Granderson leads off vs. lefty

Jim Leyland wanted to give Edgar Renteria a shot in the third spot with Carlos Guillen off, so Curtis Granderson gets to lead off against lefty Erik Bedard today.

Oh, and happy Fourth of July. Hopefully you’re somewhere with a chance to enjoy the holiday. Here in Seattle, the day game gives us a chance to catch the celebrations.

TIGERS (43-42)

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

MARINERS (33-52)

  1. Ichiro, RF
  2. Jose Lopez, 2B
  3. Raul Ibanez, LF
  4. Adrian Beltre, 3B
  5. Richie Sexson, 1B
  6. Kenji Johjima, DH
  7. Jamie Burke, C
  8. Willie Bloomquist, CF
  9. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

46 Comments

Renteria in the 3 hole.Why not bat Pudge cleanup while we are at it

Way to go Cab…….Nice double play off the bat of Renteria,Good move JL

Nice stroke by Clete off the lefty Bedard.Way to hang tough.

Guess everyones out celebrating the holiday.Happy 4th everyone!GO TIGERS!KEEP IT ROLLIN!

Raburn sure has a tendency to strike out in key situations. 5 men left on base by him so far while he has been swinging at pitches out of the strike zone.
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I’d prefer to see Clevlen as our RHB backup outfielder. When Inge comes back I would think Raburn is expendable.

Well Kenny is into giving up the 2 strike hits today. They have accounted for both runs so far.
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Yikes.

Agreed–Renteria batting 3rd is is acceptable only if he can bunt Granderson and Polanco IMO. No extra base potential with him and he certainly hasn’t deserved the ‘honour’ of batting 3rd either.

Yeah,Ryan is struggling and I think he is already in JL`s doghouse for not arguing that catch in right a few games ago.But,the Tigers should be able to get this guy soon.He is definitly losing his control.Maybe this inning…..Besides we have Renteria with his eyepoppin .343 slugging percentage on the way up.

Leadoff double and the 2 and 3hole cant move him up

Renteria proved our hypothesis.
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Cab looked pretty brutal on the breaking stuff. I know we have Ordonez out and I know he yarded one earlier but I think he needs to sit or at best, DH. He is not hitting, he is out of shape, he is injured, his head ain’t in it, he is stubbronly playing 1st base as if he has not been told who’s job it is to cover the bag. He is on a pace to hit under .300, under 25 HRs and under 100 RBIs.
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I think he has the ability to change all that but he also needs to be put in his place right now. Making 157 million does not MAKE you the best player in baseball.
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Let’s start a pool on Renteria getting an extra base hit.

Gotta hold ‘em here and hope we can plate a couple in the late innings. Not looking like they are into being hitters today.
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I would think we might see Aki Lopez today.

Another really fine running catch by Clete.I really like this youngster.I only pray that we dont trade him for one of yesterdays stars……Renteria…..JL must think cuz he is facing a lefty,he will hit well….I`d rather see Curtis or Marcus in that spot.I never heard of a guy with 340 something slugging percentage hitting 3rd.Just dont make baseball sense,got to be JL pyschology or playing a hunch,anything BUT baseball sense….I like Cab,but think he is overweight.His fielding average isnt awful, but sometimes he looks like a mouse in a maze out there,and he will give up a lot of hits that other 1st baseman would get too.I think he`ll start hitting better 2nd time around some of these teams.Also believe that he has to play 1st or DH.We have a club that really has 4 or 5 DH`s.But we are forced to play them somewhere and when they dont hit, it just makes us look even worse than we really are

Heres Renteria`s chance to prove me wrong Hope he does

Why does JL not know the meaning of B-U-N-T!!
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Guess JL needs to stick to the horses and one armed bandits

Belay that comment! I thought there were no outs when Placido came up. My bad.
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Mr. automatic soft out up with 2 men on what a waste.

Dan, JL reminds me a little of Earl Weaver,but without the pitching and defense.Small ball just isnt in JL`s vocabulary

Decent start for Kenny.Hate to see us waste his effort.Right around 90 pitches thru 7.Not too bad.Gotta get him some runs.

This is the time you wish your team had the kind of composition that it simply could manufacture a run or two.
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Looks like it might take the long ball, if it all.

If we get the leadoff guy on next inning I would like to see leyland try something a little different—like maybe bunt?

Yeah Dan,If Pudge gets Clete would be perfect to bunt him over for Carlos and Curtis to knock in

Well OF,,get your throwing arms ready Ichiro up

was supposed to say if Pudge gets on…..Interesting infield out there right now………Way to set up the force Kenny…Hit Ichiro.He cant help it, he`s old school.Well that sure backfired.Oh my,we need a real big 9th or this one is gone

Typical Leyland stubborness. kenny pitched a great game, low pitch count but JL had it in his brain that he was going to get a complete game from him. So much for this game, it’s definitely outta reach now.
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When the hittting on this team evaporates it does so big time.
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Shut out the other day and for all intents and purposes, pretty much shut out today.

Yep,one,eins,uno,single,solo HR thru 8.

Probably shouldn’t beat a dead horse but you take aways those shut-outs and those games where we limped in 1 run and replace 1/2 of them with what should be the average runs that this lineup was suppose to score and think about what the won/loss record would be.
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Yeah,I agree.But, I think we need more balance in the lineup.Too many guys looking long ball and no more steroids.Sure did like what I saw in Clete lately.We ought to keep him up here.Good to see Cab get a couple hits and in spite of the score Kenny pitched a fine game….But bottom line is NO runs scored by our potent lineup and we sacrifice defense day in and day out in order to play them.We have no speed to speak of unless you count the rooks beside Curtis and Shef.Shef isnt getting on and his slug pct. is 360 something.Renteria batting 3rd is hysterical,except its not so funny losing all the time.We are under .500 again and I suppose we deserve it,but there comes a time when Mike Illitch has to step in and do something.This club just doesnt fit together.No balance.

Another addition to the ” I like him; I like him a lot” club:
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Michael Hollimon will likely return to Triple-A Toledo when Ramon Santiago is ready to come off the disabled list………
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The way that Hollimon has played when he has had a chance, though, it isn’t hard to envision Hollimon back up in the big leagues in the near future………..
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“I like him,” manager Jim Leyland said. “I like him a lot

Mike Illitch was known as a great fielder and a smart player.You have to wonder if he wouldnt like to see more small ball and better defense.I`d like to see him unload a couple of yesterdays stars and give a couple of these rooks a shot.He has got to notice the confusion going on here.The Red Wings are competetive every year.Its got to be eating at him.He has to see that the equilibrium of this club is out of whack.How much patience can a competitor like him have.He needs to shake up this club before the trading deadline.I just hope he doesnt do it with our youth.

Today’s game was lost in the fourth inning. Bedard walked both Thames and Sheffield and was down, 2-0 to Pudge. The next pitch was a borderline strike inside. Once the count was 2-1, Pudge went into full hack mode, fouling off, I think, three more outside the zone before striking out. Then Clete walked. Raburn then swung at a number of pitches outside the zone before he struck out. If we’d displayed a proper hitting approach here, Bedard would have walked five straight and probably have been out of the game, we’d be ahead 3-1 and still have the bases loaded with one out and the top of the batting order coming up. And Kenny Rogers in top form. There were other lost opportunities, but the fourth inning was the game changer.
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I believe that 4th inning AB is what started up the Pudge/umpire feud. That and the fact that Rogers wasn’t getting the same calls the Seattle pitchers were. That was painfully obvious all day. The heave ho itself was strange, since Pudge was already back in the dugout, back turned. It should have been over but Mr. Rabbit Ears decided to pull the trigger anyway. Poor umpiring there. Good job by Guillen to stop Pudge before he got himself suspended. Just what we need at this point in time. Carlos is the captain of this ship, regardless of official title.
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I wasn’t going to comment on Rogers pitching the 8th because it would have been second guessing. But then Leyland second guessed himself during his postgame comments. He said his gut told him to lift Kenny, but he’d pitched so well he wanted to give him another shot. It appears he wanted Kenny to get a W for his effort. Admirable respect for his players, but you’ve got to get away from individual accomplishment if you want the team to succeed.
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I’ve said repeatedly since last October that I’d rather have Santiago at short over Renteria. So I’m repeating it again. And again I’m repeating it. The rest of this stuff I’ll leave to you general managers because we’ve gone over the same ground countless times and this ol’ guy is a little weary of it.
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–Rich

There are a few teams that are looking for a shortstop. Blue Jays, Dodgers and I think a few others. The trade was a failure. Cut our losses and get something for him while he still has some value. I hope I don’t have to continue to watch this homogenized play from the shortstop oosition.
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Santiago may not hit such lofty levels (.264) that Renteria has this year but even if he hits .250 he adds so much more in terms of defense, energy, versatility at the plate, bunting, base-running etc.
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I’d be willing to take Burnett off the Blue Jays if they have tired of him. He would pitch well in Comerica.
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Package up Sheff and Rent and make some room for a little vitality on this team.
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Pudge was out of line on his last AB. He made a reference to the ump’s mother and I’m shocked he wasn’t tossed right away—-that was the ump’s mistake which he compounded by tossing him from the dugout.
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Pudge is frustrated. At least he is showing some emotion and is not happy with seeing this team showing signs of slippage once again.
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Not sure if there is a rule on this but can he be suspended for coming back out of the dugout (even though he was intercepted by Guillen) after being tossed?
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Speaking of leadership, we need someone to demonstate this through some solid, inspirational ball-playing.
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Sure glad I’m not in Seattle!

dodgers are for sure looking for SS, only problem is, what can the dodgers give in compensation? they have a strong farm in terms of pitching (or so they like to tell the fans) but idk if thats actually true. and strong farm in pitching in the minor league NL doesn’t = results in the hard hitting AL…..
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anyone know how long renteria is contracted through?

Dan, I dont think that that is an automatic suspension(for which there is no appeal)However it might be subject to the league office,in which case I think he could appeal and basically serve said suspension on a day he might take off anyway…..Rich,I heard some time back that Big Poppy from Boston and a couple other(I think Dominican Republic)players in a winter league from his homeland had been working with Ramone on his hitting and thought that Ramone had made some progressive improvement.I saw it on a Fox Saturday Baseball Game of the week in a game Boston was playing,so I dont think that would be considered a rumor.I thought Ramone was hitting very good before his injury.I would rather see him in there than Edgar,if the injury doesnt hamper his play.I`ve had a separated shoulder and it was a tough injury to heal up.I`m not sure that it ever healed properly,but I had no trainer to help me,but I wuold be cautious to expect to much from him yet….It could be me,but sometimes I wonder at the extent of hustle from some of our players…If I was there I could tell,but not being there reduces me to mere speculation.We need players that will put the teams interests ahead of their own personal ambitions. I think Inge,Polly, and Thames fit into that category,probally Carlos and Curtis too.But,like Dan I question why guys like Edgar and Pudge dont bunt with runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out. I think Pudge was a great player,but he makes in my opinion poor choices at bat,and sometimes with his pitch calling.Sometimes I think he hurts the team wildly swinging,But he has worked counts a lot better lately.So often the sacrifice will give you 2 batters to knock in a run or 2,eliminating the DP that willinstantly clear the bases and kill the rally.Look at your team leaders in DP`s and then look at how many sac hits they have.Sometimes the obvious is right there in black and white.I dont expect Mags or Cab to bunt,but every one else and ecspecially Shef are fair game in my book.Its ridiculous for this team to be shutout 10 times before the all star break.I may be frustrated,but I believe that those seldom looked at stats reveal many players commitment to the team.

There is an article about Edgar on the home page

Chicago lost, so we’re still at six out. This is sort of what I meant when I mentioned “staggering to the All-Star break.” I probably should have used the term “holding serve.” Stay within about five back and get our people back in there. We’ll need to take the last two from Seattle and that knuckleballer tomorrow will probably cause fits. Better have that “small ball” game going. I can’t trust Cleveland to continue to play this poorly, then there are the Twins next weekend.
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I could tell from Leyland’s postgame comments that he’s concerned about Renteria. There are a ton of shortstops who can produce as much or more than he has so far. I’d much prefer a quicker and more athletic guy who can do different things at the plate. Speaking of Santiago, that’s interesting what you said there, Bruce. Looked to me like Razor was hitting much better last season and he’s just the kind of smart player I like. The “knock” on him is that he can’t stand up to the full season grind physically. The shoulder injury on that play in Oakland didn’t help deter those observations.
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Back to Renteria. Dan, intriguing point about Toronto. Edgar pretty much wasted them during the visit earlier this year, and maybe they think highly of him. I don’t know what we’d get, but at least it would be AL personnel. Man…………I hate it when I’m right on a negative prediction. I’d much rather have Edgar just shut me up once and for all.
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–Rich

I read that too, Bruce.e…. it was out this spring , don’t remember the source, but read it online, during spring practice, that Ramone worked out with big papi, and looked much better, hitting the ball. Also read something by Willis, bragging up Dane Sardina catching the ball behind the plate….that he is extremly talented reading the balls coming over the plate.

I wish much the same.. for once, wish Edgar would prove us wrong and shut me up! But it hasn’t happened.

I am very impressed with seeing Clete, and Matt alongside Curtis in outfield. Man! THose guys cover ground!.. keep up the hits.. its impressive to see them. Cut loses.. if that means SHef, and Renteria, and Robertson and some draft picks forfeited.. I think thats the way to go. Our outfield is looking good.. and if not for Shef, we could use Maggs, more often in DH.
I am beginning to wonder if Maggs will have more good years like last years .363, or will he be back down to earth just above the .3oo mark.
I remember Todd Jones speak of it, last fall.. near the end of the regular season, to enjoy it..its a special time, and won’t repeat every year for everyone. He was right.

The Dodgers have a lefty from Taiwan that might really help our bullpen. I ftJL had enough confidence in Ramon then getting rid of Renteria for Hong-Chih Kuo would be worth looking into. The Dodgers might go for that.

It has been nice seeing our outfelders get to balls like they have. Joyce in RF has been a very noticeable upgrade over Ordonez and he is less mobile than Thomas.
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moparsew–I think the guys you mentioned all would benefit the team if they were wanted somewhere else.
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I hope we can more than hold serve till the all-star break. We have a team that can ill afford to lose games period but it also seems that when we lose games it creates a specter of doubt that is equally as harmful.

forgive my typo!

Rich, Been thinking a lot about Ramone and also Dans feeling about Cab hitting in the 3 hole.I`ve felt for quite some time that there is something askew with the lineup,so I researched stats last night.Lots of rallys killed at the 3 holeDP`s,K`s,poor OBP and OPS.My opinion of a 3hole hitter is a guy that can drive the ball in the outfield and keep it off the ground.Shef has made 52 GO and 52 AO,with a terrible XBH pct.Curtis 30 GO and 80 AO.Marcus 31 GOand 45 AO.Cab 78 GO and 92 AO.if you take XBH as the other qualifying factor.it would show that by a landslide Curtis fits the 3 hole spot perfectly,with Marcus 2nd and Cab 3rd.I skipped the other Tigers because they fall so far below the above criteria.If Curtis hits 3,we have no qualified leadoff hitter.Zilch.After all the crap Marcus been through it would be unfair to put the burden on him due to pressure,I feel.The next most qualified guy is Cab……..Carlos would be a great 2hole hitter on most clubs,but we probally have the best2 hitter in the majors with Polly.If Ramone could play with the consistency that he did early in the year it is conceivable that he could leadoff.Curtis with his numbers could prove to be one of the very top 3 hitters in the league(I`m totally conviced of this),but if he remains leadoff,I think that Dan is right about Cab.DP`s per at bat not bad.Leads team in sac flies.His numbers over the years indicate that he is a natural # 3 hitter.Tigers should think of getting leadoff hitter or put Cab or Marcus in the 3 hole…I`ve said before Shef could have been a leadoff hitter,but I think his mindset disables him.I think Carlos has enough power to be a 5hole hitter,but too many ground balls for the 3 slot……..Anyway I`m curious to what you guys out there think aboutbalancing the lineup.

Good morning TigaBloggers.
I thought I might as well get everyone stirred up some more with my humble remarks. Again in this last entry, several comments have been aimed at the incompetence of Leyland and his poor managing choices. First, let me be clear and state that Jim does not get a free pass from me. But let’s be honest; in yesterday’s game there were little if any decisions by JL that costs us that game. He said he was wrong for letting Rogers face Lopez in the 8th. So what! The final would have been 2-1, still a loss for us. So maybe Kenny would have felt better about himself.
One blogger had it exactly right. Batting approach. Again, I am not a Thames basher, but he needed to come through, and he didn’t. Nor did Shef, nor Rayburn, nor even Polly who is almost money in those situations. Did Carlos come through in hs pinch hit role? NO, he swuing on the first pitch, and I realize that Morrow is so very tough. Here lately, I’ve read so much about Thames not being one of Jim’s boys, and being out of favor all the time. Probably know one in the majors has more raw power. But he is going to strike out a whole lot of times, and when you have Ordonez out, Cabrera looking lost, and Lord knows, I don’t know how Sheffield has any oblique left with those violent swings to nowhere. Yesterday’s game was like the early ones in the year, no clutch hitting. Should Leyland have these guys bunt more? I think so. But every time we put a man in motion we take a risk, because when you have the “STAR” lineup going, speed is non-existent. Maybe these injuries are a blessing in disguise where we can really see some potential future Tigers. I do know that when the “new guys are in there”, we have an upgrade in defense and speed, which probably improves pitching. Say hello to the Twins; that’s how they do it; cut off the extra base hit, throw strikes, and run the opposition batty(not Earl of course). I know my rambling has swallowed my point, but I would conclude again that Jim Leyland did not lose the game yesterday. Has he helped us lose earlier in the year? Yes. But that game was squarely on the lineup. And to think, I din’t even mention Renteria. I would like to have seen a couple of early games this year, with the following lineup. I wonder if we would have been worse off.
GRanderson-CF
Polanco- 2B
Guillen- DH
Ordonez- RF
Cabrera- LF
Casey- 1B
Rodriquez -C
Inge -3B
Santiago -SS
Jurrgens -P
Remember gentlemen and gentleladies. I do respect your opinions. This is only mine. I do have one request, and I know it sounds prudish, but i would like to see our blog, gutter language free. Our country is so great, free speech is wonderful, but I see no need to fill blog comments with four letter language and expletives. Thank you for allowing an old Tiger Fanatic to rant a while.

davidtiger, I always enjoy your comments and opinions. I have not posted in awhile as I have been working too much. It was my Mom’s birthday yesterday and our extended family went to the West Michigan Whitecaps game. We were partying at my sister’s house before the game and of course the we were watching the Tigers. When Polanco came up with 2 on and no one out, trailing 2-1, I said you need to bunt (no matter if it was Renteria in the 3 hole). Rich, I agree, we had our shortstop in Santiago. Everyone is so caught up wanting a shortstop that is a power,batting average, run scoring, do it all hitting player. The SS job is to be the best defensive player on the team.
We need the bat of Maggs. JL needs to keep this team fired up. Dan and Bruce, enjoyed you insights. Marty and GK, what are you thinking about all this? Let’s have a great second half.
Go Tigers!
–Dave

Well fellow Tiger bloggers, it is July 5th and I still can’t tell which way this team is going. Even when they win, which they did quite often in June with interleague play, I can’t get overly optimistic. And when they lose, they often look downright horrible. They really are a team that from day to day you just don’t know what you’re going to get. My gut feeling is that they just don’t have enough quality starting pitching to overtake the two teams in front of them. To really get on a roll and win ten in a row, you need quality starts just about every time out. Then again, Kenny pitched well yesterday, but the bats went silent. Had the Tigs managed to take 2 of 3 from the Twins, then we could have built on the momentum we had from interleague play. Instead, our inability to beat teams in our own division continued. Unfortunately, we may look back at the end of this season, and see a repeat of last season’s woes. The bad thing about being in third place is having to hope that the two teams in front of you lose. I know we have nearly three months left in this season, but does anyone believe this team can really put on an inspiring streak, especially with the inconsistent play we’ve seen thus far?

–Ed–

We’ve had a lot of “hot spots” this year. LF, DH, 1B, 3B, SS. All have contributed with the early season poor performance of the starting rotation to put the club in a hole for the 2nd half. LF is slowly self correcting. The corner infielders have improved (though they are far from ideal) and there is hope the improvement curve will continue. Sheffiled will eventually give way and share time with players coming off injuries.
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The SS problem is and likely will remain a problem. Renteria has disaapointed from the gitgo and most of us here have noticed the decline for some time now. He is offically under the media microscope now and the pressure on him will really start to ramp up. I foresee the problem getting worse before it gets better. Nice guy, goes about his business and all but let’s face it, his business is bad right now. The club would be wise to let his name filter out there on the trade talk circuit.
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The team could use another starter too.
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I see Leyland has taken “full responsibility” for leaving Rogrs in and also the other day ” accountability” for”not telling Jonesie he was going to” throw an inning even if they got a bigger lead”.
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Can anybody tell me what leaders mean when they take “full accountability” for things? What does it change? How does it make things any better?
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I’d like to see them make up their mind about Thames. Accept the fact he may have more strike outs than hits. That will be the “Price for Power”; or send him to the Rockies, Marlins or Cubs and see how many home runs this guy can hit playing full time. I like Thomas and Joyce but they both don’t need to play tat he same time agaisnt RHP.
Clete is fun to watch and Joyce can play too but the next outfielder to crack this lineup is probably going to be Brent Clevlen
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Let’s make some decisions as to what lineup is going to make this team competitive for THIS year. If it means moving Carlos to DH, Inge to 3rd and Santiago to SS then let’s do it. And, oh yeah almost forgot, better pick up another starter while we’re at it.
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I maintain my firm belief that pitching and defense wins championships. Nothing new there, most any baseball man will tell you the same thing. That leaves us back at square one, where we were in April and May.
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Although they could be better, I believe we have some useable pitchers on the staff, if used properly. The best, and also simplest upgrade, would be infield defense. Your infield needs to make all the routine plays, which we haven’t done. The infield also needs to take away basehits and scoring opportunities, which we’re not even close to doing. In short, the infield has a huge impact on how effective your pitching is.
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Cabrera is a nice project at firstbase, coming along with it. Guillen makes some good plays at third, although some of them seem better than they are because we can’t believe Carlos could pull it off. Renteria is a nightmare. No range, bobbles the exchange on a regular basis, and now appears to have gone to sleep on us. Polanco is Polanco, one of the best, if not the best, in the business.
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So what to do?
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The obvious. Inge to third, Santiago to short. Guillen again becomes the “supersub” while remaining a starter. He can DH, fill in at third, first and LF. Cabrera can continue his project and also DH, mainly because there’s not much else you can do with him. Thames can also take a turn at first while still manning LF most nights. We’re seeing that we really need Maggs in that cleanup spot, but he can also DH when the situation is ripe for a strong defensive rightfielder. I think Maggs ain’t bad out there, but sometimes you need more speed. Inge could continue to spell Pudge behind the plate, although keeping Sardinha isn’t the worst thing they could do.
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I realize that’s a lot of DHers, so what about Sheffield? Well, you all know I like Sheff more than about anybody here, but there’s going be a decision needs to be made. If, through age and injuries, he’s become a .240 singles hitter, that won’t do. He’s going to have to step it up soon, real soon.
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I’m not ignoring trade possibilities, especially with the deadline coming up, but we have folks here who can cover that end of it. I’m just offering, IMO, the best use of the personnel we have in the organization at this time.
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–Rich

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