Of Mountains and Molehills

Where I overreact and overthink a couple of topics…

Maggs the spray hitter?

Not that I’m complaining about a guy who is leading the all the Majors in hitting, but do you think that Ordonez is focusing on going for the batting title? His last 8 hits have all been singles, and it seems the majority are to right field. He hasn’t hit a homer since June 2nd. In his last 13 games he only has 4 extra base hits. Let me emphasize again I’m not complaining, over those same 13 games he’s batting .438 and has an OBP of .518 which is quite awesome. I just wonder if he’s looking for singles, a la Placido Polanco, instead of looking to turn on the ball. Then again, it could just be he’s taking what the opposition is giving as well.

Andrew Miller’s Inning Limit

I heard back from the Tigers, and Andrew Miller doesn’t have an innings limit this year. Jim Leyland said it’s too early in the season to get into a discussion about an innings limit, but they’ll continue to monitor him as they do with all pitchers.

I know that there is mixed opinion about pitcher’s workload and corresponding injury risk so I won’t even take the discussion that way. I’ll just remind everyone about Justin Verlander fatiguing down the stretch last year. And Verlander had a full year of professional ball as a starter under his belt.

Interleague thumping

When I thought about how the Central might shake out this year, I didn’t really know which of the 4 teams would end up on top, but I was sure that the division wouldn’t have 3 90 game winners in it. I also thought that the division winner would be right around 90 wins. I thought this because a)there wouldn’t be as many wins against the Indians this year by divisional foes and b)it would be a tougher run through the NL.

Well, the White Sox look to be supplanting the Indians as the 2nd team to beat up on so point A may be a wash. However, the Tigers went out and beat up on the NL 14-4 which was just a shade under the 16-2 mark they posted last year. So maybe they can get back to 95 wins.

Strongest division

I really think all the talk about the AL Central being the toughest division is highly misplaced. The AL Central boasts only the 3rd and 4th best teams in the league. The White Sox are closer to last than 3rd and the Twins are flirting with .500.

I’m thinking if you look west, and to the NL, that’s where things are the most interesting. Sure, their division leading Diamondbacks have only outscored their opponents by 1 run so there is some luck involved. But the division has 4 teams that are .500 or better, and their 5th team has only been outscored by 16 runs on the season. If it’s not the strongest, it’s certainly the most complete.

All Star Voting

Tigers fans have certainly been stuffing the ballot boxes and it’s been great. Magglio Ordonez finally jumped into the top 3 (but the lead is slim so don’t think the work is done) and Gary Sheffield is at 5. Placido Polanco probably isn’t the most deserving second baseman, which is probably Brian Roberts, but he’s a respectable choice. But come on Tigers fans, Sean Casey 3rd? Craig Monroe 15th? I’m all about supporting the hometown guys, and giving the preference among some tough choices to your guy is fine. But I’m not a big fan of blatant blind voting.

11 Comments

  1. Kathy

    June 26, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    No, I don’t think he’s going for singles. He’s just trying to put the ball in play. Remember, they’re not exactly throwing him strikes. He’s going after pitches that are off the plate and low. When the media ask him about the batting title, he always brushes them off and says it’s way too early to talk about something like that til maybe September. He even turned down an interview on Fox.

  2. David

    June 26, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    This year for the most part I did stuff the ballot box so to speak and vote all Tigers, but not Monroe, wrote in Grandy.

    IF I had to do a non-bias ballot for the AL
    And if you’re all about offense

    C- Posada or Vmart
    1st – Morneau
    2nd – Roberts or BJ Upton (cept he’s on the DL)
    3rd – Arod and not even close even though I love Inge
    SS – Guillen, with Jeter in second
    OF – Maggs
    OF – Vlad
    OF – One of the following – Grandy, Sheff, Rios, Torii Hunter, Ichiro, Crawford, or Manny

    As far as who starts unless Dan Haren gets smacked around his next 2-3 starts you have to give it to him.

    Other pitchers who as of today deserve to go

    Josh Beckett
    CC Sabathia
    John Lackey
    Kelvim Escobar
    Justin Verlander
    Jeremy Bonderman
    Johan Santana
    Fausto Carmona
    Joe Blanton
    Chad Gauldin
    James Shields
    Chin-Mang Wang

    Relievers (no surprises here)
    Krod
    Putz
    Nathan
    Papelbon

    On a side note, Tigs were 15-3 vs. NL last year

  3. Kurt

    June 26, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    Most interesting division isn’t necessarily the best division. Just most balanced. Right now, if I had to pick one, I’d choose AL West for best division, and that has nothing to do with Texas winning two.

  4. Kathy

    June 26, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    Even the worst teams gotta win sometimes.

  5. Bobber

    June 26, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Even if Ordoñez is (mostly) going for singles, it’s hard to work that into a Tiger problem. Baseball is pretty cyclical, including a player’s at bats. Maybe this is his version of a slump this year.

  6. mark

    June 27, 2007 at 1:23 am

    The All Star game is a total popularity contest. So why not just vote blindly, like every other homer, for your favorite players. The game is always over hyped and has been a joke since the early 90′s. Plus the way the Tigers have been playing at home, I am not sure I would want home field advantage for the AL( I am assuming the Tigers make it back to the series ) So stuff those ballets for your Favorite Tiger!!!!

  7. Dave Wagner

    June 27, 2007 at 7:10 am

    “This year for the most part I did stuff the ballot box so to speak and vote all Tigers, but not Monroe, wrote in Grandy.”

    Yeah, I did the exact same thing. Granderson’s got at least 100 votes or so.

  8. Anne

    June 27, 2007 at 9:04 am

    So did I–voting all Tigs and writing in Granderson over Monroe. I didn’t start out voting for Casey or Inge however; I had Morneau (MVP) and Alex Gordon (pity vote for KC) until I saw that Inge and Casey were each 3rd at their respective positions. Then I figured “Hey, if that many people can vote for them, so can I.”

    So anyway, yeah, I’m a big lame homer, can’t help it. I absolutely LOVE the All-Star game and I have no problem with it being a popularity contest (especially now when the Tigers are popular). However, if that’s the way the game is approached, it should not “count” for anything, and should not determine home field advantage. It should just be for fun, and to let the fans see the players they want. Just MHO, of course, and I know I’m probably in the minority.

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  10. bob

    June 30, 2007 at 5:31 am

    Finally, someone who agrees that Victor Martinez should be one of the All-Star catchers. He’s had a phenomenal year, and even with the Indians doing well this year nobody has recognized that. It’s sad, really. He’s been hitting around .320 all year, is first among catchers in RBI’s with 63 (4th in AL), first among catchers with 14 HR (6th in AL), and second among catchers in AVG and SLG. And yet he finished like fifth in All-Star balloting.

    Also, Brian Roberts deserves better than what voters gave him. He’s batted in the .320 range all year as well, and while he doesn’t have the power numbers that other 2B may have, he gets on base, making him a huge leadoff threat. And he also steals bases. Lots of them. I think he should definitely be an All Star, but he’s not even in the top 5. But with the Orioles struggling the way they have been this year, Roberts hasn’t gotten the attention he’s deserved.

    Goes to show just how bad All-Star voting is in determining the most qualified candidates. I feel like it’s too much of a popularity contest. Just remember a guy like Travis Hafner last year, who was batting .325 with 25 HR and 77 RBI and a .650 SLG percentage at the time of the All Star break, perhaps the best numbers in the American League, and yet he STILL didn’t make the team because no one really knew that much about him.

    I like your lineup overall. I would remove Carmona from the pitching group because he’s begun to struggle lately, and in the OF I would put in Grady Sizemore into that group of other players because he’s a five-tool player (23 steals, 13 HR, a great outfield glove, .400ish OBP, and a decent arm in CF). I would probably start Ichiro or Torii just because of the awesome years they’ve been having, and use Sizemore as a second-in-line reserve.

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