Friday, January 22, 2010
Tiger Droppings: 1/22/10
Unlike Miguel Cabrera, I am not doing well dealing with my drinking problem. But Miguel’s a good boy now. See? Whatever. Good for him. What do you say we get on with this, shall we, kids?
Top Story: Moneyball…No, Not the Billy Beane Stuff
Much like the banking industry, in baseball, no matter how good or bad you are at your job, there’s always a decent chance that you’ll get a raise and/or bonus. The Tigers are no exception to this rule as they avoided arbitration and gave raises to .220 hitting Suns fan, Gerald Laird, dentist/elf look-a-like, Zach Miner, and possible Frankenstein creature, Bobby Seay. The only guy left on the arbitration list for Detroit is the ace of the pitching staff, Justin Verlander.
Personally, I was hoping that this offseason would see Dave Dombrowski try to work out a long-term deal with Verlander after his amazing 2009 campaign. I love me some JV. Even my personal BFF, Jamie Samuelsen, had similar thoughts. (Yes, it scared me, too.) Yet after reading these articles over at Detroit4Lyfe and The Cutoff Man, I’ve started thinking that perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea to not hurry into anything and wait it out for a while. Good job, guys. Maybe one day, I’ll think out an article before writing it. Better yet, maybe one day I’ll check my punctuation and grammar so the guys at Bleacher Report will quit yelling at me. Doubt it, though.
No matter what they do, 2010’s deal with Justin still needs to be done. Verlander has asked for $9.5 million while Double D has countered with a laughable $6.9 million…a week after giving Jose Valverde $7 million per year. That Dombrowski…he has balls. I’m sure they’ll settle somewhere in the $8 million dollar range pretty soon. But the more I think about it, I’d like to be in the room while they try and hammer things out. This is how I picture things going…
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: $9.5 million is a lot of money, Justin. I think a bit less than $7 million is more than fair for this year. Don’t you?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: (gives menacing stare)
DOMBROWSKI: Sure, sure. I can see your point there. You did finish third in the Cy Young voting. How about $7.3 million, Justin?
VERLANDER: (gives menacing stare)
DOMBROWSKI: (waves hand in front of Justin’s unchanging expression) Hmm. Okay. $7.6 million. Take it or leave it.
VERLANDER: (gives menacing stare) (slowly begins to sharpen knives)
DOMBROWSKI: $8.4 million! Okay?
VERLANDER: (nods and drops knives)
FU-TE NI: Herro, gentremen! Whele is lestloom? I get rost arr the time at Detloit Tigel Headqualtels.
Fun stuff. And for those of you that always let me know that you find Imaginary Fu-Te Ni’s accent to be racist every time he drops by the site, please do one of three things for me…
1) Lighten up.
2) Quit coming here and go over to the Mothership for your Tiger fun…maybe you’ll get lucky and they’ll have a sweet article on something like Rick Porcello’s movie watching habits or Ramon Santiago’s favorite color.
3) Go fist yourself.
Go with #1. It is best for everyone. Lets not fight…this isn’t Bless You Boys. Ha, just kidding, Kurt. Don’t ban me.
In Other News
-No Way, Jose: The reaction to the signing of Jose Valverde to be the Tiger closer has been nothing short of fascinating to me. Most casual Tiger fans I’ve talked to seem to be happy about it. The mainstream media, for the most part, has applauded the deal. Yet most of the Tiger bloggers out there, who I generally like and respect, are still up in arms over it. Check them out, if you haven’t, and see what I mean. People are pissed. You’ve even got lots of them snipping at each other mixed in with a lot of head scratching over what Mr. Dombrowski is thinking and/or smoking.
Me? I like the deal. Like I said last week, Valverde’s the best closer we’ve had since Henneman, if he pitches like the last three seasons in the NL. And unlike many of my Tiger blogging brothers and sisters, I think the price was great for someone like Valverde, even if we were probably bidding against ourselves. It’s not my pizza money paying for him. But I’ve come up with another conspiracy theory on the deal that I haven’t seen written anywhere else just yet.
Maybe this deal is more about 2011 than 2010. Think about it. If you believe Dombrowski, we’re not going to be adding another big bat to the lineup. Currently, Miguel Cabrera has about as much support behind him as a bowling ball does sitting on a wet paper towel. So, we’re not going to be very competitive compared to your Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, etc, despite what Dave says. The Central might be doable, but not much more…too many teams are better than us.
Anyhoo, after 2010, the abortions of contracts given out to Bondo, Nate, Dontrelle, and probably Magglio go bye-bye. Thus, Dave is free to spend for 2011, Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore have a year under their belts (along with all the young pitchers), and the Tigers are a new team.
What does any of this have to do with Valverde? Glad you asked. Jose will still be under control for 2011 and a $9 million option on 2012. That is still way cheaper than the other top closers in baseball are being paid. (And Kerry Wood.) It’s just one less thing Dave has to worry about in building the competitive 2011 team…he just got it out of the way now while the price was low.
Or perhaps, I’m thinking too hard and Dave’s trying to make people forget that Granderson and Polonco will be facing each other in the World Series next year.
-Damage Control: The Tiger Winter Caravans (or whatever) are making their trips around the Detroit/Toledo areas lately. Jim Leyland has been doing his best to answer questions from the media and fans about the team with his usual charm. I’ll let you check out the big Detroit sites for details on that. But a couple of things have stood out to me that The Marlboro Man has said this week that would make me pull the hairs out of my head if I could grow them.
First, he says he hasn’t even written out a batting order yet and isn’t sure who is going to be batting where. No clue, says the skipper. Does this frighten anyone else that our manager has no plan yet? I’m sure he wants to get a look at Jackson and Sizemore this spring and possibly pray that Dave finds him a left-handed bat, but come on. Nothing, Jim? I'm sure you're lying, but let a brother help you out, then. How about this?
1. Ryan Raburn, LF
2. Austin Jackson, CF
3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Carlos Guillen, DH
6. Brandon Inge, 3B
7. Scott Sizemore, 2B
8. Gerald Laird, C
9. Adam Everett, SS
Was that so hard? I kinda like the idea of Raburn leading off. The more he plays, the better he seems to hit. And seriously, what’s with all the talk of us having no leadoff hitter? We didn't last year, either. Everyone’s hero hit .240 leading off and we barely missed the bloody playoffs. I love Curtis, too, but the man wasn’t exactly Rickey Henderson. Give Raburn a chance. I like laughing at him when he sticks his tongue out when he’s concentrating really hard.
The other thing that Jim said that annoyed me was when he was asked about adding another left-handed hitter. Jim replied, “We’d like to have one, but they’re not easy to find.”
Hank Blalock, Russell Branyan, Jim Edmonds, Carlos Delgado, Orlando Hudson, Garret Anderson, Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, Jim Thome, and others are apparently missing! Someone please call “America’s Most Wanted” immediately if you have any information on there whereabouts! (Is that still on?) Thank goodness the Royals somehow found Rick Ankiel lost and wandering the woods along the Missouri border…
Are any of those guys a long-term answer? No. But with the exception of Hudson or Damon, any of them could be a cheap one year solution until the magical 2011 season arrives, especially when you take into account the fact that Carlos Guillen can snap a bone in his leg on any given day stepping out of the shower. Otherwise, prepare for another season of Clete Thomas being the big lefty bat on the team.
I just threw up in my mouth.
-Always A Tiger Updates Via MLB Trade Rumors:
Chad Durbin avoided arbitration with the Phillies by signing a $2.125 million deal. Not bad for a guy who’s career looked to be over a few years ago. Here’s to hoping that the Phils bring Matty Stairs back for another year, too. Apparently, he’s dropped something like 40 pounds. For Stairs, that may put him at around 280.
Colby Lewis is still alive and signed a two year deal with the Rangers after pitching well in Japan. Seth Greisinger must be pissed.
Cody Ross and the Marlins can’t agree on a figure and look to be heading to arbitration over a difference of only $250,000. Anyone under the age of 85 that doesn’t live in Miami should be shot for rooting for the friggin’ Marlins. Cheap bastards. Hanley Ramirez will be a Yankee ten minutes after Derek Jeter retires.
Milwaukee is showing a lot of interest in Jarrod Washburn. Bummer. I was hoping he’d be back in the AL this year and we’d get to see him a couple times…pad the stats a bit.
-This week, Samara took a look at the supposed superpowers of Our Hero, Nate Robertson. It seems those silly glasses aren’t just to correct that squiggle eye of his, but they in fact allow him to shoot beams of power. Fun stuff, as always from Roar of the Tigers. If anyone from the Tigers has somehow stumbled onto my dumb blog, please give Sam a job writing Tiger kids books or something creative. Her illustrations are amazing, despite her annoying habit of also supporting the Red Sox.
-Blake takes a look at dead white guys. By the time he finishes his list ranking the all the Tiger ballclubs over the years and I finish my DNR 25, Austin Jackson’s going to be 30 years old…and probably playing for New York.
-Kurt looks at the enigma that is Phil Coke and how he fits into the team this year. I continue to hold out hope that the Tigers trade for Jack Wilson so I can refer to them as Jack & Coke. (groan, boo, hiss)
-Lynn Henning at the Detroit News continues to disagree with every consensus opinion taken by Tiger bloggers in the offseason. This one’s about the offense. But check any of them and imagine Tiger bloggers screaming and spitting at their computer screens. Well, except me. But I'm weird.
That’s all for now. Be good to each other. And as for you, Miguel? Joel Zumaya thinks you’re a wussy.