It's the final countdown …

(queue cheesy 80s music)

It’s a regular lineup with the Tigers needing a win and a Yankees loss to stay mathematically alive in the playoff picture. With the off-day coming up Thursday, it’ll probably be like this the rest of the way, though expect some shuffling tomorrow night for Johan Santana.

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Sheffield, DH
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Guillen, SS
  6. Rodriguez, C
  7. Perez, LF
  8. Casey, 1B
  9. Inge, 3B

21 Comments

OK…everytime I hear that title or music, I think of Arrested Development and JOB Bluth’s magic show. Yes, way off topic here….but the season is over.

The second half was devistating… I really wanted the Tigers to pull through… Here’s to a miracle…

http://www.fightingphils.mlblogs.com

If these are the guys you are going with then at least bat Perez in the 6 hole.

JL is living in the past with his insitence on thinking that Pudge is going to be productive in the middle of the lineup.

Darn. The 3 guys I really wanted to get a hit weren’t able to.

Curtis has been taking the first pitch down the middle a lot lately. Given the circumstances I think he should be hackin’. Took a strike then didn’t see anything he could hit well.

Bazardo was pretty impressive with those 2 guys in scoring position. Hmmm!

C’mon Curtis You can do it! Get ahead in the count.

Curtis gets to .302 then cycles back down to .296 or thereabouts then gets hot all over again. Trouble is he doesn’t have enough games to go through that cycle again. It would be a great thing to see him hit .300

I scare myself. Telling my wife (yes she is still marginally interested) that Pudge will probably hit into a first pitch DP cause he never hits with men on. Sho Nuff.

JL has the regulars in there. Let’s hope they can actually support this very nice game by Bazardo. One more like yesterday would be a real bummer.

Credit where credit is due. Good aB by Pucge–I think the key was not jumping at that first pitch.
Perez is just a machine right now. Wow.

Duuuuuuuuuuh Yankees lose!

Thuuuuh Yankees lose! How about them blowing that lead tonight? Man….you think about if we’d won last night…….oh well. I’m lovin’ it. Make ‘em sweat.

Mr. Bazardo and Mr. Jurrjens are making a bid to be given a good long look next spring. Gimme a guy who can throw strikes.

I think Maggs may have gotten a little piece of that one he hit out, hey? Fun game.

And we remain the defending AL champs for yet one more day.

THE YANKEES LOOOOOOOSE! I’m lovin’ it! (Thanks for letting me borrow your slogan McD). Sept.26th and STILL meaningful baseball. Considering our injuries, that’s pretty remarkable. You know, if AROD wouldn’t have gone off this year…..Mags really has raked all year and would have been a lock MVP.

Cmon Tigers one more day, lets go and live till tomorrow. Rays go get ‘em!

Buzzard threw a fine game.

I can hardly wait to see what JL and DD can do with the roster for 2008

I notice Brandon now has 300+ assists on the season

Was at the game last night (and going again tonight). Not sure how it looked on TV, but the calls on check swings was awful! It was like the head ump told the line umpires ‘if the catcher asks if they swing…say yes’. From my seat it appeared that his strike zone was a little high, but a least he stayed consistant.

On TV, it looked like his (Froeming’s) strike zone was low, but mostly consistent. Usually they’re right on the check swing calls, but they did miss one on Sheffield for sure. This is the crew that is being looked at after the Milton Bradley incident on Sunday. We on this blog have complained about this crew several times this season. I know they did that Seattle series in July and some other ones.

Don’t want this to look like a post mortem. But…

As significant as the last 2 years have been there are some necessary moves to make holes to fill and questions to be answered.

The lineup, if you haven’t noticed, is getting a little old. And I don’t mean in the routine of marching the same one out there ever day either.

Sheffield is 40 next year I think, Pudge 35 (old for a catcher), Guillen is a 32 year old SS with gimpy knees, Ordonez will be 34. Rogers, and Jones are no spring chickens. Casey is in his mid 30s too.

At this stage in their rexpective careers you cant expect them to put up BETTER numbers. In most cases the numbers will be diminished.

So, if you don’t make a few changes then nothing will change.

Everyone is really down on Maybin saying he isn’t ready. And they are obviously right. For this year. Next year is a different story. The evolution of a MLB can happen quite dramatically at the neophyte stage. I would not be surprsed to see Maybin more than ready in spring ’08. Same with Miller.

We will need to bring in some youngblood next year to balance the aging veterans. Looks like there is some talk of Sheffield retiring. One thing for sure, this guy wants to play ball. If, in fact, he does retire it will be because his shoulder is hooped. I’m sure no one wants to go thru a full season with a physically impaired DH.

Left field needs to be seriously addressed and a platoon arrangement out there is a stop gap measure that is not conducive to building a championship team. I don’t think Perez is the answer out there even with the incredible swings we have been seeing from him at the tail end of the year here.

Not sure what will happen with Pudge. There is no way they can maintain a potent lineup by maintain a pretense that he is a productive middle of the lineup hitter. He had a off-year defensively as well. Although I thought he had a pretty good game last night managing Bazardo and keepin the ball in fron of him.

I would not be surprised to see the club show a renewed faith in Guillen at SS. I don’t think that means he will be the answere there and I would prefer to see him at 1B unless they land a LHB phenom for that role.

I think our pitching will be very good next year. Bonderman has to take stock of himself and accept the fact he can’t get by without developing another pitch he can throw effectively.

Robertson will be prime trade material but I don’t think you can get a better 5th starter to replace him. He should be a 13 game winner at least.

You can’t judge where JJ and Bazardo will be but they have impressed and Bazardo showed he has a lot of composure and a nasty changeup. JJ needs to improve upon his strikeout pitch–and by that I mean he needs to identify what it is.

The good thing about them that I have noticed is that they pitch like they feel the belong up here. When Miller was pitching that way (before he hurt himself) he had pretty good results.

Inge will be here but I hope the brass will impress upon him that he is far more valuable to the cause when he is willing to hit to the right side.

Should be an interesting lineup today. I think we will see Raburn in CF–Maybin Maybe, but I think JL will hold him back to pinch run. Infante has never had a hit off of Santana (either has Granderson) so I don’t hink we will see them. Probably Hessman at 1B and Thames in LF.

Dan:

Great post.

I agree with everything you posted, but would a few things to it.

I am very concerned about the Tiger bullpen next year. You mentioned the age of Jones. I’m not yet convinced that Zumaya and Rodney can be counted on to be reliable next year.

I believe that Dave Dombrowski has overall done a wonderful job as GM. The only major diagreement I have with is regarding the Sheffield acquisition.

I wasn’t thrilled with the money being paid to Sheffield because I believe that money would better have been used to help pay for a much younger palyer that was better and more expensive. By far my biggest problem with that acquisition, though, is trading away Sanchez, Whelan and Claggett to get Sheffield. Even if Sheffield came free of salary, I wouldn’t have like the trade. I hope that this trade does not turn out to be another Smoltz for Alexander trade. I truly do not like giving up Whelan.

Have you got the bill yet that I sent you for my text message updates on the series at Yankee Stadium. Just kidding, of course. I’m glad I could be of service to you. I’m sorry the Tigers stunk it up during that series. I hope you didn’t get any advertisers calling you after you posted your cell phone number.

ogb3@charter.net

Owen–thank you again for that. It was pretty neat to be able to get the updates from you at that time. I was in the middle of a music festival that weekend and was kind of out of touch with “reality”.
August was a bad month for the club. I was away another weekend prior to that (a music festval again) and away from my ‘post’. That time they dropped an entire series to the Pale Hose. That was a major setback. As was losing 3 out of 4 to the Yanks 2 weekends later.

I guess the jury will be out fo awhile on the Sheffield deal but I was OK with it thinking that we were going to get major production for 2 or 3 years. It added some danger to our lineup but my reservation on the deal had more to do with negativity in the clubhouse amidst a media circus. Thankfully, that never really materialized.

I don’t think we are going to be happy with Sheffield next year. I kinda hope they trade him away–maybe to Tampa Bay.

Cheers

Accurate analysis again although the age thing may be a little on the gloomy side. Sheffield turns 39 in November, Pudge will be 36 actually. Guillen turns 32 this Sunday and Casey, surprisingly, is only 33. I’m not sure Jones and Rogers return anyway. Players these days stay in much better shape than they did back in “our” day, and can play at a higher level for a longer period of time. Strides in health care also play into that.

If the pitching is good, we’ll be in good shape. Overall, I think the team as is will be as good as most any team out there, but I’d like to see those holes filled too. If I have a concern for next year, it’s what the departures of Jones and Rogers would do to the overall well being of the pitching staff.

Inge was actually going to rightfield last night and what a difference that made. Everybody would love him if he’d hit .275 or so.

–Rich

Umpire Mike Winters, who would have worked secondbase tonight, has been suspended for the remainder of the season as a result of the Milton Bradley incident on Sunday.

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