September 26th, 2008

Friday: Sheff's back, Sardinha catches again

This time, it isn’t a matter of giving Dusty Ryan. It’s a matter of wanting to see Dane Sardinha work with Justin Verlander. You might remember that Verlander had three wild pitches in four innings in his last start at Cleveland, where Ryan was behind the plate. Verlander suggested after that game that Ryan was in a tough spot, since he hadn’t caught him a whole lot and didn’t know the spin on his breaking ball well.

As for Gary Sheffield, he’s back from his suspension and ready to play. Edgar Renteria, on the other hand, is not, still bothered by a strained left pectoral muscle.

TIGERS (72-86)

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

RAYS (96-63)

  1. Akinori Iwamura, 2B
  2. B.J. Upton, CF
  3. Carlos Pena, 1B
  4. Evan Longoria, 3B
  5. Cliff Floyd, DH
  6. Dioner Navarro, C
  7. Gabe Gross, RF
  8. Eric Hinske, LF
  9. Jason Bartlett, SS

Ilitch on Tigers

Today was the Tigers’ annual team photo day, which means that team owner Mike Ilitch was at the ballpark to take part. He talked with reporters after the pictures were done.

On what went wrong:
“I had one little superstition at the beginning of the year, when our leadoff man [Curtis Granderson] broke his finger. Being in sports all my life, a lot of times, you start off with a little bit of a quirk. And he’s our sparkplug. And I said, ‘Man, with this cold weather coming up and our sparkplug out of the lineup, I’m worried about our start, getting off to a bad start.’ So I was concerned, because he was out a week or two, a couple weeks. But other than that, just like all of you, I didn’t foresee to have all the holes that we did. I mean, beyond my wildest dreams, I didn’t anticipate that. I thought we had a good, nice, solid foundation that we were going to build from and keep the ballclub up, contending all the time. But it didn’t work out, so it’s cost us a little bit of time, maybe a year, year and a half.”

“We’ve got to get back on the ball and see if we can get ourselves restructured now, correct all the mistakes that we made. We’ve got to go back over, I’ve got to go back over, everything that we’ve done. And now everybody will learn and be reminded that we’re not in a normal business, and anything can happen. And I think it humbled everybody. So we’ll have to pay the price.”

On what he means by paying the price:
“Pay the price for miscalculating so deeply. In other words, we paid the price. I don’t want to go through that again now. I want to make sure I get the right team together and then I want to move forward again. I figured I lost a year, year and a half, but I’ll be right back at it.”

On what changes need to be made:
“I don’t know what we’ll be making. I just want to get back to where I thought I was, and that was competing with Boston, competing with the good teams, holding your team up there, year after year. That’s my goal personally. It’s not there, so we’re going to work like the dickens to get it back. But we’ve got to level off now, see where we’re at, make a re-analysis of who our real players are and who we’re going to keep and we’re going to go forward with. And are we going to mix youth with veterans? What are we going to do exactly?”

On payroll:
“As far as payroll’s concerned, I’m not sure what we would do on payroll. That would be the last thing that I’m going to look at. I mean, I’m not afraid to go out and spend money. It’s been very costly, but I’m not going to change my ways. But I don’t know if this year is the year to go after people. I’m more concerned about getting the team in shape and seeing who we’ve got and who are the real Detroit Tigers.”

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