It wasn't easy to watch the Tigers dismantle the once-mighty Yankees on their way to the American League Pennant and World Series.
All I could think about is our 117 days in first place and that it should have been us. But as tempting as it is to think our Sox would have gotten by the A's and Yanks on the way to the promised land, the truth is that it's doubtful we would have.
On the surface, the main reason for the Sox's late-season decline was the overall lack of offense, specifically clutch hitting, with a few pitching bumps in the road. But in my view the biggest issue why we're still not playing is what we didn't have. You can examine our roster and point to some outstanding talent, but what we lacked, and very well might have been the difference between the Sox and the Tigers, boils down to the fact they have Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera and we don't.
By saying that, I mean that the Tigers have arguably the best pitcher in the game in Verlander and the premier offensive force in Cabrera, who won the league's Triple Crown. That statement shouldn't be taken as any disrespect for Paul Konerko, Alex Rios, Adam Dunn and their teammates or the other Tigers, but in my view that twosome was the difference--especially in the lopsided season series which Detroit dominated. The Sox simply don't have that level of impact players.
The Sox, A's and Bronx Bombers all experienced what Verlander and Cabrera can do. And I predict that either the Cardinals or Giants will go down as well.