The Panic of 2010

The Reading Company was one of the most powerful corporations in United States history. They constructed one of the first railroads in the United States, which served Philadelphia’s coal industry.

In 1893, the Reading Company, also referred to as the Reading Railroad, went into receivership. Receivership is a fancy term for when a company and its assets are placed in the hands of a third-party, many times, government regulators. In response to its possible collapse, the numerous banks and companies that relied on the Reading’s business went into a state of terror.

That terror quickly corroded public confidence, sending stocks into a tailspin and ultimately scaring European investors into pulling their funds out of American business. People rushed to the banks to withdraw their money, fearing imminent collapse, which, oddly enough, only expedites and encourages collapse.

President Grover Cleveland did nothing. He subscribed to the theory that the economy had a cyclical nature, and depressions were part of it. His action, or inaction, can be debated, but the depression ultimately cost democrats in the ensuing election cycles.

Flash forward to 2010.

The team could easily go 10-30 in its next 40 games. That is no misprint. The pitching staff is tattered, the batting order will be even more challenged than it was during the season’s first half, and team defense will be hurt noticeably and inevitably by Brandon Inge’s departure. — Lynn Henning, Detroit News

We don’t know if they will be in this until the end of September or not. All we have are educated guesses. (Mine, for what it’s worth, is no.) And that is why, with nine days looming to the trade deadline, the Tigers can’t be buyers and they can’t be sellers. All they can do — or at least, all they should do — is sit tight and hope they pull this off. — Michael Rosenberg, Detroit Free Press

I quit. — Noah, my friend.

The Detroit Tigers, 2.5 games behind, in a division that defines every letter of the word f-l-a-w-e-d.

They did lose seven straight games, but you would think this team is 12 games behind and irrelevant in the American League Central. They are neither.

I have nothing but respect and admiration for Lynn Henning, but feeding this panic and alarm contributes nothing to the Tigers and its fans. There is no need for panic, at all.

As spring training began, it was no secret that the Tigers had a lot of question marks. Two rookies were starting at important positions, only adding to the concern about a problem filled lineup struggling to score runs. The back end of the rotation was suspect, as was the middle of the bullpen.

They endured.

The Tigers were a first place team more than once in the first half of the regular season, and have managed to fall no further than 4.5 games behind. They have done all this despite starting a franchise record number of rookies, losing a premiere setup man, and four of their starting pitchers spending time in the minors.

They could fall out of this race, yes, but panicking only feeds disaster, a lesson learned in 1893. Thankfully, the Tigers have not panicked, putting together two wins against above .500 clubs and remaining in contention.

History tells us that Dave Dombrowski is not Grover Cleveland, nor should he be. There should not be this great fear of trading prospects, which has become another battle cry for the Panic of 2010. Does anyone question trading Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin (the next Ken Griffey, Jr.) for Miggy?

Sell, sell, sell.  Sell who?

Carlos Guillen? “You try to trade him,” said Dave Dombrowski.

Ryan Raburn? Don Kelly? Danny Worth? What kind of value do you expect to get out of these players?

Okay, so sit tight, do nothing, and wait for Jacob Turner and Ryan Strieby to push this team over the edge, right? What’s wrong with now? There are no guarantees about these “studs” on the farm, just look at Wilkin Ramirez‘s stock. Dombrowski has also done a better than adequate job of acquiring a stockpile of arms, making some on the farm expendable.

I guess that leaves the final argument that this team is not one piece away from winning, so what’s the point. That may the most legitimate, but also not the end all be all.

Dombrowski has earned trust. He may do nothing. He may trade for Ty Wiggington or John Buck or Mike Lowell or Dan Haren or Ted Lilly…or you know what, he may do NOTHING.

Any way you look at this, it comes down to a few simple things. The Tigers are 2.5 games behind, they are in a terrible division, and, most importantly, they aren’t panicking. Running to the bank and pulling every ounce of faith and trust out of your account is a waste.

Why withdraw?

Because a few writers looked at the schedule and saw Boston/New York and deduced that this “may be tough?” What revolutionary and brilliant writing.

Get real. Panic solves nothing.

3 Comments

  1. The Tigers are clearly not sellers, thanks to being in the AL Central, but adding a stud like Haren won’t make them contenders for the World Series either. By no stretch of the imagination should they not stay focused on taking advantage of a weak division race, but this team is not a true contender. As you suggested under normal circumstances this team would be clear sellers, but not matter their chances in the playoffs, a division title is nothing to walk away from.

    Its easy to get stuck in the trap of over valuing your own prospects, but any trade to land a front line starter would cripple the team’s weak farm system. The Tigers are a team focusing on building from within, and still unable to outbid big market teams for top talent. Personally, since the free agent market is weaker than usual, and the Tigers seem unable to produce position players, focusing on a deal that would land them a shortstop( stop gap with Stephen Drew) seems to make a lot more sense than going after a starer.

  2. True, panic solves nothing, but reality needs to play into this at some point. With amount of payroll coming off the books next year, the Tigers need to be careful about adding someone who might be on the downside and a financial albatross next season.

    If they can add stop-gap pieces like Josh said for middling prospects who are not highly touted then so be it. Otherwise, either sit tight with what you’ve got or figure out a way to trade Maggs and part of next year’s salary to Tampa Bay (and lord knows the Rays need some extra pop) for some prospects and call it a day.

  3. Tigers are still in this race and in large part this is due to the rookies. Lets not sell off prospects this year. Yeah you can bring up Maybin and Miller for Cabrera (and thank God for him, because Miggy is a STUD!), but lets not forget about Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez for Edgar Renteria. Remember how well that worked out? Once you factor in the recent injuries, I think unless Dombrowski can find a complete steal out there he would be smart to stay with the team we have. There is no way you can put any faith in the White Sox, or Twins running away with the mediocre division, which means we are in it regardless. Cabrera for MVP!!!

Leave a Reply

Clef two-factor authentication