It’s that time year where it is time to take a look back at the year that was 2006. Fortunately for the Tigers, and their fans, this isn’t a painful experience this year.
- The Tigers got some good news from the farm system when Baseball America said the Tigers prospects looked the best that they had in nearly a decade. Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya topped the Tigers list. Let’s hope at least one of them can contribute in 2006.
- Once upon a time there was going to be a battle for the centerfield job between Nook Logan and Curtis Granderson.
- The Tigers also avoided arbitration with Jeremy Bonderman, Chris Spurling, and Carlos Pena. One of these things is not like the others.
- So the voice of the turtle, and spring training, and pitchers and catchers and all that stuff happened.
- Prognosticators rise up in unison and say that the Tigers might not suck this year.
- Well except for Rob Parker who said that Dombrowski was the worst GM in Detroit.
- Justin Verlander cracks BA’s top 10 prospects list, and he’s joined by Zumaya and Maybin in the top 50.
- Troy Percival retired, kind of before he even started in Detroit. He joins Uwe Krupp in terms of biggest busts, be at least he was an advance scout for the Tigers first series in Texas. That worked out pretty good.
- There was some baseball across the World and it was Classic. Jason Grilli garners lots of attention for his work for team Italy. While we all hold our breaths whenever Guillen and Ordonez take the field for Venezuela.< /li>
- A trimmed down Dmitri Young strains a quadricep running to first. I hope this doesn’t become a nagging problem. Maybe Marcus Thames will get a chance to shine. And Mike Maroth’s elbow starts hurting. But he’s pretty durable so it shouldn’t be a problem.
- Meanwhile I’m worried that Verlander and Zumaya aren’t wowing people in spring training.
- While the Tigers were in Florida, I was hanging out with Hall of Famers at The Henry Ford
- Franklyn German and Carlos Pena are released meaning that Jeremy Bonderman is the lone remaining Tiger from the Jeff Weaver trade.
- With one out to go before the season starts, Todd Jones pulls a hamstring and heads to the DL
- The Tigers start the season 5-0 with inspiring performances from Chris Shelton, Joel Zumaya, and Justin Verlander. Things are looking good
- After the Tigers tank a game on get-away day Jim Leyland rips into his team.. Many say this is a turning point in the season. I think it came a couple days later when…
- The Tigers had their first come from behind win of the season. They battled back against Oakland with a rally that featured an ump-assisted 15 pitch at-bat from Brandon Inge.
- The red hot Shelton finally cools down, and kind of for good.
- The Tigers cap off the month by bludgeoning the Twins 33-1 over a 3 game series.
- Pudge Rodriguez makes his debut at first base, and does pretty well.
- Domestic assault charges are brought against Dmitri Young. I don’t think this will turn out well.
- Curtis Granderson idolizes Griffey Jr. Granderson comes in as a defensive replacement to see Griffey hit a go-ahead grand slam off of roommate Joel Zumaya. Granderson sends the game to extra innings with a homer. The Comerica Park magic continues.
- The Tigers move into first place where they’ll hang out for the time being. I don’t really know what to make of it.
- The Royals send Mike Maroth to the disabled list. Whatever will they do for a 5th starter. Maybe this Zach Miner guy will work out.
- The Tigers go through the guantlet part of the schedule. They avoid a sweep of the Yankees, and drop 2 of 3 to the Red Sox. Todd Jones blows games in each series and an awful outing against the Blue Jays has me concerned.
- Two words that strike fear in most teams are music to the ears of Tigers fans- signability issues. It enabled Andrew Miller, the consensus best player in the draft to slide to the Tigers. Much the same way that the Tigers picked up Cameron Maybin the year before.
- Chants of Let’s Go Tigers take over Wrigley Field as the Tigers “beat on Mark Prior like he stole something” according to Rod Allen. The Tigers would continue to dominate the NL Central sweeping the Cardinals and Astros and taking 2 of 3 from the Brewers. The highlight may have been Nate Robertson outdueling Roger Clemens at Comerica Park.
- The Tigers are the best team in baseball heading into the All Star Break. Kenny Rogers starts the All Star game and Magglio Ordonez is a late addition.
- Dmitri Young returns to the team and hits really well for a couple w eeks.
- The Tigers had been owned all year by the White Sox…until Craig Monroe hit a grand slam. It was kind of exciting. The next day the Tigers squeaked out another victory behind a strong Kenny Rogers outing, a Marcus Thames take out slide, and Joel Zumaya absolutely slamming the door.
- Over a 3 game span the Tigers scored 5, 6, and 5 runs in the first inning. Sadly they didn’t win all 3 of those games.
- Brent Clevlen makes his Tiger debut with authority. He nails Luis Castillo at the plate and picks up a couple hits off Johan Santana.
- Despite lots of trade talk, the Tigers only make a small move as a reaction to Chris Shelton’s continued struggles. They acquire Sean Casey from Pittsburgh for minor leaguer Brian Rogers.
- The Tigers signed Andrew Miller, and also announced they were going to skip a Verlander start. Tiger fans hold their breath
- After a couple dramatic wins against the Indians , the Twins come and take 2 of 3 from the Tigers and thus begins the skid.
- Things are looking up in Boston until Placido Polanco helps preserve a Tiger victory with a diving catch that also dislocates his shoulder. Omar Infante is given the gig until a game costing error prompts the Tigers to trade for Neifi Perez. Tiger fans had no idea at the time that Jim Leyland would actually use Perez regularly and even bat him leadoff.
- The entire Tiger offense goes in a slump. All 9 guys in the lineup simultaneously stop hitting, and many attribute it to Polanco’s absence.
- Craig Monroe saves a doubleheader with a 3 run homer in Yankee Stadium. The homer will come to be known as the “CRAIG DID IT AGAIN!” homer.
- After that all the Tigers had to do was win a game against the Royals at home. Didn’t happen. There was much sadness as the Tigers relinquished their grasp of the division on the very last day of the season.
- Playoff fever grips the Motor City. After dropping the first game to the Yankees, the Tigers rebounded behind Verlander, Zumaya, and some clutch hitting.
- Rogers dominates on a Friday night, and on SaturdayThe Big House tunes out MSU to focus on the Tigers. The result was the bestest celebration in the history of celebrations.
- The A’s proved to be little resistance, and only a walk-off ALCS clinching homer (watch it again, I still get chills) could top the excitement of the previous series. It left grown men and children crying in happiness.
- The Tigers go to the World Series and play some really bad baseball. Except for Kenny Rogers, but even he did it under scrutiny. In the end, the nation won’t remember the ‘tigers magical season, just their inability to convert comebackers into outs.
- It’s contract season and an important one got done right away when Dave Dombrowski and his staff were locked up through 2011.
- The Tigers improve the DH slot by adding Gary Sheffield for the next 3 years.
- Awards keep rolling in for the Tigers. Verlander gets Rookie of the Year and Jim Leyland wins manager of the year. Meanwhile Carlos Guillen takes home the DIBS Award.< /li>
- The Tigers decide not to upgrade first base as they resign Sean Casey. At least it doesn’t cost much.
- And the Tigers part ways with Jamie Walker as he gets his big payday in Baltimore
- The Tigers add Jose Mesa via free agency and Edward Campusano via the Rule 5.
- The Tigers also extended 2 2003 survivors, Jeremy Bonderman and Brandon Inge, for 4 more years. With the price of the Tigers acquisitions this fall, it looks like the Tiger Tax has been repealed.
Thanks to all of you who visited the site this year. With a couple days to go in the year, the site had 216,141 visits and 446,442 page views. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the dramatic growth this year.
Much of it was your comments. On the 639 posts I made this year, you made 7908 comments.
All of this amazes and humbles me. First I can’t believe that people actually care what I have to say about the Tigers. Second, I’m flattered that you all felt compelled to help contribute and make the site what it is.
For fun, here is a page with some site stats. Kyle J was the most prolific commentor this year, but a late push by Jeff M could put him over the top. I’ll have to figure out some kind of award for next year.
Thanks for a great year and here’s hoping that we have lots more winning baseball to talk about in 2007.