Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com said today that the Tigers offseason priority is to find a leadoff hitter. Not surprisingly, Crasnick says that Jose Reyes is a “dream candidate.”
Just about anyone I talk to about the Tigers seems to think that too. The only problem with it is that the Tigers already have $90 million committed to just nine players, and by the time they fill out their roster, pay the necessary raises for 2012 and all of that, they’re looking at something like $120 million at least. Probably a bit more. They’re even still paying Gary Sheffield for cryin’ out loud.
Oh, and they still have Jhonny Peralta, who just had an awesome season and is under contract through 2012 and has a club option for 2013 that is exceedingly affordable.
To be sure, Mike Ilitch has shown in the past that he’ll spend money if he thinks it’ll make the difference. But it’s a 95-win team already and they have shortstop covered. If the Tigers are going to spend money, they should spend it elsewhere.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.