In 2013, the Detroit Tigers had many people convinced they might be baseball’s best team. Boasting arguably the game’s best pitcher (Max Scherzer) and inarguably its best hitter (Miguel Cabrera), they seemed to have the necessary weapons to dominate any opponent.
However, after qualifying for the playoffs for the third straight year, Detroit’s season ended again in disappointment. A superior Red Sox team dismantled the Tigers 4-2 in the ALCS. Something had to give.
The first step was a change in management. Jim Leyland retired, and Brad Ausmus was hired as manager. Second, subtle tinkering to the team roster—a trade here (Ian Kinsler) and a signing there (Rajai Davis)—has morphed it into a more versatile and successful unit in 2014.
Detroit has begun this season in great style. Despite a four-game losing streak, the Tigers still maintain a stellar 4.5-game lead in the AL Central. With a record of 27-16, it is their best start to a season since the 1984 World Series-winning Tigers team.
ESPN’s Buster Olney commented on The Michael Kay Show this week about Detroit’s championship credentials: “Without a doubt the Tigers are the best team in baseball. Their lineup is so much more dynamic. They are settling their bullpen issues. That’s the team to beat.”
The following slides will list and describe the five main reasons why the Tigers’ title drought will end at 30 years.