Not So Fast, Tiger

Gee, Al, why don’t we just crown the Tigers right now and forget about the 162 game season.  Don’t get me wrong, you have plenty to be excited about in Hockeytown (does anyone watch hockey anymore?) but let me remind everyone that since the new millennium, with the exception of the Boston Red Sox, bigger spending does NOT translate into a World Title.

Exhibit A.  The top ten highest payrolls of 2007:

1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox (This position seems to be the exception to the rule. Note to GMs: Be the second-highest spender and win two titles in four years)
3.  New York Mets
4.  Chicago White Sox
5.  Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
6.  Los Angeles Dodgers (of Chavez Ravine)
7.  Seattle Mariners
8.  Chicago Cubs
9.  Detroit Tigers
10.  Baltimore Orioles

Six of these teams failed to make it into the post-season all together, two of them ended the season with absolutely embarrassing records and one is cursed by a goat.

Exhibit B.  The other side and their payroll rankings among 30 MLB teams.

14.  Philadelphia Phillies
23.  Cleveland Indians
25.  Colorado Rockies
26.  Arizona Diamondbacks

And let us not forget that since the Evil Empire went on a spending rampage in 2001 they have not won a title; and among the teams that have won (again, with the exception of the Red Sox), the ’01 D’Backs, ’02 Angels, ’03 Marlins, ’05 White Sox, ’06 Cardinals have all had moderate middle-of-the-pack and/or bottom-of-the-barrel payroll numbers.  And don’t get me started on Billy Beane and what he manages to produce.

So, what does this all mean, Al?  It means it takes a lot more than a lineup of overpaid superstars to bring home the ring.  It requires heart, passion, fire.  It requires players who were nobodies.  Players who rise to the occasion.  It requires a Tulowitski, a Valverde, a Carmona, a Wainright, a Crede, a Cabrera, an Eckstein.  For some reason when these teams load up on superstars, they lose this edge, they lose that essence of team and just become selfish numbers-driven Scott Boras drones with dollar signs for eyeballs.  And even with the aforementioned-exception Red Sox, guys like Lester and a cast of idiots seem to light the proverbial fire that gets everyone going, that gets them to overcome an 0-3 ALCS deficit and an ever-rising Yankee payroll.

So let’s not give Dombrowski a key to the city (does anyone live there anymore?) quite yet, Al.  No.  He is by no means a Theo Epstein.  He is by no means a Walt Jocketty.  He is by no means a Bill Stoneman.  What he is is a Brian Cashman.  He’s pulling a page out of the Evil Empire book, going to Daddy, asking for more money and getting it only to disappoint a mob of rich white people from Grosse Pointe and Bloomfield Hills.   He might do better by taking Matt Millen’s job.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
   

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(Allen admires himself in the mirror while talking on his cell to Dombrowski, desperately trying to score a FastPass to the amusement park that is Comerica. Click on image for a better look.)

Peace, love and baseball,

Jeffy

5 Comments

Looks like i’m the first to comment. It sounds to me like money can’t buy love is what you are saying. I agree for once. Heart, desire, and teamwork produce results. Not some swollen headed jock who thinks the world revolves around him. One guy can’t win a championship. by the way i thought Jeffy was my name for yourself Baba

Yes, baseball is played in the field, not paper. The tigers just get a few injuries, which could very well happen over a 162-game season, and all the hype and money and big trades wasted. Good point, backed up by examples and info.

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I actually like Cashman. Even though I’m a Red Sox fan. He usually seems to at least WANT to make the right deal…he just usually got overruled by Herr Steinbrenner. The reason that the Yankees are gonna be back in the hunt over the next few years is because of their revamped farm system.

I’m certain that Steinbrenner didn’t let Cashman sign Vlad Guerrero. He insisted on Randy Johnson. And Cashman never won a decision until Steinbrenner took a one way ticket on the Crazy Train.

I feel bad for Cashman. The poor ******* looked like a hostage in an Al Qaeda video during the Steinbrenner Reich. Every press conference he had to announce the signing of some washed up vet, he looked like someone was holding a gun to his head just out of camera range.

The Sox have the best of both worlds: a stacked farm system, AND the pockets to sign marquis free agents. Not to mention that they have enough money to make a mistake and deal with it. (See Renteria, Edgar, 2005.)

That being said, the Tigers are scary looking. That lineup is nothing to screw around with. But as always, a team is only as good as its pitching. Detroit’s young arms are going to have to step up, and Dontrelle is going to have to have a good year in transition, which isn’t easy going from the NL to the AL. The Tigers might be better served to have Dontrelle in the 3rd rotation spot, just so that he doesn’t have to be the man.

Then again, the Indians are no joke, which should make the Central race close even though Minnesota shot itself in the foot for the next five years by trading Santana at the wrong time. I think we’re looking at a two team race. And what a race it shall be.

First of all, a Red Sox fan who really likes Cashman? Really? I could entertain the idea of you feeling sorry for the poor guy–wait, no I can’t. I have never met a Red Sox fan who had anything good to say about the Yankees ever. There’s always an ulterior motive. I think the reason you like him is because he makes moves that aren’t winning them championships. That’s pretty simple.

Also, I admit, they have picked up a few washed-up vets but these are the Yankees; they have made HUGE moves and those are the ones I’m talking about. Alex Rodriguez is hardly washed-up. Giambi may be but a shadow of his former drug-ingested self, but when he came over he was the Man. And Clemens, Sheffield, Damon, Abreu, Mussina, Pettitte… these are overpaid superstars. And yet, a championship they could not produce.

MadHattr, I think you hit the nail right on the head with your comment about Detroit’s pitching. Everything stems from that but, if anything, that just makes me like our chances even better. Willis is going to be able to go from the staff ace to a #3 pitcher which allows him better matchups. On top of that, although he’s a great hitter for a pitcher, he’ll save himself some wear and tear by giving up those at-bats. This is a rotation that just keeps looking better and better. However, I really think the biggest question for the Tigers is going to be the bullpen. If Zumaya can’t get healthy, someone else is going to have to step up. And with Todd Jones closing, you know he’s going to be good for at least 5 blown saves a year. In a close race with the Tribe, that could be the difference.

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