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On Second Thought...

A couple days ago I posted an entry regarding John Lowe's opinion of the '06 Tigers chances. Lowe seemed pretty optimistic, citing the young talent coming up in the system along with a couple younger guys on the team having more experience. Well, when it comes to Lynn Henning, it seems to be a different story:

Q. What should have been done, what could have been done, to make the Tigers playoff-competitive in 2006?

A. Answer you don't want to hear: Nothing.

Here's the reality -- and better take something for the oncoming tummy ache: This team isn't going to be in position to win the Central Division for a bunch of years -- five to 10 by this count.

And what will surprise you is that thinking in those terms isn't all bad.

The Tigers need to do exactly what they've begun to achieve, in part because it seems ownership has signed on to a certain reality: Nothing is going to happen until the draft and player development pick up, which it has begun to do.

The White Sox won the World Series on homegrown pitching and by acquiring pitchers who enabled them to shut down good-hitting teams.

Cleveland has made itself either the best, or second-best, team in baseball by way of drafting standout players and trading veterans for young prospects who now provide the Indians with a fleet of ready-for-prime-time competitors.

The Tigers had a big draft last June. They have had progressively better drafts the past four years.

It must be a bottom-up approach. Caving in to fans and instant-gratification impulses by ownership is a sure recipe for adding 10 more years to the point this team will become one of baseball's best clubs.

Yikes! 5 to 10 years? I feel that management can do it quicker than that, as I've seen many success stories happen nearly overnight. While automatic turnarounds really never occur, being bogged down in a rebuilding process for that many years would just show a lack of vision and proper decisions regarding the club. Let's hope we can get it done, if not next year (which I'm not really expecting) but perhaps a couple years down the line.