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by billfer on December 27, 2006 · 13 comments

in Former Tigers,Tiger History

  • 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.
 
 

{ 13 comments }

Eric Jackson December 27, 2006 at 11:02 pm

Good article on Ilitch.

Seeing the review of the past year got me to thinking about 2007, anyone care to share some predictions for the 2007 year?

Winning season? Playoffs? Major Trades? Maybin called up in sept? ;)

Lee Panas December 28, 2006 at 2:01 am

Billfer, I thought you sounded great in the interview. I’m next and I’m a little apprehensive about hearing it. I like writing better than talking.

Mike R December 28, 2006 at 8:59 pm

I see the Tigers coming back to the pack a bit and possibly missing the playoffs, if you look objectively. The Indians bullpen CANNOT be as bad as it was last year, so they should win 10-13 games more than they did which would put them at about 88-91.

The Twins, even without Liriano this year, should probably be and 80-something win team, and the White Sox, with that offense aren’t out of contention at all. But I question their moves (mainly trading McCarthy… which means Gavin Floyd is possibly in the rotation? Yikes). And the Royals will be younger and better with (possibly) Billy Butler being up and Alex Gordon probably will be on the opening day roster (he should be, at least).

I don’t see Maybin coming up this year. If I’m not mistaken he’s starting at High-A Lakeland this year, isn’t he?

I could see Detroit with about 91-93 wins or so, but high 80′s win total would not be surprising to me, to be honest.

David December 29, 2006 at 7:17 am

Def winning season, here how I see it playing out

Give or take 5 wins from each team

Tigers 100
Indians 92
White Sox 80
Twins 78
Royals 65

We had quite a few magical games last season (I know I had and have season tickets) but after July we kinda pooped out. I see our starting rotation to be better all around (yes verlander too.) It really pained me to see Mike Maroth go out, because I think that before his Royal start he really learned something and could be this teams ACE in a year and should pitch like Kenny Rogers did in the playoffs if he returns to health. Bondo I think will follow his trend. Sheffield adds quite a bit to this lineup, but I really want to see them trade away ordonez, his defense for most of the season was downright dreadful and really hurt the team. Hopefully my boy Brandon Inge will improve his contact at the plate and I still remember that game changing at bat among others in Oakland in the 9th right after Leyland yelled at the team.

The tribe is the dark horse in this division.
Their offense should be similar if not better than last year
- Sabathia and Sowers (if healthy) will be two aces
- Westbrook I think will really break out, and have an ERA similar to ’04
-And as you said Mike R their bullpen should really help them as long as Borowski’s rotator cuff and the rest of him stays injury-free

I’m sorry but for all of you twins fans out their I see last year as a year that too many things went right for them. They like the Braves have to have a rebuilding mode, im my mind they have possibly the best SP in the AL in Johan Santana but for the other 128 (assuming he stays healthy) they have a bunch of rooks. They will be very lucky if they can go .500 in ’07.

The White Sox really killed themselves this offseason, they traded their best starter(Garcia) and a guy who looked like he would be their #2 for years(McCarthy). And what did they get? Gavin Floyd who was hit hard in one of the worst offensive divisions in baseball and another guy who posted a 4.24 ERA in AAA. Their best starter now in my opinion is (former tiger draft pick) Mark Buehrle and could be their ace, they still have four horses, but that being said they I think were somewhat of an ’05 fluke pitching wise, but should get alittle better from ’06 to ’07 in that regard. And of course their offense is still explosive but can lay down to die against quite a few AL Central pitchers.

Royals all you can really say is another year of exp for the young guns, alex gordon comming up, Ruv off roster. But, look who they added in the offseason? Meche and Dotel remind you of Jason Johnson and Troy Percival? Crappy starter and banged up closer? With their team even in this division I cannot see them winning more than 70 games I just cant, I can however see them winning less than last year if Sweeney gets injured again and gordon has trouble against major league pitching. Their lineup is weak at best and their pitching is the worst in the league.\

I wish I could put more of my thoughts here but I’m too tired, and their is no way that the Tigers will finish with under 90 wins. NO WAY

Mike R December 29, 2006 at 1:10 pm

David: I disagree with you on the White Sox. they still have 4 horses in the rotation and getting back John Danks in the trade for McCarthy (which I thought was a stupid trade to begin with) didn’t decimate much of anything. It just weakened their 5th starting spot.
Danks will have as good of, if not better, career than McCarthy, who I think is overrated and will be nothing more than a #3 starter in his career.

And with that offense, they’re never out of any games — especially in that ballpark.

I think the Royals will be tougher than people think. i don’t see them losing 100 games and Alex Gordon will put up numbers comparable to Mark Teixiera’s rookie year, provided he gets the playing time.

I think Matt Garza steps in this year for the Twins and really has a very, very solid year for them. I think offensively they’ll have some problems because I’m not sold on Cuddyer having as good of a year as last year. I thought trading Torii Hunter was their best shot to get good, young players in return who could help right away.

And, as just a baseball fan, I really, really think the Indians will sneak up on people. That offense is young and only getting better. Hafner asserts himself this year as a true stud, like he did last year. This year, he’ll just do it for a winning team.

Kurt December 29, 2006 at 1:26 pm

I think the “Indians sneak up on people” line is getting overdone because I haven’t read a person, beat writer or analyst yet who didn’t think Cleveland would be near the top. I’m still not real sold on their rotation but they’re not going to be blowing games like last year in the pen, that’s for sure.

Chicago can’t be as good as they were in the past. Minnesota will be good, but they won’t be last year good. Garza should step in and be a fine starter but it’s hard to fill the shoes of Liriano and even a hobbled Radke.

It’s going to be a good division, the top four teams should all have winning records and I doubt anyone gets over 95. Hard saying if anyone gets to 95. I think it’ll be a 92 to 82 spread from first to fourth, myself. Of course, there’s a lot to be learned before you can make any good prediction, but it’s just fun to be making them again!

Eric Jackson December 29, 2006 at 2:16 pm

Remember that every person, beat writer and analyst had the Indians near the top last year as well.

David December 30, 2006 at 12:36 am

Totally disregard what ESPN analysts put up because most of them really dont follow any other teams besides those in New England. I agree with you Travis Haftner is one of the best hitters in the AL(I really wish we would have gotten him instead of shef, but its hard to trade within your division.)

Yes the Sox have 4 horses, but the only two that can really put up zeros with some consistancy would be Mark and Jose.
Their offense is good of course, but as the tigers showed and as any team with good pitching on the mound can shut down good or even great hitters. Its pitching that wins and we have the most of it.

I really think that having Leyland, 6 quality starters(if ledezma can spot his fastball) and a solid lineup would guarentee us 90 wins. If you know your going out their with a chance to win every time out, and leyland is having guys like brandon and craig really live up to their offensive potential we have it locked up.

Also this “beating up” on your own division is overdone, we play what? around 86 games against teams outside our division. As was seen last year 3 teams in our division surpassed or reached 90 wins. The only time the beating up on other teams really matter is if their is a giant difference with talent or management ie Royals.

Really I’ll try to rate how all the starters(if they stay healthy) should preform next year.

A – 3.50ERA or under
B – 3.50ERA to 4.00
C – 4.00ERA to 4.50
D – 4.50ERA to 5.00
E – 5.00ERA to +

Detroit Tigers
Jeremy Bonderman – A
Kenny Rogers – A-
Justin Verlander – B+
Mike Maroth – B+
Nate Robertson – B-
Overall = B+

Cleveland Indians
C.C. Sabathia – B+
Jake Westbrook – B
Jeremey Sowers – B+
Paul Byrd – C
Cliff Lee – C
Overall = B-

Chicago White Sox
Mark Buehrle – B
Jose Contreras – B
Jon Garland – C
Javier Vazquez – C
Gavin Floyd/Jon Danks? – D-
Overall = C

Minnesota Twins
Johan Santana – A+
Carlos Silva – D
Boof Bonser – C
Matt Garza – C
Scott Baker – D
Overall = C

Kansas City Royals
Gil Meche – D+
Odails Perez – D
Luke Hudson – E
Jorge De La Rosa – E-
Zack Greinke – B-
Overall = D+

Mike R December 30, 2006 at 1:45 am

I really don’t think Sowers will out pitch Garza as much as you think he will.

David December 30, 2006 at 4:19 am

Hah yea, I only saw Garza pitch once and wasnt nearly as impressed as I was with Sowers, but its really hard to judge off one or two rookie starts (example Verlander in ’05.) But in reality quality pitching wins and we have the most of it. And to answer more about the chi sox(whom I’m not a fan of) their offense can put up gawky #’s one day, but 0′s for streches if combos of Dye, Konerko, Thome go into a funk.

That being said I like how our lineup is more spread out, it takes the pressure off one or two hitters as long as you dont have what happened in the world series (everybody besides casey inge and guillen slump) we will score.

Also on a side note, I really love what Leyland has done with the team, but nobodys perfect and I think he had two major flaws that I’d wish he’d correct.

#1 Reverse Alan Trammel Syndrome. He quite a few times would take pitchers out wayyy too early, now I understand protecting Verlander. But, he would take our other starters out wayy too soon and it drove me(and im sure sometimes it drove them) nuts. Let a starter such as bondo go past the 6th if hes on a roll, if he throws a few floaters calm him down, but dont take him out and overtax the bullpen.

#2 He did this early in the season, but I think it really wins games and helps keep the mommentum going in your favor – play more small ball. I really hope the tigers trade for a speedster, or bring up nook or someone whos fast and let them run the bases and try to tack on an early run.

Also I think I’ll add a lineup I’d like to see if we dont have any other major changes before Spring Training – LATE FEB!!! YES!!!

1Ivan Rodriguez- is more patient when leading off, a patient pudge makes a good team much better
2 Placido Polanco – keep him where he is and let him work the pitcher/ put a ball in play to get on base
3Carlos Guillen – best hitter hits 3rd
4 Gary Sheffield – Let it fly
5 Magglio Ordonez – Hopefully in this spot the pitcher cannot try to intentionally have an unintentional walk and allow him to see pitches with guys to drive in
6 Sean Casey – if he can duplicate his WS preformance that really beefs up the heart
7 Craig Monroe – really like him in the 7th hole after the heart of the order
8 Curtis Granderson – worst hitter hits in the 8 hole, also takes the pressure off batting leadoff ( do i take or do i swing?)
9 Brandon Inge – Yes I have my favorite tiger batting 9th, b/c he could leadoff and also works the count

I’m glad I found this site :)

Mike R December 31, 2006 at 6:01 am

Yes, but all teams go into offensive slumps. And the Tigers hit one not only in the WS, but in August (i think, it’s late right now so I’m not thinking clearly).

I don’t like pudge leading off as his “patience” is too small of a sample size. Who knows if he gets frustrated leading off and loses that patience. I don’t like Granderson/Inge hitting 8/9, either.

Sean Casey duplicating anything from the WS is a long shot, as well.

I really think Granderson cuts down on the K’s this year as none of his minor league number suggest that his high strikeout total this year is something that will stay. I’d stick with Curtis at the top of the lineup.

granderson
polanco
guillen
sheff/maggs
maggs/sheff
pudge
casey
monroe
inge

And, actually, I would rather see Monroe moved in a good deal as I’m not sure he’ll have as high of value as he has this offseason.

Verifiable January 4, 2007 at 9:21 pm

I can’t take the credit for this, but in light of your post, I saw this on another blog and am passing it along … Blogger Alan at Left-at-the-Gate made this prediction:

April – Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, seeking consistency in his policy on owners having interests in casinos, rules that Steve Swindal may retain his involvement with the Yankees as long as he marries Marian Ilitch. A hasty ceremony is arranged in a Mormon church, but the issue becomes moot when the Yankees lose their first 18 games and George Steinbrenner fires Swindal as his son-in-law.

Verifiable January 4, 2007 at 9:59 pm

HEADLINE 2007: Mike & Marian Ilitch come clean; take their place beside Pete Rose in MLB Gambling Hall of Shame

After a decade of trying to convince everyone but a gullible Bud Selig that Mike has no interest in the family casino or Indian gambling ventures and Marian Ilitch has no interest in the Tigers ball club, the pair is overtaken by the guilt of Scrooge and admit they’ve been living the good life off their investments in Indian casinos and Detroit’s MotorCity Casino since Harrah’s offered to build a Foxtown casino and fund a new baseball park in 1994.

And in fact, it’s how they funded a winning season for the Tigers, a business they have insisted to the IRS has not turned a profit since 1993!!! Hail! after fifteen years, Caesar’s realized Detroit wasn’t gonna be rebuilt on slumping pizza sales alone!

Expect to hear our grandkids saying it’s pure good ol’ fashioned “Casino funded baseball, motherhood and apple pie.” hhhhhhmmmmm…

It’s too bad Pete Rose wasn’t smart enough to have the “Little Lady” call his bookie instead. “I swear Mr. Commissioner, ‘she did it!’ not me.”

THEN I’ll go out on a limb and predict … In an attempt to get reinstated in MLB and stave off a call for an evangelical boycott of the other wholesome Ilitch brands (pizza, baseball and hockey), the altruistic Ilitch couple (using their brilliant co-op marketing synergy) agrees in lieu of publishing a tell-all book to use $1 million of their slot machine money to fund a new reality TV program that pits evangelical choirs from across the country against one another in a round robin “Battle of the Bands” meets “American Idol” like competition called “Voices of Joy” (Mike’s brainchild) with the winning church ladies given the opportunity to sing the national anthem aired live on ESPN’s coverage of the Grand Opening of MotorCity Casino’s Sports Book scheduled for the Tigers’ Opening Day 2008.

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