When news of Justin Verlander’s recent showcase started to stir, there was a fair bit of enthusiasm from Tigers fans regarding a potential reunion between Verlander and the Tigers. In a lot of ways it would have made sense for Verlander to return to Detroit: it would be a boon to merchandise sales and likely create at least an initial boost to ticket sales. Plus, there’s something poetic about the notion of JV’s career ending where it began.
Those dreams are going to have to wait, however, as speculation came to an end this week. Verlander signed a new one-year deal with the Houston Astros worth $25 million (which I’m frankly glad the Tigers didn’t pay), and a player option for a second year.
Still, dreams of one final season with the Tigers shouldn’t be put to bed just yet. If Verlander returns healthy from his Tommy John surgery, there’s no reason to believe he can’t pitch into his 40s (Nolan Ryan certainly did), and we may yet see him back in the Olde English D.
Correa fuels speculation
Brandon touched on this briefly in his recent article on the meeting between Carlos Correa and Tigers manager A.J. Hinch, but we do love some good speculation, and Correa following a slew of Tigers players on Instagram. It may mean nothing, but since the Tigers are absolutely desperate for a quality shortstop, we at BYB are not above getting overly enthused over some Instagram follows. We’re just sorry Correa missed the iconic Al Albuquerque era.
Carlos just followed some new people! pic.twitter.com/MjD6lGufrT— GBD (@GoBlueDET) November 18, 2021
Turnbull applauds new management
I’m not sure whether we should focus on this being a scathing indictment of previous managerial groups, or a big gold star for the current crew (especially Chris Fetter), but Spencer Turnbull had something to say about how things have turned around in the past year.
Evan Petzold has more with Turnbull, on the season that saw him go from a no-hitter, to Tommy John Surgery. (Freep articles are behind a paywall)
More on Spencer Turnbull tomorrow, but here's what he told me about AJ Hinch and Chris Fetter: "I've kind of had to feel my way in the big leagues and figure out how to pitch on my own. (They) came at the perfect time to help me figure out the last missing pieces." #Tigers— Evan Petzold (@EvanPetzold) November 19, 2021
Winner, winner, chicken dinner
This was awards week in baseball, meaning all the biggest accolades of the season were handed out. Thursday capped everything off with the announcement of the MVP awards, which was a bigger deal than usual as Shohei Ohtani was unanimously selected as the AL MVP (because, duh), meanwhile don’t call it a comeback, as Bryce Harper’s heroic season netted him the NL win.
For the Cy Young, yet another former Tigers pitcher got his win, as Robbie Ray got the AL win, while Corbin Burnes got the win for the NL (another former Tiger, Max Scherzer was certainly in discussion here, for his fourth, but did not win, placing third instead).
Rookie of the Year accolades went to two-year sensation Randy Arozarena of the Tampa Bay Rays (how can you not cheer for him, after seeing him steal home in a postseason game?); and Jonathan India of the Reds. While we Tigers fans may have had some lofty dreams for Akil Baddoo to get consideration, he did not get a single vote.
Manager of the Year was both surprising and not surprising, as it very frequently gets bestowed on the managers who made it to the World Series, yet this year it went to the two managers with the best season records in each league: Rays manager Kevin Cash (the first time a manager has won in back-to-back years in the AL); and Giants manager Gabe Kapler. What was interesting here was seeing some very deserved attention given to A.J. Hinch, who collected a few votes for his wonderful work in 2021.
#Rays Cash won by a comfortable margin. Is first to win back to back AL awards. Only #Braves Cox won two straight in NL pic.twitter.com/ShhbctgHxP— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) November 16, 2021
ESPN breaks down the winners in all the major categories.
On this day...
Did you know November 19th is International Men’s Day? And it’s also World Toilet Day, which I had no idea was a thing.
Pistons fans might remember this one: back in 2004 a brawl between players in a Pistons/Pacers game managed to find its way into the crowd as Ron Artest fought with a fan who threw a drink at him.