Monday, February 27, 2006

I have seen the saviour, and thy name is Magglio

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's thrilled that Magglio Ordonez has all but placed the upcoming WBC on the backburner. Untill the Venezuelan pressure becomes overwhelming, anway. Maggs seems committed to becoming the All-Star player he was before his knee and hernia injuries, and he's afraid the WBC will interfere. This may be the best news to come out of Lakeland all spring. That, and the fact that Dmitiri Young weighs less than 3 bills, but that's another post...

If there is one player the Tigers desperately need to perform at an elite level, it's Ordonez. It's been over a decade since the Tigers had a serious power bat in the middle of the order. Think about it. What does an actual, true to life cleanup hitter look like wearing a Detroit uniform? It's been so long, I don't remember. I'm not talking about a Dean Palmer type, who would have been much more effective at 5 or 6 in the order, but a bad ass, clear the bases weapon. Someone who can put up a 35-40 HR's, 120+ ribbies, .900 OPS kind of season. There is only one player on the roster who is capable of those numbers. That someone is Magglio.

Looking back, a long way back, the last truly feared Tiger hitter was Cecil Fielder. The Tigers have had players that put up nice numbers for a year or two since, but no one you would could call a "Presence." We've seen far too many of our share of so-called "Professional hitters." Remember Greg Jefferies, Bip Roberts, Greg Norton, Craig Paquette, Juan Gone? Unfortunately, they were so bad, it would take a spoon dug into the frontal lobe to fully forget them...

For the first time since the those early 90's teams led Fielder, Mickey Tettelton, Travis Fryman, and Tony Phillips, the Tiger lineup looks...formidable? Seriously. If, and that's a big if, their health holds up, (Maggs, Carlos Guillen) a few heads are on straight, (Dmitri Young, Pudge Rodriguez), live up to their considerable potential, (Chris Shelton, Curtis Granderson), and just plain hit as anticpated, (Brandon Inge, Craig Monroe, Placido Polanco) the Tigers should have no trouble scoring runs. But it's Magglio who will make the offense more than just above average.

All the players I mentioned, if they hit 20 dingers, it's a huge season. If Magglio hits 20, we're in for a long 6 months, and out of the race by the All-Star break. Again.

You want to know the most compelling reason I'd love to see Magglio Ordonez have a huge year? It's more than just wanting the Tigers to win, because that's a given. It's not due to the expecations his huge contract brings. So what is that reason? To make Ozzie Guillen shut up and eat a few choice words. There's a man that needs to be knocked down more than a few pegs. You think Maggs is thinking that same exact thing? Trust me, he is...

2 comments:

  1. Great post! I was very happy to see Maggs turn down the offer as well, at least for now. He is healthy and I know he wants to show that he deserves the big contract. A hungry Ordonez will go along away toward making the Tigers respectable again.

    Like you said, alot of pieces have to fall into place, but the talent is there. A little bit of luck, some health and Leyland leading the way, the Tigers could be the White Sox of 2006!

    Of course pitching remains a question mark, but hey, one can dream!

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  2. I highly doubt Maggs ever puts up 35-40 HRs in a Detroit uniform. He only topped 32 HRs once in Chicago's super home run friendly stadium. Now he's older and playing in a very unfriendly park for RH power hitters. He's a good player, but not a star anymore.

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