I was born in Detroit and although my family left when I was eleven, I have remained a Tigers fan all my life. From 1978 to 1993 the Tigers finished with a winning record twelve times. So much of my early memories, including of course the magical 1984 season, are quite good.
From 1994 to 2005, though, life has been miserable. For these twelve seasons the Tigers played 1,877 games and lost 1,112 times. Their winning percentage never exceeded 48.8% for a season and on average, the Tigers only won 41% of the contests the team played each year.
This year a different story is being told. With the win over the Indians tonight the Tigers are now 35-14 and currently boast the best record in baseball. In April I posted an essay at The Baseball Analysts where I noted that only once in the past 10 years has the team with the best regular season record in baseball won the World Series. So if this stat predicts the future – and for this post we can pretend it does – then the Tigers have a problem. Detroit is winning too much!
Five times in the past ten years the World Series winner had either the third or fourth best record. The third best team in baseball is currently the White Sox. Fourth place is a virtual tie between Arizona, Boston, and the New York Mets. I think if the Tigers have not forgotten their past they can work their way back to the pack. Then again, maybe they should just go for history and try and be the next team to win both the regular season and World Series title in the same year.
By the way, for those interested in quality analysis of the Tigers – unlike what was offered in this post — I recommend Brian Borawski’s TigerBlog. If the Tigers do maintain their winning ways this will be a historical season in Detroit. Brian looks to be providing the kind of analysis that will make this season that much more enjoyable.