The Clinch: American League Champions

Magglio's Walk Off
The Tigers had contributions from everyone up and down the lineup, except their big clean-up hitter. I think it’s safe to say that Magglio Ordonez did his part.

When the division slipped away I was disappointed because I wanted this team to have won something. I don’t mean to discount the playoff berth or the ALDS victory, but those things don’t get you a flag. This most certainly will.

I’ll have my thoughts on the game and a lot more stuff later tonight. But for now…

Congratulations to the American League Champion Detroit Tigers

Update: Fox Sports Detroit has extended coverage right now

48 thoughts on “The Clinch: American League Champions”

  1. As a Dodgers, Mariners and Yakult Swallows fan, I just wanted to pass along my congratulations to the Tigers fans as well as the team. As I have been saying on my site about you guys, when the classic teams are doing well something seems right about baseball. So here’s to many years of continued greatness and to winning the 2006 Wolrd Series. After the series titles by the White Sox and the Red Sox, it is now your turn.

    And wouldn’t it be something if you faced the Cardinals again after 38 years?

  2. What a team. A class act from 1-9 and beyond!

    Did anyone see the replay w/ Illytch watching the homer and then hugging his wife? It’s so great when an owner cares about the fans and the team :cough: Ford :cough:.

  3. un-freaking real!! Was 18 when they won in ’84 and that was so sweet, but this is awesome because it was so unexpected!

  4. NR —

    MVP hands down to Polly. Remember, if he didn’t get his “standard” two-out base hit, Mags never would have made it to the plate. Mags came through today, but Polly has been absolutely consistant. I think he’s batting close to or over .500 this postseason. That’s almost unreal.

  5. I screamed at contact, I yelled for it as the camera panned out, following the flight of the ball, and then I started jumping up and down, along with everyone else in Comerica. What a moment! What a series!

    ESPN post-game played the AM call from Dan and Jim… it brought tears to my eyes.

    Can’t wait for the Series. Go Tigers!

  6. being a fan for 40 years I have never experienced such a “high” as this championship has brought to me. ’68 was magic, ’84 was expected after 35-5 start, but this year has brought the pride back to exclaiming “I am and forever will be a TIGER FAN!!”

  7. NR, While Maggs was the star today, Polanco has played great all series, If I were voting (and absolulty nothing against Maggs) it would be Polanco. Good stick, never boned up any of the numerous double play balls and a solid clutch performer. All for a guy that tried to barbacue the pool guy.

    Go Tigers,

  8. Detroit Tigers – 2006 American League Champions

    I just had to write that so maybe it’ll sink in.

    My good friend at work is from St. Louis and we’ve been joking all year long how awesome it would be if our team faced-off in the World Series. Now it may actually come true. Un-frigin’-believeable!! A repeat of 1968 would be great for the game!

    It’s would be ironic, too, after hearing Leyland’s post-game comments in the presser. The questions was asked what made hime come back to baseball after the being out for so long and he answered it was because of LaRussa and the St. Louis Cardinals after he had done scouting for them. The stage is set.

  9. Don’t you just love baseball? It’s looking more and more likely that the WS participants will be the Tigers and Cardinals, two teams that played like yesterday’s garbage the last two weeks of the season.

    Tigers in 4.

  10. If it is the Cardinals it’s a chance to break the tie. After losing in 1934 the Tigers got there revenge in 1968. I’m hoping for the Mets thought, I want the Tigers to beat the best the National League has to offer so there’s no doubt when it’s all done.

  11. Over here we’re all between the ages of 21 and 25. None of us in this house have ever experienced this kind of thing.

    Incredible. Amazing. Unbelievable. And whatever other adjective you can think of. This was the most amazing sporting event I’ve ever seen. The best feeling ever. And it’s only going to get better

    We’re getting another Keg. And celebrating all night long here.


  12. This is Just…You..Can’t put it into words for what i felt when Maggs conected with that pitch i just jumped up and hugged my dad…

    My dad is 60 years old and he has seen both the 68 team and the 84 team…. he tells me about them years all the time…now… I get to see it myself….

    Thank you Detroit….

    Go Tigers! Bring it home!

  13. I was 12 when the Tigers won it ’84. In the prime of little league baseball. At that age, you think your team will make it all the time. Now, this second time around for me, you realize how special and rare it is to win the American League Pennant.

    Enjoy it all you post ’84 people, this is a special-time in the 100+ year history of the Detroit Tigers!

  14. apparently, the pope is still catholic, and yes, the world is still round because the DETROIT TIGERS are WORLD SERIES BOUND!!!!!

    dave from atl…i was 14 in 84 and like you i thought it was an automatic thing for the tigers to win every year……so you can understand why i have insisted that my 12yr old son be able to be at dads house for every world series game this year.

    does anyone know when the last lcs mvp didn’t win player of the game at least once???

  15. Nick, I’m in the same boat.

    Speaking for the youngins on here…We finally get to see a World Series in Detroit!

    We can’t wait. Go Tigers.

  16. Who could have imagined this moment at any of the times listed below?

    1) Opening day.
    2) On September 11 (33 days ago), when we’d just lost three straight to the Twins and our division lead was down to 1.5 games and our Wild Card lead was down to 3 games.
    3) The final day of the regular season.
    4) After Damon hit the three-run HR in game 3 of the Yankees series.

    What a feeling. What a season. What a team.

    Will be fairly amazing if the Tigers and Cardinals meet in the WS, after both were left for dead when the regular season ended.

  17. 84 vs 06

    catcher….lance parrish – pudge
    1b….dave bergman – casey
    2b….sweet lou – polly
    3b…. howard johnson/tom brookens – brandon
    ss….tram – guillen
    lf….larry herndon – cmo
    cf….chet lemon – granderson
    rf….gibby – mags
    dh….darrel evans – thames
    sp….jack morris – kenny
    sp….milt wilcox – bondo
    sp….dave rozema – verlander
    sp….dan petry – robertson
    sp regular season….juan berenguer – moroth/miner/ledezma
    rp….bill scherrer-grilli
    rp….doug bair – walker
    rp….sid monge – rodney
    set up…. aurelio lopez – zumaya
    closer….willie hernandez – jones

    i remembered most of the players but i got a little help (middle relievers) from this site:

    84 bless you boys were my first love, but i’d take the “NO RESPECT BOYS” in 6

  18. Sorry, but your ’84 team was much better than your ’06 team.

    Let’s keep a healthy perspective: When the Tigers stunk the joint out the last part of the season, everyone knew they weren’t as bad as they looked. By the same token, they’re not as good as they’ve looked in the past 7 games.

    They’ve gotten smoking hot at just the right time.

  19. I wasn’t nearly as impressed with Ilitch hugging his wife as Dombrowski going bonkers in his box. The CEO/GM/President of the Tigers really, really wants this one.

  20. I for one want the Mets to rally because:

    1. I want the Tigers to face the best the NL has to offer (which admitedly isn’t saying much) — which is the Mets
    2. This may be unfounded, and probably nothing, but I am still somewhat concerned about Leyland managing against his best friend, La Rusa. Leyland has already been quoted as saying it was hard for him during Interplay when we dominated the Cardinals. We need to go for the juggular and not worry about Tony La Rosa’s feelings.
    3. Living in NY, I want some bragging rights! Defeating the Yankees was sweet; if we can beat up on the Mets too, this town will have no choice but to show some serious respect for the Tigers! Mets fans and Yankees fans are always bickering amonst themselves about whose better, yada yada yada. It would be awesome for the Tigers to spank ’em both and quiet them both down!

    Go Tigers!

  21. I’d like to see the Cardinals win to set up the ’68 rematch, but T makes a good point–the Leyland-LaRussa match-up could be a potential distraction.

  22. And, regardless of who wins the NL series, a seven-game series would be nice to put a little extra wear on the pitching staff of the winner.

  23. Detroit is in a great position of having all their pitchers with at least 6 days rest. So even Bonderman could start Game 1.

  24. There is talk about Bud Selig making a rule change to make it harder for Wild Card teams to go to the World Series, especially after the Tigers did it. I’m not sure what they will do other than possibly full around with the home and away schedule. They may also go to a best of 7 first round series.

    The reality is though these things happen. It’s like the NCAA Final Four. Any team can rise to the occasion. The fact is that the A’s swept the Twins, and we handled the A’s. And the Yankees were clearly no match. So the Tigers are clearly the top team when it counted, even if they got spanked by Kansas City and Toronto the last 5 of the year. Their current 7 game win steak is better.

  25. Actually, who Leyland will start in Games 1 and 2 is the only drama left in the season. Will he go Robertson and Verlander again? If so, then Rogers will get Game 3 on the road. It probably makes more sense to start Rogers at home in Game 1, but do you really want Robertson and/or Verlander to pitch on a million days’ rest?

    Of course, in the end none of this really matters because Leyland could start Frank Tanana and the Tigers would still win.

  26. Alan: They have been talking about changing the Wild Card situation for years. It has nothing to do with “especially after the Tigers did it.”

    The fact is, you are right: any team can get hot and changing the series set-up will not affect that.

    Having said that, I’ve always felt that the division series’ must be 7 games, and I have confidence that some day they will be. The ALCS back in the day was best-of-5 and was changed; opening round NBA series used to be best-of-5 and was changed.

    At 162 games the season is too long to be decided by 5 games. (If you happen to be the home team and lose Game 1, you’re already in panic mode.)

  27. This game erases all the memories of 72′. Two outs no one on base, ninth inning, tie game. Two singles and the 16 million dollar man comes up to bat. Tigers going to the World Series. I won’t sleep tonight. Spectacular!!!!

  28. Six hours later. I did get some sleep after watching replays of MO’s blast ,oh, about twenty times. If Bradley does not catch Grannie’s drive, then Monroe hits the game winner. Nice catch Bradley. Don’ let those geezers tell you any different. I’ve seen the 68′ and 84′ Tigers seasons. This one was the best. They tore our hearts out and then gave them back to us; still beating.

  29. Of course looking ahead, I’d like to see Rogers start game 2. If the Tigers lose game 1, he’s the one you’d want to come back with. Add to that his brilliance at home, and if he starts game 1 and loses it’s an emotional setback, much more than if Robertson or Verlander were to lose game 1.

  30. Darrin,

    As far as your comment that the ’84 team was a “much” better that this ’06 team, I’ll have to think carefully about that and get back to you. I will say that they are certainly different teams, but I’m not so sure I would say the ’84 Tigers are a “much” better team. I followed both the ’84 Tigers and the ’06 Tigers with equal zeal, and I don’t think it is so off to make team comparisons. That said, I completely understand your thesis, if I can sum it up here, “the ’06 Tigers are overachieving now and nobody can stop them…moreover, any team can get on a roll and win the WS”

    Does that make the ’06 team not worthy of comparison to a solid, legitimate championship team, the ’84 Tigers, simply because we are alledgedly taking a snapshot of them during this post season? Are we really taking things out of persective by judging them on the tacit overachievment implied in your thread? Again, I’ll have to think about this a little more before committing to an answer. However, I will say that the “garbage-playing ” Tiger team that finished off the ’06 season played solid .670 baseball for a 112 game stretch from April 1 to Aug 7. That’s a large stretch for a team to simply overachieve. There are also legimate factors behind the 19-31 slide. If you take Whitaker and/or Trammell out of the ’84 team for a solid chunk of the season, that team would have no doubt preformed much differently, too.

    Those of us who have followed this team from Spring training simply see the same team playing now that we saw sprint out to 40 games above .500 by August 7.

    My point is, I don’t think you can simply discount the virtues of this team because they are playing with a certain poetry right now. This is a unique team. This is also a very good team, regardless of the momentum on their side that would, as you would no doubt point out, could roll over the ’27 Yankees right now.

  31. Smith: All of your points are legitimate, but let me explain just a little further.

    (First off, the fact that I’m neutral regarding the Tigers does help make this judgment a little easier.)

    We are 22 years removed from the ’84 team. That was an awesome team. From Day 1 of that season to the final out of the WS, no one was going to beat that team. Offense, Defense, Coaching, Starting Pitching, Relief Pitching, Closer. Best team in the league that season, no contest. Decades from now, I will still remember that team, as will many other “non-Tiger fans”. As a Yankees fan, it was very frustrating watching that team play in ’84.

    As to this year’s team…..

    On the one hand, what the ’06 Tigers is doing is very special. But on the other hand, it’s virtually the same thing that other teams have done in recent years when they caught lightning in a bottle during the postseason. Do I think the ’06 Tigers could beat the ’27 Yankees right now? Absolutely, I guarantee it.

    But would you consider the ’05 White Sox “a team for the ages”? Were the ’04 Red Sox even the best Boston team of all time? The way the Marlins were pitching and clutch hitting in ’03 they could have beaten anyone in the WS. Can you compare them to the all-time greats, though? The ’00 Yankees bulldozed their way through the ALCS and WS, yet I think they only won 86 games during the regular season.

    My point? I think it’s unfair to compare historical teams with current teams. You need a little bit of time to go by and let things settle in. Let’s not forget that the 1984 Tigers were not just simply one of the best Tigers teams, but they were one of the best teams in baseball HISTORY. I think it’s a euphoric leap to lump the ’06 Tigers in that mix.

    This team reminds me exactly of last year’s White Sox. In fact, it looks like the Tigers can tie the ’99 Yankees and the ’05 White Sox and have an 11-1 postseason.

  32. Darrin,

    I can’t disagree. One thing that is noteably different, in my opinion, about the ’84 Tigers and the ’06 Tigers is the fact that (apparently) there was no competition for the ’84 Bless you Boys. I remember being somewhat dissappointed (in ’84) that no team could possibly challenge the Tigers. I also remember wishing (in ’84) that there would be some team out there who would step to the plate as worthy opponents for the ’84 Tigers, thus making that magical championship team more sweet in the end. It was almost “too easy” in ’84. Kinda like the ’98 Yankees. Again, have to consider further…and it’s certainly too soon, and unfair, like you say, to lay out comparisons with history; but is it possible there was just no competition for the Tigs in ’84, thus contributing to the illusion of a “dominate” ’84 team?

    One thing is for sure, in ’06 many teams could be where the Tigers are. Yankees, Whitesox, Twins, etc., etc. I will even go out on a limb and say the Indians are also right up there, despite what their ending record indicates. There is just so much more competition this year.

    In any event, it’s all very interesting to ponder.

  33. Wow, I was at a wedding that started about the 8th inning of the game. Luckily I had a lil pocket tv and ear piece and the bride and groom had just exited when Maggs went deep in the 9th. People who didn’t know was watching/listening to the game must have thought I was REALLY happy about these people getting married!!

  34. For some perspective on the 84 versus 06 thing, in 1984 the Tigers led the league in runs scored AND runs allowed. That is a huge thing, unequalied but by a handful of teams in baseball history. A truly dominant season from beginning to end. In 2006 the Tigers were 4th in runs scored and 1st in runs allowed. A very nice combination. But they also came in 3rd in the league in wins, whereas the 84 Tigers won 15 games more than there nearest competitor. I’m completely with Darrin on this one. Not every champion is a “great” team, but someone has to win the championship, and in the end we’ll remember them as great. I hope to look back in 2 weeks and remember the great team we had in 2006.
    This is no insult to the 2006 team, but the 1984 Tigers can definitely be considered one of the 10-15 greatest teams in the history of the sport. There’s no one who’ll be claiming that about the 2006 Tigers. But who cares?

  35. KS: Thanks for supporting my point with better evidence than I could supply.

    Obviously, this team will always be in the hearts of all Tiger fans, and will never be forgotten. My only point to Smith was, (with all due respect to the current team) decades from now ALL of baseball will still remember the dominant ’84 team. It’s very unlikely this ’06 team will have that reputation.

    Now having said that, this team WILL be memorable if it starts something special like a repeat in ’07 or threepeat in ’07 and ’08. Unfortunately, I’m fairly confident that will not happen.

    But don’t get bogged down in my negative forecast for next year. Enjoy this season.

  36. Absolutely amazing!

    I remember about maybe 7 or 8 years ago, it was a regular season game obviously, bottom of the ninith and the bases were loaded, two out and the Tigers were down by 2, and up to the plate came Juan Gonzalez. We had just gotten him and so I was kind of excited. He just came off of injury, but it was like this is what we got you for, right here, this moment, and whatd he do. He flew out to center.

    So the same situtation happened again this year and this time it was Magglio Ordonez. Ordonez had been slumping during the playoffs, but same situation and he hit it out of the park.

    This Tigers team has a completely new mentality, and some would say that if the Yankees played the Tigers again, the Yankees would win. That’s crap. If the Tigers played the Yankees again, they would sweep em again. Whoever the national league has bring it. I don’t want to seem too overconfident, but the Tigers are doing everything magnificent right now.

    One final thing, I think I am leaning in the direction of taking Grilli off the roster for the Series and putting Jordan Tata on it. Grilli just crumbled after having two strikes called balls. Tata’s got great stuff too.

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