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Are the Ilitches the Right Owners For the Detroit Tigers?

Do you think the Ilitches should sell the Detroit Tigers?  

16 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think the Ilitches should sell the Detroit Tigers?

    • Yes, I've seen enough and would prefer the Ilitches sell as soon as possible.
      11
    • No, I like the Ilitches as owners and would like them to continue on for the foreseeable future.
      5


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5 hours ago, chasfh said:

Here are the pros and cons of each side, as I see them.

Pros:

  1. The Ilitches have delighted Tiger fans by guiding the team to five postseasons in 25 years, including four ALCS and two World Series.
  2. They brought the team to the playoffs and Series after their first rebuilding process.
  3. They guided the team to four consecutive Central Division titles with the best big league winning percentage overall from 2011-14, tantamount to a dynasty.
  4. They are proven spenders when they believe they have a chance to win a ring.
  5. They successfully traded for and signed several All-Stars to productive tenures.
  6. They drafted a future Hall of Famer (Verlander) and another 3x All-Star (Granderson).
  7. They properly value continuity in their front office.
  8. According to Al Avila, the Tigers have perhaps the fourth-best analytics department in Baseball.

Cons:

  1. The Ilitches have run the team through two long and arduous rebuilds, including the current one, so far yielding four seasons under .400 (through 2018).
  2. The Randy Smith portion of the rebuild was a failure, and the 2006 team was basically a one-off, as they fell back to last in 2008.
  3. The division was weak during their division title run—during no season did the Tigers ever have even the third-best record in the AL, raising doubt as to whether it could be considered a dynasty.
  4. Only Mike the father has proven to be a spender, and he’s not there anymore.
  5. They signed too many bad contracts and traded too much good talent for poor returns.
  6. Despite two prominent draft hits, their drafts have been poor overall, and they’ve been a non-factor in the international markets.
  7. They overvalue loyalty in their front office.
  8. Three seasons since the announcement of “Caesar”, its success has to all appearances not yet been reflected in team philosophies or performance at either the major or minor league levels
     

At least two of your Pros & Cons seemingly contradict each other .. #3 and #4.  

 

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4 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Not understanding the relevance of the question.

 

1 hour ago, chasfh said:

Feel free to not participate, then. The rest of us who like expressing our opinions about the team and its ownership can feel free to continue doing so.

 

1 hour ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Thank you for allowing me and us to do that?

To answer the question as posed, I frankly have no clue -> no opinion.  I find it too open ended to speak intelligently about.

 

1 hour ago, chasfh said:

That’s a strange response.

I was only defending against your challenge to the legitimacy of the question. It’s nothing more than (what I believe is) an interesting topic to discuss, the kind of thing forums like this are created for, so I posed the question. If no one wants to discuss it then the thread will wither and die, as the marketplace dictates. Nothing personal. I’m not itching for a fight.

Your thread .. yes / Open discussion .. thus, fair game for agreement and/or disagreement.  I saw no "challenge" to the legitimacy of the question you posed ..just a regular poster who calmly and politely sought clarification.  He is not the only one either .. because clearly it seems somewhat confusing what your motivation truly was.  But still .. his and mine are very minor objections ..not even worth defending .. more worthy of simple logical clarification.

Why you so defensive at such low-level responses?

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For "very minor objections" and "low-level responses", you sure did come out guns a-blazing! :laugh: 

What can I say? The question stands as is. Answer or don't, as you see fit. The pros and cons are not my own, they're just what I perceive them to be out there in the world, based only on my experience. Disregard them if you like.

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Trust me .. you have not seen anything near 'guns a-blazing' from me.

Your pros and cons ..even though you claim they are 'not your own' (although you posted them) ..some of them were definitely contradictory.   Sorry if my opinions offended you.

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I'm not offended. I'm amused. :happy: 

You, on the other hand ... :wink: :grin: :laugh: 

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I think this topic is worthy of discussion regardless of the parameters in which it was described. 

I do, however, think there has to be a huge difference in the way the team is approached  when it comes to Mike vs.  Chris. 

Mike was a baseball player. He was a part of the Tigers organization as a minor leaguer. This was a love affair. We have all been bitten by the bug that is this team. I think for Mike it was more like an alligator bite. The man just couldn’t help himself. The son can. 

I don’t know these people and I’m just conjecturing, but it seems unlikely to me that Chris is capable of the “irrational exuberance“ that Mike was capable of: that larger than life big spending that had its obvious pluses and minuses is something that was intrinsic to Mr. I alone.  

He was also old and he wanted to die a winner and for this winning to be a gift to Tiger fans and the city itself.

It should’ve worked. But due to various contingencies it didn’t. Restructuring was obviously necessary. Throwing money against the wall didn’t work.  

I’m just getting the feeling that the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction.  I don’t think Chris will ever be capable of conceiving this team the way his father did, as a big spending big market club. 

That’s why I would like to see this club owned by someone who does. 

 

 

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This team should be a dream factory not a business. I want someone who believes in the dream to own the team, not his accountant. 

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5 minutes ago, IdahoBert said:

This team should be a dream factory not a business. I want someone who believes in the dream to own the team, not his accountant. 

Okay, if we want to play arm chair shrink what about this:

"Chris watched his father make short sighted move after short sighted move because he wanted the trophy for himself regardless of whether it was going to leave him (Chris) and the fans in the lurch when Chris's time came. That has left Chris with a drive to 'do it right' and show the world he could build the solid sustainable organization his father was only willing to try and buy."

I mean - how the heII would any of us know the difference?

 

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Just now, Gehringer_2 said:

Okay, if we want to play arm chair shrink what about this:

"Chris watched his father make short sighted move after short sighted move because he wanted the trophy for himself regardless of whether it was going to leave him (Chris) and the fans in the lurch when Chris's time came. That has left Chris with a drive to 'do it right' and show the world he can build the solid sustainable organization his father was only willing to try and buy."

I mean - how the heII would any of us know the difference?

 

 Optimist!  💋

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2 hours ago, chasfh said:

Organizations are organic bodies unto themselves, and the guiding principles of the various people who lead them across the years, different though they may be, all accrue to its legacy, so I think it’s fair to refer to them as “they”.

That said, I agree that it was solely Mike’s domain when he was alive and in charge, but even it it wasn’t a family-run business with him at the helm, it was still a family-owned business, and I wouldn’t doubt if Chris piped up with his opinion here and there. After all, a lot of those high dollar contracts came out of his inheritance, so he had skin in the business. Either way, it appears to be solely Chris’s domain now. 

Speaking of getting credit, it looks like he’s getting less and less these days, based on reporting I’ve seen about the broken (or at least as-yet-fulfilled) promises set forth by the District Detroit project.

The reason I bothered to point it out is because I don’t see any connection to things before and now.  So whatever good we saw left with Mike and in some way DD. 

The only reason I cast my vote this way is because what I have seem from Chris in other areas isn’t promising.   Their little Caesars HQ has had a giant hole in front of it for like 6 months now. It’s like they can’t find anymore windows or something.    The arena itself is nice but they have turned the surrounding area into a giant cement parking lot and construction Zone that’s building... nothing.  It’s ironic that given their lauded “history” for revitalizing Detroit that their “District Detroit” stands out as a bunch of blight amid other people’s actual development.  

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2 hours ago, chasfh said:

That’s a strange response.

I was only defending against your challenge to the legitimacy of the question. It’s nothing more than (what I believe is) an interesting topic to discuss, the kind of thing forums like this are created for, so I posed the question. If no one wants to discuss it then the thread will wither and die, as the marketplace dictates. Nothing personal. I’m not itching for a fight.

Not sure why my response was/is strange?

I don't understand the relevance of the question.

I don't have much of a frame a reference to even judge Chris as owner of the team.  I understand the strategy of rebuilding, so I have understood the steps they have taken since he assumed ownership, which sucks as a fan, but they objectively needed to rebuild.  I'd frankly be more concerned if they signed a bunch of overpriced guys to flirt with 0.500 with no end in sight even if it makes the product better now.  I'll be in a much better position to judge once they are in a position to compete with some cash outlays.

I don't get why he extended Avila, but I don't know as that it reveals all that much with regards to Chris, either.  Not enough to make me wish for a new owner because I don't know if Chris is worse than average owner based what I believe to be his actions. 

I don't understand what the lists of pros and cons have to do with moving forward.  Is it intended to be predictive? Or an explanation why someone might (or might not) have liked Mike's stewardship, and project than onto Chris?  

I am not trying to be confrontational, I fundamentally do not *get* the topic, though 95%+ of that has to do with not having much of an opinion on Chris as owner of the Tigers.

Does that clarify my position further?  Honest question.

 

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3 minutes ago, Oblong said:

The reason I bothered to point it out is because I don’t see any connection to things before and now.  So whatever good we saw left with Mike and in some way DD. 

The only reason I cast my vote this way is because what I have seem from Chris in other areas isn’t promising.   Their little Caesars HQ has had a giant hole in front of it for like 6 months now. It’s like they can’t find anymore windows or something.    The arena itself is nice but they have turned the surrounding area into a giant cement parking lot and construction Zone that’s building... nothing.  It’s ironic that given their lauded “history” for revitalizing Detroit that their “District Detroit” stands out as a bunch of blight amid other people’s actual development.  

Again however I don't think we can have much idea about how much tie there is.  "District Detroit" was another of Mike Ilitch's things. Chris and/or the current organization may have no particular affinity for it. The LC organization is not primarily a real estate development enterprise. They've built two stadia, but stadia are single point projects with  narrow objectives. It's not the best look for the city, but does it affect the Tigers? I don't know.

I'm not any particular fan of Chris Ilitch, I just don't see enough track record to make much a judgment about him in any direction. I think he has made mostly justifiable decisions for the Wings and Tigers. Obviously the 64 dollar question for Ilitch's management of the Tigers is whether in Al Avila, Chris has found one of the most experienced baseball men on the planet who now has a chance to chart his own direction based on that experience, or alternatively, he has just extended a Peter Principled bumbler. At this point I don't think the latter is true, but I am not that wed to the opinion.

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13 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Again however I don't think we can have much idea about how much tie there is.  "District Detroit" was another of Mike Ilitch's things. Chris and/or the current organization may have no particular affinity for it. The LC organization is not primarily a real estate development enterprise. They've built two stadia, but stadia are single point projects with  narrow objectives. It's not the best look for the city, but does it affect the Tigers? I don't know.

I'm not any particular fan of Chris Ilitch, I just don't see enough track record to make much a judgment about him in any direction. I think he has made mostly justifiable decisions for the Wings and Tigers. Obviously the 64 dollar question for Ilitch's management of the Tigers is whether in Al Avila, Chris has found one of the most experienced baseball men on the planet who now has a chance to chart his own direction based on that experience, or alternatively, he has just extended a Peter Principled bumbler. At this point I don't think the latter is true, but I am not that wed to the opinion.

Mike Illitch never had an affinity for District Detroit. He was a slumlord and his son is too. Remember, District Detroit was supposed to be built around Comerica Park. This was proposed in the 90's. Illitch owned dozens of buildings around Comerica he razed for parking lots. He razed the Madison-Lenox hotel despite investors wanting to buy it and renovate it just so he could have a parking lot ahead of the Super Bowl. He owned about 60 buildings at one point and renovated two of them. The Illitch cartel has the city council and planning commision under their thumb because the renovated The Fox some 30 years ago. Mike got a free pass because he renovated The Fox and spent a lot on the Tigers and Red Wings. Chris doesn't get that free pass anymore. I want Chris to sell the team just because I hate the Illitch's as civic partners. 

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3 hours ago, Tigrrfan said:

No ... "They" are NOT proven spenders.  Only Mike was a proven spender.  Thus far to-date, ..Chris I is a proven non-spender.

The Tyson Ross and Jordy Mercer signings would argue he's a proven reckless spender.

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2 hours ago, Gehringer_2 said:

I'm not any particular fan of Chris Ilitch, I just don't see enough track record to make much a judgment about him in any direction. I think he has made mostly justifiable decisions for the Wings and Tigers.

This is what I cannot understand.  A good number of people have Chris pegged as not really caring about the Tigers.  Yet how does anyone know one way or another?  What proof is there of that?

I can certainly understand that Mike and Chris would have a different connection to the Tigers.  Mike was a minor leaguer in the system.  I mean, that alone would resonate in a different relationship.  Mike was the driving force for a lot of where the Tigers have gotten to.  Meanwhile, Chris probably did have some sort of hand in some aspects, but likely wasn't the one with the final answer until recently.

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3 hours ago, Oblong said:

The reason I bothered to point it out is because I don’t see any connection to things before and now.  So whatever good we saw left with Mike and in some way DD. 

The only reason I cast my vote this way is because what I have seem from Chris in other areas isn’t promising.   Their little Caesars HQ has had a giant hole in front of it for like 6 months now. It’s like they can’t find anymore windows or something.    The arena itself is nice but they have turned the surrounding area into a giant cement parking lot and construction Zone that’s building... nothing.  It’s ironic that given their lauded “history” for revitalizing Detroit that their “District Detroit” stands out as a bunch of blight amid other people’s actual development.  

This is something that's kind of outside of my scope of understanding since I am out of the area and not much interested in other Ilitch business (save for minor league hockey prospects going through Toledo).  So, I guess I am looking solely at the baseball side and rationalizing the process they are going through to build up from the farm system.  But there's this part of the spectrum that other folks have vision of that can certainly color opinion one way or the other even if it doesn't directly tie to baseball.

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2 hours ago, LooseGoose said:

The Tyson Ross and Jordy Mercer signings would argue he's a proven reckless spender.

You can never count out Chris Ilitch when it comes to making a impulsive move to try and create a splash.   

 

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21 hours ago, Motor City Sonics said:

We got spoiled because Mike was desperate to win.   

 

That's over now, and the chances of getting back to that, with just about any owner, is very slim.   

 

The economics of baseball are going to be very interesting in the future.   Younger people are just not into the game.  

We just have to wait until Chris is old and on his death bed.  Then he will be desperate to win too.  

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21 hours ago, Motor City Sonics said:

We got spoiled because Mike was desperate to win.   

 

That's over now, and the chances of getting back to that, with just about any owner, is very slim.   

 

The economics of baseball are going to be very interesting in the future.   Younger people are just not into the game.  

Younger people don’t like the game because they spend too much time tapping out messages to each other on their damn phones. Uh....

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My concern for this rebuild is that it's going to be 1994-2005 all over again, or god forbid worse, and I really don't have that kind of time anymore.

I'm with Bert that I would like the team to have an owner who treats it like a civic treasure, and I strongly sense Chris doesn't feel that way about it. He might not even feel that way about the Red Wings, despite his documented passion for hockey. I sense he sees them all as part of an entertainment complex, along with his casino and the Fox Theater, to draw suburbanites and their considerable dollars downtown. I understand at its bottom line that it's all a business, but I also don't want to root for a subsidiary of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. I want to root for the baseball team I've loved all my life.

So, despite the modest success this team has enjoyed under this ownership group in the past, I am rooting for them to sell, and I would hope to an ownership group who has an understanding of how baseball teams win in the 21st Century and staffs the front office appropriately. 

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55 minutes ago, IdahoBert said:

Younger people don’t like the game because they spend too much time tapping out messages to each other on their damn phones. Uh....

yesterday(?) they were wasting time on DFN with a "worst date" call-in. It was probably apocryphal but a guy called in - said he spent an hour in a restaurant with a woman on a blind date who never looked up from her phone. So he finally got up, found the waiter, paid the bill and left. Said he got a text from the woman before he got to his car asking him what was wrong......

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MLB does a lousy job of marketing their players, Mike Trout is probably the most dominant team sports athlete in the U.S. by a long shot, plays in the 2nd biggest market in the U.S., is about as squeaky clean as you can get yet relatively speaking he is an unknown to the general public.  You think the NBA would let a gold mine like him go without milking it dry?    

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9 minutes ago, RandyMarsh said:

MLB does a lousy job of marketing their players, Mike Trout is probably the most dominant team sports athlete in the U.S. by a long shot, plays in the 2nd biggest market in the U.S., is about as squeaky clean as you can get yet relatively speaking he is an unknown to the general public.  You think the NBA would let a gold mine like him go without milking it dry?    

I thought I had read somewhere that Mike Trout was not interested in marketing himself? 

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OK - the Ilitch family decides to sell.

Name the buyer that now treats the Tigers as a "civic treasure", spends money like so much confetti to rebuild the team to numerous World titles quickly thus avoiding mental scarring for the petals caused by rooting for a losing teams?

Gores? - that's a laugh.

Gilbert? - Maybe before the health scare, but even then his track record as a sports owner would be picked apart.

The DeVos or Meijer families?  - Not a chance.

Larry Page? - I'm sure he wants to leave CA and bring some of that sweet Google $$ back to MI.

Now what billionaire am I missing?

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