The Detroit Tigers have captured the best start in either league in professional baseball, putting together a 27-14 record that gives them the best winning percentage (.659) and, coming off a series sweep against last year’s World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox, they are shaping up to look like the team to beat all the way into the fall. Of course, a lot could change between now and then, and there’s a reason that the games are played on the field, but the Tigers have just been better than their opponents. In most cases, they’ve been a lot better.
After a hotly debated decision to let star pitcher Max Scherzer play out the season without giving him the sort of mammoth extension that everyone figured he was going to get — something in the realm of seven years and a pile of cash — the Tigers finished their offseason with a bunch of head scratching. Excellently summed up by SBNation, “If the offseason was supposed to be about keeping Scherzer, there’s no way they would balk at a seventh year,” “If it was supposed to be about reinforcing an aging division-winner, there was no reason to trade a valuable rotation piece for a prospect and a closer[that’d be Jose Veras from the Houston Astros],” and “If it was supposed to be about winning at all costs, while still fortifying for the future, where’s the winning at all costs?”
Good questions, and no one’s really sure what the answers are. What we can figure out, though, is why the Tigers are off to such a fantastic run forty-one games into the 2014 season. Read on to see what we’ve got.