MLB Rumors: What to make of Justin Verlander’s return to Detroit?
Six years after trading Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros, and the Tigers are in the same spot, stuck in neutral. Detroit traded away one piece after another, with Chris Ilitch tearing down his father’s empire brick by brick.
It was a sad time to be a Tigers fan. Heck, it still is, albeit with a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Even Verlander admitted that those Detroit teams were the “glory days”, while the reality is far worse. Detroit, like most major-league cities, could have winning baseball if ownership consistently invested in the on-field product. Mike Ilitch proved that prior to his death. His son Chris doesn’t have the same priorities.
Even Verlander saw the looming collapse coming.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” Verlander said. “Everybody kind of saw it coming as pieces started to be traded away.”
JV has long rooted for the Tigers after they dealt him elsewhere. He’s as beloved as they come in MoTown, and while Comerica Park is often empty these days when the Tigers play baseball, perhaps there is hope for a decent crowd when he and Max Scherzer — another former All-Star in Detroit — face their former team this series.
“I’m always rooting for the best for the organization,” Verlander said. “It seems like they’re bringing in some pieces to start turning things around.”
Hopefully, Verlander’s optimism is the reality. A new general manager, Scott Harris, has a vision for this organization. Should it come to a reality and mirror the San Francisco Giants — Harris former employer — it will be a rousing success.
But I know better than to buy false hope just yet.