We can absorb the numbers until we're overloaded with data, but no matter what figures you digest, the conclusion is obvious.
This year's Tigers team is the best we've seen since the World Series championship season of 1984.
It's been 30 years since this organization has had such a starting rotation. It's been that long since it has possessed a lock-down closer, and it's been at least that long since Detroit baseball fans have seen a club with such ability to win in different ways.
Recently, this team had relied on the power arms and power bats.
Now, it's a team that wins in so many different ways. It puts pressure on the defense with base stealing threats (they already have more steals this year than all of last season). It works the count, and forces defenses to be on high alert for squeezes, hit and runs and going opposite field.
They have four of the top 11 hitters in the league (Martinez, Cabrera, Kinsler and Hunter). There are only 13 batters in the A.L. hitting over .300 and Detroit has four of them. The starting staff leads the league in ERA and the bullpen, despite the early struggles, has been the best in the league since May 1st.
While we praise the players, we need to spread the love to manager Brad Ausmus for his ability have the temperature of this team. He also deserves a ton of credit for keeping pitching coach Jeff Jones and bench coach Gene Lamont. Not every first-year manager would have done that. Too many coaches and general managers feel the need to make changes or bring in "their guy" for the sake of change. Ausmus didn't feel the need to fix something that wasn't broken. Good for him.
Finally, give some credit to Dave Dombrowski. Has he won the Kinsler-Fielder trade? Well, it's early but it sure seems like it. Did he fleece Washington in the Fister-Krol/Ray deal? Again, it seems like it.
But no matter how you view those deals or the free agent acquisitions of Rajai Davis and Joba Chamberlain, give a high-five to Dombrowski for realizing this team needed changes to push it over the top.
I guess we won't truly know if it worked until the post-season begins, but for now, it's fun watching this team strike fear in opponents in a way we haven't seen for a long time.