To the players, the Tigers might be playing their best baseball at just the right time. The subject was: "The Tigers need you, and so do I." "The Tigers," he wrote, "need a writer to come forward and support this team." Yet the Tigers have given those fans some anxiety. It took 160 games for them to clinch an American League Central title so many expected them to run away with, and this was a feat due at least as much to the stunning collapse of the White Sox in the final weeks as it was to the Tigers' resolve. The goal all along has been a World Series championship for 83-year-old owner Mike Ilitch, who committed $214 million to Prince Fielder when Victor Martinez hurt his knee; and for the city of Detroit, which has sent at least 2 million people to Comerica Park every season.