Embed from Getty Images Christopher Ilitch has made many spring training visits to Lakeland Florida over the years. Some as the owners son and the last two over being the owner of the Detroit Tigers. Saturday morning he made his yearly visit.
Christopher Ilitch met the media shortly after arriving a Tiger Town and was upfront and blunt about the state of the team and the state of the Tigers rebuild.
Starting by saying he wants the Tigers to win again sooner that later. That was a good draw-in for all Detroit Tigers fans. After the draw-in, he tempered the talk by saying he and the front office is determined to see the rebuild to it’s fruition.
“I have the same sense of impatience our fans have.” Ilitch fired off. “I am a fan first and foremost. I want to see this team be a great team, a playoff team and ultimately a championship team.” Christopher and the Tigers are taking the right approach.
Ilitch then went and watch some Tigers top prospects in action. Matt Manning third baseman Isaac Paredes and outfielder Brock Deatherage did not disappoint their owner.
“We are executing our plan, I think we are starting to see really nice progress.” If this was just any owner it would be lip service. But coming from Ilitch and the fact the Detroit Tigers have a top 10 pipeline it rings true.
“When I look at our pool of prospects there are some who will actually make their way to Detroit this summer.” Again a true statement. The reason it is critical the Tigers see the rebuild all the way though is simple. It works.
Look at the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros. Both teams went in the tank for 5-7 year and reemerged from rebuilding to win the World Series. The same thing is about to happen in Philadelphia. The Phillies have not been good for 7 years and are coming out of their rebuild with Bryce Harper in toat.
The million dollar question of when the Tigers will spend money on top free agents was answered as well. Once the Tigers have a solid young core (which should happen by the end of this season) and they have a chance to play in Detroit together (most likely next summer) then the wallet will be open.
Christopher Ilitch also noted that he does not know what the payroll will look like right now simply because “we are laser-focused on building our core.”
In short this years media meet and greet sounded vastly different. That is because the Tigers are getting closer to the end of their rebuild. Baseball is about to be fun again in the Motor City where the sport reigns supreme.