It was Jose Altuve who stole the headlines with the 10th three home run game in postseason history. But it was the vintage Justin Verlander performance that is giving Tigers fans a lift on this Friday morning.
This wasn’t the most impressive postseason outing for Verlander. He wasn’t lights out and only struck out three. But with a lineup as deep as Houston’s, Verlander provided exactly what the Astros needed.
Verlander’s decision to move to Houston was not an easy one. He was quoted as preferring to go to Chicago or LA, and was down to the last minute of the trade deadline deciding. But Verlander and the city of Houston already seem like a perfect fit, and their run has only just begun.
Breaking news: the first pick is the best pick
It’s an obvious statement that the first pick in next year’s draft is only a start. The team still has a full rebuild on their hands and that first pick won’t be major league ready for a couple of years if the team is lucky. But it’s the best place to start.
And ending the season with the worst record doesn’t just afford the team the first pick. They also receive the first pass at the Rule 5 draft, the most slot money, and the first waiver claim.
So when you think back at the season, remember that it was terrible, but also remember the fantastic tank job that not only garnered the first pick, but all that came with it.
Manager search so far...meh
It’s still going, and, honestly, it’s still pretty uninspiring. Sure there are 50 candidates, but the leader in the clubhouse looks to be Fredi Gonzalez. And there is something you should know about Fredi Gonzalez...
Fredi Gonzalez admitted in a Sun-Sentinel piece that he's basically new to analytics (read a book in 2015). Not the ideal #Tigers hire.— Tony Paul (@TonyPaul1984) October 5, 2017
That’s right, his analytics experience appears to be reading Money Ball 12 years after it came out. Add in the Ron Gardenhire interview, and I’m officially underwhelmed.
It’s still very early. And again, 50 candidates. But we can do better than this.
Around the Horn
You guys, you aren’t going to believe it, but the Tigers have had more success drafting first than not drafting first. I’ve heard both good and bad things about Joe McEwing. The Freeze is turned his torching of average fans into a Winter Olympics tryout. Obligatory bat flip from the Asian Championships.