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Sean Casey: 'You’ve got to find a way to keep yourself sharp'

The Tigers' best hitter in the 2006 World Series talks about what went wrong with his club and what Detroit might be able to change in 2012 to avoid that kind of situation.

Courtesy MLB Network

You remember 2006. Doubtlessly it's already a concern in your mind.

In 2006, the Tigers beat the Yankees in the ALDS in four games, then swept the A's in four more in the ALCS. Then sat around for about a week while the NLCS went all the way to seven games.

You know the rest of the story. The Tigers appeared to come out flat and never really seemed to get untracked. Detroit's first appearance in the World Series in 22 years was little more than a bad memory. They lost in five games. We celebrated all of what 2006 meant to the franchise and enjoyed all the high points of the year, but having the season end on a sour note like that left a bit to be desired.

Now, the Tigers have beaten the A's in five and swept the Yankees, and they're World Series bound.

But are they picking up steam, or will all that momentum be lost?

On MLB Network, Sean Casey, who was a member of the 2006 team, discussed what went wrong.

"Last time in 2006, we rolled through the Yankees and then we rolled through the A's. Then, we got to a situation where the Cardinals and the Mets went to seven games. We were hot, we were swinging the bats, we were doing everything well. We came in to the World Series feeling great.

We had six days off and we went flat out cold in the World Series. No one could hit. We struggled the whole time. It was one of those things where we didn't know what to do. We had six days off and Jimmy Leyland said, ‘The first two days, you guys go home.' [The] next four days, we tried to have simulated games, tried to do some things...We flat out struggled...I think they're gonna find a way to get at-bats.

You know they're gonna find a way to either get the Triple-A team there or go down to Lakeland. They have a game plan, they'll reveal here it soon ...They're gonna have five days off, that's almost two All-Star breaks. You've got to find a way to keep yourself sharp."

(Quotes provided to us by MLB Network PR)

Casey, it should be noted, was one of few Tigers who had a successful World Series in the box score. He hit .529 with two home runs and five RBI. Carlos Guillen and Brandon Inge were the only other batters to hit above .200 in the series.

But if Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez can stay sharp, the World Series might go a lot better this year, Casey says.

"Stuff wins out in the postseason. This is the team nobody wanted to play in the postseason. They were scuffling...Now, they're in and now you're starting to see the stuff they have. ... [It] has been overpowering everybody in the postseason."

The World Series opens Wednesday in a National League park -- probably St Louis's, as the Cardinal lead the Giants 3-1 in the NLCS. At this point, I'm rooting for it to end tonight just so they've got a while to cool off, too.

Casey will be a part of MLB Network's "MLB Tonight" featuring analysis and highlights on-site before and after every World Series game.