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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Playoffs? PLAYOFFS?

Three weeks ago Friday, the Detroit Tigers fan base was collectively holding its breath, as the Cleveland Indians had cut the Tigers' American League Central lead to 1.5 games. Especially nerve-wracking was the thought that the two teams were about to face off, and Tigers ace Justin Verlander was not going to throw.

A sweep of the Indians that weekend, followed by a sweep of the then-surging Chicago White Sox, followed by a road sweep in Cleveland this week, and the Tigers fans are preparing for the postseason.

That's what happens when you win 16 of 20 games — and five of six series, splitting the other — in that same three-week span. When your "magic number" shrinks to 12 with 19 games left, websites like start listing your playoff chances at 99.5 percent.

And your franchise starts getting ready to host postseason games.

The Tigers announced Thursday that tickets for the Tigers' potential postseason appearance — the franchise's third in a quarter century — will go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. The tickets (limit six per customer) will only be available online ( or by calling 866-66-TIGER.

Major League Baseball's postseason is scheduled to start Friday, Sept. 30. The Tigers go into Thursday's games holding a half-game lead over the Texas Rangers for home-field advantage in the American League Division Series. Whichever of those two teams finishes ahead of the other in the overall standings will host the Wild Card team (nearly a foregone conclusion that it will be the second-place team from the AL East), while the other team visits the AL East champion.

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