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 11, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2012 8:11 pm

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

I find it amazing that this signing is bringing out the "big market teams make baseball unfair" comments.  Is Detroit a "big market".  Detroit IS a small market team...  the greater Detroit area doesn't have a booming population, lucrative local tv rights, or even very wealthy suburbs.  Just a well run team by an owner who cares.  If the Tigers could do it, any team could do it.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 8:09 pm

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

As a HUGE Tigers' fan, I am very pleased that we signed another huge hitter to go with Miguel Cabrera, especially with the loss of Victor Martinez to likely season ending injury.

That said, I learned the lesson of Tigers 2008. That was the year after we traded for Cabrera and 98% of baseball fans, writers, and all sorts of other experts believed that nobody could stop the Tigers from winning the World Series.

I am not throwing cold water over this, but remember your players still have to catch the ball and play defense. Neither Cabby nor Prince Fielder are good defensive players. Jhonny Peralta is reliable, but has limited range at shortstop. Delmon Young moves like a steamshovel in left field. This was the thing that destroyed Tiger hopes in 2008. That low caliber of defense and the only poor season in the career of Justin Verlander caused that Tigers edition to go belly up at 74-88.

And injuries are always an x-factor.  

I am expecting another division  title, and another long run in the post-season. Do I like this move? Oh, come on, I LOVE IT! I am just saying let's not get ahead of ourselves. It will be even better in late 2012 and 2013 when Victor returns.

Go Tigers!

Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: January 24, 2012 8:08 pm

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

Illitch is one of the "good" owners in baseball I hope he gets his WS before he gives up the ghost.

Since: Feb 21, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2012 7:52 pm

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

Your team must suck because your jealous of the good teams.I agree salaries are way out of whack but owners keep paying them and fans keep going.So we will see you eat crow come October.

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 7:48 pm

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

My gosh, wiyh cabrea hitting third in front of fielder, he could hit .350 and hit 50 hrs!

Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 7:45 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: January 24, 2012 7:39 pm

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

Teh one thing baseball lacks is the competitiveness of the NFL.  The money teams dominate.  It is real hard to get excited about baseball knowing that the best I can hope for as a Brewers fan is an occasional visit to the playoffs  (like the Twins or <oick your small market team>.  In the end it is going to be the Yankees, Braves, Phillies , BoSox or some other team that can afford these high profile free agents.  Hard to not feel like my team is really just a farm team for the big boys
For small maket team to have a good team each year, they must have a good farm system. The better the farm system mean the better the MLB team will be, so a small market team could be competitive if they pick the right players for their team. The Pirates problem is they never had a good farm system

Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: January 24, 2012 7:30 pm

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

People talk like we have a salary cap in baseball! Mr Illitch owns the yankees of hockey in the red wings and soon he will be owning the yankees on the field!
How is he the yankees of hockey, he did win a cup in the salary cap years so far and has lost a cup in the salary cup years, so how is he the yankees of the NHL?

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 7:10 pm

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

I would think he wants to win right away, he looks like he has taken Al Davis' vacated role as the crypt keeper.

Since: Jul 25, 2011
Posted on: January 24, 2012 7:09 pm

No mystery, Tigers Ilitch is one terrific owner

Once again these writers don't get it right. Let's face it they get there info the same place we get ours . Online

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