Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
There are two things that can hinder the expectations for the Detroit Tigers this season: Injuries, and the self-destruction of the bullpen.
Anyone who has followed the Tigers for the last two seasons knows how unpredictable the bullpen has been.
In 2006, Joel Zumaya lights up the radar gun for three-digit speeds over 100 times during the regular season, only to be listed on the disabled list in the World Series from rocking out too hard on Guitar Hero.
Also, Fernando Rodney stayed (relatively) injury-free.
In 2007, Todd Jones lives up to his " Roller-coaster" nickname by compiling saves sandwiched between poor outings. (I remember being at a few games and hearing the crowd sigh when he took the mound).
Zumaya appears in only 28 games after breaking the middle finger on his throwing hand while warming up.
Thus far in 2008, the talk around baseball has been how perfect the Tigers' lineup looks on paper, bringing up the questions, "How do you pitch to them?" and "How many runs will they produce this season?"
Another topic of question, as evident the past few years, is, "How well will the bullpen perform?"
Rodney will start the year on the DL, and no one is really certain how effective Zumaya will be.
Again, the only two things that will limit the expectations fans are giving them (I'm saying World Series or bust) are injuries and the performance of the bullpen.
The former has already struck the organization.
Curtis Granderson, the third-year center fielder who last year became the first player since Willie Mays to hit 20 triples, 20 doubles, 20 home runs, and have 20 stolen bases in a season, (a feat later accomplished by Phillies' shortstop Jimmy Rollins), was placed on the 15-day disabled list after breaking a finger when he was hit by a Travis Blackley fastball.
The preliminary diagnosis is a non-displaced fracture of the metacarpal at the base of the middle finger on his right hand. The outlook is he will be out for about two weeks.
"This is the first time I've had to deal with something like this, so I really don't know," Granderson said. "Hopefully, it'll be a week, maybe two at the most."
See, one of the things that can go wrong for Detroit, already has.
Hopefully this will be the only major setback the Tigers have to face this season in terms of injuries (knock on wood). An injury to anyone else will be nothing but detrimental to my expectations as well as those from everyone else.
Now, if only the bullpen can straighten things out...