Multiple Most Valuable Player trophies.
A staff full of past, present and future Cy Young Award winners.
The first Triple Crown — either equine or human — since Affirmed.
Bookend Rookie of the Year right-handed aces.
More Silver Slugger awards than Jim Leyland cigarette butts.
The Detroit Tigers from 2006 to 2017 featured a smorgasbord of future Hall of Famers (Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Max Scherzer?) and All-Stars (David Price, Victor Martinez, JD Martinez, Justin Upton, etc.) seldom accumulated on one team in a single decade of baseball.
And in the end it’s all going to be meaningless.
As hollow as Dan Leach’s head.
Because it has become abundantly clear over the last month of this season that the past decade of Tigers baseball is going to join the ash heap of history alongside the early 90s Buffalo Bills and the late 90s Cleveland Indians. A total waste of time. A blue-balling, dick-tease that would make the adult establishments on 8 Mile blush.
The Tigers returned home this evening coming off a disastrous 1-6 road trip that solidified the notion that this historically advantaged franchise will never replicate the success of the 1984 team. And if it’s not bad enough that Mike Ilitch, Dave Dombrowski, Leyland and Brad Ausmus wasted a collection of talent unparalleled in Major League Baseball over the last ten plus years, the stark reality that this all occurred with a budget edge over their division rivals rarely seen in the annals of professional sports makes this shit show even more incomprehensible.
It would be one thing to have wasted the entire careers of first ballot Hall of Famers like Miggy and JV and gone without a parade, jewelry or an early morning championship memorabilia sale at Dunham’s without the bitter pill to swallow that this all of this occurred while the Tigers resided in the AL Central. The biggest waste of talent since the movie “Out of the Furnace.”
A division — mind you — that for years basically laid down and requested the Tigers sodomize it.
Just take a look at the Tigers’ payroll advantage over their Central rivals over the last few seasons …..
Tigers — $200 Million
Closest Central Rival (Indians) — $124 Million
$76 Million Advantage Over Next Highest Spending Team
Tigers — $172 Million
Closest Central Rival (Royals)– $112 Million
$60 Million Advantage Over Next Highest Spending Team
Tigers — $173 Million
Closest Central Rival (White Sox) — $115 Million
$58 Million Advantage Over Next Highest Spending Team
Tigers — $162 Million
Closest Central Rival (Royals) — $92 Million
$70 Million Advantage Over Next Highest Spending Team
Tigers — $148 Million
Closest Central Rival (Royals) — $81 Million
$67 Million Advantage Over Next Highest Spending Team
Tigers — $132 Million
Closest Central Rival (White Sox) — $96 Million
$36 Million Advantage Over Next Highest Spending Team
Over the last six seasons, the Tigers have had an average of a SIXTY-ONE million dollar payroll advantage over their closest AL Central foe and they’ve turned that into absolutely NOTHING. Now, you can say that money doesn’t buy championships (which is kind of like stating money doesn’t buy happiness — but it sure does help) but when you have that kind of head start EVERY SEASON for over half a decade you’d think you could parlay that into ONE title!!!!!
The rest of the division is spotting you a Cabrera and a Verlander (in their primes) every god-damn year and you still can’t get it done ONE TIME?
Look, I am not here to write an autopsy of the 2006-2017 Tigers. Fuck, ya don’t have to be Dr. Ljubisa Dragovic to figure out that Dombrowski’s stubborn refusal to ever go all-in on fixing the bullpen was this team’s thermal exhaust port.
Not that it was the only issue though. There are a litany of reasons why we are going on 33 years without a Woodward celebration. Here’s a mere sampling:
- Believing that Jeff Baker was the fix in right field in 2012.
- Not firing Leyland after the Gerald Laird 0-for-6, 10 LOB in Game 163 of 2009 which followed an epic September collapse which meant Cancer Stick was still the manager during the 2013 ALCS when he prematurely pulled Scherzer on two occasions and completely botched the bullpen leading to David Ortiz’s assassination of Torii Hunter.
- The ignominious Tiger careers of Jarrod Washburn and Aubrey Huff.
- Trading Doug Fister at the end of 2013 for two prospects who weren’t ready to contribute in 2014 and then dealing one of them (Robbie Ray) before he turned into one of the best pitchers in the National League.
And this list could go on and on before I even mentioned the complete failure of the scouting department to procure any help from the entry draft, or trading Eugenio Suarez (currently 18th in the NL in WAR) away for a murdering slob. Allegedly.
And since I mentioned Scherzer, where was THIS guy when Leyland went to pull him in 2013?
We never got to see THAT Max because Mike Ilitch decided to bitterly lowball the current best pitcher in all of baseball a few years ago when Scherzer had the audacity to properly gauge his market status.
Remember this gem?
“It irked me. Forget about him.”
I hope that money you saved by not paying Max is keeping you warm in the graveyard, MISTER ILITCH!!!!! I mean, it might be easy for you to forget about him because you’re dead, but the rest of us still have to witness Scherzer taking no-hitters into the seventh inning on the regular while Jordan Zimmermann gets lit up like the Vegas Strip.
Oh yeah, and speaking of that huge monetary advantage we’ve enjoyed over the last decade, that’s going away also. Because Chris Ilitch doesn’t want to do everything possible to provide long suffering Tigers fans with the elixir we need. So J.D. Martinez any day now will be in a better situation (like Scherzer) while Chris prepares to open Little Caesars Arena down the street from Comerica Park.
On the backs of taxpayers to the tune of $250 million in a bankrupt city with broken down schools while Ilitch and his family enjoy a reported net worth of 6.5 billion dollars. It basically boils down to this: The upcoming reduction in Tigers payroll to Chris Ilitch is the equivalent of you and Zoe purchasing a package of Skittles.
That’s what we have to look forward to. The pending teardown of this organization with jack shit to show for it except maybe a “We Own the Central” towel to cry into.
Nope. We don’t own the Central any longer. We’ve been evicted by a team from CLEVELAND that’s doing it at a fraction of the cost.
HAVE I CHEERED YOU UP YET?!?!??!?!??
Well, look on the bright side …..
At least you didn’t have to pay $5 a month for this article.
(You can follow Moss on Twitter @JeffMossDSR. You can discuss this article on Facebook by clicking here. You can also go fuck yourself if you’d like. Totally up to you.)