Results tagged ‘ Magglio Ordonez ’
Magglio Ordonez spent the last six months as a man without a team. He’s about to receive a proper retirement party from the team he helped lead into a new golden era.
The Tigers announced Tuesday that they’ll remember their longtime right fielder and postseason hero with a Magglio Ordonez Day celebration on Sunday at Comerica Park, where the former batting champion will make his retirement officially.
It’s a proper way to remember one of the best Tigers hitters of his generation, and one of baseball’s most consistent hitters for more than a decade in his prime.
The Tigers will honor Ordonez in a ceremony prior to Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees at Comerica Park. They’ll do so at 12:40pm ET on the same field where he homered off Oakland’s Huston Street in Game 4 of the 2006 AL Championship Series to send the Tigers to the World Series, one of the biggest hits in the Tigers’ illustrious history.
Ordonez will retire with 2,156 hits amassed over a 15-year Major League career. Just under 1,000 of those hits came as a Tiger. While Ivan Rodriguez represented the landmark signing of the Tigers’ renaissance from baseball’s doormat in 2003, Ordonez helped vault them towards an American League pennant after signing a landmark seven-year contract as a free agent just before the 2005 season.
It was a risk for both parties — the Tigers gambling that Ordonez could stay healthy after experimental knee surgery, and Ordonez taking the chance that the Tigers were serious about contending. It worked beautifully on both sides.
After missing part of the 2005 season with a sports hernia, Ordonez came back with a 24-homer, 104-RBI season in 2006 that helped send the Tigers to their first postseason birth in 19 years. His walkoff home run in the ALCS sent them to their first Fall Classic since 1984.
The next year, Ordonez became the Tigers’ first batting champion in 46 years, batting .363 with go with a league-high of 54 doubles as well as 28 home runs and 139 RBIs. He finished as the runner-up to Alex Rodriguez for AL MVP honors.
Injuries and age took their toll in the ensuing years, but Ordonez quietly saved some of his biggest hits for when the Tigers needed him most. His .439 average and 11 RBIs in September and October of 2009 provided the biggest contribution as the Tigers tried to hold onto their division lead. Then he batted .419 over the final month of last season to help lead Detroit to its first division title in 24 years.
Ordonez went 5-for-11 in the Tigers’ AL Division Series win over the Yankees, including a three-hit performance in a Game 5 upset at Yankee Stadium. He fractured his ankle for the second time in as many years in Game 1 of the ALCS at Texas.
That ended up being the last game of Ordonez’s career. He worked his way back from a second ankle surgery, but went into the season without a team. By the end of Spring Training, he said he was on the verge of retirement.
For those wondering if that twitter account from Magglio Ordonez is legit — the one where he tweeted in Spanish that he’s very close to retiring — it is. Ordonez confirmed via email tonight that the tweet came from.
So, indeed, Ordonez is close to retirement, which is sad to hear given what he meant to the Tigers over the years and the fact that ankle fractures ended his season early in back-to-back years. He said in an email that he’s “100 percent healthy” — this was around the time he was expected to be ready for baseball activities and to play in games — but as of now he’s a free agent without a team.
Ordonez turned 38 at the end of January. If he retires, he’ll finish with a .309 batting average over his 15-year Major League career to go with 294 home runs and 1236 RBIs. That won’t get him into the Hall of Fame here, but he ranks among the best hitters ever to come out of Venezuela. His .871 career OPS is better than Andres Galarraga, widely regarded as Venezuela’s greatest hitter. Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Gonzalez could change the group as the years continue.
Lot of updates from president/GM Dave Dombrowski today in his talk with reporters. More in-depth stuff coming, but here’s the rundown …
- Dombrowski said there won’t be a “real strong push” to bring a lot of their free agents back. Most likely, he said, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen are done as Tigers. “I would say in their case it’s highly unlikely they’re going to be back. In both cases,” said Dombrowski, who said he let both of them know that in the last month of the season.
- Brad Penny also won’t be back. “With the young pitching we have coming, I would doubt we would re-sign him,” Dombrowski said.
- Dombrowski wasn’t completely clear on the fifth starter situation. Ideally, he said, they’ll have a veteran as “protection” in case Jacob Turner or one of their other young guys aren’t ready. At another point, though, he said that if they sign a veteran for the job, Turner would start the season at Triple-A Toledo.
- Here’s the main quote on the rotation: “The most likely scenario would be that those young guys come to camp with the four guys that are set and compete for the fifth spot, and we have protection of a veteran type pitcher that can fill that if they’re not ready. But I also would say that, hey, if there’s some great starting pitcher that we really liked and was available for us, and we thought it was the type of move that made the most sense to get us better, would we be open to it? Yes. We like them all. We like every one of those pitchers. But can I tell you 100 percent that they’re ready? No. Now, can they be ready? Yes.”
- Ramon Santiago is basically in a bad situation, at least as far as returning to Detroit goes. There’s mutual interest, but Santiago wants a more regular role, and the Tigers don’t see him that way. “I think our feeling has been that we just don’t see him as the guy going out there and playing – we may be wrong – 150 games a year,” Dombrowski said. “We just don’t happen to see him as that guy, and we may be wrong. He’s done a very fine job for us and we like him a lot, but that’s not the role we see him in. If we thought he was our everyday second baseman, we’d go out and we’d make that move.”
- This quote from Dombrowski on the market for free agents at second and third base is pretty telling: “I don’t think they’re real strong. And that’s why, too, not only free agents, you’d also have to talk about the possibility of trades, too.”
- His evaluation on how slow this market will move compared with the way they took care of business quickly last year was also telling: “I don’t think we’re going to be rushing out like we did last year. We’re in a different situation than we were last year, where we identified a couple guys right off the bat in [Victor] Martinez and [Joaquin] Benoit. We’re still prepared; I don’t mean to say that we couldn’t make a move if the right move came about. But I wouldn’t think we would make a real quick move. I think we’ll take more time to go through it and let it work itself out.”
- The Tigers are open to re-signing Joel Zumaya, but it would have to be a minor-league contract with a Spring Training invite. At this point, it sounds like the Tigers expect Zumaya to wait and see if another team offers him a Major League deal. “He’d like to come back, and we would like to have him back,” Dombrowski said.
- While Dombrowski didn’t anoint Delmon Young as the starting left fielder, he said he looks at his outfield being Young alongside Austin Jackson and Brennan Boesch. But he left open the possibility they could try to upgrade in left, and he acknowledged they have time before they have to decide whether to tender a contract to the arbitration-eligible Young.
- Tigers will look at both free agents and trades to upgrade at second. They will look at possibilities at third as well. That said, Dombrowski left open the possibility they upgrade at one spot and platoon at the other. They could also go with grinders there. “You can never have enough good players,” Dombrowski said, “but you don’t want all star players. You want some of those gritty role-type players. Jim likes those on his club and is very successful at fitting them into his club.”
- Dombrowski confirmed that the Tigers will look for a backup hitting catcher, preferably a right-handed hitter, to back up Alex Avila. The challenge, Dombrowski acknowledged, is convincing a good catcher to sign with a team where he isn’t likely to play very often. Even with a drop in playing time, Dombrowski said Avila could catch 120-125 games next year. He is an All-Star, after all.
- The Tigers are open to possibly beefing up their bullpen with one more veteran, Dombrowski said, but he probably wouldn’t be a seventh- or eighth-inning setup guy. They like the core they have with Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque and Daniel Schlereth.
- No chance of Phil Coke returning to the rotation.
- Dombrowski basically threw down the challenge to Ryan Perry. ” He’s at the point where he needs to step it up for us,” Dombrowski said.
- The door is open for the Tigers to add a leadoff hitter, but that isn’t a sure thing. “We need to get better offensive production out of Austin [Jackson],” Dombrowski said. “We think he’s capable of doing that. Will he be our leadoff hitter next season? We really can’t answer that question.”
- Chances of the Tigers shifting Jhonny Peralta to third base and pursuing Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins? Not likely. Peralta is sounding very likely to stick at short. “I would think so,” Dombrowski said. “Would I say 100 percent? No. Would I say most likely? Yes.”
- Another factor seemingly working against a Reyes pursuit: The Tigers have their quota of $20 million players for the foreseeable future. “I would think so,” Dombrowski said.
- The entire coaching staff will be back for next season, Dombrowski announced, unless somebody gets hired for a managerial job elsewhere. Dombrowski said he has not received any calls so far asking permission to talk with McClendon for such a job, but he would have no problem granting permission.
Magglio Ordonez quietly worked like crazy to get himself to the point where the ankle was no longer. His happiness showed after his three hits in Game 2 of the AL Division Series, when he admitted he thought about quitting before deciding to slug it out through the season. He was swinging with a little more lower body strength, even if it wasn’t what it used to be.
One apparent twist of his ankle during pregame batting practice Saturday changed everything.
“My ankle is broke,” Ordonez replied in an email Sunday afternoon.
The Tigers confirmed the same later Sunday. He re-fractured the ankle in the same spot where he had it surgically repaired late last season. His season is over.
It’s not clear whether this is the same type of fracture he had last year, a vertical break that’s supposedly a lot trickier to heal. Even if it isn’t, though, he now has a history.
Just when he was feeling more like his old self, this happens.
“When I was in such good shape, this happens to me,” Ordonez told Venezuelan journalist Aflredo Villasmil on Sunday.
The quote is translated from Spanish.
“I was in BP before the game, I twisted my foot and it started to hurt. I thought it was because of the cold and the pressure I put on it, but nothing like that. It wasn’t that.”
You hope this isn’t how his career ends, that he can come back at age 38 and do it again. But if he’s going to have to go through the same rehab process to get back to this point, he has a decision to make — not just a baseball decision, a life decision. And at age 38 come next January, he’ll be making it without a contract for 2012.
Here’s hoping for the best for Magglio.
Remember years ago when Freddy Garcia was somehow so effective during day games that people dreaded him? Former Tigers manager Alan Trammell used to call him “Day Game Freddy.” That was a long time ago.
Two hitters might hold the key today. Magglio Ordonez is 17-for-52 (.327) off Garcia for his career. He has just one home run in that stretch, but six doubles. Ordonez gets the start, and remember, manager Jim Leyland said he will not pinch-hit for Ordonez.
Miguel Cabrera, on the other hand, is 9-for-23 with three homers off the fellow Venezuelan.
- Austin Jackson, CF (4-for-18 off Garcia)
- Magglio Ordonez, RF (17-for-52, 6 doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBIs)
- Delmon Young, LF (3-for-10, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs)
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B (9-for-23, 3 HRs, 6 RBIs)
- Victor Martinez, DH (7-for-30, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs)
- Alex Avila, C (3-for-9, 2 2Bs, 3 Ks)
- Jhonny Peralta, SS (7-for-24, 2 2Bs, 1 HR, 4 RBIs)
- Wilson Betemit, 3B (1-for-3, HR)
- Ramon Santiago, 2B (0-for-5)
P: Max Scherzer
- Derek Jeter, SS (2-for-9 off Scherzer)
- Curtis Granderson, CF (3-for-11, 3 Ks)
- Robinson Cano, 2B (1-for-8, HR)
- Alex Rodriguez, 3B (0-for-8, 3 Ks)
- Mark Teixeira, 1B (3-for-10, 2B, HR)
- Nick Swisher, RF (2-for-6, 2 BBs, 3 Ks)
- Jorge Posada, DH (2-for-8, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs)
- Russell Martin, C (3-for-15, 2B)
- Brett Gardner, LF (0-for-6, 2 BBs, 3 Ks)
P: Freddy Garcia
Maggio replaces Dirks in the sixth spot against Carmona, whose lefty-righty splits aren’t nearly as big as those of Justin Masterson. Jhonny Peralta returns to short, while Ramon Santiago shuffles over to second base.
Interesting comments from Jim Leyland today on Ryan Raburn, whose struggles have seemingly taken him from starting second baseman status to a platoon partner with Santiago. He talked about Raburn with a hint that the Tigers’ patience may be running low.
“I think you just ride it out until you make some kind of decision — play him more, play him less, whatever,” Leyland said. “I mean, we hit extra, we do all the things that everybody else does, so there’s no secret formula for it. Just keep working at it and hope he catches fire. If he doesn’t, you play somebody else.
“What I’ve seen up to now, I’ve seen some [signs] where you get pretty optimistic, and then you have a setback. It’s like the old two steps forward, one back once in a while, it seems like. But he hasn’t been taking that many steps forward, quite truthfully. Hopefully he will.”
- Austin Jackson, CF
- Don Kelly, 3B
- Brennan Boesch, LF
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- Victor Martinez, DH
- Magglio Ordonez, RF
- Alex Avila, C
- Jhonny Peralta, SS
- Ramon Santiago, 2B
P: Brad Penny
- Grady Sizemore, CF
- Carlos Santana, 1B
- Michael Brantley, LF
- Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
- Shin-Soo Choo, RF
- Matt LaPorta, DH
- Orlando Cabrera, 2B
- Jack Hannahan, 3B
- Lou Marson, C
P: Fausto Carmona
Magglio Ordonez is not in the starting lineup. Andy Dirks gets the start in left field, as Jim Leyland tries to get him out of his June skid, with Brennan Boesch shifting over to right. I’m guessing this is part of Jim Leyland’s plan for mixing in four outfielders among three spots.
I’m also guessing he won’t say much at all about it.
Leyland said that he plans on playing Ordonez in the other two games of this series. He chose this one to rest him in part to get another left-handed bat (Dirks) in the lineup against Cleveland starter Justin Masterson, who’s allowing a .194 average to right-handed hitters.
- Austin Jackson, CF
- Don Kelly, 3B
- Brennan Boesch, RF
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- Victor Martinez, DH
- Andy Dirks, LF
- Alex Avila, C
- Ramon Santiago, SS
- Ryan Raburn, 2B
P: Justin Verlander
- Grady Sizemore, DH
- Carlos Santana, C
- Michael Brantley, CF
- Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
- Shin-Soo Choo, RF
- Orlando Cabrera, 2B
- Travis Buck, LF
- Matt LaPorta, 1B
- Jack Hannahan, 3B
P: Justin Masterson
Word from John Wagner of the Toledo Blade is that Magglio Ordonez’s rehab assignment is complete. Both Ordonez and Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin said after tonight’s game that Ordonez will return to Detroit on Sunday for one more evaluation. He’s expected to have Sunday off, then be activated from the disabled list in time for Monday’s game against the Rays.
Ordonez finished up his rehab with a 3-for-5 performance, including his second home run in as many nights. His timing appears to be better than it was a few days ago. He went 11-for-39 with two homers and a double over nine games as a Hen.
Jim Leyland said Saturday afternoon it will not be a tough decision on who goes out to make room for Ordonez on the 25-man roster. In other words, they won’t have an extra reliever anymore on Monday.
Magglio Ordonez homered for the first time in his Minor League rehab assignment Friday night, delivering a two-run shot in the third inning for Triple-A Toledo against Gwinnett. It was the second extra-base hit of the rehab stint for Ordonez, who also walked twice. He improved to 7-for-28 (.250) in eight games for the Mud Hens.
The Tigers and Jim Leyland are on board with Magglio Ordonez’s plan to rejoin the Tigers next Monday, though their roster move to keep an extra reliever looks in hindsight like they thought Ordonez might be coming back a little sooner. But Jim Leyland had some pretty interesting comments Thursday when asked about fitting Ordonez into a lineup that has its outfield bats suddenly heating up.
“If Magglio, obviously, is Magglio Ordonez, we’ll find a way to have him in the lineup, if he’s a productive hitter,” Leyland said Thursday.
Leyland cautioned he wasn’t trying to lay down any ultimatums or anything. But long story short, he was making the point that the early-season form for Ordonez isn’t going to get it done.
“Magglio’s got to hit. That’s just the way it is,” Leyland said. “That’s what his forte is. That’s what we need him to do. He’s not going to steal bases. He’s not going to play defense as well as [Casper] Wells. So we need his bat, and that professional bat, I think, when it’s all said and done, will be very important for us.
“But I guess to simplify it, you put the best players out there, guys who give you the best chance to win. That’s pretty how much it is, and that’s what you’re supposed to do as manager. Magglio’s here to hit and be a real productive offensive hitter. That’s what he’s here for. So we’ll have to wait and see.”
Ordonez, no doubt, is well aware of needing to hit better than he did early in the season. If he wasn’t, he probably wouldn’t be taking a few extra days on rehab in Toledo to try to get his timing down at the plate.
Unless something totally unexpected happens, the Tigers will keep all their current outfielders on the roster when Ordonez returns, instead getting rid of an extra reliever. Adam Wilk, who was called up as a fill-in for the Tigers bullpen when David Purcey went on paternity leave, is still here, even though Purcey returned from paternity leave Monday.
That leaves at least four outfielders for three spots, not counting Wells and his starts against left-handed pitchers. All of those other outfielders are youngsters, but all of them are going well right now.
“You don’t know for sure if these kids are going to keep it up, or are some of [the pitchers] going to catch up,” Leyland said. “You just have to play it [out]. But it’s kind of like the old saying: You kind of ride the hot horse.”
Leyland sounds prepared to do just that.
“There are only nine spots, but I’m going to put out the guys that give us the best chance to win, and it really doesn’t matter what the names are,” he said. “That’s what I’m supposed to do. That’s what I get paid to do. Hopefully, if Magglio comes up and is close what he has been as a productive offensive player, he’ll be a big lift for us before it’s all said and done, believe me. If he doesn’t hit, that’s a different story. That’s just the facts.”