By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. Even with the season over for the Tigers, there will still be much to talk about as the team takes another shot at finding that magic formula.
Holly and Kurt don’t share and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. It almost always translates into a wide array of thoughts.
We may finally have an answer as to why Doug Fister was traded and it’s because Chris Ilitch was in charge of the team in 2013 when his father was very ill. When Dave Dombrowski wanted to sign Joe Nathan after the playoffs that year, it was reported in several publications that Chris told him he had to cut payroll if he wanted Nathan. Exactly one day after trading Fister, Joe Nathan was signed.
It is being reported in several outlets (no, not the mainstream papers) that Chris Ilitch is now officially running the Tigers on a daily basis – and that he was the one with the final decision about keeping Brad Ausmus for just the one year because he does not want to pay for 2 managers down the road. The national media mentioned that when it comes time for manager renewals, owners usually asks for star players’ opinions because they make the most money, have the most influence in the clubhouse and it’s essential that they are kept happy. This winter’s Hot Stove season will be telling about Chris’ continued influence if payroll is cut in any significant ways.
Am I the only one mad that on his last day, the Boston Red Sox retired Big Papi’s number during a surprise ceremony at Fenway Park? The Tigers don’t promote their own players or go to bat for them like other teams do when it comes to Hall of Fame voting. If ownership doesn’t do this, should anyone be surprised that deserving Tigers are ignored and fall off the ballot?
Time and time again, ex-Tiger David Price has drawn interest from teams enamored with his dominance as one of the best left-handed pitchers in the game. But how many teams have been enamored with his playoff performances? I have one thing to say about David Price: no amount of money is worth acquiring a pitcher who seems to lack the intestinal fortitude to help his team win a championship; you almost can’t pitch him in October!
The day Rajai Davis left the Tigers was a day I questioned what value they found in players who made up the fabric of a baseball team. As much as I have despised watching the Indians do so well, I can appreciate teams who understand the importance of a guy like Davis; someone with infectious laughter and positivity, oh and someone who can still lead the league in stolen bases. What was it about the Tigers that made Davis want to leave?
If you were to ask the Tiger organization what they feel was the reason for the decrease in attendance in 2016, I wonder what they would say. They were a team with a better record than last season. They were in the playoff race all the way to the end in ’16 versus a last place finish in ’15. Would really love to know what they think.