#WinItForJD

A couple years ago, when the Tigers were shaping up to be a mediocre team—though with a well-outside shot at being juuuuust good enough to eke into a Wild Card race—I got hammered on twitter by a vocal segment of fans for “rooting against the best interests of the team” because I wasn’t actively clamoring for losses.

I was just trying to set them up to fail! I wasn’t a good fan! I didn’t know baseball! If I really knew baseball/cared about the Tigers/was a good fan/etc., I’d be praying for the team to tank so they’d get a better draft pick! Apparently I wielded a great amount of power over the team on the field! Wish I’d only realized this sooner so I could have turned them into a World Series winner.

Now, I’m not saying I fail to see the benefit in “tanking,” by any means. Sometimes, it’s far more advantageous for a team to just be really bad as opposed to mediocre. We’ve been saying that about the Red Wings for a couple years now.

However, I like winning. I like not being bad. I like having fun. Losing, especially prolonged periods of losing? It sucks. It’s not fun at all. I’ve endured it already—decades of it—in my 20+ years as a Tigers fan. All those miserable years when the Tigers were the laughingstock of baseball? Not fun at all.

“It will just make the return to competitiveness that much more satisfying!” Buddy, I lived through 2003-2006. I know what that feels like. I really don’t care to go through that kind of abject misery again just to know winning is satisfying. I don’t need to be reminded of how unenjoyable terrible baseball is so that I can properly appreciate a winning team.

I want the Tigers to keep winning games because winning is fun and I like having fun. Simple as that.

Also, if they keep winning, fans’ heads will explode and that’s always fun too.

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.

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 Trade Top Prospect (Well, One of Them) and Bullpen Depth for Sexy Spanish Singer

Hawt.
Hawt.

Teh reputable blogs and beat writers have the nuts and bolts of the trade:

Tigers acquire Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias as part of three-way trade (Bless You Boys)
Red Sox Acquire Jake Peavy In Three-Team Deal With White Sox, Tigers (MLB Trade Rumors)
Tigers deal Avisail Garcia, Brayan Villarreal to get shortstop insurance in Iglesias (Oakland Press)
Detroit Tigers trade Avisail Garcia, Brayan Villarreal for Jose Iglesias as part of three-team deal
Trade means Jhonny Peralta’s days in Detroit are numbered whether or not suspension comes (MLive)

This blog has a stupid photoshop and unoriginal jokes. Sorry.

Outside the Bounds of Reason: Happy Trails, Ryan Raburn

Oops.
The one thing you must understand is that my lack of disdain for the very disdain-worthy Ryan Raburn isn’t entirely rational. I can’t explain or reason with it any more than I can explain or reason away any number of my odd, irrational attachments.

Raburn isn’t a very good player. He has his moments of brilliance, as do most Major Leaguers; he was good enough to make it to the Majors and be a mediocre to downright bad replacement level (or worse) player. There are plenty who never made it that would probably give nearly anything to walk a mile in Raburn’s cleats.

My entirely irrational fondness for Raburn lies in a family death in 2009.

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