By:  Holly Horning

When we talk about baseball players, we usually understand their strengths. Whether they are great at hitting or at fielding. Sometimes solidly possessing both skills.

And then there’s the phrase “5 tool player” which refers to a player who is solid at all the top baseball skills.

But what about GMs? They’re people, too.

And for some reason, many in the baseball world – from owners to fans – believe that every GM should be strong in every aspect of their job.

But is that a fair assumption to make?

Should every GM be required to excel in every facet?

And how many of today’s GMs actually do?

Before we can analyze, let’s identify the primary skills required of a GM:

– Scouting

– Drafting

– Signing current players/free agents

– Trading

– Negotiations

– Creating and implementing a vision and strategy

– Hiring Front Office personnel

– Hiring the manager

– Implementing the owner’s strategy

– Establishing and maintaining the corporate culture

– Matching needs with budget

And each of these skills also requires an understanding of human nature, understanding and hiring the right mix of personalities, communication skills (with the team, media and fans) and a working knowledge of both legal and financial skills.

It’s a tall order.

Many considered Dave Dombrowski to be one of the best GMs when he was with the Tigers. But how many of these skills did (and does) he actually possess?

Sure, Dave was the absolute best at trading. No one better. But he was only fair at drafting and did nothing to improve the Tigers’ organization when it came to the farm system and new trends such as analytics and technology. And he often bumped heads with Mr. I.

One could look at his decade+ time with Detroit as working towards a singular goal and not towards strengthening the organization as a whole or planning for the future.

Most notable was his failure to understand the developing trends such as the rise of the bullpen, analytics and finding the right mix of personalities and leaders in the clubhouse who would bond with each other and unify under a single goal.

If we turn to Al Avila, 2 years+ is not enough time to get a full read on his skills. GMs are often hired in 5 year increments because it takes that long in order to see if the plan and efforts are paying off.

Granted, the visible evidence we have seen so far is not promising. But are we judging him solely on his failed results with signing certain players like Zimmermann and Pelfrey?

Are we giving Trader Dave extra credit because he made big, splashy signings and not giving enough credit to Avila because he’s making the quiet, low-key moves that strengthen a system silenty and from deep within, instead of visible to everyone watching the game?

Could Al actually be the opposite of Trader Dave? Could his strengths actually be Dombrowski’s weaknesses – and vice versa?

Avila was the first GM in a long time to tackle the farm system – both in stocking it and changing long-entrenched personnel. He introduced a systematic performance book and built an analytics department. And in (finally) hiring a new manager, he was quoted as saying that Gardenhire would come in and change the corporate culture.

As for many of the other skills listed above, it is too soon to tell how successful Avila’s moves will be. We also don’t know what the new and silent owner has told him about the team’s future – or what resources he has given him. We do understand that he has nowhere near the options and money Dave had when he held the same position.

And quite frankly, Avila is also charged with the task of mopping up the mess that was largely created by the former owner and GM. Dave got to do the fun stuff but these are different times and different situations. Al is now tasked with doing the dirty work. And to be fair, we have to say the jury is still out.

But if you look around MLB, you’ll see that other teams understand how much their GMs are required to do. And they also realize that the GM can’t be an expert in all of these areas. Which is why the trend of hiring multiple “GM”s is happening with many of the teams.

If you look at the list of each team’s executives, you’ll generally only see 1 official General Manager. Unless you are Dave Dombrowski and eliminate the position of GM, assume the title of President and do the job of the GM.

But teams are now dividing the traditional GM job down into specialized roles. They are creating “Presidents” and “VP”s of Baseball Operations, Finance, Player Development, Analytics and other terms, giving each person the lead in running that aspect of the organization. In other words, they are hiring specialists to oversee specialized elements that each contribute to the job of finding, developing and fielding a team.

Front Offices are expanding exponentially as a result.

Will the Tigers follow suit? Probably not given their history of being among the very last to adapt to the latest and greatest trends. And also unlikely given that they are looking to cut payroll.

Al Avila though could sure use the help. He’s got a lot on his plate.

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By:  Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning

With Spring Training well underway, everything seems right with the world. The media has done a good job of filling our minds with wonderful thoughts about the team and portraying the events in Lakeland as a miracle World Series waiting to happen.

OK, that’s maybe an exaggeration, but hardly a negative word has been spoken.  But there have been good things, right?  Can we agree on that?

Kurt and Holly have not shared their answers to the following question. That’s the policy. You know it. You love it. They do it for you. So, let’s get on with it.

What one aspect of spring training have you been happiest to see so far?


It’s early but I sense a harmony from way up here in Detroit. The only thing that has been remotely negative in Lakeland was the conversation about Victor Martinez and how he thought Gardy should have texted him if he wanted to get a hold of him.

Other than that, Gardenhire’s relaxed approach to Spring Training has been calculated and smart. Bonding the team should indeed be the first mission. He made it clear right out of the gate that fundamentals are what he concentrates on the most, but also that the team can have fun while working hard.

This is a challenging season ahead for this team, and the sooner they embrace it, accept it and realize they can still enjoy it, the better. Bonding this team together will help make this team play loose and it appears most of the apples in the basket are here to buy in, to embrace it.

With all apprehension gone about bringing Gardenhire on board now instead of, say, 4 years ago, I can honestly say my mind is now clear that there is a plan in place. Gardy knows how to prepare a team heading into this kind of situation. And I look forward to watching the team evolve heading into March.


For the past 4 years (12 if you’re counting), there has been one constant in Lakeland – the visible and constant presence of Jim Leyland.

For several of those seasons, I personally watched him move around Joker Marchant Stadium, popping up everywhere. I sat near him a couple of times when he accompanied Tigers brass to view, analyze and comment on the games and watched him take the time to work the endless crowds near the fences.

But it’s not happening this year. At least not to the great extent of previous years. And not a single interview being published that shares his thoughts on how the team is doing. And this is a good thing.

It has nothing to do with personal feelings about the man. This is all about recognizing the need to go in another direction, a new dependence upon hearing different voices and the simple fact that Ron Gardenhire, unlike his predecessor, doesn’t need tutoring or an enforcer.

It’s only when the past fades into the background that you are truly reassured that there is a changing of the guard with the hope of moving forward and not clinging to the past.

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By:  Kurt Snyder

Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, Matthew Boyd and Daniel Norris.

Unlike other teams beginning a fresh start and a rebuild, the Tigers will not spend the spring trying to piece together a starting rotation. First, not many teams in transition have an All-Star caliber ace to lead the rotation.

The Tigers are not without question marks, for sure, but they have seen glimpses of success from all 4 starters listed above.

Michael Fulmer, assuming he is healthy, will only be on the rise, and should be expected to be an All-Star.

Jordan Zimmermann is a veteran pitcher who had plenty of success with the Washington Nationals, but only just short of half a season of impressive pitching here in Detroit.   Given the investment, he will be given every opportunity to succeed.

Matthew Boyd is trending upward and had glimpses of dominance last season, including a near no-hitter late in the year.   He could be headed for his best season.

Daniel Norris, the last one to be mentioned, was the one Tiger pitching acquisition considered to have the most upside when he arrived in the trade for David Price in 2015. The best stuff, the best athlete, the one to challenge Michael Fulmer as the future ace of the Tiger staff.

But Norris has been just another pitcher to show glimpses of success, and unfortunately they have been few and far between. Injuries, emotions and self-doubt have plagued him. But we haven’t shoved him aside because you can see talent there. Can’t you see a future, waiting to break out?

However, not every young pitcher considered to have a bright future ends up having that bright future. Some never make it over the hump. And the Tigers are not handing Norris the 4th spot in the rotation, or even the 5th.

Mike Fiers has been acquired from the Houston Astros and will compete for one of those 5 spots in the rotation. Alex Wilson has shown an interest in starting and he will be given every opportunity to earn a spot. And now Francisco Liriano has been signed by the Tigers as another veteran lefty who will compete for a spot as well.

These are all good moves for the Tigers. During a rebuild, veteran pitching is just as important to have on your roster as promising young players. Depth is filled by the experienced, just in case.

And unfortunately, Daniel Norris is still one of those ‘just in case’ pitchers, one you’re not sure will earn a roster spot come the end of March. It’s why Alex Wilson thinks he has a shot at a rotation spot. And Mike Fiers and Francisco Liriano.

Daniel has been through so much. Many forget his bout with cancer a couple of years back, which he beat, but put his career behind. Other injuries did the same thing. So you can understand his uneasiness about his health status this spring as he consulted a doctor’s opinion on his groin injury he suffered from during the 2017 season. He wants to check all the boxes. It’s not often that he has come into camp without some weight holding him back.  He needs that assurance.

He is that guy who shows his emotions on his sleeve. Which makes you excited for him. A breakthrough season for Norris would be an exciting time for all of us. You get the impression that a dominant Daniel would unleash that fire you know he has pent up inside, waiting to get out.

But the Tigers will make no promises. Rebuilding often means more leash for some, but Norris now enters his 4th season with the team, so it is time to start to reap some benefits. The franchise has continued to draft and trade for promising pitching talent, and over the next couple of seasons,  they will all be itching to come to Detroit and be considered for that same starting rotation.   Names like  Franklin Perez, Matt Manning, Alex Faedo and Beau Burrows;  all pitchers considered to be the best of the bunch.

The names offer hope but no certainties.  But they are thought of very highly.

Even though not much is expected of the Tigers this season, more will be expected from Daniel Norris.  And he need only look over his shoulder to see that the team is willing to go in other directions if he continues to flounder.   The competition is ready and waiting.

But this should not be Daniel’s mindset.  I would like him to take this on with a more aggressive approach.  The heck with the guys behind him.  What I would like to see is for him to put some pressure on the guys in front of him, instead of just holding back the guys behind.

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By:  Holly Horning

It’s a better prognosticator than the groundhog. Spring training is back to assure us that spring is right around the corner. That is, unless you live in Michigan.

But while we eagerly take in these first few games, we still can’t see how things will change with the new regime. It’s too early yet. The manager is brand new and many of the players are still shrouded in mystery.

However, we can take some of the clues given to us and run with them. That, combined with the never-ending fountain of information Al Avila gladly offers us.

I have always detested those predictions made by newspapers, Vegas and well-meaning baseball analysts. Predictions meant to draw attention to those who make them – or to draw away well-earned paychecks. You will never catch me sharing my thoughts on who will win their division, playoffs or World Series. I always wait until the very end to see what happens. Or in the immortal words of Yogi Berra, I believe that “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

But what I can do is to share some thoughts on what we may see this year. All based upon track records and quotes – and compared to the patterns seen over the past 4 years.

Here are my top dozen early season indicators……..

1. The daily game results may be spirit-challenging, but at least the post-game interviews with Ron Gardenhire will be a breath of fresh air. Humor and a candid take will replace the defensive comments and trite “That’s baseball!” quotes.

2. The team will play fundamentally better baseball, but it will take at least a couple of months to see a pattern of consistency.

3. The player cliques that developed over the past 4 years won’t go away overnight, but they will gradually dissolve over the first half of the season.

4. There will be more base running. Proven players with speed and running smarts like Leonys Martin will be able to take a base at will and not have to get permission first.

5. Gardy is not going to have a problem moving VMart down in the order and he won’t be putting him directly behind Miggy in the lineup.

6. Old habits such as trotting to first base and routinely blowing past Dave Clark’s stop signs will be corrected but it may take a few months.

7. The perceived rift between Nick Castellanos and management over whether or not a contract extension was offered will continue to play out over the course of the year.

8. Just because it’s a new year and the team is rebuilding, the trades will continue to happen. Expect both Nick and Iggy to leave due to the combination of their higher salaries and maximum trade value given that their contracts are set to expire in the near future.

9. The new skipper will have a significantly different lineup and be much more flexible in moving players around, especially early in the year.

10. The bored, unfocused and uninspired looks of last year’s players will be replaced by guys who try harder and look interested, enthusiastic and hungry about playing the game.

11. The road between Detroit and Toledo will see much more traffic throughout the year as the Tigers tinker with their lineup and test the talents of their young.

12. There will much less spitting and fewer dugout dustups between teammates.

What other habits and behaviors can you add to this list?

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By:  Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder

During the offseason, Totally Tigers has turned Saturday into a day to address the latest impactful news of the week, whether in Detroit or baseball in general.

All rosters have reported for duty. The games have begun in both the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues. Spring Training is here! So what has gotten the majority of our writers’ attention?

Holly and Kurt don’t normally share their topics with each other in the interests of getting a wider range of perspective. Let’s see what they have for today.


Dave Dombrowski appears to have gotten some revenge against Scott Boras who played him during the Max Scherzer negotiations in order to generate a bidding war. A $110 million/5-year contract that is a far cry from the $210 million Boras said JD Martinez was worth.

But wait – this signing continues its soap opera ways with the news that David Price initially advised his former Tiger teammate, JD, that the Red Sox players were very negative and that JD may want to sign elsewhere. Price’s trade from the Tigers (for Norris, Boyd and Labourt) looks better every day given last year’s arm troubles, poor record, fights with fans, media and teammates and the $157 million (5 more years) still due until he hits age 37.

Yet despite the contract agreement made on Monday, and an announcement scheduled for mid-week, Martinez’s contract still is not official (as of late Friday) due to reported concerns over his Lysfranc injury suffered while still a Tiger. Don’t be surprised if Dombrowski uses his medical checkup results as leverage in tweaking the unofficial contract one last time.


Well, once the Hot Stove League started to warm up again, all the big time free agents began to sign, including ex-Tiger and longtime free agent, JD Martinez.

News broke this week that he had finally reached an agreement with the Red Sox pending his physical which he showed up for, but afterwards, immediately left camp. So, where is JD?

The Red Sox are publicly showing little concern and experienced something like this with David Price when he signed, but is there more to this than we think? Is JD Martinez getting cold feet about joining the Sox? What were the results of the physical and will JD indeed be playing in Boston?

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microphoneIt’s Friday folks, which means it’s your day! This is the day for you to be heard. Today is the one day during the month where you get the opportunity to  comment on the Tiger topic of your choosing.

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, pick a topic and let us hear from you. What’s on your minds?

 Totally Tigers reminds readers to follow the rules found above the Comment box as well as those listed under the Rules tab. Comments not meeting these requirements cannot be published.





By:  Holly Horning

Baseball is back! There’s a new team, a new direction, a new goal and a new manager. And a new philosophy, strategy and way of doing business.

In many ways, it’s a refreshing change. There’s some stuff we haven’t seen in awhile but also a few hints that some of the previous year’s history still lingers. And it will be interesting to see how long it takes for the organization to be successful in changing it.

This resident image consultant has combed the pictures and quotes – so you don’t have to – to get that first impression about the upcoming year. Our profession preaches the importance of a first impression so it’s natural that the first blog since the players reported addresses this. Let’s hope that the stats that overwhelmingly prove that first impressions are almost always correct applies here.

And the good news is that, despite the warnings about what could happen this year in the standings, the team appears more upbeat and interested. It’s not Brad Ausmus’ team anymore.

So without further adieu, let’s take a look at the top 15 first impressions so far in these first 4 days.

1. Ron Gardenhire is a refreshing change from Brad Ausmus. He’s lively, smiling, joking and strongly engaged with everyone. Fans no longer have to suffer through the defensive, inane comments of Ausmus. Gardy’s comments contain content, no excuses and lots of humor. And his body language is much more comfortable and confident, too. He appears comfortable and knowledgeable wearing the managerial cap.

2. Of course, everyone comes to spring training saying that they are in the best physical condition of their lives. So don’t be surprised when you hear it from Miggy and VMart. They both said it in February last year and then 9 months later, said they were hurt all year long. Talk is cheap – it’s the results that rule. Let’s wait – and hope.

3. With Justin Verlander gone, and Miggy’s personal life continuing to cast a controversial cloud, more coverage is being given to Michael Fulmer. If he has a good year, expect him to inherit the mantle of the second Franchise Face. That is, if the Tigers don’t try to trade him.

4. Al Avila said the Tigers tried to extend Nick Castellanos over the winter but negotiations got nowhere. Yesterday, Nick Castellanos said it was (sic) “news to him.” What exactly is going on here?

5. Gardenhire and his coaches appear to be locked in and lovin’ their work. The coaches all meeting, working and coordinating together – and enjoying each other’s company. I don’t remember seeing pictures resembling any of this in the previous 4 years.

6. It appears Victor Martinez is still wearing a chip on his shoulder. He only connected with his new manager when he reported to camp and when asked why it took so long, he said that Gardy should have texted him. Communication works both ways, last I heard.

7. The Tigers’ skipper has made a point this week of approaching a number of veterans and asking them to take on specific leadership roles and help set the tone as well as mentor the youngest players. Leyland and Ausmus notoriously left players alone to do their own thing.

8. Leonys Martin is well-above the MLB average (90%) for catching balls in CF and has the ability to play shallow, yet still cover balls hit behind him. He’s also considered to be a natural leadoff hitter. If he goes back to his original swing from 2016, could the Tigers finally have their solution for Comerica’s cavernous CF?

9. The Tigers are finally catching up to the rest of MLB teams. They just purchased a Rapsodo pitching unit that collects data on 8 different pitching metrics (velocity, spin rate and efficiency, strike zone analysis and breaking patterns) and is the same unit Justin Verlander was using (and raved about) last year with the Astros. Could it be a sign that the Tigers are investing more in resources that help develop and instruct players instead of spending all their money on players’ salaries?

10. Hallelujah! The Tigers now have a full-time strength and conditioning coordinator. Previously, they have hired only seasonal employees. This one, hired last year, comes with degrees in health science and exercise physiology and a resume that includes the Dodgers and Giants and managing a top sports performance facility.

11. Miggy, VMart and Iggy seem to be inseparable during practices. All three who were “excused” from TigerFest. Two of them for “family emergencies” yet were photographed partying together in Miami during the team festivities. Gardy’s got some “clique-busting” to do.

12. It would have been nice to have seen some pictures of VMart talking to other teammates. There is a picture of him being greeted by an enthusiastic Lloyd McClendon who gave him a huge bear hug. Victor is shown with a one-arm return while turning the rest of his body away.

13. Ron Gardenhire seems to be everywhere on the field – and rarely on the sidelines. He’s in the field with bat and glove, working alongside the players. He’s also constantly communicating and calling out his evaluations to every Tiger who makes a play.

14. The new skipper has a reputation of being able to accomplish more with having less. Given all the positive pictures and quotes, it is realistically conceivable that the Tigers will improve upon last year’s record. They definitely will not be baseball’s worst team – an honor that will go to the Marlins and maybe the White Sox, too.

15. Players – or workers – take their cue from the leader. Gardy is the anti-Ausmus. He is energetic, positive, funny and involved. Expect better play this year. Expect to see players enjoying the game more. Expect more players to care about how their team does.

It may not be a good year standings-wise. But these initial readings are mostly good ones. Let’s hope the stats for first impressions prove true.

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By:  Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning

Spring training has begun and this is sure to be a peculiar one; a Grapefruit League season unlike those in the past.

Where will the interest lie? Who will be focused on the most?

Kurt and Holly have not shared their answers to the following question. That’s the policy. You know it. You love it. They do it for you. So let’s get on with it.

Which one Tiger are you most interested in watching during Spring Training?


Well, who is going to have the biggest influence on this team? Not necessarily on the success, because we can’t foresee the level of success. No, regardless of talent and regardless of personality, what we complained about the most over the last 4 years was a team without a pulse, without drive and without a will to win.

This team, now devoid of so much talent, won’t have many observers wondering what they could possibly do to win in 2018. They will have people watching the new guy brought in to change the culture. Brought in to change how the game is played and maybe to inject some life and fun into this team.

Ron Gardenhire is not like one of those whiz kids hired in New York and Boston and Washington; he is an old-school manager, looking to revive his own career and looking to revive a franchise that lost its way. He will have my focus. I will watch his every move when I get the opportunity. I will listen to and read every word, and break it all down.

This is all about our new manager and I will only study individual players if he references them or interacts with them.


Sure, I’d like to see how Miggy moves in Lakeland, if Fulmer’s arm fulcrum has healed and also Victor’s visage when he’s interacting with his teammates. But those are individuals who will only give us a quick snapshot of one aspect of the team. I wanna know more!

Which is why I can’t wait to see how Ron Gardenhire introduces himself to all the players and gives us hints about how different this team will be in 2018. He says he hates sloppy so I want to see how he handles a fundamentally flawed situation.

I want to view how often he confabs with Miggy and VMart, the lone holdouts who hadn’t connected with their new boss until reporting this past weekend. How often will they be talking to each other and will the conversations and body language appear relaxed – or stiff and defensive?

It will also be interesting to see the developing relationship between Gardy and the coaching survivors, McClendon and Clark, anticipating what, if any changes are made to their way of working with players. And then there’s Jim Leyland – a regular and highly visible in Lakeland during Brad Ausmus’ tenure. Will he do a disappearing act now that one of his best buddies and former formidable foe is in charge?

Pass the popcorn…

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By:  Holly Horning

On this holiDay weekenD,  please enjoy the posting of a previous blog that still can be enjoyed toDay, just as it was then.

Happy PresiDent’s Day!

“I feel a sudden urge to sing…the kind of ditty that invokes the Spring.

So, control your desire to curse…while I crucify the verse…

So to spare you all the pain,  I’ll skip the darn thing and sing the refrain: 

The night is young, the skies are clear

And if you want to go walkin’, dear

It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely.

I understand the reason why

You’re sentimental, ’cause so am I

It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely…”

                                                                                                    – Cole Porter, Red Hot and Blue, 1936

No, it’s actually-troit.

I knew if I waiteD long enough I woulD be able to tie in my favorite composer and songwriter with baseball. Afterall, the song hints of spring training and the memories we Don’t want to see Disappear, right?

And last week’s D-cision on changing the logo sparkeD my crazy, creative siDe to kick in. I apologize in aDvance.


If you haven’t been living unDer a rock recently, you’ve hearD that the Tigers are “upDating” their Olde English D logo so that the D’s are the same.

As a branDing consultant, I will say that one of the first orDers of business for a top branD is to have the same logo for everything associateD with your business. AnD you also want to keep that logo without changing it for many years.

I’ve lost track of how many times the Tigers have re-formulateD their logo since the beginning of baseball. But that Olde English D is inarguably one of the best visual pieces in all of sports. It is elegant. It is timeless. It reeks of baseball history – and memories. It is recognizable almost everywhere in the worlD.

But once again, the Tigers have been behinD the 8-ball in unifying their logo. Two Differently styleD D’s appearing on their uniforms. While the largest companies have always been aware of their visual branD, it really filtered Down to the rest of business 20 years ago.

So why have the Tigers waiteD so long to refine theirs? Why now? And is it simply an issue of unifying their branD or is there something else involveD?

I think we can say the timing is convenient. Sure, they neeDeD to tighten their logo, but now is the perfect time to Do it.

First of all, it acts as D-flection for what is likely going to be a unfulfilling year performance-wise. It has become the hot topic among Tiger fans and taken some of the attention off the Disappearance of many familiar faces. It also helps to Distract fans from focusing on Miggy’s messy personal life, VMart’s baD behavior and continueD speculation about more traDes.

It also offers something new, fresh and Different which many finD appealing.

But we must take note that it wasn’t enough to simply unify the logos with the one on the hat. The Tigers went one step further and changeD the size, too. On everything. AnD with that, all the olD uniforms have now become “outDateD.”

Which means that many fans now will want, or feel they neeD, the upDateD versions. Especially if they D-cide to take in a game. Rather convenient and tempting that the store and kiosks are right there.

If you look now, the new merchanDise is alreaDy being hawkeD online and in-store.

AnD this is the genius of the move. In a year in which attenDance anD ticket sales are expecteD to plummet, the Tigers need to minimize the revenue loss as best they can. Enter Marketing.

MerchanDise sales are one of the 4 Holy Grails of baseball revenue. The largest is ticket sales which account for approximately 40%. So think of this as the well-timeD strategy to help off-set the fall-off in paiD attenDance.

ADDitionally, one of the biggest revenue generators is the sale of jerseys for new star players who join the team. The aDDition of Prince FielDer in 2012 was a golD mine for the Tigers in jersey sales and the resulting revenue.

Last year was the first year the Tigers haDn’t signeD any famous faces. But they still haD the big names like VerlanDer, Upton, jD, Kinsler and others. They pretty much have naDDa now.

But now that the hats, jerseys and other clothing have changeD, the new logos will give merchanDise sales a shot in the arm. How big that shot will be is yet to be D-termined. It is hopeD that they sell as many jerseys as the number of capital “D”s that appeareD in this blog.

Just Don’t be surpriseD if other changes are maDe to also boost revenue.

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By:  Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder

During the offseason, Totally Tigers has turned Saturday into a day to address the latest impactful news of the week, whether in Detroit or baseball in general.

Pitchers and catchers have reported for duty, while the remainder of the roster arrives today. Spring Training is here!  So, what has gotten the majority of our writers’ attention?

Holly and Kurt don’t normally share their topics with each other in the interests of getting a wider range of perspective. Let’s see what they have for today.


Miguel Cabrera’s messy personal life will continue to impact his professional one as the child support lawsuit shows no signs of ending soon.

We now know that his wife filed for divorce just before Opening Day last year and that he spent the summer dealing with 2 lawsuits from both his wife and mistress. And as several GMs have stated (sic) “Show me a player who had an uncharacteristically bad year and chances are that he was having marital problems.”

But now the judge in the case wants Miggy back in court at least twice during this season and has asked both sides to continue the mediation process which requires his presence in Florida. News reports say the two sides have made no progress and that there doesn’t appear to be any kind of resolution in the near future.

And when your personal life slops over into your professional one and negatively impacts your performance, the entire team and organization, it ceases to be a private matter and instead becomes a valid point of discussion and concern.


Al Avila never disappoints when a microphone shows up in his face, and this week was no exception as he proclaimed that there was “a level of excitement” this spring. Well, there may be a level of excitement, it just happens to be a low level.

As real fans, we don’t need all the sunshine and lollipops; we don’t need more spin, especially when it is associated with a team that has been broken down and is in transition. Naturally, we will tune in for the sake of curiosity – but excited may not be the appropriate word.

It will be interesting to get a look at some of the younger players, specifically to get an idea of their level of talent. Don’t worry Al, there will be a level of interest, just not a high level.

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