One more game for the road

If you didn’t notice the calendar, it feels like a gorgeous May afternoon in Cleveland. Of course, you didn’t notice this year’s standings, this would also presumably be a key late-season clash between AL Central contenders. Alas, you can’t change the season, though the Indians would go over .500 with a win today. All those constant reminders in this city about Braylon Edwards’ status for this week also hint that it’s September, though they’re also helpful for my fantasy football team.

No real Sunday changes for the Tigers. Jhonny Peralta is DHing for Cleveland today, shifting Asdrubal Cabrera from second to short. Shin-Soo Choo originally had the day off, but no such luck for Detroit.

TIGERS (71-82)

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

INDIANS (77-77)

  1. Grady Sizemore, CF
  2. Franklin Gutierrez, RF Ben Francisco, LF
  3. Ben Francisco, LF Shin-Soo Choo, LF
  4. Jhonny Peralta, DH
  5. Victor Martinez, C
  6. Ryan Garko, 1B
  7. Andy Marte, 3B
  8. Josh Barfield, 2B
  9. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS

25 Comments

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.
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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.
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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.
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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:
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“”Dusty Ryan can throw and catch in the big leagues right now,” Leyland said. “But what’s he going to hit?”.
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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We’re getting a rookie today.
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AND
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We are getting Sheffield, Inge, Renteria and Raburn.
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No Hessman. No Santiago.
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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.

It’s gonna be a long game.

Better get somebody warming up.
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Quickly

What’s the point?
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May as well let him throw the ball and get an idea if he has any potential at all.

Garko murders us.
Willis looks as bad as he did earlier in the season.
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It’s pretty depressing.

OK I’ll shut up.
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May as well quit—the team has, so I guess the fans are next

I’m still watching.
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The team isn’t into it today, but I can hardly blame them. We’re not trying to win today, but holding a necessary tryout for Willis. It would appear that no progress at all has been made. I don’t know, if they can’t eat that ridiculous contract that DD inexplicably gave him, perhaps he could be used as a lefty specialist out of the pen.
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I’ve been wondering if the club is seriously considering putting Inge back at third and giving Ryan a try as starting catcher, then Rod and Mario started wondering the same thing. Interesting. Ryan has had a couple of rough days trying to handle JV and Willis, but they sure do keep plugging him in there. I was sure he’d rest today.
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If that’s the case, I still see no reason not to give Hessman a few starts this week.
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And even as I write this, Inge turns in another dandy.
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–Rich

Watching the Tigers each day is like watching the movie Ground Hog Day. The same thing over and over.
With all that is needed to repair/rebuild this team I don’t think 2009 will be the year we all want.
I agree with others that vote for JL & Sheff to be gone. That alone may improve the chemistry, oh, that’s right, chemistry has nothing to do with being winners.

A lot of us that visit(some live here) this hear blog probably played some baseball…. I played my college ball at CSUF back in the day when Wallach was there. But that qualifies me for no more than being an armchair mgr. Yet, probably anyone here could put a more competent team on the field than Leyland is willing to.

Utterly, he’s an idiot ! He reminds me a lot of Al Davis, in his approach to the game. He just has better social skills.

Shocking however, is his statement about the “changes” that might be made, or are unlikely to be made!!!! Who did I read here that wanted Willis back for another year? That be a mindless thing to do, and I would love to be proven wrong. The guy hasn’t thrown a good game in 2 1/2 years!!! Nada, nothing…..ain’t there. I/me/yours truly could get into the box and hit that guy, so could probably TigerGirl!!!

Willis needs to become bad Tiger history!! Robertson is a perrenial .450 pitcher,at best. Verlander needs to go back to pitching school and acquire some humility as well as the art of pitching!!! Zumaya needs to be traded as soon(theee day) he regains his health. Why?? Cause he’s one of those guys who has a remote chance of making it thru an entire season. That, and he’s not exactly at his best, when the $$ is on the table. Some sucker of a team will give a good player for him. Todd Jones needs to be a sports personality(and THAT is all!!). Inge, (God love him) needs to be dealt where he could play what he wants to play. This will furthermore FORCE this team to go in a more determined direction. Give the catching to Ryan and let him grow into it cause no one else on this roster or near it, is gonna make any difference to this team. Retire Rogers, FINALLY!!! Sheff??? Someone take that dog out back and shoot him!!!

I mention these guys in particular because JL seems to think that he’s actually got something with these guys!?!?!!?!? Therefore, the offseason is going to actually be more interesting, than this past regular disarray….errrrr debacle…errrr……season.

Oh…..and between now and early November, DO NOT VOTE FOR ANY EMPTY SUITS !!!!!

1-2-3 out see how that works Tigers. I will go on record again that Sheffield isn’t the problem here, and I don’t think that chemistry is a problem on this team. What is a problem on this team is lack of consistency, and most importantly a lack of pitchers or I should say good pitchers.
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These guys had giant egos going into this season everyone telling them they were going to score 1000 runs and make it to the world series. Well they got off to the bad start and frankly only recovered for about 2 weeks in June and went back to their losing ways of early in the season. Their egos were just to big and they were humilated with their start and never really recovered. But the largest problem of them all is pitching. Our pitchers stink, every last one them except for Galarraga. Not one of them is worth a crap. (Miner has also been fine). Walks, wild pitches, hit batters and not being able to put anyone away after having two strikes on them. That is pitching. I would gather if you went back and looked at all the games that the Tigers have lost this year, it was because of pitching. I bet it is near 75% of the games. We won a few if any low scoring games.
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So in my opinion people can talk all they want about Sheffield and JL they seem to be the scapegoats of the season. But in my opinion that is insane, it has all been about pitching.

Geez, Jason, I’d rather talk fantasy football today, even tho I benched Braylon Edwards this week, my 1st round pick was Randy Moss, who is useless without Brady, AND my defense is New England who just got whalloped by the DOLPHINS!!!!

But still, it’s not as depressing as my Tigers. (sigh)

-Tracey

GKGruden, yes, of course.

It’s always true that pitching is 75-90% of the game, anyway. If a team doesn’t go anywhere, it’s nearly always the pitching. And, this would be true of the Tigers.

They’ve got to began, by repairing the damage that was done to the future, during this last off-season. (Cab the exception).

It really bothers me that Leyland talks about 2009 as if he and the same coaches and players will return. I hope this is just talk and changes will be made. Of course the pitching has been bad. But for all of them to go bad at the same time raises the question about the coaching. Somebody mentioned that Grilli, Durbin, and Byrdak are all doing well under other pitching coaches. Doesn’t that ring a bell with anyone?

Missed todays game – could not stand the thought of watching Willis.
Read JL’s comments that we don’t need to make many changes for next year and definitely not fair on Illich to keep paying.
Thanks to Dan’s previous article, Inge, Sheff, Bonderman, Nate, Rodney, Renteria & Willis put us $55m down for next year. Polanco, Guillen & Maggs cost $33m & Cabs $15m. If we can only budget 100-110m, all the high cost deadwood in the first group makes it difficult to see much improvement next year. One things certain, guys defence and base running won’t improve with age so we will continue to dwell there. Unless Inge, Renteria & Sheff somehow go, I see your point Dan that $18m for Maggs is a trade we will need to make to free up cash needed for even low value contracts. I would include Carlos at $10m (bad backs don’t improve with age) as I can’t stand defence being compromised at 3rd or SS.
Sure our bullpen stinks, but I find it incredible that no-one has developed this year and they have collectively all gone backwards – management has to take a large proportion of the blame.
I will watch with interest Garcia’s next start (he no doubt will want more than Nate’s $7m or Bondo’s $12.5m on 2 pitches????) as we sure need him to go with Gman and whoever with a new pitching coach. Bring on the Royals!!

One thing about the start, even with going 0-7, we finished April 13-15 and June in front 42-40. This was despite our offence being shut out 9 times (once since mid year) and scoring less than 4 39 times (18 post all stars). It was those mid year games against the Twins and Sox where we lost close games we should have won that killed us. Then without Jones, we have only saved 14 from 37 attempts. Jones with all his faults still saved 18 of 21 with from memory at least 2 of his blown saves were when he played injured.

Too much payroll tied into players not worth that much money. So what do you do? There’s only one thing you can do that doesn’t cost a fortune. You fire the manager. JL is right, there won’t be big personnel changes this winter, just some tweaks, so we’ll come back with pretty much the same guys. What would make them perform better? Did someone say fire the manager?
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There are some good ballplayers here, believe it or not, but they need good leadership and they need some goals. “Playing them one game at a time, not too high, not too low” isn’t going to get it done. Neither is “you’re only as good as your next day’s pitcher” as a team has to overcome adversities like bad starts.
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There’s nothing wrong with team chemistry either, these guys get along just fine. They’ve probably bonded against a boss who isn’t quite honest and coaches who appear to be incompetent. There’s only one obvious solution that comes to my mind. You guessed it.
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This bullpen can be redone with just a few changes. I keep Seay because he’d be good if surrounded by better pitchers, and I keep Dolsi (at least in the organization) because he has a future. Rodney can stay but only if he’s restricted to non-pressure situations. Witness today, hardly a pitch of his out of the strike zone in a 10-3 game. We need about four new guys out there. And I’d talk to Todd Jones and see if he’s ever considered being a bullpen coach. Todd has spend his entire life out there and knows what it takes. It’s no surprise that the pen collapsed when he left.
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Most of the positional roster can be successful if used properly. This wasn’t done this year. That can be addressed by…………….there it is again, the same solution.
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I didn’t mean to roll on this long this evening, but there it is anyway.
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–Rich

Couldn’t agree with you more Rich. The above stats show our offence improved thru the year, even without knowing how or instructed to manufacture runs. Jones was the bullpen leader/mentor and as we can’t afford ‘name’ players, provided he is fit and keen, has to have some role in the bullpen that is going to be inexperienced next year.

Rich is probably right. There are no big chemistry problems. However, I do believe that Leland has lost the team and is burnt out.

Trammel’s 2004 team is still one win better than these “sally’s”. His 2003 team had more heart. 2009 will bring more of the same. I see the old coot is backing mgmt. “no major add on’s in 2009″. Dah? Ya think? After Willis, Robertson, Renteria, Inge, Sheffield, Jones, Zumaya, Rodney, Farnsworth, ya think it’s time to try something else?

The team quit at least two months ago. Bad managing is one thing, but a team with no balls, that’s on the manager. Leyland runs a country club. Every time they got on the smallest roll, he felt compelled to “rest” a couple of key guys. Mr. “I” knows pizza’s but he put his faith and pizza money in the baseball guys. They have embarrassed him to the point of insulting him. I’m insulted by the team we run out there every day. Why fans and the media are giving them a “pass” I don’t know? Because we have the Lion’s to compare them to? Would you want to be compared to that team?

Oh well, there is always a silver lining. Plenty of good seats will be available real soon.

Since my son turned 6, 4 years ago, we have been driving from near Grayling, about 3 hours, 9 to 10 times a year to see our Tigers play. If Fernando Rodney is anywhere near our bullpen next year, THAT will not happen. Even my son agrees.

I do not want JL & Sheff gone as the scapegoats. At this point they offer nothing to help this team be winners, it is that simple. We all know that pitching is the problem.

I don’t think the team chemistry is bad, I said by getting rid of those two it may improve the chemistry. I agree with Rich, they probably have bonded against JL.

I’m sure most of you posters are Yankee haters, but I thought last nights pregame show was great. Yankee fan or not, you have to appreciate the history and great stories of the old stadium. I did think our Pudge looked a little out of place there.

Please guys, lets at least not be in last place at the end of the season, but I see it happening. then again, maybe that will force management to make some serious moves – a team that was supposed to be in the playoffs in the cellar of the division.

It is like watching Ground Hog day!

Thank goodness the Ryder Cup was on yesterday, I thoroughly enjoyed watching that instead of the Tigers, just couldn’t do it yesterday. I did miss the fight on tv, haven’t really seen a replay of any of it either, at least we do have some fire in us!

come on Maggs – give us something to cheer about this week!

I too didn’t get to see the Tigers at all this weekend. Just what I could pick up from the blogs and the wires.

It would seem that the Willis thing is about to come to an end. 70+ pitches with 60% of them being balls means that he’s back to Lakeland for awhile. I think starting him again just puts whatever confidence he has left into the grave. Hoping he could build on the previous start but not to be.

So we have Garcia to look at but that’s a tough call for DD to make. Throw money at this guy and you might end up with a broken down pitcher at year end. Tough, tough call.

As for the rest, I’m with Rich on all this. We do have a decent nucleus out there. Better managed we might be able to see some better results. Ryan certainly seems to have the tools behind the plate (more than Brandon) and anything above .225 would be an upgarde. I am still a believer in Inge if we can get a batting coach to get it through his head to shorten his swing. His defense is just exceptional. I can even see him at short (his college position).

One more week and this dog is done.

You know I just got through looking at the video of the Sheffield thing and I guess I’m sort of proud of the ways the guys stood up out there. There hasn’t been anyone harder on Sheffield than me, but I think at some point you just have to say enough is enough. They could have used this in July. Might have made things different.

This click……errrr…..”blog” needs some new dialog.

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