Sheff's out of the outfield

Gary Sheffield’s outfield work isn’t over, but it’s going to be drastically cut back. Manager Jim Leyland said Wednesday he’s worried about Sheff’s shoulder, as well as his throwing arm, and he doesn’t think playing him in the field a lot is going to help.

“The one thing I do know,” Leyland said, “is that with the physical conditions and trying to get the bat going, the longer I think about it, it doesn’t make sense [to play him in the field all the time]. … He DH’ed fine last year when he was healthy.”

Matt Joyce, Marcus Thames and Ryan Raburn will be mixed into the outfield now, but Leyland said he’ll play Sheffield out there once this weekend at Arizona.

Joyce is starting in left tonight. Here’s the rest of the lineup:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Guillen, 3B
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Joyce, LF
  7. Thames, DH
  8. Renteria, SS
  9. Rodriguez, C

For the Royals:

  1. David DeJesus, LF
  2. Mark Grudzielanek, 2B
  3. Alex Gordon, 3B
  4. Jose Guillen, DH
  5. Billy Butler, 1B
  6. Mark Teahen, RF
  7. John Buck, C
  8. T.J. Pena, SS
  9. Joey Gathright, CF

46 Comments

Please put Ramon in and give Renteria a day off. We need someone who is hitting. Not a guy who was hitting but is struggling.

Why let him play there a week and then change things? JL is paid to think these things through before he takes action. This indecisivenes is not a good sign. I wonder if he is starting to think about abandoning ship.

“the longer I think about it, it doesn’t make sense [to play him in the field all the time]. … He DH’ed fine last year when he was healthy.”

NOW he sees the light? Who’s running this show, anyway? And with Sheffield in left, DHing Joyce made no sense. That would have been an opportunity to rotate the job for a bit. This is bordering on the bizarre. I’m starting to wonder about ol’ Jimbo. Anyway, I’m all for using Raburn, and Thames, and Santiago. Maybe “the longer he thinks about it” JL will remember that Razor played during most of that excellent September run they made last season.
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My confidence in management is being shaken to the core.
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–Rich

Maybe JL is finally reading the blogs, you guys have a good handle on the way the lineup should be. Maybe tomorrow he’ll play Santiago.

I doubt JL is reading the blogs…
I think you have to look at this point to whoever can provide a spark to the team so that they can win some games. Maybe it means playing Santiago, Raburn, Thames, and Inge more. What do you have to lose? Could they do any worse then what’s already being done. Too bad none of them pitch.
I hope they turn it around and play up to their potential as a team

Question that I think would make for curious debate:

Do you think JL–or possibly even DD–will be gone by the 2009 season?

Playing namby pamby polite baseball again. No aggression whatsoever. Granderson walks and JL doesn’t even think of running him. May as well have Casey on first if you are afraid to try and get to into scoring posiiton.
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Then again, getting into scoring position means so very little with the way the whold damn lineup approaches their ABs.
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Verlander seems to drift in and out of being in charge out there. He does not seem to have that ability to decide he is going to get a K like he did last year.
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How many RISP have we left so far today? It’s getting to the point of being silly.
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I’m glad to see Thames and Joyce in there tonight. I was afraid if Sheffield hit into another easy DP he might ask to play center.

this team needs HEART

Our guys sure aren’t liking the strike zone tonight.

Well we have only had 7 LOB so far. It sure seem like more than that! We need to do something to get a rally going here.

Look at their eyes. They have no fire, no desire, it seems like they’re just going through the motions. Something is going on behind the scenes here, I’m almost sure of it.

Whew, that could have been ugly.
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I agree something is going on. What? I sure don’t know.

That is the million dollar question.

I never thought I’d be saying this a couple of months ago, but I HATE watching this team! It’s beyond pathetic. Station to station baseball, no power, no speed, no hit and run…when the pitching is good the bats suck…when the bats are good the pitching sucks…the manager has lost his compass…he seems more concerned about pampering millionaire egos than managing and leading the team. We’re a quarter of the way through the season and this is not getting any better. Their ONLY saving grace is that they are playing in the worst division in baseball right now.

i don’t think i agree with JL–putting Sheff in LF this weekend against the DBacks because we don’t get a DH doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense if his shoulder is bothering him. We have other guys who can hit and play left without shoulder problems…
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I agree, it seems like something else is going on. Hopefully whatever it is changes soon and gets this season turned around :)
–Adrienne

I am so sick of ordonez swinging at 1st pitches. I called that play before it happened. I just knew he would do something abolutely foolish. Finally get a couple of back to back singles to start an inning and you would think a hitter like Ordonez would exhibit some discipline and work the count to his advantage.
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I am thoroughly disgusted with this group. The fans of detroit deserve better than this and it is almost like these guys are rubbing their ridiculous play and poor performance in the fans’ faces. Ordonez should be benched for that AB.
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Verlander, like Robertson deserved better.
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Let’s see what Hessman and Larish can do.

JL is not making any sense, other than saying the other day that “we’re all to blame”.
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Putting in Dolsi with the bases loaded was a move he got away with..
.The whole Sheffield in LF thing was a fiasco. It was JL’s idea of shaking the team up I guess. But in reality, how could you expect that to even remotely work.

All I can say is…………..see ya tomorrow!!!!!!!

Frustrating AGAIN. This team just absolutely doesn’t know how or what a win is.
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And what even pisses me off more tonight is that the WINGS totally got screwed by officiating. Disallowing that goal, was beyond ridiculous.
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Back to baseball, My Tigers stink and what is the most frustrating part about it is that I think that we all know that this is not what they are. These guys all have proven track records and for some reason they are finding it difficult to put anything together. It is ego did they get big head before the season started thinking that this was going to be a cakewalk??? I sure as hell cannot figure them out, and appearently no one else can either. But as much as I love them, I am finding that I am getting an ulcer watching them. But it is like a train wreck, I just can’t look away.

Total and complete submissiveness has contaminate this whole lineup. They were humiliated out there tonight and if they aren’t embarassed well, then we really have a problem. I think this group has accepted this as normal if not OK.
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Leyland needs to do something. Something other than snap at reporters or issue the same verbal drivel he has been. What he can do is anybody’s guess but it is his job.
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This is a group that can’t motivate themselves even when they should be able to. The Yankee series in NY. The win against Boston and Papelbon. It just doesn’t matter they can’t take advantage of situations and get any momentum or flow.
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I still can’t believ that DP that Ordonez hit into. He is supposed to be a leader on this club and this is a time when we need leadership. It’s almost like they just want to get it over with.
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I know everyone here feels as upset about this as I do but I am just incencsed that these guys feel they get away with playing this poorly. I don’t care what JL continues to say, the effort is NOT there.

100% agreed Dan. The team in my opinion just doesn’t “give a rats ###???? I am not sure it matters what JL does. I just think that they all think that the next guy can get it done when in fact none of them have proven that they can. I just don’t know if they really care anymore. Maybe they are just all waiting to get traded off to contending teams.

Losing my faith in them. Losing it quickley.

JL’s playing Shef in LF was/is absolutely grasping at straws. It is obvious that Joyce would be the better defensive choice but JL was/is willing to make that concession if it gets Shef’s bat going. Dan, they are locked into this lineup and slight variations on it. With those huge contracts what else can they do and still save face? No, I’m almost positive, it’s like an addictive gambler who can’t stop doing what he’s doing. I think they’ll ride this out until either things turn around or until the season is too far gone, whichever comes first. What a shame.

Knight, I’ve considered the same question. I really don’t know. I do think the GM bears the most responsibility for the success/failure of a team. The manager probably is the easiest to fire however. I was just thinking about what Tram had to endure, and how he really was bringing those young players along. It just wasn’t fast enough. Then when they really overachieved in 2006, management went gaga and the wholesale changes began as they felt like they were on the verge of a dynasty. This past winter’s dealings were more about putting together a powerhouse team for a short window of time….like this year and maybe next. Given the ages on this team, how could you expect any longer?

gkgruden – Agreed. The officiating on the Wings was beyond ridculous. Two questionable decisions that took one goal off the board and potentially another. I agree with the TV guys that said it was a make-up call from the other night.

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Seems to me that Leyland is afraid to treat the team with anything but kid gloves. There was a slight surge when he laid into them after being blanked twice by Chicago, but it’s gone once again. Granted, I’m not in the clubhouse, so I can only speculate his intentions. But is it just me, or are we missing the old JL who chain-smoked and had an I-don’t-give-a-crap-what-you-think attitude?

No comment. There is nothing left to say. I hope if there is someone to actually blame for all this, he is surgically removed as soon as possible. Right now, I don’t particularly care who it is.

Marty – I agree with you wholeheartedly. The team effectively mortgaged its future and rolled the dice on winning now as opposed to staying competitive for ages to come. At this point I’m actually looking forward to seeing some moves made and restocking our organization from the bottom up. I suffered through the Tigers of the 90s; I’ll survive them being terrible once more.

I will try to do this in order. Rich, Management as in JL, play the rookies, they can do no worse. Renteria, throw the ball but make sure you get the out, maybe just no luck. Dan, polite baseball is for …… GK, I was at my local sports bar tonight and the Wings did get some sh…. calls. And like an accident, I too can not look the other way. But remember, think positive, there are 2 halves to baseball. Dan, I was out of the Texas Hold ‘em tourny and when Maggs was up with 2 on and no one out, I said I don’t care if you are Al Kaline, you need to bunt the runners over. Ane then he swings at the first pitch. I will never give up on my Tigers until the fat lady sings!
–Dave
Oh Yea, did I mention that Verlander needs some run support.

It’s time for Hessman to be called up. What more can he do at Toledo? I’m just really tired of trying to balance the lineup with lefty call-ups. Matt and Clete are two nice prospects, but Mike really deserves an extended chance. You know it must be eating him up inside to be having the kind of year he’s having and seeing the anemic offense the Tigers are displaying. It would be a different story if the Tigs were playing like we all thought they would. Hessman at third, Carlos DH, and Raburn or Thames in left. Santiago needs more time, also. C’mon JL, really shake it up. This is depressing.

Well Gentlemen and gentleladies. I will not badmouth them as I said last week. I really do believe that what we are seeing is our team. It will be a stretch to get to 72 wins. All clubs have right handed starters who will handle our lineup.
I do want to express my opinion on Thames and Hessman. With all due respect to those of you clammering for more of Marcus, I just don’t see an every day performer. I see a guy with raw power who will connect during a hot streak, and then sizzle out the othertimes. I congratulate Hessman for his 18 HR’s, but if this guy is can’t miss, then why has he not stuck with an MLB club for the last 10 years. He is a quality AAA star, not a MLB hitter. If he were he would be playing somewhere every day. My final thought: I see Sheffield showing some dignity, and retiring by June 15. If not, the hole is going to get a lot deeper. I’m not sure who we match up well against. I don’t think it’s anyone. KC will win tomorrow, because the pressure on our boys is so great. It’s time to go back to the drawing board. Wouldn’t you like to see Paw Paw Maxwell in the lineup right now. I don’t even get upset anymore; my wife is concerned about my calmness with each Tiger loss. it’s really easier than you think. Lowered expectations lower one’s blood pressure.

Anything I say will not only be repeating myself but repeating what most of you are saying. But that’s never stopped me before. :-)
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This team as we have now has been built to smash the ball. When they don’t do that, they look sick. I don’t know if there are personal problems or not because I’m not down there with them. But an offense such as this will always look disinterested, confused, stupid, and whatever adjective you want to use, if they aren’t hitting and hitting a lot. Myself, I think a team that was pretty good last year but didn’t win because of injuries has been gutted over the offseason. It’s almost like a rebuilding year, strange as that may seem. I’m just not sure what it is we’re supposed to be rebuilding. I do know that they’ve displayed all the classic symptoms of every losing team that’s ever played this game since the mid-19th century.
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The best that can be hoped for now is to try to survive until the All-Star break. The second half schedule offers some opportunities to make up ground (along with a lot less travel) but only if things turn around.
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But………..sitting on your hands and hoping things get better is not pro-active management, nor good management. So my opinion is it’s time to knock some heads together. That doesn’t mean one of those blowups in the clubhouse, knocking over food tables or what have you. It means sitting the guys that aren’t performing to their abilities. You can’t sit the entire team, at least not at once, but you have to start somewhere. First off, I’d bench Pudge indefinitely, in favor of Inge. Pudge refuses to adjust, swings at the same pitches over and over, and his defense has taken a huge drop this season. Brandon Inge becomes the starting catcher. Edgar Renteria doesn’t have the hitting style to be successful in the AL, and his defense is only adequate at best. Ramon Santiago becomes the starting shortstop. Gary Sheffield will be the DH whether he likes it or not. If not, or if he doesn’t hit, begin rotating some regulars in that slot. Ryan Raburn needs to play everyday, at whatever position is open that day. I have nothing against Matt Joyce, but he’s not really ready for all this. Marcus Thames will be given a chance to hit those 30 homeruns.
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This team needs role players that actually play. JL has kissed up to these veterans long enough. Now let’s try and put our best team on the field for a change.
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In answer to Knight’s query, I think JL will resign after this season if there’s no change in the current situation. I don’t think DD will be fired, no. It might be good for he and JL to be separated, though, since together they’ve brought back too many of the good ol’ boys from the old days, beginning with Neifi Perez and continuing into this reunion of various Florida Marlins teams of the past.
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–Rich

ok… well.. i’ll throw in my opinion to this madness.
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well, maybe a hope, and not an opinion….
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i HOPE the tigers are just ‘under orders’ through april/may to ‘not over exert’ themselves.. i’d like to see them dominate 2nd half the season. instead of dominating 1st half and falling apart 2nd half, as we have all witnessed in the past at least 2 years.
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that being said….
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if they’re just playing like crap cuz of lack of motivation… i would have the management make a complete mockary of the team, just for gits and shiggles….. like… how college football throws stickers on their helmets over their career for TD’s scored or sacks made, or whatever reason they do it… games won maybe? idk, i dont care. i’d make a 1″ by 1″ patch and after every game, tally up the strikeouts, and SEW THEM ONTO THEIR UNIFORM… treat em like kids who shoplifted and are forced to stand on the corner with a sign ‘i shoplifted.’ lol….
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the stats speak for themselves loudly. maybe instead of sew on patches, have the announcer on the loudspeaker list the amount of strikeouts, or throw it on the giant tv…. whatever. something needs to motivate. motivation by embarassment at least sounds funny.
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all this being said… i’ll refer back to my original post in this blog segment.. THIS TEAM NEEDS HEART.
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…..mike……
(sigh)

rich-
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the addition of cabrera was a great signing for the tigers, the prospects we gave up aren’t doing any better. i’d rather have a proven allstar than a collection of minor league players that aren’t performing, i posted individual stats a few weeks ago of all or most the players we offed in the offseason. mostly to florida, miller is the only one (if i remember correctly) thats playing in the bigs, and he’s being crushed… the cabrera/willis trade was a good move.
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we all hated the renteria/jurrgens move. i was skeptical at first, then optimistic when he was hitting the ball, now i’m disheartened.
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the JJones trade pissed me off. i have never liked him.
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the sheffield trade also pissed me off. now we’re stuck with a huge ego and about 4 combined months (07 and 08) of jack crap from his 30 million $$ bat.
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i don’t even like the joyce move. i’d rather see clete thomas. at least, while the tigers were slumping w/o granderson, he was the ONLY ONE who looked like he was having FUN joyce doesn’t have that look either.
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agree with pudge sitting. i wouldn’t even mind his unconditional release at this point. i was the guy who thought all winter, and spring, and most of april, that ‘this is pudges contract year, he’ll be dominate.’ boy was i ever wrong. these swings on the neck high fastballs and changeups in the dirt (always on ball 4) drive me freakin insane. i wish someone would teach him the word ‘clutch.’
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blah..
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mike

HEART! WHERE’S THE HEART!!!!!!!

The line in the sand. This game seemed to be that for all of us here on the BLOG. We have endured much already but tonight’s game and post mortem are clearly significant.
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These losses and this loss in particular really tear me up–even more than the Wings loss tonight. The Wings will come back and always put out in the game. They play hard and they certainly entertain.
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I see davidtiger’s point about Marcus and Hessman actually. I have been a supporter of Marcus for 2 reasons: he seems like a very nice man who deserves more of a chance to play and he seemed like an alternative to get Sheffield out of the lineup. He had a bad game. I do agree he would be challenged to be an everday player. Besides, and this is too bad for Hessman, we really need a power LHB—which we have needed ever since they let Pena go.
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I too think that Pudge is not helping but in my perfect Tiger world, it would not be Brandon Inge to replace him. We are going to need a real catcher there eventually anyway. There is no way I would give Sheffield the DH job. I have always thought he was over-rated, overpaid and pandered to. If it were me it would be Guillen who would be told to take the DH role for the most part and share it with Ordonez.
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And it would be Hessman that would be given a shot (under the circumstances) to play 3rd. Larish is hung out to dry with Cabrera at 1st. His only hope to play here is if he can learn how to play the OF. Ironic that one of the very things the club needs can’t be filled.
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It’s at least good to see some decent pitching. And it seems wrong to even begin critiquing the 2 pitches over the last 2 days that cost us 4 runs and 2 losses. Both were 2 strike hits. Enough of that as the blame lately lies squarely on the hitters.
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Very good point about Ordonez needing to sacrifice but in JL’s world you knew that was not even going to be considered.
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Like I said earlier, I just hope these guys at least have enough character to be embarrassed. Because the road they are on lis leading to either Pathetic Drive or Laughingstock Way.
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We need a real shakeup. Maybe Sheffield should manage and Leyland play left.

These guys can’t beat an egg right now. I think most of us have given up on post-season goals and just hope that we can see a decent team by mid-season. It really looks like it is not going to happen this year. I still think it is great to have MC locked in here. The move to 1B is just fine in my opinion, and at least JL is sticking with that. In spite of frustrating games like today, I still think the pitching is the biggest problem. Sheffield will not be playing after the All Star break if he cannot do better. We’ll know better by then if CG will be decent at 3B. Leave Rentoria alone, folks, he’s doing fine for a #7 hitter and his defense is solid.

I think probably the most we can hope for is a promising second half of the season with a lot of changes and maybe there will be some hope for next year. I know it is a long season, but I really figured they need to be around .500 this month. Things aren’t getting better, they are getting worse, mood wise.

I wouldn’t be surprised if JL quits in June or July. Should we bring back Trammel? (Just kidding.)

I unlike some of you think that Pudge is dong better than most. However I do think that he needs a day off and I think that he will get it today.
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I also think that there is not one problem and this isn’t a new opinion. Yes the pitching has been bad at times, but you cannot expect these guys to go out there and throw a no hitter everytime they step on the mound. It just isn’t realistic. Just like you cannot expect these guys to throw up 12 runs everytime they come to the plate. The problem is that there as been no flow, no jiving, no consistency to anything that they have done for any amount of time. For gods sake they have only scored 4 runs in the last 27 innings. That is unacceptable and certianly not going to win you any games. They looked over matched by even the most mediocre of pitchers (ie Hochevar last night and Rasner on Saturday) For the most part all year we have made a lot of pitchers look like they are Cy Young ?? That I don’t get.
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And I don’t agree I don’t think that this is our team. I know that they have all proven track records and that they are more than what they are showing. Is this what we might get all year?? Well certianly, but nobody can tell me that this is what they are.

They are a quarter way through the season and it need of a overhaul, not a tuneup.
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I think JL has lost his handle on the team with the acquisition of so many veterans. I thnik he is better when he is regarded as a mentor/manager not the company stooge.
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Things need some drastic change. Granderson is not setting the tone at leadoff and has never gotten many RBIs but maybe there could be times to put somewhere else in the order agains RHP. You could lead off with Santiago. Obviously this would be maybe only 1 game a week or so but it would give a new look, expose Granderson to his future role, give Santiago a chance to do some damage on the bases and give Renteria a rest when he could use one.
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I would give Hessman a shot at 3rd and put Sheffield on the DL. Sheffield is talking like he setting up an excuse for his performance. And the excuse is, as I have been saying for a long time, he is physically “restricted”.
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Give Thames, Raburn, Joyce, Thomas a chance to win the mostly everday job in LF. My preference would be to see a LHB out there given the fact that there ain’t another place we will see one emerge.
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I think we are stuck with Pudge but do agree that Inge could be given more of a chance to show his stuff there.
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I would also move Ordonez up the the 3 hole. He needs to be reminded he is not an iconic figure that can be overooked in all of this mess. And Guillen DH’s with the instructions to pick up his ball team with a few long balls.
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I’d be surprised to see either Pudge or Renteria in there today.

Now JL has “thought about it” and taken Sheff out of left because of his shoulder and then the FROM other side of his mouth he says he is playing him in LF against Arizona.
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Can somebody please spell DYSFUNCTIONAL?

And some quotes from the free Press:

As he recapped the new picture in left, Leyland said, “We’re screwed up. But if we hit like we’re capable of hitting, and we pitch like we’re capable of pitching, and we make plays like we’re capable of playing and (I) manage good, we’ll be just fine.

“But it’s a screwed-up mix. You’ve got a backup catcher (Brandon Inge) who plays centerfield sometimes and plays third base sometimes. We’re screwed up. But the thing that cures all is winning.”
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“You can’t go on like this,” Leyland said of Sheffield’s inability to throw. “It’s a very awkward situation, with nobody really to blame. It’s just one of those things.”
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“I don’t know if that’s smart even playing him one game (in Arizona), but I hate to sit him for four out of five days and say I’m trying to get his bat going,” Leyland said.

Asked how much Sheffield will serve as DH beginning next week, Leyland said, “I kind of have to play that by ear. That’s a tough situation for him, because he doesn’t want to put me in that situation and I don’t want to be in that situation.

“I don’t really know what to do, to be honest with you. I’m confused.”
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My words now: Well that’s encouraging.

Dan, it sounds as JL is as much of a mess as the rest of the team. Sounds to me, that if he doesn’t know what to do anymore, he needs to tell DD that straight up and get someone else in there that does know how. I mean, I know we had a few good seasons, but all it takes is one bad season to bring it all crashing down again, then we are back to the 90’s and early 00’s….I, along with everyone else on here, doesn’t want that to happen.

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I hold no expectations anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the Old Coot, but he is not the right chemical for this formula anymore. It’s not his fault really but if the players won’t play then something has to change. JL is anchored to a ‘hope and wait and dream” style of managing but unfortunately the only thing he can look forward to right now is his next cigarette.
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He needs to assert himself somehow and come up with an idea. I don’t wish an injury on anyone. (Though I would like to see them admit Sheffield is in fact, injured), but it is the one event that could possibly tranform the dynamics of this team. I know some of these guys will hit. Cabrera for one. Though I don’t understand what happened to his gap power. I think Granderson will pull out of it too. Polanco should be pretty steady and so to Guillen. But Renteria, Pudge and Sheffield needvarying amounts of time off. Varying from lots in Sheffield’s case to frequent for Pudge and occassional for Retnteria.
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GK–I am going to wathc the train wreck “one more time” today

I have to wonder how much input JL had in regard to the offseason transactions. He’s been given a team of parts that don’t fit together and is really struggling with it. Sure, I was and am all in favor of the Cabrera deal, but combined with the other moves, it sure has confounded things, at least for this one season. The good thing there is that Cabby will be around long after these other guys are gone.
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Just to throw more confusion into it, here’s another thing. There are a ton of people, from all over Tigerland, who want Guillen to DH. It makes perfect sense too, until you consider that Carlos is the closest thing we have to a captain. He’s definitely the infield captain, and was very vocal out there last night. Cabrera is vocal but goofy, and Polanco and Renteria are both the quiet steady types. I’m sure DH is in Guillen’s future, but right now, it’s yet another problem for JL to deal with. He’s got his work cut out for him, that’s for sure.
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Hard to watch.
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–Rich

I will be watching today as well. I have got to say, I think that and we are all getting tired of trying to explain the unexplainable, rationalize the unrataional. What is going on just doesnt make any sense. And if the Tiger brain trust cannot figure out what rats chance in hell do we have.
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To me this is almost more furstrating than 2003, at least there was a reason there were a lot of guys on that team who where malcontents, or just plain bad players. These are not bad players and have proven themselves over the years that they are team guys, and respect and listen to Jim Leyland..
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Again trying to explain the unexplainable.
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GO TIGERS, GO WINGS, GO PISTONS.

Hey Guys– I’m busy at work so I don’t have time to read everyone’s elses posts and will apologize in advance if I’m repeating other posts. I’m not going to comment on the game last night other than to say, let’s hope this helps get JV untracked. With that out of the way, I’m puzzled by the Sheffield issue and have officially jumped ship. Previously, I’ve supported Sheffield and hoped that he would get his swing back. However, after this bizarre switch to putting him in the outfield and all of the weird comments about his shoulder, I’ve decided that its time for Sheffield to retire. Here’s my argument and counter-argument (first):

Support for keeping Sheffield:
– When healthy, he’s one of the most terrifying batters in the league.
– When healthy, he’s the perfect three spot guy. He doesn’t strikeout much, he hits for power, and he sets the table for the big swingers.
– While he’s older, he still runs really well.

That being said:
– He isn’t healthy and, by his own admission, the shoulder isn’t going to get any better.
– He’s preventing other’s from contributing. If Sheffield wasn’t on the roster, they could bring up Hessman, DH Guillen and play Hessman at 3rd. (they could also play Brandon at 3rd.)
– He’s a distraction. How the heck did he convince Leyland to play him in the field? If he can’t throw– and its really easy to see if he can throw– he shouldn’t be in the field. Especially when you have a guy like Joyce– great defense– DHing.

I’ve got to believe that Sheffield is playing for two reasons:
1) Money. Sure he’s made plenty but if he walks away, he leaves a ton of money on the table. I can’t fault him for wanting to make the money– I’d probably do the same thing.
2) He’s close to the 500 HR club. I know he’s a proud guy and I’m sure that’s been a goal of his for a long time.

You can’t do anything about the 2nd factor– he’s just not going to make it– but I’m sure Mr. Illitch could provide a pretty nice departing package if Sheff decides to hang them up. He wouldn’t make the full contract amount but could leave with a nice sum in his pocket and could walk away without further disgracing his legacy.

Even if he hangs them up, I still think the Tigers have plenty of problems to address. Still, I think this would go a long ways to helping sort out their lineup issues and would allow them to focus on their other issues.

I checked out this blog to see if anybody is discussing the problem of Sheffield not being able to hit to right field. Pitchers can game him now because he’s lost something with his pull swing, keeping it away then pounding in. Can’t he hit some doubles into the right center gap to keep the pitchers honest?

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