Looking Back and Looking Forward

Looking back
This past weekend ESPN Classic aired game 5 from the 1984 World Series. I must admit, that I haven’t seen footage of this game in years. I was 10 at the time this game was played, and was in my formative years as a baseball fan. Whitaker, Trammell, Gibson, Parrish, Evans, Lemon, and Herndon were the players that I grew up watching year in and year out. Despite not seeing these men on the field for a decade, watching them take the field in the replay brought me right back to my childhood. The way they moved and went about their business became instantly familiar.

It was Lou Whitaker waiting on a two-strike pitch and looking just as unfazed as if he were just stepping into the box for the initial delivery. It was Kirk Gibson’s raw intensity, not just on the home runs, but as he tagged up at first base and advanced on a fly ball to left. It was Lance Parrish just being bigger and more intimidating than anyone on the field It was Alan Trammell’s steely focus that never wavered until the final out. It was Sparky Anderson, hands in his back pockets, emphatically speaking words of encouragement on the bench. And it was Tiger Stadium, in all her glory. Her completely enclosed upper deck packed to the rims and draped with bunting. It was why I became a Tiger fan in the first place and why I just can’t wait for the day the fans of Detroit can experience that again.

Looking Forward
While the Tigers have fewer questions than in years past, there are still a lot of outstanding issues:

1. Does Urbina get traded?
There doesn’t appear to be a shortage of suitors. The Mets are apparently hot on his trail, but Dombrowski isn’t budging on the price. The Chicago Cubs who were also in the market for a closer are now even more motivated after Joe Borawski broke his arm.

2. Can Monroe man centerfield?
Even if he can’t, it won’t be for a lack of effort. He seems to be soaking up as much knowledge as he can from his coaching staff and other top flight centerfielders. He’s definitely holding up his end of the deal offensively as he hit his 4th and 5th homers of the spring today.

3. Who should start opening day, and does it matter?
Trammell is sticking to his initial plan to start Jason Johnson on Opening Day. Given Bonderman’s strong spring, and Johnson’s poor spring this move is already being second guessed. But really, does it matter? The Tigers will be playing Jose Lima and the Royals on Opening Day. You’d hope that any of the 5 starters could be sent out there and fare okay.

4. The Weather? The forecast for April 4th is 59, partly sunny with a chance of rain.

5 thoughts on “Looking Back and Looking Forward”

  1. the feeling i get in chitown is that the tigs have offered up Urbina and White for Patterson but the cubs want Monroe, and the Tigs won’t do that. Patterson would be a great fit, despite his struggles as a leadoff. But i don’t want to part with Monroe.

  2. Espn.com Rumor Central

    Mets eyeing Urbina, Cubs too?







    White Sox

    Mar. 22 – Reports persist that the Tigers are getting closer to dealing Urbina, possibly to the Mets, but the team also could decide to hold on to him. According to The Sporting News, the Mets are hoping the Tigers drop their price, said to be a top prospect and a willingness to assume at least $3 million of Urbina’s $4 million salary.

    Monday’s injury to Cubs closer Joe Borowski could create a better market for Urbina if the Cubs decide to look outside their organization for a replacement. However, the Tigers are under no pressure to deal Urbina and could opt to wait for a trading partner more willing to meet their price.

    With Troy Percival closing in Detroit, Urbina will serve as a set-up man in the near term. But he would prefer to be a closer somewhere. Urbina, 31, was 4-6 with a 4.51 ERA and 21 saves in 2004.

  3. If Urbian parts that would make room for a pen of:

    CL Percival

    SU Farnsworth

    MR Walker

    MR Rodney

    LR German

    LR Knotts

    With Urbina on the team Rodney goes to AAA because he has an option, and Colyer gets picked up by another team.

  4. I’m definitely feeling the Patterson trade. He could bat lower in the order and be great. If he developed into a leadoff guy, gravy.

    Monroe makes more sense for the Cubs because they could throw him in center on occassion. They’ve also already experienced the Rondell White injury parade.

    I like monroe as well but I’d trade him in a heartbeat for Patterson.

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