LAKELAND, Fla. — If there's any doubt what the Detroit Tigers' objective is this season, team president and general manager Dave Dombrowski made it clear Thursday afternoon shortly before the Tigers' exhibition home opener.
Dombrowski addressed the crowd as the Tigers opened their home exhibition season at Joker Marchant Stadium. He spoke for a few minutes, and here's how he concluded:
"We have some of the most exciting, fun players to watch in the game of baseball. You look at the reigning two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera (and) Cy Young Award winner last year, Max Scherzer. And many other stars that are basically too many to name them all.
"But it's a situation where we have a good club, a fun club to watch. I know you'll enjoy watching us not only this year during the spring but during the regular season. And our goal is one this year, and that's to come back and bring a world championship back here with us next spring. Thank you very much."
In Wednesday's exhibition opener, the Tigers used speed to win in a way they seldom have in the last few decades. The game provided signs of what the team's new speed - and manager Brad Ausmus' emphasis on baserunning - could bring about.
In the 6-5 victory over Atlanta, the Tigers didn't have an extra-base hit. Only once in the last 20 years in the regular season have the Tigers scored at least six runs in a game in which they didn't have an extra-base hit. According to Baseball-Reference.com, it was a 6-3 win over the White Sox in 2010. In that game, the Tigers had 13 hits, all singles, and no steals.