The Winter of Our Discontent

A couple days ago, Detroit Tigers GM Al Avila announced that the Tigers’ era of free wheeling and big spending is (likely) over.

GASP!

Gone are the days of monster free agent contracts like those doled out to Prince Fielder, Justin Upton, Jordan Zimmermann, and Victor Martinez. Also (probably) gone are the huge contract extensions to stars like Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, and Victor Martinez.

The Tigers, Avila stated in an offseason press conference, have been operating well over their means and it’s time for the team to cut back and “get leaner.”

Avila’s comments, in fact, seem to suggest the Tigers will look to trim some of the fat while attempting to remain competitive, but it won’t be easy. It could even become painful. The Tigers might part with several familiar, well-loved faces in their efforts to cut back and operate within the means of the organization (whatever that means).

What does this all mean for the Tigers heading into the 2016 offseason and looking ahead to 2017?

More after the cut!

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Your Ideas Suck, 2016 Detroit Tigers Edition

“The Tigers need to fire Al Avila!”
That’s not happening. Not less than half a year after letting Dave Dombrowski go. Let’s move on, folks.

“The Tigers need to sweep out all the underperforming players and get completely new ones!”
This is ridiculous for many reasons. No one is going to generously decide to help the Tigers offload Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, or Victor Martinez, for example. The only ones who could possibly bring back any value right now are Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez. Miggy, JV, and Victor have hefty contracts and are also on the wrong side of 30. Kinsler is in his 30s, but doesn’t have the recent injury history of those three and is coming off a Gold Glove-caliber season at second base.

“The Tigers need to sweep out the entire coaching staff right now!”
Firings are actually a strong possibility. Still don’t think it’s all Brad Ausmus’ fault, but he’ll likely be the fall guy. However, the team is probably not going to go scorched earth on the whole coaching staff in mid-May. Only one or two guys, at the most, will get the axe… if anyone does. Say all you want about how Ausmus has “lost the team” and the players “don’t respect him.” The players are still supporting him and don’t think he should be blamed for their struggles.

“The Tigers should trade Michael Fulmer for Denard Span!”
No, that’s not gonna happen.

“Well, then the Tigers should trade Daniel No—”
Shut the entire hell up.

“THE TIGERS SHOULD HIRE OZZIE GUILLÉN!!!!”
Screw off.

This Post Has Nothing to Do With Baseball

I appreciate the intentions of a lot of the ~autism positivity~ stuff I see online that’s like “Autistics are just like everyone else! Don’t treat us any differently!” but at the same time… We’re not like everyone else. Don’t treat us like we’re subhuman, but some of us do have specialized needs and requirements. Some of us do need different treatment, extra attention or more assistance, and so on.

Random Keanu Reeves pic.
Random Keanu Reeves pic.

Treat us like the individuals we are and not a giant Autistic Monolith, I guess is what I’m saying? I just get frustrated sometimes by the types of posts I see on tumblr about autism/autistic people.

I don’t want to be treated like a neurotypical person. I’m not neurotypical! I just want my disorder to be respected? To not be brushed away, even if it’s by well-meaning people? To not be handwaved?

I’m autistic, and sometimes it’s frustrating. Sometimes I don’t like it. Sometimes I even wonder what it would like to be (so-called) “normal.” I don’t want to be neurotypical. Sometimes, though, I just want to tell myself, “There are some things you can’t do because your brain doesn’t process things in a way that would allow you to do them. That’s okay. You’re not giving in to weakness or giving up by acknowledging that.”

[shakes fist]
[shakes fist]

I can’t drive, I have difficulty remembering to do basic things like eat, shower, brush my teeth, etc. sometimes, I can’t handle talking on the phone because I can’t see people’s faces or body language, and it’s very unlikely I’ll ever get to live on my own. But a lot of the autism positivity stuff I see is like “You can do all these things neurotypicals do if you want to! You just have to believe in yourself!” or something, and it’s like, the belief and desire aren’t the problem here.

The kind of autism positivity I’d personally like to see more of is like…

“It’s okay you shut down after that person you don’t know very well touched you! You’re not broken for that!”

“So you had a meltdown when your mom took away the object you were stimming with! You’re not broken or weird!”

“Making your own meals can be really hard and stressful sometimes! It’s okay that you got overwhelmed and started to cry! You’re okay!”

“You may never live on your own or drive a car! That doesn’t make you lesser-than or weak or broken!”

I have limitations because of my autism! I guess I just want that to be acknowledged sometimes, and for it to be okay to admit that.

A Word or Two About Dan Haren

The Chicago Cubs’ Dan Haren announced his retirement on Sunday, sending out a tweet after the conclusion of the 2015 MLB season.  Since he may not make the Cubs’ postseason roster, Haren’s 153rd career win was probably his last appearance in an MLB uniform.

Haren enjoyed a successful MLB career which included three All-Star selections and two top-ten Cy Young Award finishes, as well as seven post-season appearances (including two World Series relief outings in 2004). In 2011, when Haren finished seventh in Cy Young voting, he was second in fWAR (6.1 to Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia, who finished tied with 6.4).  It’s easy to forget what an excellent season Haren had in 2011 because his accomplishments were a bit overshadowed.

Haren was a fairly durable starter throughout his career, having made at least 30 starts in a season in 11 of his 13 seasons.  During his peak, Haren was a workhorse, topping 200 innings pitched six times.  He also won at least 10 games in 11 of his 13 seasons, as well.  Haren, for his career, was worth 40.7 WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

More after the jump

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Tigers and Rangers Pull Off Blockbuster Deal In the Dark of the Night; DD Confirmed Ninja GM

Ian Kinsler is excited to be joining the team.
Ian Kinsler is excited to be joining the team.
So. I thought all those tweets I was seeing about a possible Prince-Fielder-for-Ian-Kinsler trade were an elaborate trolljob by Jon Heyman.

Ha ha! The joke was on me! The Tigers really did trade Fielder for Kinsler! The Tigers are also going to send $30mil to Texas in the deal.

More after the jump

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