This blog has been pretty quiet for a while, and for that I'm sorry. I've been busy, then in a funk, then busy again etc. For days I've asked myself, "what am I going to write about the Tigers this year?" Last year it was a season preview in which I predicted some things that proved to be pretty much true and also that Gerald Laird would hit .275 so, yeah. The year before it was THE YEAR, as painstakingly detailed in a multi-part series about how 2009 would be the year that nobody expected the Tigers--2008 cellar dwellers--to do anything at all. What did we get for that? 163 game crushing disappointment. Close but no cigar.
The problem is, I don't know what to think this year.
I don't feel like last year, when the team was both too young and too old, or the year before, where they really felt poised to take the division by storm. I don't know what this is. I don't know who the Tigers are.
Individually you can see the potential.
Justin Verlander is going to win a Cy Young in his career, and I think he does it this year. You can write that down. Tell your friends.
Miguel Cabrera, sober edition, is an MVP.
Max Scherzer had a breakout 2nd half that could carry into this year
Austin Jackson, your should-have-been 2010 ROY, is back with a year of experience under his belt.
But geez, when I start reading things like "BEST ROTATION IN BASEBALL" by the person that you would absolutely expect to write something stupid like that, you just want to scream PHILLIES! in his face or hell, WHITE SOX! or a handful of others. But the problem is, we don't know.
That's why you get back-to-back columns in the Detroit News--Five reason the Tigers will be a hit and Five reasons the Tigers will be a flop.
We don't know.
We don't know if Phil Coke will be an effective starter all season, or if Brad Penny will be healthy.
We don't know if Rick Porcello will be better than he was last year.
We don't know if Alex Avila will be a good catcher.
Or if Will Rhymes will be a good second baseman.
Or if Ryan Raburn is ready to play a full season in the show.
Or if Brennan Boesch can take his place if he's not.
Or if Casper Wells can take his place if he's not.
We don't know if Maggs is healthy after breaking his ankle last year, or if he can stay healthy.
We don't know if Joel Zumaya or Carlos Guillen will ever return.
When you start counting up the question marks things become disconcerting. I don't like disconcerting--it plays games with my defense mechanisms. I want to prepare myself for disappointment, or temper my enthusiasm, but now I'm left here bare, naked to the whims of a round bat hitting a round ball. I don't know that I can take it.
It is Day 0 and the wait is over. Tomorrow will be Christmas Morning, and I have no idea of what I'm getting.
This is the part of the season preview where predictions are made. Except, as my earlier ramblings may have indicated, I have no idea what is going to happen this season.
But this is the internet, dammit.
YEAH. Serious predictions.
- Justin Verlander wins the Cy Young
- 40% of the Tigers starting rotation will be removed for non-injury reasons at some point.
- Austin Jackson has pretty much the same year as last year, is viewed as a massive disappointment
- The Tigers win 85 games, 2nd in Central to White Sox (91)
- Jim Leyland's contract is extended for two more seasons
- Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen and Joel Zumaya play their final seasons
Tommorow is a new day, folks. Welcome to the next six months of your lives and to a rejuvenated blogger.