Was Aybar right to bunt?

There were plenty of contentious topics coming out of Sunday’s win, from what seemed like a misunderstanding from Jered Weaver over Magglio Ordonez’s home run to what looked like a threat from Justin Verlander to get Erick Aybar next year after keeping his poise on the mound all day. But one of the lingering questions was Aybar’s bunt leading off the eighth inning, and whether he violated baseball’s unwritten rulebook doing it.

Verlander tried to look at both sides, but the pitcher in him couldn’t hide his disdain for it.

“Very surprised,” Verlander said after the game. “It’s a three-run game, a close game, but there’s arguments both ways. Obviously, from a pitching standpoint, that’s kind of, we like to call it bush league. But there’s arguments both sides of it. It’s a three run game, if you get a guy on base, you never know what can happen. Those things work themselves out.”

Later, he tweaked his answer, albeit slightly.

“From a pitcher’s perspective, yes,” Verlander said when asked if that play was wrong. “From the Angels’ perspective, I doubt they feel that way. It’s a three-run game. You never know what can happen if you get a guy on base. I know there’s probably two vastly different opinions on that based on which side of the locker room you’re on right now.”

That would be correct, though both managers said Aybar had the right to try it.

“Beautiful play,” manager Jim Leyland said. “I’ll be in the minority with the people who didn’t like that, I disagree with that totally. They’ve got a good team with a lot of speed. They’re trying to win a pennant, just like we, are I don’t have any problem with that play whatsoever. He’s trying to get on base and as it turned out, it was a big play for them because that was one that got it going for them. I have no problem with that. That’s baseball. You’re supposed to play the game right. They play the game right.”

The score at the time, obviously, is the key.

“That’s a great baseball play,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “If the score’s 10-0, obviously it’s a different situation. We’re trying to get that trying run to the plate. Leading off an inning, you use whatever weapon you have.”

Closer Jose Valverde said it basically depends on which team you’re following.

“You know, it’s baseball,” he said. “There’s nothing you can do. Everything tries to do the most they can. Aybar, that’s part of his game. Everybody plays a different game. Do I like it? No, I don’t like it, because I want my guy to throw a no-hitter. But everybody plays a different game. There’s nothing you can do about that. If I play for Anaheim, I don’t like what Carlos did. But I like it, because Carlos plays on my team.”

Aybar’s response was pretty much on that point.

“That’s my game,” he said. “I don’t have a problem with that. Verlander was great today. So we tried to get back [into the game].”

32 Comments

Your piece says it all, it depends on the score. In today’s situation, I have no problem with bunting there, especially if that’s the way that player or team plays the game. Both do in this case.
I flinched when Justin used the term bush league.
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It’s unfortunate that many people will see and judge the Guillen homerun reaction without knowing the back story that led up to it.

I agree totally Rich. And what little national coverage I have seen on this they aren’t even talking about what Weaver did to lead to lead to Guillens actions. What really surprised me but maybe it shouldn’t , is that Mike Scocia should of known better in his comments regarding Magglio. Leyland in his interview tried to diffuse it and Mike Scoscia was acting like a tool. I used to think better of him. I understand not wanting him to condone Guillen, but I didn’t like his cmment regarding Maggs.

Perhaps an even more interesting issue going forward is the elbow that Aybar threw at JV as he passed him on the basepath. I think Justin has some Gordie Howe in him. If Howe felt he’d been wronged, he might wait months to deliver his payback, but it would come. Barring an unlikely postseason matchup, it will be a very long time before we play the Angels again.
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Just as a postscript, I watched a game in 2005, Washington at Angels, and managers Frank Robinson and Mike Sciosa nearly came to blows. Try to picture that! The Nationals’ Jose Guillen, who carried his own anger management issues, got so ticked off that he won the game with a 3-run homer. He said he was mad because his manager Frank Robinson was 75 years old and had been picked on. Frank got “mad” at Jose for saying he was 75 years old. He was actually 69……

Some comments:
-Weaver can have every excuse or reason he wants to but there is no justification at throwing at Alex Avila’s cabesa. That’s just wrong, cowardly and and almost immoral.
He can throw one on the rump in that situation but not another young man’s career.
-Lost in all this was the elbow coming up at Justin on that play. Why did JL not argue this? Why did the ump allow it, especially after the warnings? Why was it not interference?
-Wouldn’t it be sensible to promote Castellanos to ERie? He has hit the ball well for the Whitecaps in A ball. With Martinez gone would it not be prudent to escalate development?
-Is DD gonna man up and send Purcey packing or take the easy way out and send down Below?

Cabeza

And one more—What are they going to do about Austin Jackson? I want to see this guy get dirty. If he had that part of the game in him perhaps we could see him crawl out of these hollow funks he gets in where he acomplishes nothing.
This young man needs the proverbial “fire in his belly” to be lit. He can’t glide through his baseball career and be as good as he can be doing it.

Keith Law from ESPN:
“Seattle really made out like a bandit here, converting two pitchers whose value came in large part due to their home park and Seattle’s great defense into three known prospects and reportedly a fourth who might be the best or second-best guy in the deal. Detroit gets a little depth in its rotation but gives up more value than it gets back.
Doug Fister doesn’t throw hard, topping out at about 92 on his four-seamer and 89-90 on his two-seamer, but throws both pitches for strikes. He generates a lot of foul balls when he throws the two-seamer in the zone but rarely gets swings and misses on either fastball when he throws them for strikes. Instead, he rarely walks hitters and “trusts his defense,” code for a pitcher who can’t miss many bats because he doesn’t have an above-average pitch.”
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I must admit, I thought we gave up a lot here too. Really don’t like Casper going. Worried a bit about the PTBNL. If Fister throws well we will all forget this but it does seem like Seattle gets a lot more potential than we did. Certainly in terms of numbers.
With Wells gone we lose the advantage of replacing Austin (for whatever reason) so easily. Dirks is not the center fielder that Wells is.

What are the Tigers going to do with the new Mike Hessman (Strieby)? There is absolutely nowhere for him in our organization.

Verlander was blocking the baseline without the ball. Verlander should be thanking Aybar for not completely tackling him.

If you watch the replay again, you can see JV practically BEGGING Don Kelly to throw him the GD baseball. Why in the world Kelly waited until Aybar was practically next to JV before he did finally throw, well I guess you’ll have to ask Don Kelly on that one. JV was in perfect position to apply a tag, and maybe even give a shiver of his own to Aybar but Don Kelly sat there with his thump up his butt until it was too late. Give JV the damn ball and none of those runs score and he may have even gotten the no-no.

YOU’RE OUT OF YOUR ELEMENT, DONNY!

Best line is from Magglio “that’s how fast I run” – good stuff I tell ya

I would like to know just what all was said though from Weaver to Maggs and Miggy for Carlos to do what he did. He acknowledges he never has done that before and he was backing up his teammate I am assuming it was for a very solid reason.

Nice win fellas, no matter what.

It was great to see some emotions, on both teams. If Weaver wanted to hit Avila in the head, he would have. The pitch was high, to make his point. Didn’t Kelly learn in little league that you make the runner head back to 3rd base? We need a real 3rd baseman. The dog days are upon us! Go Tigers!

I’ve conducted a lot of rundown drills over the years, and the way this one unfolded made me kind of sick. They looked like a neighborhood pickup team on that one. It appears that JL has Kelly pegged as a better defensive thirdbaseman than Betemit. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know.

Ever see David Ortiz hit a home run? Another SOC moment. Trades for Betemit who is a switch hitter and plays Kelly, a bench player. Kelly must not have played pickle as a kid.

JL does have some strange ideas in his head. Betemit being acquired and not played, Raburn in defensively, bringing guys like Purcey and Oliveros in in critical situations.

Two years ago. A Tigers player stole a base losing 8-0. Mijares who understood the unwritten rues backwardly threw at Everets head´, and even worst to the back of the head( If he tried to avoid been hit the ball go full in his head and that was happen). The next inning Bondo beaned Spard and and Twins manager and Spard acknowledge it was due.
If you bunt in a no. no the ball will go to your back. It you want to hit a player you go for his back or, if you have control shave, him like without cause did Weaver.
Guillen was backing Magglio and that what a teammate does. Have been bondo there ,Copa would have been covered by fallen angels after the game

And Leyland, He is Leyland playing the good person character. Ask Guillen what he would do if that happned to him. He would order by himself to hit tha batter like he did in a so public way that he was fined and suspende. He demotted to aa a player for refusing to hit abatter.
Yesterday i mentioned the Marichal Roseboro incident. it began because Koufax never beaned a batter after he brooke tha arm of a batter. So Roseboro did it for him

That’s true, JKL. That entire Marichal series had had many beanballs before the Roseboro thing. I like the fallen angels comment.

I did not see the post game. How did the SOC respond? Like he told Turner or any other debut player, “tell your parents to get here early in case it don’t go so good, just kidding” Whether you are kidding or not, I would rather hear, “Your parents should be so proud of you” Of course I want to see the Tigers in the playoffs this year but looking forward to the years to come, with different management. If you all want some good reading and comments, go the the Freep and the News.

What Weaver was asking Maggs was ” if he wanted some whine with that cheese I just served you”!

Hey Evan, where are the Carlos doubters now?

HAHA I don’t see any in sight – however – I thought what Carlos did was hilarious/childish. Just play the game boys!

JL def. needs to make JV take some pickle/throwing lessons.

I like the mental game. I think Kelly is the one who needs some pickles!

How can the Tigs go 20-21 the past six or so weeks and actually increase their division lead from 1 to 2.5 games ahead?? Not hard when central division teams played July:
Tigs 13-13;
Indians 11-15;
Chisox 12-12; and
Twins 16-13 but 9-10 post break.
The Tigs upcoming 3 home games against Texas is the last series against a team with a higher win record compared to:
Indians 10 games against Bosox (4) and Texas (6);
Chisox 12 games against NYY (4), Texas (3), LAA (2) and Jays (3);
Twins 14 games against LAA (6), NYY (5), Bosox (3).
The Tigs always seem to struggle in the second half against teams on paper should beat. Other than the 4 games against the Rays, the remainder against the Indians (12), Twins (9), Chisox (6), KC (9), A’s (4) and O’s (7) look like being excruciating series.

When they look at number of games against sub-.500 teams, they don’t take into account that some of those “bad” teams might have a “good” team’s number. Not a good way to grade strength of schedule, hey Dave?
With the addition of Fister, hopefully we’ll get more 7-inning games from the starters and cover up a little for that weak pen. Of course, JL has to play along with that strategy and not get lost in L-R matchups. The more relievers you use, the more likely that you’ll find one who doesn’t have it that particular day.

Ugh, horrible forecast tonight and the one game I am going to this year. Last year we got rained out as well and were lucky we could make the rain out. Taking kids so if they delay and start late I don’t see us staying – come on weather – hold off!

We should be getting a roster move announcement pretty quick here.
If it isn’t Q going on the DL then it almost certainly has to be Purcey getting the gate.

TG—hopefully the weather co-operates for you and that you get to see Max at his best.

Tiger girl, we are going to the game tonight as well. Looking at the radar, well let’s just say it doesn’t look real promising?? My luck it will become a double header tomorrow and I won’t be able to go. Here’s hoping to the radar is incorrect?

Detroit have good numbers against Texas like they have againts Yankees.
But the same Boston team that has sweept Tigers last two years, only the two games pitched by Verlander has been won by Tigers, lost to Tribe last night. The second best defensive in MLB made two costly errors to pave the way for a late comeback.The first was a throw to the infield after a single that never was near the cutoof man and put a man on second. Lackey´s lost his mind and began yealling at his teanmates. So much for unwritten rules lately

The rain will go north. They really need it. That is one ot weathers “unwritten rules”

WOW – I thought i’d be happy to see SIZEMORE leave -> more happy to see PURCEY leave!!!!

I won’t take Purcey seriously until he wears his ball cap like a major leaguer and not some hip hop guy with the name Purr-C.
I hope they can figure out what’s ailing, and more importantly, how to fix Q’s inflammation problems. This is a guy with an arm, and a disposition that could have more impact than Joel Zumaya had. They have to make sure to take care of him but they also have to make sure they don’t go to fast with him.

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