Saturday: Inge at catcher

In case you’re wondering, it’ll be Brandon Inge’s first game behind the plate since Sept. 15 at Texas. That, too, was a Dontrelle Willis start.

As for Placido Polanco, his sprained left ankle swelled up pretty good overnight, and he’s out for tonight and Sunday. Jim Leyland is hoping to have him available for Monday at Chicago, but he’ll need quite a bit of improvement for that.

TIGERS (73-86)

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

RAYS (96-64)

  1. Fernando Perez, CF
  2. Ben Zobrist, SS
  3. Evan Longoria, 3B
  4. Rocco Baldelli, DH
  5. Manny Aybar, 2B
  6. Dan Johnson, 1B
  7. Justin Ruggiano, LF
  8. Jonny Gomes, RF
  9. Michael Hernandez, C



What is going on with Curtis is extremely frustrating. There are things that need to corrected for him to become a complete ballplayer.
-He needs to have no fear on the bases and be willing to steal a base.
-He has to learn to quit pulling the ball to the 1st baseman- that is the worst place on the diamond to hit a ball. Learn to spray the ball to left.
He needs to learn how to bunt for a hit.
Let’s work on this McLendon and Van Slyke.
Cab has just missed 6 RBIs tonight.
If Willis can get through this inning they would be wise to take him out and leave him with a positive taste in his mouth.

Rodney in but they could have left Lopez in. He was dealing.
Joyce really seemed to hit the wall this year didin’t he?
Nice to beat these guys again but Rodney is going to have to throw strikes.

Good to see our pitching have a solid day with Willis at least starting to look the part. Lopez was very good again and Rodney much better when he has confidence with his change ups.
Nice steal from Sheff – what about the others?? We must be the only team that regularly butchers loaded bases/no outs.
Chisox can’t pull a trick – get back in the 8th from 8-2 down to 8-6, then give up 4 and still going in the 9th. Least Sheff will likely get one more chance and we see Garcia in a pressure situation

Aki pitched quite well. He’ll be here next year.
Willis’ outing was encourging at least. He threw mostly strikes and was even able to K a few RHB at critical times. If he was smart he would play winter ball, at least half a season.
The Good Rodney showed up today, and when he does he is impressive.. Even tried to mix in a slider tonight.
Last game tomorrow. Wouldn’t mind seeing one more on Monday though. Even I would like to see Sheffield get his 500th.
If Minny wins and the White Sox lose then no game for us in Chicago.
Also be nice to see Granderson be able to finsish this season on a positive note- it is worrisome that he can go into such a prolonged horrid looking slump.
I hope J has the courtesy, and I do mean COURTESY, to play Marcus Tahmes in LF tomorrow at home. This guy deserves to play over Joyce anyways. I don’t care if Shields does throw- Marcus is a huge fan favourite. I’m not so sure the Rays will actually pitch Shirleds. They might be better off resting him up for the 1st playoff game.
It’s been a grueling season and a lot of water under the bridge, but thanks to all those who have persevered my posts. There have been times they were probably pretty annoying and maybe a bit sarcastic!
I’m gonna take the off season, off and will do my best to bring Troy Tulowitzki to the Tigers!

Forgot to mention what a good team game Sheff played tonight even without a hit. Despite the whole clan being in a private box for pulling for 500, Sheff’s two walks were great for the team with the following steal resulting in the winning run. His lineout in the 4th was also very unlucky (sorry Carlos but you wouldn’t even have put a glove on it) and could easily have driven two in.
Very nice pre-game send off for Todd – Illich seems a quiet guy but all class. Didn’t realise he was the instigator for Cabs, not DD.
Following Dan’s link article, my fearless predictions for next season, with a touch of wishfull thinking are:
1. DD remains President but we have a new GM;
2. One new starting pitcher being Garcia if he accepts a $5m + $5m performance/health bonus;
3. A ‘name’ closer;
4. 1 or 2 ‘no name’ relievers;
5. Renteria’s option not taken up;
6. Maggs or Carlos traded, likely Carlos with Maggs $18m salary preventing deals being made;
7. Santiago and Thames are lost;
8. Sheff states he has a goal of reaching 600 before he retires with the Tigers.

An article on the Tiger site by Jason says Inge IS the 3rd sacker next year.
So much for honest comptetiion. Sorry Big Mike, you just strike out too much. Inge does too but you are a power hitter and it just looks worse when you strike out I guess.
Some guys are blessed with good fortune. Brandon hits barely above .200 and yet he is GIVEN the job for next year NOW. And more good fortune that he has a 6 million dollar contract to further guarantee the job.
Not a bad gig.
This apparently means that Guillen has been GIVEN the LF job. Sorry Marcus, no honest comptetion here for you either. Take your 25 homers and stuff them in a suitcase cause there ain’t no room for you here ceptin’ at the end of the bench. But you’re a good soldier, you’ll do that for your skipper won’t you?
And Shef, you are our DH, no matter what you say or what you do. You da man, man.
I’m sure we will next hear that Renteria has taken less money to stay here and play short.
And Robertson, we need you in the middle of the rotation Nate. All we ask is that you can get through 4 innings most games so we can turn it over to our bullpen.
If this is the way it continues to go down, then, well then we, go down.
Something smells bad about all this. Kinda like stale cigarettes.

i think putting inge 3B is wise, for the defense. i haven’t watched enough of hessmen to see his glove.
i do feel bad that he appears to be going nowhere in the organization despite talent.
anyway, inge at third and i hope they seriously consider santiago at SS
i really really don’t like thames riding the bench at all.
i really really like him and he deserves a real full season chance to destroy the ball.
i hope sheffield gets to 500 today and the gets cut.
that would do wonders for the line-up/team dynamic, IMO
then guillen can DH.

as for the pitching… ai-yi-yi….

OK, it’s official, I could definitely run this team better than these two bozo’s. But, so could any of you, my wife and the dog.

Factoring in the expectations and the resourses provided to them, this has got to be one of the worst years in Tiger history. We all knew 2003 was coing so this year is much worse. The unmitigated gall of that old coot starting to name his 2009 line up when he should be on bended knee begging for forgiveness is a complete insult. Telling the fans we have to accept a .200 hitter in the line up. Tell you what JL you can put him in for defense, as long as the pitcher bats for him.

Then, citing Guillen’s “comfort zone” since he came up as an outfielder over ten years ago. We moved the guy out of SS because of range, how many balls you think he gets to in LF? We are looking at the early onset of alzheimers with this old coot.

They are spinning and spinning hard to deflect things away from this wretched season and a few meaningless wins at the end of the year do nothing to exonerate this pair DD/JL from being absolutely horrible at their jobs. Mr. I should pick up the phone and simply tell Ocoot shut the hell up or I’ll give you your pink slip right now.

Inge is our 3rd for next year & Guillen our LF. Hmmm, reminds me of the comment Thames will be our LF. I have learned not to get concerned over anything JL says.

Given his $6m contract and great fielding abilities, (that missed catch last night was a *******!!) Inge deserved his lengthy stint during September away from catcher to try and make a go of 3rd and get his offence back on track. Unfortunately thus far, his at bats have not improved, and he should not in any way been determined as our 3rd for next year.
Dan, you could not possible consider Hessman at 3rd – the guy has only hit .296, 5HR, 7RBI’s from his 27 at bats this season. Go figure.
Continuing to select players seemingly based on contract value flies in the face of Illich’s comments. JL is (hopefully) not stupid and has stuck by underperforming players all year to support DD. With Illich going to play JL’s contract out for ’09, he needs a new, young GM to break the vested interest with the past high value mistakes.
Carlos at LF – Curtis is sure going to keep fit covering for left also. Something tells me LF & RF positions may well change by season start.

JASON I was watching the tail end of the CWS game last night after ours got over and I heard that it was going to be a 1:00 start on Monday. Can you tell me if it is going to be televised here in Detroit or whether we are SOL???? It would be a shame if FSN didn’t get it or is it going to be on WGN from Chicago??? Please let me know if anyone reads this and knows. Of course I will be at work but I can DVR it.
Regarding Inge at 3rd, I hear quite a few complaints on here but I thought that was what all of you wanted??? That is all I have been hearing since Carlos took over there. I can tell you this if his batting average doesn’t get a bit better and I am talking about 230 he won’t be playing anywhere good after his next contract despite his abilities to play in the field.
But some of those moves that he was talking about or lack therof will all depend upon what moves they make in the off season. Maybe Marcus will be gone, or Magglio and Marcus moves to right field?? The fact of the matter is that there is probably not a lot of use in speculating because I don’t believe anyone of use can read their minds or forsee the future.
My last game to attend today, looking forward to it, and hopefully Sheff will get his 500th, that would be great to say that I saw that. GO TIGERS.

Inge at 3B next year? Give me a break! The guy can’t hit a lick and they want to shuffle Carlos around to make room for him?

I have no trouble with Inge starting third base somewhere, as long as it’s no higher than AA ball.

Inge can be our 3rd baseman. But the operative word should be CAN. There shold be healthy compettion. There should be achievable expectations of offensive production..
Ing gets this position by default. many of us here cringed at the idea of him being the rgular catcher fearing this meant another season of capitualtion. The alternative, is if they are going to play him regularly then it has to be at 3rd, where he will not be a defensive liability (he is, as a catcher) and he may possibly be in a better mindset to improve offensively, since he gets to play in the sandbox he wants to. But in the age-old tradition on baseball he still has to earn the position in my book, Just announcing things do not make them better.This only serves to further ingrain the sense of entitlelment that some of our high-paid Tigers have and to make JL sound like he is the head mand in charge, and” that’s that, I don’t want to go into details”.
There are some Killer Contracts on this team right now that affect (infect) everything. Robertson, Sheffield, Inge. Illitch needs to go to DD and tell him that if he has to take a hit on some of these contracts, so be it, but I want you to fis this mess. Keeping Sheffield at DH means fielding an inferior defensive team. Ordonez and Guillen are logical candidates for DH and Marcus if he is still around.
The mania ia Inge borders on stupidity. Sure everyone likes him, he is exciting to watch in the field but painful to watch at the plate. We can keep him and have our lovable Tiger team or we can play hardball and tell him if he can’t hit a baseball then he can’t play baseball. It’s kind of simple. The stupidity is that they continue to play him because the have to pay him. This is not Wall Street, this is Michigan and Trumbull.
Robertson is at best a mediocre pitcher. He should thank (and so should we) his lucky stars that he is left-handed. This very reason alone coupled with the fact that he can throw you 200 Iinnings, means some team will see value in him. We may have to eat a lot of contract (perhaps not if you trade wisely), but he needs to go.
I would keep Guillen. He is the closest thing to a leader we have on the team. He can play anywhere, can hit, gives you flexibility as a SH, is a smart base-runner and a good role model. I don’t see him as an everday LF, but have no doubt the guy could pull it off.
I would “entertain” overtures made by other teams for Zumaya. I wouldn’t actively try to flog him off but if someone came to me, I’d be listening and thinking hard about what we might get.
Raburn’s a good old boy but he is not going to provide much off the bench. If you could get a pitching prospect froma NL team I’d say go for it.
Joyce is a disappointment waiting to happen if he can’t find a way to develop some true grit an confidence in himself. He could be a solid player but needs to get over that hump.
Thames is toast as long as Leyland runs the show here. He is the nice guy that Leyland needs to push around so that the ‘FAVS” can play day in and day out. His handling of Thames on a personal level has been atrocious. And on a baseball level, it borders on bizarre. The same thing could be said to a lesser degree, with Hessman. I think both of these powerful men deserve THE CHANCE to show they can play.
The pitching staff is of course a major area of concern. I may be as much in denial as management about this but I think the starting rotation is a good one. JV, Bonderman, G-Man, Miner and Garcia don’t provide you with the LHP you’d like to see but we have all seen previous Comeback of the Year Awards, before and maybe, just maybe, Dontrelle Willis still has something left in that 26 year old arm. Chris Carpenter and Gil Meche are recent winners of that distinctive award.
The bullpen will (Seay) a lot of change. Maybe not Bobby, but other than him, Rodney, Lopez and Dolsi-nobody is safe out there. I’ll never understand why they didn’t give Blaine Neal a look or Ian Oslund. My guess in spring training they will. They will also probably consider the Perry kid and Moscosi. They are almost guaranteed to bring in a closer of sorts. This is the hig profile area of need that they can put the ‘shut up” to the fan clamor for change. This will be the area shere they can say they went out and did domething to improve the team even though the effort may prove to be minimal in results it will look good in the papers.
Pesonally I am very reluctant to become overly optimistic. This is mostly because they are perpetuatiing a managerial direction that is narrow-minded and blatantly stubborn. Without this change being addressed I don’t see the promise for sustantive personnel changes that need to be done. We will get more if the in-your-face rhetoric and false bravado from the skipper, and to his credit, he somehow “managed” to get away with that for an entire season. It’s depressing to think he will do it again.

First time here at Beck’s Blog. If the gauge for hitting success is one of three, then I can have a couple of so so comments before I really nail one and it is all good.

Pitching. Since the pine tar incidence. Tiger pitching has been terrible. If it was an intentional thing then there are ways around it. National League pitchers bat and have access to pine tar during batting practice etc. If it gets there
during the natural course of the game then it certainly can stay. I have never heard of National League pitchers being told to wash their hands after striking out at bat and before they take the mound. If it was a reason for the success at pitching then all pitchers take batting practice. If a reliver is coming in, put him in as a pinch hitter. I would gladly take one strike out for 3 scoreless innings of pitching in 6th 7th and 8th innings. I say if they are on the Roster then they take Batting Practice. Besides getting the little edge they need (Pine Tar) they can see pitching from the hitters perspective. Some of the best pitchers have also been able to hit the ball. I would never say for anyone to cheat in any sport but batting is part of baseball and pine tar is a part of batting. So get up there and take your cuts boys.

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