Tigers vs. Indians

Best Rivalry

American League Central

April 03, 2005|By PETER SCHMUCK

In this case, tradition trumps tomorrow. The Twins and White Sox probably will end up battling for the division title, but no one is going to get all nostalgic about it. The Tigers and Indians are both on the upswing, and they have a long and storied history of great competition.

Detroit is gambling that $75 million free agent Magglio Ordonez will come back from a serious knee injury to solidify a decent lineup that already includes last year's big free-agent acquisition, Ivan Rodriguez. The Tigers were, of course, totally insane to risk that kind of money on a guy who went to Vienna (the place is known for psychiatrists, not orthopedists) to get his knee fixed, but it makes for an interesting subplot.

The Indians are hoping that young stars Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez and Casey Blake continue to develop into marquee offensive players while the franchise tries to grow a pitching staff. - Peter Schmuck

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