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Tigers, Pistons in need of help now

December 18, 2011
CRAIG?REMSBURG - Senior Sports Writer ( , The Mining Journal

Dave Dombrowski and Joe Dumars have not been timid in their continuing efforts to improve their pro clubs.

Dombrowski, president and general manager of the Detroit Tigers, traded for Miguel Cabrera, Max Scherzer and Doug Fister, among other moves.

Dumars, meanwhile, has brought such players as Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Charlie Villenueva and Ben Gordon to the Detroit Pistons in his role as the team's president of basketball operations.

They don't sit back in trying to make their clubs better. They're proactive, two of the more aggressive leaders in their respective sports.

That's why it's surprising neither Dombrowski or Dumars have made much of a splash to date in making moves to better their lineups.

Dombrowski has signed former Tiger and catcher Gerald Laird to a one-year deal to give Bobby Avila a few more days off next season.

He re-signed valuable reserve infielder Ramon Santiago for two years and added free agent right-handed relief pitcher Octavio Dotel to a one-year contract.

Dombrowski also traded erratic pitcher Ryan Perry for another erratic hurler in Collin Balester, like Perry a middle reliever.

But other than not offering second baseman Will Rhymes an arbitration contract, and not offering contracts to Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez, that's about the extent of the Tigers' offseason moves.

The team has until Monday night to extend an arbitration contract to outfielder Delmon Young, who showed flashes of effective play late last season.

The Major League Baseball winter meetings have come and gone and Dombrowski has yet to make a significant addition heading into this weekend.

No left-handed starting pitcher.

No outfielder with speed, and if possible, power.

No everyday second baseman.

Dumars has only been able to make moves for a little more than a week due to the lengthy NBA work stoppage.

He re-signed veteran forward Tayshaun Prince to a ridiculous four-year contract. Prince, who'll turn 32 in February, is on the down side of his career.

Dumars also re-signed forward Jonas Jerebko, who has shown a lot of energy in his brief Pistons' career, but is coming off an Achilles tendon injury that sidelined him the entire 2010-11 season.

Has he fully recovered? Will he take his play up a notch?

Dumars waived veteran shooting guard Richard "Rip" Hamilton, who has signed with the Chicago Bulls. That freed up $4 million in cap space this season and next for the Pistons.

And on Saturday is was announced that restricted free agent guard Rodney Stuckey was re-signed to a three-year, $25 million deal to keep the team's backcourt strong.

It's no secret the Pistons need a "big" - a power forward or center to complement budding star Greg Monroe. Veteran forwards Ben Wallace at 6-foot-9 and Jason Maxiell at 6-8 just aren't the answer.

Former Duke 6-8 forward Kyle Singler, the Pistons' 2011 second-round draftee at No. 33 overall, might have helped the front court. But he opted to play in Spain with Real Madrid, instead.

Maybe Dumars needs a little more time to make a move that will improve a club struggling to get back to the playoff contender it once was.

Or maybe new coach Lawrence Frank needs to see what he has to work with and what the team's needs are to improve.

Or perhaps once all the star players going to different teams now, like Chris Paul and perhaps Dwight Howard sometime, are accounted for, Dumars will find a piece to fit the Pistons' puzzle.

But the NBA season starts Dec. 25, so there isn't much time to add a player who'll make a significant contribution to the Pistons.

Both Dombrowski and Dumars need to make moves to make their teams better.

The question is: Will they pull the trigger, or sit back and wait for the right acquisition, no matter how long it takes?

Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is



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