I’ve been out of the game for a while, and if I still have any fans I apologize for that. So this post may ramble for a bit, but oh well.
The Tigers are going to look markedly different this season as oppose to last, and I will say right now: I have NO problem with ANY move Dombrowski made.
Yes I know that Curtis Granderson was a fan favorite, even I liked him. He was a good guy, a community-oriented-good-to-his-mother-kept-out-of-the-headlines-face-of-a-franchise-kind of guy.
But I don’t care.
As awesome as it is to have a face of a franchise that is as clean as Granderson, I’d rather have a centerfielder who can throw and hit lefties a little better than his .183/.245/.239 line.
And for his image I could point to A-Rod and say image doesn’t matter if you produce, but you might say, “He wasn’t the face of the Yankees, that was Jeter.”
So what I will say is this: Larry Jones. You might know him as Chipper. And he is without question the face of the Altanta Braves.
And he doesnt’ have a squeaky clean resume. He cheated on his wife.
But again, I don’t care if he did. He’s a career: .307/.406/.541.
That said, I don’t care if Austin Jackson becomes a womanizing alcoholic mess as long as he can hit lefties better than a .183/.245/.239 clip.
That kid can absolutely run like the wind and has a cannon for a right arm. He might not hit 30 dingers, but I can live with that.
Which brings me to my next point.
When building the Tigers outfield you need two things: speed and arm strength. Jackson has both, Damon has speed, and Magglio doesn’t have either.
In fact, I hope Magglio doesn’t hit a lick all season and can get benched to avoid his option vesting. He might hit .330, but it will be with zero power and .285 of that .330 will come in blow-outs and mean zilch.
It isn’t that I don’t like Magglio, its that I’ve seen him play over the last few years and his pennant winning homer aside, he hasn’t been clutch at all during his tenure in Detroit.
I move on.
Damon’s signing isn’t a make or break. I don’t see the Tigers going to the playoffs, and even if they do it won’t be Damon who is the reason-either way.
But what Damon will do is provide tutiledge for Jackson and provide a dependable (read:not Granderson) left handed bat at the top of the lineup to get on in front of Miguel Cabrera. Nevermind his small collection of World Series rings.
Even the Edwin Jackson trade, which was my least favorite of the off-season wheeling and dealing, should end up paying dividends. I like Scherzer, if he could ever become what he’s been projected to become, and that Schlereth kid should be all right, and Jackson was gonna make some big bread come arbitration. So its okay.
And now, another fan favorite saying bye-bye that I’m not too upset about, Placido Polanco.
Lets face it, he was getting older, slower, and not any better. I think he’ll do all right in Philly, but getting younger and faster for the Tigers is a grand plan.
And if Dombrowski didn’t shell out the money to keep Verlander and I ended up seeing him pitching for Baltimore in the next few seasons I would have been seriously upset. He’s a man as far as other Major League starters are concerned. And considering the quickness with shelling out absurd amounts of money to Nate Robertson, Jeremy Bonderman, and (sigh) Dontrelle Willis, I’m not sure why there was so much thinking about locking of Verlander.
Having said all that, I still don’t see the Tigers going to the playoffs, but thats fine. They got younger and quicker and they should still be fun to watch.
The Tigers have three pitchers in their rotation that I’d stack up against just about any other team in the league.