Friday, August 29, 2008

Under The Circumstances, Trimming Payroll Would Not Be Like Mike

There has been talk about the Tigers cutting back on player payroll after this season’s bitter disappointment, but I would be surprised if it turns out that way.
It is not owner Mike Ilitch’s nature to throw in the towel, say it didn’t work, tear down and start rebuilding.
He has done that in the past, but it was out of financial necessity. It was when the Tigers’ revenue was relatively low because they were still in Tiger Stadium, or during the early days of Comerica Park, and the mortgage on the venue was particularly burdensome.
The Tigers didn’t have bad season financially. They have been an on-field disaster, but a box office success. Also, like other major league franchises, they have been benefactors of baseball’s overall financial state, which is as good as it has ever been.
And Ilitch is ultra-competitive. He got a taste of the World Series in 2006. He’s going to want to go back there.

Random Thoughts

- Stanford’s football program seems to be on the right track under Jim Harbaugh. Could it be he is the long-term solution to Michigan’s coaching situation, assuming he turns around Stanford and Rich Rodriguez - for whatever reasons - isn’t it for the long haul? Can the Harbaugh comments from the past, the reaction by Michael Hart, Jamie Morris and Lloyd Carr be put aside?

- Three things I really like about the Lions following the preseason:
1. Calvin Johnson (he was spectacular during the preseason).
2. The improved secondary (just more and better players)
3. More quickness and better tackling overall defensively (Rod Marinell’s emphasis on fundamentals appears to be paying off)

- Three things I question about the Lions following the preseason:
1. The offensive line (can’t tell if it is any better).
2. Their linebackers (Alex Lewis and Paris Lenon are better suited for backup and special teams roles)
3. Depth. (The Lions are lacking it, especially at running back)

12 Comments:

Anonymous Marty said...

Pat,

I have to say that I am actually excited about the Lions this year. I honestly didn't think I would be, but they have shown me that they have fixed their biggest issue from last year - pass coverage. Even when they were winning games, I didn't feel good about the team because they were still letting everyone catch whatever was thrown their way, they just capitalized on their mistakes. Now when I have seen the first team defense out, they not only capitalize on mistakes, they actually cover well. I do have concerns about their special teams coverage, along with the play of the Offensive Line which temper my enthusiasm (along with depth on amongst the Linebackers - none of the backups seem to be able to cover), but the improved defense alone is enough to make this an average or even above average football team. I still stick by my prediction of a 7-9 season, but I have hope for a playoff season now.

-Marty

p.s. I agree that trimming the Tigers payroll by a large margin wouldn't make much sense. Under the current situation, it may actually go up if some good free agent pitchers are available in the offseason.

1:35 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Trimming payroll is one thing, but I think we all agree that this tree that is the tigers does have some branches that appear to be ... fruitless.

We have Kenny on waivers - sad but necessary. Mr. Sheff is probably not tradable. Edgar is just Edgar.

It would be nice to pare those branches.

Nate might be attractive to a club with worse pitching than we have - in exchange for a new short stop. He will ask to be traded if kept in the bullpen. Toss Edgar and Mr. Sheff in there and you might get a good nibble. Or put Guillen back at short and go after a third baseman. Oer put Inge back at third and go for a catcher.

Dombrowski does have a wide assortment of options.

Our bullpen needs a complete overhaul. That is not an option.

I would like to keep our youngsters. We have already given up to much youth last year.

Untouchables? Mags, Polanco, Galaraga, Verlander, Granderson, Guillen, Cabrera, and ...(don't yell at me Book) Mr. Inge.

That's not trimming payroll. That's trimming deadwood. And it's still a pretty nice core team.

Don't ya think? Ya never know what Toledo might churn out.

I know this kind of turnover is large and dangerous, but keeping this going is worse.

Wait 'till next year boy.

2:07 PM 
Blogger Larry said...

Re: Tigers Payroll. Tiges had HUGE influx of season ticket purchasers this year. Hacking pay roll and name players won't do much to hang onto those fans, which is why I am guessing there will be some off-season free agent sizzle. I don't pretend to be an expert, but from where I sit the Tigers present and enormous off-season marketing problem to the organization.

2:10 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Illitch will do whatever it takes... to line his own pockets. That is all he cares about. Where was he during the Randy Smith era besides in hiding?

2:27 PM 
Blogger twolski24 said...

Lions = 4-12 this season.....

5:06 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Marty,
I agree with you about the Lions start last season. It was almost more lucky than good. Some of those turnovers were odd and seemed to be the opposition self-destructing than anything the Lions were doing. Special teams coverage and offensive line were problems last season and don't seem to be solved this year. Those two areas have to at least be all right.
Caputo

4:02 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I absolutely agree with you there is a good core there and the Tigers can contend next season. But the right moves must be made around that core. That wasn't the case last season. I agree with you on the players they mentioned. They weren't necessarily the problem this season, except for Inge, and he's of more value to them as a catcher.
Caputo

4:07 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Larry,
It would be a slap in the face of their fans if they cut payroll. They lived up to their end of the bargin by purchasing tickets. The Tigers didn't live up to their end on the field.
Caputo

4:08 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
Ilitch did spend after he bought the Tigers (second highest payroll 1994) but could sustain it because of Tiger Stadium and losing team. Also, they didn't generate the revenue they expected at Comerica Park his first year, so he cut back again. He didn't start making money on the Tigers until recent years. He lost over $100 million his first dozen years of ownership.
Caputo

4:12 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

twolski,
Given the Lions track record, that type of season is never out of question.
Caputo

4:14 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

Hey Book has there been a bigger disappointment to a season then the Tigers? I mean if there is any need of a revaluation. I mean we practically gave Brandon Inge the Keys are we really ready for a lifetime .219-220 hitter to take over at the plate. What about Sheff he in my mind don't have it anymore. Granderson, Crabrera, Polonco and Guillen/Ordonez to a lesser extent are the only ones I trust thus far. Can Joyce build upon it he might? Then the pitching staff what about Miner yuo have to admit the time he has spent as a starter in his first stint and now has been pretty darn good. Do we go Verlander, Miner, Gallaraga, Garcia maybe and or Willis. then spend the cash on a F-Rod?

Dude is Ocho Cinco really gone over the deepend. I mean it's not even comical any more. I think he should of changed his name to Chaz Uno Azz.

On the Lions very interesting moves. I am sorry to hear about Buster I thought he was ok. But 11 D-lineman Last I checked you could only play 4 at a time. 4 Receivers and you plan on using two of them for kick returns. Then 2 RBs is that based on Rudi fiasco in Cincy or is there someone else we were eyeing. Those were the three shocking things in my book. However for the most part I was impressed with how they played to this point. Especially on the defensive front. IF the defense can continue to play this way then you have to heat the ovens up some. I said from day one I like Marinelli. But I am still not getting to excited just yet. We will find out next week against Atlanta. If we lose that game then I am in no worries cause I said 7 wins for this team and I was being nice. I hope I am wrong though.

10:54 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

El Libro,

Jim Leyland is comparing Miguel Cabrera to Albert Pujhos? Ha ha ha ha ha. This just in, anyone can look good wen the big lights are off.

10:26 AM 

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