Attitude. Passion. Defense. Three attributes the Detroit Tigers have instantly received this season. Tigers General Manager, Dave Dombroski, saw a Tigers team last year that couldn't get many timely outs. His vision was clear in Detroit and Dombroski achieved his goal. Become a defensive team was number one on the agenda.
Todd Jones...gone, Ivan Rodriguez...gone, Edgar Renteria...gone, Chuck Hernandez...gone, Matt Joyce...gone. Offensive fire power vanished, but welcome home defensive-minded guru's. Additions of Adam Everett, Gerald Laird, Edwin Jackson, and Brandon Lyon have surged a new attitude in Detroit. Also, the promotions of Rick Porcello and Ryan Perry have solidified the bullpen.
This Tigers team has had more trouble scoring runs in the 2009 campaign rather than give up runs, which is a complete shocker from what we all saw a year ago.
Rick Knapp, newly founded Tigers pitching coach, has done a phenomenal job with the young players as well as the veterans. He has molded these pitchers in just one-third of a season. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Tigers have a newly found urgency to pitch, but give Tigers Manager Jim Leyland some kudos. With another new addition with outfield Josh Anderson, Leyland has become much more aggressive on the bases and has added a new dimension to the normally stagnant Tigers. Anderson already has double digit steals and causes havoc on opposing teams.
The reemergance ofTigers ace Justin Verlander and flame-thrower Joel Zumaya have the Tigers on the fast track to October. While Zumaya has been on and off, Verlander has been superb, especially in his last three outings. Verlander has been a K machine and can potentially through another no-hitter on any given night.
This Tigers team has solid pitching and with speed in the outfield and on the bases, this team could be dangerous. Whether it's Granderson making his routine diving grabs here and there, Santiago or Everett initiating a double play ball, or Clete Thomas gunning opponents out at home, this is looking like 2006 Detroit form.
Detroit could be rockin' in October.