++ Another masterful post by Joe Posnanski at Hardballtalk. This time, trying to decipher if Jim Leyland was a good manager.
The Cubs and Tigers are at drastically different points in the continuum of baseball success. One manager might be perfect for the Cubs, who are building, yet a terrible choice for the Tigers, who the last two years are 6 (UPDATE, make that 10!) wins from being World Series champions. ++
++ Read this article with an anonymous expert giving his take manager who may be up for the Cubs vacancy. Apply that to how they may fit with the Tigers. If you want to make it extra fun, try not to read the name of the potential manager to see if you're biased or not towards him.
As we go through this manager match.com process of get-to-know-ya, I'm leaning toward a one-last-time-guy, like Charlie Manuel, who's shown interest in the Tigers job. The players would love him, his weaknesses would be marginalized and I'm sure he'd be reinvigorated, as a wily old hitting coach, working with Cabrera. ++
++ This could foul up my sense to start calling around gauging interest in Fielder.
Royals ready to talk about Billy Butler deal for teams that would take on DH owed $8 million in '14, $12m in 2015.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 22, 2013
HBT runs down the possibles for Butler. If the Tigers having any benefit in moving Fielder, over Butler, it's that he can play the field. Poorly, but he can be out there. And when right, he's a better hitter than Butler. Though, is Prince in decline, while Butler may just keep plodding along forever with above league average numbers?
From the article, this is why DD should call the Rangers and see if there's interest in Fielder.
Texas: The Rangers gave Lance Berkman a whirl last winter, but it didn’t work out. They could still use a true DH, but a left-hander would be nice considering that Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler, Alex Rios and Adrian Beltre all swing righty. ++
++ Tim Lincecum is staying with the Giants, another team Fielder could be shopped to, for $35 million over two years.
1. That's not forever
2. That's a lot of money, but 6, 7 or 8 million less per year than front of the rotation starters will get in AAV as free agents.
3. Read what I wrote in August. Lincecum has an uncanny skill few pitchers own. He used to be The Freak for his tiny body generated so much wicked stuff. Now he can justify that nickname because he never gets hurts. For an injury proof player, who may never be a dominant starter ever again, but I can use him almost anywhere, anytime, it's a little outside what I'd say is perfect money for - 11 and 12 a year - but there will be worse overspends in free agency this winter. ++
++ A statisically sound, and brief, run through of the top 47 MLB free agents from Fangraphs. I was briefly on the Shin Soo Choo wagon. Then I saw it might cost the Tigers a draft pick, and he's becoming an auto-out against LHPs. That concerns me. If he'd accept the 'fake' money in that story, I can be swayed though.
Also, if his shoulder checks out, Jesse Crain would be an intriguing addition to the Tigers bullpen. Low and high risk at the same time, depending on the $$$. ++
++ Zach Lowe from Grantland's 32 NBA predictions for the year.
I'll add to his #25. Especially with the Sixers trying to avoid 10 wins, I think the NBA will inch closer to my long held doctrine, no one has taken me up on yet. No age limit for the draft, but if you come directly from HS, you're spending an entire year in the D-League. Where the NBA can make a killing by showcasing Wiggins vs. Jabari Parker type games on NBATV, or as an online incentive to buy the League Pass. You're welcome.
And another. The Pistons will be some league wide drama at some point. Either outrage that Smith move is a calamity. The Jennings move is a 'see-I-told-you. Monroe becomes the league's hottest trade commodity, or Andre Drummond matures into a top five center.
One of those WILL happen in '13-'14. ++