Hot Stove Talk – December Edition

Hello DTW Friends –

Considering the hottest story of the past week has been regarding Tom Brookens resurrecting his career at¬†coaching 3B, I think it’s safe to say that we are in a quiet period. Which is the opposite of how Tom Brookens is handling the promotion(?).

That said, I thought I’d put up a new thread to reset the comments, and to pass along a cool offer from

And now a word from our sponsor: specializes in providing you with unique sports gifts- especially those related to the famed Detroit Tigers. The Detroit Tigers History Newspaper consists of 63-pages of commemorative New York Times headlines, articles & photographs about the Tigers. Celebrate all of the Tigers best plays, games, and series with this Detroit Tigers History Newspaper, which includes a special color section!

The Detroit Tigers History Newspaper is THE birthday or holiday gift for any true Tigers fan!


And by sponsor, I mean that is going to give away a free Detroit Tigers History Newspaper to DTW in return for the promotion. Thus, here’s how I’d like to select the winner – tell your best Tom Brookens memory – maybe you saw him at a game, maybe there’s a crazy George Brett/Wade Boggs -like story out there about him, or maybe he evokes a great Tigers memory. As everyone posts, chime in and vote for whose you like best, and then we’ll award the winner next week sometime.

By the way, if my wife is reading this, I’d love one of these. I’ll go ahead and give the Pistons a better chance of winning the NBA Championship this year.

Happy Holidays all – I doubt I’ll post again before the New Year unless something substantial happens. But I’ll definitely be reading along and posting when I have something to add (or need to remind TSE to stay on track).


  1. Mark Kemp

    December 13, 2012 at 10:58 am

    My fondest moment of Tom Brookens was when I had the pleasure of playing on the Tiger fantasy team in 2005 and Tom was my coach. Tom was still managing in the minor leagues at the time and remember thinking he should be up in the majors coaching, and low and behold he is there. Tom was definately one of the nicest people I have had the pleasure to meet. I hope all the best for Tom as he deserves the new position and hopefully a managing position soon. By the way, he was pitching when the fantasy campers were playing the retired Tigers when I hit a double off of him on the warning track at Joker Marchent Stadium, I would have to say that was a great feeling. Thanks Tom!

  2. mp

    December 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    What a worthless post. Please spare us the advertising posts/spam.

    • The Strategy Expert

      December 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      I think it’s worth it since it creates an opportunity for a fun Tigers contest and a free gift. After seeing this I was kind of hoping maybe DTW was going to have a regular contest with prizes for other baseball stories or games since I don’t happen to have a great Tom Brookens story.

      The only thing I have on this topic to offer is back in the 80’s I was growing up with baseball and my dad I used to watch games together and one day my sister joined us for a game and announced that Tom Brookens was her favorite player. I was very interested that she found one to be her favorite and asked what her rationale was, and she said because he had a cool name and a nice mustache.

      I laughed and appreciated the reasoning and chalked it up to a valid point since baseball is a uniquely powerful game that is open to a wide array of different interpretations that any person can get excited about to follow along and be a fan!

    • Kevin in Dallas

      December 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      Good feedback, I’ll definitely take that into consideration as I see how many people respond. I really like Mark’s post above.

      mp – please know that neither coleman nor I receive any form of consideration for the posts. Anydate isn’t paying anything other than donating the 1 newspaper. Which I still think would make a swell gift.

      I do appreciate you stopping by.

      • Jeff Molby

        December 14, 2012 at 11:14 am

        Don’t sweat it. Even if you did receive a few bucks, there’s nothing wrong with a free site running the occasional tasteful, relevant advertisement.

  3. Kevin in Dallas

    December 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Hamilton to the Angels…

    Some Guy



    I’ll take our lineup.

    • The Strategy Expert

      December 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      It sure would be nice to get an upgrade over Torii Hunter though. $13MM on the salary and he only hit .451 SLG last year despite a high BA of .313 that was also his highest BA in his career by a margin of 14 points. He’s a guarantee to strike out a fair amount of times and has a very tiny chance of producing a strong offensive yield for us.

      We still need to find upgrades to this offense in order to have a juicy lineup overall. I guess we’ll have to wait 2 years though to improve our OF with a high-value player that can potentially bring a big offensive boost to the team.

      And I heard it was 5 years $125MM for Hamilton.

      • Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert 1971

        December 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm

        Read that his wife had said Jesus would lead them to the right team, so the Angels is a no brainer.

        • The Strategy Expert

          December 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm

          Hmm, I wonder if Jesus brought him to the Angels because that’s the best chance to win a title, or if Jesus had a higher priority on just getting him the most amount of money possible, or perhaps they just have the best team name he likes and so they deserve the best offensive FA. I guess we’ll never know unless Mrs. Hamilton can shed some further light on the subject.


      December 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      Add V-Mart to that list … and then look out baby!

  4. Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert 1971

    December 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    I was at Safeco for a Tigers game last year, was hanging out talking to a Seattle cop who I’ve known for years, and one of the Tigers trainers came by. I asked him who the coach hitting fungoes was. He said that was Tom Brookens. When Tom was finished and the Tigers were heading to the clubbie, Tom walked by the cop and me. I said hello, Tom. He smiled and tipped his cap. Not prize worthy, but classy on his part. When my old friend Tim Johnson was the bench coach for the RedSox, I asked if he would introduce me to Jim Rice. He went over to Jim, I saw them talking, Rice looked over, and shook his head no. NOT CLASSY!

  5. Snyder

    December 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I remember going to a game some time in the mid-late 80’s that was an on-field instructional day for kids. I was little league age, and I specifically remember Brookens giving tips at 3rd. His advice for infielders was not only to get into a ready position, but to take a small step as the ball was being delivered. Nothing revolutionary, but that was the first time that I had heard that and it still sticks with me today, even in beer-league softball.

    I’ve had the chance to chat with him a couple of times over the last few years. When he was coaching the Whitecaps, my Mom (also a huge Tigers fan) and I were able to get a picture with him and Lance Parrish when the Loons were in town. Tom was very pleasant, Lance not so much… I also had a chance to chat with him a bit a couple of years ago at the Whitecaps winter banquet.

    I look forward to seeing how he does coaching 3rd. Hopefully it is a quiet transition.

  6. Smoking Loon

    December 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Down to the wire for Sanchez…

    I think the Tigers are going to pass on trying to match or beat 5/$75 mil. Let him play for the Cubs. Have fun, Anibal.

    • The Strategy Expert

      December 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      It’s definitely an overpayment, but if I had to pick only one of overpaying Sanchez or overpaying Hunter, then I’d rather have Anibal because I think he has a much better chance to provide a higher value contribution, and also could produce some interesting exit-strategy options via future trade if he does pan out whereas Hunter is a dead-end proposition with much greater likelihood.

      Any way you slice it though, Anibal will forever be remembered as one of the many gaffes of the DD era when he traded a way a handful of prospects to get only a rental season out of Anibal when we didn’t even have an appropriate team design structure to make it a logical move, especially considering we also got a 2B out of the deal that still needs to be upgraded. What a waste of some nice future assets for a bag of junk in comparison.

      • Jeff Molby

        December 14, 2012 at 11:09 am

        Anibal will forever be remembered as one of the many gaffes of the DD era…

        Only by you.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        December 14, 2012 at 11:29 am

        TSE – you’re so far off here that I’m thinking of revoking your baseball watching privileges.

        • The Strategy Expert

          December 14, 2012 at 11:54 am

          How did you figure that? Can you explain why you thought it was a good trade?

          • Kevin in Dallas

            December 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm

            Don’t need to. You need to explain a) how Jacob Turner qualifies as a “nice future asset” and b) how a #4 starter posting a sub 4 ERA and sub 1.3 WHIP qualifies as a “bag of junk.”

            • The Strategy Expert

              December 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm

              We got an Anibal rental and Infante for the players we gave up. There was no value to the Anibal rental beyond that season. In my opinion we weren’t close to a well designed team to sell a piece of the future for a rental player that won’t conclusively put us over the top. Anibal wasn’t worth nothing as a rental, so we could have displaced that value on top of Infante for a 2B that is better than Infante as an example. In hindsight I don’t see how you can argue that such a move like that would have been better. We know now that we didn’t win the WS, so why not have a player that is slightly better than Infante instead of what we did get now that we know we didn’t win the WS?

              At the time of the trade I objected to it, not because I knew in the future we would lose the WS, but because my foresight decided that a rental pitcher wasn’t the type of material we should go after, but an offensive upgrade for the future that also could have helped us out this year. This just happened to be one of the many times where my foresight actually proved to be smarter than DD’s foresight. If DD got along with that a commitment from Anibal that he would give us a hometown discount and we could have signed him for the 4 years and $12MM that we originally offered, well if that was part of the deal then you could argue that might be a good deal, but as we saw we didn’t get a special discount, we still had to overpay him more than what he’s worth and essentially outbid virtually every other team to get him.

              • Kevin in Dallas

                December 15, 2012 at 12:43 am

                Here’s where you’re wrong – you fail to consider the immediate utility of the trade; rather only choosing to evaluate it using post 2012 considerations which are as porous as the Lions secondary. If Jacob Turner were to disappear from Baseball altogether, DD should be arrested for trade robbery and then given an award for baseball brilliance upon his release. Since the 2013 season has yet to begin, Turner’s disappearance is still a possibility and your conclusion is thus hilariously flawed.

                Next, you are wrong in thinking that moves should only be evaluated in the context of winning a WS. If that were the case, then 31 GMs should be fired every year. I’m fairly certain that if you took over any team and advanced to the WS, you would be lauded as a baseball savant; and not fired for failing to replace a particularly weak position.

                Moreover, you are falling back into hypothetical world, rather than providing plausible alternatives. Case in point – you say “…for a 2B that is better than Infante.” What I need here is a specific example of a 2B whom was available at the time. One way you could do this is by citing a newspaper article which references that particular player before the trade deadline.

                You really had a nice 1-2 week run a few weeks ago when you made salient, tangible points. I’d like to encourage you to get back to that.

                Look man, you know your stuff, you really do. 10% of the time I’m blown away by your insight, your knowledge of the team’s farm system, and your understanding of player personnel moves. But the other 90% of the time you rely on adjectives and vagaries, and spend more time discussing your personal brilliance than discussing the actual deal.

              • bada bing

                December 15, 2012 at 7:45 pm

                Remember when you disappeared during the end of the regular season and the playoffs when the Tigers were winning? That was awesome. Unfortunately… you reappeared, and, if I recall correctly, it was during the later innings of game 4 of the WS. And it was basically to troll. That sucked. We are all sick of your negativity and narcissism. Just stop.

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 19, 2012 at 12:08 am

                Kevin –

                I very much disagree with your post. I’m not sure what you mean by Jacob Turner disappearing? He was traded at a time before he could disappear in the future and it doesn’t matter what happens to him at this point. The only thing that matters was he had a certain amount of trade value when we made that trade and what he does in the future can not affect that value that we cashed him in for.

                We aren’t talking about 31 other teams here, we are talking about this team at this moment, and I’ve already stated my position before that sometimes great GM moves are made with financial considerations in mind when it’s not practical to win the WS in the short run. You are insinuating that my previous comments can extrapolated to having the same opinion and position about what other teams are doing and that is simply not the case. I’ve already also been clear on my approving of the Marlins trade which clearly dumped a lot of veteran talent for prospects and cash flexibility, so there’s already evidence of a completely different opinion and perspective there for another team.

                Not sure what you mean with the “falling back” comment. You don’t need to know a specific player, that’s irrelevant. Infante is worth “x” and Sanchez was worth “y”. Logic suggests that if we didn’t take Anibal, and we combined our given up trade pieces into one player that he would have been a player worth more than “x”. And again, 2B is but only ONE position we could have trade for and that same quantity of “x” could have upgraded any position if not specifically 2B. There’s no reason to plug in a hypothetical name to understand that point.

                Bada bing –

                I was posting other places on the Internet complaining about the Tigers during the entire season and during the playoffs. They were never “winning” at any point in my book as they were underachieving the entire time and turned in a poor result in the regular season. So you have me dead wrong in that regard concerning my position on the team and the reason why I wasn’t posting regularly as well as the reason why I came back.

              • Jeff Molby

                December 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm

                AS = Expected Value of Anibal Sanchez for half of a season
                OI = Expected Value of Omar Infante for one and a half season
                JT = Expected Value of Jacob Turner for ~5 seasons
                RB = Expected Value of Rob Brantley for ~5 seasons

                The relevant equation is AS + OI ?? JT + RB. This isn’t rocket science.

                Now, Dombrowski and virtually everyone here thinks the left side of the equation is larger than the right. TSE, you disagree. That’s fine. Make a concrete case or shut up about it.

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

                Yeah that’s why I said that I don’t like Infante as a player and think we should upgrade that spot for the future. If we didn’t take a partial season of Anibal, which to me didn’t make sense since we had an offensive problem that we could have solved for that WS run plus the future, then we could have got a guy that might be the upgrade from Infante. To me there was better leverage to acquire offensive upside as a result of the deal instead of dividing the proceeds up to 2 players. I would have preferred to see that value consolidated for either a better 2B than Infante, or a SS upgrave over Peralta, or an upgrade to any other position if possible.

                Trading away a piece of the future to shore up WS odds is also not a tradeoff I would have accepted since we aren’t designed well to get good leverage off of trades in our current configuration, so to me it makes more sense to build a foundation that can get better proportional value towards increasing the value of a WS run before making trades that I think are less efficient than the result of other paths chosen instead.

    • Jeff Molby

      December 14, 2012 at 11:08 am

  7. john murdick

    December 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    My fav Tommy Bookens story actually involves our beloved Ernie Harwell too. It’s kind of a trivia question for Tiger fans… What was Ernie’s (sometimes) nickname for Tommy? A hint… Tommy is from Pennsylvania. Ole Ernie would sometimes refer to Tommy as he was coming up to bat as the “Pennsylvania Poker.” Another trivia note about Tommy is he has a twin brother who also played professional baseball but I don’t recall what level he reached. He may have made it to the Majors at least for a cup of coffee. Trivia question… What is Tommy’s twin borthers’ name? Tim.

  8. Smoking Loon

    December 15, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Timothy Brookens made it as far as Tigers affiliate AA Montgomery in the Southern League. One pretty decent season at the plate there in 1977. It doesn’t appear that he was much of a SS or 2B, defensively.

  9. Kevin in Dallas

    December 17, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    All – I really enjoyed the Tom Brookens stories. Thanks for sharing.

    My favorite was John’s at the end, though Mark’s has me looking into Fantasy Camps…

    John – I’ll have email you about the Tigers newspaper.

  10. Dennis Marshall

    December 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    In 1985, I was a producing a local segment for the 700 club about the Tigers and baseball chapel. Ernie Harwell had set me up with complete access to the old ballpark while the Tigers were still riding high after that 1984 victory. Well Tom walked by and we asked him for an interview. He said yes, talking about how the chapel was an important part of a lot of players lives. It gave me a centerpiece for my assignment. He was then and still is a CLASSY guy, besides being a good hitter and defensive third baseman.