In a confluence of cultures, baseball’s winter meetings are smack dab in the middle of the Christmas shopping season. It’s the time when baseball fans become 5-year-olds.
They develop some uncharacteristic brat. The universal whine becomes “Gimme!” There’s a wish list without much consideration into what “Mom and Dad” can afford.
Usually wishes this grand in Nashville involve recording contracts, big hair and occasionally teeth.
Torii Hunter was an early Christmas gift for Detroit. It turns out that Torii and the Tigers gave that gift to each other, so right field is set for a couple of years.
Victor Martinez returns from Santa’s workshop. From all accounts, the elves did well and he’s now a remanufactured element with a new warranty.
The team would love a new shortstop and a closer and perhaps another right-handed bat.
I’d love more hair. You can’t have it all.
The Tigers went to the World Series in October. It now seems a forever ago.
They had battled their way to the defense of their division championship, then past the A’s and the Yankees, and the pain on their faces was evident in the moments immediately after the final loss to the Giants.
Yet there was business to be conducted.
It’s an image that will stay with me for awhile. His team had just had its season of promise dashed in stunningly quick fashion, but Tigers president Dave Dombrowski had to make his way to the players who would not be invited back and inform them of that.
Literally moments after the clubhouse was opened, Jose Valverde and Delmon Young and Don Kelly were individually escorted to a hallway, and each were given that piece of news. Young was wearing a towel when his future was confirmed.
There was no sense adding to anyone’s drama. It’s the Band-Aid approach. You take care of it quickly.
Discarded by the Tigers, those players are on someone else’s wish list now. Regifting doesn’t just happen in your impossibly large family. It also is a staple of baseball in the holiday season.
To be sure, not every wish will be granted in Nashville. They’re kind of used to that there since many country songs combine wifeleaving, abrokendowntruck, toomanykids and toomanydrinks.
Speaking of drinks, there will be spending done like drunken sailors at the winter meetings. How’s this for a rally cry?
“He may not be better than our guy, but he’s somebody different!”
We learned from The Grinch (after he carved the roast beast) that “Christmas Day will always be, just as long as we have we.”
If there were a couple of we’s who could hit with power, Christmas would be a little brighter.
Now the Whos down in Who-ville would like to ask Jim Leyland about the Whos in the lineup.