I'll agree with the first part, the city is not the issue...or at least is hasn't been for guys like Ivan Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Reggie Bush, Golden Tate, Chauncey Billups, etc. etc. etc.
On the subject of Babs I'll say this. What happened in FA wasn't his fault. He's not in charge of managing the roster. I do, however, think that players don't look at him like they did at Bowman. Sure, Scotty was a d*ck, but he coached a powerhouse team that realistically could win the cup every year. Babs is a d*ck whose team isn't going to win s***. So why deal with him? Ken Hitchcock is notoriously difficult to play for, and he gets FAs because his team is a contender. I think players would tolerate Babs if we could compete, but we can't, so they don't. Not his fault, but it does play a part.
Of course, the Tigers have been a strong contender for years now, hence those guys coming to Detroit. And Billups...well, I don't follow basketball but didn't he suck when he came back? Likely no one else wanted him and he wanted to go somewhere familiar.
The point everyone is making about the city isn't that no one wants to come here just because of that, but if your team is not a contender, there's no reason to choose Detroit over Tampa or Washington or any place with more living perks. If Detroit were winning, we wouldn't have trouble attracting UFAs. But since we're not really any better than the rest of the middling teams, the city of Detroit isn't going to be a selling point.
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