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 06:53 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
Dingbat_Charlie
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogWHAT A PLAY! UTLEY GETS 'PRETTY LUCKY' WITH NO-LOOK THROW
(18 - 10:00am, Sep 25)
Last: bobm

NewsblogJose Fernandez Dies In Boating Accident - MLB Trade Rumors
(14 - 9:59am, Sep 25)
Last: toratoratora

NewsblogOTP 2016 Sep 19 - Race for the White House: The Greatest Circus on Earth
(1446 - 9:58am, Sep 25)
Last: Mefisto

NewsblogMariners catcher Steve Clevenger tweets protesters should be treated 'like animals'
(234 - 9:46am, Sep 25)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogYankees’ half-measure failure forces grand plan into focus | New York Post
(1 - 9:04am, Sep 25)
Last: Renegade JE (((Jason)))

NewsblogCarlos Beltran might struggle to make the Hall of Fame
(120 - 9:02am, Sep 25)
Last: The Duke

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-25-16
(2 - 8:23am, Sep 25)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogThe fraudulent myth of Big Papi
(69 - 7:46am, Sep 25)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogOT - September 2016 College Football thread
(356 - 1:55am, Sep 25)
Last: AuntBea

Sox TherapyThe Red Sox Are Not Doomed (But This Garbage Has To Stop)
(36 - 11:41pm, Sep 24)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogBall Four, You're Out: How A Classic Baseball Book Became A Failed Baseball Sitcom
(16 - 11:23pm, Sep 24)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9/24/16
(50 - 11:23pm, Sep 24)
Last: Infinite Yost (Voxter)

Sox TherapyMaking Ups of Downs
(30 - 9:28pm, Sep 24)
Last: Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogWhy women have every opportunity to succeed -- and fail -- in professional baseball
(26 - 9:18pm, Sep 24)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogOT: August 2016 Soccer Thread
(577 - 8:55pm, Sep 24)
Last: Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun)

Page rendered in 0.2701 seconds
47 querie(s) executed