There are only two players on the Detroit Tigers’ roster who suffered the dark days of the 2003 season. They are Omar Infante and Ramon Santiago. Only two players have been a Tiger every season since Jim Leyland took over as Tiger manager, Santiago and Justin Verlander. Ramon Santiago has been a Tiger for nine seasons, more seasons than any other Tiger.

In a year that most Tigers and Tiger fans would rather forget, 2003 was the only season in Santiago’s career when he was a starter. He played 141 games that season as the Tiger shortstop, logging 507 plate appearances for the team that broke the record for most losses in a season in American League history. Following that season, Santiago was shipped to Seattle in exchange for Carlos Guillen, who would become an All Star and a fixture at shortstop for the new and improved Tigers for the next several years.

To say that Dave Dombrowski robbed the Mariners in the Santiago for Guillen trade would be a gross understatement. But to add insult to injury, the Tigers picked up Santiago once again off the waiver wire, and he has been a utility infielder for Detroit for another seven seasons. The Santiago transactions have been a win, win for the Tigers and for the Tigers again.