Ninja Dave and the Giant First Basemen

Clad with a thin black pen in his hand and a stealthy ninja mask covering , David Dombrowski hung up the phone, chuckled evilly and took a bite out of his Hot N’ Ready. “Take that, naysayers.” He muttered through a collection of pepperoni cheese and jalapeno ranch sauce.

That is at least how I imagined it went down as the Tigers inked Prince Fielder to a 9 year $214MM deal today. Obviously this is pending a physical but initial reports say that there is no opt out clause and you know what, I DON’T CARE.

And neither should you.

This is an amazing day for the Detroit Tigers and its fan base, because not only did the Illitch camp and Dombrowski give you probably the best 3-4 hitting combination in the game but they gave you a reason to come to the City once again.

I’m not going to pretend to know what goes on in those meetings (okay, maybe I do as you can see above) but I do know that the Tigers have a Steinbrenner type of owner, one that will do anything to see his team bring home a World Championship before his time is up.

Simply amazing.

I want to spend some time on how this affects the Tigers offensively and defensively going forward and focus on the important questions.

Where they play

This doesn’t really matter. Jason Beck tweeted that the Tigers contacted Miguel Cabrera and he signed off on the Fielder deal. What matters is that the players are ok with the move because the last thing this team will need is a disagreement on positions. I myself thought this wasn’t possible. I even blogged that there’s no way Miggy or Fielder would consider moving from first based on their egos. How wrong I was, but then again, that simply proves how good Dombrowski is at his job. Four days ago even he said a long term contract with Fielder wasn’t an option (because it probably wasn’t and brings us back to The Illitch Factor).

There will obviously be a rotating DH position, something I support. Generally full-time DH players don’t exist. David Ortiz and Billy Butler are exceptions, but it’s a lineup spot that a team can utilize as a quasi “day off” for their offensive minded players.

As far as defense goes, there seems to be a consensus that Cabrera will move to third base when he isn’t DHing because he has played there before and both he and Fielder are average at first base. Cabrera played two full years at third with the Marlins in 2006 and 2007 and committed 40 errors. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have that many this year, but even if he does, having Fielders bat in the lineup is easily worth it.

Where they bat

I’d easily put out a lineup like this:

  1. Austin Jackson
  2. Brennan Boesch
  3. Miguel Cabrera
  4. Prince Fielder (AHAHAHAHAHA)
  5. Delmon Young
  6. Jhonny Peralta
  7. Alex Avila
  8. Ryan Raburn/Ramon Santiago
  9. Brandon Inge/Don Kelly

Or this:

  1. Austin Jackson
  2. Ryan Raburn/Ramon Santiago
  3. Miguel Cabrera
  5. Brennan Boesch
  6. Delmon Young
  7. Jhonny Peralta
  8. Alex Avila
  9. Brandon Inge/Don Kelly

One thing is for sure. The Tigers will have a really, really fun team to watch in 2012 whether it’s the impressive offense or the hilarious defense.

  • Ben S.


  • Sam

    Enter the greatest eater and drinker in Detroit

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