Wednesday, January 30, 2008

As a Tigers fan who's still bitter over the 1987 playoffs...

...Pardon me for not feeling sorry for Twins fans over the awful trade of Johan Santana.

Yes, I still hold a grudge over all the nightmarish experiences the Tigers have suffered in the Homer/Baggie/Hefty/Metrodome. It's nice to revel in a little schafenfreude...

But from a Tigers fan point of view, even better than delighting in the Twins misfortune is the fact the AL Central officially became a 2 team race as of yesterday afternoon.

This trade is the equivalent of the Tigers getting Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, yet not giving up Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin. The Twinkies didn't even get the Mets' best prospect! The Minnesota front office out and out blew it when they didn't jump all over either the Yankees or Red Sox offers during the winter meetings.

My first though about the Santana trade? GOOD RIDDANCE!

I've said in the past that I don't buy the "We can't compete in a small market" BS. Have you ever known of any team owner that isn't personally rolling around in obscene amounts of greenbacks? This is what I said last August about Twins owner Scrooge McDuck Carl Pohlad...

Same goes for other hack owners, like small market poster boy Carl Pohlad of the Twins, who has a net worth over $2.6 BILLION, yet runs his team as if they live on poverty row. In actuality, the Twins have been one Hell of a good investment for the miserly Pohlad. He bought the Twinkies for the relative pittance of $44 million in 1984. They are now worth an estimated $288 million! That's well within the lower half of MLB, but nothing to sneeze at, either.

The cheapskate won't pay (Soon to be) free agent Johan Santana what the market rate is bound to be for a multiple Cy Young award winner, or ignore contract slotting, which would have allowed the Twins to possibly draft Santana's eventual replacement. (Because he is going to leave...)

Pohlad toes the MLB line, though he has deeper pockets than Scrooge McDuck, Hank Scorpio, and Daddy Warbucks combined. Please, I don't want to hear any "Woe is us" whining, from anyone other than frustrated fans...

Sure, Minnesota did ink Justin Morneau (Good signing) and Michael Cuddyer ($24 million for him?) to nice extensions, but they are still relatively early in their careers, thus somewhat affordable. I think it's safe to say, going by Pohlad's penny pinching track record, they won't be Twins when their next contract comes around.

The Twins are supposedly building their team to seriously compete in 2010, when their new stadium will be ready. Thing is, who knows what will happen in 2 seasons? Twins fans best hope at least a couple of the prospects received from the Mets pan out, let alone those currently in their system don't decline, or 2010 won't mean a damn thing. There's plenty of teams who have tried the same plan, only to have it backfire.

We Detroit fans remember when the Tigers were supposedly building for 2000, and the opening of Comerica Park. Unfortunately, the young core of players they locked into long-term deals turned out, to put it bluntly, suck. (Damion Easley, anyone?) 2000 ended up as the high water mark for that core of players, finishing all of 79-83.

It was an ugly, horrific downward spiral from then on. It took another 6 seasons for the Tigers to recover...Thanks to their finally spending money. Lots of money. Money not only on free agents, but in their farm system, on draft picks, the front office, and on their own players.

The American League has become a Cold War style arms race. If you want to compete with the superpowers, you stockpile weapons. You sure as Hell don't give them away for a relative pittance, hoping that you develop fancy new weapons over the next few years.

I'm thrilled the Tigers no longer operate with the same philosophy as the Twins. They are playing to win, and win now, (Yet still keeping one eye on the future) rather than crossing their fingers, and maybe, if everything goes right, winning in 2 or 3 seasons.

1 comment:

  1. Johan Santana-less Twinkies.


    He is going to murder the National League.