Leyland on Jones: "I'm gonna watch him"

Todd Jones is still the closer, but he’s not going to be the overtaxed closer.

“I’m gonna watch him closely,” Leyland said Friday, “maybe use somebody else from time to time.”

That doesn’t mean he’s out, or even that he’s sharing the closer’s job. But one theory Leyland came up with for Jones struggling was the fact that he pitched a day game after a night game.

Leyland didn’t say exactly who he would go to for tonight, but said most nights it would probably be Rodney or Zumaya. Both are available tonight, as is everybody but Jones and possibly Casey Fossum.

In other news, Edgar Renteria gets another day off, though he said his left hamstring feels “a lot better.” Leyland hopes to play him Saturday and Sunday to try to get him some momentum at the plate going into the break.

TIGERS (46-45)

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

TWINS (51-41)

  1. Carlos Gomez, CF
  2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
  3. Joe Mauer, C
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Jason Kubel, DH
  6. Delmon Young, LF
  7. Brian Buscher, 3B
  8. Nick Punto, SS
  9. Denard Span, RF

115 Comments

Read through the blogs from last night and saw equal notes about Jones’ ineffectiveness. Living in LA I get to see KRod first hand and I cringe when either he or Jones get in. This really goes to JL’s stubborness when it comes to players and situations. Marcus (hit and sit), Sheffield (he’ll start hitting in the clutch any day now), Renteria, Guillen at third, the relief staff, how he treats the kids and Jones. I hate to see it. I like him alot. Best since Sparky. But I think players need to come to the park knowing they are playing so that you can establish consistency and they can get into a consistent approach. I don’t recall any of this in 2006 or even last year.

Well ladies and gentleman, fact is it was my fault the Tigers lost yesterday. Really. I came home from work a little early to catch the end of the game. It was the bottom of the 8th, Tigers up 6-4 and from that point I watched them give it away. I don’t know…..I was inserted as a defensive viewer replacement and just couldn’t get the job done.
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Excellent commentary here. Dan, Rich, you guys have been blogging on this site since it’s beginning, right? I’m sure you agree, it’s getting more technical, sophisticated, and prolific by the game. So many new bloggers joining in with a lot of knowledge and insight. If I were JL I’d consult this site after every game. Why not? Bruce, you need to get some sleep sometime. Blogging at 3:29 am……good grief, close your eyes and just let go:) I’m kidding….you can stay up as late as you like and I don’t even know what time zone you’re writing from anyway.
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Dan, that was one elegant blog on your thoughts on TJ. You have stuck by your beliefs for at least a season and a half. Got to admire that. And what to do about the closer situation in light of yesterday’s game is a conundrum for sure. Some of you have perhaps hit upon the only ultimate solution at this stage of the season. And that is to maybe close by committee. Not a big committee but get Zum, Aqui, and maybe Freddie involved. I like TJ though and still think he has a few good saves left in him. But there are certain hitters and situations that he just isn’t suited for, if we’re being honest.
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Rich that was a hillarious bit about things that “get you going” about today’s baseball. Well I better start watching the game………… go Tigers
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Oh yeah…….Thames in 9, Thames in 9……….

Marty,I dont do my office work until after the game.Its those extra inning games that got me behind.Those west coast games were hard enough. Oh well,Hope Armando can make 6,but he`s using a lot of pitches to get there.

not real thrilled with the amount of pitches gallaraga has pitched through 3 innings… at this rate he’ll be done by the 5th, requiring probably lopez for long relief……. that was a nice 4 pitch walk by granderson to lead off, i hope they can capitolize on it… JL needs to run him… polanco should put the ball in play. hit and run, with a team like this, should be almost automatic.
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gotta make our hitters honest, hit when they HAVE to…. too many wasted runs left on base. not enough small ball, there’s plenty of speed on the team, grandy, sheff (assuming he doesn’t pop up or ground into DP), thomas, santiago, guillen…. just run the once in a while, bring in the run……..
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i still think this season is a complete and utter mismanagement of high priced talent, something i think JL is not used to. the ’06 version of the tigers had 2 high priced players, mags and pudge….. 07 brought in sheff (hate hate hate hated that deal) and 08 with cabrera (loved that trade) and renteria (hated that trade)….. making a ‘virtual’ allstar team. a team that doesn’t mix. it doesn’t match. it doesn’t produce. not consistantly at least, not against teams that matter. (NL TEAMS DONT MATTER)
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and i dont like MC hammer in cleanup. he should be hitting THIRD THIRD THIRD THIRD THIRD……… anyways…. i’m done ranting. good for the tigers for getting granderson home.
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mike

Thanks Marty. I was starting to wonder if anyone even read that. Trying to lighten the mood around here. It’s gotten really negative this season.
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Nice piece of hitting there, Carlos. Galarraga looks fairly sharp. Hope he can get his pitch count in order.
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–Rich

A few observations:
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Dont expect Sheffield to hit anytime soon.
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Polanco is not hitting and that usually means he needs to rest.
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Jones ( I know I am dumping on him) had that bad inning yesterday against the bottom of the lineup.
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5th inning right now Galarraga has had some trouble with getting through this inning. This is a big inning for him pitching against the top of the lineup.
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I sure wish we had a couple of guys like Morneau and Mauer on our side.

Well, you could become a Twins fan, Dan. But that would leave a lot of us pretty lonely.
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I agree about Sheff, but I can take it a little better if he’s batting sixth. Maybe he’ll still come around. I’m not betting on it, but I’m rooting for him. I don’t like to see comments about how he only wants to hit 500. Who here is a mind-reader, anyway?
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I would like to see Zumaya closing next year. I think Jl should give him some experience this year, say 9 or ten more chances. Don’t want to see Rodnet closing games, he’s better setting up.

Great play Polly.That was pretty

Nice play by Polanco. That ball goes through and we are in a heap of trouble. Twins keep sending up LHB to the plate. Not sure we have anything to counter with today. I don’t imagine G man has much left.
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Not sure why we can’t seem to hit this guy. This his 3rd exellent effort this year against us. Wake up bats!

Tigers are playing polite ball again. Not a good sign against a team like this who will find a way to beat you if you crack the door an inch.
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Notice the difference in hitting approach of these 2 teams today..
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Galarraga has to be watched very closely now by Hernandez. He is on borrowed time.

The Tigers hitters really need to be more patient at the plate. The 4th and 5th innings for Perkins were far too easy.
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Galarraga is looking ok, but a lot of pitches and he’s done now.
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One other thing…I wonder if Gomez is trying to get into Galarraga’s head by striking out twice and trying to bunt? Sorry for the poor attempt at humor. Still can’t wait for Gomez to come up Sunday against Verlander. Bet he gets one high and tight right off the bat.

Let’s see a little character now. Galarraga threw a good game but his problem lately is throwing too many balls and going deep in the count.
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Sure wish somebody in mangement could figure out why the bats go silent with regularity and spontaneously. Even with a horrid bullpen this has been the single most defining factor for the won-loss record.

It’s Sheff time. Don’t hold your breath.

JL has lots of confidence in Lopez doesn’t he?.
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That Casilla is a heckuva ballplayer.
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I hate the Twins but you know I like them too. They are the epitome of a good team.
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Can’t afford to lose these games to division rivals, especially those ahead of you.
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Seay in now and I hate to be negative but I just don’t see him handling these guys. He doesn’t do well against LHB and these Twins LHB do well agisnt LHP.
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I hope I am wrong.

I really don’t expect the home team to come out on top today. If we do I would consider it a gift the way the have played. They look listless at the plate.
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Not sure how smart it was to walk Morneau instead of trying to pitch him touch but oh well

C’mon guys let’s get on the sticks and please wipe that smirk off of Perkins’ face.
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I hope Tiger hitters were paying attention to how Delmon got that RBI. You’re right Dan, there is a world of difference in these two teams’ batting approaches. It’s very frustrating to watch the Tigers hack away day after day. Then when they finally try to be patient it seems to work against them. It’s a team approach that has to be worked at over time, not tried once in a while.

Good bunt Ramone.Thats the way to pressure them

Why should Guerrer throw strikes when he doesn’t have to. That was a pathetic showing by the big 3 in the lineup tonight.

The 3 big boppers looked more like the 3 stooges. Very bad ABs, Cab swung at ball 4 twice.
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Thames simply overmatched and Sheffield—well what can be said except did anyone expect anything but a weak ground ball to short or a pop-up?
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I guess the answer to that question is yes. Jim Leyland expected something else.
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Remember that definition of insanity I gave the other day?

We are witessing a form of self mutilation.

Well,the pitching was pretty good.

really unimpressive performance tonight, and to me that really sums it up so I will go now. Really unimpressive.

OK , now I am hoping for a split. JL said it, you can’t win with 2 runs. It’s too bad we can’t have the same line up almost every day. I know with injuries you have to be flexible. Sheff does look bad and Polanco is pressing. We need Maggs back and if our bullpen can hold the other team….the starters have been good but that bullpen seems to always let a run or 2 in the late innings. Rich, yes I like to keep it fun on this site. Who was it that said JL should be replaced n some games after the 7th inning? No, don’t trade him or fire him, just replace him sometimes!
Go Tigers!
–Dave

I thought tonight’s game turned on two big events in the 7th inning. The first pitch to Polanco was above the D on his chest, yet it was called strike one. In that situation, there’s a big difference between 0-1 and 1-0 and I think that killed a potentially big inning. Credit to Polly for going ahead and getting the sac fly. Next up Guillen, and he absoulutely smoked that one to center. Gomez may be the only outfielder in the bigs who could have run that one down. The remainder of the game was pretty well even.
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This is a time when we really need Ordonez. Either yesterday or today, Maggs would have done something at the plate to get us a win, I’m sure of it.
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The Twins win these games because they have better pitching, basically. That allows them to shine with their fundamentally sound play. As the first half of the season has played out, we’re exactly where we should be, third place. Both teams ahead of us are better than we are. That’s just the fact, and it’s a fact that has to be dealt with. I don’t want to get into treating every single loss as if it’s armegeddon.
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When I said we needed to hold serve until the break, I think we were six back. Now we’re seven back with two games left. Not quite where I’d like it.
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–Rich

TigaBlggers,
This is getting to be “old hat” with Twin victories every time we face them. The big difference again is pitch count, and
walks in the late innings. The winning run wasmoved to third base with Seay’s second walk in the 7th. One of Galaraga’s runs came from a walk. Twin pitchers just do not walk batters, or at least Tigers. Even with our rallies, we have to hit from base to base. If Cabrera is on, the pressure is to get him to third on a hit, because he will rarely score on a single from second. Thames confirms to me again, why he is not an everyday player; sadly neither is Gary Sheffield now. I wish he culd recognize this for the good of the club, and his own professional pride. We were facing a lefty, and most of our offense came from a Rookie Lefty himself.
Finally one would think that the odds are against Nathan, and we’ll finally get to him. After yesterday in the 9th., this team is not mentally or physically capable of beating Nathan. Thankfully again, the Chisox are losing. But to be honest, I don’t fell real confident when we go to KC in 10 days. They might have our number too. This team has cost me all but two hairs on top of my head. What I wouldn’t give to see a great complete game against the Yankees by “ole Taters Lary”.
Greg

Yep.. you are correct Dan, in your comments several entries above. Twinkies,-Ya got to love em, they are an epitome of a good ball club of what can be.
Q: Don’t we have any scouts? Don’t we know how to pitch the M&M boys? Treat them with kid gloves and take away their candy! They’ll be crying like babies, and you’ll be out of town by the time they realize you stole the series from them.
Galaraga has had problems in Minn. yet JL insists on working the schedule as such. Didn’t A Lopez work on long relief, and starting pitcher capabilities? WHy not throw him in and rest Galaraga this weekend? JL pulled it once before, taking away the starting spot from him, and giving it to D Willis? My Gosh..
Here they are, loosing important weekend stand, and its like we are told.. only play .500 ball before the ALL Star break. Is this sent on by the comissioner? We get to see glimpses of a great team, then the bubble pops. Oh, excuse me, Cleveland is struggling , as of late..
I have to comment on JL, saying Rollercoaster Jones pitched a day game after a night game? HUH? Didn’t Todd get waffled, shelled, etc.. and he put him right back in the next day? – a week ago?
Its like we are all mushrooms, and JL figures to keep us in the dark and feed us manure!
C’mon! Treat us like grown ups.
Fact is.. the players that aren’t hitting.. bench them.
Pitchers that aren’t effective.. you don’t use them. These guys are the ones that affect the outcome of games.
Put in the players that work, or are hot.
If somebody is on a 12 game hitting streak, do you bench them? Or a 5 game homer streak? UGGHH!
I am really beginning to loose some of my admiration for him.
How long did we keep Jaque Jones?
SO.. isn’t it time the coaches do find something wrong to put in the press and send E Renteria down on rehab, and add to that some batting lessons on the side?
Obviously, many of the clubs are borrowing the hitting tapes.. pitch him inside.. his “achilles heel”…
lastly, didn’t Minnesota loose their closer for the season? And they still are hot? Obviously, they have depth to find ways to keep winning..

Comments:
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We lost yesterday-Granderson and Polanco were both 1 x 6
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We lost today-Granderson and Polanco were bot 0 x 2
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Leyland has had another brainstorm. Big rotation shakeup after the break. I remember the rotation shakeup in the World Series too. Sometimes he outsmarts himself.
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Been a long time since Curtis hit a homer. Does not seem to be part of his game right now.
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Whatever happens with Galarraga we have to feel very fortunate that he came along this year when he did.
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Whatever happened to Brandon Inge? I didn’t understand the hurry up and wait rehab program.
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Hessman hit #29 today for Toledo.
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It would be great if Marcus could put the pressure on JL to find him a home as the DH. He is up and down and hot and cold but his vascillation notwithstanding, he still outperforms Sheffield.
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Pudge has played baseball a long, long time. Why does he love eleavated fastballs and still go after sliders in the dirt?
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Has it occurred to others that there is a chance we could get swept at home going into the all-star break? How bad would that be?

Leyland is unbelieveable !!!!!! “Watching” Jones. Yea Jim, we’re ALL watching him. We’re watching this loser get hammered.

One thing you know will happen in the 9th inning. That opposing team is going to perk up by simply having him on the mound, and EVERYONE is gonna see something they can hit!!!!

This is just crazy!!! I’d rather see Joyce pitch the 9th, seriously…..

Leyland needs to go!!!!

Greg, that is the one thing that has bothered me sinced I coached little league, walks. Make em a hitter.
Rich, Granderson would have caught that ball to center, but no one would have caught that ball if it was a walk. Yes we need Maggs back, so let’s make that run after the All Star break. Dan, thanks for the update on Hessman.
Go Tigers!
–Dave

Oh yea Dan, is Morneau the most feared hitter in baseball against a lef handed pitcher. Who made that call? If it was JL then we need to have a managerial replacement at the end of the next game that is close:)

Actually it really isn’t surprising that we are 3-7 vs. the Twins this season. The formula for winning baseball starts with good pitching. The Twins have got some good young arms that, as I said in an earlier post last month, will give us trouble for years if they manage to hold onto them. And guess what folks, the news doesn’t get any brighter. It appears that Liriano is rebounding quite nicely in the minors. Couple the good starting pitching with a bullpen that is effective enough for them to get to Nathan with a lead and you have a winning formula. Oh I almost forgot to mention, they started a lineup that featured six .300 hitters. Not much power, but guys that can put the ball in play and move runners along manufacturing enough runs. You just can’t continue to walk guys in Minnesota’s lineup because in the end they will find a way to get them home.

–Ed–

JL annually has praised just heaped upon him, however he just may be thee worst late inning manager(where a mgr does most of his managing) in baseball. He gets schooled by Gardenhire in every game against the Twins. Memo to JL: Study film, if you have to, of the Twins, like an NFL coach!!!! These days, JL is more a product of the “old boys club” such as is Bill Parcell’s to the NFL. Yea, keeping players happy is important( I guess!?!?!), but try actually managing once in a while!!!! Oh, and the other old boy….C. Hernandez…… he’s nothing more than a dead body with a pulse in that dugout. There is NEVER and I mean NEVER a time when he makes a trip to the mound that results in anything afterwards. He’s been around a long time…. but he’s a horrible communicator to this young staff. The best move this team could make would be to bring in a guy like Greg Maddux and make that entire staff sit on their *** and “observe” from all angles. Pitching 101….

I’m looking at the post-break starting rotation. It appears the #1 slot can be used in an optional situation down the road. Here’s why:
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The second weekend will be against Chicago and the scheduled starters are Robertson, Verlander and Bonine. Since there’s an off day, however, Rogers can pitch the finale, thus skipping Bonine’s turn. I suppose you could make a case for Verlander being that #1 guy, but coaching staffs look far down the road on this stuff, much farther than I did.
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JL’s comments on Bonine seem to demonstrate that he’s not real thrilled with him either, and they also demonstrate that he has no notion in his head of starting Lopez. I can understand leaving Lopez in the pen, but only if you’re going to actually use him. He threw what, three pitches last night? Then JL brought in the lefty to pitch to Mauer, who hits lefties better than RHers, then intentionally walked Morneau. That’s questionable decision making at best. Me, I would have just stuck with Lopez. I think the Twins get into JL’s head. Like Rod Allen said the other day, “if you’re scared, get a dog.”
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–Rich

Interesting Point …I sometimes wonder why Chuck hasn’t worked more with strikes, and eliminating balls and walks… so much so, that it becomes a recording, that many times we hear Rod or Mario push the button … “and he lost ‘em!” … If your up 0-2, then why does the count go to 3-2? Good grief.. your wasting your talent. Even if you intentionally walk a man, then go for the DP, if you know that the hitter is a sucker for a infield hit pitch?
92 games played, I wonder how many times our starters have gone 100 pitches by the 5th? Look at some of the other teams and thier into the 8th with that number!
I bet Kenny Rogers would make a better coach some days.
I know this seems like ranting.. but lackluster hitting, and poor pitching out of tense situations have cost us games that our opponents have capitulized on.
Oh, I think back at my childhood days.. the scores wern’t lopsided, nor were the scores anymore gigantic numbers, and those men went 120-140 pitches, with pride. They only went to the bullpen in the 8th or 9th, and there were so many more complete games. Maybe hitters struck out more, or grounded out, I don’t know.

Please dump Todd Jones. He’s supposed to be a closer and he can’t do that. I’m sick of FSN commentators sticking up for him. He is terrible with an Alabama sized truck load of capital T’s. Zumaya or anyone else will do better. Everyone else gets benched but the problem is our closer. He was dreadful last year and was given a big contract to come back and continue the torment. Don’t WATCH him, get rid of him!

I’m not sure Chuck can get these guys to turn on their strike thrwoing mechanism. I think a lot of it has to do with the sheer ability to throw strikes consistently. If it is a case of nibbling too much then I think we have a real problem with the managerial infrastructure becasue JL has come on record many times with statements regarding throwing strikes and that if you can’t throw strikes then you shouldn’t be in the bigs. I would hope Hernandez and JL are at least on the same page.
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This has been alluded to by many, PBP announcers, caoches, players, fans and Bloggers: It is so important to get the 1st pitch in for a strike. I do know when our guys are doing a good job with that aspect of the game, our pitching is way better.
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G-man has been great for us but he could be so much better if he could improve that ball/strike ratio.
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I can’t believe that JL could be so dense as to give Bonine another shot in the rotation. It is abundantly clear that his repertiore is not going to be effective in the bigs.
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I doubt that DD will play much in the trade market before month end. But my wishes were that he could ship Sheffield off to a team and ballpark that could take advantage of his swing and his reputation. I’d like to see him get 500 HRs but I do hope it happens for someone else. I think at this stage of the season you could actually get something for him but the big bonus would be the opening up of that DH spot for Guillen, Cab and Ordonez to rest & rehab in.
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I don’t think playing Inge at 3rd is going to win a pennant for us but I would much rather have Guillen at DH and Inge at 3rd than what we are doing now.
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If JL gives any time to Larish at 3B I will personally find where he lives and pour sugar in his gas tank.
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We really need to spank the Twins hard. We can’t engage in a cloutless game with them as they will dive and run and slide and bunt us into another loss. We have to play a good inning every inning against them.
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I see Sardinha is the latest member of the “I like him, I like him a lot” club. I’d like him a lot if he could hit .270.
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There was some thought that if we could just maintain until the all-star break then that would be a positive thing. Is there something I am missing here? What is going to magically reverse the tide that has washed us up on the shore as a sub .500 ball team, just because we have an All Star Game? Doesn’t anybody else here think that we need some sort of change or, dare I say, shakeup in order to play winning baseball?
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Start by allowing a pitcher who’s actually throwing a good game, to CONTINUE throwing that good game. FORGET the bullpen and FORGET that weirdo 100 pitch count. It’s NOT a magical number. It means NADA!!! I remember the days, even of a 162 game schedule where pitchers going 8 or 9 innings, WAS THE NORM. I remember no long ago when Fernando Valenzuela threw 189 pitches in a world series game!!! AND WON IT!! A pitcher such as the overated Verlander(cause he’s never learned the art) who pitches a great 6 innings yet departs because of the pitch count, hasn’t done much of anything. So, now the goal is to “give us a chance to win the game????” …….. Hey, what ever happened to actually winning the bloody game?? So you turn it over to an inconsistent “7th inning guy” who in turn turns it over to an inconsistent 8th inning guy, who in turn turns it over to a errrrrrrrr…..shall we say “closer” who chronically has an era of 5-6.00, and watch him load the bases again, give up 2 runs on 3 hits, maybe gets the 3rd out, and him and JL actually call that, “getting the job done”!!!!????

Sorry baseball fans, I don’t get it!!!

It’s okay to address me by name. What you’re missing, Dan, is the entire premise of my comment on maintaining till the break. That is, after the break we’ll have our injured people back, namely Ordonez and Inge. Brandon is already back but is sitting out in the bullpen for some reason. If you’ll recall, we were having success with the alternating catchers until Inge went down. The positive impact of the return of Maggs goes without saying.
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There is also a much more favorable schedule in the second half of the season. And if the All-Star break doesn’t have an impact, tell that to the 2007 Tigers, among many other teams throughout history. All their momentum, gone in three days.
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I’m not going to go all negative over watching the game I love. I see the problems same as everyone else but going on and on about it does no good. At least it does me no good. Maybe I should take a break myself.
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And Fernando Valenzuala’s highest pitch count in a WS was 146, and that was 27 years ago. Some of our guys weren’t even born yet. We have to take the game as it’s played today, like it or not.
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–Rich

OUCH!!! Sorry, I was wrong…. Your right, Actually, it wasn’t a WS game. It was just a divisional playoff and I have it right here in front of me…actually….188 pitches..

No biggie, Mitch (or Trenna), I was kind of going off the deep end there for a minute.
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I agree with your view on pitch counts and all that. It affects strategy and worse, affects the way a pitcher sees himself. But it’s entrenched in the game now, unfortunately, and we’re stuck with dealing with it.
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Needless to say, these are two big games coming up, and I’m in the Fox blackout zone again today. Send the boys some good vibes, people.
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–Rich

Hope Nate comes out and challenges these guys today.No walks….Go Tigers!

Its not Jones he needs to watch, Jones has been screwing up for years, it’s Rodney thats the problem! Rodney goes in and throws singles and homeruns and he doesn’t seem to care. His expression never changes…he doesn’t want to be in Detroit anymore is the only thing I can think of and Leland doesn’t seem smart enough to stop putting him in. “GET RID OF RODNEY” he’s creepy and devoid of any rational thought! A new pitching coach wouldn’t hurt either. Hernendez is getting it done, bring up Durham from the Mudhens, that’s a pitching coach who knows what he’s doing! Also, can Schefield and put Thames as DH, atleast Marcus doesn’t continually POP-UP or ground out. Whats that about?

I kinda like our lineup today.We should be able to get this guy,in spite of his past accomplishments against us.

Way to work that pitcher Ramone. 12 pitch at bat

Well Rich, Inge won’t mean much because he doesn’t play much and when he does he doesn’t hit much. Ordonez was part of the team when it went on several tailspins and has his own problems to deal with. My point tis that this is the same team tthat got them to where they are. They need to figure out who is going to play LF. They need some production from the shortstop postion, they need to find someone who can close, they need a 5th starter and they need to do something about Gary Sheffield.

Great play by Brandon getting Gomez at 2nd on the bunt

Nate is at 74 pitches thru 6

Point taken, Dan. My thought is that Inge is as good a catcher as Pudge, and makes Pudge better. But in a larger sense, I don’t think this is at all the same team that went 24-36. We’ve discovered a few weapons, some of which we fans knew of (Thames, Santiago) and we’ve gotten production from Toledo. The starting pitching has done a 180 in effectiveness.
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I guess it depends on how one looks at things. I think we’ve stunk about as much as is possible, and have to get better. Renteria might actually pick up his game, although I’m perfectly happy with Razor. Sheffield has become a problem and, unless he gets better like NOW, he’s the guy I’m tabbing to sit next week when Maggs comes back.
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I’m trying to follow today on Gameday and radio. Sounds like Santiago is playing another good game?
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–Rich

He’s playing well. Nice bunt couple nice plays in the field–great AB the 1st time up.
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Polanco is not hitting like he can. His nice quick snapping bat stroke has changed into a slow stiff armed slap. I hope he comes back sharp as he is needed to stoke the fire.
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Harris is kiilling us. HR now gives them a lead and with us not hitting (the vets are not hitting) it is looking like the team is accepting going into a holiday earlier than they should. I despise the type of play they slip into with much too much regularity.
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Where do our bats go?

Man oh man, frustrating. Nate had it going, too.
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Looks like the Twins have that thing, that unnamed thing, that mojo. Cleveland last year, Detroit the year before (for most of the year). A lot of this game, all sports for that matter, is luck. We’re not even close to competing with these guys. At least we’ve played most of the games in this series now.
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–Rich

Looks like Polite Baseball this weekend.
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If there aren’t some changes to this ball club over this break I am going to enjoy my summer and just stop watching. These guys owe the fans more than they are giving and it is getting pretty discouraging to see JL write Sheffield’s name in the lineup almost every day.
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Even JL has thrown in the towell today. I see Lopez has been put in. I like him but I know when JL has no confidence in him.
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I heard the boos when Sheffield popped out and although I wouldn’t do it myself I can certainly understand why many fans do.
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Man, does this team ever look bad right now. That’s the scary part, whenever they seem to climb out of it they seem to collapse at the next critical challenge.
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I wish management would watch the number of times a starting pitcher makes it through an opposing lineup.3times thru was enough.That 4th look undid him.31 to get thru 7th.Sometimes I think it would be better to count batters as opposed to pitch counting.

Not a bad idea, Bruce.
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Well, we scrapped back, which is something the 24-36 team didn’t do. Probably fall one run short, though.
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They go with Nathan a third straight day? Probably so.
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–Rich

Our DH, batting .220, is leading of the 9th…

Yeah,The boys havent given up all game.If Zu can hold,we got a shot.We almost got Nathan before

Couple great stops out there by Inge.Saved a run

Question. Clete Thomas to PH instead of Larish? Did JL think Jeff was going to hit a walkoff against Joe Nathan? Again, I don’t understand this man’s thinking.
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–Rich

Been a Tiger fan for over 40 years and not going to stop being one…. but for me…. I’m just taking the rest of the year off, unless they make some major changes, starting with JL…

I’m sick of this guy playing the numbers with everybody….errrrrrrr except Jones, whereas he obviously doesn’t think numbers mean anything…

Replacing a currently hard hitting .348 hitter with a .228 guy coming off the bench in the 9th. Hey Jimmy, why not just as well reach for anything made out of cloth and white, and chuck that out there too!!!! YOUR AN IDIOT !!!!! Give Sheff and Ivan some pixie sticks and let them hit with that. Let’s call them, Pudge & Judy………..

That’s “You’re” an idiot, not “Your” an idiot, Mitch. The after-the-fact criticism is easy and popular in all sports, but the fact is the players didn’t get it done. Leyland has made many mistakes, but he can’t bench Sheffield. The Tigers either have to bite the bullet and trade him for a loss, or keep playing him. That or the DL, I suppose.

When the initial frustration wears off, I think you can take some positives away from this game. They fought back and almost did it. At least they didn’t roll over and die.

Sheffield is either hurt or washed up. he has struck out almost much as walked and about as many as he has hits.

Zumaya is starting to pitch like Jones. He hasn’t had a 1 2 3 ining since he’s been back. He need’s to throw the fastball inside, no one will catchup to it

Our pitchers need to knock these guys down a couple of times to get’em off the plate!

I don’t think it matters too much who is up there against Nathan. The guy does not make too many mistakes on the mound.
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The run that Lopez gives up proves to be decisive but in fairness to him I wonder how it feels to be yanked early one day then thrown in to the wolves the next day when you are 3 runs down.
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The key though was the problem that Bruce talked about. Leaving Robertson in was not a smooth move. After the oposite field HR to the #8 hitter I would have thought he should be gone.
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I thought the Larish move again today was pretty bush too.
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Any bets on Sheffield being in the lineup against the RHP tomorrow?
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May as well get Larish and Thomas in the lineup tomorrow.
What are we afraid of? Worst that can happen is what has happened the last 3 days.
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At least Zumaya has a fastball, confidence and intensity.
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Nice to see him get outs with his curve too.
Have a good evening all and hope we have a better day tomorrow.

Steve, you’re right about the players scrapping. They’re not dogging it anymore, if indeed they ever were. And Sheffield is definitely not right and needs to get right. He can play tomorrow, but when Maggs returns on Thursday, Sheff is the guy who has to sit. DL or whatever, but we can’t get by with this.
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If there’s a shakeup to be made, it has to start at the top. The only change that can realistically be made, the only change that might actually create a change, is to remove Leyland as manager. In-season trades won’t do it. A fresh approach might.
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I came to this final conclusion while wondering why JL PH Larish in the 9th. I realized that Jeff had fanned in this same situation on Thursday, and JL was obviously attempting to give Jeff another shot at it. For his confidence. Well, that’s all fine and good, and it’s something you do in the minor leagues, not in the Show. In 2006 Leyland did this because he had no choice. Now with this veteran-laden lineup built to win now, it’s no time for rookie confidence building. Jim Leyland would make a dandy minor league manager.
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It’s a business. JL got all the credit for 2006 and he’ll get all the blame for 2008. We need a breath of fresh air here.
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Tough to say, but that’s my opinion, and I don’t reach it lightly.
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–Rich

You know who’s really enjoying this??? C-Mo, that’s who.

Steve Urich…. well YOU”RE correct there. What goes around comes around I guess?! I’m the one who’s always telling people how to spell that word, and here I go looking like the idiot!

I’ve been a fan too long, thru a whole lot of ups and downs throughout a generation of Tigerdom. This team has let go of too much young talent, and determined they would hold on to too many has-beens to get very excited about this year.

They’re a very talented team that just plays crappy baseball, from the mound to the dugout. If most of us on this stupid blog could make enough moves in one day to probably add 5-10 wins to this team this year(and we could!!), then what in the world is keeping JL in a uniform.

Yea, C-MO is undoubtedly enjoying this !!! As well as Jairgens, who by the way was just voted NL player of the month!!

Boy, it’s a good thing the Tigers have brilliance up in that front office. I mean, aren’t all of us just a-glow with the Renteria trade !?!?!?

Frankly, I’d prefer to see the rookie-H there at shortstop. Maybe trade Renteria for a 17th round pick??

Rich, that’s a good post of yours….

An old Tiger great happens to be a neighbor of mine. I was talking to the other day and he was amazed that they continue to allow T. Jones to do what he’s doing/or not doing. He also vehemently thinks Leyland has got to go…. like yesterday. Sez some of these players are getting a bit unnerved right now……

C-Mo may enjoy being part of the Twins team, but the guy is hitting worse than Sheffield. He is making Inge look like Wade Boggs at this point. Don’t’get me wrong–he’s a great guy and a solid ballplayer, but he’s not a very good hitter and it doesn’t look like he will ever be. I hope I’m wrong, but…
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I agree pm Sheff, but I don’t think they can bench him. They have to either play or DL him. I know it’s stupid, but that’s the way it is. You can’t sit a player with his stature, you’ve gotta DL him, play him or let him go. It’s like the stiuation with Frank Thomas.
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It was brutal having him in the 3 spot, so I’m still able to take him in the 6 or 7 spot for a few more weeks. After that, I would like him to be let go or traded if he still can’t hit.
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Having said that, I hope he can get it together. I think there’s about a 2 percent chance he can do that this season, though.
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The Tigers have made some good decisions on players, if you ask me. Carlos Pena is hitting about the same as Sheff, although he’s bringing in more runs. Monroe i spoke about above. There are plenty of other “developing” players that they let go of.
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There’s still time for a pennant race. I really don’t think they can do it, but who knows what will happen. Losing these games was really painful, though.

Something this team needs to be addressing and in a big way is the catcher situation: Pudge in recent “years” has become nothing more than a opposite field slap hitter. He’s still amazingly a great catcher who technically is solid enough to keep in this lineup, but the dude just kills way too many rally’s and is basically guaranteed to either pop up, weakly ground out, or chase that ever present high fastball that, even at his age, he can’t lay off of. His bat speed is diminished and he’s never really modified his swing through all of these years. I think it’s a diminishing draw as to whether he helps or hurts this team more, at this point. He’ll be a 1st ballot but he should be gone within a year, 2 at the most…..

.
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73 comments on this blog, and 70 of them are negative.
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sure i’ve had my fair share of negativity too, but i dont dwell and obsess on it. and no, i’m not mother teresa but please keep the next paragraph in mind:
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its just a GAME guys/gals….. micromanaging everything from contracts to management changes isn’t going to win any games.
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this blog used to be a lot more positive. negative when negativity was do. more ‘in depth’ analysis instead of one line rips on the team.
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there were positive things from the game. no one focus’s on that. the level of hostility and tension in this blog (with the excepton of Rich) i either A) dont read this blog anymore or B) just read of for dan and rich’s POV.
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mike

Hi guys,

I’ve never posted a comment before but I read them all the time. I just want to say to Mike that I couldn’t agree with you more. I know it can be frustrating but I too would rather read positive comments and constuctive critizism. I love the tigers and that isn’t going to change. Hang in there guys, hopefully we’ll come back strong in the second half.

Go Tigers!!

I got some news for you, Gary Sheffield and Marcus Thames are not the answer to the Tigers offensive problems!! I dont think you will see much of Sheffield after the ALL-STAR break and Thames should have never entered the season as a Detroit Tiger. I really like what i see out of the two young guys Matt Joyce and Clete Thomas and without them the Tigers record in June would not have been what is was. The Tigers have a number of players they could/should deal away before the deadline and should make a move for a power DH.

Ever since Zumaya was brought up to the big league and showed his electric arm wasn’t he supposed to be the next closer for the Tigers? I saw an article the other day about Joel being groomed for a starting roll next season. To me that sounds like a sure fire trip to the DL for arm problems.

Mike,I`ve read your posts,I`m waiting for you to lead by example.

At least we have the best lineup possible today. I am glad we have Thomas and Joyce in today and Sheffield has been given a seat. Sometimes it just makes sense for a manager to sit a guy if he isn’t producing. I personally think that JL trotting Sheff out there all season long when he has been struggling has done nothing to instill good team morale. I’ve played a fair amount of ball and this is a very natural reaction among players who are sitting behind the player in question AND those on the field.
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It would be a really nice end to this segment of the season if JV can have a good strong victory with run support.
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It is also very clear that these Tigers need this break. Ordonez comes back yes, that will help, but some of these guys have nagging injuries (Cab) or seem weary (Polanco) and in need of a rest.
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I guess the best thing they could do when they return to action is to try and approach the rest of the season as if it were a brand new season.
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This is still a good team on paper. They are slow and a bit cumbersome but have improved the energy level with Thomas and Joyce. The pieces didn’t fit the first halh, perhaps they will the rest of the way. The hitting should come alive (I know we’ve been saying that for awhile) but something special has to emerge out of the bullpen to help us through. It may be a new or an old face, but without it the team will not make it.
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The 5th starter will be an important ingredient too. And it would be nice if Nate could find how to intimidate LHB again. He used to.
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I’ve been thinking a bit about what Rich said as far as changing out JL. As much as we criticize old Jim we do like him. But I understand the reticence of Rich when he says he feels he has to go. I am almost in agreement here but with the proviso that JL manage more with his head than with his heart when they return. He simply can’t play favourites when it is hurting the outcomes of games. The stubborness factor needs to be recognized and rectified.
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If they continue to be underachievers then I think it is very reasonable to really consider a managerial change.
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I think this team needs an Identity. With this mix of veterans and rookies it should be easy. With Ordnez back they well be even better offensively. It would be nice to trade for a starter or closer.

Since they have gotten some close calls go their way, scores and tags when replaly showed them out … I was thinking DIRTY TIGERS. When Galarraga hit that batter… that was great ….and Pudge going off the other day… WE SHOULD HAVE A PLAYER Lose it EVERY GAME.

When Ichiro goes into funky pre-bat ritual Throw the pitch before he is ready. Disrupt these “super stars” back Mauer out… throw the next pitch high … bumb into Morneau at 1st.

Slide attempts should be more like a tackle.

Go Dirty Tigers

Aflack Question: Jim Kaat?

To answer an earlier question from “dan_byrne@mblogs.com”> Doesn’t anybody else here think that we need some sort of change or, dare I say, shakeup in order tp play winning baseball? I say YES. Even if it was a minor move such as a new hitting instructor or pitching coach.
And 2 runs today is not enough. Verlander is in trouble as I type this.

I`ve really enjoyed watching Ramone.He does a lot of little things that does not show up in the box .He`s been working pitchers as well as anyone on the team.H` has been sacrificing runners over.He leads team in that category.Been an RBI machine per at bat.High avg,high obp,high slg. pct…..I think with Inge 8,Ramone 9,and Curtis 1,we really get the opportunity for small ball late in innings,with Polly and Cab and Carlos coming up.That part of lineup looks good to me for scoring extra runs.

JV is having trouble with the darn 0-2 pitch today. 4 straight batters and he couldn’t put them away. Pretty fortunated defensive swing hit by Morneau though.
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These Twins are never out of a game when we play them.
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The offense can’t go to sleep and fail to tack on runs or they will whittle away and find a way to beat us again.

Lead off walk vs the Twins!!!!
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Gotta take advantage of that. Let’s run Leyland.

JV was trying to get strikeouts with that man on third and ran up his pitch count. The Twins today have just been lucky, flat out. Morneau’s double. The other was a DP grounder that hit the mound and sailed into centerfield. All props to the Twins, but that was luck this time. You seem to get that when you’re constantly pitching well.
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Anybody see Rodney walking out to the pen wearing that Maggs wig-cap? Priceless. Didn’t know Fernando had it in him.
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–Rich

Luck again on that grounder up the middle. Give me a break!

Yeah but you gotta be good to be lucky. They have had some big breaks and that was a heads up play by Casilla to take advantage of a heads down play by Cab.
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At the risk of being negative what the heck is Cab doing on that play? I think he sees he is robbed of a hit then quits. What if Harris flags that down? Then it is a DP and no run scores. Cab has to be hustling on that play even with the gimp in his gait. I wan’t impressed with that. That is Super Star Syndrome and not good team concept play.

That is defiinitely an issue with Cab.
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Good inning by Verlander. This game shouldn’t be as close as it is.

C’mon Marcus. You really need to have a good AB. Show JL that YOU are the DH.
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Verlander deserves a couple of runs here. There is not a good cushion against these guys.
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A six pitch inning doesn’t help JV get a blow. Game situation guys, come on. Somebody give Clete some guidance there.

Dangerous inning. The Twins’ pitcher made a statement and often that results in his mates responding with a collective effort.
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Gotta keep the pests off the bases.

God save us, it’s coming down to the bullpen. Who’s up today? I need a beer.
.
Excellent pitching by Verlander today. That’s being the big stud.

This is the time of the game where we know things get interesting.
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Pitcch count up. Who will come in from the bullpen?
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Will JL keep JV out for one more?
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Is 1 run enough or is just where the Twins want us?
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No comment forthcoming on Mr TJ.

Have a Kokanee on me Rich!
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Be great to WIN this game but far more important no to LOSE it.
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That’s a pattern we have to break in these low scoring games.

I like bringing Zu in here.Just hope he has ggod stuff.If he does let him go both inn

Setup man Zumaya. It will be either Jones or Rodney if things remain as they are now.

31 pitches for Zoom yesterday, Bruce. Doubt we’ll get two.
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Jones………..or Rodney………………which door do you choose?

Don’t walk Mauer!!!

Not what you want to see up here. These Twins are 2 out specialists when it comes to grinding out runs.

Roller Coaster Zumaya.

I guess Dolsi

I was hoping we would see a little character out of the middle of the lineup here.
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We are nowhere near a comfort zone.

That DP by Clete, that call on him at first was the giveback for blowing the one on Thames in the second. I hate when they do that.

I don’t like having these must win games in July, but that was the case today.
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Now we’ve got three days to help JL and DD plan what to do. :-)
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–Rich

Well,the boys held them down.Joyce put a nice add on run up…….and,hey 1-2-3 9th.Gotta be some upside to that,heading into break,maybe they feel a little better about themselves and come out hot.Heres Hoping

Good to get the win and good to see Joyce have a nice finish after the trouble he had on Thursday. That should pick him up and give him some confidence.
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JL goes into the break with a .500 record. And ( I hope this does not make him more stubborn) the “Formula” win.
Zumaya in the 8th and Jones in the 9th. He has been waiting for that for a long time.
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The team has a long way to go though as far as the hitting goes. Much of the punch latley has been by rookies and not be the vets you would expect. They have a decision to make here when Ordonez comes back. If it were me I’m afraid it would have to be Raburn that goes but I have a feeling they may send Thomas.
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Hessman hit #30 today and was named to the All Star team along with Clevlen and Blaine Neal.
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Hessman and Neal have been short-listed for the US Olympic Squad in Beijing. If they go then we will not see them called up in September.
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I do hope we get to see Neal and Oslund this year.
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Enjoy the break folks.

Well….. I probably rather read negative comments. Why blog unless you see changes that need to be made? I took the rose-colored glasses off long ago…!! Sure, I’ll say things like, ” I love this Joyce kid.!!! He’s got something called “ballplayer” in him!!! I also love Santiago and if I we’re Leyland…. which I’m not…. I’d hand him that SS job, like today. I also understand, economically, why some of you guys say that Sheff MUST play… I couldn’t disagree with you more. Bottom line is that he only hurts this team, NOT help it, and that being the way it is…. you’ve got to find the nad to remove him from the lineup, if not the field!!!

Watching Jones finish off the 9th today only makes things worse, adding fuel to the love affair like fire that obviously burns within Leyland for Jones. It’s like Bill Parcell’s never giving up on Bledsoe. Jones does a great job for TSN and, there, he should stay.

About negativity…………I think there are two kinds. There are negative comments, and then there are comments on negative things or events. I don’t like the former, but there’s nothing wrong with the latter.
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Example: “Sheffield just needs to go into an old folk’s home” is a negative comment, whereas “we really need to make a decision on Sheffield, since we could go with Joyce or Thomas” is a comment on a team negative combined with a suggestion on what to do about it.
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Anyone would have to be loony to think that everything in Tigerland is just fine and dandy. On the other hand, there are very few, if any, defeats that qualify as armegeddon, worthy of wholesale trades. This type of reactionary thinking is running rampant on some boards, and I hope it doesn’t creep onto this one.
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In the end, it’s Jason’s blog and he’s done a fine job of letting us say what we want, and pretty much managing it ourselves as far as content goes.
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In awhile, I want to look at some scenarios to see what kind of chance the Tigers have of doing something yet this season. Schedules, personnel, managing, the usual.
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–Rich

Lest I forget, thanks to everyone for reading my stuff. I appreciate it.
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–Rich

EXACTLY Rich !!! Todd Jones, taking the mound in the 9th inning, is a negative event. Sheff, coming to the plate, especially with runners on, is a negative event. Jairgens and his looming 15 year career, being dealt for a no so great shortstop in a stroke to “win-now” was a very bad event, Andrew Miller etal, being dealt for a 3rd baseman, that, oooooops…….. couldn’t actually play 3rd base, and then made a very rich man, and still not solving a problem, was a very bad event.

Giving Leyland and Hernandez their walking papers this evening, would be a very goooood event!!

I just love baseball and it is my favorite game. I played golf today and missed my man Verlander. I wonder what is being said on the Cleveland blog:) As Tiger fans, we want to win which makes it fun. Players have up and down years but the manager has to manage this. I like to keep it light and positive and was sure hoping we would have won the 3 out of 4. It was a tough one to lose on Thursday but we have won some like that lately. Let’s get a winning streak going.
Let’s Go Tigers!
–Dave

Well, I did not get to watch a whole lot of the games over the weekend, day games don’t work well with young kids! Just a few comments – congratulations to Clete Thomas for his first big league homerun, I can only imagine how awesome that must feel for him. And Joyce got another HR, he has done great in the power game while Maggs is on the DL. Like it or not, Jones got back on the horse and got his save. Heaven forbid the man ever blow a save, like the best closers in baseball never blow saves? I am not into stats, but am guessing all the good ones right now have a few so far this year. I know, he is on the end of his career and can give up a ton of hits, but at least he gets the batters more often to put the ball in play and gives his defense a chance to help him out. Who knew I’d be excited about .500 ball at the midway point last winter with the lineup, but after week 2 of the season I was hoping for this. I hope the bats can be alive on a more frequent basis and would love to see Sheff prove me wrong and go on a tear to finish out his career. Oh, and I have been happily surprised with Miguel Cabrera, I wasn’t up on getting him and he isn’t where he should be, but what he has shown lately is great and hopefully he can do it on a more consistent basis.

Go Tigers and represent us Carlos, you are on of my favs!

Now THAT, my blogging buddies, is a blog. Ernie Harwell would highly approve. Nice job Tiger Girl!

Joyce needs to stay!!! The dude’s got it going on…. You can tell, he’s got what it takes

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I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.
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Chat soon!

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