By: Eric Thomas
By trading Price Fielder to the Rangers for Ian Kinsler, Dave Dombrowski pulled a rabbit out of a hat. More than that. He pulled a rabbit out of a hat that was holding a winning lottery ticket pasted onto a horseshoe wrapped in a paper made of flattened four leaf clovers. Tiger fan @Jona10Heidt said it best on Twitter, “Honestly, this made my whole week.”
Well, turns out I was wrong. I never saw this as a possibility. When I’m wrong I can admit it, so let’s do a roundup:
On air statements made by professional radio show host Eric Thomas on 97.1 FM that were proven wrong on November 20th 2013, Number One: “Prince Fielder isn’t going anywhere, get over it.” —I need to stop being certain when it comes to the Tigers. I said there was no way Fielder was coming here, and I said there was no way he was leaving. His contract was too large and they seemed sold on his nascent offensive ability. Nope.
On air statements made by professional radio show host Eric Thomas on 97.1 FM that were proven wrong on November 20th 2013, Number Two: “No one is dumb enough to trade for Prince Fielder when he has that contract.” —Turns out the Rangers are. What did Ian Kinsler do? Yes, he’s been on the downslide the last two years, but he’s a former All-Star! Did the Rangers stop watching after they were eliminated from the playoffs?! Bonus: Kinsler hits well in the playoffs, so the Tigers win on every level of this trade.
On air statements made by professional radio show host Eric Thomas on 97.1 FM that were proven wrong on November 20th 2013, Number Three: “Max Scherzer won’t be with the Tigers next year. Get over it.” —This one features my trademark condescending sarcasm™, AND I wrote a blog about it. I even mocked Tigers fans as babies. Ugh. I suppose if you’re gonna go down—go down in flames. Anyway, the Tigers were looking to shed payroll dead weight and they did the equivalent of gastric bypass surgery while nurturing an addiction to methamphetamine. They solved their payroll problem in one fell swoop. By the way: There was some worry about keeping Miguel Cabrera.
On air statements made by professional radio show host Eric Thomas on 97.1 FM that were proven wrong on November 20th 2013, Number Four: “The Tigers’ World Series window is closing.” —Nope. This whole “Tigers leading the division” situation can get quite cozy. Fielder’s contract was an albatross, a boulder around their neck in the water, and other things that are big and cumbersome. It’s gone. The Tigers needed Fielder for a successful 2012, but he proved inconsistent and moody in 2013. He had SEVEN YEARS left on his contract and a proven inability to hit in the playoffs. But now… HE GAWN.
There’s a lot to digest, but pop them bottles. The Tigers just got faster, cheaper and better defensively. First year skipper Brad Ausmus must be thrilled. Fielder is a workhorse, he plays every game—but the ability to shift some pieces gives him a chance to goose a game or two.
There’s questions abound…What do the Tigers do at third base? What about left field? Is it Time for Castellanos? Are they still going to trade Scherzer? People keep asking about Brian Wilson. I don’t think it’s going to happen, but what am I going to do? Go for “proven wrong” number five?
I’m through trying to figure this team out. Dombrowski is a genius. I need to keep my face shut and let the man work until the players actually show up in Lakeland.