The Detroit Tigers concluded a disappointing first half of the season by losing three straight to a team they have dominated all season, dropping their record to 44-44 in the process. Coming into this season, the Tigers were expected to still be the class of the AL Central, even with aging stars and players coming off of injury. An 11-2 start prompted many to declare the Tigers as the best team in baseball, and World Series favorite. A 33-42 record (.440 winning percentage) since the 11-2 start has turned the Tigers from World Series caliber team into a team without an identity.
So what exactly can the Tigers call themselves?
The Tigers brass continues to claim that they are in winning mode this season, and claim that they will be buyers at the deadline.
Tigers fans, and many writers, believe the Tigers are in need of a sell off, considering the state of their farm system and impending free agents likely to leave at seasons end.
Are they considered even a playoff team at this point? With their 44-44 record, they are still only 3.5 games out of the second Wild Card. If they don’t start stringing together some wins, they will soon find themselves in a hole that is inescapable.
Will they be considered a desirable location to play after this season if they sell off and finish third or worse in their division? Many free agents desire the ability of a team to “win now”. The Tigers will still have the likes of All-Stars Miguel Cabrera, Jose Iglesias, Victor Martinez, and J.D. Martinez after this season is over, but will a big name free agent commit to a potential mini-rebuild?
The Tigers are at a crossroads this season when it comes to defining the 2015 campaign. It is territory that we as fans have not seen since the likes of the early 2000’s. It is scary knowing that the Tigers run at the top is likely coming to an end, but for how long remains to be seen. As of right now, this team needs to create an identity for themselves this season before it’s too late.