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Mike Ilitch sucks

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Was that the same lease that kept the Lions in Pontiac until next year? William Clay Ford must not have gotten that memo either

If Ilitch wanted to go the burbs he could have. It may have cost him some money but he could have.

How do you figure, Oblong? Do you think the Detroit City Council would have let him out of the lease without the stipulation that he build in Detroit? Even THEY aren't that stupid.

Again, Ilitch had no choice about where to build the new ballpark. It was either stay in Tiger Stadium, or build in Detroit.

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Okay, Ob, now I see your point.

If you research the matter (and believe me, I have), the Tiger Stadium lease was described by legal experts as iron-clad. He could not have gotten out of that lease without the City Council signing off on it. And the Council would never have done that if Ilitch was going to build in the suburbs.

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There was serious talk about making a dome stadium for the Tigers in the 1970s for those who don't remember. Actually I don't remember either. I've just seen articles and sketched pictures of it within the last 10 years.

I don't know about the effort question. For years I've questioned Illitch's priorities when it came to the Tigers and really I still do, just not to the same point I did maybe two years ago. And when Illitch wanted a new stadium he tried his darnedest to get the PR machine going about how dead of a stadium Tiger Stadium was. In ways he tried to bury his own product through that PR movement. Maybe he wasn't as neglect as Monaghan but you can definitely create criticism that he was guilty of such charges as Monaghan.

And really results are what count. Before Ilitch owned the Tigers they had never suffered more than four straight losing seasons and were known as one of the solid and respected franchises of the AL. We were usually a decent team and were contenders quite often. Since Illitch has owned the team that image has clearly changed and for good reason. It's simply not true any more. It's on Illitch's hands that this team became the laughing stock of baseball. It's under Illitch that the team has not had a winning record since 1993. And it's under Illitch the team has had several 100-plus (and many more 90-plus) losing seasons, with many coming deep into his ownership tenure. He's taken the Tigers to depths they not only never have been at before, but has created new standards of ineptitude never really thought possible by Tiger fans just 15 years ago. Heck, there's a generation of fans that don't know what a winning team is. That's never come close to ever happening in Tiger history. And it's clear Illitch is the primary reason for these occurances.

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I just don't agree that Mike Illitch is what is keeping the Tigers from succeeding. He has had a lot to do with it in the past, but is there anything different that he could do right now??

Well, for starters, how about staying the hell out of the way and letting his baseball people make the baseball decisions?

Most of the bad decisions that have plagued this team over the years -- from the Juan Gonzalez trade, to the Higgy contract -- have been Ilitch's decisions.

This passage from a 1999 Freep article about how Larry Parrish failed as manager, which I posted in another thread, sums it all up:

"To make matters worse, sources said Parrish started receiving "suggestions" from higher-ups on which pitchers to use. He also reportedly was told to play centerfielder Kimera Bartee -- something he strongly opposed -- because Bartee was one of owner Mike Ilitch's favorite players."

And you wonder why we have sucked for so long? Ilitch fancies himself a baseball mastermind. He is not.

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I don't think you have to like Ilitch to believe we're better off than we would be if Monaghan had kept the team. I would rather have someone else entirely, but given a choice between these two, I'd take Ilitch any day.

Monaghan was a complete boob.

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Fool, would you rather climb a mountain of crap, or swim a river of snot?

You're right -- Monaghan was a complete boob.

So is Mike Ilitch.

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Do you not understand? He took millions from the coffers of the Tigers and bought yachts and artwork. He sold the team beacuse he was in debt. I think looking at it any other way is not looking at the big picture. It's like blaming the customer service rep becaues the airplane is late. The success he had was due to the groundwork before he got the team. He ran Gibson and Parrish out of town.

If Monoghan had kept the Tigers there would be no more Detroit TIgers. It would have gone the way of the Expos.

Maybe that's preferable to Ilitch, I don't know.

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One Man's Fool,

Again, check the results. I don't think in a court of law you could convince a jury that we're better off with Illitch. The evidence (W-L) is overwhelmingly not in his favor.

A side note,

I remember people here thinking Larry Parrish was not a very good manager. Who was the Minor League manager of the year this season? What he's done since being at Toledo has been nothing short of outstanding.

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If Monoghan had kept the Tigers there would be no more Detroit TIgers. It would have gone the way of the Expos.

Maybe that's preferable to Ilitch, I don't know.

You can't just make that statement as fact, Oblong. It's total conjecture.

Besides, it's not the right way to frame the argument -- Monaghan was going to sell the team to SOMEONE, come hell or high water.

Again, look at my player analogy. Nobody arguing Ilitch's case has addressed that. Just because Ilitch WANTS to win, doesn't mean he isn't a terrible owner. I may WANT to be a painter; but if I suck at it, I suck.

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please remember that the owner does not actually play the game. They sign the checks.

W-L record shouldn't be the only thing you look at.

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please remember that the owner does not actually play the game. They sign the checks.

W-L record shouldn't be the only thing you look at.

The owner also does not tell the manager whom to play. Or, the owner shouldn't do this.

If the team's record isn't the only thing we should look at, then what else should we consider?

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And when Illitch wanted a new stadium he tried his darnedest to get the PR machine going about how dead of a stadium Tiger Stadium was. In ways he tried to bury his own product through that PR movement.
Tiger Stadium was dead... but even so, Illitch spent money (several millions as I recall) developing the Tiger Plaza and the Tiger Den to make the place more fan friendly. I don't understand your comment about trying to "bury his own product," when he tried to make the place as nice as he could while he sought a much more logical solution.
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You can't just make that statement as fact, Oblong. It's total conjecture.

Besides, it's not the right way to frame the argument -- Monaghan was going to sell the team to SOMEONE, come hell or high water.

Again, look at my player analogy. Nobody arguing Ilitch's case has addressed that. Just because Ilitch WANTS to win, doesn't mean he isn't a terrible owner. I may WANT to be a painter; but if I suck at it, I suck.

If you want do player analogies here's one that fits:

Player A gets 3 balls to go up 3-0. He swings out of the strike zone twice to get to 3-2. He finally gets hit by a pitch. He gets bunted over to second. Steals third on a wild pitch. Scores on a base hit.

Player B strikes out swinging on 3 pitches that would have been strikes anyway.

You are saying it's a no brainer tha player A is better.

You are saying Player A is better than Player B.

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I think the operative variable there is Jimmy Devallano.

And he put the same faith in Randy Smith that he did in Jimmy Devellano. Blame him for a poor character to put faith in, I suppose, although Smith WAS seen as the next up and coming GM, but to say he doesnt care seems silly to me (not that you are 1MF)

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Oblong, I read your analogy twice, and I don't get it.

It's this simple: baseball = results.

Ilitch's results are horrid. Monaghan was a goof, but he only owned the team a short time, so the damage he inflicted was minimal. We can talk about what might have been, but the fact remains: Ilitch has done far more damage than Monaghan.

I don't understand how anyone can dispute this.

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Okay, I read your analogy a third time, and I think I understand.

Let the record show that Player A has a 1.000 on-base average, with one run scored.

Player B is batting .000, with no runs scored.

Which player is better? Come on.

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I guess William Clay Ford didn't get that memo...

Football is an eight game home season -- not 81. Plus it's more appealing to a vast majority of actual Detroiters. The turnstile numbers at Ford Field cannot be reflected because games are always sold out. If/when the 30,000 coach Darryl Rogers days ever return, then perhaps a meauring stick can be applied. In the meantime, the best judge is the very large home feed of radio & TV viewership in Detroit watching the Lions vs the very few paying attention to the Tigers.

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Football is an eight game home season that's more appealing to a vast majority of actual Detroiters.
Actually it's 10 home games (2 preseason). Do you think more "actual Detroiters" attend Lions games then they do Tigers games?

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Okay, I read your analogy a third time, and I think I understand.

Let the record show that Player A has a 1.000 on-base average, with one run scored.

Player B is batting .000, with no runs scored.

Which player is better? Come on.

and what did that player do to earn that 1.00 OBP and run scored? Nothing except be there.

The only way you can be worse than Monoghan is to pay your players to lose games so you can win bets.

I've yet to see anyone suggest Ilitch is a good owner. Don't try and twist the argument that way. He's probably only better than one, and that's Monoghan.

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And he put the same faith in Randy Smith that he did in Jimmy Devellano. Blame him for a poor character to put faith in, I suppose, although Smith WAS seen as the next up and coming GM, but to say he doesnt care seems silly to me (not that you are 1MF)

I'm not at all saying he doesn't care. I'm saying that Ilitch's success or failure with any enterprise is pretty much determined by who he hires to run it. With Devellano, he clearly made a great choice. Now, maybe Ilitch is a complete stumblebum and that was the luckiest good hire in the world, but the fact remains that the Wings have been a solid and successful organization since Devellano has been around.

With the Tigers, he's had people like Jerry Walker, Joe Klein, John McHale, Randy Smith . . . very much a parade of less-than-sterling choices. Is it Ilitch's fault he didn't hire better people? Absolutely. Clearly, he needs good people in the executive positions to get the job done.

Dave Dombrowski is a very accomplished, experienced and smart baseball man. To those who are saying Dave should be fired if we don't win next year, I shudder and respond: Do you really think the next Ilitch hire is going to be better than Dombrowski?

I am thankful to God that Ilitch finally hired one baseball person who seems to know what he's doing, and I am not the slightest bit interested in casting Dombrowski aside and seeing who else Ilitch comes up with.

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I don't think there's anyone saying either owner is a good owner. I think we are all figuring out which is crappier than the other. For example I don't think Oblong thinks Illitch is God because he's supporting him in this argument.

I look at it this way. If MLB still exists in 150 years and a Tiger fan looks at the Monaghan era and the Illitch era they are going to have no troubles saying who was the poorer owner. For an owner there really is no other barometer you can gauge his efforts.

It's hard to believe but what if Monaghan kept the team for another 10 years. Who knows what he would've done? Maybe it would've been worse - maybe not. We can only make educated guesses but they are still guesses. We have to go with the performance that we saw and from a W-L standpoint the Tigers were a good organization under him. Would they have continued that pattern with how he stripped several aspects of the organization? We have guesses but we don't know. I would say I'm 95 percent sure we would've been a bad team soon but that's simply a guess. What I can say (and this is what Oblong is saying I think as well) is that he certainly didn't make it easier but much harder for the next owner. He certainly didn't lay a foundation for success to that next owner.

Now maybe Illitch has tried to take steps to improve our organization. Our scouts, our minor league system, our front office personel. But until those things reap direct results in our W-L record it really means nothing. And as of now - and this has been true for over a decade now - the Tigers record has simply regressed under his tenure regardless any steps he's made to improve it. And that's all that matters. When some guy looks at the Tigers records under Illitch's regieme in 2110 and sees all those poor records he's not going to look at anything besides the record and he's going to say one thing "That Illitch guy really sucked as an owner." Comparing it to Monaghan's era he's certainly not going to see his era was worse than Illitch's.

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Basically, Monaghan left a decaying organization for his successor to take over, and Ilitch made all the wrong moves to try to fix it, thus only making it worse.

Is John Fetzer still alive?

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We are more qualified to judge the merits (or lack thereof) of Ilitch and Monaghan than someone in the future who is simply looking at win-loss records.

Obviously a lot is riding on the next five years for Ilitch. He's getting old and I'm not sure how much longer he's planning on owning the team. If in the next five years, the Tigers start winning year in and year out, but more importantly have a foundation of talent in place to be competitive for ten years after Ilitch is gone, then I think he is vindicated. If we are still losing 90 games a season when he leaves, with no end in sight, then he definitely should be looked at as the worst owner ever.

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Let me weigh in with the deciding factor in this debate...

I like Dominos Pizza a lot better than Little Ceasars Pizza. But they both still taste like cardboard and I avoid them both at almost any cost.

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When some guy looks at the Tigers records under Illitch's regieme in 2110 and sees all those poor records he's not going to look at anything besides the record and he's going to say one thing "That Illitch guy really sucked as an owner."
Do you really think that? How could someone in 2110 make an assumption about the owner today (sucking) just from looking at the teams record during that period? There is so much that contributes to a bad team that is often beyond the fault of the owner (luck). Can you honestly say you know good or bad, how all of the Tigers past owners were, going back to the 1900s?

Personally if I were alive in 2110 and looked at the Tigers record from the Illitch area, my first thought would be "those were some crappy teams," not "That Illitch guy really sucked as an owner."

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