I read a piece today by the Cleveland-based blog Waiting for Next Year. You might remember them as the guys who reported that Tom Izzo going to the Cavs was a done deal, even though he decided to stay at MSU.
Today, someone hiding behind the initials “TD” penned a piece that called out Miguel Cabrera as a whiner. Not only does the author call out Cabrera, but he refers to Brandon Inge and Johnny Damon the same way, although the examples he cites actually don’t show any kind of whining at all. Unless you consider Inge expressing his desire to return to Detroit next year or Damon’s choosing to stay with the Tigers instead of accepting a trade to Boston as whining. I don’t, but again, whatever.
“TD” closes with this as his big finish:
See Tribe fans, things could be worse. The Tigers are actually the Indians right now, except their payroll is double.
And they want to pick up Jhonny Peralta’s $7.5 million option for next year and attempt to play him at shortstop.
Yep. That’s what he said. The Tigers are actually the Indians, but with a higher payroll. I mean I suppose I would be bitter, too, if I had to watch my favorite team trade away CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and Victor Martinez in the span of 12 months. But if the Tigers were actually the Indians, their owner would have ponied up the cash needed to retain a star player or two.
Which is worse, spending boatloads of cash and being a good team, but not making the playoffs? Or choosing to sell off your best players year after year, and making a nice profit while battling the Royals for the cellar? I’d rather be the franchise that actually tries to win.
They traded Sabathia in a walk year, I understand. After all, they still had Lee anchoring their staff. But they then traded Lee with a year and a half left on his deal. In the same situation, the Tigers kept their ace and signed him to a long-term contract. You can say what you want about some of the deal that Dave Dombrowski and Mike Ilitch have handed out, but one thing you must admit is that they have not been stingy when it comes to trying to put the best possible team on the field.
And that’s why, despite a failing economy that plagues both cities, the Tigers routinely play in front of crowds of 25,000-30,000 fans, while the Indians can barely reach five figures on many nights.
Franchises like Cleveland can compete in their market. They have shown they can. This is a team that was one win away from going to the World Series in 2007. Their owner chose their path and now the fans are angry. I get it, I would be too.
That fact is that the markets in which the Tigers and Indians compete are not terribly different. The Indians choose to be lumped in with the small market clubs while the Tigers choose to spend with the big boys. As a result, the Tigers have put a more competitive product on the field lately, while the Indians have fielded a team of prospects, by and large.
And as far as the Peralta thing is concerned. I, for one at least, certainly do hope the Tigers exercise that option and play him at short next year. The production he has provided since coming to the Tigers more than makes up for any limitations he has defensively. And by the way, Peralta’s actually done a very good job at short with the Tigers, as well.
So Indians fans are laughing at us, huh? That’s cool, I guess. All of baseball has been laughing at them since 1948. Keep waiting. Maybe it’ll happen someday, if your owner ever decides he’d rather spend some money and try to win some games.