It would be naive to assume that a 5-1 start implies everything is fine. The Detroit Tigers were heavy favorites to finish third in the AL Central; not many believe they were worse than that, but fewer thought they were better. Their entire roster had more question marks than Edward Nigma's evening wear. But just about all of the players who caused concerns loudly responded to the criticism.
Will Magglio Ordoñez regain his swing? So far he's 12-for-26 (.462) with two home runs. It was a drastic drop-off in power when his slugging went from .595 in 2007 to .494 in '08 and then .428 last year. But while he still hit an impressive .310, The Big Tilde was roundly (and deservedly) reamed for making $18 million and hitting just nine home runs ... only for his automatic team option to be triggered. He was dropped in the lineup. He was played as a DH. Nothing was working. But his focus is back after his wife has recovered from thyroid cancer last year.
Has Miguel Cabrera gotten over his personal issues? Well, when it comes to alcohol abuse, nobody beats it completely. This is an ongoing battle for anyone. But when his embarrassing domestic violence incident overlapped during the Tigers' late season collapse, he became the face of apathy. Hitting a homer in Game No. 163 helped, but he also needs a big year to put that blush-worthy incident behind him. So far he's hitting 12-for-23 (.522) with a pair of home runs while registering an insanely good .621 on-base percentage.
What about the rookies? Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore were almost entitled starting jobs in the spring. I wasn't too keen on this, especially with Sizemore at second (Free Ryan Raburn!). And sure, the Tigers' lone loss occurred because his error on the cutoff throw let the winning run score, but I won't put that entirely on him. Also, Jackson is tied for the league lead in strikeouts (nine in 27 at bats), but nobody's expecting these guys to be Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco right away. In short, they are limiting their mistakes — plus, it doesn't hurt that everyone else is contributing.