BACK TALK How will the Tigers do in the second half?

You and I have something in common with the Detroit Tigers, Dylan. Until now, we’ve all taken the summer off.

You and I have taken time off from writing our weekly “Back Talk” column. The Tigers, on the other hand, have taken the summer off from everything — pitching, hitting, running, sliding, catching and playing winning baseball, like everyone predicted they will do.

Well, it’s time for all of us to get back to work, son, you, me, Prince, Miggy, centerfield A.J., the new kid Quintin Berry, old-curmudgeon Leyland and all the rest of the Tigers.

Even Ryan Raburn has to get back to work. Especially Ryan Raburn. But with all due respect to Mr. Raburn, Dylan, the truth of the matter is you and I have our hands full with our own work at hand, case-in-point, getting back to writing our weekly “Back Talk” columns.

So, this week we’re asking the question: How do we think the Tigers will do in the second half of the season?

Win, Dylan, they’re going to win.

The Tigers are going to win their division, they’re going to win their league title and they’re going to win the World Series.

As sure as Ryan Raburn is going to win the Triple Crown this year — lead the league in batting average, home runs and runs-batted-in — the Tigers are going to win it all. All right, that’s a poor analogy. Not fair, not true, not funny.

What is fair is to say the Tigers will find their groove these next couple of months and live up to all the preseason hype that had them the team to beat this year.

Few teams will beat the Tigers from here on out. No team will beat them in post-season play.

Miguel Cabrera? He’ll win the MVP award in the American League this year.

Justin Verlander? He’ll be our Cy Young winner. Again.

Prince Fielder? He’ll lead the league in home runs.

Manager Jim Leyland? Maybe he won’t win Manager of the Year top honors, but he will continue to scare, intimidate and cuss out sports writers. And, that’s cool.

The first half of the season was strange, by every stretch of the imagination. But, it’s over with. It’s time to move on. It’s time for the Tigers to get back to winning, just like it’s time for you and I, Dylan, to get back to writing.

There is no question in my mind, what-so-ever, the Tigers will win it all, just as everyone thought.

I do have one question, though, and that’s for you, Dylan — how does it feel to be the Ryan Raburn of the newsroom?

If anyone needs to hit a home run with his writing, kid, it’s you. Your little summer break is over, son.

Batter up!


Posted by David L. Barber

David L. Barber is the retired editor of the Manistee News Advocate. He contributes columns weekly for the News Advocate. You can contact him at

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