At the Detroit News, Lynn Henning picks at a scab which won't go away...the trade of Jair Jurrjens.
It is all but ancient history. Except that it remains just fresh enough, just painful enough for Tigers fans, to remind them every time Jair Jurrjens takes the mound for Atlanta how valuable he would be to the Tigers if he were still with his original team.
The Tigers are strapped for starters as spring camp winds down. They have no assurances at the No. 4 and 5 spots in their rotation.
Jurrjens, who went to the Braves in an October, 2007, trade for Edgar Renteria, is one of the best right-handers in the National League.
As always, hindsight is 20/20. A very painful 20/20.
We don't need Henning reminding us it was a disasterous trade.
We already know Jurrjens would look great on the Tigers' pitching staff, and would have made a formidable top of the rotation that much better. We know Edgar Renteria was a bit of a risk due to his age and lack of success in the AL with the Redsox, and was a massive disappointment as a Tiger. We know the trade ended up a massive failure, by far the worst of Dave Dombrowski's tenure.
We know, we know, we know.
Well, so do the Tigers.
They realize it everyday when they see Jeremy Bonderman and Dontrelle Willis struggling to nail down a spot in the 2010 rotation.
But I'm sure, as an organization, the Tigers have moved on. As should we.
Personally, I hate living in the past, thinking about "what might have been." It's not good for anyone, especially a sports franchise. (Trust me, I see it all the time when I write about the Lions. It's always "Woulda, coulda, shoulda." 50 years of suck does that to a fanbase.)
But ignoring my own advice, I'm going to look back.
After thinking about the deal, one thing has become obvious. For the current generation of fans, and those from here on out, the Jurrjens trade may end up being the equivalent the John Smoltz deal was for previous generations. And believe me, the Smotz trade has long been the go-to topic for any Tigers fan who doesn't like to trade prospects.
The thing is, as bad as the Smoltz deal turned out in the long run, the Jurrjens trade is far worse.
At least the Tigers got a division title out of the Smoltz trade, so it wasn't near as one-sided as some would make it out to be. They got jack and squat (which is what I consider the iffy defense and .313 OBP the Tigers got out of Renteria) for Jurrjens. That's as one-sided as it gets.
By the way, it's revisionist history if anyone tells you Smoltz was a big-time prospect. He wasn't. At the time, there was absolutely no outcry over the deal...a deal which accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do. Send the Tigers to the playoffs.
Which is why I'd do the Smoltz trade, considering what was known at the time, 1000 times out of a 1000. Hell, make it a million out of a million.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, the the Jurrjens trade only had to happen once. Expect to be reminded of it whenever the starting pitching struggles.
With that off my chest...how about a few links? After the jump, of course.
It's going to be a slow day of Tigers news, as they have a rare day off. Here's a few links to peruse to keep your withdrawal symptoms at bay.
Good news! Mike McClary's "The Detroit Tigers Podcast" has returned after a long hiatus, and can be downloaded at The Daily Fungo. There's also a co-host now, it's some dude who used to hang around these parts. Goes by the name of Ian, I believe...
At Roar of the Tigers, Samara shows us exactly what is wrong with Bobby Seay's shoulder. There's some sort of reptile head coming out of it!
Want to know what giveaways the Tigers have planned for the coming season? Paul has you covered at Eye of the Tigers. Personally, I have my eye on an Olde English D wearing Charlie Brown bobblehead!
Over at Tiger Geist, John gives us some quick thoughts on his spring training trip to Lakeland, with much more to come. What John didn't mention was running into Cowboys owner Jerry Jones carrying on about NFL business in a hotel bathroom. (Seriously!) For some reason, I just can't see Mike Ilitch yelling "we're really close on a revenue sharing deal" in a public rest room.