October 31st, 2014 at 8:15 AM
By Max DeMara
Once upon a time, the great business mogul Donald Trump said it best.
"As long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big."
Signing Joe Maddon to manage the Detroit Tigers would have qualified as such a move, especially after the team bowed out of the playoffs in embarrassing fashion in 2014, falling short of their World Series goal yet again.
But instead, Maddon is now likely off to manage the Chicago Cubs, a team low on expectations but high on chutzpah, hope and young talent. If it wasn't official before, it should be considered that way now: Brad Ausmus isn't going anywhere soon, considering he wasn't so much as threatened with the possibility of ouster with one of the best managers on the open market.
That move is a clear cop out by the Tigers, a team that's never been averse to making bold changes with the roster to perhaps ensure success. When the time comes to perhaps make that change in the dugout, though, the team has routinely punted on the opportunity for a meaningful shakeup.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 30th, 2014 at 10:13 AM
By Max DeMara
Wednesday night, the San Francisco Giants won their third World Series in the last five years, beating the Kansas City Royals in an epic game seven battle.
The Detroit Tigers, meanwhile, were eliminated weeks ago, meaning they have plenty of lessons they can learn from the recent champions on how to reach their elusive mountain top while sitting on the sidelines.
What are three of these key lessons for the 2015 season? Class is in session for the Tigers today.
1. Old guys rule. The 2014 Giants had their share of veteran players others wouldn't consider to play a significant role, be it Tim Hudson or Jake Peavy. In the past, their teams have won with plenty of other veteran position players nobody wanted, be it Edgar Renteria or Marco Scutaro. Not every player has to be a high-priced, big name free agent. The majority of the players who fill out a team are unknown or unwanted. Detroit needs to find a few of these hungry grinders to help supplement some of the bigger-name talent they bring in.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 29th, 2014 at 10:58 AM
By Max DeMara
The Detroit Tigers have made another move to help restructure their coaching staff.
No, it has nothing to do with Joe Maddon, who seems to be everyone's rumor du-jour. Instead, it involves teaching at the minor league level, and the hiring of Mike Maroth to take over as pitching coach for the Toledo Mud Hens.
A team official confirmed that move on Tuesday, writes James Schmehl of MLive. Toledo's current pitching coach and Detroit's former minor league pitching coordinator, Al Nipper, was not invited back for 2015.
Maroth, 39, replaces Al Nipper who served as the pitching coach in Triple-A Toledo last season after spending the previous two seasons as the organization's minor league pitching coordinator. His contract was not renewed after last season.
Maroth, who has served as the pitching coach for Single-A Lakeland the past three years, has a history in the Motor City dating back to his time with the team from 2002-2007. He retired from baseball in 2011. The move will mean a return closer to a former home for the Orlando native.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 28th, 2014 at 1:14 PM
By Max DeMara
The Detroit Tigers already have a catcher on the roster, and his name is Alex Avila. In addition, they've got Bryan Holaday in the fold on the bench.
Knowing this, it would seem that adding a top-flight catcher during the offseason would be a useless free agency move, if not an insane waste of money. However, when you consider all the variables, it might not be.
Enter Russell Martin, a free agent to be from the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2014, Martin was an offensive force in the National League, hitting .290 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI for the Pirates. That's the type of offense Detroit hasn't seen out of the catching position since Ivan Rodriguez was dealt away in 2008.
Offensively, Avila has been a black hole at times for the Tigers. His batting average hovers around the .220 mark with plenty of strikeouts, and while he often has a flair for the dramatic with big hits, there's been little to no consistency to speak of with the bat since he came up in 2009.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 27th, 2014 at 10:50 AM
By Max DeMara
For the second consecutive offseason, the Detroit Tigers' best player has been forced to endure yet another medical procedure to fix an issue that plagued him during the season.
This time, though, Miguel Cabrera figures to rebound much quicker from surgery to repair a bone spur in his right ankle than he did during last year's complicated core fix. Last week, the Tigers announced the first baseman went under the knife for not just a bone spur, but also a stress fracture in the navicular bone.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press spoke directly to Dave Dombrowski after the entire surgery had played out:
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Dombrowski said in a phone interview with the Free Press this afternoon that the team did not know Cabrera had a stress fracture heading into surgery but that the doctors suspected something may have affected the navicular bone.
"We just weren't sure," he said.
Cabrera had screws placed in his right ankle during the surgery. He will be re-evaluated in three months.
"He's not going to do anything until then," Dombrowski said.