Missed the playoffs in 2009 by that much.

It was Labor Day 2009 and the Detroit Tigers held a commanding lead in the AL Central, 7 games over the Minnesota Twins. All things were looking perfect for the Tigers as they had just won six-in-a-row over the Indians and the Rays, and then they traveled to Kansas City and the bottom fell out. Over the last 25 games they would go 11 – 14 while the Twins played an incredible 18-7 over the same stretch and put the dagger in the Tigers in the 163rd game of the season winning 6-5.

What might be even crazier is that a week later, on September 14, the Tigers still held a 5-1/2 game lead over the Twins meaning the Twins played 14-4 the final 18 games of the season with the Tigers going 9-9 in the same stretch. You can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen in the AL Central, since a lot of the players and coaches are still on the Tigers. Let’s be honest though, a lot of talent would have to go South in a hurry. The Tigers made key acquisitions throughout the season to fortify their team, and when you look at a line-up that just scored 26 runs over the last 14 innings against the Sox it’s hard to picture the offense shutting down.

Part of what makes the AL Central great is the parody and  chances are this division race is far from over, especially when you look at the Tigers’ just two seasons ago. It could be an entertaining finish, stay tuned.

The Tigers square off against the Indians at 1:05pm today, while the demoralized White Sox take on the Twins in a day/night doubleheader beginning at 1:10pm.