Monday: Tigers vs. Royals

Sheff had been in the lineup until the suspension came down, so Jim Leyland did some juggling from there. Supposedly Magglio’s leg has been bothering him a little, so he gets a day at DH. Don’t be surprised if Miguel Cabrera gets a day at DH, too, sometime this week.

TIGERS (71-83)

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

ROYALS (70-86)

  1. David DeJesus, CF
  2. Mike Aviles, SS
  3. Jose Guillen, RF
  4. Ryan Shealy, 1B
  5. Mark Teahen, LF
  6. Alex Gordon, 3B
  7. Kila Ka’aihue, DH
  8. John Buck, C
  9. Alberto Callaspo, 2B

15 Comments

No Hessman again? Why even bother bringing him up if he’s not going to play? With Carlos out this is the perfect time to play him yet JL keeps playing Inge despite his batting average and horrible approach at the plate. I don’t get it but that’s just me.

As for Sheff, if he does come back next year, give him a month and if he’s not producing and still hitting popflies on the infield and easy doubleplays you’ve got to drop him.
Let’s try to win at least 4 this week.

You beat me to the comment about Hessman – least we beat Dan to it – I think he has given up!! Yep, Hessman hasn’t started since 9/15 with the 24 bats he had producing 6 hits, 3HR, 5 RBI’s .25 avge & .67 slugging. With good defence, crazy not to have been given more of an opportunity.
Has Thames told them where to shove it?? They haven’t played him since 9/15 and had only 33 bats for Sept. OK he might not be an everyday player with his poor July/August but hard to ignore his 56RBI’s & 25 HR from only 300 bats.

And what is the deal with batting Joyce behind Miggy? In the Cleveland series I was stunned that they didn’t walk Cabrera every single time he came up because Joyce was right behind him. Matt’s in a slump and a little overeager right now. I would think Cabrera doesn’t see anything good to hit tonight at all.

I concur witht he comments about Big Mike. We know what we have with Brandon. Give the kid some more AB’s and field so we can see what we have there.

The comments from Sheffield vowing to get even shows he has watched one too many Eastwood ‘make my day’ movies and has never matured from his school yard days. Saying ‘I don’t care about any league thing’ – I’ve got enough money to cover any fine they’ve got. Trust me.’ shows zero respect to the game that no doubt kept him off the streets and made him rich. Caring only about No. 1, he sure is not about to pass up $14m for next year, regardless of how poorly he continues to play.
A new General Manager and Manager hopefully will cut our biggest offensive mistake (1 yr contract OK but 3 yrs just plain crazy!!) and bench him for good in ’09, thus enabling us to rotate the DH role and give more playing time to Thames and breaks to our players who struggle defensively or with health issues such as Cabbs & Carlos.

Seems like Leyland’s even given up. Doesn’t bat Hessman or Thames against the lefty in the 9th even though Joyce is bad against lefties and having another bad game. I think most of the guys are already home for the season in their minds.

Feel sorry for the crowd turning up to watch that effort – 4 hits must be one of our worst efforts. One win in last 10 and the lead for last is but one.

2004 Trammel Tigers won more games!

2003 Trammel Tigers had more heart!

Whose this guy up above? Let’s win four this week? Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Haaaaaaaaaaaaa! Stop you’re killing me! Please my side is busting stop haaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Now I challenge any knowledgeable baseball fan to search the entire history of the game and come up with a bigger underperforming flop than the 2008 Tigers. Picked to win it all and finish in last place. OK I’m waitng for nominations.

They’re not going to play Hessman. At 30 years old, he’s not a kid and they know what they’ve got with him. If he gets into games and doesn’t do well, any possible trade value coming off his big season in Toledo is wasted. Besides, he hit 30+ homers at Toledo, but we’ve got a guy (Thames) who could hit 40 homers with the big club, and he doesn’t get much PT either.
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I think JL has already decided to go with Inge at third next year, and I don’t see that as a bad choice. He saves runs over there, but I’d get a lot tougher with him about his hitting. That’s one of the big problems, JL isn’t tough with anyone, except a few selected guys. Inge needs to shorten that swing and change his approach, and he has an entire winter to work on it.
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You might get a new manager, but a new general manager would require that the team president, Dombrowski, fire himself. I don’t see that happening. I also don’t see Sheffield being benched or cut or whatever. If anything, they should put him in the outfield to make or break, because that DH spot needs to be opened up for Carlos Guillen. Putting Carlos at firstbase was supposed to be easier for him healthwise, but since they moved him to third, we’re back to square one there. Unless he can play outfield full-time.
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On to tonight’s game, I have one issue. If we’re really trying to win these games, I have to wonder why you’d remove Miner in the 7th when you know you’ve got one of the worst bullpens in all of baseball. Zach was battling, had only 97 pitches, and should have been good to complete the 7th. Leyland however, in his postgame comments, mentioned twice the pitch count he had. Now we don’t even give the starter 100 pitches? What’s next, 50? What I think is that these managers can’t keep their hands off things, that they have this need to insert themselves into the game in some way. I thought it was crazy to lift Miner at that point, and just laughed when the ol’ coot came marching out there.
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These are just my opinions, and in no way reflect the official views of Jim Leyland or the Detroit Tigers Baseball Club. No animals were harmed in the making of this post. Soundtrack available on “Whattheheckjusthappened Music.”
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–Rich

hap•less -[hap-lis] –adjective
unlucky; luckless; unfortunate.
—Related forms
hap•less•ly, adverb
hap•less•ness, noun

—Synonyms miserable, woebegone, wretched, forlorn; pathetic, pitiable.

feck•less (fěk’lĭs)adj.
1. Lacking purpose or vitality; feeble or ineffective.
2. Careless and irresponsible.

[Scots feck, effect (alteration of effect) + -less.]

feck’less•ly adv., feck’less•ness n.

I just read Granderson’s blog and he talked about how every year they make the rookies dress up in costumes and walk around the town on their last road trip of the year. I am wondering if the fox broadcast caught any of that? I didn’t see much of the Cleveland series. Anyways, nice to see these guys having some fun off the field. Now – wouldn’t it be nice to see them having fun on the field? Maybe in ’09 I guess. Winning = fun in my book, and playing loose because it is a game and having fun sometimes can = winning. Oh yeah, and a pitching staff would help – Dear Santa – please send the Tigers a bullpen!

Tiger Girl, FSN did show the guy’s in the costumes. Looked like most were having fun, although it was pointed out that Jeff looked a little uncomfortable. G-Man was a hoot.
I’m with Dave, doesn’t look like Sheff has matured much. It’s too bad because he always refers to himself as professional and wanting to set a good example for kids. Once again he comes across with the thug talk.
Rich, I love reading your posts. You are the Tiger expert in my book. How about you replace the ol’ coot….your thought process makes sense.
Here’s hoping they stay out of the cellar, it’s ugly down there.
I’ll be at the last game Sunday, I feel the need to support them to the very end.

Inge at 3rd again???? Right, he’s the best they’ve had since Rodriguez, but you dont settle for a 3rd baseman who hits .220.

He doesn’t save THAT MANY runs!!!

Everyone needs to settle in to the fact that, at best, this is a 3rd place team next year. At best!!! With a marginal and measureable near future.

This season has been a bitter pill to swallow for everyone. Plenty of blame for all facets of the organization to share. There are some very obvious shortcomings that simply need to be fixed, not commiserated upon.
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Jim Leyland can no longer effectively manage this ball club. He can take responsibility with statements that he is accountable and the buck stopping here etc. etc. But they are the hollow words that leaders often use to masquerade their failures with nobility. It means nothing.
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This team does need an overhaul. To go blithely into next year with a statement that the core will be unchanged is very troubling. Which core is he talking about? What makes him think the same core (I include the coaching staff) will be able to achieve improved results? Does the core consist of preferentially treated favourites?
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The team is stale and in danger of becoming “staler” (sic). The Tiger family (that includes the fans, by the way), deserves a ball club that is skilled, motivated and believes in themselves as collective entity. Leyland has not accomplished this.
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Pitching is obviously a major problem. Chuck Hernandez has been identified as being a culprit in this. That is an obvious conclusion and may be justified. In any case, he is part of the managerial team that has not achieved. If he stays, he is pretty much a lame duck. Individual pitchers can fail and still use the excuse that they have been mis-cast or poorly coached. This is a team that will resort to excuses and finger-pointing if things continue to go south.
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On the field, the needs are great and too numerous to correct in one off-season. We still need a power LHB. Counting on Joyce, Thomas, Larish, Rule 5 minor leaguers or reclamation projects like Jacque Jones will not work. They will have to trade for one, simple as that.
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Speaking of left-handedness, we need to come up with a LHP starter. This year we had 3 of those kinds of guys and in the spring that seemed like it might work out. None of those 3 holds much promise for 2009. They will undoubtedly try to nurture Willis back into the rotation. His contract will see to that. Robertson is a very big IF. Kenny just got old. Not his heart, just his arm. I bet the crafty vet could do a job in the pen though. Last I looked there might be some openings to be had out there!
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Garcia will probably end up being considered to be too pricey. I know there is talk he “likes it here” and appreciates the team giving him the opportunity, but I kind of remember the same thing last year with Troy Percival. If the grass (or asto-turf) is greener somewhere else, he won’t be here. I’m comfortable with Verlander, Bonderman and Galarraga. Miner has shown he has the ability and temperament to succeed as a starter.
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I really hope Gary Sheffield is able to hit his 500th dinger…..but for someone else, not us. I think the most important impact he has on the club is that he ties up the DH spot. This has contributed to playing other hitters with inferior fielding skills, in the field too much. Ordonez, Thames and even Guillen, come to mind. IMHO, he has not helped this team. His salary is a significant piece of the team payroll and that in itself precludes the acquisition of a prominent LHB through free agency. His personality has been a diversion and his bravado, rhetoric and apparently, even his fighting skills, seem more suited to the WWF.
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Some things I’d like to see happen next year:
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Find a shortstop with the range to change the game defensively.
Get Magglio out of RF. (DH, LF or trade him for LHP)
Get Curtis to hit the ball to LF
Get Curtis to bunt
Get Curtis to steal
Convince Polanco that it’s beneficial to let ball four meet the catcher’s glove, not his bat.
Fine any pitcher who throws a belt-high fastball on an 0-2 count
Give Marcus a chance to play every day or cut him loose
Do not “give” Brandon Inge the catching job
If Inge plays 3rd, it has to be with the proviso that he is willing to adjust at the plate
Hire Debbie Travis to do a makeover on the bullpen
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This year:
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Play Hessman
Play Santiago
Play Thames
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I love this site – a lot of sarcasm, disgust, and also some very good insights on how we think the team should work, all in a constructive manner. Might not get us anything, but I like seeing the thinking process some of you have on the game and how players react in different spots.

Come on, at least give us 4th place instead of last.

Of course it’s a third place team next year. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling him/herself. I don’t think that’s a big newsflash.
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Like I said, Inge can play third for me, but not if he hits .220 or whatever. He’d have to take it upon himself to improve at the plate and if that didn’t happen, I would be playing Hessman. Inge would then be my utility guy. Maybe a writer in San Francisco would call him a scrub. I do believe, however, that Brandon is working on it. We just don’t see many results yet, but his approach has changed.
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When Dan says this can’t be fixed in one offseason, that’s a fact. We all know what we need, and we all know we’re not going to get all of it right away. That’s just a fact. That’s why I say the quickest and cheapest fix that can currently be made is to hire a new manager and coaching staff. Then we can see to other needs. I don’t believe in coddling players, obviously.
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–Rich

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