Should Tigers trade pitching for offense?

The Tigers won 95 games in 2006. They won't win 85 in 2007 if they don't make some real changes before next April.

Originally Published: November 2, 2006
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
I've told this story two or three times before, and I'm going to keep telling it until I've got one that's more current.

A few months after the Angels won the 2002 World Series, I spoke to general manager Bill Stoneman in his Arizona spring training office. The Angels were planning to open the 2003 season with 24 of the 25 players who'd been on the World Series roster. I asked Stoneman if he worried that he hadn't made enough changes over the winter. In fact, Stoneman told me, he wished the 2003 Angels were more the same; he was unhappy about losing backup outfielder Orlando Palmeiro to free agency.

You might recall what happened next. The Angels, who won 99 games in 2002, plummeted to 77 wins in 2003. Two things about this. One, the Angels were particularly unlucky in '03. And two, nothing Stoneman could reasonably have done after the World Series would have put the Angels in the playoffs the next season. Considering that the Angels have averaged 92 wins in the three seasons since, Stoneman's standing pat might have been the best thing for the franchise's long-term fortunes.


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