Bereavement vs. Family Medical Emergency Leave

An attentive reader, Kevin in Kansas City, emailed this morning with a very good observation about the bereavement list on which Magglio Ordonez was placed. When Delmon Young left the Twins a few days earlier to be with his ailing mother, he was placed on the family medical emergency leave list. So why was Magglio placed on the Bereavement List?

The answer, it turns out, is that they’re the same list. The terminology changed recently depending on the situation. It makes sense because, frankly, it sounds awkward to place a player on the bereavement list when he’s leaving the club to visit a loved one who’s facing a potentially life-threatening procedure. Zach Miner, for example, went on the bereavement list two years ago when he left to visit his dad in the hospital. On the flip side, a player going to the funeral of a loved one isn’t attending to a family medical emergency. In that case, it would be called the bereavement list.

So from here on out, we’ll try to call it the family medical emergency leave list in Magglio’s case.


I hope Maggs’ wife will be OK. Maggs too.
My guess as to a replacement would be that it would be perfect and logical time to introduce Wilking Ramirez.
However, if Sardinha is still hurting, I can see them calling up a catcher like Ryan.

I’m hoping this is one of those conditions that are scarey, but turn out to be okay. But there’s no such thing as a non-serious surgery.
Good point, Dan. Historically, the Tigers would call up the hot guy and that would be Ramirez. The Rangers go with a lefty on Wednesday. It depends on Dane, as he was in a splint this weekend. They may indeed want Ryan to catch the Thursday afternoon game and just go ahead with Raburn on Wednesday. Can’t complain too much about our “scrub” lately.
You know, this thing is past the mid-May point and we’re in first place and playing pretty well. I hope everyone is enjoying this as much as I am.

Rich and others:

Since we have an off day, thought I’d catch up on a couple of comments. First, with Mags, his problems at home do offer perspective. We tend to argue on these sites about guys not being able to follow through but when these things come up I think we can understand why. So, take care of business Mags. You’re a Tiger and so we stand behind you.

There was a note about us maybe taking back some of what we had said about Ryan. As we have seen in baseball, a good weekend doesn’t erase some glaring errors (sorry Ryan) or change too much. He has to prove day in and day out on a consistent basis that he can perform at this level. Having seen his swing and play, you give the benefit of the doubt but we need to see it, consistently. SO Ryan, let;s hope you don’t get thrown in JL’s doghouse or whatever Josh Anderson is calling home these days.

Noticed that Rincon went free agent. Can’t blame him. There’a shortage of arms out there and he’ll find a home. Still not quite certain I know why we are in this position with Rincon. We obviously saw value in him and if it was just a matter of positioning him come the body shuffle then I think with a little forethought we could have avoided this. So now, we have lost or will lose Rincon. Not sure I understand why. At the worst I think DD could have gotten something for trade (draft picks, dough, a bat).

I too am worried about Galarraga. Thye kid seems to have a good attitude and so I hope he’ll continue to be the bull dog when given the ball. He needs a break (5 run first inning) to get over the hump but his location is off. Maybe JV needs to talk to him.

Finally, as part of the callup I think Dusty does need to come up. I doubt Dane is ready to go. Laird had a big hit yesterday but we need to give him some time.


Oh, I don’t think anyone should take back anything said about Raburn. He was horrendous when he came up and he’d probably be the first one to say that. Now he’s settled in some. The dude should be able to hit about .250 at this level, with a little bit of pop. I think that’s all anyone wants or expects from him.
I’m thinking the problem with Galarraga isn’t just one thing, but a number of things. First off, he wasn’t supposed to be as good as he’d shown, but I doubt that he’s as bad as he’s been lately either. This sudden nosedive makes you think it has to be something with his mechanics. Then there’s scouting reports and hitters making adjustments. Finally, he needs the low strike called. Most pitchers do, but Armando perhaps more than others. The strike zone has gotten so crazy in recent years that it almost depends on the umpire matching up with the pitcher. There’s a vast difference between 0-1 and 1-0 counts. In the end, if it takes a trip down I-75 to get straight, go for it. It happens. Look at Fausto Carmona, who was sent down early in 2007, the same season he broke out with 19 wins. Fortunately, we’re long on starting pitchers at this point. We’ve got Zach and Nate to fill in if need be.

After the tough season we had last year, I gotta say this is a lot more fun. I got criticized last year when I said early on that the 2008 team was about as exciting as watching paint dry. There were a lot of folks that thought I was being “too down” on the guys and believed they eventually would come around. I just didn’t see it and unfortunately I was right. But this team is a much better mix–more speed, more youthful enthusiasm, and enough experienced players to help the younger guys along. If the pitching holds up, we could be in for an exciting season. The one thing that would make me feel even better about this team would be if we could knock off those Twins and White Sox once in a while! Have to start winning the series at home and not get swept at their place. If we can do that we can take this division!


Nice to have a day off and reflect the Tigers are 4 games over 500 even with the big guns of Curtis, Polly, Maggs and Carlos yet to consistently fire.
The team effort has been astounding and they are obviously bonding and enjoying the game. Hard to see this team getting in a funk that seemed to happen so often the past two years. Simply superb the way they rebounded after the Twins series and supporting the pitchers regardless of their performance.
We have now let Sheff and Rincon go with nothing in return. Surely we could have made a trade for either and receive a young prospect in return. DD’s inability to trade down concerns me as surely a host of teams would have taken Sheff for around $3-4m of his $14m contract. Whilst Sheff and Carlos are close to being the worst outfielders in MLB, he has a .39 OBP from 67 AB’s this season as a Met with a .444 OBP for May.
DD has some tough decisions looming with Thames and the eight starters. I understand Porcello is the only one who can be optioned to AAA.
I think I was wrong earlier with GMan. Being in his 3rd MLB season and already assigned by the Rangers, he could elect to decline any stint in AAA. I hope he doesn’t and puts the team above personal interest. If he was kept down, I understand he could go straight to being a free agent at season end.
Hopefully Nate won’t mind a rehab stint in AAA as it won’t now be seen as any loss of face.
Unless Bondo unlikely falls short or Willis suddenly regains his 2005 form, I would be trading Willis and Nate for any young prospect and a big loss on their $22m and $18m contracts thru 2010.
That would leave JV, Jackson, GMan (after a AAA stint), Porcello and Bondo with Miner as backup relief. Another alternative could keeping Nate if he goes well in AAA and moving Porcello to the bullpen in the event the closer role falls apart, although Perry and Zoom are looking rock solid, particularly if JL stops making Zoom pitch 2+ innings.
I unfortunately think Miner will be the one to go as DD hates to bring to account and book the loss on his big $$ contracts.
I think they will make room for Thames when he returns with Josh the unlucky place given the lack of playing time JL has given him apart from a few token at bats.

Dave, I believe the reason the Tigers were able to get Josh Anderson from the Braves was because he was out of options. So if they try to send him down he could go the way of Rincon. I don’t think that would be a very bright move. If they are going to bring Thames back, Raburn or Thomas could be optioned. This also seems to be the reason Clevlen has not been called up. He is out of options and they could not send him back to Toledo. This type of situation really hampers any moves the Tigers want to make.

I wouldn’t want to permanently lose any of our young guys (Thomas, Anderson, Larish) just to make room for Thames, or even Guillen. We’ll be needing those kids very very soon. So you do what you have to do, but don’t lose quality players with a future.
On the pitching side, there is a team over here named the Washington Nationals. This is actually the closest thing I have to a local team, and they’ve got some of the worst pitching I’ve ever seen. A couple of promising young starters and that’s it. Any one of the Tigers’ pitchers would immediately become one of their aces, but they have nothing I’d be interested in acquiring in return, other than Ryan Zimmerman. I wonder if they’d be interested in picking up all or most of the contracts of Willis or Robertson? No player in return, just take the contract. As it is, I’d think Juan Rincon could sign there easily. There’s a pitching logjam looming, and I’d hate to have to cut more players while paying off their big contracts.

I agree Rich. Thomas, Anderson, and Larish, 3 LHB’s we can’t afford to lose. Larish (Dan’s guy) is looking good, sporting a SLG .667, OBP .409(8 BB in 44 plate appearances), .278 BA a little misleading. I’d like to see him get some serious AB’s in Maggs’ place. Anderson deserves more ABs too.(he has only 64)
Speaking of ABs, or lack thereof, Santiago has a mere 54. He has 19 hits and 19 RBIs. That’s clutch production. He is 2nd in SLG .611, 2nd in AVE .352, and 5th in OBP .386 (surprisingly only 3 BBs with 15 SO-but we’ll take it). I know some of us think Anderson has been overlooked, and he has, but even he has more ABs than Ramon. With Santiago’s glove you wonder what he has to do to get more playing time. Anderson is a weapon with his speed and he will be needed when the runs don’t come so easily.
I was the one who made the remark that the negative Raburn comments had suddenly gone away. I was being a bit cynical, I agree he was playing poorly. I just thought we were being collectively rough on him. He does tend to get his hits and RBIs in bunches. Not really the way you want it to be, but as long as someone or two or three guys step up every game we’ll be OK.
Rich, it would be nice if Washington or a team like them would take one or two of these contracts off our hands. It could be a win-win-win situation all the way around. But that said, I didn’t like seeing Rincon let go and you hate to make any hasty decisions with the remaining pitchers. Hopfully there will be enough time to wisely evaluate everyone and the right guys will be protected.

So glad there’s a game tonight! Off days are the worst. Anyway, if Bonderman gets activated off the DL next week, it stands to reason that Willis and Galarraga are pitching for their jobs this week. One of them would have to get bumped from the rotation, right? Personally, I think they need to give Willis a longer look — like six starts minimum, unless he is truly getting shellacked out there. If he figures it out by, say, the All-Star break, he’s more valuable long-term to the Tigers, probably, than Galarraga, because it gives the Tigers one lefty in the rotation. If he doesn’t figure it out, then at least we gave it a shot to recoup the ridiculous extension Dombrowski gave the guy. Until the Willis experiment ends, Galarraga could be sent to long relief and Miner could be sent down; or Galarraga could accept a trip to Toledo. Either way, it’s good to have so many options, because it’s hard to expect both Bonderman and Willis to work out, and because it’s very possible that Porcello might falter once he starts seeing teams a second time, and there’s always the question of innings and pitch counts with him. Anyway, it’s just awesome to be in first place and have TOO MUCH starting pitching rather than the opposite (last place and not enough SP), like last year.

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