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Postby mcqfesijiba » Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:50 pm

It was a great season, even if they did come up choking at the very end. Hopefully this is the start of a long run of winning seasons. Can't wait to see what they do in the offseason to improve. I would have to think coming off of a trip to the world series should make Detroit a slightly more desirable place for potential new players. They also did very well attendance-wise.

Anyways, I'm disappointed a bit with the way they played in the world series, but I am seriously proud of the season they had.

Go Tigers!!!
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Postby KolbSaves » Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:21 am

What a crushing way to end the season. I really doubt they will post a better record/go as far as they did in the playoffs/make the playoffs next year. I think we're headed for a frustrating sit pat style offseason, but who knows.
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
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Postby Dannomyte » Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:35 pm

KolbSaves wrote: I think we're headed for a frustrating sit pat style offseason, but who knows.


I seriously doubt we see a "sit pat" offseason especially after reading these comments from DD.

"We've been out of the office trying to win a championship for an extended period of time, so we're just now getting a real chance to focus on 2007," Dombrowski said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We've had a meeting to review the situation with our ballclub.

"Next week, we'll go down to Lakeland (Fla.) to meet with all of our major league scouts and our coaching staff to review all the free agents and trade possibilities we may have with other clubs."

Detroit, in its first postseason in 19 years, might not make many changes after advancing to the World Series for the first time since 1984.

"Probably our biggest need is a big bat to help us offensively," Dombrowski said. "And depending on what happens with Jamie Walker, we might need a left-hander in the bullpen."
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:23 pm

Yeah. The Tigers have some question marks.
Here's what I think:
C: Pudge and Wilson. No questions here.
1B: Big question. Won't be Casey or Shelton. Could be Guillen, but that opens up a hole at SS
2B: Polanco. No question.
SS: Guillen, unless he moves to first. Then it's a question.
3B: Inge. I'm very confident he will be the starting 3B next season. Not 100% confident, but definitely up there.
CF: Granderson. No question.
RF: Ordonez. No question. For those saying he needs to become a DH, it's not happening just yet.
LF: Probably Monroe. I think he'll be back, but I'm not as confident on this one as some of the others. I wouldn't be surprised if another outfielder was added to the mix.
DH: I have no clue. They could use it to rotate guys like Maggs, Guillen, etc in and out of to give them a break in the field and having a guy like Thames fill in the rest of the time, similar to this year. There are options here, however.

I would like to see someone else able to bat leadoff instead of Granderson and/or a big hitter who can hit cleanup instead of Ordonez. I like Ordonez, but unless he hits better next year, he isn't the greatest option at cleanup.

Rotation: Rogers, Bonderman, Verlander, Robertson,Maroth?
There is a small chance of a trade of Bonderman or Robertson, but I don't think either will go unless we get an offer we just can't refuse, so the first 4 are pretty much set. I'm not ready to pencil in Maroth until he shows something next spring. The 5th starter may be a question mark.

Bullpen:
Closer: Jones, until he proves he can't do it. I think he has another season similar to this one left in him. Take that for what it's worth.
Setup: Zumaya. I still think he may eventually get a look as a starter, but probably not next year. He'll probably be first in line for save opps after Jones as long as his control doesn't vanish next year.
Setup2: Probably Rodney. Why ruin what works? I'm much less confident he'll be around than Zumaya, but I think he'll be here.
Lefty: Walker? It's probably in Walker's best interests to stay here. But will he?
Lefty/Long: Ledezma. He'll be back, with a small chance he'll be trade bait.
Long: Grilli? I think he'll be back too. He's ok in long relief, but there isn't much else he is of a lot of use at. Guys like him are usually pretty expendable though.

Others I'm watching:
Humberto Sanchez: I'm all but convince he has to become a reliever in the short term. He has the stuff to be quite a good one, maybe even a closer. Not much else to prove in the minors, just needs to stay healthy. If healthy, we'll be seeing him in Detroit in 2007.

Andrew Miller: I'm sure I'm not the only one who's heard he could be up in the Detroit rotation by the all-star break. I'm not buying it...until he proves something in the minors. I'd rather see them take it slow with him, unless he totally breezes through the minors. However, I doubt they will be shy with Miller.

Cameron Maybin: I keep hearing that they will be a little more aggressive with Maybin next season. Hopefully that doesn't include a trip to Detroit before he's ready (and starting the arbitration clock on him), but who knows?

Ooh. Another exciting offseason. However, this time around, we have a world series championship in our sights instead of just working our way up to .500. I'm probably not the only Tiger fan that isn't used to this.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:48 pm

I guess the Free Press just covered the very topic I've been thinking of the past few days and put in my post above. I don't normally run across a newspaper or check out the paper websites, but was directed to this article by Jon Paul Morosi:
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti ... 90625/1050
The Tigers were taking batting practice on a pleasant day in Oakland, Calif., one day before the American League Championship Series started.

Dave Dombrowski, the club president and general manager, sat comfortably in the visiting dugout. As the players went about their routines, Dombrowski considered the personal significance of the blossoming postseason.

He and his wife, Karie, had been expecting their first child in the autumn of 1997, when Dombrowski's Florida Marlins won the World Series. Now, his two children were old enough to follow the games. Dombrowski smiled when he was asked if each had picked out a favorite player.

Dombrowski had asked Landon, his 6-year-old son, the same question only days before. Landon said his favorite Tiger had been Rondell White, before he left as a free agent after last season and signed with the Twins. Then he decided on Nook Logan, an exciting outfielder. Logan, though, failed to make the roster in spring training and was eventually traded to the Nationals.

Dmitri Young was next. Young, however, was limited to 48 games this season. Landon's dad released him Sept. 6.

It's understandable, then, that the younger Dombrowski was not about to reveal his latest choice.

"He wouldn't tell me anymore," Dombrowski said. "I had a laugh about that."

Baseball teams -- especially those that win -- are endearing. Fans see the same faces, every day, for six or seven months. They come to know the players' personalities. They grow attached. And they forget, sometimes, that their favorites could be traded or cut on a moment's notice.

That reality could be as harsh as the one that arrived Friday night, as the Tigers' sublime summer ended with a five-game World Series loss to St. Louis.

Sean Casey, the popular first baseman and World Series standout, is a free agent, and it's unclear whether the team will re-sign him. Craig Monroe, a frequent late-inning hero, plays a position -- leftfield -- at which the Tigers may seek an All-Star free agent such as Carlos Lee.

Jeremy Bonderman and Nate Robertson, two arbitration-eligible starting pitchers, finished 1-2 on the team in innings pitched. Bonderman led the team in strikeouts. Robertson had the most quality starts. Yet, a thin free-agent market could compel Dombrowski to shop one, or both, in an attempt to add offense through a winter trade.

Each of those players has developed a following among fans. Moves involving them may be controversial, but Dombrowski has little choice but to evaluate every alternative. Somehow, Dombrowski needs to fashion a 25-man roster that will win three more October games than the 2006 Tigers -- a task that is much more difficult than it sounds.

"You always have tough decisions," Dombrowski said, as he spoke in Oakland that day. "It's never easy."

Dombrowski, at least, will not need to fret about losing a large number of players to free agency. Only two players on Detroit's 25-player World Series roster -- Casey and left-handed pitcher Jamie Walker -- are eligible to file. Both appear to have interest in returning. As he prepared to leave the clubhouse Friday night, though, Walker acknowledged that Game 5 could have marked his final day in a Tigers uniform.

"I thought about it, that it could be my last time in the English D," said Walker, who's seeking a multiyear contract. "It kind of tore me up.

"I'm hoping I can get a deal worked out. I'd like to finish my career here. It's a great group of guys."

As often happens in baseball, Dombrowski's moves this off-season will have a strong relationship to who will become a free agent after next season. That group could include shortstop Carlos Guillen, third baseman Brandon Inge, catcher Pudge Rodriguez, ace Kenny Rogers and closer Todd Jones.

Dombrowski is in a unique position this off-season, as he could reasonably trade pitching surplus. Bonderman represents his most crucial decision. Bonderman, who turned 24 on Saturday, is on schedule to hit the free-agent market after the 2008 season, at which point his combination of youth, potential and prior success could result in an unprecedented contract.

So, it seems likely that Tigers officials will either lock him up to a long-term contract or entertain trade offers for him this off-season.

Monroe also will be an intriguing figure this off-season. Though he slumped in the World Series -- he batted .150 -- he reached career highs in home runs (28) and RBIs (92) during the regular season.

Those who may clamor for the Tigers to lavish millions on Lee should remember this: Monroe hit more homers and drove in more runs than Lee during the time both were in the AL this year (July 28-Oct. 1). Also, top prospect Cameron Maybin could be ready to start in the Tigers' outfield by the time Monroe enters free agency following the 2008 season.

Despite reaching the franchise's first World Series in more than two decades, the following months will hold considerable uncertainty for many Tigers. With the exception of pricey veterans (Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez) or prized arms (Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya), almost everyone else will be in play.

"That's part of the game," left-hander Mike Maroth said. "If a team thinks they can get better by trading somebody, they're going to do it. You're always looking to make your team better."

In that sense, the off-season is already under way. For the first time as a GM, Dombrowski has the opportunity to take a pennant-winning team and make it better. He was denied that chance with the cost-cutting Marlins, but seems determined to seize upon it now.

"I think we're very good," Dombrowski said, "and we'll continue to be very good for a long time."

*

For this off-season, the question won't be "Who's Your Tiger?" but "Is Your Tiger Coming Back?" Here's our best guesses:

WILL DEFINITELY BE BACK (8)

Todd Jones, P

Magglio Ordonez, RF

Placido Polanco, 2B

Pudge Rodriguez, C

Kenny Rogers, P

Justin Verlander, P

Vance Wilson, C

Joel Zumaya, RHP

WILL PROBABLY BE BACK (12)

Jeremy Bonderman, P

Curtis Granderson, CF

Jason Grilli, P

Carlos Guillen, SS/1B

Brandon Inge, 3B

Wil Ledezma, P

Mike Maroth, P

Zach Miner, P

Craig Monroe, LF

Nate Robertson, P

Fernando Rodney, P

Ramon Santiago, INF

MIGHT BE BACK (9)

Sean Casey, 1B

Roman Colon, P

Alexis Gomez, OF/DH

Omar Infante, 2B/SS

Neifi Perez, SS/2B

Chris Shelton, 1B

Matt Stairs, 1B/DH

Marcus Thames, DH

Jamie Walker, P

Five off-season questions

*

1. Who's the new bat?

The Tigers will look for a power hitter -- preferably, a lefty -- who can play leftfield, first base, or designated hitter. You know, free agent Aubrey Huff plays all three.

2. What to do with Jeremy Bonderman?

This is a key off-season for the budding ace. If the Tigers aren't able to sign him to an extension, they could trade him for a huge return.

3. Will Dave Dombrowski find a job for Sean Casey?

The popular first baseman was a great fit -- especially during the Series -- and his All-Star affability came as advertised. He's not a power hitter, but that might not matter if the Tigers get a slugging DH.

4. Is Craig Monroe the long-term LF?

Well, he ranked fourth among LFs in the AL in both HR and RBIs, with only Manny Ramirez, Nick Swisher, and Raul Ibanez ahead of him.

5. Can Carlos Guillen play one more year at shortstop?

He played inspired defense in the Series -- unlike many teammates -- so maybe he can play there again in '07. Still, his AL-worst 28 errors were enough to make you wonder if a more permanent switch to first is in order.

It's all in the contract

*

Players are eligible for free agency once they have reached six years of big-league service time, and thereafter at the end of subsequent contracts.

In general, players are eligible for salary arbitration when they finish a year with three or more -- and less than six -- years of big-league service time.

Players who have yet to reach arbitration eligibility are under club control. Those contracts are on reserve, and are generally renewed by the team at slight increases each year, staying above the major-league minimum. Next year's minimum will be $380,000.

Where each Tiger stands for next season:

SIGNED

Pitchers Todd Jones, Mike Maroth, Kenny Rogers and Justin Verlander; catchers Ivan Rodriguez and Vance Wilson; infielders Carlos Guillen, Neifi Perez and Placido Polanco; rightfielder Magglio Ordonez.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE

Pitchers Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson and Fernando Rodney; infielders Omar Infante, Brandon Inge and Ramon Santiago; leftfielder Craig Monroe.

CLUB CONTROLS ON RESERVE

Pitchers Roman Colon, Jason Grilli, Wil Ledezma, Zach Miner and Joel Zumaya; first baseman Chris Shelton; outfielders Alexis Gomez, Curtis Granderson and Marcus Thames.

FREE AGENTS

Pitchers Troy Percival and Jamie Walker; first baseman Sean Casey; designated hitter Matt Stairs.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:16 pm

So far some big moves have been made that don't involve players. Dombrowski has been extended through 2011 and Don Slaught resigned to spend more time with his family (although I also wonder if there weren't other factors involved). Hopefully the Tigers can get a proven experienced hitting coach. Hmmm. How about a promotion for Leon Durham who seems to be gaining a good rep down in Toledo?
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Postby Dannomyte » Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:15 pm

Great move by the Tigers to lock up DD until 2011.

As far as Slaught "resigning" goes I don't know what to believe. He sounded sincere in his presser but as bad as all of the Tigers looked offensively for long stretches it wouldn't suprise me to hear it was a quit or get fired thing. You'd have to think that Leon "Bull" Durham would consideration as the new hitting coach. I've also read that Lloyd McClendon could get consideration as well. He has expirience as a MLB hitting coach already as he did it for the Pirates for 3 or 4 seasons. Who knows who the Tigers end up with but can they really be any worse than Slaught was??
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Postby tvv44 » Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:56 pm

mcqfesijiba,
what do you think of the Sheffield trade? Who will play RF more this year - Sheff or Maggs? I was never really sold on Sanchez myself. Didn't he have some weight issues recently?
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Postby Dannomyte » Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:19 pm

tvv44 wrote:mcqfesijiba,
what do you think of the Sheffield trade? Who will play RF more this year - Sheff or Maggs? I was never really sold on Sanchez myself. Didn't he have some weight issues recently?


I'm not mcqfesijiba but I'll give your questions a shot!

The Tigers and Leyland have said that Sheffield is the full time DH so I guess that means that Magglio is going to get a lot more time in RF than Sheff. As far as the trade goes I really like it. Sure the Tigers gave up some pitching prospects but you have to give up something to get something especially a quality bat like Sheffields. As far as the prospects the Tigers gave up they all have question marks and not one of them is a sure fire bigleaguer. Sanchez has a ton of talent but can't stay healthy. And yes, Sanchez does have weight issues but actually came in to the 2006 season 20 lbs lighter than he was in 2005.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:58 pm

Dannomyte wrote:
tvv44 wrote:mcqfesijiba,
what do you think of the Sheffield trade? Who will play RF more this year - Sheff or Maggs? I was never really sold on Sanchez myself. Didn't he have some weight issues recently?


I'm not mcqfesijiba but I'll give your questions a shot!

The Tigers and Leyland have said that Sheffield is the full time DH so I guess that means that Magglio is going to get a lot more time in RF than Sheff. As far as the trade goes I really like it. Sure the Tigers gave up some pitching prospects but you have to give up something to get something especially a quality bat like Sheffields. As far as the prospects the Tigers gave up they all have question marks and not one of them is a sure fire bigleaguer. Sanchez has a ton of talent but can't stay healthy. And yes, Sanchez does have weight issues but actually came in to the 2006 season 20 lbs lighter than he was in 2005.
I'll just nod and agree :-)
I personally think Humberto Sanchez is a tad overrated, because I just don't think he's going to be able to hold up as a starter. It still remains to be seen, but even if it's true, he has the stuff to be a fine reliever.
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