Way back in spring training, I polled you characters, and asked, "Where will the Tigers end up at the end of the season."
The unanimous answer?
AL Champs, but losers in the Series. Wow, did you call that one!
Do you realize that when the Tigers won the Series in 1968 it had been "only" 23 years since the previous victory?
Yes, we're in a slump.
But there's always next year. The good, the bad and the ugly, as I see it:
We'll have Martinez back, and it seems as though Garcia was a gift from on high. May he have a long, productive career as a Tiger. Also, it looks as though our pitching rotation has settled into place. If we re-sign Sanchez, I think we're ready for 2013.
We really have two needs in the off-season trading/signing market:
A relief pitcher and a shortstop.
Yes, it's time to say adios to the heart-attack under a cap (a.k.a. Malverde) and Peralta. We can do better.
Two folks that we must kiss goodbye: Quentin Berry and Jim Leyland.
Berry seemed too good to be true, and he was. A long-term veteran of the minor leagues, he was the find nobody expected. But as the season wore on, we found out why so many other organizations passed him up. He's really fast, but all his other talents don't make him a legitimate talent. With young talent like Garcia, and veteran experience like Martinez returning, there's no room on the roster.
Finally, Leyland must go. He brought the Tigers into the playoffs with the worst record of any playoff team, and they performed well above that in the post-season. But in the end, the team failed.
If the bus won't start, shoot the bus driver.
Many plaudits will be posted for Leyland over the next few weeks. He's not a bad guy. He's just a guy who's time has passed. He's been given many opportunities, and has not delivered the big enchilada. This is not Catholic Charities job program. Fire the man.
Give him a graceful out. Let him take a few weeks off, and then tell him to retire.