What’s next at DTW

With the season over there are a few things I need  to say and I wanted to share my plans for the coming offseason:

  1. First things first I want to say thank you to everybody who read the site this year. Welcome to those of you who found it for the first time, we’ll have more stuff in the offseason (more on this in a minute) so don’t go to far. To my long time readers, I’m honored that you keep coming back and thank you for telling your friends about it.
  2. A special thank you to everybody who comments on the site, or posts articles on facebook, or tweets articles. It helps tremendously to build the community. It helps to keep things interesting and it makes it easier for me to a)step away a little bit because you all keep things fresh b)keep the site current because many of you post links to breaking news before I can get to the site c)makes it a hell of a lot of fun.
  3. I also want to say You’re Welcome to everybody who expresses their appreciation in the comments from last night. I was overwhelmed by your sentiments and I’m flattered to say that responding to each one would have put additional stress on an overtaxed server.
  4. As for donations, this part makes me feel a little weird. It’s something I don’t solicit because I’m frankly not that comfortable doing it. But many asked for a way to donate. I don’t want anyone to feel obligated because it certainly isn’t necessary and I hope nobody is offended by this. But if you were one of the ones asking, here is how to donate via Paypal.

What’s on deck?

Things will slow down a little bit without the daily rythym of the baseball regular season setting the pace. There probably won’t be daily posts but you’re likely to see something 4-5 days per week. Some posts will be short and others will be more involved analysis. Some of the things I’m planning for the offseason:

  • Covering the Arizona Fall League which is just about ready to get underway
  • Breaking down the team in a number of ways and looking at offense, defense, and pitching
  • An analysis of the hitters under Lloyd McClendon
  • Some pitch f/x work
  • Roster analysis, who should stay, who should go, who will be offered arbitration, who should be protected in the rule 5 draft
  • Interviews. I’m planning to speak to a few Tigers prospects. I’d like to work in some Q & A’s with others involved with the team as well.
  • Winter Meetings coverage. This year’s winter meetings are in Indianapolis, and while plans could certainly change, as of now I’m planning on being on hand for a couple of days.
  • Video chats maybe? I did a few of these last offseason and they were fun. Those might be coming back.
  • And of course if there are trades or big announcements they’ll be covered here one way or another.

So that’s what the very rough plan is. If you have specific studies you’d like me to do, let me know. I won’t make promises and if I don’t do one of your ideas please don’t take it personally. The reason I wouldn’t do the study is more likely my limitations (time, skill, availability of data, etc.) than the quality of the request.

In summary, keep coming back please. Keep commenting please. And use one of the subscribing options at the top of the page so you know when knew stuff is here.

35 Comments

  1. KW

    October 7, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    For someone who feels weird about asking for donations, that sure is a huge-ass donation button!

    Kidding Billfer. You da man. Without this site, I’d be lost.

    • billfer

      October 7, 2009 at 9:04 pm

      Yeah, not sure why it is displaying so big. It’s supposed to be little. Went with text instead :)

  2. Kathy

    October 7, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    That picture of the ball in the leaves makes me feel like crying. I have the Yanks/Twins game on but my heart just isn’t in it. I saw a picture of Grandy in the dugout on MLive after the game offering his hand to Rodney. One of the other guys has their hand on Rodney’s shoulder. The look in Grandy’s eyes is haunting. That look says it all.

  3. Joso

    October 7, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    That’s my problem with yourself and anyone like you.

    “I don’t feel comfortable with donations but here is where you send them.”

    What happened to people being modest and having a little dignity? It’s unreal. Greed, greed, greed.

    • Kyle J

      October 7, 2009 at 9:28 pm

      Is this serious? If greed were the motivating factor for Bilfer, I’m pretty sure he’d be spending his time in another manner.

      I agree wholeheartedly with Kathy–except I couldn’t even stand to turn on the Yankees-Twins game.

      • billfer

        October 8, 2009 at 7:00 am

        Yeah, he’s serious. He just pops on sometimes posting under different names and email addresses to complain about what I do.

    • stephen

      October 7, 2009 at 9:39 pm

      Joso, you’re a jackass.

    • ouchudied

      October 7, 2009 at 11:22 pm

      Unfortunately, you can’t curse on this site. Why would you even come around here, Joso…

      • Randolph

        October 9, 2009 at 1:37 am

        That’s such a stupid comment…but then again it’s likely the same person(s) calling into local sports talk radio complaining about the same thing when only a minority feel that way.

        BTW, I recently came across the site this season and I really like it. I may not be the most inclined to discuss pitching arm angles, prospects etc, but I like to be able to express my (dis)pleausure with this team on a regular (positive) basis.

        Great job!!!!!

  4. rings

    October 7, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    @ Bilfer: have you updated your “salary” sheet for the Tigers roster? The last time I checked it, it wasn’t current.

    • billfer

      October 8, 2009 at 7:01 am

      Not too much. I never did add Washburn and Huff’s salaries from their trades. The guys under club control are making generally $400K so they don’t have too much of an impact. As the roster decisions get made I’ll get it updated.

  5. Kathy

    October 7, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    I was greedy for the Tigers to go into the postseason and play at least a few, or at least as many as they could muster, games in Detroit. All the people counting on those dollars….the restaurants, vendors, hotels, parking lot people, the little people, let along the franchise. No postseason, no money, and there would have been more to spread around and perhaps extra to sign some of our pitchers. It breaks my heart.

  6. Joey in Portland OR

    October 8, 2009 at 1:14 am

    Billfer as always the DTW rules, thanks for putting so much work into it. Its obvious how many of us love it and come back to it every day. Keep up the good work!

  7. Mike Rogers

    October 8, 2009 at 2:26 am

    Bill, just wanted to say that I’m definitely still a loyal reader (RSS feeds-wise) even though I haven’t been around and commenting. Also, that I appreciate the work you do here and within the Tigers blog-o-sphere.

  8. Bill

    October 8, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Biillfer, Great job! Joso is an idiot.

  9. Joey C.

    October 8, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Thank for another great season Billfer. I’m not commenting as much these days, but I check in regularly and I can’t tell you how much you’ve enhanced my enjoyment of the game over the past 6 years.

  10. Nick Gouge

    October 8, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Bilfer I really appreciate DTW and read it daily. The insight is great and the banter among the regular posters is hilarious! I don’t post often, but I do read daily. Thanks again for another great season!

  11. stephen

    October 8, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Billfer, you’re the best. I can’t imagine following the Tigers without the website. It would be like eating Froot Loops without milk.

    • Coleman

      October 10, 2009 at 6:31 pm

      You, sir, are no Mickey Tettleton.

  12. James in Minneapolis

    October 8, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Billfer you composed the donation mention well. Hopefully jerks like Joso can just get bored and leave. Donation links are how the volunteer web universe functions. Get over it.

    I don’t post as often as I want to, but I read your site almost daily. And I’ll probably be hitting that donation link sometime in the future.

    If its not too early to request a study, my wife asked a great question about correlation between hits and runs scored. As in, are there any metrics that show a team’s efficiency in converting hits to runs? We seemed to see a lot of games this year with 10 hits and only 2 or 3 runs – how did other teams compare? Are there players or managers that affect efficiency?

    Thanks again for the great site!

    • Andrew in Toronto

      October 8, 2009 at 11:53 am

      There is a very strong correlation between team OPS and team runs per game.

      I took a quick look at the American League data for 2009 and I can see two teams that really seemed to overproduce in terms of runs per game compared to their OPS. First is Oakland, and the other is the Angels. The Tigers (and the Twins) were pretty close to the trend line.

      But that’s as far as I’m going to go. I think I should leave this to the real sabermatricians…

      PS, Thanks Billfer, for all your hard work!

    • RPS

      October 8, 2009 at 7:47 pm

      I’m not a great stats guy either, but I believe the simple stat that correlates best with runs scored is OBP. Which sort of makes sense; if you spend a lot of at bats not making outs, runs will be scoring. You can look at stats for this year and quickly see that OBP (and OPS) are much better predictors of runs than BA.

      So, to contribute to your question in my horrible roundabout way, most of the difference between teams that convert hits to runs well and those that don’t is walks and power, with walks being much the bigger factor.

  13. Mike in CT

    October 8, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Bilfer…great job all year. Blogging, especially every day and as thoroughly isn’t easy, especially with the constant subtle layout changes.

    Tip of the cap to you, sir.

  14. chief

    October 8, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Good job Billfer.. Anyone have a link to the DD media availability today?

    • KW

      October 8, 2009 at 4:49 pm

      • RPS

        October 8, 2009 at 7:35 pm

        Wow. Most of that seems reasonable and correct. I think the offseason comes down to improving one corner OF/DH spot, and either shortstop or catcher. We’ll see if DD can do something good at the winter meetings. Is everyone here cool with Bondo, Nate, Bonine, Miner, and Galarraga fighting for the 4/5 spots, or do you think they should bring in one guy?

  15. Bill

    October 8, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Billfer: any correlation between tough Tiger losses and spousal abuse? Or, extremely tough Tiger losses and alcohol consumption! Also, there probably should be 2 categories for each-Tiger players + Tiger fans.

  16. West Coast Tiger

    October 8, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    A payroll observation. 2010 obligations

    Bonderman 12.5 mm
    Robertson 10.00mm he is getting a $3 mm raise
    Willis 12.0 mm

    Equals @ 28% of the Total 2009 payroll

    ROI???
    Here is an incomplete list of decisions to be made.

    Eligible for Arbitration
    Verlander,Laird, Thames, Jackson,Seay,Santiago,Zumaya

    Free Agents
    Polanco, Rodney, Everett, Huff,Washburn,Lyon

    Find a hitting coach.
    Hire Sean Casey for something.
    Clone a Little Ozzie Guillen into Jim Leyland.

    Spend Gary Sheffields salary on a Top Free Agent Starter to help fill the rotation.

    • Andre in Chi

      October 8, 2009 at 3:27 pm

      “Clone a Little Ozzie Guillen into Jim Leyland.”

      I will leave baseball forever.

    • RPS

      October 8, 2009 at 7:19 pm

      Who are “Huff” and “Washburn”? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of those guys. Unless I’ve blacked something out…

  17. Dylan

    October 9, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Thanks again Billfer. As someone that knows how hard it is to blog through a 30-35 game season, I couldn’t imagine covering 162.

    Good work as always.

  18. Russ In

    October 9, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Totally great job here. I agree with the rest of the bunch that your dedication is priceless and much appreciated.

    On another note: Can we blame this last minute loss of the Tigers on the real and true culprit? The SI cover. Notice how poorly our beloved team started playing after that cover story? And all the issues–Cabrera and the The-ball-didn’t-hit-you-Mr.-Inge fiasco are the two main ones to which I refer–they encountered shortly after the cover.

    Perhaps the Tigers front office should contact SI and ask them to never again place them on the cover.

  19. BaseballinDC

    October 9, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Hey Bilfer,

    Glad to see you’ve got some ambitious plans and look forward to reading about them. This site is much better than the “official” one as it also contains a lot of links, original analysis, etc, and I feel like I can come here for all my Tigers news needs.

    As a consequence, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about merely providing a way for people to make donations. Your site contains premium content and is way more than merely the “random thoughts” a lot of others are. You could have made this a pay site, but chose to let those who can’t afford continue to follow.

    Well done all round!

    BBinDC

  20. The Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 10, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Hi Billfer:

    Thanks for the the great website as your hard work made the season more enjoyable and meaningful. As a suggestion for the list of things to do, how about selecting a game for all Detroit Tigers Weblog fans to attend? We could sit in a certain section(s) and pay tribute to our common loyality. It would be great to see many of the folks who commented on this site and share a game together.

    Just a thought; again thanks for the great season,

    RKT in Vicksburg, Mississippi (home of Dimetri Young)

    • Coleman

      October 10, 2009 at 6:38 pm

      Good idea; it might be a good idea next season also for followers of DTW to post which out of town games they are going to–I may have been in the same stadium at the same time as West Coast Tiger Fan, for example, without realizing it.

      (And bonus points for posting Vicksburg as the home of Dmetri and not Delmon. Although Delmon gets a gold star for threatening to charge his own dugout after the HBP…)