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Tigers fans should calm down about the Granderson rumors

Nov 16, 2009, 9:25 AM EDT

So says Detroit Free Press columnist Michael Rosenberg, who reminds us that Tigers owner Mike Ilitch is an emotional guy:

Ilitch surely is furious now, and for good reason. He gave Dombrowski one of the biggest payroll advantages in baseball — the Tigers had the fifth-highest payroll in the league — and they could not even win a weak division.

Ilitch might stay mad and demand that Dombrowski cut payroll. But he also might calm down. And if it comes time to actually trade a prime player, especially a popular one, Ilitch’s emotions might swing in the other direction, and he might decide he can’t accept losing one of his stars.

I can’t help but think that all of these stories about the Tigers allegedly imminent fire sale are borne of one overheard temper tantrum by Ilitch.  In light of the team’s ugly late season collapse, I’d have one too if I were him.

But like Rosenberg says, Ilitch is no idiot, and more to the point, he’s no cheapskate.  He’s worth over a billion bucks. His wife Marian owns the closest thing to a license to print money for cryin’ out loud.  They can cover the money guys like Curtis Granderson and Miguel Cabrera are owed, and they have shown time and time again with the Red Wings and more recently the Tigers that they’re willing to spend money on their sports teams.

Upshot: I’d be shocked if Curtis Granderson is traded this offseason.

  1. Dberg - Nov 16, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    As a Tigers fan, I sure hope you’re right.
    Also, I might be quibbling over semantics here, but I think it’s a stretch to say that the Tigers collapsed late in the season. They went 17-16 in Sept/Oct. Not great, but not a collapse in the Mets sense of the word. Unfortunately, the Twins went something like 17-4 leading up to the one game playoff. It was less a Tigers collapse than a Twins surge.

  2. NeighborNextDoor - Nov 16, 2009 at 10:40 AM

    Must agree with you Craig. When was the last time Ilitch ever cut payroll unless a cap was involved. The guy likes to win and has the money to do it. He also hires people to build teams to last, including management. If Granderson is moved, it is because they feel it will benefit the team…not because he is “mad”. Now if we can only get him to buy the Lions.

  3. WMichTigersFan - Nov 16, 2009 at 11:06 AM

    I have to agree. If nothing else, the Ilitch family knows how to build a brand name. He’s shown how to build a brand name with a sports team; by having a player that people think of as intertwined with the team, preferably one who can be a spokesman. With the Red Wings, it was Steve Yzerman. Who on the Tigers is better suited than Granderson to being the public face of the team? His hitting problems from last year notwithstanding, this is a guy you want not only for his baseball skills, but also to be the public face of the team. A trade seems silly at this point.

  4. scatterbrian - Nov 16, 2009 at 3:08 PM

    Never mind the “should the Tigers trade Miguel Cabrera” nonsense….

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