February 02, 2004

Tigers snag Pudge: Looks like Pudge is going to Detroit. Don't whether to feel happy for the Tigers or sorry for Pudge. He obviously isn't aware that the Tigers are where talented players go to play like minor leaguers until they can force a trade.

posted by dzot to baseball at 09:14 AM - 25 comments

its a nice signing for the team, maybe a bit of veteran leadership could help... but that signing alone isn't likely to do anything, you know? Pudge alone does not a team make. Plus, they'll probably move him by the trade deadline too.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:48 AM on February 02, 2004

After 119 losses, Illytch had to do something drastic. Either Pudge is going to dig in and be the big daddy that Dumbrowski builds around, or he's going to sense futility and angle for a trade as quickly as possible. Judging fom history, I'm guessing the later.

posted by dzot at 10:01 AM on February 02, 2004

Except it's not this signing "alone." The Tigers have signed Fernanda Vina at second, Carlos Guillen at short, Rondell White in left field, and Jason Johnson to start. All these are significant upgrades over the starters on the '03 team, most of whom had no business in the major leasgues. They still won't contend -- too deep a hole to climb out of -- but they will be improved.

posted by whynotsneeze at 10:15 AM on February 02, 2004

"The Tigers showed free-agent catcher Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez the money. A lot of it. But they also showed him something other teams didn't -- respect." What is this so-called respect? The money? "What some of those people who didn't think he would sign with Detroit failed to realize is that Pudge was looking at the owner more than he was looking for a team that was a ready-made contender," someone close to Rodriguez said when asked why the catcher would consider signing with a team that was one loss from tying the modern major league record. What? What? What?

posted by jasonspaceman at 10:18 AM on February 02, 2004

"What some of those people who didn't think he would sign with Detroit failed to realize is that Pudge was looking at the owner more than he was looking for a team that was a ready-made contender," someone close to Rodriguez said when asked why the catcher would consider signing with a team that was one loss from tying the modern major league record." Let me translate that for you: We tried to leverage the deal from Detroit against EVERY OTHER TEAM IN THE LEAGUE. No one wanted to pay that much (or even close) so I recommended to Pudge that we just admit the fact that I screwed up and sign the deal. The funny part about this is that one of the most heralded pitchers of our lifetime (Greg Maddux) is also an unsigned free agent. And who is HIS agent? Oh right...Scott Boras, too. Me thinks Mr. Boras is getting payback from the owners for all the times he turned the screws on them...

posted by grum@work at 11:41 AM on February 02, 2004

Hope the money keeps Pudge warm in october.

posted by justgary at 11:42 AM on February 02, 2004

I thought the headline was 'Tiger snags Pudge,' for a story about the escape of a tiger in a fat farm.

posted by garfield at 12:15 PM on February 02, 2004

As I expected when we debated Pudge leaving the Marlins, he got the four years and $40 million he wanted -- and will play other positions in addition to catcher. I see Pudge is still getting knocked here, which is unfair considering the fact that the Marlins' best offer proved to be $12 million less than he's receiving from the Tigers. Know many athletes who take that kind of pay cut to demonstrate their loyalty to a team and its hometown? As for signing with the lowly Tigers, the Marlins weren't significantly better on paper when Pudge signed with them last year (aside from promising young arms).

posted by rcade at 12:36 PM on February 02, 2004

"What some of those people who didn't think he would sign with Detroit failed to realize is that Pudge was looking at the owner more than he was looking for a team that was a ready-made contender," someone close to Rodriguez said when asked why the catcher would consider signing with a team that was one loss from tying the modern major league record. Cool. He can hang out with the owner in October then. It's all lame excuses and coverups for what it really is: Money. Whenever someone throws the "Respect" card in baseball, it's a thinly veiled synonym for cash rules everything around me, dollar dollar bills y'all. me, if i was a multimillionaire athlete, i'd pick a chance at glory and success over more money. now his team will again be out of the race in August, and he can spend his October lining the inside of his suit jackets with Ben Franklins and hanging out with the owner of the Tigers.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:41 PM on February 02, 2004

Given a choice between the chance of glory and guaranteed money, I know what I'd take. Call me a sellout.

posted by dusted at 12:55 PM on February 02, 2004

Since when did financial gain become outlawed in baseball? The marlins aren't prohibitive favorites to win next year so what glory will there be playing soaking wet in front of 8,000 fans? I also don't think the Tigers will probably move him by the trade deadline too, considering that 30 other teams had the chance to procure his services for the next 4 years...and passed.

posted by YukonGold at 01:27 PM on February 02, 2004

I see Pudge is still getting knocked here Since when did financial gain become outlawed in baseball? Saying he took the money is not a knock, and no one said anything about it being outlawed. Its the truth. More power to him. Money is good, winning is good, he'll have one next year (which is better than most of us). As for signing with the lowly Tigers, the Marlins weren't significantly better on paper when Pudge signed with them last year Anyone want to take bets on it happening again?

posted by justgary at 02:05 PM on February 02, 2004

me, if i was a multimillionaire athlete, i'd pick a chance at glory and success over more money. That's kind of an odd thing for a Red Sox fan to say, isn't it?

posted by rcade at 02:08 PM on February 02, 2004

now his team will again be out of the race in August You haven't been watching the Tigers lately...they are already mathematically eliminated from the 2006 playoffs... Seriously now, they've made moves that, although the team will not be shockingly different this season, at least will pique enough interest that I'll have something to watch between NASCAR races this summer... =D

posted by MeatSaber at 02:15 PM on February 02, 2004

As a Mariner fan, I'm disappointed that we didn't get Pudge -- but I think this contract is a potential albatross given the fact that he's a 32-year-old catcher. $40 million is a lot over four years -- even for a guy who was very good last year.

posted by jeffmshaw at 02:23 PM on February 02, 2004

That's kind of an odd thing for a Red Sox fan to say, isn't it? Not quite. If I personally had the chance to take less money to be part of the team that brought a championship to this town, that's incomparable to an extra few million. In this case, you'd be historic. You'd be engrained into sports folklore. I am a firm believer that at some point -- whether you are an athlete or actor, etc -- the money becomes moot and a non-issue. You have enough to keep you and yours secure for many many years, home(s), real estate, cars, every item you could possibly want. But if the chance at a personal goal/milestone/victory/opportunity -- a sports championship or maybe doing a very worthwhile film project, etc -- comes along, you put the money aside to go for it because it means more to be part of something that has the chance to be something great, than it is to simply pick up a check every week. I guess that's why Schilling's statements after signing with Boston were received so grandly. It was a beautiful thing for an athlete to say "Look, I'll never be able to spend all the money I have. I want something more than that."

posted by jerseygirl at 02:35 PM on February 02, 2004

it doesn't make you a better person to take less money. it's just a stupid business move. like it or not, getting paid to play baseball is a business. it makes it so by the very nature of that statement. like it or not, from a players perspective it's a job to play. you'd be pissed too if someone your equal was getting more pay for the same job with same level of output. i understand that we're talking about millions of dollars and much of the petty squables over a couple of millions here or there doesn't make much sense. but everyone's goals are different. to say that winning *should* be the goal of every player is a bit suspect, especially after that player has already attained that goal. maybe pudge has goals off the field that he can reach by making as much money off of it. can't fault him for that and i think most fans, if put in the same position, would do the same. i know i would.

posted by oliver_crunk at 03:41 PM on February 02, 2004

it doesn't make you a better person to take less money. it's just a stupid business move. wrong. the paycheck does not always dictate a smart business move.

posted by garfield at 04:25 PM on February 02, 2004

I know what's you're saying, garfield, but in this case, taking less money would be a stupid business move. Pudge's value on the free agent market will almost surely go down, and this is likely his last contract.

posted by dusted at 05:07 PM on February 02, 2004

I somewhat agree with oliver about the off-field considerations, like being closer to family and friends, or a chance to be a mentor on a younger club, ya know quality stuff that make the work place better, despite making less, and that's why I didn't agree with that premise. Because really, when you are in the situation to be squabbling over a half mill here or there, money doesn't necessarily 'do it' for ya anymore. And, a business move's merit can't be judged immediately, or atleast it can't be judged well immediately. What if Pudge ends up coaching, or is thinking of designing high quality, genuine USA automobiles when he retires?

posted by garfield at 05:33 PM on February 02, 2004

But, I'll lay down on this one. His market value is at an all time high, so yes, the money grab is a smart business move.

posted by garfield at 05:34 PM on February 02, 2004

If Rodriguez agrees to play some other position, he'll not be such a noted power guy any longer (his power numbers are only strong in the framework of being a catcher), he won't manage a staff, and if he signs with the O's (SUBSTITUTE TIGERS HERE), he probably won't get much of a chance to be clutch in the playoffs. In other words, he ain't worth the dough if he ain't behind the dish. I said that two months ago and I'll stand by it. The Tigers signed him for the same reason the Alligator Boy always has a gig at the carnival to put asses in seats. I hope Pudge enjoys being in a town where he'll freeze his rich butt off in a park that does nothing for hitters.

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:37 PM on February 02, 2004

(very disgruntled with workplace at the moment, stemming from a quarterly meeting in which additional staff was dangled in front of our faces to placate the growing "burnout" problem. I love it when my manager is 'concerned' with "burn out".)

posted by garfield at 05:37 PM on February 02, 2004

I would like to point out that Illitch may just be trying to rebuild the Tigers in the same way that he did the Red Wings (without the car giveaways, though). A little history lesson in Detroit sports for those who are not familiar with the story... In the 80s, Illitch bought the Wings (then referred to many around here as the Dead Things). Through moves and long term commotments, as well as some creative marketing brought the team to what it is today. Illitch went on the record saying that he would be willing to spend money to get the team in order, but he didn't want to waste it. If the Tigers do not show MAJOR improvement this year, Dombrowski (the GM) will be gone) side note-- The Pudge signing may not affect the number of season ticket holders as much as the fact you have to be a season ticket holder to get a decent chance a All Star game tix when it's at Comerica.

posted by tj at 02:24 PM on February 03, 2004

I thought this was all indicative of a bad move on the part of Pudge. He basically priced himself out of any contending team. Your reward? A nice big fat 4-year sentence in Detroit.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:03 PM on February 04, 2004

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