The new look Detroit Tigers are headed into spring training with 3 of the best players in the game with Justin Verlander, 3B Miguel Cabrera and newly acquired 1B Prince Fielder. With some questions still on the table for the Tigers (5th starter, 2B, speed and defense), they find themselves running out of time to answer them all. If we head into the season with the team as is, it becomes more of a certainty everyday that passes that Leyland will have some decisions to make internally on positions and playing time.
One of the biggest questions I hear people wanting to know the answer to, is where in the world will the Tigers play Brandon Inge. In my personal opinion this shouldn’t even be a decision. I would spend about 4 seconds to tell Inge to go back to the minors, and if about 4 – 5 players got injured, we might think about calling him up! There is no room on a major league roster for a player that is 34 years old, hit .197 last year and is a career .234 hitter. Especially since Brandon plays Catcher and 3B, and we have Cabrera at 3B and Alex Avila at catcher. BUT of course you still hear people saying to play him at 2B or at DH. I guess they think teaching a 34 year old player that can’t hit, and is getting worse at hitting as he gets older… is somehow a good idea! Jim Leyland addressed those concerns…
In an article written by John Lowe in the Detroit Free Press 2 days ago he started the article off by saying this… “Tigers manager Jim Leyland arrived at spring training Thursday afternoon and immediately delivered the camp’s first major news: Inge has asked to compete for the starting job at second base, and that’s fine with Leyland, even though Inge has never played the position in the majors.” Uhhh.. that’s major news John? Seriously? I am not sure how that got by the Free Press editors, but if you think that is major news, after signing Prince and Cabrera moving to 3B… you have serious issues! lol
Enough about John though and lets move on to Leyland’s response….
“I hope it works out,” Leyland said. “If he’s really good defensively at second and can hit, it makes us better. I can use (Ryan) Raburn in left and use Delmon (Young) at DH, and vice versa…It’s pretty interesting. I want to give it a fair shot. I don’t want Inge to say, ‘I didn’t get a fair shot.‘”
This quote is especially funny because you can tell Leyland is saying something that is true for ANYONE! Isn’t it true that if any single person in the world could be “really good defensively at second AND can hit” … they too would have a good chance at making the team!? I mean seriously…is this a case of a bad question from the media, or Leyland just trying to be politically correct? I can not really comment as to what Leyland or the reporter were thinking, since I don’t know either of them, but my gosh that is pretty funny.
We will save the best quote for last, but for now lets talk about the 5th starter issue for the Tigers. More specifically the fact they currently don’t have one! As of right now the Tigers have several options, none of which have ever been a starter in the majors for a full year. If I had to choose someone right now, it would be Jacob Turner, but that wouldn’t be overall what I would choose as a “good” solution. I think going out and getting a cheap inning eater that has experience is the way they should go. That way we can still start Turner, but also have a decent backup option in case Turner proves to not be ready. Turner is a great young talent and throwing him too early with no back up plan in mind, might mess with his head a bit. The last thing we want is for Turner to pitch bad, throw in another youngster, and another, until we HAVE to make a trade. This is of course all hypothetical, but the general idea of having a back up plan can never be a bad idea. Take a look at our options now, and their major league experience and numbers…and you decide.
|Possible 5th Starters||Age||GS||INN||W-L||ERA|
Saving the best for last…
The best quote comes from none other then Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski! As many of you know Mr. Dumb-browski is infamous for never telling the media anything about what the Tigers are doing. Most think it’s because he is smart and a good GM, which I would agree with as a general idea to all those that say that. But I believe that in this case, it’s just the fact that he has no clue what he is doing and it’s hilarious! He again gave a great example of this theory in an article written by Free Press writer Anthony Fenech on Feb 9th.
When asked about the Tigers defense, Dobrowski earns the Captain Obvious award and gives us this gem of a quote…
“It’s not our strength,” general manager Dave Dombrowski said Tuesday at the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association’s Tiger Day. “So you give and you take.“
HA!!.. really? It’s not our strength? WOW that is CRAZY.. I didn’t even realize that until I saw it…. Thanks for enlightening us once again sir!
But as icing on the cake.. in true DUMB-browski style, he ads this gem later in the article…
“If we choose, we can play a very good defensive club,”
Seriously? …. SERIOUSLY? Did you just say that? Ok well if we would like to play the IF WE CHOOSE TO game, I have some too.
If I choose to, I could walk from Detroit to New York!
If I choose to…I could do cartwheels to work!
If I choose to…I could be late to meetings!
I mean really? I think we all know that we could do things IF WE CHOOSE.. but that doesn’t make it a good freaking idea! lol Someone please tell him that it’s assumed by adults! I seriously wonder what goes through his mind sometimes when he speaks to the media!
All in all I think that Tigers have a great team and are going to be very exciting to watch this year. We should easily win the Central Division and with a good trade or two at the deadline to pick up a starter and maybe a leadoff hitter, we have a GREAT chance at winning it all! The odds makers in Vegas agree with that and have our Detroit Tigers in front of everyone at 6-1 odds to win it all! Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure for all Tiger’s fans this summer…. Get ready to have a good time!
|Related Tigers Links|
|Tigers Home Page - Stats, Free Agent Rumors, Custom Tigers Profiles for Detroit fans|
|Tigers Roster - See Tigers Roster and Current Salary|
|Free Agent Tracker - To track all the free agents and who is left|
|Tigers Article: Brandon Inge: Man in the Mirror – Eric S – Fan Submission|
|Tigers Video: The Sports Truth Clip – Talking about Inge with MLB Fan Cave Finalists|