From the Valley of the Sun

The talk is that the roof will be open tonight because of postgame fireworks, as opposed to any in-game fireworks. I don’t know this place well enough to know what effect that should have. In fact, I’ve never been here before. The way Bonderman works, though, I doubt it should have much effect. If he’s on, he’ll be good. If he’s not, there won’t be much to keep the ball in the park.

As far as the lineup, you might remember Jim Leyland saying he was going to start Gary Sheffield in LF once this series. That is tonight, and he might end up starting on Sunday, too. His shoulder still isn’t feeling that well for a strong throw, but they’re going to take their chances. The reasoning has more to do with Dan Haren, whose effectiveness against left-handed hitters convinced Leyland that this wasn’t the game to start Matt Joyce in left.

The full Tigers lineup:

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

And for the Diamondbacks:

  1. Chris Young, CF
  2. Stephen Drew, SS
  3. Orlando Hudson, 2B
  4. Conor Jackson, 1B
  5. Justin Upton, RF
  6. Chris Snyder, C
  7. Eric Byrnes, LF
  8. Augie Ojeda, 3B
  9. Dan Haren, P

35 Comments

Why can’t Leyland make up his mind with thhis guy? Is he playing OF or DH? is he batting 3rd or 6th? God he is pissing me off handling this Sheff stuff! I think he is such a huge distration for this team.

They are in face-saving mode. They want him to throw his arm out so they can put him on th eDL without a great degree of controveersy.
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I agree, they cowtow to this character and it flys in the face of common sense.
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He is definitely going on the DL–it’s a matter of time. Too bad they don’t have the gonads to just do it and not wait for an overt excuse.

i agree .. i think that he is getting too much preference compared to anyone else .. and even if he ends up clicking in the end .. at what cost? .. how many games do we lose to help him click ? .. I think we are losing sight of the team concept… Too many double plays and men LOB’s

Cabrera is a diff story since he switched leagues and we made him lose weight.

I don’t favor Inge much, but i figure he should have got more playing time while he was clicking, instead of trying to make veterans click.

Jim Leyland said that he takes the 12 best Pitchers on his roster, but i guess that won’t apply to hitters or sheff :)

It’s early on but I sure like what we are seeing from Bonderman..especiallly the sac bunt.

Don’t jinx us Dan! LOL

OK–I will clench my teeth.

I’m seeing better swings tonight from everybody. Top to bottom.
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–Rich

Tigers made a good move deciding on Galarraga and not Vasquez. At the time their stats were similar but VV is getting tatooed every start now.

And a lot of loud Tigers fans.
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–Rich

I agree Sheff is done. Hope he is out of the lineup after another month of no miracle and .184. I think Granderson is really the key for the Tigers. He’s really been slumping and so have the Tigers. I would bet the Tigers are winning most games in which he gets two or more hits and losing most other games.

Curtis probably should have been all over that 1st pitch fastball in the 5th but ya gotta give him credit for the sac fly earlier. Bondo hit the ball pretty well and lookded disgusted that he didn’t find a hole!

bhavin-
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“we made him lose weight?”
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HUH? he was something like 20lbs lighter before he even heard of the detroit tigers this offseason. and BTW, his current weight is around his initial weight when he broke into the bigs….
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come on…….
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i’m sorry but someone has to say this:.
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excuses are like a$$holes, everyone has one, and frankly, yours stinks.
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MIKE
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GO TIGERS!

maybe you are right bout the weight .. All i see is he looks a lot thinner then before. .. I guess fitter is the word :) ..

But i would still cut him some slack .. and bench sheff

i’ve been cutting MC HAMMER slack all year. he’s one of the best hitters in all of baseball, he just needs to get out of the NL habits and become the power 1B/3B he is. he’s got mad skills and he’ll be a staple in detroit for 8 years.
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i wouldn’t bench sheff. i’d give him his walking papers (ala toronto w/ big hurt (or as i now call him ‘little pinch’)
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Get me a freakin’ shortstop!!!!!!

I blame both of them for that. Guillen’s name was all over that foul pop. Crucial error, and now we have Miner in, ohmygod–is there any point saying how unbelievably ridiculous this is. They look like they are expepecting to find a way to lose the game.
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Shortstop’s ball, everytime.

This is why the starters cn’t get comfortable. Even when they pitch well they know that they are one play away from everything changing. The hitters have not done there job again and the fielding has been downright shameful.

All that and Bodnerman can’t win. The problem is of course the team doesn’t look like it can win either.

Okay, now you can get me a thirdbaseman too.

And a decent firstbaseman would have dug that out.
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Well, this looks like another failed experiment.

DH Guillen! Get Sheff out of there! Let Inge or someone else play 3rd!

Bondo is doing okay this year. He’ll be fine. It’s Robertson and Rogers that worry me. Verlander is either hurt or he will come around. There is hope still. Not with CG at third, and Sheff in the lineup, though.

It’s beyond belief. It’s a nightmare I’m sure and probably I am dreaming this sequence of events in response to all my my bad deeds in life.
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Oh, I guess not. It actualy is happening. And it simply is not going to get a whole lot better.
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I said this when they made the move—Guillen does not have the arm for a 3rd baseman. For cryin’ out loud they moved him from shorrt largely because of his throws.
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Leyland has made some bonehead moves this year and this one will rank among the top.
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I’m ashamed of these guys.
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I really think the fans should stage a sit down strike and if management had their act together they would refund the season ticket holders shoul they elect not to come to the park.

Cruz–now there’s a good pitcher. HE strikes out the side in the 8th. Wish we had a pitcher like that…

Only hope is they can string it together for CG in the 9th and he can make up for the error.

Throw me a chair!
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Polanco fans twice in a game. What the heck is going on here. Stephen King couldn’t write this stuff. It doesn’t make any sense.
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I have to say that the umping has been pretty damn bad too.
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They made Bonderman jump through hoops and it just isn’t right to have a solar plexus level pitch be ‘too high’. It takes the strategy, and the challenge right out of the game.
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Time to 2nd guess but why wasn’t Cruceta brought in instead of Miner?
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Can anyone spell H-E-S-S-M-A-N at 3rd? There’s little point in playing Inge there because he won’t hit .230 and will leave more men on then Pudge does.
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At this point it doesn’t matter anymore–these guys have exposed the Detroit fans to a fate worse than the Lions. And that’s pretty bad/

Don’t go to the next home game.
Somebody has to do something. The players aren’t management isn’t….maybe the fans will.

Bonderman really got screwed a couple of times on pitches but especially to whoever that was (Upton I think the first batter in the 7th) I don’t know what he had to do get that pitch called a strike. Horrible call at home plate just aweful. Then that lousy foul that neither of those two idiots caught. Then to put the icing on the cake Guillen throws one in the dirt. Great game guys. Again you all get a good pitching performance, stop hitting after you come out with a lead. Then error after error, to cause a loss.
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They are pathetic.
Just plain pathetic. Finding ways to lose games instead of win them. It is almost like they are rookies again and let the routine things ruin them. How many times have we seen this same story play out in the last few weeks???
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Just pathetic. I am losing sleep over this clunker tonight. Thanks Tigers. You are all embarressing yourselves and your fans.

Well Rich I played SS for a lot of my latter years in both baseball and fastball. I started out as a 3B/pitcher. I see both sides of this issue and that play simply should have been made. Period. .
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Either one of them could have made the paly but if Renteria is soft spoken then guillen hs to take the bull by the horns and simply catch it. It almost bloody hit him in the head so it’s not like he had to far to go or was in an awkward position.
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The play is a quintessential definition of how skewed things are with this ball club.
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I’m gonna lay my BLOG rep out there and say something that is abhorrent to every player that has ever played the game. It is malicious and merciless and unforgivable but it is inescapable….. these guys are CHOKING. Pure and simple.
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Maybe Leyland needs to inform them of that but I think it is way too late for that to change anything.

Tigers lose, 4-3. Ho hum. I am now getting used to it, sad to say. Can they even get out of last place in their division before the season ends? You are right, guys. Sheffield has to go and this infield experiment must end. Cabrera was supposedly an adequate 3rd baseman with Florida. They traded for him knowing that was his position. Put him back there, try Larish (LHB?) at first, release or trade Sheffield and Thames, and give Hessman a shot. Sorry if that causes any of you to wrinkle your nose but at this rate the season is lost. This from a Tiger fan since Al Kaline took the field in ’55. Amen!!!

Yeah Sheff needs to go on the DL or be released. Everything he hits with authority is a foul ball. Seriously clogging up the lineup in the 3 or 6 hole. Hope he isn’t hanging around to get to his 500th homer because that isn’t going to happen this year or probably ever.
I hope Galarraga pitches a complete game shutout tomorrow so there is no doubt he stays in the rotation.
Another depressing loss tonight. I actually thought we were gonna win this one. Had a bad feeling after that leadoff walk in the 7th and knew for sure after that dropped ball.

you’ve got my vote MS. This whole season has been illogical and management has compounded the problem isntead of correcting it.
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They thought they would paly Cabrera at 3B. They even insisted he get in shape. They had a plan in that they knew they were ignoring one of the best fielders in the game at the position and that they were confident that he would be adequate if not better.
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Everything changed when guilen started to look like like Dick Stuart at !B. All of a sudden JL has the braindchild idea of swapping positions an putting Guillen with the hipp dippy throwing style way over at the corner where you need an accurate arm. Bad enough his arm is not strong but it is certainly not accurate..
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They got so damned worried about hi getting injured at first that they rushed into this bizarre move that contradicted everything they tried to accomplish in the off-season.
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Leyland thought he might prove himself a genius but it was clear from the outset that this was not going to work. But in the grand tradition of stubborn old men you just knew they were not going to reverse this stupid decison..
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Guillen wil make exceptional plays at third, but he will never handle that base reliably and will be a cosntant vulnerability there.
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Our season has disintintegrated into a criticism of playsers and management. How much fun is that?
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Wonder what the pitchers talks about with each other? They have not performed that great (better lately to be sure) and I would imagine that human nature what it is , they are silently blaming the positional players for the predicament that everyone is participating in.
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Yeah, let’s not get too deeply into that missed foul. I also played short when I was young then thirdbase for a few years too. To my way of thinking, the shortstop automatically hustles over there and takes command, not wait to see what the thirdbaseman is doing. But you’re right, either one of them could have and should have saved the play. Basically, it’s just a massive infield screwup. Again.
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Bonderman had the leadoff hitter in the seventh, Hudson, struck out on 2-2 but didn’t get the call. Seems like I say that a lot. Then it appeared that everything the D-Backs relievers threw was called a strike. We’ve seen this with CB Buckner before.
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I thought JL brought sinkerballer Miner into that situation in the hopes of inducing a doubleplay. So of course that didn’t work. Seems like the best pitchers, IMO, aren’t getting the work. Lopez has become the forgotten man out there.
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I’ve been willing to give Sheffield a chance to get going, but it appears he may end up being the odd man out. I don’t think we can continue with this infield alignment. I suppose that means Guillen as DH. I’m not happy with Cabrera at first, but I can accept it if he’s learning the position for the long term. So who’s on third, without turning it into an Abbott & Costello routine? I’m okay with Hessman, although I’d prefer to have Inge bringing some fiery athleticism to that soft spoken bunch we have. I further think (again) that we need to shore up the left side with Santiago. What they do with Renteria, I don’t know. I don’t care. We can’t fit all these “hitters” into the lineup without exposing the defense and it’s costing us game after game. The importance of defense in baseball is constantly underrated. Besides, the current group isn’t scoring any runs anyway. We’ve got to win with pitching. We’ve been getting some of that this week, but they need the defense to help them out. Bonderman tonight was as good as he gets but he was betrayed. He pitched around some of it, but not all.
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I just want to tighten this team up, get some athletes in there. They look like an over-40 softball team out there.
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Will any of these things be done? Absolutely not. We’ll just continue to flounder with the status quo and we’ll all come in here to vent. There will be one of those “Rise and Fall” books written about this franchise. 2006 will end up being The Season, then back to mediocrity. Dammit.
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–Rich

Dan wrote:
“They got so damned worried about him (Guillen) getting injured at first that they rushed into this bizarre move that contradicted everything they tried to accomplish in the off-season.”
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THAT is a good point, Dan. In fact, this entire business has been weird. I’m convinced they’d been trying to acquire Renteria for months. This led to that late season decision to move Guillen to first next season and Carlos, being the good soldier, said it’s okay if they can get a good shortstop (wink wink) as a replacement for him. Then they cut Casey for nothing in return, then sent possibly our best pitching prospect off to Atlanta in their drooling desire to nab Renteria, not to mention losing a promising young outfielder. All of a sudden, the goal of contending for years to come became a sellout to winning it all now.
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What the heck happened?
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–Rich

With Inge at third, we are no worse than 18-24, ie the Minnesota loss 6-7 and last night. We’re probsbly one or two games better because Inges gets to a lot of balls down third that Carlos can’t react to. And Dan, while realizing that Inge is not a career .300 hitter, what are we getting offensively right now from our third baseman. No better than what Inge would be giving us. If you remember, ehrn he was in the lineup the first 20 games, his mumbers were decent enough. With all that said, as someone has already alluded to, as soon as Miner walked in, I knew and you all probably knew that this game was toast. Maybe Miner should have gone instead of Grilli. Ha! But I do know this! Miner is now gone too!

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