Game 124: Orioles at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers look to squeak out a series win. They’ll send out Zach Miner who is trying to lock up a spot in next year’s rotation. If Jim Leyland is as intent on performance dictating play time as he claims to be, if Miner can continue to pitch like he has since returning to the rotation, it should be a slam dunk. In 5 starts he’s gone 29.1 innings with a 17:5 K:BB ratio.

Garrett Olson takes the mound for the Orioles and he isn’t a good pitcher. A WHIP of 1.67, a pedestrian strike out rate, and a propensity to allow homers is a bad combination. The Tigers faced him in July and plated 5 runs in 6 innings.

Detroit sends out a neutered line-up with no Carlos Guillen, no Magglio Ordonez and Dane Sardhina catching (save the disparaging Inge jokes, Sardhina is substantially worse offensively).

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Sheffield, DH
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Thames, LF
  6. Renteria, SS
  7. Raburn, RF
  8. Inge, 3B
  9. Sardhina, C

BAL @ DET, Sunday, August 17, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

POSTGAME: Well, the offense was good. They battled back from a 5-1 deficit, but that’s about all I can say. Zach Miner got hammered, but he matched Garrett Olson. The difference was Casey Fossum and Aquilino Lopez and Francis Beltran allowing 11 runs in their innings.

Meanwhile the bullpen should be nice and tired heading into Texas – great. Maybe Gary Glover can give the pen a lift (that’s sarcasm).

On another note, Curtis Granderson probably expended more energy than Phelps this weekend chasing down the rockets off the bats of the Orioles.

Not a lot to see here. Keep moving along.

75 Comments

  1. Jeff

    August 17, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Zach’s having a tough time of it. One decently-hit ball inside the line, then two sharply hit balls.

  2. Rick G

    August 17, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Damn that Guillen! Inge makes that catch easily. Wait, that was Inge? Never mind.

    By the way, why does Mora always look like he just smelled something awful?

  3. ron

    August 17, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Can’t believe Inge dropped that pass. It was laid up there perfect.

  4. ron

    August 17, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Seein’ a few empty seats.

  5. ron

    August 17, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    He’s smelling Tigercrap.

  6. Brian in Tampa

    August 17, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    What a scary lineup we are running out there.

  7. ron

    August 17, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    He’s scary good, I mean scary good. Did you get that…scary good.

  8. ron

    August 17, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Nice response to the birdie’s big inning.

  9. Brian in Tampa

    August 17, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Miner is scary bad…scary bad

  10. Brian P

    August 17, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    This is terrible baseball. But it’s sort of fun to watch, which is really all that matters at this point.

  11. Brian in Tampa

    August 17, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Brian P

    I agree this game could last 5 hours, but I got nothing better to do since a hurricane could be coming this week.

  12. ron

    August 17, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    I can’t believe what I just saw!

  13. sky

    August 17, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Has anyone noticed Rayburn does not know how to not swing at a 3-2 pitch? Especially when they are unhittable.

  14. mcb

    August 17, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Oh gee. After 2 walks Leyland leaves Fossum out there, then goes and gets him AFTER 2 more hits.

  15. Brian in Tampa

    August 17, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    I though that was Miner still pitching. :)

  16. Chris

    August 17, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Someone needs to hit Melvin Mora and Luke Scott.

  17. BaseballinDC

    August 17, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Just blow up the pitching staff…I’ve never seen anything so utterly pathetic.

  18. Brian in Tampa

    August 17, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    What a joke.

  19. yak

    August 17, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    What the Fossum is going on?

  20. greg

    August 17, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Man, sure is a good thing they got rid of Pudge to shore up that bullpen, they’re lights out now, and Farnsworth has been a stud.

    And the pitchers, they haven’t missed Pudge at all, because, as we all know, (as has been absolutely proven statistically), how you call a game is irrelevant, all catchers are robots who call games exactly the same.

  21. cib

    August 17, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Unreal. Trading away Pudge was the nail in the coffin, the message that it was over. Horrific. You know who I feel the sorriest for? The poor guy/gal who has to maintain the Tigers official website. Right now it says “Tigers in need of major comeback in late innings”. Ya think???

    And “cheer on the tigers pennant push in person?” I hope the webmaster is getting battle pay.

  22. Dave BW

    August 17, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    This game rocks. Tigers fans: do you believe in now? Do ya? Huh? Huh?

  23. Tbone

    August 17, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Oof. Left town for a week and came back to see that the season is officially over. Guess we get to look forward to a bunch of mailed-in perfomences from here on in.

    Keep swinging for the seats, Sheff.

  24. jason

    August 17, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    I have a feeling a *major* change will happen soon.

  25. Chief Monday

    August 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Sorry, but the season ain’t officially over. There are 38 more games. Even if you don’t care anymore there is no such thing as forfeiting a mlb baseball game.

    These last 38 games are the most important games of the season even if they do lose every one of them.

  26. Mike in CT

    August 17, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    It’s pretty sad Renteria decided to hit once picking up his option became a doubt. Please God don’t let Dombrowski et al be fooled by this late flurry. On Wall Street they call it the dead cat bounce.

  27. stephen

    August 17, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    The 2008 Tigers — the most disappointing team in any sport in my 53 years of covering professional games and athletes in Detroit.
    Jerry Green

  28. judpma

    August 17, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    how about shipping the entire staff out to Erie and Toledo and bringing the Erie and Toledo relievers here….can that be in worse…and don;t even tell me that this is the Majors and that is the minors cause we ain’t exactly pitching major league pitchers Detroit….hell Grilli wasn’t this bad at least on the road. well maybe I did get a little carried away there for a moment with Grilli

  29. ron

    August 17, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Thank You Mr . Green. This is the most pathetic team to ever represent the City Of Detroit. Disappointing is too nice a word. Do us all a favor Leyland and resign.

  30. Chief Monday

    August 17, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    “It’s pretty sad Renteria decided to hit once picking up his option became a doubt.”

    Now I’ve heard it all. This complaint about Renteria is tops in ridiculousness.

    Renteria just gets no appreciation what so ever. Here’s a guy who won’t quit and works hard everyday whether if he’s hurt or not. The guy is a 1st class ball player all the way. He doesn’t deserve the crap he’s been getting all season.

    Good shortstops like him are hard to come by. If we let him go, it might be another 10 years before we have somebody half way decent who can fill the position. We gave up a ton of talent to get this guy also. It would be a shame to let that talent go to waste because of a few bad months.

  31. Mike in CT

    August 17, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Yeah…Renteria is a great player…look at his splits this season.

    April — 3 HR, 16 RBI, .314 BA, .784 OPS
    May — 1 HR, 8 RBI, .235 BA, .580 OPS
    June — 1 HR, 7 RBI, .256, .627 OPS
    July — 0 HR, 5 RBI, .557 OPS
    August — 1 HR, 5 RBI, .304 BA, .893 OPS

    For three months Renteria’s numbers were basically unacceptable. Yes, the rest of the lineup wasn’t exactly lighting the world on fire, but a little stretch of above-average production isn’t a reason to bring back a 34-year-old shortstop with declining skills in the field.

    If you value the VORP statistic, Reteria is at 6.4, 10th on the team, only ahead of Clete Thomas, Sheffield and Inge (counting guys with semi-regular PT). For what it’s worth Santiago is at 9.5 in limited action.

    Renteria has an option for 11 million next season ELEVEN MILLION DOLLARS for a player at best who might hit .270. If the Tigers don’t swallow the $3 million option they are nuts. The Tigers have a lot of holes to fill instead of burning money with Renteria for another year.

    The guy has done nothing, NOTHING as a Tiger (or an American League player, ask Boston fans) to warrant a defense on this site. Granted, he’s not the reason the team is massively disappointing this year, but he’s a factor.

  32. Chief Monday

    August 17, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Compare him only to other Shortstops please. It’s ridiculous to compare him to anyone else.

    I’ll give you a list of SS to compare him to-
    Edgar Renteria
    Bobby Crosby
    Marco Scutaro
    Brendan Harris
    Jason Bartlett
    Yuniesky Betancourt
    Julio Lugo
    Maicer Izturis
    Orlando Cabrera
    Jhonny Peralta
    Erick Aybar
    Michael Young
    Derek Jeter
    Mike Aviles
    Khalil Greene
    Troy Tulowitzki
    Cesar Izturis
    J.J. Hardy
    Miguel Tejada
    Yunel Escobar
    Stephen Drew
    Jack Wilson
    Cristian Guzman
    Hanley Ramirez
    Jose Reyes
    Ryan Theriot

    How many of these guys are 33 years old or younger and have over 2,000 career hits? Just 1. Renteria.

    When it comes to baseball, track records do matter. Renteria’s track record would indicate that he probably has a few very good years left. The guy hit .330 last year. He hit .314 in April and he’s looking to have a strong finish. Heres’ a guy who could very well end up with 3,000 career hits if he plays another 6 seasons.

  33. Tigercub33

    August 17, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    I read this site everyday but rarely comment. However, the topic of Renteria’s contract is not very clear. I was under the impression that the Tigers would not be on the hook for much (if any) of that option if it was picked up. I thought Boston promised to pick up a chunk when he was traded and then Atlana included money (an undisclosed amount) in the deal.

    I could be wrong, but financially, it might be smarter to pick up the option as we might be getting a SS for free.

  34. charlie

    August 17, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    we all have our favorite whipping boys on the team…however…this has pretty much been a team effort except for a few guys…and…the biggest disappointments have been the pitching staff. i think pudge, inge, renteria and sheff have been mentioned most of all but the biggest reason for our record has been pitching and they all belong in the pot with the exception of battlestar. changing out the dh or shortstop will mean diddly if the pitching doesn’t improve…and…we have lots of pitching problems.

    this is a lot bigger than chuck hernandez or jimmuh…all those relievers we drafted this year better be mlb ready next year plus we need some bounceback with our starters or it may get even worse cause we’ll be another year older. what a frickin mess this is.

  35. Chief Monday

    August 17, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    Sorry, I missed a few SS on the list, but you should still get the point.

  36. Chief Monday

    August 17, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    charlie is absolutely correct. Rogers, Verlander, Nate, Bonderman, and Willis just haven’t cut it. They all need a bounce back season next year.

    You can’t win many games when your starting pitching is holding the rest of team hostage. The pen needs help too.

  37. Kathy

    August 17, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I think I was the only one who wanted Jack Wilson last year. Oh, well. Surely, they’ll dump Renteria. ?????????

  38. charlie

    August 17, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    you know kathy, i remember that. wilson was not good last year but he has had a pretty good year this time around. any pitchers you like for next year???

  39. ron

    August 17, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Let’s give rentacrap another six years and Sheffield too. Maybe we can celebrate two Tigers reaching major plateaus in 2014; Sheffield with 600 homers and Mr. Clean with 3000 hits. Verlander should have his 100th win by then.

  40. Eddie

    August 17, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Charlie… Wilson had a good last two months last year, but has been crap on both sides of the ball this year.

  41. ron

    August 17, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Don’t only blame pitching. In 43 of our losses, we’ve scored 3 runs or less and have been shutout 10 times.

  42. Sam

    August 18, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Your list of SS and who I would want instead of Renteria (pretty much 80% of your list). SS is a young man’s position and Renteria defensive skills and range are below average.

    Who I would take over ER:
    Bobby Crosby
    Jason Bartlett
    Yuniesky Betancourt
    Julio Lugo
    Orlando Cabrera
    Jhonny Peralta
    Erick Aybar
    Michael Young
    Derek Jeter
    Mike Aviles
    Khalil Greene
    Troy Tulowitzki
    J.J. Hardy
    Miguel Tejada
    Yunel Escobar
    Stephen Drew
    Cristian Guzman
    Hanley Ramirez
    Jose Reyes
    Ryan Theriot

    Those who I would place below Renteria.
    Marco Scutaro
    Brendan Harris
    Maicer Izturis
    Cesar Izturis
    Jack Wilson

  43. Brian P

    August 18, 2008 at 10:17 am

    “I could be wrong, but financially, it might be smarter to pick up the option as we might be getting a SS for free.”

    I was reading Lynn Hennings article about cutting salary, and the Renteria portion was incorrect. Boston is responsible for the 3 million buyout if we choose to go that route.

    Boston is also paying 8 of the 26 million of his remaining contract. So assuming it’s proportional, Boston is responsible for 4/13 of the 11 million (about 3.4 million). I’m not sure how much, if any, for which Atlanta is responsible.

  44. Ryan In Brooklyn

    August 18, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    I haven’t seen this article mentioned around here at all:

    http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/.....8;c_id=det

    Not super news-worthy, but I thought this quote was interesting:

    “I don’t want to put blame on anybody for everything,” Leyland said, “but overall, the pitching has not been what we hoped it would be. It hasn’t been as good as we thought.”

    I may be reading too much into it, but that seems to be a shift in attitude from Leyland. Usually he bemoans a lack of performance. But here he’s admitting that maybe they just weren’t that great to begin with. Like maybe he and Dombrowski are starting to realise that it’s not just injuries and bad luck and a few down years. Maybe there are some serious personnel issues with the pitching staff. I think a lot of people around here would agree with that. Interesting to here the skipper saying it aloud.

    (again, I may be reading way too far in between the lines)

  45. Chris in Dallas

    August 18, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Looks like tonight’s game may not happen. Raining pretty bad here in DFW, and it’s supposed to keep up.

  46. Tigercub33

    August 18, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Thank you Brian P. So, if we were to decline the option(with BOS picking up the 3 Mill) could we offer Renteria ARB and hope for a discounted salary? If he declines then we get a draft pick (or 2).

    I will admit, I would prefer a new SS in 2009, but I don’t see how it is possible (Those who will be FAs perform at the same or lower level than Renteria).

  47. Chris in Dallas

    August 18, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I’m telling you – in spite of his injury woes, Furcal would be a perfect FA shortstop.

  48. Tigercub33

    August 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Chris – it was my understanding that he wanted to re-sign with LAD (and they wanted him to re-sign too). If he hit the market I would love to have Furcal. Hollimon/Santiago can spell him 1-2 times a week.

  49. Chris in Dallas

    August 18, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    We’ll see tigercub. I imagine due to his health history teams won’t be clamoring to give him more than a 1 year deal. As far as the Dodgers, I’m sure they’ll try to re-sign him (Angel Berroa’s .211/.271/.278 “batting” line probably isn’t going to be returning). I don’t know what their minor league system looks like at SS…

  50. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    From the beginning of 2006 to July 29 that year, the Tigers ran up a giddy record of 70-33. Since then, things have fallen off a bit. Unfortunately, “since then” accounts for 77% of the Jim Leyland Days.

    July 30, 2006 – present

    173-172 .501 overall
    146-163 .472 vs American League
    70-82 .461 vs American League Central

    2004-2005

    143-181 .441 overall
    125-163 .434 vs American League
    67-86 .438 vs American League Central

    From futility to mediocrity in 7 days, with a Thursday of surreal success.

    July 29, 2006, crest of a wave. The Tigers beat the Twins in Minnesota 8-6. Granderson and Dmitri Young each have a HR and SF and drive in 5. Young hits what turns out to be the game winner in the 8th. Vance Wilson advances Inge to 3B by means of an unknown device called a “bunt,” not once but twice (Inge scores once). Robertson pitches into the 7th, a mistake even then. Zumaya and Jones combine for an impressive 6 K in 3 innings, except that they actually pitch poorly enough to have lost the game. Jones – sporting a somehow familiar 4.97 ERA – picks up Save 29 anyway. And the Tigers are 10 1/2 up on the Twins. Who knew what was to follow?

    July 12, 2008 (just because it’s the closest to 2 years later that Robertson starts against the Twins). The Tigers lose 6-5 to the Twins in Detroit. Scott Baker stymies the Tigers for most of 7 innings, and Roberston also does well through 6. Granderson and Matt Joyce each hit a HR and combine to drive in 4. A big rally in the 8th that begins with a Santiago single falls short courtesy of Miguel Cabrera and Thames. The unknown “bunt” device pops up again, Santiago moving – who else? – Inge to 2b (he didn’t score). Robertson, score tied 2-2, blows up in the 7th. Aquilino Lopez allows the eventual game winner in the 8th, the runner scoring being Craig Monroe, who drew a leadoff walk off Lopez. Zumaya throws 31 pitches and loads the bases in the 9th, but no runs score (coincidentally, he throws 2 WP in one inning just like he did in the 2006 game). In the Tigers’ last chance 9th, Joe Nathan also has to work (23 pitches), but strikes out the side around an Inge walk, Sheffield-Larish-Granderson. The Tigers fall 8 games behind the Sox, 6 1/2 behind the Twins, and below .500 for the first time since climbing to it 2 weeks earlier.

    2006 lineup – 14 hits, 6 K, 1 BB. #1-3 batters 7 for 13 with a walk.

    Granderson CF
    Polanco 2B
    Monroe DH
    Ordonez RF
    Guillen SS
    Young IB
    Thames LF
    Inge 3B
    Wilson C

    2008 lineup – 7 hits, 8 K, 2 BB. Cabrera-Sheffield-Thames 0 for 12 with 5 K.

    Granderson CF
    Polanco 2B
    Guillen 3B
    Cabrera 1B
    Joyce RF
    Thames LF
    Sheffield DH
    Inge C
    Santiago SS

    Inge went 5 for 7 with 2 BB between the 2 games, precluding any jokes about how the backup catcher played in both games. But wait – the backup catcher did play in both games.

  51. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    “But here he’s admitting that maybe they just weren’t that great to begin with.”

    Ryan, sounds to me like he’s saying the opposite. Like they thought they were in good shape to begin with, and the staff has let them down. I don’t know about “good shape to begin with,” but I think the pitching overall has disappointed even moderate and realistic expectations.

  52. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    The Tigers have allowed double-digit runs 4 times in the last 18 games. By way of contrast, they also allowed double-digit runs 4 times from April 17 to July 29.

    Looking on the bright side, they’ve picked up a 1/2 game on the Sox since June 9. So things are coming along, slowly but surely.

  53. Mark in Chicago

    August 18, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Pitching staff a disappointment? Let’s look at the tape, shall we?

    Verlander – awful start to the season, very nice stretch in June/July, but overall inconsistent. Still only 25, looks like a front of the rotation guy.

    Rogers – old. Give it up, man. Had a handful of nice starts from time to time, but never put together a sustained streak of goodness. I will be glad to see him go.

    Bonderman – slow start, had actually pitched a little better prior to going on the DL. Still capable of being a solid big league starter, but injuries will probably always be an issue.

    Robertson – awful, awful year, even by his standards. Actually pitched decent for the first several starts with good peripherals but bad luck. Since about mid-June, it’s bad luck and bad execution. I hope they either find a new role for him or trade him to the National League. Neither is very likely, I’m afraid.

    Willis – hurt, wild, ineffective, collosal disaster thus far. I love his attitude and enthusiasm, it’s a shame he can’t use those to get hitters out. Here’s hoping his finds a way to contribute at some point (I think he will. I’m really pulling for him).

    Jones – started decent, then sucked, then got hurt. Enjoy retirement, Todd.

    Lopez – had some good outings, but never got anybody out when it mattered. At least he didn’t walk many.

    Rodney – the anti-Jones. Hurt, then sucked, now actually pretty decent the last few weeks. Still a no-show when it mattered, though.

    Zumaya – hurt, sucked, hurt. Never got anybody out, period. Thanks for playing.

    Farnsworth – managed to fit right in and blow up a few key games when they still mattered, thus proving he can’t be trusted in a close game. Thanks for the draft pick, jerk.

    Miner – pretty bad out of the bullpen, but turned in some nice starts until yesterday. Decent bet to get a shot at the rotation next year, although Jimmuh really has thing for him walking guys out of the bullpen. Never seemed to get an out when it mattered. (hmmm, recurring theme here?)

    Dolsi – made a big splash, then realized he was in the Tiger bullpen and stopped showing off. Looks to be a decent bullpen candidate for next year.

    Cruceta – all the hype, but he never had a chance. Jimmuh sabotaged any opportunity to build his confidence by repeatedly throwing him into the most difficult situations he could find. Responded with a 5.40 ERA and 1.97 WHIP. Somehow wasn’t claimed after being DFA’d, maybe he contributes next year.

    Grilli – wasn’t terrible, despite being the whipping boy. We all know he can’t be trusted in a close game (see: Farnsworth, Kyle). No loss trading him.

    Fossum/Rapada/Bautista/Beltran/Bazardo – all pretty replaceable spare parts, only Rapada appears to have any kind of future as a situational lefty. Bautista turned in a solid year with the Tigers/Pirates, it’s a little puzzling why they released him.

    Seay – ah, finally a success story. Bobby’s been pretty good and even got some key outs here and there. Certainly the only one who did it with any kind of consistentcy. Naturally, Jimmuh & Co. refuse to expand his role. He’s one of the few certainties of next year’s pen.

    Galarraga – the biggest success story of the year. His peripherals have regressed to the means, but he remains a pretty effective pitcher. Perfect guy for the back of a rotation next year.

    So, it appears that Jimmuh’s right – the pitching staff did not perform well or to expectations this year. Keen observation. Now what are you and DD going to do about it?

  54. Chris in Dallas

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Sean: It’s funny you should bring up July 29, 2006. Because July 30, 2006 was when things really started to go to hell in a handbasket (at least until the postseason that year).

    http://www.baseball-reference......7300.shtml

    I’m sure you all remember this one. Bonderman gives up a leadoff single, then doesn’t allow another baserunner until a leadoff walk in the 7th (which he stranded). And then there was the 8th. I’ll spare the gory details (you can read the game log). It ended with a Gatorade cooler being physically assaulted, though. That was the best/worst Bonderman game of all time, and somewhat of a microcosm of young Jeremy’s career.

  55. Mark in Chicago

    August 18, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    It was pretty fun doing the pitchers, but I suspect the hitters are a bit more challenging:

    Granderson – badly missed at the beginning of the year, continues to improve his all-around game. Even hit lefties a bit this year, needs to add some power there and improve his stealing. With a new contract, he’s a building block.

    Cabrera – mediocre start, but still posted pretty good numbers (just not his standards) for the first couple months. Since about mid-June it’s been his show. Also turning into a respectable first baseman. Another building block, if he doesn’t eat himself out of the league.

    Ordonez – hard to top last year’s numbers, but still a very god year. Probably the Tigers’ most tradeable asset, and with those big option years coming up….

    Guillen – a man without a home for the first several weeks, settled in and played a pretty good third base. The offense may be starting a decline, though, and with his injury history it may be a rapid dropoff. Good candidate to DH next year, except for…

    Sheffield – hurt, ineffective, hurt, still ineffective. Hitting the ball with a bit more authority the last couple weeks, but there;s no way to tell if it’s legit. Still gets on base and can swipe a few here and there, but his value (currently close to zero) is in his run production. At $14 million, probably not going anywhere (do Bill Bavasi or Dave Littlefield still have GM jobs? No? Forget it then).

    Polanco – slow start, but he’s back to the old Polly. I wish he would take a few more walks instead of fouling off ball 4, though. Next year is the last year on his deal, then who knows? He’s around for at least one more.

    Renteria – ineffective (hurt?), ineffective (hurt?), and ineffective. Everyone’s punching bag. Just now showing offensive signs of life since the games are critical. The buyout is free as is part of next year’s contract if the option is picked up. I’m hard-pressed to find a better alternative than DD could actually get, so I fear we may get Edgar 2.0 next year. Given the black holes that may exist elsewhere in the lineup (see: Inge, Brandon; Sheffield, Gary or Field, Left), we probably can’t carry Santiago or Holliman.

    Thames – the debate rages on. Part-time player who’s exposed when played every day? Every day potential waiting to break out? We may never know. Could probably fetch a reliever in a trade, and we have a softball team and a log jam in left already.

    Inge – amazingly, he’s actually turned in a better offensive performance than last year. Got hurt moving a pillow. Every day catcher next year given the dearth of options in and outside the organization.

    Joyce – looks like a nice player. Good power, smooth swing. Can’t hit breaking stuff means he probably a platoon guy at best. At least he’s left handed.

    Thomas – great approach, I love how he always looks to go the other way. Not the greatest instincts on the bases or in the field, but adds a lefty bat and some speed/athleticism that the team sorely needs.

    Santiago – defensive whiz who isn’t all that great, as billfer has documented. Can’t hit enough to play every day. Expendable, but it’s no crime if he’s a reserve on the 2009 team.

    Raburn – allegedly has versatility, but I’m not sure that standing a guy at a lot of positions means he can actually play them. Can hit a little, might be part of the mix in LF next year.

    J. Jones – can we have our money back?

    Larish/Sardinha/Holliman – expendable or we haven’t seen enough to know. Larish is taking ground balls at third and chipped in with a little offense, while Holliman overcame some early nerves to contribute at the plate as well. Doubtful any of them make an impact or get a lot of PT next year.

    Rodriguez – club might have been afraid he’d accept arbitration, so they dealt him for someone who wouldn’t to secure a draft pick. That’s my guess anyway. Pretty good year, but declining skills overall. Probably time to cut bait.

    I’m in agreement with others, there looks to be a modest overhaul coming this offseason on both sides.

  56. Seattle Mike

    August 18, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Not that it matters, really, but I’m curious why Sean used July 29, 2006, as the date the Tigers 06 season crested?

    After that win they were 37 games over .500. But on August 7 they beat the Twins, 9-3, to go 40 games over. The next day Monroe (I think) hit a line drive to left with the bases loaded that was caught and Ordonez (I think) was thrown out at the plate trying to tag up. Threat over. The season literally turned on that play. They lost 4-2, their next four games, one to the Twins and three to WSox, and the slump was on.

  57. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Wow, Chris. Thanks for that link.

    Boy, did Bonderman get screwed and hung out to dry there or what? You know he wanted to stay in like he always does, but man, he should have been pulled by the time he’d loaded the bases. At the very least after he balked in the run. He had to have been a mental case by then, if not right after the 2 errors that began the inning (Shelton, Guillen). Those errors aren’t Bonderman’s fault, and the game is practically in the bag without them, but he sure lost it quickly afterwards. But – without knowing better – it sure seems like the game is winnable with a fresh arm and a fresh head on the mound in a timely fashion.

    I absolutely must go read the DTW game thread for July 30, 2006. Had to be some fuming fans, too, and maybe they can shed some light on precisely why Bonderman was left in there.

  58. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    “Not that it matters, really, but I’m curious why Sean used July 29, 2006, as the date the Tigers 06 season crested? ”

    You’re absolutely right, Seattle Mike. I goofed. I should have known better, but I had that 70-33 record on my brain from some earlier research and I forgot the high water mark I had known so well earlier.

    Man! Now I’m going to have to do all that stuff over! But seriously, thanks for pointing out my error. At least it reminded Chris of an interesting game to take another look at.

  59. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Hey, cool analysis, interesting reading, Mark.

  60. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    So we shot our load for the first four months of Jimmy’s tenure, limped up to the third pole barely ahead, broke our leg at that pole, recovering somewhat but broke another leg just past the halfway pole and now we lay in the middle of the track, most of the other horses running by and over us hoping someone will put us out of our misery. Not a pretty sight.

  61. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Re: July 30, 2006 at DTW

    Well, no in-game comments. People were questioning the Bondo thing afterwards, but weren’t fuming. Everyone was pretty sanguine about it with Detroit having taken 2 of 3 in the TwinkieDome. Billfer had this to say:

    “The only thing I question is leaving Bonderman out there to face Cuddyer, actually the entire walk Joe Mauer to get to Cuddyer. Jamie Walker was warm and available. I know Bonderman wasn’t getting hit hard, and he was still throwing 95, and even the pitch that Cuddyer hit wasn’t a bad pitch. But there is probably a limit to the frustration one pitcher should face in an inning, and he threw a ton of pitches.”

  62. Chris in Dallas

    August 18, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Sean: Did you read the post comparing Granderson to Wally Pipp? This was right around Maybin being called up. Funny to look back on that one. Also the first post on that thread was morbid in hindsight.

  63. Chris in Dallas

    August 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Oh, and I almost forgot that Bonderman used to be able to throw 95…

  64. Chris in Dallas

    August 18, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    And since we’re on the topic of games past that have irked me, check out this one (boy it’s a slow news day):

    http://www.baseball-reference......4130.shtml

    Note the # of pitches thrown. Not having him pitch the 10th nearly made me rage-vomit.

  65. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    “there looks to be a modest overhaul coming this offseason on both sides.”

    Yes. I’m terrible at reading the minds of the Tigers front office, so I’ll just voice my opinion (surely not for the first or last time) on the overhaul I’d like to see:

    MUST GO, ABSOLUTELY MUST: Sheffield, Thames, Rogers, Robertson, Sardinha, Fossum, Jones.

    MUST STAY: Granderson, Polanco, Ordonez, Cabrera, Verlander, Galarraga.

    SHOULD GO: Renteria, Santiago, Raburn, Lopez, Inge.

    SHOULD STAY: Joyce, Thomas, Seay.

    CAN GO: Everyone else. Yeah, even Guillen, Bonderman, Zumaya, Rodney, and Willis, not that I think they’ll be going anywhere, for approximately 1000 reasons. But it wouldn’t bother me if any or all of them went away. Put Leyland on this list, too.

  66. Chris in Dallas

    August 18, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    KEEP: Granderson, Cabrera, Verlander, Ordonez, Zumaya, Seay, Polanco, Bonderman, Willis (probably should add Porcello)

    DITCH: Sheffield, Renteria, Thames, Robertson, Jones, Rogers, Farnsworth (in the case of the last 3, it’s easy – don’t offer them a contract)

    EITHER/OR: Guillen, Inge, Santiago, Raburn, Joyce, Thomas, Galarraga, Miner, Solid, Et, Cetera

  67. Chris in Dallas

    August 18, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Trivia question: What’s this? .571/.618/1.393, 6 HR, 17 RBI

  68. Chief Monday

    August 18, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Marcus Thames with the bases loaded?

  69. Dave BW

    August 18, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Sean: Ah, July 30, 2006, I remember it well. I left to go to Russia that day with the Tigers on top of the world, and when I got back two weeks later they were in a shambles. I doubt it’s a coincidence.

  70. Dave BW

    August 18, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    My take…

    Keepers: Cabrera, Guillen, Renteria (giving up on him now would be selling low), Granderson, Ordonez, Joyce, Hollimon, Verlander, Gallaraga, Bonderman, Seay, Lopez, Dolsi, Miner, Thames, Rodney, Rapada

    Possible role-players: Thomas, Raburn, Santiago, Inge, Clevlen (he still can’t hit MLB pitching, but this seems to be as good as he’s going to get)

    Potential in need of further development: Larish, Zumaya, Beltran, Bazardo, Bonine, Cruceta, Willis

    Lost causes: Robertson, Fossum, Jones, Sheffield

    I would trade Polanco, considering his perceived value is significantly higher than his actual value, and I assume Rogers will retire, god bless him. My opinion is that we have a pretty good roster set up for next year, though the depth still sucks something awful.

  71. Chief Monday

    August 18, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    You all are dreaming that Robertson and Sheffield are gone after this season. Those guys are highly likely here to stay. The good news is that they’ll probably improve next season.

    I agree that Todd Jones is the top candidate not to be with the team next season because he’ll probably retire.

  72. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    “Trivia question: What’s this? .571/.618/1.393, 6 HR, 17 RBI”

    Someone against the Tigers this year. Mauer, Morneau, Melvin Mora, or Luke Scott. Those are my guesses. I do get 4, right?

    Either that or Thames or Joyce at their hottest. Renteria against the Indians? OK. that’s 7.

  73. Dave BW

    August 18, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    They indeed will still be here, Chief. People in this thread are merely stating that they SHOULDN’T still be here.

  74. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Yeah, I’m restless for change for 2009, maybe too restless. Not fire sale-restless, but big change-restless. Dreaming? Well, yes. But I’m not the only one. I hope someday you will join us, Chief Monday.

    7 brand new Tigers on the 25-man Opening Day 2009. Not a guess, not a vision, and hardly a realistic projection. Just a wish.

  75. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Sorry I’m a douchebag and never posted the answer. That’s Melvin Mora’s batting line in 7 (7!) games against the Tigers this year. Congrats, Sean. You got it right. Of course you got it right by guessing every player in MLB, but a win is a win.