"This is going to be one of the most dominant offenses that any team has fielded in 10 years."
That statement was uttered by every baseball analyst, fan, and heck, anybody who saw the Detroit Tigers lineup heading into the season.
They were supposed to score at least 50 runs a game (maybe that was a little unrealistic) and rule the AL Central.
Gary Sheffield, Magglio Ordonez, Ivan Rodriquez, Miguel Cabrera, and others were supposed to help the Tigers become possible World Series Champions.
Justin Verlander, Dontrelle Willis, and the rest of the pitchers were needed just to avoid double digit run-totals for the other team, not exactly a daunting task.
Sports Illustrated was absolutely in love with this team, saying that the Tigers were going to win the World Series over the Cubs.
If you look at the preseason scouting report for the Tigers, it's a total love fest. "One of the most productive offenses in the history of the game + a rejuvenated rotation = the Tigers' first world championship since 1984," can be found if you check out the preview.
The Royals, on the other hand, were not the beneficiaries of such a loving preview. Mediocrity was given to them if they were lucky.
"I've had people approach me and say, 'You know, a .500 season would be just great.' "
Hopes weren't exactly high. At least Sports Illustrated got the Royals correct though. They were picked to be fourth in the AL Central, and that is exactly where they sit.
The Tigers, on the other hand, sit a full four games behind the Royals for that fourth-place spot. Not four games ahead of the Royals, which would have constituted a bad season earlier. But four games behind, which constitutes a completely horrible season.
As of now, the Tigers sit pretty in the basement of the AL Central like a 25-year-old who looked like he had the great job to get him a huge house, but then lost the job and is stuck in his parent's house.
The Royals are a half game out of that .500 record that would make their fans totally ecstatic.
Right now, the Tigers are exactly where they were just a few years ago, albeit with much flashier names, but still no good.
But why are the Tigers doing so badly even with all these huge names on their roster?
The Tigers don't have a horrible batting average (16th in MLB), OBP (ninth in the MLB), or number of home runs (tied for 12th). Those rankings aren't great, but they aren't the makings of the worst team in a division either. Those are at least third place rankings.
The problem lies with the pitching, which was supposed to only be there to fill out the team while the offense put on a show.
The Tigers are 29th in the MLB in ERA. The weird thing is that they are in the middle of the rankings in hits allowed (15th), home runs allowed (15th), and walks allowed (seventh).
Unlike other teams, the problem is that when opponents get on base, they score more than when other teams allow base runners. They don't allow too many opponents comparatively, they just allow more than they can handle.
And without the offense to back them up like expected, the Tigers are unable to get a good string of wins going to get some momentum.
At least you have basketball.
I'm Joe W.
Information and quotes for this article were found on sportsillustrated.com and mlb.com
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