My take on Trammell

I’ve spent quite a bit of space on this site, and on various message boards defending Alan Trammell. I’ve probably been a little more vigorous in defending him because 1. I wanted him to succeed because of his playing career and the fact he is truly a “good guy” 2. I thought he received way more criticism than he deserved. While some of it was fair, a lot of it was nonsensical.

I found myself disagreeing with his managerial moves on a somewhat regular basis, but I didn’t think the moves were wrong. I could see the reasoning for making the decisions, even if I didn’t agree with them. Sure there were a couple times that I thought were really bad errors in judgement (the Chris Spurling/White Sox incident was probably the worst), but by and large I had a hard time finding instances where he outright cost the team games.

With that in mind, I had a hard time thinking he should be fired. Part of it is because I don’t think that managers in baseball really are that important. I think that in baseball more than other sports, the manager is more dependent on the talent that he is dealt. There is only so much scheming a manager can do to overcome a poor offense or poor pitching.

I don’t buy the argument that the record should be better because the payroll is so high – at least from the standpoint of holding that against Trammell. He didn’t allocate the payroll, and he didn’t put 27% of that payroll on the disabled list.

The second half of the season he was working with a bullpen that was depleted to say the least. I don’t blame the collapse on the Kyle Farnsworth deal because the Tigers traded away their closer. The lack of a closer down the stretch was far from the Tigers biggest problem – but it did significantly diminish the talent available in the late innings.

What was probably his final undoing was the reports out of the clubhouse. Some reports said the lockeroom was hell, while others said it was overblown. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

I think Trammell deserved one more year. I don’t think any manager could have accomplished much more than Trammell did. Dave Dombrowski spoke of “getting to the next level” but I’m not really sure what that means. Is he talking contention or a winning record? Both would have been a stretch given the circumstances this season. That being said, I understand the move. As a Tiger fan part of me is eager to move forward, but part of me is extemely saddened at the same time. Alan Trammell has endured a miserable final month wearing the Olde English D, and yet he’s done it as a true professional with tremendous class and dignity.

Jim Leyland is already in town being interviewed, and an annoucement this week wouldn’t surprise me. Dombrowski has already interviewed Bruce Fields and Juan Samuel for the position – despite stating that he’s looking for a veteran manager. That should alleviate Bud Selig’s concerns about interviewing minorities which should further expedite the process. Whoever the next manager is I wish them the best of luck.

6 Comments

  1. Tim D

    October 3, 2005 at 11:45 pm

    Well said. I don’t think Trammell was ever realyy DD’s guy. It gave him a little time and that time is up. He’ll be more comfortable with Leyland, but if you look at Leyland as a manager he is really very similar to Trammell. It’s more important that they spend money wisely, and that Pudge, Guillen and Ordonez have rebound years. Otherwise it won’t matter who the manager is. Good luck to Tram.

  2. Charles H

    October 4, 2005 at 12:38 pm

    Based on the clubhouse reports that have been coming out since the firing, I’d say that the way the organization treated Trammell was nothing short of disgraceful. He was inexperienced, no doubt, and a firmer hand would have been appropriate. On the other hand, when the team owner goes over your head to approve a star player’s “vacation,” how can you command any respect at all within the clubhouse?

    It’s mind boggling, really. You could not have created a situation that would tarnish this team’s legacy more than what happened this season. What next, Mr. I? Are you going to make Al Kaline crawl around the basepaths on all fours during the 7th inning stretch? Are you going to disinter Hank Greenberg and string him up like a pinata next to the ferris wheel?

    It makes me sick to my stomach.

  3. Cameron

    October 5, 2005 at 3:52 am

    The Tragic Tale of the Detroit Tigers

    Also titled:

    “Alan Trammell: The Robbing of a Legend”

    or

    “Legendcide: Pudge, Dombrowski, Illitch, and a cast of 25 other miscreants”

    The firing was a terrible sham. How so? Let me count the ways.

    1) Trammell was not the reason the team stunk this year.

    Did Trammell cause Pudge Rodriguez to shut himself off from the team and dog it the entire year? Was it his fault Pudge walked 11 times (11 times!!!) the entire season?

    Did Trammell cause Magglio Ordonez to miss half the season due to injury, and then in the half when he was around to perform more like Kevin Millar than a superstar?

    Moreover, was Trammell the one who signed Magglio to a huge contract? Was he the one who signed Troy Percival to big money, when every other team in the major

  4. Brian Dukeman

    October 5, 2005 at 11:49 am

    Bravo Cameron, Bravo!!!

  5. Steve

    October 5, 2005 at 8:25 pm

    Well Said ………….

  6. DAP

    October 11, 2005 at 2:33 am

    Bravo Cameron, Bravo!!! You know, when the announcment was made, I was mad as hell. Even though the press was saying that it would probably happen. Even though billfer said “part of me is eager to move forward, but part of me is extemely saddened at the same time.” I felt the same way that Cameron does. When Sparky Anderson told Tram not to take the job but he took it anyway. He at least deserved to stay out his contract. I always loved Sparky Anderson. I always felt he was the greatest Tigers’ manager. But, when it was announced that Tram was coming to manage the team, I loved the idea. I thought that Tram would give Sparky a run for his money. It really pisses me off that we will never get to cheer or groan at the managing of a hall of fame shoe-in. I want to say again to Cameron; very nicely said. I wonder if Tram ever logs on??? Cudos to billfer for the great blog. At least we got hockey back !!!!!