The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
Detroit Tigers Acquire Ugueth Urbina, Rest of 2003 Marlins
Originally posted 4/5/2004

New Tigers (clockwise, from top left) Urbina, Lowell, Beckett and Conine
DETROIT - Baseball fans, observers and pundits scrambled to rearrange their 2004 predictions this week as the Detroit Tigers -- who not only finished dead last in 2003 but also set an all-time single season record for losses by an American League team, with 119 -- acquired free agent relief pitcher Ugueth Urbina and, a short time later, the rest of the World Champion 2003 Florida Marlins.

"It's going to be great to have Uggie pitching to me again," said Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, whom the Tigers signed this offseason after he led the Marlins to the World Series title last year. "And it's going to be great to have everybody else, too. I think we can turn things around for the Tigers."

Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski, who pulled off the roster-for-roster swap, was the general manager of the Marlins from the team's inception through November of 2001, and put together the 1997 Marlins squad that defeated the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

"I still know some guys over there," said Dombrowski, "and they were pretty happy with the way things went last year, but there were looking to go in a different direction. After we got Rodriguez and Urbina, I thought, why not? Let's just see if we can get the rest of them."

"This is going to be a different thing, but I'm looking forward to it," said 2003 World Series MVP Josh Beckett. "I'm looking forward to playing for [Tigers manager] Alan Trammell, seeing how he does things. [Marlins manager] Jack McKeon was great last year, but sometimes we'd get tired of him complaining about his rheumatism or talking about how baseball hasn't been the same since they started letting fielders use gloves."

The Tigers, who were picked to finish last in the American League Central Division this season by almost everyone, have suddenly become the odds-on favorite to win the division and go deep into the American League playoffs.

"We had the Tigers at 250-1 to win the World Series this year," said Joey DiVanova, director of sports betting at the Stardust in Las Vegas. "We had to change that to 5-1 pretty quick, as you could imagine. A couple people got bets in at 250-1 right before we heard about the Tigers getting all these new guys, but, we'll go ahead and... take care of them."

When asked if he realized that he had winked knowingly as he said "take care of them," Mr. DiVanova replied, "oh, that? That's just a... facial tick," and winked knowingly.

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