If you could have a "do over..."

It's always fun to talk about what the Tigers should do. I thought it might be fun to look at your thoughts on actions they took in the past.

Let's look at the players in the playoffs who were once Tigers. All things considered, (what they gave up in talent, or cash or failure to sign) would you make this deal again today?

Of course this isn't easy. For example, failure to re-sign Johnny Damon. What would it have cost us? Who knows? So indulge me, and as always, I'm open to (and welcome) criticism and corrections.

Now where it's really tricky: because I can only phrase the question in a certain way, I'll ask you: given the commentary below, would you still make the deal? (Voting next to the player's name indicates a yes. Not voting for that player means "NO.") You can vote "for" making the trade on all the players, or none, I just ask you to refrain from voting more than once on the same player.

Here we go:


CURTIS GRANDERSON: In six years he led the leage in triples twice, earned a Gold Glove, hit a total .272 overall. He was hobbled by a few injuries in 2010, but still turned in a decent year. The Tigers traded Granderson last winter in a three-way deal, getting Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, Phil Coke and Dan Schlereth.

Jackson has shown tremendous promise both in center and with the bat. But late in the season he showed some rookie mistakes at the plate. Can he survive a sophomore jinx?

Sherzer pitched O.K. last year, arguably his best in the majors, at 12-11, with a 3.5 ERA. Perhaps his best aspect is that he's young enough (25) to get better, but 2011 will be the his "arbitration year," and his agent is Scott "Finger Down My Throat" Boras.

Phil Coke did OK, with a 3.76 ERA last year. Didn't he do mostly long relief, or set-up? Not exactly the exciting part of tghe pitching staff. He too will be arbitration eligible next year.

What happened to Dan Schlereth? He only pitched 18 innings last year, had a decent ERA. Did he get hurt? Tick somebody off and get banished to Nashville or Lakeland?


The Commissioner's Opinion: The jury's still out. We got about 1,000 lbs. of ball players for one fine player in Granderson. At first, I said this was a terrible deal; now I'll go as far as saying Jackson might be an All-Star someday, and one of these pitchers might turn out to be something.


Say what you will about Cody, he's no "overnight sensation." In fact, he kinda reminds me of a major league version of Crash Davis.

I think the Tigers gave him every chance they could. They drafted him in in the fourth round in 1999, and he didn't make the bigs until 2003, when he hit .211 in six games, before being returned to the Toledo as damaged goods. The next year, the Tigers traded him for pitcher Steve Coyler. Yep, Steve "Cy Young" Coyler.

But ol' Cody persisted. Over the next five years, he played with nine teams (mostly Florida)compiling an astounding .265 average with 86 dingers.


COMMISSIONER'S OPINION: You bet I would. Tiger's wasted a fourth round pick in '99, and they were well off to get rid of him when they did. He's been hot lately, but he's never stayed hot long. They made the right call in letting him go.


The Tigers gave Ramon Martinez and Ugueth Urbina in 2005 to get Polanco, and he had some very productive years for them (although he commanded a hefty $4.6 million salary through 2009 when they let him go to the Phillies as a free agent. At 34 he's getting long in the tooth.


COMMISSIONER'S OPINION: In a second, a good deal on both ends. We picked him up for next to nothing, paid him dearly, and then sent him and his pay checks to Philadelphia.


This is a tough call. Widely hailed as "the strongest guy in the majors" MT just didn't have the numbers to lift his $2.2 million salary after the 2009 season, and the Tigers let him go to the Yankees as a free agent. (Six years with the Tigers, only twice hitting above .250, and getting more than 20 HRs.)

We signed him as a free agent, and got nothing back when he left. He might have some big seasons in the future, but he's 33, and you have to wonder how many years he has left.


COMMISSIONER'S OPINION: Tigers probably did the right thing. You can only wait so long.


Andres who?

Gregg, you really should remember him. He was with the Tigers for three years (two stints) and with the Rangers briefly in 2005. The thing is, he only played in 81 games for Detroit, never hitting more than .220. In succeeding years, he was granted free agency or released by Detroit, the White Sox, the Rangers, the Twins, again by the Tigers, and then the Cubs, before he found something of a home in San Fran in 1990 where he hit .270 for a couple years.


COMMISSIONER'S OPINION: Sure, lots of people have.


I was kinda surprised that Matt only made the Tigers for a single season, 2008, before he got traded to the Rays for Edwin Jackson.

COMMISSIONER'S OPINION: All in all, a pretty inconsequential trade.


Similarly, I was surprised this Matt was only with us for a year.Given that he was 0 fer 14 at the plate, it's hard to make an argument in his favor. The Tigers release him.


CARLOS PENA - (Unfortunately, I found six ballplayers by that name. Beat me up if you want to comment on his trade.)

Ya gotta listen to this...

If you've never before listened to Roy Firestone's version of a Toledo Mudhen's game, do I have a treat for you! Listen to

Ex-Tigers Play Huge Role in Playoffs and a Prediction

My Men, Cody Ross and Colby Lewis!!!! Ex-Tigers made a great showing for the most part. Curtis, Marcus, Andres, Placido, Edgar, Aubrey. The Tigers did very well. It will be great to see the Rangers versus the Giants. I am torn on this one. The Ryan family are friends of mine and great people, and I know Bruce Bochy as well. Ok, my guess is the Rangers in six.

God Bless You Josh Hamilton. He is a beast. I am glad that the MVP votes had to be cast before the playoffs, otherwise Miguel would have been blown away, although he had a GREAT season. You surely proved yourself. Keep sticking with that ginger ale.

Tigers, Inge agree to two-year deal

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers today announced the club has agreed to terms with third baseman Brandon Inge on a two-year contract with a club option for the 2013 season.

Inge saw action in 144 games with the Tigers during the 2010 season, batting .247 (127x514) with 28 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs and 70 RBI. He topped all American League third basemen with a .977 fielding percentage during the season.

“The Tigers organization is pleased to announce the signing of Brandon today,” Tigers President, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David Dombrowski said. “Brandon is one of the top defensive third basemen in the game and a quality individual we are proud to have as a representative of the organization.”

Selected to the American League’s all-star squad in 2009, Inge has hit .237 (1028x4337) with 201 doubles, 36 triples, 136 home runs and 564 RBI in 1,297 games during his major league career with the Tigers since making his major league debut during the 2001 season.

The longest-tenured current Tigers player, Inge is currently fourth in franchise history with 898 games played during his career at third base. He trails only Aurelio Rodriguez (1,236 games), Don Wert (1,036 games) and Tom Brookens (979 games) in games played at the position in Tigers history.

Get out the Vote!

Naw, not Tea Party, Democrat or Republican, but the little poll at right.

I post it with some fear, recognizing that I'm missing somebody, and with just five of us voting these days, it's very possbile we will spread the vote to five different choices, but it should be interesting.

I know I'm not watching all the other match-ups beyond Texas/Tampa (wife is claiming "baseball abandonment" as grounds for divorce, and we're only at the second round of playoffs.)

For example, when I asked Bill Bouie this question, he was high on San Fran Giant's Cody Ross; heck, I didn't even know he was a Tiger! I felt a little better when I looked it up and found he only played six games in the Old English D.

So feel free to smack me on this one, and say "Gregg, how could you have left out ____?!!" I won't be able to reconstruct the poll without throwing away all the votes, but it makes for interesting chat.

Looking at this list brings up a good question for next week: All things considered, which trade/sale/release (from this list) do you wish the Tigers had not done if they had it all over again? (We're not gonna beat up the John Smolz for Doyle Alexander deal again.)

I was wrong about the Texas Rangers!

You won't often hear me say this: I was wrong.

I was all set to rant this morning that Buck Showalter and the national broadcasters had it all wrong in saying the Rangers played classic "Small Ball."

Sure, they have some quick feet like Elvis Andrus, but how can you call a team that relied on the lusty power hitting of Vladimer Gurrero, Josh Hamilton,and Nelson Cruz all year "small ball?"

I would call them a balanced attack, with power, speed and good pitching making them just good enough.

But last night, seeing all 200 plus lbs. of "Bad Vlad," rounding third and heading home on what should have been a double play was almost laughable, were it not for the fact that it could have been the game winning run. (Tip of the hat to Our Resident Rays Fan, Tom, the umps really did blow the call, it should have been a double play.)Maybe this really is "Small Ball."

But congrats to Tom for being a loyal Rays fan when our Tigers couldn't be there. I love a good "Homer" for their loyalty, far more than somebody who picks the favorites. Yeah, some of you picked the Phils. Your day will come, but at least none of my friends picked the dreaded Yankees.

(Footnote: I recognize the difference between picking your "favorite" and picking who you "think" will win. But alas, this is baseball, where the heart SHOULD overrule the mind now and again. Rangers all the way!)

Tigers want Inge back, won't pick up Ordonez's option

By TOM GAGE, The Detroit News

A major mystery of the Tigers' upcoming off-season may already have been solved. They want Brandon Inge back as their third baseman.

General manager Dave Dombrowski said Sunday that he's discussed a multi-year contract with Inge and that he's hopeful of bringing him back.

"We've made him an offer and will see if we can get something done," Dombrowski said. "We'd like to have him back. Usually if there's desire by both parties, it has a way of working out."

Inge is "optimistic" about staying with the Tigers. "I'm happy they've already approached me," he said.

Dombrowski also said he's told Jeremy Bonderman, Gerald Laird and Johnny Damon that the club has no plans of re-signing them -- although Bonderman could be invited to spring training if he doesn't land a contract elsewhere.

Dombrowski said the team will not pick up Magglio Ordonez's $15 million option for next year, but is "open-minded" about bringing him back.

"We have not closed the door by any means," Dombrowski said. "Magglio expressed a strong desire to remain a Tiger. We'll just see what takes place over the winter. He's a possibility, but by no means for sure.

"We need a middle-of-the-order bat that can drive in runs. We have to have that. It's most likely going to be either an outfielder, DH or both -- a left-handed bat if we could."

Dombrowski identified Ryan Raburn as a "key component of our outfield" for 201l. "That leaves one spot open."

About Brennan Boesch possibly winning that one spot, Dombrowski said, "Is it guaranteed? No. He'll go to spring training and we'll just see who's in camp with us at that time."

The team is interested in bringing back Jhonny Peralta as its starting shortstop and is working toward retaining him.

"We don't know what we will do with his ($7.25 million) option, but would like him back next year as our shortstop," said Dombrowski. "At second base, we'll pretty much go with what we have."

Earlier Sunday, manager Jim Leyland said he plans to start Phil Coke next year, and that a middle-of-the-lineup bat and "shoring up the bullpen" are the team's greatest needs for next year.

Although saying that Armando Galarraga "could be that guy," Dombrowski was non-committal about a fifth starter. "We're not really sure what we're going to do."

In a far-ranging season-ending discussion before Sunday's game, Dombrowski, although unsigned beyond the 2011 season, doesn't think his job is on the line going into next year -- as Leyland has said about his own job.

"I feel secure," Dombrowski said. "I have a contract for next year and a good relationship with ownership. I've never really worried about that. If you have confidence in your ability, work hard, do a good job, things tend to work out."
On the decision to try to bring Inge back, Dombrowski said, "The biggest appeal is that he's an outstanding defensive third baseman. He's been great for us.

"He gives you some offense, but you have to look at the numbers he's put up and think that's what you are going to get. You always used to look at third base as a power-producing position. There just aren't that many guys who fit that mold anymore."

About not bringing Damon back, Dombrowski said, "We've spoken to him and told him we're very appreciative of what he's done. But with the spot we're looking for, we told him we won't pursue trying to re-sign him."

And about Bonderman, Dombrowski said, "We've seen him grow up, we love him, but at this point we don't anticipate pursuing him. If he wants to keep pitching next year, and nothing has happened for him, we're not closing the door. But we'll not actively try to sign him."

The Tigers also have decided to "give Alex Avila the primary responsibilities as our catcher," said Dombrowski. "We think he's ready to do it. Although they're hard to find, we'll look to supplement that with a free-agent catcher, who hits right-handed."

Damon said he's appreciative that the Tigers have already told him about their plans.

"I know I don't fit into the picture," he said. "But at least I go home knowing what my situation is. The other times I've been a free agent, I didn't know this early, so this is good."

LINK: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20101003/SPORTS0104/10030321/1129/Tigers-want-Brandon-Inge-back--won-t-pick-up-Magglio-Ordonez-s-option