Friday, March 30, 2007

Toto, I Don't Think We're In 2006 Anymore

It didn't take long for the baseball gods to hint that 2007 will be no walk in the park for the defending American League champion Tigers.

Last season, the Tigers sailed thru the season with hardly any major injuries to key players. Lefthanded starter Mike Maroth and second baseman Placido Polanco were the only regulars who missed significant time.

Now comes news that lefthanded starter Kenny Rogers, who gave us a postseason to remember last fall, has had successful surgery on his left shoulder to remove a blood clot and fix some arteries.

He'll be out until at least July, according to team president and GM Dave Dombrowski.

Righthander Chad Durbin becomes the Tigers' #5 starter.

This is Rogers's first visit to the DL since 2001, and last season he was most durable. Last season, most of the Tigers were. Last season, things mostly went right.

Last season.

It shouldn't surprise many folks around here that the Tigers could be just about as good in 2007 as they were in 2006, yet not make the playoffs. It also shouldn't surprise them that the yellow brick road might have some potholes in it -- that didn't exist ... last season.

Rogers's setback might -- might -- be the first indicator that 2007 and 2006 are one year apart according to the calendar, but light years apart in baseball time.

Then again, maybe this is it for the Tigers, when it comes to major injuries. And Rogers will be back -- in time for the season's second half.

The question remains, though.

Will that be soon enough?


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