Fun with line ups

This week Lynn Henning wrote an article speculating on the Tigers lineup for next season.

Henning in addition to penning his own lineup, concluded the article with this:

Much of the manager’s disposition there is a matter of what you think about the computer-generated wisdom that it’s better for a team to load the front end of its order with its best hitters.

That, of course, can collide with a manager’s intuition, and even more, his experience.

“I know a guy who did that one game,” Leyland said of one manager who followed the best-hitters-at-the-top formula. “And his team got shut out on two hits.”

First of all, Jim Leyland citing that sample size of 1 is kind of nonsensical. On a day when your team manages 2 hits the order is irrelevant so it does nothing to refute the premise. Second, it almost makes it sound like Henning is on board with the intuition-over-science angle. But when you look at Henning’s line-up…
Continue reading Fun with line ups

Tigers to FM Radio?

It looks like the Tigers might be heading to FM radio. WKRK 97.1, which like WXYT is owned by CBS Radio, let their evening hosts Parker and the Man go. This could mean that the station is vying for the Red Wings and Tigers contracts.

The story in the Freep speculates that the evening games would be simulcast on WKRK as well as 1270. The move would help those in metro Detroit who currently have issues picking up WXYT’s signal as it gets washed out by power lines. But those that are out-state will still be relying on the radio network and partner stations.

Quick Links

  • The New York Times takes a look at the Ilitch’s team and casino owernship.
  • My interview on the Daily Fungo Podcast is up. I listened to it, and it seems clear that I’m much more comfortable talking about the Tigers then myself. The um’s, and so’s seemed to go away as we went on.
  • Also notice that the Daily Fungo moved away from MLBlogs to http://dailyfungo.com. I guess everybody is redecorating or moving their blogs lately
  • Former Tiger Chris Brown (barely a Tiger) passed away a month after being injured in a house fire.
  • Repoz at Baseball Think Factory is tallying Hall of Fame ballots. Out of the 47 articles so far, Trammell isn’t doing well appearing on only a handful. Morris has picked up 12 votes.
  • The Feds are going to find out who tested positive for steroids in 2003. We can only hope that the Tigers magical 2003 season isn’t tainted by steroid use thus rendering their 43 wins meaningless.

Detroit Tigers Weblog 2006 Year in Review

It’s that time year where it is time to take a look back at the year that was 2006. Fortunately for the Tigers, and their fans, this isn’t a painful experience this year.
Continue reading Detroit Tigers Weblog 2006 Year in Review

Sports Bloggers Live on the move

Jamie Mottram, the face or voice of Sports Bloggers Live has a post detailing that the 2 year old show has come to an end, at least in its current version.

I was fortunate enough to be asked by Jamie to appear twice during this past year. Once early in the season when he was speaking with bloggers of surprise teams, and then with Larry Borowsky during the World Series. Jamie also invited me to blog the World Series for AOL Sports. All three of these opportunities brought great exposure and were a large part of the growth DTW experienced this year. Of this I’m very grateful.

Best of luck to Jamie and crew as they move on to their next endeavor(s).

DTW Housekeeping

Just a few site-related items as we head into the holidays.

Changes…maybe

I’m always looking for ways to improve the site. With time off from my regular job, and lower visitor numbers, and quietness that is the baseball landscape, next week is one of my best opportunities to do this.
Continue reading DTW Housekeeping

Link round-up

Tigers Payroll Info

With the Tigers recent signings, I thought it might be helpful to get a handle on the team’s payroll this year, and in the near future. The table below shows how the current club stacks up through the end of Dave Dombrowski’s current contract.

Continue reading Tigers Payroll Info

Loving the English D

Could it be that Detroit isn’t such a bad place to play?

It wasn’t so long ago that the Tigers were begging players to come here. They were being rebuffed by marquee free agents such as Miguel Tejada, and having to settle for Fernando Vinas and Jason Johnsons. When they did attract the big names, it was more of as a last resort. But it wasn’t just desperation, it was because the Tigers were offering substantially more money and substantially more years. Pudge Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez came here because the Tigers were the only club willing to commit to long term deals.

Yet today the Tigers have managed to lock up a player ahead of free agency. Add Jeremy Bonderman to the ever growing list of Tigers who decided to sign at-or-below-market deals to stay in Detroit. Brandon Inge re-upped for 4 more years a couple weeks ago, just one year shy of free agency.

Placido Polanco spent less than 2 months in Detroit before deciding to stick around for 4 more years without even waiting for the end of the season – and this in the middle of a career year.

Polanco’s move wasn’t unprecedented because Carlos Guillen did the same thing in 2004 agreeing to a 3 year deal when he could have made much more on the open market after a career year.

Gary Sheffield agreed to be traded here…and with a reasonable contract extension.

Even Vance Wilson probably could have done better this offseason given the dearth of catching talent, but he signed an extension midseason as well.

Players, good players, players with options, are eschewing the monster payday for a fair wage in a place that they like. I don’t know if it is the team’s performance, or if Dave Dombrowski is just a good guy to work for, or if it is that the AL Central has 4 good teams who each have a shot at the playoffs, but players are liking it in Detroit.

Jason Beck quoted Bonderman saying:

“There’s always the idea of free agency,” he admitted, “but I love the guys here. I love the team. I love everything about playing for the Tigers right now. They’re a great organization.”

It echoes Inge’s comments

“Never,” he said. “It never (entered) my mind that I’d want to be anywhere other than Detroit. It’s all I’ve known. It’s all I really want to know.”

If this means the end of the Detroit Tax in which the Tigers are extorted for boatloads of money, or simply used as leverage on the way to bigger deals (ie Pavano), then this is probably the best news of the offseason for Detroit fans.

Tigers lock up Bonderman

The Tigers agreed to a 4 year contract with Jeremy Bonderman keeping him a Tiger through the 2010 season. I don’t have terms yet, but I’ll update when I learn more.

Signing Bonderman to a long term deal had to be one of the Tigers’ top priorities this offseason (at least it was mine). His peripherals have improved every year and he was 2nd to Johan Santana in K/9. I’m pretty excited and I don’t even know the terms yet.

UPDATE: According to the Cut Off Man, who is citing WDFN, the deal is for $38 million. This appears to be a great deal for the Tigers, and a nice big payday for Bonderman.

As a point of comparison, Johan Santana signed a 4 year $39.75 million deal last year which also bought out his last 2 years of aribtration. Bondo is no Santana, but given the inflation in the market this year this seems reasonable. Bonderman would be likely to make $10-12 million over his last 2 years of arbitration. So the Tigers essentially got his first 2 years of free agency for about $14 million per year. Bonderman will still get to be a free agent at the age of 28 so everyone wins.

UPDATE 2: The contract breaks down like so:
2007 -$4.5 million
2008 -$8.5 million
2009 -$12.5 million
2010 -$12.5 million
Continue reading Tigers lock up Bonderman

Tigers add to Toledo

The Tigers signed 6 players to minor league contracts, including 2 past Mud Hens. Lance Davis and Jason Karnuth will both be back with Toledo. Joining them are pitchers Felix Heredia and Dennis Tankersley, outfielder Brandon Watson, and catcher Dane Sardinha.

It’s not that inspiring of a group, but minor league free agents rarely are. I don’t know much about Sardinha, but he must be a heck of a defender by the looks of his offensive numbers. Watson is a career 304 hitter in the minors, but with very little power. Watson is only 25 so he’s got that going for him.

Heredia will turn 31 next season. Other than 3 apperances for the Mets in 2005, he hasn’t played a role on a big league club since 2004. I’m guessing he has been injured the last 2 seasons based on stints in the Appalachian League and GCL – places that typically aren’t stops for 30 year olds.

Tankersley has posted some pretty good numbers in the PCL over his career. But in his limited stints in the Majors, he’s walked 6.4/9IP. At 27, he’s not a bad addition in terms of organizational depth.

TigerFest Announced

FanFest 2006 at Joe Louis ArenaThe 2007 edition of TigerFest will take place on January 20th from noon to 6:00pm. For the first time it will be held at Comerica Park. According to the release:

Most fan access areas within the event will be heated and covered – as the Tigers create the ultimate “summer time” experience in the middle of winter!

It will be interesting to see how this comes off. There are numerous areas under the stands where autograph tables could be set up as well as areas like the Tiger Club and Beer Hall. But it just seems like it could be pretty congested trying to get around.

The players who’ll be attending won’t be announced until January, but the event will feature the typical photo booths, seminars, tours, face painting, etc. One new item will be the opportunity to see the AL Championship Trophy.

Tickets go on sale at 10am Friday. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids.