1987 Detroit Tigers
From BR Bullpen
 1987 Detroit Tigers / Franchise: Detroit Tigers / BR Team Page
Managed by Sparky Anderson
 History, Comments, Contributions
The 1987 Detroit Tigers were known as the cardiac kids.. coming back on the final weekend of the season to beat the Toronto Blue Jays on the final weekend of the season.... the 3 game series vs the Blue Jays were like the Tigers' playoffs in 87. as they were spent when the faced the underdog Minnesota Twins and lost in 5 games... the tigers started off the season 11-19. Big things I remember about that season was the weekend series up in Toronto when the Tigers lost 3 of 4 Thursday on the Lou Whitaker error on a play at the plate, Saturday on the Juan Beniquez bases loaded double on the bottom of the 9th They won Sunday as Kirk Gibson tied it with a home run... People forget [[Tony Fernandez and Ernie Whitt were injured in the final series vs Detroit.... Bill Madlock was a spark plug for Detroit that year coming over from LA.... Matt Nokes had a big year also to replace Lance Parrish, who defected to the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent.. firstname.lastname@example.org
One more point that should be added concerning this team was the addition of Doyle Alexander. The Tigers acquired him for a minor league pitcher named John Smoltz before the trading deadline. And man did it end up being a pretty strong trade - for the short term that is. Doyle was simply outstanding. He finished the season in a Tigers' uniform with a 9-0 mark and a 1.53 ERA in 11 starts. He finished three of those games. If I remember correctly his dominance down the stretch may have earned him Cy Young votes. This trade is still discussed among Tiger fans. Knowing what we now know about Smoltz's career, was this trade worth it. We don't win the 1987 AL East without him but we lost out on a great pitcher that could've been a key player to our rotation for years. I side with the trade being worth it. When in contention you have to make your move. And it's obvious the Tigers had a good chance to win this thing as evidenced by the AL East title. Contributed by David Troppens
A bit more of a summary. - Most publications had the Tigers finishing about fourth entering the season and after that 11-19 start no one really had thoughts of AL East championships dancing through their heads. - Alan Trammell had never been a cleanup hitter in his Tiger career but with the loss of Lance Parrish, Sparky Anderson inserted him in the lineup. It ended up being a brilliant move. Trammell put up numbers that - at the time - were pretty eye-popping for a shortstop (.343, 28, 105). He clearly was the Tigers' season long MVP. By season's end there was talk who would win the MVP title - Toronto's George Bell or Trammell? In the final weekend Trammell went 3-for-9 with four walks. In that mix included a solo homer in a Friday one-run victory and the game-winning RBI-single in a 12-inning contest. Bell went 1-for-11 and did not contribute a run scored or an RBI. Bell still won the MVP. That's another historical point that Tiger fans like to discuss to this day. - Since the progressive importance of bullpens I don't know if there was a team that has won something like 98 games with the suspect pen the Tigers had. Willie Hernandez changed his name to Guillermo (actually that was his real name) and allowed gopher balls en route to an eight-save season. Eric King took his turn in the pen and led the team with nine. By season's end a rookie named Mike Henneman took over the closer role. He finished the yaer with seven saves. Another that took his turn as a closer was lefty Mark Thurmond, posting five saves. It's hard to believe in today's specialized pitching era that a team could win 98 games with no stud in the pen with double-digit save totals. This team did it. That's just another point in a long list of factoids that may prove this was Sparky's best managerial job during his Tigers' tenure. Probably the only that could give it a good argument would be 1988.