When Ron Gardenhire started managing in 2002, most of the league hadn’t even heard of analytics, let alone used them. A lot has changed in baseball since that point, and Gardenhire is doing his best to change with it.
The Tigers have made a lot of noise about their move toward data since the journey began in earnest two years ago. And while Gardenhire clearly isn’t the most data savvy manager the team could have chosen, they’ve made a point to advertise that Gardenhire is open to adoption.
I’ve already given grief to the report that Gardenhire’s openness to analytics was a major resume booster, but it is worth noting that he spent the last year in one of most data driven organizations in the league. His ability to harness the data remains to be seen, but he won’t be going in blind.
Al Avila, from Fendy to the dollar store in 800 days
It was just two years ago that Al Avila had a blank check for talent acquisition. Mike Ilitch was still desperate for a championship and money was no object. With the rebuild, those days are long gone.
This offseason, he will be rummaging through the bargain bin as he looks for talent to fill out a roster that is set up to fail.
"Hopefully we can find a diamond in the rough somewhere. Or maybe lightning in a bottle would be a better term," Avila said.
Avila had a lot of misses in his free spending days, but he may have better luck unearthing lesser known talent. He did hit on Mikie Mahtook last year. And don’t forget that the team will be looking internally for talent as well. Lynn has a preview of possible bullpen help from the farm.
Jose Altuve, man of many talents
Justin Turner, the latest of bloomers
Justin Turner’s first full year in the majors wasn’t until age 26. He had a middling three years and then the Mets did what they do best:
True story: The New York Mets non-tendered Justin Turner.— Jonah Keri (@jonahkeri) October 25, 2017
From that point forward, Justin Turner has been one of the best players in the entire league. And, as last night proved, he just keeps getting better. At this point his best year is going to be at age 40.
Around the horn
Justin Verlander’s World Series track record isn’t great, but sample size and whatnot. Tigers ratings plummet, but revenue remains steady with attendance still high...because Tigers fans are awesome. The BBWAA had to create an additional committee for the Hall of Fame because they are so bad at voting for it. At least Trammell and Whitaker still have a shot to make it. The 10 best World Series of all time. Does prep work change for the World Series? Justin Verlander says no (and still gets his tacos.)
Baseball is awesome
Clayton Kershaw, Filthy drop down 94mph Fastball. pic.twitter.com/vMcUV0l8kR— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 25, 2017
OK, that pitch must be kept separate from all his other pitches, lest it devour them all...