Friday, February 12, 2010

Problem Is, The Tigers Don't Have A Plan

At this stage of his career, Johnny Damon is far from an ideal leadoff hitter, and is a way below average corner outfielder. He might still be able to hit some, and fills a need for the Tigers as a left-handed batter, but he is 36, and that's an age when hitters often start to hit a wall.
The Tigers were supposedly trying to get leaner and meaner, younger and more hungry. He doesn't fit from that standpoint. Signing him, especially bidding only against themselves, would be a classic knee-jerk reaction from owner Mike Ilitch, who is often more interested in big names than the actual value of a player.
Thought Ilitch was over such issues. Obviously, he is not. The Tigers let Placido Polanco go and traded Curtis Granderson, while - if they sign Damon - they will have $67 million invested in Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Damon, Jeremy Bonderman, Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson for this season alone.
I still think this team will contend in 2010, but it will be despite themselves. Oh, and their mediocre division.

My column in Friday's Oakland Press: Is it the Winter Olympic or reality TV:



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You nailed it again, certain writer at the News is determined to convince everyone of the front office wisdom of the big trade but I don't think anyone really believes it. I'm done griping about the Granderson trade, I don't like it but it's over.
But why oh why do they complain about budget issues and then offer Damon $14 mil and allow Ordonez to get the at-bats for $18 mil? The Tigers have moved Maybin, Gorkys Hernandez and Grandy. All top notch centerfielders in the last couple of years. Now they are hurting for outfielders. What gives?
They haven't won anything with Cabrera as their superstar and as much pitching as DD drafts they are still fishing for starters every year.
I am starting to wonder what is Leyland's involvement in the personnel moves. Does he have favorites that he promotes to the front office at the detriment of better ball players? This can't be all DD. This team just seems so unbalanced.
If they sign Damon, the defense will be really bad. Sizemore is an average defender, Ordonez has creaky knees, Rayburn is iffy, Cabrera is no gold glover.
Bottom line, this franchise lacks an identity to hang it's hat on.

2:49 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

The only advantage I think Mr. Ilitch might see in Johnny Damon is the Barnum & Bailey appeal of putting fans in the seats with the name.

But I admit my bigger issue is why did we lose Granderson and Polanco only to sign Valverde and chase Damon ... I'm still trying to figure out what the hell is going on here. I think your answer is bang on ...

.. they don't seem to have a plan.

And that is dissapointing - as a fan to see your team seemingly grasping here.

Do I think Damon would be a bad move? No, I can't say I think that - it's more or less this befuddling approach that has me disheartened

8:21 PM 
Blogger msu1983 said...

First of all, the Tigers have never said they are in a cost cutting mode, nor have they ever complained about 'budget issues' as one of the posters stated. While most of the media was saying the Granderson trade was done to cut salary, the Tigers insisted otherwise. In fact, most MLB observers feel the Tigers got the best of the three team deal.

Second, you gotta let the Polanco thing go. The Phillies gave him three years and there is no way the Tigers would have or should have even considered that. Sizemore is one of their top rated position prospects and the time to play him is now, not after three more years of Polanco.

Third, the "plan" is pretty simple. Win. The AL Central (not nearly as bad as local pundits wnat you to believe) is available for the taking. If Damon gives them a better chance to win, sign him. Period. They need a top-of-the-order guy and I don't give a damn if they give him $ 10 million!

It amazes me that fans have seemingly become more obsessed with being armchair fantasy GMs than being fans. Hard to believe that any real fan of the Tigers or the game would ever complain that Ilitch is spending in an attempt to win.

3:55 PM 
Blogger Core Contrarian said...

After the 2008 debacle, all we heard from the Tigers is that they were going to win with defense and that would be a strength of theirs from now on.

Now they could have an outfield of Guillen, Damon and Ordonez.

The worst defensive outfield in history?


5:25 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The jury is still out on Maybin and Hernandez. Neither is developing as quickly as I thought they would. Dombrowski is a good GM in my opinion, but he did put it on the line with Granderson trade. Time will tell.

4:58 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
It seems odd they'd move Granderson and sign Damon. Oddly, I could understand the Damon signing more if they keep Granderson, because they'd be more in position to make a run, especially after getting Valvede.

4:59 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Yes they did. Dombrowski talked about it after the Granderson trade. It was "first time I've been in this situation here." Secondly, if plan were to win, they would have kept Granderson and signed Damon.

5:01 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Core Contrarian,
I think you hit the nail right on the head. How does that type of outfield help when you are obviously pinning you hopes on pitching?

5:02 PM 

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