The Fallen Franchise.
The Oakland Press examines the long, brutal fall of the Detroit Tigers from the pinnacle of 1984 to the sewer of 2003 in a five part series by longtime beat writers Jim Hawkins and Pat Caputo.
Summary? Hubris and stupidity are a bad combination.
Part I: Distant Memories.
Part II: Cracks in the Foundation.
Part III: The Collapse Begins.
Part IV: Atrophy under Ilitch.
Part V: Hope for the Future?
Fittingly, there is no link for the last story yet.
From the same paper, an article effectively demonstrating that Mike Ilitch has been the worst owner in the history of the organization.
Finally, Detroit News beat writer Lynn Hennings answers that "hope for the future" question with a resounding "No"--at least for the medium term. The talent cupboard is empty.
The lack of minor-league talent, due to shockingly bad drafting, is frightening. One position talent -- Cody Ross, not by any means a game-breaker -- is at Triple A. One pitcher of significance -- Rob Henkel, who figures to be in Detroit in September -- is working at Double A. You have to go to the lower minor-league levels to see any kind of hitting potential in the entire Tigers system. It is staggering how little talent exists.
When does college football kick off again?