Wednesday Walewanders: Winter Meetings Edition

Coming from 30,000 feet on a flight from DTW to PHX. Over Manhattan, Kan., to be precise:

  • It looked like the Tigers were going to make day-one mini-splash when rumors swirled of a two-year deal with free agent outfielder Scott Hairston.But not so fast said Twitter. And not so fast said Dave Dombrowski.

    [No] multi-year contracts had been offered to any free-agent outfielder.

    Disappointing? I don’t think so. Hairston’s a nice complementary player but isn’t worth a two-year deal. With Avisail Garcia and Nick Castellanos apparently on the fast-track to Comerica Park, I think the Tigers can afford to wait it out. And, guys like Hairston, if a team needs them, seem to be readily available in June and July.

  • Gene Lamont is moving from the third base coach to the dugout. Big deal. Remember late this past season when Jim Leyland was commenting about the level of scrutiny his lineups were receiving? I thought the same thing about all the Lamont bashing.I think this is the byproduct of more outlets for fans to gripe. I bet Alex Grammas didn’t catch this much flak in the entire 15 or so years he served as Sparky Anderson‘s third-base coach. The man probably made a small handful of mistakes (I certainly didn’t keep track) but name one of Lamont’s counterparts who didn’t make a risky judgment call. And, I had no problem with Lamont sending Prince Fielder early in Game 2 of the World Series. If he held Fielder at third and the Tigers lineup did the unthinkable and stranded him there, the calls would’ve been that Lamont should’ve waved him in.

    From here, it sure looks like Geno got himself a better gig.

  • In July I wrote that Rick Porcello‘s time in Detroit should (probably) come to close. My counterargument (to myself) was that Porcello’s but a young man who deserves time to develop. But, you know, can we somehow accelerate that development?Sounds like the Tigers are giving him that time but are expecting to see him take the proverbial next step. Porcello will be 24 when he arrives in Lakeland in a couple of months and you have to think he’s approaching a breakthrough season. As Lynn Henning points out, fans think Porcello was rushed to the bigs in 2009. Dombrowski and Leyland disagree.

    Here’s how some other homegrown Tigers pitchers fared when they were 24:

    Jack Morris (1979): 17-7, 3.28 ERA, 1.204 WHIP

    Justin Verlander (2007): 18-6, 3.66, 1.230

    Dan Petry (1983): 19-11, 3.92, 1.333

    Justin Thompson (1997): 15-11, 3.02, 1.137

    Mickey Lolich (1965): 15-9, 3.44, 1.182

    Jeremy Bonderman (2007): 11-9, 5.01, 1.382

    What does this mean anything? Nope. If nothing else, these are tidy anecdotes. What do you think? Does Porcello turn the corner this year?

  • Did you see that Gary Sheffield is Jason Grilli‘s agent? Can you even imagine?
  • Speaking of Dan Petry, on this date in 1987 the Tigers traded him to the Angels for Gary Pettis.

Finally, Happy Birthday to my brother. Who introduced me to Tigers baseball, the awesomeness of the Oakland A’s uniforms from the ’70s and the legend of Nate Colbert.

Published by

Mike McClary

Upbeat guy.

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