The Detroit Tigers Don’t Hate You…
All off season, everyone kept asking me my opinion on the trades of the offseason, most notably the Granderson/Jackson trade. Till now, I had no answer for them. I would just shrug my shoulders and nod and never clearly answer the question they asked. Why? Because I didnâ€™t have an answer for them. Most people found this odd â€“ for I am one of those people who live for the moment in life when I am given a cue to start spouting my opinions at people. Speechlessness is so not my styleâ€¦
But here we are, less than a month from opening day (which I somehow scored tickets to at the CoPa in Detroit â€“ bought them on-line day of sale from the box office none the less â€“ baseball gods smileâ€¦) and I have had some time to sort my thoughts and finally come to a rational and conceptual idea of what happened and what I think about this trade that stole one of Detroitâ€™s baseball darlings from us fans and his people.
The Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson trade took me totally off guard. I knew one of them was going, but both â€“ I thought this was rather drastic at the time. I was happy to find out that we were getting Scherzer, Coke and Schlereth in returnâ€¦ Iâ€™m a sucker for pitchingâ€¦ I love a good young arm. I never formed some sort of attachment to Jackson, as a matter of fact; I thought his second half performance was rocky so there were no spilled tears over his part in this trade. But Curtis Granderson was someone I identified with. I liked him, he was a good guy. He was one of the biggest faces of the franchise, people loved him. How could they let him go? This feeling haunted me until I came to a stunning realization that I would like to share with all the Tigers fans who swore off baseball all together after the trade was announced (you know who you are, you all said it to meâ€¦) ready, here it comesâ€¦
BASEBALL IS A BUSINESS!!! The Tigers didnâ€™t trade him because they didnâ€™t like him. They didnâ€™t trade him because they hated you the fans. They didnâ€™t trade him because they felt like shaking things up. They didn’t trade him soley for the purpose of making a “splash” trade in the off season (this they have been known to do in the past – see Cabrera/Willis trade).Â They traded him because baseball, like any other business is full of penny pinching, maneuvering and trading up for better things. The Tigers were simply trying to build for the future. Sounds corny, sounds clichÃ© but that is what it was â€“ a business move.
Baseball, more than any other game is all about the numbers. Numbers rule this game from foul line to foul line, paycheck to ticket stub. The Tigers organization saw what they thought would be an excellent opportunity to get younger, cheaper players on the team (players that they could control for longer being that you arenâ€™t eligible for arbitration/free agency till your 6th year of service in MLB till then they can pay them the league minimum if they so wish). Strategically, trading Granderson opened the doors for the pitching staff to get younger and easier to control financially. The Tigers werenâ€™t out to break your heart; they were trying to get better in the future so you would continue to watch them.
My only beef with the trade was that Granderson went to the Yankeesâ€¦ I would have been ok with the deal right off the bat (Ha! Iâ€™m puny) if he would have went to any other team â€“ and I do mean ANY OTHER TEAM. For most of the offseason I let my feelings about this trade be clouded by the fact that I hate the Yankees with more passion and fire than a thousand dying suns. ANY other team than the Yankees! Ok, maybe the Twins would hurt alot too.Â But alas, whatâ€™s done is doneâ€¦
On a side note, I tried applying some of this â€œbusinessâ€ logic to the Placido Polanco non-contract situationâ€¦ still canâ€™t come up with a reasonable idea as to why they let him walk while getting nothing in return. That move lack there of moveÂ still hurts too much for meÂ to talk about. How do you let the best #2 hitter in MLB,Â â€“ ALCS MVP 2006 walk out the door? I donâ€™t know, I may never know, but I donâ€™t wanna talk about it anymore, still too painfulâ€¦ at least he didnâ€™t go to the Yankeesâ€¦
We will discuss the acquisition of Johnny Damon (the self proclaimed â€œIdiotâ€) in another blog. I still havenâ€™t figured that one out yetâ€¦ my brain is still trying to wrap around that oneâ€¦