By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. Even as the Tigers have continued their silence this off-season, there is always something to talk about.
Kurt and Holly don’t share and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. It almost always translates into a wide array of thoughts.
Kirk Gibson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame this week. Gibby cemented his Tiger legacy in Game 5 of the 1984 World Series with 2 home runs to seal the deal on a Title. I can’t stress enough how important timing is for Gibby to be honored by the Tigers as well; a statue showing Gibson with his fists in the air, the crowning moment of the last Tiger championship seems appropriate, and the sooner the better.
When was the last time the Tigers had someone emerge unexpectedly from spring training to play a critical role in the success of the team? In 2006, it was Verlander and Zumaya. Does anyone on the current roster stand out as a potential head-turner? I can’t help but think the light is about to go on for Bruce Rondon, as maturity and visible belief in his potential for dominance has begun to emerge.
My dad was always of the mind that distractions within the ballpark used to further entertain the crowd represented antics used by losing franchises. The day that ballparks needed to provide more than just the game to draw fans was the day he never wanted to see. Today, the game now offers more reasons to leave your seat than to stay in it – watch for more of this in 2017 if the team begins to go sour.
At least 1-2 writers are outed yearly for their outrageous and unsupportable ballot decisions. On a recent show, a panel filled with Hall of Fame members, top broadcasters and experienced analysts expressed great concern over many who are allowed to vote. A majority of the panel agreed that given the times, new media and the tendency for many of these voters to use this opportunity as a PR-generating venue for themselves, that writers are poor choices for deciding who enters the Hall.
Al Avila said he received no nibbles regarding trading his top players after declaring that all were available. But now he reports that multiple teams have inquired about Anthony Gose – the same guy demoted twice last year by the Tigers, fought with his manager, refused to show up for the next day’s game and ended up in AA. Unbelievably, Al said he turned down trade offers for Gose because of the “outside” chance he could play CF in 2017 – making this his most embarrassing statement to date.
Many excuses have been offered for why no team has snapped up JD Martinez yet. But national analysts have and it involves JD’s ranking as MLB’s worst RF in 2016 resulting in teams hesitant to put him in the outfield. JD went from saving 4 runs defensively in 2015 to costing the Tigers 22 runs in 2016 while his UZR (measuring fielding prowess compared to an average player) went from an admirable 7.7 in 2015 to an unbelievable -17.2 last year.