By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. Now that the Hot Stove League is heating up, there is plenty to contemplate about the home team and where they are headed.
Holly and Kurt don’t share and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. It almost always translates into a wide array of thoughts.
You’ve got BBWAA writers who say they won’t vote for a player because of his political beliefs, both writers from the same city who unbelievably left JV entirely off their ballots (coincidence?), a ballot being turned in before the season ends and votes being cast by polling random players instead of doing the research. Three out of 4 categories in this year’s seasonal awards have come under intense scrutiny and criticism and it’s only getting worse. How many more years will MLB and the BBWAA fail to address the serious issues surrounding voting, as well as the antiquated system developed over 100 years ago that is in need of serious updating?
At one point, the Tigers had 3 Cy Young Award winners on their roster at the same time and this year’s recognition was filled with Tiger winners past and present. One who was robbed of the award and lost out to a former Tiger and yet another ex-Tiger who now is only 1 of 6 in baseball history to win the prize in both leagues. There is something seriously wrong within this organization when you consider that the Tigers have been the only team in MLB loaded with all this talent and all the major individual awards: Cy Youngs, MVPs, batting champs and a Triple Crown winner and yet can’t even get close to winning a World Series.
Just because your anger is justified about a poor Cy Young Award result, doesn’t mean tweeting a tacky x-rated series of rants is right. Kate Upton put her fiancé, JV, in a difficult position with her comments – straining his friendship with Rick Porcello and undoubtedly angering at least 2 writers which won’t help his case in future voting years. At least JV was diplomatic and gracious as he tried to right the ship on the next day by tweeting his appreciation to everyone in MLB and the BBWAA.
Despite all the outrage surrounding Justin Verlander’s second place finish in the AL Cy Young Award voting, familiar names and ex-Tigers did win the big prize. Max Scherzer won yet another Cy Young Award in the NL while Rick Porcello’s 22 wins bagged him the prize in the AL. If you didn’t know any better, you would have thought the Tigers would have surely won at least onechampionship having had all 3 of these pitchers on their roster at the same time; add in David Price and there is no question right? Wrong.
Speaking of individual awards, the future of Michael Fulmer is indeed bright as he took home the AL Rookie of the Year Award. Fulmer arrived with a boatload of potential in the Yoenis Cespedes trade and has paid huge dividends already. It would surprise no one after having watched him this season, if he someday adds his name to the list of Tigers Cy Young Award winners.
Mike Ilitch should be commended for bringing multiple championships to the Red Wings, having also dotted the landscape of downtown Detroit with a vast amount of successful developments along the way. And of course, he should be commended for his relentless pursuit of a championship for the Tigers; despite what looks like the end of the line for that pursuit. With his influence on the Tigers appearing to diminish, Mr. I is still considered to be near the top on the success meter, but hey, sometimes you just can’t have it all; and if you have read my series this past week, you can probably guess that I can still find some satisfaction in that.