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Detroit Tigers' Play of the Year: Andy Dirks' takeout slide

Baseball, by its very nature, is harder to pin down than other sports. But here's a moment that may have changed it all.

Dave Reginek

There are 162 games in a season. There are up to 54 outs in a regulation game. There are several hundred pitches total, and multiple times the ball is hit in the general direction of a fielder.

Add it up and you've got a lot of opportunities for game-changing moments of the year. In fact, that became a running joke this year. The Tigers "turned the corner" so many times by the midway point of the year I created an image that summed it up.

So, I hate to pick any one moment as being THE turning point of the year.

But since this is a blog, and you like to talk baseball during the offseason, and we've got plenty of time, especially you lucky dogs who have the week off, I thought I'd pick the most memorable play of the year that really, really mattered.

Without doubt it's an easy image to bring to mind.

It's Sept. 26. The Tigers are tied with the White Sox in the division with the season in make-or-break territory.

The Tigers and Royals are tied 4-4 in the eighth inning. Jhonny Peralta appeared to ground into an inning-ending double play that would have stranded the go-ahead run. Andy Dirks had other things on his mind:

The Tigers won the game 5-4. They went a game up in the division that day. They never handed that lead back and won the Central title before heading to a World Series run.

That's my play. What's yours?