A traveling collection of Cooperstown artifacts titled Baseball As America has come to The Henry Ford. At a special preview today, media were able to view the Hall of Fame exhibit, as well as some Hall of Famers. Former Tigers Al Kaline, George Kell, and Sparky Anderson were joined by Fergie Jenkins and Ryne Sandberg to kick-off the special exhibit.
Detroit is the 10th stop for the exhibit which began touring in New York in 2002. The Baseball as America display features over 500 artifacts from the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. The Detroit stop was to be the final stop on the tour, but Jane Forbes Clark (chairman of the board of the hall) said that there may be 4 additional cities that will receive the exhibit.
Continue reading Cooperstown is in Detroit
Feeling sick, need sleep, short post…
- While there has been plenty of talk about prospect rankings, what about the players who broke in last year. Who are the sophomores to watch? Bryan Smith at Baseball Analysts has compiled the top 20 sophomores. Detroit Tiger Curtis Granderson checks in at #12.
Do the Tigers really appreciate what they have in Granderson? Are they really considering starting Nook Logan at centerfield this season? In 2004, Granderson broke out at one of the minors easiest stadiums to hit a home run in. His numbers were helped by an August that was disproportionate to the rest of his career. He was an anomaly, but this year, showed that his breakout was for real. Granderson might not be the next great Tiger, or even a consistent All-Star. But for a team like Detroit, that has been “rebuilding” for so long, he’s the long-term answer at one position. PECOTA loves him, but I don’t see enough power developing for a superstar to shine through.
- Does speed kill or does it annoy? I found some research from Cyril Morong about the impacts of base stealing. He used Scott Podsednik as his case study. He found that the value from Podsednik’s stolen base was outweighed by his below average offensive showing. Now there are other elements to speed, such as scoring from first on a wild pitch, but…you guys all know where I’m going with this.
- It’s old news now, but Troy Percival has retired – sort of. He’s retired in the sense that he’s not playing anymore, but not in the sense that he still isn’t under contract and earning $6 million this year. Fortunately the Tigers will get some insurance relief (I want to say I read $3 million somewhere but I can’t find it now). Brian and Sam have wrapped up Percival’s career pretty thoroughly. I was pretty positive about the Percival signing at the time, as the idiocy in the following paragraph will show:
The other reason I
Some Detroit Tiger related links from the last few days that you might have missed:
- Baseball Analysts on the Central: Aaron Gleeman and the Cheat join Rich and Bryan to break down the AL Central. The consensus was that the Tigers are probably the 4th best team in a pretty good division.
Aaron: Right. Detroit doesn’t have any real stars, but I could see them being average or better at every position.
Bryan: Seems to me the Twins and Tigers will be battling for having the third and fourth offenses in the division, but the Twins strength in pitching puts them way ahead.
Cheat: I’d rate the Tigers offense ahead of the Twins, but your point still stands. The difference in pitching is too much to overcome.
Bryan: It seems funny to say that in the AL Central that a good offense and mediocre pitching staff doesn’t have a ton of hope for third. That’s new.
Aaron: Yeah. This Tigers team could have competed for the division title a couple years ago.
- Love for Craig Monroe: Greg Eno is a big fan of Craig Monroe and would like to see him inked to a long term contract.
So DD better stop fiddling around and keep Monroe in a Tigers uniform for years to come. He has the strength to muscle the ball over Comerica Park’s distant walls in left and left-center field. He doesn’t drop the ball with his glove, and can throw it with some accuracy and zip. He is also another rarity among Tigers players of late: he is not baseball stupid.
Now I like Greg as a writer, and I like Craig Monroe, but I can’t agree here. Monroe’s production is fairly typical, not extraordinary. He has two more years of arbitration eligibility and there is no need to sign him to a long term deal. I love his work ethic, his attitude, and I have no desire to see him leave. However, he is probably also one of the more replaceable players on the roster.
- Former Tigers, current Nationals: Jason Beck writes about the former Tigers who find themselves with the Washington Nationals. The contingent includes Robert Fick, Damian Jackson, Mike DiFelice, Andrew Good, George Lombard and Brandon Harper.
- A Rockies fan bashes Detroit: Bad Altitude, a member of the Baseball Toaster family has been preparing Hastily Assembled Previews for various teams. He’s not big on Detroit to say the least:
It’s almost besides the point to try and predict a record or finish for the Tigers in 2006, because for teams with no chance of contending records are looked to for signs of progress. If the Rockies win 75 games this year, that’ll be a nice little accomplishment and pats on the back will be due all ’round. If Detroit wins 75 games in ’06, or 84, or 64, who cares, because it’ll be the exact same story in 2007. And the year after that…and the year after that…. They’re duking it out with Baltimore for the coveted title of Worst Organization in MLB (Kansas City is disqualified as they haven’t been actively trying to field a major league team for some time now). I kind of wish they were in our division.
Now the author qualified it as a hastily assembled preview, and if I tried to put quicly put together several hundred words about a team outside of the Central I would struggle. Still, I’m not impressed with the work here. He criticizes the Tigers for overspending on Rogers (which they probably did), for sticking with the mainstays in the rotation (Bonderman, Robertson, Maroth), and for rushing Verlander and Zumaya. I’m really not sure who he invisions pitching in Detroit. They can’t use their highly touted prospects, they can’t use the average, cheap, homegrown players they have, and they can’t sign free agents.
Dombrowski and the Tigers are certainly open to criticism. The Rogers, Jones, and Ordonez contracts all fall in the category of excessive no matter what your criteria is. However, at least in the case of Rogers and Jones the length of the contracts don’t seem to prohibit anything else (spending, player promotions/development). If you want to call them the worst organization in baseball for the totality of the last 12 years that is fine, and difficult to argue. To base it on the last 2 seasons just doesn’t make sense.
- BA’s Top 50 Okay, so you probably didn’t miss this one. In case you hadn’t heard, 3 Tigers made the top 50. Justin Verlander checked in at 8, followed by Cameron Maybin at 31, and Joel Zumaya at 35. I happen to think that Zumaya is probably ranked a little low, but at the same time I don’t know enough about other teams prospects to really complain to much. In any case, 3 players in the Top 50 is probably pretty good for one of the worst organizations in baseball.
A few links and items that you may not have seen but might find interesting:
Beyond the Boxscore has created the Ray Lankford wing of the Hall of Fame for players with “no real shot at the Hall of Fame, but a great career nonetheless.” Unfortunately, or fortunately I guess, the Hall is populated by many ex Tigers. Trammell, Whitaker, Morris, Parrish, Freehan, and Lolich are among the 246 inductees.
Okay, you probably saw this but I was in California when this came out, and I happened to miss it. Craig Monroe is the Tigers last unsigned arbitration eligible player. The teams have exchanged figures and are $600,000 apart. Detroit offered $2.45 million and Monroe is looking for $3.05. I imagine that the two sides will reach an agreement pretty much in the middle and Monroe will get a salary close to his buddy Carlos Pena, despite having double the win shares.
AL Central talk
Remember 12 months ago, heck even 8 months ago when the AL Central was generally regarded as an exceptionally weak division. Now it seems you can’t read an article that doesn’t it declare it the best division in baseball. A recent post about the AL-C generated nearly 200 comments on John Sickels blog (although it is a pretty boring discussion for Tigers and Royals fans).
Is the Central really that good? How was everybody so wrong going to the season? What changed to make it better? Will it be as strong this year?
Okay so there wasn’t that much interesting stuff. That’s the problem with being on the road, I get thrown off my game.
Baseball Toaster has been conducting a roundtable regarding this year’s Hall of Fame candidates. Part III features a debate about the merits of Alan Trammell, and to a lesser extent Lou Whitaker. These wise and educated men are in agreement that Trammell clearly deserves a spot, going so far as to say:
Maybe I need to do a Lederer campaign [Rich Lederer’s efforts surrounding Bert Blyleven] extolling the virtues of the Tigers double play combo. It’s truly amazing to me on how asleep a majority of the voters could be on these two players, considering their all-time ranking.
There are also charts and numbers and stuff. Definitely it is worth a read, as are the other parts of the discussion.
The last few weeks have had me pondering a Tram campaign. But given the utter lack of support he’s received this year, I fear that it would be a quixotic endeavor. By my highly unscientific and unofficial tally (updated through January 3rd), Trammell will only appear on about 20-30% of the ballots. That’s up from last year’s 17%, but no where near gaining the momentum necessary to make a push for enshrinement.
UPDATE: Repoz of Baseball Primer posted in the comments that he has tallied 64 ballots, and the outlook is even more grim with Trammell’s total at a meager 14%.