Results tagged ‘ Justin Verlander ’
Back in October, I had a customer tell me that the Tigers should release Prince Fielder because if we’re paying him that much money, he needs to hit at least one home run every game. When baseball players are making over 20 million dollars a year, a lot of people are convinced that they don’t perform well enough for them to deserve making that kind of money. It got me thinking, what is a baseball player actually worth?
Whenever someone tells me that a baseball player makes too much money (usually the case with top-tier players, not so much rookies), I bring up the argument that actors and celebrities often make a lot more money while doing a lot less work. A top-paid baseball player is likely away from his family for half of the year and is constantly flying from city to city. Am I saying that it’s hard work? No, what I’m saying is that they’re making a much bigger sacrifice than most people realize.
Of course there’s also the aches and pains that come from playing baseball. Players are often rehabbing from surgery or other various operations. It’s almost unfair, but professional baseball players are not only expected to return to 100 percent quickly, but to do so in a very timely fashion. When a player has a surgery (for instance Tommy John), fans are constantly wondering how quickly they’re going to come back. They don’t realize the grueling rehabilitation process that comes with it.
Another thing you should realize is the shelf life for a Major League Baseball player is not very long. In fact, a 2007 study at the University of Colorado showed that on average, a baseball player’s career (position players, not pitchers) only lasts 5.6 years. Based on current minimum salaries, you’re looking at approximately five-million dollars in career earnings. Most people would love to make that much money in their lifetime, let alone over the course of five years. However, you have to realize how incredibly difficult it is to make it the MLB. You’re competing against tens of thousands of the best athletes in the entire world. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
So when you look at the contracts for a guy like Justin Verlander and don’t understand why he’s going to be making 180-million dollars over the next seven years, you need to realize that his case is definitely the exception to the rule. When you’re arguably the best in the world at something, you deserve to be make more than anyone else who does your job. No, it doesn’t always work that way, but it’s hard to argue he’s not deserving or worthy of it. You’re welcome to blame the economics of baseball, but if you want players like Justin Verlander on your team, contracts like the one he just signed are the price you have to pay.
As I begin writing this, we’re only 21 hours away from the first pitch of the 2013 MLB season. Last year left a sour taste in my mouth (as it did for everyone who isn’t a San Francisco Giants fan), so I’m looking for a chance to change that.
It doesn’t matter which team you find yourself rooting for, everyone feels like this year could be the year (unless you’re an Astros or Marlins fan, you might want to wait a few more years) that they’re team finally wins it all. I normally always try to do a prediction blog before the season begins, and that’s what I’m going to do. If normal predictions bore you, check out my other BLOG where I’ve made a few more wild predictions.
Without further ado:
AL West: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim- Although I do love the diehard Athletics (and I really do hope they support the A’s like they did during October last year), I just don’t see them being able to pull of a repeat this year. This isn’t to say I don’t think they’ll be in contention, but I think they’re looking at a Wild Card. The only thing I can realistically see preventing the Angels from winning their division is if the starting rotation falls apart.
AL Central: Detroit Tigers- The Tigers went to the World Series last year and there’s really no reason why they can’t find themselves back in the hunt again this year. On paper, the Tigers have only gotten better (Torii Hunter in right field instead of Brennan Boesch, Victor Martinez instead of Delmon Young at DH and a full season of Omar Infante at 2B). A lot of critics say that the Tigers will struggle without a proven closer, but I don’t think that will be a big enough issue to keep them from winning their division.
AL East: Tampa Bay Rays- If there’s a division that puzzles me, it’s without a doubt the AL East. Realistically, every team in the division has a legitimate argument that they could win the division. You can’t say that with really any other division, and that’s what makes predicting this so difficult. My thoughts are that the Yankees are falling apart (age and injuries), Boston has to prove they can turn it around with a new coach and Baltimore will likely take a step back compared to last year. You’re probably thinking, ‘What about the Blue Jays?’ No, I didn’t forget about them. The bulk of the players they traded for were from Miami, and the Marlins were pretty terrible last year. I’m not so sure that they’ll be able to win in Toronto, either.
Wild Cards: Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers- The Blue Jays are obviously talented and if they can stay healthy (especially Jose Bautista, Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow), there’s no reason why they won’t find themselves playing in October. They have the offensive weapons, but their pitching needs to improve.
I think Oakland will start off strong, but slowly fade as the Rangers surge in the second half. The Rangers have a ton of talent, and I’m worried about whether or not the Athletics can do it again. The Athletics and Rangers both will benefit from playing the Astros a lot more, that’s why I can’t see two Wild Cards coming from the AL East.
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers- Hard to bet against Magic Johnson and the newly revamped Dodgers. They’ve spent enough money to win their division (in theory), and I don’t think the San Francisco Giants or Arizona Diamondbacks will be able to slow them down enough to pass them in the standings.
NL Central: Cincinnati Reds- I think the Reds are under appreciated and it’s only a matter of time before everyone figures it out. They have a lot of young core talent which compliments their solid rotation. Oh yeah, their closer can also throw 105 MPH.
NL East: Washington Nationals- Although the Atlanta Braves added the Upton brothers to their outfield, I still think they’re going to go through too many stretches of not scoring runs. Don’t believe me? Look at the Detroit Tigers last year, when they had a similar type of team. When you’re relying on power, you often go through stretches where you’re not scoring runs.
Wild Cards: San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves- Hard to count out the defending World Series champions, especially when you consider the fact they haven’t lost any real significant pieces from their 2012 team. The Braves have enough pitching and offense that they should be able to beat up on the Mets and Phillies, squeaking out a Wild Card in the final week of the season.
AL MVP: Prince Fielder
NL MVP: Joey Votto
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw
AL Comeback Player of the Year: Victor Martinez
NL Comeback Player of the Year: Roy Halladay
AL Rookie of the Year: Nick Castellanos
NL Rookie of the Year: Jedd Gyorko
World Series: Detroit Tigers over the Washington Nationals in 6 games
Today is a good day for Tigers’ fans, and an even better day for Justin Verlander, as Verlander has agreed to a five-year extension worth 140-million dollars. It may sound completely absurd, but for signing the best pitcher in baseball (who one could argue is just entering his prime) it’s actually a very fair deal.
After Zach Greinke (6 years, 158 million) and Felix Hernandez (7 years, 175 million) signed huge deals in the offseason, Verlander was very open about his desire to be the first pitcher to sign a contract worth 200-million dollars. I thought he would sign for 8 years and 200 million and it appears I wasn’t too far off.
The extension will reportedly pay Verlander 20 million in ’13 and ’14, plus 28 million for each year from ’15-’19. That puts Verlander at seven years and 180 million, but there’s still a vesting option for the 8th year (have yet to see what it will take to vest) which would be worth 22 million more. All together, the Tigers have locked up their ace for potentially 8 years and 202 million.
Overall, I think Detroit fans should be excited about the news. I know there’s going to be a lot of people complaining that Verlander is going to make way too much money, but when you’re the best in the world at something, you deserve to make the most money. If there’s a downside to the signing, it’s that Tigers’ fans are likely to be paying for this contract for quite a few years.
After signing Prince Fielder last year, ticket prices rose a bit for the 2013 season. To be fair, prices didn’t increase much from the previous year, but seeing my season tickets go up (from paying $17 per ticket to $23) seemed a bit excessive. Will that trend continue for the 2014 season? It’s hard to know for sure, but it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if it does.
At the end of the day, as long as the Tigers are able to continue to compete for a World Series, I don’t think you’ll hear too many people complaining.
A lot of people in Michigan got a chance to go hunting this weekend, but for the Detroit Tigers, the hunt began weeks ago.
After getting swept in the World Series in a horribly disappointing fashion, Tigers President Dave Dombrowski has the task of hunting for talent that will make Detroit a better team in 2013.
Of course you don’t always get everything that’s on your wish list, but Detroit acted quickly and signed Torii Hunter to a two-year deal for 26 million dollars. Overall, it’s a pretty perfect match, since Hunter can play an above-average defense while bringing a strong right-handed bat. Better yet, Hunter will get a chance to mentor young outfielders such as Austin Jackson, Andy Dirks, Avisail Garcia, Quintin Berry and Nick Castellanos.
Remember, Mike Trout of the Angels gave Hunter a lot of credit for his 2012 season, so hopefully he can do the same with our cast of young and talented outfielders. If so, the 26 million dollars will not only pay dividends now, but well after Hunter leaves Detroit.
So what else do the Tigers need to look for in the next few months? In my opinion, they should look at adding a right-handed hitting corner outfielder who can split playing time with Andy Dirks in left field. Someone like Scott Hairston would make a lot of sense, and wouldn’t cost a lot of money. Not only that, but he was someone who the Tigers were reported to have interest in last year.
Some people say the Tigers should make a hard push to sign Anibal Sanchez, but for the reported six years and 90 million dollars he’s asking for, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I’m usually not an advocate for guaranteeing that much money to a starting pitcher, and it’s hard to convince me that Detroit should spend 15 million dollars on a guy who would be the number four pitcher in their rotation. If Detroit wants to sign a starting pitcher, I’d suggest offering someone like Edwin Jackson a three-year deal for 30 million dollars. If he turns it down, I’d simply stick with the current rotation of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly.
I think the best options to fill our closer vacancy are probably internally, such as giving Bruce Rondon a shot, or even Al Alburquerque. If they decide to sign a free agent, I’d suggest going after Ryan Madson, who missed all of 2012 with Tommy John Surgery.
Detroit will also likely consider adding a bullpen arm, and will need to figure out who is going to be their backup catcher. It’s unlikely that Victor Martinez will be able to catch, but with the added payroll, they might elect to give Bryan Holaday a chance.
It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the unseason unfolds, not only for the Tigers, but the rest of Major League Baseball. If the recent deals have been any indication of what to expect, this could be one of the most exciting offseasons in MLB history.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end of the baseball season, as the San Francisco Giants will host the Detroit Tigers for the first game of the World Series. The Tigers will look to redeem themselves after their disappointing showing in the 2006 World Series, whereas the Giants are simply hoping to recapture the magic they had when they were world champions back in 2010.
So before the first pitch is thrown, I wanted to take a minute to give my official World Series thoughts and predictions. Being from Detroit, it’s not easy to be objective, but I’m going to give it my best shot.
There’s an old saying in baseball that pitching and defense wins championships. Of course if history has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is quite as simple as that. It’s an ironic adage, because the Tigers definitely have better pitching, but the Giants definitely have the superior defense. Does this mean there’s no clear favorite? Oh there is, and the advantage definitely goes to Detroit.
The Tigers have several things going for them, including the fact that all of their pitchers are rested, and they can line up their rotation however they like. Coming off a crucial game seven on Monday, the Giants do not have that luxury. The Giants are going to possibly have to face Justin Verlander, Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez each two times. Throw in the Max Scherzer for at least one start, and things start to look promising for Detroit.
In case you’re not aware, in nine playoff games, Detroit’s starting pitchers have combined to go 5-1 with a 1.02 ERA. On the other hand, the bullpen hasn’t been nearly as good. Joaquin Benoit has had his struggles, and nobody is even sure if Jose Valverde will get a chance to save another game this postseason. If Detroit is going to win the World Series, the bullpen simply needs to be better.
Even if Detroit allows a few runs, there’s still no need to panic. When the heart of your lineup has Miguel Cabrera, (who just so happened to win the Triple Crown) Prince Fielder and Delmon Young, you can’t help but feel like your team is going to be able to score a few runs every night.
Regardless of how heavily their favored Detroit is, you still cannot count out the San Francisco Giants. They have two of the most dominant starting pitchers in recent years in Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, not to mention they do have home-field advantage for the series. Oh yeah, they also have the likely NL MVP in Buster Posey.
But at the end of the day, I just don’t see either team scoring a lot of runs, and Detroit’s starting pitchers have been lights out for the postseason, and I don’t see that stopping now. I’ll take the Tigers to defeat the Giants in five games.
When the American League Championship Series began, the Detroit Tigers were considered to be slight underdogs. It wasn’t at all surprising, especially since the New York Yankees had home-field advantage. Unfortunately for their sake, they were unable to win either of their first two games at Yankee Stadium, as they now head to Detroit down 2-0 in the series.
As the Tigers return to the friendly confines of Comerica Park, they find themselves in an excellent position to win the ALCS, and represent the American League in the World Series. In fact, of the last 22 teams that led a LCS 2-0, 19 of them have made it to the World Series. Better yet, the Tigers have Justin Verlander pitching game three.
If Detroit can take a 3-0 series lead, they will have all but sealed their ticket to the Fall Classic. Only one team has ever came back from a three-game deficit in a LCS series, and that was when Boston Red Sox came back to defeat the Yankees in 2004. Although it’s not impossible, it’s definitely against the odds.
First and foremost, the Tigers need to win tonight and take further control of the series.
Tonight marks the beginning of the 2012 American League Championship Series, as the Detroit Tigers will square off in a best-of-seven series against those damn Yankees.
Conveniently enough, my brother happened to receive Damn Yankees in the mail from his Netflix just a few days ago, so it seemed appropriate to watch it before the game begins. It’s no surprise that the Yankees are by far the most loved team in all of baseball. It seems that everyone you talk to either loves the Yankees, or loves to hate them.
According to Las Vegas, the Tigers are considered slight underdogs in the ALCS, but only by a very small margin. If the Tigers want to win, I think it’s going to come down to just one thing, and that’s whether or not they can find a way to score runs.
When your rotation includes Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez, you would expect to see a lot of low scoring games. My concern isn’t with whether or not the Yankees bats will be quieted, but even if they’re held to two or three runs a game, the Tigers still have to score more.
For what it’s worth, I’m picking the Tigers to win in six games. Just trust me when I say that the only feeling better than beating the Yankees would be the Tigers winning the World Series.
If you ask every general manager in Major League Baseball who they’d want to pitch in a must-win game, it’s pretty fair to say that the overwhelming majority would choose one guy, Justin Verlander. Luckily for the Detroit Tigers, that’s who’s starting tonight in game five of the American League Division Series. With a win, the Tigers will move on to play the winner of the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees series. If they lose, their season will come to a surprising end.
Expectations have been high for the Tigers all year long. In fact, the Tigers were considered the runaway favorites to not only win their division, but to have a legitimate chance of making it to the World Series. Well, if this year has taught us anything, it’s that expectations don’t necessarily lead to results.
Few predicted that the Oakland Athletics would have made it to the playoffs, let alone find a way to finish the year ahead of both the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and win the American League West division, but that’s exactly what they’ve done.
On the other side of the country, most fans and experts thought the Baltimore Orioles were anything better than a .500 team in the hardest division in all of baseball. Much like the Athletics, the Orioles found a way to make it into the playoffs by claiming one of two wild card spots. Of course when they were matched up against the Rangers in a winner-take-all elimination match, most figured that’s when their story would be over. Instead, they pulled another upset and advanced to the ALDS.
So what does this all mean? Simply put, that baseball is a wonderful and unpredictable game. Even though the Tigers are expected to win tonight and advance to the American League Championship Series, you cannot assume it’s going to happen. It’s baseball in October, where legends are often the person you’d least expect, and the impossible no longer exists.
The Tigers had not one, but two chances to get themselves into first place today. With a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins, a sweep would guarantee them at least a tie for first in the AL Central. As it was, they came out looking flat, dropping both games.
It was still a good week for the Tigers, who have managed to to bring themselves within one game of the White Sox, but there’s still a bit of cause for concern. Sure, the Tigers have managed to narrow the gap, but they have been greatly aided by the fact that the White Sox have lost their last five games. Simply put, it’s not realistic to expect them to keep losing at this rate.
The Tigers have some of the best players in baseball, so there’s no excuses for them to not be able to catch the White Sox and win the division. When your lineup includes a guy who has a chance to win the Triple Crown (Miguel Cabrera) and a guy who is on pace to hit .300 with 30 HRs and 100 RBIs (Prince Fielder), and your rotation has the reigning MVP (Justin Verlander), you’re expected to win games.
There’s only 10 games left in the regular season for both teams, so it could very well come down to game 162, or possibly a tie-breaking game between the Tigers and White Sox. Will the White Sox be able to hold off the Tigers, or will the preseason favorites find a way to get it done? Time will tell, but it should be fun to watch.
Entering play tonight, the Detroit Tigers find themselves one game back of the Chicago White Sox. With Justin Verlander getting the start against Chris Sale, Detroit has a legitimate chance to retake control of the AL Central.
It’s not exactly a matchup the Tigers are likely to be thrilled about, but they’ve done fairly well against Sale so far this year. In fact, Sale has only lost 6 games this year, but is 0-3 against Detroit with an ERA of 6.00. As well as Sale has been pitching this year, it’s hard to expect the Tigers to put up a lot of runs against him, but they should enter the game with at least a little bit of confidence.
With a win tonight, the Tigers would find themselves back in first place (although they would still be tied with Chicago) for the first time since the September 2nd. As the season winds down and there are less games to be played, the Tigers can’t afford too many losses, especially if they’d like to end the season in first place. I won’t say that tonight’s game is necessarily a ‘must-win’ for Detroit, but it’s awfully close.