Indeed, Guillen in LF

It’s back to where he started when he was drafted by the Astros as an outfielder. He’ll have a very cloudy sky against which to judge fly balls.

As for how left field will work out in Oakland, that’s kind of unclear. Jim Leyland said he’ll start Marcus Thames there at least once and probably twice, but he also said he wants to give Clete Thomas a game there and is thinking about giving Guillen a game. Maybe Thames or Magglio Ordonez will get a day at DH to balance it out.

TIGERS (23-32)

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

MARINERS (21-35)

  1. Ichiro, CF
  2. Jose Lopez, 2B
  3. Jose Vidro, DH
  4. Raul Ibanez, LF
  5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
  6. Kenji Johjima, C
  7. Jeremy Reed, RF
  8. Miguel Cairo, 1B
  9. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

62 Comments

Guillen LF
Larish DH
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What’s wrong with this picture? Marcus, how are you enjoying your new assignment as the everyday leftfielder?
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The heck with that stuff. Here’s a 2:25 minute video on Rick Porcello, from the Wall Street Journal of all places. Those of you who haven’t gotten to see this kid will enjoy it. I saw him in the spring and this video is accurate.
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–Rich

And I might try including the link. :-)
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http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid452319854/bctid1579807618
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Sorry. Enjoy.

give me a break ,leyland says he going to have thames play more to see if he get’s hot,well how the hell is he going to get hot if he only plays one game in a row.this is beyond bs

Something to look forward to in September!?
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Nice link Rich.
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It’s never to early–Felix was throwing in the bigs when he was 19. It all adds up to the neccessary experience.
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Am in total agreement re the Thames in LF BS. I’m not saying Marcus will be the answer but he did deserve the oportunity and he is again being asked to humble himself and take a back seat to the whims of his manager, who I feel takes advantage of Marcus’ good nature.
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I’m not impressed with the way JL has gone about this issue. He is losing credibility with fans and my guess is he is losing credibility with his players too.
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Guess we will get the token, ” I like him, I like him alot”, speech.

Did Marcus just recently hit 2 bombs in 1 game? Did he rope a double on Frida? Has he played well in the field?
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“Thanks Marcus…………..now take a seat and wait till next year.”

This is ridiculous .. Why do we have Larish in the Lineup? .. cuz is is a good hitter and needs more time to settle? .. it’s really BS .. We are trying to make players click. .. Players in whom we have big investments is understandable, It’s business. But why bench thames, who is hot, in favor of Larish, just cuz he hits left handed???

In the end, we will end up with too much shuffling, with too many indecisions.

Too much indecision .. i mean

Copying my other post here .. since we have a new one ..

I can’t understand JL’s facination with LH’ers .. ever since Casey etc .. we have always accomodated people who bat Left Handed even though they stink .. and that too they stink at batting :) .. Casey(good guy, but subpar with the bat), Jones.. finally released .. Matt Stairs ?? and now calling up people from Toledo just cuz they bat Left .. are you kidding me ? In the end, lots of player are going to hit better than LH’s .. Maggs, Guillen(Left or right) Polly, etc .. Granderson is a good hitter who bats LH, although he needs to improve against LH pitching ..

I know we are not hitting right handers that well, but we need an approach, not sub-par LH bats or LH bats that are not ready..

We want our best players out there everyday, so this is what the regular lineup should look like IMO.. and Larish is not an everyday starter right now.

Granderson (Everyday)
Polly (Everyday)
Guillen (Everyday) DH/3rd/1st
Maggs (Everyday) Right/DH
Thames (Everyday) Left/DH
Cabby (Everyday) 1st/DH
Renteria (Everyday) SS
Pudge (Everyday) C
Inge (Everyday) 3rd/Catcher/Center

Now these 9 should get the max AB’s and they will pull it off .. rest players every now and then.. pudge more often and use Larish on days that you have to rest 2 or more regulars .. don’t rest Inge so Larish gets AB’s

Defensive switches that JL employs are good .. so that would take care of giving bench players some action. But they will only get a chance at the end of games when/if we have a close game .. and we need CG,Inge and Thames to start games to score and defend and keep games close..

But bottomline is, this club needs to get it going .. I hope i see the players communicating with each other more in the dugout, and during games.. Play like they want to and enjoy it. Not act like they are acting now…

Quick comment on Verlander….in order for him to return to being dominant he is going to have to start racking up some Ks. Simple as that.

JL is being interived on WXYT radio (or Gameday Audio)

Guillen made his first play in LF. All I can say is if continues to handle fly balls like that he will flicking them out of his glove like he did at 1st base. Joe Casual plays look great but they will burn you. 2 hands please Carlos!

I feel bad for Thames…I’m sure he’s upset that he was just the “everyday” leftfielder, and then all of a sudden, let’s find another place for CG to play, since the other positions aren’t clicking. I’m sure it’s things like this that are hurting the team this year. I am not, however, saying that Thames is the best leftfielder on the team, but I think he deserves his chance to prove himself instead of just shoving someone else in there.
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I’m also confused about this Larish situation–I have been since they called him up. What is a triple-A player doing DHing for a MLB team? I don’t get it…then again, what do i know?–I am not against calling up players from triple-a but for the DH position? seriously?
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This week of games should be interesting, and then the next home series will surely give the Tigers a run for their money.

Afflack? Harvey Haddix?
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Hey that’s better carlos

Right ar9496. In effect you have a AAA player DHing instead of the veteran power bat of Marcus. Makes no sense..oh that’s right, Larish is a LHB. Anyone have any idea how many times a rookie has come up and debuted as a DH? And on a team already ladened with potential DHers? Doubt very many times.

Couple of more comments:
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Carlos back to flicking the glove on the fly ball.
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Cabrera not helping much right now. Why is it that beltre looks like he is swinging the bat so hard and Miguel looks like he doesn’t really put his body into his swing?
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Polanco struggling, not good.
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Speed kills, Granderson’s wheels gave us a run back.

I don’t blame CG .. for this man at 3rd base, he will mess up. .. JL should have had Thames there … so this run to be charged to JL :)

It wasn’t a good throw but smart baserunning and Ichiro probably would have beat the tag anyway. I would blame Bonderman for that inning.
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Got out of it way better than it could have been.
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Larish is gonna jack one right here!

Pudge is NOT gonna jack one right here!
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i don’t think Ichiro would have tried that if Thames was in left, even though he had a big jump.

We need to see more of that. (K of Ichiro in RBI situation) From Bonderman and from Verlander too.

even the seattle guys said that they caught a break, CG had beaten the throw

Nice try by Carlos. It’s a game of inches. Tough break with Curtis though. He was safe.
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That’s the kind of play that can pick a team up. I hope it doesn’t.

I think everyone agrees that we need Guillen’s bat in the lineup, but not at the cost of Thames, Inge or defense.

Lets see if JL fixes that next game.

Those HBPs really hurt. Especially ahead in the count.

Kinda lucky again. The Ms really teed off on JB that inning.

Pudge. Now is the time to get a run home dude!
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No strike out and no DP please.

Pudge come thru. Granderson makes an outstanding throw and Bonderman responds. That’s what we need to see.
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I think we get a run or 2 this inning.

I just don’t understand why Guillen isn’t DH-ing. He’s a great hitter, and the team doesn’t have a DH right now. If Sheff gets 100 percent healthy, he can play in the field. He asked to do that. If he’s not 100 percent, I say don’t bring him back.

I think Leyland has finally really lost it. This team is playing a season-long game of musical chairs. That’s not going to help them win now or in the future.

I think we get a run or 2 this inning.

C’mon Tigers. Where’s the HUNGER?
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Hope when JL needs to ask Marcus to PH that he is told to “Take this job and shove it”.
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We’re actually lucky to still be in this one but it is the kind of game that good teams take advantage and wins.
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Probably seay to come in to start the 8th?

Well here we go. Ordonez looked brutal on that play. Just brutal.
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On top of that we are in the 8th inning in Carlos is STILL in LF. Now that’s dumb.

Lucked out again. Gotta take advantage.
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Can Inge be a hero? I think he is likely to be overmatched with Morrow.
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What is Carlos doing playing LF in a tie game?

Now Todd Jones can’t get a save .. I love this kind of complaining :)

Thames pinch hitting for Larish .. So Ryan Rayburn should be replacing Guillen in left

Seems like Todd Jones wants some other pitcher a chance to save this one …

Whew……fun game to watch, all the way through. Todd rarely makes it easy on himself.

I think this game showed how important defense is for the Tigers to win. Key plays kept us in the game until we could break out in the 9th. Cautiously hopeful AGAIN that we are at a turning point…..

I hope the full count walk to Inge with one out in the 9th does not go unnoticed. That was the most important at bat of the inning…of the game. It just seems like Brandon’s hitting approach has matured this year. He’s watching the ball and not making up his mind on swinging before the pitch is made like he can be prone to do.

Good victory. I am worried that JL will consider the most recetnt LF experiment a success though.
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Maybe Guillen will work out there but I have my doubts. My problem with it is mainly the flip-flopping. We have seen too much of it already this year. In my world if you are not going to play Thames and Inge then you should be decent enooug to facilitate a trade for them.
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Might be interesting to see what develops after Zumaya and Rodney return. If Zumaya shows he hasn’t lost anything (doubtful) I forsee him taking over Jones’ role by year end.
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Miner gets the Win and he did pitch OK

All they did was win a series against a team which is vying for worst in the league. (They might lose that honor to KC.) Verlander is still a question mark as is Rogers and Willis. Robertson, to me, is the one they should put in the ‘pen. IF (and that’s a big if) the pitching can get a little better, and IF JL can figure out to put Thames back in and put Guillen at DH, they might climb back to .500 this month.

I say he’s gotta put Thames back in because that’s what he said he was going to do. If he changes his mind every two days, all we have is chaos. Someone, please explain the CG in LF thing!!! It boggles the mind!

That’s a good point Marty. It was a very good AB (especially after a bad AB) and I too thought he showed something on that pitch. Truth isthough he could well have been fooled on it.

Nice video Rich thanks. Lets hope this kid gets to the bigs sooner than later (although not this year) I would hate to see him ruined a bit like they did with Miller. It was nice to see a come from behind win, but for gosh sakes, does it have to be this hard?? Even with this win I am still frustrated. This team is killing me. Brandon was key in that ninth inning in my opinion.

re Clete Thomas:
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“His chance to play again will have to wait until the upcoming series at Oakland. With Carlos Guillen now joining Marcus Thames in the mix in left field, Thomas spent most of this weekend’s series on the bench. Leyland said he wants to get Thomas a start in left for one of the three games against the A’s.”
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Now we are calling the LF situation a “mix”. I would say it more appropriately referred to as “mixed up”.

Guys who have played LF this year.

C. Thomas
J. Jones
R. Raburn

Sorry..wasn’t done.

Thomas
J. Jones
Raburn
Inge
Thames
Guillen
Joyce
Sheffield
B Campaneris

OK Bert didn’t play LF but he could have, and it would have completed the lineup.

Tigers win 7-5 and I’ll take every win we can get right now. Lots of good in this game to write about later and I do like the moves Leyland is making lately. Here is his move for tomorrow’s game. Magglio has to be on the bench for the next game after his ridiculous play in the bottom of the 8th inning of a 3-3 game. To let the runner Lopez take 2nd without even trying to get to the ball is not acceptable. That blunder should have cost the Tigers the game. That is not a physical error but a lack of effort. Fortunately Miner got him out of the mess. Messages have not been sent in 2008 to the “stars” of the team when these situations have occurred (the biggest culprit is currently on the DL). Please Mr. Leyland, call Magglio into your office and let him know why he is going to sit out the game tomorrow night.

Jeff in Canada

The only point I have tonight, is that Bonderman was able to scatter 12 hits, get a quality start, not walk anyone, and get Ichiro when he needed to. The first inning jinx appears to be waning, and I think he might be reestablishing his potential again. That plus cooming through with big hits in a tie game at an away park against a good closer, all gives me hope.

Greg

JL thinks that LF is one position that he has some flexibility with, since we don’t have a star entrenched there .. he is messing up the whole LF picture.

LF was in a flux when the season began, but i think Leyland has actually made the situation worse .. The above list of people who played LF is quite long .. and it’s not like he did that to stabilize the lineup. Now mixing Clete, Thames, Guillen .. he is going to doom himself and the tigers.

Clete doesn’t need to start and neither does Larish. The Almighty LH batters …

Let’s leave Leyland alone on the latest moves. He called Larish up and wanted to give him a decent chance to play. Since they had 3 RH pitchers, he wanted to take some pressure off him and give him the full weekend to prove himself. Look at how Bruce has helped Cincinatti this week. It doesn’t hurt to make this move. What would have been even better is letting Larish play 1st on Saturday to let him feel like he could contribute on the field as well. A day DH’ing Cabrera would not have hurt anything. So Larish isn’t Bruce, we tried. Let him come off bench or send him back, one bad weekend doesn’t have any affect on his future.

As far as playing Guillen in LF, I think it is a great move. Guillen is a smart player who can adapt to play anywhere when healthy enough. LF and DH is the best way to keep his bat in the lineup while allowing Inge more time at 3rd. Cabrera has greatly improved at 1st and I wouldn’t put Guillen back there given that Cabrera is working hard at improving defensively every day at 1st.

For those bombarding Leyland about Thames not playing today, let’s remember it is only 1 game. Thames will continue to get more playing time in LF and DH. He may only play a little more than half the games, but the team is getting really close in having roles that will work for players.

Good game pitching Bonderman (0 walks) and Miner too. Great defence Granderson and Inge. Let’s start counting how many times the Tigers give up 3 runs or less with Inge at 3rd and Granderson in center. Inge getting on base 3 times from the 9 spot doesn’t hurt any. The team is ready to get on a roll, I can feel it.

Jeff

I won’t be leaving JL alone for this, that’s for sure. I am as close to being appalled as I could be. I admired him in the past for his forthrightness but I feel he is now exploiting media perception of him now. He feels he can say whatever he wants and then take it back. I don’t believe what he says, like I used to do.
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I have also thought Guillen could possibly be a LF candidate but then remembered why he was moved to first. His knees.
Or was that all a smokescreen? In my estimation Guillen would be best at and benefit most from being the DH.
He may do OK out there. Who can tell at this point but the whole issue really rubs me the wrong way. Marcus is no Manny but he deserves to be given the straight stuff and if Leyland says he is going to give him a shot at the position then, as in JL’s own words, “be a man, look in the mirror”, follow through with it.
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It seems shameful that this kind of crap is going on.
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Aside from that, it was a meanigful victory. “2 out of 3 ain’t bad”.

I agree that Guillen is best suited (at least until more healthy) at DH instead of LF. I just pray that Mr. Coach is not trying to “leave a spot at DH available for buddy Sheffield”…. we are so better without him. That may have something to do with it. JL is not down on Thames, he will still play more. This has been the most frustrating year as a fan, the team has been a mess. The bright side is near. Can you sense the team is working more together now instead of against each other? I get that feel. The defence and pitching are looking better, you can’t win without them. If Rodney and Zumaya can come back and contribute in the next 100+ games…..

Those two are sorely needed, as the Tigers’ ‘pen was worst in the Leauge for May, over 5.0 ERA.

Jeff, I would think that when Sheffield is deemed ready to play he will assume his DH position. However, we don’t know exactly when that will happen and JL made the statement that he would now give Marcus a shot in LF, and that he had earned it. Well he has gone back on his word. Why does he want to play head games with Thames? What is the sense in playing Guillen in LF? I could see him playing there when Sheff comes back, but why now? If you’re going to play him in LF now then why not DH Cabrera and allow Larish to play 1B since I assume 1B has been his natural position and Cabrera is still learning. Or if JL insists on playing Guillen in LF, why not DH Ordonez and put Clete in RF? Any of these moves would be better defensively than Guillen in LF and Larish DHing. Makes no sense.

I have one more defensive upgrade in mind to help support an improved SP staff…give Santiago some playing time. I would just like to see one game with him and Inge in at the same time, see how their defense might control a game, and then I promise I’d shut up…not really.

All of this results in Thames basically getting the shaft. I suppose JL will wait for the next LHP to start Marcus in LF again.

We are only 6 games back which is a miracle considering a 24-32 record. Unless someone gets hot in this division 90 wins might be enough to win it. If the Tigers finish out 66-40 they will win 90. But even that seems insurmountable at this point.

well kiddos, i have a slightly different take, one that might be being slightly overlooked….
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thames-
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JL gives him his licks, he pounds the crap out of the ball. then 2 days later, benched. this seems to be a ‘bait’ for clubs either looking for a big, yet streaky, bat off the bench or an injury replacement, or an everyday starter (probably for the NL) in LF or RF…..
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guillen….
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more complicated, but i think much of the same, could be trade bait, his knees are suspect, his fielding is suspect, he CANT play first base…… my dog would have better footwork at 1B. at least the dog would know better than to stand in the middle of the line while a 220lb man is running at her full steam. he CANT play 3rd, no range. if the ball is hit right at him, he can USUALLY make that long throw (SS is usually a longer through though)
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cabrera- is our everyday firstbaseman for the next 7-8 years, unless bumped to LF in the future.
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larish/thomas/joyce….. should all take a back seat in toledo until september. and you all know i’m a huge thomas supporter, but this isn’t the time to have strange and unusual lineups every day. consistancy and (dare i say)chemistry win games. not personnel changes every inning.
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well those are my thoughts.
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mike

I don’t foresee any one team running away in the Central. Marty, if you told me the Tigs would win 90, I’d take that right now. If we can take 2 in Oakland that would be a great roadtrip and would put us good shape coming home. I think our season is about to be determined in the next 2 weeks. Pretty safe bet that no wildcard will be coming out of the Central Division this year. Gotta win the division.

–Ed–

While I don’t think it’s absolutely imperative to have Thames be the everyday leftfielder, I’m with most of you in abhorring the way this was handled. I don’t know if Leyland lied to Marcus or not, but I certainly know he’s lost all credibility with me. I don’t believe a word the man says, and this is supposed to be “Honest Jim Leyland.” Okay, so be it, let’s move on.
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The bottomest of the bottom lines in all this is the absolute necessity of having Inge play third over Guillen. While there are no stats to prove the worth of this, I have something in my own head called “probable runs.” A PR is a situation such as a runner on third with less than one out, two men on with none out, etc. In the second half of yesterday’s game alone, Inge eliminated about three PRs. One was his catch and tag on Granderson’s excellent throw. Another was a hard grounder in the hole that became an easy out instead of a PR situation. Inge made it look so easy I’ll bet no one noticed. Guillen makes neither of these plays and we lose by several runs. Nothing against Carlos as a player, but he needs to stay far away from thirdbase. If Inge doesn’t stay in there, we don’t win anything.
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If you’re watching tonight, keep probable runs in mind and see what happens, how the game changes.
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–Rich

Excatly what we need is .. :)

We are not a rebuilding team, like the 2003, 119 loss team. So stop shuffling players from toledo into our lineup.

We need a bench with role players and a lineup.. and not a 13 man lineup.

Stop giving too much importance to LH Bats.

Leave Sheff on DL till he is 110%

We can’t try to have DH spot available for Sheff when he is back. We should cross that bridge when we come to it. We can’t have too many men waiting for playing time, but “Reserve” the DH spot for a guy on DL. He was hampering the team when in the line up. We shouldn’t allow his potential return to hamper us too. Maybe CG doesn’t want to DH, then rotate it among everyone. CG, Inge, Thames, Cabby and Maggs.

Keep an eye on stopping runs/defense as much as the lineup. That helps the pitchers too.

And as someone said, we need consistency .. and stability now, IMO.

HOW ARE YOU GUYS ABLE TO INSERT SPACE BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS… I CAN’T SEEM TO ..

you have to add a period on a blank line. the new blog system sucks.

One point on the Cabrera/1B decision:
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I agree with what Mike said above, that Cabrera will be the regular first baseman for many years. I believe that the Tigers’ management watched Cabrera play at third for a while and thought – this guy is not going to be our third baseman long term. He’s pretty much a prototypical first baseman and we didn’t have one of those. I think they decided to pay the (substantial) cost of moving him to first now, rather than waiting and paying later. It’s been a little painful, but he’s settling in and I don’t think he’s going anywhere, for a long time.
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It would’ve been good to start that process during spring training, but they had a plan and I think they wanted to give it a chance for a while. I don’t necessarily agree with everything that they’ve done, but I don’t have an issue with moving Cabrera to first.
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matt

Cab will do fine at 1B. I don’t have a problem with that but I do have a problem with them displacing, arguably, the best fielding 3B in the game and justify it by saying this guy has soft hands, great arm, best condition of his career, etc, etc. in order to make the trade.
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It bothers me that they marginalize their fans and think they can say whatever they want. Fans were willing to accept that trade on the premise that Cab was not an appreciably inferior defensively to Inge. He has been around enough for their scouts to know whether he is deficient there or not. This should not have degenerated into a revelation. If they can’t know this then how much confidence can we have in their ability to make future transactions?
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It seems to me the organization is willing to tell fans and players alike, anything they want in order to explain their decisions. A mistake is a mistake and can be forgiven or overlooked but they really need to respect the intelligence of their fans and their employees. I have always though the Tiger organization historically, to be one of the classiest organizations in the game. I am now starting to feel that this integrity is not as important to them as it once was.
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I don’t want to overblow this and make it too philosophical but I don’t like the way these issues have been handled recently.

I’m with you 100% on all that, Dan. This is what has been bothering me the most. Well said.
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I brought up the possibility of Leyland being fired in the previous thread because this is just about the time and situation when many managers do get the axe. Take a look back and you’ll see. Do I want him fired? No. Do I want him to stop confusing the issues? Yes. It’s hard to believe that he’s so confused himself that he handed Thames a job then changed his mind that quickly.
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I’m fine with Cabrera at firstbase too. It’s a good natural position for him. I also like having a cheerleader there, strange as that might sound.
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Sheffield still seems to be on the front burner. How about this strategy? He comes off the DL and does a rehab stint in Toledo (if that’s feasible). Management can eyeball him for a bit and the Toledo fans get to see a great, or at least former great, player. If all goes well, get him with the big club in time to pinch-hit for the SF and SD series. Then re-assess the situation. A lot of people want to blow him off. I’d be mighty cautious about that. If he were to have one more stretch like last May-July in him, the only question would be who we draw in the first round of the playoffs.
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–Rich

Wishful thinking, Rich. It would be great if Sheff could come back and play as well as he has shown us in the past.
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I, too, do not want JL fired, but he needs to start making sense of his nonsense. Maybe he just needs to put more thought into his ideas before he goes through with them–or announces someone as an everyday player and then benches him!
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I just read the article about the All Star ballots…Don’t forget to vote!! I already did, 50 times! haha. Anyways, it’s not looking too good for any of the Tigers right now. That would be so disappointing if not a single Tiger made it to the All Star team.

Thanks Deadhead .. I didn’t look close enough.

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