Game 127: White Sox at Tigers

PREGAME: Flashback to last Monday. The Tigers had just come off a winless weekend and there next opponent was in the thick of the Wild Card hunt and trying to stake a claim in their own division. The Tigers managed to take the first 2 games to stave off the impending tailspin.

Here we are one week later. The Tigers come off a winless weekend and their next opponent is in the thick of the Wild Card hunt and trying to stake a claim in their own division. Once again the Tigers take the first 2 games to stave off the impending tailspin.

The Tigers of course dropped the 3rd game to the Red Sox last week. Here’s hoping for better results in game 3 against the White Sox series.

By taking the first 2 games, the Tigers assured themselves a split of the series and a worst case scenario where the White Sox played 4 more games without gaining ground. Wins either tonight or tomorrow afternoon will just be gravy as far as the division is concerned. However, the Yankees have closed to within 4 1/2 games of the best record so each game still has playoff seeding/home field implications.

The Tigers will turn to Zach Miner as the White Sox trot out Freddy Garcia.

Game Time 7:05

POSTGAME
: There was a lot not to like about this game. Whether it was Zach Miner getting ahead of hitters 0-2 and then falling behind 3-2, or it was the inability of the team to hold the gains when they cut away at the lead in the 1st and 7th innings. You can definitely pick out things not to like, but most of those are covered in the comments already.

Other thoughts from today:

  • If Neifi converts the double play in the 2nd, only one run would have scored instead of 3. I know I said I wouldn’t dog Perez everyday, but if he’s playing despite his offense, he has to be perfect with the glove.
  • Zach Miner wasn’t good today, but you shouldn’t view each of his starts as an automatic loss. He’s not dominant, but he generally keeps the Tigers in the game and eats 5 to 6 innings every 5th day. That’s about all you could hope for a replacement 5th starter.
  • All the credit for Crede’s first homer has to go to Crede. That wasn’t a bad pitch, it was low and away and he one handed it.
  • I have to say I love seeing the hustle from Ordonez the last 2 days. When he was going from 1st to 3rd on the hit and run that was the fastest I’ve seen him and for the second night in a row he got his uniform dirty.
  • Even when the Tigers are getting thumped, they still manage to stick around in the game. The White Sox had runners in scoring position it seemed in every inning. I don’t know how much credit should go to the Tiger pitchers, or blame to the White Sox hitters, but they were stranded for many of the middle innings.
  • That homer by Young was Abreu-esque as it went to the last row in right center. That had to be one of the 5 longest in Comerica’s history.

67 Comments

  1. Pete

    August 23, 2006 at 7:54 pm

    When is Maroth coming back?

  2. KS

    August 23, 2006 at 8:03 pm

    This Miner thing has got to end. You can’t just sacrifice 1 out of every 5 games. I don’t know the alternative until Maroth returns, but even giving Ledezma a shot might be worth a try.

  3. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 23, 2006 at 8:26 pm

    Well, Miner is a rookie and probably wouldn’t be up if Maroth didn’t get injured. Plus, he still has a winning record–if you compare him with other rookies in the league, he probably is average-above average relative to other rookies.

    That said, it might be better to start Ledezma and bring in Miner for early relief if necessary.

    This month’s records so far for Tigers and followers:

    Detroit 11-10
    Chicago 11-10
    Twins 11-9

  4. Pete

    August 23, 2006 at 8:34 pm

    Tonight was rough, but I wouldn’t be too hard on Miner. He’s been OK for what he is. Look around the league at some of the pitchers the other teams have used this year when guys got hurt. The Yankees gave three or four starts to Sidney Ponson. The Twins have to start this Garza kid who’s gotten rocked every time out (not to mention Boof Bonser). It could be worse. That said, I agree it might be time to try Ledezma instead.

    BTW, this game is far from over…

  5. Joey C.

    August 23, 2006 at 8:52 pm

    Curtis is all messed up. That 5th inning AB was terrible. I don’t know why he wasn’t bunting.

  6. PHT in HK

    August 23, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    I agree, Miner is a rook. Cut him some slack. When was the last time a rook not named Verlander won 7 games for the Tigers? When was the last time the Tigers got 28 wins from rookies?

    Give the recent history of this team in developing talent, I have a hard time being down on any of the young players.

  7. Lou

    August 23, 2006 at 9:17 pm

    If tonight’s performance through 6 IP is Garza getting “rocked,” then I wish Tigers starters got rocked more often. Garza’s now had 3 major league starts. One awful, one mediocre, one awesome (so far). It’s a bit of stretch to say “he’s been rocked every time out.”

  8. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 23, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    Yeah, Granderson is batting .123 in August with 3 RBI. I was surprised when I saw that.

  9. Steve

    August 23, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    Couple of things:

    1. Remember when we had Jason Johnson here to “chew up” innings. We are way better off with Zach.

    2. This series has been good, I am looking forward to the Yankees series. They have been playing well lately. I would love to get a couple in New York.

    3. Billfer could you get an interview with DD, not many people get the Nefi deal (except Pete, the fan club manager 😉 ) maybe he could explain it. I really was excited for Omar to get a decent shot.

    2 on none out lets see what happens

  10. Lou

    August 23, 2006 at 9:21 pm

    Man, if Granderson or Shelton don’t get out their slumps and if Plocanco doesn’t come back, our lineup is starting to look like it has a large hole from 7-1. Not like the dangerous 1-9 lineup we used to have.

  11. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 23, 2006 at 9:25 pm

    Casey is Da Man. Perez is not yet Da Man II.

  12. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 23, 2006 at 9:28 pm

    Dang, would have been nice for Inge to single in Casey…

  13. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 23, 2006 at 9:32 pm

    Crap. OK, Lewis needs to quickly go back where he came from.

  14. Joey C.

    August 23, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    I am so tired of the terrible umpiring we’re seeing this year. Lewis had Uribe struck out based on the zone this moron behind the plate has established tonight. And the guy last night was terrilbe too. I’m glad Guillen gave him a mouthful.

    Bring back Questec and enforce the freaking zone. Simple.

  15. Dan

    August 23, 2006 at 9:39 pm

    I’m back.

    Leyland is incompetent. He got what he wanted, and now Neifi Perez is on the team. One of the worst ballplayers in baseball history is now on the team.

    There have been massive errors tonight, and the list goes on and on. It’s a miracle we’re even in this ballgame. We’ve gotten several lucky ground ball singles and timely hits. That’s good, but it’s important to combine that with good decisions, and there haven’t been any. I do not understand how a team like this can compete. It’s incredible.

    Colby Lewis should not be pitching in the 7th inning when we’re down by one run, especially at home. You should have your best available reliever out there for that situation because it maximizes your chances of winning the ballgame, and it is in fact one of the highest leverages situations in a baseball game. It is sheer incompetence to leave Lewis in there. I don’t care what any of you say about instilling confidence or any of that crap–we are trying to win a division here, and putting your 4th best reliever in the ballgame is idiotic. Anyone who has studied this game in any objective way wouldn’t do this, and that’s to say nothing of PICKING UP NEIFI PEREZ, who is just an awful, terrible baseball player.

    Pudge swinging on 3-0. Moronic. Just dumb baseball in every conceivable sense. I hope you agree with me here, because if you don’t it means we’ll spend the next two weeks arguing about it. Leyland had better get his head out of his ass before it’s too late.

    Frankly, it is astounding that this baseball team is anywhere near the playoffs. They deserve to lose tonight. Amazing. Just total crap.

  16. Joey C.

    August 23, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    Jesus. Maybe that’s why Granderson wasn’t bunting last inning. Poor kid just can’t get it going.

  17. Joey C.

    August 23, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    Last AB that is.

  18. Mike F

    August 23, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    You know, I’m about to give up on the comments section.

  19. Dan

    August 23, 2006 at 9:50 pm

    Nice walk by Young, who should not have been hitting in that situation. More luck. This would be nice if Ordonez hit a homer once in a while. Well, good thing we’re paying him $100 million.

    There are dumb people running this club. People who would rather not know anything more about baseball, thank you very much.

    It’s not like losing here will teach any elderly baseball men anything about the game, so fine, I hope there is a miracle and we come back. I’ll tell you this–we don’t deserve it.

    Picking up Neifi Perez….I still can’t get over it. It’s astoundly dumb. It’s just massive stupid. I just…I have no words. It’s that dumb.

  20. Dan

    August 23, 2006 at 9:52 pm

    Sorry to be ruining your life, Mike F. You should build a nice, stable foundation for yourself and then come back. Good luck to you!

  21. billfer

    August 23, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    I agree with most of the points Dan makes – but without the doom and gloom that comes with it. I won’t call Leyland incompetent, but I can’t say I agree leaving Lewis in after the Tigers cut the lead to one. And yeah, Neifi, enough said.

  22. billfer

    August 23, 2006 at 9:55 pm

    Okay, I agreed with Dan’s first comment. I don’t think there are dumb people running the club. I think picking up Neifi was a dumb move, but I don’t think Dombrowski is dumb.

  23. Joey C.

    August 23, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    Haha…this banana story Rod just told is absolutely brilliant. Forget gum-time. They need to get banana-time going.

  24. Cameron in Singapore

    August 23, 2006 at 9:57 pm

    Ah…Magglio…

  25. Michael

    August 23, 2006 at 9:58 pm

    Hawk is going on and on about how brilliant it was that Leyland took Lewis out in the middle of the atbat. He forgets that there in no reason that Colby Lewis should be pitching in the first place!!! Im still seeing red from Pudge swinging at the 3-0 pitch.

    I refuse to accept the Nefi is on our team. You can tell me he is but as far as I’m concerend he is still on the cubs. Great Grilli is pitching. No zumya.

  26. Dan

    August 23, 2006 at 9:59 pm

    It’s not doom and gloom. I didn’t say the Tigers weren’t going to win the division. I said it’s a miracle that they’re even sniffing it. That’s probably going too far, actually – it’s not a miracle, it’s just highly unlikely. A lot of it is luck. We’ve had an amazing record in one-run games, and a bunch of players have taken steps forward all at once. Some credit has to be given to the coaching staff for that, but coaches can’t just turn every single player into a good player all at once. There’s luck in the timing. Some of the credit for the record in one-run games can perhaps be given to the relief corps, but every objective study on this issue has shown that it’s 90% luck. This is a miracle, and there’s a chance it will be flushed down the toilet because of bad decisions down the stretch.

    Craig Wilson was nabbed for nothing. There were possible moves out there for Dombrowski that would have given us an upgrade without tossing in Maybin, and nothing was done. We would have used a quality reliever for the playoffs, but no, we can’t spend any more money because we’re paying a roughly average right fielder a king’s ransom.

    Enjoy this miracle while it lasts, people. That’s not doom and gloom. I don’t know what will happen this year, but I can tell you that this team wil be nowhere near as good next year. 2007 doom and gloom, not 2006.

  27. Dan

    August 23, 2006 at 10:03 pm

    Okay Billfer, I’m willing to bend on Dombrowski acually BEING a dumb person, but go ahead and explain to me a rationale for picking up Neifi Perez that is anything but just completely stupid. Because Leyland wanted it?

    Point taken. I overstated my case in the heat of passion, what with my team pissing away this game tonight.

    You have to seriously call into question anyone who would make a move like that. It’s mind-boggling. Bringing in Neifi as a backup – okay, fine, but as a starter? It not only is a dumb move, it shows utter contempt for the sport of baseball.

  28. Joey C.

    August 23, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    Nah…I’m still holding you to your assured prediction that we were going to collapse and fail to make the playoffs this year.

  29. Mike F

    August 23, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    It’s the doom and gloom attitude that I don’t like. Frankly, I’m enjoying this season as much as I enjoyed the 1984 season, and I don’t need someone who takes every little bump in the road to spoil it for me. The fans also need to learn how to win and not let the pressure of the race get to them.

  30. Dan

    August 23, 2006 at 10:06 pm

    HOW IS NEIFI PEREZ HITTING IN THIS SITUATION WHEN WE HAVE AN EXTRA INFIELDER ON THE BENCH?!?!?!? HOW CAN YOU NOT GO WITH THAMES HERE??????!?!?

    WHAT THE F*** IS GOING ON!????!

  31. Michael

    August 23, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    How on earth do you let Perez bat as the tying run in the 8th!!!!!!!!!! Why not let Thames have a whack and bring infante in as a defensive replacement? this a poorly managed game to say the least. the tigers have fought back despite the moves of leyland and the horrid 3-0 swing by pudge.

  32. Dan

    August 23, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    You cannot find two hitters less disciplined than Pudge Rodriguez and Neifi Perez. Both swung at the first pitch, Neifi when he shouldn’t have even been up there in the first place, and Pudge when we desperately needed a baserunner. Bunch of stupid jocks.

  33. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 23, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    Seems like Infante should be in to PH for Perez in the second half of games…He is obviously not a rally player.

  34. Bix

    August 23, 2006 at 10:10 pm

    Bilfer, whether I agree or disagree with the point, the style and confrontation of a lot of the comments lately has finally worn me out. Thanks for taking the time to put together and write such a great site to read and be a part of this season — a season many of us have waited 20 years for — but I’m out. The nastiness has finally affected my ability to enjoy watching the game.

    Best of luck, and go Tigers.

  35. Tater

    August 23, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    Good grief. I literally cannot think of a single reason Perez was allowed to hit in the 8th.

  36. Michael

    August 23, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    I want to see thames hit for granderson here in the 9th!

  37. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 23, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    OK, Grilli was pretty on tonight. Let’s hope we have some rally juice left…

  38. Michael

    August 23, 2006 at 10:18 pm

    ok granderson is 0-4 off jenks.. but..he walks!!! nice… run Jerks through your spell check and you get Jerks!

  39. Michael

    August 23, 2006 at 10:19 pm

    way to show patience Monroe and Young after a walk… nice…game over.

  40. Michael

    August 23, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    I meant ot say “run Jenks through your spell check and you get Jerks.”

  41. Dan

    August 23, 2006 at 10:22 pm

    Awful play by the Tigers today, from managment on down. Just awful. God knows how many runs we may have gotten had Pudge not tried to be a hero when it didn’t make a stinking bit of sense. He is not in there for his brains, I suppose.

    Still, it would be nice if the manager or the players on the team KNEW SOMETHING ABOUT HOW RUNS ARE SCORED.

    Take care, Bix! Sorry this was so rough on you.

  42. billfer

    August 23, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    Ah, if only Neifi had turned that double play in the 2nd inning, it would have saved 2 runs.

    As for Monroe, yes it was the first pitch, but yes it was a belt high fastball over the middle of the plate and probably the exact pitch he was looking for. That one didn’t bother me too much.

    And as for defending Neifi Perez, I’ve never tried Dan. I called it an awful move on day 1 and complained about it each day since.

  43. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 23, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    I am thinking the top relievers were being given a spell in preparation for the go against Garland.

  44. Cameron in Singapore

    August 23, 2006 at 10:32 pm

    Neifi Perez really might end up ruining the season…Please please please send him to the back of the bench.

  45. Michael

    August 23, 2006 at 10:36 pm

    Shawn,

    that is nonsense. no reason to rest already rested relievers for a game in the future. This was a winnable game. no reason to trot out colby lewis. Im not a Grilli fan but I would have rather seen him relieve Ledezma.

    Bilfer,

    I agree with you on the Monroe swing. It was his pitch to hit. with 2 outs though, Young needs to work the count. Not sure why Inge was not PH for. Not sure why JL NEVER PINCH HITS!!!

  46. Michael

    August 23, 2006 at 10:38 pm

    Shawn,

    that is nonsense. no reason to rest already rested relievers for a game in the future. This was a winnable game. no reason to trot out colby lewis. Im not a Grilli fan but I would have rather seen him relieve Ledezma.

    Bilfer,

    I agree with you on the Monroe swing. It was his pitch to hit. with 2 outs though, Young needs to work the count. Not sure why Inge was not PH for. Not sure why JL NEVER PINCH HITS!!!

    That DP that Nefi blew was a killer. Glad we got him for his glove. He sure seemed to come to the plate in key situations didnt he? He is horrid. Career numbers don’t lie. I live in chicago and when Cub fans come up to you and raz you because you just traded for Perez its as bad as it gets.

  47. Michael

    August 23, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    on the bright side, thome might be lost for awhile with the blown hammy.

  48. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 23, 2006 at 11:00 pm

    Michael, exaggerations are unnecessary. It may not be Leyland’s rationale, but my speculation definitely isn’t nonsense. I have never claimed to be an expert and earlier I clearly indicated that I wasn’t too happy with Lewis.

    Anyway, I am hoping Robertson gives us a long run tomorrow night so that relievers don’t need to be as pivotal as they were tonight.

  49. Joey the K

    August 23, 2006 at 11:02 pm

    A) Check Crede’s bat for cork.

    2) Anyone think “Dan” might really be Ken Harrelson in disguise trying to break our spirits with his negative attitude?

  50. sox fan pat

    August 23, 2006 at 11:07 pm

    Relax guys, you lost one game. You will still win the division, we’re going after the wildcard at this point. Hopefully we can (hate to say it) split the series with the Tigers tomorrow and go after the twinkies on Friday.

    I do have to agree, picking up Perez was a terrible move on the Tigers part though..

  51. Dan

    August 23, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    Let’s also not forget that Neifi isn’t actually a good fielder anymore either. He simply brings nothing – ZERO – to the table, and at this point he’s pretty much the same player as Jose Macias.

    I don’t understand why I get criticized so much for knocking managment. It’s not Leyland’s job to sporadically manage well, peppering dumbfounding decisions in along the way. It’s his job to ALWAYS or ALMOST ALWAYS make the right decision. That’s why he gets 7 figures per year. He’s supposed to be onbe of the best in the world at what he does, and he is not. The Tigers are winning this year because of good pitching and god defense overall. There are probably a dozen games where Leyland has pulled the dumbest moves imaginable in key situations. Most of the time it isn’t going to matter much, but a few of those times the Tigers are going to win. Don’t tell me you haven’t watched that geriatric SOB throw games away. I know you guys know enough about baseball to have seen some of these things. How’d you like to be a couple more games up on the White Sox right now?

    I know what you’re going to say. “But Dan, you evil, anti-family-values bulletin board menace, what about all the GOOD decisions Leyland has made?”

    I would say to you, “You’re missing the point!”

    Probably 90 to 95% of a manager’s value is in being adequate. Most of the decisions make themselves. There aren’t many chances to do some truly impressive maverick managing. There is either the right decision or the wrong decision in the vast majority of scenarios. The key is to not throw away the game by making indescribably dumb decisions.

    For instance, pitching Zumaya and Jones in a 7-1 ballgame a couple of days ago, and then not using one of your best relievers when you’re down by 1 in the 7th, AT HOME. I’m sure Leyland knows a lot, and he can do an adequate job a lot of the time, but this shows a complete disregard for anything resembling objetive, reasoned thinking. I know you hate it when I say stuff like this Billfer, but smart people who are at the top of their professions do not make mistakes that big. If architects did, there would be buildings collapsing left and right as you walked to work. If firefighters did, you’d routinely see them dousing houses two doors down from the one on fire.

    Leyland has already made crystal clear his disdain for “eggheads” and computers, so you damn well know he’s not reading anything like Baseball Prospectus, Hardball Times, or any other of the hundreds of websites strewn throughout cyberspace that seriously study subjects like this, things that could give a manager an edge over a dumb manager, and draw him even with a competent one. I understand that one thing doesn’t make a guy dumb, but when thre are dozens of moves that are utterly obvious in their contempt for logic, you have to start asking questions.

    Good players win baseball games, and the Tigers have combined luck and quality to gain a big lead early. This does not mean they are the best team. It does not mean they’re the most well run team. It does not mean they are destined to win, and it does not mean they’ve put together a perennial contender. It means simply that things have gone well. It’s Leyland’s job to know the difference between a player who is leading the team in home runs and a player who is on the short list for worst of all time.

    Look, I’m not trying to tear down anyone’s spirit. I despise the waste of food and water that is Hawk Harrelson as much as the next guy does. I just don’t see what that has to do with calling out glaring errors on a public forum, perhaps shedding some light on how little things, over the long run, can make big differences. I mostly insult the managment and poor play of the baseball team. I occasionally make a coment about something that I think was particularly well done. If that makes me a negative nelly, who cares? Either discuss the issues I bring up, or discuss your own in what ever warm, fuzzy way that you see fit. It’s not like I’m knocking people on the board left and right, excepting the times when the intelligence of the average reader is insulted.

    The Tigers are not 6 1/2 games back. They are either 5 1/2 or 7 1/2 games back. Tomorrow they cart Robertson out there against the White Sox best pitcher right now, Jon Garland. If we win, great. I’ll feel a whole lot better about it. If we lose then the spectre of dropping this division will be very real, especially with series against the Yankees in the Bronx and with the White Sox in Chicago looming. Another sweep by the Sox a nd we are in large and very real trouble. I’m sorry for pointing out mistakes. It’s because I’m worried and I care. I’ve been waiting 20 years for this, following the team through one 100-loss season after another, all the way into the abyss of 2003. Pardon me if I get excited. It’s my baseball team.

  52. Anthony

    August 23, 2006 at 11:55 pm

    I love the blog!

    I’d like to say that I agree with some things that Dan is saying. The lineup is poor by the higher standards that a contending team should be measured by. This team, as constructed, would not be able to replicate this record next year.

    I completely disagree with the assertion that Dombrowski is dumb. I think he’s proven that he is a top 5-10 gm, and this is the 3rd bad team he’s turned around. He’s stockpiled arms galore in the organization and has this team achieving faster than they were supposed to.

    There is no way that they’ll allow the team to go into next season with as many holes in their lineup as they have, but thats for a later day. Right now they are contending, and with all the other contenders having isssues of their own, these guys can still go far. I know that this is really an 87 win team with an awesome string of great karma and luck, but who cares??? Its a lot of fun and with the unusual parity this year, the Tigs have a chance.

  53. Nick G

    August 24, 2006 at 12:49 am

    After Dan’s nine paragragh rant, of which I read about three (welcome back, Dan!), I realized who should be coaching the renaissance Tigs — Dan.

    He probably deals with clubhouse issues at least as well as Tram.

    I know Dan makes a lot of friends here.

  54. Bryan

    August 24, 2006 at 1:10 am

    Wow, lets put Pudge at second and Vance behind the plate, at least he could bat.

    Okay, maybe not.

    Thinking about Perez gives me a headache, Polanco couldn’t have gotten hurt in a worst time

  55. Dan

    August 24, 2006 at 1:32 am

    Nick G brings up a good point. I would be better at field managing than Leyland is. I’m confident of this. There are thousands or maybe tens of thousands of people who would be. I would, however, be a bad guy to have in the clubhouse, due to my bad personality and inability to manage egos.

    Neither one of these things is rocket science. It can’t be that hard to find someone who can maintain an upbeat clubhouse and also study and understand simple aspects of the game. There are probably hundreds of people out there who combine Leyland’s mysterious ability to handle the personalities and a modicum of baseball common sense.

    Oh yeah, that’s right – you’re not allowed to hire anyone outside of the tiny, exclusive, special-old-man baseball club! Never mind then. Who do you think will get the job after Leyland? Charlie Manuel? Felipe Alou? Dusty Baker? There’s a pool of maybe 7 to choose from.

    In all seriousness, why do you think it is that people like Larry Dierker never get offers anymore?

  56. Nick G

    August 24, 2006 at 1:54 am

    Dan, when I said “welcome back,” I was serious. You bring a lot to the table. Now, play nice. Please.

  57. Chris J

    August 24, 2006 at 1:58 am

    Dan…

    You are right on.

    I could make a long and comprehensive post about how I agree with certain things you’re saying and have slightly different opinions on other things, but I’m not going to bother.

    It’s so so frustrating to hear Tigers fans that want to bury their heads in the sand and throw out all rational thought about baseball and the way it works. I accidentially catch sports radio on my car dial from time to time (from when I had previously been listening to the game) and it literally makes me nauseated. From the bulk of the callers up to the hosts- especially the hosts, who tolerate no objective statistical discussion- it’s all the same.

    As sad as it is, there’s an extremely large anti-intellectual tradition in both baseball and the American public.

    From Ball Four to Moneyball and the rampant intolerance in society today, the evidence is overflowing.

    To anyone reading this, please note that you’re probably the exception to the rule, so don’t take it personally.

  58. Nick G

    August 24, 2006 at 2:12 am

    Oh, and, Dan, I wasn’t referring to your last post, in my plea to play “nice.” I was just talking in general. This site and the Tigs dugout is better off with positivity. We should all be enjoying this!!!! Please try.

  59. Dan

    August 24, 2006 at 2:55 am

    Oh, I’m trying alright. I was doing fine for a couple of days there, and I told everyone I know that if we took 3 out of 4 I wouldn’t worry anymore.

    There’s a big difference between 5 1/2 games and 7 1/2 games. 7 1/2 and I think we’re home free…

  60. Nick G

    August 24, 2006 at 3:07 am

    Let’s do it! 7 1/2 it is!

  61. Marshall in DC

    August 24, 2006 at 9:21 am

    Watching you guys is halarious. Hyper-emotional. Win and the world is your oyster, loose and DD and Leyand are certifiable idiots.

    If you had told me 4 days ago we would go 2-2 against the Sox, I would have been happy with that. The pressure is on them to Catch us.

    We have 6.5 game lead on them, and they are not playing significanly better than us as our recent record indicate. As for the yanks – they are going to pass tigers in about 10 days, and I give them about 100% chance of winning the World Series with or without home field advantage anyway.

    So sit back, enjoy this pennant race.

  62. Kyle J

    August 24, 2006 at 9:37 am

    Anyone who uses the words “Dombrowski” and “dumb” in the same sentence needs to go back and read that BP article about how this team was built. At this point, Perez looks like the only bad move DD has made since he’s been here–and the guy is only a fill-in until Polanco gets back.

    Re: Leyland–Clearly he often doesn’t make the right decision from an analytical basis. I think we all substantially undervalue how well he manages personalities and expectations, though–which is what Trammell struggled with. IMO, he’s the major reason we haven’t had a prolonged losing stretch of more than 10 games yet this year.

    Back to Bilfer’s pre-game post: My only real concern at this point is the White Sox catching us. I’m not that concerned about the Yankees catching us. Assuming the White Sox or Twins are the wild card, then I don’t think being the #2 seed would be that big a disadvantage. We’d still get to play the West champion in the first round (because we couldn’t be matched against the other Central team). All we’d lose is possible home field advantage in the second round–which isn’t a huge deal in baseball.

  63. Chris Y.

    August 24, 2006 at 10:08 am

    Anybody feel that Miner’s performance last night earned Maroth a start (assuming he’s actually healthy)? How about Ledezma?

    Miner’s kept us in some games, but the guy can barely make it to the 5th inning and has fairly hittable stuff, esp. when he’s pitching from behind in the count — and he almost always is.

    Leyland seems to be very starter oriented. He can be so bullheaded about his starters, I can’t actually believe that he went and got Miner that early. I bet Miner stays in the rotation.

    So what exactly did Infante do to get in Leyland’s doghouse? Really, we get Perez and won’t even use Infante in situations that warrant it (pich-hit Thames in the 8th)? Did Infante’s critical error in the Texas series eat Jim up that bad? Count me among the confused.

    The Neifi thing is getting old, the guy plain old sucks. Period. Let’s leave it at that and move on, our collective disapproval (is that to soft?) is not going to change anything and if I read one more Neifi rant I might puke.

    But, boy, he sucks.

  64. Dan

    August 24, 2006 at 10:25 am

    Kyle J, I know. Dombrowski is not dumb. Leyland is.

    Picking up Neifi was dumb, am I right? It was a dumb act by a smart person. Okay. Pretty dumb though. Not dumb the way you might think of yourself as dumb for locking your keys in your car, but premeditated dumb. Plenty-of-time-to-think-about-it-and-refused-to-listen-to-reason dumb.

    He is not dumb, but I call some of his moves into question. Troy Percival? Neifi Perez? Dmitri Young’s contract? Ordonez’s contract? Those are dumb. There are many good ones in there, too. Dombrowski is a mixed bag, then.

  65. Jeff M

    August 24, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    Troy Percival? Neifi Perez? Dmitri Young’s contract? Ordonez’s contract? Those are dumb.

    DY: You can hate the man for his recent misdeeds, but the bottom line is that he came to a horrible team with a smile on his face and gave us everything we asked of him. He earned every penny (well, as much as anyone actually “earns” money by playing a game).

    Percival & Ordonez: Calculated risks. It’s the price we pay for a decade of ineptitude. There was no way that a healthy, top tier free agent was going to come here, so the choice was simple: take some risks or field a AAA team and hope to win more games than KC. The tide has officially turned, so we shouldn’t have to make that horrible choice anymore.

    Perez: I’m stayin out of this one. It seems to me that it was a desperate move to plug a (perceived?) hole on a team that wants to make a big run. I don’t want to discuss it though. This horse is already starting to rot.

  66. Dan

    August 24, 2006 at 2:01 pm

    Why aren’t baseball players “earning” their money, Jeff? Baseball makes a lot of money, and people really care about it, so why aren’t the very talented people who make up baseball teams worthy of that money? How about actors? Models? Concert pianists? Does one actually have to lift things and put them in a truck in order to “earn” the money that is being paid to him? Should sous chefs earn more money than busboys or line cooks? Line cooks and busboys work harder, so why? I’ve heard this line of reasoning before, Jeff, and I’m not interested in getting into it. I urge you to give it some thought though. These people are at the very top of an incredibly exclusive and, yes, demanding profession, and most of them have a small window of opportunity to make the money before they get too old and are dropped. Think about it.

    Ironically, I was going to continue by saying that DY is not worth what he’s being paid. He is worth probably half of what he is being paid. I can actually do the analysis for you, but I don’t really have the time. Go look up what DHs and 1st basemen are making, the length of their contracts, and their ouput, and I’m certain you’ll see that I’m right on this. DY came here with a smile, but he is not always smiles. He starts complaining when things aren’t going well. If you think players like DY are good to have around, in general, then there is probably a job waiting for you in the Kansas City Royals organization.

    Neifi Perez is one of the worst players ever. Period.

    Troy Percival was an incredibly stupid signing. He was 36 (I think), and ALL of his stats were trending downward. He hadn’t pitched a full season in three years, and everysingle indicator was pointing toward total collapse. Calculated risk? Get a new mathematician.

  67. Kurt

    August 24, 2006 at 2:15 pm

    Dan is right. If baseball players don’t make their money, baseball owners will. If baseball owners don’t make their money, television stations will. If television stations don’t make their money, advertisers will. They each contribute something along the way. And the parallel is, if baseball teams charged less for tickets, sclapers would make more profit. The economic system pays players boatload for a reason.

    Some players are just paid poorly in accordance to their ability to draw fans, which, as we’ve seen, occurs when a team actually wins more than 62 games.