Detroit Tigers owner Christopher Ilitch arrives at spring training and gives an update

Detroit Tigers owner Chris Ilitch made his yearly stop in Lakeland Florida, to visit the team and give an update to the day-to-day function and thought process going through a long rebuild. As usual when he spoke Ilitch’s words were honest and forthright. For the Detroit Tigers it is a pan they are sticking with, because it is proven.

As I have stated many, many times rebuilds are no fun. There is no way around it. I say that yet I actually enjoy watching rosters being built. Still for the average fan, rebuilds well suck.

DETROIT, MI – FEBRUARY 09: President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings Chris Ilitch answers questions during the NHL Winter Classic press conference at Comerica Park on February 9, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

When the Detroit Tigers named Al Avila general manager, they knew full well this was going to be the direction the organization was trending towards. When Avila took over in 2015, the Tigers were a mess. An old team with bloated contracts and a pitiful minor league system. Avila got to work and now the Detroit Tigers boast one of the best minor league systems. The Tigers payroll came down as well.

Yesterday, Chris Ilitch spoked candidly and offered some insight. “When I look at what we’re doing, I think we’re on the right path,” Ilitch said. “Al has been clear from day one. He’s got a plan, and as an organization we’re executing that plan. It’s a plan that we know works. We’ve done it before, and it’s homegrown talent that is the foundation of championships. And so we continue down that path, and it’s exciting, because so many of our young prospects are now on the cusp.”

Ilitch went on to say, “The most difficult part is the patience. But I’m just like the fans I want to see our young players make the big leap. And it’s good to see so many prospects in camp today.”

LAKELAND, FL – FEBRUARY 13: Detroit Tigers Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Al Avila looks on during Spring Training workouts at the TigerTown Facility on February 13, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The key is to find (through the MLB Draft) a core group of players. Which was greatly helped by last years draft. Then fill in with big high priced free agents, which Ilitch said he will do after the said core group is identified.

I believe that the Detroit Tigers could begin to add bigger name free agents after the 2021 MLB season. As many top prospects will be and the verge of making the Tigers roster.

Detroit Tigers chairman and CEO Christopher Ilitch tells fans he will spend money

Embed from Getty Images Rebuilds are not fun, there is no two ways around it. Detroit Tigers chairman and CEO Christopher Ilitch, on his yearly visit to spring training spoke about the current state of the Detroit Tigers, the process of rebuilding the team and the future plans he has envisioned for his franchise.

First in what promises to be another long season at Comerica Park, perhaps the final long season as top prospects are preparing to take their final steps to the major leagues…….. Yes, Christopher Ilitch will spend money on free agents  when the time is right.

This was both a relaxing trip for Ilitch and a business trip rolled in one. The Detroit Tigers owner was there to check in on top prospects. Before the Tigers took on the Toronto Blue Jays, Christopher Ilitch asked Tigers general manager Al  Avila if there was a chance he could see one of the teams top  prospects, outfielder Riley Greene in the game.  Lo and behold, Greene was added to the lineup.

Christopher Ilitch is a baseball fan at heart. He grew up attending Detroit Tigers games when his father (the late Mike Ilitch) owned the team. Last season when his franchise lost 114 games it did not exactly sit well with the owner.

“You know, I get it. I understand the frustration,” Ilitch said. “Tiger fans are the greatest. We’re exceptionally grateful for the loyalty and dedication of Tiger fans. Tiger fans want to see winning teams on the field and they deserve to see winning teams on the field. And I can tell you everybody here in the Tiger organization is working exceptionally hard to deliver winning teams on the field.”

“I believe in the process. It’s not going to happen overnight, but we … will … get there,” Ilitch continued. “We know how to win. We have rebuilt the Detroit Tigers successfully before and we’re going to do it again.”

“We’re going to do whatever it takes to do it again. Having lived through it before, having lived through it in a different sport, these things are on their own timetable sometimes. A lot of factors, as you know, go into it.”

Detroit Tigers fans have often wondered out loud if Christopher Ilitch would spend money saying they thought he was too frugal and would never spend money on top free agent players like his father did.

The Tigers owner gave an answer that should put those thoughts to rest, “When I feel the time is right, Al (Avila) is going to have the resources to go out and sign the free agents he needs to add around our home-grown base and core of talent.”

“At the end of the day, for us to be competitive on a longer term basis, we are building this team the right way,” Ilitch went on. “I have absolute confidence that we are building a Tigers team that Tiger fans will be proud of, a team that will live up to the tradition of our storied franchise.”

Until the team is ready to add players to the top prospects, enjoy baseball, the time will soon come the Tigers will roar again.

Detroit Tigers: owner Chris Ilitch is pleased with the rebuild

Embed from Getty Images He does not speak about his teams very often. Yet Chris Ilitch, owner of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings spoke about his baseball team. He started by saying he has no intensions of selling the Tigers which had been rumored.


The Ilitch family is and has been fully committed to the city of Detroit. The work they have done is stunning. The city has not given him any heat for rebuilding two  of the cities most treasured franchises at the same time.


Ilitch ordered  the farm system to be replenished. While the Tigers are now moving closer to the middle of the rebuild there is still work to do and salary to shed.


Since he gave the order. Chris and Detroit Tigers fans have seen the teams franchise go from 30th ranked to 9th ranked. That is an incredible one year jump.


The Tigers are still on a three year projection to return to competitive baseball. This time around they will be younger and the winning will last longer. MLB teams have placed a premium on home grown talent. Sure teams will still sign a free agent. Maybe even two. But even the mighty New York Yankees have come to understand that keeping and not rading blue chip prospects is the way to go.


The Detroit Tigers farm system is pitching heavy. The best in the minors. They have some bats as well. Rebuilds are not fun. But the fun will soon return to Comerica Park.

Detroit Red Wings: shocker

Embed from Getty Images What seemed like a slam dunk sure fire ending turned into a surprise when the Detroit Red Wings brought general manager Ken Holland back on a two year extension.


In a move that both shocked and angered Red Wings fans Chris Ilitch has picked Holland to finish the rebuild he started. It actually may not be a bad idea. Here’s why.

For starters young players stepped up. Dylan Larkin showed he is ready for a job anchoring the first line. Young Winger Anthony Mantha grew as well as left wing Tyler Bertuzzi. Other young players showed they are ready to help out as well.

This speaks volumes for Holland and the player development  Detroit has in place. Now the hard part comes. It would seem like having a bunch of draft picks would be a great place for the Wings to be in. Holland and his scouting department must be spot on in this years draft in order to speed the rebuild up.

As for owner Chris Ilitch he seems to be signaling he wants a veteran to spear head a difficult rebuild.  In his time before he was a general manager Holland, was a top amateur scout. He is getting back to his roots as he plans to go and personally scout players. In my opinion that is a very good move.

After all is said and done Ken Holland was only given a two year deal. Perhaps, they want to keep him on a short leash. There is still a lot of work to be done. The Detroit Red wings lack an impact player and goalie Jimmy Howard will be 34 years old entering next year and on the last year of his contract. With no goalie help in sight.

Only the Red Wings front office brass knows if head coach Jeff Blashill will be back. Based on player growth I’d say he will.



Detroit Tigers: keep an eye on Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores

When Chris Ilitch took over as owner of the Detroit Tigers he said he was not going to sell the team. Stating his love for baseball. Times and circumstances change.

Tom Gores billionaire owner of the Detroit Pistons had struck a deal with Chris Ilitch and the Pistons play at Little Caesar’s Arena. It may not seem anything but two men striking a business deal.
There are now loud whispers Ilitch would like to sell the Detroit Tigers. The two Detroit area businessmen met at least two times last summer at Comerica Park no less.
Gores has even used language referring to the Tigers as “a beloved franchise.” He is said to be more than interested. Further more, Ilich is said to be waiting for an offer from Gores.
Chris Ilitch has no intentions of selling the Detroit Red Wings as they were his fathers pride and joy. Not to mention the family would like to hold onto the team that plays in an arena build by Iltich inc.
The city of Detroit and Tigers fans all over will be paying attention to see if and how this unfolds. Only the two businessmen know if there was any deal involving Little Caesar’s Arena, the Pistons, and the Tigers that may shape any future purchasing of the team.