Wednesday: Tigers vs. A's

Day off for Renteria and Polanco, meaning Santiago and Raburn comprise the double-play combo. Ordonez is also off, with Matt Joyce in at RF and Sheff batting third. That’ll give those three a couple days off ahead of the Chicago series, and Leyland has placed a priority on putting out a representative team for a series that carries playoff implications.

TIGERS (70-75)

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

ATHLETICS (66-78)

  1. Rajai Davis, CF
  2. Aaron Cunningham, LF
  3. Ryan Sweeney, RF
  4. Jack Cust, DH
  5. Daric Barton, 1B
  6. Jeff Baisley, 3B
  7. Cliff Pennington, SS
  8. Rob Bowen, C
  9. Eric Patterson, 2B

57 Comments

Now this is where I have a real problem with what Leyland does. I understand that guys need a day off, but why does he always give everyone the same day off. Our two hottest hitters both off. That really ticks me off. How come he isn’t concerned with Granderson or Cabrera ever having a day off?? I get that he probably wants to have more lefties in but why does he give everyone the day off I don’t get that at all.

This is a re-post of my comments on last night. I knew about the time I got them entered, here would come Jason with the lineups for today. :-)
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So Farnsworth was hurt. That’s exactly why I asked, since nothing else made sense. If that was the case, I now think Nate should have gone back out for an inning.
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Last night in Boston, after a “good” closer Papelbon blew the save, the Red Sox had the speedy Jacoby Ellsbury on first with none out, trailing by a run. Francona had Varitek attempt a bunt twice, which failed. After that, Ellsbury stole second. I’m not making any particular point here, just pointing out a similar situation and how it was handled by another manager. And this was in a hugely important game.
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As I recall my thoughts during the game last night, the only time I thought bunt was Granderson in the 5th. We’re not a bunting team and if we want to be, we’d have to get different players. There aren’t many, if any, that you can count on to consistently lay down a good one. In fact, Santiago is the only one.
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As far as throwing 0-2 pitches right down the middle, that’s a team problem, not an individual one. So JL, you need to address it as such. How, I don’t know, I’m not down there. But this is why you get paid to do this. Perhaps your coaches aren’t giving you the straight skinny on the pitching staff. Maybe the pitchers are confused with the complaints over running 0-2 counts to 3-2. Maybe all of our pitchers are just bad. All of them?
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–Rich

I don’t know regarding the pitcher either. But what I do think but after this year I seriously wonder about Chuck Hernandez. And I don’t claim to know anything like I said before other than I waste a lot of time on the Tigers. But the pitching staff has continued to go down hill.
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One thing thing we can all agree on. It has been a highly disappointing year. It is hard for any team to make it into the playoffs, but what I can’t get over is how poorly they played. Play hard and lose that is one thing, playing poorly and losing that is a different story.

Well I am half surprised we don’t see Dane Sardinha’s name in there too!
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Also, this could have been an opportunity for JL to bat Granderson in the middle of the lineup and leadoff with Ramon.
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As disappointing as a year as it has been, it is normal to comment on what is or has gone wrong.
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As far as next year goes we have some absolute keepers
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Granderson
Cabrera
Polanco
Verlander
Galarraga
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4 of these guys are still in their mid-20s
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Throw in a healthy Bonderman and Willis and Zumaya if we are lucky enough.

C’mon Curtis–let’s start things off and turn things around.

I guess this does not need to be said but what the hell is Leyland dong with Granderson leading off and not even thinking about stealing the odd base?

Good teams take advantage of 3 walks in an inning.

that strikeout call to Cabrera was bull ****. Walks three strikesout three I guess that this is going to be one of those games.

Horrible AB by Larish. Just brutal. Leyland has to take note of that.
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Now Larish takes that AB out with him to his MP (Misplaced Position) to ponder on further. I expect we will see him boot one.

G-Man doesn’t look any better today than he did in Minny. Unfortunate.

I’d like to delete my last post now please.

Miner and G-Man have been around Hernandez too long now.

And now Cy Gallagher looks like he is back on track.

Inge at catcher next year? What are you crazy?
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Too many dropped 3rd strikes, passed balls and poor offensive contribution when he catches.
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You weaken your team at 2 places in theifeld when hecatches and you weaken the offense.
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Seems like a no brainer to me.

Well I’ll give the Tigers once through the batting order to figure this guy out. Everyone else on the planet has hit this guy and hit him well. This is a story that I have written and seen this all too often this year. No name hitter that everyone else hits we cannot.

Take that back no name pitcher that everyone else hits that we cannot.

The Tigers are pretty ‘polite” today so far.

Don’t they have any goals in mind? A winning record? 3rd place? They took 2 of 3 from the Twins and now can’t handle the sub-.500 A’s.

Aflack Answer:

Eddie Matthews

Don’t you just love these sub .200 hitters at the bottom of everyone’s lineup causing us continuing grief?

TYPICAL. And a coach finally decides to go out there after he has already given up the five runs. And oh good, Bobby I have forgotten how to pitch lately is going in.

They are pathetic fools. From top to bottom. I don’t even care if they come back. Which they won’t because they show me nothing here absolutely nothing. This is embarressing.

There again. Cabrera should have thrown to second for the force, but instead took the out at first. Runners goes to second and scores the 5th run on the single. Earned run to Galarraga, but caused by poor fielding. This is elementary stuff.
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–Rich

If Inge can’t get himself a decent AB now with this guy struggling —shame on him.

Well, I give up on thes losers today. I am going to go mow the lawn. Not wasting anymore time. A guy everyone has hit and we walk one zillion times and still by the way are being nohit. Absolutely pathetic. Now your are going to get their good relief pitchers and we are done. We cannot even hit their poor starting pitching let alone good relief pitching.

It is very painful to watch. The team seems to vascillate between overpowring and feeble. There just has not been the consistnency, in every facet of their game, all year long.
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This is why the same players and the same “director” does not encourage me.
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Meanwhile the Toledo kids are getting an education in what they ‘think” a MLB should do as an individual and a teammate. The Tigers could use a few energizier bunnies to motivate them. Larish and Joyce arnd Raburn are already jaded I’m afraid. They look to me like they feel they are the heirs-apparent to entitlement.

This is like I said yesterday–when things are going Seay’s way he’s great. But if he has a rocky road he melts like a tootsie roll.

Funny what a few hits will do eh? Marcus comes through with something real big and we’re back in it.

Oh man! Poor Curtis. He’s in this onerous slump and every time he steps to the plate he seems to be looking at a different southpaw to lear n how to deal with.
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Get right on him Curtis-1st pitch swing if you get that heater where you want and expect it.

That’s a great play by the rookie at 3rd on Thames. Game changing perhaps.

Must be nice to get the strike zone that the A’s pitchers are getting. And yes I do think that it is slanted today.

Did you finish the lawn already?
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I was going to go to the Gallery to watch hanging Art rather than hanging sliders. Changed my mind when we got a couple of back-to-back hits

Yes they will let another walk go without without scoring it. What is that 7 or 8 walks today.

No I simply have to say there is a move I would never have made–Polanco for Hessman?
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Polanco for Raburn or Inge yes.

Way to Big Mike. That’s what you get for a solid single and a 5–4-3 DP.

The way these guys are swinging the bats we don’t have much to look forward to against Ryne Duren/ Kent Tekulve in the 9th.
Inge – Granderson – Santiago.
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How much chance does Inge have against this guy?
a) none
b) slim
c) not much
d) 50/50

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Check swing K coming up!

Well that was dumb being 3 runs down. Curtis is my Tiger regardless but he seems a bit distracted.

dropped 2 out of 3 to minor leaguers. Not good.

Well it isn’t much of a shock I suppose the only two teams that we have winning records against in the American League are Seattle and Texas and the Yankees
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Chicago 6 wins 9 lost
Cleveland 7 wins 8 lost
Minnesota 7 wins 11 lost
KC 7 wins 8 lost
.____________________
Oakland 3 wins 6 lost
Texas 5 wins 1 lost
LAA 3 wins 6 lost
SEA 7 wins 3 lost
.___________________
Yankees 4 wins 2 lost
Boston 2 wins 5 lost
Toronto 3 wins 5 lost
Tampa 0 wins 3 lost
Baltimore 3 won 4 lost
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No wonder they are where they are at???

I didn’t get to watch the game today, by the sounds of the comments it sounds like yesterdays game. Opportunities missed, lack of good management, poor pitching?

I suppose we keep talking about 3rd & SS as we see opportunities to fix the problem from within. We are however definitely 2 quality pitchers down – a No. 1 starter (Willis with 2007 figures of 10-15 & 5.17ERA being a No. 5 at best); and a premier closer. Jones whilst being good and honest, was never the answer as even in 06&07, he was blowing 6 saves a season with an ERA of 4. Compare this to Nathan, K-Rod, Jenks, Ramirez and Papelbon figures.
Hopefully the trade of Pudge (we should have been able to get some young talent to go with Farnworth as NY were desperate at the time) is about freeing up payroll for pitching which unfortunately was largely overlooked for this year apart from Willis.
Regarding Sheffield, the negativity I was referring to is not whether or not he is the life of the party. Anyone who has been a champion for 19 years in the Majors, then comes to you for 3 years on 10% of your payroll, and then has been an abject failure for whatever reason, is not being a positive effect. It is evident that JL has felt obligated to stick with Sheffield to hopefully get some returns for DD. I thought JL overreacted to the earlier Sheffield comment about platooning. The almost overreaction of the players after the recent homers showed how relieved the rest of the players felt for Sheffield. Feeling constantly sorry for someone in your dugout is not good vibes. Hopefully he can pull 4 more gift wraps from new pitchers being trialled and he retires with some dignity and memories left of a great career.

It’s difficult to watch a game here when I’m supposed to be working, but I did get in six innings before my DVR went on the fritz.
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I think guys are still playing hard, but they’re not playing smart. They’re mentally worn down, more than physically. The effort is there, but that’s all.
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The 0-7/2-10 start killed this season. It put too much pressure on a team that thought it could coast. They’ve never recovered from the first two weeks of the season. To keep things in their most simple perspective, a better start next season will lead to much better results. I doubt whether it would result in a postseason berth, however, unless some vital changes are made.
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At this point, I see no reason whatsoever to play Carlos Guillen for the remainder of the season. Let the man, or make the man, rest.
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There are a few interesting games left. The Chicago series should be fun, if you let it be fun. Maybe we can stick it to the Hawk. I’m ticked off that Fox has again hijacked the Saturday game and I’ll be blacked out. Then there are the starts by Willis and Garcia, especially the latter. That should hold the interest of any Tigers fan.
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–Rich

Pitching has been the obvious major problem for the year. I feel though that we have always lacked ‘presence’ on the field – the ability to intimidate the opposition like the Soxes, Yankees and to lesser degree Twins are able to do. These teams usually deliver in the clutch situations. It is like we are too nice and not sufficiently aggressive.
It is a shame that Sheffield has not worked out as the dominance he had over the opposition during his prime has I feel been a missing ingredient of the team, even during 2006.

Not sure what strading 10 men on base and talking what 8-10 walks and not scoring one of them has to do with the lack of management but whatever. Yesterday it came down to the same things it did on Wednesday. No pitching (in this case starting) I am wondering if Armando is starting to wear down??? And absolutely no hitting. Ya they had a ton of walks but only 4 hits the whole game. He was effectively wild that pitching was. But what it came down to their minor leaguers wanted to more than our guys. They are bored and tired.

well, got to my first game of the season and got what I expected from the lineup. My husband didn’t believe me when I said it would be only half of their starters since they were off on Thursday but I told him for some reason most the starters get days off before another day off when it is a day game. I was bummed to see Maggs not in the lineup and Polanco, but in the end I did get to see them – I was pulling for them to put Maggs in to bat for Inge in the 9th but at least they brought him in for Ramon and he just about delivered – I was screaming and jumping when he hit that rocket and then couldn’t believe my eyes when it was caught and Grandy was halfway between 2nd and third! These guys have to know that at that point him scoring wasn’t important, what was important was not getting yet another out with the chance that Cabrera might get one more at bat.

Could not believe we had 2 homeruns given up before I even was in my seat.

We did however have wonderful time at the park and just a reminder of how great it is to go to the ballpark – cold beer in my hand, bag of peanuts, hanging out with my husband and his dad (both of whom are not Tiger fans) and getting a major tan line on my legs from the blistering sun – we were scorched sitting in an area with no breeze, can’t imagine how hot it would have been if it was really a hot day!

We also taught about 7 people sitting around us how to play a fun betting game. I think they thought we were trying to swindle them at first, but when you are losing 0-5 and such a boring game as far as strikes and walks go, people finally agreed to play – we should have started sooner but my father in law didn’t think to ask people until the 5th inning.

Nice to see a good outing from Bobby Seay – there were some ladies sitting in front of us with signs for Bobby Seay and they had a little boy with them. the guys behind us said they are always there – am guessing probably his wife was one of them – not a whole lot of “Bobby Seay is my Tiger” signs I am sure.

Didn’t realize just how tall G-man is, and the size of Cabrera shows where he gets his power from – he is a big guy!

I would sure hope they are not bored GK. These guys are playing in front of 30,000 to 40,000 people. If that doesn’t get the adrenaline going what will? Any young player not completely excited and thankful for the opportunity to show his talent and compete for a major league job, well I wouldn’t want them on my team….. not major league material.
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Now tired, yes, I would accept that as an excuse but fatigue is something every player on every team is dealing with this time of the season so it cancels out as a negative factor I think.
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Rich has identified the underlying problem. The effort is there but the concentration is lacking. That is a problem, and has been for many games this season. It’s closely tied in with confidence I think. It feeds off of good crisp pitching, both starting and relief. Our pitching has been very poor most of the season. The starting rotation has suffered from injuries and the relief has too actually. Both have lost their fair share of games. But if a team loses it’s confidence in the bull pen holding a lead, game after game, imo that would really tax the player’s mind in staying focused and confident.
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Dave b 2008, I think you assessed the Sheffield situation very accurately. Shef never was a negative influence in the clubhouse, but a team hopes for and expects certain things out of their top players in terms of production and leadership. Whether he has diminished skills due to age or injury, or both, when he couldn’t shoulder his production responsibilities, it probably did hurt the overall confidence and and sync of the rest of the team. But Shef as a negative influence?…..no. Could he be defensive?….yes. In fairness to him, there are others on this team who underachieved this season too.
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Finally, if there are players on the team (and I doubt there are) who are no longer giving it 100%, bench them or trade them. Who wants players like that? It is the manager’s job to make sure that doesn’t happen. That is a very important, maybe the most important responsibility a manager has. I would hope JL at least has a handle on that……I sure have aimed plenty of criticism at him all season for many of his managerial and personnel decisions. (the defense could have been improved upon). But GK, you are right……what could he do with the pitching staff he was left to deal with?

Yea, this group is starting to get that Bobby Higginson vibe to it, in terms of mailing it in. To a certain extent I get that. It is a long season and when you’re not playing for much in September it must seem even longer. But if you love the game, then you must get that feel of adrenaline whenever you put the uniform on, cross the white lines and start at it. If you don’t then maybe it’s time to press on. It is after all a little boy’s game.

Rich: You are right. I’ll continue to check in and see how Mag’s is doing on the batting race and whether Garcia has anything left and whether Willis is “fixed” etc. Those are all drama’s within the drama that will keep me interested.

Marty and Rich are spot on about concentration and confidence of the team. It would be nice to purely blame our pitching but doubt this is fair.
I could not imagine the payroll increasing even more other than meeting the most pressing needs for a closer and another starter on top of either if Garcia and Willis. You feel the team will need a circuit breaker for next year if the slide from 2006 is not to continue.
There is a good article on the Rays website about the chemistry of the team and it’s minor affiliates. Worth a read – winning obviously helps but I see one of the main differences from a winning and losing season is how you perform in the late innings and the close games. We rarely delivered when the pressure was applied. Will be good to see the Rays keeping it up in October.

Here’s a couple of items, for what it’s worth.
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I was watching the Rays and Red Sox last night, I lasted until the 14th and hung in long enough to see Carlos Pena hit a 3-run shot over the monster. Opposite field. I thought back to the latter half of the 2005 season when Carlos, in 133 ABs, hit .286 with 15 homers and a .662 slugging percentage for us. Then he struggled the following spring training and was cut. By Leyland. Everybody thought it was just as well at that time, but I’ll wager it would raise a large hoot & holler at this point in time, what with JL’s low standing in the fan base. So we went with Shelton, who was dropped, then Casey, who was cut, the Guillen, who was moved. Maybe we should have just stuck with the LH hitting Pena? At any rate, the Weaver for Bonderman/Pena/German trade was a pretty good one by DD.
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Then I was reading next door about Trammell and the Cubs and this stood out: “Trammell said the Cubs are winning this year with pitching and defense, and he enjoys working with all the players — especially shortstop Ryan Theriot. He said Piniella likes “high-energy athletes” in the lineup and realized last June that Theriot was much more than a utility guy, and moved him ahead of Cesar Izturis at short.”
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That sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
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–Rich

“The next couple of weeks are not going to be boring,” Leyland said. “We’ve got the Dontrelle Willis thing, the Freddy Garcia thing, the Nate Robertson thing, the Dusty Ryan thing and the bullpen thing.”
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I’m glad to see Ryan has been promoted to a “thing” and I mean that in a good way. I’m already seeing fans comment on his hitting, but it’s his work behind the plate that is catching my eye. This can only be a good “thing.”
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I just now found out about Clete Thomas’s surgery. That’s a real bummer. I was ready to put him on the big club next year. On the positive side, before the advent of Tommy John surgery, he’d be a minor leaguer that you’d never hear from again.
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–Rich

I see jason wrote an article about Maggs going for the gusto in the batting tieltle race.
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Heartwarming. Nice to see Maggs start speaking out—-about himself.
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I hope he wins it but not because this will be a “diversionary tactic” or some sort of booby prize solace for “wee” fans. If he wins back-to-back titles, he only increases his trade value. This is the optimum time for us to recognize what this could bring to the ball club. It’s the perfect storm and it won’t happen again.
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I loathe the degeneration of this season being reduced to personal achievements. This season was the most disappointing I have ever had (and I have followed this team since around 1955).
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I hope Cab goes nuts and Curtis too, but we can’t take our eyes off the ball. Hopefully Illitch wil not allow ‘diversionary tactics” to excuse an inexcusable season. I would think he’s smarter than that. His manager is more resonsible than any one other person for the record of this ball club this year.
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Let’s not get to warm and fuzzy about Maggswinning a batting title or Sheffield reaching 500 and all that superfluous distraction. Let’s find the right people playing the right positions and then start filling in the obvious gaps for next year.
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That’s a shame re Clete. What this team needs more than anything is the image of “a Clete, a Deke or a Dusty” playing honest to goodness baseball. We just need to get rid of those kinds of guys that think more of their agent than they do their team-mates.
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We could really use a take-charge guy next year. Where do you find guys like Rose, Clemente, Brett or Boggs? They don’t come often but this club really does need more direction than it gets from James Leyland.
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I hope management doesn’t fall into a trap that everyting will be better next year——just because. There are some big problems that need to be addressed and not smoothed over. The one thing I like about Illitch is that I get the impression he is far too astute to be hoodwinked or manipulated. I think he will insist upon solid evidence of correction.

All you folks who get MLB.TV Premium probably got the e-mail, but I’ll mention it here anyway. You can now choose between receiving the home or away feed. Just in time for the Chicago series too. No more suffering through the insufferable Hawk and DJ. No more “torture.” :-) Of course, when we take an 8-1 lead, you’ll want to switch over and see what they have to say about it. ;)
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–Rich

Rich it is so funny. Living right here in the fair city of Royal Oak of course I get Rod and Mario and don’t have to worry about that whole MLB tv thing and those idiots from Chicago. It was so funny one day last week I happen to turn into a White Soxs game on WGN. And I swear I thought that those two were some ridiculous comedy routine. Some Saturday Night Live scit. I think if I had to listen to those guys all the time I don’t think that I would even watch them. No wonder all those White Soxs fans are such *** holes. Thye have to listen to those two.
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“Put it on the Board YES!!”

I always visualize them holding hands when they do that.
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“And at the end of six innings, it’s 4 for the bad guys and 2 for our Sox.”
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“Here’s the catcher, Brandon Inge. He’s proving what a great athlete he is again this season, playing multiple positions.
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“He’s hitting .218 playing all those positions.”
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“Well that’s right, Deej, just proves a great athlete isn’t necessarily a great baseball player. Heh heh heh…..”
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“Inge grounds weakly to third, Crede on the grab and a bullet to firstbase for the out.”
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“Crede’s a good ballplayer. Inge could have made that play closer, but with the Tigers season in the tank, you expect that kind of effort.”
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That brings up the leadoff man, Curtis Granderson, having another fine year.”
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“You’d think this team would have more wins, but Curtis is not having the season he did last year.”
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Maybe too much world traveling. Heh heh heh……”
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And on and on.
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–Rich

Ya know kidding. We were kinda saying that they speak as though they were just fans off the street instead of sounding like knowledgeable professionals
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Anyone who hasn’t heard these fools should go the the soxs website and you can hit on the videos and hear these guys. It really is quite amazing these two have jobs anywhere but at their local highschool reporting sports let alone in a major market like Chicago. Like I said before if I had to listen to them I would not watch them I would forgo it.

Thanks for the heads up Rich. When games get really bad for the Sox, those two actually regress into making almost inaudible barn animal noises. That’s when they do some of their best work.

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