Money money money money … money!

Admit it, you knew the Tigers had joined baseball’s big spenders, but you didn’t realize they were THIS far up:

For the first time, the Tigers, who obtained Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera in a trade with Florida this offseason, are second in baseball at a total payroll of $138.7 million, $5.3 million higher than the defending World Series champion Red Sox ($133.4 million). The Mets were third overall and tops in the National League at $138.3 million.

Now, to be fair, the Red Sox payroll doesn’t include all the money spent in the bidding war for Dice-K two winters ago. But consider this: Boston spent to keep Mike Lowell and Curt Schilling (albeit at a decent rate on Schilling), and they still got passed by the Tigers.

I’m interested to hear about Tigers fans look at this. Detroit has always been the team that tried to beat up on the high-payroll clubs. Detroit fans would taunt New York fans in 2006. Now they’re one of those big-spending clubs that other teams’ fans love to hate. If you’re a Detroit fan, is this an awkward place to be in while you root on your team?

12 Comments

Uh………..no comment. :-)
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It’s too bad this is the way it has to be, but this is the way it has to be. Is it awkward? Yes, in my view. My favorite game shirt is a T that says “I was a Tiger fan long before 2006.” It’s always a big hit and draws positive attention, even in visiting ballparks. The end result of the high payroll is it sets the team up to fail, unless they get into the WS. That’s difficult for me to handle because my goal has always been to get into the postseason, then see how you do. Anything more is asking too much, and is the reason some Yankees fans look upon their teams as failures.
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Last September in Cleveland is my first time as a Tigers fan being the “hated enemy.” As I posted here at the time, I didn’t like it. But I’m admittedly old school and others may have a different view of it all.
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–Rich

Well, I new that we were close to being in that realm, but I did not know that we would pass up the Red Soxs and the Mets. And like Rich it does kinda bug me a little bit. I remember being at those Yankee games during the 2006 and people really being proud of the differencial in salaries.

That being said I would much rather be in the position of having an owner that cared enough to spend the money than being an owner like Florida Marlins that won’t spend a dime on his team. I think Mr Illitch wants to do right now whatever it takes to win and do well. But like Rich am a little concerned that they could be setting themselves up to fail.

GO TIGERS

We are presented with a dichotomy here. When Illitch bought the club, then, during the Randy Smith as GM years, Illitch wanted to sell the club and keep Comerica Park, once it was approved. With no takers for the club, Smith kept making deals until he was unceremoniously dumped along with Phil Garner. David Dombrowski is an adept baseball man, and knows how to build a team(he’s done it three times).
Although much is being made of the Tigers expanding payroll recently, look at the progress the team has made. Dombrowski has added a quality player every year since 2004, beginning with Ivan Rodriguez. He avoided the #1
stars and got the next best, avoiding much of the baggage that an A-Rod or Miguel Tejada would briing.
That said, I’ll still root for the Tabbies, regardless of who hates them. Tigers’ players were signed for their abilities and a few justifiable risks, not to keep a contender from acquiring them.
I’ve never agreed with Jim Leyland’s micromanaging of the bullpen, especially with Rodney and Zumaya on the DL, because there’s a certain “no-brainer” attitude that accompanies them when they’re both 100%,but, when they get healthy, you can’t beat a championship team for making money.

Well, I thought were were #3 on the list behind NY and the BoSox, so I guess I am alittle surprised at the #2 ranking. I don’t have a problem with it. It is a result of the economic environment of baseball today. Unless it is one of those rare teams, you have to spend it to make it to the playoffs and win on a constant basis.

Anyway, I am looking forward to today’s game. Obviously it won’t be on tv here in Cleveland, but I will have the game up on foxsports.com and ‘watch’ the game progress on here.

Let’s GO TIGERS – take it to em’

I’ve been thinking about TJs statments on Opening Day and another possible way to see them is this. TJ is the most veteran guy in the bullpen and as a closer sees himself as the leader of the ‘pen. You know your guys are under scrutiny, and you know your guys weren’t exactly “perfect” in the game and the media is going to be all over it. (For the record, I also believe it was not the ‘pen but the lack of timely hitting, etc. that lost this game.) Baseball is a very mental game and you have 161 more games to play (they certainly aren’t out of the playoffs). As a leader you have to find some way (albeit even a small way) to keep your guys’ heads from dropping lower and lower. TJ comments to the media may also serve to instill some confidence in the ‘pen. Having your veteran closer sticking up for you telling the media to knock it off can sometimes do wonders for keeping heads in the game. These guys have to belive in themselves and in each other. I know they are professionals, etc. etc., but that doesn’t mean they aren’t human. I don’t know, but as a leader, I certainly would have done the exact same thing.

As far as the payroll goes, I don’t mind that they have spent so much and have bypassed the Red Sox. As long as the Tigers remain fun to watch and they don’t start getting egos bigger than the park. I want feel that these guys still love the game for what it is…..baseball…. not $138.7 million. That’s why I don’t like the Yankees – it’s about the money, not the game. However, I don’t foresee JL allowing that to happen.

I’m so glad baseball season has started!!!

I should saw, the feeling from watching the Yankees is that it’s about the money not the game of baseball :)

The spending of the money is not a huge deal for me. It’s actually a breath of fresh air to see management want to win now. My worry is that it may backfire, being a fan that has been there through the hard times, I’m very nervous knowing that this should be the time that we have all been waiting for! I know that there is a whole season to be played, but until they are playing in October I will be nervous. No doubt they can be, I am so glad the season is here and we will get to see if the the big bucks are worth it!

From MLBtraderumors.com:
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“Tigers Eyeing Chad Cordero?
Today, April 02, 2008, 7 minutes ago | Tim Dierkes
Matt Palmer and John Keim of the Washington Examiner write that the Nationals and Tigers discussed Chad Cordero this spring. Their source believes the Tigers’ interest will heighten if their bullpen struggles early on. The article doesn’t cover suggest it, but the Tigers could also consider relievers Jon Rauch or Luis Ayala. A look at the three:

Cordero, 26, earns $6.8MM in ’08. He’ll be a free agent after the ’09 season. Cordero hasn’t pitched yet this season due to shoulder tendinitis, and he wasn’t at his typical velocity in spring. His control was off in ’07 and he was more hittable than ever. Jim Bowden won’t get full value if he trades Cordero soon.
Rauch, 29, earns $1.2MM in ’08, $2MM in ’09, and has a $2.9MM club option for ’10. He showed the best control of his career in ’07, and he’s second in line for saves in Washington. He has more trade value than Cordero – he’s completely healthy and signed cheaply.
Ayala, 30, earns $1.7MM in ’08 and then reaches free agency. He may not be a fit for Detroit – he pitches to contact, and their bullpen already has those types. Ayala had Tommy John surgery in March of ’06.”
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Test of hyperlink: [URL=http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/]Test Link[URL]

The Tigers have been tied to interest in Rauch before. As for Cordero, if he’s dealing with shoulder tendinitis, comes up sore when he’s warming up in the bullpen as he did Sunday night, and his velocity has been down all spring, why would anybody trade for him? The other problem, obviously, is that Jim Bowden tends to ask for a lot in trades. Otherwise, Alfonso Soriano might’ve been in a Tiger uniform for the World Series in ’06.

Jason, can you tell us how we can input a hyperlink to our posts?
Thanks

To be honest, it does bug me. I (and other Tiger fans) took a lot of pride in our team in 2006 for having a low payroll and a great team– a scrappy, hard-playing blue collar team instead of the high-and-mighty Yankees et. al., who suddenly didn’t seem so high-and-mighty after all. If we do well, I don’t want people to say we bought the championship. If we do poorly…well, it will be even uglier. Winning is the main goal, so I’m not complaining…

Yes, it does bother me.

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