Well this weekend started off great. The Tigers got their big bat, I was at the Joe for the Wings beating Nashville, and the Pistons looked good in a victory over the Lakers. Well it was all downhill from there. The Pistons looked like a lottery team against Golden State, and the Lions...well the Lions were the Lions. Those last two subjects are kind of depressing, and that's the last thing I want on a Monday. So let's focus on the new guy.
The Tigers fired the first shot across the bow of the other contenders this season. In Gary Sheffield they picked up the big bat they believe they needed to keep the team in the hunt for the World Series next year. But can Sheff cook up a World Series title for the Tigers?
The are a few unfavorable factors to this, for one, he's 38. He's can also be a pain in the ass when he doesn't get his way. The Tigers gave up two top 10 prospects in Sanchez and Whelan. And there is the question of will he be healthy enough to play the whole season?
Answering my own questions, yes he is 38 but so was Frank Thomas, and he had a great year playing essentially the part of a full time DH on the A's, which is the same thing Sheffield will be doing for the Tigers, according to Jim Leyland. Who's to say he won't be happy here? He sounded happy to be here (yes, the Tigers now have all-stars from other teams, and potential Hall of Famers happy to come here and play) in interviews. He received the contract extension he was looking for, and he is reunited with Leyland who was the manager of the Marlins with Sheffield when the won in 1997. As for the prospects, they're just that...prospects. They are not All-Stars like Sheffield, they aren't even on the 25 man roster, and they didn't have to go out and trade a guy like Jeremy Bonderman to get him. They could develop into all-stars, but the emphasis is on could. They could also develop arm problems and never make it out of the minor leagues. As for injuries, Sheffield missed most of last season after hurting his wrist in a collision at first base. The Tigers did the right thing by trading a guy that will help the team now, for guys that might help the team later. The only Sheff that the former GM's would have traded for would be the guy to your right. So now the only hole, is at first base. I'm sure with the Winter meeting coming up that spot will be filled rather quickly.
A special congratulations goes out the the AL Rookie of the Year, Justin Verlander. Injuries to Liriano and Papelbon late in the year made this race a bit wider than it should of, but Verlander was a stud most of the season, don't let a couple errors in the World Series cloud your memory.