September 2008

Tuesday: Cabrera at DH

It was already in the plans whether Cabrera was injured or not, and manager Jim Leyland said he wouldn’t do it if he felt like Cabrera couldn’t play the field today. But talking with Cabrera this afternoon, he seems to be feeling OK.

Jeff Larish gets the start at first base.

Don’t be surprised to see the Tigers doing some scoreboard watching tonight and for the next few days with the White Sox facing the Twins. How that series unfolds will probably determine whether the Tigers have to plan for a return trip to Chicago next Monday to make up that rainout.

TIGERS (71-84)

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

ROYALS (71-86)

  1. David DeJesus, CF
  2. Mike Aviles, 2B
  3. Jose Guillen, RF
  4. Ryan Shealy, 1B
  5. Mark Teahen, LF
  6. Billy Butler, DH (.442 lifetime at the CoPa — didn’t start Monday, though)
  7. Alex Gordon, 3B
  8. Miguel Olivo, C
  9. T.J. Pena, SS

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

Four games for Sheff

He will not appeal, so his suspension will start tonight. No other Tigers were suspended or fined. Three Indians were supposedly disciplined in some sort, according to Tigers president/GM Dave Dombrowski.

UPDATE @ 5pm: Fausto Carmona received six games, while Victor Martinez and Asdrubal Cabrera received three each. Cabrera’s suspension will begin Thursday.

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

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

Postscript on Sheff

carmona3.jpgI was up late enough trying to sort out the blow-by-blow account from Sheffield-Carmona that I decided to sleep rather than blog. Besides, pretty much all the relevant quotes and reactions made it into the story. But as Saturday approaches, here’s what we have to look forward to:

It’ll be interesting to see how quickly Bob Watson and the MLB personnel react on this one. Normally, you don’t hear much in the way of discipline handed down on weekends, but they could conceivably move on it now rather than Monday with two more games left to be played this series.

Whenever the discipline is handed down, it leaves Sheffield with what could be an interesting question. He’s close enough to the 500-homer milestone to still get it this year with a good final week (or his first-ever three-homer game, for that matter), but any suspension would likely rule that out until 2009. If he appeals a suspension, he could feasibly hold it off into next season and try to go for 500 now. The downside, of course, is that he’d have to miss time at the start of next season, when the standings reset and the games are a little more important to get off a good start (and haven’t we discovered how important that is).

If you think back to last year, when Sheffield was suspended for allegedly tossing his bat in umpire Greg Gibson’s direction, Sheffield’s comments didn’t help. And then you wonder how his postgame remarks Friday will play into any decisions coming. When last year’s suspensions eventually came down, Jim Leyland was the one who convinced Sheffield to tone down his rhetoric for a little while. With Leyland under suspension Friday, he wasn’t able to say anything to Sheff in the aftermath of the dust-up.

carmona2.jpgIt’s interesting to see how certain players react the first time you see them in a fracas, especially guys you expect could more than hold their own. Miguel Cabrera did a lot of peacemaking from how it looked, including eventually getting Victor Martinez headed towards his own dugout.

Speaking of which, was it just me, or did Andy Marte almost grab Dusty Ryan — thinking a guy Ryan’s size could do some damage — and then let him go when he realized Ryan wasn’t doing anything?

I’m still not sure why Polanco was ejected. Lloyd McClendon was told by the umpiring crew that Polanco was being aggressive, and Brandon Inge was told that someone on the crew saw Polanco throw a punch. I didn’t see it. The one move that could be construed as aggressive was that Polanco went towards Victor Martinez when Martinez started yelling at Sheffield from across the infield. It was to keep Martinez from going back into the fray, by all accounts, but in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to see how that could be misconstrued. Or else I’m missing something that went on away from the TV cameras.

Friday: Tigers at Indians

Dusty Ryan starts for the fifth time in Detroit’s last six games, while Brandon Inge starts again at third (for update on Carlos Guillen, read previous post below). Ramon Santiago gets another start at short, though Edgar Renteria says he’s fine.

As for the manager, he says he will not be watching from the press box or luxury suites, as other managers have done. He’ll watch it from someplace where he isn’t visible. Lloyd McClendon will manage the team as expected.

TIGERS (71-80)

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

INDIANS (75-77)

  1. Grady Sizemore, CF
  2. David Dellucci, LF
  3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
  4. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  5. Victor Martinez, C
  6. Travis Hafner, DH
  7. Michael Aubrey, 1B
  8. Andy Marte, 3B
  9. Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B

Guillen gets second opinion on back

A second opinion from back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins confirmed it wasn’t any worse than lower back inflammation affected by a nerve root. Guillen had a second epidural shot back in Detroit and will stay there for the weekend. At this point, the Tigers appear just short of ruling him out of playing for the final week of the season. Even if he feels fine, he hasn’t played in about a month, and it would take him time to get back into playing shape. Even so, he’s expected to be fine for next spring.

Leyland suspended three games

MLB has suspended Leyland for three games for what it terms “inappropriate conduct” during the first two games of that Texas series. So he’s out for the entire Cleveland series. Hitting coach Lloyd McClendon will presumably manage the club over there.

2009 schedule is out

800px-Tigersbluejaysapril2008.jpgI’m not on the Texas series, but I wanted to point out the release of next year’s schedule. The Tigers open the season in Toronto on Monday, April 6 (the NCAA men’s basketball championship is at Ford Field that night, so opening at home was pretty much out). The home opener is Friday, April 10 against Texas. The Yankees come to town April 27-29, with the Red Sox visiting June 2-4.

The Interleague schedule comes back around to the NL Central. They’ll face the Cardinals for the fourth straight year, but the first time in St. Louis (regular season, at least). The Brewers are back in town, and the Cubs pay a visit June 23-25.

Look for a story on the site shortly.

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