WATER COOLER CONVERSATIONS

By:  Holly Horning

If you haven’t had the chance to read why Totally Tigers was created, check it out under the “About” link at the top of the page. Our purpose is to offer in-depth perspectives and analysis…. to cover issues that the mainstream media ignores… and to introduce topics that stay with readers beyond the morning and hopefully throughout the year. This is a blog meant to make us think and keep us curious about this wonderful sport and our favorite team.

And today’s blog is a perfect example of why we created Totally Tigers. There’s no analysis. No arguments for one side or the other. Sometimes the most revealing pieces are those that require the reader to do the heavy-lifting.

Take the questions listed below and run with them. Take them with you to the water cooler, coffee bar – or any bar for that matter – or even your Zumba class. Approach, engage, examine and argue your case. Have fun!

1. With the retirement of Jeter, Chipper Jones, Posada and Rivera, will there ever be another player with 10+ years MLB experience to spend his entire career with one team?

2. Do we overvalue a GM’s skills and contributions if the team’s owner makes it possible and easy for him to sign the best and most expensive talent?

3. Is MLB’s yearly “Faces of Baseball” contest suspect given that all the “winners” have been American-born players?

4. Has managing the talent-loaded Tigers for 8 years favorably-clouded Jim Leyland’s managerial reputation given that only 5 of his previous 14 years resulted in over .500 seasons?

5. Is a manager’s greatest impact about employing effective in-game strategy or is it the power to get players to buy into his ideas and motivate them to perform at their peak levels?

6. Is it possible to effectively coach fundamentals to established players at the MLB level?

7. Given how the Tigers are tied financially to all the other Ilitch businesses, will they ever be allowed to go into non-contention and rebuild mode that would create a drop in attendance?

8. Are teams possessing a bolder corporate culture (risk takers, proactive decisions) more likely to end up with more post-season appearances and titles?

9. With the trend towards using relievers earlier in games, will starting pitchers who win 20+ games eventually become extinct?

10. Is it possible to assemble a cohesive collection of players with a single team World Series goal if most or all of them have come from other farm system/team cultures and only recently started playing together?

Which of these resonated with you? Get out there this weekend with these conversation-starters.

5 thoughts on “WATER COOLER CONVERSATIONS

  1. # 1: not many, maybe JV, Kershaw e Trout; # 2: $ doesn’t make a team, KC teaches; # 5: “get players to buy his ideas”; # 6: fundamentals are taught at the youth level, they can only be finished off in the majors; # 8: the WC allows more teams to play in Oct. = more fans = more $; # 9: yes, in 2014 only 3, in 2015 only 2; #10: a winning team is usually based on players who have played together.

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  2. Evan Longoria has quietly put together a solid career and is the Rays’ franchise player. He’s under contract until the early 2020s. He may spend 15 years+ with one team. Same with perhaps Miguel and JV.

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    • Hi, Chuck – You bring up an interesting point – players who stay with one team but for reasons that have to do with lengthy, expensive contracts that may not allow for the team to trade them. While Miggy may never leave, the Tigers are his second team so we can’t keep him on that list. Thanks for adding to the conversation! – Holly

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  3. Manipulating pitching staffs has become a managers #1 job skill it seems to me. Inning designated throwers has changed everything. Not only less work loads for starters but also need for individual to give entire bullpen a “blow.” Likewise, hitters see more A+ pitches now, thus BA’s impacted.

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