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John Lowe Sees Possibility of Success

With recent signings and past years of failure aside, John Lowe of the Free Press feels that this Tigers team may be able to make some noise. Why? Well, because of the emergence of guys like Chris Shelton and Placido Polanco and (hopefully) the health of Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen:

The Tigers finished 71-91, 28 games behind the first place Chicago White Sox. But Chris Shelton played only four months, and Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen and Placido Polanco each played about three.

Imagine having them together for the full six-month season.

"It's all in place," Gardenhire said.

Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers' president and general manager, apparently agrees. Unlike his pursuit of Ivan Rodriguez two years ago and Ordonez last winter, Dombrowski probably won't have to spend January chasing a big hitter. He began this off-season by saying he liked the Tigers' lineup, and he hasn't done anything to change it.

After last week's addition of free-agent pitchers Kenny Rogers and Todd Jones, Dombrowski said his club was "pretty well set" for next season.

This makes sense to me, and I can't help but be optimistic. It's in my blood. The key factor in my optimism is the fact that the Tigers have never really been great since I started following them (or since I can remember).

I consider it a cautious optimism, though. I know that guys get hurt, which could easily happen to an often-injured Guillen or the recently injured Ordonez. I know that guys will go on slumps, which is what Vance Wilson had all of last year, and Chris Shelton could be due for one at some point. Everything will have to fall into place very well for this team to compete in any way for the division. Especially with the White Sox (who seemed to have gotten better this offseason already) sitting atop it.

It'll be fun as always to watch it.