Monday, July 31, 2006

MONDAY MORNING MANAGER: Week 17

Sunday's Hiccup Aside, Tigers In Good Shape
For "Dog Days"

(my weekly take on the Tigers)

Last Week: 4-2
This Week: (7/31-8/3: at TB; 8/4-6: CLE)

The Dog Days.

No other sport than baseball has them -- that I'm aware of, anyway.

They officially begin Tuesday, August 1st. For whatever reason, you can't have Dog Days until August. It's a month that has derailed many a pennant contender. Ballclubs with chinks in their armor have those chinks cruelly exposed during the Dog Days. Hopefuls who don't have enough of what it takes see their delusions of grandeur spoiled by the remains of the Dog Days.

Yes, even teams who close July with records like 70-34 -- as the Tigers are now -- have fallen victim to the Dog Days. But not very often. Teams who play at such a clip for nearly two-thirds of the season are rarely pretenders. 67% of a season played at a 67% rate of success isn't done with smoke and mirrors, folks. Those teams usually have nothing to worry about during the Dog Days.

The Tigers, whether they make a move or not before today's non-waiver trading deadline, are one of those majority teams who shouldn't have many worries as they navigate through August's Dog Days. They fumbled away a game in Minneapolis yesterday, but that's so atypical of them. You don't play sound, fundamental baseball with the kind of pitching the Tigers have, for 104 games, then see it all come crashing down in one month. They are shoo-ins, I believe, for a playoff spot -- most likely the AL Central crown.

The Tigers have put themselves in this position because they play aggressive, proper baseball -- both at the plate and in the field. The meltdown in Minnesota yesterday was, blissfully, a rare exception. The August schedule is chock full of divisional opponents, which is an excellent opportunity for the Tigers to, at the very least, maintain their lead at a comfortable level.

Even with Second Half Kenny arriving on schedule, don't fear the Dog Days.

The Tigers, baseball's dogs for years, are about to have THEIR day.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ozz said...

Woof!

12:16 AM  

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