By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
Saturday’s segment has become a day to touch on as many issues as possible. Once again, readers have the opportunity to read and think about a wide variety of topics.
Take a look and see what our writers have on their minds this week.
Omar Vizquel has been named manager of the Venezuelan team in the World Baseball Classic. It’s always been rumored that he wants to manage an MLB team someday, however his involvement as the Tigers’ baserunning coach and in 2014’s shortstop debacle doesn’t paint a positive picture. Will Venezuela’s performance and finish help polish his resume?
The Red Sox farm system was ranked #1 last summer. After trading for a reliever, in which Dave Dombrowski gave up a whopping 4 prospects all highly ranked within both Boston’s system and MLB’s, the Red Sox ranking has dropped to #10. It appears Dave is staying with his m.o. of stripping the farm system and overpaying for talent.
The Tigers televised games have been losing viewership for the past two years. The move last year to add Gibby and Morris reflected their attempt to right the ship as does this year’s plan to occasionally swap Mario Impemba and Dan Dickerson. Payroll continues to exceed revenue while future payroll commitments total 3/4th of a billion dollars – putting the Tigers in jeopardy if they can’t reverse the trend in advance of a new tv contract set for 2018.
The team is embarking on another re-rack, now swapping around their TV and radio play-by-play guys. I know it is just a pilot program right now with only 10-20 games where Mario and Dan will switch places, but the organization is clearly looking for a fresh idea. I think the logical move is to consider addition by subtraction in the interests of something new …
While we are all ramping up for baseball again, let’s take a detour and acknowledge something really important. Hearing that Mike Aviles’ daughter is cancer-free after a bone marrow transplant is the kind of story to which we should direct our focus. After Chad Carr, the 5-year-old grandson of former University of Michigan coach Lloyd Carr lost his battle, it’s nice to hear some encouraging news on that front.
What would be the most exciting storyline to emerge from spring training? To me, it would be Michael Fulmer giving the Tigers no choice but to bring him north. Having Fulmer and Norris make meaningful contributions to the team this year would make us feel pretty darn good about the return on a couple of the big trades last season.