Without Ordonez, time to look to 2011

Without the always-entertaining Magglio Ordonez, the Tigers' path to the playoffs is rough. Getty Images

In many ways, the Detroit Tigers' season ended July 24 when Magglio Ordonez broke his ankle while sliding into home plate in the third inning. A few innings later, Carlos Guillen departed with a severe enough calf strain to hit the disabled list as well, where he joined not only Ordonez but also Brandon Inge, who had suffered a fractured metacarpal the previous week. The devastation wrought by this injury stack left the Tigers with a lineup half-full of Triple-A fodder, one which was no-hit by Matt Garza two nights later.

The Tigers did look good early -- they spent much of the first half in second place, trailing the Minnesota Twins, then surpassed the Twins for a bit. Then, through Sunday, they lost 15 of 19 games, saw their playoff odds plummet, and are presently looking up at the Twins and the Chicago White Sox; they're seven games back in the AL Central.

Can they get back in this thing? All signs point to no.