By Steve Keating
DETROIT (Reuters) - Detroit's mood was as dreary as the foul autumn weather as the city awoke to a World Series hangover on Monday from the pounding the Tigers took at the hands of the San Francisco Giants.
What was supposed to be a three-day party in the Motor City turned into a two-day wake, Tigers fans left drowning their sorrows following a 4-3 Game Four loss on Sunday that completed a stunning 4-0 Giants sweep of the Fall Classic.
As the first signs of Hurricane Sandy brushed Detroit on Monday morning, Motowners were still wondering what had hit them over the weekend as the Giants stormed into the city then left with their second World Series in three years.
Disappointment is nothing new to Motor City residents, who have survived far bigger failures, including the auto industry meltdown and a 0-16 season by the National Football League Lions in 2008.
The sting of being swept from the World Series will not fade quickly but Tigers manager Jim Leyland said afterwards that he will recover.
"I'm disappointed," admitted Leyland. "But when you've been in the game a long time, somebody wins and somebody loses.
"I'm going to go home and I'll hear some talk about it. 'You guys were not very good in the World Series,' and all this and that, but I'm pretty much able to turn the page."
Detroit baseball fans may find it a little more difficult to move on.
After a sweep of the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series, expectations were at an all-time high for a lineup that features Miguel Cabrera, the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years, and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.
But the only thing colder than the Michigan weather during the Fall Classic were the Detroit bats while Verlander, the American League's MVP, was rocked in an 8-3 Game One loss that put the Tigers in a hole they could never climb out from.
"If somebody told me in spring training that we would be in the World Series, I would have had to say I'll take that," said Leyland. "It was kind of a weird way that we got there because we were a little inconsistent all year.
"Then we played pretty good when we had to get the division, and we obviously played pretty good through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
"We got to the World Series, and we just sputtered offensively."
With the World Series over, Detroiters might normally turn their attention and hearts over to the National Hockey League and the Red Wings but a labor dispute has left players locked out and the doors at Joe Louis Arena padlocked.
The Lions are trying to claw their back into the NFL playoff picture while the NBA's Pistons are preparing to embark on a season that does not look to hold a lot of promise.
So the Tigers are likely to remain a hot topic of discussion as the fans look ahead to next season and the start of spring training that is just a little over three months away.
Back in the postseason for consecutive years for the first time since 1934-35, the Tigers will try to make three straight with the core of their lineup expected to be back next season.
There will be some new faces.
Closer Jose Valverde, who imploded during the postseason and left idling in the bullpen, could be looking for a new home while designated Delmon Young is not expected back.
After signing prize free agent slugger Prince Fielder last year, the Tigers could be shopping for a quality corner outfielder and general manager Dave Dombrowski is poised to make an even bigger splash by making a pitch for Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton.
"I don't think there's anybody better at putting a team together than Dave Dombrowski, and hopefully he feels that I'm the guy to manage it," said Leyland. "But the relationship is really good. We're both competitive people.
"I don't think we've had an argument since 2007. So that's pretty good."
(Editing by Julian Linden)