Sunday: Tigers at Red Sox

Too many ins and outs to sum up in a paragraph or two, so here’s your rundown of who is and isn’t available for the Tigers today:

  • Johnny Damon is out of the lineup again today, but he said this morning that his back is getting better. He was going to try some swings in the cage this morning to see if he can play today.
  • Turns out Danny Worth also is ailing. He has a heel that he injured stepping hard on the bag trying to beat out a hit Friday night. He was not available Saturday, manager Jim Leyland revealed, meaning that the only player the Tigers had available on the bench was catcher Alex Avila. “If one of the infielders got hurt,” Leyland said, “I was screwed.” Worth said he can play today if needed.
  • Ryan Raburn was back in the clubhouse Sunday after spending Saturday back in Florida for his grandfather’s funeral. He’s starting in left field.
  • The bullpen today is without Jose Valverde, Phil Coke and Ryan Perry. They do not have Bonderman available in relief anymore, not with his start coming up Tuesday. Everybody else is available. Not only do none of the four available relievers have any saves this year, they don’t have any saves in their Major League careers. I have no idea what they’ll do in a save situation, so don’t ask me.
That pretty much covers it. Here are the lineups.
TIGERS
  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Rhymes, 2B
  3. Raburn, LF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Boesch, RF
  6. Peralta, 3B
  7. Frazier, DH
  8. Avila, C
  9. Santiago, SS
P: Justin Verlander
RED SOX
  1. Marco Scutaro, SS
  2. J.D. Drew, RF
  3. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
  4. David Ortiz, DH
  5. Victor Martinez, C
  6. Adrian Beltre, 3B
  7. Ryan Kalish, LF
  8. Jed Lowrie, 2B
  9. Eric Patterson, CF
P: Clay Buchholz

41 Comments

Well—talk about stubborn. JL has boesch batting 5th again. There is that old ridiculous mentality that you do something that used to work over and over anover till it works again.
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This is not creative managing.
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Kelly plays wonderfully yesterday in LF and he sits today against the RHP. Granted he “couldn’t hit the water if he fell out of a boat” but my point is that Leyland plays the percentages more as an excuse than as a strategy.
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I honestly feel this is his last season. If they were smart they would let him go now. I’d actually like to see Trammell back.
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Interesting to see that even media who have very close ties to the ball team are showing signs of displeasure with him too.
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Rich, sounds like you didn’t get a chance to watch the game . Actually the run they scored off of Scherzer was attributable to MCab and one of his famous forays into the 2B man’s position again. I’m not sure if he does this instinctively or delieberately but when he abandons his post he renders his 2B man as useless as he is on the play—- and all the pressure is put on the pitcher.
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The difficult thing about this particular play is that Cab often fields these balls pretty close to the base path and though he often makes the play, the angle on the throw to the pitcher is often perpendicular or even acute. Because the pitcher is running to the bag he has an impossible task of turning sideways, looking away from where he is running, catching the ball behind him and then finding the base.
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In other words:
“Miggy, it’s a lot easier tohold your position and let your 2nd baseman field those balls!
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This play gave Boston life and led to them getting back into the game. Miggy’s D has been erratic lately.
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There’s a fine line for a 1st sacker to know on those plays (though it seems preety obvious on some of them to me that they should have been left). Perhaps we can outfit Miggy with an electronic dog collar?
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(I too remember the perfect game).
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Scherzer may have been a little late but he was just “giving it” to get over to cover. It was a shame to see an easy out lead to his departure, his shutout and and eventual loss.

So Jason, what do they do in a save situation? I’m sorry, couldn’t resist. Feel free to ban me. :-)
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Verlander for 8 and a host of closers would be the most optimistic scenario. Basically, guys have to step up. I like Weinhardt, and Bonine does have some skills. It would be a good time for Gonzalez to get some fans behind him.
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Dan, I’m glad you told me about Miggy’s 1stbase adventure yesterday (again), but there’s a part of me that wished I didn’t know that. I like the electronic dog collar idea. The problem is, a thirdbaseman (his old position) goes after any and everything on that side, but you don’t do that at first. You learn it by experience, but he’s had plenty by now. Well, drill baby drill.
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–Rich

I mentioned something yesterday still going after someone in a trade. Here are some interesting facts on “Trading after the non-waiver Deadline:
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“Teams can still deal after the July 31st trade deadline passes.
?Teams have to pass players through revocable waivers to trade them after the July 31st deadline.
?Players acquired after August 31st can’t play in the postseason.
?Teams will often put most of their players on waivers to determine interest, since they don’t have to give up every player who’s claimed.
?Unclaimed players can be traded to any club in August.
?Claimed players can be kept, traded or handed over to the claiming team (who would then pay the player’s salary).
?If only one team claims a player, he can only be dealt to that team.
?If more than one team claims a player, he can only be traded to the team in his league with the worst record.
?If a player’s only claimed by teams in the other league, he can only be dealt to the team with the worst record. “

While it’s a fine idea to honor Galarraga’s June 2 game, the theme “Almost Perfect” is lacking…….well………perfection. The theme should be “More Than Perfect” and I’ve mentioned this before. Getting 28 consecutive outs is more than perfect and likewise, the way he handled the aftermath was again more than perfect. Yeeeeeesh, that’s a no-brainer to me.
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–Rich

First inning and already frustrated. All I can say at this point is we won’t be no-hit this game.

Boy, this team is the Bad News Bears on d sometimes.

bottom of the 3rd here and all I got to say is that JV is not doing his job, he can not throw a ground ball to get a double play to save is life. He just in love with this fastball and tries to strike everyone out instead of learning how to pitch. He is a good pitcher but he ISN’T AN ACE!!!!.
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Although I will say this is that the homeplate ump is the same idiot that was at 3rd on Friday night and well, lets just say he is as horrible at identifying a strike as he is at making calls at 3rd base. How these men have jobs is beyond me. Appreantly they let any fool ump a ball game.
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THIS GAME IS PROBABLY OVER HERE IN THE 3RD.
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Jv didn’t do what he needed to do for us to win. He will be out of this game by the 6th at this rate.

Any team in baseball would love to have Justin Verlander.
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He had no support from his defense and every time the BoSox trickled a ball off their bat when pitching to contact they seemed to reach 1st base.
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No wonder to me why he feels he needs to resort to the “K”.
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JV throws too mjany pitches but this guy is such a competitor and a baseball fan himself, he will make himself become one of the very best in the game.
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I agree about the ump. He has been puzzled with the strike zone.
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JV has kept us in this game. He has preserved his pitch ount the last 2 innings. It’s up to his team to get runs and his manager to cobble the right people together. Right now they are playing what I hate, Polite Baseball.
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Frazier is hitting the ball really well–bad luck both ABs down either line.

Polite baseball again in the 7th. These guys should be playing tennis. They just go up, swing at the 1st or 2nd pitch (no matter what the guy throws). It’s been this way at times, for years now.
Lloyd McLendon does not instill the “tiger” in Tiger hitters.

Polite baseball again in the 7th. These guys just continue to hit into easy outs swinging at the 2st or 2nd pitch (no matter what the pitcher throws).
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This has been a problem now for years. We go through periods where it is more evident than othrs, but this is the amain reason we lose when we get quality starts from our rotation.
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McClendon does not instill the term “tiger” in our Tiger hitters. He and Leyland and Lamont are not earning their money or helping this team win.
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They gott go.

I hope this backfires on Francona (though I highly doubt it the way are hitters are (not) hitting).
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But—-this is a class decision for him to leave Bucholz in to get the CG shutout.

Break on Rhymes “single”??. Raburn has a nice AB under duress from the ump and now Cab can get us back in the game. You can bet Pap (Little Papi) will gor right after him and not pitch him like they did in Tampa. Big AB coming up for Boesch if MCab can stay out of the DP.
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Smart managing by Francona to take Bucholz out.

Not saying that Justin can’t be a good pitcher, and I don’t like having him on my team. I am saying is he first few innings he tries to blow away people with his fastballs and they foul them off and they hit them, he gives up a run or two. Then he decides oh maybe I should throw something else and change my game plan?? But it is alway too late. He can not throw a double play ball to save his life. If he did we would save his arm a lot of agony and not have to throw so many pitches when he does get himself into this kind of situation. HE hasn’t learned yet.
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Wow–MCab comes thru big-time. Boesch certified his trip to Toledo and Peralta makes DD look like a genius.
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I hate to say it, but now what? The only thing we can do is to hope Gonzalez shows us something exciting. There ain’t anybody else out there I would go to.
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Oh–no Gonzalez-they are gonna go with Thomas.
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Can’t see how the bottom (or for that matter, the top) of our lineup will be able to cobble up a run or 2—if we get the chance.

NOTE TO UMPIRE – learn strikezone

I can’t stand Thomas. He is not a strike thrower and he gives up too many hits. All the while looking like he thinks he is is Randy Johnson.
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Well –3 straight games where the team collapsed in the 9th inning.
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Hapless.
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This team is all about MCab. Miggy and MudHens is too kind.
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It’s Miggy and the Keystone Kops with Police Chief Leyland.
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Thomas is brutal. He is 3rd or 4th inning pitcher in a 12-0 blowout. That’s it.
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Wonder who the mystery men were in the alleged blockbuster deal DD had arranged?
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Awful.
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Can’t blame Peralta on that infield single–it should have been a double.
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I predict some more changes before the homestand.

BLAH -

You can say all you want about Brad Thomas but at least 2 of his pitches to Patterson were clearly strikes that were called balls by the umpire and the last pitch was right on the corner. So the ump called it 4 balls in a row. I am basing this on watching Gameday and assuming its strike zone is accurate. Did anyone else see what I saw? Once again an umpire’s poor judgment possibly cost the game at a time when the Tigers managed to struggle back into it despite all the injuries and rookies. No breaks whatsoever. Also did anyone else watch the game on MLB.com and see the response from DD when they showed him in the stands? I believe he shook his head, pursed his lips and blew. If you can replay it, let me know if that is what you saw. Again I wasn’t sure it was a smart move by JL to have a pinch runner replace Cabrera. Yes, Kelly scored the tying run but did you want Kelly batting later if the game remained tied until Cabrera’s turn to bat came up again? He is your best bet for a hit. Talking about a hit, was his double only about a foot from a homerun? So now they are 52-52, 35-17 at home but 17-35 on the road. One of the best home records of any team but a road record that compares to many last place teams in both leagues. And now the hated WSucks.

IMO, the Gameday strike zone is a joke. In real life, Thomas threw three balls out of the zone to a guy who was trying to give us an out. Ball four was right down the heart of the plate but the umpire had already decided it would be ball four.
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Even though we gave away more ABs today than the Salvation Army gives away free lunches during the holidays, the entire weekend was set up by Leyland’s idiotic handling of his bullpen on Friday night. And Cabrera missed his homer by about five feet, I’d guess. Actually, I was shocked they got that tying run in after that.
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I was able to predict Thomas’s walk to Patterson and the wild throw by Weinhardt on the bunt. This has gone beyond ridiculous, knowing what’s going to happen before it happens.
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Miggy & the Mudhens are 2-7. Unfortunately, the Detroit Tigers before that were 2-8. Yep, that’s a 4-15 mark since we beat the Twins on July 10th. So………you just let this go on or what?
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–Rich

3 games we could easily have won but set up for failure Friday night.

Thomas down – Schlereth up.
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Avila down – St. Pierre up
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Boesch down – Strieby up
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May as well see what they can do.
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Cab’s double missed by a couple of feet. It is a high wall–even out there in CF.
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Thomas is loser. As opposed to a winner–not trying to be cute. He has been lousy with inherited runnrs. he has walked far too many LHB and he is eminently hittable. We’d be better off if he was playing rugby in Perth.

Regarding Galarraga’s MORE THAN PERFECT game is right on, Rich. I refuse to call it almost perfect because that’s a lie. The Tigers’ events coordinator was interviewed yesterday and spoke the hated words “almost”. Almost my a**. He threw a perfect game. MORE THAN PERFECT!

Leyland was outsmarted by Maddon. He felt he had to show the baseballworld that he is a brilliant strategist and brought Valverde in with a 5 run lead in the 8th inning an a capable pitcher on the mound withon i runner on and no runs in.
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The next 2 games were lost in the 9th inning because we don’t have a closer available. (In addition to some candy-striper hitters in the lineup).
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Leyland has mismanaged this team since the series in 2006. It didn’t matter if we had a good team or a bad team, his teams fold and they lose. 2nd half record is evidence of that.
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Time for a career change Jim. How about a shot at American Idol. I hear you can sing.

As mad as I get with JV’s ego, when you look at the final box, he gave us a chance to win. Maybe he’s using a devious game plan to drive us all insane. Bottom Line: the guys can’t hit; they want even look at a couple of pitches(Cabrera excused). We didn’t help JV’s pitch count either. But when every one after a leadoff walk in the late innings starts a first pitch hitting contest, you know you are in trouble. One most fascinating point with this fading season is that with all the non hitters in our lineup, we didn’t get blown out by two Eastern contenders. I hope anyone wins except the White Sox. Fading away along with my beloved Tigers.

Greg

I’m trying to be positive about this slump if that’s what you want to call it. You have to consider how many rookies are being put out there everyday and at least take that into consideration a little bit. Also, as frustrating as it can be to watch JV try to overpower guys and spend way too many pitches, just based on “stuff” he is one of the best I’ve seen. When that starts to translate to the “art of pitching” (thanks Jim Price) he will be one of the best. If a couple of breaks and umpire calls would go their way they would have won more of these recent games. For the most part they have been competitive and have played close games.

As for Leyland he really cost the team with his bullpen choices Friday and you have to question his decision in the 9th on Saturday to walk Youkilis. I also wondered why Raburn was in left today with a righty on the mound and Kelly playing better in the outfield. I’m sure he would have caught that ball in the 2nd or 3rd today that Raburn booted to allow a run.

Hmmm…who knew that Raburn can’t play the outfield? Who knew that Thomas can’t get big league hitters out? Who knew that Boesch wouldn’t do well back in the 5-hole? WE ALL DID. But Jim Leyland did not.
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We will see if Dombrowski is smart enough to sabe his job by firing Jim Leyland soon. Because, if he doesn’t, Dave’s job is likely toast here next year when JL ensures they do not win, due to his putting together one of the largest payrolls in baseball without much of a result.

JL deserves lots of criticism for the tigers current woes but I don’t think Friday nights bullpen decisions were the problem. Yes he should have left Coke in to finish the 8th but Valverde’s 60 pitches are not JL’s fault. A closer of Valverde’s stature ought to get even 4 outs on much less than 60 pitches. My often fuzzy memory tells me that he had a big drop off in effectiveness after the allstar break at his previous team. He certainly had trouble in his previous outing for the tigers. Once it was clear he had no command of his fast ball, should he have been taken out? Who do you go to, the Perry of 2009, yes, the Perry of 2010, probably not as he seems to have lost much of his confidence this year. The only relief pitchers that have closer stuff seem to be Coke and Valverde and Coke had just been taken out of the game.

Whoever makes the decisions about bringing up players from Toledo is to blame for much of this. Losing Inge, Ordonez and Guillen – two right handed bats and a switch hitter – a key part of your outfield – it makes no sense to bring up two left handed batting infielders.

Sunday Kelley should have been in left field, Frazier in right, Boesch on the bench and Rayburn as DH!

-JWA

I wish Jim would resign and let the Tigers pay his salary. What could easily have been a sweep, was ruined by Jim Leland’s incredibly ignorant use of the bullpen on Friday. Like someone else suggested somewhere, he could have been brought in for maybe 15 pitches to just get his arm warmed up. Now, here we go again. He hasn’t pitched since Friday. VV does well pitching in the 9th inning sometimes 2 or 3 days in a row with a day off. I’ll never forgive Leland for that game. Like I’ve said before, I think he’s a sadist. Look up the disorder. Has to dominate no matter what cost and likes to humiliate. Sadism. He needs to get out of baseball.

You even add Ordonez back to this team it is a completely different look. And yes this team has no fire power. Rhymes has shown he can hit a little, we have yet to see Frazier be consistent but he needs more time it isn’t fair to judge. But lets face it not only is it the injuries and that is huge. Boesch is fading and can’t seem to work himself out of it. Avila is an automatic out – and while the BA isn’t showing it right now he is worse than Laird. Avila needs to go down. Kelly while he hit well last year seems fairly lost at the plate, it is these guys who aren’t showing up.
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Look at the Twins for example Morneau hasn’t been in the lineup for a few weeks, and Mauer for the last several games, well they still have won 8 games straight. There minor league guys seem to be able to step up. (Note – they have been playing lesser compeition while we have been playing the best competition) But I am sure my point is well taken. My point is this, while I don’t agree with everything that JL does, to me it is the minor leaguers and depth we have in the organization. And that is not JL that would be Dave Dombrowski’s job and his scouts and he is failing there. Just my opinion.
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Depressed and Dumbfounded in RO
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GK

Gettin’ a little heavy here. I don’t think Jim is the Marquis de Sade. I do think he’s an overrated manager who’s best times are behind him.
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To go back to Friday night yet again, he was caught up in a no-win situation, and he started it off by bringing in Valverde in the 8th. As the 9th unfolded and Papa Grande’ went all Fernando Rodney, he needed to replace him before he ran his pitch count up. If Perry came in and blew the game, that would also be blamed on Leyland. That’s why he gets paid the big bucks, however, and taking Valverde out would have been the sound baseball move. You have to believe that your man, whoever he is, can get the job done. If you don’t believe that, you can’t manage the team. You bring Perry in and cross your fingers. JL appears to be scared and desperate, and the team picks up on that and acts accordingly.
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Seems the whole world wants him fired because of this weekend, when there were many smart baseball fans who wanted him gone long ago and for completely different reasons.
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The points above about our organizational situation are well taken, yes, but the overhaul needs to begin with management. It’s the simplest and quickest way to start.
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–Rich

It was mentioned that it was not JL’s fault Valverde threw 60+ pitches. It was said that he could have taken him out.
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The real question is WHY did JL bring Valverde in in 8th inning the 1st place?
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He needed work but bring him back in to start the 9th where he is used to pitching. The 8th inning for Valverde is for very grevious and special circumstances–
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NOT WITH A 5 RUN LEAD.
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No-it was a dumb managerial move and done at a time where he had a 3 game series in a tough ballpark.
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I’ll renew my chant of several weeks ago.
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DWJL

Valverde had no business being brought in an unusual situation for him (8th inning) when his team had a 5 RUN LEAD.
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That was just plain and simply, dumb managing.
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Especially in the 1st game of a 3 game series in a tough ball park.
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I’ll reprise my chant of several weeks ago:
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DWJL

Oops–thought I lost my previous post!!

We have injuries, we have ineffectiveness and we have some organizational depth issues (DD definitely has been uneven here compared to his time elsewhere). Yet we were 2 walk-offs away from sweeping a good Boston team in Fenway. If we are getting blown out in our losses without Maggs, Inge, Guillen, Zumaya, then fine, I agree that it’s the injuries. But that isn’t the case.
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Leyland always says during spring training that he believes in everyone in the bullpen and that they could pitch any situation or they wouldn’t be up here. If that’s true, then he should have had no problem taking Valverde out when his ineffectiveness was obvious on Friday. You can’t have it both ways, Jim.
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Finally, I would like to hear a Jim Leyland defender explain why he keeps batting Boesch 5th, why he keeps playing Raburn in the OF, why he batted Clete Thomas 3rd last year for a month and a half while he slugged .250 simply because the guy he was replacing, Ordonez, usually hit 3rd, and why he thinks AJax needs a day off after 3 hits but has given Boesch very little rest. Past performance is overrated. Put a lineup together that gives you a chance to win TODAY.

I, too, said years ago we need a new manager, not just from the last few games we witnessed. Why are the Twins winning without their best players? How do you spell his name? Gardenhire? Ok, Ron. Cabrera was in the Freep today saying we still have a chance. I believe it too because I am a Tigers fan. But the fat lady has packed her bags and is now driving her car. I hope she loses her voice. –Dave

I’ve wanted him gone since ’08. Why does he let Boesch bat 5th? Because it’s sadistic and I said that more than a week ago. Everyone in MLB knows how Cabrera was walked to get to Boesch. It’s humiliating.

Gene LaMont is a fine person and gentleman, but we have seen fifty million times the mistakes he’s made at third base. Jim doesn’t have a bench coach so Gene acts as the bench coach. VanSlyke, the one I really liked, is gone. It’s too muddied up with all their kids being drafted, too. It’s A Family Affair according to Sly Stone.

Lamont impresses me as a Yes man. He just sits next to his buddy and nods. Meanwhile JL needs a kick in the pants from someone.
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McClendon is a batting coach collecting a paycheck. I don’t see a whole lot of intensity in his coaching.
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Knapp is way too laid back and looks befuddled when he sees his guys on the mound struggling.
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Belliard has been with Leyland too long and has coaced one of the most porous defenses in the big leagues.
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Brookens–the jury is out.
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The trainer seems like he doesn’t have the guys in real tip top shape. That one is hard to read though.
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Leyland-as pointed out above, says one thing then immediately does another. he comes off as all full of integrity and all but he is two-faced as I have ever seen, when it comes to running his personnel.
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He plays favorites and he sits non-favorites till they stagnate. To Omar Infante’s credit he withstood the insult of JL and survived–even to the point fo making an All Star team.

How many teams are at .500 this season that have had 15 rookies on the roster with ten players that had made their major league debut?

My question would be how many teams have had 15 rookies with 10 making their MLB debut regardless of record.
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The Twins are in Tampa for four games this week and have already lost the first one. Meanwhile, the White Sox are due to cool off. I sure wish we could have picked up another bat at the deadline.
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–Rich

jmp56, are you familiar with the concept of opportunity cost? No decisionmaker worth his salt compares his situation to that of other firms/teams, etc. as the determining factor in whether or not his firm/team is underperforming. The measurement is against the potential of one’s own team. In other words, what would have happened if different investements/decisions would have been made.
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Without going through the specifics, Leyland’s decisions do not appear to have been the optimal for achieving victories. Same with Lamont, McClendon and Dombrowski. As mentioned repeatedly, the bad contracts are not bad because the players themselves did not live up to them, they are bad because of what could have been had instead for the cash. The games we lost are not bad because we lost them, they are bad because we could have won them with different decisionmaking. I understand the argument that we may not have even been in the games without the decisions that Leyland and DD have made. That is a tough one, because the games that we win are so often due to individual performances that would not seem to have anything to do with the manager or hitting/pitching coaches. When Cabrera demolishes top closers, I don’t attribute this to Jim Leyland or Lloyd McClendon.
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My opinion is that the current management and coaching staff have consistently failed to maximize opportunities. They occasionally get something right, like Cabrera trade. However, they then destroy much of the gain of the trade by signing Willis to an extension and then pitching him repeatedly despite the fact that any average pitcher would have done better. That extension alone may have cost us the division last year and this, when factoring in the opportunity cost (we could have signed a better starter, or used the money to sign a better hitter and then replaced Willis with a Bonine or someone like this) – so if we feel we are underperforming, either the coaches (including Leyland) or the GM is at fault. Since the GM hires the staff, I would say it’s more DD’s fault, but he can rectify this. Jim Leyland can’t suddenly become a better manager overnight.

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