Game 152: Tigers at Indians

PREGAME: The Tigers get back at if after last night’s tough loss. Fortunately, this team does seem to have a short memory for these types of things. Justin Verlander will do his best to give the team the same kind of chance that Kenny Rogers did last night. Verlander has been awesome his last 4 starts with 3 runs allowed in 28 2/3 innings and a 26:6 K/BB ratio. But in his last 5 starts against the Tribe dating back to last year they’ve hung at least 7 runs on him in 3 of those starts.

Jake Westbrook takes the ball for Cleveland tonight. In his last start against Detroit he allowed just 7 baserunners and no runs over 8 innings. It was one of the few starts where the Tigers couldn’t get to him.

Marcus Thames is in the lineup playing left field tonight while Timo is on the bench. Ramon Santiago starts again at shortstop with Carlos Guillen playing first.

Game Time 7:05
DET @ CLE, Tuesday, September 18, 2007 Game Preview –

POSTGAME: Not much to figure out in this one. Tigers – lots of hits and all but one were singles. There were clutch hits, but with the singles they needed to string together a bunch. The Indians, a few hits and all homers 15 rows back. Justin Verlander was living at the belt all day, he simply couldn’t find the bottom of the zone and the balls got tatoo’d.


  1. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    Last night still hurts.

  2. Adam

    September 18, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    I had a dream Verlander threw another no-hitter tonight.

  3. T Smith

    September 18, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    Patient: Doctor, last night’s loss still hurts. What can I take to ease the pain?

    Doctor: Nothing. You’re gonna just have to suffer, friend.

    Patient: Nothing?

    Doctor: Nothing.

    Patient: Is there anything that will ease the pain?

    Doctor: Well, yes… but…

    Patient: But what?

    Doctor: I don’t want to give you false hope.

    Patient: But what doctor!!

    Doctor: Well, alright. Since you insist. Everytime the Tigers win and the Yankees lose you’ll feel better. After about three or four days of this precise elixir, you won’t feel any pain at all.

  4. JML

    September 18, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Snake oil…

  5. cib

    September 18, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    I thought Carlos had bad knees. Why was he trying to steal? I mean I know why but every break we get is bad. I’m still watching but I’m still so depressed from yesterday.

  6. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Romon Santiago to the rescue. 1-0 Tigers nice seeing eye single Romon.

  7. Adam

    September 18, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    And Justin gives it right back. No no-no tonight.

  8. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    hmmmm well nice lead while we had it. Garko 19th of the year 1-1. Come on Verlander!!!!!

  9. Adam

    September 18, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    Well, if we lose this game at least then we don’t have to hope anymore.

  10. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    Tigers cant think that they arent playing for anything. We know that we arent going the playoffs but we need to play for that nice 90+ win mark. They guys cant give it up!!!! Come on Tigers!!!

  11. Adam

    September 18, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    Guillen. ARGH.

  12. punisher2006 the indians fan

    September 18, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    This is a bit messy…

  13. Adam

    September 18, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Pudge. ARGH.

  14. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Patient: It sounds as if the cure is worse than the disease, doc.

    Doctor: In some respects, yes it is.

    Patient: *sigh*. Ok, gimme 4 days of Tiger wins and Yankee losses.

    Doctor: As you wish.

  15. Adam

    September 18, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    Thames. YESH.

  16. Adam

    September 18, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Santiago. YESSSSH.

  17. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 8:06 pm


    You are a day early, talk like a pirate day is tomorrow.

    That’s what you were referring to after Guillen’s and Pudge’s at bats, right?

  18. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Wow Romon is working into being important this game hehe. Kinda cool just hope that we can keep this lead this time around instead of giving them the game again……come on Verlander!!! Nail this one for us!!

  19. Adam

    September 18, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    Um. Those of you watching Gameday, where it says the Tigers lead 3-1, and that Magglio was out at home, it’s actually 4-1, and Magglio was safe. After that, Brandon Inge came up and was HBP, but then Granderson grounded out to second base.

    Just wanted to let you know the truth.

  20. Adam

    September 18, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    And, once again, Verlander gives them right back.

  21. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    OMG WTF, two hits and both of them are homeruns Verlander what are you thinking AGH!!! 4-4 in the Third. Wow unbeleivable and this is why we are not in the playoffs this season….

  22. todd

    September 18, 2007 at 8:14 pm


  23. Slashpyne

    September 18, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    It’s not meant to be…

  24. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    Well that was a quick lead.

    Horrible pitch by JV, made worse by the horrible pitches before them that put 2 guys on.

  25. todd

    September 18, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    This can’t be happening!

  26. Adam

    September 18, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    I’m done watching this one. I’ll check back later to see who won.

  27. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Verlander make the final out and runs off the field. I think i would do the same exact thing. I would be pissed off at myself and want to slam things in the dugout. Oh well whats done is done. Now we have to make sure we can come right back and get back on top no matter if its by 1 run or more. Just get back out there and start hitting.

  28. Greg

    September 18, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Interesting strategy. 4-1 lead, lets walk the first 2 to get to Travis Hafner. 4 Runs on 2 hits, nice.

  29. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Patient: Doc, tonight is starting to hurt too.

    Doctor: Dunno what to tell you… Try turning on the Lions game.

  30. todd

    September 18, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Way to go Sheffield

  31. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Sheff what are you doing making a rookie mistake you are already in Scoring postion come on we are playing like amateurs!!!!! This is rediculous……

  32. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Oh my goodness. How many times can we get thrown out at third base on a ground ball to shortstop????

    At what point does aggressiveness become sheer stupidity?

  33. Stephen

    September 18, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Second guy in two nights where guy is thrown out at 3rd on routine grounder to short. I swear to god, this team has the lowest baseball i.q. of a contender i’ve ever watched.

    They know this isn’t the Special Olympics,right?

  34. Forty

    September 18, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    This team is mentally done

  35. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 8:27 pm


    If memory serves, Timo Perez also was thrown out at third on a routine groudner to short in the last game of the Minny series. That would make three straight games.

    Just sayin’ is all…

  36. Forty

    September 18, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    Thanks for giving them a run Gary.

  37. todd

    September 18, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Harry Doyle: “And so Hiroshi ‘Kamikaze’ Tanaka, recently of the Tokyo Giants, knocks himself cold for the second time this week. Maybe in Japan that’s actually better than catching the ball. Personally, I think he’s just trying to get out of the lineup.”

  38. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    Team is too agressive tonight as well. The Sheff mistake, the Guillen CS..

  39. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    You can not stop Ramon Santiago, you can only hope to contain him.

  40. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Ten to three hit ratio for the Tigers and yet this game is tied. How pathetic is this. Verlander is awesome and is an ace but I knew he couldnt keep up these great starts this long hes just too young still. He cant do everything for this team its literally impossible. Come on bats come alive these next few innings before Verlander is pulled in the 6th. And yes that is my guess he will be pulled either in the 6th or before the 6th.

    Update: Good old Romon 3 for 3 with 3 RBIS, go Romon!! At least he can hit clutch tonight.

  41. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    Why is it that on a bang bang play at home Romon doesnt get an RBI thats insane, stupid scorekeeper. Well some nice breaks for the tigs. Granderson is safe at first and Romon’s steal makes it to third. Come on Polly. Get that run in!!!!

  42. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    I have to admit, it’s slightly less painful to blow a 3-run lead in the 3rd inning as opposed to 8th.

    So, thanks for that, guys.

  43. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    i stand corrected 4-4 Polly hits it back to the pitcher……….ugh the frustration keeps mounting, 14 hits only 4 runs……..

  44. cib

    September 18, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    I think they’re mentally and emotionally exhausted, detached, whatever. I am just hoping that Magglio gets the batting title.
    Is anyone going to be at the games this Friday the 21st and Monday the 24th? If so let’s meet up and wish each other a good winter.

  45. T Smith

    September 18, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Baseball is a fascinating game. 75% ability, 25% breaks. Unless you’re the Indians. Then it’s 40% ability, 60% breaks.

    I’m not dissing it, though. There is something to that. I’m in awe. The Indians have some impressive vodoo going — the whole season. How does one team be on fortunate end of sooooooooo many breaks? Is there anything to this? This has to be the luckiest team I have ever watched. Three hits. Four runs. Tigers: 12 hits, RISP in every inning, 4 runs. The Tigers have to work five times as hard to produce one fifth the results.

    At some point you gotta just tip your hat. This is most definately the luckiest team in the league.

  46. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    TSmith: see 06 Tigers. We were pretty much this team last year.

  47. cib

    September 18, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    You’re right. We got every break last year. And I remember going to the Jake and hearing the Cleveland fans complaining about injuries, bad breaks, etc. The teams’ fortunes got reversed this year.

  48. Dylan

    September 18, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    How many home runs can these guys hit? Damn

  49. TB

    September 18, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    wow.. I just checked the box scores and the Tigers have stranded 19 men in the last 6 innings. Somebody needs to step up in the clutch here.

  50. Joey the K

    September 18, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    I think Jo-boo is helping them hit the dingers.

  51. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    That would be 6 home runs in less than two games for Cleveland and a big fat NONE for us. We scratch and claw and battle to put together an inning and Cleveland erases it on one pitch.

    Is that luck? I dunno, but it sucks.

  52. T Smith

    September 18, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    By the way, I’m rooting for Maggs to get the title. He will.

    But in some ways, as ron as so aptly expressed, if Maggs wins the title, and Polly hits .345 this year (2nd or 3rd) and wins a Gold Glove, and Grandy has his historical Willy Mays, 20-20-20-20 year (also a potential Gold Glove), and the Tigers score close to 900 runs, and Verlander wins 19 games and contends for the Cy Young — all those accomplishments make this season extremely painful. the Tigers should be playing in October… but they won’t be. (As I type this Martinez hits a homer putting the Indians up by one — unbelievable. Four hits might win the game in which the Tigers pummeled Westbrook. You just gotta laugh.)

    I’m sorry. I have to agree with ron here. This season has been a collosal disappointment.

  53. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    hehe, Well like i said Verlander cant do it all(Martinez homers 5-4), and i think that Leyland has given it up and is going to leave Verlander out to dry tonite to rest the bullpen for tomorrows thumping by C.C. Well it was going ot be a good series tough sweep for the tigs to take. Like i said 90 win season is still within reach.

  54. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    My God that ball was CRUSHED!!! 7-4 Indians WOWZA!!!!

  55. Dylan

    September 18, 2007 at 9:13 pm


  56. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    Well Verlander didn’t have much tonight.

  57. Joey the K

    September 18, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Guitierez doesn’t even hit them that far in BP!

  58. todd

    September 18, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Joey the K, you may be right…and I’ll bet that they sacrificed a gigantic bowl of Kentucky Fried Chicken too.

  59. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    i told ya that Verlander would be out in the 6th he didnt have it tonight and leyland left him in to get the lose as well. I would have said Verlander you look not great out there, lets take you out save you a lose and get in Grilli. But Jimmy left him in to hang him out to dry to rest the bullpen for tomorrows massacre when Nate gets out in the 3rd and CC sweeps us away from an already unreachable playoff WC.

  60. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    And I bet you any money our bats will be silent the rest of the game as well…….This is not enjoyable unless you are a Cleveland fan…..

  61. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Well fwiw we torched CC his last start, and it happened to be a day game too.

  62. T Smith

    September 18, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    Who cares about a 90 win season? I could care less. Nobody ever looks back and says… Wow! They won 90 that year. They were a good team. What accomplishment is a 90 win season?

    Here is the difference between this extremely magical overachieving Indians team and the Tigers. The Tigers down three runs means a L. They cannot/will not come back on a three run deficit.

    This team is demorlized. This team is simply crushed. They tried, but they only pushed thru four runs. This is just unbelievable. Unbelievable.

  63. cib

    September 18, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Yep. Well, I’ll be watching Gameday from the office tomorrow. I’m out of steam tonight. Thanks to fellow posters for making it somewhat more bearable. I had forgotten about JoBoo, that was funny.

  64. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Just in case there was any doubt. Yikes.

    I have to admit, this season is a disappointment, because of the expectations that came with it, obviously. However, I would note that this team played meaningful games in September, and since we’ve seen some godawful teams in past years, that alone makes this season more of a success than we’re used to seeing. It’s a shame we’re wasting great seasons from Maggs, Polanco and Granderson, but this team is good, and will be good next year as well. That’s something that we should appreciate, after so many years of bad baseball in Detroit.

  65. Greg

    September 18, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    I tell you, every time I watch the Indians they are like the terminator, unstoppable, any mistake pitch is an automatic home run. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years of watching baseball. If the Tigers are up 3, 5, it just doesn’t matter, you FEEL like its only a matter of time until they have the lead. Its as though some FORCE is at work.

  66. todd

    September 18, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    Matt Underwood’s home run call drives me nuts… “GOONE TO SOUVENIR CITY”


  67. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Imagine if Rodney, Bondo, Sheff, Zoom and Rogers had been healthy.

    Imagine if Monroe, Inge and Pudge had played a fraction of what they did last year.

    Of course, imagine if we were A’s or Mariner fans. HA. The Mariners had their ‘magic’ year this year and look where they are.

  68. Kathy

    September 18, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Dan and Jim keep saying Verlander was tipping his pitches.

  69. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    This season was magical for a few players, Granderson, Maggs, Polly, Verlander, Jones(reaching 300 saves), and even if its not as noteable Jiar Jurrjens. I put jurrjens in there because hes a gem that we found out can take pressure from being on an Playoff cailiber club. Unlike Vazquez and Miller Jiar pitched his young heart out this year and if hes not on the rotation next year and the inexperienced hardly any minor league ball Miller is in there, Ill be very dissappointed. Dont Rush Young Talent especially if they dont show it right away. (For example- Braves Brian McCann All star his first two full years in the majors. ~READY~ Joey Devine supposedly the next great closer for Atl. Gives up 3 Grandslams in his first 3 appearences ~NOT READY~)

    The season on a whole was dissappointing because they let it slip back in August. The slide in July was fine but it just went on into August and got splits with two bad teams in Oak and TB. That was uncalled for and thats when the tigers fell. 2007 was a good year but not special or great. All they have to look forward to is 2008 and hopefully get to 90 wins so its not a total disaster.

  70. Eric Jackson

    September 18, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    Time for us to stage a comeback win. Even if for old times sake 🙂

  71. T Smith

    September 18, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    Who’s to say the Tigers will have a good season next year? Their parallels to the White Sox are uncanny (save for the WS ring). The Sox were contenders last year right up until the final stretch…and wound up winning 90 games. Look where they are this year. And it’s not because they don’t have “talent” on their team. The Tigers could well be in the cellar next year. I’m not saying they will be, but it’s naive to think they will automatically be a winning team next year. This is what makes this season such a huge disappointment to me. The one bright spot is Ilitch is now committed to win. Let’s see how commited he is. We need to retool the folloiwng:

    1. Third Baseman
    2. Add another starting pitcher, say a # 2 guy.

  72. T Smith

    September 18, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    3. Bolster the bullpen. The Indian’s moves in the offseason were HUGE. The difference really, between where they finished last year and where they will finish this year.
    4. LF
    5. (This is just a pipe dream) Bobby Cox? Or somebody like him? 🙂

    If DD and Ilitch aggressively fill these positions, we can improve the team.

  73. Nathan

    September 18, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    T Smith,

    I don’t think there are going to be any #2’s on the free agent market. Plus, its gonna take a stud prospect to swing a #2 via trade (wonder what the asking price for Sanatana would be).

    I think the rotation is a strength. Lousy LF, 3B, 1B and C production and a lousy bullpen are our problems.

  74. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    But T, it’s as easy to say we’ll be in the cellar next year as it will be that we will win 100 games. But I get your point and the comparisons to the CWS scare me too.

    This year was a disapointment but I still think with all the problems we’ve had too it’s amazing we’re still even playing games that mean somthing this late in the season, ya know?

    Inge, Pudge, bullpen whoever. I don’t think they were the biggest disapointments. I think the biggest disapointment this year was Leyland. Playing Cmo so long, Mesa, Neifi. You could have easily added Timo to that list if it weren’t the fact he’s playing so over his head right now/.

  75. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    We’re stuck with Inge, there’s no getting around that.

    The bullpen needs some change I think, Byrdak, Grilli, Durbin are horrible.

    Getting a #2 starter isn’t gonna be easy. Out rotation is our strength when it’s healthy. That and JJJ could be a gem next year.

    I agree with LF and that could be an easier thing to fix. Although would anyone really be surprised now with leyland if Timosity is our starter next year? We’ll be screaming bloody murder for months before Leyland realizes he’s garbage.

  76. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    T Smith,

    As much as agree with you I dont think that we will be like the Sox this year though the lines and paralllels are there. ilitch Is committed to winning but its up to DD to make the signings and trades. He signed Inge to a 3 year deal as much as I agree with you we need a 3B we wont get anyone. #2 pitcher in my eyes right now is Rogers(will sign one year deal with tigers forsure.) #3 is what we need like a Mulder or a Lilly, or Morris. #4 is Bonderman while #5 is a fight with Robertson/Jurrjens and as much as i hate to say it cause hes not ready is Miller.
    We also need a new SS as Gullien will undoubtable go to 1B. im thinking Edgar Rentaria, Omar Vizquel or Uribe maybe???? someone but not Miguel hes to overrated and costs too much- you guys dont like the Sheff deal he will be just the same as Sheff.

    1.New 3B – wont happen Grrr….
    2.#3 dunno??? suggestions?
    3.New SS – Rentaria, Omar, Uribe, someone else?? Romon, Guartinaino(Sp)AA Erie???

    dunno what 2008 holds but we need to improve thats a known fact.

  77. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    btw, everyone should take a look at the freeagent list. It’s thin fellas. Real thin.

  78. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Rentaria/Uribe/Vizquel? I’d rather take Santiago and save the money and enjoy some bunting.

  79. T Smith

    September 18, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    I’m not saying the Tigers WILL be in the cellar — I’m just pointing out they may well be in the cellar. It’s not out of the realm of possiblity. And remember, the Sox didn’t do ANYTHING in the offseason. The Tigers cannot make the same mistake. They need to aggressively retool. They stood pat at trade deadline, and that was controversial — they need to retool and not hem and haw about it.

    Also — I know there aren’t a lot of free agent pitchers available, but if there was ANY WAY WHATSOEVER of getting Santana (and I’m sure if the Twinkees have anything to say about it, it will never happen), then you go for it. Techically, Santana isn’t a free agent, right? I think it would have to be a trade. Anyway, how huge would that be? This team can score 900 runs a year. A solid rotation is the key.

    Santana, Verlander, Rogers, Jurrgens, Bonderman…

    Or something like it.

  80. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Rotation for 08:

    Verlander (obviously)
    Rogers (he’ll sign for one more)
    Bonderman (meh, he’s alternating healthy years so..)
    Robertson (not going to wow you, but not bad for a 4th guy)
    JJJ? Miller? Free agent?

  81. Kathy

    September 18, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    Why do people question Jair. My God, he’s an ace. (IMO)

  82. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    It’d have to be a trade, and there is no way they’d trade him to us. No way. Not to a division rival, nuh uh. Not when they have him for one more year (a contract year btw) and Liriano comming back. They’re gonna contend next year and need him.

  83. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 9:52 pm


    I completely agree with the White Sox parallels and said exactly that in a post on this site about a month ago. We are in better shape than the Sox due to young starting pitching (even if you think Bondo is a waste), and better players up the middle (although if Guillen moves to first, that may be a different story).

    I also agree with needing better production from 3B and C, since chances are they aren’t going anywhere. We clearly need an everyday LF, and a 1B or SS, depending on where Guillen plays next year.

    There are arms in the minors to improve the bullpen, a guy like de la Cruz could be a big plus, and perhaps a free agent arm like Cordero would help tremendously. The rotation is in good shape and I really hope to see Jurrjens in there at #5 also. A modest free agent innings-eater would be ideal, but it’s such a thin free agent class everywhere but CF, that may be hard to come by.

    You’re right, there is no guarantee the Tigers will be “good” next year, my point was that they have amassed a talented roster and a well-regarded front office that takes a long-term view and they SHOULD be competitive in most seasons for the next few years. That is a monumental improvement over what we’ve seen from this team in years prior, and I, for one, appreciate that despite the bitter taste this year will leave.

    The Cardinals lost in 2004 with what many thought was the best team in baseball. They won in 2006. Maybe there are some parallels there, too.

  84. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Because Kathy he’s 21 and has had a handful of starts in the show. Which is an insanly small sample size to call someone an ace already. He also has health concerns now. He’s a kid with upside and a possible spot next year.

  85. T Smith

    September 18, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    I would keep Santiago at SS and spend like crazy elsewhere. The guy is amazing on the field. And a power team could use a good bunter…

    I have to also just reiterate… the Indians have 6 hits to the Tigers 12 hits and will win this ballgame. Totally pathetic. Totally pathetic.

  86. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    T totally agree, I like Santiago only so much because he is SO CHEAP. Like you said man, spend that money saved elsewhere. *cough* AROD *cough*

  87. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    Oh i absolutely agree with you on that one Jim.
    Im a Braves fan and I want them to trade Rentaria for a proven arm because they desperately need one for a 1-2-3 punch. And Rentaria is the key. Tigers need a SS but already really have a average batting and A++ defensive SS so its not a need the Tigers absolutely need.

    T Smith,

    I would love to have Santana but to get him would cost us what the braves got Mark Texiera for which was 5 top of the line prospects. Id have to say Tata, Jurrjens, 2 mid level, and proabably either Miller or Maybin. Theres no way unless we want to mortage the farm for a year of Santana. But would be great!! lol

    Rogers, Verlander, #3, Bonderman, Robertson/Jurrjens

    SS- Romon or Tony Giarratano 1B- Carlos Guillen

    3B- Inge or would be great Glaus/Lowell that would be a miricle to sign him

    C- Pudge or my dream- Jarrod Saltalamacchia

    theres my take.

  88. Chris

    September 18, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    One thing that was becoming clear to me when both Indians & Tigers were struggling in August was that the Indians are far & away a better team this year. Their starting pitching and their bullpen has been incredible. And their clutch hitting (a.k.a luck) has to be seen as magical.

    I look with bewilderment at all of the Tiger’s problems this year, such as starting pitching not going deep into games, erratic & undependable bullpen, free swinging & poor situational hitting. And then when I look to see how the Indians are in those areas, I see a team who has it together in spades.

  89. Kathy

    September 18, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    Well, that may be true, but if he looks good in ST, there shouldn’t be any doubts about his starting with the team. We’ll also get a couple more looks out of him this season.

    My son and I both reminiced about last season and our decision at the last moment to attend the Oct. 14 ALCS game. Since, I’m 50+ years old, I know how seldom the opportunities can come around for a season like that. I’m hoping the Tigers continue to keep improving this team as promised and be a contending team for many years. That would be a dream come true.

  90. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    I think alot of teams would love to have Salty right now LOL 🙂

    I don’t want Glaus he’s about washed up and his recent headlines don’t help either, injury prone. Lowell is an old fellow too. But I can’t see the BoSox giving him up yet.

  91. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    As down as everyone is on us this year, really it’s just the Indians year. Seriously. They have the ‘magic’ this year. They had the hits fall and the luck.

  92. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Uribe is so bad it’s laughable. I have seen way too many Sox games, and can honestly say Santiago is a better all-around player than Uribe. There is no sense in bringing in Vizquel, since that’s just Santiago +15 years, + $6 million, so unless they trade for Renteria (Atlanta rumored to be shopping him) or perhaps Clint Barmes, my guess is Ramon is our SS next year. My FEAR is that DD’s love-fest for Jack Wilson comes to fruition and end up with #13 up the middle on ’08. From a cost-benefit point of view, Santiago is the best option, unless you get a stud like Renteria (who is a free agent after 2008).

    Also, we are not getting ARod or Santana. Let it go.

  93. David

    September 18, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    division is gone

  94. Kathy

    September 18, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Look at the fans, they’re already putting on their Indian headresses. That makes me sick.

  95. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Isn’t uribe a murderer too?

    I really think when the Arod talks come alive we’ll be in mention. Seriously. Boras client. Owner who wants to spend money. etc.

  96. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    As much as i tip my cap to the Indians i must say this Central title should have been wrapped up by sept 5th. We were in a free fall mode and the Indians were doing the same. With the talent they have they should have done the same thing we did. It should be been over long ago. Thats why its so bad seeing the Tigers lose(tonite as well 7-4) late in the season to them. But the season was ok and want 2008 to come much sooner.

    Jim, I still want Salty even if we cant get him from Texas lololol I was hoping the Tigers could get him in the offseason after pudge left but no the Braves wanted to go all out for him. I sometimes hate my favorite teams. lol

  97. Nathan

    September 18, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    I don’t understand how anyone blames our situational hitting.

    Runners on: .828 OPS (2nd)
    Scoring Pos: .858 OPS (1st)
    Scoring/2out: .871 OPS (1st)

  98. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Because of games like this. Short term memory.

  99. David

    September 18, 2007 at 10:15 pm

  100. David

    September 18, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    chief wahoo damn you

  101. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Oh god with the surprising one season spark that Jack Wilson had this year DD will probably bring him in instead of letting Romon spread his wings and find his own groove for a full season and see what he can do with 400+ at bats. We still need a #3 SP who can it be guys? And a 3B if we decide(not likely) to move Inge?

  102. Jeff

    September 18, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    I would keep Santiago at SS and spend like crazy elsewhere. The guy is amazing on the field. And a power team could use a good bunter…

    The last thing a power team needs is a bunter. Extra base hits score guys from first base almost as often as they score them from second base.

    While Santiago hits better than a pitcher, it would be the Tigers playing by NL rules vs. other teams that play by AL rules. 8 on 9. The difference between an adequate and a very good defensive shortstop is about 10 runs per year. The difference between Santiago and an average hitting shortstop is about 30 runs per year.

  103. Chris

    September 18, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    I hope the Tigers go hard after the rock-solid closer Joe Nathan. One, it will be a huge improvement in this flawed bullpen. And two, it will strip our division rival of its most important players.

    BTW, I see that the Indian’s Paul Byrd is a free agent. What is the chance he could end up in Detroit?

  104. Greg

    September 18, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    I understand the White Sox parallels, but there is one huge, enormous difference that is paramount, the White Sox won it all, the Tigers didn’t. Plus, not only did the Tigers not win it all, the Tigers quite, honestly, embarassed themselves by their pitcher’s fielding worse….no, MUCH worse, than a blue collar Sunday afternoon softball team(and no, that’s not an exageration).

    The Psychological factor is totally different. And the fact that the Tigers underacheived this year, left so many runs on the board, and had so many games given away, the way sports psychology works, typically, they’re more likely to try to prove to the world they’re for real, etc.

    I think a closer parallel can be drawn to the Indians, who were on a roll in 2005, locked in, made a huge run, then choked the last week of the season and came up short. I think that carried over to 2006, as the Indians players were quite noticibly apathetic most of the year in ’06, plus throw in a bullpen that gave away alot of games for the Indians last year.

    But this year, from the start, the Indians were the team I feared the most, the table was set, in my gut, I could sense that they would be on a mission this year to try to erase the memory of last year. I tried to deny/suppress it, but I’ve felt it since spring training.

    So, while I certainly didn’t want the Tigers to come up short. Ironically, I honestly think it helps their chances next year.

  105. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    Byrd? Now now people, let’s not get crazy here.

  106. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    take a gander and do some window shopping. I’d take adam dunn, Cordero, Linebrink.

    None of the catchers would be better than pudge or even really, rabelo.

    Lowell is younger than I thought…

  107. T Smith

    September 18, 2007 at 10:37 pm


    Factor out July 19 – Sept 1 and the Detroit Tigers (statistically) would be the best offensive team in baseball, by sizable margin — and across the board. Moreover, they would be right up there with the best offensive teams in a span of decades. Then figure out where the Tigers were form July 19 to Sept 1 with Runners on, Scoring Postion, Scoring/2 out, etc. Not even close. The numbers you cite are somewhat skewed.

    Unfortunatley, seven weeks asleep at the wheel can kill the best of teams. To give Rod Allen some love here, I’d gander to say if the ’27 Yankees gave away 7 weeks of their season, they wouldn’t have made the playoffs either.


    I wouldn’t say the Indians are a “better” team. They had a more consistant bullpen, buoyed by a solid starting rotation (like the 2006 Tigers) — which tipped the scale. The Tigers are a better offensive team than the Indians — and have a similar caliber of talent in starting pitching. The Tigers bullpen woes started the meltdown. On top of that, the Indians caught all the breaks this year (similar to the Tigers last year). The Indians also had so many late inning come backs and walk offs — literally a dozen or so games. That’s well above the mean. At some point you have to acknowledge luck and the “magic” of a given season — that doesn’t make a team better than another team — just more fortunate.

    I tip my hat to the Indian’s fortune this year. They are a solid team with more luck going for them than a blind golfer making a hole in one. At some point, you can’t fight the magic.

  108. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    I too will tip my cap to the Indians and wish them a quick exit in the playoffs.

  109. Stephen

    September 18, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    I fully expect now that the season is over that Inge will go on a 18 for 40 and get his batting average up to near .250 and delude everyone into thinking he is adequate at 3rd base. He should get 200 at-bats in the first two months, and if he’s sucking, you suck it up, put him on the bench, and use it as a defensive replacement. One of the signs of a big market team is knowing when you got to take a big bite out of the s–t sandwich and realize you’ve made a big financial mistake, and move on.

    And I’m sorry to go back to this, but this team either played the second half with a). a lack of heart b). a baffling blase attitude and/or c). a complete disregard for smart baserunning and situational hitting.

  110. T Smith

    September 18, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    ***The last thing a power team needs is a bunter***

    Yes, yes. I was being sarcastic, given the Tiger’s bunting woes last night. Perhaps it wasn’t too salient a point.

    However, I’d still take the defense of Santiago over, say a Uribe, and build power and spend elsewhere. Who knows? Maybe working with a good hitting coach could transform Santiago into a solid .270 hitter? He’ll probably never hit for power… but… there is something extremely special about his leather.

    I don’t know where you’re getting that 40 run figure; I’ve seen him save 5 runs in 5 games….

  111. Greg

    September 18, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    Oh, if you want a dynasty in Detroit, just sign AROD and put him at short. Playoffs every year – a lock. And not that they’d need it with him, with Arod and a healthy Sheff, I think you just might see the 2006 of Inge show up again. I’m not convinced that Ilitch won’t do it either. he’s made statements that he looks at, not just the contract size, but return on investment as well. If a player cost X million, but profits increase more than the cost, is it really an expense?

    Sign AROD.

  112. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    For anyone who needs a pick-me-up, check out some of the clips on this site.;c_id=det

  113. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    A player needs to do things to prevent runs and avoid outs or atleast make them productive. For the money Santiago would be nice. Not the end all be all obviously. But come on for 400k we could go get Arod.

  114. billfer

    September 18, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    And I’m sorry to go back to this, but this team either played the second half with a). a lack of heart b). a baffling blase attitude and/or c). a complete disregard for smart baserunning and situational hitting.

    d.)without their #3 hitter and without 3/5ths of their starting rotation healthy.

  115. Steve in Kzoo

    September 18, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Bonderman for Miguel T. i dont think i like that one. But Bonderman at best is a #3 starter for me id start him #4 next year. He is starting to be a weak link and he is definitely not a ace of the staff. As much as i dont want to say it Jones needs to stay. Rogers is going to stay. We need a #3 starter???? And a 3B if we can get rid of Inge.

  116. Stephen

    September 18, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Well, I’m pretty sure the lack of those players didn’t force the others from laying down like dogs in those first two games in KC or compel three guys to be thrown out at 3rd base in the past three games. You can trot out all the sabermetrics you want, i’ve never seen a contender play such fundamentally poor baseball in my life.

  117. T Smith

    September 18, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    ***d.)without their #3 hitter and without 3/5ths of their starting rotation healthy***

    Gosh, and I’m sorry to go back to this, too, but… makes you kinda think that maybe the so-called “front runner” in baseball at trade deadline should have perhaps tried to address some of those problems? ???

  118. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    Bilfer, you have to go with things that are quantifiable, concrete and things fans can see like heart before you can go blaming injuries!

    But if we want heart, then we will have david eckstein next year playing ss.

  119. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    Oh dear God I hope we do not have David Eckstein playing SS next year.

    Best case scenario is to get Guillen healthy enough to play short and find a 1B. Guillen is far more valuable with his bat at short moreso than first.

  120. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    Fundementals I can agree with you on, but that’s different from heart. Poor baserunning will lead to problems obviously, but a lack /overflow of heart is impossible to see. We can’t will ourselves to win.

  121. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    Mark, if you want heart then we will have Eckstein playing SS next year. He may be tiny in stature but he has the biggest heart.

  122. Jeff

    September 18, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    I don’t know where you’re getting that 40 run figure; I’ve seen him save 5 runs in 5 games….

    Look at any defensive metric and measure a good glove man (which is what Santiago is; he’s not Ozzie) vs. an adequate glove man. We’re talking 10 runs per year.

    A .270 regular without power and a low walk rate is a huge detriment to the lineup. Santiago’s career OPS is .595. He creates 3.1 runs per 27 outs. That’s compared to the 4.9 runs per game scored this year in the AL. That’s a good 30 runs per season being given up right there.

  123. Chris

    September 18, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    T, if the Indians have a solid starting rotation, a much better bullpen and a situational hitting line-up that produces “luck” or “magic”, then we will have to say they are better. And yes, this is partialy due to the luck of having a number of players with statistical career years. I’m counting on a little of that kind of luck to run out on them next year.

    For the Tigers in ’08, I happen to think that this team is pretty much stuck with the position players and DH that you see on this team today– Santiago at SS, Gullian at 1st and Casey gone. And I don’t think that is a terrible thing. Remember, when the team was healthy in the 1st half, they were running up the score board.

    Santiago’s glove is a big asset, and yes we’ll have to hope his hiting isn’t too awful. As far as 3rd base goes, all we can do is hope that Inge can revive his ’06 numbers to some degree. I’m not too worried about Pudge, but if he’s not going to be a 300 hitter, he’s got to learn to take more walks and run up the pitching count.

    If anything we need to see improvement on it is pitching, pitching, pitching and more pitching. If we don’t see much of that, then the Indians won’t need so much luck next year.

  124. T Smith

    September 18, 2007 at 11:14 pm


    Okay — I can buy those points — but, who do go get for Santiago, and how many more runs does that player give you offensively and cost you defensively — and at what cost? Those are the questions. There is such a thing as the law of diminishing return… that’s the whole point. You’d probably have to spend a boat-load to get some better offense with a considerable downgrade on defense — and at the end of the day, the margin between Santiago’s overall production and who you could replace him with probably isn’t worth the exponential increase in price. (And don’t even bring in a player like Jack Wilson into this discussion).

    I’d probably like Inge, too, if he was a player you could say affords you prime talent elsewhere. I really like Santiago’s production for the price — he and I are probably in the same tax bracket 🙂

    That’s not to say I’m opposed to shopping for a power SS. But those are the questions you need to consider.

  125. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 11:22 pm


    I never commented on heart. I commented on David Eckstein being bad at baseball. I don’t care if he’s 5’2″ of grit, hustle, heart, and whatever other intangible you care to throw in there, at the end of the day he is a replacement-level player.

    I personally do not believe “heart” was a problem with this team, and I’m not even sure how to measure it if it was.

  126. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    heck, why do we all have to bicker.

    Whens the last time anyone here went out and just played catch? This game is supposed to be fun darnit.

  127. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    Mark, I agree with all of that. I was just being sarcastic about the whole heart thing. I’m not an excstein supporter

  128. T Smith

    September 18, 2007 at 11:25 pm


    I have to agree. Pitching, pitching, pitching. Fortunately, I think DD is on the same page with that line of thinking. I would like to see what we could get for Roberston and retool the rotation for an upgrade. Resign Rogers for a one year deal and try to get one more solid starter — a #2 guy, so that Bonderman and/or Jurrjens is your weak link. If Bondo gets healthy, I could live with that.

    Jurrjens is young, and somebody pointed out earlier that you have to consider that he might just be a flash in the pan — but I like what I see thus far. I think he has potential to be our Carmona next year.

  129. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    I gotya, Jim. Hard to pick up satire through a message board, especially when “heart” has been a hot topic around here.

    Your comment about having fun withthis whole thing is dead on. I’m already looking forward to 2008.

  130. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    Does anyone else find it sad we average 10,000 for a game in attendence over the Indians?

  131. Jim

    September 18, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    Here ya go, lets get this guy.

  132. Jojo Sun Devil

    September 18, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    Well, that ought to do it. Top 3 reasons the Tigers season monumentally fell below expectations.

    3. Players like Inge, Rodney, Zumaya and Monroe (did not improve at all on last season’s performance)

    2. Injuries at the wrong time just totally battered any chances the team had at gaining momentum

    1. Starting Pitching. Last season it was our bread and butter, the ham hock in our greens, and this season, it sucked. It never carried this time, or even solidified the team. Bonderman was relatively awful, Rogers was hurt, Robertson was inconsistent, Miner never became a solid starter, and Miller did not become the starter the Tigers needed.

    This season was such a disappointment. There are some bright spots like Verlander, Juurjens, Guillen and Polanco played well, even Shef played relatively good, but just too much inconsistency and weak starting pitching.

    It seems like Leyland maybe should be blamed. But it is not Leyland at all. This team just had no heart this season.

    It was like seeing a beautiful classic car with no engine.

  133. Greg

    September 19, 2007 at 12:11 am

    I like Robertson, and I’m willing to stick with him as a #4 #5 in the rotation because, he’s at least acceptable for the end of the rotation, and, gosh darn it, he’s a really likable guy. Some of these athletes are prima donnas, they have a sense of entitlement, and are patronizing to fans. Then there are guys like Sean Casey, Curtis Granderson, Vance Wilson, Nate Robertson. Good people, guys that make you proud off the field as well as on. At the fan fest, there were certain Tiger players who would probably rather go to the dentist then have to spend 5 minutes at any ‘fan specific’ function. Then there are guys like the aforementioned that you really want to root for. Character guys. Granted, you still have to produce something, but Robertson is an acceptable end of the rotation guy. Great, great work ethic, and that’s important, that can be contagious and show up in ways that will never show up in any statistic. I’d like to keep Robertson. I’d expect a little more from him next year, he doesn’t get a free pass, but I’d stick with him at least one more year, longer if he steps up.

  134. Chris

    September 19, 2007 at 12:15 am

    T Smith,

    Bonderman is your weak link?

    I guess everybody has given-up on Bonderman making the breakthrough. You’re in that camp too. I’m a little more hopefull for him next year now that they have identified his 2nd half slump being due to elbow troubles. Remember how good he was in the 1st half. If next year is a replay of this year then the team can address the issue before it throws the season into the toilet. I’m counting on him being a weak link pitcher, but hopefull that he can somewhat reach his potential.

    As far as Jurrjens, I just have a hunch that he is going to be a really effective pitcher. I know the question is his low K numbers. But I read something on Carmona’s early development where he too was short in that department. The key test for jurrjens next year is to see him pitch to the same teams thoughout the year. If they don’t figure him out too easily, then he will have a spot in this rotation.

    And let’s not forget about Miller. I know he seemed shaky, but he is still early in his development into the Bigs. I actualy think we’ll see him in the bullpen next year, where he might be pretty good as a middle reliever.

  135. Anthony

    September 19, 2007 at 12:20 am

    They have to dump Inge, if they are going to bring back Pudge and stick Santiago at short. Can’t have too many holes in the lineup.

    If I ever get into a fight with Brandon Inge, I’ll make sure he’s armed with a bat. That way, I will emerge unscathed.

  136. Greg

    September 19, 2007 at 12:25 am


    Don’t leave Maggs off your list of bright spots.

  137. Mike R

    September 19, 2007 at 12:32 am

    Miller won’t be in the bullpen next year and if he is that’s absolutely ridiculous and I would lose any and all shreds of remaining faith in the Detroit Tigers franchise to handle a potential franchise player correctly. He needs half a season at the least in Triple-A before he’s ready for the majors. Which means he’ll break camp with the Tigers and continue to throw his fastball and walk a ton of guys while screwing his throwing motion back up. Excellent way to handle him.

    I would rather not contend at all then be strung along like this. At least watching games in August and September weren’t soul crushing when you were 15 games back by the start of August.

  138. Stephen

    September 19, 2007 at 12:52 am

    maroth now pitching for cards in 14th. 11.70 ERA

  139. Chris

    September 19, 2007 at 12:53 am

    Boy… Man…. And some of us (myself included) thought that DD should have mane the Aug 1 trade for Gagne….


  140. T Smith

    September 19, 2007 at 1:00 am

    The thing is:

    Bonderman can be spot on — and even the ace of the staff. He’s got the potential — and I’m not necessarily in the camp that is giving up on him. (Remember, he came extremely close to being an add-on All Star — that’s how good he is — or can be, rather) But…. I would like to see him develop one more pitch so that wicked slider is even more effective… AND… how can I say this without offending… he just… doesn’t seem to have a very intense focus, as a player, imo — which I feel is such an important element for a developing pitcher. It just seems the smartest guys with the best baseball sense get better as they age. Strike me down, I’m not saying Bondo is stupid — there is just such a huge mental aspect to the game, and I feel Bondo’s mental game is his weakest link. Hence the spotty control issues and the 17.00+ 1st inning ERA, among other things. Injury or not, that’s purely mental. Raw talent + brawn make for a good # 4 or # 5 guy.

    Ideally, I would want the weakest link to be of the caliber to go head to head and duel with the ace of any other roster. That’s championship baseball. The rest of this stuff would take care of itself if one could just assemble those five guys in the rotation… if a healthy Bondo were our weakest link, I’d feel pretty damn good about it.

  141. crazymoloh

    September 19, 2007 at 1:08 am

    Tribe fan here. Luck invariably plays a role in winning a WS, but is more likely to even out over the course of 162 games. I mean, what you categorize as ‘luck is situational hitting. The thing is, the Tigers are the ones who are the best in the majors in this category (runners on, scoring position, scoring/2 out).

    There is no doubt the Indians are overperforming their run differential this year, just as they underperfomed it last year. But I think the ‘luck’ is coming from an area most people are ignoring – rookies! The Indians took off in the second half. Here are some key second half contributors –

    1. Asdrubal Cabrera (Replacing Barfield’s .290 OBP)
    2. Franklin Gutierrez (Providing 13 HRs instead of Nixon’s .370 SLG)
    3. Fausto Carmona (An after thought at the start of the season who is leading the AL in ERA. If Lee and Sowers hadn’t imploded, Carmona doesn’t get called up!)
    4. Rafael Perez (1.70 ERA in secondary setup work)
    5. Jensen Lewis (5th-6th inning rookie posting a sub-3.00 ERA)

    None of the regulars are having career years. Hafner is a clear drop off. Sizemore’s power is down. Blake is giving us a Blake year. Peralta is still down from his 2005 high. Nixon, Dellucci, Barfield and Garko aren’t exactly setting the world ablaze. Victor Martinez is probably the only guy who is going to set career highs, but not by the margin that Mags is. The difference is the rookies. The ‘luck’ here is that none of the guys who stepped up was counted on by the front office to be as good as they are. Marte and Barfield were supposed to potential cornerstones. Not Cabrera and Gutierrez. The Indians wouldn’t be anywhere with their rooks!

  142. Greg

    September 19, 2007 at 1:22 am

    The impossible…..just happened for what it’s worth:

    The Phillies were 7 games out just a few games ago, an insurmountable lead I’ve heard, a gap that could only be closed by a ‘near miracle’ right? 99.999% chance against it, or something like that, I’m told…..

    Mets have lost 5 straight, whilst the Phillies have won 6 to pull within 1.5 games…..they made up 5.5 games in 5.5 days, something that is virtually impossible, happens yet again in the sports world.

    Great thing about sports is, these ‘impossible’ things happen at all the time.

  143. T Smith

    September 19, 2007 at 1:49 am


    The Tribe is just on. All the rookies have contributed, but I wouldn’t call those solid performances luck. Perhaps it’s luck that they are all having banner years at once — but even so, I give credit where credit is due when players preform. The luck I’m talking about is more the way the Tribe has pulled off so many improbable victories — from purely a statistical sense.

    For example, the Tribe’s Pythagorean expectation is a full four games under it’s actual record… (with the exception of the Marniers and Diamondbacks) that’s the best actual record relative to its Pythagorean record in baseball. That’s a full four games of good fortune right there. And while I have by no means measured this, I would nonetheless bet the farm that the Indians have the most 8th and 9th inning comebacks of any MLB team. Talent and ability play a role in any improbable comeback, but at some point when you continually overachieve, and when you do so well above the mean, you have to tip your hat to luck.

    Last week the Tigers had a ninth inning comeback against the Jays… their first since the second week in April. While that is an “underachieving” situation, the Indians fall on the opposite end of that spectrum.

  144. Greg

    September 19, 2007 at 1:58 am

    It’s not luck, its Mojo. Mojo is very real, and the Tribe has boatloads right now.

  145. crazymoloh

    September 19, 2007 at 2:08 am

    T Smith:

    #1: The Pythagorean formula can be a valuable tool, but I think you give its predictive value too much credit. Right now, the Indians are 89-62 and their expected W-L is 86-65. So basically you’re talking about a team winning 4% more games than the formula expects them too. There is no way that this formula can be expected to have a precision of 4% or less. Mind you, the Yankees, Red Sox, Jays, White Sox, Royals, Angels and Mariners are over/underperforming their expected W-L by a similar or greater number of wins. Plus, by season’s end I’m sure this discrepancy will drop even lower given the Indians’ remaining schedule.

    #2: I would have no trouble with your assertion about 8th/9th innings comebacks if you could give me some numbers. The only relevant number at my command is 1-run records and the Tigers’ record in this department is superior to the Indians’. That said, when your 7th and 8th inning guys (the Rafaels) have a combined ERA approaching 1.50, its easy to see why that would be the case. But we do have Borowski who has blown 6 save, two 4 run leads (non-save situations) and three other losses where he entered the game tied.

    p.s: The Tigers’ offense is better than last year. Their ‘clutch’ numbers are the best in the league. It seems to me that the obvious problem is the pitching and not an overwhelming lack of luck. Andrew Miller, Robertson and Bonderman have given you guys some really poor starts. Surely in a better year the three of them would have given you 4-6 more wins, keeping the Tigers in the middle of the AL Central even with the last two losses.

  146. punisher2006 the indians fan

    September 19, 2007 at 2:10 am


    I definitely agree. When you look at it, you can’t really attribute all of this team’s success to career years. There are a few guys on this team who have had career years, namely C.C. Sabathia, Fausto Carmona (though this is only his first full season as a starter), Rafael Betancourt, and Victor Martinez. None of the regular starters in the lineup has really had an outstanding year. Not only is Sizemore’s power way down (his 2006 ISO was .243 compared to this year’s .185), but also his batting average is down and he’s striking out slightly more. Luckily, he’s made up for that with his newfound ability to draw walks (he’s 4th in the AL in walks with 94), but on the whole this year hasn’t been one of the better Sizemore years. Most other guys in the Tribe’s lineup have had off-years. Only one guy in the lineup has a AVG over .300 and a SLG over .500 and that’s Victor Martinez, whose ISO is an unremarkable .205.

    In the end, Gutierrez, Cabrera, Lewis, Perez and Carmona (and even Aaron Laffey, who has been a mediocre but steady 5th starter) have provided the necessary boost. It’s come down to some sure luck with these comeback wins and also the fact that all of these kids are flat out talented.

    But I just hope that they can handle the pressures of the playoffs well. October baseball is about timely hits, pitching, and good fundamental baseball. It’s about flat out execution, something that a lot of our more inexperienced players need work with (especially Barfield and Kelly Shoppach).

  147. ron

    September 19, 2007 at 2:14 am

    Stephan,some people just do not get the heart thing. Don’t even bring it up anymore. They are into graphs, stats. etc. If they don’t see it in front of their face ,they do not want to hear about it.

  148. punisher2006 the indians fan

    September 19, 2007 at 2:17 am

    T Smith:

    The Indians have 22 last at bat victories (10 of which came in extra innings), 10 walk off victories, and 41 come from behind victories. Not sure where that ranks them.

  149. Chris

    September 19, 2007 at 2:23 am

    Hey Crazymoloh & punisher,

    It seems to me that the Indians are in position to play the Yankee’s in the 1st round. A better record than the Angels would make that happen. Are either of you worried? The Evil Empire is red hot right now, and looks deadly.

    I am looking forward to seeing C.C. and Fausto and that lights-out pen of Rafaels shut them down. I definitely hope the Indians can Ice the Yanks.

  150. Greg

    September 19, 2007 at 2:32 am

    If any statistical model says the Tigers are ‘clutch’, then its time to throw out the model. I’m not sure how anyone can watch much Tigers baseball the last 2 months and NOT think EXTREME anticlutch. BA with RISP is used as a ‘clutch’ measuring stick? Really? So if you’re ahead 12-2 in the top of 9th with a guy on third, and Jose Mesa is on the mound, and you tap a single into right to drive in a run….that’s clutch?

    The Tribe isn’t lucky in my opinion, they’re good….no…they’re great, unfortunately. Blake took a low, curving, sinking ball and crushed it. That’s execution. That’s clutch.

    In my opinion, the Indians are the favorite to win the AL, and its not even close. Sabathia and Carmona as 1 & 2 in the playoffs, where only your top 3 reallly matter……who is better in the AL? Who has a better bullpen(middle relief/setup men)? Borowski is no Rivera or KROD, but he’s still nails in pressure situations, a bulldog who gets the job done.

  151. ron

    September 19, 2007 at 2:41 am

    Moho, heart same thing.

  152. Mike R

    September 19, 2007 at 3:03 am

    Couldn’t one argue that Bonderman’s has a ton of heart considering he seemingly pitched for two months on an ever increasing injured right elbow? I don’t question the heart. The focus, I’ll buy that with bad 1st innings and dominating the following 6.

    But, he was arguably the best pitcher not named Dan Haren the first 3-4 months of the year. He doesn’t even really need the change up to be that good; just adequate. Good enough to not get hammered when he throws it 10-15 times a game, if that. Maybe more like 8-12 times. Just enough to show it.

  153. billfer

    September 19, 2007 at 5:15 am

    You’re right. Those of us who use facts and such just have no ability to grasp the magical mystical powers of “heart” where if you want to win, it just happens. Like that freakin’ Verlander. No heart at all tonight. If he had heart he would have thrown the ball lower in the strike zone and thrown more strikes. That damn lack of heart. Good thing he had heart in his last 4 starts though.

    And Monday night, Joel Zumaya – no heart. You could totally tell just by looking at him. It was right there no heart. Not like when he had heart against the Twins. You could see it. Heart.

    And the offense tonight, no heart. If they had heart they would have turned some of those singles into doubles because they would have settled for nothing less.

  154. Jim

    September 19, 2007 at 8:41 am

    Anyone ever read Dollar Sign On the Muscle?

    People with heart also have a good baseball ‘face’. Somthing old timers can see, and youngens can’t I suppose.

  155. Stephen

    September 19, 2007 at 8:42 am

    I know it is hard to admit when a team that you’ve devoted thousands of hours following turn out to spit the bit and play with all the testicular fortitude of a eunuch. I’ve been there.

    I’m proud of Granderson, Verlander, Maggs, Guillen, and Polanco, but otherwise this was an increasingly unlikeable team. You’ve got a no-walking Hall of Famer constantly carping to the umps, a prima donna DH always saying ‘look at me,’ a #3 starter in Bonderman that lost his way long before his elbow started barking, two strutters in the bullpen–Rodney and Zumaya–who need to put together more substantial numbers and straighten their caps before they preen so much on the mound. There’s a 3rd baseman complaining he’s being pitched to like Ted Williams. Add to that a GM who made zero deadline deals and a manager who made decisions with tarot cards.

    I guess some of us equate acute lack of focus–Inge going for phantom force, Timo clutching and almost throwing to a phantom runner at third versus the A’s, 3 guys getting thrown out at third this week–with a lack of heart and a lack of coaching accountability. To me, if you wilt and make repeated mental errors and don’t make adjustments that any major leaguer should make than that is a lack of heart. Heart isn’t just playing hard, it’s playing smart, and playing with a sense of urgency 162 games out of the year. LaRussa benched a guy last night for swinging at a 3-0 pitch. Earlier this year, Randolph benched Reyes for not running out a bunt that managed to stay fair. I never saw that happen with Leyland and these players. You might call it showing up a player, i call it accountability.

    Following this team’s Sept 06 collapse and Aug 07 debacle, I’m not certain this franchise is heading in the right direction. You can say all you want about injuries and the fact that all teams hit a rough patch, but when your team goes from contender to worst team in the American league for a third of the season two years in a row, something’s not right. I think the Tigers have convinced themselves that catching lightning in a bottle last October, is the same as establishing a ‘Tiger Way’ or a winning tradition. I disagree.

  156. matt

    September 19, 2007 at 8:50 am

    no clutch hitting late in games. kind of makes you miss monroe. i definitely appreciated the effort of the team this year. i never questioned their “heart” (but maybe their “stomach” sometimes.) i’m going to the game sunday and though i wish it wasn’t meaningless i’m still going to give them a big hand. all said and done it was a pretty good season and i can’t wait till next year. bring on those indians!

  157. hawk

    September 19, 2007 at 8:59 am

    guys, I am as disappointed as anyone with the way this season has played out, but 2 years ago this team (and the fans) would have shifted focus to golf, football or preseason hockey in early august. After so many years of forgettable baseball, it is nice to be able to talk about a contender and how it will only take 1-3 key players to push us “over the top”. Used to be that there were only 1-3 players on this team worth keeping around.

  158. Stephen

    September 19, 2007 at 9:08 am

    Matt: Re: i never questioned their “heart” (but maybe their “stomach” sometimes.

    I think you make a good point and an excellent distinction.

  159. billfer

    September 19, 2007 at 9:16 am

    I’m proud of Granderson, Verlander, Maggs, Guillen, and Polanco, but otherwise this was an increasingl unlikeable team. You’ve got a no-walking Hall of Famer constantly carping to the umps, a prima donna DH always saying ‘look at me,’ a #3 starter in Bonderman that lost his way long before his elbow started barking, two strutters in the bullpen–Rodney and Zumaya–who need to put together more substantial numbers and straighten their caps before they preen so much on the mound. There’s a 3rd baseman complaining he’s being pitched to like Ted Williams. Add to that a GM who made zero deadline deals and a manager who made decisions with tarot cards.

    But Sean Casey is a really nice guy, he’s likable. On Bondo, we don’t know when his elbow started barking but looking at when he started walking everybody it looked to be in late July. Who cares if Rodney’s cap is straight and what does it have to do with anything? Maggs should get a haircut too right?

    I guess some of us equate acute lack of focus–Inge going for phantom force, Timo clutching and almost throwing to a phantom runner at third versus the A’s, 3 guys getting thrown out at third this week–with a lack of heart and a lack of coaching accountability. To me, if you wilt and make repeated mental errors and don’t make adjustments that any major leaguer should make than that is a lack of heart. Heart isn’t just playing hard, it’s playing smart,

    If that’s the definition of heart, then I won’t dispute it much. But then you have to say specific players (and I know you listed some above) but you can’t paint the team with a brush and say they don’t have heart.

    LaRussa benched a guy last night for swinging at a 3-0 pitch. Earlier this year, Randolph benched Reyes for not running out a bunt that managed to stay fair. I never saw that happen with Leyland and these players. You might call it showing up a player, i call it accountability.

    If he was given a take sign he should absolutely be benched. Did Tigers swing 3-0 without a greenlight this year? I have no idea. Ryan Raburn found himself on the bench after failing to lay down a bunt and missing a couple signs. Cameron Maybin’s pinch running days are probably even done at this point. But you’re not going to bench a Sheffield or a Pudge. No manager will do it.

    Following this team’s Sept 06 collapse and Aug 07 debacle, I’m not certain this franchise is heading in the right direction. You can say all you want about injuries and the fact that all teams hit a rough patch, but when your team goes from contender to worst team in the American league for a third of the season two years in a row, something’s not right. I think the Tigers have convinced themselves that catching lightning in a bottle last October, is the same as establishing a ‘Tiger Way’ or a winning tradition. I disagree.

    Going from a decade of losing baseball to winning 95 games and going to the World Series and following it up with another season where they were in the playoff mix until, well yesterday, isn’t the right direction I don’t really know what to tell you. Let me ask you this though, if this team plays at a pace all season long where they’d end up at say 88 wins, would you be as frustrated? Or are you mad at the team because they started the season strong?

  160. Stephen

    September 19, 2007 at 9:53 am

    Billfer, i picture a red siren going off in your office whenever i post using the word ‘heart.’
    You take the point i’m making about accountability–LaRussa yanking a guy after swing at 3-0 pitch–and ask whether any Tiger swung at 3-0 pitches, That’s looking at the tree rather than the forest. The point is whether players are being held accountable. I don’t think benching Raburn and Maybin really does it. They’re borderline players. I just watched Torre publicly take Posada to task in the dugout two weeks ago for not running out a double. I just don’t see Leyland extracting that level of accountability from his guys. He doesn’t have to yank players like Billy Martin yanked Reggie, but some action needed to be taken, and some time that action needs to be public.
    My frustration, as I’ve said many, many times, is the tragedy of watching talent squandered. No one gets this frustrated when bad teams lose. This team had great talent but they got no help from their general manager or their manager this year and they played fundamentally unsound baseball all year. I watched it with my own eyes. Does this team have greater talent than in the past? Of course, it does. But when you watch a team literally throw away a World Series and then have the number of brain locks as this team had this year, it doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that the players are being instilled with what it takes not to be just a major leaguer, but a championship player. And that’s the endgame.
    Lynn Henning wrote after the A’s debacle, that this team has to figure why and how they gave away 10-12 games this years. Yes, every team gives games away, but this team did it more often and in more spectacular fashion.
    If my team plays smart but loses to a more talented squad and I’ll be disappointed, even crushed. But when a championship caliber team plays sloppily and without focus time and time again, I am going to be mad.
    And regarding Rodney’s tilted cap. He looks like a clown out there. Magg’s long hair or, for that matter, Rollie Fingers’ handlebar mustache isn’t the point. Wear dreadlocks, wear a crew cut i couldn’t give a crap. But wear your cap straight and respect the freaking game. You’re doing a job, not cruising Traverse City in an Escalade.

  161. Walt

    September 19, 2007 at 9:58 am

    Here’s a link about a move DD tried to make.


  162. Kathy

    September 19, 2007 at 10:31 am

    I wonder if Ramon Santiago and Timo Perez will make the 25 man roster next year. They certainly both have put on quite a show in the past weeks and other teams surely must be looking at them. I hope the Tigers go after a great pitcher whether starting or in the BP. Call me nuts, stupid, whatever; I’d even part with Miller or Maybin (not both) for a quality pitcher. Within a couple years, we have to start with the position players.

  163. Jeff M

    September 19, 2007 at 10:54 am


    You’re assuming that this team underperformed. You then conclude that Leyland could have and should have done something different to avoid that.

    But that isn’t a compelling argument because your premise is weak. This team was absolutely riddled with injuries this season and it’s still has a good shot at winning 90 games. You can’t look at the preseason roster and the final record and declare “This team should have won 97 games!” You have to look at the roster that took the field 162 times and there were a couple months where it absolutely was not an elite roster.

  164. Greg

    September 19, 2007 at 11:06 am

    One reason I became a fan of Leyland so much, is because of his history of holding people accountable. I know its been a while, but has anybody seen the video, when he and Barry were at Pittsburgh, where he got right up in Barry’s face and challenged him because of the crap Barry was trying to pull. I’ve also heard stories about a confrontation Leyland had with Pudge early last year. Supposedly(multiple sources reported this, don’t remember which ones though) Pudge had an issue with Leyland and sort of dissed him somehow, Leyland put him in his place, stood up to him, basically said, ‘this is my ship *$#$ it’. But he did it in such a way without humiliating Pudge, and Pudge, and the whole team respected him for it. Leyland is a leader the best in the biz at that sort of thing. He’s of the Phil Jackson of the baseball world.

    Having said that, he’s far from perfect(as Bilfer pointed out, no manager is close to perfect), and there were times this year I wondered if he’d ‘lost’ the team(that 6 week period when they struggled with a lack of intensity, focus, discipline, at least at times). Not sure on that one. But, in my humble opinion is the focus, the intensity level, has pretty much been there since the start of September. Granted, from late July ’til the end of August, something was missing. I don’t want to use the term ‘heart’, that connotes too many different things to different people.

    Anyway, that’s water under the bridge at this point.

    As far as Verlander, I really don’t know, but my guess is, Verlander was probably a little TOO pumped for this game, made it TOO important in his own mind, creating a little TOO much nervous energy. Leading to too many mistake pitches, and the Indians made him pay. Tip your hat to Cleveland They were the better team last night.

    As for me, I don’t care if they’re down 30 games with 31 still remaining. I’m gonna believe. As long as I still see the effert, the hustle, that’s what I care about. Until the magic number is zero, they’re still in it. And every night the magic number doesn’t decrease, I’m gonna celebrate.

    Go Tigers!

  165. Kathy

    September 19, 2007 at 11:08 am

    I feel your pain, Stephen, and frustration. I really do. I also wonder if Leyland needs to change some of his coaches. He’s a stubborn old goat. Andy VanSlyke is tremendous. I’d also like to see more accountability. Even though the guys are MLB players, some of them make silly errors like the baserunning fiascos. However, I don’t feel the disdain like you do for Rodney wearing his cap just slightly tilted or a pocket out here and there. I don’t think Bondo is stupid, either. He strikes me as a person who just hasn’t quite made up his mind.

  166. Mike R

    September 19, 2007 at 11:11 am

    I think Timo Perez still has to compete for a job in LF. It honestly depends on what Dombrowski can do at the winter meetings.

    I don’t think Santiago makes the 25 man roster and if he does he sure as hell better not be the starting shortstop. Magglio won’t have this kind of year next year and Granderson won’t lead the league in XBH’s. This offense — going to go over 850 runs, probably and scored 822 last year — cannot carry Inge, Timo Perez (if he gets the job in LF god help us), and Santiago. I don’t think Thames is the answer in LF either. Guys like him get exposed over 500 AB’s.

    I have no idea what the answer is because the farm system is not strong enough for a big blockbuster deal and the FA market is terrible, so Dombrowski has his hands full this off-season, that’s for sure.

    Oh, and thank god we didn’t get Richie Sexson. Please, stay away from that garbage.

  167. Jim

    September 19, 2007 at 11:15 am

    I’m convinced Jamie Walker was the glue that held us together last year. Without him, we’re nothing.

  168. crazymoloh

    September 19, 2007 at 11:15 am

    Ya know, it was my contention that what put the Indians ahead was the performance of their rookies. However, I think the rookies helped us avoid a 2006-style disaster.

    The DIFFERENCE between the Indians and the Tigers really only comes down to the H-2-H record. The Indians are 6.5 games up overall and 5 games up (11-6) in the H-2-H. This is one area where I give Wedge a little credit. He skipped Byrd’s (to his public chagrin) and Westbrook’s starts earlier in the season to give his team the best shot at beating the Tigers as early as May. He preaches winning the title by beating your division rivals and there might be something to it beyond sheer dumb luck. Hell, had the Tigers swept this series, the H-2-H would have been 9-9 and the teams would be virtually tied.

    Anyway, our H-2-H record could be dumb luck, but the Tigers’ excellent season (and this is an excellent season) reminds me of our 2005 season where we were 93-69, 6 games behind the White Sox, but were 5-14 against them with 9 one run losses!

  169. Mike R

    September 19, 2007 at 11:21 am

    I think managers are GROSSLY overrated, but it’s at least plausible to expect your manager to make the moves that put your team in the best position to win a baseball game — especially in the thick of September, in the division leaders ballpark after you set your rotation up to get the best possible starters going for you — and he, on a ton of occasions, fails to make the move that puts us in the best position to win.

    The bunt with Inge when Paul Byrd is throwing 83 mph meatballs up there with little movement. He was another hit away from getting yanked and he has Inge bunt? Why? I know that going all stat-geeky is ridiculous since there’s a better chance that Leyland quits smoking before knowing what the hell run expectancy is, but the odds of scoring with 1st and 2nd and no outs are greater then 2nd and 3rd and 1 out.

    And then Zumaya in the 8th? Was he going to get a 6 out save against a good hitting club when it was his third day in a row pitching? And then leaving Zach Miner out there for 43 pitches with 7 other guys in the bullpen? Not going to Bobby Seay with Sizemore/Cabrera/Hafner coming up — even though it worked out with Miner on the hill, though balls were hit hard — it just doesn’t make sense. And it harkens back to various points all through the season where the choices seem obvious.

  170. Jim

    September 19, 2007 at 11:28 am

    Here’s somthing easy and concrete to see:

    Verlander: GS – 30 ERA – 3.70
    Bonderman: GS – 28 ERA – 5.01
    Robertson: GS – 27 ERA – 4.93
    Durbin: GS – 19 ERA – 4.76
    Maroth: GS – 13 ERA – 5.06
    Miller: GS – 13 ERA – 5.63
    Rogers: GS – 9 ERA – 4.24
    Jurrjens: GS – 5 ERA – 2.84
    Tata: GS – 3 ERA – 7.71
    Vasquez: GS – 3 ERA – 8.44
    Bazardo: GS – 1 ERA – 3.24
    Miner: GS – 1 ERA 2.98

    Isn’t there somthing wrong with that picture? Out rotation has been a revolving door, and not once this year have we had our top 1-5 guys out there healthy and productive. Durbin, Maroth, Miller? ineffective Robertson? an invisible Rogers? Injured Bonderman?

    For comparison sake, the Indians this year:

    Sabathia: GS – 32 ERA – 3.21
    Carmona: GS – 30 ERA – 3.07
    Byrd: GS – 29 ERA – 4.36
    Westbrook: GS – 23 ERA – 4.41
    Lee: GS – 16 ERA – 6.53
    Sowers: GS – 12 ERA – 6.93
    Laffey: GS – 7 ERA – 5.35
    Standord: GS – 2 ERA – 4.78

    That obviously looks more stable, and the top two guys were stoppers.

  171. cib

    September 19, 2007 at 11:31 am

    I’m not sure if you’re kidding, Jim, but there were definitely several late innings when I wished it was Jamie Walker coming out of the bullpen. Not saying it would have been the difference but I was always confident when he came out last year.

    Today I am feeling about my Tigers like I feel about my kids: I love them unconditionally, but still, on some days it seems appropriate to give them a good slap.

  172. Mike R

    September 19, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Jamie Walker: 77 G, 1-2, 5 SV, 21 holds, 55.2 IP, 55 H, 21 ER, 5 HR , 37 K, 17 BB, 1.29 WHIP, 3.40 ERA, Salary: $3 million. Age: 36

    Bobby Seay: 54 G, 3-0, 1 SV, 10 Holds, 42.2 IP, 36 H, 12 ER, 1 HR, 34 K, 14 BB, 1.17 WHIP, 2.53 ERA, Salary: $450K. Age: 29.

    Can we let the Jamie Walker stuff die?

  173. Jim

    September 19, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Question for people, does leyland seem more like a stat guy? or a hunch/good face kinda guy?

    You guys will scream bloody murder when Grandy hits against a lefty, or when Seay doesn’t come in for a lefty and throw stats out there only when they back your statements up.

    But when It’s obvious this team hasn’t been whole all year, injuries and the like all of a sudden it’s all about a lack or heart, grit, a players uniform or whatever.

    You can’t sit back and tell me a healthy Rodney/Zumaya/Rogers isn’t better than a Grilli/Brydak/Durbin? How much heart can those guys contribute when they’re not playing?

    If you want to blame the establisment thats fine by me. Neifi? Mesa? Monroe? Infante? It’s hard to win with those guys.

    The whole trade deadline arguement is hilarious to me. We were on top of the world at the middle of the season. Glorious hitting, decent enough pitching. Out hole was obvious, the bullpen. They didn’t feel like they could get an arm, ok. Really, the best thing we were going to get was a band aid. Hindsight is 20/20.

  174. Jim

    September 19, 2007 at 11:47 am

    It was a joke. My god.

  175. Greg

    September 19, 2007 at 11:48 am

    Who overrates the managers? I keep hearing this, managers are overrated, and yet I don’t hear anyone praising this, all I hear is disparagement. All I ever hear, with only rare exceptions, is, if the team wins, heck, even if its a 30 game turn around, ‘oh, he was just in the right place at the right time, he got lucky,’ etc. etc. All I heard last year was people making fun of Leyland because he’s old, what fools the Tigers were for putting such an old, ‘out of touch’ coach at the helm.(not from this blog, I didn’t know about this blog last year) And then, when he turned the team around, he rarely got any credit, I just kept hearing how overrated he was. And how he kept making bad decisions that worked out well.

    And when things go wrong, managers always gets the blame.

    I have just been on too many sports teams, where a new manager made the difference between a last place team and a champion, and I’ve observed too many times in pro sports where a manager makes an enormous difference. And its always a ‘coincidence’ when the players start doing things differently, changing their approach, adding a pitch, hustling more, playing for the team instead of personal stats, those things and countless others, just sort of happened at the same time that the new general came to town.

    To win, with precious few exceptions, you have to have it all, good players, good managers, good scouting.

    As far as the complaints about Leyland, and the supposedly bad decisions he always makes, to be honest, I hear the same thing from fans, every year, from each and every one of the 29 teams, without exception. Incessantly. The only difference is, maybe the top 2 or 3, you hear it less often, for a little while, until the first losing streak, then the complaints will roll in that the manager has to go.

  176. cib

    September 19, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Well, the grass is always greener. I’m probably remembering things in the context of everything working last year, contrasted with the horrors of this year. I do agree with you about the trade deadline issue. All of the “saviors” floated around at that time have had nothing-to-speak-of runs since then. The problem is, that goes forward. Who’s out there to get if we want to improve?

  177. Stephen

    September 19, 2007 at 11:56 am

    I admit much of this team’s problems has been injuries, but the number of mental mistakes, baserunning gaffes, fundamental breakdowns has been so great that it makes me angry. Play hard, play smart is all i’m looking for. If you lose that way, it sucks, but I’ll live. Have 3 guys thrown out at 3rd base in 3 days and me no happy.
    The baseball IQ of this team has really been less than good.

  178. ron

    September 19, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    I’m glad you brought up that Rodney hat thing. Absolutely straighten that hat . I can see him standing in front of the mirror making sure it’s at the right angle before he takes the field. Why doesn’t Casey get in his face about it. Oh yeh,he’s Mr. Nice Guy. He talks to everyone. I prefer the big guys have a scowl on their face. And as much as Magglio as done for this team, can he start that home run trot a little quicker. He’s no Barry Bonds. I don’t like that game winning circle jerk jumping up and down thing they do at home plate either with the uh,uh,uh grunts. Too little league. How about that over the top celebration after beating the Yankees last year. What was that all about? Did they think it was the World Series? And one more thing. Can they show a little more heart. They’re still in this thing, you know. I love the Tigers ,but I gotta tell ya, they need a Kirk Gibson on the team.

  179. cib

    September 19, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Yes Stephen (hi there!) that’s what I meant about loving them but wanting to slap them silly.

    Okay, game’s starting, on to the new thread!

  180. Jim

    September 19, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    We’re moving? Alright lets move