Why ‘G-Money’ is worth every cent
During the off-season, the Tigers made national headlines once they signed Prince Fielder. However, there was another signing that took place that many fans either didn’t notice or care about, and that was the signing of Gerald Laird.
I can admit that I was very pleased when I read that the Tigers and Laird had agreed to a one-deal for a million dollars. A lot of people seem to take it for granted that the Tigers pretty much played with only one catcher for most of the 2011 season, and that eventually resulted into having to play an injured Alex Avila for every playoff game.
If the Tigers want to make a run at the World Series this year, it’s essential that they find a way to keep Avila healthy and rested, and I can’t think of a better or more realistic fit than Laird. Not only is an experienced catcher, he also has caught for several of the current Detroit Tigers from when he played for Detroit from 2009-2010. Not only that, but he was a teammate of newly acquired Octavio Dotel last year when the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series.
Another nice thing about Laird is that he provides some offensive productivity, which is better than any of last year’s backup catchers could offer (unless you want to include Victor Martinez). This is important, because an organization needs to always be prepared for a worst-case scenario. If Alex Avila were to have a season-ending injury, the Tigers would otherwise have no realistic options to turn to. With Gerald Laird, they have themselves a nice insurance policy.
On top of it all, Laird has always been considered a great teammate, as well as a great guy to have in the clubhouse. For all of those reasons and more, the Tigers signing of Gerald Laird may not have been the biggest, but it’s definitely up there.