Blog Entry

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:44 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 4:57 pm
Well, the mystery team won again. I guess we shouldn't be surprised. That makes it three mysteries solved, with Cliff Lee's $120-million Philly deal and Albert Pujols' $240-million Angels deal coming before Prince Fielder's shocker of a $214-million, nine-year Tigers deal.

We also shouldn't be surprised it was the Tigers. No owner wants to win more than Detroit's Mike Ilitch. I saw how crestfallen the Casear's pizza king was following the Tigers' defeat to the Rangers in the ALCS last year. Injuries to Magglio Ordonez and Delmon Young stripped them of their lineup power, rendering them a patsy for the stacked Texas Rangers when they looked like an equal opponent to start the series.

Yet another injury, this one to Victor Martinez, spurred this move. The fine-hitting Martinez is expected to miss the 2012 season after tearing up a knee while working out, and Ilitch didn't want to waste the 2012 season. Ilitch wants to win as badly as anyone in the game. He's the new Steinbrenner, a quieter, calmer Steinbrenner.

Word was out that the Tigers were looking at picking up Johnny Damon, Raul Ibanez, Vladimir Guerrero or Hideki Matsui, Four accomplished players winding down their careers. Instead, they got a superstar, a coreerstone player that gives them the appearance of a shoo-in for another AL Central title and another crack at the World Series title that has eluded Ilitch, despite his incredible efforts and extraordinary tolerance for spending.

The $214-million contract, which was first reported by, shouldn't shock folks. After all, Fielder is a 27-year-old slugger, a cleaup hitter and leader to build around. There is no opt-out but the salaries are said to be spread evely over the deal, making it worth exactly what it purports to be worth.

They're celebrating in Detroit. Miguel Cabrera, who will vacate first base for Fielder, is said to be thrilled to welcome Fielder, according to Danny Knobler of What surprises everyone is that Fielder didn't go to the Nationals, Orioles, Rangers or any one of the other five or six teams that was mentioned prominently for weeks, if not months.

As it turns out, the Nationals were the only one of those teams in the mix at the very end. They saw Fielder as their answer to the need for lefthanded power until Bryce Harper arrives. There is believed to have been a third team in the mix. Yes, yet another mystery team.

At this point, the only mystery is that even now no one believes the call of the mystery team. 

Category: MLB

Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2012 1:40 pm

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

As a Jays fan, I'm insanely jealous of your organization. You guys could have sat back and done nothing and gotten away with it after winning the division by 15 games. Instead, you add Fielder! Ridiculous. Illitch clearly wants to win and won't let pinching pennies get in his way. Great signing. Not sure why fans are so worried about the cost of the's not your money, it's some rich guy that has it to spend. 

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 1:16 pm

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

Is it just me or does Illitch and Lou Holtz look like twins?

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 1:00 pm

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

As a fan it is always nice to know your favorite team will pay to get top players. While all these other teams were hemming and hawing Llitch jus dropped his 12 pounder on the table and ended it. You gotta give him credit for trying but it looks like a long term mistake if these guys dont put it all together this year. It will be lots o fun watchin them swing for the fences but Fielder's addition makes this look like a slumbering infield defense.

Fielder will be worth every penny for very likely about 6 years, he plays the 6th year of this deal as a 33 year old and that's not very old for a baseball player in the A.L.   The last 3 years?  It doesn't matter..... by then if the Tigers can make the playoffs 4 or 5 times and win at least one world series, the playoff money the Ilitch's will bank is going to make up for the last 3 years of his deal and then some.  And once again I have to remind people there is no real salary cap in MLB so money doesn't matter so much. 

Any team that wants to sign a big name free agent in their prime is going to over pay to get him.   Is Carl Crawford really worth 142 million dollars over 7 years?  His career stats pale in comparison to Fielder in almost every category except stolen bases.  And he's 3 years older, so a 9 year Fielder deal in comparison isn't so bad.  Jason Wuerth?  Is he worth that kind of money?  Would you pay any catcher ( Joe Mauer)  a guaranteed 200 million dollars?   Would you pay ( including bidding fee) 110 million dollars guaranteed money for a starting pitcher from Japan that's never faced real MLB hitters?  

I could go on and on but I won't because I think I made my point.  Fielder is worth a lot more then my above examples, and the bottom line is superstar UFA's in MLB get paid big money.  Pujols is better, but he's 4 years older and he got 250 million dollars? Why isn't it reasonable for Fielder to get 210 or 214 or whatever the actual number is?


Since: Jun 21, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 12:53 pm

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

I am very happy to have Mr. Illitch as an owner.  I wish he would have gotten the Pistons too.  I admire him for wanting to win, and this signing does put us in a better place right now (despite what the naysayers and whiners are moaning about).  I look at it this way, if Fielder has 5-6 good years, isn't it worth the price?  Besides all you guys pointing out that he is fat and will be unable to play the last 3-4 years of his contract may be right, but that is what insurance is for.  If Fielder misses half a season, the Tigers cash in and only have to absorb 1/2 his salary.  The worst thing that can happen is for Fielder to be ineffective, but healthy through the life of the contract.  Good Job Mr. Illitch!

Since: Apr 16, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 12:39 pm

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

Mike is one of the best owners in sports. Thanks to him there could be a perfect storm brewing in the D. Dare we think Stanley Cup, World Series and Superbowl in the D soon? I wish he owned the Lions. 

Since: Jul 28, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 11:32 am

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

I don't know enough about baseball to say how good this deal is.... I do know that Mike Illitch is a legend in Detroiit.  Go Get Em Mike!  God Bless!

Since: Jul 22, 2011
Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:18 am

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

 Crazy good move by the Tigers! It's the new murerer's row! Miggy will be fine at third not to worry. Illitch will just sell a few more pizzas.

Since: Jan 24, 2012
Posted on: January 25, 2012 9:53 am

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

Every keeps talking about how bad off the contract will be in the final 4 or so years. I completely disagree. Everyone worries about Fielder being overweight and unable to still be consistent when he is 32...the man averages over 158 games played a year over the past 5 years. Also consider the contract money is weighted equally over the 9 years, so in 7 years when the Tigers are still paying him $23M any similar player hitting 40 bombs a year will be asking for $30M plus.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:13 am

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

ummm he staretd to make good decisions when they aquired pudge....that seems like along time ago.  We had 10 years of nothing before pudge/dumbrowski !  GO TIGERS.  >and victor will be bacK after the all star  break...they just dont want him to hurry and get another set back...3 months is about all he's going to need to DH...BELIEVE IT................

Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:22 am

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

Hey the guy is going to be 83. Yes I would say he wants to win now.

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