Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The 5 words Tiger fans DO NOT want to hear...

Ilitch to get more involved.

This is not good...

In no specific order, here's some of the other "Wonderful" things that happened when the pizza man (and I'm being generous calling it "Pizza") felt the need to get more involved...

Signed Randy Smith. Some "Boy Wonder" GM he turned out to be. Theo Epstein, he was not. A drunk Morris Buttermaker could have put together a better organization, and recognized more talent.

Let Tiger Stadium rot to help in his push to build Comerica Park. I admit that Comerica is wonderful, (as long as you don't sit along the third base/right field line during a day game, to do so is tempting sunstroke) and the Tigers needed a new stadium. But his regime, along with the city, let Tiger Stadium become a massive eyesore, even before it's closure. Why on earth is it still standing?

Illich was considered the prime force behind the trade for Juan Gone. Ilitch wanted a big name in the lineup for the opening of Comerica, no matter how much baggage they brought. And Juan Gone brought several steamer trunks worth. Could you imagine the shennigans that would be happening at Comerica today if Juan Gone signed the Illich approved 7 year, 144 million dollar contract? It would have been the highest of high comedy. We'd still be hearing the comedy stylings of "Latin American Liason," aka Juan's lapdog, Luis Mayoral, right Ian?

The Tigers remain unable (or outright refuse, depending on the source) to get a decent cable and OTA TV contract, leaving small market teams such as Tampa Bay and Kansas City with more televised games. 114 TV games is just unaccpectable in a top 10 media market. Actually, it's worse than unaccpectable, it's outright stupid and shortsighted. The Tigers have lost one generation of fans due to their on the field ineptitude, they will lose the next with their strange off the field media moves. Which leads to...

In a show of pure greed, an out and out cash grab, Ilitch leaves the Tigers long time radio home, the 35 state blowtorch signal of 50K watt powerhouse WJR, for the much much much much much lower powered WXYT. I sincerely believe that the WXYT transmitter is powered by 2 asthmatic hamsters and a rubber band. WXYT then powers down to 1 hamster at night. Remember all the hullabaloo we heard from the Tigers that Infinity, as part of getting the contract, was supposed to increase WXYT's signal? They did increase it to a daytime 50K, but it's so directional you still can't get a good signal 20 miles out of the D. Forget about listening to a Tiger night game unless you live within a Dmitri Young throw of their transmitter.

Allowed the debacle of 2003 to happen by demanding the reduction of payroll. Remember, Detroit is a top 10 market, and Ilitch was behaving as if Detroit was a small market team. To let a respected charter member of the American League to become a national laughingstock is unforgivable. What happened in the 119 loss 2003 season was just wrong on every level, and the ultimate responsibility falls on Ilitch. Utterly despicable...

Inflicted the evil that was Denise Ilitch upon the world. The pizza man then let her run roughshod through the Tigers organization, poisoning everything and everyone she touched, nearly running the Tigers into the ground.

Hired John McHale, Jr. as President and CEO of the Tigers, whose only seeming responsibility was to get Comerica Park built, everything else be damned. And everything else was.

Some of the other mind boggling contracts that were Ilitch approved: Tim Belcher, Mike Moore, Damion Easley, Bobby Higginson, Dean Palmer, Pudge Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez. He's never seemed to learn that it's not a good idea to bid against yourself.

Possibly the pizza man's worst crime was not allowing Sparky Anderson to leave on his own terms. The face of the Tigers for nearly 2 decades did not deserve to be unceremoniously shoved out the clubhouse door. The fact that Sparky's number has not been retired is asinine. Even the Pistons have remained somewhat civil with Isiah Thomas, retiring his number and his name being placed on the court, regardless of the Isiah/Bill Davisdon split. You'd think the Tigers organization would prefer us to forget about the Sparky years, considering the lack of recognition the man has received.

So Mr. Ilitch, I repsectfully ask that you stay as far away from Dave Dombrowski and the Detroit Tigers front office as humanly possible. I'd prefer that you concentrate on making Little Caesars pizza platable for human consumption. Or work on building a new arena to replace The Joe, which currently has all the charm of Hitler's bunker. Post WWII... Anything but concentrate on the Tigers.

Please, I'm begging you...


  1. Thank God!!!! I think that Illitch should just sell the tigers to someone who understands baseball! Or at least he should learn that there are fans who want to watch the Tigers play not just whoever they're playing. Too bad we just can't get rid of them all.

  2. I like Little Caesars Pizza, is there something wrong with me?

  3. I think you give the Joe too much credit, Al.

  4. I had a similarly visceral reaction to those same five words.

    What a comprehensive recap of the Ilitch ownership reign. I think the TV package is particularly embarrassing right now, but each of those stumbles on its own is infuriating. Great job, Big Al.

  5. Man, what a wonderful recap and a great way to remind me how much I love Tigers baseball!

    The scary thing is, the man seems so damn stubborn that I just get the feeling he will never sell until he gets a winner here, but I don't see that happening yet!

    I do like Dombroski, and when he is allowed to do his job without the threat of being beaten by crazy bread, he seems to do admirable work. The minor leagues finally seem to have something there, not just a bunch of bodies, but actual players with major league potential!

    Also, just to make you feel better there sports pig, although there is better pizza out there I still do like the $5 "hot and nasty" pizza, no better beer drinking, just need something in my stomach, pit stop then that!

  6. When I was directing Detroit Jr. Red Wings games on TV back in the day, I ordered our pre-game crew meal, from Joe Louis Arena, to be delivered. Not thinking where I was, I ordered....Domino's Pizza!

    You've never seen such a reaction, from the crew or the workers at the Joe, who didn't allow the Domino's guy anywhere near the door.

    It was quite funny, actually. I took a lot of ribbing about that.

  7. As you ahould have, Eno, as you should have...

    I have nothing against cheap pizza guys. I've done the same more often than I'd care to count, as a 5 buck pizza and a couple of beers is dinner for 2 days...

    But the last time I bought one of those pizza pizza deals was 4-5 years ago. It was during their Red Wings "Grind Line" bobblehead promo. My GF was a puck bunny, so I picked up some Little Cesaers for dinner so I could surprise her with a (then) must have Kris Draper bobblehead. Like I said, she was a puck bunny, and you know how they were when it came to Draper, Maltby, and Osgood... But I digress...

    She loved the bobblehead, but the pizza was basically cardboard with spaghetti sauce on it. It wasn't fit for an animal, let alone human consumption. Never ordered from the pizza man again.

  8. Ilitch Sucks!

    Tigers should never have left Tiger Stadium for Co Suckica Park and Sparky should have his number retired