|What a G(M)!|
This isn't something we've said in recent years. It's not that we've hated everything he's done, it's just that the trades he's made in the past couple of years haven't been amazing, or season-changing, or memorable. This year however, has been exactly the opposite. Dave Dombrowski has somehow managed to give this team everything they've needed without giving up anything that was anywhere near essential. Without his trades, the Tigers might not be the post-season quality team that they are at this point in the season.
The Fister/Pauley trade was perhaps the most important trade we've made so far this year, and people, Dougy was a steal. The Tigers were obviously having a severe problem with winning when their fifth pitcher was on the mound, as evidenced by Phil Coke's 1-8 record. However, it was worse than that. Before the Tigers acquired Fister, the Tigers had a 4-17 record when the fifth starter was pitching, as opposed to a 52-34 record when the other four were starting. Obviously the Tigers needed a new starter, and Doug has delivered. He has a 3-1 record in his five starts so far with the Tigers, and he also has pitched seven innings in three of the games he's started, giving our bullpen a break. He was totally worth it, and even though we miss Casper Wells' stellar personality, we cannot say that we needed his bat, or Charlie Furbush's arm or two of the minor league prospects, as much as we needed Fister on the mound.
The acquisition of Wilson Betemit was also just what the Tigers needed. Yes, his defense hasn't been amazing, but at that point in time, with our top third basemen being Brandon Inge (who was hitting .177) and Don Kelly (who really should play off the bench) the Tigers really needed to find a guy that could produce offensively. With Wilson in our line-up we are an incredibly formidable team. As a Tiger, Wilson is hitting an astounding .324, which is obviously much better than the production we had been getting. Yes he's already made four errors, but with Don and Brandon waiting on the bench, he can come out in late-inning defensive situations. To have this sort of offensive production from a place in our line-up that seemed hopeless is huge for the Tigers offensively. And once again, who did we lose to obtain him? Just two class-A prospects that really couldn't have helped us in this year's pennant race.
Delmon Young has been a huge help to the Tigers as well since he's been here. We have to admit, we were a little bit skeptical of Delmon, considering that he was not only a Hated Minnesota Twin, but he was also a Tiger Killer. We basically hated Delmon whenever he played us. But now that we think about it, it's great to have that kind of power on our team instead of against us. In his 12 games with the Tigers he already has 10 RBI and is hitting .308. Considering he's helping to support Magglio Ordonez, who is only hitting .230 this season with 24 RBI in 77 games, he is dead useful. Once again, defensively he's not that best. But with Austin covering 80% of the outfield anyway, who really cares? Delmon's clutch hits in some of our recent games have given the tigers the runs they've needed to win some close ones. And once again, we didn't lose anyone that could have possibly helped us get to the post-season this year. Dave really has put us in great position to win the American League Central for the first time since 1984.
So Dave, props to you. Fantastic job this year, good buddy. You have somehow managed to construct an incredibly talented team that, we think, has what it takes to get to the post-season. Cheers!