By: Kurt Snyder
During a week where we continued to see extraordinary defensive work from both Ian Kinsler and the remarkable Jose Iglesias, we were reminded again on Sunday of the guys that wore their numbers together for 18 years.
The days of players playing their entire careers together are sadly and mostly gone. Money has changed the game and as players gain success, they demand more and more money, ultimately forcing their departures. Here ends the fans desire to have stories develop like Tram and Lou’s.
Whitaker was honored on Sunday, given some sort of “legacy award,” which sort of incensed me. This is more evidence that the Tigers do not have a short-term or maybe any plan to retire the numbers of the best double play combination in their history. I will continue to be puzzled by the Tigers inability to see what needs to be done for their franchise and for Whitaker and Trammell themselves.
Sure it was nice that they recognized Whitaker on Sunday, but if you’re going to honor, do it like you mean it. Lou spent an inning with Rod and Mario, which is always very riveting (snore) as their questions were very light and milk toast.
In reality, these guys should have given Whitaker the opportunity to speak on the elephants in the room. The Hall of Fame. The retirement of numbers. And a statue, one that honors the legacies of Tram and Lou and their 18 years of play.
But while the two numbers continue to be in circulation, I guess they are certainly being honored by the guys who are wearing them. Actually there is no guessing about it. Every game, and I mean every game, Iglesias and Kinsler are forming their own legacy.
It’s almost like they are playing the infield together in protest. Daily, they remind fans and Tiger management of the last time the team was in such great hands at the middle infield positions. And they remind them by their astonishing play, the kind we were accustomed to with Tram and Lou.
The styles between the 2 keystone combos are similar in terms of effectiveness, but certainly executed differently. Whitaker made playing second place look so easy, like a “can of corn” as Lou so eloquently put it.
Kinsler plays a great second base himself, already having made some dazzling, diving plays. He is again worthy of Gold Glove consideration.
Iglesias and Trammell will go down as the two best shortstops to wear the Old English D. And really, the more we see Iggy, the more we can safely determine that he is passing Trammel by.
His athleticism distances himself from Trammell. He is making plays you talk about for weeks, still wondering how he was even able to do what he did. Trammell played more of a steady short, but still All Star and Gold Glove worthy.
So as the Tigers honored Whitaker on Sunday and blatantly advertised their lack of intentions to do the right thing, we still know this: If we aren’t going to properly retire the numbers 1 and 3 out on the brick walls of Comerica Park; we can certainly take comfort in the fact that Iglesias and Kinsler are honoring them to the fullest, by continuing their great defensive play on the field.
Whitaker and Trammell can feel good about how their numbers are being represented.