Jays-Tigers rivalry isn't what it used to be

The Blue Jays celebrate Brett Lawrie's (centre) home run during Tuesday night's game in Detroit....

The Blue Jays celebrate Brett Lawrie's (centre) home run during Tuesday night's game in Detroit. (USA Today)

Steve Buffery, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:22 PM ET

Former Blue Jays pitcher Duane Ward shook his head as he looked out towards the infield at Comerica Park on Tuesday afternoon.

The sun was shining, Blue Jays jerseys were sprinkled throughout the downtown Detroit ballpark and the two teams, the Jays and Tigers, sat in first place in their respective American League divisions.

“You know, it’s such a shame they took the Tigers out of the American League East,” said Ward, who pitched for the Jays between 1986 and 1995. “When these two teams were in the same division, this was one of the biggest rivalries in baseball.

“The rivalry was special, it really was,” Ward added. “I remember the ’84 Tigers — I was in the minor leagues at the time — jumping out to such a huge league, and who was right on their butts? The Toronto Blue Jays.”

The Tigers sprinted out of the blocks to a stunning 35-5 start in 1984 and cruised to a 104-58 record and a World Series title. And the Jays did finish second in the AL East that season


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