My 2013 Tigers moment of the year was definitely Mariano vs Miguel. It was hall of famer vs. hall of famer. Miggy vs. The SandMan. Miggy fouling pitches off of his left leg to the point he actually changed his stance. Then pounding one over the CF fence. The look on Mariano's face of surprise and horror mixed with respect for Cabrera was a defining moment for me (lots of people agree here).
Actually, the 2013 Tigers season in review is filled with closer memories including Rivera of course, but also Balfour's blow up with VMart which might have turned the series around for the Tigers. And, of course, Papi crushing a HR over the right field fence in the ALCS against Benoit which seemed to be the definiing moment and finishing blow for the Tigs. The closer should be someone the other teams fear. When Enter Sandman comes on, thats the end of the night for the other team. When other closers like Uehara for Boston and Joe Nathan for Texas have come into the game in the past couple years, I start packing up my stuff to leave Comerica knowing that we don't stand much chance.
However, the Tigers closers have not been nearly as feared for the last 2 seasons. The Valverde debacle of 2012 and 2013 was a nightmare. And Benoit was decent last year, but his tendency to give up the long ball must have had opposing batters salivating. Will this year be different with newly acquired, 39 year old, Joe Nathan taking the closers role this year? Nathan had a career year last year, but you have to wonder how much he's got left in the tank. With the Tigers personnel changes of getting stingier on defense, with less power and more speed, one has to think that there will be more close games. This would mean that the role of the closer will be even more important this year. Thats why I think Joe Nathan is the guy that needs to step up big for the Tigers this year if they are going to win a championship? What are your thoughts?