THE BEST OF DAD 2016

By:  Kurt Snyder

If you’re new to Totally Tigers, maybe you have missed The Ralph Snyder Archives. For my piece of the blog world on this site, I take my greatest joy in sharing stories about my father.

So since it’s my turn at the plate and you need some more reading material while you spend the day waiting for the ball to drop, why not spend it reading The Best of Dad? It comes highly recommended. 🙂


https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/tigertown-one-big-happy-family/

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/behind-every-man/

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/baseball-stops-when-the-u-s-army-calls/

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/06/18/dad-all-about-families-both-home-and-away/

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/baseball-robbed-of-jose-fernandez/

THE BEST OF LATE SUMMER 2016

By:  Holly Horning

With the last holiday upon us, let’s conclude our look back at some of the best blogs of Late Summer 2016. Most still applicable. Many that challenge us anew. Some of which will now get us thinking differently given the conclusion of the 2016 season.

So whether you have a few more quiet moments in your day, are still recovering from that food coma, have visiting relatives who haven’t taken your hints to leave – or have recently discovered Totally Tigers, these blogs are the perfect respite from the non-stop festivities of the season.

Enjoy them as you make plans to hit the gym at the crack of dawn come Monday……


BUT IS IT THE TIGERS?

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/a-tale-of-a-team/

TRADING TIGERS

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/the-business-of-baseball/

WHO’S TO BLAME?

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/07/21/a-cultural-change-will-do-you-good/

THE MANIPULATING MEDIA

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/07/17/controlling-the-message/

HIS MOVES STILL LIVE ON

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/winning-ways/

MARKETING MAGIC

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/07/10/sexy-vs-solid/

NO SENSE OF URGENCY

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/managerial-mentalities/

BULLPENS (OF, COURSE)

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/calling-captain-hook/

CONTROLLING THE MESSAGE

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/conflict-of-interest/

THE FAMILY TREE

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/loyal-to-a-fault/

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/payroll-potential-purpose-and-plans/

ONE TOPIC – TWO TAKES

By:  Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning

The Tigers have been busy. No really, have you noticed? You can’t help but wonder what to think of it. It begs a question, doesn’t it?

Our writers’ answers to the following question have not been shared with each other until today, so readers will have the best shot at getting different perspectives on the same topic.


The Tigers have been signing a number of older players – released by other teams, having played in Japan or not in MLB for the past 1-2 years – to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training. How would you interpret these moves?


KURT

It’s a bit troubling, don’t you think? Avila’s ‘changes…they are a-comin’ speech has been reduced to a yawn fest. Names like Alex Presley and Omar Infante are coming to a minor league town near you. Isn’t this whole exercise of adding depth to the minor leagues a bit of an imposter?

This resembles a game of Tap Baseball where you spin the wheel and land on one-star players who are automatically added to your roster. This isn’t depth, these are just empty transactions. I treat this as the new order; with an ‘acting’ owner, Chris Ilitch, at work keeping the costs down, way down, until the team is sold.

Al Avila only got one year to play in Mike Ilitch’s pile of money. Dave Dombrowski got 14 years to roll around in it and scream like a little kid, fantasizing about all the ice cream, lollipops, pitchers with big arms and hitters with big bats, that he could buy and trade. Avila got very little of that joy, something that normally comes with being the general manager of a Mike Ilitch-owned baseball team.

But,  he only got one year. He got Zimmermann and Upton and now he’s done. The leash has already yanked him back to the yard and he is now reduced to signing retreads to fill the minor league system. So, sell the team, Chris. This isn’t fun for anyone, including your GM.


HOLLY

The Tigers have signed a whopping 24 new players so far to minor league contracts with the best known being Omar Infante. While it is typical for teams to bring in these players for depth, the Tigers have signed the most by far out of all the teams and raising a few eyebrows along the way.

It’s interesting that only the first few signed got mentioned in the papers because the Tigers did not send out press releases on most of these guys. Could it possibly be due to how the public would interpret these moves combined with the failure to sign anyone for their MLB roster? That is, if you don’t count Alex Avila.

Pitchers were the most popular – 15 of them – followed by 4 infielders, 3 outfielders and 2 catchers.

The larger-than-normal number tells me three things:

1. The farm system is essentially barren after being pillaged by Dave Dombrowski for years who used it as his own personal ATM (Athletes To Move) as a means to facilitate the constant trades. Those ready to take over in AAA are few and far between. The new signings are a stop-gap measure while the minors attempt to re-load as well as serving as the required depth for when one of the regulars has to visit the DL.

2. Having depth is one thing, but having so much depth makes a statement about the dubious quality of the players – both new and current. Avila probably expects that they will cycle through player options quickly when call-ups are needed.

3. Al Avila is not being given any money in which to get new players not named Avila so he is going for quantity over quality. Unless the Tigers are able to trade away a larger contract, he won’t get any money with which to use – reminiscent of Chris Ilitch’s philosophy back in 2013 when he forced Dombrowski to trade Doug Fister in order to sign Joe Nathan.

It would appear that our GM is trying to gather as many low-cost options as possible because his hands are tied financially. And I’m sure he’s praying that no one on the 25-man roster has to go on the DL this year.

A LETTER TO THE OWNER

I believe a Letter to the Owner is an appropriate exercise towards the end of every baseball season. But with all the speculation about who is actually running the Tigers and who might be running the team at the end of 2017, who knows who I will be writing to and about what.

Take a look at my Letter to Mike in September, and then decide what will be the hot topic next season. To whom will I write? And will it be about the same tired story?

Totally Tigers

By:  Kurt Snyder

Dear Mr. Ilitch,

I can’t imagine how you must be feeling as another Tiger season threatens to end once again, with disappointment; another season that may end without even a playoff appearance.

All over the league teams are fighting tooth and nail to qualify for the elusive Wild Card spots. Teams like Seattle and even the Yankees have gotten on rolls in September. Sure, they may run out of gas and not qualify, but these teams have shown a lot of character, a lot of spunk and desire, in an attempt to snatch one of those spots.

The Yankees, who sold the farm to build a farm, have surprised just about everyone with their improved play and contention for a Wild Card. But your Tigers, they are just meekly fading away.

Sure, there have been great individual performances, mostly by Justin Verlander, who has given you a…

View original post 669 more words

OPEN MIKE!

It’s  the last Tuesday of the year folks, so we are giving it to you! Tuesday is the day for reader feedback.  And as a special holiday gift, you get yet another shot at “Open Mike!”

As usual, this is the one day of the week where we open up the comment parameters for you, so you can really get those juices flowing. Comments on THIS DAY ONLY can be expanded to a maximum of 8 sentences. So let ‘er rip! Pick a topic and let us hear from you. We know there’s a lot on your minds…

THE BEST OF SUMMER 2016

By:  Holly Horning

With the holidays upon us, let’s revisit some of the best blogs of Winter 2016. Most still applicable. Many that challenge us anew. Some of which will now get us thinking differently given the conclusion of the 2016 season.

So whether you have a few more quiet moments in your day, are recovering from a food coma, looking to escape visiting relatives – or have recently discovered Totally Tigers, these blogs are the perfect respite from the non-stop festivities of the season.

Enjoy them as you dig once again through the fridge looking for those leftovers………..


BIG SALARIES, BIG EXPECTATIONS

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/great-expectations-2/

THE MISBEHAVING MEDIA

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/media-messages-managers-and-mediocrity/

MOMAGERS

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/every-dugout-needs-a-momager/

HOMERS – THE PEOPLE, NOT THE AT-BAT

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/06/19/homers-dont-help/

TIGER MYSTERIES

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/06/05/as-time-goes-by/

FELIZ AVI-LA?

By:  Kurt Snyder

What a difference a year makes. Last season, Christmas time was loaded with discussion about what the Tigers had already unwrapped. Jordan Zimmermann, Francisco Rodriguez and Cameron Maybin had already shed their old uniforms for a fresh and new Olde English D.

It was the advent of Al Avila. It was his first 3 contributions to the retooling of the Tigers for another run at a championship. Mike Ilitch had professed and even laughed at the notion that eclipsing the luxury tax was nothing to be concerned about and that if need be he would spend until he got this team where he wanted it to go.

Last season, Comerica Park lit up like a Christmas tree with their bright and shiny new decorations. Zimmermann, KRod and Maybin became the focus. Fans then waited in anticipation to see what Al would do next. After all he pretty much had told us. He wanted to add pieces to the pen.

It was just a matter of what the names would be. He told us what he wanted. He told us what was on his list. He did everything but tell Santa who he wanted to see under his tree come Christmas.

So here we are a year later. And boy, are things different or what? Christmas has arrived with barely a whimper when it comes to baseball in Detroit. No excitement, no rumors with any legs; only the signing of Al’s son, Alex.

What a difference a year makes. Usually we buckle up for more fireworks on the trade and free agent front. Instead, we are only loosening our belts after too much Christmas ham.

At least you can concentrate on the lives of your families this holiday season. Tiger baseball is far from a distraction from everyday life.

Cheers to you all! Have a great holiday season!

THE BEST OF SPRING 2016

By:  Holly Horning

With the holiday weekend here, let’s revisit some of the best blogs of Spring 2016. Most still applicable. Many that challenge us anew. Some of which will now get us thinking differently given the conclusion of the 2016 season.

So whether you have a few more quiet moments in your day, are looking to escape visiting relatives, desperately seeking dinner topics other than politics – or have recently discovered Totally Tigers, these blogs are the perfect respite from the non-stop festivities of the season.

May you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or a wonderful celebration of whatever holiday you recognize. Happy Holidays – or as it is known in our household, Happy Holly Daze!


PRE-SEASON SPIN

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/03/20/manipulating-the-masses/

BASEBALL BELIEFS

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/baseball-beliefs/

THE BULLPEN, NATCH

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/being-bullish-on-the-pen/

THE CHANGING WORLD OF BASEBALL NEWS

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/when-journalists-attack/

THE BEST OF WINTER 2016

By:  Holly Horning

With the holiday weekend here, let’s revisit some of the best blogs of Winter 2016. Most still applicable. Many that challenge us anew. Some of which will now get us thinking differently given the conclusion of the 2016 season.

So whether you have a few more quiet moments in your day, are looking to escape visiting relatives, desperately seeking dinner topics other than politics – or have recently discovered Totally Tigers, these blogs are the perfect respite from the non-stop festivities of the season.

May you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or a wonderful celebration of whatever holiday you recognize. Happy Holidays – or as it is known in our household, Happy Holly Daze!


MLB’s LARGEST COLLECTION OF MANAGERS UNDER ONE ROOF

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/never-can-say-goodbye/

BASEBALL’S BIGGEST MYSTERIES

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/i-just-dont-get-it/

THE GREAT HALL OF FAME DEBATE

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/when-midwest-nice-goes-bad/

AN OWNER’S INFLUENCE

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/owners-influence/

WATER COOLER CONVERSATIONS FOR THE AGES

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/water-cooler-conversations/

ONE TOPIC – TWO TAKES

By:  Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder

As Christmas draws closer, it’s only appropriate that we consider what the Tigers need the most. They are in the biggest gray area we have ever experienced during an off-season. A franchise used to making big splashes, has barely made a ripple heading into 2017. So what do they need?

Our writers’ answers to the following question have not been shared with each other until today. And the reason, as always, is so readers have the best shot at getting different perspectives on the same topic.


If you had one wish for the Tigers, one hope for Christmas, what stands out as their most glaring need for 2017?


HOLLY

You’ll never read about it in the local Detroit papers, but several prominent (and historically accurate) national sportswriters are reporting that money is so tight with the Tigers that even Al Avila is unable to sign his son for the asking price of app. $2 million – maybe less if a family discount is negotiated.

This information is just further proof that Mr. I is no longer in charge of running the Tigers. And it also fits the m.o. of Chris Ilitch who ran the Tigers back in 2013 while his father was recovering. That year, he forced Dave Dombrowski to trade Doug Fister in order to sign Joe Nathan so as not to increase payroll.

Given that the Tigers remain fairly solid, and a team still seen as being competitive in 2017, to not do anything is a sign that those who are now running the club prioritize saving money over everything else. It also supports growing evidence, much of it reported here, that the Tigers are putting the pieces into place for a sale.

A sale that, quite frankly, I would welcome because new ownership is the team’s biggest need.

Don’t get me wrong – I am most appreciative of Mr. I’s ownership and generous nature. But his philosophy of taking shortcuts and often meddling within the GM’s areas of expertise, ended up being contributing factors in the team not getting to their ultimate goal.

The Tigers need a new owner who will bring fresh ideas, fresh people and fresh perspectives about how to build a team that can win it all in October – preferably before Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera retire.


KURT

This situation reeks of a team on the move, and I’m not talking about personnel, but a team getting ready to sell.

Their biggest need is new ownership. You would think with so much to offer in the way of talent that they could piece together a deal. But what we have been hearing is that the Tigers have been asking too much. Free agents – forget about it! The situation has turned out to be the exact opposite of what Al Avila told us to expect.

Blowing past the Winter Meetings and heading into the holiday season without anything close to change surely is not what we expected. The team appears to be in lockdown mode.

After so many failed attempts to win a title, the Ilitch way seems to have run its course. Free spending with no regard for the future has brought them to this, and a sale is really what this franchise needs the most.