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Tigers should be better

May 20, 2012
CRAIG REMSBURG - Senior Sports Writer ( , The Mining Journal

The Detroit Red Wings' early exit in the Stanley Cup playoffs was disappointing enough.

The Detroit Tigers' lackluster performance to date may be even more disappointing.

That's because there was so much promise for the 2012 Tigers' edition.

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The club went 95-67 in capturing the American League's Central Division and made it to the ALCS before bowing to the Texas Rangers.

The Tigers returned nearly the same roster and even when Victor Martinez went down with a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee in January, the team plugged that gaping hole by signing free agent slugger Prince Fielder to a longterm, multimillion-dollar contract.

Most baseball "experts" immediately predicted the Tigers would challenge the Rangers again for the ALCS title and this time, advance to the World Series.

The Tigers would smash the ball and their pitchers - led by 2011 Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander - would mow down the opposition, the pundits said.

Well, it hasn't happened.

The Tigers' batters are ranked No. 11 among 30 teams in Major League Baseball with a .256 average. Their on-base percentage (.320) was so-so, their slugging percentage (.399) similarly average and their OPS (.690) somewhat anemic.

Detroit's pitching has been even worse. The team's ranked No. 24 with a 4.31 earned-run average and had managed to save just eight out of 14 opportunities.

It led to a 19-20 record heading into Saturday's game.

Heck, the Tigers even lost twice at home to the lowly Minnesota Twinkies, err, Twins, this week. The Twins had won just 10 of 26 games for baseball's worst record prior to sweeping the Tigers.

It's enough to make a Tigers' fan sick to his or her stomach.

What's wrong with the team? A few thoughts:

The season is still young. The Tigers are only three games back of Cleveland (Cleveland?) for the Central Division lead.

But after starting the season 9-3, the Tigers should be doing much better right now. They have too much talent to be below .500 at this point. Way too much.

Only the Los Angeles Angels and the struggling Albert Pujols are more disappointing at this point in time.

Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is



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