Brookens returns to the big leagues

The Tigers announced yesterday that Tom Brookens would be the new first base and outfield and base running coach. Brookens is an organizational soldier and it’s nice to see him get the opportunity to don the Old English D again. But it does raise the question about the qualifications or importance of positional coaches.

Brookens of course knows baseball. The former 4th overall pick in the 1975 draft had a 12 year big league career and has managed in the Tigers organization at Oneonta, West Michigan, and Erie. But very little of that career came in the outfield. Very little.

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The Tigers aren’t interested in A-Rod unless they are

The Alex Rodriguez to Detroit rumors just won’t die. Going into the offseason I thought the Tigers chances would be similar to their playoff chances in September. Stuff had to fall their way, and it was a longshot, but that they were still in a better position than most teams. But since the end of the World Series, the rumors haven’t stopped.

I thought that the acquisition of Edgar Renteria would take care of that speculation. It didn’t even put a dent in it. Ken Rosenthal still thought it was a fit. Even if it meant bringing in the fences. Meanwhile Jayson Stark was saying that he saw Rodriguez ending up with the Mets or Tigers. Jon Heyman from lists the Tigers as one of 3 teams moving up in the A-Rod race.

So to squelch all this talk Dave Dombrowski flat out said:

“We don’t have any interest”

“We filled our spot when we acquired Renteria”

Still, that isn’t enough to dampen the A-Rod to Detroit enthusiasm. Buster Olney reports that other executives think that Boras could just negotiate directly with Mike Ilitch. But interestingly Jerry Crasnick spoke with 15 GM’s and none mentioned the Tigers as a potential destination for Rodriguez. Maybe the latter group of GM’s read the Business Week article about Ilitch from September when Ilitch said the Tigers weren’t ready to make the $30 million a year leap.

And 3 more A-Rod/Boras-y articles I couldn’t work into the above narrative:

Tigers lose 2

It looked like the Tigers were grooming their next manager in Matt Walbeck. He had 3 successful seasons and asked for and was granted a promotion to Erie last year. Now he’s the Texas Rangers 3rd base coach. Maybe this is just some MLB seasoning for the 2010 season? No replacement has been named but Tom Brookens, the Whitecaps manager in 2007, will be considered.

The Tigers also lost scout Greg Smith who will be scouting director in Pittsburgh.