Game 40: Tigers at Royals

PREGAME: Justin Verlander against Luke Hochevar

DET @ KCR, Wednesday, May 14, 2008 Game Preview –

Game Time 8:10

: I have nothing to say. I’m so pissed off and discouraged by this team. Justin Verlander pitched okay against a poor hitting team. I guess that’s something.


  1. yak

    May 14, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Almost watched my Verlander no hitter DVD for good karma, but I can’t bring myself to unwrap it.

  2. Adam

    May 14, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Just to let everyone know, I had a dream Verlander gave up 8 runs. Also that the Tigers fought back to make it 8 to 8. And Polanco had several RBI’s.

    Let’s hope it was a dream for a reason.

  3. Tbone

    May 14, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Here’s the lineup, featuring Joyce in left field, Marcus at DH and Pudge in the 9-hole:

    Granderson, CF
    Polanco, 2B
    Guillen, 3B
    Ordonez, RF
    Cabrera, 1B
    Joyce, LF
    Thames, DH
    Renteria, SS
    Rodriguez, C

  4. Brian in Tampa

    May 14, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    I like this lineup. My only change would be Inge at 3B for defense. Then DH Guillen or Cabrera. That would put great defense at third and LF. Joyce seems to be getting better each game. Let’s get a win!

  5. Mike in CT

    May 14, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    who’s most disgruntled at this point, inge or rayburn?

  6. cib

    May 14, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Yak, mine is still wrapped too. It breaks my heart to even look at it.

    Mike in CT, I, cib, am the most disgruntled! lol I am so depressed I am not even excited to hit the couch and watch the game anymore! Going to let it Tivo and watch a little hockey and then check back – – –

  7. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    I know what you mean, cib, it’s getting tougher to get up for these games.

    Fortunately, with, I can have the Wings game on to my left and the Tigers game on simultaneously to my right. I don’t have that fancy Tivo stuff.

  8. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    goodness. Tony Pena, Jr. didn’t even see a single strike. You can’t walk him there.

  9. Brian in Tampa

    May 14, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    God throw a freakin strike.

  10. greg

    May 14, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Tony Pena, .165 this year…..

    …walks on 4 pitches.


  11. Brian in Tampa

    May 14, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    I don’t understand why he can’t throw strikes to crap hitters. This sucks and it’s only the second inning.

  12. JML

    May 14, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Gee, getting a hit and scoring some runs with men on base. How novel! Perhaps our team should pick up on that idea! 😛

  13. JOE Z

    May 14, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    hasnt that basically been the season story. horrible pitching like the walk to pena, you absolutely can not do that

  14. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Ugh. We’re getting beat by Tony Pena Jr. and Joey Gathright.

  15. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Why does a 2-run deficit feel like 20? It will be fun watching Luke Hochevar throw 6 shutout innings against us.

  16. Brian in Tampa

    May 14, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    I’m out. Gotta go bowl. Go Tigers and Wings!!

  17. greg

    May 14, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Its not simply that they’re getting beat, its the WAY they get beat. Just giving runs away. At least make ’em earn it.

  18. Tbone

    May 14, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Verlander looks as if he’s lost all his confidence this season. What ever happened to his trademark swagger? I’m beginning to think his struggles are more related to what’s going on his head than anything mechanical. That sequence to Tony Pena Jr. was painful to watch after the nice defensive play.

  19. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Am I nuts or are there two different strikes zones, one for Verlander, one for Hochevar?

  20. Vince in MN

    May 14, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Speaking of starting pitchers that shut down the opposition, how about the Indians. Sabbathia tossing a shutout againast Oakland tonight. They have given up 1 run in the last 5 games!

  21. Vince in MN

    May 14, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    How can you get a guy in an 0-2 hole and then throw four straight balls?

  22. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Joyce is the only guy that’s hit the ball hard. It’s like the other guys are using piano legs for a bat.

    What a joke this team is right now.

    The KC guys showed a stat that teams are hitting .375 against Hochevar the second time through the lineup. Us? A cool .167.


  23. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Where were those last 2 pitches to Teahan? Holy crap, Hochevar has gotten both those calls all night.

    Jesus, we already suck, now we have the umps ganging up on us too?

  24. JML

    May 14, 2008 at 9:40 pm


  25. Kyle J

    May 14, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Thank goodness the Royals ran themselves out of a bigger inning in the 2nd or this would one would feel more out of reach than it already does.

  26. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Only the Tigers could turn the last out of the inning into 2 errors and a runner in scoring position.

    Horrible effort by pudge to block that ball. No way that run doesn’t score now.

  27. Brenden

    May 14, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    It is sad that I already feel this game is a loss even though they are only down by 2….Will this offense ever click?

  28. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Well I was obviously wrong about my last post, but I am 3 weak ground ball outs away from being correct on my prediction in my 8:49 PM post above.

  29. Mike in CT

    May 14, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    it’s sad…the Tigers have become Groundhog Day, baseball version. frightening.

  30. cib

    May 14, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    So frustrating!
    I’ve got tickets for Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday next week and it’s beginning to feel like a burden. This is crazy. And from what I can see of the illustration of it, the Curtis Granderson bobblehead does not even look like Curtis! This year is cursed.
    Sorry to vent but my kids won’t listen to me anymore –

  31. greg

    May 14, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    bogus strike 3 call on Maggs, looks like a big strike zone tonight, better adjust.

  32. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 10:00 pm


    the strike zone has been inconsistent all night. you’re right that was a bad call against maggs, and hochevar has gotten the benefit of nearly every bad/inconsistent call all night.

  33. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    same bogus strike 3 against marcus.

    horrible, horrible calls, both of them. took the bats right out of our hands.

  34. cib

    May 14, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Ugh. Best chance all night and down he goes. I can’t take it any more. Time for Law & Order. Hoping for LESS tragedy there.

  35. Kyle J

    May 14, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    I’d say it’s an inconsistent strike zone, rather than a big one.

    Doesn’t help that Montague has the most annoying strike call in the majors with that quick flick of his arm.

  36. Vince in MN

    May 14, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Mark in Chi

    I guess you didn’t foresee the two called third strikes, but hey, nobody’s perfect.

  37. Brenden

    May 14, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    They should have adjusted 4 innings ago…it’s too late…this season is just about gone…The Twins are playing good ball, the Indians are playing better, it is just a matter of time until the Tigers fall 10 games back. They very well could be in that situation by the All Star break. At that point, I would imagine a couple players will start to be traded….I’m being extremely pessimistic, but I can see this season starting another long stretch of sub-par seasons for the Tigers….

  38. Kathy

    May 14, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Great play by Carlos!

  39. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    vince, i hate being right about something like that, but the tigers have made it pretty easy to anticipate things like this.

  40. Kathy

    May 14, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Ever since Grandy posed for that magazine shoot, he’s been cold as ice. Lookin good on paper, lousy on the field.

  41. greg

    May 14, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Hochevar has just finished the best outing of his career. The first time he’s not allowed a run.

  42. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Pudge is so worthless. He can’t catch up to big league fastballs anymore and he swings wildly at everything else, no matter how bad it is.

  43. Jeremy

    May 14, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Wow, this team forgot their bats in Detroit, but at least they brought their kneepads. This team blows!!!!!!

  44. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Hmmmm, so Gavin Floyd has the best outing of his career against us, Jared Weaver has the best of his career against us, and Luke Hochevar has his best against us.

    That about sums up our season so far.

  45. Adam

    May 14, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Getting ready for shutout #6.

  46. Jeremy

    May 14, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Yeah, shutout #6, and Verlander——–1 -7

  47. Brenden

    May 14, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Agreed on number 6. This team is just plain bad….I’m turning it off. Thank God I start working my regular shifts tomorrow, which means I won’t have to watch this nonsense for a few days….

  48. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Verlander back out despite throwing 100 pitches. I really don’t understand Leyland at all.

    …and Tony Pena Jr. drills him for a double

  49. Jeremy

    May 14, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Dombrowski should call up Atlanta and see if they’ll trade Rentaria back for Jurrgens and Hernandez. I think this is the trade that castrated us.

  50. Mike in CT

    May 14, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    it just amazes me how little guts this team every shows. perhaps signing everyone to long-term deals before this unit every played a single game together wasn’t the wisest decision of all time, eh?

  51. greg

    May 14, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Amusing….I sense that the Royals actually think they need another insurance run…

    Bless their little hearts.

  52. Vince in MN

    May 14, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    I just get the feeling that they didn’t come out of spring training ready to play. There is no area where their play is even at an average level, and with the exception of a few isolated moments, they have basically been the not-ready-for-prime-time players all year.

  53. Jeremy

    May 14, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Jock Strap Jones is gone, I think Marcus Thames is next.

  54. Brenden

    May 14, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    I agree with you Mike, I am honestly thinking that has had an effect on the mentality of this team. I think all of the starters are signed at least through 2009, which means no one is really having a contract year…

  55. Mike in CT

    May 14, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    it’s shocking….from a talent standpoint, the tigers are equal or better in most spots than the royals…or most teams…they never execute, never.

    just a small example, how does rapada walk gordon, A LEFTY, to load the bases?

    this team needs an attitude adjustment.

  56. T Smith

    May 14, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    This is not fun.

  57. Jeremy

    May 14, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Good thing Jose Guillen is not juicing anymore.

  58. Jeremy

    May 14, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Ron Mahay=Cy Young

  59. T Smith

    May 14, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Well done Maggs, well done.

  60. Jeremy

    May 14, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    2 back to back hits then,,,,,,,,3 pitches andddddd 3 outs


  61. Jeff

    May 14, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Once again, swinging at the first pitch is okay if it’s YOUR pitch. Not when it’s the pitcher’s pitch. Frankly I’m beginning to think the only way to communicate this is to start benching players who swing at pitcher’s pitches. Of course that might lead to the Tigers fielding a lineup of 5 position players and 4 pitchers.

  62. Tbone

    May 14, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    1st and 2nd with no outs and Maggs and Miggs kill it on three pitches? You have to be kidding me.

    This team is in the funk of all funks.

  63. T Smith

    May 14, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    This is only slightly less painful than a sharp stick in the eye.

  64. JML

    May 14, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Yikes, I just broke a glass I was holding. From squeezing in frustration. Thanks for the (minor) laceration, Maggs….

  65. Sam

    May 14, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    1000 run offense is on pace for 3/4 of that total.

    Assuming a shutout tonight:
    On pace for 24 times being shutout, beating the 2003 team by 7 (That team was shutout 17 times).

  66. Brian P

    May 14, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    I tossed a water bottle, JML. You should consider making a change in beverages while watching the Tigers henceforth.

  67. JML

    May 14, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    I was drinking water, but not bottled. I don’t believe in bottled water. Maybe I should modify that principle, only during games.

  68. T Smith

    May 14, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    I’m pretty certain it’s impossible to win a game when you score 0 runs.

  69. Ken from Cincinnati

    May 14, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    The top of the 9th should be humorous. The hottest closer in the game against three guys who are hitless tonight.

  70. OHMike

    May 14, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Maybe we need a good brawl to spark some life into these millionaires…. Obviously two consecutive no-out hits won’t do it

  71. JML

    May 14, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    My fantasy team could beat the Tigers these days. And I mean the actual 1’s and 0’s 😛

  72. OHMike

    May 14, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Is it just me or did Jim look like he was going to vomit?

  73. Kathy

    May 14, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    Now that last swing of Marcus made me vomit.

  74. OHMike

    May 14, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    We are going to end up as a case study for mid-market teams paying players like a large market team… Illitch will go back to focusing on the Red Wings only like he did before

  75. Tbone

    May 14, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Quite a fight our boys put up tonight. Didn’t even hint at a threat all game long. This thing doesn’t appear as if it’s going to turn around any time soon.

    Honestly one of the poorest efforts yet in a young season already filled with disappointment.

  76. T Smith

    May 14, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Wow. I feel so bad for Mike Ilitch right now I’m actually tempted to jump in the car and drive to the nearest Little Caesar’s to drop about fifty bucks on pizzas for the dogs.

  77. JML

    May 14, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    I’m delighted we’re getting better starts. Sadly, apparently that means the hitters think they’re off the hook.

  78. Mark in Chicago

    May 14, 2008 at 11:08 pm




    We can’t beat the frigging KC Royals, who have all of 18 wins on the season, 5 of them against us.

    We are also now 4-14 in our own division.


  79. jason

    May 14, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Verlander- still on pace for 28 loses.

  80. Chris

    May 14, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Seams to me that there have been an unusual amount of shutouts this year in the majors. Offense seams to be down across the board as well. Does this have to do with the crackdown of steroids?

    Also, I think the Tigers are in a perfect storm slump in the early going. Everybody across the board on the roster is slumping at the same time.

    I’m just at a complete loss for an explanation. I just keep waiting for this thing to turn around……

  81. Eric Cioe

    May 14, 2008 at 11:25 pm


    Which just goes to show how worthless the Win is for pitchers. He could have pitched a shutout tonight and the best that could have happened for him is a no decision. He didn’t lose the game. He gave 6 innings of 2 run ball. That was good enough to win last year. Robertson pitched 7 innings of 2 run ball last night. Back to back quality starts, and two losses to show for it.

    This offense isn’t good. Doesn’t matter if they score 1000 runs if 500 of those runs come in 1/4 of the games.

  82. greg

    May 14, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    Perhaps the Tigers, collectively, still have pride, but if they do, they’re doing an outstanding job of hiding it. I don’t often see a sense of urgency, or intensity out of most of the veterans, just the part timers and rookies with something to prove(Thomas, Inge, etc.).

    I know its a different sport, but Larry Bird once said he’d never coach any professional team more than 3 years. Reason? According to Bird, the first year, professional athletes, if they respect you, they’ll listen to you. Second year, about half way through the season, they start to tune you out a little. Third year, by the end of the season they’ve completely tuned you out and as a coach you have little to no impact on or control over the team. He said it was that way with every single team he’d ever played on or coached.

    Boy does that sound like Leyland and the Tigers.

    Who is running this team, Leyland? I’m not in the dugout, so I can’t say 100%, but as a spectator who has seen alot of the games and read alot of the interviews, boy it sure doesn’t look like it. The evidence seems to indicate that the inmates are running this asylum. Way too many moves that should be made, but aren’t, and way too many moves aren’t made that should be, why, i dunno, but the only thing that makes sense is that Leyland’s #1 priority is coddling veterans.

    First year Leyland saw some lollygagging and laid down the law. He was in control. Now, its his third season, and it looks like he’s lost the team. The majority of the team, more often than not, they look like a group of underacheiving veterans with fat contracts content with winning or losing, no big deal either way.

    Someone needs to shake things up, and I’m not talking some silly little lineup move. I not so sure that holding a meeting or screaming at them will make any difference either at this point. They need to move a key player, a trade. They need to send a message that this isn’t acceptable. And they need to say it loud enough so that its heard. I’m not singling anyone out. But I think the players are way too relaxed, content with things on cruise control.

    Something needs to happen, and fast, or this team will end up a sub .500 ball club.

  83. Chris

    May 14, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    It’s time for a bit of perspective here.

    This probably isn’t our year and our team probably isn’t going to be in contention. But this is a funny game where inexplicable things happen all of the time. And I’m beginning to think that this season in the majors is going to be full of weird things that will have many scratching their heads when it is all said and done. We’ve already have seen some pretty big surprises beyond the Tiger’s struggles. The Florida Marlins in 1st, the Seattle Mariners in last, Cliff Lee’s sudden dominance, the drop in homeruns– surprises are abound in this league this year.

    At this point, I’m going to try not to get too down because this team won’t be in contention. I guess the thing to do is hope that they can at least put together stretches where they look like the team we all thought they could be. But in terms of any accomplishments, I don’t think it should really matter. First place, last place, the playoffs, 100 losses– screw it. It’s only a game.

    P.S. GO LAKERS!!!!!!

  84. Eric Cioe

    May 14, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Thanks for making a non-trolling post, Chris. Good point about the drop in homers. Things are all topsy turvy this year.

    By the way, Tampa and Arizona are going to be two of the league powerhouses for the next 3 years or so. Kazmir just signed with Tampa for another couple years, and with him, Shields, and Garza, that’s about as good as it gets. They have great offense and still have a bunch of good players in the minors on their way. Arizona is the same way.

  85. Chris

    May 15, 2008 at 12:10 am

    I never intended to troll here. I just happen to get very negative about my teams when they go through such struggles. I’m more the Chicken Little than troll. From this point on, I’m just going to just try to enjoy the season and the team without being hyper pessimistic and critical.

    BTW, I think Robertson, Verlander and Cabrerra are beginning to turn the corner.

  86. stephen

    May 15, 2008 at 12:25 am

    Time for my semi annual misery index.
    Tigers are 118-120 since 8/06.
    This is one of those cataclysmic suck jobs that scars mid market franchises for years. Leyland should be fired. It may not be all or even mostly his fault, but you have a contender on paper so underperforming, it’s not without precedent to pull the trigger and shoot the manager and hope it put the fear of god into the players and jumpstarts them. It’s sort of a desperate move, but it sometimes works, don’t be surprised if the team stumbles through another 8-12 stretch if Leyland gets canned. We’ve got a bunch of untradeable players with long-term contracts, pretty much the only thing you can do is boot the manager. He just reminds me of Lou Henson the old Illinois basketball coach who got good players, they liked him, but they never played hard and always made the bonehead move at the crucial moment.
    Leyland’s gotta go.

  87. Chris

    May 15, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Who would the Tigers get to replace Leyland if he were to be fired?

  88. Eric Cioe

    May 15, 2008 at 12:48 am

    Get some 30 year old kid who understands that you don’t pull a starter when he’s 7 innings deep in a 2 run game with a whopping 82 pitches under his belt, that Pudge should never lead off, that Matt Joyce has too good of a glove to put at DH, etc.

    Big names don’t matter. Jim Leyland is a big name manager and he isn’t doing a good job on the in game management this year. Joe Torre is a big name manager who spends most of his time wrecking relief pitchers’ arms. Get some nobody, who cares who? Who was Eric Wedge before Cleveland got him?

  89. stephen

    May 15, 2008 at 12:49 am

    Kirk Gibson. I don’t care if he’s under contract. Trade them Pudge for him.

  90. Brian in Tampa

    May 15, 2008 at 12:50 am


    I would love to see Van Slyke manage this team. He tells it like it is, and doesn’t take crap from anybody. He doesn’t care if your a veteran or a rookie. Just got back from bowling, saw only the first 2 innings tonight. I can’t believe we lost 2-0.

  91. Mark in Chicago

    May 15, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Trade pudge for anything. He is worthless offensively, regardless of where he hits in the order. He is no longer a championship-caliber catcher.

    Defensively he brings a strong arm, a tendency to put down “old #1” repeatedly, and a half-assed effort to block balls in the dirt. I love everything pudge has done for the organization and baseball in Detroit, but he does not help the team in any meaningful fashion anymore.

  92. David

    May 15, 2008 at 1:03 am


    We go 17-9 to get to

    33-33 by the time we play the Dodgers is my guess

    BTW Leyland has never been a good manager, just a good “motivator”

    To take a positive, this time through the rotation has looked a lot better for the most part

    Pitching wins as we saw in 2006, and we know Maggs and co can hit,

    If we get what we’ve gotten from Kenny,Verlander,Robertson in their last start every start for the rest of the year I’d say we win quite a few games

  93. Brian in Tampa

    May 15, 2008 at 1:10 am

    If the Pirates, Marlins, and Rays can win 7 games in a row the Tigers should be able to. I agree about the starters. They have been so much better this past week. We just can’t score now.

  94. Mark in Chicago

    May 15, 2008 at 1:13 am

    David, you are right. There are some signs that the starting pitching is coming around. Back to back very good starts the last two nights, Kenny has been solid after a shaky beginning, Galarraga keeps us in games, and Bonderman has been a little better the past start or two.

    If that continues, we can creep back in this thing, because the offense will hit.

    Huge “if”, though, and let’s see if Dontrelle can be run a good string of starts together once he comes back.

  95. Brian in Tampa

    May 15, 2008 at 1:21 am

    For some reason I can’t wait for tomorrows game. I guess it’s because it’s a day game. Talk to you all tomorrow.

  96. ron

    May 15, 2008 at 1:25 am

    Excellent post, Greg. Way too much respect and political correctness going on between the owner the manager and the veterans. Illitch spends 145 million dollars and fields a team like no other Tiger team ever and the fans pile into the stadium game after game and after 1/4 of the season our ace has one win and we sit in last place. If the veterans can’t step it up with key hits, sit them down. If Leyland can’t get this team to even play .500 ball for the rest of the month, send him and his cronies on their way. This team makes 5 games back look insurmountable. It’s a miserable exhibition by a bunch of bums.

  97. Chris

    May 15, 2008 at 1:42 am

    Wow! News is that Sheff is being shelved because of problems with his shoulder. There is talk of putting him on the DL. Maybe it is time to yank Hessman and his hot bat from Toledo. I don’t think there is any reason not to give that a shot.

    …and how about them Lakers. This Utah team is a tough out. Lakers beat them and I’ll know they are for real.

  98. ron

    May 15, 2008 at 2:12 am

    Illitch should send Kris Draper over to the Tiger clubhouse to explain to some of the Tiger veterans what it means to give 110%.

  99. Sawyer

    May 15, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Don’t hate me just for stating the obvious –

    Stick a fork in the Tigers 2008 season. The only thing they’ll contend for this year is staying out of the dismal AL Central cellar.

    Didn’t Sparky Anderson say that he waited until a team played 40 games to know exactly what kind of team he had?

    Well, here we are at 40 games and I think we all know what kind of team we have –

    – Starting Pitching is mediocre at best
    – Inconsistent offense
    – No leader in the clubhouse
    – Lack of effort

    I’m sure there is more, but that is all my throbbing head can come up with right now.

    I won’t stop listening to the games or caring about the team – I just think we all need to scrap any post season dreams we all had for the Tigers this year.

    Kind of like that old Mad TV or Saturday Night Live sketch (I can’t remember which) but it was called “Lowered Expectations.”

  100. cib

    May 15, 2008 at 9:14 am

    “No leader in the clubhouse”

    Amen. I was just talking with some people about the Team Captain concept. Maybe it’s time. The Yankees and the Red Sox have always (at least in my memory) had a designated captain. And it’s not baseball, but look at the Red Wings. Notice anything special about those teams?

  101. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 15, 2008 at 9:19 am

    I like to cheer people up. It’s what I do. So I bring the glad tidings that the Tigers only need to go 80-42 from here on out to finish 2nd in the division and miss the playoffs altogether.

    .656 for 122 games. The 1984 Tigers probably did it. The 2006 Tigers came close. Other than that… I think the last time the Tigers were that hot, uniforms were baggy and teams traveled by train.

    Seriously, though. I know the team’s a drag right now, but it’s still a good time to be a Tigers fan. Better times coming soon.

  102. scotsw

    May 15, 2008 at 9:22 am

    The key statistic to me is the eye-opening fact that this team, over the past 238 games, HAS A LOSING RECORD! Agreed there’s a leadership problem. There are a lot of good players and pieces in that clubhouse, but where is the fireplug? Which one of these guys is breaking the water cooler and smashing helmets and bats? Where’s the bloody intensity?

    I agree that Van Slyke might be a great candidate to lead this team, but I think that until the vets start producing, you have to start playing Raburn, Joyce and even Hessman regularly, and if they produce, keep them in the lineup. And if someone points to their contract and bitches, reply that it’s a business, not a charity, and guys who produce will play.

    Galarraga is a great case in point — If you don’t keep giving him the ball, you send the signal that history matters more than present effort and performance. And that sort of message is a VERY VERY bad one to send.

  103. scotsw

    May 15, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Oh, and my other candidate for TIgers manager: Billfer. But they’d never give him the job, because he’s too valuable in his present blog-master role.

  104. ron

    May 15, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Bilfer would make a great manager and he could bring that pitching machine along as our new ace.

  105. Mark J

    May 15, 2008 at 10:14 am

    I agree that it’s time to sit some of the vets. That’s the only thing left to try to wake these guys up. Ranting didn’t work. Leyland has said on many occasions that performance should dictate playing time. I’m willing to give people some time to work out of slumps, but at this point in the season if you haven’t produced consistently, you should be benched.

    Renteria can’t hit and can’t field. I think he should be riding the pine and Santiago, who has better range in the field and is currently performing much better at the plate should start in his place. Inge should be our full time 3rd baseman (he has a better OBP and Slugging percentage than Renteria even though his batting average is lower) and Guillen should be DH full time.

    Sheff should be riding the pine. I’m willing to give him another shot if and when his shoulder is right, but until then he is an offensive and defensive liability. I can’t tell you how tired I am of hearing about that shoulder. Rayburn is hitting over 300 – someone tell my why he can’t get in the game on a consistent basis.

    Basically, Leyland has to play guys that perform at the plate and/or in the field, and if that means starting someone other than a “superstar” so be it. Maybe being benched is what they need to snap out of their complacency. It’s the only thing left to try to wake these guys up. I might give them a little more slack if they looked like they were working hard out there, but they look like they don’t care, and lack of effort is inexcusable.

  106. Kurt

    May 15, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Well Sean, I have to say I think no team is going to win 96+ in the Central. 86 maybe. But somehow at this point it’s hard to picture the Tigers going 70-52 to get to that point either.

  107. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 15, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Kurt, you’re probably right. My hidden point was that the Tigers almost certainly need to win the division to make the playoffs, with the Red Sox/Yankees and Angels/A’s in the other divisions.

  108. Kurt

    May 15, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Your hidden point is quite right. I don’t see the wildcard coming out of this division.

  109. Craig M

    May 15, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    What happened to GUM TIME?

    BRING IT BACK, it seems like it was the only thing that worked.

  110. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 15, 2008 at 12:56 pm


    I know its a different sport, but Larry Bird once said he’d never coach any professional team more than 3 years.

    Great observation and commentary.

  111. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 15, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Mark in Chicago

    Trade pudge for anything.

    Yeah. My only concern is… well, given the track record on pitching so far, never mind. Trade him. This is surely a dumb fan comment, but I like the idea of Inge, warts and all, providing a spark at catcher. Something to prove, not just phoning it in. I’ll relent if they DH Guillen and give Inge 3B.

  112. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 15, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Brian in Tampa

    I would love to see Van Slyke manage this team. He tells it like it is, and doesn’t take crap from anybody. He doesn’t care if your a veteran or a rookie.

    In private, I would bet that Leyland tells it like it is and doesn’t take crap from anybody. That last part is crucial, though. Special treatment and different standards for performance seem to be happening. That’s bad management, in baseball or anywhere.

    Maybe, when Sheffield came to Detroit, Leyland gave him his word on something he shouldn’t have. I can see someone like Leyland placing that kind of obligation above the team. I can almost sympathize.

  113. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 15, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Amusing….I sense that the Royals actually think they need another insurance run…

    Bless their little hearts.

    Bad games inspire great humor. There’s a silver lining for ya.

  114. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 15, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    I’m pretty certain it’s impossible to win a game when you score 0 runs.

    Should be posted in the Tigers locker room. Maybe it already is, but fading of the letters “im” has led to confusion.

  115. Sean C. in Illinois

    May 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I’d say it’s an inconsistent strike zone, rather than a big one.

    Whatever it is, it’s part of the conspiracy/vendetta against Sheffield. Even when he’s not in the lineup. This team will not get any calls while Sheffield is on it, I tell you.