POLL: How Far Do You Expect the Tigers to Climb This Season?
Confident chatter about a power lineup is heard before Opening Day – and not just locally.
For baseball fans everywhere, this week is brightened by the gleam of a fresh season -- 162 games stretching into early fall. Nothing is in the way of "maybe this year" confidence.
For Detroit Tigers fans, optimism rises from solid ground as the team relocates from Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, FL, to Comerica Park for Thursday's opener against Boston.
Last year's Central Division champions, who fell two games short of reaching the World Series, have gained power hitter Prince Fielder. His addition to the lineup fuels headlines like this one Sunday in The New York Times: Tigers Poised to Break Through.
"Predicting a champion is wildly imperfect . . . but these Tigers have that look," Times sportswriter Tyler Kepner observes. "In [Miguel] Cabrera and Fielder, [manager Jim] Leyland has something close to the perfect middle of the order to run away with the American League Central."
A hometown baseball writer, John Lowe of the Free Press, sees strength beyond those power hitter. "Nearly every spot in the order features a bona fide slugger," he wrote Sunday.
All this has fans pumped. "Gonna be a great year," Thomas Heincy of Dearborn posted on Fox Sports Detroit's Facebook page. Lake Orion High graduate Jon Wasielewski, comments there: "Maybe this will be the year!!!"
"Ticket sales have been good," a Tigers executive vice president told The Detroit News last week. "Coming off last year's team performance, enthusiasm was high. And then with the signing of Prince Fielder, things took off and went to another level."
Let us know what you predict.