Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Detroit Tigers - Preseason Favorite?

"....Prince Fielder probably isn't a good fit"....words spoken by Dave "Sandbag" Dombrowski only a few days ago.  Spoken like a true big-market NY/Boston GM looking to do whatever it takes to drive the Tigers towards winning their first World Series title since 1984.  

It did not seem possible that we could land the 2nd most attractive off season free agent (next to a 33 year old Albert Pujols.) to even a short term deal...but a 9 year deal to a guy who is only 27 and is just now starting to peak?    I hate to go out on a limb, but I think we have locked up our 1st basemen/DH for quite a while.

Initial reaction from the Tigers players is positive.  My first take was "I wonder what Cabrera thinks?  Will he be packaged and shipped?", but it sounds like he knew about this and is planning to play 3rd this season.  I don't buy it.  I think he would need to drop about 60 pounds to play any other position besides 1st, and that isn't going to happen.  My guess is Prince and Miguel will alternate playing 1st base and DH, depending on whose pitching.  They tried Cabrera at 3rd a few years ago, and it did NOT go well.  I know I am restating the obvious, but I still can't believe it...with the addition of Prince to the roster, the Tigers gained a high production 40+HR/120+RBI left handed hitter in a lefty friendly ballpark.  His production will most certainly be high, given that he will probably hit after Cabrera.  They will certainly lead the league in RBI and  runs scored for the next couple of years if they stay healthy.

The right field grandstands and bleachers are going to be a "hot" higher priced ticket.  I looked at the Tigers website and no changes to the ticket prices have occurred yet.....but I am sure the addition of a $200M+ multi year contract will result in higher beer ($11?)and hot dog ($5?) prices.  Even the kids will feel the squeeze at the pump...the $3 merry-go-round will be bumped to $5.  Don't want to leave out what will happen with  parking prices.   As painful as it will be to pay for this "premium channel",  the on-the-field product will be well worth the price of admission, as long as they stay healthy.

Some suggest the Angels-Pujols signing was the best of the year...but I disagree. The Angels grossly overpaid for a guy that is 5 years older than Fielder and has missed significant playing time due to injury the past couple of years. This signing by the Tigers is better and it makes more sense than the Pujols signing, mostly due to his age and potential.

The AL Central collectively shat themselves when they heard the news.  Half of the Yankees roster is  reportedly contemplating retirement.  The Red Sox "Curse" has been reinstated.  The Cubs...er.........still suck.

The news today wiped away any lingering sadness left from the way the Lions pathetically exited their season.  This move confirms that Detroit is truly Tigertown.  It will continue to be Tigertown for a long time to come thanks to an aging owner and organization that truly cares about giving the fans something to get behind...a talented team capable of generating excitement and winning it all.