As I sat in a packed Comerica Park, I soaked in the environment of a fathers day at the ballpark. But, besides all the happy dads, I noticed a dramatic switch from the rough early months of this year's campaign. The team was completing it's second consecutive sweep, and beginning a climb to the top.
As the summer hits, the Detroit Tigers are in a good position. In a way, the team has cut the fat from it's lineup. Getting rid of the likes of Jacque Jones, Jason Grilli, and Dontrelle Willis (Willis is only in the minors, not completely gone).
Thus, creating the room for productive players; Marcus Thames, Freddy Dolsi, Brent Clevlen, Armando Galarraga, and giving the opportunity for others to impress.
In addition, and most importantly, the team is getting the return of it saviors: Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney.
As it sat in the stands, I witnessed all of these things happening. Early in the game, Rodney and Zumaya walked from the dugout to the bullpen. All while receiving a standing ovation.
And later, Marcus Thames hit a home run. Which happened to be his fourth consecutive game with one. Thames has been a backup for a few years, and has been productive, and now is getting his chance.
Besides the mentioned moves, Manager Jim Leyland has been creative with his lineups. After some criticism, it seems he has finally got it right.
Luckily, as the Tigers struggled, the rest of the division did too. All of these things combine to make a forecast for a promising summer. Which is enough to keep me coming back.