But hope springs eternal.
Look at today's Free Press article. (below) Who's gonna stay, and who's gonna go. Here's my take: (that's why we have a blog, right?)
- Leyland - It's all or none, a World Championship or you're gone. But the old boy might surprise us, he might pack up his Camels and go home regardless.
- Valverde - Like Ken Harrelson says, "He Gone!"
- Laird - Not a bad guy, but not essential. Let's make a deal, Jerry!
- Boesch - Adios amigo. He's trade bait. Maybe Leyland could be his agent.
- Peralta - R U KIDDING? The reason he commits one error a month is that he can't get to 60% of the balls hit to short. Bye Bye JHHONNY.
- Young - He's been valuable, but he's expendable with Martinez back.
- Sanchez - Pitching is always in short supply. If he does fairly well for the rest of the season, let's keep him.
Several Tigers, including Jim Leyland, could be near end of Detroit career
Today is the Tigers' final home game of the season. That means that if the Tigers don't make the playoffs, it could be the final home game in the Old English D for several people whose future with the team beyond this season is unclear.
Here are the most obvious ones, listed in order of how long they have been with the Tigers:
• Manager Jim Leyland (seven seasons): He is unsigned beyond this season. The question has circulated widely about whether he'll be back and whether his return hinges on whether the Tigers win the division. That's a lot of "whethers" in one sentence, but when a manager is unsigned this late in playoff race, that's what you get.
• Closer Jose Valverde (three seasons): He is eligible for free agency.
• Catcher Gerald Laird (three seasons): He is eligible for free agency.
• Outfielder Brennan Boesch (three seasons): He's not eligible for free agency, but he has been on the bench lately. There might not be room for him on next year's team, especially if either Avisail Garcia or fellow talented outfielder Nick Castellanos makes the Opening Day team.
• Shortstop Jhonny Peralta (three seasons): The Tigers have an option on Peralta for next season at $6 million. If the Tigers let him go, they will be betting they can find a shortstop who has more range and who produces more at the plate than Peralta has this season. But they might not. And they probably won't find anyone steadier; Peralta headed into Wednesday averaging one error per month this season.
• Designated hitter Delmon Young (two seasons): He's eligible for free agency, and it's not easy to see where he would fit on next year's team, with Victor Martinez due to return to the DH role.
• Pitcher Anibal Sanchez (one season): He's eligible for free agency. But in his shutout Tuesday night, Sanchez was cheered like a man who might have found a home in Detroit.