Author: Craig Calcaterra

Blues Mobile

Why is the Victor Martinez signing good? Because the Detroit Tigers are the Bluesmobile


Some may suggest that the four-year deal that the Tigers are reported to be giving the 36-year-old Victor Martinez is excessive for a team that already has a great number of big contracts. To that I say: nah, it’s cool. Why? Because the Tigers, as currently constructed, are the Blues Brothers’ 1974 Dodge Monaco.

They may be close to falling apart, but they haven’t fallen apart just yet. Indeed, they still haul ass with that 440 Magnum engine, cop tires, cop suspension and cop shocks. They’re a model made before catalytic converters so they’ll run good on regular gas. They just won the AL Central again and look to be in good shape to win it again in 2015, even if they lose Max Scherzer. When you got a car like that you drive it until it literally falls apart. Which could come at any second, but man it’s gonna move until that time comes, so don’t stop, whatever you do.

The reality for this team is that 2015 is all that matters. And if they do well then, well, get to 2016. Worrying about 2018 with players as old as the Tigers have and with contracts as big as they have and with an owner who is, like, 90 years old, richer than Croesus and just wants to win is rather silly.

Some people mentioned the current state of the Philadelphia Phillies to me when I voiced this opinion on Twitter a bit ago. Which, yes, is something you really don’t want to become if you can help it. But the Tigers, right now, are where the 2011 Phillies were. They are still winning. They are getting older, but there is no reason to break things up yet, because they look well-positioned for 2015. The Phillies, however, did nothing after things went south in 2012. Then they continued to do nothing after things stayed bad in 2013. Then, as 2014 wore on and things were worse than they ever were, they still did, yep, you guessed it, nothing. Only now are they talking about rebuilding. And it still hasn’t started.

If the Tigers had, like the post-2012 Phillies, just experienced a year in which they finally cratered under the weight of old players and nonetheless reloaded as if the bad year hadn’t happened and happy times were still here, sure, slam them. But that’s not where they are. It may get really ugly in Motown in 2017 — no matter what they did with Martinez, their future cake was baked some time ago — but it’s not ugly yet.

For now the Bluesmobile is still holding together, so the Tigers are wise to put the pedal to the metal and hope they make it to Daley Center.

The Rays may soon be allowed to look for a new stadium site outside of St. Petersburg

Rays logo

The Rays’ lease with St. Petersburg goes until 2027 and prohibits them from looking at new stadium sites outside of St. Pete. That may soon change, however, as the Tampa Bay Times reports that the team and the city may soon reach an agreement allowing the Rays to look in Hillsborough County — that’s Tampa — at potential sites. Part of this deal may also include the terms of a buyout of the St. Pete lease if and when the Rays want to move.

In the past, the previous mayor of St. Petersburg was staunchly against allowing the Rays to do anything like this. The new mayor is being more pragmatic, yet still desires that the Rays build a new ballpark in St. Pete. Short of that, he is of the view that the Rays aren’t likely to find a good site let alone anyone willing to help them pay for a new park in Tampa. His view seems to be “Go ahead and look all you want. You’ll be back, though.”

Still, this is more than the Rays have had for a while. And the idea that the city is willing to talk buyout could, eventually, pave the way for the Rays to move anyplace, be it Tampa or another city altogether.

David Robertson wants “Jonathan Papelbon money”

David Robertson

Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York reports that free agent closer David Robertson is looking for “Papelbon money.” Which, when taken literally, means money that’s a tad lunkheaded and likes to grab its crotch. Financially speaking, that’s $50 million over four years.

Robertson was already offered a one-year deal at the highest single-year salary a closer would have ever received — $15.3 million in the form of the Yankees’ qualifying offer — but he has his sights set on bigger things. Can he get it, though? Unlike Papelbon, anyone who signs Robertson will have to give up a first round pick.

Robertson has a 2.74 ERA and a fantastic strikeout rate over his seven seasons as a Yankees reliever. But it’s gonna be awful hard for him to get someone to give him $50 million, I think.