Detroit Tigers Links: Departure of Legendary Don Kelly; Scherzer fall-out

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It was a stunning loss and defection from the Detroit Tigers late Sunday night. A player we all thought would be with us, enchanting our lives for years to come.

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Tigers’ fandom bid a reluctant farewell to one of the best players in franchise history when Max Scherz—errr, I mean Don Kelly silently signed a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite leaving Detroit fans in a lurch.

We will outline the loss of Don Kelly and the sudden absence of good, #DonnyDeeds in the Detroit area in our final link, but first we outline some fallout from the Max Scherzer signing with Washington.

It’s worth noting that Kelly allowed his move to be announced just about an hour before Max’s was announced. Never wanting to take away some one else’s thunder, he went first. That’s the Donnie Kelly we’ll all miss.

I greatly agree with Rob Neyer when he discusses the Nationals not being much better off in 2015 with the acquisition of Scherzer. Starting pitching was already one of their strengths and we saw how well that worked in Detroit after adding David Price. Washington will be good, but they would have been good without opening up Fort Knox for Max and Scott Boras.

Before crying about Donnie, we look at Jeff Jones. The man who helped Scherzer and Justin Verlander make more than $400 million between them and how seeing Max leave is bittersweet.

Nationals won’t be better with Max Scherzer – Rob Neyer, Just a Bit Outside

"See, the Washington Nationals do not have much room to get better. Definitely not a ton better. Last season they won 96 games and racked up the best run differential in the National League. As I am sure you know, teams that do that sort of thing usually fall off a bit the next season, despite their best efforts to get even better.More to our specific situation, the National€™ starting pitchers were OUTSTANDING last season, leading the majors with a 3.04 ERA. Could they pitch even better next season? Sure! Strange things happen every year. But all five of the National starters were good or great last season, and at this point it€™ is hardly apparent which of them will lose his job to Scherzer."

Jeff Jones on Scherzer deal: It’s bittersweet – Jason Beck, Beck’s Blog

"[Jones] thought back to 2012, when Scherzer was still a young pitcher with great stretches but struggling for consistency.“We sat down one day and we looked at a lot of film,” Jones recalled. “I had seen in Spring Training that he’d held his hands back a little too far.”So in the middle of the season, they went to work on resetting his mechanics, keeping Scherzer’s hands in the middle of his delivery.“What it does,” Jones said, “is allow yourself to stay on target a little bit longer.”Scherzer had an 8-5 record and a 4.72 ERA at the All-Star break that year. He went 8-2 with a 2.69 ERA from that point on. Add that into his remarkable two-year run, and he’s 47-11 with a 2.97 ERA over the last 2 1/2 seasons, with 425 hits and 602 strikeouts over 525 innings.In the process, Scherzer vaulted from a talented, mercurial young starter to one of the top starting pitchers in the league. With a seven-year contract from the Nationals, he’ll now be one of the highest-paid players in the game as well."

Don Kelly signs minor-league deal with Marlins – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press

"He considers the city a second home – “Definitely going to miss Detroit,” he said in a text message – and that joining the Marlins was a better fit for him, which was the deciding factor.Kelly is a career .232 hitter with 23 home runs and 95 RBIs. His finest moments as a Tiger came in the postseason.In Game 5 of the 2011 American League Division Series against the Yankees, Kelly, penned into manager Jim Leyland‘s lineup in the No. 2 hole, hit a solo home run in the first inning of the Tigers’ 3-2 win.In Game 2 of the ALDS against the A’s the next season, he entered the game as pinch runner in the bottom of the eighth inning, scored the tying run and drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly."

Next: Inside the numbers of Max Scherzer's crazy deal

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