Mlb Tickets And Motown The Tigers Are Headed For The Fall Classic

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MLB tickets in Detroit in late October? Those words haven’t been put together for awhile, and it’s now been settled that Detroit will be a part of the World Series after all. The Tigers have been on a bit of a roller coaster ride throughout the 2006 season, but it appears that their late-season swoon is behind them.

The Tigers dominated the heavily-favored Yankees in the ALDS, and they destroyed the Oakland A’s in the ALCS, winning the series 4-0. How have they come this far? There are a few factors to consider, and we’ll look at each of them below.

Jim Leyland

Pundits and fans seem to historically downplay the importance of managers in baseball. Cop-outs like “they’re professionals,” “there really isn’t that much strategy involved” and “these guys make millions, so why would a manager who makes less than them command respect” are all “reasons” people give for managers being unimportant.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. Leyland took a young and talented team and, through the course of the season, taught them how to win with the help of a few veterans. Leyland always seems to make the right decision at the right time, and that includes batting orders, pinch hitting decisions and setting the pitching rotation. Leyland has won everywhere he’s gone, and he is as responsible as anyone for MLB tickets being relevant in Detroit again after years of the Tigers wallowing in irrelevance.

Veteran Leadership

Of course, as mentioned above, Leyland couldn’t have done this all by himself. Leyland knows that he needs clubhouse leaders to echo his message, and players such as Pudge Rodriguez are invaluable to a team that needs leadership. Pudge has been to the top of the mountain before, and his example-setting has helped steer the Tigers towards prominence. Rodriguez also plays an important role on the field, as any catcher would. When people mention how rookie pitcher Justin Verlander manages a game like a veteran, that’s as much a compliment for Pudge as it is for Verlander.

Players Stepping Up

Every championship team needs an otherwise-unsung player to step up in a big moment during the postseason. If you’re a Braves fan, you remember Sid Bream. If you’re a Yankees fan, you remember Jim Leyritz. This is hardly a profound revelation, but the teams that reach baseball’s postseason are good teams. Specifically, that means that they understand how to game plan around certain stars. The logical result of this quality of play is that “someone else” often needs to deliver.

In game two of the ALCS, that unsung hero turned out to be Alexis Gomez. Gomez was claimed on waivers earlier in the year from the Royals, of all teams, and his season to this point was about as non-descript as a season could be: six RBI’s in 103 AB’s in 2006. He was a career minor leaguer, but Leyland decided to put him in the lineup, and he delivered with four RBI’s to help put the Tigers in a commanding position.

Overall, the Tigers are on their way, and this is the first appearance for the Tigers in the World Series since 1984. After 22 years, MLB tickets are once available in Detroit for the World Series.

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