Game 124: Tigers at Yankees

PREGAME: The Tigers head into today trying to salvage a split in Yankee Stadium. They’ll send out Jeremy Bonderman to try and hold down the Yankees. Bonderman picked up a no decision in his last start, but he pitched a very strong game allowing just 4 hits and 2 walks in 7 innings while fanning 8. Trouble was that was his first quality start since July 19th. Let’s hope it was a sign of him coming out of his funk instead of just a blip.

The Tigers will be opposed by Chien-Ming Wang. Wange doesn’t strike out many, doesn’t walk many, and therefore gets pretty deep into games without crossing the 100 pitch threshold. He also keeps the ball in the park with only 7 homers allowed this season, and only 2 in the Bronx. Left handers have much more success with an 804 OPS as opposed to a 624 for right handers. With the Tigers lefties Curtis Granderson (2 for his last 24) and Sean Casey (5 for his last 24) slumping as of late, this doesn’t bode well – especially with them hitting 1-2 in today’s lineup.

Placido Polanco misses yet another game, and despite previous statements Cameron Maybin will be in left field again. If you’re facing a groundball pitcher, you might as well have your fastest guy playing and trying to beat a few of those out.

Game Time 1:05
DET @ NYY, Sunday, August 19, 2007 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: Ugly. For the 2nd day in a row the Tigers played the Yankees even for 5 innings, and then were smoked the rest of the way. Jeremy Bonderman struggled with the strike zone walking 4 in the first 2 innings and leaving with 115 pitches in the 6th inning.

The bullpen combo of Zach Miner and Aquilino Lopez made sure the game wasn’t in doubt and that Mariano Rivera could rest. The worst part of Lopez’s performance is that it pretty much insured that it would be he, and not Jason Grilli on the way out when Joel Zumaya is activated on Tuesday.

Ryan Raburn and Mike Rabelo had nice games, combining for 5 hits, but those rallies were thwarted by 3 Brandon Inge K’s and a pop-up. Coming into today Inge was hitting 237/262/351 over the last month with 7 extra base hits, 2 walks, and 38 strikeouts. Throw in an error today that cost the Tigers a run, and their lead, and it’s safe to say he’s the anti-player of the game.

The Tigers have started this 13 game series 2-4 and now really have put themselves in a tough spot over the next 7 games.


  1. Tbone

    August 19, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    Need another solid outing from JB again today. What will the 1st bring today??

  2. Chris

    August 19, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    Judging from yesterday’s game along with this past month’s slump, this team has no chemistry. They seam to find ways to lose games. Tigers ’07 season is a bust– a major league disapointment

  3. Chris

    August 19, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    But if Bondo does provide a solid outing, then either the offence will not hit or the bullpen will blow it. It seems to be a rule with this team where something has to fail in order for the Tigers to lose.

  4. Bobby

    August 19, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    We need to bring in the psychologist from ‘The Natural’:

    “Losing is a disease, as common as syphilis or polio…”

  5. Mike G

    August 19, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Teams slump. The Tigers arent out of it. Only 2 1/2 back of the wild card and 1 1/2 back of the Indians. This season isnt having as many magical comeback wins like last year, and the rotation is getting tired, but the offense has more talent than last year. The problem has been that the offense and starting pitching has cooled at the same time.

    They will get going again. This team will get hot and get that swagger back and make a run. There is just too much talent here not to.

  6. Mike G

    August 19, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    Im out of the area so I dont get the game today and am watching through MLB Gameday (the hotel internet connection wont support – lack of bandwidth).

    It seems like the Tigers are hitting a lot of line drives off Wang right now. Are they looking that good against him overall or no?

    We need to make him throw more pitches through. Hes only thrown 5 balls in 2 innings.

  7. Chris

    August 19, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    43 pitches in two innings… This is where the Tiger starters have been getting in trouble

  8. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    I think Jeremy needs a shrink or something 😛

  9. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    At this rate, I’M going to need a shrink…. Man, I miss my hat…

  10. Kathy

    August 19, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    It’s not pretty, Mike G. Casey’s had the best at bats. Grandy is really struggling and we miss Polanco. Rayburn is good but doesn’t have the D.

  11. Kurt

    August 19, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    These games get more and more frustrating.

  12. Chris

    August 19, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Bonderman sucks!!!!!!!

  13. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Really Bondo, why don’t you just wrap up the game in a bow and hand it to the Yanks and just save your team all the trouble of going through the motions? Which is all they seem capable of offensively anyway at the moment…

  14. Chris

    August 19, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    I hate the Yankees more than I love life. Go BoSox!!!…Go Seattle!!!!

  15. ron

    August 19, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Can someone try to bunt their way on. Long ball isn’t working. How about little ball? Oh, now it’s 2 nothing. Back to long ball? How about winning ball. Someone, please, do something.

  16. Chris

    August 19, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Inge is the designated rally killer.

  17. Tbone

    August 19, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Inge is absolutely killing us with RISP….

  18. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    I’m with the fan a few days ago who had the sign that read, “Win, please”….

  19. Shane trapped in Athens, Ohio

    August 19, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    As of right now Inge is tied with Grady Sizemore for most strikeouts in the American League even though he has about 100 less at bats. Yikes.

  20. ron

    August 19, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    Open your eyes Inge. Take a pitch Cameron. Can Raburn double as our hitting instructor? Wow, a potential big inning snuffed out in a hurry. What else is new?

  21. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    How times change.. a few years ago, when a crappy Tigers hitter came up I had no stress, it didn’t bother me at all. After all, it didn’t really matter. The Tigers weren’t going anywhere anyway. Now that it matters, ugh…how I DREAD when certain of our boys step up to the plate. It’s not a nice feeling. It *almost* makes me long for the cozy, comfy days when it didn’t matter, and I could sit anywhere in the ballpark I liked. Well, not really, but I’m sure you all get my meaning. I guess I’m still just not adjusted to the stress that comes along with the joy of a team that matters. I’d like more of that “joy” right now, however….

  22. T Smith

    August 19, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Is Craig Monroe available to play third base?

    Craig? Craig? You there? At this point I’d rather see ANYBODY up there rather than Brandon Inge. He’s horrible.

    I could care less if he gets a two out base hit next inning with no runners on. WE NEED AN OFFENSIVE PLAYER WHO CAN PUT THE BALL IN PLAY when the team needs the ball in play. HELLO? Earth to Brandon? They’re conceding the run. How about a bunt for the love of God. Anything. I’m so sick of watching you up at the plate, I don’t care how good your range is, or if you can play two positions at once in the infield at the same time for that matter. You are a SERIOUS liablity to your team right now. Horrible.

    If I have to endure ONE more INGE STRIKEOUT with RISP, I’m gonna officially join the Craig Monroe fan club.

    Any Inge supporters out there, bring it on. The gloves are off.

  23. Joey C.

    August 19, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    I can handle Inge as long as he’s not batting before or after, Monroe, Santiago, or more than likely, Maybin. Pudge may be joining that list soon.

  24. Mike G

    August 19, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    Maybin has taken the first pitch for a strike in every at bat the last two days until the last AB with 2 out and runners on.

    I think they instructed him to take the first pitch before, but that at bat, because there were RISP, they wanted him to try to take advantage of the first pitch strikes and be aggressive. Its a good idea but he unfortunately didnt make good contact.

    I really like how the hitting coache are handling him right now though.

  25. Chris

    August 19, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Errrrr Inge…..Errrrrrrr

  26. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Well, Maybin didn’t exactly show one of the five tools on that throw.

    Inge is awful. Except for Punto, worst starting third baseman in the American League.

  27. ron

    August 19, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    My wife has a better arm than Maybin.

  28. Erik in CA

    August 19, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    I’d take Daryl Strawberry over Inge.

  29. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    I’d be cutting Inge more slack right now, if the game weren’t so close, and if he hadn’t made that “force” play the other day. 😛

  30. Mike G

    August 19, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    Good job by bonderman to get out of that without it becoming a disaster. Hopefully our offense can get something now.

  31. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Placido looks like a man who is gearing up to play, to me…

  32. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    I like how Cano fielded the ball, called his mom, and still threw Casey out by 10 feet.

  33. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    Mr Torre, may we please see that guy with the 7.71 ERA next? Pretty please!!

  34. ron

    August 19, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    Should have a 2 or 3 run lead.

  35. Vince in MN

    August 19, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    It would prabably be a good idea to have somebody warmed up in the bullpen. Cheesewhiz maybe?

  36. ron

    August 19, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    My wife runs faster than Casey.

  37. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    In heels… 😉

  38. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Hm, something Wang? HAHAHA I kill myself. I’ll be here all this week, ladies and germs… 😛

  39. tigerfan

    August 19, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    what is wrong with bondo? he hasn’t looked good his last several starts. tigers are lucky it’s only a one run game

  40. ron

    August 19, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    Let’s bring Joba back to reality. Go Gary.

  41. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    Uh oh, this guy…Of all the teams, why do the Yanks get their own Zumaya???

  42. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Ever wonder what it’s like to be on the other end of ZoomZoom? Sadly, now we know.

  43. MSL

    August 19, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Stupid Gameday keeps going out.

  44. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    A boy toying with grown men.

  45. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Why the heck does Joba look unhappy??

  46. T Smith

    August 19, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Can position players record a loss? Maybe improve a pitcher’s record? Bonderman didn’t lose this game; Brandon Inge lost this game. On both sides of the ball. I can’t even look at him right now. Anything short of a walk-off grand slam home run and I’m not waivering. I don’t even want to look at him. Oh, that’s right. We’re playing at Yankee Stadium, so a walk off is impossible.

    Guess you know where I stand.

    Stephen: I take Punto over Inge right now.

  47. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Hey, Zack is a grown-up now!

  48. Kathy

    August 19, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    Miner drives me nuts!

  49. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    Why does Miner drive you nuts? He’s been ok-ish in the pen. The balls here are annoying, to be sure, though…

  50. ron

    August 19, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    Shef, Mags and Carlos out on 9 pitches. Joba still reigns.

  51. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    But at least Miner has found a strike-out pitch here and there in relief, which he never had when he started.

  52. Anthony

    August 19, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Yeah, I think people can stop it with the “Inge is a gold-glover” because top-class 3rd basemen don’t make that game-changing error, in the situation the Tigers are in. He’s overrated. He can’t hit. Yuck.

  53. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Well, so much for that plan.

  54. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    Ah the bullpen, rarely picking up the team and keeping it at one run. And why did the coaches have Maybin playing so deep?

  55. Kathy

    August 19, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    JML, Miner drives me nuts since last year when he absolutely fell apart. I’ve just never trusted his stuff since.


  56. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    The shadow of Joba is looming large at the moment.

  57. Bobby

    August 19, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    Miner is useless… honest to Pete, I just don’t see this going anywhere at all right now.

  58. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Except for Granderson, the yankees have better positions players everywhere including closer, set-up men, bench and #2-5 starter. Verlander-Wang, we have a slight advantage. On the plus side, Rabelo can kick Molina’s ass.

  59. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Miner has been decent more often than not this year, though. Every reliever gives it up now and then. He’s not helping the cause much today, but he’s hardly been reason to jeer this year. Now Grilli on the other hand….

  60. Kathy

    August 19, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    Look at Brandon just chuckling it up. He drives me nuts, too!

  61. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    Oh Inge, how about trying to be less of the drama queen going into the second row and make the routine play and get the runner in for third.

  62. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    I’ll take our Second Baseman any day.

  63. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    Miner is a prefectly serviceable mop-up guy. The only problem: so is Durbin. Cheeseman is not even an 11th guy on a staff.

  64. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    OK, here come our boys. Time to crInge…

  65. T Smith

    August 19, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    For those of you with blinders on, here’s why Miner drives Kathy nuts (if I may presume to speak for her):

    1. Leadoff walk. What kind of standards do you all have? You’re okay with this? A leadoff walk is okay? 30% of the time that run scores.

    2. 2 ER in the 7th (Inning not even over). I guess that’s okay, too? How many runs does a pitcher have to allow before you’re NOT okay with him?

    I’m thoroughly disgusted with this team right now. Lack of execution is killing us. 2 1/2 games back and sliding.

  66. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Oh man, Cano for Polanco is not a trade any GM would make. I’ll grant you it’s even for now, but Cano is going to win batting titles and is seven-eight years younger.

  67. Kathy

    August 19, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Your presumption is correct, TSmith.

  68. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    T Smith: No one said he was having a good day TODAY. Cripes. There is a difference between speaking generally and about a specific, you know. Citing one day does not a general case make. So get off the “blinders” nonsense.

  69. Kathy

    August 19, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    At this point in time, the Yankees just have the better team. I accept it.

  70. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    T Smith: No one said he was having a good day TODAY. Cripes. There is a difference between speaking generally and about a specific, you know. Citing one day does not a general case make. So get off the “blinders” nonsense. If Kathy is uncomfortable with Miner, thats fine, I just wanted to know why (and she answered for herself, thank you very much).

  71. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    Yup, we’ve been outplayed mightily today. Ah, there was the crInge moment.

  72. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    Inge. Only another 3 years and 18m to go on that contract!

  73. Kathy

    August 19, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    As good as Durbin pitched yesterday, I don’t trust his stuff either. I guess it’s the inconsistency that drives me nuts. They’re both great guys, but its the pitching and never knowing what your gonna get from them.

  74. Bobber

    August 19, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Five successive strikeouts with an opportunity for more.


  75. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    A lot of people seem to think that this stretch against the Indians and the Yankees is the make or break, and certainly it will say a lot about how our boys are doing against big opponents and might perform in the playoffs if we get there this year. But frankly, I mind losing to those teams a lot less than losing in the preceding stretch against middling teams. Winning more of those games would at least have made losses now so much less important.

  76. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Kathy, I’m surely not against consistency (at least of the good kind, Mesa was consistent after all!). I guess after the really rocky start with the bullpen this year, Zach and Chad seem a lot more stable and consistent of late, though. Maybe number will or won’t bear that out, but I at least don’t crInge when I merely see them for the most part. Grilli about makes me ill on sight, however.

  77. T Smith

    August 19, 2007 at 4:23 pm


    Okay… forget about his bad outing today. Let’s test the blinders and look at the past 30 days:

    1. Record 1-2
    2. ERA 4.38
    3. WHIP 1.70
    4. OBA .389

    Yep. Them are some stellar pitching stats. I’ll grant you they aren’t as horrible as Grilli — but not exactly the kind of pitching I’d want to see pitching in a close one run game.

    I guess were all just slowing easing our standards and expectations back to 2003.

  78. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    I must say, when we give it up this year, we sure do it up BIG. I think our boys have become self-esteem therapists for opposing teams, both good and bad. How very nice of them.

  79. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    This game is why you get bullpen a month ago even if you have Rodney and Zumaya coming back. How many games have our long men NOT kept a game close?

  80. Kathy

    August 19, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Thank god they have tomorrow off. It’s going to be interesting what they do with Miller; Kenny Rogers where are you; Polly possibly in recovery.

    What can the Skipper do with this team.

  81. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Ha, with the awful performance of the bullpen this year, I’d have to say YES, standards are loosened more than a bit. Sad, ain’t it?

  82. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    ah Maybin, down by six and swinging at the first pitch. Good thing he’s a blue chipper, ’cause that’s enough to get you sent down on many teams.

    Oops. and then Granderson swings on a 2-0 pitch. That’s just bad baseball, even if you’re down by six.

  83. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    So Casey’s hitting .285 with no power. Defenders come forth!

  84. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    I would have liked to see them replace Grilli somehow, but what was available? Standing pat did seem unwise, but did they have much to choose from? If not, then I could see trying not to damage morale any more by saying “Well, we wanted to replace some of these guys, but couldn’t, so I guess we just have to stick with them”. If so, then Dombrowski & Co can surely be charged with negligence, sure.

  85. T Smith

    August 19, 2007 at 4:34 pm


    Another thing:

    If you lose all four of those series, it’s pretty much over. If you split the series, or go .500 in them (which means we have to win at least one of the remaining series as well as split the other two), you’re still going to have to play your best baseball for the remainder of the year, e.g. .600 plus, AND bank on help. That’s a bad spot to be in.

    We could easily be 4 or 5 games back after this stretch (and that’s presuming the Tigers actually WIN some of the upcoming games). That’s a huge hole with only a month left.

  86. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    Looking ahead, there is a LOT of KC, ChiSox, Tex and A’s yet to come. If our boys can just play well enough to beat poor teams, we can at least truly back into the playoffs this year. Inspiring, ain’t it?

  87. ron

    August 19, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Team chemistry? This is a toxic spill heading toward total meltdown.

  88. Kathy

    August 19, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    It’s depressing watching them lose over and over again. Hopefully, they can regain their poise and put together some wins.

  89. Chris

    August 19, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    It gets worse.. Tigers play Cleveland and face Carmona tomorrow.

  90. Chris

    August 19, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    This season is an utter disapointment…. Tigers will end up in 3rd in central AL

  91. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    Total meltdown? I guess it depends what you qualify as a meltdown. Does merely not making the playoffs count? If that’s a meltdown for some, then sure. But I think our boys can at least stay in the hunt unless Cleveland starts playing stellar ball. I’d see a ChiSox style slide as a true meltdown, and one could argue that could be in store, after the awful set of series again weak teams. But there is enough talent in the team to avoid that, if managed well. Assuming we get past the spate of injuries and illness SOON. I’m not at all confident we’ll make the playoffs, but a severe “meltdown” is avoidable. I agree the boys could be playing better as a team, of course.

  92. charlie

    August 19, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    WOW. i know we have had a very tough stretch and the team is not playing well at all. i know we are all disappointed and hope for better things but some of you are starting to kill this site with your negativity. i sure hope you are not carrying this over into other parts of your life…it’s baseball not bankruptcy or cancer.

    ever hear about karma…ever think about supporting your team no matter what as opposed to crapping over every guy that does not perform everyday up to YOUR expectations.

    i hope above hope that the tigers turn things around and make the playoffs and perhaps even win a championship but i actually hope that some of you get some balance back in your perspectives and enjoy life a little. can you imagine if inge or monroe or any other player ever read this site how it would make them feel? you think they don’t read it? would you talk like this to their faces?

    i know we have freedom of speech but i wonder about all the work bilfer puts into this site and if he sometimes feels like pulling the plug on all of this.

  93. Andrew

    August 19, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Have the Tigers stunk since the All-Star break?


    Still, lets not go hitting the giant panic button just yet. A lot can happen in the last 6 weeks of the season (yes both good AND bad).

    I’m trying to take a glass is half-full approach.

    Cheers! 🙂

  94. T Smith

    August 19, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Now, Stephen:

    There are a number of reasons to defend Casey:

    1. Casey makes everybody else on the team feel good about themselves. That’s gotta count for something. For example, I’m pretty sure I could beat him in a foot race (I’m quite a bit older and outta shape, too). Result: I’m feeling pretty damn good about myself. Just think how the rest of the team feels.

    2. Casey’s NICE. If you’re content on wining 80 – 85 games a year, for the next ten years, what difference does it make? Why are you being so cut-throat? Go for nice. Nice guys finish second. Better to have an enjoyable experience being as an also-ran.

    3. There is absolutely NO way of Casey ever being at risk of being involved in a steroid scandal. We need someone like that on the team; it’s good PR for the Tigers given the recent Neifi debacle. We can actually thumb our nose to Selig. “See Bud? Neifi was an anomoly. We’re on the up and up; our players are on the up and up. Our players only hit 3 HRs a year.”

    4. Casey hits doubles every now and then. You may not realize just how awesome a piece of hitting that is. When Casey get’s a double, it’s equivalent most other guys getting an-inside-the-park-home-run. So, cut Casey some slack. He’s already got the equivalent of 26 inside the park home runs so far this season! That’s huge.

  95. JML

    August 19, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    Charlie: When the team gives ya reason to bitch, ya bitch. I’d much rather they give me reason to crow! I still think they have a decent chance to make the playoffs, but am sorry to say it as much relies on the Indians playing so-so as it does the Tigers playing better. Right now it is a race to see which team is less-bad. That can change, and it would be nice. Personally, I’m only down on one Tiger, Grilli. As for “karma”, I don’t buy into mysticism. I’ll put my confidence in talent and good management, which is why I still think the Tigers have a shot. 🙂

  96. Brian

    August 19, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    A Few thoughts:

    1. 14 runs in a four game series, with 6 of those runs coming in the first two innings of the series? That’s just not going to win you many ballgames, I don’t care who you are playing.

    2. I’m not ready to panic just yet, but I’m getting close to the edge. If the Tigers can put together a decent homestand, say 5-2 or even 4-3, they’ll be in a good position for the stretch run. I’m just not that impressed with the Indians, so I don’t think we’ll have to play lights out the rest of the way to win the Central.

    3. Maybin could have a big series against the Indians. Getting out of Yankee stadium and traveling with the team will be good for him.

    4. Zumaya/Polanco returning to the team can only mean good things. Neither is going to be 100% but I’ll take what I can get.

  97. billfer

    August 19, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    So Casey’s hitting .285 with no power. Defenders come forth!

    What are you talking about? Nobody mentioned Casey except you so why pick a fight out of nothing? Where do you really expect that to go?

  98. billfer

    August 19, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    This season is an utter disapointment

    Really? What were your expectations, just running away with the division and locking up a playoff spot in August while maintaining perfect health?

    Yes, the Tigers have been playing bad for a very long time. Yes, if they don’t play better they won’t make the playoffs.

    But I’m not sure that given where the team is with a quarter of the season to go can be declared an utter disappointment.

  99. billfer

    August 19, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    Except for Granderson, the yankees have better positions players everywhere including closer, set-up men, bench and #2-5 starter. Verlander-Wang, we have a slight advantage. On the plus side, Rabelo can kick Molina’s ass.

    Ordonez is kinda doing okay out there in right field, that’s at least a push right?

  100. KS

    August 19, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    I think what bothers me, is this is 2 melt downs post all-star break in a row. It shows me that the team seems to have a bit of a problem dealing with success. That said, they’re in the race thanks to the Indians playing nearly as bad. If….big if, but if Zumaya is 80%, Rogers is 80%, and Polanco comes back they probably make the playoffs. Time to have a sense of urgency though.

  101. T Smith

    August 19, 2007 at 5:50 pm


    Good post. And of course mostly on.

    It’s hard not to be negative with all the frustrating play. It is also just a means of expression, to allay the mounting disappointment. How many times can you tip your cap to the opponent and pat your guys on the back, with a smile, and say, “go get ’em next time, sport!” without some residual negativity seeping through? Good God, man. Didn’t you ever see Ground Hog Day? This is dismal stretch, and the Tigers are supposed to be a contending team. Even ron, the site’s eternal optimist, is holding back no punches.

    Of course none of us should take it all that seriously. And I suspect if we didn’t (and if fans didn’t in general), baseball wouldn’t be the multi-million $ industry it is, and players and managers and owners wouldn’t be making the outlandish living that they make off the game.

    That said, I would tell Monroe and Inge to their face everything I’ve said here. Something civil, for sure, to the tune of, come on, Brandon. You’re getting paid a lot of money to produce. If you can’t take the heat, go get an office job or manual labor job like the rest of us — see how life unfolds for you trying to support your familiy with a normal amount of income… maybe you might even develop a distraction or a pastime and rally around a sports team to help you negotiate the everyday stresses in your day (God help you if you’re a Tiger fan). But don’t invest TOO much into it, or take it TOO seriously, and shrug it off when the team continually fails to produce in situations where all normal circumstance points to some degree of success and joy in embracing your team.

    Nobody is under the illusion that the Tigers are gonna win five WS in a row, and that anything short of that would be an absolute and utter failure, disappointment, and cause for negativity abound (see Yankee fans for those kind of expectations) but when earnest fans endure the stretch we’ve endured since the Minny series, adorned with bad breaks and comical innuendo to the point of the absurd, i.e. watching your team go from arguably the “best” team in baseball to arguably the “worst” team in baseball, you’re gonna see a lot of expression on this site — and other places too — that reflects the meltdown.

    It’s just a game, to be sure. If the Tigers don’t turn in around — and I mean IN A HURRY — it won’t matter anyway. We’re all gonna have to adopt the Stewart Smiley approach to this Tigers season soon enough.

  102. Brian

    August 19, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    But I’m not sure that given where the team is with a quarter of the season to go can be declared an utter disappointment.

    Good Point, Bill. Tampa Bay just won, so the Tigers are still only 1.5 games back, which is pretty good considering how poorly they have been playing.

    I think the first team to 90 wins takes the division. For the Tigers, that means going 23-15 the rest of the way. That’s very doable, especially when you look at the relatively weak schedule they have after the current Indians/NYY super-series.

  103. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    I think it is legitimate to be incredibly frustrated at a team that early this year was considered possibly the best in baseball and watch them play, for the second year in the row, over a month of baseball that isn’t merely mediocre, but simply among the worst in all of baseball.
    When you see bewildering management moves;no shoring up, big, medium, or small at any position come trade time; combine that with the insane flip flop on Maybin–from no September call-up to let’s drop him in on the road at Yankee Stadium in a new position(!) after 10 days in AA(!!), there’s a lot to be frustrated about.
    And I’m sorry I get frustrated with players on a team who have missed more time due to leaves, suspensions, and the flu, than any other team in any sport in the 30 years I’ve been watching professional sports.
    The frustration builds because this team has/had real potential and they’re underperforming to a point beyond what you can blame on bad luck and injuries. These are the teams that drive you crazy, not the crummy ones without talent.
    You have veteran guys who for whatever reason are not playing fundamentally sound baseball; Inge’s plate regression, and Pudge’s single digit walks come to mind. Pudge threatens to break the major league record for fewest walks in a season. He’s a Hall of Famer! That frustrating! In the clubhouse, you have a potentially Hall of Fame DH who will make $170 million playing this game who can’t seem to go a month without throwing a tantrum and making everyone look at him. That’s frustrating!
    In regards to those who say get a life, well, we all have lives. The great thing about sports is caring/carping/complaining about something that doesn’t matter. Yes, it’s just a game, and this is just a blog forum that we all come to vent, bitch, and even myself, to exultate on occasion.
    I’m not sure if exultate is a word, but lets roll with it.

  104. Joey C.

    August 19, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    I’m not giving up yet, but I am getting closer to letting empirical evidence get the better of me. This team cannot pitch very well. Is Kenny gonna come back and be the mad-man he was during the playoffs last season? Because, that’s what it’s going to take. That and Bonderman regaining his pre-all-star form.

    We can’t hand the ball over to our middle-relievers hands right now, and we don’t have a single starter that is capable of going seven innings to get the ball into the hands of our potentially elite late inning pen. And that potential is dependent on a strong return for Zumaya, which is far from certain.

    I’m not giving up yet, but it sure looks bleak. And I think it’s okay to express disappointment. It’s part of being a fan.

  105. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    And I’m sorry i forgot about Ordonez during my positon by position depression session. He is awesome.
    i mentioned Casey because people have defended him before saying as long as he hit .290 and got on at .350 he was fine. And I WAS hoping to engage people on the subject, which i think, is the great thing about blogs and talkin’ baseball. I guess one person’s picking a fight is another person’s looking for a spirited argument on a rainy night after a bad road trip.

  106. David

    August 19, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    The Tigers couldn’t play much worse and the Yanks much better.

    They aren’t an easy team to beat in Yankee Stadium.
    We have been beating ourselves for awhile.
    =1/4wins could have been more.

    I still know that we will win.

    Over the last month almost all of our team has been in a collective slump. Players bust out of slumps.

    Rodney looks much better than before, Verlander looked pretty good even while battling a cold. If Zumaya can come back and be pretty good, and Shef/Bondo can bust thier slumps, we will be right back in it.

    Plus, after we finish this Yank/Clev set, 24/31 games will be against teams that are at .500 or worse.

  107. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    And yes as Octavio Dotel’s biggest fan and a Gagne alcolyte i realize the former is on the DL and the latter is sucking big-time. What do i know? I’m not a GM. Just another guy with an ill-informed opinion. I still say if they would have got someone decent like Dotel for a #4 and a #8 prospect at least fans and players would know they were trying. I know a lot of you think symbolic gestures like that doesn’t matter, but i think they do.
    And as wrong as I might have been on Gagne and Dotel, Dave Dombrowski has been as lucky. He’s got the professional break of his career with the Indians simultaneously imploding. It’s only blind chance that we’re not 6-8 games out. If anyone tries to sell that they knew Cleveland was gonna blow chunks, well, that’s not believable.
    Maybe we get Zumaya back and we have innings 7 thru 9 slotted and we get on a roll. Anything can happen. But our free pass has to end in this next series.

  108. David

    August 19, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    I might add, that lately it hasn’t looked great.

    But, would you rather be a fan of any other team?

  109. Mike R

    August 19, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    Stephen, the royals rejected a better offer from us for Dotel. Gagne said he wouldn’t approve a deal here. Therefore, nothing we could have done would have changed any of that. Lamenting over those two being elsewhere doesn’t make sense to me.

  110. William

    August 19, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    David, your attitude is great, but how long before it’s not considered a “slump”? This has been going on for close to 30 games…that’s almost a fifth of the season.

    We pulled out of it last year, but we don’t have the same starting pitching now.

    As others have said, Cleveland isn’t all that great, so we still are in the thick of it, but we are way behind Boston and LAA, IMO.

  111. Mike R

    August 19, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Billfer, I completely disagree that todays outing sealed Lopez’s fate. We’re not cutting Jason Grilli, it’s just not happening. That is 100% clear. Lopez was going back to Toledo no matter what.

  112. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    Mike R, i’m too tired to get into this, but i meant dealing for any reliever not just Dotel or Gagne. I mention them because they were the two that moved and the two we’ve talked about. I’m guessing there was other relievers in play that didn’t move that the Tigers might have obtained, but Dombrowski didn’t think they were worth the prospects.

  113. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    If they don’t want to cut Cheeseman fine, but put him on the DL for 15 days with the ubiquitous ‘sore arm’ and let him pitch a rehab assignment in AA or AAA or wherever they’re still pitching in early Sept. Maybe if he just took a break and rested he might be adequate.

  114. Mike R

    August 19, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Yeah. LH specialist Damaso Marte (don’t need another one of those), Solomon Torres (can’t hack it in the NL Central), and then the Nats relievers Cordero and Rauch, both of whom were wayyy too expensive. Jim Bowden wouldn’t take the D-Backs top 3 OF prospect or one of the better pitching prospects from the Mets for either of them (and he shouldn’t, both under control for a while).

    And your last sentence says it all. They weren’t worth the prospects, no matter how low ranked the prospects were. Who was out there? Cincy wasn’t shopping David Weathers. The relievers I’ve already mentioned aren’t upgrades and dealing just to make a deal does nothing but make a lateral move. Trades are great and all, but in a terribly bleak market there’s just not much out there because teams weren’t selling.

  115. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    Mike, i’m gonna have to disagree with you in a cordial manner. Only GM’s know who were available and short of going thru all the rosters I refuse to believe there wasn’t relief upgrades over Durbin, Miner, and Grilli pitching key 7th and 8th innings. They’re all 4-A players. Scott Proctor would have been an upgrade. Extraordinarily, a revitalized Jose Mesa would have been an upgrade. Outbidding for Troy Percival would have been an upgrade. The ceiling was low.

  116. billfer

    August 19, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    Mike – Yeah, I thought the chances were pretty slim to begin with, but any chance, no matter how slim was extinguished today.

    Stephen – Sorry if you were just looking for a discussion, but it didn’t read that way to me. Casey wasn’t even mentioned today despite being one of the few guys who hit the ball hard consistently. As for the merits of Casey, I don’t view a .350 OPS as a black hole in the lineup. At the same time I agree his production from first base is inadequate. In other words, I certainly hope they upgrade (as I did last year) but he hasn’t been a complete waste in the lineup either. Then again my expectations were such that he’s actually exceeded them (mostly by staying healthy).

    And on the reliever as symbolic gesture, there very well could be something to that. Or it could be the symbolic gesture was management saying they believed in the guys they had. I don’t really know one way or the other.

  117. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    Billfer: Agreed on all points. Casey is frustrating, but he’s not the problem. He just made the last out in the supremely frustrating weekend. It’s not always the guiltiest kid who gets the paddle for shooting rubber bands in science class.

  118. billfer

    August 19, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    Cappellan, De La Cruz, Lopez, Bazardo are all upgrades over Grilli, and yet he remains. I just don’t see a scenario where a trade gets made and Grilli is the odd man out.

    Durbin should remain in that he’s done a nice job flexing between the bullpen and the rotation and has provided value to the team.

    And you can’t even really suggest Mesa. He did his time here and was awful. If the Tigers cut Grilli and he goes someplace else and succeeds (doubtful on both counts I know) do you lament that he’s not helping the team?

  119. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    No, i’m not suggesting Mesa. It just hurts that we release a guy who absolutely was the worst, and suddenly he turns out to be sorta ok while our bullpen implodes. Nothing you can do about that.

    Miner and Durbin, i think, one of them would be fine as your long man. Or you could keep both of them if they’re your last two guys in the ‘pen pecking order. We’ve just asked them to get out they don’t have the talent to get.

  120. Mike R

    August 19, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    Scott Proctor has a bum arm and will need surgery sometime soon.

    A ‘revitalized Jose Mesa’ is also pitching in the weak hitting, mediocre, national league.

    I wanted the Tigers to take a chance on Percival, so we agree there.

    Also, every disagreement we have is taken as cordial. No need to say so.

    I agree that there were upgrades out there, but were they available? Who knows. All reports I’ve read were that no one in Cincy were available, the guys in Pittsburgh definitely weren’t an upgrade or a reliever that we needed, the guys in Houston were staying put after dealing 1 of their big 3 relievers. Aside from that, how many good relievers are out there? I would’ve liked Eulogio de la Cruz to get more time in the pen. He couldn’t have been worse.

    And for the record, I don’t want to sound like I’m defending Grilli in any way. I’ve been wanting him released for months.

  121. Jim

    August 19, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Optimism fellas. Optimisim.

    Beer helps too.

  122. Joey C.

    August 19, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    This was my position in the off-season. Either Inge or Casey needed to be replaced. I would have preferred Casey because I was of the opinion that making a run on Texeira would have been worthwhile. I wasn’t aware then that he would be likely to sign with someone else after this season.

    However, I think Casey has performed adequately and when the team is hitting on all cylinders I feel both his and Inge’s inadequacies can be compensated for. Certainly, this lineup when healthy compensates for Casey’s lack of power. I really don’t have a problem with the guy at this point, and as Stephen clarifies, he isn’t the problem.

    I mean if we’re going to isolate inadequacy at a position other than pitcher, we have to be talking about Inge.

    Can anyone give me a rundown of who may be available this coming off-season at 3rd and 1st? Hey, maybe Boras is so thrilled about the Porcello deal, he’ll give us a discount on Tex!

  123. ron

    August 19, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    Hey, some of us take this sport seriously. We all know it’s not cancer. Everybody in this country has been affected by the big C one way or another and to bring it up on a baseball blog is nuts. Believe me, none of us are confusing what’s important here. That said, I don’t think Bilfer or any of us care about negativity if it’s called for by prolonged and inept baseball play by the team we all love and will continue to love if they never win another game this season.

  124. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    breaking news: Leyland has had enough:

  125. ron

    August 19, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Thanks Stephan. I’m already feeling better. Did he tip over the buffet table, water cooler, anything?

  126. cib

    August 19, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    OMG what a weekend. Took a day off from the Tigers – went to brunch, then did the “hands along woodward” thing, ran errands, came home, waited a reasonable period and went on line to see what was happening . . .what a mess! But I really enjoyed reading the posts and always learn something from everyone’s point of view.
    Interesting comments here and there is something to agree with in each one. Ron, you are right, we’ll love them no matter what happens. And you can care mightily about the Tigers and still have a healthy outlook on the other issues of life. And yes, Jim, beer helps! And yeah, you can remember 2003 and still be disappointed this year.
    So thanks to all, have a good night, and let’s enjoy the day off tomorrow, I think we need it as much as the Tigers do! Anyone going to Wednesday, Thursday and/or Friday’s games? If any posters are interested in meeting up I’ll be at those.

  127. Chris

    August 19, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Inge is awful.

    A high strikeout count would be acceptable if he were to hit a decent number of homers or produced somewhat of a better OBS. But among the top 10 leaders in strikeouts, Inge has the worst ratio of 10.5 Ks for each homerun.

    Something has to be done, and apparently a move is going to me made for the next game. I just read that Raburn is going to play 3rd base while Inge benched this Tuesday. I hope he can play that position well because if he can, then I see no reason to see Inge play regularly every day for the rest of the season.

  128. Kathy

    August 19, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Here’s another take on Inge and Rabelo:;coll=1

  129. Stephen

    August 19, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    Man, i want to be on the meds Danny Knobler takes. He could spin Waterloo into a victory.

  130. Rings

    August 19, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    It’s interesting, considering that myself and another poster (EZ) raised many of the same criticisms of Inge back in April & May, after he was horrific with RISP and made suffered one bonehead lapse after another (either defensively or on the basepaths) in last year’s playoffs was and terrible overall to start the season, only to find him with many defenders on this site. Perhaps Leyland is also starting to see some of the things that have caused this criticism in his decision to play Raburn.
    Inge is a fine athlete and a great guy by all accounts, but he does not deserve to be a starting, everyday player. He’s a utility guy. He’s a .240 hitter at best, strikes out at a pace well over .300, has no bat control (useful for a #9 guy), and no amount of “range” can make up for 20+ E’s annually at third base.
    Now, he’s resorted to making excuses that teams are “pitching him like Babe Ruth” and he’s getting tricky hops.
    The worst part of waiting for him to develop, is that we really haven’t pursued or brought along another 3rd sacker in the past 3 years.

  131. Shane trapped in Athens, Ohio

    August 19, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    I do not know about you guys, but I am getting a little fed up with Inge’s excuses. He has been saying things like how well he has been seeing the pitches, pitchers are pitching him like Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams could not hit the pitches he has been receiving. Sorry Inge, even though I kinda of like you, there is no way you should ever, ever be invoking their images while describing your slump and lack of production. Just man up and admit you have been slumping and cannot hit a ball off a tee at this point.
    I really wish one of the players would step up, stop making excuses and admit they have been they are not playing to their potential and that they are sick of it. Gary Sheffield would be the perfect man for the job. Instead of mouthing off in a counter-productive manner, use your loud mouth to put a charge into the team. Seriously, tell the media how you are sick of losing and how the team is so much better than how we have been playing.
    In other news, did any of you guys read Danny Knobler’s blog tonight? It was like he finally starting coming to terms with reality and adopted a pragmatic slant in his writing. Weird.

  132. Kathy

    August 19, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    I thought Inge would step it up a notch this year. I haven’t looked at his fielding stats but with that big raise they gave him, certainly there had to be expectations that he would improve offensively and defensively. It’s not like he’s got sore knees.

  133. David

    August 20, 2007 at 12:56 am

    Well he was by most accounts one of the best defenders last year. He had far and away the most assists for a third sacker with 398, this year he is still in first and is on pace for 340.

    Even with the errors, he is still top notch, he is given the second most Win Shares by Bill James (after Lowell). And his fielding % is the same as Beltre and better than Josh Fields, Mike Lowell, Chone Figgins and the injured Hank Blaylock in the AL.

    He also has at least 2 walk-off HRs this year.

    I agree though, his hitting should have gotten better he takes too many pitches that he should swing at and he Ks on the sucker ones.

    He should borrow one of Polanco’s bats and have him teach him just to put it in play.

    BTW Sheff over the last month is hitting worse than Inge…FYI

    W/O him hitting and Polanco being absent makes our lineup look whole worlds worse.

  134. Chris

    August 20, 2007 at 1:05 am

    How would anybody expect Inge to “step it up a notch.” Inge is who he is, an average fielding infielder who thinks he is Ryan Howard when at the plate.

  135. Chris

    August 20, 2007 at 1:32 am

    Great point, David. The last month’s nosedive coincides Shefield’s slump/injury.

    I think it is time for Leyland to shake up the batting order until Shef’s return from Slumpsville. He should try batting Raburn 2nd against lefties, while having Casey against righthanders. Polanco then could bat third, while we hope that Ordonez & Guillen can start getting more hits on the same day as one another. Shef then should be moved to 6th in the lineup. Here’s my idea for the typical lineup:

    1. Granderson
    2. Raburn/Casey
    3. Polanco
    4. Ordonez
    5. Guillen
    6. Shefield
    7. Rodriguez
    8. Thames
    9. Maybin

  136. Mike R

    August 20, 2007 at 4:02 am

    I’m for Sheff hitting the DL. He’s not helping the team by gutting it out. Since July 30th, he’s hitting .196/.262/.286. He’s not helping the lineup and has become a black hole in the No. 3 spot.

    For a lineup I’d take:


    Also, just think, only 3 more years of Brandon Inge at $4.9 for 07, but next year his raises start: $6.2 in 08, $6.3 in 09 and $6.6 in 2010.

  137. Mike R

    August 20, 2007 at 4:02 am

    Whoops, submit Pudge/Rabelo for Inge’s spot and Raburn would be playing 3rd in my lineup.

  138. Kathy

    August 20, 2007 at 8:36 am

    I agree wiht Mike R. If Sheff’s shoulder coninues to bother him, put him on the DL. He probably needs surgery, but says if he does he will retire. He can’t lift weights up until a week ago, so you know he not 100%.

    I do however disagree with Chris. Dan Dickerson and Jim Price were discussing how players even as they age can still improve if the will is there. Actually, they were discussing Jorge Posada who credits one of his coaches to his improved BA. Even a veteran player can find ways to improve by making adjustments. Eventually, sure they slow down, but Inge hasn’t made any sort of adjustments as far as I can tell.

  139. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 20, 2007 at 8:42 am

    Inge has a lot of respect as a third baseman and this was noted on the pre-game show

    what was that error #15? in 124 games? and Inge gets hits here and there when ain’t nobody else seems to do it

    the thing in baseball is to get the best you have out there one game at a time

    yeah yeah we didn’t beat the Yankees that time. a lotta guys havin’ trouble beatin’ the Yankees right about now

  140. Kathy

    August 20, 2007 at 8:44 am

    And Inge is rated in the middle of the pack as far as fielding percentage.

  141. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 20, 2007 at 9:31 am

    I’m just a Tiger fan, –ain’t no analyst. I hear the announcer say Inge is respected as a top 3d baseman and I see him play a pretty good game I’m good with that

    players are people too. all different. none perfect.

  142. Jeff

    August 20, 2007 at 9:41 am

    I’m more concerned about his range than his fielding percentage. That’s down a bit from last year.

    If you field every ball hit to you but only have a range of 4 feet to either side, you’ve got a fielding percentage of 1.000 but you’re not helping your team.

    Inge’s great ability was getting to a lot of balls that other third basemen wouldn’t get to, and that skill appears to have faded a bit.

    And it’s no sin to choke up a bit and go with the pitch when you’ve got two strikes. I’m all in favor of hitters doing what they feel comfortable with — as long as it’s working. When it’s not working, then they need to look at other approaches.

  143. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 20, 2007 at 9:46 am

    sounds like we may see Rayburn at 3d though, and Santiago coming on at SS. Which is a little puzzling cuz Santiago isn’t noted for hitting power as I recall. hmmmmm

    Hate to see Casey out at 1st though; he’s getting to be a sort of fixture there

    Hope Thames gets back into good shape too, he has got the hitting power that is missing!

    but we have also to work at brining along new players too, like Cam

  144. T Smith

    August 20, 2007 at 9:48 am

    Sheff batting 6th is a whole lot of crazy. If he’s hurt, and needs the DL, that’s one thing. But he’s a three whole hitter, no matter what kinda stretch he’s in.

    It doesn’t matter if he’s batting .196/.262/.286 for the past few weeks or so. He still instills fear the pitcher; every hurler knows one mistake and the Tigers are up a run or two or three, depending on how the table is set. He has the ability to wear out a pitcher, and that’s exactly who you want batting before Maggs. Despite the .262 OBP, he probably still has the best eye and takes the most walks on the club — you want to set the table for Maggs & Guillen, not your 7-9 hitters.

    If his presense at the plate does lead opposing pitchers to get lax with him — comfortable pitching to him, that is — the line above won’t stay that way long.

    That said, I am concerned about the shoulder thing. That probably has a lot to do with recent preformance.

  145. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 20, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Jeff: absolutely 100% on the mark there: range is critical. that is one of Grandy’s strong suits; he can play shallow and track still anything back to the fence. that helps to keep runners from advancing and that reduces enemy runs

    but guess what

    ya play aggressively like Inge does and try to stop that ball before it gets into the outfield and try to make that snap throw to 1st guess what: that ain’t easy. But Inge goes after it. That’s giving 100% and if he gets marked for an E5 once in a while oh well for everyone one of those there’s a half dozen guys he threw out at 1st that would have otherwise got a ball into left.

    ya gotta see the big picture

  146. Sam

    August 20, 2007 at 9:55 am

    The Tigers are 6-10 in inning 7.

    The amazing thing is Cleveland is really not playing well either. They are still only 1.5 games behind them although with the way SEA and NYY are playing the wildcard is going away. 1 month ago you would of been called an idiot to suggest the Wildcard wouldn’t come from the central.

    They absolutely NEED to take at least 2 games from Cleveland this week. In addition, they have to start playing better baseball.


  147. Mike R

    August 20, 2007 at 11:29 am

    T Smith, while I understand what you’re saying, make no mistake: A healthy Sheffield doesn’t fly out to left center off Joba Chamerblain. That ball is finding it’s way over the bullpen. He’s also not getting a ton of balls out of the infield, save for the game against Clemens.

    And while he’s a feared hitter, teams have advanced scouts. They’re going to pitch to Sheff — and jam him — if his shoulder is still beat up and he can’t get around on balls/drive balls. He’s got 1 double, 1 HR, and 9 singles since August 4th. That’s not what we’re paying him for. It’s better to DL him now, then have him wreck his shoulder completely and not be able to finish out his 3 year deal, meaning we’re in a huge hole going into the offseason trying to scare up bats to get upgrades (if they so choose) at 1st, SS, LF, DH.

  148. Stephen

    August 20, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    Mike, is it just me or do i sense that your approach to this franchise is ultra cautious? Don’t promote Miller too soon, don’t overpay for bullpen help, put Sheff on the DL because he has a sore shoulder etc… This is a not-young baseball team in contention, not a thirty year growth 401 K/mutual fund. Sheffield isn’t going out there if he thinks there’s potentially a career ending swing in the balance. Trust me, he’s too self-involved. Yes, he’s been lame as of late, but if you put Sheffield on the DL this team is absolutely, no-debate, burnt toast. You DL him at this point, I don’t think the team reaches 86 wins. It’s an absolute back-breaking final straw. There’s just way, way too many holes 6 to 9 in the lineup to subtract Sheffield from the top. I’d take him one-armed over everyone on this roster not named Ordonez, Guillen, and Polanco.

  149. Anthony

    August 20, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    The ‘Big picture’ tells me that Inge is a black hole in the lineup that isn’t much of a significant upgrade over most other 3rd basemen in the league.

    The ‘Big Picture’ tells me that he’s only done so much as to flirt with mediocrity at the plate a couple times in his career, and there is absolutely no indication he’ll be anything better than sub-par for the remainder of his career. He’s not going to learn to make contact all of a sudden at this stage in his career.

    Unless a player is revolutionizing a position defensively, its not worth the automatic out every couple innings. Especially since he doesn’t even put the ball in play, and therefore, rarely has a productive AB. The numbers say Inge has above average range and that’s all fine and dandy, but the numbers also say he is basically Neifi with pop most days.

    He’s also an excuse maker, from reading his quotes. I hope Rayburn makes a serious bid for the 3rd base job. It would be nice to see one that can hit.

  150. Nate

    August 20, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    I’d take [Sheff] one-armed over everyone on this roster not named Ordonez, Guillen, and Polanco.

    Maybe they can trade his other arm for a reliable reliever…

  151. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 20, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    Inge is no more a black hole in the line up than Omar. and I’m sticking with the pre-game announcer’s report that Inge is a top defensive player. I see it when he plays. he stops balls and throws out runners others wouldn’t have a chance at

    and you cannot under-rate the value of that just cuz he hits 240 rather than 280

    we might try Guillen at DH for a little while while Sheff has a sore shoulder, keep Casey at 1st and play Santiago at SS. that’s the way I see it

    but this is Leyland’s job. my job is to watch what happens & make remarks on this blog tee hee

  152. Kyle J

    August 20, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Zumaya has been called up. Here’s hoping this is the psychological lift the team needs to turn things around.

    Thankfully for my mental sanity, I was on vacation over the weekend–with neither TV nor Internet access. Based on skimming the comments above and in other threads, I’d say the following:

    1) We can point to all our problems (bullpen, Inge’s hitting, Guillen’s fielding, etc.) but this roster will either take us to the postseason or it won’t. And I don’t like the implication that Dombrowski hasn’t tried to build a contender. Outside of the two teams with payrolls of over $150 million, no one has been more agressive/successful in filling holes than the Tigers over the last four years.

    2) That having been said, I think we need to win at least 4 of the next 7 or our playoff chances will be severely diminished, if not dissolved entirely.

    Go Tigers!

  153. Anthony

    August 20, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Omar doesn’t start in the Major Leagues. There is a reason for that. Inge should not be starting on a team in the pennant race. He’s better than Omar, but not by as much as people seem to think.

  154. Ryan S

    August 20, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Inge’s comments about being “pitched to like he was Babe Ruth”?????

    Talk about someone in denial. If you haven’t seen a pitch over the middle of the plate in a while – fine. In the meantime, how about laying off a few of those shoelace high balls, 6 inches off the plate that you insist at waving at constantly. It’s ludicrous to suggest that any big league pitcher would be pitching around Brandon Inge. It’s even more ludicrous to think this would be an appropriate excuse for an everyday MLB player. If Inge could lay off the balls out of the zone, he might have a prayer at seeing a pitch in the zone.

  155. Kyle J

    August 20, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    “Inge should not be starting on a team in the pennant race.”

    Just for some perspective, here are some infielders starting for teams in the AL pennant race with OPS’s lower than Inge’s:

    Inge (DET) .706
    Sexson (SEA) .705
    Bartlett (MIN) .687
    Lopez (SEA) .654
    Lugo (BOS) .652
    Barfield (CLE) .596
    Punto (MIN) .560

    So everyone but NY has an infielder performing worse than Inge at the plate. Most of those guys are middle infielders, but you can’t just take Guillen and Polanco for granted.

    Inge’s hitting performance is extremely frustrating to everyone, but outside of $200 million payroll, everyone has a hole in the lineup. And Leyland is taking action by benching him for at least the start of the Cleveland series. This after the Tigers have ended the Craig Monroe era. So we can’t claim the Tigers aren’t doing what they can to eliminate the low perfomers from the equation. Beyond that, we’re just reaching for some fantasy world where the Tigers signed additional free agents beyond Pudge, Magglio, Guillen, Polanco, and Sheffield over the last several years.

  156. ez

    August 20, 2007 at 2:01 pm


    If you are going to go on observations such as “I see it when he plays”, then maybe you can explain how Darling Brandon “throws out runners” when he tags third base when there is no force play? Please explain how he “throws out runners” when he lets the ball go between his legs, like yesterday? If we are going on observations, then how many times do you remember Infante getting picked off of 3rd on a throw from catcher to pitcher? Only Brandon has managed that feat. While these observations are highly amusing, when was the last time you saw someone getting picked off of 3rd on a throw from catcher to pitcher? And that “tag the base when there was no force out” is so bad, that my 7 year old nephew and tee-ball player said “even I know not to do THAT!” Inge makes Leon Lett look like a “heads up” player.

    Tell you what, let’s leave observations aside and look at some stats, shall we?

    Inge leads the AL in strikeouts. Among AL 3rd basemen with 80 games played he is 17th in OPS, 17th in batting average, and 9th in HR’s. He is striking out at a .320 clip. With stats that horrendous his defense must be beyond question in order to even possibly justify his playing time.

    However, his defense is completely questionable. Looking at stats, Inge leads AL 3rd basemen in errors. His fielding percentage ranks 10th in AL 3rd basemen based on 80 games played. His range factor is down from 3.45 to 2.81. While that is still good for 3rd in AL 3rd basemen, it is a far cry from what it used to be. Many here don’t care for errors and fielding percentage and they tend to discount it. In my opinion they devalue E’s and FP too much, but even they must admit that leading the league in E’s and being 10th in FP is in no way good. His decreased range factor means that he is not getting to nearly as many balls, and the balls he is getting to he is booting all too frequently. You can listen to the “pregame” announcer all you want, but they are idiots. All one need do is to listen to Tim McCarver for five minutes to lose that argument. That is both observation and fact.

    Couple Inge’s fielding and hitting, and you will find a black hole. I would prefer Omar. But since you said Inge is “no more a black hole in the lineup than Infante”, then I will agree with you. Please note where Omar now plies his trade, if only Inge would join him… Inge has not been under rated in any way. On the contrary, it is people like you and the Detroit media who have been over-rating this guy for years.

    Inge’s benching was long overdue.

  157. Anthony

    August 20, 2007 at 2:07 pm


    Inge has at least 36 strikeouts more than anyone on your list (Sexson having the 2nd most at 91). Thats a problem. He doesn’t make the pitchers work because he has the plate discipline of a high schooler. The strikeouts hurt in a way worse than just having a low OPS.

    I do think the Tigers are handling it well right now. They gave him a chance to work it out on his own, like Monroe. They showed respect to a long-standing Tiger. I opposed his contract last offseason because I never thought he’d live up to it. He’s just not very good. If he was an effective SS his numbers would be far more acceptable.

    I really hope Rayburn gives them something at least comprable defensively.

    In my mind, people who make absurd excuses are losers. I really am bothered by Inge’s comments because I have never thought of him as a loser, just a mediocre ballplayer with a great attitude. His comments strike me in a bad way.

  158. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 20, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    then maybe you can explain how Darling Brandon “throws out runners” when he tags third base when there is no force play? Please explain how he “throws out runners” when he lets the ball go between his legs, like yesterday?

    1 that happend once and it was the day after he just had a kid
    2 we have already discussed the 15 errors in 125 games. I said it before and I’ll stick to it: Inge goes after plays. And he makes a lot of ’em. But when he’s giving 100% like that yeah he’s gonna make an error here and there. It’s a rare player who doesn’t make an error here and there.

    It’s fine to wish for this and that and that’s what they have fantasy baseball for.

    I like our Tigers and can’t wait to see what Leyland comes up with here

  159. Stephen

    August 20, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    ez, nice work.

  160. Rings

    August 20, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    Yes, Bill, he’s attempted a force “once” in a non-force situation. One more than anyone else.
    He’s also been picked off third on a throw to the pitcher, as mentioned, and had a HUGE baserunning error to spoil Detroit’s final scoring opportunity in Game 5 of the W.S. last year, plus an obstruction call in Game 2.
    These brief anecdotes do not include any physical mistakes, which are going to happen.
    The point is, for all his great “range” and athleticism, he still makes more bonehead plays than he should for a 7-year MLB veteran.
    EZ’s major point is correct: his benching is long overdue. This is a guy who had 2 (!!) days off all of last year. It’s one thing if you’re Cal Ripken, but he’s not.
    As I’ve stated above, he’d be a better player if he were still a super-sub/utility guy – where his athleticism would better serve him and he would not be counted on for consistency (which he’s never shown) – and we spent the past 4 years either acquiring or developing a third sacker.

    That being said, Inge is not the biggest problem with the team’s poor play since the break. It’s pitching, more than anything. Hopefully, the return of Zoom is a positive step, with Kenny and Miller close behind.

  161. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 20, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    what is this– pick on Inge day? I support the guy. Everyone makes a bone head play here and there but Inge makes some very good plays too. you guys gotta go back to last years WS to find bone head plays? Inge wasn’t the only one who dropped the ball here and there in that one

    I’m think’n we’ll see, soon enough

    ya lookn’ at bringing back pitching. and that is defense strength. suppress enemy run count. good plan that’s why we need Inge

    Zoom ain’t exactly been lights out every time he pitched but I do note Rodney look a lot better after he came back than he did before they sent him down and that is a good thing

  162. Stephen

    August 20, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    no bill, we don’t have to go all the way back to the world series to point out inge’s bonehead plays. we’re just citing it as part of a pattern of behavior that suggest inge is a mediocre major leaguer.

  163. Stephen

    August 20, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    And those ‘Babe’ remarks? Not get any strikes? Take a ton of walks!

  164. ez

    August 20, 2007 at 3:33 pm


    You base your opinions on your observations. It is great you support Inge. But it is foolish to support a defense of Inge based on observations. I listed Inge’s actual stats. But before we get back to stats, let’s re-examine observations:

    “We” don’t need to go back to the WS last year to find ‘bonehead’ plays. I already listed two complete laughers of Inge’s that happened LAST WEEK, not last year. And the plays, tagging 3rd with no force out, and getting picked off of 3rd on a throw from catcher to pitcher go far beyond “bonehead” and fall into the ‘Are You Kidding Me’ catagory. No one, not even rec league church softball players, tag 3rd when there is no force. You can state he makes “great plays”, but so does every other major leaguer. What I haven’t seen in 30 years of watching baseball are the Leon Lett plays Inge has made in the past week. They all make great plays, only Inge has the phantom tag. Further, refuting Inge’s bonehead plays last year by saying (in effect) “But other players sucked too”. Saying Inge sucked less than others is indeed an interesting defense of Inge leading the team in errors last post season. Now, leaving observations alone…

    Back to stats…. After trying really hard to determine what this means: “ya lookn’ at bringing back pitching. and that is defense strength. suppress enemy run count. good plan that’s why we need Inge”….. I am forced to conclude you think Inge is of great value defensively. Presumably, you feel his defensive value outweighs his horrid hitting. Yet your underlying premise has no basis in fact or stat. He leads AL 3rd basemen in errors, his fielding percentage is 10th, and his range factor is hugely down from last year. His fielding is barely average, judging by the stats. His hitting, again based on stats, ranks as at or near the worst among AL 3rd sackers.

    Please, support the guy all you want. But I support the Tigers first, and particular players second. The Tigers are better off with this guy on the bench…

    The bottem line is that no one needs to “pick on Inge”, his deficient play does that all by itself.

  165. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 20, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    everyone makes a ‘bone head’ play here and there. Inge has 15 errors on season if I recall and I think his defensive contributions are way more than any detriment from those 15 ‘bone head’ errors you guys are fussn’ about

    Leyland is trying a change though so we’ll so see how that goes but I’m sticking with Inge. and Pudge too

  166. Rings

    August 20, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    This is the same forum where someone tried to argue on consecutive days this spring that Inge’s strikeouts were a “good thing, because they wear out the opposing pitcher”
    …so this should be ‘come to your senses day.’

    Inge’s recent bonehead plays continue a pattern he’s established since he was at W. Michigan in 1999, including last year’s W.S., the biggest – and most memorable – stage. He makes too many errors and suffers too many brain farts to overcome his occasional highlight defensive play.

    EZ-E’s cited stats above establish that the facts say he’s NOT strong or consistent defensively and that we don’t “need” Inge. Our point is that he’s overrated by many Tiger fans, he’s hurting the team more than he’s helping, and this benching is not only deserved, but overdue.

    By your rationale, you should be counting the days until Neifi’s suspension is over and he can return to the Tigers’ lineup. After all, at least he’s actually won a Gold Glove.

  167. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 20, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    you guys using stuff like this

    But it is foolish to support a defense of Inge based on observations.

    yeah I watch the games. why wouldn’t I base my views on my observations? I wish I could have ever play like Inge

    yeah yeah sometime it’s really a good thing Casey is a big guy and great with his glove there at 1b. I like that. But everyone who knows baseball knows you need a big guy on 1b for just that reason

  168. Brian

    August 20, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Brandon Inge hits ninth in our lineup. He stikes out too much and his power numbers have not been making up for the Ks, but I mean, jeez, we have bigger issues on this team than Inge.

    His defense is, at worst, league average for a third basemen. His approach at the plate has been awful, and right now he is a bona fide rally killer, but he still has the potential to have a decent last 30-35 games of the season.

    Good on Leyland for benching him, though. Rayburn has a pretty hot bat, and Brandon needed a shot over the bow and perhaps a couple games rest.

  169. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 20, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    I just hope we keep Casey at 1b put Guillen at DH and let Sheff mend that shoulder a bit

    I won’t mind watching rayburn take a check-ride at 3b it should be a good thing

  170. billfer

    August 20, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    This is the same forum where someone tried to argue on consecutive days this spring that Inge’s strikeouts were a “good thing, because they wear out the opposing pitcher”

    Who said this and when was it said? I don’t recall anyone making this argument. I recall someone saying that Inge does have longer at-bats which does have some benefit. (which he does, 4.37 pitches per at bat when the league average is 3.77)

    Of course actually not making an out in a short at-bat is better than a long at-bat culminating in an out.

    I don’t recall anyone saying that they were a good thing.

  171. T Smith

    August 20, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Here’s the lineup I’d like to see:

    1. Granderson
    2. Polanco
    3. Sheff
    4. Ordonez
    5. Guillen
    6. Rayburn
    7. Thames/Casey
    8. Pudge
    9. Maybin

    While you might swap the 6 & 7 spots for whatever reason, Pudge belongs in the 8 whole. I think it’s also time for Tiger fans to remove the rose-colored glasses they’ve worn everytime Pudge comes into view.

  172. Anthony

    August 20, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    I’ve been lukewarm on Pudge because of some insider stories i know about the way he treated Trammell. I think its very cool that the Tigers are currently employing one of the 3 best catchers of all time, and he’s done a lot of good for the team. I have viewed him cautiously though since hearing about him undermining Tram’s authority.

    I don’t think its the worst thing that his production has fallen off a cliff. Catchers are the type of position where you don’t expect offense. He keeps the pitching staff in line, and that’s about 80% of a catchers job description. His D has also fallen off but not to the point where I am apprehensive about him being back there. Next year looks like it will be iffy, especially at 13 mil, but thats 8 months away.

    People are hard on Inge because he plays a position where respectable offense is expected, and he fails to produce in a Hindenburg kind of way. I also think another reason people harp on him is the fact that he is overrated in the media and by lots of fans. Its those same people saying that Monroe had value because he ‘hit some big home runs!’. its annoying. Another troubling thing surfacing is the excuses coming out of his mouth.

    People are pitching him like Ruth, but for a different reason. People pitch elite hitters outside the zone because its often better to walk them. People pitch Inge out of the zone because they know they don’t have to throw strikes to get him out. Read that last line again.

  173. Rings

    August 20, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Who said this and when was it said? I don’t recall anyone making this argument.

    Here’s the thread

    David implies it at 1:45, Adam states it three times in different ways at 2:37 am, 12:48 pm, 7:29 pm. It was repeated again a couple days later, but I didnt’ dig to find it.

    Anthony: your Inge analysis is spot on the money, both in terms of his performance and the annoying love-fest for him among certain Tiger fans and Jim Price, who would bear Brandon’s children for him if he could.

    (…and I hope the links and quotes work…not sure how all the xhtml works, sorry)

  174. Anthony

    August 20, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    I actually remember those comments vaguely. I also remember that I had to stop reading at the time because I could feel myself getting dumber. The same way I could feel myself getting fatter while eating the whole bag of popcorn at Superbad last night.

  175. Stephen

    August 20, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    I just want to know how you guys do the boxes within comments. I am so jealous.

  176. billfer

    August 20, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    I still don’t see where they said strikeouts are a good thing. I read that extended at-bats resulting in outs are better than short at-bats resulting in outs.

    I do think the frequency of these really long at-bats is overstated in those posts, but Inge sees half a pitch more per at-bat than the rest of the league and that is significant. Of course the rest of the league doesn’t seen nearly as many of those at-bats result in outs either.

    I’m not defending Inge here. I’m actually pretty much in the middle on Inge in that the Inge lovers over state his importance and the Inge haters overstate his awfulness. If the kids go to bed quick I’ll have more tonight.

  177. billfer

    August 20, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    I just want to know how you guys do the boxes within comments. I am so jealous.

    Stephen, just use the tags so in your comment it would look like:

    <blockquote>Stuff to be quoted</blockquote>

  178. Stephen

    August 20, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    ok, great. thanks much.

  179. ez

    August 20, 2007 at 6:58 pm


    I can attest to what Rings is saying… I think it was Nate or Adam who said a few days later that Inge striking out tired the pitcher out, and that was good. It was said with nearly those words. I’m not going to dig for it, I know it’s there. It was at that point where the stupid got to be too overwhelming here, and I took a 3 month pause. Undoubtedly my pause was much to the delight of many here.

    Bilfer, I am not calling you stupid. We may disagree from time to time, but I do respect your work, your opinions, and your insights. Some of the work of other posters here, well, they can be plain stupid.

    It took a lot more rope than it should have, but Inge finally managed to hang himself with his appallingly inept play. How long he swings depends on how the minor leaguer who has not started at 3rd since 2004 does as a fill in. Inge must really be having a bad season for this to have happened.

    Are there other problems with the Tigers? Of course. But I have not been addressing them, my Jihad (as some have called it) has always been about the adoration this guy gets considering his horrible play. The Inge debate will rage for as long as he underproduces and lack of viable replacement looms. Raburn is no long term answer, so expect this issue to be hot for months…

  180. Mike R

    August 20, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    Stephen, no, I’m not ultra conservative when it comes to this ball club. Gary Sheffield IS ONE of those holes in the lineup right now. 186./.262/.271 in his last 15 games is abysmal and not going to get any better any time soon.

    I don’t see how we, as a whole, cannot tolerate Inge’s offensive output when he’s at least helping the team, somewhat, defensively. Sheffield is killing the team in the only area he’s expected to perform; at the plate.

    But that’s fine, we’ll just continue to run out a 1 armed hitter who hits 2 pop ups to the infield, with a strike out and a walk in his 4 AB’s game in, game out. Because he’ll get by on name alone and pitchers will still fear him. I mean, it’s not like teams don’t have advanced scouts that say “pitch to Gary Sheffield. he’s got 3 extra base hits in his last 65 plate appearances.”

  181. billfer

    August 20, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    I’m going to ask that everyone suspend Inge discussion in this thread. And it’s not about censoring anti or pro brandon sentiment, it’s just that I’ll have an Inge post up later tonight and everything might as well go there. There will be plenty of opportunity to rip/praise/and debate Inge.

  182. Mike R

    August 20, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Since July 30th, the vitals for each hitter that plays regularly:

    Sheffield: .186/.262/.271
    Inge: .190/.224/.286
    Pudge: .269/.264/.442
    Magglio: .351/.407/.635
    Guillen: .260/.293/.429
    Granderson: .211/.317/.282
    Raburn: .327/.321/.473
    Thames: .250/.270/.444
    Polanco: .380/.448/.580
    Casey: .250/.300/.357
    Rabelo: .231/.259/.269

    Sheffield and Inge are the worst culprits of them all in this stretch, and yet no one wants to sit Sheffield. Makes sense. At least Curtis is getting on base, Thames is slugging okay despite hitting on one good hamstring, and Pudge’s slugging is up from his season average.

    Inge and Sheffield have been the worst hitters in that stretch.

  183. Stephen

    August 20, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    Inge and Sheff have almost identical numbers over the last 3 weeks. And that’s where the comparison ends. The difference is Sheff is on the cusp of the hall of fame and carried this team for a couple of months in June and July while Inge is a career .242 hitter, hitting .242 for the year. It reasonable to expect Sheff will get hot again. It is reasonable to say the Tigers wish there was an expansion draft to expose Inge in after this season.

  184. Mike R

    August 20, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Why is it reasonable? His shoulder gets worse and worse. The only cure to that is rest. What good is he if he’s posting a worse line for us in September? I’m not defending Inge, but I don’t how a guy who’s shoulder is terrible (sheff even said, he’d normally be sitting but likes Leyland too much to not give it a go) and not improving. What’s worse? Him going 0-4 every night with a couple pop ups/K’s or him resting, coming back in decent shape in 15 days, and being able to carry the offense in September?

  185. T Smith

    August 20, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Stephen on Sheff vs. Inge: Hit the nail on the head.

    Mike R: As far as your concerns about Sheff, I only see two possible scenarios pertaining to the current Sheff situation:

    1. He’s hurt. I’m mean, really hurt. Not aches-and-pains hurt.
    2. He’s simply cycling, hitting an April-like period like we saw earlier in the season, and will soon begin to mash like no hitter you’d ever dream of taking out of the lineup, let alone moving lower in the lineup.

    Obviously, I’m hoping the truth lies behind curtain #2. And if so, it’s only a matter of time before he busts out.

  186. Mike R

    August 20, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    He’s said that if Jim Leyland weren’t managing this team, he would not be out there playing. So the answer is already “curtain No. 1”. Not to mention that in August he posts a .949 OPS in his career, tied with July for his best month, OPS-wise.

  187. Stephen

    August 20, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    Mike, we’ll have to see who’s right over the next few weeks. But seriously, if Sheff shuts it down this season is all over. No questions asked.

  188. Stephen

    August 20, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Miller tonight in toledo:
    3.0: 1 1 1 0 5 0

  189. Jim

    August 20, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    5 k’s are nice…

  190. ron

    August 20, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    When the team was playing better, Inge still had hitting problems but his defense was good enough to keep him starting. He has a lot of grit and I really enjoyed watching him play. It’s nitty-gritty time now. We can’t wait for him to come around. I think we are going to see what Leyland is made of now. Sparky Anderson said, facetiously, that a manager is only good for making out the lineup card. But I think he was very good at getting into players heads. It’s been a bad, bad month of ballplaying. Leyland needs to lead. I believe players make better leaders, like Jeter, but we don’t have a player leader like that. Hopefully, Leyland is the man. This is what he was hired for. I liked what he said Sunday night. This team can be a champion. Leyland must get it thru their heads to play like champions.

  191. ron

    August 21, 2007 at 12:02 am

    Easy on the other posters there ez. 30 years of watching baseball does not make you an expert. I’ve been a fan for 50 years and I’ve come to the conclusion that only stupid people spend their time watching baseball.

  192. ron

    August 21, 2007 at 1:20 am

    Bilfer, the graphs were nice. If you turned them upside down, they resemble Midtown Manhattan.

  193. Mike R

    August 21, 2007 at 10:48 am

    Why is the season over if we shut down a guy hitting .186/.262/.271 for a couple of weeks. I’m not saying put him on the shelf for the rest of the year, but a DL stint would still let him be back by September 5th or 6th, and that’s plenty of time for a healthier Sheffield to carry the offensive load.

    He’s been in the lineup the entire time we’ve been sliding, how do we know that a No. 3 hitter that’s not getting on base, hitting for any average or slugging at all isn’t what’s killing this offense? Just because Sheffield is a potential HOFer does not make him immune to kill the team with his inactive bat. I don’t get the steadfast longing of wanting Inge, Monroe, and Grilli out of their respective positions when they’re killing the team, yet you’re willing to let Gary Sheffield slide by. What positive comes out of a DH putting up .186/.262/.271? And how can someone want one guy putting up numbers like that out of the lineup, yet don’t want another one to come out? At least Inge is in the field helping the ball club, Sheffield’s not.

  194. Chris

    August 21, 2007 at 11:17 am

    I agree Mike. If we had a healthy & productive Sheffield over the past month –instead of an easy out batting third– this team would not have been in the slump they have been in and we probably would not be even discussing our frustrations with certain players (Inge, Grilli, Monroe, etc.). I think the major mistake Leyland is making right now is not reshuffleing the batting order and putting Sheff on the DL.

  195. Mike R

    August 21, 2007 at 11:49 am

    I will clarify that I’m not saying Sheffield being hurt is the whole cause of this slide; starting pitching has just been atrocious. But from an offensive standpoint, Sheff’s been a major contributer to not scoring runs. I just see more positives then negatives to it.

    And the only lineup shuffling i want is no Pudge batting 6th.

  196. ron

    August 21, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Let’s roll.

  197. stephen

    August 21, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    File Under: Diggging your grave deeper:
    “I’ve looked at film and these pitches they’re throwing me, Ted Williams would have a hard time with.
    –Brandon Inge

  198. stephen

    August 21, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Mike, because Inge, Grilli, and Monroe haven’t done crap all season, are middling major leaguers at best, while Sheffield is a Hall of Famer who carried this team for about two months. You don’t sit down a guy like that. If Maggs goes into a 7 for 55 slump and complains of sore knees are you going to sit him too?

  199. ron

    August 21, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    Ted Williams’ frozen head must be spinning in it’s cylinder.

  200. Ryan

    August 21, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    I’m in no way an expert, but if you aren’t seeing good pitches, MAYBE YOU SHOULD TAKE A COUPLE. If you swing at junk, guess what you get to see a lot of. With this, and C-Mo striking out into oblivion with a terrible plate approach and a different swing every week, I have to wonder if a new hitting coach may be necessary. I like Lloyd, but it really seems like the guys that struggle end up flailing with no plan to get out of it. It’s possible that Inge and Monroe are just uncoachable, but I really never got that impression.

  201. T Smith

    August 21, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    That’s right up there with his comment made at the beginning of the year — I had to dig it up, because I’m quite certain I repressed it from memory:

    “I’m taking perfect swings. I think they’re cheating. They’ve got 20 infielders and outfielders out there…”

    B. Inge, on going 0-17.

    Congratulations, Brandon. You have now officially surpassed Gary Sheffield for perhaps the most idiotic comments uttered to the media by a Tiger this year.

  202. Kyle J

    August 21, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Bashing Inge for his performance is fine–although, at this point, the alternatives seem limited to playing Raburn at 3rd most nights. I don’t have a problem with this, assuming Raburn can play a decent 3B.

    Bashing him for what he says to the media, though–who really cares? No one here thinks he’s a jerk. He’s just a guy who’s struggling. Bash him for not adjusting at the plate; bash Mclendon for not helping him adjust. But who really cares what he says to the media? What do you want him to say? “I flat out suck and am going to demand to Leyland and Dombrowski that they send me to Toledo.”

  203. Ryan S

    August 21, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    But don’t his comments suggest that he has no plans of making any adjustements to his plate approach.

    In that case, his comments are quite bash-worthy.

  204. Mike R

    August 21, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    Stephen: If Magglio had to take multiple cortizone shots into his knees and was completely kill the top part of the order, yes. If he’s DL’d today, Sheff would be back on Sept. 5th, meaning there’s a nearly solid 3 weeks that he can be healthier and help carry this offense. I’ll gladly admit to being wrong if he suddenly turns it on, but I don’t see his shoulder or numbers getting any better. Especially when he says that the only reason he’s playing is because of the admiration he has for Leyland and for any other manager he’d be resting his shoulder.

    Isn’t that sentiment out of his own mouth enough to go by to give a DL stint validity?

  205. T Smith

    August 21, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    Kyle J:

    The only reason I bash Inge for his comments is because they suggest to me he has absolutely no clue as to why he’s whiffing. In this case, the comments and his performance are directly related.

    I know Sheff has said some absurd things this year, too. But I’ve never bashed him for it; I took your stance on Sheff’s remarks; who cares what he says?

    But when Inge says stuff like, “they’re pitching me like Ted Williams,” it conveys to me he has no idea what going on at the plate.

  206. Kyle J

    August 21, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    . . . just as every player in a slump has no idea what’s going on at the plate. Albert Pujols and A-Rod look like they have no idea what’s going on at the plate when they’re in a slump.

    It’s easy to say don’t swing at the sliders off the plate but do swing at the fastballs on the corner when you’re watching on TV. It’s harder when you’re a hitter in a slump.

    Either Inge’s swing straightens out or it doesn’t this year. I really don’t think anything he says to the media is going to make a difference.

  207. stephen

    August 21, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    The problem with Inge isn’t that he is in a slump. It’s just that’s he is not that talented.
    Let’s review:
    This year: .242
    Career: .242
    That’s not good.
    More career strikeouts than hits. That’s not good.
    I’m sure he’s a swell guy like Casey, but that’s not really the point is it? And, unlike Casey, he’s around for three more years.

  208. stephen

    August 21, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    I hear you Mike, but if you shut Sheff down this team is finished. We’d be lucky to go 6-10 without him and would find ourselves down 6-7 games with 28 or so to play.
    The team may be done WITH him–I think the Tigers are now exactly .500 against AL clubs in 07-but shut him down and it’s women and children first into the lifeboats.