There could have been some infighting when the Detroit Tigers were languishing below .500 midway through the season, or even when they trailed the Chicago White Sox deep into September.
This was the team, after all, that won the AL Central last year, and was only supposed to get better with the signing of Prince Fielder. But the lofty expectations out of spring training had been long forgotten by everyone outside the clubhouse, the season so often close to being written off.
Then the White Sox started to falter, the Tigers finally started to play defense, and all the pieces came together for a joyous ride that ended in a raucous celebration Monday night.
The Tigers, paced by MVP front-runner Miguel Cabrera, beat the Kansas City Royals 6-3 to clinch back-to-back division titles for the first time since the 1934-35 seasons.
''It was a rocky road, it was a tough season, but in this business, you have to be able to take some hits,'' Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. ...