Game 69: Tigers at Nationals

PREGAME: One NL series down, 2 to go. This time the Tigers head to Washington D.C. to take on the Nationals. The Nats are chuck full of former Tigers including Nook Logan, Dmitri Young (who is really doing well, sobriety – who knew?), and Robert Fick. Each made their mark on the Tigers in their own special way with Logan being the only member of the trio not to be a Tiger All Star representative.

The Tigers will send out Mike Maroth who may be auditioning for several teams tonight with Kenny Rogers definitely returning to the rotation on Friday. Maroth wiggled out of jams in his last start and handed a 1 run lead to Fernando Rodney and well, we know how that worked out.

The Tigers will take on Matt Chico. His peripherals are pretty unimpressive with him fanning only 5 per 9 and walking almost 4. But he’s been much better in his last 4 starts with a 2.74 ERA.

Game Time 7:05pm

POSTGAME: Well the bullpen looked good for awhile. Bobby Seay allowed a couple inherited runners to score, but also got a couple outs which were more important at the time. Jason Grilli went an 1 1/3 pretty easily. Eulogio De La Cruz looked very good in his debut, attacking the strike zone and showing a good fastball, a sharp curve and a change that subtracted 12mph. And then Jones happened.

It’s questionable whether Jones should be in the game, and in Leyland’s presser he says that 4 runs is a save situation for them this year. It’s hard to argue with that given the collective struggles and inconsistency this season. So Jones comes in and it’s basically batting practice. It took 5 hits before Leyland bothered to get anybody up in the bullpen, because you don’t want to mess with your closer’s confidence. Funny thing is, is that once Tim Byrdak started warming up, Todd Jones got the next 3 outs. Ugly.

  • Maroth was cruising in this game. He’d even racked up 4 K’s in the first 5 innings. And then his defense collapsed behind him. He could have been out of that inning with nothing scoring. Instead after a single Gary Sheffield really misplayed a flyball into a double. Curtis Granderson threw a bullet to third, right on the bag in plenty of time but Brandon Inge misses the ball. Worst case is it should have been one out and none on and one run in. Next Carlos Guillen boots a ball, so instead of none on, 2 out another run scores and an a runner is on first. That’s what shortened Maroth’s outing.
  • Curtis Granderson continues to hit the ball well, with a couple more hard hit balls off a lefty. He’s got to see more time in the lineup and less platooning.
  • Carlos Guillen saw his batting average dip below .300. He’s now hit in 7 straight and has pushed his average to .317, and he’s crushing the ball.


  1. Mike R

    June 18, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    Here’s to hoping Leyland get’s the double switch right this time.

  2. Ben

    June 18, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    Here’s hoping Maroth throws a complete game and no double switch is necessary – what, I can dream.

  3. Matt

    June 18, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    There goes Maroth’s no hit bid.

  4. Mike R

    June 18, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    And that play by Guzman is the perfect example of why the Nats suck; their players suck.

  5. Adam

    June 18, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    Bases loaded, no outs…but they can only get 1 run. Haha, I laugh at their patriotically-themed red jumpsuits.

  6. Anne

    June 18, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    Although the circumstances surrounding his exit from Detroit were unfortunate, I am glad to see DY seems to have caught on with Washington. I do have some pleasant memories of him and I hope sobriety is truly part of his resurgence.

  7. Anne

    June 18, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    Double for Mike Maroth?! Maybe there was a reason he was pinch-hitting yesterday. 🙂

  8. Adam

    June 18, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    Maybe that PH of Maroth yesterday makes a little more sense now, eh?

  9. Stephen

    June 18, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    You got me. I’d much rather have a pitcher with four career hits and starting the next day bat in the top of the ninth than a professional hitter. In retrospect, that move was absolute genius.

  10. Travis in Baton Rouge

    June 18, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    What a bomb by Thames!!

  11. Kathy

    June 18, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Anne, I’ll always wonder if DY’s diagnosis of diabetes in December was affecting his play when he was released in Sept. Some team will probably buy him off before the trade deadline for DH.

  12. Anne

    June 18, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    It’s very possible, Kathy, but health was only part of his problems at the time.

  13. Erik in CA

    June 18, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    I’m stuck watching this game on the “stats viewer” with no video or sound… why is Thames out now after his homer? Is he hurt?

  14. Ken from Cincinnati

    June 18, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    Nice try there Polanco.

  15. Kathy

    June 18, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Carlos with another error. Do you think we might see him at 1st base next year?

  16. Mike R

    June 18, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Yes Kathy, when ARod man’s short for us! 😉

  17. billfer

    June 18, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Maroth was totally hosed that inning. Sheffield misplayed that ball something fierce, and then after Granderson fires a seed to third, Brandon can’t catch it, plus the Guillen error. When Young came up it should have been 2 outs and nobody on.

  18. Kathy

    June 18, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    All true, Billfer.

  19. Nate

    June 18, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    @Erik in CA: Thames is out either for defensive or matchup purposes. The Tigers don’t seem to like him vs. right-handed pitchers.

  20. Ben

    June 18, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Question, which might sound a bit silly because I don’t know all that much about sabermetrics – Does anyone know if there’s a good system out there for evaluating the number of inherited runners a pitcher allows to score? Something that takes into account the number of runners allowed to score as well as the bases they were on and the number of outs when the pitcher entered the game.

  21. Dan

    June 18, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    Whatever you do, Leyland, do not let Marcus Thames play an entire baseball game. I have never seen a defensive replacement in a 9-1 game. Casey simply never gets an entire day off. The only time he sat was when he had that cold. Here’s hoping he gets hit by a bus.

    Yeah, we’ll see Guillen at 1st base sooner or later, and since we decided to sign him to an absurdly long contract, it eliminates the possibility of grabbing Dunn or Teixeira.

    I don’t think Teixeira is a good fit for the Tigers, anyway. After all, what do we need with a durable, switch-hitting, good-fielding, slugging first baseman in his prime?

    And to go back to the Thames thing – can you think of one even remotely logical explanation for the way he is jerked around in favor of Casey? Racism? Nothing else seems to make even the slightest bit of sense.

    This team made a fortune last year and continues to make a fortune on season ticket sales, and you’re going to see Casey’s fat ass carted out there in favor of better hitters that we ostensibly “have no need for” or “can’t afford”.

    If we are going to go for it we have to go for it. This team had better make a move, and every last one of us should be appalled if they don’t.

  22. Dan

    June 18, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Yes, Ben, that exists. WXRL and Relievers Expected Wins Added take the idiosyncrasies of inherited runners and ERA out of the equations.

  23. Mike R

    June 18, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Teixiera is going to get an absurdly huge contract and he really wants to play in Baltimore. Him coming to Detroit and staying here after his deal is up is unlikely. Not to mention how high of a price tag Texas wants for Tex. They asked for Bonderman AND a good to top prospect of ours. And with talks with Baltimore reportedly wanted Markakis AND Bedard in early talks. Getting Teixeira is really out of the question, in my opinion.

  24. Dan

    June 18, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    …And let me know which Tigers numbers you need. Unlike Jim Leyland, I annually spring the $40 for a Baseball Prospectus membership…

  25. Kathy

    June 18, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    Carlos pretty much fill the “durable, switch-hitting,good fielding and in his prime” description. He’d make far, far, fewer errors at first and besides that, he can just about do the splits to reach for a ball.

  26. Joey C.

    June 18, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    Nice outing for De-La.

  27. Chris in Nashville

    June 18, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    So The Gambler is back Friday Night for sure? SWEET…..I’ll give you guys a first hand account…I have seats for that game above (way above) home plate.

  28. Stephen

    June 18, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    Chris in Nashville: I find myself in Nashville on business. Any good restauraunt recommendations?

  29. charlie

    June 18, 2007 at 9:44 pm


    are you the same dan that got booted from the site last year?

  30. ron

    June 18, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    Dan, the Tigers are fine except for middle relief. How can any Tiger fan be unhappy at this point in the season. “Racism and fat ass”! You may have other issues to deal with other than the Tigers.

  31. billfer

    June 18, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    He’s got to get somebody up. We can’t have Cleveland all over again

  32. Joey C.

    June 18, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    Oh good god!

    Come on Jones!

  33. Travis in Baton Rouge

    June 18, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    I’m gonna puke!

  34. Mike R

    June 18, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Billfer, we’re going to have a Cleveland situation again. It’s Todd’s to lose.

  35. Mark in Chicago

    June 18, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    are you kidding me?

    are you effing kidding me?

  36. West Coast Tiger

    June 18, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    I think I’ going to be sick

  37. Mike R

    June 18, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    This is also Todd’s 4th game in 5 days.

  38. billfer

    June 18, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Too late now.

  39. Kevin in Austin

    June 18, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    No on throwing in the pen. I guess Cle didn’t mean anything.

  40. Kathy

    June 18, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    This is exactly why I don’t believe in trash talking the other team. It’ll come back to haunt ‘ya.

  41. Chris in Nashville

    June 18, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Say it isn’t so. Closers are NOT GOOD in non-save situations. I know Todd likes to work a lot, but Leyland needs to stop putting him in these situations so much. I’d prefer to see De La Cruz get another chance at some hitters, if he struggles, then put Todd in. He’s AWFUL tonight….and I’m pretty sure we were up 4 runs in the Cleveland loss.

  42. Travis in Baton Rouge

    June 18, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    Announcing your bottom of the 9th tee time, from Washington D.C., the Washington Nationals.


  43. Tater

    June 18, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    Only after the FIFTH hit in a row to start the inning Leyland gets someone up in the pen….just unbelieveable.

  44. Mark in Chicago

    June 18, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    I cannot believe we are going to lose this game.

  45. Mark in Chicago

    June 18, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    For the record:


  46. Travis in Baton Rouge

    June 18, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    Poor meat hook

  47. Kevin in Austin

    June 18, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    It’s not the trash talking Kathy. It’s the bullpen.

  48. Mike R

    June 18, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Trash talking the other team has nothing to do with this. Todd Jones not being a shut down closer, or pitcher for that matter, and becoming a hinderance in the bullpen is what’s done this. Not to mention Leyland working him for the 4th time in 5 days. No need to work him tonight. Byrdak hadn’t pitched since the 15th, he should’ve started this inning.

    Jim Leyland continues to mis-manage every single thing on the field. Outside of handling the clubhouse, he’s proving to be HORRENDOUS. Just playing horrendous.

  49. Travis in Baton Rouge

    June 18, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    OK, you gotta give props to Jonsey for battling thru that. LIke someone said, it was his 4th game in 5 days or something.

  50. Ben

    June 18, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks Dan. I’m not looking for anyone in particular, I was just curious.

  51. Mark in Chicago

    June 18, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    If there’s a good side to all this, at least Jones won’t be available tomorrow…

  52. Jason

    June 18, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Jones should never have been in that game. Period.

  53. Chris in Nashville

    June 18, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    SHEEEEWWWWWWWW…….man….Guillen made the play when he had to….it’s never easy any more is it? I used to feel like the game is over when we were up after 6 last year…no I don’t feel comfortable up 6 until the game is over.

  54. ron

    June 18, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Wheeew…. How about that Casey.

  55. Ben in Denver

    June 18, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Whew. We can breathe now.

  56. Chris in Nashville

    June 18, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    Good call…Casey made a great play there….and I meant now instead of no in my last reply

  57. Steve - Roch NY

    June 18, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    That is unnecessary roughness on the fans

  58. tigerfan

    June 18, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    I’ve said it again and again TODD “LOSER” JONES has got to go!!!!!!!

  59. Stephen

    June 18, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    This is the deal: Tigers need at least two arms in the bullpen. They will not come cheap. Maybin or someone of that quality is going to have to be dealt. Or the team can keep building toward ’09 which is b.s. because no assurance the offense will be as good then. You have to go for it when you have the horses. Todd Jones cannot be your closer on a contender.

    And I’m so worn out by Leyland’s managing on LSD that I can’t be bothered. He’s like Bill Frieder: great recruiter, but can’t handle the actual x’s and o’s.

  60. Mike R

    June 18, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Oh weird. Guillen’s the player of the game and no mention of his critical error or the fact that Casey had to stretch like hell to keep the tying run from scoring on a wild throw from Guillen at the end of the game. Ridiculous.

    Why the hell is Jones in the game? Tim Byrdak hadn’t pitched since the 15th, start him in the 9th. I don’t get Leyland’s moves and this is aggrivating. I’d just like to grab him and shake him while yelling “what are you thinking?!?!?”

  61. Joey C.

    June 18, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    The Bill Frieder call out! Hilarious!

    Stephen, couldn’t the same thing be said for every Michigan coach since Bo?

  62. Adam

    June 18, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Dan: Look at the batting averages. Thames = not so good. Casey = pretty good.

    Also, Casey’s a notoriously “great hitter” in National League ball parks.

  63. Kurt

    June 18, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    To be honest with you, when it was 9-8 with two men on, I left to drive home figuring jones blew another. Man oh man.

  64. Mike R

    June 18, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Maybin’s not going to get traded for relief help unless Bob Gibson is suddeny 25 years old again and available to be dealt for.

  65. Joey C.

    June 18, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    And there’s no way I deal Maybin for a one year rental on a bullpen arm.

  66. Stephen

    June 18, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Mike R: I’ve got a name for you: Lastings Milledge. This time last year the Mets thought he was the next Reggie Jackson. He now can’t get out of AAA. There’s no assurance that Maybin is going to be an all-star. Maybe he will be great, Maybe he’s Torey Lovullo. When you have a contender, you have to make these hard choices: I’m not necessarily saying Maybin should be the one, but you got to give up quality to get quality. They don’t trade one of their blue chippers, this team’s gonna finish 84-78.

  67. Kathy

    June 18, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    We won and Todd got out of it.

  68. ron

    June 18, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    I don’t like it when their is that many whews.

  69. Mike R

    June 18, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    With our lack of depth at position players in the minors we aren’t trading Maybin. We’re trading arms (Eulogio De La Cruz) before we’re trading a position player who’s expected to be a stud.

    And I was never high on Lastings Milledge anyways. I thought he was severly overrated the last 2-ish years. By the way, I think he’s going to the White Sox anyways in a deal for Mark Buerhle.

  70. Stephen

    June 18, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Again, not saying it has to be Maybin. But he’s not gonna be here until 2010. I hope we have a title before then because except for Bonderman, Verlander, Guillen, and Miller this team is going to be almost completely different by then.

  71. Joey C.

    June 18, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    A lot of scouts and writers weren’t that high on Milledge last year either. Maybin is universally regarded as one of the top prospects in the game.

    And, as Mike points out, Milledge isn’t done yet either. He may still develop.

  72. Joey C.

    June 18, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    Oh, I think Maybin will be here before 2010. Monroe isn’t gonna keep him down in the Minors much longer.

  73. Mike R

    June 18, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Well, Maybin’s being regarded as a top 10 prospect in baseball when I think he fits in more in the low 20’s behind other guys from his draft class due to declining power numbers.

    But, we’re not going to trade our best position player prospect for bullpen help. We’ll trade our strength; young arms.

  74. Stephen

    June 18, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Milledge’s first full year in A ball .337 .399 .579
    Maybin’s so far in first full year in A ball .312 .408 .459

    Believe me, people were just as high on Milledge three years ago. I’m just saying, you don’t know how they’re gonna develop.

  75. Sam

    June 18, 2007 at 10:36 pm


    Here is what I say we do.

    When Nate gets healthy, put him in the pen.

    Here are his career numbers by inning:


    1: 229/301/355
    2: 270/316/369
    3: 288/337/461
    4: 305/366/521
    5: 312/379/502

    He always seem to hit a wall around the 4th inning. He may be pretty damn good coming out of then pen.

    As far as trading Maybin for a relief pitcher, are you nuts???

    They wouldn’t trade him for Soriano last year!!


  76. Mike R

    June 18, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    You’re comparing Milledge’s numbers in Low-A ball to Maybin’s in High-A baseball.

    Milledge’s only extended time in High-A ball he hit: .302/.385/.418 for a .803 OPS in 232 AB’s before moving up to Double-A ball.

    Baseball America ranked Milledge 11th overall in baseball prospects in 2005 (year he started in High-A ball and moved to Double-A) and Maybin was ranked 6th coming into this season and Maybin’s overrated by about 15+ spots.

  77. DH in DC

    June 18, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Please stop suggesting that we trade Cameron Maybin. You guys make Steinbrenner sound patient. Good grief.

  78. Mike R

    June 18, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    I’d prefer to just trade Nate Rob, Sam. Maybe in a package with Monroe at the deadline for bullpen help. Thames can put up the same power numbers for a fraction of the cost.

  79. Walewander

    June 18, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Wow, look what you miss when you take the dog for a walk. When I left it was 2-1…

    Nothing much to add. Our pen sucks, our bats are great, Teixera is not worth the asking price and wouldnt stay, and if DD traded our #1 position prospect for a coupla relievers he should be fired. Of course, he won’t do that.

    Hmmm, guess I did have a bit to add…

  80. Jim

    June 18, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Trade Maybin for relief? Are you insane?
    If they wouldn’t trade him for Soriano like someone else said how on earth would they trade him now for a middle reliever?
    Maybin has a total of one whole year of professional baseball..Trading him for anything short of another blue chip would be mad.

    I think Maybin will be on this team in 08/09 at the latest.

    Trading someone like Maybin this early in his development for a veteran for a playoff run sounds like a kneejerk panic reaction to me.

  81. Stephen

    June 18, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    RE: Milledge’s only extended time in High-A ball he hit: .302/.385/.418 for a .803 OPS in 232 AB’s before moving up to Double-A ball.

    Well, those are still very, very similar to Maybin’s.

    You guys gotta other prospects you’re willing to deal? I’m all ears. I like Maybin, not even saying we should trade him. But we’re gonna have to give up somebody.

  82. billfer

    June 18, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    There’s no way you trade a top 10 (or 20 Mike) prospect for bullpen help. I’m not saying he’s untouchable because there are guys I’d trade him for, but a reliever isn’t one of them.

  83. Stephen

    June 18, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    I hate to be so contrarian here, but I still think the Doyle Alexander trade was a good one. It gave the Tigers their last best chance at a world title before last year. You say, what are you smoking crack? Smoltz is a Hall of Famer. The only problem is the Tigers in the late 80s and early 90s would have still sucked and Smoltz would have walked in 93. I just believe you go for it when you have a chance.

  84. Stephen

    June 18, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    And i never said you trade Maybin for a single reliever! You’d have to get a 40 save closer who is still youngish AND a set-up guy. That would probably take multiple teams and other players. I’m just saying look at the numbers: we have the WORST bullpen in the American league. We either have to deal youth or we need to be realistic that this is not going to be the year. I don’t think it’s knee jerk reaction to have this opinion 70 games in.

  85. DH in DC

    June 18, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    Suggesting we trade Maybin is the DEFINITION of knee-jerk.

  86. Jim

    June 18, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    June 18th, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    “This is the deal: Tigers need at least two arms in the bullpen. They will not come cheap. Maybin or someone of that quality is going to have to be dealt”

    June 18th, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    “And i never said you trade Maybin for a single reliever! ”


  87. Stephen

    June 18, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    And I thought we lived in America, the marketplace of ideas! DH, I’m open to suggestions. Our bullpen is the worst in the league, we have the offensive talent to make a serious run, do you stand pat and hope that 39-yr-old Todd Jones’ ERA stays below six? I’m just saying if the Tigers don’t make a move to drastically remake the bullpen, this team is going to go the way of the ’06 Red Sox and collapse hard in the dog days of August. While it may be knee jerk to suggest trading your top prospect, there’s another phrase for doing nothing: fiddling while Rome burns.

  88. Stephen

    June 18, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Jim: my own words says the Tigers need at least two arms in the bullpen. How is that saying ‘deal Maybin for a single reliever?’


  89. Jim

    June 18, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    btw, Smoltz didn’t look too good in 87 in AA ball for the Tigers when they traded him. He was a 22nd round pick. The Braves had some good scouting or got lucky. But I agree that the trade was needed at the time for the push.

    But I think it’s safe to say Smoltz in his first year wasn’t considered as great a prospect as Maybin is now. Could things change? Of course…but you just can’t trade him for anything short of Jesus with a bat imo.

  90. DH in DC

    June 18, 2007 at 11:36 pm


    The Tigers have an abundance of what is the scarcest thing in baseball: starting pitching. They have 7 starter-worthy pitchers that other teams could use, possibly 8:

    Miner (maybe)

    You trade one or two of them before you trade a top 6 (or top 20) prospect who has shown great promise (and he’s young– writing him off now is nuts). Presumably, Verlander, Bonderman, Rogers and Miller are off-limits. That leaves two or three others. They may not make the cut in our rotation, but the Tigers are the ONLY team in baseball that have too much starting pitching, notwithstanding the old saw that you can never have too much…

  91. Chris in Nashville

    June 18, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    Seriously….all this trade talk is ridiculous. This is still one of the best teams in baseball….they could use some bullpen help, but I think this bullpen is going to turn it around…they have too much talent not to. If they don’t start turning it around before the deadline, and Zumaya isn’t going to be back AND we are slipping in the standings…then you might think about it. Now….you just keep doing what they are doing…hope these guys turn it around.

  92. Jim

    June 18, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    OH! my mistake. You wouldn’t trade Maybin for a single reliever. You would trade him for TWO relievers.

    Ok, I want Turnbow and Cordero. Or Okajima and Papelbon. Or lets get a three team trade on where the team who doesnt get Maybin had better get somthing good too. Pretty tall order.

    Whats a reliever cost these days, a couple million? How about a centerfielder? Wouldn’t it cost less to have Maybin when he’s under clubcontrol/arbitration? Of course this all means he comes out as good as he’s supposed to.

    Relievers can be bought…Maybin is a blue chip position player in an organization with not too many.

    Trade from our strength: Pitching. Not our weakness.

  93. Jim

    June 18, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    Chris is right. This is way too early for trade Maybin talk. (as if there ever is a time for that)

    My god we are ONE game. ONE single game from first place 70 games in.

  94. ron

    June 18, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    There are a few knee-jerks in this discussion.Wer’e still one game out for crying out loud.

  95. DH in DC

    June 18, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    OK, Stephen, let me agree with you on something. I have always thought the Doyle Alexander/John Smoltz trade was a good deal. And from my recollection Smoltz was a very strong prospect. I don’t know if you all are too young to remember 1987, but it was one of the truly amazing pennant races. The Tigers coming back to beat out the Blue Jays was unbelievable. Of course, they went on to lose 4-1 to the freaking Twins (I was at the only game the Tigers won– none other than Pat Sheridan hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, and Henneman closed). We would have never won the division without Alexander. And it is a crime Trammell didn’t win the MVP. He finished second to George Bell.

    So, we agree on that. Peace.

  96. Kevin in Austin

    June 18, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    I don’t want to trade Maybin, but I’m certainly open to it. We will not win a championship with this bullpen. Only reason we won tonight was b/c this was WAS and not CLE. Goodness, D Young bats cleanup for these guys. (Though he is hitting the ball well these days, I wonder if his wife is scared).

    How about Maybin & Casey/Thames to Texas for Otsuka & Teixera?

  97. Stephen

    June 18, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    DH in DC: good memory. I still think we lost in ’87 because back then home field advantage was rotated and the 98 win tigers had to open with two games in the 86 win Twins’ Homerdome.

    Last thing and I will shut up. i just don’t think the market for Miner (on DL, 7 career wins) Durbin (22 wins, career ERA 5.87) or even Robertson (on DL, career record of 37-48) is very high. If there’s other prospects we can spare other than Maybin that would be great. As much as I’ve been advocating getting someone like Octavio Dotel, I’m now of the belief this bullpen needs a complete overhaul as in three arms. Radical? Yes. Does this happen very often? Maybe never in my recollection. But I believe this team’s crack starting pitching and potent offense could go all the way IF the bullpen rebounds. But thinking Zumaya’s return in 6-8 weeks is gonna be a magical elixer, i just don’t see it.

  98. Stephen

    June 18, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    And i carp because i care. Goodnight and thanks for the spirited debate!

  99. Kevin in Austin

    June 18, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    I remember Darrell Evans getting picked of third, THIRD, by Juan Berenguer to kill a late inning rally in game 5.

    What in the hell was he doing leading that far off of 3B?

    And why didn’t PP pinch hit with 1 out and the tying run on 3rd in the 9th against MIL last Thurs?

  100. Kathy

    June 19, 2007 at 12:05 am

    Great article regarding Dmitri publishid abou 30 minuts ago fighting for his live with diabetes after getting sober and legal problems. the Link:

  101. Stephen

    June 19, 2007 at 12:05 am

    Kevin: Someone on wrote this last year about the Tigers:

    When did it all go south for the once-proud franchise? I’d say about 9:45 p.m. on Oct. 11, 1987. The Tigers were down two games to one to the humdrum 85-77 Twins in the ALCS. In Game 4, Detroit was a run down in the sixth inning with one out and Darrell Evans on third. This was pre-X Files, mind you, but Evans was known to bore teammates with his UFO beliefs. Some kind of extraterrestrial kerfuffle is the only thing that could explain what happened next: The 18-year vet was picked off third. Who gets picked off third?! It doesn’t even happen in the Special Olympics.

  102. Jim

    June 19, 2007 at 12:07 am

    Spirited debate indeed. lol.

    The problem is with as many teams out there needing bullpen help getting any sort of “name” reliever out there is gonna cost us more than it should. I think Dombrowski is smart enough to see that and won’t succumb to it.

    This is why organizational depth is so important. We should look from within for bullpen help or trade some starters. DLC didn’t look bad today. Trade Tata, Trahern, etc. We don’t need to go for Joe Nathan.

    You guys want a bullpen that goes shutout 7-8-9 everyday. That’s not easy to get.

    Aquiring good players for now while keeping the minors good for the future is hard. I have faith Dombrowski will figure this out.

    We don’t need an AJ for Nathan/Liriano type trade right now.

  103. T Smith

    June 19, 2007 at 1:08 am

    Joining the discussion late… I’m gonna back up Stephen somewhat here. Trade Maybin? Absolutely not. But we do have to do SOMETHING. Doing SOMETHING is not a knee-jerk reaction. It’s correcting a serious problem before we’re 6 games out and in an inevitable spiral. How many bullpen melt-downs do we need to experience before discussions to rectify the situation no longer qualify as “knee-jerk” reactions? This bullpen isn’t just gonna just fix itself. Jones isn’t gonna all of the sudden become a dominant closer. We’re gonna see a lot more infamous outings from Jones. A half-wit scout will tell you that for free. Though he’s only blown four saves, you might say, he’s been on the ropes ALOT more times than his save record indicates. And I have no idea what his ERA is now, but it has to be in 7 – 8 territory after allowing three tonight. That just doesn’t cut it for a closer. PERIOD. Frankly, the Tigers were lucky to get a W tonight. In my view, the Nats gave us this game. I don’t care who comes to the plate (unless you’re Magglio Ordonez) DY should have laid down a bunt with men on 1st and 2nd, no one out. Call me crazy — and I’m sure there is an arguement to the contrary — but bunting is a NO-BRAINER — a base hit wins the game/putting the ball in play ties the game. And that ain’t so hard to do off Jones. Dah?

    Yes, we are only 1 game out. But what some fail to understand is that this team should be 6 games up right now — easily — and that’s a conservative estimate, even factoring in a few decisions the other way, given a solid bullpen.

    I’m not sure what the answer is. Trading Maybin isn’t it, but there are a lot of players we should be willing to trade, if we could get a good middle reliever, e.g. Monroe, Maroth, Robertson, Rodney, Grilli, etc. Another option is to take one of the starters out of the rotation and convert to a solid middle reliever, al la Papelbon. Couple that with a closer like Eric Gagne, and we got ourselves a bullpen that won’t continually blow games.

  104. T Smith

    June 19, 2007 at 1:35 am

    I just calculated Jones ERA and it’s closer to 6, not the 7-8 range I assumed. Still, it doesn’t cut it.

    Even so, I don’t see Leyland or DD making any moves to go after Gagne or somebody like him. I figure they give Jones a lot more rope to hang himself with… by the time that happens, these discussions may be mute; we may be talking about 2008 by then

  105. Mike R

    June 19, 2007 at 3:16 am

    Stephen, there aren’t any 40-save closers and great set up men lying around on terrible teams that are willing to trade these people. Hell, Todd Jones is a 40-save closer.

    And you don’t trade away your prospects in an area you’re weak in. And we’re weak in position players in the farm system. We have a dearth of live, young arms that project well. That is what you trade, not Cameron Maybin.

    Kevin in Austin: You really want to give up Cameron Maybin for Eric Gagne who’s got a 1 year deal, Akinori Otsuka and Mark Teixeira who we’d only have for a year and a half? I don’t. Again, it’s not like we’ve got a great system of position players stocked like, say, the Angels do. We deal away some of our minor league strengths, which is young, live arms. Not to mention the fact that Teixeira will command a $90+ million dollar long-term contract AND said he’d love to play in Baltimore and essentially that they’ll be the front runners. So then you’re out one reliever if you can’t resign gagne, out your 1st baseman and left with the same problem we just had this passed off-season, and you have a 36 year old ‘closer’ in Otsuka left to show for your top prospect in your system. Might as well throw in Andrew Miller and have a fire sale.

    To me, Nate Robertson and Craig Monroe (especially when he heats up in July/August and hits his peak value for the season) is what will bring us the biggest return. This is speaking to only trading our MLB players. Throw in an arm like an Eulogio De La Cruz or Dallas Trahern if we have to, and that’s a pretty attractive offer for, say, Brad Lidge and an Astros team that needs offense (especially from their corner outfield positions).

  106. colin

    June 19, 2007 at 3:20 am

    one thing about DY that I haven’t heard mentioned: the ’03 Tigers would have set the loss record without him. He hit .297/.372 /.537 in a year when no one else on the roster even slugged .450.

    2003 Detroit Tigers Team Leaders

    Batting Average: Young, .297
    On-base %: Young, .372
    Slugging %: Young, .537
    OPS: Young, .909
    Games: Young, 155
    Plate Appearances: Young, 635
    Runs: Young, 78
    Hits: Young, 167
    Total Bases: Young, 302
    Doubles: Young, 34
    Triples: Young, 7
    Home Runs: Young, 29
    RBI: Young, 85
    Hit By Pitch: Young, 11

  107. Kyle J

    June 19, 2007 at 8:48 am

    I’m with Sam on trying Nate out in the bullpen–maybe even as closer if Jones doesn’t get it together by the All-Star break. He’s been good in the early innings, has the capacity to pitch out of jams, and could be more of a strikeout pitcher in shorter stretches. Tell him it’s a one-year thing and he’ll be back in the rotation next year.

  108. Marshall in DC

    June 19, 2007 at 9:43 am

    First and foremost . . fun game. Especially because I was in section 421 right behind home plate at RFK. Couple of notes before I get to the Game. If, over the last 15 years, you wonder where the Detroit Population has moved off to, DC seem to be a great answer. At leat 30% of the fans in RFK last night were rooting for the Tigers. Even our Metro system was resounding with “Let go Tigers” chants before and after the game. Pretty awesome.

    It was a Hot and muggy night – at the close of the game the temp was 87 degrees, and muggy.

    My thoughts on the game:
    1) Without the benefit of instant replay the Sac Fly in the second looked like an out at home. The Nats Fans actually booed. That got the Home fans really into the game.

    2) I told my wife that Maroth leading off in the 6th would be a guaranteed out, and what does he do but hit a double. That opened a can of worms for the nats. I certainly looked like Maroth was stealing signs from his vantage point. Relaying that info into a hitting strategy seemd to be an issue. Never seen the 3rd base coach confir with the Hitter twice between pitches. Paid off though . . .

    3) de la Cruz was amazing. (Gave up one hit and retired the side with 12 pitches) Watching his pitches break from behind home plate was pretty awesome. For the life of me, I never understand why you don’t keep a guy like that into the 9th. Warm Todd Jones up, but let Cruz (who is on a roll) keep going (play the hot hand). If he falters fine, Bring Jones in, but why bench a guy who “Cruzed” through an inning with only 12 pitches.

    4) As for Jones . . .I told everyone around me that the game wasn’t over when he came in, Jones would give up 3 runs and put a man on 3rd before deciding to be a closer and putting the game away. And that is exactly what he did.

    Now I can get bitchy about it, but frankly – being in the stands – it made for great theater. Every one was standing cheering. The “Lets go tigers” were rivilng the “Let’s go Nats”. Every one had their rally caps on. So – for personal reasons -I’m gald the Nats made it close, and exciting.

    Over all – fun game, beautiful night, and my Tigs won another game that I attended.

    BTW – Bilfer – One suggestion. You may want to add a thread or link for Tigers Fans at Away Games. Sort of message board for Fans to see who else is going to an away game and meet up.

  109. Mike G

    June 19, 2007 at 10:40 am

    We are not trading Maybin for bullpen parts.

    You just dont trade a top 10 toolsy OF prospect for a bullpen arm.

    We are also not trading De La Cruz for a bullpen arm. More likely he will be a big part of the pen from here on out. I really think he and Bazardo will.

    Who we may trade for bullpen help:
    Tata, Vazquez, Trahern, Jurrjens, Sizemore or Kirkland
    If anyone is interested: Shelton also

  110. Dave from 'The ATL'

    June 19, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Is the starting pitching line-up set for the Tigers versus Braves? I know Kenny’s making his come back on Friday versus Smoltz but what about Saturday and Sunday?

    Is Leyland sticking with the current rotation with Verlander on Saturday and Maroth on Sunday?

    I’m fired-up I’ll be at both games on Saturday and Sunday bot on national TV!

  111. Motor City Monk

    June 19, 2007 at 12:24 pm


    Tigers Good.

    Jones Baaaad.

    Ba-bye Jonesy.

    (wishful thinking)

  112. Ryan

    June 19, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Trading Maybin makes no sense when we have two of the three most desired trade deadline commodities in spades – experienced power bats and starting pitching. With all the attention that the terrible Adam Dunn is getting, the teams that don’t get him could get a player with slightly less power but also much better defense and speed (plus a couple fewer strikeouts) in C-Mo (Oakland, San Diego, St. Louis, Anaheim). Plus Shelton is just sitting in AAA, being a good soldier and waiting for a chance. It’d be the best thing for all parties to get rid of him. On the pitching side, packaging two semi-expendable starters (from Maroth, Durbin, and Ledezma) should be enough to get pen help from a team desperate for starters (Braves, Rangers, Royals, M’s). Jones is probably the closer for the year, but one more quality 7th-8th inning guy would make all the difference. Even beyond all that, I still think a Rodney/Shelton (if he’s willing get back to catching and replace Ausmus) for Lidge trade makes sense for everyone.

  113. Ryan

    June 19, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    On a completely different topic, anyone else think De La looked amazing for someone too nervous to get his fastball within a foot of the plate?

  114. Chris in Nashville

    June 19, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Dave from the ATL….that is the rotation….at least I know Verlander is going Sunday…maybe Maroth gets traded before Sunday…but I highly doubt it, so he’ll probably go on SNB and audition again…let’s hope he has a better one than he did last night.

  115. Dave from 'The ATL'

    June 19, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    Marshall in DC,

    It’s the same here in Atlanta. I’m looking forward to seeing how many Tiger fans are at Turner field this weekend.

    It was more like an away game for the Braves last night with Boston in town.

  116. Dave Wagner

    June 19, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    “We are not trading Maybin for bullpen parts.”

    Especially since we ALREADY HAVE the pitchers we need in the minors, as the vast majority of relievers are just converted starters anyway. Eulogio’s probably a good first step in making the transition.