Game 38: Yankees at Tigers

PREGAME: Hey, it’s Fox Saturday Baseball again, and it’s the main game with Ken Rosenthal in town and everything. (I saw Rosenthal at the game last night and that is a tiny dude. So small it seemed like John Keating could dribble him).

The Tigers will send out Jeremy Bonderman who still is looking for that first “wow” game of the season. His last time out against the Red Sox he was hurt by a pair of two run homers. The time before he had his typical first inning struggles but then went onto pitch 7.2 innings in his longest start of the year.

Bonderman, like most righties has had a rougher time with left handed batters. While he’s still walking them quite a bit this year (19% of the time actually), it’s the right handers who have hit for more power (449 slugging for righties, 380 for lefties).

The Yankees send out Darrell Rasner. Rasner is making just his second start of the year. He held Seattle to 2 runs in 6 innings in his 2008 debut walking none and fanning 4.

And following Ian’s lead, a shout out to my blogging buddies for the Wings and Pistons on this a Detroit triple header day. Behind the Jersey, Need 4 Sheed, Detroit Bad Boys.

NYY @ DET, Saturday, May 10, 2008 Game Preview –

Game Time 3:40


  1. yak

    May 10, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Let’s see a sweep. I am only worried about the Pistons today. Hope Chauncey is good to go.

  2. cib

    May 10, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Off to the game. Wish me luck!

  3. yak

    May 10, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Ugh. Leaving a fastball up to Jeter for his first HR in the first inning? Never saw that coming from Bondo . And by never I meant “woulda bet my economic stimulus check on it”.

  4. Joey C.

    May 10, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Yeah, that pitch was terrible and yeah it’s getting a little tiresome….as is the generally crappy starting pitching we’ve been seeing from this team.

  5. Vince in MN

    May 10, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Another opportunity to embarass themselves on national tv.

  6. Joey C.

    May 10, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    And what the hell is that thing that crawled on to Bonderman’s upper-lip?

  7. JOE Z

    May 10, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    is there anything worse than walking in a run, gosh

  8. Brian P

    May 10, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    My sister and I were making fun of that too, Joey. It’s horrible. It’s all horrible.

  9. Joey C.

    May 10, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Jesus. Lucky. Another pitch up that gets hit hard right at Santiago. That pitch was terrible.

  10. Joey C.

    May 10, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Can’t hit the edges, can’t keep the ball down. Let’s hope he just got his crappy start out of the way, and he comes out nasty in the second inning.

  11. Joey C.

    May 10, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    HAHA! What was up with Abreu on that thing? I thought it was gone off the bat, and I was shocked to see where Abreu was playing it.

  12. Brian P

    May 10, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    I wonder if Joyce faced Rasner in Triple A. I guess we’ll have to take Fox’s word for it, because no one, not even the camera man, knew where that ball was.

  13. yak

    May 10, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Congrats Mr. Joyce.

  14. yak

    May 10, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Balls are just jumping off the bat today. Or the mic is really close.

  15. Joey C.

    May 10, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Bonds?!! Tell me that isn’t seriously on the table.

  16. DavidBrennan

    May 10, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Alright, now the issue with the Tigers pitching staff isn’t just that Chuck Hernandez sucks, it’s that there’s a replacement on the market who’s great:

  17. DavidBrennan

    May 10, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Leo Mazzone is on the market and desperate for work. Out with Chuck Hernandez!;type=lgns

  18. yak

    May 10, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Only because Dante Bichette expressed no interest.

  19. JOE Z

    May 10, 2008 at 4:46 pm


  20. JOE Z

    May 10, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    he is basically half way to his walks average for previous seasons, and in 1/5 the time! he walked 73 in 2004 (as a career high), hes got 29 running with today.

  21. JOE Z

    May 10, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    im about to join the fire chuck hernandez train, someone needs to be held responsible

  22. yak

    May 10, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Chauncey is out for tonight’s game. Stuckey expected to start. What a great start to what could have been a great Detroit sports day.

  23. Eric Jackson

    May 10, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    I blame the walks/control issues on the Bonderman mustache.

  24. Joey C.

    May 10, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    I love how Leyland isn’t worried. Yes it’s a long season, and you can’t get too down on things at this point, but I mean, how could you not be somewhat worried about a team that has this many issues right now? Players that don’t fit together. Terrible D. Disappearing offense and bad pitching. I mean if it were just the pen or the team were slumping I would understand the sanguinity.

  25. charlie

    May 10, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    at the start of the season clete thomas was the inspirational leader on this team and he has been replaced by matt joyce. what does that say about things…and lets not forget our best starter is going back to the minors as soon as they can ship him out.

    somebody fix this…

  26. yak

    May 10, 2008 at 5:56 pm


  27. yak

    May 10, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    Nope. Edgar chips one out to Cano with……wait for it…..ONE STRIKE!!! Why protect the plate with one strike???

  28. yak

    May 10, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    That’s it. I’m switching to bowling

  29. Joey C.

    May 10, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Boo inducing end to the 7th. Terrible.

  30. Jeff

    May 10, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Pudge took a swing at ball 4, then decided to swing at ball 5. About the 153rd time he’s done that in the last season-plus.

    I’m still amazed at how often they make mediocre pitchers look brilliant. It’s remarkable how often these non-entities are “really dealing” when they pitch against the Tigers. Before I was glad that the Tigers wouldn’t face Wang this season, but you’d think they would have gotten more than 1 run off of Wang if he was on the hill today.

    But, hey, the Pistons are on . . . oh, never mind.

  31. Brian P

    May 10, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Two ground ball outs would have scored two runs. Yet, they scored zero. Pathetic.

  32. Chris

    May 10, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Nice to know that we really got something for the Jair Jurrjens trade… Our retarded GM found it the most pressing need in the off season was to get a washed up, old right-handed hitting shortstop…… And boy have we got a lot of wins because of it (sarcasm).

  33. yak

    May 10, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Runners on second and third with none down. Just hit a fly ball. Hit the ball out of the infield. (Bowling is over, drats!…)

  34. Sky

    May 10, 2008 at 6:08 pm


  35. Sky

    May 10, 2008 at 6:10 pm




  36. Jeff

    May 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Our retarded GM

    If someone with Dombrowski’s track record is “retarded”, I’d hate to see how you’d describe Randy Smith.

  37. charlie

    May 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    see you tomorrow sky

  38. charlie

    May 10, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    we should let the pen start the games…at least we would be in it until the 7th inning when we use our starters to mop up

  39. charlie

    May 10, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    cruceta can pitch…good job by seay and cruceta today

  40. JOE Z

    May 10, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    im going on a month long vacation here in a week, if things arent turned around when i return (june 15), im writing the season off, its done for. the time is right now to pick it up or forget it!

  41. Joey C.

    May 10, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    It’s just weird watching Mariano saw off a bat for an easy double-play without hearing Tim McCarver waxing moronically about it.

  42. Chris

    May 10, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Randy Smith was god-awful as a GM. He put up crappy team after crappy team, but he at least did not put together a poorly constructed team, such as this, while having the 2nd largest payroll in all of baseball.

    To be honest with you, I’d much rather have Randy Smith as GM and have one of those terrible Tiger teams he built. With that situation, you can fire the GM and begin the rebuilding process without the burden of long term bad contracts.

    Nate Robertson
    Edgar Rentarea
    Miguel Cabrerra
    Dontrelle Willis
    Jeramy Bonderman
    Carlos Guillen
    Brandon Inge

    I’d prefer to see all of those contracts to disappear into the abyss and for this team to lose with a bunch of minor leaguers. At least with that situation you can build a team to be a winner in just a few short years. The team that DD has put together will never win. The Tigers are likely going to become the poster child of organizations who tied to buy their way into success but failed miserably. Now we are stuck this this cast of under-performers for years to come.

  43. strummer

    May 10, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Well, I’ve been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that’s the stupidest thing I ever seen posted on a Tigers’ message board. Randy Smith? You sure you got today’s codes?

  44. William

    May 10, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    it was a dumb post to be sure, but this team has fallen off the map in a season and a half and DD has to garner some of the blame. in 2006, this team looked like it was built to contend for years. instead, it contended for one and a half years…until August 2007.

    the rotation has gone from a the best in the AL to the worst. the bullpen isn’t much better, and the defense is shaky. the offense is good, but not the powerhouse everyone expected.

    maybe we expected too much. at any rate, with this pitching, this team has no chance to make noise in the fall. if the AL Central stays medicore, then I guess they have a chance, but Cleveland and Minnesota have much better pitching than DET.

    who would have thought that starting pitching would be this teams Achilles heel?

  45. Chris

    May 10, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    I’m not saying that Randy Smith was a good GM. I’m just saying that Dave Dombrowski is worse because of the job he did putting this team together. We have terrible starting pitching, inconsistent and under-performing offense and we are stuck with this cast of losers for years to come. Of all those players I listed, I would prefer the Tigers to trade away every single one of the m while deconstructing this piece of crap team. This is a disaster and the only way to save face is to toss the original plan in the dumpster and start anew.

  46. William

    May 10, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    I think 38 games in is too early to call it a disaster. the starting pitching must be overhauled, or the next 2-3 years will be years of underachievement…at least to the casual observer.

    Robertson is a 5th starter. really nothing more. I would love to trade Bonderman while he is still young. I don’t foresee a dramatic improvement. Verlander will likely be fine, Porcello will be along in a couple of years. With Rodrieguez, Sheffield and Rogers off the payroll in a year or two, we need to sign a frontline starter. a true #1.

  47. Chris

    May 10, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    ” With Rodrieguez, Sheffield and Rogers off the payroll in a year or two, we need to sign a frontline starter. a true #1″

    That is the worst idea for building a pitching staff. Sure, the Tigers could commit themselves to a huge contract for a presumed ace pitcher, such as CC Sabathia, but then you expose yourself to getting in another Barry Zito situation.

    The teams that always have good pitching staffs do it from within. The Twins and the As spend a fraction of dough on their pitching while putting up the most effective starting rotations, year after year. They don’t chase free agents and they don’t chase would-be free agents within their organization.

    The Tigers now seem to be compelled to try to lock-up their rotation starters in spite of the fact that no one wants them. Robertson, Bonderman & Willis are perfect examples of where the Tigers bid against themselves for guys they could have easily been replaced. Imagine if Nate Robertson was let go or traded and Jair Jurrjens took his spot in the rotation. Imagine if Bonderman walked and we signed Levan Hernadez or Carlos Silva instead. Imagine if we skipped Dontrelle Willis and just stuck a struggling Andrew Miller or Armondo Galarraga in that 5th spot (not too hard to imagine, now is it). Where would this team be right now? 1st place?

  48. Kyle J

    May 10, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    To be honest with you, I’d much rather have Randy Smith as GM and have one of those terrible Tiger teams he built. With that situation, you can fire the GM and begin the rebuilding process without the burden of long term bad contracts.

    Translation: I’d rather be the Kansas City Royals than the Boston Red Sox.

    Teams that want to contend annually have to spend money. Some time they make mistakes with that money. How many mistakes did Epstein make a long the way in building a 2-time WS champion?

    As for the Twins and A’s, ask their fans if they’d rather their management would have had the money to lock up stars like Santana, Hunter, Tejada, etc. or whether they prefer being in continual rebuilding mode (albeit with quality management of the continual rebuilding).

    Losing sucks. But let’s not pretend we’d all be happy with some low-paid band of youngsters and hustle guys.

  49. Brian in Tampa

    May 10, 2008 at 10:06 pm


    I totally agree with you. At least with this team I feel we still have a good chance of making the playoffs. I’m not jumping off the ship this early. Our pitching rotation is the same as 2006 except for one spot. If they stop walking so many guys they can turn this around. Maybe I’m being optimistic after watching the Pistons and the Wings. Talk to you all tomorrow.

  50. Joey C.

    May 10, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Cabrera actually looked pretty good at first today. How’s that for a bright spot?

    To be calling that signing a bum deal at this point is absurd. If he can learn to play the field somewhat proficiently, he’s gonna be a huge piece of this team for years to come.

  51. JOE Z

    May 10, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    anyone writing miguel off is obvious foolish.

  52. Chris

    May 10, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    “Translation: I’d rather be the Kansas City Royals than the Boston Red Sox.”

    Seriously, wouldn’t you much rather be the Boston Red Sox than the Detroit Tigers? I mean really. Sure they spend the big bucks, but they also put together a vastly superior team on the field than the more expensive Tigers. And the results tell the story. They are at the top of the AL where the Tigers are at the bottom.

    The point is not that spending big money is a formula for failure, because it surely is not. But spending money can be disastrous if you do it foolishly, locking up big contracts on mediocre veterans. That’s what Dave Dombrowski did. And now we are stuck with multiple losing season with a bloated team while the inexpensive White Sox, Indians, Twins and Royals hand us our ass.

  53. Jeff

    May 11, 2008 at 12:34 am

    And now we are stuck with multiple losing season with a bloated team while the inexpensive White Sox, Indians, Twins and Royals hand us our ass.

    Yeah, because Randy Smith certainly wasn’t a part of multiple losing seasons . . .

    If being 4 games out is having “our ass handed to us”, I’d hate to see how you’d describe the 1994-2005 Tigers and what body parts of their disappeared.

    Dombrowski starting a Tiger trend with long-term deals with non-producing players? Do the names Higginson, Palmer, Easley ring a bell? Not to mention that insane offer to Juan Gonzalez, which Gonzalez insanely rejected.

    And if you think locking up Cabrera for his prime years at what will, in five years, be below-market rates for his production, I’m very glad you aren’t a GM.

    Or maybe you are. Randy, is that you?

  54. Chris

    May 11, 2008 at 3:49 am

    Yes Randy Smith was part of multiple losing season. I Agree that he is the worst GM ever (besides Millen, perhaps). And yes, those Tiger teams were bad.

    But the difference with those awful teams with today’s awful team is that the weight of long-term bad contracts is no where near that of today. What was Higginson, Palmer, Easley and almost Gonzalez is now Cabrerra, Willis, Bonderman, Guillen, Robertson, Sheffield, Inge, and Rentarea.

    Now the one thing that is clear is that the cast of players we have today are NOT the ingredients for a winning team. The cast of players during the Randy Smith era weren’t either, but at least you can blow-up one of the those teams and start over.

  55. ron

    May 11, 2008 at 8:06 am

    I don’t see Leyland’s name once in the comments. You can’t treat a Bonderman like a Lolich or Pudge like Freehan or for that matter a Joyce like a rookie 30 or 40 years ago. He’s old school and I find that admirable, but these players of today have their own agenda. Each player has his own “team” he works with and they come to the ballpark as independant contractors. Do you think Magglio sees that statue of Horton and says to himself, “I want to be a ballplayer just like him”. The players are spoiled rotten with the amount of money they earn and the length of their contracts. Believe me, they let whatever Leyland is telling them to motivate or inspire them, go in one ear and out the other. Leyland is a good man, but he is too set in his ways to babysit the brats, I mean the kids.

  56. Kyle J

    May 11, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Once again, I think our disagreements here in DTW land boil down to sample size. 38 games of losing baseball is not an indicator that “we are stuck with multiple losing season.”


    1. The Red Sox didn’t make the playoffs two years ago.

    2. The Yankees are at .500 right now.

    Good teams with big payrolls go through bad stretches just like everyone else. But the odds are much higher they get things turned around, as this team will at some point in the not-so-distant future.

  57. Dave BW

    May 11, 2008 at 10:19 am

    I just don’t understand why some people place more significance in those 38 games than in the years and years that precede them. I would have thought that watching even a single baseball season would have shown the futility of that kind of perspective.

  58. Kathy

    May 11, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Amen, BW. Having been a Tiger fan probably longer than anyone on this board, you just never know. The ’06 season brought back all the younger generations into the game, but they’ll find out over time, things just aren’t that simple. The totally unexpected results of that season is what makes you watch over and over again. Will it ever be that good again? Oh, and another thing. It DOESN’T matter what age the player and/or coach is. It’s their health and stamina that matter. Certainly, over time health and stamina do factor in, but there’s no magic number. Kenny Lofton could still play his a** off when he was 40, other guys are done at 34 or 35. The youngsters in their 20’s sometimes get injured and never play again. Bobby Cox is still a great manager.

  59. Chris

    May 11, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Kyle J,

    To point out futility of other big payroll teams is hardly reassuring. First of all, the ’06 Red Sox were hampered with key injuries, yet they still posted a winning record and were in contention up until mid August. And the Yankees near 500 record right now shouldn’t be too concerning to their fans because of their track record starting out slow and finishing strong.

    And the thing that separates this new big payroll Tiger team is that they are getting their asses kicked, right out of the gate. I don’t know what the Tiger$ big payroll winning team looks like because I have not seen it.

    But what is worse is that this team demonstrates all kinds of big problems that tell me that they will NEVER-EVER be a winning team. The problem with Dave’s attempt at building his version Yanks/Red Sox big money powerhouse is that he did it with the wrong philosophy. He did it by tolerating a mediocre pitching staff and trying to overcome that by putting up an offensive onslaught. This represents a huge and costly miscalculation. It turns out that the American League is flush with good pitching that often shuts down this lineup. And because none of that good AL pitching is in the Tiger rotation, they are falling behind early and often– which leads to an over aggressive offense and a surprisingly good bullpen being overworked. The chain of causality ends with the big “L” being posted. So much for the “Win Now” feeble attempt. It’s more like, “Lose Now” and deplete your farm system in the process.

    The Tigers are 0-18 when they don’t score 5 or more runs. We are almost quarter of the way through the season and this starting rotation is shown themselves to be absolutely terrible. And this cast of losers haven’t been through the drudgery of the long season, when usually they haven’t handled the fatigue very well. People think that things can’t get worse for the starting rotation, but not only can it get worse, it is likely to get worse as the season wears on.

  60. John

    May 11, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Great posts, Chris.

    This team was TERRIBLY constructed. The Tigers have already had to switch multiple players defensively, had to switch the lineup, and there has been a shuttle from Toledo to try to find BP pitchers.

    How can a $138 million team have so many holes? What is the strength of this team? I don’t see one. God awful starting pitching and defense, inconsistent offense, ok bullpen.

    IMO, Dombrowski made a very costly miscalculation over the offseason when he sold the farm for bats and extended mediocre/poor performers. He’s never had money to spend as a GM before. And the minute he got it, he starts throwing it around like a kid in a candy store, locking the Tigers into several bad long term contracts that will hurt them for years to come.

    He thought he could buy a championship by putting together a fantasy baseball lineup, which has failed miserably, as the linuep only hits very poor pitchers and has a total inability to manufacture runs.

    Worst of all is this disgraceful starting rotation he assembled. Why was Jair Jurrjens traded for a SS the Tigers didn’t need? How good would he look in a rotation otherwise full of underperforming, overpaid washed up losers?

    Dave Dombrowski did a terrible job assembling a team that never had the pitching staff to win. He wasted Mike Ilitch’s money and set this organization back years with horrible contract extensions and selling the farm. But at least he sold tickets by creating buzz in the offseason. Maybe if he was less concerned about getting his name in the papers, he would have taken a minute to put some thought into the construction of this team, and actually addressed the Tigers’ weakness in 2007 (the pitching staff.)

    IMO, he deserves to be fired for this mess. The Dombrowski slappies making excuses for this incompetent GM make me sick.

  61. Dave BW

    May 11, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    “He’s never had money to spend as a GM before”

    The ’97 Marlins had a $52 million payroll — second in the National League and sixth in baseball.

  62. Scott

    May 11, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    So, how long before management considers replacing our pitching coach? Tiger pitchers performed very well in 2006 in Chuck Hernandez’s first year, but since then have progressively turned in poor outings. I am very concerned with this trend and am wondering just how much of an affect a pitching coach actually has on a staff. If it were just one or two pitchers, it would be easier to swallow, but the problems are across the board. That makes me look toward the one common denominator – Chuck. Whatever he’s doing, its just not working. And so far, it’s not getting better. Right now, a proven successful former pitching coach sits idly by just chomping at the bit to get back into the majors – Leo Mazzone. A bold move like replacing Chuck for Leo could be the catalyst for the resurgence of our staff. Now I know its uncommon for a pitching coach to get axed in the middle of a season, but geez, we have an extremely high priced team failing miserably. I’m usually a patient person, but I don’t see things changing for the better in the near future. Does anyone else feel my pain??? (by the way, I know we’re not hitting either, but the bats will come around. Besides, don’t you think the hitters press too much when they are constantly down 3 or 4 to nothing in the 2nd inning?)