I almost fell out of my chair when the news broke over the ESPN 1000 airwaves at 2:02 CST today. I’m sure I startled my oblivious coworkers with the triumphant, stammering wail blasting out of my office, “HOLY SHIT!!! THE TIGERS JUST SIGNED PRINCE FIELDER!!!” Needless to say, I was pretty fired up about today’s huge news out of the Motor City.
It’s patently obvious how desperately 82-year-old Detroit Tigers owner Mike Illich yearns to win a World Series after the pizza baron dished out $214 million to His Royal Colossusness. Reaching the ALCS last year must have truly whet his appetite for a championship as the fact Illich would be 91 by the end of the nine-year deal (and most likely won’t be around by then) speaks volumes about how 2012 is go-for-broke season for the Tigers.
Soon after my workplace outburst, basking in a giddy euphoria, a fellow Tigers fan co-worker and I started speculating whetther Fielder would bat in front of or behind the mighty Miguel Cabrera. Then we just started laughing at what a ridiculously awesome dilemma Jim Leyland has just been confronted with. If only all our problems were so “difficult” to deal with.
The only real issue to be determined is the classic question: Who’s on First? Preliminary reports have Fielder manning 1B, moving Cabrera to his former postion at the Hot Corner, but I don’t buy it. Moving Cabrera to third would create an infield with almost no defensive range with the sure-handed, but limited Jhonny Peralta at short. I think Cabrera is destined for left field where many a Hall of Fame slugger has found a home. And I’m sure Cabrera and Fielder will spend time at DH, rotating in and out with Delmon Young.
There’s also the question of what to do with Victor Martinez when he comes back in 2013. But if that question doesn’t bother the man holding the purse strings, it doesn’t bother me. That’s an issue for another day. However Leyland decides to distribute his embarrassment of riches, these are truly great times to be a Tigers fan.