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Archive for November, 2011

2011 Season in Review

Posted by sharris2929 on November 7, 2011

With the end of the season coming just over a month ago, we’ve had a chance to put the 2011 Tigers season in perspective.  It was a remarkable season by any measurement, even more so when you look at the risks coach Jeff Nelson took in putting the team together. 

Nelson took a big gamble.  After years of dismal showing in the league, he sacrificed team chemistry and rolled the dice trying to put together a winner.  He even boldly stated before the season that if this team didn’t finish with a winning record, his managing days were over.  So with the balance between competitiveness and team chemistry at stake, Nelson brought in a big group of new players, with no idea as to what would happen in 2011.

As it turns out, the gamble was worth it.  He not only got a great, great team, but one with even better team chemistry.  In 2011, when the Tigers played up to their collective capabilities, they were the best team in the league, no doubt about it.  And they were even better in the dugout. 

Here’s a look at the month by month progression of the Tigers:

June–Record:  2-2

It was a rough start, as the Tigers began the season with a painful 12-2 loss to the Dogs.  They rebounded with a nice win over the Cardinals, but then blew a winnable game against the Outlaws.  The Outlaw game, however, was the first time that the offense really started rolling.  It would be quite a while before that roll ended.

July–Record:  5-1

The Tigers started off July on a bad note, losing a winnable game to the Dogs.  On July 9th, they beat the Outlaws by the slaughter rule, winning 18-7.  They wouldn’t lose again until August 28th.  They reeled off 4 more wins in the month, and the league took notice that the Tigers were a force to be reckoned with.  They scored 69 runs in just 6 games, and avenged their two early losses.  First place was within reach going into August.

August–Record:  5-1

The month began on a somber note, as an August 4th win proved costly.  Tiger veteran Tom Ruiz was lost to a serious injury, making a shutout win in a silly baseball league seem not important at all.   The winning streak continued through the first four games of the month, and the Tigers mystique grew.  They won a first place showdown with the Brewers on August 10th to take over first place.  A loss in the rematch later in the month ended the winning streak and bumped the Tigers from first place.  But with the playoffs looming, the Tigers proved they would be a difficult hurdle for any team hoping for post season glory.

September-October–Record:  3-3

The Tigers stumbled on the big stage, losing at the Steelyard to the White Sox to kick off September.  They completed their regular season with a 10-8 win over the Red Sox, and went into the post-season as the number 2 seed in the league. A first round matchup against the Red Sox looked promising, but the Tigers played an uncharacteristically sloppy game to fall to the loser’s bracket.  Two lopsided wins later, the Tigers looked to have righted the ship headed into the money rounds of the playoffs.  But another sloppy game ended the season, and the Tigers are left looking forward to 2012.

While a championship season was not to be had, this season can be called nothing but an unmitigated success.  A team made up mostly of strangers tore through the Over the Hill league and came together in a way no one expected.  Most players agreed that it was the most fun they’d ever had playing baseball.  Next season can’t get here soon enough.

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The Tigers voted on some post season awards, and here are the winners:

MVP:  Juan Sanchez

Gold Glove:  Juan Sanchez

Mr. Hustle:  Jeff Nelson

Mr. Anvil:  Dan Titus

Mr. Jock:  Dan Titus

Team Clown:  Scott Harris

Mr. Dependable:  Scott Harris

Mr. Stud: Dave Purkey

Mr. Spark Plug:  Mike Estrada

Mr. Clutch:  Ryan Lytle

Mr. September:  Dave Purkey

Best Tiger Newcomer:  Juan Sanchez

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The calendar has turned to November.  Winter weather is rapidly approaching.  But so are hitting sessions at the cages. 

 The 2012 season will be here before we know it.  The Tigers can’t wait.  Their opponents know that with the foundation they built this season, the Tigers will be even more dangerous in 2012.  Check back here in the offseason for all of your Tiger hot stove news leading up the season.

Thanks for all the views and comments on the site this year. 

Thanks for a great season, Tigers. 

 

 

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