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

45 Comments

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.