“Listen to them roar, Tigers in four,” was the call by commentator Joe Buck as the Detroit Tigers made the final out of the 2006 ALCS, sweeping the Oakland As and punching their ticket to the World Series.
The Tigers came out flat in the World Series and would eventually lose to the Cardinals four games to one.
The Tigers are now facing a déjà vu situation, waiting patiently for the resolution of the NLCS, being played between those same Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants. That series was pushed to seven games after the Giants won back to back games and forced the deciding tilt, which will take place on Monday night in San Francisco.
In an effort to stay sharp, the Tigers flew players from their AAA team to Detroit to take part in simulated game situations in practice all week, hoping the time off will not come back to haunt them like it did six years ago.
In 2006, a stint of bad weather forced the Tigers to stay in the indoor batting cages for a full week while they waited for an opponent. This time, Manager Jim Leyland wanted to make sure they would be as ready as ever.
On Sunday and Monday, the Tigers are playing intra-squad games, hoping the make-believe competition will help the hitters focus and keep the pitchers sharp, despite the lack of crowd or pressure.
"Will it have any bearing on whether we win or lose?" Leyland asked in an interview. "I don't know. But this is as good as we can get."
The extra time off has allowed Leyland to set his rotation just how he wants heading into the World Series, an advantage their opponent will not have coming off one day of rest.
Since the National League won the All-Star Game back in July, The Tigers will have to board a plane for either San Francisco or St. Louis for Game 1 on Wednesday, something they did not face six years ago when the World Series kicked off in Detroit.
The Tigers have won four World Series championships in their 118-year history, the last one coming in 1984 against the San Diego Padres.
"We'll be ready," Leyland said. "I don't know if we'll be good enough, But we'll be ready."
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