Links and stuff

Between anniversaries, and attending Tiger games, and work, I’ve got a pile of links to power through:

  • The Baseball Crank took a look at the Tigers pitching. He found that through the 29th, the Tigers were in some rare company. In terms of the Tigers ratio of ERA to league average ERA they stood as the 6th best of all time.
  • The Sporting Brews has taken a very indepth and thoughtful look at the Tigers pitchers success, and how much is impacted by defense. It is well worth the read. The whole seperation of pitching and defense is always fascinating to me. As has been well documented, for the season the Tigers have played excellent defense. Some say it is luck, some say it is skill. In any case the pitchers benefit. But the big mystery is whether the defense has just been better on its own, or are the pitchers throwing more fieldable balls and whether or not this is even a skill.
  • Things are going so well for the Tigers this year, the national media even saying don’t worry about a couple of tough games. Tom Verducci says the Tigers are still for real, and they even get a mention on the cover of today’s Sports Illustrated.
  • Buster Olney has really been pushing the idea of Barry Bonds as a Tiger. He’s listed Detroit and the Yankees as the top two likely destinations for Barry next year. Now he’s speculating that an in season trade may make sense for both parties. I just really don’t see it. Now if the Giants would let him go as just a massive salary dump, looking for minimal stuff in return…I’d think about it. Of course it’s not my money. It would be a left handed bat, with no long term commitment. As for signing him next year? I’d be very disappointed if Bonds was their target.

27 Comments

  1. Jeff M

    June 1, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    the idea of Barry Bonds as a Tiger.

    Oh, dear God, no. He represents all that is/was wrong with the game. Please, please don’t sink to that level, Dave.

  2. Jeff M

    June 1, 2006 at 11:19 pm

    Billfer is right… this is a very good read.

    http://sportingbrews.blogspot......igers.html

    Everyone go read it now.

  3. Joey

    June 2, 2006 at 12:34 am

    I was gonna say “Please God no!” but Jeff has beat me to the punch. -re Barry

  4. Nick G

    June 2, 2006 at 1:22 am

    Bill Simmons “The Sports Guy” on espn.com, said a few weeks ago that he thought Barry and Jim Leyland would eventually have a reunion in Motown. I don’t take it very seriously. Maybe a year ago Barry’s media distraction would have been good for us (ticket wise). Now, I don’t see it.

    On Barry’s side of all this, the Angels are the team that’s talked about because Barry lives in (and is from) California.

    One thing is for certain: He must DH next year in the AL.

  5. Paul

    June 2, 2006 at 5:12 am

    Simmons actually mentioned sports-related or was he referring to characters named Barry and Jim on the Real World or Laguna Beach or something he read in US Weekly? That guy has really fallen off, IMO.

  6. Ian C.

    June 2, 2006 at 5:57 am

    I’m kind of surprised how hard Olney’s been pushing this, although he’s probably just having fun with the speculation.

    Bonds looks done. He draws walks, but hits nothing but pop-ups now. There has to be a better left-handed hitter for the Tigers to pursue.

  7. Bryan

    June 2, 2006 at 6:52 am

    How exactly does Barry represent everything bad in the game?

  8. Paul

    June 2, 2006 at 7:39 am

    Bryan, I don’t think he represents everything bad, but he seems pretty thoroughly hated amongst baseball fandom after what most signs point to as rampant steroid abuse thus allowing him to rocket up the HR charts into 2nd place. Furthermore, his use as a baseball player has severely diminished into what can only be described as a Walk-Robot. He can still put a charge into the ball here and there, but who in the majors can’t?

  9. Jeff M

    June 2, 2006 at 7:47 am

    How exactly does Barry represent everything bad in the game?

    He’s a washed-up, snotty, armor-wearing, 1-dimensional player that would severely detract from the team concept that we’re finally starting to build here.

    Well I’ll be a pig’s uncle… I was able to make a good case without even mentioning that he did more ‘roids than the Guvernator.

  10. Kyle J

    June 2, 2006 at 8:33 am

    Great article on pitching vs. defense. So if defense is the major reason the Tigers are giving up fewer runs, which players in particular do we think have improved on defense? Inge? Granderson playing full time?

  11. Kyle J

    June 2, 2006 at 8:34 am

    Need to pick up a copy of SI. My two favorite non-MSU teams are on the cover!

  12. Jeff M

    June 2, 2006 at 9:36 am

    The article looked at G/F ratio, but that doesn’t take line drives into account, does it? Could it be that our pitchers are simply changing eye level better and thus throwing fewer line drives?

  13. Crank

    June 2, 2006 at 9:57 am

    If you look (as I did) at Baseball Prospectus and The Hardball Times numbers, you’ll see that both have the Tigers in first place in MLB in Defensive Efficiency. THT has the line drive numbers, but even then almost everyone but Bonderman is overachieving their Fielding Independent Pitching numbers. I do believe Granderson is one of the bigger factors.

  14. Joey (The regular) C.

    June 2, 2006 at 11:01 am

    Don’t have any idea if you dudes care, but I feel like we post enough that we’re getting to know each other a bit, and I don’t want to have me and the other joey’s confused. I’m posting from hence forth as Joey C.

    I’d be really surprised if Bonds is here next year. For starters I don’t think he’ll be playing baseball anywhere. The dude looks finished and if he’s 30 or dingers behind Aaron at year’s end (as it looks like he will be) I think he’ll decide he doesn’t have enough gas in the tank. At the moment his only refuge is San Fran, and leaving there to push his worn out body to achieve more than it can, in the face of universal disdain, just doesn’t seem likely.

    But they do talk about the Bonds Bubble. So who knows.

    If he does come here, manages to produce and the team wins, I don’t think any of us will be harping on Dumbro for the move. A midseason trade in which we don’t lose Tata or Maybin or Clevlen or this years draft pick, wouldn’t seem too bad to me.

    Jeff, you’re concern about team chemistry is certainly valid however.

    Granderson has raised his OBP to .380. His average is up and he seems to have cut down on the Ks. This kid is starting to look more and more like a legit lead-off hitter. Hopefully he can increase his stealing succes rate too. He seems to get caught a lot…

    Although the whole team does. Somebody made note of this a while ago, but Leyland runs us out of a ton of innings. Does anyone know how our success rate matches up with the rest of the league? It has to be at the very bottom.

  15. Jeff M

    June 2, 2006 at 11:47 am

    If he does come here, manages to produce and the team wins, I don’t think any of us will be harping on Dumbro for the move.

    Nope, I’ll still hate him and I’ll be disappointed in Dumbro for stooping that low. I hated Gonzalez every minute he was here (even when he hit a walk-off homer that sailed over my head) and I’d have no problem treating Bonds the same way.

    It’s possible to win with good, solid citizens. That’s the way I want to see it happen. If we come up short, so be it.

    This kid is starting to look more and more like a legit lead-off hitter.

    He’s certainly learning how to get on base in this league, but he’s not a basestealer and probably never will be. That’s ok, though. He’ll probably be a solid #3 hitter for the next 17 years.

  16. Nick G

    June 2, 2006 at 11:55 am

    “It’s possible to win with good, solid citizens. That’s the way I want to see it happen. If we come up short, so be it.”

    A lot of people around the country don’t think of The Gambler as one of those. When I saw the Tigs in Anaheim this season, no Tiger got a reaction from the opening line-up introductions until Kenny’s name was announced. The whole stadium that wasn’t stuck in traffic bood.

    Add Dimitri’s problems off the field, let’s face it, we’re ready to become the Oakland Raiders of baseball. Maybe Barry is a good fit.

  17. Jeff M

    June 2, 2006 at 12:45 pm

    A lot of people around the country don’t think of The Gambler as one of those.

    That’s a fair point. I honestly don’t know much about his history. Is his reputation based solely on last year’s camera incident or has there been a pattern of misdeeds?

    Add Dimitri’s problems off the field

    If I’m not mistaken, DY had a solid reputation until this past year or so, so ya have to consider him innocent until proven guilty, but of course, it doesn’t look good for him.

  18. Nick G

    June 2, 2006 at 1:12 pm

    Jeff,

    Dimitri is still one of my favorite Tigers for his enthusiasm on the field, regardless of his guilt or innocence off it. As for Kenny, I’m very happy with his contributions this season, and actually rather enjoyed his California reception (like a bad guy in pro wrestling). But, the fact that I like these guys might explain why people in San Fran cheer for Bonds. Everybody is a saint when they’re wearing your team’s jersey and your team is winning (unless they’re Juan Gone, that jerk).

  19. Joey (The regular) C.

    June 2, 2006 at 6:33 pm

    Jeff if Barry hit a home run that won game 7 of the world series for the Tigers, I’m sure you’d be jumping around happy as hell just as everyone else. You’re point is taken, but I don’t believe for a second that your hatred of the man would overtake your love of the Tigers and your happiness at watching them succeed. It’s just natural. I used to think Chris Chelios was a pile of garbage and then he came to the Wings.

    Maybe you’re the exception, but for the most part people cheer for teams. For logos, location, and history. Pete Rose is still a hero in Cinci and he always will be.

    I also disagree about Curtis never being a basestealer. Baserunning is truly a learned skill, and Curtis has done nothing but prove his baseball aptitude. He’s been learning and getting better at everything all year. I think he’ll be a fine basestealer given time.

  20. Jeff M

    June 2, 2006 at 10:14 pm

    Jeff if Barry hit a home run that won game 7 of the world series for the Tigers, I’m sure you’d be jumping around happy as hell just as everyone else. You’re point is taken, but I don’t believe for a second that your hatred of the man would overtake your love of the Tigers and your happiness at watching them succeed. It’s just natural.

    That’s such a superlative scenario that I couldn’t honestly guess how I would react; I was too young to understand ’84. I’m sure I would be thrilled, but I would certainly be less proud of that championship than I was of the ’04 pistons, and I’m not much of a basketball fan.

    I used to think Chris Chelios was a pile of garbage and then he came to the Wings.

    I don’t think that’s a fair analogy. Chelios was more like Jordan. You (and I) hated him because he was your foil; he was simply the symbol of the enemy, not because he did anything particularly to disrespect the game. That kind of hatred comes and goes with ever trade/contract. Bonds, IMHO, falls in a completely different category.

    I also disagree about Curtis never being a basestealer. Baserunning is truly a learned skill, and Curtis has done nothing but prove his baseball aptitude. He’s been learning and getting better at everything all year. I think he’ll be a fine basestealer given time.

    Sure, he can definitely improve, but I guess I just see him in a different role. He seems more like a corner outfielder that happens to have above average range than a prototypical gazelle-like centerfielder. I expect him to learn to be “sneaky fast” like Pudge, but i doubt he has the natural speed necessary to steal a base when 43,052 people know he’s going.

  21. Jeff M

    June 2, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    might explain why people in San Fran cheer for Bonds.

    Pete Rose is still a hero in Cinci and he always will be.

    In both cases, the love formed well before the misdeed(s). Pittsburgh probably still loves Bonds too. It’s the same mindset that leads some family members to stick by someone convicted of a crime.

    If, OTOH, I overlook the misdeeds simply because he can help give me something I want, that would represent a serious character flaw on my part.

  22. Paul

    June 3, 2006 at 8:39 am

    Agree that the Chelios analogy isn’t even close to accurate. I understand the notion of “they’re the a-hole until they’re our a-hole.” That applies to Chelios, it’s a completely different set of circumstances re: Bonds.

  23. Joey C.

    June 3, 2006 at 1:04 pm

    Why do people hate Bonds so much?

    Was Bonds a dirty player? Not according to MLB during the time period in question. If the steroids issue is big enough for you to view rooting for him as a character flaw, then you must also hate MLB whose policies created a culture in which perhaps 50 percent of its players were injecting performance enhancing substances in the 1990s. But you clearly don’t hate MLB or you wouldn’t be watching its product night in and night out.

    Furthermore, the odds are that you’ve already rooted for a number of juicers. Some may even be on this year’s team. If we could prove that Pudge took steroids–which evidence certainly suggests–would your being happy at his scoring the winning run against the Yankees be indicative of a character flaw as well?

    I think that picking one player to vilify in relation to 15 years of tacitly sanctioned steroid use is preposterous.

    And I don’t think my anology is off the mark at all. The reason I’m offended by Bonds is because he’s a jerk. Chelios is not only a jerk, he’s also been known as a dirty player. You don’t think Chelios has gotten away with cheating? Every cross-check that he delivers without getting a penalty is cheating. My dislike for Chelios was based on watching him get away with murder in the early 1990s whenever the Wings played the Hawks.

    And that isn’t remotely comparable to why I hated Jordan. I hated Jordan because he was too damn good. He never played the game in a manner that I found offensive.

    To further explain the difference. I still hate Claude Lemieux but I no longer hate Jordan. The reason being, that like Chelios in his prime, Lemieux was dirty as can be on the ice. But unlike Chelios he never became a Redwing.

    Of course, I’m entirely amoral so that must explains things.

  24. Jeff M

    June 3, 2006 at 1:49 pm

    Joey, I’m going to try to respond to the issues you raised, but I didn’t want this to get as heated as it has, so please don’t take any of this as a personal attack.

    Was Bonds a dirty player? Not according to MLB during the time period in question. If the steroids issue is big enough for you to view rooting for him as a character flaw, then you must also hate MLB whose policies created a culture in which perhaps 50 percent of its players were injecting performance enhancing substances in the 1990s. But you clearly don’t hate MLB or you wouldn’t be watching its product night in and night out.

    While MLB is far from innocent, I assign most of the blame on the MLBPA. They have fought at every step to prevent testing. There’s no way that MLB, in the wake of a strike shortened season, had the leverage to force testing upon the players. Even with the backing of Congress recently, the MLBPA steadfastly refused to implement testing to the same level as the other major sports.

    I think that picking one player to vilify

    I know he’s only the tip of the iceberg, but he the most prominent symbol. We just don’t have the data to even begin to speculate about most other players.

    tacitly sanctioned steroid use

    I don’t think that’s a fair characterization. Steriod use is illegal. They should have had an active policy against it, but it really shouldn’t have been necessary, given that there’s already a federal policy against it.

    Every cross-check that he delivers without getting a penalty

    I think this is a better example tacit sanctioning. As was every hook, slash and interference. As is the short strike zone and the balk pick-off moves that most lefties use. Same with all of the ball doctoring before they started to watch out for it. If the officials don’t care, I don’t care. As long as everyone plays by the same de facto rules.

    Steroids, OTOH, are just plain illegal. Athlete or not, you’re bound by the same law. I know it’s not possible, but I would support criminal charges against the steroid users, even if that meant Pudge and Kaline joined the likes of Canseco, Bonds, and Palmeiro in the klink.

  25. billfer

    June 3, 2006 at 3:34 pm

    Nothing like mentioning Barry Bonds to stir stuff up.

    My hesitation about Bonds coming to Detroit are two-fold. First, I don’t know if I want the distraction that comes with Bonds, and the hatred from teammates and other stuff messing up the clubhouse.

    Second, I don’t know how valuable he is as a baseball player anymore.

    I don’t actually hate Barry. I don’t like that he did steroids, but I don’t like a system that allowed it either. I can’t hate him for steroids without hating everyone else that might have done steroids – which might have been everyone for all we know.

    I’m just not a big fan of Barry the prick. I hate Bonds on Bonds. I hate Barry playing the victim card. I hate the media attacking Barry. I hate Barry attacking the media. I tried defending Barry for a long time, but his continued actions just made it too dificult to do so. Mostly, I’m just tired of Barry and the whole circus.

  26. Joey C.

    June 3, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    I know you aren’t attacking me Jeff.

    And I certainly wouldn’t be jumping up and down in glee if the Tigs brought Bonds over. But I know that I wouldn’t feel it was the end of the world, or that the ballclub betrayed the fans by doing so. Barry’s a spoiled, egomaniacal putz, but the not the antichrist-like figure I feel people are portraying him as.

    But you’re right about his actions being more than just a player cheating on the field of play, so comparisons I’m drawing to other sports may not be fair. However, speed isn’t legal either and players have been taking that stuff for god knows how long and I’ve never heard any clamoring from fans about it.

    At any rate, I’m sure that we all agree with Billfer that the whole Bonds spectacle is overplayed and tired and at the end of the day, none of us–for a multitude of reasons–would be thrilled if he ended up in a Tigers uniform.

  27. Daniel

    August 2, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    I have to say, that I could not agree with you in 100% regarding Links and stuff, but it’s just my opinion, which could be wrong :)