I have a birthday coming up in a month or so, and I'll turn 68. I have been hopeful and thankful for the start of the football season, although I know I can't say we've fully turned things around until we get to the playoffs. I have to admit that although the Lions have been the most painful aspect to my Detroit fan history, a turnaround from them would be probably the most gratifying. Still, baseball has always been my favorite sport. I don't take it for granted, but hey, the relative success the Tigers have had over my lifetime makes it feel less unsettling when they've also struggled.
Yet, I'm feeling anxious. It's been several years since they've really competed for a division crown, let alone a world series. I hope I have many years left to be a fan, but I definitely do feel a bit more impatient. I'd like to see them get on the right track and stay up there!
I don't really like free agency. I just don't feel it depicts the best in people - greed seems to be the sole motivator. Sure teams try to figure out logically what they can add for that one last missing ingredient, but ultimately it seems that spending $30 to $50 million a year, guaranteed for three to seven years, just is over the top to me. However, acquiring amateur talent and developing it, investing in building a relationship and sense of being part of the organization and hoping that loyalty might be returned does appeal to me even it that is also a multi-million dollar expenditure too, and perhaps a huge long term deal eventually.
So I find myself wishing as hard as I possibly can for the Tigers to sign those two super star Japanese pitchers this off season. I think it is acquiring unproven talent and bringing them into the organization as fresh, exciting, new players is so overwhelmingly appealing. I think Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shinto Imanaga would be great additions to the rotation and develop the semblance of the Tigers becoming more of a world presence. With Kenta Maeda, Matt Manning, Tarik Skubal, Sawyer Gipson-Long, and hopefully Casey Mize soon to return the depth of this staff I think would carry the team. Yamamoto and Imanaga would be the difference makers!
Sure, sure, I know, the offense needs to improve too. I just think a superior, deep starting staff solves a multitude of sins, so to speak. Furthermore, I'm very optimistic that Riley Greene, Kerry Carpenter, and Spencer Torkelson are just the first wave of what will be a very good offensive unit in the near future. Colt Keith, Jace Jung, Justice Bigbie, and several others I think will save the day without any free agents being needed.
Will wishing very, very hard make it so? Will anyone else wish with me? How about you Scott Harris? Jeff Greenberg, does this sound like the right path to pursue to you? Anyone else? Come on! Join me in this one, please!