Earlier today, it was announced, in conjunction with the Tigers organization, that Magglio Ordonez will officially retire from baseball Sunday; thereby retiring as a Tiger. I for one couldn’t be happier.
I wrote in an earlier post how the acquisition of Pudge Rodriguez was the front office’s first step in returning the Tigers to relevance. That being said, the front office’s second step, and perhaps a greater step towards on-field improvement, was the signing of Magglio Ordonez. That’s no disrespect to Pudge; but it was widely accepted that his best years of his career were behind by the time he signed with the Tigers.
The signing of Ordonez was at the time an even greater risk than that of Pudge. After the injury that saw he and the White Sox part ways, Magglio was viewed as viewed as a player with loads of potential, whose injuries had made him something of a liability. Through some brilliant foresight, the Tigers were careful to word Ordonez’s contracts with statistical benchmarks and performance incentives – protecting them should he fall victim to the injuries that plagued him through his White Sox tenure. One trip to the World Series, one AL Central title (which should have been two) and one AL Batting title clearly illustrate the Tigers gamble paid off. I’m sure Hawk Harrelson was shouting “Dad-gummit” on October 14, 2006 when Maggs did this:
That was quite simply the greatest moment in the history of Comerica Park and the the team’s wake up call to the baseball world.
I’m hoping the family has tickets for Sunday, and are planning to take a lot of pictures…