Monday, July 04, 2005

It isn't the end of the world

As the Tigers slide away from .500, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1) This team lost 119 games in 2003. We're less than 2 full seasons removed from one of the worst teams in the modern history of baseball. Remaking them into a contender won't happen overnight, especially without a salary cap. They went from 43 wins to 72 wins last year and will likely end up with somewhere around 77-80 wins this year which is an improvement.

2) The organization has greatly improved their level of talent the past 2 years. They have some actual prospects now. Heck, you can watch Justin Verlander start tonight against the Tribe as he aims to end the losing streak in his MLB debut. The young pitchers in particular are spectacular and should continue to improve for years to come.

3) Mike Illitch has shown a willingness to spend $$$$ to make them competitive and he has said he will continue to do so. Throw in a GM that actually knows what he is doing and it's a safe bet that they will improve every offseason. I'd look for at least 1-2 acquisitions this offseason with annual salaries of at least $15 million combined. Guys like Jason Johnson and Rondell White and Dmitri Young don't have a long term future with the Tigers, so they'll probably look to add another SP, a big bat in the OF, and perhaps some bullpen help.

The last time the Tigs future was this bright was a LONG time ago, probably the 1980s. For die hards, wins can't come fast enough, but try to be patient because the wait will definitely be worth it.


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