The Tigers won big in 84 with a stellar club. They came back essentially the same club in 85 and finished 15 games out.
The Tigers have a solid club, other than closer, admittedly a big if. Evidently the Tigers think they can take care of that problem in house. Maybe. Maybe they have no choice. They've got a solid offense, better than last year, and a solid starting rotation, and some good arms in the bullpen.
So much in baseball depends upon attitude, an intangible. In 84 the Tigers got up in the morning and knew they were going to win a game that day. The next year belonged to someone else.
They are already very close. I can see them winning everything this year. It would not surprise me. I would rather have a bunch of solid players who worked together and had a strong positive winning attitude, than a bunch of superstars with big heads. I like this team. On paper I cannot think of a better one in Tigers history. Both the 68 and 84 teams were disappointed in 67 and 83, and came back determined to win it all the following year.
This is why I like Cabrera so much. Not just for MVP and TC numbers. He moved back to third base to make room for Fielder. There's no stat for that, no WAR statistic, but it's the stuff that wins championships.
Another intangible is the Tigers having the best winning percentage in MLB during 2013, then face their first slump and get knocked out early in the 2013 ALDS.
It's impossible to realize or define any upcoming major league team, almost three months prior to the regular season.