Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, February 28, 2014

Reiter: With one move, Tigers reinvent themselves on offense and defense

So Ausmus’ first Tigers team will be different than Leyland’s last—more athletic, more dynamic, more versatile. Will they be better? Well, no, not definitely. It is not easy to replace the production of a player like Fielder, even a down-year Fielder. “You take Prince Fielder’s bat out of the lineup, that’s 100 RBI, that’s nothing to scoff at,” Ausmus said.

The fact is that Detroit didn’t need to get better. It is de rigueur for teams that don’t win the World Series to focus publicly on their shortcomings and explain how they’ve addressed them so that the result will be different next time. But in the case of last year’s Tigers, it was probably just bad luck, played out in the small-sample-size environment of the playoffs. “They were built to win it all,” one rival GM said. “They just didn’t.”

One of the harmless lies we tell ourselves about sports with playoff structures is that the ultimate winner was the best team all along. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. Change a few unfortunate bounces in very tight games, subtract a celebrating Boston cop, and the slow-pitch Tigers could easily have been last year’s champions.

Dombrowski might have retained Fielder, and the overall style that resulted from his presence, and he could have been confident that he would again have a legitimate shot at a World Series. A lesser GM might have gone that route, but Dombrowski didn’t for one reason: Money. Even counting the $30 million they sent to Texas along with Fielder, the Tigers all at once lopped $76 million in future commitments off their unwieldy books, funds that they might redirect to Cy Young winner Max Scherzer (who is due to become a free agent after this season) or Miguel Cabrera (who can hit free agency after 2015).

The idea is to get your team to the playoff tournament as many times as you can, where the odds say you might eventually hoist a trophy. Dombrowski knew that he needed to trim his payroll in order to fund those shots not just in 2014, but in the years to follow. The Kinsler-for-Fielder trade allowed him to do that in the best way possible: By fielding a team that will still win, just differently. It would be no surprise at all if the trading partners meet again in late October, with a World Series on the line.

Thanks to Tiger Barnald.

Repoz Posted: February 28, 2014 at 07:53 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tigers

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Randy Jones
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogPedro pens a letter to Clayton Kershaw
(64 - 5:50am, Sep 20)
Last: A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose)

NewsblogEn Banc Court May Call Foul on Bonds Conviction
(27 - 5:35am, Sep 20)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogA’s lose Triple-A Sacramento affiliate
(90 - 5:17am, Sep 20)
Last: Bhaakon

NewsblogOT: September 2014 College Football thread
(280 - 4:49am, Sep 20)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

NewsblogAraton: The Other Side of a Derek Jeter Hustle Play
(32 - 3:52am, Sep 20)
Last: Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(287 - 3:00am, Sep 20)
Last: Norcan

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(3379 - 2:59am, Sep 20)
Last: DJS and the Infinite Sadness

NewsblogKeri: How Washington Built a World Series Favorite
(42 - 1:13am, Sep 20)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogJoe Girardi put Derek Jeter’s farewell tour ahead of the team
(203 - 12:49am, Sep 20)
Last: Omineca Greg

NewsblogDave Kreiger: New Baseball Hall of Fame voting rules
(78 - 12:47am, Sep 20)
Last: Booey

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-19-14
(89 - 12:39am, Sep 20)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October

NewsblogHBT: Talking head says Jeter is “a fraud” and “you are all suckers”
(32 - 10:57pm, Sep 19)
Last: A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose)

NewsblogRon Washington Acknowledges Infidelity, Doesn’t Explain Why He Resigned
(54 - 9:29pm, Sep 19)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-19-2014
(38 - 6:49pm, Sep 19)
Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-18-2014
(170 - 6:00pm, Sep 19)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October

Page rendered in 0.1747 seconds
50 querie(s) executed