Game 112: Rays at Tigers

PREGAME: Whatever you did last night, do the same thing tonight. The Tigers aren’t nearly as superstitious and have juggled the lineup. Guillen is back at shortstop, Craig Monroe is back in left field, and Pudge Rodriguez returns behind the plate. But fear not Ryan Raburn fans, he’s playing 2nd tonight so Placido Polanco can DH.

Also different will be the starting pitcher. The Tigers go with Nate Robertson. Robertson turned in a quality start last time out against Oakland, but took the loss as the offense did not much.

He’ll be opposed by Jason Hammel making just his 4th start of the season after toiling in the bullpen. Hammell has been tough on lefties allowing just a 212/349/346 line. He has 24 K’s in 30 innings which is solid, but 19 walks to go along with it.

Game Time 7:05pm

TBD @ DET, Tuesday, August 7, 2007 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: On to the good stuff in a minute. But first, Dave Dombrowski needs to cut Jason Grilli right now. No discussions with Jim Leyland who has a huge blind spot towards the ineptitude of Jason Grilli. Grilli is what he is, a mop-up guy at best. A really nice guy, great with the kids, but that doesn’t qualify him to pitch in tight games.

Removing Nate Robertson was a questionable decision at best and it was Leyland out thinking himself. And what I don’t understand, is if Leyland didn’t think Nate Robertson could get out of a 2 out, runner on first jam on a night when he had 9 K’s and 0 BB’s, why did he think that Jason Grilli would be able to get out of a bases loaded jam? Much like the Jones-Cleveland-debacle Leyland made several mistakes. It was a mistake taking Robertson out. It was a mistake brining Grilli in. And it was a mistake leaving him in to tie the game.

Part of this is the culmination of the Rogers and Miller injuries because Chad Durbin wasn’t available in that situation due to starting tomorrow. And that left Zach Miner and Todd Jones as the only other available right handers. Which is why a move needs to be made.

Now for the good stuff:

  • The offense was drilling the ball all over the place, and pretty much everyone took place at some point except for Craig Monroe.
  • Great baserunning tonight with Ryan Raburn getting home on a contact play and Curtis Granderson going first to third on a blooper, and even Sean Casey beating out a double.
  • But Curtis Granderson was caught stealing for the first time this year. Kind of a bummer and it looked like he didn’t get a solid first step.
  • Nate Robertson was awesome. He spared the bullpen which could be helpful with Chad Durbin taking the mound tomorrow. Not that Durbin isn’t up to the task, but he’s probably going to be limited at around 75-85 pitches.
  • Curtis Granderson made a rare mistake in centerfield when he completely lost a fly ball and it led to a run. It happens, and it rarely happens to Granderson. But he made up for it with an excellent diving catch in the 9th.
  • Another nice effort for Todd Jones allowing only a ground ball single.
  • The Tigers took advantage of the pitching match-ups that clearly tilted in their favor in these first 2 games. Facing James Shields and Scott Kazimir will definitely be a challenge the next 2 games.


  1. Tbone

    August 7, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    Pudge has started growing a late-season beard, I see. And it delivers a hit!

  2. Jeff

    August 7, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    Raburn’s got a nice swing.

  3. Tbone

    August 7, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    Raburn’s here to stay, I think…

  4. Mark in Chicago

    August 7, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    Rayburn has done a really nice job since coming up, I hope he continues to figure it out. He looks like a solid player.

  5. Mark in Chicago

    August 7, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    lol, this apparently has become the Ryan Raburn fansite…

  6. Matt in ATL

    August 7, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    Its nice to see the Wild pitches and failed pickoff attempts coming from the other dugout. KNOCK ON WOOD.

  7. boombotti

    August 7, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    What does C-MO stand for? I don’t need to “see no mo” pitches, one is all I need to kill a rally. At least Inge’s blast picks up the run.

  8. Tbone

    August 7, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    I’m going to see if there’s any Ryan Raburn gear at the Tiger Shop tomorrow night. Ha!

  9. Dirk

    August 7, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    Greetings from Germany 😉

    Billfer wrote “Whatever you did last night, do the same thing tonight”

    This means, I’ll have to quit watching the Game after the 3rd Inning with a Tigers lead (for a good sleep). But if this helps, I’ll do it again (although I’m a bit tired, too, it’s 1:40 am again here 😉 )

    It looks good……3-0 botton 2nd. So, I may wish you all a good game because I quit in a few minutes ….Go Tigers

  10. charlie

    August 7, 2007 at 7:45 pm

    i know monroe is on everyones list to be outta here…however i read that he is hitting .353 since he returned from injury…or…some other recent point in time. any comments?

  11. Mark in Chicago

    August 7, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    he’s hitting .000 in his last AB

  12. Nate

    August 7, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    He’s hitting .235 in his last 7 games.

  13. Adam

    August 7, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    We’re drilling this guy – just need to stop hitting it right at people.

  14. Vince in MN

    August 7, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    Interesting with Raburn at 2B tonight. Has he even played any games there this year since his conversion to the outfield?

    I hope we score lots of runs tonight. I have a funny feeling about Robertson lastinng very long – he hasn’t hit 90MPH yet if Gameday is correct.

  15. Mark in Chicago

    August 7, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    ugh. monroe is a black hole right now.

  16. Vince in MN

    August 7, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    C-Mo = Can’t hit no more.

  17. Jim

    August 7, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Thames! Give me THAMES!

  18. Jim

    August 7, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    No ones mentioned but..Nasty nate is lookin gooooood

  19. Michael

    August 7, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    Raburn is looking goodddddddddddddd.

  20. charlie

    August 7, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    robertson is lights out tonite

  21. Jim

    August 7, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    Couple of thoughts…am I the only one who loves the fact that Rod and Mario so genuinly enjoy their job? I really love listening to those guy because they show some emotion on there..

    I will also admit after the Tigers my next favorite team to watch are actually the DRays..It’s alot of fun watching all that talent they have..

  22. boombotti

    August 7, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Yes I agree Jim, I do enjoy watching Rod & Mario call a game, they seem to work well together.

  23. grant

    August 7, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    They are certainly more enjoyable to listen to than the radio guys. They take all the fun out of Tigers baseball. Kind of like the opposite of Ernie.

  24. Nate

    August 7, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    I agree Jim. One of the interesting things about having MLB extra innings is listening to the other teams’ announcers. And, though I suspect I’m in the minority on this point, I’d rank enthusiasm ahead of knowledge as far as what makes a broadcast enjoyable.

    By far, the worst announcers in MLB are the Royals crew. They never sound like they are having a good time. They really put in stark relief just how lucky we were to have, first Josh and Gibby (with some truly memorable guest appearances from Tom Paciorek), and, then, Mario and Rod when our team was terrible.

    I will say there does seem to be a correlation between success as a team and good announcing. My favorite broadcasts to watch, with the noted exception of the Texas Rangers’ team (Josh’s new home), are all of contending teams.

  25. Jim

    August 7, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    I guess magglio got tired of hittin doubles the opposite way? ha ha!

  26. grant

    August 7, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    The White Sox announcers are just about as bad as KC’s. I just can’t stand to listen to Hawk Harrelson. Nice swing by Maggs there. He goes the opposite way so well.

  27. Ryan

    August 7, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Mario and Rod are the best. Other announcers don’t giggle nearly enough.

  28. charlie

    August 7, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    agree with the white sox…they are pretty bad…i didn’t like the nationals crew either.

  29. Ryan

    August 7, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    *Knock on wood*

    Nate looks as good as I’ve seen in a long time. Great to see the real Nate Robertson back.

    *Knock on wood*

  30. Nate

    August 7, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    I didn’t mind Hawk so much when Wimpy was the other guy in the booth. I think the fact that Darrin Jackson never has anything to say makes Hawk talk more and thus cross over into truly intolerable territory.

  31. Jim

    August 7, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    ha ha rod and mario do giggle. i always joke with my friends that they’re up there smokin down…

  32. charlie

    August 7, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    c-mo only guy without a hit…guess he is a black hole at the plate

  33. Tbone

    August 7, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    I like Dan Dickerson, but Jim Price is just unlistenable doing play-by-play. I was just in the car and he calls foul pop ups into the crowd exactly the same as an infield automatic out pop-up. You never know what the hell is going on half the time.

  34. Vince in MN

    August 7, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    That’s the way to pitch to Rodriguez – put nothing in the strike zone.

  35. grant

    August 7, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    You’re right, I should have clarified that more than i did. I do like Dickerson but Price is just awful. I drove home from work the other night (about a 7-8 min. drive) and never figured the score or even which team was batting. What a great start for Nate tonight. He needed this in a big way. He even said before the game that his command problems were mostly between the ears.

  36. Ryan

    August 7, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Really? Grilli?
    Certainly didn’t see anything to make me think Nate couldn’t have finished the 8th.

  37. Tbone

    August 7, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    Argh!!!! Grilli is just infuriating…what is he doing out there?

  38. Bobby

    August 7, 2007 at 9:25 pm


  39. grant

    August 7, 2007 at 9:26 pm


  40. charlie

    August 7, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    grilli…man oh man

  41. Tbone

    August 7, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    Seriously – anyone else out of that pen would have been a better choice.

  42. Mark in SF

    August 7, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    I think I’m going to puke.

  43. Chris in Nashville

    August 7, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    You have to be kidding me? Why did he put Grilli in….this is absolutley unreal, we are playing well again, and all the sudden the old problems rear their ugly head.


  44. Bobby

    August 7, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    Listen to those boos… about damn time the crowd holds that clown responsible.

  45. Vince in MN

    August 7, 2007 at 9:27 pm


  46. grant

    August 7, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    Can’t believe that Nate got screwed out of a win tonight. He was fantastic and Grilli is an abomination to the game of baseball.

  47. Chris

    August 7, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Time for Grilli to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. charlie

    August 7, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    10 pitches 4 hits including the slam…surely we have a better option than grilli…bring back dela…what a way to kill a great performance by nate…awful just awful

  49. Kevin B.

    August 7, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    Will anyone now admit that Stephen may be on to something when he says the bullpen can kill the morale of the rest of this team?

  50. Bobby

    August 7, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    I know that I know **zero** about managing a clubhouse, and the do’s/dont’s of it all, but aren’t we past saving this guy’s feelings? When does it get to the point where even the teammates realize that this guys is a MAJOR part of the problem, and that they’ll accept the club getting rid of him?

  51. Ryan

    August 7, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    There is NO reason for Grilli on the roster. What does he have to do to get DFA? How is this possible? HOW DOES HE KEEP GETTING PUT INTO CLOSE GAMES? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!

  52. Vince in MN

    August 7, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    I think pulling Nate was not a bad idea – he has had trouble getting past 90 pitches this year. Putting in Grilli though? – he should have been DAed a long long time ago.

  53. T Smith

    August 7, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    My two-day ban is officially over, so here goes:

    If the Tigers go on to lose this one, I SQUARELY BLAME LEYLAND. No Leyland apologists allowed. And yes, I was SCREAMING the same thing BEFORE the 4 runs.

    Let a guy who has pitched brilliantly all night, with low pitch count, finish the eighth inning. This is horrible.

  54. Eric Jackson

    August 7, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    Time to score some runs then hand it to Jones.

  55. tigerfan

    August 7, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    leave it to grilli serve it up on a silver platter if I didn’t know better I’d swear he was on the other team {I wish he was come to think of it} what a ###$%^&&*&%$# looooooser!!!!!

  56. charlie

    August 7, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    sometimes jones drives you crazy…grilli does more often than anyone…get some hits boys…we need to string some wins together

  57. Chris

    August 7, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    This is trully a loss due to Leyland. He is the one who lost this game…ERRRRRR!!!!

  58. Matt in ATL

    August 7, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    Absolutely ridiculous. I blame Leyland at this point. Grilli cannot be rehabilatated. Get over it. get rid of him. He is not a Double A pitcher.

  59. Mike R

    August 7, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    Detroit Tigers Reliever: Best job security in the state!

    I understand that Jason Grilli gave up the grand slam, but this one’s on Jim Leyland. Why in the world does Robertson get yanked from this game? 96 pitches with 2 out in the 8th? Let him finish the inning.

    If you don’t let him finish it, you don’t bring in Jason Grilli in that situation. Well done, Jim. Well done.

  60. Tater

    August 7, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    It’s like Leyland reads this blog and wanted to support the argument Stephen’s been making for weeks about how the bullpen is responsible for losses earlier in the season; killing the team’s spirit in recent weeks; the high price of gas; and the Kennedy assasination.

    I still don’t buy the entire line of argument, but I can certainly agree that Grill saps MY will to live.

  61. Tbone

    August 7, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    I put this one squarely on Leyland’s shoulders. It was questionable take Nate out to begin with but to give it up to Grilli of all people is just ridiculous. Righty-righty match ups don’t do jack when you’ve got a gas can like the Griller.

    Nate got screwed.

  62. Matt

    August 7, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    RIDICULOUS! This is repulsive.

  63. grant

    August 7, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    I was at Game 4 of the ALCS when Grilli came in after the Tigers had tied it a 3. He walked the first batter on 4 pitches, went 3-0 on Thomas before getting him to ground ball 4 into a DP and then proceded to walk the bases loaded on 12 pitches before Ledezma got out of it. He shouldn’t have been allowed back on the WS roster, much less still now. Too bad for Nate, again.

  64. charlie

    August 7, 2007 at 9:34 pm


  65. Eric Jackson

    August 7, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    Way to go C-Mo, and I didn’t think he’d get on base!

    Raburn is a keeper.

  66. Mike R

    August 7, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    7 posts at 9:32 pm, consecutively, blaming Leyland for bringing in Grilli/taking Robertson out.

  67. Chris in Nashville

    August 7, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    That was the best AB Monroe has had in a while.

  68. cib

    August 7, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    Add me a little bit late, Mike R. I don’t get it. That was just sickening. I don’t want to ever see Grilli anymore. My daughter had a ball that he signed and I just threw it down the basement stairs.

  69. Ryan

    August 7, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    Lopez? Tankersley? De La? Capellan? I can’t see Grilli being on this team tomorrow instead of one of these.

  70. Teymour

    August 7, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    If Grilli isn’t given his walking papers tomorrow it will be Millen like (or Ford like) on DD’s part. Hopefully Curtis can put us ahead. Oh YEAHHHHHHHHHHHH

  71. Tbone

    August 7, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    Raburn is the MAN!

  72. grant

    August 7, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    Whoa! What brilliant base running by Raburn. That was fantastic.

  73. Chris in Nashville

    August 7, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    MAN…what a play by Raburn there…if he slid he was out…..that guy is making a case to play every day

  74. Mike R

    August 7, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    Boy, that bullpen really killed the morale of the Tigers hitters, huh?

  75. cib

    August 7, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    Actually the way I threw that ball down the stairs, they may call ME up tomorrow!!

    Go Tigers!! Do they have the Raburn t-shirts in the stores yet??

  76. grant

    August 7, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    Man, they are putting on a baserunning clinic tonight.

  77. Kevin B.

    August 7, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    It will when the pen blows this lead in the 9th!

  78. Tbone

    August 7, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    Nice job at the plate boys. I’m still sick about Nate, though.

  79. Chris

    August 7, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    I heard Danny Knobler say he did not think Raburn was a difference maker. So far, this kid is proving Danny wrong.

  80. Mike R

    August 7, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    They just looked so depressed now rounding the bases like a carousel for a 3 run inning after Jason Grilli’s typical outing. THEY’RE OUT OF MORALE!

  81. Ryan

    August 7, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    Trade rumors: Grilli for $0.73 and 2 aspirin. Grilli for a dirty sock to be named later (DSTBNL). Grilli for a leaky Bic pen (if he clears waivers).

  82. cib

    August 7, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Actually I think the hitters were completely pissed at Grilli and perhaps they are seeing his image on the ball…

    Right before the rally they showed Magglio in the dugout and If Looks Could Kill . . .

  83. Kyle J

    August 7, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    This has to be the end of the line for Grilli, right? His ERA is back up to 5.94.

    Perhaps the most depressing stat on Grilli’s line is innings pitched; he’s thrown more than any Tigers reliever.

  84. Stephen

    August 7, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    Danny Knobler may be the worst baseball writer in America. No hyperbole. He has absolutely no insight, never ever writes critically, and has bad hair.

  85. grant

    August 7, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    Ryan, thats the funniest thing i’ve read in awhile.

  86. Kyle J

    August 7, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    Knobler’s no Peter Gammons. But I’m not sure that failing to predict that Ryan Rayburn would hit .375 should be held against him . . .

  87. Nate

    August 7, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    Mike, I think the issue here is that the Devil Rays have even less morale than the Tigers, so what little shred of desire and dignity that our hometown boys still possess is enough to will them to this great feat, though they be downcast in countenance and dejected in spirit.

  88. Ryan

    August 7, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Ha! I like that, cib. I see the advertising now… “The Grilli ball. It’s just so clubbable.”

    I tried that “word” twice, and it doesn’t look good with 2 or with 3 ‘b’s.

  89. Matt in ATL

    August 7, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Grilli to Cleveland for Len Barker

  90. Ryan

    August 7, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Now Granderson and Raburn have to have some sort of awesome-off to determine the now king of awesomeness.

  91. cib

    August 7, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    Too funny all of you. At least we can have some laughs here. I was thinking we might be able to at least get a case of Propel for the guy, before we propel him out of town . . .

  92. Jeff

    August 7, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    *** Will anyone now admit that Stephen may be on to something when he says the bullpen can kill the morale of the rest of this team? ***

    I think the bottom of the 8th answered that question.

  93. Mike R

    August 7, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Is there anyway possible Dombrowski’s waiting in the Clubhouse to give Jason Grilli a pink slip? Yeah… I didn’t think so.

  94. Chris in Nashville

    August 7, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Even though it shouldn’t have been….that was a big win. The boys bounced back very well and looked like a playoff caliber team…..and it also proved that Grilli can’t be trusted and needs to be sent down, released or whatever, just as long as he isn’t in our bullpen anymore.

  95. Ryan

    August 7, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    I hope DD has a giant 12 foot hook like Showtime at the Apollo and just sort of tugs Grilli outside the stadium. That mental picture makes me almost as happy as this awesome comeback win. Go Tigers!

  96. T Smith

    August 7, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Jim Leyland, clearly disoriented, dazed, confused:

    “I’m gonna go with Grilli.”

    Detroit Tigers, determined to win after demoralizing managerial blunder:

    “Don’t worry, Skip. We got your back. (Do manager’s undergo mandatory drug testing, too? Certainly hope not.)”

  97. Tbone

    August 7, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    Spot on with your postgame wrap as usual billfer. It was bad enough bringing Grilli in, but he absolutely needed the hook when the tying run came to the plate.

    And yes, lets not forget all the good the Tigers did tonight. Outside Grilli, everyone played solid and with purpose. In the end, a great uting from nate and a good win.

  98. Kathy

    August 7, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    I checked on the Mud Hens game and Marcus is DH’ing. He has 3 AB with a hit, run and rbi.

    I did the same routine tonight. Started watching, we got behind, turned the station and came back to watch them win. Tonight, started watching…..until we got GRILLED, turned the station and came back to watch us win.

  99. T Smith

    August 7, 2007 at 10:29 pm


    Let’s not get carried away. It is the DEVIL RAYS to whom the Tigers answered tonight. I think Stephen is fundementally correct in saying the bullpen can dampen a team’s spirit. That doesn’t mean the team isn’t gonna try to win if the bullpen melts down; it just means, the bullpen can kill momentum and rhythm and add undue pressure to the rest of the team to turn the tide. Just like when you TRY to hit the home run, 9 times out of 10 you overswing and strike out. Same concept.

    If this were a playoff game, or a legitimate opponent with a legitimate bullpen, we go into extra innings tonight and hope the Tigers pull it off. In any case NO EXCUSE to blow a 6-2 lead, 2 outs, eigth inning.

    And if you still think Stephen is sniffing glue, I’ll leave you with a quote from DD himself:

    “I don’t think it’s that [blaming the slump on starting pitching/lack of hitting]…I think when you start to struggle, you put more pressure on yourself to preform and I think that’s what’s happening…”

    This slump (from which we’re hopefully emerging from bowels of) was clearly initiated by those 4 or 5 consecutive bullpen blowups.

  100. Rob

    August 7, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    Huge win. Way to go Ryan Raburn. Leyland made a huge mistake taking out Robertson, sort of like David Lee Roth thinking he didn’t need Van Halen. Maybe a nicotine overdose tonight?

    Gotta disagree about the general feelings about our announcers, though. I don’t care for Mario n’ Rod: Rod gets a little irritating with his nicey-nice routine. Mario is solid, but is a typical “Scripps Howard Broadcasting School” type. Double D and Jim are a great team, and one of the best to listen to. Dickerson and Price have a relaxed demeanor. They support the team without being homers, and honestly I doubt the Tigers could do much better after Ernie “The Legend” Harwell.


  101. Jim

    August 7, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Did anyone else see Caseys face as he was rounding first for that double? LOL he looked like he was gonna burst! I LOVE IT!

    btw…royce clayton was released today I believe…just saying…he’d be cheaper than jack wilson…discuss…

  102. Jeff

    August 7, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    *** I think Stephen is fundementally correct in saying the bullpen can dampen a team’s spirit. ***

    Anything negative, be it bullpen, missed signs, or a collision with an ATV’ing mascot, can dampen a team’s spirit. But this team has not shown signs of quitting. Not tonight and not prior to tonight. I think it’s a convenient cop-out explanation for a hitting slump, that the poor hitters are so depressed about the bullpen that they forget how to hit.

    They weren’t hitting because some of their better hitters were out with injuries, some of their other hitters were playing hurt, and some of the guys were slumping. There is ample evidence from past seasons that hitting slumps are not correlated at all with pitching slumps (bullpen or otherwise), so I’m not buying the argument.

    We have a real tendency to project our own emotions and nervousness about the progress of the game onto the players, particularly onto the hitters. Hitting is an instinctive action. Players have 0.4 seconds to read and react. There’s no time for nerves. It’s not like putting or even pitching.

    Leyland’s weakness is loyalty to guys who aren’t performing. His strength is in keeping the team together and focused. The former is probably a factor in the latter, but he’s also shown the ability to cut guys loose without creating resentment and it’s time to do so here.

  103. Kathy

    August 7, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    Thanks, Rob. I love Jim and Dan and often mute the TV and listen to the radio broadcast. Sometimes, I just get tired of listening to Mario and Rod and you get a little different perspective from Jim and Dan. Also, I don’t think it was a mistake for Leland to take Nate out at that point in the game. As for Grilli, he seemed to be doing better recently but this just killed any faith we had started to develop in him.

  104. Jim

    August 7, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    Rob: I think it’s safe to say Ernie > *

    But in all honesty I like the fact that Rod and Mario are homers. I like the feeling that they live and die with our team like the rest of us.

  105. Stephen

    August 7, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Emotional toll or not, we’re entering a stretch drive with a pen that has exactly two pitchers who are battled tested: Rodney and Jones. Zumaya hasn’t even started a rehab asignment so he won’t be back for the crunch time of the next two weeks. They really had to add an arm and they didn’t. You need to enter these games with pitchers slotted for the 7th, 8th, and 9th inning. It just leaves me feeling that it is just matter of time before the bomb explodes.

  106. Chris

    August 7, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    Go white sox!!

  107. Kyle J

    August 7, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    For those of you keeping score at home, Octavio Dotel has allowed 5 runs in 3.1 innings for the Braves, with one blown save in four appearances.

    Again, outside of Gagne–who no one believes would have agreed to come here–it’s still unclear which shutdown reliever the Tigers were supposed to go out and get.

  108. Tram Fan

    August 7, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    Stephen: Rodney is “battle tested”?

    Earlier this season – before he was hurt – many fans couldn’t wait to get rid of him. He was the scapegoat before all the other relievers got super-terrible, too. Then suddenly it was like,
    “We need Rodney back!”

  109. Rob

    August 7, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    I think Double D and Jim do care about the team, but they aren’t as over the top. It’s a taste thing, to be sure.

    Taking out the pitcher early is the great sickness of modern managers. It just seems like late in games these skippers get this thing where they say, “OK, if they pitch a perfect inning, I’ll leave em’ in, but if they even walk just one guy or give up one little bleeder then I’m bouncing right outta the dugout.”

    On the postgame radio show they are saying that Leyland wanted to “reward” Nate by letting him get that big ovation from the crowd. Interesting theory.

    Of course Leyland is terrific, but he likes making weird, seat of his pants moves. It works most of the time, and tonight he didn’t. Good thing Ryan “The Alexis Gomez of 2007” Raburn saved the day.

  110. Stephen

    August 7, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    I was totally givng Rodney the benefit of the doubt there. I’m not a huge fan. Ok, we have one battle tested reliever: Todd Jones. Gosh, I feel so much better.

  111. T Smith

    August 7, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    ***Anything negative, be it bullpen, missed signs, or a collision with an ATV’ing mascot, can dampen a team’s spirit.***

    I totally agree. And I not saying the team ever quit. If anything, just the opposite. They tried TOO hard to compensate. There is a difference between “quiting” and “getting the job done” And if Gene Lamont or Andy Van Slyke totally botched signs five days in a row that ended up causing the team to lose five games they should have won, or if you see a collision with a TV’ing mascot five days in row, you’re gonna see similiar reprecutions from that, too. We’d be talking about Lamont right now and not the bullpen.

    As for the “hitters don’t have time to react” theory, I also tend to agree…. somewhat. In fact, Polanco, Maggs, Guillen, and Casey just plain hit. Sometimes they slump, but I don’t think it ever gets into their heads. They just hit uniformally, per their abilities.

    As for Monroe, I absolutely disagree. His body language alone tells me differently. He mopes back to the dugout after every other bat that results in a strike out, and he just looks like he’s gonna fail before he even comes to the plate. If you don’t see it in his eyes, you’re not reading people all that well. I also think Inge (and maybe even Pudge) overthink when they’re slumping, too, which propagates the slump. Of course these are just subjective observations, and you can certainly disagree. But if there were no truth to what I’m saying, then hitters’ stats would be uniform across all situations. Why do some batters bat .193 with RISP and .273 with bases empty? If the mental aspect of the game had absolutely nothing to do with preformance, the stats certainly wouldn’t lie about it.

  112. billfer

    August 7, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    Who were all the battle tested relievers that we had in the bullpen last year?

    I’m comfortable with Miner and Durbin who stabilized the pen after Mesa and Ledezma left. But with the injuries to the starters Durbin was moved to the rotation weakening the pen, and Leyland said he was saving Miner to cover for Durbin tomorrow in case he can’t go deep.

  113. Jim

    August 7, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    What, Grilli’s not battle tested? Remember when he walked the bases loaded against OAK in the ALCS? that was a test!

  114. Chris M

    August 7, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    Raburn is hitting pretty well against righties this year:


  115. Stephen

    August 7, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    I give up on the whole reliever thing. This bullpen could slip to last in the majors–not out of the question–and some of you guys would be making excuses for Dombrowski or saying the team’s slide isn’t because of the bullpen.
    Fine, whatever. If the team’s hitting stays at #2 in the league and the starters move from #15 to #11, likely, and the bullpen stays in the #26 range, quite possible with the Yankees on deck for many games, and we miss the playoffs by 2-3 games, if some of you guys say the bullpen isn’t the reason, godspeed. I just hope none of you are teaching freshman logic at any colleges.
    And selectively using Dotel’s Braves limited outings and discounting his Royals work isintellectually dishonest. Of course, you don’t know if someone’s going to come over and be lights out, but i’d take my chances with Dotel over Grilli or Byrdak over the course of the next 50 games.

  116. charlie

    August 7, 2007 at 11:15 pm


    we all know there is a problem with the bullpen…you’ve been beating the drum for weeks…hell some of us even figured it out on our own…you’re an intelligent guy…what else are you seeing our there?

  117. Stephen

    August 7, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    I wave white flag. You guys keep picking at the tiniest of my arguments without providing any evidence that the team’s crappy bullpen is why this team may not return to the playoffs. It’s like the Republicans picking at the tiniest flaws in the Democrat’s universal healthcare plan. There may be some points to be made, but in the end you’re just saying ‘hey look over here,’ while 42 million Americans don’t have health insurance.
    Discount all my arguments–emotional toll, battle tested or not, whether Dotel is better than Grilli–but hopefully we can agree on this premise:
    bullpen last year: good. no moves needed.
    bullpen this year: blows. moves needed. not made.

  118. Stephen

    August 7, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    Ok, sorry for the overkill here. I’ll give it a rest.

  119. billfer

    August 7, 2007 at 11:29 pm


    Do you not acknowledge that 2 of the biggest offenders were dumped? Miner and Durbin have improved the bullpen over Mesa and Ledezma.

    And no one is advocating Grilli over Dotel.

    And you brought up battle tested as a key component and I just asked who was battle tested last year. Isn’t that a fair question.

    And please don’t bring politics into it. I don’t want a tangent and that’s not what we discuss here.

    Everyone agrees that the bullpen is the weakest part of the team. We disagree on the magnitude of the problem.

  120. billfer

    August 7, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    Me too. Didn’t see your last post before I posted mine.

  121. KS

    August 7, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Stephen, keep it going, I completely agree with you. Tonight was a perfect case in point, who puts Jason F. Grilli out there to pitch a major league baseball game? Let alone one that is in doubt. I bet all of you cringed when he made that move. Where’s the logic in it? The bullpen, and Leyland’s use of it, has destroyed this team, and is on the way to wrecking this season.

  122. Stephen

    August 7, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    The moves made in the bullpen would fall under re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Swapping out the 10th and 11th guys on your staff doesn’t really qualify as moves any more than adding Matt Stairs last year qualified as a move. I’m happy Durbin and Miner are here, but, in my opinion, they’re not difference makers.

  123. Chris M

    August 7, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    The funny thing is, Grilli didn’t get a Blown Save because he blew a 4 run lead, instead of a 3 run or less lead.

  124. T Smith

    August 7, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    Can we ease up on the blanket party on Stephen for a bit? Maybe change gears somewhat? (Some of the bullpen apologists/no relief-out-there-folk just aren’t buying it, dude)

    Anyway, what I want to know is how Jason Gilli faces Nate Roberston in the clubhouse.

    Here’s the scene…. Jason Grilli scribbles something on a post-it-pad and saunters over to Nate Robertson’s locker, trying to remain unnoticed. He posts a note inside Robertson’s locker.

    Fill in the blank:


  125. Chris in Nashville

    August 8, 2007 at 12:03 am

    Well, Bonds did it. Say what you will about the guy and what he may or may not took (he took em), but as a life-long baseball fan, that was a great moment. Mays was on the field and Hank Aaron addressed him on the Jumbotron, amazing stuff.

  126. Jojo Sun Devil

    August 8, 2007 at 12:04 am

    Oh Boy, I think Grilli is salty cause he didn’t start at the beginning of the season.

    Boy oh boy, from an objective standpoint, he is killing us, been doin so since the playoffs.

    Grilli needs Triple A like Shelton did last year. The slides seems similar.

  127. Jim

    August 8, 2007 at 12:04 am

    Bonds hit 756..

    Oh and i guess the cliffs of this discussion are:

    Our bullpen sucks.

    Listen people, if I could pull rainbows out of my butt I would. We’re stuck with what we have. Get over it. It’s not over yet for CHrists sake and some people think it is.

    It cracks me up to see some people jump off the bandwagon this early when we’re still very much in this.

    Some people wouldnt be happy here unles we were 20 games ahead right now with a lights out bullpen.

  128. Kathy

    August 8, 2007 at 12:11 am

    IMO, it’s all about waiting until the Yankees get here and then we’ll see who can say “I told you so.”

  129. Stephen

    August 8, 2007 at 12:13 am

    T-Smith: I wanna know what a ‘blanket party’ means.. I hope it doesn’t mean someone throws a blanket over my head and then pummels me with a pillow case full of oranges. ‘Cause that would be bad.

  130. Jim

    August 8, 2007 at 12:13 am

    NYY > CLE > NYY > CLE is gonna be a hell of a stretch…

  131. Jim

    August 8, 2007 at 12:14 am

    My grandpa told me about “blanket parties” he had in boot in the Marines when someone messed up and everyone else had to pay fo rit..

  132. Stephen

    August 8, 2007 at 12:14 am

    Kathy: I think that’s what the Polish Army said right before the Nazis crossed the border.
    Sorry, jet lagged. A little punchy.

  133. Stephen

    August 8, 2007 at 12:15 am

    Jim: Yes! blanket party on full display in the most excellent war movie of all time, Full Metal Jacket.

  134. Jim

    August 8, 2007 at 12:22 am

    Oh man FMJ was nuts! awesome movie..

  135. Keith G.

    August 8, 2007 at 12:32 am

    Rob, are you kidding me with Price? Dickerson is solid, but Price is a sanctimonious idiot. The guy talks as if he were a Hall of Famer. He played a little before my time but I asked my father what kind of a player Price was and all he could do is smirk. Listen to Price sometime, nearly every game he talks about how the pitcher should do this, the hitter should do that, etc. My understanding from my father was that Price was neither a defensive wiz or a good hitter. His guess was that Price was roughly a .230 hitter in his days with the Tigers. To listen to Price, he was able to do all the things that were asked of him and then some. I hate listening to that guy. The fourth and fifth innings are TV time for sure unless I’m stuck in the car.

  136. Kathy

    August 8, 2007 at 12:41 am

    How could I every forget Full Metal Jacket. My son must have watched it 50 times.

  137. Mike R

    August 8, 2007 at 12:44 am

    The bullpen has been abhorred for a large chunk of the season, there’s no denying that. But there were no deals out there that we could be made. When the Royals take a bust of a pitcher in Kyle Davies simply because the GM knows and is infatuated with a kid he helped draft, and Eric Gagne wasn’t coming here to Detroit, that leaves very little else that would be an upgrade at all. A move would’ve been lovely, but it’s hard to make a move when the market is bleak-to-non-existent. I don’t get how hard that is to figure out. Who would you want? Damaso Marte? He’s a LH Specialist. Solomon Torres? Falling apart while pitching in the NL Central. Kyle Farnsworth? He’s the same as every other arm in our bullpen — throws hard, walks too many guys. There were no moves available that offered an upgrade at all.

    If we miss out by 2-3 games, games like tonight, back in May I think it was against Cleveland, and other games in which Leyland has made questionable decisions in games we have lost (obviously, we didn’t lose tonight, but tonight was a microcosm of the mis-managing he’s done in the past 4 months) would be just as much to blame as the bullpen. The starters throwing 100 pitches and not getting out of the 5th inning, thus taxing the weak bullpen that we have would be just as much to blame. Playing Craig Monroe everyday for 3 ½ months would be to blame. Various injuries to key cogs of our team at inopportune times would be to blame. There’ll be plenty of blame to go around — to all areas of the front office, coaching staff, and players — if we miss the playoffs by a couple of games.

  138. ron

    August 8, 2007 at 12:48 am

    Would one of our statisticians count the number of times “Grilli’s” name was mentioned tonite. It may be an all-time record for this site; far out pacing Monroe and our favorite whipping boy, Inge, earlier in the season.

  139. Kathy

    August 8, 2007 at 12:48 am

    Precisely why I like Jim Price and Rod Allen. They both have played the game and point out things in the game that a fan or bystander doesn’t have a clue about. I love those guys. But Rod can get carried away sometimes talking about the other team’s players and how stellar they are. One night all he did was talke about Batista and how he had written a book, etc., etc. until I couldn’t stand it anymore and shut the TV off and tuned in to Dan and Jim.

  140. ron

    August 8, 2007 at 12:56 am

    Note on Full Metal Jacket; Vinnie would never have had the oppurtunity to kill himself. Every shell had to be accounted for. Hey, it was bootcamp.

  141. David

    August 8, 2007 at 12:56 am

    Yes the pen hasn’t been great, it hasn’t been even good or average as a unit.

    I do not disagree with that

    BUT and its a biggie

    IF Rodney can pitch like last year/last few days and Zoom Zoom returns to his former self we will be in great shape

    Byrdak/Seay/Durbin have been much better than expected.

    Plus we have McBride and Capellan…

    Hindsight being 20/20, we should have resigned Jamie Walker even if it ment a lot of $$$

    BTW Nate was GURRRATE 2nite and Leyland sucked.

    I want to like Grilli but days like today make it hard. All he seems to do is pitch BP fastballs (96ish) right down the middle. =(

  142. T Smith

    August 8, 2007 at 12:58 am

    Let’s see:

    Blanket party: Someone throws a blanket over your head and an angry mob begins pummeling the victim with whatever they got…be it words or a pillow-case full of oranges… But a pillow-case of oranges? That is a little harsh, but…

    in this case, Stephen makes valid (and accurate) points, the verity of which apparently piss off the forum, and within minutes he’s out-numbered and ganged up on with a flurry of jabs, upper-cuts, and right-hooks.

    The bearer of bad tidings will least be met with groans and scowls, if not a pillow-case full of oranges. But pehaps I was far too extreme with my metaphor.

  143. Keith G.

    August 8, 2007 at 12:58 am

    Is it fair to query if Leyland is a tad overrated? Mike R. brings up some excellent points about sticking with Monroe for too long this year, turning to Grilli time and again despite a history of failure, preaching that he needs the starters to go deeper and then when he gets one of those starts he yanks the guy despite all systems being go with Robertson. I just think that Leyland overmanages too much. His infatuation with trying to steal bases with a team that has little speed is also questionable. Tonight was the capper of his questionable decisions. Only because I LOVE the Tigers am I glad that the game worked out the way it did. However, what should have happened to Leyland (if there was justice for bad managing) is that his team should have been beat. Perhaps then he would get it through his nicotine addled brain that he can’t make moves like he did tonight. Hmmmm, I’ve got Robertson pitching his best game of the year and a four run lead with a man on first and two down. Nate hasn’t walked a guy all night, his pitch count is under 100. Let me go get Grilli. WTF? The only thing I can surmise was that Leyland was thinking “not even Grilli can screw this up”. No Jim, Grilli can screw anything up. Its time you learn this fact (I feel like a father talking to his son about sex, important life lessons, or something similair here).

  144. Jim

    August 8, 2007 at 1:06 am

    Leyland is overrated..but he’s still better than anything we’ve had in years.

    It is fair to beat up on Stephen, he did afterall suggest trading Maybin. 🙂

  145. T Smith

    August 8, 2007 at 1:22 am

    Keith G:

    Someone earlier correctly surmised:

    Leyland’s strengths lie in motivating the team and getting them to work as a cohesive unit. That’s huge. Let’s face it, this team WANTS to play for the guy, and they WANT to win for him. Even Sheffield would lay down and roll over for Skip. And ya never know. That quality alone may account for 10 victories or more in a season…

    That said, he certainly makes some calls that defy all good sense. And I think it’s fair to say beyond the standard range of managerial philosophy or style. While some managers may make moves another manager wouldn’t — and while you may disagree with one move or another, there is usually always an answer, argument, or school of thought that supports a dubious decision…. But Leyland sometimes hits the backstop, so to speak, and falls off the wagon completely.

    Why you’d pull Roberston under 100 pitches (in the favor of Grilli) with two outs-runner-on-first is beyond me. I knew it was trouble the minute I saw him walk off the mound. Even if Grilli strikes out the batter in three pitches, it’s still the wrong move. That’s like pinch hitting Maggs for Monroe with bases loaded…. ???

    I’m the first to criticize Leyland, but I’ll take his quirks in exchange for all the positive qualities and attributes he brings to team. We could do a lot worse.

  146. Anthony

    August 8, 2007 at 1:25 am

    I think Rod Allen is a shameless homer and that kind of bothers me. I’d like to hear him say something negative once in a while, at least to give the illusion that he was even the least bit impartial.

    Seriously, sometimes I wonder if I ever met him, would he look me in the eye and tell me that Craig Monroe is a first ballot hall of famer?

    Anyways, Leyland is what he is, a very good clubhouse manager but lower-tier in-game manager. His attitude is what got the team off the ground, but its DD that is irreplaceable of the two. Remember, he’s still below .500 for his career, and that says something in itself. He’s cost us 4 or 5 games this year, and he will continue to occasionally cost the team games. Thats just how it goes.

    I compare him to Lloyd Carr. Lloyd is a great program manager and outstanding in all aspects of running the team except strategy and in-game coaching. He gets pantsed by every good coach he coaches against. Granted, in-game coaching is infinitely more important in football, but the parallels are there. I still love him as Michigan’s coach, though.

    I guess its about appreciating what you have and considering the alternative. If Bobby Cox wanted to manage the tigers tomorrow I’d be thrilled, but its not going to happen and I’m OK with that.

  147. Kevin in Austin

    August 8, 2007 at 1:28 am

    Nate, let’s play rochambeau. You get to go first.

  148. T Smith

    August 8, 2007 at 1:36 am

    (Obviously, what I meant to say, is, pinch hitting Monroe for Maggs)…

    Note to blanket party:

    Empty oranges and replace with Maybin’s monumental baseball collection, e.g, first hit, first hit at Erie, first home run, etc.

    Note to Stephen:


  149. T Smith

    August 8, 2007 at 1:45 am

    Nate, if you EVER wink at my wife again, no lead will be sacred

  150. Mike R

    August 8, 2007 at 1:48 am

    David: resigning Jamie Walker for that cost would’ve been ridiculously stupid. We let a LH specialist walk because he got $4 mil/year. Bobby Seay is doing his job quite nicely for a fraction of the cost. We need to figure out who’s going to be the LH specialist in this bullpen. McBride? Seay? Byrdak? Let’s figure it out. We don’t need 2 of them, I’m sorry. We just don’t. It ties up 2 bullpen spots for the same role (or, right now, 3 spots) and leaves us short with general middle relievers and are stuck throwing out Grilli.

    T Smith: I feel Stephen’s sentiments; I just happen to disagree and I don’t get how he doesn’t see there was a very small market and what we offered just simply wasn’t enough and there seemed to be circumstances out of our control for the only relievers of value. On his issue of digging into the mentality of the team, i just simply think it’s a waste of time, but I’m more of a black and white, clear-cut type guy that doesn’t like to delve into the thought processes of people I watch play a sport on television.

    Also, on the Leyland being overrated: EVERY manager is overrated. What separates a replaceable one with a decent-to-good one is how they handle personalities and the clubhouse. Which is why strategically Joe Torre is terrible, but to handle those egos, those contracts, those characters for over a decade still puts him in the upper echelon.

    I think Jim is a great manager of personalities and getting guys to run through the proverbial brick walls for him, but he makes a ton of questionable decisions based on “gut feels” and more often then not, this season, they put us in a peculiar situation we shouldn’t have been in.

  151. Chris

    August 8, 2007 at 1:53 am

    With Marcus Thames coming back off the DL, who is going to be sent down in order to make room for him on the roster? Ryan Raburn, who replaced Thames, has pretty much hit his way into the lineup. Does anybody think that Leyland & DD will keep Craig Monroe (the rally inning ender) and send Rayburn back to Toledo?

  152. Mike R

    August 8, 2007 at 1:54 am

    My guess would be Mike Hessman goes back.

  153. T Smith

    August 8, 2007 at 1:57 am

    Yup. It’s Hessman. (Although even Hessman is preferable, in my view, to Monroe.

    I’m at a loss on the Monroe thing.. What do you do with him?

  154. Mike R

    August 8, 2007 at 2:02 am

    You bury Monroe on the bench when Thames is healthy and go with a rotation of Marcus splitting time between 1st base/LF and Raburn splitting time between all 3 OF positions and 2nd base. Then say “hey, thanks for a few big HR’s you hit for us in 2006, we’re not offering you a contract for 2008. Been nice having you around.” Maybe offer to buy him a bus ticket or something.

  155. David

    August 8, 2007 at 2:03 am

    All valid points, however it isn’t my 4mil and Walker really was a mainstay of the pen for awhile. For all The BIG LEBOWSKI – he “really tied the” team “together”. =p

    Oh and I wouldn’t say every manager is overrated

    There are some good ones McGraw, Mack, Sparky, Cox etc.

    Leyland as I have said has the opposite Alan Trammell syndrome – Yankin’ pitchers TOO EARLY rather than too late.

    Today he did both.

    Heck it isn’t easy to find a guy a lot of ppl look up to.

    Think about it if you’ve ever played a team sport, you need a leader and Jim is that type of leader.

    The other helpful thing is good strategy and he doesn’t always display that quality, but I’d take 1.5/2 any day.

  156. Chris

    August 8, 2007 at 2:03 am

    Oh yea, I forgot about Hessman. He’s been pretty much a dud.

  157. Tram Fan

    August 8, 2007 at 2:05 am

    Send Hessman, Monroe and Grilli down and bring up 2 guys.

    Tigers will crush the Yankees.

    Mark it down.

  158. Chris

    August 8, 2007 at 2:21 am

    I do think the Yankees are ready for a cool-down. They have been hitting well, scoring touchdowns on a daily basis. But I happen to think they have been lucky in all this by getting some crappy pitching serving it up to them. Sometimes teams get a streak of bad or good opposing pitching. Notice how the Yankees got the White Sox’s worst starters in their series while the Tigers got Vasquez & Buerlle twice.

  159. ron

    August 8, 2007 at 2:22 am

    If we win the World Series, let’s blame Stephan.

  160. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 8, 2007 at 8:28 am

    you guys all missed the most important thing that came on screen last night

    and that was when nate talked about technique and allowed as how he was “trying to do too much”

    and right there he hit the nail on the head and and that is the same thing our radio announcers have been saying and the same thing Todd Jones said

    I just look at it this way, pitcher needs to get the batter to go after a pitch. keeping the ball away from the hitter is wrong headed and will result in the pitcher getting behind in the count, high pitch counts, — and hits, walks and home runs. ugly stuff

    So what I saw was nate went out and did what he said it would take and it looked good to me

    and that’s what I;ve been talking about in this coaching aspect.

    i think we all look to much at the players and not enough at technique and coaching

    coaching is wht bring out good technique

    btw I seen old LB hit another two-sacker and that tickled me to death!

  161. tiff

    August 8, 2007 at 9:33 am

    I just want to throw in my two cents regarding the announcing… Jim Price absolutely grates me, and while Allen rambles a lot, and often about nothing, at least he makes me laugh. I try not to believe in jinks and all that, but on Bonderman’s last game, Price must’ve mentioned TEN TIMES how Bondo can never get out of the first inning, he can get out of trouble (BEFORE HE WAS EVEN IN TROUBLE) and then wham! Four runs later, I was running for the TV instead.

  162. Kyle J

    August 8, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Just for the record, here are Dotel’s season stats (which I have posted previously):

    ERA: 4.61
    WHIP: 1.46
    K/9: 11.20
    Saves: 11
    Blown saves: 5

    A good reliever, but not a cure-all. Stephen has been making the point we all acknowledge: the bullpen is a problem and potential liability down the stretch. But you also have to acknowledge that a realistic solution to this problem was never evident. Rodney and Zumaya coming back healthy remains the most likely fix.

    OK, I’ll do my best to lay off on this topic now.

  163. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 8, 2007 at 9:36 am

    ok. I read all this stuff.

    I like Jim Leyland. I like him a bunch.

    It’s too easy to say Jim put the Tigers back in the game. he sure helped a whole lot, but guess what: Our Tigers have been re-built for us and we got us a fearsome growl these days! I love it and I notice a lotta sell-out crowds too cuz guess what we love it when out Tigers are winning!!

    Now when we look at our Team it’s easy to yell at one player here or there who had a bad night. and I don’t think I like to do that.

    But team Building is an on-going process and the manager has to look at who he’s got to work with — on DL, AAA ball and all that. And then make decisions.

    pitching — we talked about that a lot. And I’m sticking to my view that we need to work on technique. Maybe Griller needs some time in AAA . Didn’t Valesquez throw a good game for us just a little while back ?

    see i really don’t know these things. This is Jim’s job. ( Fun to chat about it though ) Maybe c/Moe needs to play a few games at AAA. I like Hessman . I like Hessman a lot cuz he’s got a good glove. If he works with Loyd on hitting a bit — watch out!

    But there’s that technique and coaching aspect again! And I think that is where we need to start in fixing up that Bulllpen

    When a relief man comes in he’s usually already got a jam on his hands. So he needs to go after that next hitter with the idea to get a strike out or a double play. and to do that he’s gotta get the hitter to swing that bat at a pitch that has got some of that late movement that our radio announcers keep talking about

    Bilfer — I luv yer blog here! hope to be a good citizen ( even though I’m just a fan )

  164. Kathy

    August 8, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Tiff, I like Mario and Rod. I love it when Rod puts himself in the batter’s box and thinks out loud. Same way with Price. I’ve never heard Jim brag about himself and has even admitted how few games he actually played in and Rod has alluded to the same. But, all in all, they both played the game for many years in the minors, majors and even overseas. Even Jim Leyland was a catcher in minors and didn’t make it, and some might argue with me, but he does know alot about the game of baseball. I wouldn’t miss a broadcast on FSN for anything, but I also enjoy hearing Jim and Dan. Different strokes for different folks.

  165. ron

    August 8, 2007 at 10:05 am

    Some of you guys should be working at a think tank. I did not realize baseball was so complicated. I thought, you hit the ball, you run. You catch the ball, you throw. Guess not.

  166. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 8, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Some of you guys should be working at a think tank. I did not realize baseball was so complicated. I thought, you hit the ball, you run. You catch the ball, you throw. Guess not.

    tee hee we ain’t playing baseball out here we are “blogging”. And that’s fun too although during the game I do my blogging in the local tavern. Laura has just about all the nick-names down now ( does Guillen have a “handle ” ?? )

    “My Tiger” is Pudge because guess what: the catcher plays a very big part of the game and Pudge is the best!

  167. Kathy

    August 8, 2007 at 10:21 am

    We have some of the best players..Grandy; some folks wanted to get rid of him last year. Carlos and Placido, Maggs, Pudge, Sheff, Casey at 1st, Brandon at 3rd, but the one I’m truly missing is Thames. He’s my Tiger!

  168. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 8, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Kathy: Grandy; some folks wanted to get rid of him last year.

    Grandy is PURE DYNAMITE. I can’t imagine having a better lead-off guy. He gets on base and look out! and that little bit of distraction helps the next hitters in the line-up which is where we pack our power punch. It’s a good way to start a rally, Grandy on 1st!

    Seeing the potential in Grandy and bringing him on this year like Leyland has — I see this as the hallmark of a top manager.

  169. Rob

    August 8, 2007 at 11:26 am

    So Keith, is Price supposed to hold back his opinion because he was only a mediocre major league player (which, btw, makes him a far better baseball player than any of us?). Success as a player in any sport rarely determines if that person would be a great coach/manager or is knowledgeable.

    I don’t doubt that Jim Price has a ton of knowledge. He’s been around the game, intimately, his whole life. It is a matter of taste. Jim Price seems like a nice fellow, a good company man for Illitch (he’ll defend him to the death, like when Lynn Henning suggested that Illitch should move the fences in again). I like what he does with Jack’s Place for Autism.

    I really do believe Double D and Double Wow are the best radio team in baseball currently.

  170. cib

    August 8, 2007 at 11:37 am

    The one thing the radio team could do a bit better is follow the Harwell 2 minute rule and announce the score more often because, as Ernie would say, “You never know who just got into their car and turned on the radio.” MANY times I have gotten into my car, turned on the game, and gotten almost all the way home, or wherever, without hearing the score.

  171. Mark in Chicago

    August 8, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    Thought I’d add to the Jason Grilli situation. Here are his home/road splits:

    HOME: 23.1ip 38h 26er 9bb 21so .362oppavg 2.03whip 10.03era
    ROAD: 29.2ip 23h 9er 13bb 21so .215oppavg 1.21whip 2.73era

    I’m not sure exactly why this is, but Grilli has posted very solid numbers on the road this year, and is just a disaster at home. The numbers were far more even in 2006. I know we’re dealing with sample size issues, etc. but the contrast this year is striking. I personally wouldn’t use him in any situation unless we were up or down by 10+ runs, and I find it hard to believe there isn’t a better option (de la Cruz, for example) available on the 40-man.

  172. charlie

    August 8, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    jack wilson again…still…wilson is HOT at the moment…i’m going to hate this…

  173. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 8, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    we are past the trade deadline, ain’t we? which means we’re going into the stretch and playing some of the toughest teams on the circuit and we are gonna play those guys with the guys we got now.

    Halos, Yankees, and the Tribe

    well guess what they gotta play us and we are one of the toughest teams on the circuit too, so: Let’s Play Ball!

  174. Ryan

    August 8, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Mark, if you look up Rodney’s splits, they are very similar in that he also has an insanely high home ERA with no history of it. Absolutely a head scratcher as far as I can tell. Other fun home/road oddities: Jones has the EXACT same ERA home and road, and Miner has a 0.00 ERA at home.

  175. Coach Jim

    August 8, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Jim pointed out that Royce Clayton was released today. His stats look decent, AVG over .250 and OBP over .300. He also looks like he still has decent range judging by stats (granted, not very telling of skill). Being released means he could be had for minimum investment. This could be the pickup that Neife was SUPPOSED to be.

    I’m for it…bring on Rolls Royce!

  176. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 8, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    we don’t need a new SS. We need Guillen in the line up; we need his bat. in a pinch let Inge play at short, Sheff in left and Rayburn at 3b

  177. Dave T.

    August 8, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    I heard the Curtis Granderson catch on the radio, it was called by Jim Price like the kid at the Mcdonalds counter repeating back your order.

    Jim Price:

    Fly ball to center…caught.

    Dan Dickerson


  178. tiff

    August 8, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    to bookend this thread… play Ryan Raburn anywhere! The kid is Helter Skelter! Whoo-hoo! Ryan Raburn 4Ever!!1!

  179. Kevin in Austin

    August 8, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    I’m not sure how it works in the Tigers organization, but I can tell you that I’ve had conversations with guys that do play by play for the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers, and all of told me that to some degree, they are censored by mgmt. That may be why you rarely hear anyone saying anything negative about players.

    I was listening to the radio call last night, Price’s call on the Grilli slam was priceless. Must have been five words total.

    Concerning other broadcast teams – the old guy that calls the middle innings for the Royals radio network is great. The other guy is a joker.

    Rex Hudler for the LAA tv network makes Pepper Brooks from Dodgeball seem professional.

    Grieve and Lewin on the Rangers TV broadcast are the best thing going.

    Though it is odd to hear a female voice in the booth, I like how Suzyn Waldman with the Yankees tells it like it is. The Yankees announcers have every right to be as annoying as Hawk, but they usually play it straight.

    The Tampa Bay guys sound as if they won a radio contest last week.

  180. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 8, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    well if ya saw randy ketch that one on TV ya still wonderin’ how he ever grabbed that ball at least I am

  181. Stephen

    August 8, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    Hey, no Pepper Brooks bashing around here!

    I once had the good fortune to sit in the dugout at Tiger Stadium next to Ernie Harwell during batting practie. He told me that he used to have an hourglass that when the sand ran out he knew two minutes had passed and it was time to give the score again. After a while, he didn’t need the hourglass he had an internal clock inside him.

    When I’d spend summers driving up north from Flint to Torch Lake with my uncle, we’d listen to games on the radio and Erine would say ‘foul ball, a nice catch my a young boy from Grayling.’ I remember askng my uncle how’d Ernie know, and he just smiled. It wasn’t until i was 16 or 17 i figured it out. When i went to college in Chicago, I’d go down to Lake Michigan to try and catch the drifting signal of WJR and would hear Ernie say ‘We’re here at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull, if you’re in the neighborhood come and join us.’
    He’s just the best.

  182. Mark in Chicago

    August 8, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Ernie *is* the best, Stephen, no doubt about it.

    I was not fortunate enough to live in Chicago during the heyday of Harry Caray, but there may not be a broadcaster more loved by fans. Even today, there’s relics of him all over town and they talk about him as if he would put Jesus to shame. He was the ultimate homer, and that’s prolly why Cub fans loved him so much. Plus, he readily admitted to downing a few during the game and slurring his speech by the 7th inning.

    This isn’t really a critique on his broadcasting skills, just a comment on another of the all-timers.

    FWIW, the Cubs guys now (I forget play-by-play, the color guy is Bob Brenly) and the guys before them (Chip Carey and Steve Stone) are quite good, IMO.

  183. Kevin in Austin

    August 8, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    As I’m sure most of you have noticed, with all of the Tigers games on ESPN this year he’s been in the booth quite a bit. If you’ll recall, a few weeks ago early in a game Jon Miller brought up Harwell’s habit of knowing where every fan was from. Next inning they brought in Ernie and sure as heck, first foul ball – “And a woman from Novi caught that one…” Miller and Morgan were rolling in the booth.

    Though I spent most of my childhood in Texas I’d spend parts of the every summer in Michigan with family. I’ll never forget the sound of his distinctive, sharp voice calling a Tigers game. I’d pay good money for him to come back and call just one game a month.