Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander are part of a youthful core in Detroit.

 The recent addition of Prince Fielder has elevated the Tigers status in the eyes of many as a favorite to win the World Series in 2012.  After a near miss last season, the Fielder signing has also increased the pressure within the organization to complete the job.  1984 is becoming a distant memory.

When Mike Ilitch opened his wallet to steal Fielder away from several perceived favorites, it signaled a willingness to do whatever it takes to bring a championship to Detroit.  Preferably, sooner rather than later.  Like, this year.

Yet, the window for the Tigers to win a title may not be as small as some think.  The Tigers will be an elite team in 2012, but also in the foreseeable future.

Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Justin Verlander, Alex Avila and Jhonny Peralta are All-Stars.  Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, Doug Fister, Austin Jackson and Delmon Young have All-Star potential.  Each and every one of these players also have one thing in common, they are all under the age 30.  The three elite talents, Verlander, Cabrera and Fielder are all under contract for at least the next three years. 

With a number of pitching prospects and third baseman Nick Castellanos on the horizon, and the return of Victor Martinez next season, the Tigers are in good shape for the foreseeable future.  The desire to win now is high though, and it should be.  Regardless of how good the Tigers will be for the next several seasons, you only get so many chances to win a World Series.   A sense of urgency should be present.   If it happens in 2012, great.  If it doesn’t, Tigers fans should still feel good about their chances for the next five years.

The organization is in tremendous shape thanks in large part to the willingness of Mr. Ilitch to spend money.  However, Dave Dombrowski and Al Avila have done a fabulous job of keeping this team on the radar after a decade’s of playoff-less summers in the Motor City.  The Tigers were a mess in the 90’s.  From 1994 to 2001, Detroit finished over .500 just once. 

Tigers fans are once again proud of their team.  With a core group that has yet to turn 30, they should be proud for some time.



01/29/2012 10:33

I think it's funny all of the praise Ilitch is getting now. Does anyone else remember the mid to late 90's and early 2000's? He owes us. If the Tigers won 400 games in a row, Ilitch still wouldn't have as good of a record as Tom Monaghan did.

Joe Halstead
01/30/2012 05:33

Mike, I agree that those were dark times, but the organization had some deep institutional problems in those years.

Look at the number of general managers we went through, for instance. That really doesn't say a whole lot about the level of executive talent we had in the front office.

Randy Smith continues to fail his way up, but what can you do...many, many executives in the corporate world continue to rise in spite of their incompetence. We all know a few.

02/07/2012 10:24

I'm not worried about getting out of the Central, and I don't think many fans are, really. Getting through the playoffs worries me. The fielding percentage at third (potentially) terrifies me. I think that's most people's biggest fear.

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