Saturday, November 15, 2008
Fact #1: The Tigers are looking for a shortstop this offseason. They don't think Ramon Santiago is the answer to play every day.
Fact #2: Gary Sheffield has made it clear that he would be much happier playing in the field. He thinks that his hitting will improve if he feels "more into the game" instead of being the DH and sitting on the bench all the time.
Fact #3: DD says the Tigers are looking to save cash and won't be going after top tier free agents this offseason.
What do these things have to do with each other? Let me try to put this together so it makes sense.
We made it to the World Series in 2006. We had a shortstop then. What was his name? Oh yeah, it was Carlos Guillen. Wait...isn't he still on the team?
Why can't Guillen be our shortstop now? Sure, he's as fragile as Samuel L. Jackson was in Unbeakable. His range isn't what it once was. My response to these two responses is...um, so?
Let Carlos play short. Give him a time off every couple days and let Ramon fill in. Let Carlos DH now and then. Ramon showed last year that he can contribute in a part time role. Brandon Inge is back at third and will cover up some of the ground that Guillen cannot. They've announced Guillen as the new left fielder...but are you telling me that he's not going to have a chance at injury in left? Isn't that part of why Gary isn't out there? If Carlos plays short 2/3 of the time and Ramon fills in, we don't need a shortstop. We can get by for a year and see if Iorg's ready. And that opens left field up again.
Now, on to Gary. Gary's getting older and isn't exactly Torrii Hunter in the outfield. Are you telling me that Marcus Thames, Matt Joyce, and Maggs are going to confuse anyone with Jim Edmonds out there, though? Let Gary play some left. At the very least, he'll be happier and might hit over his weight. And when he's at DH? We get some more time to look at Joyce, Raburn, Clete, and whoever else we have coming up for the future in the outfield. Marcus, too. And if Gary gets hurt out there? Not to be insensitive, but big deal. We have plenty of outfield options.
This saves the money we were going to blow on a stopgap shortstop and we can put it into the real problem of the 2008 Tigers...the pitching. Put together a real bullpen. Sign someone that will matter...not whoever is left after the free agent feeding frenzy if over. Carlos is a team player...I don't think he would object that much. Gary would be happier. And we wouldn't have to rely on the Gary Glovers and the Casey Fossums of the world when JV's at 120 pitches through 5 innings.
It might not be the best plan in the world, but it's better than Bobby Crosby, Khalil Greene, or any other short term solution I've heard.