Avila: “We’re way too talented to be playing like this”

One of the things that has been emphasized in the Tigers clubhouse this year is a steady approach — no panic, no overconfidence, but a day-in, day-out approach. That comes from the players. And to be clear, they’re not panicking now over back-to-back losses. But among the players who were around the clubhouse after Tuesday’s loss to Erik Bedard and the M’s, dropping the Tigers back to the .500 mark on the year, you could sense some frustration.

That springboard that sweeping the White Sox might have been hoped to provide is pretty well gone. And while the standings don’t mean much in April, it’s looking less likely that they’ll head into Cleveland this weekend with a chance to vault into first place.

More important to the Tigers, they haven’t played good baseball the last couple days. And that’s clearly bothering Alex Avila.

“It is a little frustrating,” Avila said, “because we’re just way too talented to be playing .500 baseball right now. We need to figure it out, and kind of get things rolling. We show flashes of that, and then we take a couple of steps back. As the season goes on, as we can figure things out and kind of gel as a team, then hopefully we can kind of get on a roll, because we’re way too talented to be playing like this.”

When asked about the hitting of Miguel Olivo, who entered the series batting .164 but has suddenly raked in the cleanup spot the last two nights, Avila talked more in general.

“It seems like the entire Mariners team has our number, not just Olivo,” Avila said. “As a team, the numbers coming in, you see they haven’t been swinging well as a team. And then they play us, and they swing the bats great. We’ve just got to figure out a way to get them out.”


Yep! Hopefully the last two days embarrassed them. Not necessarily the losses but the level of play, from top to bottom!

We need more players feeling the same.
I hope I am wrong about Maggs but there does come a time when a pure hitter stops hitting. When your power dissipates, when your legs don’t move and your injuries don’t heal.
We have to make sure that we don’t etch our memories of our players so deeply that the thought of yesteyeary clouds the thinking of the day. Maggs is another year older. Pure and simple. Maybe he has production left in him. He certainly deserves to be given the opportunity to show it.
But the reality of the situation (along with Guillen) is that these warriors may be having difficulty suiting up for battle.

When 8 of your 12 wins have come in two four game streaks, it has given us much more time to reflect on some ugly losses.
Still way too early but the Tig home record (6-5) is now not much better than the road (6-7) one win either side of 500. Can’t also keep winning 1 run games being 3-0.
Wonder who they drop off and pick up on the way to Cleveland.

We still have the same manager and hitting coach. We must get the 1 and 2 hitters on base. Why is AJ still leading off. I don’t care if he was ALMOST the ROY. He needs to be sent down like Max did to regain his confidence. I think Alex will be the leader and the firestarted. He just looks mean! Yes, we do miss the bat of Maggs and VMart. Go Tigers. –Dave

The old cliche, “you have to do more than show up and throw your gloves on the field” may apply here. They ramp up the intensity when playing Chicago, as they should, but then comes the let down caused by taking opponents too lightly. This team has done this for years. Different players, same type of team.
Dan, the one player I worry about is Ordonez and for the reasons you laid out. At his age, you never know when the end will come crashing down. I hope this is all premature talk and he’ll get it going, leaving us to ponder Mark Twain’s quote, “rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.”

I mentioned yesterday I thought Brad Thomas was probably going to get the gate. I know JL is hard headed and he doesn’t mind having some guy on his staff that doesn’t mind having a + 1.00 ERA (per inning not per 9), so long as he can keep his job as a major leaguer. Enough is enough.
Look at what Furbush is doing: has a 1.90 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings this season.
Yes, against minor leaguers, and yes, he is a starter. But perhaps there is room for a guy like this in the pen. Or if Coke continues to struggle, maybe as the LH in the rotation with Coke going back to the pen (where he probably is more suited).

I guess what bothers me the most is that JV seems to pitch down to the level of competition. Look at his stuff. Top quality, but 2-3 with a plus 3.5 ERA. There’s no way he should allow a team like Seattle to beat him. Granted, he only gave up five hits, but is pitch count and walks doomed him. Only one comment here on the hitting. I don’t tend to agree very often with Dan, but I haven’t seen Maggs drive the ball hard one time. Those magical ropes to right center seem to be gone. We are approaching a point of having to decide that the magic might be gone. And that would be our sad event this year.

By Greg on April 28, 2011 10:20 am – Reply

I had made my comments on the previous post. Pasted them to the new thread.


Looks like Cabby & Boesch are the only bats in the lineup today (but how is that different from any other day?).

Yes, I am worried about Magglio. He doesn’t seem to be hitting the ball hard, reminiscent of the first half of 2009.
I also get tired of Inge. I know it is very black and white with Inge’s fans/haters. But his defense has slipped. No doubt about it. He is also older, just like Magglio. And he tried pulling EVERY pitch. He frustrates me more than others. I don’t see a good alternative to Inge now, so he is safe, but COME ON. Hit behind a runner for once. You are not a power hitter.
Furbursh struck out 11 in 7 innings last night. Oliver is also pitching well. Good signs to say the least.
Day game to get that awful taste out of our mouths. Go Tigers!

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