Detroit Tigers Links: Detroit's struggling offense & Tampa Bay locks up spot in postseason

Mike Ehrmann

Detroit's struggling offense poses big questions entering the postseason, projecting the Tigers' playoff roster, and the Tampa Bay Rays move on to the postseason. These stories and more in today's Morning Prowl.

Detroit links:

Tigers' middling performance with ailing Miguel Cabrera is evidence of his value
The Detroit News, Kurt Mensching

Even if you don't think Miguel Cabrera should be the Most Valuable Player, you can't deny how important he is to his team when healthy.

Tigers offense has vanished at worst possible time
The Detroit News, Lynn Henning

The Tigers have not scored more than four runs in a game since they turned a 6-0 ninth-inning deficit into an 11-inning 7-6 defeat Sept. 21. Bring on the playoffs.

Analysis: Detroit Tigers enter postseason with big questions about offense after bats go suddenly cold
MLive.com, James Schmehl

The Tigers' lack of offense is a problem that was brought to light this weekend when they were swept by the worst team in the National League -- a team that lost 100 games.

Bad ending for Detroit Tigers? Nah, it's all just beginning
Detroit Free Press, Jeff Seidel

No disrespect to Alvarez, but the Tigers played this game like their bags were packed, the jet was on the runway, and they wanted it to be over before it started.

A Few End 'o' Season Tigers Notes
TigerSnark

The regular season has ended and despite the best efforts of our Detroit Tigers to blow it, the managed to hold on and win the AL Central.

Taking a stab at projecting the Tigers' 2013 playoff roster
Out of Left Field, Matthew B. Mowery

Things have a way of working themselves out.

Tigers vs Athletics: By the Numbers
Motor City Bengals, Chris Hannum

The ALDS that we have been waiting for will start soon. In essence, the whole season does come down to this - the rest was just 162 preseason games.

Around the AL Central:

Indians use strongest finish in team history to win Wild Card
Let's Go Tribe, Jason Lukehart

The Cleveland Indians used an improbable finishing kick to clinch a playoff spot few people believed was possible, and head into the Wild Card game on one of the strongest finishes in baseball history.

Ron Gardenhire signs two-year extension with Twins
HardballTalk, Aaron Gleeman

It's official. Gardenhire gets a two-year deal and his entire coaching staff keeps their jobs.

The year the White Sox became a black comedy
South Side Sox, Jim Margalus

Taking a moment to thank everybody except for most of the people who played the games.

Was 2013 Real or a Mirage?
Royals Review, Clark Fosler

The obvious answer is: yes, the Royals were an 86 win team. After all, they just finished playing 162 real life baseball games to prove it.

Elsewhere in baseball:

Rays reach playoffs behind David Price's complete game
ESPN

David Price, Evan Longoria and the Tampa Bay Rays are going to playoffs again, getting there with a victory in their final regular-season game for the second time in three years.

Miami Marlins selling unused tickets to Sunday’s no-hitter for $15 each
Big League Stew, Mike Oz

The Miami Marlins could have ended their 2013 season on a high note — a no-hitter in the final game of the season, that's something that makes a 62-100 record feel the slightest bit better heading into the postseason. But the Marlins couldn't let the season end without one more cash-grab.

Bud Selig promotes Rob Manfred to COO of Major League Baseball
NY Daily News, Teri Thompson

As expected, baseball commissioner Bud Selig began the formal transition process Monday in preparation for his retirement after next year by appointing Rob Manfred as the new chief operating officer of Major League Baseball.

The Value of Hunter Pence
FanGraphs Baseball, Dave Cameron

Over the weekend, the Giants made the first big signing of the off-season, even though it wasn’t technically the off-season yet.

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