The Detroit Tigers certainly made an offseason splash in signing Prince Fielder for $214,000,000(yes 6 zeroes) over 9 years. While a lineup with Fielder and Miguel Cabrera is certainly fearsome for White Sox and Indians fans the Tigers have issues to figure out that might not be solvable with their current roster. 15 years ago I bought a girl a ring – nothing spectacular and certainly not engagement quality but to me at the time it probably represented more then the close to one million times larger the Tigers just signed up for. Go ahead and try this nonsense when you’re young and dumb. It works just the same when you’re old and desperate for a title.
Just like I had a defensive jealousy about me the Tigers have a second base issue in Brandon Inge’s candidacy for the spot. While the city is divided into great guy/horrible hitter camps the bottom line is going to be determined by the guy can recognize enough of his own issues to at least contribute. It becomes dificult to balance whether he really cares or just says the right things when he shows up after most of the team for Spring Training. Just like the girl sulks off to the minors to cool off from you and you start to learn the game of being young and able to pick up the oppo sex again she’ll slap you across the face at work Brandon Inge will break you off and come back with a game winning homer just to show you he’s back in. Before you know it you’re in the same situation again – hanging onto something that just isn’t there. I like Brandon Inge I don’t dislike my ex but seeing either one of them leaves me feeling like I was punched in a special location.
A note to the young turks out there – don’t go changing yourself either. Whether she wants you to wear argyle socks or to shave more often just be where you can be the best you. Whatever cologne she sticks you with isn’t yours. She just marked her territory – no matter how good you think you smell – you smell like hers. The Tigers moving Miguel Cabrera isn’t exactly putting Brooks Robinson on 3rd and it isn’t putting Mark Reynolds there either. Let’s admit that it likely isn’t putting the best Cabrera on the field either. You can’t help but love what Cabrera brings to the plate and he transitioned to first base well enough to avoid being a liability in the field. Moving him back to third to find a slot for Fielder is a risk with huge stakes. If it works I will be the first to throw back a celebratory shot, light a victory cigar, and call Dave Dombrowski a genius but if it fails they have a lot of shuffling to do and like the eventual result of a relationship split Jim Leyland is going to smoke 3 packs of Camel unfiltered. I guarantee this. In fact 3 packs might be a step down for the skipper.
And if it does blow up in their faces long term the fan base will go thru the painful steps of rage, sadness, hope, and eventual acceptance. We’ll look back fondly on what didn’t work and what could’ve been and remember that it made us better long term so long as we don’t get it wrong again.
Sometimes you have to realize you don’t need the enigmatic first emotional option. No matter how great it seemed you look back and realize that ALCS win wasn’t getting it over the wall. Sometimes you find your championship comes from a Derek Jeter-esque Welsh Terrier, a ManRam-esque Airedale, and someone unexpected and extraordinary putting it all together for you. Sometimes you wait for the ring to develop – just like you wait out your prospects. The Tigers have made a bid for immediate returns and despite a potential murder’s row they’re likely to be judging the final result on the basis of someone unexpected who comes thru – I’m rooting for Brennan Boesch. After all my lucky # is 26 and it seemed to work out for me despite a rebuilding process after the emotion of trying to buy that first ring wore off.