Saturday: Tigers at Orioles

Leyland said he’s load up his lineup with right-handed hitters against Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz, and he wasn’t kidding. Aside from first baseman Don Kelly, it’s an entirely right-handed lineup, including Scott Sizemore as the designated hitter.

On the Orioles side, Adam Jones gets the night off. We also learned today that Brian Roberts won’t play tonight or Sunday, so his season is done.
  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Santiago, 2B
  3. Raburn, LF
  4. Peralta, SS
  5. Wells, RF
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Kelly, 1B
  8. Sizemore, DH
  9. St. Pierre, C
P: Armando Galarraga
  1. Corey Patterson, LF
  2. Nick Markakis, RF
  3. Jake Fox, DH
  4. Luke Scott, 1B
  5. Felix Pie, CF
  6. Ty Wigginton, 3B
  7. Matt Wieters, C
  8. Robert Andino, 2B
  9. Cesar Izturis, SS
P: Brian Matusz


80-82 with this punchless group! Shoot you would have thought the Tigs would have swept the DH with Max and Verlander on the mound. You can’t average 2 runs/game and expect to beat even the O’s!

Dave, I wonder what the Tigs record is when they are behind in the first 2-3 innings? It can’t be good.


Looks like a pitcher’s ump behind the plate today. Hopefully GMan is on and listens to his catcher too.

Going in to the bottom of the 4th now. I can’t see us winning this game the way the bats are against Matusz.
GMan is on borrowed time.

I hope we don’t see this brand of “Polite Baseball” again next year. Who would think that a nasty curmudgeion like Leyland would skipper a team so “polite”

If this Gonzales guy is throwing next inning they maybe should think about pushing a bunt toward the 2B man. Especially Austin.
Horrible approaches at the plate tonight. I don’t know how McLendon has kepat his job—-I really don’t.

Typical Leyland road fade.
The last 3 years (not counting tomorrow) JL has managed a 97 – 146 record (.399)
That’s pitiful, and if Illitch and Dombrowski can’t figure out what to do from the inability to motivate his troops, then we are doomed next year too.
This guy managed us to last place in ’08—blew a playoff spot last year and generally sucked this year. What more evidence do you need?

Look at all the fans at the game tonight. The Orioles have been raised from the dead. Even Rod acknowledged the difference since BS took over managerial duties. Who says a manager can’t make a difference?

Nothng more, nothing less……..mediocre, that’s my guess.

ONE more game to watch. It’s challenging right now but I guess my addiction is too strong, I actually have not even been getting upset when guys fail to deliver or the club screws up an opportunity. Other than accepting JL as our manager, I am pretty much content to let the season fade off into the sunset. That (JL) I simply cannot abide.
He is not shrewd, he doesn’t learn from mistakes (SOC that he is), he doesn’t motivate and he plays favourites. He’s awful with the media and condescending to fans. Negotiates his contract in the media (same media he treats with disdain) and whines about his contract.
Oh yeah, he has managed a team to last place in the Central (never to first), Has a losing road record, a losing 2nd half record and has teams that choke at the end of the season or when chrunch-time arrives (ie. World Series).
What exactly is it that DD and Illitch see in this guy?
Speaking of DD—is it not abundantly clear that this team can’t win without at least one other genuine slugger in the lineup? And by that I mean some one with a track record of success?.
Cab goes down and we can’t hit and can’t win. Really the same thing happened last year. Cab was playing of course but he was a shadow of his real self (in more ways than baseball). We folded. This year a winning record after a successful home stand was in our grasp—again, we folded.
This seems to be the trademark of a loser—-a loser managed by a guy who can’t, really, win.
Detroit fans love and perhaps, need, their baseball team. And I know they will support their Tigers by showing up again in droves next year. I wish they wouldn’t. I wish they would refuse, and make their refusal heard, to attend baseball games until they get a manager for their team who can do his job properly.

BTW–even though he was out, it was good to see Will Rhymes show a little emotion when he was thrown out. We need players like that, not placid do-gooders. I think Sizemore has more offensive impact potential but I must say, I sure like the way Will plays the game.

Not that it makes a whit of difference, but I have tickets to Sunday’s finale. Good seats too, right behind the Detroit dugout. I ain’t going. There’s no reason to travel up there to watch these guys drag their bats to the plate, then drag them back. And even if they won the game, so what?
What we’ve witnessed here this week is a classic example of a team mailing it in. They rushed through their ABs, which can be seen by the short gametimes all week long. And it’s okay, there are no consequences to failure here. It’s accepted. If it had been my club, I would have told them that you’re auditioning for next year’s team this week, not next spring. That I am deciding this week who I can use and who I can lose.
Meanwhile, I listened tonight to Buck Showalter talk about making sure his team avoided “the lure of mediocrity.” Can you imagine Leyland even using words like that? We’re stuck with a slug of a manager while Showalter’s Orioles have gone 34-22, third best in the AL, while playing in the tough Eastern division. Does a manager make a difference? You bet your posterior it does.
Yet we will go on accepting this mediocrity, no matter what personnel DD brings to town this winter. While fans who like to play junior GM bandy player names about, the true problem lies in the field manager’s office. Jim Leyland’s biggest stroke of career luck in 2010 came with the injuries. Another convenient excuse for a sorry excuse for a big league manager.
And don’t ask me who would manage the Tigers if not Leyland. Besides it being a ridiculous question, I don’t have the time or inclination to list 50 to 100 names.

This comment is for Jason Beck.
Jason, a long time Tiger fan who lived in Lakeland and attended all the ST games passed away unexpectedly. He’s from my area in MI but had moved to Lakeland. His name is Bruce Brandt, 67 years old. Some of the staff might know him.
RIP Bruce!

One game to go and a final game win will give a bit of symmetry to the season.
The SOC will get his 500 record achieved with a MLB 4th best 52-29 (.642) home record nicely contrasted with the MLB 5th worst 29-52 (.358) away record.
Our 16-26 (.381) in one run games is now the worst record in MLB.

The BP is starting today. Thankfully, I’ll be at work but will DVR and MAYBE watch later. Notice last night John Keating (I think) before interviewing JL, said this was the last interview of the season. Evidently, no comments after today’s game.

Wow it seems that nobody here is willing to place any blame with the 10 guys on the field instead it is all the manager’s fault. And while I don’t see him as blameless isn’t there plenty to go around? DD for not signing players that can succeed for whatever reason. Washburn last year when he was injured – Huff who wasn’t comfortable being a DH? Not cultivating position players so when a good portion of your hope went down this year there wasn’t anything consistent enough to keep you going in the minors? Not having one left handed starter -and thinking Willis could be the guy? Not to mention the contract extension he was given -probably his worst move.
In my opinion the mediocrity starts there.
Then the coaches and managers. The hitting approach against certain pitchers and I will use yesterday as an example Rod said on a few occasions that with a pitcher like this you need to go up the middle or the other way. What happened all night -they we’re pulling the baseball and grounding out to the left side. And while I like Knapp he hasn’t been able to teach Bondo a new pitch. Is Bondo that unwilling or that incapable or is Knapp unable? Leyland????? I really have mixed feelings about him. While I appreciate 2006 and if you are going to blame him for everything else that has ever gone wrong with this team you have to give him credit for that. Yes they did poorly in the world series I blame that on the players, the waiting around for it to start because of weather and waiting for the cardinals -they lost their rhythm. And most importantly the day before it started the practiced in Ford field -and well they were jinxed by going in there (I am serious!!!!!!). I don’t agrees with all of his ingame decisions- I also know it is real easy to be a Monday morning quarterback. I do think he stuck with Boesch too long. I don’t think on Friday he should of rested Peralta the second game- he should of rested Inge and shuffled Peralta over to third. Admittedly I don’t know much about Shoewalter other than it has made a difference or is it these Orioles finally realized they because of their lack of effort got two guys fired this year and the might want to get their heads out of their butts???????

Now let’s blame the guys who really deserve a bulk of the blame in my opinion – the nine guys on the field who swing the bat, throw the ball and field the ball!!!!! The only ones out there who really control the outcome of a game. Maybe the manager and coaches say everything right (not one of us knows what is said in the clubhouse). Maybe the players on the field are not smart enough or good enough to carry instruction out????

Sure there’s plenty of blame to go around if we’re playing the blame game. Myself, I’m looking at it as an attempt to improve the team. Basically, who has an upside and who doesn’t? That’s my question. My second criteria is, can the improvement realistically be accomplished? This is why Leyland, staff, and a large number of players will appear on my upcoming list. I hope we can have our own version of the talks that Tigers management held this past week. So you can get a head start by asking yourself, what is Leyland’s upside as a manager? And you’d have to come up with something better than he’s an improvement over the Trammell/Randy Smith days.
Regarding Dombrowski, he’s not going anywhere IMO. The turnstiles are clicking, the merchandise is selling, and there’s an interesting product on the field, even when it doesn’t win. I’d say he’s done his job as President, even if some of his GM moves were questionable. Replacing him and his entire organization would be a huge deal, while replacing a field boss not so much.
One positive step already: Coke in next year’s rotation.

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