By:  Kurt Snyder

A few weeks ago, Holly and I thought it would be fun if we put together 5 predictions about the Tigers. Well, today, I decided to take another look at my predictions. Why now?  I don’t know, considering the Tigers have to play like 80 more spring games (seems like it) before they start playing for real.

But in my head I wanted to gauge which prediction contained the most risk? Which is the one where I really put myself out there?

And of all the predictions, I decided the one that’s really questionable reads like this:

The Tigers are due for a break in the bullpen (true statement, so far so good) and actually I think they made some solid additions (we will see, fair statement at this point). But the one sitting in the background is the re-signing of Joel Hanrahan (very true, he’s kind of sitting in the background). With Joel in the middle of year two in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, this is about where some of these pitchers shake off the cobwebs of the rehab and begin to regain the effectiveness they had prior to the injury (very true, it is where some pitchers start to contribute again, I’m actually doing pretty good here.) Put me down for June 1st for Hanrahan to join the bullpen and become a key contributor in the 7th and 8th inning.

Now here is where a lot of the risk lies with this particular prediction. With Joel being cut today by the team after hearing he needs Tommy John surgery again, a June 1st return becomes difficult and since he’s no longer with the team, it’s tough to determine where he fits in the Tiger bullpen.

But before you get all crazy, it’s still spring training and just because we got some bad news on Joel, remember, we haven’t played any real games yet. So consider this prediction still alive and kicking.

All kidding aside, this is another tough break for Hanrahan without a doubt. Spending the better part of the last 2 years trying to come back only to find out he has to go under the knife again must be crushing for him.

The Tigers certainly offered him chances, signing him to two $1 million dollar contracts, this year and last, with the hopes that he would come around. But it just hasn’t happened as Hanrahan never threw a single pitch for the Tigers.

If nothing else, Joel is stilling holding his head up and wants to have the surgery just so he can still go on and enjoy the other passions in his life.

In the Detroit News today, Joel said, “If people tell me I’ve got to quit playing baseball, I still have to have the surgery done. I can’t golf. I can’t pull the strings back on a bow. I can’t play ping pong. I have a 2-year-old son I look forward to having a lot of time with.”  Certainly a real level-headed approach under the circumstances.

So as we move forward with this prediction, I admit, things don’t look good right now. But just like Joel, I am not hanging my head, because heck, he’s still got more than 2 years until June 1st, 2017.
This can still happen. I didn’t put a year on that date for a reason. Hello, he had Tommy John surgery, remember? Tough to come back from! You think I’m stupid? Still alive baby!

(Note to self: ask Holly what year her predictions were for.)


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