Sheff's in lineup, Victor isn't

No announcement on suspensions or fines today, so everyone involved in the Friday night fracas is free to play tonight. That doesn’t mean everybody will.

Today was a scheduled day off for Victor Martinez, who isn’t yet at the point healthwise where he’ll catch back-to-back days. Everyone else is starting, including Gary Sheffield back at DH. And no, Sheffield did not back off his comments from last night.

“I’m not going to promote violence,” he said Saturday afternoon. “But like I said, anybody that wants some, come get some.”

Unless something gets started that clears the benches again, it will probably not be Martinez. That’s a good thing, because Sheffield had more words for Martinez today.

“He’s going to learn respect,” Sheffield said. “Somebody’s going to teach him respect. … He needs to watch his mouth, becuase he doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.”

Also in the lineup is Asdrubal Cabrera, starting at second base for
Cleveland. Suffice it to say, his shot at Sheffield from behind with
his glove did not go unnoticed in the Tigers clubhouse.

TIGERS (71-81)

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

INDIANS (76-77)

  1. Grady Sizemore, CF
  2. Jamey Carroll, 3B
  3. Shin-Soo Choo, LF
  4. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  5. Travis Hafner, DH
  6. Kelly Shoppach, C
  7. Ryan Garko, 1B
  8. Franklin Gutierrez, RF
  9. Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B


Yes, see Sheffield he never backs down from anything. Carmona has hit 8 batters this year in 119 innings. 4 of them are Tigers (Sheffield twice and Santiago twice).

Interesting AMYSCHULTE, coincidence I think not. Don’t tell me that he wasn’t throwing at him. That is ridiculous. Obviously this guy has control no doubt he was throwing at him.

Hessman not in again tonight. Be nice to see them have the sense and decency to give him a go tomorrow afternoon.
JV likes to have the inside part of the plate. JV hits people now and then. JV is not one to back down. JV will hit someone tonight. The benches might empty again.
JL just interviewed by Price. Lots of “should’ve and could haves” about this road trip. No admission that this has not been a good ball club this year though.

Dan – keep plugging for Hessman and yes why they didn’t give Neal & Ostlund a go when they have spaces is crazy. The mindset of the bullpen right now would no doubt infect them also. None of them look like they want to be on the mound with zero confidence or presence.
What has happened when the bullpen, against all pre-season odds was the only part of the team to perform at the start of the season? I think the mentoring/leadership of Todd Jones and to a lesser degree, Kenny Rogers is the reason, together with ineffective over management that forgets these guys are human and positive team vibes can be created and also destroyed just as easily.
I know Jones is not the answer for closer but we sure do need him if he is fit and wants some role in the bullpen for ’09.
Jones ERA (career 3.97) has creeped up from 3.94 in ’06, 4.26 ’07 & 4.97 in ’08 but his saves conversions remained impressive – 37/43 in ’06, 38/44 ’07 & 18/21 in ’08. Since he left the rest of the bullpen have gone a combined 14/37 blowing the save 62% of the time.
Management must remember that being on the pitching mound is about the loneliest place to be in sport – and the pressure must be incredible. Check out our pitchers home and away ERA stats so far this year.
Dolsi 2.63 / 5.85 ; Farnsworth 3.41 / 5.65 ; Fossum 3.54 / 7.50 ; Glover 3.90 / 8.20 ; Gman 4.00 / 3.27 ; Lambert 6.14 / 4.26 ; Lopez 3.48 / 3.82 ; Miner 5.05 / 3.31 ; Rapada 6.00 / 1.86 ; Rodney 2.60 / 7.71 ; Rogers 5.38 / 5.95 ; Robertson 4.55 / 7.95 ; Seay 5.54 / 2.49 ; Verlander 4.95 / 4.60.
This to me shows how much pitching is in the head. As you would expect the starters have been consistent, apart from Nate who can’t handle the road. Based on this, I sure hope Rapada Seay and Lopez are used today and Rodney is bought a bus ticket back to Detroit!

Inge up. How does one spell bunt?

I would have had Granderson lay one down the way he’s struggling.

Yes – amazing how teams manufacture runs against us. We rarely win, yet often win with less hits. This has a similar smell about it.

Looks like JV is losing his composure….again.

Should have checked my typing – ‘rarely win with less and often lose with more hits’.

Someone with as much talent as JV should not struggle so much. He needs a mentor, like maybe a pitching coach, to guide him. They have to replace Chuck Hernandez by next spring or I think we’ll have the same problems.

Sheff is closing – 19 against 25 GIDP’s.

Your so right about pitching management. Gman has special resolve to make it work after the Rangers wasted him in the minors. Not one pitcher has improved with our staff – how Bonderman still had no confidence to throw more than 2 pitches with any confidence is crazy – zero development.

Phew – Verlander was sure ugly in the 3rd.

JV has been lucky so far. Not sure he is the type to “rediscover” himself during a ballgame. Need to put together some hits at the right time against this guy.
He had Curtis mesmerized in his 1st aB with 3 fastballs down the middle. Curtis is truggling as hard as anyone I have ever seen.

Be nice if we could start to plate some of these runners that have been left in scoring position.

Yes – 3 doubles, 2 singles, 2 walks & a wild pitch all for 1 run in just 4 innings.

This is a make or break for JV – lucky in the 3rd and no rest.

Uh Oh
Choo up and he’s in big –big trouble.

Yep – 2 outs and can only throw fast balls either too high or right over the plate.

Oh well. It’s getting to the point of why care.
JV has had problems all year with getting guys after getting ahead of them.

BTW—that Jamey Carroll is a pretty nice player to have on your side.

Good move taking of JV – again no rest. Lambert is at least better on the road.

Lambert had 0-2 counts on the last 2 hitters and gave them both something to hit. I can’t quite wrap my mind around that strategy.

Phew – gutsy stuff by Lambert. Good to see he held his nerve.

Lambert id do a nice job. Let’s hope our bullpen can take care of some inherited runners for a change.
Tough break on Ordonez’ drive.
Garko hurts us….bad. I don’t know how many hits to right he has tonight (he has 3 hits at least 2 to RF) but that one last night was a killer.
And he hits ’em hard that way too.

Management is pulling the right reins today. Pulling JV & Lambert worked well. Seay also has much better on the road – 2.49 against 5.54 at home. Trouble is going to be Rodney.

Always speak too soon!! – how often does that last out kill us??

Seay in and yup–there it goes up the middle. 2 run base hit.
Mac seemed to not have the book on Cabrera batting RH.
Giving up that bag to Gutierrez when he was picke off really hurt. Rod Allen noted that Renteria was a little late in covering the bag. He was right.
Also on Cabrera’s hit, Renteria couldn’t keep the ball in the infield. Micheal Young does. So do many others.

We have a classic bullpen. It doesn’t matter who you put in, in the late innings.

Yep -your right about Renteria – a half hearted dive over the top at best – looked like he was trying to stop it with his gut.

I came in to comment about the questionable decision to turn A. Cabrera around and also the lazy effort by Renteria on the pickoff, but I see you’ve got that nailed, Dan. No point me dogging Edgar anymore, since the entire world seems to know he’s a poor shortstop. It’s in the national media now.
The thing is, you knew that would bite us, and it did. So predictable, this season.

I think Seay can be a contributor in a good bullpen, so I’d keep him. Everyone else can go.
If Verlander can’t pitch more than four innings, I’d say he’s a prime candidate for the pen. And I’m not kidding. At this point, I’d take Miner in the rotation over JV.

Verlander just needs to mature a bit. Hopefully this season will have done that for him. I think he’ll be OK.
Seay does try and is one of those guys you need to keep, especially throwing from the left side as he does. I have no such feelings or regard for Fossum or Rapada.
Inge, I just can’t see him hitting much better than we have become accustomed to these last 2 years.
I want to see what Hessman can do.

I’d assume Inge will catch tomorrow and Hessman will play third. I don’t think Mike is going to get any chance at all here. Unless we change management, that is.

We’ve won one game in the last 12 days?????
16-30 since the end of July, which is very much in line with our records during that period the previous few seasons.

Is anybody else getting a nauseating feeling that the Tigers are headed for last place in the division? KC is now only 2 games behind. The Tigers have 9 to play. One more in Cleveland, 3 with KC, 4 with Tampa, and maybe a make-up with Chicago. KC has to play again Sunday in Chicago, 3 with the Tigers, and 3 with Minnesota. Are they purposely trying to be last to get rid of Leyland or what? It just seems like they are on their last breath.

Another August-September collapse, now 16 wins, 29 losses must spell the end of this management. Even if they arre the worlds best, sometimes you just need change to reenergise the club. I agree with you about Seay, but a just can’t see any inexperienced pitchers coming up and making a go of it with the current climate of the bullpen. Grilli, Durbin and to a lesser extent Byrdak have all improved elsewhere after being made expendable this year.
At least we wont have to worry about the closer role too often for the remainder of the year.

KC beat the White Sox tonight. They are 2 GB the Tigers now.
They come in to Comerica for 3 on Monday. Hard to say this, or believe it, but they will be playing for LAST place in the division.
I think that unless this team does actually finish last, we will not see a change in mamangement. If they finish dead last I can’t see the front office turn a blind eye to what’s gone on here this year.
Say it Twice Price also pointed out the extraordinary number of times that our pitchers can’t put hitters a way when they are up 0-2. He reiterated (he does tend to “reiterate”) that this has inexpicable been going on all season.
Hopefully Dontrelle throws a good one tomorrow and for the first time in a long time, we will actually be playing for something on Monday.

I don’t think it should take a last place finish for a management change. The season has been a disaster and they can’t allow the same for 2009.

They are a pathetic bunch of losers who have no pride what so ever. They let a bad pitcher off the hook in the first couple of innings. Apperently Sowers has some pride unlike Justin Verlander who balks in a run, walks several, hits batters and throw wild pitches. He is disaster and frankly I wish they would just shelf him for the season. He needs to get some humility and get hit head on straight. I cannot even stand it when he is on the mound, it is almost a guarenteed loss in my opinion. I would rather have anyone on the mound than him,

Agree 100%!… Royals are doing it one game at a time, and looking closer in rear veiw mirror. Ask Ned Yost about last place and being replaced of his duties!
Its one thing, when the pitcher has a 5 or 7 run lead, and they blow it. A tight game like last night, either club had the chance to win. Unfortunately, our boys have no fire in thier bellys.
Verlander isn’t the same as he was last 2 yrs. Yes, he hits batters, that isn’t good.. but he has fallen off his “A” game, and is mediocre at best now. It’s driven me crazy seeing all the pitchers , less Galarraga , do so poorly this whole season. Control,balls over strikes, location, its all been horrific. Robertson isn’t mentioned her, but he is another thats disapointed me this year.
I think something is wrong for Grandy, he isn’t throwing into the infield with the accuracy this past week. His throw is week, and off the mark. His batting is slumping.

Inge as great a defenseman as he is, I bet he’d make a good .250-.270 hitter in Nat. League.
My wife made comment last night, she said “boy, the Indians aught to send Sheff a thank you, attendance looks up tonight.. it brought out the fans, you’ld think they expect more drama and another fight on field!”
I have not understood, benching some players, like Thames, Santiago, and Rayburn all this year. Hessman should be given the chance to play now that Guillen is out, and Cleven is nowhere to be seen. Why? 2 weeks left of the season, were headed for dead last with our own players… is it to make them look bad, its making coaching look just as bad!
We all saw how excited manager R Washington got banging on the railing at Texas. Thought he was going to pop.. cheering on his players.. he was right into them running the bases against us. Its his job. Seeing Leyland bickering against the umps was a bit childish. One bad call didn’t cost us the game.. Pitching did.
Rodney isn’t a closer…. Farnsworth left Detroit, and didn’t want to come back..I can see that!…. Seay is a good middle relief man, but we are filling in the holes with obscure trades, like Fossum, Dolsi, forget the rest.
Thru all my frustrations this morning, I just want to say, we need a new set of wheels, not retreads!

Dan last night mentioned Jamey Carroll. Caroll played over here with the Nationals in 2005 and immediately became one of my favorite players. He can play multiple positions, can bunt, hit and run, move runners up, is smart……in short, everything a true ballplayer should be. He was that year’s version of Santiago for me, and I always wanted him in the game. Whenever Frank Robinson put him in, he did something to help the team win.
There’s too much emphasis put on star quality in today’s game and we’ve been a living breathing example of that this year.

Dombrowski has a ton of work to do this off-season. He has to pare down the payroll and doesn’t have the luxury of having high salary players who are marketable.
Inge, Bonderman, Robertson, Sheffield, Willis all have imposing contracts. Of the 5 above I would like to see Sheffield playing for someone else. I think that in itself would improve the team.
Playing Sheffield as our DH on a regular basis means having to put other DH types in the field. That accounts for some of our poor defense right there.
I would want to see what Bonderman and Willis can do and would keep them here. Robertson might have some marginal trade value, though his luxurious contract may prevent that. Inge I would reluctantly keep. I’d like to see a fair comptetition with Hessman for 3B. I will gag if they give him the job behind the plate. The jury is out on Ryan but I wouldn’t mind seeing them give him a shot. I certainly don’t agree with ludicrous statements like JL made the other day:
“”Dusty Ryan can throw and catch in the big leagues right now,” Leyland said. “But what’s he going to hit?”.
Well Jim, my guess is he can hit better than .215. In fact he might be able to to hit at least 35 points higher at .250 but hey, who ever said .250 is very good anyway?
It’s statements like that that worry me about JL. He is irrationally loyal to the guys he likes. To the point of unhelathy denial.
This team needs to be energized from the top down. The compatibility of an aging, non nonsense (I could have said no sense), stubborn and narrow minded with this particular group of players is not going to work.
Most of us get a kick out him, as a lovable old coot, but there have been far too many questions raised this year as to his managerial strategy and his ability to motivate a ball team.
We’re getting a rookie today.
We are getting Sheffield, Inge, Renteria and Raburn.
No Hessman. No Santiago.
I’m stunned that they don’t play Hessman. Maybe they are trying to see if Inge can make it all the way down to .199 after all.

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