White Sox come to town

By now, I’m assuming everyone saw the Dontrelle Willis option to Class A Lakeland. The reason for him going down to A-ball rather than Erie or Toledo, according to Dave Dombrowski, was that they felt it would be a lower-pressure situation down there, with less attention on him than if he were in the other places. Dombrowski also said he felt like at least part of it was mechanical, which seemed evident last night and runs counter to the previous belief that it might’ve been mental.

As for the candidates to take Saturday’s spot in the rotation, Leyland said Toledo right-hander Eddie Bonine was a “strong possibility.” He also said Zach Miner and Casey Fossum were possibilities if they wanted to stick with the current staff. He also said they could go to Double-A for a starter, but looking at the stats, there seems to be no clear candidate there.

Anyway, the lineups …

TIGERS (26-37)

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

WHITE SOX (37-26)

  1. Orlando Cabrera, SS
  2. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  3. Carlos Quentin, LF
  4. Paul Konerko, 1B
  5. Jim Thome, DH
  6. Jermaine Dye, RF
  7. Nick Swisher, CF
  8. Joe Crede, 3B
  9. Alexei Ramirez, 2B

 

17 Comments

I entered a late post from the last thread, so I’ll paste it here:
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This is good news on several levels. First and foremost, since Willis had to okay the move, it proves he’s not just in this for his big contract and actually wants to improve and succeed. If Tiger fans are paying attention, they should get off Dontrelle’s case. In addition, at 26, he could still be a big part of future Detroit teams. Even if it took him three years to get straight (which it wouldn’t), we’d have a 29-year old starter who can get it done. This deal isn’t a dud yet. I hope they can find him a guru, a Dick Egan to Kenny Rogers type of relationship. Someone who can get him straight and keep him straight.
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It will be interesting to see Bonine, but they need to be thinking of getting Miner stretched out. It may come to that. There’s also Fossum, I guess.
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Regarding 2008 though, first things first. Anything less than two wins over Chicago and this thing becomes nigh onto impossible.
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–Rich

30 million$ double A pitcher. fantastic. great. good job.
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i guess this should lead to just slightly better decisions being made about picking up a strugling NL pitcher, stick him in the AL, and before one game is played, one pitch thrown, throw a giant contract at him.
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i sure hope he can fix whatever is wrong. mental, mechanical, physical, whatever. fix it.
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i wasn’t being wholeheartly sarcastic about. its better for him to work out in the minors whatever that issue is.
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mike

My mistake. On yesterday’s post I said that Hernandez had visited the mound twice and on both occasions the next batter homered, when in reality it was Leyland who came out the second time. In any event, I still think Hernandez’ job should be coming under some scrutiny. Our guys just don’t throw enough strikes let alone first strikes. Walks and wild pitches and hit batters are a plague for Tiger pitchers. I can’t understand why guys like Verlander and Robertson can’t learn from watching Kenny and Galarraga. Those two pitch to contact and allow their fielders to get the outs. Sure, Rogers and Armando will give up the occasional long ball, but they don’t compound the problem by walking guys and setting the table for the opposition. Its called minimizing the damage. Until they learn that, they never will be any more than average pitchers.

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The Tigers certainly made the right move with Willis. If indeed his problem was only mechanical, it’s best to get him out of the spotlight to work on it. The more he would have struggled up with the big club, the more chance it could have become mental as well. Certainly hope he can get it straightened out because Lord knows the Tigers will definitely need him down the road.

–Ed–

This stranding of runners is getting old.

Anyone have a reason for Pudge’s lack of discipline at the plate? It’s driving me CRAZY!

Does anyone remeber the Mariners’ team of five or so years ago? With Ichiro, Boone, Martinez, etc. these guys could really keep a rally going. They were fun to watch. I caught many of their games on TV in the morning here in Japan, as I often worked from home, and all Ichiro’s games were televised then. Maybe it was more like 6 or 7 years ago…
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Anyway, this team is the opposite of that. Rentoria is streaky and ends rallys when he’s cold. Pudge is the same, except that he’s cold about 90 percent of the time as opposed to Rentoria’s 60%. Inge is a rally-killer when he’s in there. And these AAA DHs are killing us, in spite of Larish’s fine play so far today. Just no fun, this team is.

Well Cabrera is showing why he got such a nice contract. With the Tigers just taking the lead, one hopes Nate can avoid letting them back in it. Hope this doesn’t jinx him.

How about that Dolsi. 18 runners inherited,and only 3 scored.He is turning out to be a real bright spot in our bullpen

I was only able to catch the last 2 innings but it looks like Nate did OK. At least no crooked numbers. Jones gave us a bit of a scare but not too bad.
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What a throw by Clevlen. Just a BB from left. Aved the game IMO.. Also noticed that Guillen made a nice decoy on the cutoff too.
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Dotel sure shut us down. I was hoping we would go for him when he was on the market.
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Sounds like Bonine was called up? I think he is a ground ball type pitcher. Did Clevlen hit the ball well tonight? How about Cabrera? did he pull the ball?
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Nice victory agains a darn good team.

Good game! All in all, a positive day in Tigertown.
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Runners were put in motion, good defensive plays were made, and there were clutch hits. I’m talking about both teams, and it made for some entertaining baseball, finally. This first one was huge. Now it’s easier to win the series and maaaaybe get a sweep? The Sox are due for a cool down.
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I’m starting to enjoy watching the rookies, Clevlen, Larish, Dolsi, etc. That’s the future at this time, if that phrase makes any sense. These guys could all be traded before next season. Clevlen made a great throw, which isn’t surprising. He got a couple of hits because he stayed within himself and put the ball into play. That was missing during his previous stint with the club.
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Cabrera had a big day. He had the ground rule double down the RF line. His biggest hit, the two run single in the fifth, was a nice piece of hitting, pullng his hands in on an inside pitch and punching it up the middle. And Pudge finally got into the offense a little.
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When all was said and done, Nate had pitched a good game. He continued to drive me crazy, though. He got ahead of Thome, 1-2, then went to 3-2 before giving up the bomb. He had A.J. 0-2 and gave up a run scoring single. He does this constantly. He had only 75 pitches at the start of the seventh, but I thought he was done. I would have been happy with the six innings of 2-run ball and gone to the bullpen, then everyone would have questioned me for pulling him too soon. Just seems that Nate has been the same pitcher for four seasons now. We need to upgrade here at some point if we’re going to contend on a yearly basis. But, he got the job done tonight so all is good for now.
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These guys are looking a lot better since returning from Oakland.
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–Rich

Yes Dan, Clevlen hit the ball well and Cabrera hit it even harder. Miguel is gaining confidence and I think beginning to heat up. I think he went left center and left, but I honestly can’t remember……I think one hit sliced down the right field line just fair, and Dye couldn’t quite get it….close though and it went for a double. That was the kind of night the Chicago fielders had. Only one error but they couldn’t catch up to a lot of the Tiger hits. About time we had a little luck.
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Nate pitched well, a little slow getting started but he never really lost control of the game. Dolsi came in 6th, inheriting bases loaded and one out. Almost induced a DP, but with 2 out basically lost contact with earth and kind of tried to stop throwing a pitch with his arm already in motion. The ball kind of dribbled out of his hand and rolled on the ground in front of him for a called balk. Weirdest thing….. So that allowed a run, but he induced a pop up for out 3. I think that was the sequence. I’m sure I’ll be corrected if I’m wrong:) You saw the rest.
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Clevlen’s one bounce strike to the plate on a single hit to him to nail Quentin trying to score from second, to me was the real game winning play. This is exactly what we’ve been talking about and it’s exactly why he should continue to play. The team needs all the defense it can muster and that kinf of play just sparks a team and infuses positive confidence in the pitchers. He will hit enough and there are plenty of other guys on this team who should be able to carry the offense. The more varied the skills you bring to a lineup, the more chances and opportunities you will have to win.
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I really like that JL is making these kinds of moves, and I like that he is willing to get Inge in there with a late inning lead. I understand that he needs to keep Miguel at first to hone his skills there, but I would like to see JL put Larish in at 1st maybe every 3rd or 4th game as long as he continues to DH. Just switch the two and let Cabrera DH every 3rd game or so.
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I don’t understand why JL wants to platoon Pudge and Brandon equally. Makes no sense unless he wants Inge to be ready to finish out the season catching…..Speculation…..
Anybody’s guess. Maybe he just wants Pudge to be fresh for the last month or two in case the Tigers are still in it. Or Inge to be ready if the Tigers aren’t….hint hint. Maybe he’s trying to get Pudge to make an effort to concentrate more at the plate. Maybe I’ll just stop trying to figure JL out……
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I had some thoughts on Dontrelle but don’t want to get into it much now. A lot of heated discussion today on this subject. Ultimately the best thing for the team and Willis happened. It had to go that way. He was hurting the team, not ready for prime time. My feelings……..mixed. You guys know I wasn’t too happy about that trade, 6 players given up for two. More chances for the team receiving 6 players to benefit imo. Kind of putting all your eggs in one basket for the team receiving only 2 players. I really like Dontrelle as a person and hope he can fix things and come through. He is a first class individual. Would be a great story. But if we could do it all over again, well hindsight is 20/20. Not too smart signing him for 3 years. Yeah, I’m not afraid to say that DD. Maybe it’ll turn out ok but it looks like a long shot now.
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Anyway, it is totally bush league to boo your team’s players no matter how badly they do. Period. But that’s the way people are getting to be these days. There has been a gradual eroding of basic human decency imo. Certainly too much money being thrown at players which, in turn, breeds a lot of cynicism and anger when they don’t come through.
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Nice win tonight. Go Tigers!

I am not going to give up on Dontrelle. He is a true baseball character and we need more of those. He was brutally awful and seems to have found a descending tangent but you have to commend him for accepting the ignomy of being demoted with class and cooperation. He didn’t have to handle it that way. Most wouldn’t have.
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I wish him all the luck in the baseball world and have my fingers crossed that Joe Coleman can straighten him out down there.
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He is only 26 and we have seen pitchers resurrected before many times. John Smoltz, Tom Seaver, Phil Niekro, Early Wynn, Jack Morris, Sandy Koufax, John Matlack, Hoyt Wilhelm, and even, dare I say, Roger Clemens have all rebounded from poor seasons or injuries.
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I hope the Detroit baseball fans don’t dump on Dontrelle too much. If you had a jerk like Bonds then I would not feel bad about it, but Dontrelle is a good guy who needs all the support he can get. So..
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“Detroit: Don’t Dump on Dontrelle”

Nice comments on Dontrelle, we all know he is capable of competing. I am gonna use your “Don’t Dump on Dontrelle” line with friends and family. They are driving me crazy with the whole situation. I’ve noticed when it comes to the booing some people are real sensitive. It is completely ridiculous and childish. I think we should find out where some of the “booers” work and go stand next to them and boo when we feel they aren’t doing their jobs correctly! LOL Anyway keep bloggin guys, I love to keep up on your opinions, many of you post exactly how I feel. GO TIGERS!

There ya go, guys, that’s the kind of fans I remember from Detroit. There’s a few of us left.
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Dan, “Don’t Dump on Dontrelle” sounds like a good t-shirt. I’d certainly buy one. Beats the heck out of “Let Manny Be Manny.” Hey, you could use the Olde English D three or four times there.
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Jason, your final entry to the previous thread is noted and appreciated.
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–Rich

I’m not saying we need or should get this guy but I think his plea is worth reading. Funny how some players are held accountable and maybe are being discriminated against for their actions and others a permitted to go on virtually untouched.
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“”All I need is a chance”
The following is the full text of a letter written by former Orioles outfielder Jay Gibbons to all 30 major league teams, seeking a minor league contract. Gibbons, who was named in the Mitchell report, has been without a job since Baltimore released him in March.
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“Writing this letter is both painful and humiliating. It has been almost six weeks since my release from the Orioles and I am still unable to land any opportunity at a second chance to play the game that I love.
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I am young, healthy and determined. I have acknowledged and apologized for the mistake that I made and writing this letter should be proof enough that I have indeed suffered for my mistake.
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I have faith and hope that some team will give me the chance to prove that I can not only be a productive player but also be a stellar member of their organization. My faith in a second chance has inspired me to work harder than I have at any time in my life. My faith has gotten me through this most difficult period in my life.
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All I need is a chance — any chance — anywhere. I am more than willing to begin the process of proving that I can and will be a productive major league player by playing in the minor leagues.
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As you know, I have played seven seasons in the big leagues and have hit 20-plus homeruns in three seasons and have hit .277 in three seasons (2003, 2005 and 2006). At 31 years old, I have NO DOUBT that my best baseball is ahead of me.
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I know that my agents at ACES have tried to land me an opportunity in the minor leagues but have been met with negative responses by each and every Organization. I am not blind to the fact that I have made a mistake and that mistake has raised doubt about my character and ability. It is important that you know that my indiscretions, while regretful, were made in an effort to heal a nagging wrist injury. I would encourage you to speak with anyone in this game, including players, coaches, front office etc. who know me. I am confident that everyone you speak with will vouch for my character.
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I respectfully and humbly request that you grant me the chance to play for your organization.
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I am so willing to prove myself as a player, and a person, that I will donate ALL of my minor league earnings to your Club’s charity. In the event that I earn the right to play at the major league level, I will gladly donate a significant sum to that same charity.
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Once again, all I need is a chance and I will prove that I can be an extremely productive player and a great addition to your organization.
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Please feel free to contact me directly [phone numbers redacted].
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Thank you for your time and consideration.
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Sincerely,
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Jay Gibbons”

That is amazing, thanks to Dan for posting this letter. A man like that can’t find a job while because of his “star power” we’ll say Andy Pettite, who gave a similar apology gets to play every 5 days. That’s unreal! There were so many people in the Mitchell report, makes you wonder how many other guys are begging for jobs in the minors while the real big names are forgiven. Thanks again Dan!

Now for some former Tiger news, Jair Jurrjens may be headed to the DL. This is from and article on MLB.com:
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“While walking down the dugout stairs after Tuesday night’s loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field, Jair Jurrjens twisted his right ankle.”
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“Instead of making his scheduled start against the Cubs on Wednesday night, Jurrjens will be nursing an injury that the Braves are hoping doesn’t force him to join John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Mike Hampton on the DL. “

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