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For one night, Ordonez worth the cost

Updated: September 30, 2009, 4:31 PM ET
By Buster Olney
It's too bad there isn't a transcript of the conversation that took place sometime this summer between Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch and his baseball people about Magglio Ordonez. Presumably, those people presented these facts for Ilitch to digest:

Ordonez's contract contained a vesting option for 2010, for $18 million, and if Ordonez remained in the lineup on a regular basis, he would accumulate the option easily. Ordonez was still an effective player, they presumably said, but at $18 million, he would be enormously overpriced.

At some point in the conversation, somebody presumably pointed out that if you set the whole issue of money aside, the Tigers' chances for winning in 2009 would be improved by keeping Ordonez in the lineup.

For a lot more on Mike Ilitch and his decision on Ordonez, plus the résumés for National League Rookie of the Year, and much more, you must be an ESPN Insider. Insider

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