The Detroit Tigers were amongst the teams with owners refusing to accept the league’s latest offer to players in collective bargaining agreement (CBA) talks this week.
Chris Illitch, the Tigers’ owner, was joined by his peers of the Los Angeles Angels, Cincinnati Reds, and Arizona Diamondbacks in criticizing the fact MLB agreed to up its offer of the competitive balance tax (CBT) threshold to $220 million.
This kind of behavior from Illitch is not what his father used to show when he was the owner.
Mike Illitch owned the Tigers from 1992 until 2017, when he died.
The Elder Illitch Had A Drive To Win
He badly wanted his Tigers to win it all, but couldn’t see his with come true.
It wasn’t because of a lack of trying, though.
He had to endure several losing seasons since the moment he bought the team until 2006.
That year, the Tigers reached the World Series and were favorites to win, but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Illitch committed to sign several high-profile free agents and hand pricy extensions in an attempt to win.
The Tigers won several Division titles and were always in the thick of things (even reaching the 2012 World Series again, this time against the San Francisco Giants, and were swept) but couldn’t win a Fall Classic under the elder Illitch.
He did honestly try, though, as Stephen Nesbitt of The Athletic shows us.
Mike Ilitch: Chris Ilitch: pic.twitter.com/vZqgMeZfYt
— Stephen J. Nesbitt (@stephenjnesbitt) March 4, 2022
Christopher, his son, still has a long way to go to prove he has his dad’s desire to win, which is all fans want to see in the end: they can cope with winning and losing, but they won’t stand someone who doesn’t try.
He did hand out some big contracts this offseason, but it was disappointing to see his name in the list of four opposed to the CBT increase.