The 2015 Tigers Need To Waive The White Flag


The 1997 Chicago White Sox White Flag Trade: On the July 31st trade deadline in 1997, Chicago White Sox management decided to give up on the season, despite being only 3.5 games back in the AL Central. They traded three pitchers from their Opening Day roster, starters Wilson Alvarez and Danny Darwin, along with closer Roberto Hernandez for six prospects from the San Francisco Giants.

They ended up finishing eight games behind the eventual division winning Cleveland Indians.

White Sox players and fans felt abandoned and betrayed . However just three years later in 2000, the Sox won the AL Central with two of the prospects received in the trade, Relief Pitchers Bob Howry and Keith Foulke playing major rolls, including Foulke closing 34 games that regular season. In fact each pitched well during their entire tenure with Chicago, totaling 149 saves between them over a five year stretch.

The White Sox eventually won the World Series in 2005. Although none of the players received were even with the organization when they won it all, the front offices ability to see into the future was evident in 1997.

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The Detroit Tigers havent won the World Series since 1984.

They are currently 12.5 games behind of the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central, who also just so happened to acquire Cincinnati Reds Ace Johnny Cueto for the rest of the season.

They sit 4.5 games out of one of the Wild Card positions, trailing the Orioles, Rays, Blue Jays and current leaders Houston and Minnesota.

They again looked putrid in another must-win game, as they dropped a 5-2 loss to one of the teams above them in the chase, the Tampa Bay Rays in St Petersburg Monday Night.

They are 48-51.

They need to waive the white flag.

The Tigers need to admit its over and move on. But that’s easier said than done, especially when team Owner Mike Illitch is 86 years old and team President and General Manager Dave Dombrowski is on the final year of his contract.

Also, in order for the Tigers to turn a profit each season with the current outrageous payroll, they must put at least 3 million fans in Comerica Park and at host at least two rounds of playoff games. Last season, although winning their 4th consecutive divsion title, the team failed to turn a profit. Forbes reports their operating income at $-20.7 million.

It is unfortunate that dumping players would guarantee a huge loss for the season, but facts are facts.

The way this team is assembled, they have no business attempting to contend this year. They have blown over a half-dozen games to get themselves in this situation, and according to David Price‘s agent, Bo McKinnis, they just plan on waiting it out like something might magically turn around on its own:

"“I have no doubt that Dave’s going to drag it to Thursday or Friday. If I was in his shoes that’s what I would do. This team was set up to win and it’s just kind of hard to throw in the towel.”"

But McKinnis also said that he was not optimistic about Price staying in Detroit, even before the loss to Tampa Bay Monday Night

"“Well, since I made that comment that they need to go 5-3 they’ve actually gone 2-2 and it’s been against two last-place clubs (Seattle and Boston). So it’s kind of hard to say I’m optimistic about us staying”"

It has been widely reported that Price will not be back in a Tigers uniform after this season to begin with, and considering what the Reds got for Johnny Cueto on a “2 month rental”, since he becomes a free agent at the end of this year, the value for Price has gone up even more. Since Price is a lefty with proven playoff experience, the Tigers shouldn’t be waiting around to improve their pathetic farm system any longer.

Next: TigerTalk Podcast: Buyers or sellers?