Game 140: Mariners at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tiger offense is still in a funk, and to top it off they face Tiger killer Gil Meche. In his first 2 starts against the Tigers this year, he has allowed 3 runs over 13 innings while fanning 15.

Meanwhile, Kenny Rogers has been the Tigers hottest starter, but if the bats don’t get going soon they’ll need near perfection from Rogers.

Game Time 1:05


  1. Taylor

    September 6, 2006 at 1:11 pm

    At least Kenny is on the mound today. He’s been pitching very solid lately. Go Tigers!

  2. Steve

    September 6, 2006 at 1:16 pm

    Neifi Is playing, What doe he have on DD or Leyland?

  3. Adam

    September 6, 2006 at 1:17 pm

    Great. No-talent Perez is playing. And grounding out.

  4. Steve

    September 6, 2006 at 1:18 pm

    How about this off Game day for DY

    Pitch 1 – Called Strike
    Pitch 2 – Foul
    Pitch 3 – Swinging Strike

    Dmitri Young strikes out swinging.

    How about taking one or so????????????????????????????????

  5. Taylor

    September 6, 2006 at 1:21 pm

    Perez HAS to be blackmailing Leyland. I just don’t get it. He’ll have a double digit batting average soon.

  6. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    Dmitri is completely useless and if you have Perez hitting in the 2-hole (or on your roster for that matter) you do not deserve to win. I know Bilfer with argue with me ad infinitum about what it means to deserve to win. But I thought i would “chime in” on that. Go Tigs!

  7. Jeff

    September 6, 2006 at 1:25 pm

    Rogers isn’t perfect today. Not criticizing him, because he’s been so good of late, but as Bill noted, they needed perfection. Because this free-swinging / banjo-hitting lineup isn’t going to score much against Meche or Putz (and I doubt there will be any middle relief necessary as the Tigers’ free swingers will keep Meche at a comfortable 10 pitches per inning).

  8. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 1:34 pm


    magglio finally works the count and slaps a single. Monroe swings at first pitch and hits into DP… great baseball. Mariners took pitches in their half ofthe inning and scored. We ignore the things that win ballgames. we swing away hoping for the homer. We only win when we homer.

  9. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 1:35 pm

    Awful lineup today. Just terrible approaches at the plate. This offense is in a funk, but you also have to realize that a lot of it is regression to the mean. These are not good hitters. They are fundamentally bad, and no one is patient. Almost no one. There are two possible explanations for Leyland allowing a lineup like this to start the game:

    1. He is an idiot.

    2. He is trying to lose baseball games on purpose.

    It’s hard to believe that any manager who is supposed to be among the best in the world is that dumb, so Bud Selig should probably investigate this. Leyland should be banned for life for this crap.

  10. stephen

    September 6, 2006 at 1:36 pm

    worth repeating from yesterday:

    tigers batting coaches OBA…

    Don Slaught: career oba: 338.
    AAALeon Durham: career oba: .356
    AA Pete Incaviglia career oba .310

  11. T Smith

    September 6, 2006 at 1:39 pm

    Has anyone heard anything at all about Guillen? Just when I thought the Perez thing was behind us…he ends up batting 2nd in the lineup.

  12. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 1:45 pm

    Anyone notice how wilson took pitches before he homered?

  13. Pete

    September 6, 2006 at 1:46 pm

    In defense of Leyland, he has to play either Perez or Santiago today, right? I would prefer Santiago, but I don’t see a huge difference. Obviously no excuse for batting Perez second, but we’ve beaten that to death already.

    It’s hard to see where the offense is going to come from today. Monroe is going to have to hit a home run. Seattle’s 1-0 lead may be insurmountable.

    Casey is 0-for-September. Should we go back to Shelton and hope he can regain his power stroke? He has a bigger upside than Casey.

    Holy crap, Vance Wilson just homered, and Inge hit a double. Break up the Tiges!

  14. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    wow! they just walked the unwalkable in Perez!

  15. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 1:58 pm

    After 2 consecutive walks to load the bases, young pops out on an 0-2 count!!!!! Young cannot be denfended! he is terrible!

  16. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 6, 2006 at 1:59 pm

    Wade Boggs can’t be coaching his kids’ little league right now…let’s fly him up from Tampa as our new hitting coach along with his lifetime .415 OBP! 🙂

    Ordonez! Doh!

  17. Chris Y.

    September 6, 2006 at 2:01 pm

    You know your the Tigers when…..

    You load the bases with one out and have your #3 up and clean-up on deck and get two terrible at-bats.

    The Tigers simply don’t have the hitting to go any further this season. At least DD won’t have to wonder what he needs to retool.

  18. Kyle J

    September 6, 2006 at 2:02 pm

    Let’s be realistic here. If Perez doesn’t play, it’s Santiago instead. I don’t see much of a difference there.

    Also interesting that whenever Perez walks, it’s the pitcher’s fault.

    I’ll stop now before I get labeled a Perez apologist.

  19. Kurt

    September 6, 2006 at 2:19 pm

    This feels like “3 nights in August” to me where La Russa plugged in some guy at No. 2 who didn’t belong there because he believed the other batters in the lineup were in their optimal position and would feel uncomfortable elsewhere. Whether or not he was right, that’s what Tony did. And Leyland is his good buddy. Maybe I’m misreading this one, but that’s the only reason I can see Neifi hitting second — it was Polanco’s home. Maybe Leyland doesn’t want to give away the bottom 3 spots in his batting order either. It’s not exactly a move I agree with. Of course, it’s not like anyone on this team is really tearing things up either.

    Blame Leyland. Blame Neifi. But we might not be having these worries if the meat of the lineup were producing anything at all. Those are the guys paid to hit the ball and they’re not doing it worth crap.

  20. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 2:25 pm

    Again we need a perfect game by our pitchers to beat a terrible team…But enough Doom and Gloom….go Tigs!

  21. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    well the wheels just came off….

  22. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 2:27 pm

    but lets continue to give Leyland the benefit of the doubt..right? Billfer?

  23. Kurt

    September 6, 2006 at 2:35 pm

    “but lets continue to give Leyland the benefit of the doubt..right? Billfer?”

    Maybe it’s not my place to ask, but what exactly your goal in doing that?

  24. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    We don’t deserve the playoffs because our lineup’s success hinges on how much gum a Fu Manchu’ed pitcher can stuff in his mouth! Pathetic! We have survied by winning games late that we should have lost. we have survied on luck. “Gum Time” is what they sold us…its luck and it has run out. Minnesota is playing great baseball and they will catch us.

  25. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 2:39 pm

    my point is that what is happening is no surprise. Billfer decided to comment in a previous post that i only “chime in” when the tigers are losing. well that has been quite often don’t you think? Maybe its time for another one of those “Comments on Comments” blog entry.

  26. Pete

    September 6, 2006 at 2:45 pm

    I blame today’s loss on two people:

    1. Leyland, for batting N. Perez second.

    2. Billfer, for cutting Leyland too much slack.

    Seriously, people, this team is losing ballgames right now because it is not a very good hitting team and it’s missing two regulars. I’ve been critical of Leyland, but he’s not the reason we’re losing right now. Infante and Thames both played each of the last two games, and we didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard.

  27. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 2:48 pm


    Tell me then, why do Infante and Thames have to produce every single time they are thrown a scrap of playing time? Young, Perez, ordonez , do nothing on a daily basis.

  28. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 2:50 pm

    Kurt and Pete:

    Nevermind Perez. We already know that Leyland doesn’t understand why Perez is awful. It’s behind us. The man is just going to keep playing, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

    But why is Young hitting 3rd? Why is Thames on the bench? Why is Young swinging at a 2-0 pitch and popping up with the bases loaded?

    Because that’s what he does. He’s a bad hitter. He is getting a little old, and he’s the type of player who does not age well. We’ve seen this over and over from Young. He wants to be the hero, and he doesn’t THINK at the plate. He is a big dumb jackass who has always relied on his natural skills, and he’s never had to think these things through. Plus, he’s playing for a team that will not even consider making an adjustment to his approach when something like this happens. They just don’t care about patience and plate discipline, and they’re simply not going to preach it. Add it all up and you’ve got a weak popup on a 2-0 pitch with the bases loaded and one out. Teams like that do not win.


    One more thing – no more arguing about Leyland or Young. They are both clueless. You cannot tell me that Leyland knows what he’s doing after what we’ve seen this season. The team won a lot of games because hitters were over their heads, and we were getting pretty lucky in one run games. No one was smart enough to see this coming. Why? Aren’t these professionals?

    We need to expect more of the people who are paid because we go to games and buy MLB television packages. It’s a joke what is happening to this baseball team.

    And I don’t want to hear anymore about how guys like Meche or Saunders or any of these other guys are pitching great games. They are pitchers pitching against an awful offensive ballclub. The chances that our pitching collapses before our offense comes back are much higher than the other way around. That’s because the offense is not good. This is the real Tigers offense. You cannot be last in the league in walks and pitches seen per plate appearance and expect to win baseball games. I have a question for you:

    How come I know that? Why do Mike and Billfer and thousands of other informed baseball fans know it, while the people responsible for this garbage don ‘t? More people should be asking this question. If stuff on popular blogs gets hammered at with regularity and intelligence, it winds up in the paper, and these days, you can sometimes enforce accountability. Let’s do that.

    This team sucks right now, and that happens sometimes, but there is one big problem. This is closer to the actual skill level of our team than the play that we saw for the first half of the season. This is a problem heading down the stretch, trying to fight off a teams like Minnesota, who is simply much better than us, and the Sox, who aren’t playing better than us right now but are playing BELOW their talent level.

    No more arguing the obvious.

  29. Pete

    September 6, 2006 at 3:05 pm

    Michael and Dan,

    You guys are preaching to the choir. I can’t defend DY batting third. He should be on the bench and Thames should play every day. My point is just that our offense is so bad right now I feel like we would be losing even with a manager who made smart lineup decisions. Maybe I’m wrong. The other way to look at it is that our offense is so bad right now, we need the manager to press all the right buttons just for us to have a chance. And he’s not.

  30. T Smith

    September 6, 2006 at 3:05 pm


    Obvious? It doesn’t seem that obvious to Leyland…

    Like others who have commented, I give Leyland credit for creating a winning chemistry and how he has handled the clubhouse. And also credit for some of his decisions…it’s not all moronic. But we do need to make some adjustments…and NOW…if we want to play in October. No matter how much you like Leyland, you can’t deny he HAS made mistakes…as all managers do.

  31. T Smith

    September 6, 2006 at 3:08 pm

    Inge homers…

  32. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 3:09 pm

    Pete, Infante is a better hitter than Perez, by far, and Thames is at least the 2nd best player on the team.

    Go ahead and cherrypick the last game from Thames. That’s really constructive.

    Thames usually gets about one hit per game, and that hit is quite often a double or a homer. He is leading the team in slugging % by a large margin, and his OBP, while not great, is one of the best on the team. His isolated patience and his isolated power (OBP-AVG and SLG-AVG, respectively) are the best on the team. These are not abstract stats meant only to support my point, and they are not empty and reasonless. They are tied, tightly, to run scoring.

    No more arguing about whether or not Thames should be playing. Of course he should be playing. Does it solve all of our problems? No. Does it make us better. Unquestionably.

    If you find yourself wanting to post something about supporting Leyland’s decision to sit Thames most of the time, save it. You aren’t thinking it through.

  33. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 3:09 pm

    2 solo homers. There is no way perez should be allowed to hit for himself in the 8th…

  34. T Smith

    September 6, 2006 at 3:11 pm

    Someone PLEASE tell me Perez will NOT bat!!!

    OH MY GOD!! He’s in the on-deck circle

  35. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    well i was wrong…perez singles. unbelievable

  36. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    why is young hitting against a lefty?????or at all for that matter????

  37. Tater

    September 6, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    Kevin Hooper pinch hits for Young? This had better be a bunt.

  38. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    Hooooper?????????? Bunting?

  39. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    Why not pinch hit a guy that can put it in the seats?

  40. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    T Smith, chemistry is horsecrap. It’s a catch-all term that ends up supporting whatever point you want to make in a way that demands nothing of the person saying it. It’s garbage.

    How many times do I have to say what I’m about to say before people stop questioning me?











    I’m saying he should not make glaring, egregious errors having to do with a basic understanding of the sport that he has been managing for decades.

    It is not going to fix all of the Tigers’ problems. What is it going to LIKELY do is win us an extra game or two. The extra win or two is LIKELY (do you understand the concept of probability, or do I have to explain this, too) to make a large difference in what is turning out to be a very close race. It is true that it doesn’t affect our chances massively. It affects our chances a little however. Please, get this through your thick skulls for god’s sake.

    I’m tired of talking through the same crap over and over again. We can never move forward if my knowledge of baseball is constantly questioned. I think I’ve made it clear that, despite possibly being insane in a behavioral sense, I know what I’m talking about.

    Think about it.

  41. Shawn in Tokyo

    September 6, 2006 at 3:16 pm

    Even Mother Nature is joining the Tiger bashing! Radio says its raining harder…

  42. Pete

    September 6, 2006 at 3:19 pm

    Dan, did you mean to address your last post to me? I said “THAMES SHOULD PLAY EVERY DAY.” I do appreciate your four paragraphs supporting that (obvious, to everyone but Leyland) point…

  43. Tater

    September 6, 2006 at 3:19 pm

    *Sigh* Way to come through, Magglio.

  44. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 3:22 pm

    Great hitting by Ordonez there!

    And Ichiro falls down! Thank god Leyland was able to work some of his magic chemistry into the game!

    Go tigs!

  45. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 3:23 pm

    wowza! mother nature bails us out!

  46. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 3:25 pm

    This is what I was responding to, Pete, a sentence that completely misses the point:

    “Infante and Thames both played each of the last two games, and we didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard.”

    No one is saying that Thames is going to make all of the difference every day. I am saying that small things add up to make big differences, and Leyland has made countless wrong, small decisions. These have added up. Period. I know you understand what I’m talking about, so I’ll just leave it at that.

    If Thames is in the lineup every day instead of Young, and I mean EVERY DAY, the team will probably win a game or two extra. This is a big deal in a race like this.

  47. Andy in NY

    September 6, 2006 at 3:27 pm


    I think the Tigers can only play with the hand that they’re dealt.

    So here’s my best guess as to why Young is batting third today. First, in almost 4000 career AB’s, he is batting .291, other than Pudge and Maggs, that’s best on the team. This year, he’s sitting at .254 but coming into today he was batting .300 with an .850 OPS since the All Star break, that’s better than anyone but Monroe I’d guess offhand (maybe Infante). Also, coming into today’s game he was 6-12 lifetime off of Meche with 1 HR. Thames on the other hand is batting .202 with a .737 OPS since the All Star break. Now you might argue that’s because he hasn’t been getting the playing time, but it’s a tough argument to make because he doesn’t have the track record of an established major league player to fall back on. And I think we’ve seen, with the Neifi bias, that Leyland leans heavily on track record and “feel” when making these kinds of decisions. So, who else should bat third?

    In terms of specific game situation stuff, wouldn’t you want Dmitri to swing at a 2-0 pitch with the bases loaded? When else are you going to swing? Sometimes guys pop the ball up, it happens… Thames had a situation on Sunday night where he was the winning run at the plate in the 9th and he popped up to the catcher to end the game. That happens too. It happens to everybody.

    The Tigers don’t have a great lineup right now. We really miss Guillen and Polanco. If it were me, I’d bat Carlos third when he’s healthy and Monroe fifth. Carlos is the best hitter on the team, Monroe will give you some pop after Maggs. But when Pudge is struggling and Maggs is struggling, we don’t have a lot we can do about it. Most lineups in baseball are like this (except for the Yankees). I wish we had someone better than those two guys in the middle and Dmitri too, but we’re overpaying them, and that means a.) we don’t have the resources to go out and spend the money on better players and b.) we have to put them in the lineup, because even though they’re overpaid, they’re better than the other players on the roster.

    And, as I’m writing this, we’ve come back and tied the game, so there’s always hope that the unexpected will happen and guys will outperform their norms. That’s the great thing about baseball. Some days you win when you’re not supposed to, even when you do things wrong. And the inverse is true too.

  48. Kyle J

    September 6, 2006 at 3:29 pm

    It all boils down to this, folks: you can’t take the good as a given and nitpick everything that goes bad.

    If you want to criticize DD for trading for Perez, fine. But make sure you give him credit for the multitude of moves he’s made to build this team.

    If you want to criticize Leyland for not playing Thames against right-handers, fine. But make sure you give him credit for sticking with Monroe when he was struggling.

    If you want to criticize Leyland for his lineup decisions, fine. But make sure you give him credit for how he’s handled the pitching staff.

    If you want to say this team doesn’t have enough hitting, fine. But make sure you also note that we still have the best ERA in the major leagues.

    And to say this team doesn’t “deserve to win.” That’s a nonsensical statement. This team deserves to win as much as any in the major leagues.

    It will be fun to revisit some of these posts when we get to the playoffs.

  49. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 3:30 pm

    Andy, you clearly don’t know anything about baseball, especially where aging patterns are concerned. I won’t waste the time to respond to your post. It’s nonsense.

    Thames should be batting instead of Young. He’s a better hitter BY FAR. By far, Andy. Young sucks.

  50. Kurt

    September 6, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    Young should never start. I didn’t want him to be invited back to the team. I wanted Thames in every day. Perez should never have been traded for and should never hit second. We are all of agreement on all these things. We all seem to be arguing with ourselves over nothing. But the tone here is absolutely incredible.

  51. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    Kyle, it is not Leyland’s job to bat .500 as a manager. It isn’t rocket science, and it isn’t intellectually what hitting is physically. It’s not that hard. The dumb mistakes are costly. The right decisions are almost always obvious. Positively none of your examples have anything to do with the point.

    But hey, I’ll throw you a bone here. I know I rail on Leyland a lot, but I’d like to take this opportunity to commend him for two things today. One, he successfully dressing in his baseball uniform, with socks, a hat ,and (presumably) underwear included. Bravo, Jim! Two, he was able to fill out the lineup card with players who actually play the positions to which they are assigned.

    Thank god for Jim Leyland!

    As for Dave Dombrowski, I’ll add that he admirably refrained from trading Justin Verlander for Eric Milton.

    These guys are doing great!

  52. Jared

    September 6, 2006 at 3:40 pm

    sometimes I just get sick of people complaining. like right now.

  53. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks for your input, Jared!

  54. Kyle J

    September 6, 2006 at 3:44 pm

    Correct: It’s not his job to bat .500. How about .612? You yourself constantly complain this team wasn’t as good as its record indicated when it was up near .700.

    The issue is that many people around here seem to think Leyland is supposed to bat 1.000. We’re all in the same page on Perez. We’re mostly on the same page on Thames (deserves more at bats, although I’m still not convinced he’s going to be consistently good vs. right handers). That’s two bad decisions–compared to a whole series of good ones (not moving Shelton up in the lineup, sticking with Monroe, sticking with Jones, sticking with Rogers, etc.).

    The rest of these issues are pretty small. One day we want him to bunt; the next we don’t. Clearly, the answers aren’t always obvious.

  55. Andy in NY

    September 6, 2006 at 3:54 pm

    I’m not really sure how I became a Dmitri defender here, and maybe I’m the only one thinking this way (which could make me an idiot), but here goes…

    I was just trying to point out a few statistics of recent vintage that indicate Young has been playing ok, whereas Dan says Young sucks. I am also pointing out statistics that indicate Thames has not been playing very well recently. So, I’m not sure how that corroborates Dan’s point that Thames is a better hitter BY FAR. Maybe Thames does better at the little stuff: seeing pitches, working a pitcher, making “productive outs,”? That kind of stuff could be useful to the discussion and I don’t have the answers in front of me, but that’s not the argument Dan presented in his rant. That seemed more centered around the fact that Dmitri isn’t taking advantage of every opportunity given to him in close games or with runners on base. All I’m saying is that’s how baseball goes. Guys don’t succeed that often.

    Now, to boil things down a little, I don’t like Dmitri very much as a player or as a Tiger personality. I don’t think a good ML club should be batting an .800 OPS guy 3rd in the order or having him play DH. But I don’t think Thames is inherently better. It may be that he wouldn’t have gone in the tank quite as much if he’d kept getting regular at bats when Dmitri got healthy, but he’s definitely in a funk now and I’m not sure that he deserves “play your way out of it” kind of treatment. The fact that Thames is a 29 yr old OF who has never played a full season in the majors indicates that maybe, just maybe, he was playing above his ability earlier in the year when he had that nice OPS and HR/ab ratio, and that what we’re seeing lately is a regression to the mean (meaning, he’s not as bad as he’s shown lately either).

    I’d say overall that Young and Thames are pretty comparable hitters and that’s why they’re in a platoon situation (although it’s problematic that they both hit righties better – and that’s why we have this discussion).

    I was just trying to bring down the emotional level of the argument a little, that’s all.

  56. Kyle J

    September 6, 2006 at 3:55 pm

    Some stats: Since he came back DY is batting .320/.356/.567 against right-handers. Do you really think it’s “obvious” that Thames would have done more with those at bats? For the season, he’s batting .274/.333/.597 against right-handers. Maybe he would have; maybe he wouldn’t have. Looks like a coin flip to me–and it breaks DY’s way if you way historical data at all.

    But if you say “the right decision is obvious,” you must be right.

  57. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 4:01 pm

    Yeah, it is a little emotional. Sorry about that. I’m glad there’s a good discussion going though.

    No way are Thames and Young even close to comparable hitters right now, even in a platoon situation. Thames has been killing the ball for three years now, wherever he has played. He’s 29. Exactly. He’s likely as good as he’s even going to be.

    Thames has hit three foul home runs in his last 5 starts. One was a line drive foul homer on the pitch right before he hit one 440 feet into left center. He is seeing the ball well, and it’s obvious. Young is a almost completely useless hitter who swings at everything. Thames has 24 homers in far far fewer at bats than any other player anywhere near that many dingers. Young is doing nothing. And he hasn’t played well in a long time. He is a washed up baseball player.

  58. Kyle J

    September 6, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    On a less confrontational note: What are they saying on TV/radio about how long the rain delay will last?

  59. Kyle J

    September 6, 2006 at 4:04 pm

    Back to being confrontational . . .

    From Dan’s glossary:

    .320/.356/.567 = “doing nothing”

  60. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 4:04 pm

    I cannot believe you guys are arguing that Young is as good a bet as Thames against righties for the restg of the season. No contest.

    Billfer, can we get a ruling on this? Young’s free swinging banjo bat vs. Thames low average, better plate discipline, and power.

  61. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 4:06 pm

    Okay, do you want to wager on Young maintaining that batting average against righties? Not a chance. The difference between Young and Thames is that Thames is still going to hit regular homers and doubles. He absolutely kills the ball.

    Thames will have an OBP close to Young’s almost regardless of Young’s batting average, the most volatile of all batting statistics. The extra-base power makes all the difference.

  62. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    Who wants to wager that Casey swings at the first pitch when the game returns from the 17 hour rain delay? (in play out(s) recorded)

  63. Andy in NY

    September 6, 2006 at 4:11 pm

    Well, you’re arguing results v. approach right now. In the long run, sure, I don’t want anything to do with Dmitri Young as a Tiger. We signed him at the absolute low point of the franchise, the team has outgrown him really, he’s at that age, as you have alluded to, where guys start declining rapidly, and he is kind of a bad dude I think. But, I just don’t believe that Thames is the answer, given track record (he did hit just .196 in the majors in 100 AB’s at the end of last season) and recent production. He was great for a few months, but I wouldn’t sign him to a long-term deal or anything. Give me the guy who’s playing the best right now, and I think that’s probably DY against righties.

  64. michael

    September 6, 2006 at 4:16 pm


    I love how you use that small sample on thames “(he did hit just .196 in the majors in 100 AB’s at the end of last season)” while ignoring the fact that he has killed the ball for 3 years. You are using a slice of his slumps while ignoring the slugging. Good effort though…

  65. Kurt

    September 6, 2006 at 4:18 pm

    I’d put Clevlen in right, bat Magglio at DH and be done with the whole thing. Actually, I probably wouldn’t. I just spit that out without looking at any numbers. But hey, let’s pretend I would and analyze it since young-thames has really run its course.

  66. Andy in NY

    September 6, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    I just used that slice because that’s the time he spent in the majors. 100 AB’s is not a representative sample of course, but we don’t have much to go off of with Thames. I don’t think a 28 year old who is killing the ball in AAA for the 4th year in a row should count for much. It’d be different if we were talking about a 23-year old, his AAA stats might be worth something then. I was just pointing out that he hasn’t killed the ball “everywhere.” But if you go back to ’04, expanding the sample size a little, Thames hit .255 with an .835 in the Majors (in only 150 AB’s), and when all is said and done this year, I think his numbers will be only a bit above that.

    That average is a little lower and the OPS may be a tick higher, but those look like Dimitri-esque numbers there. That’s why I think they’re platoon candidates.

  67. Kyle J

    September 6, 2006 at 4:23 pm

    Dan, you make a strong argument. I’m just pointing out you can’t claim it’s “obvious” that Thames is better than DY vs. right-handers. Fact is, DY has produced results. You can disagree with the decision Leyland made, but clearly it hasn’t been the disaster one would think from reading the posts here.

    As for Thames “killing the ball” the last three years. This statement is true in terms of his minor league stats; it is not true in terms of his major league stats.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Thames. He deserves more playing time. Let’s just not act as if Leyland has benched Manny Ramirez in favor of Jim Walewander.

  68. Adam

    September 6, 2006 at 5:00 pm

    Anyone know the official rules for rain delays? Like…can they call the game if it’s a tie?

  69. T Smith

    September 6, 2006 at 5:13 pm


    If they need to reschedule, they would have to play the game in its entirity at a later date…

  70. Chris Y.

    September 6, 2006 at 5:45 pm

    I am with Dan here. You got to look at this year’s model. This year says Dmitri is washed up (like the last few years have) and Thames has the highest OPS on the team. Charlie Brown could figure out who should be the DH.

    Career numbers are only good for contract negotiations and Cooperstown consideration. They don’t mean squat in the space of any given year. If they did, the Yankees would win the World Series every stinking year. We wouldn’t even need to play the games.

  71. Kyle J

    September 6, 2006 at 6:08 pm

    Chris Y.: again, you make a strong argument that DY should be on the decline based on his age. Can we all agree, however, that he’s clearly outperformed those expectations to date? That’s all I’m asking for. Maybe it was the wrong decision, but it hasn’t been a disaster. Yet Leyland is criticized as if DY is hitting .240.

    I’m pretty sure this is the only baseball team message board where people want to bench a guy on their team who’s been hitting .320 since the all-star break (maybe a tad lower if you could the few at bats vs. left-handers).

  72. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 6:12 pm

    Dmitri looks terrible at the plate. I don’t mean “he’s slumping”. I mean that he is visibly awful at the plate. No way he can maintain those numbers. Not a chance. Yes, it is OBVIOUS that Thames is the better hitter. The slugging % by itself is worthy of full playing time.

    Enough about Clevlen. He is a mediocre prospect who got lucky in a small sample of playing time. To throw him in there not would be monumentally misguided.

    Here’s some pessimism (read: realism) from Baseball Prospectus:

    “It’s one thing to trade for Neifi Perez. It’s another to give him the lion’s share of playing time at second base. But when you’re unable to bat Perez ninth on the days that he plays, you’re just a sad, sad team.

    The Tigers seem to win enough games to stay a safe distance ahead of the Twins and White Sox, but they rarely look like a championship team to me. Their team OBP is now down to .326, 12th in the AL. The White Sox won it all last year with an even lower mark, but that team did everything else better than this Tigers team does: hit for power, field and pitch. It’s still not set in stone that this team will win the division, or even make the playoffs. They could score three runs a game the rest of the way and get caught from behind by two teams. While that’s not a likely scenario–after this weekend’s trip to Minnesota, they have just three tough games the rest of the way–I seriously doubt that this team is better than even money to get out of the first round, and unless they play the A’s, I think I’ll be picking against them.

    If the Twins take three out of four this weekend, it could get very interesting. Keep in mind that the Red Sox started their first team last night for the first time since the end of July. The AL is not over yet.”

  73. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 6:13 pm

    I concede, readily, that Young has out performed what I would have expected. It’s meaningless. He is a terrible hitter. I guarantee you, GUARANTEE you, that he will go into the toilet very soon. Awful at bats. That can’t last.

  74. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 6:14 pm

    I was watching the game on MLB.TV, so there are no commercials or updates. Anyone have the word on when they might restart this game?

  75. Pete

    September 6, 2006 at 6:33 pm

    About to resume! This would be a nice time for Casey’s first hit this month…

  76. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    He hit it well. Right at Bloomquist.

  77. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 6:37 pm

    Casey has been awful, by the way. Nice trade. Could have had Craig Wilson for not much, but of course you can’t go for Wilson because he hits righties better than he hits lefties.

  78. Pete

    September 6, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    I feel like I follow baseball pretty closely, but I have never heard of any of these relievers on Seattle.

  79. Adam

    September 6, 2006 at 6:46 pm

    Let’s see how Brent deals with this opportunity…

  80. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 6:49 pm

    Hey, good thing we brought in a .220 AA hitter in a key situation. Nice move for a 1st place team.

  81. Adam

    September 6, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    Mmm hmm… Perez.

  82. Kyle J

    September 6, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    Well, I guess that ends the discussion. Dmitri “looks terrible” hitting .320. Obviously, therefore, Leyland is an idiot and the team is doomed to not make the playoffs.

    I can’t argue with that kind of logic. Time to focus on my fantasy football team, I guess.

  83. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 6:51 pm

    What a piece of sh*t baseball team. Neifi Perez is of course up in a key situation. He is as likely as anyone else to get a single (and a weak one that has a better chance of scoring a run), but let’s take a look at why he got an extra at bat just now. He’s hitting 2nd in the lineup.

    Bunch of crap.

  84. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 6:53 pm

    Here’s where Zumaya kills us with a walk…

  85. Kyle J

    September 6, 2006 at 6:54 pm

    Dan, please list the Tigers you are pleased with this year. So far, I’ve complied the following list:

    Thames, Marcus

  86. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 6:54 pm

    Up yours, Kyle. You’re right, I don’t know what I’m talking about.

    You ignored the gist of my argument, a pastime here at the weblog.

    Go F yourself.

  87. Adam

    September 6, 2006 at 6:55 pm

    We just lost. Guarantee it.

  88. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 6:55 pm

    Shut up, Kyle. You’ve taken to just yammering stupid talking points that are meaningless.

  89. Michael

    September 6, 2006 at 6:57 pm

    Leyland sucks. instead of doing what it took to win in the 9th he let clevlan and perez hit.

  90. Dan

    September 6, 2006 at 6:58 pm

    Because Leyland is such a great manager who provides excellent chemistry, we’re about to lose.

    Everyone will ignore that I was right about this team from the beginning. Douchebags.

  91. Kyle J

    September 6, 2006 at 6:58 pm

    Seriously, you are a fan (I assume) of the team with the team with the best record in the major leagues. Yet you consistenly post only negative comments about that team. You bash nearly every player on the roster–including, for example, a rookie reliever with an ERA just above 2.00.

    But when I post rebuttals to these negative comments citing actual statistics, I’m “yammering” and should go F myself.

    OK. I’m done for the day.

  92. billfer

    September 6, 2006 at 7:00 pm

    Dan – you’re done here.

  93. Michael

    September 6, 2006 at 7:01 pm


    Mets have the best record in the majors.

  94. Jeff

    September 6, 2006 at 7:03 pm


    You certainly have a solid understanding of the game and many of your points are solid.

    But you don’t always accept that other intelligent fans who may disagree with you on this point or that point may have a point as well.

    Not everyone who disagrees with one of your conclusions is an “idiot” or a “douchebag” or anything else of the sort.

  95. Woolfolk

    September 6, 2006 at 7:04 pm

    If Hooper hits for himself in the 9th, I will walk down to Comerica Park and strangle Leyland with my bare hands.

  96. Adam

    September 6, 2006 at 7:05 pm

    Pinch hitting Thames for Hooper – Should make someone happy.

  97. Adam

    September 6, 2006 at 7:08 pm

    They pinched for Ordonez, too. Weirds. Single for Gomez though.

  98. Jeff

    September 6, 2006 at 7:08 pm

    Maggs got the hit, Gomez is pinch-running for him.

  99. Woolfolk

    September 6, 2006 at 7:09 pm

    Adam, Ordonez singled and Gomez pinch-ran.

  100. Adam

    September 6, 2006 at 7:12 pm

    Oh right. My bad.

  101. Jeff

    September 6, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    There is something that’s worse than a high strikeout rate, and that’s a high GIDP rate.

  102. Adam

    September 6, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    There goes Casey’s double play thing he always does. Woohoo.

  103. Michael

    September 6, 2006 at 7:14 pm

    Yeah lets applaud that plate discipline! after a walk with the game on the line a major leaguer swings at the first pitch and grounds into a DP! This is complete **! Its what we get for carting out a horrid anemic lineup.

    **Edited by billfer for profanity

  104. billfer

    September 6, 2006 at 7:18 pm

    Michael – you’re done here

  105. Jeff Mo

    September 6, 2006 at 7:18 pm

    Dan, please list the Tigers you are pleased with this year. So far, I’ve complied the following list:

    Thames, Marcus

    lol… Brilliant, Kyle, brilliant. 🙂

    billfer Says:

    Dan – you’re done here.

    Thank you.

  106. Jeff M

    September 6, 2006 at 7:20 pm

    Grr. I kept forgetting to switch my name back. My last name definitely isn’t “Mo”.

  107. Adam

    September 6, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    Michael – sure, it pisses everyone off that the last play of the game that we lose wasn’t exactly thought out…but there were plenty of other things in this game that didn’t help us. And the Mariners played their game as well. Who do I pin this game on?

    The rain delay, which was about four hours. With the momentum we had in the bottom of the eighth, no way we lose this game without that rain delay. It hurt us last night too – the ground was so slippery we were bobbling every hit ball. When things don’t go your way, the tendency is to put the blame on someone. And while, yeah, it’s immediately Casey’s fault, other things led up to us even needing him to bat.

    I.E. Zumaya’s loading the bases and allowing a run. Even that – if Clevlen or Perez had gotten the scoring runner home an inning ago, we don’t go to the tenth. Zumaya doesn’t pitch. Casey doesn’t ground into a double play.

    Baseball’s not all about blame. It’s about effort, and heart. We have those. We’re just not winning right now.

  108. Tater

    September 6, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    Adam, with respect, in my view baseball is more about proficiency at playing baseball than it is about effort or heart. We don’t have enough talent right now.

    I also believe our manager is not doing enough to maximize the possibility of winning with the talent we currently have. Of course, reasonable minds can and will disagree. In my opinion a team is not sufficiently skilled, top to bottom, to be playoff-caliber if guys like Clevlen and Perez are taking at bats in the bottom of the 9th of a critical (I won’t say must-win, but close) game in a heated pennant race in September. That’s not to say we won’t make the playoffs, and if we get Polanco and Guillen back soon and they are able to perform, it will clearly be a massive improvement over what we have.

  109. Chris

    September 6, 2006 at 7:36 pm

    I’m scared , very scared.

  110. Jeff

    September 6, 2006 at 7:54 pm

    Reports all over that the Tigers have released Dmitri Young.

    There’s got to be a back story there.

  111. Adam

    September 6, 2006 at 8:04 pm

    Jeff – All over where? I can’t find it.

  112. Adam

    September 6, 2006 at 8:06 pm

  113. stephen

    September 6, 2006 at 8:18 pm

    man, the wheels are officially off. i’m not saying it’s all leyland’s fault, but if this team goes 16-34 over the last 50 games, i would be surprised not to see him back. and i don’t care what dmitri’s reaction was, with this weak lineup you CANNOT release him. send him home, fine hit, whatever, but this is a college team, you put up with some b.s. to accomplish your ultimate goal. dmitri does seem like a real jerk and borderline felon, but unless he actually hit leyland you can’t release him. i don’t justify whatever he did, but if you’re a career .290 hitter who has endured perez batting second in the lineup and then you are pinch hit by a man who has fewer than 10 major league at-bats, I understand how he could have gone ballistic. i mean you never saw the yanks release reggie jackson after he nearly punched out billy martin.

  114. Chris J

    September 6, 2006 at 8:30 pm

    Dan’s been mostly right about baseball issues and mostly wrong with the way he’s treated other posters while discussing them.

    I think that’s all there is to say about that.

  115. Miguelito

    September 6, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    Ohhh, this site has really gone off the deep end lately, through no fault of the always reasonable Bilfer. I haven’t commented in a while but not because of Dan and Michael — who honestly had gone from shrill to ridiculous — but more because of the people that bait them. All this discord was not one sided. I’m really sorry to see Dan go because I enjoyed his contributions tremendously but clearly he has lost his mind (calling people douchebags???-I haven’t even heard the word in years).

    But Dan is unquestionably right about the pointlessness of stating that D-Young is a career .290 hitter. Have you been watching the games? He has had some incredibly painful at-bats. Stephen, I would rather see Clevlan bat any day than D-Young. And hitting third — just ridiculous. I’m glad he got his life turned around but I’m very content that he is no longer in the Tigers lineup. The endless tedious argument about Young vs. Thames could only be waged by people who don’t watch the games or by people who want to drive Dan and Michael over the edge.. Thames BA could certainly be higher but he has consistently hit a home run every 12 or so at-bats all season. He has 300 at-bats and 25 homers and about 25 doubles — hes having an amazing season and helped us win so many games. Release Thames??? Hes leading the team in Homers and slugging percentage. When was the last time a part timer lead his team in those two categories. By the by, Dembroski said D-youngs release was entirely performance based.

    Its been an incredibly painful month for all Tiger fans and we may not have seen the worst — I keep thinking we’ve bottomed out and we become yet more ineffectual — but we all love the Tigers and desperately want this season to continue in October. Bilfer has created a wonderful place for all of us to comisserate(sp?) after losses and celebrate all the good stuff. Its been a magical, wonderful, heartbreaking season. And its still not over. I, for one, concede nothing nothing and want my Tigers to fight to the end. With a bunch of nobodies named Granderson, Rodney, Inge, Shelton and Verlander we’ve set the league on fire. Yeah I desperately wanted Soriano and I think it was a grave mistake not to get him, but we’ll just have to suck it up and do it with the terrific cast of cast-offs we call the Tigers.

  116. Steve

    September 6, 2006 at 10:47 pm

    OK guys, For the record.

    I do like the job DD has done drafting, trading and signing players. Isn’t it just that Neifi for Perezident (Pete that is for you) seems to be like a rash on your skin. You didn’t like it when you got it, don’t really know why you got it and now you cant get rid of it.

    I feel for Dmitri, Although he personally and professionally has not had a great last couple of years, the guy did come here a few years back when he could smell the loses back in Cinci… so for that I will appreciate his efforts. He would appear to have plenty of cash on hand to live his life and get what ever help he needs to get healthy. What ever we do this year its too bad he will not see it, as he was here for the O fer a million years.

    The great part about baseball is that you have to play them all. So while the Tigers are not playing particularly well right now (no kidding), We are beyond what was reasonable to expect this year, have great SP and RP with a few guys coming back off injury. We will be back at it.

    We all would like a cake walk but doesn’t everyone think that the adversity and experience gained here will better suite them for the long run. We all learn by going through the tough times and it’s a great test on ourselves when things go badly and we hang in there. Think of this right now, doesn’t every team wished they drafted Zumaya and most kids want to throw like him, so lets enjoy him and the other guys that have made this spring and summer really exciting outside of our normal lives. It makes the burgers at Nemos taste better, the loses go easier and the love of the Tigers something that you can remember this summer for and not a stressed out, number crunching, we made a mistake wigg out.

    To quote Chris J above (who nearly quoted Forrest Gump) …….. Thats all I have to say about that.

    nighty nite

  117. Jojo SunDevil

    September 7, 2006 at 4:14 am

    Oh Boy, we are officially in panic mode we lost a series to the Mariners. The Twins and White Sox aren’t exactly playin well, but Man, WE CAN”T HIT!!! I live in Chi Town right now, and I can say with complete confidence that Neifi Perez totally sucks. He sucks, he gave up two runs on a sacrifice fly.

    This would be my batting lineup for tomorrow:
    CF Clevlen
    3B Inge
    ( thiis is hard, we really are havin some hitting issues)
    (still workin on who should hit third)
    C Rodriguez
    RF Ordonez
    LF Thames
    DH Monroe
    1b Shelton
    2b Infante
    SS Santiago

    Oh Boy, we needed a big bat

  118. Jojo SunDevil

    September 7, 2006 at 4:16 am

    Neifi Perez sucks. HE SUCKS, he sucks! he sucks.