January 19, 2015



…that lately I have been trying to write less about the Tigers and more about other things that matter to me. This week-end I will be going to Detroit (Rock City) and enjoying Tigerfest for the second consecutive year. Prior to last year, I never thought I would like Tigerfest but it is actually a great time and a chance to visit with some folks you only see once in a while.


I am going to write about Max Scherzer. I am surprised that he left the Tigers but I'm not surprised that he went after the money because in Lakeland, Florida, last spring he was heard to comment, "I want to be the highest paid pitcher in baseball" or something to that effect. In fact, he turned down $144 million for six years to stay with the Tigers then so it's not surprise that he received more than $200 million from the Washington Nationals. The formula is complicated but his yearly average is $30 million but only $15 million counts against the books.

I have said all along that I would be all right with the Tigers offering another million per year and adding an additional year to the last spring's Offer-144 as I like to call it. A seven year, $175 million contract would have been somewhat palatable and in the same realm as the Tigers awarded to Justin Verlander when they feared he would out-price himself if he had another great season (he didn't.)

John Smoltz & the Law of Where You Are At the Right Time

I applaud Mr. Scherzer for getting the big time contract. I'm sure he appreciates all the Tigers did for him during the years when he struggled. Ask John Smoltz what it's like for a team to stick by you. He recently said, upon gaining entrance in to the Hall of Fame,  that he doubted he would have ended up where he did if he hadn't been with the Braves. I didn't take that as a shot at the '80s era Tigers but more a compliment to the Braves organization of the same years. The Tigers stood strong beside Scherzer through some personal battles as well as professional. He had a nice two plus year run for the Tigers. I hope it continues with the Nationals, who now have two former stars from the Tigers rotation.

Mr. Shields, Welcome to the D

Now, the Tigers can sign their number one target, James Shields. They have held off because they didn't want to show Mr. Scherzer any disrespect. Shields will have similar numbers for only part of the price Scherzer received to jump to the National League where his ERA will drop, his strike outs will go up, and he'll win 22 games for a couple of seasons. Make no mistake, Scherzer is good and will continue to be for a couple seasons. Seven, doubtful.

Six to One, Odd

One last note, the Nationals are suddenly the darlings to win it all because of their starting rotation. Just a reminder that the Detroit Tigers have had similar expectations for similar reasons and you can count on NO HANDS how many World Series Championships the Tigers have in the last 30 years. And they've had a great rotation for at least five years. Paper does not equate to championships as we have quickly discovered in The D. Baseball is the best example of free market enterprise and I'm proud that a former Tiger just capitalized. The Tigers will replace Scherzer and contend in the Central for another season. They still have a good team. They just might not have the best starting rotation in baseball any longer.

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