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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Post# 222 - My Ongoing Dialogue with the Detroit Tigers Part 1 of 2

The Sparky Anderson number retirement has always been, for me, a hot topic.  It all started on Sparky Anderson Day at Comerica Park in 2000.  They let him ride around the park in a car, and he waved to the fans.  It should've happened then.  When Tom Wilson joined the team, I sent this note.  No reply.

Then, VP of Communications, Ron Colangelo and I had this exchange, where Ron stated that they would take a look at the possibility at the next organizational review.

Then, there was an article in the Detroit News on Sunday, January 23rd that set me off.  In it, Dave Dombrowski claimed that the retirement of Sparky's jersey has never come up in discussions.

I don't buy that.  At the same time, I realize that folks like Dave and Ron have to tow the company line and clean up messes created by those above and around them.  This is Part I of my dialogue with Ron over the course of five months.  Part II is HERE.
Subject: RE: Sparky Anderson
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2011 11:32:15 -0500

Dear Mr. Colangelo,

When my kids tell a lie, they get grounded.  To me, it's the biggest form of distrust possible between two entities.  One lie can ruin an entire relationship.  How am I supposed to process a lie when it occurs between a fan, and his lifelong baseball team?

On October 23, 2009, (while Sparky was still alive) in the note attached, you stated "...but we will certainly take your endorsement into consideration for Sparky Anderson during our next organizational... review."

In today's Detroit News, Dave Dombrowski states: "Sometimes topics don't come up. ... The whole time I've been here (since November 2001), we've never had the discussion,"

Can you see why I'm upset?  Who's lying?  You to me?  Dave to the Tony Paul of the Detroit News?  Or the Detroit News to its readers?  I'm sure it's asking too much for you to explain this.  I'm sure you've got bigger issues in your hopper.  Just know that I'm thoroughly disgusted with the manner in which this entire situation has been handled.  From waiting to retire the number until Sparky was gone, to the lip service that's been doled out, either to me, or to the entire fan base.

I may not make it over to the ballpark this season.  I may not be able to stomach it.



From: Ron.Colangelo
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2011 11:53:34 -0500


I welcome the opportunity to discuss this subject with you.  

Please let me know a time we can speak over the telephone next week.

Thank you,


Subject: RE: Sparky Anderson
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 00:20:08 -0500

Hey Ron,

I'd be happy to discuss this.  I've cooled down a little.  I realize there are multiple sides to things like this, with personalities and politics.  It's just very disappointing, the way it looks from the outside.

I bleed blue and orange.  I greatly admired Sparky.  Kaline, Horton, Tram, right down the line.  Frankly, I greatly admire Mr. Ilitch too. 

The best time for me during the week is after 5:00.   My cell number is XXX-XXX-XXXX.

I appreciate you getting back to me--I'm sure you're very busy.



Subject: Next weekend
From: Ron.Colangelo

Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 15:02:17 -0500


I would like to know if you are available sometime next weekend (Feb. 19 or 20) to speak by phone.  I will in Lakeland for Spring Training, and you said after 5:00 p.m. works best.  Please let me know a date, time and phone number.



Subject: RE: Next weekend
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 22:02:29 -0500


After 5 only applies to during the week.  How does Saturday 11:00 AM sound.  I assume you'll be busy down there, so if there's a better time, let me know.


Thanks for following up!


Note: there was a highly public off-the-field incident that week with our star player.  I figured this would be an "all hands on deck" situation in Lakeland, where the Tigers have their spring training.
Subject: RE: Next weekend
From: Ron.Colangelo

Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 15:38:49 -0500


I haven't forgotten you.


Subject: RE: Next weekend
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 21:15:22 -0500

No worries, Ron.  When things were happening last week, I figured you'd be busy.
Subject: RE: Next weekend
From: Ron Colangelo

Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2011 12:49:01 -0400

Let's talk this week!  It's the perfect time since the season is about to start.
Subject: RE: Next weekend
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2011 18:37:59 -0400

Sounds good Ron!  It's hard to tell you the best time to call.  My schedule is ever-changing these days.  If I'm not at work, I'm enjoying my hour commute or training for my upcoming half marathon or in the bleachers at my daughter's swim practice.   Feel free to call me whenever.

This is my favorite time of year.  I'm excited about the team, like the offseason moves, etc.  I went to a Reds/Angels game in AZ two weeks ago with my wife, kids, Dad and brother and had a great time.




To Be Continued.....

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