Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
When the season started, I felt that if everything went right and the Tigers got a couple of fortunate breaks, they could compete. If not, they'd be a .500 ballclub. And while everything was going right in the first half, we've seen the bottom fall out on that one. Even with Brandon Inge and Carlos Guillen returning, the Tigers are still handicapped by missing number three hitter in Magglio Ordonez, as well as missing the production of Brennan Boesch, who has disappeared for the most part. While the pitching staff has held up, the team will not compete so long as they're averaging under 3 runs per game, which they are since the All-Star break. And without Ordonez or a productive Boesch, the Tigers aren't going to have much of a hope of doing anything more than sticking around .500.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
The fan in me would love to believe that the Tigers are going to make a run and get back into contention, but the analyst in my just won't let my mind get on board with that idea. As much as Guillen and Inge are capable of contributing to this team, in tangible and intangible ways, I just don't see them being the difference makers for the Tigers down the stretch. A return by Magglio Ordonez or an adjustment and improved performance by Brennan Boesch would help much more. The Tigers are on the verge of a free fall without any protection for Miguel Cabrera in the lineup, and even a hot run of pitching by the entire staff may not be able to save them. I don't expect the Tigers to completely tank the rest of the way, but I also don't expect them to get any closer than six or seven games out of the Division race either.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
The return of Brandon Inge and Carlos Guillen will certainly help, but if the Tigers are going to return to their winning ways, they must start firing on all cylinders. Inge and Guillen's presence in the lineup should help the offense, but the Tigers must also get solid pitching from the starters and the bullpen. Heading into this week, the Tigers find themselves nine games behind the White Sox and in third place. A run is certainly possible, but the three-game series the Tigers have in Chicago will loom large in determining whether or not they'll get back in the race.
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