Friday, December 07, 2007

Rot Ro

That's the sound Scooby Doo would make when he noticed the ghost floating around in the corner or when he got mounted by a big, happy St. Bernard.

I suspect Mark Shapiro made a sound something like that when he discovered that Detroit had just acquired Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis from the Florida Marlins. Hats off to Dave Dombrowski. He got his team to the Series a couple of years ago, and decided that he liked it and wanted to try to get there again. That's the kind of bold move that teams who want to win the Series make.

Even though Detroit was one of the better offensive teams in the league last year, it just put together a batting order that may be the best in baseball:

1. Curtis Granderson (cf) .302 avg., 38 doubles, 23 triples, 23 homeruns, 26 sb's and gold glove caliber defense.
2. Placido Polanco (2b) .341 avg., 0 errors---that's 0 errors.
3. Miguel Cabrera (3b) .320 avg., 34 HR
4. Magglio Ordonez (rf) .363 avg. 28 HR
5. Gary Sheffield (dh) .265 avg. 25 HR 22 sb's
6. Carlos Guillen (1b) .296 avg. 21 HR 13 sb's
7. Ivan Rodriguez (c ) .281 avg. 11 HR --- and his 13th gold glove
8. Edgar Renteria (ss) .332 avg. 12 HR 11 sb's
9. Jacque Jones (lf) .285 avg 5 HR 6 sb's (with Marcus Thames---18 HR's on the bench)

That's not all. Detroit's starting rotation will be something like this:

1. Justin Verlander
2. Jeremy Bonderman
3. Dontrelle Willis
4. Nate Robertson
5. Kenny Rogers

What's all this mean? It means that any notion Shapiro and the Tribe had of winning the division and rolling into the playoffs just got splashed with the icy cold reality of dealing with a competitor who wants to win in more than in a metaphysical way. Detroit's a competitor who will committ the resources to winning. I question (and have questioned) Dolan's willingness to do it. Last year's victory parade covered a lot of his past sins of cheapness. I don't think Larry's gonna have that luxury this year. If the Tribe ends the Hot Stove season without making a significant move, they'll have fallen behind and will be playing against the Yankees for the wild card. That's not an enviable position for a team that was knocking on the door of the Series.

Like Shaggy might have said, "Zoinks Scoob, there's a big St. Bernard behind you."

1 comment:

Erik said...

These are the kinds of moves that get applause from fans and media because a team is grabbing life by the balls and holding on.

But Detroit just decimated their farm system to make all these moves. The next wave of prospects that are supposed to provide a safety net against injuries and poor play from veterans isn't going to be there.

I'd be a lot more concerned if the Tigers had simply made this trade without also trading for Edgar Renteria and Jacque Jones. But all three trades seem to equal a huge overrecation from a team that was going to be pretty good even without emptying out their farm system.

Cleveland fans can go green with envy at the action the Tigers are taking this offseason. While I'd like to see the Indians add a solid piece or two, I think what the Tigers are doing is every bit as short-sighted as the overvaluing of prospects Shapiro is constantly reamed for.

It's not about the headlines you make in December, it's about the headlines you make in October. And a lot can happen in between.