My 25 favorite Detroit Tigers- Placido Polanco

I have been a fan of the Detroit Tigers since the Summer of 1984. That means I am lucky enough to vividly remember my baseball team winning a World Series title, and waiting for them to win another. Since every year the team itself asks me who my Tiger is I decided to write about my favorite 25 Tigers since I became a fan…at eight years old…This has less to do with performance as it does with whatever intangible qualities Tigers’ players have…I mean this is the town that loved Brandon Inge and Don Kelly…and no neither one of those players will make my list…With all of that being said…

#23 Second Baseman Placido Polanco

polanco

I am a little surprised that people don’t talk more about the fleecing of the Philadelphia Phillies that was accomplished when Dave Dombrowski traded for Placido Polanco. Sure he did not get one of the best players in baseball in this deal…but let us not forget that Dontrelle Willis came in that other deal and he was a complete disaster in Detroit. For Polanco…Dave dealt away a backup middle infielder…and one of the last pieces of the 119 loss season of 2003…and a relief pitcher that would be in a foreign prison sooner rather than later. Polanco was a great fit for the Tigers…me manned second baseman and was way more than solid there…but he was also the #2 hitter here in Detroit that really set the table for the offense.

In just over five seasons in the Old English D Polanco won two Silver Slugger awards, a Gold Glove, and was an All Star once. His impact on the team was hard to measure but he was a key part of the 2006 World Series team…and most of us remember him scampering home on the Magglio Ordonez home run that sent this team back to the World Series for the first time in 22 years.

His best year in Detroit was 2007…the year before Miggy…where Placido hit .341 and had 200 hits. Granted the Tigers finished second in the division that year…but were a full 8 games back by the end of the regular season. Of course when we talk about Polanco we talk about how he left Detroit without so much as a qualifying offer…it was such a curious move. The front office decided to go with Scott Sizemore who would save the team some payroll dollars but was a move that never worked out. I remember asking Sizemore that off season if he thought he could live up to the love Detroit has had for it’s second baseman over the years, and he said of course. He was confident he could get it done, but the loss of Polanco was a sore spot for Tigers fans all the way till they reacquired Omar Infante…

Of course by 2009 Polanco was at the end of his hot streak. He had a decent 2010 season for the Phillies but not like he had been…of course much better than what the Tigers got out of Sizemore, Will Rhymes, and Ramon Santiago. However by 2012 the Tigers would have needed a better option at second even if they had kept Polanco…for me this move and others like it will always speak to how bad Dombrowski was at developing new talent.

My 25 Favorite Detroit Tigers players

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