Killing time

After taking a couple days off, the Tigers will hit the field for a workout tomorrow. I’ll take today off as well, but I’ll hit the blog with more stuff tomorrow night.

In the meantime, for your reading pleasure…

Arizona Fall League

Last year I was watching Arizona Fall League games on gamecast and seeing Humberto Sanchez dominate. This year I haven’t even looked at a box score. Fortunately
Kurt’s got the update on Jordan Tata, Brent Clevlen, and AFL veteran Kody Kirkland.

Six of Jeter, half dozen of Polanco

Placido Polanco was a very deserving ALCS MVP. Tom Tango, esteemed sabermetrician and co-author of The Book, compares Polanco to leading AL MVP candidate Derek Jeter. Read the article to see who is more valuable, or at least who is more of a value.

The Ordonez contract, another look

Via Baseball Musings there is an article in the Pioneer Press that Magglio Ordonez is “worth every cent” of his contract. I said at the time of the signing that I didn’t think there was anyway that Ordonez would ever be worth his contract. Of course I didn’t expect him to help the team into the World Series in the 2nd year of his contract either.

Joe Sheehan points out
(premium) that the Tigers now in the World Series, will benefit immensely from the additional revenue.

Now someone else making a lot less money may have been capable of similar production. But finding that player is always the tough part. The Tigers have what they have in Ordonez and that was enough to get them to the World Series. At the same time, it hasn’t prevented the team from spending money. They continue to add to the domestic and international scouting staffs and they drafted high-talent/tough sign guys and got them into the organization. Not all spending needs to be on free agents.

One other thing I said at the time of the signing was that it felt like an Ilitch move. I did that more to assign blame at the time. What’s fair is fair, and so the credit goes to him today.

15 Comments

  1. Jeff M

    October 16, 2006 at 11:29 pm

    That’s a fair assessment. The Ordonez signing was certainly an Illitch move. He overpaid for questionable production. It was a roll of the dice, but if you’re running a team with a bad reputation, you have to roll the dice on a regular basis, unless you want to be the Royals.

    It worked out and I’m as thrilled as anyone, but I can honestly acknowledge that it could have hurt big time.

  2. Lou

    October 16, 2006 at 11:35 pm

    I think it’s unfair to assess the Ordonez signing based on facts we only know through hindsight. Either it was a good signing at the time based on the available knowledge (which I think it was) or it wasn’t. The fact that he hits two home runs in the 2006 ALCS game 4 is not a knowable fact when he was signed.

  3. Jeff M

    October 17, 2006 at 12:02 am

    Lou,

    You’re correct that you can’t say “It was a good signing” or ” it was a bad signing” based on hindsight. However, it is fair to say that it was a a risky, yet probably necessary (given the poor recent history of the organization), signing. Hindsight tells us that the signing has certainly worked out so far, but as you said, this was not knowable at the time.

  4. Mr Furious

    October 17, 2006 at 1:08 am

    Simply put, the Tigers sucked at the time and they had to overpay for both Maggs and Pudge. It was the only way to bring them here. Are there cheaper guys who could give you .300, 30 and 100? Probably, but we are in the World Series, so all debate is moot.

    Ilitch and Dombrowski had to pay a premium to build the team’s credibility. I’d say they go their money’s worth plus interest.

  5. Kurt

    October 17, 2006 at 11:50 am

    Yah, I took a day off blogging, too. Then I had a nice essay come to me at 330. Now I can’t remember it!

  6. Kyle J

    October 17, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    I’m starting to get a little nervous about the media annointing the Tigers as WS champions.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....index.html

    “But whoever wins this NLCS, whenever it’s mercifully decided, is going to have to pull off a similar miracle.”

    In just two and a half weeks, we’ve gone from being the beleaguered underdog to being the invincible favorite!

  7. Kyle J

    October 17, 2006 at 3:26 pm

    Also, a good piece by Jon Heyman on how the Tigers were built here:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....index.html

    Heyman’s daily column is the most comprehensive, useful, and interesting baseball column in the mainstream media IMO.

  8. Greg

    October 17, 2006 at 3:55 pm

    Excellent point by Lou in avoiding hind-sight analysis. It’s like the “bad beat” in poker–it doesn’t mean you made the wrong decision, or that the winner made the right decision.

    I think it was a good decision. With Magg’s track record, his production would only be bad if he didn’t recover from the surgery, and the contract had outs for that case.

    Plus, given the state of the franchise (at the time) it was necessary to overpay (i.e. take risks) to give the team credibility. Pudge came with question marks too (4 years for a 30-something catcher with a lot of mileage), as did Rogers.

    I remember Rob Neyer doing a column a while back about efficiency not being the most important goal. The Marlins probably had the best season in terms of wins per dollar spent. But the goal in baseball (unlike in business) is simply winning a lot, not winning a lot relative to expenses. I’d rather have the Tigers’ season (or even the Yankees’ season) than the Marlins’ season.

    In that sense, it was good to overpay.

  9. Marshall in DC

    October 18, 2006 at 11:44 am

    What is nice is the added revenue for the tigers this off season helps alliviate some of the additional expendatures for these “high priced” guys. You figure the four home games alone probably have covered Ordonez’s annual salary.

    Question for all of you. Who would you rather face in the WS? I know nothing about either the Mets or the Cards? Would we match up better vs. either team?

    Or do you honestly thing it doesn’t matter and we will whomp either team we face.

  10. Kurt

    October 18, 2006 at 12:33 pm

    Just speaking of a quick ticket sales estimate (and giving the MLB its cut for each round), based on that economic survery from last year, this year:

    The Tigers sold about $36M more in tickets,
    made $6M in ticket sales in the ALDS,
    made $8.6M in ticket sales in the ALCS
    and are guaranteed about $15M in ticket sales for the World Series.

    Right there, thiat’s nearly $66M. Add in the other profits from the games, the money from licensing all the stuff that people seem to be buying in droves…

    and the Tigers’ success due to the signings is pretty much paid for this year and a couple of others.

  11. Kurt

    October 18, 2006 at 12:34 pm

    *economic survey from last month

  12. Lou

    October 18, 2006 at 2:09 pm

    Yeah, you guys hit it on the head. The Maggs signing was a good idea due to 1) the injury clauses, 2) the lack of better organizational options at the time, and 3) the message that was sent by that contract. The message it sent dependened on who you were. To the current players it was two-fold: 1) produce or we’ll replace you with a free agent and 2) we’re bringing in some help so that your efforts to win won’t be wasted. To the opposition it was: We are serious about winning now. To the fans it was: We are serious about winning now, please come support us (and help us pay for this contract). Given all those factors I think the Maggs signing was a great signing.

  13. Nate A

    October 18, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    Marshal, in response to your question I’m not overly worried about either team. However, I think the Met’s are the weaker team right now.

    Their starting pitching is completely banged up(We’ll see if Hernandez makes it back for WS) and the bullpen has been run ragged. They’ve got a few good hitters, but overall I’m not impressed(nor with the order of their lineup). And how is Jose Valentin still playing the infield regularly and so well at his age?

    The Cards have OK starting pitching, and an OK pen which has also been worked hard in the current series. But their lineup is more formidable. Edmons and Pujols scare me a little bit, even injured. Eckstein is pesky, Spezio is hitting in key spots this postseason, and you can’t overlook Juan Encarcion or Scott Rolen. They’ve got a fairly deep bench too(unlike the Mets), which will help them in the DH games.

    I’m curious to know the Tigs planned rotations for either team. The Tigs website says all but 1 of the starters are taking lots of batting practice this week. Can we assume Rogers will be kept at home again this series for games 2 and 6? I wouldn’t mind a rotation reversal from last series: Bonderman/Rogers/Verlander/Robertson keeping the lefties and the fireballers split as usual. The Cards have hit better against lefties this post-season, while the Mets have done better against righties. But knowing Leyland, that probably wont figure much into his calculations anyway.

  14. Bob S.

    October 18, 2006 at 5:28 pm

    I sure hope the Tigers don’t go into the Series suffering from your guys over-confidence.Pujols scares you “a little bit”?

  15. Marshall in DC

    October 19, 2006 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks Nate – I haven’t been watching the NLCS. However – The Cards seem like a scrappy team and frankly that is the type of team that concerns me.