So, what's next for the Tigers?

927931.jpg

So, what's next for the Tigers?

From Comcast SportsNetDETROIT (AP) -- Built to win a World Series this year, the Detroit Tigers came close.Now they head into what could be another busy offseason for one of baseball's most talked-about franchises.Although Detroit won the American League pennant, a World Series sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants leaves a disappointing taste for the Tigers. And it's important to remember that if not for a late-season swoon by the Chicago White Sox, Detroit might not have made the playoffs at all."We ended up just not being the main attraction. We got beat by the Giants," manager Jim Leyland said. "They were the main attraction. We got to the heavyweight fight and we got beat."Leyland was managing on a one-year contract. He and general manager Dave Dombrowski tried to forgo any public discussion of the manager's future until after the season, so that's probably the most immediate issue that needs to be resolved.If Leyland is back, he'll again preside over a core of talent that can match pretty much any in baseball. Justin Verlander may win his second straight Cy Young Award, and he's backed by right-handers Max Scherzer and Doug Fister, who have become imposing parts of the rotation.Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera is in his prime, and Prince Fielder made a smooth transition to Detroit after signing a 214 million contract in the offseason.That was the move that signaled to everyone that the Tigers were serious about making a title run right away. It had actually been a quiet start to the offseason before designated hitter Victor Martinez went down with a serious knee injury that would sideline him for the whole 2012 campaign. Then the Tigers acted boldly, signing Fielder.They didn't cruise to the AL Central title as many expected. Instead, Detroit went 88-74, barely good enough to outlast the White Sox by three games.But Verlander threw a shutout at Oakland in Game 5 of the division series, and the Tigers swept the New York Yankees in the AL championship series, raising hopes that the team was peaking at exactly the right time."We've got to feel proud about what we did this year," Cabrera said. "We went through a lot, down and up."After Detroit went quietly in the World Series, questions will surface again on what needs to be done to improve."We have more experience now. The same team is going to be here -- that's a positive -- with more," Fielder said. "A lot of great things happened, but unfortunately it closed out with this. You win some and you lose some -- and we lost four."Martinez's return could mean the end of Delmon Young's tenure in Detroit, and closer Jose Valverde may not be in the team's plans either after falling out of favor during the postseason.The Tigers can exercise a team option on shortstop Jhonny Peralta -- or perhaps they could go in a different direction and try to improve their infield defense. If Detroit can't bring back right-hander Anibal Sanchez, Drew Smyly may need to step back into the rotation after a promising rookie year.Austin Jackson has solidified his hold on the center field spot, but left and right could be upgraded. Andy Dirks had a fine season in the outfield and Quintin Berry added some speed to the lineup, but are the Tigers willing to stick with them and Avisail Garcia in the corner outfield spots?A lot may depend on owner Mike Ilitch, who is still chasing the franchise's first World Series title since 1984. Ilitch signed off on the huge expenditure for Fielder, and if he's willing to raise the payroll even more, the Tigers may be active from the start this offseason.It was an uneven year at times for Detroit, but the window of opportunity is still very much open."We had a great run," left-hander Phil Coke said. "We just got cold at the wrong time."

Source: 49ers make offer to free-agent cornerback Williams

fullsizerender-35.jpg

Source: 49ers make offer to free-agent cornerback Williams

The 49ers are one of four teams to make a contract offer to free-agent cornerback K’Waun Williams, a league source told CSNBayArea.com on Tuesday.

Williams, 25, had an effective first two seasons as the Cleveland Browns’ nickel back under position coach Jeff Hafley, who was one of two assistant coaches to be retained on Kyle Shanahan’s staff.

Detroit, the New York Jets and Miami have also made contract offers, according to the source. Williams is scheduled to visit with the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday.

Williams entered the NFL in 2014 as an undrafted free agent from Pittsburgh. Williams (5 foot 9, 183 pounds) played in 26 games in his first two seasons with 10 starts.

He reportedly fell out of favor with the new coaching staff due to a dispute about an ankle injury and a dispute over his availability to practice. Williams was suspended for two weeks during training camp.

The Browns waived Williams on Aug. 29. The Chicago Bears claimed Williams off waivers but he failed a physical. Williams did not see action last season due to bone spurs in his ankle.

Lynch consults with Millen about where things went wrong in Detroit

Lynch consults with Millen about where things went wrong in Detroit

The critics of the 49ers’ decision to hire John Lynch as general manager point to one failed instance of a player-turned-broadcaster becoming the top personnel executive.

The Detroit Lions compiled a 31-81 record in Matt Millen’s seven seasons as general manager until he was fired after the 2007 season. The following season with a roster that was left in disarray from Millen’s time with the organization, the Lions went 0-16.

Appearing Tuesday morning on 95.7 The Game, Lynch said he recently spoke to Millen about his experience.

“Matt Millen and I had a great conversation the other day,” Lynch said. “I found it was very interesting to talk to him. He shared with me some of the things that he would’ve done differently. I think you can learn a little bit from everything and everyone, but ultimately you go to put your head down and go to work.

“We’ve put together a really, really quality team that I’m excited about. We’re in full stride and working every day to knock down things on our list. It’s a big list, and we’re ambitious on how aggressive we want to attack that. But it’s going very well.”

Lynch hired Martin Mayhew as a senior personnel executive to serve as one of his top lieutenants. Mayhew became Lions general manager after Millen was fired. In Mayhew’s eight seasons, Detroit posted a 47-81 record.

The 49ers were also able to hire Adam Peters away from the Denver Broncos to take on the role as vice president of player personnel. Broncos general manager John Elway, another of Lynch’s invaluable resources, allowed Peters to get out of his contract to take on a larger role with the 49ers.

“John Elway was a guy I bounced things off,” Lynch said. “He’s been there. He’s a good friend. I watched him kind of go through this in his own way. He is someone I’ve consulted with. You learn at a certain point that stops, because all of a sudden we’re competing with each other.”

Lynch also mentioned Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy as a person with whom he has spoken during his transition from the broadcast booth, where he spent the previous eight years, to an NFL executive role.