by Holly Horning
Throughout the week, there are so many smaller stories hitting the media. They may be bite-size, but often they are just as important as the headline-grabbing news. Sometimes, even more.
And that’s what brings me to today. A way to discuss some of these stories. A way to bring them out in the open for discussion.
And that’s the plan for Mondays. Keeping track of these mighty little bits that hit my radar throughout the week and sharing them with you today because I know one or more will also resonate with you.
So, let’s kick this off…
The Tigers are developing new patterns and we should like what we see. Not only are they raiding the Dodgers’ system for fresh talent, but they are getting the guys that Farhan Zaidi hired when he was running them. The new execs and coaches coming in all have ties with current Tigers – Chris Fetter and George Lombard – who have undoubtedly recommended their work.
What’s interesting though, is that Al Avila has close Dodger ties. His father, Ralph, has been a long-time employee and is highly-regarded. Why didn’t the Tigers start hiring away Dodgers before this year?
All of these new hires, save one, are pitching-specific guys. And if Fetter is recommending them, then I think I’ll be able to sleep at night.
But what we’re also seeing is the Tigers’ emphasis on pitching. Getting as strong a system as they can. Building depth. Maximizing talent. All good things.
Meanwhile, the 2 Detroit dailies are pushing the story of Justin Verlander returning to Detroit and manipulating the narrative to give false hope. I was surprised when the most (actually only) credible of the bunch made insane jumps of logic and mangled the simple facts.
“Facts” such as JV missed the 2021 when in reality he missed almost the entire 2020 season, too. “Facts” such as saying that Chris Ilitch said the Tigers would be spending “significantly” this winter when he said so such thing.
This writer assuming that because JV said in passing that he’d love to return to Detroit is based upon sincerity and not on being kind, diplomatic or looking to generate interest in a new contract. Or that Miguel Cabrera’s simple comment on Instagram about wanting to see JV return to Detroit allowed this journalist to write that it “fueled speculation that something might soon be in the works”.
It’s sloppy journalism and most probably written in desperation as writers scramble to find baseball topics during this lull in the year. And written for the clicks. Nothing more.
Speaking of which, the more serious fans of the game understand that while everyone would love to see JV back wearing the Old English D, it is not at all practical. A rebuilding team, still with many major needs, isn’t going to sign a former player who hasn’t pitched since July 2020. Remember, JV pitched in only 1 game that year so for all intents and purposes, he really hasn’t thrown since 2019.
Couple that with the fact that he’s looking for a multi-year contract (reports saying 3-years+) and the going rate right now is a minimum of $19 mill/year. Oh, and he’ll be 39 years old.
Rebuilding teams don’t do that. Teams looking to compete don’t do that. And owners aren’t going to shell out approximately $57 mill to a question mark when they also need to sign 2 more starting pitchers, a catcher and a shortstop. Especially someone like Chris Ilitch.
Just because he shares the same last name as Mr. I, doesn’t mean he shares the same spending habits. Chris is smarter than that. He is a businessman and runs things like a business. He took Ilitch Holdings to a tie with Steven Cohen as MLB’s richest owners. You don’t get there by spending wildly.
In contrast, Mr. I was an emotional owner. Relationships mattered to him. He was responsible for the signings of Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez and others because of his relationships with them.
But what if Mr. I was still around? Don’t you think that he would bring JV back?
Which of these stories resonated the most with you?
What did you miss on our Twitter feed yesterday? (And why aren’t you following TT yet?)
- Final results from Saturday’s poll about which department within the Tigers’ has the greatest needs.
- Exactly how bad were the Tigers’ shortstops this year? We’ve got the stats and rankings.
- What is the biggest clue that will show fans how serious the Tigers about contending?
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