As baseball fans of the Tigers we should be among the most thankful fans in the sport. Today we traditionally gather around the table to give thanks, and we are reminded to count our blessings:
- An owner who wants to win and will spend for talent, assembles a talented management team, and gives them the freedom to do their jobs.
- A general manager who can make deals to address any need. Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, Jose Iglesias, Phil Coke, and Austin Jackson were all acquired in trades, even though the baseball intelligentsia consistently rates the Tigers' farm system among the worst.
- Jim Leyland's leadership for eight years which minimized drama and provided six winning seasons
- Three straight first place finishes and trips to the playoffs.
- Two trips to the World Series in the last eight years.
- The privilege of watching Justin Verlander in his prime.
- The joy of appreciating Miguel Cabrera at the plate.
But Thanksgiving dinner is also time to argue at the dinner table. We live in a very fractured time politically. There are obvious topics that could arise, so I suggest throwing these out before the meal becomes a real bummer:
- Brad Ausmus: good hire, or too risky for a veteran team to go with zero experience?
- Prince Fielder: brilliant trade, or a move to regret in 2014 when he hits 40 bombs?
- Who should have pitched to Big Papi in the eighth inning of game two of the ACLS?
- Nick Castellanos: left field, third base, or not ready for prime time?
- Trade Scherzer / Fister / Porcello to make room for Drew Smyly in the rotation?
Toss out some of these early in the meal, and you can enjoy your turkey and pie.