Just days after my last blog post, the Tigers went out and did something that made me, and the rest of the blog, sports, and speculative worlds look like morons; they more than replaced Victor Martinez.
There will be days, weeks and months of analysis regarding the merits of this king-sized free agent signing, but one thing is for sure; only time will tell.
Few can argue with the notion that Prince Fielder was simply the best player on the market. He was clearly that, and it was a monumental move.
It’s crazy to me how a bizarre offseason injury, as in the recent one to Victor Martinez, can potentially shape an organization for nearly a decade. But, it appears the VMart injury will be just that for the Detroit Tigers; a game changer. Or more appropriately, the Tiger response to the injury is a game changer.
Whether change comes in the form of long lusted after championships, or a saddling of overpaid and oversized big sluggers, is still to be determined.
A NEW PRINCE IN DETROIT
Prince Fielder, if he performs remotely as he has in seasons past, will be adored in Detroit. Detroit loves its own. Detroit loves someone who “comes home.” Detroit loves someone with ties to the city, and who wants to be here. Most, including myself, didn’t believe Prince Fielder would even daydream about Comerica Park, let alone sign-on to spend the next decade playing in it. But he did. And he will be. Prince Fielder chose Detroit. And let’s face it; Detroit is the gal with a tainted reputation that can certainly use a date to the prom with the handsome sports star.
Detroit got the date. And Prince Fielder is the guy.
BIG FISH IN UNKNOWN POND
How catching the big fish will play out long term is something I can barely even speculate on. And let me reiterate, no one else can do anything more than speculate, either. Prince Fielder could be a massive success, powering the Tigers to years of domination. He really is that good. And with the likes of Cabrera, Verlander, Avila and Fister in tow, it’s hard not to think there will be a whole lot of winning in Motown. But in the next breath, we can also say that this move throws off the balance a bit, weakens an already shaky defense, chews up massive payroll, and does nothing to add to building a team suited for the ballpark; the Tigers are one of the slower teams in MLB, and play in one of the more expansive ballparks.
All of that stuff may be true; good or bad. It’s all just speculation. I don’t know, any more than Mike Illitch or Dave Dombrowski, if this latest risky business will pay off; but I do know the speculation will be fun, and the move will provide endless conversations, blogs, and yelling on sports radio. And I guess in cold January, all we can really ask for is something to ignite the baseball fire.