The 2012 Detroit Tigers are…..


The official position of DJC has been to call the 2012 Detroit Tigers flawed. We have also reserved judgment until the Tigers reached Sparkly Anderson’s benchmark of 40 games. They have now played 41 games, and the word is now being changed from flawed (even though the roster is still very much so) to under achieving. DJC firmly belies that an attitude of we will win this division anyways has infected this organization from General Manger Dave Dombrowski down. DJC also believes that owner Mike Illitch made an error is overreacting to the Victor Martinez loss by signing Prince Fielder to a large and long contract.

The simple fact here is this; the Tigers need Fielder contract to payoff in teh short term. Meaning this year, next year, and possibly 2014. After that it becomes something of an albatross hung around the neck of this team’s payroll. For the record Prince is hitting .303, but with only 7 home runs and 24 RBI he is not getting the job done. We do not want to hear about on base percentage, Fielder was not brought here to be a “Money Ball” type player, he was brought here to drive in runs and the low offensive output by this team is a direct reflection of his failure to do. Maybe he heats up, but at the 40 game benchmark we are still waiting for that to happen.

Not much has gone right for the 2012 Tigers. Doug Fister, Austin Jackson, and Closer Jose Valverde have missed time with injuries. The Brandon Inge situation was allowed to fester fro far too long, and this team came north without an answer to its second base problem. DJC believes that this has been an issue since Placido Polanco was allowed to leave tow with out so much as a contract offer.

On the positive side Jackson has done well in the lead off spot, Justin Verlander is Justin Verlander, and Miguel Cabrera is keeping up his end of the bargain. Add to that the somewhat hot bat of Andy Dirks, and the familiarity we are starting to see in Delmon Young embracing the DH job. That gives the 2012 Tigers a solid core to build around, and we expect the team to be very aggressive on the trade market.

Illitch signaled that this team was all in by signing Fielder, and now Dombrowski needs to make a few all in (win now) deals. If Jacob Turner is still in the organization after the trade deadline we will know that the all in feel of 2012 was a ruse. If he is not then hopefully Dombrowski was able to swing a deal (much like in 2011) that puts this tem over the top. DJC defines over the top not by a AL central crown, but by a World Series apperance.

For the record the Tigers are 20-21 (19-21 after 40 games) and sit in third place three full games behind the Cleveland Indians (who are the next team on the schedule). So things could be a whole lot worse. It seems that the biggest sin this team has committed so far is failing to live up to expectations. That is not entirely their fault, but even Manger Jim Leyland would say they deserve it by the play this team has showed on the field. Hopefully the next 40 games will gain better results. For now we will await the 60 game benchmark before we reevaluate where this team stands.

Every year a team wins 50 games, and loses 50 games, it is those other 62 games we have to worry about.