Knapp OK after passing out on plane

Tigers pitching coach Rick Knapp was back at work for Monday’s series opener against the Rangers, but his trip to Texas was still the talk of the clubhouse after a frightening incident on the team flight.

Knapp passed out after trying to enter the restroom on the team plane, and briefly lost consciousness before head athletic trainer Kevin Rand and their staff scrambled to his aid to awaken him. An ambulance met the plane upon landing quickly at Love Field and took Knapp to a local hospital, where he stayed briefly before being released early Monday morning. The rest of the Tigers arrived at the team hotel around 2:30 a.m.

The Tigers were less than a half-hour away from Dallas when the incident happened, so emergency landing was necessary.

Knapp said he had been feeling ill before the flight and felt worse after he ate something. He also had taken Tamiflu, prescribed to all team personnel on the trip after Rangers pitcher Vicente Padilla tested positive for H1N1 Type A influenza, commonly known as swine flu.

No official diagnosis was given for what was behind Knapp’s blackout, but a heart attack or stroke were quickly ruled out. Follow-up tests showed no cause for further concern.

Knapp resumed his normal duties Monday, albeit on short rest. He was more embarrassed about the incident than anything.

Still, that embarrassment couldn’t match the concern on the part of the Tigers as they watched Rand and others trying to revive him as the plane rushed to land.

“A lot of players were upset, scared,” Leyland said.

Said reliever Bobby Seay: “It was just pandemonium there for a minute. You don’t know what was going on.”


I think I would pass out too after my pitchers give it their all only to see the offense fall flat on their faces.

I’m guessing Rick felt sick to his stomach, headed for the restroom but then passed out. That happens. Cold sweat and all that. I was telling my wife it would embarrass me too. If they had to give that plane an emergency straight in landing, the other (dozens?) of planes around that busy airport would have had to start circling. Well, glad it’s nothing serious.
Now to tonight’s game, which about made me ill myself. If you missed my outburst there on the last thread, it was a doozy. And it’s true that there hasn’t been a single event in any game in years, maybe decades, that made me so angry as when Leyland didn’t call for a bunt in the 5th. I guess I can’t tolerate stubborn stupidity. He always starts the runner but he rarely rarely calls for a bunt, and the situation was screaming for a bunt. He cost us the game, IMO. When he got that extension, I tried to make it easier on myself by softening my stance on him, but that’s over. This guy needs to go. This is too good a team to be floundering like this. I don’t care if we’re in first place, this team isn’t playing up to it’s capabilities and that goes right to the boss. You won’t see me saying another kind thing about him. Word.
The hitters are just pressing, plain and simple, and it explains why they fail in big spots. This is true of every single one of them. To have it go on for four months is entirely unacceptable, but it’s being accepted by the club as long as they keep the current manager. He doesn’t have a clue as to what to do, and he never has. How he got a reputation as a good manager is beyond me. You’ve got a club that is obviously having difficulty scoring runs, yet you manage as if they’re the 1927 Yankees. This is just stubborn, and this is just stupid. While I’m at it, why don’t our announcers on FSN ever question anything that goes on out there? Is it in their contract that they have to be good company men?
That 5th inning, that Everett AB, that kind of did it for me. I can’t see Leyland getting us into the postseason. He’d have to change his way of managing a game, and that won’t happen. “Any questions? Then I’m done here!”

Glad Knapp is okay; I believe he’s the real thing. Right now pitching is not the problem. We are at a point where if wer’e trailing by more than one run, we have no chance. In all of my 50 years of following this team, i am totally at a loss as to how so many professional hitters, good hitters could be out of sink all at the same time. You think Polly’s heating up, and then he goes back to pop up city. Inge is worthless on the bad knee. Thames has a nice smile, Maggs is into full campaign mode, and Cabrera acts like he’s been on a drug high with Ozzie Guillen. Laird is clueless, Everett has nice hair, and our most clutch hitter has a bum shoulder. Grandy is giving us a moment of false hope. In a way, I just wish we would announce that our season is over, so I can get off of this nauseating roller coaster ride. Someone please give me some reassurance.

WOW Rich I have never seen you so angry. (myself yes I get that angry all the time) And while I don’e necessarily disagree with you Everett hit that ball right on the nails. I guess I wonder if he doesn’t do it more often because we have all seen this team with a runner on third a million times and they cannot get the run home with none or one out?? Maybe he thinks that it just doesn’t matter?? I don’t know I am not defending him just wondering??? This is a very frustrating team that is for sure
Regarding Rod and Mario I want to know how they almost seem excited when the other team hits the homerun and buries us even further? They seem happy, and I don’t get that.???

Rich, welcome back to the Get Rid of JL Club. It had to happen, JL never changes.

Not sure what to expect for the rest of the season, but like they say there is still a lot of baseball to be played. However, something needs to be done to get these guys more aggressive at bat. Don’t they want a win as much as the fans do? It seems that most times when the other team takes the lead the Tigers don’t do what they need to do. Put some heart into it, grind it out, come back and win these games.

Go Tigers………………..please

Uh, what? What a bunch of chickenlittles!!! And most of you were screaming for a defense-oriented team this year. You got it with Everett, Inge et al. And you want to abuse them. How pitiful. Yeah, the Tigers’ offense is sad, but you folks are sadder. They’re in friggin’ first place for goodness sake.
They win three and lose two and all of a sudden the sky is falling. What a bunch of loser-fans. We knew this team was no powerhouse. We knew the offense was weak this year. But with a weak Central, we had a chance. Well, goshdarnit, they’re in first, taking advantage of the weak division. Let’s enjoy the ride. AG had a decent start–that’s pretty key, folks. Lighten up, folks–we knew this was no 100-win team from the beginning.

I’m Audi.

Speaking just for myself…………..I have no problem with the players we’ve acquired or the kind of team it is. You’re right, it’s exactly what I wanted. My problem is with a manager who has no clue how to manage a game with the kind of team he has. This is not a slugging ballclub, but Leyland manages as if it is. He manages in the same style regardless of his personnel and that’s unforgiveable IMO. You look back at the few times he has pushed the envelope, bunting guys up, stealing a base, and you’ll see we’ve been wildly successful with it. The most recent example is Saturday, 1st inning. Granderson and Polanco get on, Thomas bunts them up, and both runs end up scoring in a game we finally win, 4-3. Being aggressive gets the team going and the fans excited. You don’t have to score six runs a game to play good exciting baseball. Doesn’t anyone see this? Sure, we’re in first place and I’m enjoying the ride, but I can’t tolerate this stubborn style of managing. We could be so much better. The White Sox have a bear of a schedule during this period and we could be creating a cushion in the standings. The opportunity is now.
Like I said last night, the hitters are just pressing. They need some help. They need to be put into a situation to succeed. Granderson was hitting Hunter with ease so you bunt Laird over and let Grandy drive him in, and Curtis did indeed get a single. You’d have a 2-run lead and an entirely different ballgame.
GK, you’re right about me. In fact I never get angry over anything. And it makes me angry that JL is able to make me angry.

I would still trade Miggs for Loney (1B) and Pierre (LF) with the $10m saved able to bring in a right hand power bat for RF/DH to replace Maggs, Raburn and Thames.
It is amazing how JL retreats into his management shell of doing nothing until the horse has bolted. Two or three times this year he had short bursts of aggressive call plays that generally came off and created a buzz in the dugout. JL comments “There’s just no excuse that a team — as good of a hitting team as we have — doesn’t come up with more than one run” . Unfortunately JL the buck stops with you.

It was a great weekend to visit Michigan and go to the White Sox series. Also saw the Mud Hens send 16 guys to the plate and score ten runs in an inning against the Nationals AAA team.

The road has been rough lately. Most teams do not play small ball in the band box in Arlington. I was thinking bunt when Everett was at bat too. That was not the play that cost the Tigers the game. Bases loaded, one out and your 3 and 4 hitters not delivering is the story of the game.

It would be nice to see French make it through the 3rd time of the Texas batting order tonight.


Don’t you think that’s oversimplifying it, Mark? That’s the way Leyland would look at it. I think a bunt by Everett changes the entire complexion of the inning. Just because it’s a bandbox doesn’t mean our hitters will hit there. And who put Thomas in the 3-hole to start with? You could put Dane in the 3-hole then say our #3 hitter didn’t hit. Clete should lead off with Granderson 3rd. Grandy’s leadoff solo homer is a marginal advantage at best.

I am with you. The Manager has got to go. The manager is the one who should be the leader, motivator, rah rah, etc. and the one who gets on you when you make a dumb play. He just sits there. We have really good pitching and some of our hitters are having off years, but yeah, bases loaded with your 3 an 4 hitters coming up. Your best hitter should be in the 3 slot. Who is that? And your clean up hitter swings at ball four twice? I am not a chickenlittle but a die hard Tiger fan for over 50 years. Right now our team is boring. I liked it when my Tiger, Grandy, went for second. Was his hand in there? Go Tigers! 2009! –Dave

Rich, I said I would have bunted with Everett, especially since he has been struggling in July, but just noting that it seems teams tend to bunt less there early in the game. It did take a good play by the pitcher to keep Thomas from getting the RBI. MCab swinging at ball four hurt.

I like the way Granderson has hit since the break and think he would be good at the three spot. Who would bat lead off? MCab is more of a 3 or 5 guy right now as well and has not been an RBI guy in several weeks. We do not seem to have a solid #4 hitter right now. It does not seem that Granderson is the same spark as he has been in the past from the leadoff spot. His three hits last night did not ignite anything and may have produced more lower in the line up.

My take on the bunting thing is that our pitchers are usually very very good. I’ll take four runs any night and take my chances with it. That’s the kind of team we have, no matter how much JL wishes it wasn’t so.
Barring a trade, and keeping in mind that JL is going to manage the way he does, this is what I’d do lineup-wise against RH pitchers: Clete leads off. He has an eye and can draw walks. He’s much better in non-RISP situations and is an able enough baserunner to put on plays with Polanco up. Granderson third. Curtis is a homerun/extra base hitter with speed who could draw a pitcher’s attention while on firstbase while Cabrera is up there. Then Guillen, then Ordonez. I realize that contract is an issue, but that can’t come into play when making out a lineup. At this point, you need to go with the “big boys” as you can’t expect these part-time players to come up big all the time.
It’s not pretty but I don’t know what else you do with the current roster. Cabrera needs to understand that Guillen is behind him and quit trying to win the game on one swing of the bat. If he’d taken his walk and Carlos had come up, we’d have been in good shape.
Thanks Mark, this is good discussion.

Rayburn has been struggling lately, but he is probably the best option to lead off against leftys. Unless you left Thomas in against more lefthanders since he does hit them as well as Curtis and provides better defense than any outfielder except Curtis. I would rotate Maggs and Marcus against the righthanders to get Marcus a few more at bats. Not much difference in their defense. Rayburns seems to have slow recognition on a lot of line drives. He bust his tail, but just starts late and takes bad angles. If you add another lefthanded bat at this point, you subtract Rayburn and then your short a righthander since Carlos cannot hit from the right side.

It was good seeing Fein have a good debut. He had me worried with that 3-0 count. I was sitting on the 3rd base side and those pop ups look like they are coming right at you, but they always tail off back onto the field. I thought with his effort in the spring that he would of made the team.

Am I mistaken or did they play “small ball” in the first three games against the Sox? If yes, can’t JL see that it was successful? I am very concerned now that he has a 2-year extension. His mind does not seem to grasp what needs to be done, a la this discussion about having Everett bunt Laird to second. Granderson followed with a single that might have scored Laird. At least it might have shaken up the pitcher enough to distract him pitching to Polanco. But does anyone dare to not do what JL calls for? If they are as astute as Rich here, they must be able to see this themselves. Or what about the coaches? Are they all too scared of their jobs to speak up to JL?

HEY JASON! Are you there? Is there any way to pass this post on to DD or JL?

Rayburn has been pretty much worthless from day one… he has had a few glimmers of hitting in the last two years but given the amount of time he has spent in the Tigers outfield this year he should be able to take better routes to balls. He still overextends and lays out for balls that he may or may not have a chance to get and more times then not he gives up extra bases in doing so. His infield ablilities are pretty much the same the ball will eat him alive or he will blatently misplay whatever position JL feels he suited to play. His hitiing is too streaky for MLB standards, he hits a homer and then can’t hit the broad side of anything for weeks. IMO Ryan Rayburn is a major deterrent to winning games in general. His bat is unworthy of a 5 slot in the lineup and his fielding abilities leave WAY too much to be desired. If you had to start Thames or Rayburn anyday I would much rather take my chances with Mr. Thames.


I’ve heard the term “smart ball” used in place of “small ball.” I much prefer the former and it may even be possible that these managers would use it more if the “small” wasn’t in the term. While on the subject, most managers don’t use smart ball any more than Leyland does, but JL is managing MY team.
I’ve brought this up before, but isn’t Lamont JL’s main bench coach? That would be the guy to bounce things off of, but when we’re hitting, Gene is out there coaching third. I wonder if Gene is ever tempted to ignore JL’s signal and just flash his own? 🙂
Not sure how Thomas would do with lefties full time. It would be a tall order, I’ll grant. Clete is just in his 2nd partial season with the big club, and I’d like to see him forget about the longball and just use that pretty inside out swing more. I wonder if anyone has even told him what is expected of him? Sometimes I assume things are happening that actually aren’t happening. “Never expect the predictable.”
Raburn is handy to have around, but he’s been getting way too much playing time, first through injuries and then through favoritism.
And I can’t believe tonight’s game story is about how Miner needs to deliver as a relief pitcher. I just shake my head.

I can understand trying to find someone to replace Curtis at leadoff.
Clete though has been our only reliable clutch hitter all season with a .343/.410 for RISP, well above his overall figures of .262/.337. His 6 for 31 (.194/.306) in leadoffs has probably also counted against him, but at least he is getting on base with the walks. Another good side of Clete is he is hitting lefties and righties so no need to change.
He would do a darn side better than Curtis against lefties hitting .186/.271 and also hitting poorly leading off with .22/.313.
It is hard to fathom the poor plate discipline from our hitters with nearly all of them seasoned veterans in the Majors. Cabs is now hitting .188 for the season against lefties for RISP and for June and July is 5 for 41 (.12).
I remember last year when JV was struggling, it seemed that JL did his conversations with him via the press. I would not assume anything regarding what is communicated to the players. JL would definitely never make it on the speakers circuit.

I would bat Clete first simply because from what I’ve seen he is willing to work a count on most occasions. Clete has occasional extra base power and better than average base running abilities. Second up keep Polonco his average is way down but he still tends to work a count and put the ball in play. Third should be Granderson hands down. He has hit with increasing power for the past 2 years and offers another HUGE baserunning threat when on. Cabrera then with 1-3 people on base at a regular rate would be open to raise that uncommonly low RISP rate he’s sitting on lately. Fifth spot is alittle more tricky a HEALTHY Guilllen would be best, but watching him grimace last night hitting Lefty and then rotating his arm in pain on first leads me to believe that he’s not our guy right now. Thames or Maggs seems the best fit right now. IMO you could platoon Maggs and Thames in Left and leave Cleter in Right. The rest of the lineup is obligatory with noone left that can really rake the ball aside from a heathy Inge. Did anyone else notice Inge almost crumble in pain in his last AB last night. Finally whats the deal with calling up Dusty Ryan? He’s played like 3 times in the last month, Sardinha had more starts than Ryan. If Dusty needs more seasoning send him back down and bring up ragga Max St Pierre or Sardinha to keep a piece on the pine warm.

Thats my peace for now for whats its worth….
Go Tigers


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