By:  Holly Horning

Read any article about the latest free agent leaving their home team for a mega-buck contract and there is always one name mentioned in the article and the social media threads. Scott Boras.

While Boras is undoubtedly a brilliant businessman who redefined the sports agent industry, he is not a fan favorite. Part of this is due to his record of allowing only 3 clients in 35 years of practice to re-sign with their current team. If Boras were a baseball athlete, his salary (commission-based) would rank within the top 50 highest paid players in MLB.

What is not universally known is that the connection between expensive marquee players and winning the World Series is tenuous at best. Out of all the mega-contracts Boras has produced, only two clients went on to help their teams (Cardinals, Yankees) win the World Series. Pssst! Someone needs to tell the Nationals.

Speaking of which, Boras now has 8 clients playing for the Nats with the signing of Max. Four of them will most probably be gone after this year, greatly reducing this team’s above-average success in the future. But eyebrows are being raised over Boras’ conflict of interest over the perceived favoring of Max over his other client, Stephen Strasburg, who now is reported to have asked for a trade.

Certainly, the negotiations over Max’s contract last year left a bad impression with Tiger ownership and brass. Fans and media were surprised at Dave’s statement when negotiations failed, but if you had watched over the past couple of years, Dave Dombrowski was issuing a pre-emptive strike before Boras could implement what amounts to manipulating fans and bullying teams through his sound bytes.

Several weeks earlier, Boras referred to the Blue Jays as “cheap” because they did not sign his player. And his “pot shots” at other teams are only increasing. Currently, he is dissing the Chicago Cubs over a 12-day delay (impacting free agency, a new contract and Boras’ commission) in promoting his client, Kris Bryant, by telling baseball fans that the Cubs are pretending to be winners and misleading their fans. Yesterday, Commissioner Manfred admonished Boras and said this “was none of his business.”

And in 2012, the Diamondbacks were upset over his alleged advice to Stephen Drew – to delay a return from rehab, so he could remain healthy and earn a long-term contract with another team. If it happened once, what are the chances it could happen again?

In social media, many fans have questioned Max’s strict pitch count, especially when he still seemed able to deliver results. Boston Red Sox players were stunned when Max left that playoff game – several on record claiming that he was still effective. And at least one former Tiger pitcher roundly criticized Max leaving a playoff game when there was still gas in the tank and a bullpen waiting to implode.

Boras appears to increasingly go beyond his job description as an agent and now encroaching into team management territory. He’s also advocated for MLB to move the World Series to a bidding system as well as lobbying for the draft to be eliminated all together so amateur players may sign with the highest bidder.

In 2012, Boras had 5 Tigers as clients. Today, other than Andrew Romine, there is only Jose Iglesias. Could it be that Mr. I and Dave Dombrowski feel they’ve been burned? Could there also be a concern that some MLB players are being advised to place their needs ahead of the team’s priorities? It just may be a blessing in disguise that the Tigers do not have a Boras client in his contract year playing in 2015.


By:  Holly Horning

The big question that comes up every year in the baseball forums is whether spring training (“ST”) records are important. Some say “yes”, others argue “no”, but I would say “It depends.”

While ST in its simplest definition is a time for players to regain their in-season form and determine the roster, it also serves as the occasion for the team to forge bonds and strategy with new or returning players. For the Tigers, there are at least 8 of these players who are expected to head North in a week.

It’s also a time for teams to address the issues that plagued them last year – base running, defense and fundamentals. For pitchers, it’s a time for them to try new pitches and perfect others. For hitters, it’s about getting their timing and swing back by Opening Day. For a manager just entering his second year, it’s hopefully the opportunity for him to add to his skills with a chance to safely experiment.

On a less visible note, ST is the perfect time to evaluate the young and unknown talent for the short and long-term future. Conversely, it’s also the time each team scouts each other’s established and minor league talent in preparation for moves later in the season. For the GM, it’s the chance to see what holes still need filling.

So how do we evaluate the Tigers who are second to the bottom in wins/losses after the Giants?

In the record book, I would put an asterisk next to this year because the team has been without their two star hitters for the majority of ST. But I’d also look at how the team performed offensively without them. Is there enough talent to cover for them?

And that’s where the importance of patterns come in. There were plenty of games where the Tigers scored a lot and only two games in which they were shut out. I think we’re safe here.

But what about other patterns?  Were there pitchers who kept improving – or vice versa? What about the ability to get runners in from scoring position? Are the gloves faster and more accurate? Other than the Bullpen, there’s a lot of information here to which we don’t have access. I’d leave evaluating those patterns to Brad Ausmus – who will never give us those answers (at least the real ones).

But don’t get too comfy in your assessment. The Tigers, since 2010, have had winning ST finishes. Their last losing season was in 2009 (by just 2 games) – and we all know how that year ended. Before that, losing ST seasons were a regular occurrence before 2006.

So are Spring Training results really important? Let’s hope not, for history’s sake.


By:  Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder

As the weekend has arrived and we approach the final week of spring training, we thought this would be a good time to touch on a few things we like, just plain want to mention and something we may be concerned about.

We will let the lady go first, so here’s Holly’s kudos, comments and concerns as the season opener draws near:

KUDOS – Miggy and VMart proved what great hitters they are. Sidelined until this week, they appear to be up-to-speed in no time with their increasing hits/game and two home runs.

COMMENTS – Iggy’s bat may take a while to awaken given his year-long sabbatical from baseball, but he appears not to have a lost a step in the field. I am so excited to be watching this human highlight reel again!

CONCERNS – Will Brad be more of a manager and less of a buddy to the players? After Miggy ignored his no-slide rule and VMart talked Brad out of leaving a game, just how much influence does Brad have with players this year?

Since Kurt happened to see Holly’s KC&C’s before it was time, it’s only appropriate that his be different. But there is little doubt, comments on a certain manager would have been similar.

So Kurt’s kudos, concerns and comments are as follows:

KUDOS – Joakim Soria has had a tremendous spring and if not for one Joe Nathan, he would be the clear-cut choice for closer if we didn’t already have one. But do we have one?

CONCERNS – Sorry but changing the order seems appropriate given the kudos above. I think Joe Nathan needed a good spring to really show he still has something left to give and enough to continue to close games. Since Brad appears like he will leave camp with Nathan as closer, the leash better be so short, his knuckles touch the collar.

COMMENTS: With all the consternation about who should bat second, I will continue to bang the drum to move Cespedes up in the order and into that spot at least for something creative to try. Any bit of creativity would be welcomed from our dear manager.


By:  Holly Horning

Last year, we were besieged with media reports speculating on whether our star pitcher was going to stay with the Tigers. A former Cy Young Award winner at the top of his game who surely would command big bucks. Thank goodness that is over and we can get back to watching the game without that distraction.

Oops, my bad. Or as Yogi Berra would say, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” Fast forward to 2015 and things haven’t changed. We have another star pitcher and Cy Young winner whose contract expires after this year. Once again, the media wolfhounds are pressing their stories of intrigue and angst. And once again, fans hope the star pitcher will stay.

But he won’t. Sorry folks, there are just too many reasons that support both sides parting ways by the end of the year. Let’s explore just a few of the supporting issues:

CURRENT MARKET VALUE – The dollar range was set this winter establishing the minimum and maximum dollars for a quality pitcher. Jon Lester set the minimum salary at $150 million while Max signed for $210 million. Price is conceivably the better pitcher (and a highly prized rare lefty) and depending upon which pitchers are available next winter, he could earn in the neighborhood of Scherzer. Expect Price to earn something at least in the $180+ million range.

FREE AGENT MARKET – Next winter’s free agent market for pitchers is considered by all to be of epic proportions in terms of numbers and talent. Currently, there are close to 40 pitchers who are eligible and a significant number of them who are young and talented. Expect Dave Dombrowski to work his magic at getting a solid up-and-coming youngster, or two, for a fraction of the Price. Pun and capitalization intended.

AGEING PITCHERS – If David Price stays with the team, the Tigers will have a minimum of 3 of their 5 starting pitchers over the age of 30. JV will be 39 or 40 at contract’s end, while Anibal will be 38 – 39. Price at age 29 (and 30 later this season) will expect a minimum 6 year contract to take him to at least 36 years old. This year, the Tiger rank #3 in possessing the oldest pitching staff at an average of almost 31 years old. Most teams (24) have an average starter age in the mid-late 20’s.

PITCHING PIPELINE – The Tigers currently have a handful of promising young pitchers, like Lobstein, in AAA who have also experience the Big Show. Expect Dave to keep a close eye on them this year with hope that they prove themselves as starters for next year. It was often thought that acquiring Price last year was a strategy for replacing Scherzer but also buying one more year for the youngsters to develop. Young and under contract for years is the way to go, especially when you have a humongous payroll. Which brings us to…

PAYROLL COMMITMENTS – Nothing needs to be said about the Tigers having one of baseball’s biggest payrolls. But given potentially another $180 million for JV and $235+ million (including incentives and options) for Miggy, the Tigers have hit their quota of mega salaries, according to top sports economists. And half of their payroll is tied up in just 5 players. Taking on Price will severely mortgage the long-term future of this team.

Even though Price’s agent, Bo McKinnis, and the Tigers have initiated contract talks, they do not yet involve the exchange of numbers. Each side is feeling each other out and this will be a slow process. McKinnis will perform due diligence and ascertain a top market value for his client. And the Tigers will want to see how all their major and minor league starters perform over the coming months.

Both sides will keep the door open and see where this year takes them. Nothing’s going to happen anytime soon so it’s best that we all sit back and enjoy the show. That is, the one taking place on the field.


By:  Kurt Snyder

Do teams operate differently depending on when they last won? It’s an interesting question I think. It depends on the city perhaps. It depends on the ownership perhaps. In some cases, winning is just a bonus.

The Chicago Cubs have been floundering for my whole life outside of an odd year they win more than they lose, or an occasional playoff cameo. It hasn’t been until now that they have aggressively pursued a championship. The Cubs and losing have run hand in hand within the fabric of their franchise, almost in an acceptable manner, given their last championship took place not far beyond the 1800’s.

So frankly, Cubs games are events, reasons to gather with friends and family for a good time. Winning or losing is a side note. If I need to be set straight on that, I would welcome the enlightenment.

But in Detroit, the goals have been different. Since the Tigers emerged from a decade long slumber with an inexplicable World Series appearance in 2006, a series they most certainly had the ability to win, the team has been in desperation mode.

Has losing that series had implications on the goals of the franchise? I would guess they would say no, the goals are always the same. But how much easier would things have been for all involved if they had actually won the 2006 World Series?

Sure after another 9 years, we would certainly be hungry for another, but urgency wouldn’t be blasting through the ceiling of expectation. There wouldn’t be such pressure on the team to win a title for their owner. And there wouldn’t be so much pressure on our general manager to operate under a “win now” mandate. Smarter decisions could be made without potential fallout.

They could build and tweak their team logically and without so much risk. They could make decisions that are smarter for their future because they wouldn’t feel the constant need to scramble so desperately for a title they haven’t held in 31 years.

I am envious of the San Francisco Giants. When you win a title, your fans are able to bask in it for a while. If you don’t win it the next season, fans aren’t so vocal about every move, every transaction. They don’t question decisions or motives. There is an element of trust.

As a Giants fan, you can sit back, watch the team evolve and see if they make a run. And if they don’t, you trust they will make the right moves to get themselves back in position very soon, knowing that if given the opportunity, their team can close the door.

Winning buys time to win again. And the Giants, having won 3 titles in the last 5 years, have given their fans everything they could ever want; constantly competing for and frequently winning championships.

Unfortunately, most teams don’t get to experience the kind of run the Giants are on. Certainly you must have luck, but you also must possess strength at all levels of your organization to be able to consistently win; from your ownership to your scouts to your manager in the dugout.

This season, the Giants may not have a team that will compete for a title. They may end up spending the season building for next year. They have that luxury. There is no pressure to win. And that’s an incredible advantage.

They will hover under the radar again, without unfair expectations. The St. Louis Cardinals are another franchise able to operate in the same manner. Winning rewards a franchise far beyond the trophy and the championship flag.

Unfortunately the Tigers enter another season under the guise of ultimatums along with huge expectations. They have to win it. It was the same last season and the year before that, and the year before that. Unfortunately, that’s the attitude here. But, when you don’t win a title in over 30 years, I guess you can understand the frustration, at least in this town.

But frustration brought on from a long draught, I believe, makes a franchise operate differently and with more of a sense of urgency which may not be a good recipe for success.

Sure the Tigers have won division titles, and been to the big stage, but if they aren’t raising the trophy, it’s not enough anymore. We long for the feeling we had in 1984, at least the fortunate ones who actually remember it or were there to see it.

The images are forever emblazoned in my memory. It was the greatest season I have ever witnessed as a baseball fan. I lived at that ballpark in 1984, attending certainly no less than 60 games.

But it’s been a long time now. And there are way too many “remember when” stories with this franchise. And we now await another season where the Tigers once again will try to make it all come together. They don’t have a choice.


By:  Holly Horning

After reading the social media sites associated with the Tigers for a while, one can clearly see where the majority of readers posting stand on each and every player.

It’s easy to see why loyal followers universally love Miggy and VMart. They’re great at what they do, they have unbelievable work ethics and outwardly exhibit positive personalities. Most of us also felt favorably about Torii Hunter who always had a smile for everyone and an infectious personality and sense of humor. Same with Austin Jackson. Today, we would probably include JD Martinez, Rajai Davis, David Price and the high-energy Iggy into that category.

But what about the others? The guys about whom we don’t know enough? The guys who are quiet? The guys who don’t show much expression? Just how much does personality and facial emotion play into our acceptance and support for a player?

Well, according to numerous studies, a lot. We are required to form our opinions of Tiger players based upon what we see of them in the dugout, on the field and during the occasional interview. And showing a positive, extroverted or high-energy personality gives them a decided edge in how favorably we rank them.

For example, when Brayan Pena was with the team, he was a fan favorite and many considered him to possess skills higher than he actually had. Who didn’t love that ready smile or the infamous play at the plate where, face down, he raised his arm and shook that ball in his hand in victory? A lot of fans preferred him over the starting catcher. Which brings us to…..

Yes, Alex Avila. Despite the fact that Avila ranked as the third best defensive catcher in MLB last year, he has been designated as the fans’ whipping boy for the past several years. Granted, some of this is due to his rather anemic bat, but few fans give him the credit he deserves. And this is because Avila does not publicly show emotion or give anyone a clue as to what his personality is like. He always appears stoic whether a great play has been made or he strikes out. If he appeared to be friendly and personable or even smiled regularly, would we feel differently?

And then there are the enigmas – Romine, Perez, Castellanos, Soria and Gose. Guys with solid skills for the most part but don’t outwardly show their personalities or emotions. Players who maybe receive more criticism because fans find it harder making a connection with them. Even Anibal Sanchez, arguably one of the best pitchers out there, keeps out of the spotlight and tends to be forgotten in discussions about the rotation. It may be easy to see why given the extroverted personalities of Price, JV – and until recently, Max and Fister.

Coaches and managers are not immune either. Many fans, including myself, are still trying to feel their way around Brad Ausmus. His facial expressions are rather limited and outwardly, he appears hesitant in expressing himself or letting go in interviews or in the dugout. Too soon to tell if this is his authentic self or if the pressure of being the new kid on the block makes him cautious. Only time will tell. You can bet I’ll be watching his every move….



By:  Holly Horning

Spring training is a time for experimentation and implementation of new ideas. But this year, due to waiting for Miggy and VMart, there is less patience.

According to Brad, everyone is doing well and the situation is rosy. But we still don’t have a real-world view of how the Tigers may gel as a team come April. It’s like going to the movies and watching all the coming attractions while we anxiously await the start of the real show.

Today’s inspiration is based upon some of Brad’s comments to the media and some experiments tried out on the field. It all started with the comments about VMart going back behind the plate. (Not reported was the small seismic event recorded in Michigan minutes after the comment was made.)

This was followed by the suggestion that Alex Avila would be tried out as the #2 hitter in the lineup.

But this week, the comments really started to fly with several decisions, both involving Romine and Perez. First, the decision to have them experiment with catching duties followed by several statements leaning towards keeping essentially two identical players on the roster instead of the needed bat in the form of Collins.

Maybe Brad has been living in California for too long…..

So if you’re a Tiger fan – and already hesitant about Brad’s managing style – what do you do? Well, ledges and thinking evil thoughts come to mind, but I have a better idea. With all of this being said, let’s calm ourselves and work through some of these questions. It may get silly but it just seems appropriate. So here it goes:

1. So I see Brad is working out Romine and Perez for the exclusive backup catcher position. Is this a sign he hasn’t figured out how to replace Don Kelly yet?

I don’t think Brad is experienced enough to trust his gut and go with a player who has a short track record.  Remember how his quotes are always about reliance on a guy’s track record?  I don’t think he’s confident enough to take a chance and go with a guy who is probably a better fit but doesn’t have the stats to back it up.

2. What is the fascination with Hernan Perez?

I really have no idea other than he’s a known commodity. Could also be that there is concern over Iggy that they feel they need him. I would hope that not having any remaining options is really a factor.

3. If Tyler Collins doesn’t make the team, who’s the hitter off that bench? (And laughter can be an answer here.)

There is no hitter! I’d hate to think Brad didn’t learn his lesson after the playoffs last year.

4. All things considered, do you think Brad got the VMart catching option idea from Victor himself?

Absolutely not. I think Brad is grasping for straws and not the outside-of-the-box manager he led the Tigers to believe. He’s looking for solutions without thinking of the potential consequences.

5. Remind me, is Brad really still the manager? Who can we call?

This is the sink-or-swim year. I’d like to think yes, but I have my doubts. The strategy isn’t all laid out for him this year like last. He’s got some real issues to handle. But unlike last year, there are some qualified managers waiting for calls and a special assistant who can help keep things stable until a real transition is made.

As far as Avila batting #2? Dial tone…..


By: Holly Horning:

In the first installment of this series, when I wrote that baseball had changed recently in so many ways, I meant it. Every nook and cranny, except maybe for the bat boys. We examined the players, analysts, fans, and those who run MLB. Batting cleanup now, are the Front Offices.

The executives that each team hires tells a lot about the character and philosophy of the team’s owner. And believe it or not, the change in direction here is the most obvious and distinct trend out of the five groups.

Like many sports, baseball has presented itself as entertainment – trying to hide the business aspect from the fans for the most part. But now, things are different. The culture and people who inhabit these Front Offices has changed dramatically.

Not too long ago, the top executives rose up into the highest ranks primarily from baseball backgrounds. Now, we’re seeing an influx of executives coming in with degrees from Harvard and MIT in sports management, economics and statistics. They’re also coming from big law firms and Wall Street with experience in dealing with corporate issues and big money. Many of them are in their thirties – the age of many ballplayers instead of the guys much older and retired from playing and managing. Some in the media have tagged this trend with the nickname of “Brains vs. Brawn.” Out of the current 30 GMs, 12 of them hail from Ivy, Little Ivy or Top 10 private colleges. Only three of them have no college degree.

A number of top colleges are sending their grads out as analysts who decipher performance in relation to future contracts. Many of these teams now boast about their young “think tanks.” But there is a growing number of more and more young top executives who are being hired for the most senior positions – VP and President of Baseball Operations as well as GMs.

The average age of GMs has also dropped significantly with more and more of them being hired in their 30’s. Check out the age categories below:

30’s – 7 teams
40’s – 9 teams
50’s – 9 teams
60’s – 5 teams

Average GM Age: 49

Dave Dombrowski ranks as the 6th oldest GM at age 58. Only Terry Ryan of the Twins is older in the AL Central. Surprisingly, the other three teams have focused on hiring much younger GMs who bring in new backgrounds and ideas.

While the faces, ages and work experience are changing, so are the titles. Just three years ago, no one deviated from “President”, “CEO” and “GM.” Now, there are VP, Sr. VP and President of Baseball Operations, as well as Chief Baseball Officer. And surprisingly, there is no standard hierarchy or job description universal to these titles. You need to contact each team to figure out each executive’s job responsibility and place in the executive flow chart. The only standard, for now, is that “President” tops everyone.

The Tigers still subscribe to the old school method of executives. They have not developed new, specialized positions or introduced these new titles that almost half of today’s teams employ. Dombrowski joins only two other GMs who are also Presidents of their organizations. But he is also the only baseball executive who holds three titles – including CEO.

So what does this say about the Tigers? That they are conservative and still traditional in their baseball structure, especially when you add in other aspects such as the single part-time analyst and lack of branding.

But what is truly disconcerting is the issue surrounding Dave’s three jobs – a Herculean task for anyone but especially now when teams are hiring specialists for each job. Can he really do a thorough job in each? Do other teams now have an advantage as they hire additional Front Office execs who can work with more detail? Dave’s contract expires after this year so it will be interesting to see if the Tigers decide to modernize.


By:  Kurt Snyder

(this is for you Dad)

There are people all over the country who have made it their life long goal to visit every state. Some baseball fans have made it their goal to visit every major league ball park, and I haven’t been to many, but I hope to see a few more in the coming years.

In 1999, the last year of baseball played at Tiger Stadium, my brothers and I did something we had never done before, together. It wasn’t something we ever hoped to do, nothing we longed for. It just wasn’t what our life was. But finally, after more than 50 years, my Dad watched a game at his park, with his sons, as a fan.

Well, big deal you might say or so what? Well it was a big deal. Because for more than 20 years, it was Dad’s job to be at the ballpark. He wasn’t there to be a fan, even though he was one. He was there to work. He was the ship’s captain. And consequently, we never had the opportunity to walk into the park with him, find our seats and enjoy a game together, just Dad and his boys.

But during that final season, we decided that we could not let baseball end at Tiger Stadium without attending a game together. Thank God we did, because astonishingly, we didn’t attend the very last game at The Corner, the day of all days.

We were blessed as a family to live the life that we did. And you would think we would have gathered as a family at that last game in 1999 to say goodbye to the place that meant so much to all of us.

But we didn’t go, any of us. But we belonged at that game. My dad belonged there. But it hurt him too much. He still felt the pain from his last day he called that place his own. We talked about it with my mom, about taking him to the game, and I faintly remember her saying, “leave it alone.”

You see, the day that Mike Illitch bought the team in 1992 was the last day my dad stepped foot in the place as the Old Girl’s ring leader. He was fired that day. And I can honestly say that Dad took that day to the grave with him. He never let it go. He was never the same. Baseball and Tiger Stadium were part of his soul and it was all stripped from him in a few short hours.

As much as it was business, it was personal for him. He pleaded for a meeting with Illitch, which he never got. He wanted a year to share his ideas for renovating the park, but he never got the chance. Illitch, more than likely knew on that day, that a new stadium was on the horizon. And for my dad, it was a tough pill to swallow, one never really swallowed at all.

In 2004, we took a baseball trip, just Dad and his boys, to arguably 2 of the most iconic baseball stadiums ever to be built; Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. Dad loved Yankee Stadium. But he called Fenway a dump, which was interesting. Even though I have never been more uncomfortable sitting in a seat in all my life, it was one of the coolest baseball experiences I have ever had. The place oozed history and electricity. Both stadiums did.

The New York to Boston trip was probably the best time we ever had with him, a dad and his boys, spending 4 days just loving the game we grew up with. It was great medicine for my Dad, taking him away from Tiger baseball for even a few days.

Tiger baseball had given him so much. He gave the team his life, 46 years of it, and then suddenly in 1992, they took the life right out of him. They will never know the damage that was delivered to our father.

So as you learn more and more about my dad and our life growing up with the game, you will begin to understand why I feel the way I do about some things. Today, I am sure you understand just a little more.


By:  Holly Horning

Nothing exemplifies the significant changes baseball is experiencing more than the battle between the old and new schools of statistics. The war between those who prefer the eye test and all degrees up to those with noses pressed to the calculator instead of eyes glued to the diamond.

But what’s happening now is the movement by many who cherry pick their stats from both groups, no longer having to select one side or the other. They are finding happiness using some of the traditional stats that are easy to understand and give a very quick snapshot of how well a player is doing – but balancing it with certain sabermetric stats that help neutralize team-centric strengths and put the player’s skills in better perspective in comparison to the league.

But much as the fans are divided on which stats school to use, so are MLB teams. Not all teams think the same way, nor have they developed statistical departments similar to anyone else’s. As of last year, the AL teams employ over 40 sabermetricians while the NL has 23.

The Tampa Bay Rays (#1 in MLB) alone employ 8 full-time sabermetricians while the Rockies, Braves, Phillies and Marlins employ none. The Royals have 4 full-time while the Indians rank #3 with 5. As Yoda would say, “Tied with the Yankees, they are!”

The Tigers come in #23 with only 1 part-time analyst – and are in a dead-heat with the Twins for last place in the AL Central. Part of this may be a residual effect from having Jim Leyland as manager who expressed his refusal to use sabermetrics.

It is not surprising that Brad Ausmus won’t categorize himself (a story for another day) on these non-traditional stats so we really don’t know the extent or frequency of how he interprets any numbers put up by the Tigers’ part-time analyst. It was interesting to read last year that Dave Dombrowski was quoted as saying that anything Ausmus needs to support this statistical system, he’ll get for him.

So let’s keep our eye on the Tigers’ sabermetric department. Hiring more analysts, or not, will tell us how much weight Ausmus gives to this method.