Playoffs? Yes, playoffs!

2012 AL Central Champions!

As much as 97.1 The Ticket’s Mike Valenti will tell you not to, tonight is a night to celebrate. It took longer than “experts” believed it would but here it is, Detroit, your 2012 AL Central Champions!

The Tigers and Royals were locked in a scoreless battle until the 5th inning when Jhonny Peralta hit a solo shot to put Detroit up 1-0. In the 6th inning, Miguel Cabrera flexed his muscles for an opposite field shot to put the Tigers up 2-0 before the bases were loaded. Gerald Laird stepped to the plate and drove in three more runs. After giving up two runs in the bottom of the 6th, the Tigers staked a 6-2 lead.

Leyland strung together a variety of relievers (Albuquerque, Dotel, Benoit, and Valverde) to finish off the game as the final out was an Alcides Escobar groundout to Jhonny Peralta.

However, I do have a few questions and comments regarding our long awaited Division championship celebration.

Who the heck was the random lady who laughed after Justin Verlander had champagne poured on his head?

Is it just me or should Rod, Mario, and John Keating go with only one SHORT question when interviewing Jhonny, Valverde, and Cabrera? As much as I love those guys, I cringe when they breakdown how “they neher had any dous the hole tie”. You gotta keep things like that in mind, guys.

Believe it or not guys, Jim Leyland is actually a good manager. In all of his time as the manager in Detroit, he’s 606-524. He’s taken Detroit to the playoffs three out of seven years and is the one of two managers who have gone to the playoffs with the Tigers three times. Of all the managers in Tigers history, Sparky Anderson, Mayo Smith, Billy Martin, not one has accomplished what Leyland has. And yet people call for his head. Watching that interview in the manager’s office with Mario really speaks to how great of a person he is as well. He really understands how badly the fans want their team to do well and is a class act. Even if he is welcomed back to manage next year, I’m not gonna be too terribly upset.

On a similar note, we were treated to quite the inspiring interview from Quintin Berry. I can imagine him, as he said, running on a treadmill at 11:30 at night somewhere in Pittsburgh, wondering “Is there anyway I could possibly be there one day? Is my baseball career over? What can I do to make that a reality? All I need is one more chance.” Well, Quintin’s hard work has been rewarded. Even if he doesn’t start on a regular basis, he is still a weapon in the Tigers’ arsenal and he possesses a skill that Miguel Cabrera can only dream of: pure speed. He’s the perfect defensive replacement and pinch runner and can also swing the bat well enough to hold his own. Overall, Berry is an excellent story and he can turn it into something even more interesting with his play in the postseason.

By far, the most awkward interview of the night goes to Rod Allen and Brennan Boesch. For a guy that we haven’t seen in about 3 weeks, it was really interesting to see Rod pull him aside for an interview. (That t-shirt looked pretty dry, didn’t it?) Anyway, Rod managed to squeeze a few coherent questions about a “disappointing season”. Props to Rod for making the best of what should have been left alone.

I can’t even begin to imagine how Victor Martinez might feel on a night like tonight. The team, with so many aspirations, made it back to the postseason with out him and all he can do is sit and watch. I’m sure he’s happy that they made it back but no one would want to be in that clubhouse more than V-Mart (besides V-Mart Jr).

Overall, the stress level has been reduced drastically for tomorrow and Wednesday. We will probably see the likes of Don Kelly, Bryan Holaday, Ramon Santiago, Avisail Garcia, and Danny Worth at various positions. I believe either Cabrera or Fielder will DH tomorrow with Kelly filling in at one of the corner spots. Either way, the team needs a mental day off to recover and focus for the postseason at hand.

I’ll leave you with some jokes at the expense of the White Sox:

Question: What’s the difference between a Comerica Park hot dog and a U.S. Cellular Field hot dog?

Answer: You can eat a Comerica Park dog in the playoffs.

Question: What does ChiSox September baseball and a possum have in common?

Answer: They both play dead at home and get killed on the road.

Thanks for reading and Go Tigers!

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About Joe Barroso

Joe Barroso is the creator and editor of the Sporting Mitten blog as well as a contributor for the Farm Club blog. He began to pursue a career in journalism in 2010 while in high school. He created, produced, and wrote for "Irish Pride Sports Show" a weekly, sports feature show for Father Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor, MI. He grew up in southeastern Michigan playing a variety of sports but was drawn to the game of baseball. Even with his short-lived playing career in high school gone, he still decided to pursue a career reporting happenings in baseball. You can reach him at jayambassador@gmail.com.
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