Fire and rain

With apologies to James Taylor…

Just yesterday evening, found out the playoffs were gone
Sheff, that collision put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I posted it online just to share with you

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen big innings that I thought would never end
I’ve seen Kenny Rogers arm fail to mend
But I always thought that I’d see the Tigers win again

Won’t you look down upon them Leyland
You’ve got to help them make a stand
You’ve just got to make them put the ball in play
Guillen’s knees are aching and Bondo’s been bad
They just won’t make it any other way

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen big innings that I thought would never end
I’ve seen Kenny Rogers arm fail to mend
But I always thought that I’d see the Tigers win again

Been walking my mind to an easy time my back turned towards the sun
Lord knows when Zumaya throws it’ll turn your head around
Well, there was hours of time around the trade deadline to talk about things
to come
Playoff dreams and 2nd place teams in pieces on the ground

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen big innings that I thought would never end
I’ve seen Kenny Rogers arm fail to mend
But I always thought that I’d see the Tigers win again

A bit dramatic, yes? In all reality I’m not writing the Tigers season off. Yesterday was a horrible loss, as were many over the recent stretch. When the Tigers went into their post-sweep the Twins in the Metrodome meltdown, they failed to do pretty much everything right. As of late though, they just aren’t doing enough stuff right at the same time.

On the west coast swing they weren’t hitting or pitching or relieving. Now they are at least doing parts of it, but never on the same days. And the losing continues and continues. If the offense is creating opportunities, they aren’t taking advantage. If they are scoring they are working from a deficit because the starters or relievers can’t keep them in the game. If the pitching keeps the other team off the board, the Tigers offense can’t muster anything. In short, they are doing just enough to lose on a regular basis.

We’ve seen signature games only to be followed by signature losses. We see the offense break out one game, only to be shut down the next. We see the pitching struggle to put 2 consecutive quality starts together, or for the bullpen to keep the deficit manageable.

There’s no magic elixir that is going to fix this stuff.

That said, as bad as it’s been the Tigers are still well within reach of the division. And it’s premature to write off a season with over 30 games to go and a 2 1/2 game deficit. Yes, they need Cleveland to continue to muddle around and the Tigers need to start playing better, but if you’re giving up at this point that is pretty lame. While the picture isn’t pretty there are some positive trends of late. The Tigers have had 2 solid performances from Jair Jurrjens and Nate Robertson has been pretty good in 3 of his last 4 starts. Magglio Ordonez is still mashing the ball and making a run at MVP, Marcus Thames is getting regular playing time, and the team has had a lift from players like Ryan Raburn. Plus the back end of the bullpen is now intact.

Of course things could go south in a hurry, but it is way to early to jump ship.

12 thoughts on “Fire and rain”

  1. The Tigers are below .500 vs. the American League. Unfortunately, they play the AL for the remainder of their schedule.

    On top of that, they can’t beat the teams they are chasing.

  2. We still believe, although it’s getting harder!

    This song definitely needs to be put to music and sold.

    Slogan for the next 30 games: IT’S GUM TIME!!!

  3. Well said.

    Will the Tigers finally put it all together? I don’t know, and I’m not entirely confident that they will. But if you had told me in April that the Tigers would be only 2.5 out with 5 weeks left in the season, after all the injuries and drama, I’d have been OK with that.

    As you said, it’s much too early to write them off. But the season could go totally off the rails sooner, than later, if things don’t improve.

  4. I still firmly believe (especially being 24 hours from the managing train wreck that was the final 2 innings of yesterday’s game) that we’re in this. Come Monday though, if we don’t at least split with the Yankees, I’ll come humming a nice requiem for this season.

  5. Bilfer, your sentiments are accurate. The problem with their performance this week – and the possibility of continuing the slide against NYY – is that they’ve taken their destiny out of their own hands.
    They’re by no means out of it, but they have to start playing much better and they have to count on Cleveland to continue to play inconsistently…not to mention avoiding the possibility of the Twinkies heating up and entering into the fray.
    Go Tigers!

  6. I pretty much agree with Mike R. I mean, yes, there is more than a month left of the season. And anything can happen. And it just takes a week or two of excellent baseball, which in theory, I guess this team is capable of, to get the team in a good place.

    But I don’t know. There just seems to be too many problems to overcome right now and I’m just not sure I see them straightening out.

  7. What happened to gum time? I dont even see them do it that much anymore. They seemed so youthful last year like they really wanted it bad. This year there has been too many times that seem like they are going to be spoon fed the win. C’mon guys! Who knows how long Jim will stick around. We need that ring.

  8. Maybe the best thing that can happen is for everyone to start writing them off. Last year I vividly remember Kruk on Baseball Tonight giving them mad props and calling them the best team in the leaue. Not soon after Polanco went down and they went on their slide that cost them the division. Counted for dead when the playoffs started, they surprised the Yankees and A’s and made it to the WS. The week leading up to the WS, the bandwagon was full again and everyone had them already crowned, they come out an lay an egg. Now this year at the break, everyone is calling them the shoe-in for the playoffs, and they respond by falling on their face. SOOO, maybe, just maybe, they need everyone to stop telling them their great to actually be great.

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