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Postby moochman » Sun Dec 18, 2005 3:12 am

I can't put any faith in what the Tigers say about their minor league system. They can't tell the truth because is would cost them their jobs. Remember Randy Smith boasted so much about the minors that even Baseball America bought into the hype. Then nothing happened. All these wonderful players never materialized.

Now I hear that DD was offered Beckett and Lowell for Verlander and an unnamed player. He told them no way do they consider trading Verlander. That is crazy. Why wouldn't you want a proven pitcher and very solid defense third bagger for an unproven pitcher and whatever mediocre crap you can give them? Becuase you are too busy trying to save you neck. I think DD has hung his rep on Verlander being the proof that he has turned around the minors and is willing to let the big league club suffer for it. Now how messed up is that? It just doesn't make sense.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Sun Dec 18, 2005 12:00 pm

moochman wrote:I can't put any faith in what the Tigers say about their minor league system. They can't tell the truth because is would cost them their jobs. Remember Randy Smith boasted so much about the minors that even Baseball America bought into the hype. Then nothing happened. All these wonderful players never materialized.
Don't put faith into what the Tigers say. Look for yourself and see that there are indeed some bright spots out there and they aren't the come out of nowhere fluke types like Kapler, Fick, and Cornejo. These are guys with successful histories and there has not (at least in a long time) been players to actually make it so high in the system with potential like Verlander, Zumaya, and even Granderson. The minor league system looks to be headed in the right direction and they seem to be doing a better job of not wearing out their young pitchers into the ground, ala Kenny Baugh and Nate Cornejo. What they did to those guys was just plain wrong. A good sign is that they successfully reworked the mechanics of both Verlander and Zumaya this past season and had very good results. Matt Wheatland and probably a couple of others could have used that kind of attention, but the organization was clueless at the time and pitching injuries were the norm back in those days leading many to believe that the cause wasn't just bad luck, but maybe poor handling/development of pitchers. We certainly need another year or two as proof, but it does appear the dirty work of Randy Smith is finally about gone.

moochman wrote:Now I hear that DD was offered Beckett and Lowell for Verlander and an unnamed player. He told them no way do they consider trading Verlander. That is crazy. Why wouldn't you want a proven pitcher and very solid defense third bagger for an unproven pitcher and whatever mediocre crap you can give them? Becuase you are too busy trying to save you neck. I think DD has hung his rep on Verlander being the proof that he has turned around the minors and is willing to let the big league club suffer for it. Now how messed up is that? It just doesn't make sense.
Josh Beckett has been an injury mess most of his career and has never managed 30 starts or 200 innings in a season. Yes, he is definitely good, but is he worth the risk and he comes along with Lowell's awful contract. Also, I'm guessing the unnamed minor leaguer had to be somebody of high value considering what Boston gave up for him (Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez). You can really go either way on this one as to whether or not rejecting the trade was a bad move, but we won't really know for a couple of years once we see if Verlander is really as good as many believe him to be and if Beckett can ever manage to be durable. I also heard that Florida was getting rejected left and right with it's offers involving Beckett and Lowell, so if this is true, the Tigers probably aren't alone.
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Postby moochman » Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:41 am

I don't put faith in the Tigers spin because I do look for myself. I look at results, and they have been awful. Please don't ask me to believe that the minors are going to start producing major league players. The fact remains that they have been unable to do so. Four years is enough time to see results. And all we have for our high draft position is Verlander and Zumaya, who has such poor mechanics that we hope switching him to a closer will save him from the injuries we feel he is headed toward.

2 pitchers in 4 years? I am unimpressed. Did you know that DD record so far is worse than Randy Smith's? Here is an excerpt from the Detroit Free Press, 12-17.

"The Tigers were 149 games under .500 in the six-year Randy Smith era,...The Tigers are 159 games under .500 in the four-year DD era."
"Highest single-season win total for DD: 72. Highest for Smith: 79, which included wild-card contention in September".

Understand the Tiger team that Smith took over was deplete of talent, just like the one DD inherited. DD is showing such little progress that I cannot extend him the free pass of patience to wait for supposed minor league talent to mature. I've heard that one before.
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Postby tthousand66 » Wed Dec 21, 2005 2:54 am

Quote: "I would rather see Kenny Baugh get a shot or even Roman Colon than Rogers."

Baugh was actually dealt away to the Padres (ghost of Randy Smith operating behind the scenes) a week or so ago. I'd like to have seen what that former first round pick had for stuff. Seeing him leave can only make me think of the Angels cut of a similarly hyped hard thrower named Bobby Jenks..and we all know how that came back to haunt them.

Hey, this is my first time on this site....I am a former Detroiter who has lived in Seattle the past 4 years. This forum really seems to have some wise Detroit fans. Great stuff...I'll be bugging you all again soon.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:10 pm

I remember that 79 win season pretty well. It was impressive that they played that well, despite how bad that team really was. The downside to that year is that the GM, Smith, essentially ruined the team for the next few years just for that one season. Juan Gonzalez was somehow a force in that lineup, despite subpar numbers, being a locker room cancer, and missing considerable time, but he made everyone else in that lineup better, and they needed offense because the pitching was bad. Of course, I remember the acquisition of Gonzalez was yet another example of Ilitch meddling as he pretty much forced Smith to trade for a superstar. After that year, everything went into the toilet. Gonzalez left, Palmer got injured and was never useful again, Smith traded away solid Brad Ausmus for the potential of Meluskey who proceeded to get hurt and never became useful and one of the worst pitchers in MLB history Chris Holt, and the minor leagues were completely and utterly depleted.

All's I'll say about DD is he is trying not only to keep a competitive team on the field at the MLB level, he is also trying to stockpile a strong farm system and keep it that way. Giving up the future for a mediocre season is not the way to go as we saw in the 2000 Tigers. Now if you are the Yankees and can throw money at everybody under the sun, then it's a different story, but the Yankees this team is not. The fact that we are just now seeing some of our minor leaguers reach the majors under DD is very reasonable, unless you expect players to be drafted and then be MLB ready within a couple of years to be everyday occurances. DD took over as GM in I think 1992 so taking about 3-4 years to start seeing results after a farm system that was about as empty as can be is very reasonable. What remains to be seen is if they can keep them coming.

That's about as close as I can come to defending him. DD's success could still hinge either way. The team is currently showing as much promise at both the MLB level and minor league level simultaneously as it has in years (unlike a certain local NFL team which is in total disarray), so is it time to scrap that some run of the mill GM (unless you hope to pry someone like the Braves GM away from them) and hope the new guy can overcome Ilitch's meddling and overall baseball incompetency?

Either way, the farm system is the key. Teams like the Twins, A's, Braves, and Indians need to be their model, not teams like the Red Sox, Yankees, and Orioles. Also, I'd like to see Ilitch work with the GM more than against him. As you can tell, Ilitch is my biggest gripe and that is the reason why. He did it to Randy Smith, he's doing it to Dombrowski, and he'd probably do it to anyone else. I don't know if it has anything to due with the larger scale of money involved in baseball, but he sure seems to mishandle this franchise far more than the Red Wings.
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Postby tthousand66 » Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:24 pm

Randy Smith=Worst MLB GM ever

What he did to the team is still being felt today. Did you notice he is never talked about for any GM vacancies?

DD looks like a genius comparitively.
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Postby moochman » Wed Dec 21, 2005 3:54 pm

mcqfesijiba, I am having a hard time with the idea of Illitch's invovlement with the team. By Meddling are you referring to the additions of Pudge and Maggs? I think that if DD were opposed to those moves he would have gladly have stepped down and found a less downtrodden organization to work for. Remember that Illitch wanted to resign Rondell White? That didn't happen, so I think that DD must be running the show.

Tell me that Illitch was responsible for the rediculous decision to give DaMeatHook 500 ABs and I'm witcha. That we have to pay that gutless doofus $8mil kills me. He showed all he was made of after hitting his incentive clause by refusing to play again! Not even pinch hit!!!

All in all, though, I see this as a DD production. And the early returns are dismal. By the time any of the minor league talent reaches the majors Maggs, Pudge and the new kids on the block will be gone. And I have yet to hear of any one who has an inkling of talent at the C spot in their minors. Of course you can say that about almost any position players in their minor league system.

And you can't look back at Smith's putrid teams and say they were worse than their record, then come back and say the DD's teams have been better than their's. The Tigers have been terrible on merit. Bad decisions, not bad luck.

Welcome aboard, tthousand66. Always good to hear from another Tiger fan ;-D Don't let my negative tone fool you, I am a loyal fan.
And Smith did get an interview for a GM spot.....at a SD McDonalds. He was beat out by a 19-year-old with a GED.
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Postby tthousand66 » Wed Dec 21, 2005 4:26 pm

Hillarious! You should send that to the Freep when they want to do a "Where are they Now?" piece. Be sure to submit that.

And I WAS a Tiger fan...now I am simply a baseball fan that was born in Detroit. I still follow the Tigers, but they and the Lions have me sick to my stomach.

who ever thought that we'd call the Wayne Fontes and Jim Campbell eras the "Glory Years".

If Detroit wants so mediocre starting pitching, the M's are dangling Gil Meche, who may actually do well in Detroit. Send over some hitting to the NW!
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:55 pm

moochman wrote:mcqfesijiba, I am having a hard time with the idea of Illitch's invovlement with the team. By Meddling are you referring to the additions of Pudge and Maggs? I think that if DD were opposed to those moves he would have gladly have stepped down and found a less downtrodden organization to work for. Remember that Illitch wanted to resign Rondell White? That didn't happen, so I think that DD must be running the show.
Lets look at the biggest fact of all: Before 1992, the Tigers often had many more winning seasons than losing ones. In fact winning seasons were practically the norm. Since then, the team has seen only one winning season, and that was early on in the new era, more specifically 1993. What is this new era? The Ilitch owned era. You can blame DD or Randy Smith or whomever, but what is the only common link between all the losing? The owner.

As far as his meddling goes, it involves little things that add up, like getting involved in the Maybin negotiations, having influence on the hiring of the manager, and being unable to come to a definite decision as to whether or not he wants to increase payroll or not. Then you hear the little rumors like Pudge going over DD and Trammell's head to request time off from Ilitch. among others. Some of those rumors may or may not be accurate, but some of them likely have some truth somewhere along the way. If these are true why does DD not resign and go elsewhere? I have no clue. Maybe he's making good money as far as a GM goes and is waiting for his contract to officially end after 2007. He's still a highly respected GM in baseball. Rumor has it that Boston would have pursued him had they wished to find a way to get around his contract with the Tigers, so I'm thinking he probably wouldn't have a hard time finding work. It's just simply my opinion that Ilitch is the root of all Tigers evil. I only make inferences from what I know and what I've heard.

DD definitely has a large part in the way the Tigers are run, however he seems to have made positive progress in making them a competitive team. Not all of his moves are very good (Percival), but many of them are good (Polanco). You have to remember, Randy Smith left this team with almost NOTHING. At the end of 2002, the Tigers possibly had both the worst team at the MLB level and possibly the worst farm system. We don't know if he can bring this team all the way back or not, but baseball is generally NOT a quick fix sport, even moreso when your team isn't willing to be among the highest payroll teams in the league.

And as far as the Dmitri Young contract situation from last year went, you just don't often see team intentionally sit players for no other reason than to miss contract stipulations. As a team that already isn't all that appealing to FAs, do you really want them to become even less appealing to a FA than they already are not to mention ticking off the players union? That's why you seldom see teams do that. It's bad business. What they did do was make him earn his last bit of needed plate appearances by throwing him in the outfield towards the end of the year. Makes me wonder if anyone in the front office was cheering on Dmitri to pull a hamstring or something. And yeah, it was unfortunate the way he ended the year refusing to play. That just doesn't seem like the same Dmitri young from the past who seemed to love to play the game. By the way, who gave Dmitri that contract? Yes, it was Randy Smith, not too long before getting fired. That was a bad contract for a guy who you could tell probably wasn't going to be useful in the field for too much longer due to his size. Hopefully he's got one more productive year left in the tank.

And welcome, tthousand66. you can tell that me and moochman have pretty much polar opposite views on things, but it's always good to have another person stop in with their own unique viewpoints. You'll find some other Tiger fans around here somewhere, but many of them are probably too busy trying to get Millen fired or something.
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Postby tthousand66 » Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:03 pm

Thanks for the kind welcome.
Dmitri Young is far from the biggest problem in Detroit. The city needs a cleansing to become more appealing to FA's. Or the city could be lifted and moved to the west coast. Mike Illitch could sell the team to Paul Allen and move it to Portland---the biggest market without a pro baseball team.

Seriously though, there needs to be a major change in philosophy with free agent signings and overall strategy.

Save the bad money spent on guys like Rogers, Percival, Jones and even Ordonez and start bargain hunting. I just saw that Detroit's average salary last year was higher than numerous teams with .500+ records. It adds insult to injury to watch your home team get spanked for over a dozen years by EVERYONE---AND pay MORE to take that spanking.

I'd suggest going after B. Kim for cheap or any of the other many non-tendered pitchers that are out there. Many will be as good or better than the guys Detroit signed and cost WAY less.

This is where DD has done a Randy Smith on us. Handicapping us salary-wise for YEARS while pacifying the fans with the "see look what we did to improve" moves.

Detroit will be lucky to finish .500 in any of the next five years.

So is it the fault of Pizza Mike or DD? I'd say Mikey is the common denominator in the sucking of Detroit, but Randy Smith built the dynasty of disaster....if you wanna blame Mike, blame him for hiring the guy who pulled the Tigers under water.
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