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.

Mike Trout voted 2019 American League Most Valuable Player

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Baseball Writers Association of America voted Angels outfielder Mike Trout the Most Valuable Player in the American League for the 2019 season. He received 17 of 30 first-place votes, earning the third AL MVP Award of his career.

Trout, 28, missed the final three weeks of the season due to a foot injury, but his numbers were still strong enough to overcome the competition. He led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and a 185 adjusted OPS, and led the AL with a .645 slugging percentage and 1.083 OPS. He also slugged 45 home runs, knocked in 104 runs, scored 110 runs, and stole 11 bases in 600 plate appearances. FanGraphs also gave him an edge over the competition in WAR at 8.6.

Trout, who also won the award in 2014 and ’16, is the third Angel to snag the hardware, joining Don Baylor (1979) and Vladimir Guerrero Sr. (2004). He is the 11th player to win three MVP awards, joining Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Álex Rodríguez, Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, Mike Schmidt, Albert Pujols, and Barry Bonds. Bonds is the only player to have won the award more than three times, winning a whopping seven MVP awards.

Alex Bregman finished in a close second place followed by Marcus  Semien, DJ LeMahieu, and Xander Bogaerts. Also receiving votes were Matt Chapman, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Rafael Devers, Jorge Polanco, Austin Meadows, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Gleyber Torres, Eddie Rosario, José Abreu, Max Kepler, J.D. Martinez, Yoán Moncada, Charlie Morton, Matt Olson, and Jorge Soler.