The season was a long drawn out several months full of ups and downs, but it finished with the Detroit Tigers once again clinching the AL Central for the third-consecutive season. Not always easy, not always operating at the level you may have thought with the payroll this team has, but the one thing you never questioned was the fight and resilience in this team. The leadership of newly-acquired Torii Hunter mixed with the stability of Miguel Cabrera and Max Scherzer this season combined to a team that never flinched at tough times and saw their way out of trouble.
Yes, this is what this team was supposed to do, but one only needs to look to the Los Angeles Angels to realize that expectation doesn’t mean reality. Yes, it wasn’t perfect, and yes, your blood pressure may be more elevated than you or your doctor would like, but the simple fact is the Tigers reached their first goal in the end, and met the high expectations set at the beginning of the season. It’s easy to be spoiled and lose the emotion of what this means, but Tigers fans must remember the last time the team made three-straight postseasons was 1907-1909. Well, the Tigers are now going to party like it’s 1909, we even have a guy named Prince on the team!
The emotion of the clinch may be diminished by the almost certainty that Tigers fans have displayed that it would eventually get done, and the fact they had been done the previous two seasons, but for a team who had never won the AL Central before this run and had a 14-year span before 2011 with no division titles, this means a lot. You can be disappointed they may not have home field, you may be disappointed in some of the flaws this team has, but tonight, the Detroit Tigers punched their ticket to the dance and as we have learned in previous postseasons, if you have a ticket, you have a chance.