What do Tigers mean to Detroit?

I’m off this weekend, back on for the Angels series, but I’m also working on a story for next week on what the Tigers and this season in particular mean to the Detroit area and to Michigan given the tough times. And after getting some input from all around, I figured I’d throw the idea out to readers here, since we have seem to have a pretty loyal, steady group.

Are the Tigers a diversion for people while they get through a miserable economy and an area trying to rebuild? If it is, is it something about the Tigers in particular that makes it so or is it more about Detroit sports in general? And how much are you able to follow the Tigers compared with past years? If you have views on this, I’d be interested in hearing them and maybe using some of them in my story. You can drop me an email at jason.beck@mlb.com. Please add your name and your hometown. You have my gratitude for reading, but you already knew that.

- Jason Beck

29 Comments

Is it me or is this umpire crazy. This is exactly what will happen to Porcello or any pitcher is the umpire won’t call strikes – strikes then I guess you have to throw it right down the middle and then then you have a 4-1 game. Congratulations ump.

I know think I a talking to myself here, but it is going to be another one of those games where the Tigers look like they might do some damage in the first, the other team gets out of it, then NOTHING. Come on 2 hits and one walk guys?? Is Tomko that good?? I think not.

With Porcello pitching the catcher must be Laird . You dont put a AA catcher to call the game to an AA pitcher. Laird needed the rest ,but enough is enough

One word for the Tigers hitters -INEPT. Is Tomko that good?? No he isn’t, but we have a way of making even bad pitchers look good.

These are the Tigers hitters in the month of August. Which leads me to wonder why 3 of 4 of our hottest hitters were not playing in the game today????
.
Granderson .243
Polanco .302
Cabrera .342
Huff .182Tigers/.255 with Orioles
Inge – 159
Ordonez .358
Laird .195
Everett .163
Thomas .180
Thames .167
Raburn .368
Guillen .266
Santiago .233
Avila .370
.
So when you are having trouble with hitting you leave your hottest guys on the bench. ??? Explain that one to me because I would really like to understand.

Four hits and no baserunning mistakes, yet only one run to show for it. Disappointing.

Crazy GK to drop all the form righties. Lefties against the righty Tomko this year are hitting .170 and righties .327 with his career stats even. Definitely a pitcher you don’t stack one side of the plate with and go with form.
.
Crazy management like last night when JL never learned from the Bosox Game 1 loss leaving his bullpen powder dry that never ended up getting used.

Explain to me how Cust’s at bat in the 8th was a walk yet that umpire called Huff out on strikes?? That my friends is crap.

With the bottom of their order stacked with lefties, I was sure JL would have used Seay for the 8th.

I can’t believe it. Just got home from work to see the score alarmingly at 5-4, only to turn around and it’s 8-4. Not sure what to say here. We can’t win the division playing like this and that’s a damn shame. Another HR. It’s too pathetic.

Boy this game is way over.

Did that coach really just allow them to steal 2nd in a 5 run game?? Are you kidding me that is other than what I saw is Boston the other week way classless. WOW.

Two days in a row a game was there to be won and we didn’t use our 3 best relievers.
You just knew we were going to end up 1-2 after taking the first game.
.
The Twins are the danger with their much easier schedule and home field advantage.

Some of you bring up very good points. For what are we saving our best relievers? Why are 3 of the hottest…er (for the Tigers I better use warmest) batters in August not even in the line-up? Sure the Sox lost but the Twins did not. You really want this to be a 3 team close race? I’m at the point where I can’t do this stress anymore. I am recommending to all of you that we take a deep breath, sit back, and let the chips fall where they may. They are not going to win any games in LA. Just accept the fact that they are not going to be a last place team in their division this year. Maybe they can finish above .500. Then, hopefully, they can correct the 2009 deficiencies by changing the hitting coach. They changed pitching coaches and look at the improvement. Also it seems apparent after several years that some players need to be changed. I’ll let you debate which ones. Now I’ll go out on a limb and say that if they have an August-September collapse like in ’06, ’07, ‘and ’08, Leyland should be fired. The pattern with his season failures and many individual game failures must not be allowed to go on. You obviously cannot dump every or even many players and not expect a repeat of 2003. So relax fellow Tiger fans, appreciate the not perfect team we do have, and live to see 2010.

I did watch the game today, but am having trouble finding anything to say that hasn’t been said dozens of times already.
.
Dave, your stats are always very telling and I assume you get them from your computer. The problem here is that our manager claims to not know or care how to use a computer. Now, maybe someone supplies him with info, but who? And how good is the info? Myself, I wouldn’t hire a guy to manage a garbage truck in this day and age if he didn’t have computer skills. The lack of these skills tells me I have someone who’s out of touch. Then there’s the bullpen. He doesn’t use Seay, Lyon, or Rodney two days in a row but he marches Perry out there for a second day in a row, and in a one-run game. It’s mind boggling. Maybe the reason his postgame pressers are so brief is because he doesn’t really know what he’s doing. Memo to Rod Allen: quit starting every game with the announcement that Jim Leyland is one of the best managers in the game. That’s simply not true.
.
The hitting approaches are atrocious (even at home) so what does that mean? It means either a) the hitters don’t listen to the manager/coaches or b) the manager/coaches aren’t giving them good information or c) the wrong hitters are being used per game situation. All of this goes back to the manager. McClendon was the bullpen coach before being drafted to be hitting coach. All of you who want a new hitting coach won’t get one with the current manager in place.
.
My apologies to any readers who only want to think positive thoughts. I know we’re in first place. But I can’t stand to watch this brand of baseball being played. It’s difficult to “enjoy” or “embrace” the pennant race when the individual games are so poorly played.
.
–Rich

(Is it me or is this umpire crazy. This is exactly what will happen to Porcello or any pitcher is the umpire won’t call strikes – strikes then I guess you have to throw it right down the middle and then then you have a 4-1 game. Congratulations ump.)
-
-
(Explain to me how Cust’s at bat in the 8th was a walk yet that umpire called Huff out on strikes?? That my friends is crap.)
-
-
I know I’ll sound like a broken record, but – ONCE AGAIN BASEWBALL NEEDS TECHNOLOGY TO CALL BALLS/STRIKES!!!

(Is it me or is this umpire crazy. This is exactly what will happen to Porcello or any pitcher is the umpire won’t call strikes – strikes then I guess you have to throw it right down the middle and then then you have a 4-1 game. Congratulations ump.)
-
-
(Explain to me how Cust’s at bat in the 8th was a walk yet that umpire called Huff out on strikes?? That my friends is crap.)
-
-
I know I’ll sound like a broken record, but – ONCE AGAIN BASEWBALL NEEDS TECHNOLOGY TO CALL BALLS/STRIKES!!!

OK my previous post went postal. I’ll try again.
(Is it me or is this umpire crazy. This is exactly what will happen to Porcello or any pitcher is the umpire won’t call strikes – strikes then I guess you have to throw it right down the middle and then then you have a 4-1 game. Congratulations ump.)
-
(Explain to me how Cust’s at bat in the 8th was a walk yet that umpire called Huff out on strikes?? That my friends is crap.)
-

I know I’ll sound like a broken record, but – ONCE AGAIN, BASEBALL NEEDS TECHNOLOGY TO CALL BALLS/STRIKES!!!
The umps just keep getting worse & worse!!!
-Lee
P.S.: I put quotes from other posts in parens.

By lhtigers on August 23, 2009 10:18 PM
Report any abuse or spam

Missed the last 2 games–actually did see the 8th and 9th yesterday and was chagrined to see Miner brought in, in the 9th. I know he had a good game the game before in late innings but I honestly feel he is not a “good” late inning pitcher. Told my wife that we will lose this one, though I did hope it might go a little longer than it did.
.
Lyon is definitely being both mis and under used. The lack of clutch hitting and overall team hitting is looking like it is an albatross of the 2009 Tigers for sure.

The hitting approaches are atrocious and for the life of me, I don’t understand how the players continue to have the at-bats that they do. You would think by this time they would be discussing their at-bats amongst themselves, watching film to look at themselves in past games when they were hitting, to see if they are doing something different. Is Lloyd down there talking to guys about their approach?

Jim not using a computer only tells me one thing: he’s stubborn. He’s gotta have somebody in there running the stats, doesn’t he? I would hope so. We’re stuck with Lloyd til the end of the season.

Did anyone notice that it seemed to be very easy to run on Avila over the weekend??? Will be interesting to see what happens with those Angels and Tampa this week???

Ryan Perry doesn’t hold runners well, but I see what you’re getting at, GK. There was also the 4-run 3rd inning when Porcello and Avila were completely out of sync. This is the defense at the catching position that is missed when Laird isn’t in there. Unfortunately, Gerald has terrible offensive numbers against both tonight’s and tomorrow’s starters. Large samples too. My opinion, however, is to team Laird and Verlander, who does hold runners well, and make an attempt to stop their running game. We won’t hit much anyway, and I don’t think Avila will help in that regard. Let’s see if we can get this first game then go from there with Avila vs Laird.
.
Sorry to say, it looks like a sweep waiting to happen no matter what we do.
.
–Rich

I was at the game Friday night. I enjoyed the close game and watched Rodney close out the ninth while peeking between my fingers. Lots of Detroit fans at the game. But it certainly didn’t look like a first-place team vs. a team 20 games out of first place.

I dread these west coast teams, I just can’t keep myself awake to see the end of the games! Jason, I look forward to the article you are putting together.

The whole Avila/Laird thing is tough – one is hot at the plate, the other is hot defending the plate and when one is in, the other piece is sorely missed. Looks like a tough game tonight, I just wish we can give JV some run support.

It seems like the Tigs are lacking leadership and a steady emotional spark. I thought Guillen was going to be the answer when he came back. We get it for every callup from the Minors for a week or two and then complacency (or less) as we’re seeing now from Avila and Clete. I thought Inge was going to be the spark but he’s hurting badly physically and at the plate. Heck, Hessman is on a recent power tear, bring him up and rest Inge for 15 days? How about Kelly for Thomas again? It’s almost time to send Porcello down to the bullpen to use him in relief as the hitters are catching on and waiting on him the 2nd time through the order. This sure is a frustrating team to root for this season!

Jim

Well Jim, for four years now, Leyland has been preaching “not too high not too low” which I suppose is one way to survive a long baseball season. That, coupled with his “no such thing as momentum” mantra, and you kind of get a .500 team without emotional spark. I think it’s ingrained in them now. Carrying in your lunch bucket, punching the clock and doing the job is a way to survive, but you don’t get the Mike Ilitch or Steve Jobs type attitude that makes things happen.
.
–Rich

I have read this blog for 4 years. I like what everyone has to say. A few comments. Instant replay. Give the manager 2 chances with a red flag to look at any call (ball, strike, first base, home run, etc.) I love to watch baseball and my Tigers, but in the summer in Michigan there is so much to do. I am positive about my team but you guys are boring. I said I would not mention the manager’s name but…..Leyand, you are boring! I saw you get excited the other night, wow! How about getting really mad, too! And, who is the leader of this team. Does anyone want to take charge. You guys can make the playoffs unlike…Cleveland.

Come on Al Kaline, give ‘em a pep talk.

Go Tigers 2009!
–Dave

I just read the article about the Cardinals seeing that Smoltz was tipping his pitches. I hope the Tiger pitching coach will spot this when a Tiger pitcher has problems. Miner? Galarraga? Yesterday Porcello and Perry? Also, is there such a thing that Tiger hitters have been tipping their approach at the plate? If so, where is Lloyd for this? I believe some of you commenters have mentioned the patterns an Inge, Maggs, and others seem to use in batting.

Rich , looking for positives, at least they got to your post break target of 500 for a game. :-)
I have a +10 win over 500 milestone which they made for one game in mid June and have come close to two or three times since only to then slip quickly back like this week. :-(
.
For all the pitching problems of last years team going 74-88, the 2008 Tigs went 33-36 in close games with a 2 run or less margin.
The 2009 version with their +7 overall game margin is a remarkable 38-25 or +13 for <= 2 run close games. With so many close games, no wonder all our nerves are shot!!
The bullpen has to take a lot of the credit for winning more than our fair share of close games. The pen has been remarkably stable, even allowing for Willis and Nate, with Miner, Lyon, Seay, Rodney and Perry (apart for 4 weeks) performing on the whole great all season.
.
As pointed out, chosing the 22yo Perry to pitch consecutive nights after a prior 31 pitch count is poor player management. Coming in against the bottom of the A’s lineup stacked with lefties, the decision was further illogical with Perry’s splits of 7.00 against lefties and 1.73 against righties. JL simply lost the plot.
JL has to stop messing around with the bullpen roles and pay attention to their usage levels.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25,537 other followers