#1. Be Patient
- In my 41 years on this planet, this is the first year that I have no hope that any of the four major sports teams will win a championship.
- The Tigers had a good decade, but they never won a world series.
- The downtown area is thriving like I've never seen it before, and all 4 major sports teams are downtown!
- The Tigers have parted ways with superstars such as Verlander, Upton, Kinsler, JD Martinez, and Mid Tier guys like Justin Wilson, and Cam Maybin, They've cut salary, but they've also cut a tremendous amount of talent.
Put all of this together and you've got a perfect storm. The people in the city of Detroit are craving a team that has a chance to win a championship. People want to go down to the city on a nice summer night and cheer on a winning team. But, alas, the Tigers are not going to be that winning team this year.
People will say "fire Avila." People will say "Chris Ilitch is cheap. His dad was a way better owner than he was." They will say "Why don't they go sign JD Martinez, they saved all that money from all those trades!" They will blame new skipper Ron Gardenhire for the losing season. They will stop going to games and stop watching the Tigers. All of this brings me to my first resolution for the Tigers Management and for their fans...BE PATIENT.
In case you've missed it, the Tigers farm is no longer the worst in baseball. They have 4 Pitchers in the top 100 prospects according to MLB.com. Three of them are our own first round picks from the last 3 years (Matt Manning #61, Alex Faedo #66, and Beau Burrows #85, as well as Justin Verlander trade acquisition Franklin Perez #41). They also picked up 24 year old Jeimer Candelario from the Cubs in the Wilson trade(he was a top 100 prospect last year). Jeimer should/could be the starting 3rd basemen for the Tigers this year. They also have a handful of guys that aren't in the top 100 but they could be very good big leaguers including Daz Cameron, Christin Stewart, Kyle Funkouser, and Isaac Paredes. Plus they have the number one pick in the draft in 2018 and more than likely will get a top 5 pick in 2019. Not to mention a slew of young talent on the major league roster including Mike Fulmer, Jose Iglesias, Mikie Mahtook, Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd and Joe Jiminez. Rebuilding is never easy and its not an exact science, but the Tigers have the potential to be good again in a few years. It just won't be this year. In the meantime...
#2 Lower Ticket Prices at Comerica Park
We are a blue collar, hard working city and the Tigers have basically priced out the Lower Middle class for the last decade. As of right now for the 2018 season, seats in the right field grandstand for a Saturday Night Game are priced at $33 each plus a 2.50 convenience fee. Meaning that the cost for a guy to take his wife and son to the game and sit in the grandstand is going to be $106 before paying for parking and concessions. When its all said and done, they are looking at $200. Thats just too much especially considering the team is not going to win many games this year. The Tigers attendance has been on a steady downslide for the last 5 years (2013 - 3.1M, 2014 2.9M, 2015 2.7M, 2016 2.5M, and 2017 2.3M) and if they don't make a change, their attendance will dip way below 2M for the 2018 season.
The Tigers should view this as a great opportunity to get Joe Middle Class back and to introduce a whole new fan base to Comerica Park. The Tigers payroll for 2018 is down almost 80 Million dollars at this point according to Cots Contracts. And as I said in my first resolution, people want to go to Detroit right now. The city is thriving. But they don't want to pay $200 to watch the Tigers lose. However, they might pay $100 for a night out on the town. Drop the Grandstand and Lower Baseline Box seats down to 15 or 20 bucks. Have the vendors sell PBR for $5, sell a bottle of Ice Mountain for $2, and a "value dog" for $3. Change your Tagline from "Who's your Tiger?" to "Come down and watch the kids play". Because if they don't do something, Comerica Park is going to look like the LCA when the Pistons play...lots of empty seats.
#3 New Years Resolutions for Individual Players
- Mikie Mahtook - Become the Everyday Left Fielder. I don't understand why people undervalue him so much. After all of our stars left, I think Mahtook might be "my Tiger."
- Nick Castellanos - Become the Everyday Right Fielder - This would fill a huge gap and surely would be a huge relief to Nick.
- V Mart - spend more time with the kids...Its time to retire.
- Miguel Cabrera and Zimmerman - get in shape and have a good enough season to be traded. It makes no sense for the Tigers to have these salaries on their payroll at this point. And it makes little sense for these guys to finish their careers on a losing team.