Detroit Tigers’ Owner Mike Ilitch Won’t Be a Quitter


When’s the last time anyone has seen Detroit Tigers’ owner Mike Ilitch? When’s the last time his name has come up in the midst of the media Tigers buy/sell frenzy?

Make no mistakes about it, if the Tigers’ don’t become sellers in the next seventy-two hours it’s because of Mike Ilitch. It’s been obvious that the Tigers’ owner wants to see a championship before he passes. He has invested heavily in players, facilities, managers and a general manager to make it happen for him. He came close in 2006. Then close again in 2012. And over the past four years his man, Dave Dombrowski, has developed the team that could win this for him and his town.

We should all be so thankful that the Tigers’ are owned by such a passionate fan that is willing to invest not only in the ball club but the city around him to make it better.

Ilitch’s players and managers rally around him. Max Scherzer told Terry Foster last year, “It means a lot to me, and that is not a cliché statement. He puts a lot into this and forces us to be great. He wants the World Series as bad as any of us. When you see the owner show up and show his commitment to the team, that strikes a chord with us. I love it.” Justin Verlander agreed, “I know he cares. He has not just given money, he has given his heart and soul to this franchise and this city. He knows how much this ball club means to the city and in having a winning atmosphere.”

I remember how proud Jim Leyland was in 2012 standing next to him hoisting the American League trophy.

Ilitch has brought the same passion to the Detroit Red Wings who he bought in 1982. The Red Wings have won fifteen divisional championships, six President’s Trophies, six conference titles, twenty four years in a row qualifying for the playoffs and four

Stanley Cups.

He and his family run his business with the same passion. His pizza franchise, Little Caesars, is the fastest growing pizza chain in the world and revolutionized the industry with everyday low prices of the Pizza! Pizza!

Why am I telling you all this? Because Mike Ilitch is a winner. He doesn’t give up. He has never given up.  He bought the “Dead Wings”.  He invested in Detroit when everyone else was running from it including companies like Chrysler and the Detroit Pistons.

Ilitch will not let the 2015 Tigers give up. He will give it his all to make the Tigers win before he moves on. He brought David Price here last year to win. Not to sell. Yoenis Cespedes here to win, not sell. Ian Kinsler. He signed big contracts with Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera.

While Ilitch and Dombrowski may go down in flames this year trying, isn’t that what we want from our owners? This is Detroit. A town that is resilient, tough, and gritty. A town that has endured more than any other town in America. A town that is one of the best places to grow up and live. A town that is one of the best sports towns’ in America. A town that I proudly call my hometown. A town that never gives up.

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Or would we rather have a quitter? That says, “Yeah you know what. You media types are right.  I’ll can it and if I can get something for some pieces this year. I’d rather not go for it.” No matter what, he will reload next year to sign free agents and be back stronger than this year. The man is worth $4.5 billion and he will spend what it takes as he has proven this to bring a World Series to Detroit.

We are so worried about what’s right for this franchise trying to get something for David Price. Let’s not forget that the custodian of this franchise, of Detroit, of the Red Wings, of Little Caesars has always done what’s right for the franchises. He and his team have a vision and a plan. To win. Consistently. Not to give up. They’ve proven that to us and the track record deserves the credibility that we aren’t giving the Ilitch family right now.

Let’s rally around this Tiger team, Ilitch, Dombrowski and show our support. I don’t want to watch meaningless baseball for the next three months. Praying for a rebuild off some trades we make that MIGHT give us a shot in the future. We have a shot now. It might be a stretched shot, but it’s a shot. Better to have a seat at the table then not. No matter what, Ilitch will reload next year. And we’ll have another shot in 2016.

Pizza! Pizza! Thank you Mike Ilitch and the Ilitch family for wanting to win. Thank you for believing in our gritty town that’s full of champions.

Like Tom Cruise said in Risky Business, “Sometimes you gotta say “What the F—“, make your move.”

Next: Tigers floundering, trading pros and cons, shining Casali