Randy Smith

But this year seeing veterans like Rogers and Pudge and Mags and seeing young players like Miner and Inge and Zumaya working together and making each other better. This was inspiring. THis is what every baseball fan dreams up. A team where everyone gets along and they are exceeding expectations. Seeing a guy like Bonderman who lost 19 games his rookie year, and probably thought being drafted by the Tigers meant that he was being punished for something that he did in a past life, to winning game 4 against the Yankees and just utterly dominating that Yankees lineup. Jeter looked like he was swatting flies.

Getting Jim Leyland was utterly brilliant. His hard nosed old man style was exactly what this team of snot nosed punks needed. And Dave Dombrowski is a sheer genius. There’s a reason the Marlins payroll is 90 dollars and they still win 80 games. He drafted most of those guys.

Overall, Its funny, but I really do think the Cardinals wanted it more, and thats why they won. The Tigers were totally exceeding expectations since the beginning of the season, and I think they were almost stunned that they just went through the American League like nothing. And as a Tigers fan, I followed it all, and it made my day seeing the Tigers winning all the time. In fact I went to a couple white sox games in Chicago (where I live) and I was loud as all hell cheerin for the Tigs!

Thank you for an amazing season, you gave this Tigers fan, a summer he will remember.

Jojo SunDevil October 30, 2006 at 4:19 am

Oh and thanks Bil, for making an outstanding thread for us fans to post on. I will be doing it again when the Tigers are signing Barry Bonds. (seriously)

Oh and I forgot one more, Craig Paquette!! Ahh! he was TERRible!

Kelly October 30, 2006 at 3:32 pm

I’m a St. Louis native & am soooooo excited about our win. That being said, I just have to say what a great & classy bunch of fans Detroit has! I’ve been reading this blog searching for the usual trash talk about the opposition but have quite supprisingly not found any. Be proud of your team & what they accomplished. Be proud of yourselves for being such great fans. The baseball gods smiled on St. Louis this year, perhaps next year they will smile on Detroit next year. I could feel good about that. Thanks for a great world series!

William October 30, 2006 at 5:53 pm

Bill–thanks for this website. I stumbled across it in May and have checked it every game day this year. Living in Alabama, I didn’t get much Tiger coverage until the playoffs, so it was great way to follow along during a memorable year.

I hit the “Acceptance” phase of the 5 steps after game 4. I hadn’t given up all hope, but it just seemed that it wasn’t our Series. It’s a shame they played so poorly in the WS, but I am proud as I can be of this bunch. They made baseball fun again.

Looking forward to next year (damn, I haven’t said that in about 20 years)!

Vern Morrison October 30, 2006 at 9:41 pm

As the Official Indians fan of the Detroit Tigers Weblog, I hope it’s appropriate for me to congratulate the Tigers upon winning the American League pennant, and to tell you Tigers fans that I am sorry that they didn’t win the Series. The Tigers played some phenomenal baseball this year, especially during the first half of the season, and I know damn well they’ll be right back in the race in 2007. I hope the Indians will be in the hunt with them.

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