The 2011 Detroit Tigers were two games from completely shocking their fanbase. As it was, they ended up exceeding expectations and finished the season better than even the biggest supporter of the Old English D would have claimed.
Ninety-five wins, The AL Central Crown, knocking off the Yankees in the ALDS, a competitive showing in the ALCS not to mention having the AL Cy Young and AL MVP winner is an impressive resume for any team.
Not bad for a team expected to flirt with .500 and finish a distant third to the Twins and White Sox.
Even more encouraging, it appears the Tigers will once again be one of the teams to beat in the AL Central.
While the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals both seem to be making improvements, there's little doubt that the Minnesota Twins are gearing up for a rebuild and the Chicago White Sox might struggle to compete after likely losing longtime stalwart Mark Buehrle.
With the collection of inexperienced and mediocre teams in the AL Central, most prognosticators will be picking the Tigers to repeat in the AL Central in 2012.
The Tigers can really improve their chances with a strong offseason. There's not a ton to do, but a few areas need to be addressed.
A fifth starter, bullpen help, a second or third baseman—if not both—and a left fielder are all areas the team could address.
Any of these eight guys could be wearing script Detroit jerseys next spring.