You might remember 2012. How the Tigers nearly lost a division title long before they lost a World Series.

And, in each case, it was for the same reason.

They didn't hit.

One by one, half a batting order either dissolved into oblivion or simply stumbled through a year in which every one of them was mostly off-key: Brandon Inge, Ryan Raburn, Brennan Boesch, Delmon Young, Alex Avila, etc.

People forget. On too many days or nights, the Tigers were operating with Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and, for the few months he was healthy, Andy Dirks, as their horsepower. It led to a lot of well-pitched games being wasted and to a pair of 2-0 shutouts in the World Series when the Giants pulled their four-game sweep.

Dirks' reward for being one of those steady few (.322 in 88 games) is to begin this season with a regular job in left field. He has to earn it, of course, and this is where spring camp could potentially become sweeter for the Tigers.