I know this is old news by know, but I haven’t had a time to update this blog in a while. Anyways the Tigers have been somewhat busy (well, busy for the Tigers anyways) and they traded Juan Encarnacion and Luis Pineda to the Reds for Dmitri Young. Will this make the team better? Maybe. Will it hurt the Tigers? Probably not. Regardless, it is nice to see them trying to do something. I’m nervous that Young is another about-to-be free agent, and the Tigers have a history of poor negotiations with recently acquired talent. Hopefully, with Dave Dombrowski on board that will improve. Young is a gap hitter who is actually excited about Comerica’s dimensions which is a refreshing change. What is somewhat troublesome, is the Tigers have brought in another 1b/3b/OF player which is already a set of positions that has a glut between Dean Palmer, Robert Fick, and Eric Munson. Apparently this signals that Munson isn’t ready for the pro’s yet, and it looks like Brandon Inge will get another season in the minors to try and find a bat.

After the trade the Tigers made offers to Craig Paquette and Ricky Gutierrez. Paquette signed with the Tigers, Gutierrez signed with Cleveland. To make room for Paquette, Deivi Cruz was designated for assignment. This leaves Shane Halter as the only SS on the roster. To me it looks like the Tigers want Halter to fill the role for a year until minor league prospect Omar Infante is ready to make the jump.

Now that Gutierrez is unavailable, the Tigers are turning their attention to signing a relief pitcher. Originally, they wanted to sign Gutierrez as their shortstop, and then trade Shane Halter to Colorado for reliever Jose Paniagua. Now however, the Tigers are looking at signing Todd Jones to come be a set-up man.

In other news…
…The Tigers also agreed to terms with Steve Sparks for a two year contract.
…Lance Parrish will join Frank Beckmann in the booth for games televised on UPN 50.
…And as kind of an in your face, Roger Cedeno signed with the Mets for the same offer (one additional year) that the Tigers offered.

The 2002 American League MVP award goes to…Tony Clark. Now that the Tigers have waived him, (he was claimed by the Red Sox) he is due to have a huge season. I’m not really knocking the move, I’m just frustrated in general by the Tigers. It appears Damion Easley is also because when told about the news he said he was happy Clark was going to a team who is “consistently trying to win.” And you wonder why there were so many clubhouse problems this year.

In other team transactions, Chris Holt and Heath Murray were waived off the 40 man roster to make room for pitchers Andy Van Hekken, Tim Kalita, and Fernando Rodney.

Group looking to bring minor-league ball to Tiger Stadium in 2002
So Illitch is thinking about moving the Tigers back to Michigan and Trumbull?

The Tigers have been so poor that Josh Lewin can’t bear to announce the game anymore and is leaving. If you’ve ever seen Josh do a national game, you know that he is an excellent announcer. Unfortunately, that was sometimes hidden by all the Gibby butt-kissing he’d do while covering Tiger games.

Parrish fired as third base coach
Yep, that’s why the Tigers were so bad, their third base coach. Combined with firing Madlock the Tigers are now poised to make a run at the division title.
At least with Madlock and Parrish as coaches the one thing the Tigers could say with confidence is, “our coaching staff could kick your coaching staff’s ass!”

Players union files grievance for Cedeno – 10/17/01
The grievance is for Cedeno being benched for the last 19 games of the season. The benching cost him $200,000 in bonuses he would have received for plate appearances and stolen bases. The benching was partially the result of a fight with Garner. However, I think the benching had more to do with the fact that Cedeno had made it clear he wouldn’t resign, and the Tigers chose to use the opportunity to explore new options for leadoff/centerfield instead of showcasing his talents so he could get a bigger contract someplace else. It seems like one of the better moves the Tigers made this season.

Bill Madlock is fired as hitting coach. Considering the dismal offense this season, I guess it is to be expected. However, in his defense the Tigers got more out of Halter and Macias than anybody could have expected. Did Madlock contribute to this? Who knows?

The Tigers have given up, and so have I. I can’t bring myself to watch them anymore. As a result, the blog is going on hiatus. If there are big personnel moves, I may update with commentary. Hopefully we’ll be back next spring training with a better outlook, and a new team.

Catalanotto poised to enter AL batting race
Once again, a discarded Tiger does good. Catalanotto is hitting .341 and is only 10 AB’s shy of qualifying for the hitting title. Once he qualifies he’ll only trail Ichiro and Roberto Alomar.

Russ, while I agree with your main point about Higgy not being a MVP caliber player, I think you’ve over estimated the Juan Gonzalez protection effect. At your suggestion, I took a look at the statistics from last year and I found Bobby was much more productive when Juan was not in the lineup.

AB AVG OBA SLG OPS
With Gonzalez 416 .272 .350 .505 .855
Without Gonzalez 181 .365 .439 .613 1.052
Totals 597 .300 .377 .538 .915

Now does this data tell us that Bobby is a better hitter without Juan? Hardly. Plus it does nothing to explain Higgy’s dropoff this year. I just mostly felt the need to not give Juan credit for anything positive that happened in Detroit.

Mariners 16, Tigers 1 Someone apparently tipped off the Mariners on how to tell Lima Time

Redman to get first start
Mark Redman has been activated from the DL and is slated to start on Thursday. CJ Nitkowski was outrighted to Toledo.