About that Renteria sitting thing …

Forget it. Turns out he’s in the lineup tonight after all, and Hollimon is sitting. Leyland said after Friday’s game that he would probably play Hollimon, but having the knuckleballer on the mound might have given him some second thoughts. When asked Saturday how much of a factor the pitcher played in the lineup, Leyland pointed to the splits: Opponents are batting .196 against him from the left side and .364 hitting right-handed. That said, Curtis Granderson is leading off.

TIGERS (43-43)

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

MARINERS (34-52)

  1. Ichiro, RF
  2. Jose Lopez, 2B
  3. Raul Ibanez, LF
  4. Jose Vidro, DH
  5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
  6. Jeremy Reed, CF
  7. Richie Sexson, 1B
  8. Jeff Clement, C
  9. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

62 Comments

In the idle time leading up to the game:
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WHEN im MLB going to do something about the maple bats? When someone is impaled or loses an eye or finger? Those bats are coming apart with velocity and are nothing less than spears at times.
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Maybe the owners will trade the use of steroids for the use of aluminum bats? Just kidding–we’ll likely never see wooden bats go the way of the dinosaur though if you think about it they could regulate bat making technology and engineer a metal or composite bat that has no more transfer of energy to it than the wooden variety.
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Anybody here ever gone to one of the Tigers Fantasy Camps in Lakeland? I’m going next year and must admit am starting to get a tad bit excited about it.
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It would be nice if the Jim Leyland fan club would start a “Lovable Old Coot Stop Smoking Campaign”. I would bet a very large part of the Tiger Fan Base would be willing to involve themselves in that worthy effort. I know I love to tear his decisions to shreds, don’t agree with him much of the time and am a bit critical of him personally but “I really like him, I like him a lot”, and he somehow is a bit like family. I’d like to see him stick around for some 20 and 30 year reunions.
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I’ve accepted the fact the Tigers aren’t going to run away with the division some time ago, but I still think (in spite of the slowness afoot and afield), there is a spark smoldering under all the injuries and turmoil that is waiting for an opportunity to ignite, and propel this team to the playoffs.
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Dan,I`ve heard that there is not enough ash wood available to keep up with supply and demand.I know that it sounds crazy,but I have heard it more than once…Also,the players,supposedly really love the way the ball jumps off of it.I also heard that they are talking about making the handle end thicker and regulating the thickness of the handle,requiring the diameter to be greater in circumference….I`m hoping the Tigers keep battling.I was pretty disappointed after yesterday`s loss and studied stats half the night searching for answers.I guess it shouldnt let it bother me so much,its just that I expected so much more of them,than what I have seen.Perhaps I second guess too much,but it is in my nature to defeat the other team,and it perplexes me when they lose ugly.If they play well and lose it doesnt bother me so bad,but when they throw to the wrong base or forget to cover or miss the cutoff man,I go crazy.A lot of us played when we were younger,and back then you would get benched for bad defense,in spite of how well you hit.Its different now and I`m still trying to adjust.

Way to stroke it Carlos 1-0

Oh boy First batter up and E-3 Not the way we want to start

Yes, Miguel Cabrerror strikes again.
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Good to see Galarrag get out of it though and he looks pretty good.
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Hopefully the Tigs keep taking full swings at this silly knuckle ball like they did in the 1st.

Renteria just does not look like he can do much right now. He’s tapping harmless groundballs almost every other time up.
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Looking forward to Santiago coming back but somebody made a very good point ab out expecting too much from him after a shoulder separation. Not sure how he has looked in Toledo but I do know he’s not hitting.

Armando! Throw strikes young man.

Yikes–walking Sexson is a bit of a gift. Armando is not mastering the strike zone and as good as he has pitched for us he really has not “mastered” it yet.

This guy, Betancourt, scares me as much as anybody on this team. Get Him.

Funny how Twins andMariners defense looks so good,I bet Mariners have robbed Tigers of 3 hits in the first 3 inn.If only we could look that good out there

How about that Ibanez swinging on 3-0.thank you very much.Another bobble,this one by Armando

How about Cab.Almost put one out in 2nd.Does put one out now.He seems to be hitting with a lot more authority.Still not pullin much,but with his power it doesnt matter

Matt looks pretty overmatched. I know this sounds fishy, but I actually would have gone with Clete out there today against the knuckler.
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They need to tighten up here and a couple of easy innings would be good. Aramando will not get away with walks and he needs to start throwing more strikes.

If Cab’s hip flexor is as bad as they’re making it out to be, it’s no surprise he’s flippin’ them out the other way. I’d like to see him healthy.
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–Rich

I thought it should be Clete myself, although Matt’s uppercut swing could cause him to run into one. Clete has played RF this year, hasn’t he?

Hey Dan, maybe Edgar does need eye correction. He’s hitting the top of the ball everytime.
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Nice to see Dane get a hit with that big family in attendance.

A better slide would have gotten him in there. Something to learn

I`m jealous of everyone elses defense hit and run and they still throw him out at home.amazing

What is Lamont doin down there at 3rd these day? He had Carlos coming up with the bags loaded and 1 out. Whey send a slow runner home?

Armando can’t keep getting out of these predicaments. Law of averages and a better playing Mariner team will go against him eventually. He is constantly behind in the count.

Beltre up. Living dangerously. We need a big play here by somebody.

Galarraga has a lot of trouble with the 5th inning. I suppose they will leave him in but the way he is throwing the guys simply have to go out and get a couple.
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Lamont may have killed a big inning for us last inning. He has been very aggressive lately.

AG is at 80 pitches which usually about his limit JL may let him start 6th but yank him at first sign of trouble

We’re getting burned on aggressive baserunning tonight. If we’d do some hitting, that wouldn’t be necessary.
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We’ve got a bullpen full of rested pitchers. Galarraga has been fortunate so far, but his luck ran out with Clement.

Yep,time for the pen to step up and get the job done,cant see JL letting the youngster go on,95 pitches now,his effectiveness about 75-80 pitches.

Too many wasted opportunities. Cabrera leaves the bases loaded, Thames poor base running, Granderson’s double wasted. A one run lead is too dangerous.

Good job, Rodney!

Yeah,the boys only have 5 hits after 7.Another E on our infield.We were fortunate. We need to score.wonder if they`ll bring Zu in.

The best thing I saw that inning was what I didn’t see. Rodney didn’t get rattled and kept his composure. That’s a good sign.

Another 2 hit night for Cab.He is looking a lot better

I don’t know why these guys can’t string hits together. This is another poor offensive effort.

Minnesota won…Chicago won…Cleveland lost…KC lost….Come on Tigers We got to win this one to stay even

A one run lead is too dangerous. Where did I hear that remark before?

3 straight changeups my Rodney to blow a late lead. Am I having a deja vu? Who’s calling the pitches?

Yep,I wondered if they were going to pitch Zu in the 8th and TJ in the 9th.Guess JL figured he`d get 2 from Rodney.Well we need 2 to win 1 to tie COME ON TIGERS! WE NEED THIS ONE!

Man. Right back into the funk. If only Mr. Ilitch could become commissioner and move us to the National League.

Pretty funny, Rich. I was thinking the same thing.

–Ed–

Gagndemo,It must be Rodney changing the call.His first game back I saw him throw 3 changeups A fastball afoot high and afoot wide then come back with a belthigh 4th changup for a 3 run homer. 4 out of 5 pitches were changeups.It confused me the first time cuz I never saw anyone do that before,but I`m not surprised this time.Tigers have the worstpitch selection call that I have seen at any level of pitching.Need Brandon in there in late inningsat catcher.He wont let them shake him as easy as Pudge and the rook.Come to think of it we need him at 3rd in the late innings too.But no offense for this highly rated offensive team. 3 runs in 2 games against the Mariners staff is very poor.Well,I think its about Illitch time.

Jeff Clement, a .185 hitter, drives in all 3 runs for Seattle. Galarraga’s good effort wasted. It is easy to blame Rodney, but stop and think about those two errors. Maybe they did not allow any runs to score in the inning in which they were committed. However, those errors caused Clement to come to bat sooner than he would have if the errors had not happened. A better team effort is needed on defense and hitting with runners in scoring position. Two games in a row where the Tigers did not get any hit with a runner in scoring position? Wellllll, maybe you can count Polanco’s hit when Sardinha got caught at home. Since interleague play ended and the Tigers started playing AL teams again, they are now 2-4. Hard to creep up on the Twins and White Sox with that record.

I’m not a pitching coach but isn’t the changeup supposed to be your out pitch, not the pitch you throw 75% of the time? If Rodney doesn’t want to throw hard, perhaps he is still injured? Maybe we’ll hear how JL isn’t a pitching coach again tonight.
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3 changeups in a row, HR on a 0-2 pitch, so pitiful I am actually laughing instead of being angry.
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Zumaya must have started pitching too well to be used in a one run game in the 8th. Or maybe, it was Jones who wasn’t going to be used tonight. It’s tough to tell who Leyland is telling he has no confidence in this year.

The game story was lack of offense again, of course. On sending Rodney back out for a second inning; as I recall it, this is what JL did in 2006. The popular mythology from that season was Rodney in the 7th and Zumaya in the 8th, but I don’t think that’s how it went down. At any rate, it’s not 2006 anymore and I wish he’d just have taken Rodney’s good 7th inning and put it in his pocket. We had an entire bullpen worth of pitchers to use. I don’t get it.
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But again, it’s the offense. We really miss Maggs. And Al Kaline.
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–Rich

I had a bad feeling about this one as soon as Seattle scored. Knew we needed a couple insurance runs. We were lucky to get by with Rodney in the 7th. Leyland pushed his luck a little too far using him in the 8th. Would rather have seen Dolsi or Zumaya. Rodney only throws two pitches, Gag. When he gets behind in the count, you can usually sit on the change because he doesn’t throw the fastball for strikes consistently.

–Ed–

Well I think a lot of us figured this would happen tonight. You can’t limp along with 2 isolated runs, put people on base with walks, drop ground balls and truly expect the baseball gods will permit you to win.
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I don’t know Leyland is thinking when Clement comes up and you don’t have Bobby Seay ready. Has he not seen what LHB have done to Rodney? Did he not see Clement crush the ball the last time up?
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And my gosh–what are we doing walking Sexson 3 times?
In my book as soon as Rodney walks Sexson–he’s gone. You can’t be patient with a late inning guy who can’t throw a fastballl strike to a guy who stands 6’8″ That’s a pretty big strike zone.
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What has happened to the offense? It has evaporated and it went into the coma zone tonight against a very mediocre pitcher.
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I wasn’t comfortable with the play of the team even after the nice run they just had. They just seem like they are always on the cusp of going into a profound slump. That’s why a lot of us seem to be complaining about them even when they have won. Because we “sense”, that something is still “wrong”.
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Rich was hoping we could hold serve till the all-star break. I thought that that was not good enough but I must admit that was probably the best we could have hoped for.
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Very poor play and the painful truth is that they didn’t deserve to win this game today. Renteria and Sheffield are hurting the team. Renteria is playing so poorly that I feel if he is a team player he should tell Leyland that he wouldn’t blame him if he took him out of the lineup.
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Pathetic display of baseball lately and we have now lost 4 out of our last 5 games. They have scored 7 runs in those 4 losses.

Rodney got out of the 7th, if Zumaya comes in the 8th, Rodney leaves with more confidence and has another building block. Now how does he feel? And what is Zumaya thinking as he watches from the dugout?
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Is it just me or does anyone else think that Leyland was coaching 10 times better when Sheffield wasn’t around?
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This season will come down to the last couple of games and we will look back in frustration at these games.

Jeff

And 3 straight changeups to Clement?.
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We used to always say when I played ball: “Don’t throw changeups to a bad hitter”.
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No offense to Clement, who is probably going to be a very good hitter, but he was hitting under .200 and had 2 HRs all year.
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Rodney has great stuff, super fastball, great changeup but has no command, no vision, no baseball sense. What are we gonna do with the guy?

Gagnedemo,You are entirely correct in your summation of the out pitch.If they know he throws 75 percent of his pitches at 82,84,80(he will changespeeds) your hitters will look for 85 mph fastball,or treat it as such.Good hitters look fastball and adjust.But when a guy is throwing 75 percent of their pitches at 82-85 they will set on that.Everybodty has seen him and knows what to expect.easy pickings.He got hit pretty hard in the 7th too…..With his pitch selection that many changeups he should make his out pitch the fastball.I,m sure thatCH has been through all of this with him.He might be afraid he cant get the fastball over,but at least he could throw a circle change once in a while instead of the straight change.I just dont know what to think of our guys.They disappoint at new levels every week

I was thinking the 25 to 1 odds I picked up on the Tigers to win it all last week, was a decent bet. With this lack of ability to win close games, I’m not so sure. Let’s get to a couple over .500 by the break and regroup for the stretch run. We have lots of mistakes that we should be learning from.

Dan hits it right on the head again….Rodney has no baseball sense…I`m sure Sardinha wants to stay in majors and would not call for 3 in a row………This is not the first time it has happened,so I`m conviced it must be Rodney shaking the catcher

Jeff, two things. I don’t see what Sheffield has to do with Leyland’s managing. JL has made a number of bad decisions this season. Also, this season is not coming down to the last couple of games. The last couple of weeks at the very best.
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Now, I hate to get all over JL because he’s being put into situations he shouldn’t have to be in. But doggonit, you’ve got to be able to manage a low run game too. Anybody now thinking of Sardinha getting nailed at the plate? Somehow, we find a way to cut off our own big innings.
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Anyway, we’ve had the successful run as I predicted, and we got excited as I predicted, and now we’re disappointed again. I wish this club would just surprise me once.
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Leyland looked whipped during his postgame. This is a bad situation.
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–Rich

I speculate about Sheffield because of the history Leyland has with him. All those games JL kept batting Sheffield 3rd leads be to believe that JL is too loyal to him. If the team senses someone is being treated favourably, the whole team will be affected psychologically which will come back to the manager. The flow that JL wanted started when Sheffield was out. You will notice that the flow is starting to shut down now that he is back. A couple of big hits right after coming back yes, but the shoulder is probably hurting again by now. Has Leyland given the man who couldn’t cross him arms a day off since he’s been back? No he has played 12 games in a row. Where is the same logic that he uses for resting the other players? Why is GA ry treated differently than Polanco, Renteria and Pudge?
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To back up my thoughts, when Sheff was out for a bit in April the team went 4-1. When he was out in May and June the team went 13-7. That’s 9 games over .500.
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If we played .500 in the other games, CHW would only be up 2 games on us instead of 7.
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P. S. Cabrera has still only hit 3rd only 1 game.

I’m sure the word around the league is to make the Tiger starters throw lots of pitches and “get into their bullpen”.
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Lamont has made some mistakes out there lately for sure. There was a game recently that we caought a break on at home too. The runner was out and we were lucky to get called safe.
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What I did not like about the play ( and I do like to be aggressive) was that there was 1 out and we would have had the bases loaded with our #3 & #4 hitters coming up. Isn’t that what you are trying to do when you make out the lineup?
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The play took the starch out of us and gave some life to the Mariners.
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No big hits tonight again. Cab had 2 but not when the bases were loaded.
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Things are feeling like they are slip sliding away. If I were Dave Dombrowski I would be looking for multi-player trade and try to regenerate this offense by unblocking the SS and the DH spots. We still need a starter and a late inning reliever who doesn’t walk people.
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Richie Sexson walked 3 times!!!! What is wrong with that picture?

Dan, you alluded to something in a post that seemed to agree with what I had stated earlier in the day. You stated that “even when they win, many of us still feel that something is wrong.” I entirely agree. With this team, you can never get the feeling they are going to dominate anyone. Heck, we made another sub .500 pitcher look good last night. I won’t use Maggs’ absence as an excuse. Injuries are a part of the game. Boston has dealt with Ortiz being out. Chicago keeps winning without Konerko. No, if you are a real “team”, somebody picks up the slack. It doesn’t have to be one guy, it can be someone different every night– but that’s what good teams do. This Tiger team just doesn’t have the “mojo”. How many one-run games have we won? How many comeback victories? Heck, at this point I’d take a couple two out hits with men in scoring position as maybe a sign that the baseball gods will start coaxing some luck our way. But it’s just not happening. Chicago and Minnesota have the mojo, and barring second half collapses on their part, its going to be a real struggle to wrestle it away from them.

–Ed–

Well, Im not going to expose myself to another performance like the last 2 games. Too nice a day here in South Central British Columbia to waste waiting around for a team to become a team. I’m hopping on my motorcycle and going for a ride with another Tiger fan. Maybe we will chance upon that motrocycle enthusiast from Michigan by the name of Mickey.
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Good luck today guys. If they can’t beat this guy today they are really in trouble. They’ll need to give up trying and “throw another shrimp on the barby”
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I mean, after all, the guys is from Australia where last I checked, they don’t exactly have a steallr baseball program going. No disrespect intended as the Aussies do have some of the best fastballer players in the world, but baseball is a different story.
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I suspect Thames will sit today. Sheffield will not. Renteria will.
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The smoldering ember remains uncovered. I think perhaps it has not yet arrived to Detroit. Maybe by the end of the month?
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Here’s a hair-brained idea to try to get a little pop in the lineup that will humour some, anger others and draw some ridicule:
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Call up Mike Hessman. And move Carlos to short. We alll know the stories of how his range is diminished and all but the guy has responded everywhere he has been asked to play. Maybe he is an ember in waiting. Maybe getting the job back turns him on and the rest of the club with him.
Maybe Hessman pops a few 3 run HRs and fields his position like he always has.
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Maybe just take Renteria out and play Ramon.
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Maybe something, anything, needs to be done.
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Maybe JL needs to look in his bullpen and see if Aquilino Lopez actually is out there cause I haven’t seen him.
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Maybe somebody needs to insist that Fernando Rodney listen to what the game plan is and that it is not optional and that if he thinks he can do what he wants then he should be the recipient of a blanket party thrown for him by his teammates.
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Maybe Leyland should acquire the wisdom of knowing when to be satisfied with the performance of his pitchers and recognize the optimum time to replace them, i.e. Rogers, and Rodney.
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Maybe it’s time to actually give Dontrelle Willis his FIRST START against the 22 year olds in Florida. That is a situation that borders on being absurd. Talk about denial, are they trying to pretend he doesn’t exist so the fans will forget?
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Maybe it’s time to grab the bull by the horns.

BTW, Neal and Oslund are still throwing well in Toledo. I don’t know what the fascination is with keeping Fossum. he is a 5 run inning waiting to happen IMO.
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We suffered with Cruceta but he is also throwing much better in Toledo. He seems to have really cut down on the free passes somewhat though he still averages 1 every 2 IP.
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Hessman hit number TWENTY-EIGHT yesterday.
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That’s 18 more than Renteria & Sheffield have. Am I picking on those two guys again/

It’s a beautiful day in Ohio, Dan, and I really am getting some things done around the house, but every now and then I check the blog to see what others are thinking. It gives me someting to ponder whilst I’m working. Had to respond to your last post, though. You will get no argument from me about switching Guillen to short. I was all for it back before his switch to third. Also wanted Hessman up then. The guy deserves an extended shot. He’s hit for power at every level but he wasn’t going to crack Atlanta’s lineup with Chipper Jones, and then when the Tigs got him, well, Brandon had the good year in 2006. Seems like we could use a little pop up here. Why not try him? Nothing else is working and Lord knows we’ve tried wackier things thus far this season.

–Ed–

How about we give Sheffield a day off once in a while. He has played 12 straight. When he came back after being off a month, the shoulder probably felt good and he got hits the first 3 games back (even some clutch ones to win a couple games). Since then he only has hits in 3 of the past 9 games which isn’t very good. I suspect his shoulder is bugging him again, but he would never tell anyone. Later on, after a few more 0 fors we will hear how he has been playing hurt and trying his best playing injured. The guy doesn’t know when to admit to his injuries. His good ole buddy Leyland will just keep throwing him in the lineup.

Geez Guys, CG back at short,Hessman at 3rd> We`vve been taken over by the same one armed bandit spirit of of delusion that possess`es JL.We cant even trade Hessman for a prospect because he strikes out in half his at bats.The pitchers up here will destroy him.He will make Ray Oyler look like Babe Ruth in about 2 mos.And CG back at short.The RF there will go down about 2 balls a game.I think we`ve tortured the pitchers enough.Face it,CG at this stage of his career is a hitter,not a fielder.And those switches have no affect whatsoever on JL`s wagering hunch philosophy.We`ll just lose by greater margins than we are now with CG playing anywhere in the infield,but moreso at short than anywhere else.Is`nt it enough that we are already the worst fielding team in baseball.Is it our goal to set the new major league record for worst fielding PCT. of all time………There is still plenty of time to turn this thing around.But,calmer minds must prevail.Any more position switching will only result in more chaos,confusion and more turmoil.Give Holimon a shot to play a little at short.Keep CG at 3rd for the time being.Get Clete some more playing time.Cut down on Shef`s starts and give Joyce a few whacks at some righties.With Edgar and Shef`s playing time cut,it not only helps our rooks,but, also forces the regulars to evaluate their own performances,and the opportunity to decide if they are willing to work harder and make the necessary adjustments to be a part of the team.I for 1,want to see how Edgar and Shef would handle some bench time,But I`m not willing to put CG back at short

It’s not even close to being a nice day here in the mountains, so I’ll be tuned in again. The 4 PM EDT start does give me time to get some things done. This is our last west coast trip this season, so thank heavens for small favors. Seems that the schedule is more ridiculous with every passing season.
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Frankly, I don’t see the difference between Guillen playing third or short, so I’ll have to agree. At this point, all of DD’s offseason moves have failed miserably. I’m hoping that outcome will change yet, but at this time, he gets an F for the entire strategy. The jury is still out, of course. Call it a mid-term grade.
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Even if we shore up the defense, we’ll still need better bullpen management. Jeff was posting about JL’s loyalty to Sheffield. That same loyalty extends to all of his former players, such as Renteria. I think we need to forget that game winning hit in the 1997 WS. Eleven years ago with another team, ancient history. JL had the same loyalty to Neifi Perez, for heaven’s sake. And now it appears to be extended to Rodney. This stuff is killing whatever chance this team has. I guess if he leaves Lopez sitting out there long enough he’ll finally come in rusty, then it will be “I told you so.” Personnel decisions this season have just been bad.
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And I get that same feeling as some of you get. Everytime a game starts, I think we’ll lose. That takes a lot of fun out it, hey?
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–Rich

You know………..all of the comments we’re making here smack of throwing in the towel and trying just about anything. I don’t see how playing the Toledo guys more will help anything. The only one who looks like a big leaguer at this point is Thomas.
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I don’t care if Sheffield plays or not, since he’s just a small part of a larger problem. I want Santiago and Inge on the left side, or else make a trade of some kind. This is getting nuts.
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You know who made the best offseason moves? The White Sox. Getting Orlando Cabrera and Nick Swisher filled real needs, and that’s what trades should do.
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–Rich

There can be no more major roster moves, you can only change for the sake of change so many times. The answers are not in the minors but on the current club. Holliman is not going to cure any ills. Everyone likes to dog Renteria but has he been put in a position to use his strengths? How many times have we used him to hit and run this season? When used properly he will get you 100 runs, 175 hits, 70 RBI’s, 50+ walks and a few steals. Even his “bad season” with Boston he hit .276. No one has shown any confidence in him from day 1 on this team. If Santiago comes back healthy, give him some odd games sure but Holliman? wasn’t he a 2B in the minors?

I think you guys have a point up there about the Ash trees…around here at least…tons of them are dying.
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man last night…we just couldn’t get a call…2 close plays for Sardinha–one on offense, one on defense…darn it.
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hopefully the Tigers come back to work today and try to at least split this series…get up their confidence maybe for this upcoming week. I’m not going to go there, you guys all already know how huge this week is.
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–Adrienne

Gag,Yep, Holimon has played more games at short in Detroit than he has played in the minors.I think he only played 1 game at short in Tol.But, I wouldnt mind seeing what kind of range he has andhe is left handed hitter.Renteria cannot hit the inside pitch.Unless he can make the adjustment to that he is useless at the plate cuz all the pitchers are throwing him inside.He needs to fix that in batting practice.He might can hit a breaking ball up the middle,but hard stuff inside and he`s gone……Rich is right about the left side of the infield.The hitting we compensate for the D has gotten us to .500.Thats all.Fix this infield and the ERA will goe down a run a game….As far as JL goes he is managing right now at a little higher winning percentage than his 17 year career…Perhaps there is a reason that he is under .500 managing over 17 years in the majors.I`d sure be willing to hear any reasons or comments that any of you have regarding that.

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