KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The celebration lasted until the wee hours of the morning.
The Detroit Tigers went out and took care of business against the Kansas City Royals 6-3, out lasting and out distancing the Chicago White Sox for the American League Central Division title.
Not only did the Tigers outrun the White Sox but they also caught up with the good folks that jumped off of the band wagon passed them by with a ceremonial wave and maybe have put a hush on the critics who described this team as an underachieving team and there was just of not enough of urgency on the diamond.
“We are laid back,” Tigers’ outfielder Andy Dirks said with champaign dripping off of his head. “But we really do play with intensity.”
Leading the way for the Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who hit his league leading 44th home run of the season and placed a strong grip on winning the Triple Crown but he is also making a strong bid in making a statement about being the Most Valuable Player of the American League.
Cabrera attacked the Royals’ pitching and finished the game with four more hits for the season.
Cabrera’s home run sailed over the right field fence in the fifth inning giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead, he hit the home run off of the Royals’ starting pitcher Bruce Chen.
The Tigers asked starting pitcher Rick Porcello to do just enough and give them a quality start, he did just enough to do a good job and allow Detroit Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland to set up his pitching rotation for the post season.
After the game and sitting behind his desk, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost said he thinks that the Tigers could make a lot of noise in the playoffs.
“They have starting pitching,” Yost said. “They have power; they’ve got a good bullpen. So I imagine they have a chance to go pretty deep.”
Leyland who had been under scrutiny from fans and the media in some of the questionable batting lineups during the season will probably rest some players the last two games of the season.
“I’m having a helluva time,” Leyland said. “This is what we play for when we go to spring training. We got a chance- a chance – a possibility of playing for the big prize. That’s what you do this for. That’s why Mr. Ilitch owns the team, to get the big prize.”
“I’m proud of the fact that I’ve had the opportunity to manage the Tigers for seven years,” Leyland said. “I’ve enjoyed it.”
The Tigers still have two games left with the Royals at Kauffman Stadium, so there is plenty of business to take care of before the date with history Saturday October 5, 2012 at home in side Comerica Park in the city where the sweet music of championship baseball will continue to be playing and the Tigers are hoping to continue the celebration.
“I think God, I think God for the 3 million people who attended games at Comerica Park,” Leyland said. “I think God for all the people who couldn’t afford to get to the park but were with us in spirit.”