Real quick – here’s a question. Have you thought about other teams to follow? Now don’t take this the wrong way. We know how this season will test your loyalty, and we are not suggesting you go out and look for another product.
But, we do have a question for Kurt and Holly that people really want answered! (You know the drill, they didn’t share).
If you could only be a fan for 1 other team, and not the Tigers, which would it be? Why?
Over a 5-year span beginning in 2010, every other year belonged to the Giants, as they racked up 3 titles. What a way to keep your fan base happy, huh?
And while other teams wrestled with each other for the big money stars, the Giants always seemed to stay away. And when it was time to pay the big money to fan favorite, Pablo Sandoval, the Giants passed and waited for a better day.
I remember writing a blog on this site describing how winning every other season kept the pressure and the fan base at bay. They weren’t pressured to make high risk moves, and stayed in the mix with solid and mostly under the radar signings and trades.
Franchises strive for sustainability and consistency. And they strive for a group of players who will work hard, be strong fundamentally and play the game the right way. And even though the Giants had to fight through a ton of injuries through those 5 years, they persevered and I have become a fan as a result.
It’s not until now that they are trading for some higher dollar stars as they look to recover from a 98-loss season, which for any franchise means you need to look in the mirror, (oh, and a visit to their stadium is on my bucket list).
For me, there is so much more about a team to follow than merely the players. I would want to choose a team that makes regular good decisions about their year and future, a team that practices good corporate decisions, a team that is demonstrably proud of its organization and a team that others would envy.
So, while I admire how the Yankees run their organization and push for yearly contention, I dislike them with every fiber of my being – they are the Yankees, after all.
Ironically, I would choose the St. Louis Cardinals who have been the Tigers’ most frequent opponents in 3 World Series. A consistently-run organization with a superior corporate culture and way of doing business that allows fans to expect a certain level of high performance almost every year.
A team that made the initially tough decision to allow Albert Pujols to leave but now have proven to fans that their decision was the right one to make before his age, injuries and salary would make it tough for the team to overcome. A team that was among the first to implement a systematic standard of play, the very first to create a mentorship program between veterans and rookies and a team where everyone understood and bought into the program that you showed up every day for practice even if you were the star of the team.
But the Cardinals were also the first to offer educational and training programs for their players over the winter like finance, Pilates and nutrition that required mandatory participation. They see the big picture and understand that there are many factors beyond the actual physical talent that create a winning culture.
It’s no coincidence that they’ve only had 2 losing seasons in over the past 20 years.
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