By:  Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder

Take a deep breath and relax, it’s time to reel everyone back from all the antics in Houston and Boston and talk Tigers again.

Amongst all the controversy, the Tigers have made some moves this off-season and it’s about time we take a look at what they have done so far.

Holly and Kurt have not shared their answers to the following question for the purpose of offering a wider range of perspectives.

So let’s get to it and see what our writers have to say.

What are our two bloggers thoughts on the Tigers’ off-season moves so far?


I’m still waiting for evidence of Al Avila’s “building it back up” statement because this year’s roster building resembles what the Tigers did last year. They signed 4 new players in both years – all with 1-year contracts – and payroll just $2 million less.

Also like last year, the Tigers signed 7 older veterans to minor league contracts with none of them expected to stick beyond a year.

But then the Front Office did something very puzzling. After insulting Nick Castellanos and telling the world they didn’t want him, they inquired about his services this off-season, showing an inconsistent as well as a desperate strategy in an attempt to solve the worrisome outfield issues.

So much for “rebuilding” – more like “buying time” because they don’t have enough legitimate prospects in the pipeline, aren’t being given the money and/or are trying to cobble together a roster very short on talent.

Despite this “building it back up” claim, the Tigers are still intent on tearing it down with constant reports of them still engaged in Matthew Boyd trade talks to multiple teams. Combine that with the obsessive collecting of catchers (8 so far), it tells us that the Tigers don’t have anything close to promising for certain positions, especially behind the plate.

Chances are that we won’t see some of the promising pitching prospects come up until later this year at the earliest but who is going to support them at the plate and in the field? Ironically, this year will be a step backward, given this great “rebuild”, as the Tigers lost their top 2 minor league managers and have 2 new ones from outside the organization who will have to start all over at square one in getting to know these prospects.


It’s been a confusing off-season to this point when it comes to the Tigers and their plans for 2020. This year’s acquisitions are more talented and accomplished then they have been in previous years and if nothing else, they give fans a little more in which to find interest.

Jonathan Schoop and C.J. Cron are the headliners and slam dunks to start on the right side of the infield. They are more talented, have more power and possess major league skill, something the team has lacked. Austin Romine, more than likely bags the starting spot at catcher, giving the Tigers 3 new starters.

The lineup will have an improved look, but as we have seen in previous years, these are short term band-aides with no look towards the future, unless a couple of these players come back for additional years after 2020.

The moves look like attempts to keep people interested which could work given fans are starving for anything new that offers improvement.   But just when they are adding interest, they take a step back and re-sign players like Jordy Mercer.

On the catching front, with so many acquired so far, the team doesn’t appear to be as confident as they once thought. The future doesn’t seem quite as bright and once again the return for Justin Verlander gets weaker all the time.

All in all, it still appears that Al Avila still has very little money to work with and I am not completely disappointed in who has been added, as much as they are once again short-term, ‘enough to get buy’ kind of transactions.

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By:  Holly Horning

The recent cheating scandal has pushed an issue to the forefront. An issue that is just as important as assembling a roster.

And it’s a characteristic that is partially responsible for how often – or infrequently – a team sits at the top of the standings every October.

It has almost nothing to do with the manager. Sometimes little to do with the GM.

In most cases, this quality percolates from the very top and trickles on down.

It is the corporate culture and behavior that is set by the owner(s). The expectations of how to behave. The expectations of how to treat others.

And it really came to the forefront yesterday when Clayton Kershaw spoke out about the Houston Astros. He is a man of quiet dignity and high standards. One of baseball’s true role models both on and off the field. He walks the walk. He allows his actions to speak instead of speaking out.

So it was newsworthy when he publicly criticized the Astros. For their lack of understanding, lack of remorse and lack of apology. He said nothing about how his team, the Dodgers, were cheated. His comments were all focused on personal accountability.

Which brings us to Houston as our first example. A team that has yet to apologize for their cheating since the ruling over 3 weeks ago.

Is anyone surprised?

Remember when their Assistant GM, Brandon Tauman, made those disparaging comments to the female reporters? The Astros refused to acknowledge the problem. In fact, they tried counterattacking. Even to the point of publicly going after one reporter’s credibility.

They continued to ignore the public outcry and issued statements supporting Taubman. It was only after MLB commenced an investigation that they changed course.

The Astros were accused of being stubborn and arrogant.

In what we can call “déjà-vu all over again”, we’re still waiting for those athletes to apologize in any way, shape or form after the MLB investigation shows the cheating was “player-driven”.


Did you expect anything different?

During AstrosFest, both Jose Altuve and Alex Bregmen, shrugged off the conviction and refused to address the questions thrown their way. They were labeled by reporters and fans alike as “arrogant.”

Are you surprised?

But never fear, the owner, Jim Crane, says the team will “probably” issue a joint statement sometime during spring training. No rush. Not like it’s important. The team has better things to do right now than be concerned about those they hurt.

Obviously, this is not at the top of Crane’s priority list.

Even Justin Verlander doesn’t get it. Watch the shocking video of him accepting his Cy Young Award. When he talks about the Astros advanced technology and the room literally erupts in negativity. JV stood there, according to a dear friend of ours, “like the house by the side of the road.” He had no clue that anything was wrong by the look on his face. He was shocked at the crowd’s response.

For the record, if he were my client, I would have “round filed” his speech, dressed him head-to-toe in body armor and given him a shot of something 100% proof, a blindfold and a cigarette before facing the crowd. Especially since C.C. Sabathia’s seat was 5 feet away from JV’s. Sabathia has had a few things to say publicly…..

The Astros are simply following their owner. They have taken a page from Crane on how to behave. And if you have to treat humans horribly in order to win, then so be it.

The Astros have universally been called “arrogant.” It is defined as: “proud in an unpleasant way and behaving as if you are better or more important than other people.”

Other teams behave differently. Some good, some bad.

The Angels owner, Arte Moreno, is an interesting guy. A man who kept Mike Scioscia as his manager for almost 2 decades despite the need and evidence to move on. Part of the reason was that their wives were best friends. Which also explains why Arte always sided with Mike over the opinions of their GM, Jerry DiPoto, who was forced to leave the organization. Usually, it’s the GM who forces the manager out.

Moreno was always unpredictable. Years of keeping one manager and then becoming tired of Brad Ausmus, in his first year, by the All-Star Game.

A team that has spent so much money over the years and also signs Mike Trout to an extension. But then they leave gaping holes in the roster and some serious opiate issues with both players and staff that went unaddressed for years. They seem to change direction often. You never know where this team is going to end up year after year.

Then there are the Red Sox. Appropriately, they are once again creating problems with their actions and statements by ownership.

This is the same group of owners, back in 2011, that forced Theo Epstein and most of the Front Office to flee. It also saw Terry Francona beg the owners not to pick up his option year so he could also leave.

Ownership upset the apple cart by rewriting the rules on who got to play. They allowed their marketing department to help select which players got regular playing time. All because studies showed that the team didn’t have enough “sexy” players which would drive up their tv ratings.

Can’t make this stuff up.

The owners took power away from their Front Office and their manager. No wonder that some players took notice and did their own thing that resulted in baseball’s biggest tanking.

Which now makes us question who was in charge back in 2018? Who saw what was happening? Who, if anyone, tried to stop the cheating?

The Sox were fined for cheating back in 2017. Did any of the owners take notice to ensure it didn’t happen again? Given their previous history, was there really a clear chain of command? How could the cheating have happened 2 years in a row even with a fine and warning? Who exactly was at the wheel?

But if the current investigation isn’t enough, this off-season, majority owner John Henry, stole the show with his comments and actions several times. First, firing Dave Dombrowski 9 months after his team won the World Series. Then denying his previous statements to the media – all on record – about “cutting payroll” in angry press conferences and calling reporters names.

And now, the announcement that Alex Cora was leaving but that the decision had nothing to do with the Sox and everything to do with the Astros. Putting the blame on everyone else.

No wonder this team is in turmoil.

Then there are the Yankees. The team everyone loves to hate, but dang, they’ve got their stuff together most of the time.

George Steinbrenner’s 4 children, led by Hal, are all in this together. They are known by many in baseball as the “steadiest owners in MLB.”

There are rarely surprises with this team. Everyone from Brian Cashman down to the dugout manager knows there are high expectations set upon all of them. They all understand that if they don’t meet their goals, they’re out.

And it’s a team that doesn’t offer excuses. In fact, the players apologized publicly to the fans when they lost in the playoffs. And it all came across as authentic and heartfelt. It’s a team that doesn’t ignore the bad stuff when it happens. They face it head-on.

And this is one of the reasons why they win consistently. And potentially, their records for the past couple of years should have asterisks attached, showing that the deck was stacked against them by Houston and Boston.

Take into account that not a single current Yankee has complained about how they were cheated not once, but twice.

And I’m sure that if you looked at the Cardinals ownership, you’d find something similar.

The Washington, DC team has a name for it. They call it “Natitude.”

But what about the Tigers?

We saw what the team was like under Mr. I, but what about his son?

Very much of an enigma.

Rarely seen and missing from press conferences. Rehearsed statements, no interviews and cookie cutter press releases. Even the announcement about Lou Whitaker’s number retirement was done from afar.

Even the players never reference him. When his father owned the team, we heard about his frequent presence. We heard about players who referred to him as a “father figure.”

What does this all mean?

If Chris is never around the team, or attending games, how does the organization get their guidelines for how to represent the organization or operate within it?

Is there anyone who has that responsibility? Or is everyone left to their own devices?

Are the Tigers a team that comes together or are all of its employees simply off doing their own thing?

If there’s no vision set from the top, no example to follow, this could be a rudderless organization.

And not having someone to steer the ship doesn’t bode well for a rebuild now – or in the future. No captain means no steering, no rudder and no destination.

Totally Tigers loves your comments!  But please remember that responses are only published if they address today’s topic, are respectful and do not exceed the maximum response length.  All rules are at:


By:  Holly Horning

Let’s take a break from the Houston Astros cheating scandal, shall we? Er, that is until Rob Manfred lowers the boom on the Boston Red Sox. Then all bets are off…

Today, I want to talk to you about another city. And another sport.

And it’s all because there is a eerie similarity to our Tigers.

But first, let’s quickly review the professional sports scene in Detroit. Such as it is.

Four teams that are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Owners who refuse to make significant changes and seem to have a deaf ear to what the fans are saying – and wanting. And deserving.

Owners who are making boatloads of money. Even some owners who are making larger profits by fielding non-competitive teams.

It’s all about how much you can cut your team expenses and how creative you can get gouging the fans and luring paying corporations out of their hard-earned bucks.

Everyone knows about the futility of the Detroit Lions. The NFL’s team with the lowest operating costs (by far) and profits in the 9-figures.

And people wonder why Martha Ford doesn’t sell the team.

But her son, William Clay Ford, Jr., plays in an adult ice hockey league every weekend with…….. Chris Ilitch.

Gee, what do you think the two of them talk about while they are lacing up their skates?

But I often wonder if sports owners talk with other owners about how they run their businesses. Or at least study them in the effort to pick up tips.

Case in point: I have been reading about another NFL owner who bears a striking resemblance to the Tigers’ owner – and maybe other sports team owners as well.

The team I’m talking about is the Washington Redskins, here in DC where I live. And if you read Jason Gay (Wall Street Journal), he calls them the “Washington Sadness Machine.”

(Fair warning, Jason picks on each sport’s worst teams and he’s now been referencing the Tigers quite frequently…)

The Redskins used to be known as one of football’s best teams for decades with the most loyal fans. There was a 17-year wait list to get season tickets.

But that all changed when owner Jack Kent Cooke passed away and inheritance taxes forbid his son from continuing to own the team. Enter Dan Snyder, new owner.

In the 20 years under Snyder, the team has lost 50 more games than they’ve won with only 6 seasons of winning records, 8 seasons of double-digit losses and a measly 2 playoff games. They’ve gone from having football’s best attendance to the worst. Television cameras are prohibited from showing the empty seats in the stadium.

Most of the fans, if they want to see real football, are venturing to see the Ravens in Baltimore.  Only in DC do the fans of the opponents outnumber the home team’s in attendance.

A number of articles have been written about what happened to the Redskins. And they all point primarily to a common denominator – the owner.

Let’s explore the major points that these writers have identified as the root causes of why this team has been the creator of their own mess…..


A number of bloated contracts handed out in addition to lengthy contracts given to older players constantly injured or not proactive in taking care of themselves for the long-term. At least one player named as the franchise face – and rewarded as such – and for whom the team mortgaged their future. It is still the albatross around their neck.


A history of players walking in free agency and measly returns on them in the draft.


A GM with little to no track record of making good moves or solid draft picks. Controversy over deciding if rookies were capable of being ready to play. A staff assembled for the team now known as the place where “coaches go to die.”  The local writers’ words, not mine.


More than one player claiming to be misdiagnosed or statements from said player about how the team was never able to find out what was going on with them. At least one player sued the team.


Friends and former legends sticking around to advise the team despite a record that didn’t support any level of success or support continued employment. A GM who stuck around for 10 years who was known to be buddies with the boss. Employees who were “yes” men. And when top executives were dismissed, the press conferences never had the owner in attendance.


Premium prices charged for alcohol and food. The introduction of charging fans to watch pre-season camp – and also charging them for the parking, too. Snyder is known as one of the best in maximizing the team’s profit by tying together all of the products associated with attending a game and forcing fans to pay him for it all.

Which brings us to…..


Yes, you read it right. Snyder owns all the parking lots around Washington’s stadium. He managed to get rid of all independent parking lot operators and even, at one point, succeeded in getting the county’s ruling to forbid pedestrians from walking into the stadium – forcing everyone to drive and park in his lots. According to him, it was a “safety” issue. Can’t make this stuff up.

Parking at the stadium costs 3 times as much as a single ticket. Which means, of course, you don’t need to fill the stadium in order to make money.

Does any of this sound familiar? Is this now the blueprint for maximizing profit while fielding non-competitive teams?  Not just in football, but in baseball and other sports?

And if true, what does it say about some owners?

What it really says is that winning takes a back seat to profit.  That quality and results don’t matter.  And as a result, fans that don’t matter either.

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microphoneIt’s the last Sunday of the month, folks, which means it’s your day! This is the day for you to be heard. Today is the one day during the month (normally) 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 loves your comments!  But please remember that responses are only published if they address today’s topic, are respectful and do not exceed the maximum response length.  All rules are at:




The Saturday Survey offers another way for readers to weigh in on a relevant topic.   So here is a poll to gauge the pulse of our baseball-lovin’ peeps.

As always, we welcome your comments, so please vote and then submit your reasons ( 4 sentences max!) for how you voted in the usual comment box.  Don’t forget to come back later and view the results!

Unlike amphetamines (which only supply energy), PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs) increase muscle mass and strength, improve focus, delay fatigue and enhance endurance, increase reaction time and boost cognitive and visual capabilities.

This week, the BBWAA once again voted to keep PED users Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and others out of the Hall of Fame. 

Please participate in the survey so we can  gauge the pulse of our readership when it comes to the HOF and perennial All-Stars who have been waiting to get in.

Totally Tigers loves your comments!  But please remember that responses are only published if they address today’s topic, are respectful and do not exceed the maximum 3-4 sentence response length.  All rules are at:



By:  Holly Horning

It just won’t go away. MLB has been hoping it would, especially with the welcomed diversion of the Hall of Fame election this week. But just 2 days later, discussion has returned to the cheating scandal. Or “Trashstrogate” as one of my favorite sports writers, Jason Gay, now calls it.

So why is this important? Afterall, it has nothing to do with the Tigers. (Thankfully.)

It’s because it is so much bigger that one team. It is about the sport, its reputation and what will happen to baseball going forward, esp. as MLB is joining forces with MGM to legalize betting.

If you didn’t catch my blog about these concerns and updated information earlier this week, here it is:

New evidence keeps coming out on a daily basis. As suspected, Astro players were put on lock down and not given permission to speak. Besides, logically, who would speak out on teammates while still playing with them? Imagine the fights that would ensue. Or the trades demanded.

Imagine how toxic that clubhouse would become.

Idealistically, we want to hear from players like Justin Verlander and question why he is silent. Logically, it is because the logistics of pitting players against their own would yield horrific results and the Astros know that.

And as I mentioned earlier this week, this crisis is so very different than the topics that involved his earlier comments that attacked domestic abuse and juiced baseballs. It’s a very dangerous legal one now and anything you say can and will be used against you (and everyone else) in a court of law. The players who were interviewed have immunity from MLB. But not from each other. Or their owner. Nor are the ones who weren’t part of the exploratory process protected.

Not to mention that every player has an agent and a lawyer who were undoubtedly calling them to tell them to zip it as fast as they could hit speed-dial.

But what’s interesting is how the situation to not punish players came to be the strategy.

First of all, we now know from players who submitted reports against the Astros, that MLB ignored them all until the story became too big nationally. It was widely felt by those who work within baseball that MLB wanted to quickly bring the problem to a close as soon as possible once the story got out.

Rob Manfred, who is a Harvard-trained lawyer, obviously looked at this primarily from the legal angle. He understood that any actions MLB would take could be challenged in court. As all attorneys do, they analyze which approaches are going to be the most successful and start with them.

Which is why they couldn’t punish the players. The Players’ Association (BPA) would challenge them and given the upcoming negotiations between teams and players – and the current bad feelings between the two groups – this would have put another log on the baseball strike fire which could happen in a couple years.

An agreement with quickly reached with the BPA to give immunity in exchange for honest testimony. And only 23 current and former players were interviewed. No one knows which players were selected.

As Manfred saw, any attempt to prosecute individuals would lose in court. It was revealed that GM Jeff Luhnow did not share a single memo about electronic cheating with anyone else in Houston’s management or dugout. It was his responsibility and he failed which is why he was suspended and then fired.

Given that info, the Players’ Association could then logically – and successfully – show that the players didn’t know the rules. They would have had a strong argument that their members believed what was going on was legal because it was being led by Bench Coach Alex Cora and respected veteran Carlos Beltran.

And the players would have won in court. That is, after a long, messy and protracted process. Great for building the fan base. Not.

If you’re waiting for the Astros to offer acknowledgement of their crimes or even an apology, owner Jim Crane hints that the players may make a “strong joint statement.” Sometime during spring training. He obviously learned a big lesson after the Brandon Taubman debacle in which apologies had to be beaten out of them.

Trash can optional.

So who is the smartest man when it comes to Houston?

Nolan Ryan for resigning and fleeing the organization before any of this came to light.

Yet, as I referenced above, the stain of cheating continues to spread. And the list of those hurt by the Astros continues to grow.

Mike Fiers mentioned all the young pitchers who were hurt or careers delayed/derailed after getting shelled by the Astros hitters. And how hard this was to watch.

But there were also established players who were denied their true accomplishments. Hitters with honest stats who were eclipsed by players like Jose Altuve. Jose, btw, won numerous offensive awards in 2017, including MVP. He also hit a record-setting 3 home runs in a single playoff game. Hmmmmm……

Houston in 2017, and then Boston in 2018, won a lot of offensive awards and got elected to the All-Star Games.  And for all of these awards and recognitions, teams always give 6-figure bonuses to each player for earning them.  Top players, as a result, missed out on awards rightfully theirs.

The Yankees lost the 2017 playoffs to the Astros by one game. Ask C. C. Sabathia how he feels about this. Since he is now retired, he is speaking up and definitely wants that last game back.

And in the World Series against the Dodgers, LA lost to the Astros in a close series.

If we turn our attention to 2018 and the Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts and J. D. Martinez won a ton of hitting awards. Betts also got the MVP Award, like Altuve did the year before. Coincidence?

The Red Sox beat the Yankees in the playoffs, winning 3 out of 4 close games. And after that series, Joe Girardi lost his job because the Yankees felt he should have taken his team further. Little did they know that the deck was unfairly stacked.

I think we all know that Joe would have kept his job if the Red Sox hadn’t gone down that cheatin’ road.

And as proof that lightning does strike twice, the Dodgers once again lost the World Series to another cheating team. Two years a row.

Two days ago, the Dodgers, with the official backing and petition by the Los Angeles city government, filed a formal complaint asking that MLB rescind the World Series titles of both Houston and Boston.

We’ve only begun to see the fallout from the cheating scandal. The hammer has yet to come down on Boston and it is believed that, given Cora’s involvement with 2 teams, combined with the monetary fine and warning levied on Boston back in 2017, penalties will be even harsher.

Going forward, Rob Manfred said a new policy making players responsible and subject to punishment will be put into effect this coming year.

In the meantime, we can only guess how many beanball wars will break out as Houston’s hitters come to the plate.

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By:  Holly Horning

It’s the story about cheating but it’s about so much more.

It’s a story about the Astros but it involves all of MLB.

It’s a story about 2017 but it’s also a story about 2018, 2019 and the future.

It’s about what happens when a bad corporate environment gets ignored by those tasked with the job of overseeing it.

The Houston Astros cheating scandal has taken a baseball and turned it into an onion. And each day brings us to peeling off another layer of it to reveal new allegations and implications for the game, for the record books – and for fans.

The signs were there, all along, as it turns out.

We should have been listening when multiple baseball people described the team as one that subscribes to the culture of “winning at all costs.”

The past couple of weeks have brought out scores of players, especially pitchers, who now publicly admit that their teams knew the Astros cheated. In a recent interview, Matthew Boyd said that the Tigers knew and that he and his battery mate had to develop a more complicated sign system to try to combat Houston’s devious ways.

And the Washington Nationals admitted that they all knew about Houston and had team meetings to come with a system and backup-systems to help negate the illegal edge their World Series counterparts had this past season.

And MLB gave several warnings about cheating, one back in 2017, which the Astros ignored.

The arrogant Astros. That’s what happens when you believe your team or organization is better than everyone else. The rules simply don’t apply to you.

The same arrogance that was seen and heard by fans at last weekend’s AstrosFest. Comments by Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and others who poo-pooed the questions they were asked. No remorse, no contrition, no acknowledgement that would soothe the fan’s heart.

Not even a hint of caring now that videos of Altuve have surfaced after his famous home run. Footage of him grabbing for dear life at the top of his jersey and screaming at teammates not to touch him as he crosses home plate. Film of him making a beeline to the locker room to change his shirt immediately afterwards. And damning shots of him cleaning up the dugout and removing a band-aid. Something that former players on tv said ballplayers never, ever do because they are slobs and trash the dugouts during a game.

And if you believe this arrogance will go away now that Houston’s been called out, there’s someone who wants to sell you a bridge somewhere in the world or tell you that an African prince wants to give you millions of dollars.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

Especially since the unknown players interviewed were given immunity for their knowledge about the cheating scandal. Where is the deterrent to prevent them from doing it again? The players, with the exception of Cora and Beltran (TBD), received no punishment whatsoever.

And when you’re arrogant, you’re more likely to continue your old ways, believing that nothing bad will happen to you.

However, more details are emerging about how deep this problem goes. All the way to MLB’s headquarters.

Fellow players and teammates of Mike Fiers are speaking out now. All of them with information pertaining to how this all played out in real time.

Stories about how Fiers was so concerned back in 2017 about the cheating – and what it was doing to promising young opposing pitchers – that he went directly to A. J. Hinch to report it.

And nothing was done.

There were also official MLB reports that stated that someone went to Jeff Luhnow with the cheating info. Done after Rob Manfred sent each team a letter stating that the GM was directly responsible for monitoring his team and ensuring that a clean game was being played.

Luhnow did nothing.

Fiers got increasingly concerned and eventually went to the Commissioner’s Office at the end of 2017. He filed a report.

Nothing was done.

Mike went back to MLB and asked again. He even said that the cheating was so troublesome that he was willing to give back his ring, the title and the money.

MLB did nothing.

When he moved to the Tigers in 2018, he told them. When he was traded to the A’s, he also mentioned it there. Neither team did anything.

That’s when he gave the story to The Athletic.

And it’s only when this revelation made huge national headlines, did MLB decide to do something. Only when their hand was forced.

You’re not alone if you now believe that those who govern baseball decided that it was better to sweep cheating under the rug rather than give it the attention it was due. Even more important to consider when MLB just agreed to a huge venture with MGM to allow betting on baseball.

Hellooooo, 1919……….. Rather ironic that history is repeating itself exactly 100 years later, isn’t it?

Not the first time those within MLB’s corporate offices turned a blind eye to events that altered the game. PED’s, anyone?

And these are the people who are tasked with regulating the game.

Are you comfortable knowing this?

It’s the same group of people, with a Commissioner hired and fired by owners, who absolved owner Jim Crane of any wrongdoing.

An owner everyone says is very “hands-on”.


Why am I reminded of that bridge and African prince once again?

It’s true that everyone is innocent until proven guilty but let’s consider that the modern-day Astros were created by Crane. An organization he bought and swept it clean of all old personnel. A new culture he created and represented by the people he hired.

He personally signed Jeff Luhnow, who hired everyone else.

First, it was Brandon Taubman. The Assistant GM who berated a group of female reporters and made allegations about one journalist’s ability to do her job. Jim Crane quite visibly came to his defense and was aggressively insistent about his innocence. He, and all the other top executives involved in this mess were described as being “arrogant” when this incident was being investigated.

Luhnow, Crane’s GM and President of Baseball Operations, was involved in the Cardinals and Astros computer scandal. While he was absolved of any wrong-doing, there are allegations that he took proprietary information from the Cards when he left. People now are questioning whether the other individual, who is now in jail, was wrongly convicted.

Luhnow, of course, hired both Taubman and Hinch.

Now, all gone.

And so is Nolan Ryan.

Less than one week after the Taubman fiasco, Jim Crane demoted popular top executive, President Reid Ryan, to a role of being an “advisor.” In his place, Crane hired his own son, who has never worked in baseball. And on that same day, Nolan Ryan submitted his resignation and cut ties with the team.

Was the timing just a coincidence?


What are the chances that down the road we will find out about the rationale?

What are the chances that this was somehow related to the issues surrounding Taubman and potentially the cheating scandal?

As we’ve learned with the Astros, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Or Fiers in this case.

Don’t assume that with a new GM/President of Baseball Operations and manager, that these problems will automatically go away. A team culture starts at the very top and permeates every layer of that onion.

And don’t expect that MLB will be vigilant about watching Houston. Unlike Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, of the Black Sox Scandal, Rob Manfred is not an independent Commissioner. He is hired and fired by baseball owners.

And it’s highly unlikely you’re going to go after an owner if he’s your employer. It’s called “conflict of interest.”

Maybe that’s why MLB did nothing despite all of the cheating reports until they no longer had a choice.

Totally Tigers loves your comments!  But please remember that responses are only published if they address today’s topic, are respectful and do not exceed the maximum 3-4 sentence response length.  All rules are at:


With another holiday weekend upon us, let’s have some more fun with our newest blog, Would You Rather.

As you will see, the choices aren’t easy – and that’s the way it’s meant to be.  But it is meant to stir up some good discussion.

As always, we welcome your comments, so please vote and then submit your reasons ( 4 sentences max!) for how you voted in the usual comment box.  Don’t forget to come back later and view the results!

Totally Tigers loves your comments!  But please remember that responses are only published if they address today’s topic, are respectful and do not exceed the maximum 3-4 sentence response length.  All rules are at:



It’s time again to hear from our readers!   Today is the day to let us know what you’re thinking on a selected topic.

Sunday is the one day of the week where we open up the comment parameters for you, so you can get those juices flowing.

Comments on THIS DAY ONLY can be expanded to a maximum of 8 sentences.

We can’t wait to get your thoughts on the following topic.

 Mike Fiers communicated to both the Tigers and the A’s that the Astros were cheating.  Why do you feel both teams failed to report it to MLB?

Totally Tigers loves your comments!  But please remember that responses are only published if they address today’s topic, are respectful and do not exceed the maximum 3-4 sentence response length.  All rules are at:


The Saturday Survey offers another way for readers to weigh in on a relevant topic.   So here is a poll to gauge the pulse of our baseball-lovin’ peeps.

As always, we welcome your comments, so please vote and then submit your reasons ( 4 sentences max!) for how you voted in the usual comment box.  Don’t forget to come back later and view the results!

After an intensive investigation in which former and current Houston Astro players were given immunity in exchange for testimony, MLB fined the Houston Astros $5 million (the maximum allowed), suspended the GM/President of Baseball Operations and manager for 1 year each (later fired by owner Jim Crane) and lost their first two draft picks for the next two years.  Two former players, now with other teams, are expected to be suspended as well.

Please participate in the survey so we can  gauge reader reaction to the punishments handed down from MLB.

Totally Tigers loves your comments!  But please remember that responses are only published if they address today’s topic, are respectful and do not exceed the maximum 3-4 sentence response length.  All rules are at: