News and Notes: 12.28.2010

Not a lot going on over here, hopefully everyone is enjoying the holidays.

- Thanks Coleman.

- John Lowe analyzes offseason moves, and gives the Tigers a comfortable edge over the Twins.

- Do you have energy?  Do you like fun?  Do you like the Tigers?  Apply here.

- Brad Penny as a challenger for the 5th spot?  I could go for that.

- Danny Knobler of CBS goes out on a limb and eliminates the Indians and Royals from the 2011 Central race.

- The imperfect Perfect Game was SI’s 2nd best story of the 2010 season.

- Jacob Turner was a hot topic at the winter meetings, so says Captain Smokey.

19 Comments

  1. Coleman

    December 28, 2010 at 2:57 am

    “- Do you have energy?  Do you like fun?  Do you like the Tigers?  Apply here.”

    Wow. Like I could resist that…applied.

  2. Coleman

    December 28, 2010 at 3:01 am

    “- The imperfect Perfect Game was SI’s 2nd best story of the 2010 season.”

    #7 on the list is the passing of baseball greats, which list includes Sparky and Ernie (as does the “thanks Coleman” link above.

  3. Kevin in Dallas

    December 29, 2010 at 1:19 am

    So slow. Any topic suggestions? Or are we on break until after the bowl season?

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      January 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm

      Hey Kevin…looks like we are on break…meanwhile, over in Arlington beat the “L” outta of LS&U (the other Tigers)..go Aggies and real Tigers!

      • Kevin in Dallas

        January 4, 2011 at 11:59 pm

        Tell you what, I’ll put a small play on the Ags just to make it fun.

        • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

          January 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm

          You’re a brave man Kevin! But it should be a good game. I am having a LSU friend over on Friday to watch the game. We have a 12-pack bet on the game. Geaux Real Tigers!

  4. Vince in MN

    December 29, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    As far as Tigers news is concerned, I think there is a pretty good chance that what we have now is what we open ST with. So we may be on break until mid-February.

    • TSE

      December 30, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      Well that’s a very sad thought then, cause we really need to upgrade the offense. It would be a big disappointment to see money and/or draft picks go to waste on vets like Magglio and Martinez and Valverde, etc. for nothing. Are we going to make a run for the WS? If so we need to do something. There are 4 key weak spots at 2B/SS/3B/C, and we need to make at least one a target for improvement.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        December 30, 2010 at 11:49 pm

        Not sure if you saw the news, but the Tigers just signed a SS, 3B and C. I don’t really think they’re looking to make any moves there.

        • TSE

          January 2, 2011 at 2:25 am

          Martinez isn’t going to playing catcher, and Avila is no star. I’m looking for a better catcher than Avila, and if I have to trade for it, then Avila can be used as material towards the new catcher or some other player, but he’s marked as expendable because he’s not good enough to stay. And we need to gain PREMIUM studs or something close to it at SS or 3B, it doesn’t matter how many players we sign at those spots, I’m advocating the strategy of finding good players where we need them most, and those positions are where we need them most regardless of what transactions led us to this point we are at now.

  5. Stormin Norman $

    December 29, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I guess if ABBA can make it into the R&R Hall of Fame, Higginson can make it on the HOF ‘ballot’… is any one else surprised by Higgy making the ballot?

    …following the Higgy logic, one could surmise that Inge is a lock!

  6. Coleman

    December 30, 2010 at 5:16 am

    Well all you need to be on the HOF ballot is 10 years in MLB, and 5 years of retirement–so Inge is definitely to be on the ballot 5 years from whenever.

    Although you need 5% of the vote to remain on the ballot beyond your first year of eligibility, which is an effective weeding mechanism (although some Higginson types do manage to hang around a year or two).

    The interesting question–could there be a 9-year player who was a superstar for 9 years and yet ineligible?

    Before you write that off as unlikely: Sandy Koufax played for 10 1/2 seasons. If he had played a season less, would it have been right that he was ineligible (note: this is just to make my point, it may or may not be relevant to Koufax, since the eligibility rules have changed several times)?

    Of course there is the Veterans Committee thing, but you have to wait 20 years for that…

  7. Coleman

    December 30, 2010 at 7:13 am

    And Bill Lajoie has joined Sparky and Ernie on the 2010 Tiger exodus.

    http://www.detnews.com/article.....1980-teams

    You don’t hear much about him, but he was the GM of possibly the best Tiger team ever.

  8. Coleman

    January 2, 2011 at 4:18 am

    As far as Premium Studs go, I think they can be found on web sites, although you probably have to sign up to get a look. (So only go there when you need them most).

  9. Coleman

    January 2, 2011 at 4:23 am

    Seriously though, I think we think we have our “stud” at 3B (Castellanos), he just won’t be ready until…hmm, until Inge’s contract is up…

    But most of all, Happy New Year everyone! A toast to 2011!

  10. Angus

    January 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I think our biggest thing at this point is getting some consistency in our starting rotation. You have good enough starting pitching and a lights out bullpen and the holes that we have in our lineup do not matter as much. Look at the Phillies. We are not going to outslug a lot of the teams in the AL but if we have the best or one of the best pitching staffs, getting to the WS will at least be a possibility. The issue will be can we win our division which always seems to be an issue for us or can we stay even with the 2nd place team in the East.

    We have been playing the Yankees and BoSox tough the last several years. I think that either or them would rather see the Twins than us come playoff time.

  11. TSE

    January 6, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Well I can’t really disagree with that sentiment. If you could guarantee that we would have solid consistent pitching for the upcoming year then we are looking like we are in great shape indeed despite our biggest hole being our infield offense. But from a strategy standpoint, you can make moves to shore that up but not necessarily with the same probabilities or efficiency standpoint as the offensive needs. I just think it’s cheaper to get better by gambling on some pitching unknowns this year in exchange for shoring up the offense. That’s just the situation I see ourselves in. I mean what are you going to do to shore up the pitching? What if we traded for Strasburg, he’s young and extremely valuable and good, and to knock out a spot that is a question mark like Galaragga or Coke or whoever in exchange for a guy like Strasburg is about as huge of a positive leap you could make, but still there’s no guarantees that this guy is going to bust out. There’s a lot of different categories of risk that are associated with pitchers than batters and my philosophy is that you need to shift a little of your planning to getting lucky with pitchers and using up resources on the category of players that are less of an enigma in determining whose qualified to fit with your team. i.e. even if the pitching consistency being shored up is technically worth more than upgrading the infield offense, what if it is twice as hard to score that winning return for your investment? Well a need that is 25% more important but costs 50% more to solve means we can get a better overall team for a lower projected cost and risk exposure by looking at the offense first. Besides, we have a number of possible pitching prospects that could interject into the mix in the near future whereas we have jack-squat in terms of hitting prospects in comparison. If we get lucky with some of those pitchers then we have the opportunity to create a dominant stranglehold of our division and or the whole dang league, but we have to conduct a series of moves now and in preparation to set that opportunity up.

  12. Coach Jim

    January 9, 2011 at 10:04 am

    TSE, your point is well-put, improvement ratio vs. cost ratio. I agree with the validity of what you propose, but I think Strasburg is a terrible investment. I am a pitching coach, and he is a pitcher that will constantly be hurt…much like Joel Zumaya. The reason is in his mechanics. Here’s what to look for: when a pitcher strides forward, just before his front foot lands, look to see which way his elbows are pointing. Are they pointing back (toward 1B for a RH), or are they pointing up? Elbows pointing up is called the “inverted W” and have a much higher rate of elbow and shoulder injury. Strasburg’s elbows are sky-high at this point. Zumaya and Bonderman are also pointed upward…also check YouTube for guys like Mark Prior, Anthony Reyes. These are injuries waiting to happen. On the other hand, pitchers that keep the elbows backwards instead of upwards tend to have long injury-free careers. Check out Justin Verlander, Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux.

    My point is that Strasburg is likely to miss all or most of 2011 because of his first major injury. Pick someone else – Wade Davis?

    • TSE

      January 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      Oh by the way I had a typo, I meant to say even Strasburg isn’t guaranteed to “not” bust. Just as Coach said, even the best young pitcher in the game is FAR from a sure thing. And if we can’t have confidence and certainty and guarantees with that, then what pitcher can we get that with? All we are going to get is something uncertain that is worth even less than Strasburg, and those mystery games of Russian Roulette is not how you win at baseball, thus improving the positions that you can make more logical sense out of are more likely to work for you as you are dealing with more known information and less random unknown and subjective variables, i.e. you can debate all you want whether Strasburg is going to be marvelous or not, but a guy like Robinson Cano you take to straight to the bank, he’s a sure thing. Maybe not technically 100% but for all intents and purposes it’s a guarantee. And then guys who are the 5th or 10th best 2Bs or SSs are less obvious, but still logically efficient along the same lines just to a lower degree. Plus, if you go with the pitching upgrade, then those same mysterious variables you may be afraid of Strasburg also apply to guys like Coke and Galaragga in the reverse perspective that the stars align for them and they become great. Bottom line is if you don’t have a guy like Strasburg, you shouldn’t overpay to get that risk, and when you already have guys like Coke and Galaragga you are paying low and are better off playing out the gamble before cutting or trading for less.