Welcome to March, the month the Tigers should not be playing baseball in Detroit. Not yet! But they are – 28 days and counting!
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s put February to bed. I have another 20 thoughts of randomness to share with you. Hopefully, you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.
My 20 Thoughts for February are ready for your perusal.
1. We discussed first impressions and everyone, so far, seems quite positive in regards to our new manager. Got any guesses what will eventually rub us the wrong way other than losing?
2. Remember all those years of domination the Tigers suffered at the hands of Ron Gardenhire and Francisco Liriano? It’s really over now, isn’t it?
3. With the JD Martinez saga all packed up and put to bed in Boston, we can now concentrate on all things Tigers. It’s been several months of transition watching all our old favorites scattered around the league. However, when you consider games to attend this season, won’t you be most interested when Houston comes to town or the Angels, or yeah, the Red Sox?
4. Any reported sightings of Chris Ilitch in Lakeland?
5. Scan the Tiger infield – it’s really, pretty good. (Carry over from December and January)
6. When pitchers and catchers report for duty in February, I am always interested in what position players arrive at camp early. I was happy to see that one was Dixon Machado.
7. On the subject of Machado, I see no reason why we cannot solidly place him as the starter at second on Opening Day. He has been mentioned as a candidate for a utility role, but if there is an area where there will be plenty of good competition, it’s for a position on the bench. You can always tell you are in a rebuilding year when there are half a dozen players vying for the utility role on your club. It says a lot.
8. Optimism about Ron Gardenhire based on information gathered prior to him stepping in the dugout can be premature. What’s not premature are statements based on his experience in rebuilding. “I hate sloppy,” speaks volumes at least for me. A manager who has a disdain for bad baseball is a good place to start. (Going to carry this over for a while.)
9. Alan Trammell must feel dramatically different working with the Tigers this season during spring training. I would imagine he is much more relaxed and is having a hard time wiping that Hall of Fame smile off his face. So happy for him.
10. On MLB radio this past week, the Central Division was discussed. Having lost 100 games just a couple short years ago, the Twins are now being talked about as an up and coming team closing the gap quickly between them and the Indians. My only point is, things can change quickly if you draft well, and make smart moves.
11. Speaking of the Twins, their acquisition of Anibal Sanchez to compete for a spot in their starting rotation seems pointless on the surface. But who knows what he needed last year and didn’t get. And will the Twins find something that will turn him around? Don’t laugh too hard quite yet. There are many fans out there quite amused and question the Twins’ interest. Stranger things have happened.
12. So, before we leave that topic, which transaction will benefit their team more, Liriano to the Tigers or Sanchez to the Twins? Don’t laugh! Just askin’!
13. Alex Cora and the Red Sox were discussed on MLB radio this week and I heard some familiar opinions on Boston’s new manager. He’s been preparing for this his whole life. His youth and experience as a player will make him more relatable to his players. As a Tiger fan, it should sound all too familiar.
14. I have seen teams heading into a rebuild looking a lot less talented than this current Tiger team. Is it so outrageous to suggest that the team could improve on last year’s record? After all, they did lose 98 games. (This is a good carryover, let’s hold onto this one at least through April.)
15. In the category of ‘way too early to care,’ Fulmer, Zimmermann, Boyd, Norris and Fiers all have pitched fairly well in the early going. Wake me when the games count though, please.
16. When I consider the starting rotation heading into the season, I think it would be best for the strength of the pitching staff that Alex Wilson and Francisco Liriano both end up in the bullpen. That would mean Norris has had a good spring, and the pen would then get deeper.
17. Has anyone seen the new authentic Tiger hats for sale on MLB.com, with the Big D? I’m still not sure it is really an issue. Will have to try one on before I know.
18. There is a strange lack of drama so far coming from the Tiger camp. May just be too early.
19. In the category of ‘too early to tell’, I think we have acquired a gem in Jeimer Candelario. Watching his development will be near the top of my list this season.
20. I was wondering. Since VMart suggested Gardy text him if he wanted to get a hold of him prior to camp, do you think Gardy has texted him? I am going to say no.
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