QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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 now 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:


Whose successful comeback this season would most benefit the Tigers, Michael Fulmer or Jordan Zimmermann?  Explain.

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:  https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.

BIG MONEY, BIG EXPECTATIONS

By:  Holly Horning

What do Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Chris Davis, Clayton Kershaw and others have in common?

Really big, long-term contracts. That and the fact that those contracts have been a lightning rod with fans as these players have gotten older, injured and ceased to perform as they did earlier in their careers.

So it should come as no surprise that this topic should rear its head again with the newest members to join this group – Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. Expect the two of them at some point down the road to go under the microscope and incur some fan wrath, too.

But as we look at these contracts, the only thing that really should raise our eyebrows is that some of these players are surprised that fans are angry. And really, they shouldn’t be. They should have expected it.

They should have seen this coming as a byproduct of their massive contracts. And they should have been properly prepared for the expected blowback by their agents.

Historically, we all know by now that long-term expensive contracts are not a good idea. They tend to work out over the first 3+ years but as the player ages and/or gets injured, complications set in. We also know that stats show the players who receive these contracts are rarely the catalysts who help bring world titles to their teams.

But there will be owners who are desperate enough to make these signings because they want that ring so very badly. Some will say that owners have the right to do this and add that it’s their money. And in a way, it is.

But also understand that the costs of signing these players is passed down to the fan base in the form of increased ticket, food, tv, merchandise and parking prices. Owners are successful business people afterall.

Miguel Cabrera was recently quoted as not being apologetic about his contract. His rationale was based upon baseball owners having profitable organizations and a lot of money. Yes, he has no need to be apologetic and he is also partially correct about owners swimming in money.

But Miggy conveniently ignores the fact that the owners aren’t paying the majority of these huge contracts.

Fans are.

Does he really think that owners like the Ilitch family are personally fronting his salary without a plan to increase revenue and pass along the costs?

All you need to do is compare the price of Tiger tickets from 2005 until this past year. During that time, the Tigers doubled the average price and more than doubled the cost of premium seats. Add in some of baseball’s most expensive food, parking and merchandise and your wallet is going to be much thinner when all is said and done.

And the sharp rise in prices happened in a time period when the Tigers were signing costly free agents on a yearly basis.

In all of MLB, for over the past decade, the Tigers have consistently come in as the second most expensive team overall for those wishing to attend a game. And the reason why is because of all those expensive contracts they gave out.

Yet, given Miggy’s flawed rationale, no one should blame him for signing the contract he did. It was offered and he took it. We would all do the same thing.

The only problem is that Miggy – and most of his brethren listed above – didn’t fully understand that with these contracts, come increased obligations and expectations. Something that those within the Front Offices and sports agencies should have addressed with them before they signed their contracts. They should have prepped their clients about the baggage that comes with these salaries, especially down the road as performance starts to fade. And they should have continued to emphasize this regularly throughout the years.

As a result, these high-profile players are lashing out, committing social media suicide and acting surprised that they are being criticized.

The bigger the contract, the bigger the pressure. An increased level of scrutiny, more visibility – and more responsibility. Also the bigger the expectations by fans – and presumably also by the owner.

And when the player’s performance starts to go down, or when he had a bad year, he has to understand that some fans aren’t going to be happy. They’ll feel they’ve been let down. It is their money that is ultimately paying for these contracts. They’ve invested a lot in these players – both figuratively and literally.

And when the player is seen as not taking care of himself, coming to a game or spring training unprepared or not being serious enough about contributing or winning, he needs to know that fans aren’t going to see this in a positive light.

And he needs to understand that the fan has this right. He’s earned the right by paying the eye-popping prices to attend a game or buy a jersey.

Simply put, the fans aren’t going to care as much about diminishing performance from the guy making MLB-minimum or even a couple million as they are about the guy with the contract that can make or break the team.

An elite contract comes with obligations for both sides. It is a two-way street and that’s where one can find fault with the players. Not for signing the contract but for not understanding the obligations and reality that come with it.

And players like Miggy shouldn’t be surprised when teams take a turn for the worse and go into rebuilding mode. When fans see that his contract takes up just over one-third of the team’s entire payroll and serves as an albatross to the rebuilding process.

And it’s all because the team is losing now. And it’s especially because Cabrera hasn’t had a good year since 2016. When you’re winning (no, not like Charlie Sheen), well, winning takes care of everything.

No one cares about a contract when the player is performing well and the team is at the top of their division.

People start really caring about the contract when the return on the investment starts to tank and when it is seen as an impediment to the growth and development of the organization. And when your GM repeatedly talks about the continued need to cut payroll and ends up essentially gutting the team in order to get it done.

You can ponder the merits of owners offering long-term contracts. And you can’t blame players for accepting these contracts. But you can blame them for thinking that these contracts don’t come with strings attached. Because they do.

And the worst thing they can do is to blame or criticize the fans. The same fans who are really responsible for paying their salary.

What they really should be doing is letting their bats and gloves do the talking. And staying quiet.


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:  https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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 now 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:

Please read the following quote from Chris Ilitch…

“I am excited about our vision and our plan and how it’s being executed,” he said. “I am very optimistic and I like the forward momentum of our club. I feel good about it.”


Do you support Chris Ilitch’s quote?  Is this something he needed to say?  Could he have said something better?  What would you have said if you were the owner?

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:  https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.

TIGERTOWN: ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY

On this holiday, I have chosen to repost a blog I wrote a couple years ago. With spring training now underway, enjoy this pertinent blog from the Ralph Snyder Archives.

Totally Tigers

By:  Kurt Snyder

It’s been a long time since I have been to Lakeland. Like 50+ years! Even though I’ve been there, it’s nothing I remember considering I was only 2 or 3 years old.

But thanks to my brother, Doug, I am able to share with you stories about a time when things were so simple. Tigertown and the players themselves have changed more than you can imagine. The game was so much different in the 1960’s when my father worked as an Assistance Scouting Director for the Tigers. It was a completely different world; a completely different atmosphere.

There were no multimillion dollar contracts. There was no free agency. The players were literally employed for life with one baseball team unless they were traded. That was really the only way they could play for another team.

Players really didn’t make that much money back in the 60’s. They…

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QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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 now 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.


If you had to choose between offense, defense, starting pitching and relief pitching, what area will be most improved this season?  Explain why.

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:  https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.

RANDOM THOUGHTS – PART THREE

By:  Holly Horning

Let’s continue with the final installment of my collection of short, but meaty tidbits. Topics and issues that are too small for an entire blog, but huge in terms of importance. (Or in some cases, just too entertaining.)  Questions and thoughts that, according to C&C Music Factory, “make you go hmmmmm.”


If you didn’t read the first two blogs, here they are:

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/?p=10098&preview=true

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/?p=10113&preview=true


Let’s continue to create conversations with one another and focus on some unanswered questions pertaining to former players, finance and the weird and the wacky. Grab ahold of one of these topics listed below and run with it (as long as it’s 4 sentences for each individual post). Let’s create some back and forth dialog with each other.

FINANCE

1. Back-loaded contracts (where the majority of the money is placed at the end of the contract) are just plain stupid. If you can’t afford to pay a player the full salary in the beginning, you don’t currently have the money and need to put the checkbook down. It also means that as he gets more expensive, and older, you have a snowball’s chance in hell trying to trade him down the road.

2. Mike Trout is said to be avoiding the Angels’ Front Office’s multiple requests about signing an extension. Is it because the top free agents have yet to sign or because he has his doubts about his new manager, Brad Ausmus? Or could it simply be that most analysts say the Angels have too many holes and aren’t seen to be serious contenders for at least the next couple of years?

3. Over the years, the Tigers’ strategy for winning created head-shaking moments. Big name starting pitchers, but no solid relievers. Big bashers but almost no defensive wizards. Huge outfield territory but few guys with great gloves and speed. How much of a priority was placed on marketing the team instead of developing a winning strategy? Do the Tigers mirror the Red Sox of 2011 when Boston’s marketing department was given free rein in advising whom to sign which resulted in the GM, manager and most of the Front Office to resign?

FORMER PLAYERS

1. Justin Verlander finally got his World Series ring. But how satisfied does he really feel about getting it given that he only spent two months with the Astros?

2. For years, Max Scherzer reminded me of someone but I couldn’t put a finger on it until I saw a picture of another ballplayer. Go back and take a look at some pictures of a young Johnny Bench. It’s the face, it’s the nose, it’s the mouth. It’s just not the eyes.

JUST FOR FUN

1. TigerFest is the best way to determine which players management loves and which players could create uncomfortable moments for the team. Every year, a couple of the top athletes are “unable” to make it due to (and it’s always this reason), “family commitments.” Last year it was Miggy (child custody lawsuit) and Iggy (expiring contract couple coupled with his “strong” personality). They both had “family commitments” but someone forgot to tell them it wasn’t a good idea to go partying together at a Miami nightclub and then post the pictures to social media the day of TigerFest. This year, it’s Nick Castellanos and Shane Greene, both next up on the trading block, who got to use the yearly excuse.

Ok, time to create some conversations!


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:  https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.

RANDOM THOUGHTS – PART TWO

By:  Holly Horning

Last week, I blogged some short, but meaty tidbits of information and
insights.

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/?p=10098&preview=true

Each is too small for an entire blog, but separately, they can create some great dialog. And even though they are small topics, they are huge in terms of importance. They are, simply, too important to ignore.

Today, let’s continue creating conversations with one another and focus on some unanswered questions pertaining to the strategy of the game.

Grab ahold of one of these topics listed below and run with it (as long as it’s 4 sentences for each individual post). Let’s create some back and forth dialog with each other.


1. Comerica Park is 19 years old and has one of the largest expanses of outfield grass in MLB. It begs for players who are athletic and fast, with strong arms and defensive wizardry. So why haven’t the Tigers, in all these years, focused on syncing the players with the outfield requirements? Why do the Tigers keep bringing up players who are defensive liabilities?

2. Was the tendency to overlook strong defensive players part of the strategy to focus on power hitters who would help create a more exciting game and lure more fans as a result? Was the strategy of how the Tigers played based upon a priority given to a strong marketing strategy?

3. A reporter revealed that many years ago, he had a conversation with Mr. I about the size and dimensions of Comerica. Mr. I revealed that he was completely surprised and somewhat upset with how big and difficult the ballpark dimensions ended up. One report has it that it was done on purpose in order to attract free agent pitchers. This also begs the question about who was in charge helping create, oversee and approve the building of the stadium.

4. Years ago, Dave Dombrowski stated that he never interfered with his manager’s coaching selections and that his manager had free reign to select whom he wanted. At some point after Dave left, someone within the Front Office changed that policy and both Brad Ausmus and Ron Gardenhire had the majority of their coaches appointed by others. The Tigers have deviated from the MLB norm in this respect. Why this change ?

5. Down the road, the Tigers will need to make a change from Ron Gardenhire as the team evolves. What new manager, especially one with experience, would want to be the Tigers new skipper if he wasn’t allowed to select his own coaches?

Let the conversations begin!


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:  https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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 now 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.


What was your initial impression of the proposed universal designated hitter?

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:  https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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 now 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.


What do you think about the mobile-only ticketing for Tiger home games?   Does it apply to you?  If so, explain.

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:  https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.

THE SATURDAY SURVEY

 The Saturday Survey offers another way for readers to weigh in on a relevant topic.   So here is another 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!


The Hall of Fame elections have just been announced and once again, there is lingering controversy over the credibility and motivation of some of those eligible to vote.  



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:  https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.