By:  Kurt Snyder

Baseball in Detroit is driving me nuts.

The ‘win now’ mode is way past due. Trying to win now for the owner, if that is in fact what the Tigers are doing, is putting a time clock on winning.

It’s exciting, but you can’t rush success, not every year.

I won’t lie, I am mesmerized by big names just like everyone else. The last-minute dealing for stars of the game at trade deadlines are riveting and their potential impact on the team really gets your heart beating.

The day David Price arrived last season was an exciting time and sent a message to all of baseball that the Tigers will stop at nothing to win a title. But we didn’t even win a playoff game.

Is this what we needed? Shouldn’t we have focused our attention on some solid bullpen studs? Maybe even guys we could keep more than a year?

Watching guys like Price and Cespedes succeed but not enough to help the team win a World Series or even go to the playoffs is more frustration than I can take.

It messes with your head, it really does. Fans get attached to players. I have gotten used to watching David Price dominate, I have enjoyed watching Cespedes play the game and would love to see at least one of these guys, either of them, stay in a Tiger uniform. But sadly, this is today’s baseball, or at least Tiger baseball.

Teams with aggressive owners eager to win, sometimes take risks and build teams to win one year at a time. I am completely drained by this approach where these big names become Tigers but don’t bother buying a house, knowing full well, it’s merely a stop at the train station.

If you took DD out for a few drinks, got him to let down his guard, and give his honest opinion about the prospects of this year’s team heading into April, he may have questioned if we had enough to win.

We rushed Victor back to the lineup for Opening Day, Verlander was not ready to pitch; and Joe Nathan, who should have retired, blew out his arm. And after Soria moved to the ninth, no other options were available for late inning duty.

Dombrowski has no issue trading a starting pitcher for a gifted and desperately needed leftfielder, but the poor Tiger bullpen only gets the remaining change in the piggy bank when they need more help to try to get good hitters out at the end of games.

On the other hand, Alex Wilson, an actual great find who came over in the Porcello deal wasn’t trusted until late in the season. Only recently has Dave’s manager realized that Alex can be pretty competent in a late inning role.…fference-maker/

It’s really a shame isn’t it? A team with the talents of Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, JD Martinez, David Price, Jose Iglesias and Yoenis Cespedes, shouldn’t be forced to figure out whether to buy or sell at the trade deadline.

This team has won every individual award imaginable. They have Cy Youngs, MVP’s, Rookie of the Year awards, a Triple Crown and no hitters; practically every individual award to be won has sat in that Tiger dugout at one time or another over the last several years. Even this year, Jose Iglesias is a good bet for Comeback Player of the Year.

But amazingly, none of those awards have helped carry the Tigers to a title, and time is running out.

My dad used to have this huge hour-glass on his desk when he was the manager of Tiger Stadium. After every game, he would walk to his office, turn it over and when the sand ran out, it was time to clear the park. Every fan still in the stadium would be directed to the exits.

Mike Illitch must have an hour-glass just like it for Dave Dombrowski;  as it seems DD may have been given the “No World Series – No Extension” ultimatum. The way things are going, the sand is close to running out and Dombrowski may be forced to find an exit.


  1. I’m really enjoying the blog and insights you and Holly write about. Do you think that at Mike’s age he has the patience to go through another rebuilding effort not only in on-field personnel but in the front office as well? I ask this because a number of employees in the front office have followed DD here.


  2. I may be in the minority, but I’m not excited to see Dombrowski leave. I have often felt that Dave was following Mr. Ilich’s orders to get big time players. As Kurt indicated, these salaries hampered our ability to field a complete team. The buck stops w/Dave, but it’s hard to forget he made Detroit baseball relevant again.


    • Ray – I have been a Dombrowski fan and still believe he is one of the league’s best GM’s. And frankly it frightens me that we won’t be upgrading the position should he leave. But we have been at this a long time, and there seems to be something fundamentally wrong, keeping us from getting the job done. Thank you for your comments. Kurt


  3. Great new blog! DD has been an exciting and daring GM and I certainly acknowledge some terrific trades and moves such as swinging a deal for Cabrera and acquiring J.D. Martinez. He also has shown that he can off-load a bad contract (Fielder). On the downside, he has placed too much confidence that players will perform into their 40’s and will rebound from injuries.


  4. Well done, Kurt!! You and Holly are a refreshing anecdote to Tigers BB & your insights are well thought out – THANKS!


  5. Kurt,at this juncture do you think that Iilitch has already gone over DD’s head and perhaps has asked Jim Leyland to talk to guys like Ron Gardenhire and Ron Washington and gauge their feelings about coming back to manage the Tigers? If so, why not start to prepare for 2016 right now and have Tram manage the rest of the season.


    • Chuck – I think Mr I and Dave are very close. So I can’t see him talking with anyone without Dave in the room. We have to wait for this all to shake out. We are assuming Ausmus is leaving. But even that is not a certainty. That’s Dave’s hire. So if Ausmus leaves, Dave will be in the seat next to him. One will not leave without the other.


  6. Yup, the DD Plan of buying a collection of stars brought the Tigers out of the doldrums of the Smith years, but you can’t build a TEAM that way. He has made the owner a lot of money though.


  7. I wonder what would happen if Mike Ilitch just said, I’ve lived a good life, I don’t need the Tigers to win to make my life complete. I think everyone in the organization could relax and take a more well-rounded approach to what is needed for the Tigers. But Mike Ilitch is probably too competitive to do that.


  8. DD very much in public eye tonight on Boston ESPN broadcast. Think now he’s staying put here next year and that fine by me. Get rid of Ausmus an AA. Now all he’s gotta do is sign Price and perhaps let Cespedes go. For relief help. We got baseball for 2016! Yea!


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