Alas…

Alas for the Tigers.

The sad thing is, they played up to their potential.

To be sure, there are bright spots: Verlander and Porcello are solid bedrock for the future. Ordonez is here for another year. And Inge has heart.

Yet-

Jackson was a mirage. He is done.

Likewise, Polanco is done if you ask me. At least he is probably done here.

And while Inge and arguably Granderson and Laird have heart and defensive skills, all three are kind of becoming Ben Wallaces of the baseball diamond: they can play defense, but do you really want to see these guys come to the plate? Particularly Granderson if a lefty is pitching?

Oh, and it turns out that Cabrera is maybe not the best clubhouse (or for that matter house-house) guy.

Do not get me started on Rayburn. His throw may have saved the game for a moment, but his bonehead play before that cost his team a season.

I see this thing getting worse next year before it gets better. The pitching staff was held together by luck, bubblegum, and bailing wire this year. The bullpen will probably be exposed for what it truly is in 2010. And while Porcello and Verlander give you a chance on their days, this team needs more than two starters.

And this team needs a lineup-not three hitters and a bunch of guys who can field. The 1985 Cardinals spring to mind when I watch this team bat. That difference being, that team knew how to squeeze out runs with their limited talent. This one doesn’t.

And so the Tigers, in their collapse, bring yet more shame upon an admittedly shameful and hurting city. At least they did not wait till the final game of the World Series to give up-as the Wings did in the Stanley Cup Finals.

With the laughable Lions, the aforementioned Wings, and the rudderless Pistons, I predict a long, cold, and futile winter.

So, let us wait for Spring, and hope Dombrowski fares better in the off season than his team did over the past month.

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