Game 125: Tigers at Rangers

PREGAME: Whenever the Tigers play the Rangers I think of George Kell saying something like “And the Tigers’ll be in Arrrlington on Toooosday night.” It sounds better in my head than it does on the computer though.

The match-up is Kenny Rogers, making a return to Texas and Scott Feldman. Feldman doesn’t strike out many, walks a few too many, and allows too many homers. Kenny Rogers strikes out fewer, doesn’t walk as many, and allows too many homers, but not as many as Feldman.

There’s lots of weather down there, so they might not play. A day off would probably help the bullpen, but a doubleheader would absolutely destroy it.

If they play it will be:

  1. Granderson
  2. Polanco
  3. Ordonez
  4. Cabrera
  5. Guillen
  6. Sheffield
  7. Joyce
  8. Renteria
  9. Inge

DET @ TEX, Monday, August 18, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

POSTGAME: Well, that was pretty good. The offense slumbered for awhile, but the Gary Sheffield homer seemed to get things started. It’s somewhat remarkable that the Tigers plated 8 runs when there 2-3-4 hitters combine to go 0 for 13 with 5 K’s and 2 walks.

Magglio Ordonez looked especially bad. He seemed very uncomfortable, check swings at 2-0 pitches, swinging through 3-1 fastballs. He fanned 3 times. Did you know it was only the 9th time in his career with at least 3 K’s? He’s only worn the sombrero once, a fate which he avoided his last time up with a full count walk.

Cabrera on the other hand kept hitting the ball hard with nothing to show for it.

Granderson with the 2 triples is always fun.

Gary Sheffield had a couple singles in addition to the homer. And Brandon Inge reached base all 4 times he was up, 2 hits, a walk, and HBP. If only Renteria could have done something we could have broken out the Whipping Boys.

Kenny Rogers was good enough, getting some key strikeouts (7 of them) and keeping the 12 baserunners he allowed mostly stranded.

Gary Glover was quite good. That surprised me, but he had a very uneventful inning.

Kyle Farnsworth was hammered. There were 3 different plays where he could have been helped a little by his defense (liner to Renteria, smash at Cabrera, and blast to centerfield) where there were tough plays, none of which were made. But everything was hit hard.

Fernando Rodney however was quite good. He fanned MVP candidate Josh Hamilton with the tying run on second in the 8th, and allowed only a HBP in the 9th inning.

Throw in some nice defense (Renteria, Ordonez), and some nice baserunning (Joyce), and there was quite a bit to like about this game.

146 Comments

  1. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Let’s go Kenny.

  2. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Wow.

  3. Angus

    August 18, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Just received my playoff bill from the Tigers. What a stretch that will be. Not with this team.

  4. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Looked safe.

  5. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Angus, save it. t’s valuable like an unused ticket for the Titanic.

  6. Angus

    August 18, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    It’s pretty ridiculous that they waste the paper to send playoff notices when they are not even in the picture all year. Yet to see them pop up on any ESPN Baseball tonight playoff picture.

  7. Rick G

    August 18, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Ooh, this is the one where they make a complete scrub pitcher look like Cy Young. Seen it, not too fond of it.

  8. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Maybe they know something we don’t know.

  9. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    “Maybe they know something we don’t know.”

    How could that be? Don’t be absurd.

  10. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Feldman? He’s the Bizarro World Kramer, isn’t he? I hope he’s the Bizarro World Cliff Lee instead.

  11. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Sean C. Feldman, absolutely. Who was George and Jerry?

  12. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    These Texas announcers are very entertaining.

  13. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Why didn’t Magglio catch that? It fell right in front of him.

  14. mcb

    August 18, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    The 4th inning has haunted many Tiger starters

  15. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    Don’t worry, everyone. Seinfeld references are a proven good luck charm.

    Ron, I can’t remember who the other Bizarro World characters were by name. Wait – Gene was George, and… Kenny? Was that the Jerry?

    So the rain let up, and Magglio’s not catching. Maybe the outfield is wet, he’s playing it safe? What’s the score, if any?

  16. mcb

    August 18, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    This guy gave up 10 runs in the 1st inning vs Boston. We have 1 hit and many 1 pitch outs.

  17. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Merely starting has haunted many Tiger starters.

    In fairness… well, I don’t feel like being fair right now.

  18. Chris

    August 18, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    As bad as Feldman has been, he is perfectly capable of performing like Kofax on any given start. Feldman pitching as well as he is today is a fluke. And Tigers have had the worst luck all season in getting these kind of rare performinces from opposing pitchers.

    Bad luck + Bad play = the most disapointing season in Tiger history

  19. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Cy looking good.

  20. Pete G.

    August 18, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Wow. Maybe we need to rest more guys. We look tired.

  21. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Gene and Kenny, sounds right to me.

  22. Pete G.

    August 18, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    But who was Bizarro Newman?

  23. Dave BW

    August 18, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    My favorite part in that episode was how Gene, Kenny, and Feldman would all shake each others’ hands on each meeting

  24. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    “Gene, Kenny, and Feldman would all shake each others’ hands on each meeting”

    Yeah, it was such a total send up. No one acts that way with their friends. The regular crew’s relationship as friends was much closer to reality.

    Maybe the Tigers should try shaking hands before every game, maybe before every inning. Hell, maybe before every pitch. If every instinct you have is wrong (are you listening, Jimmuh?), then…

  25. stephen

    August 18, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Tonight’s trivia question.

    What major leaguer has the opportunity to be the first man to bat under .215 four times in the 21st century?

  26. mcb

    August 18, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    They look like they are just going through the motions. A 71-91 finish would not surprise me. I look forward to the rosters expanding 9/1 – at least we might see some guys play hard.

  27. Jeff

    August 18, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    We have 1 hit and many 1 pitch outs.

    They don’t care too much anymore. Which raises the question of why we should care too much anymore. The 2003 team tried, they just had no talent.

  28. Dave BW

    August 18, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Is Inge ever NOT the answer to one of your questions, stephen?

  29. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    Biizarro Newman was named Fargus or something. He was avuncular, if I’m not mistaken. Feldman’s presumptive sidekick… or so the Germans would have us believe.

  30. jim-mt

    August 18, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    I just don’t get how these journeyman pitcher types keep pitching their best game of the year (or career) against the Tigers.

    Averages, runs, homers all look good on paper, but still never seem to come at the right time for the Tigers.

  31. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    “Is Inge ever NOT the answer to one of your questions, stephen?”

    Damn. I guessed “Sheffield.”

  32. Dave BW

    August 18, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Vargas, yes! Bizarro Jerry would shout “Vargas!” when he left the room, and then take on a delighted, nostalgic grin.

    And what’s Norm Macdonald up to these days, I wonder?

  33. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    “Averages, runs, homers all look good on paper, but still never seem to come at the right time for the Tigers.”

    You got it, Jim. I’m still trying to figure it out.

  34. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    “And what’s Norm Macdonald up to these days, I wonder?”

    Sometimes I think he’s here. Maybe he just lurks, stealing material from us.

  35. Dave BW

    August 18, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Former Ray, current Tiger Gary Glover warming up. Yay.

  36. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 18, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Gary Glover, yeah. I loved his weird pseudo-instrumental “Rock and Roll, Part 1.” Quirky.

    No, wait, I’m sorry. He was with Deep Purple. Man, how old is this guy?

  37. Pete G.

    August 18, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Bondo in the dugout. Is Rod morphing into Joe Morgan?

  38. Jeff

    August 18, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Sheff cares. #493. Here’s hoping he gets to 500 by year’s end, it might help him decide to retire.

  39. Pete G.

    August 18, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    I think it was Roger Glover with Deep Purple……….but if Roger can pitch…….warm him up.

  40. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Nice job moving the runner up, Rent.

  41. Dave BW

    August 18, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Inge ties the game. Stephen kills self.

  42. billfer

    August 18, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Very nice baserunning by Joyce there. Nice hustle on the double, great jump on Inge’s single and a nice angle around third.

  43. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    I guess Inge showed you guys.

  44. Pete G.

    August 18, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    You go Curtis. And they have to ask……Who’s your Tiger?

  45. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Every now and then we see flashes of what could have been. Sheesh.

  46. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Fooled Magglio but couldn’t fool Inge.

  47. Dave BW

    August 18, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    I love that a guy with a 5.82 ERA genuinely is our best set-up man candidate

  48. Brian P

    August 18, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    This could have been the summer of Glover! The summer of Glover…

  49. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    It’s not too late. Summer of Glover!

  50. billfer

    August 18, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Farnsworth + 1 run lead + Texas + Ballpark at Arlington

    What could go wrong?

  51. Chief Monday

    August 18, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Granderson is the man.

  52. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    A double triple.

  53. Andrew

    August 18, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Two triples!!

  54. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Jeez Rent, nice play.

  55. Dave BW

    August 18, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Can we handle a five run lead? That’s cutting it a bit close for my taste.

  56. Andrew

    August 18, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Hey Billfer, have you ever noticed that your title at the the top of the browser window reads “The Detroit Tiger Weblog” instead of The Detroit Tiger(s) Weblog? Only reason I noticed is because I’m signing on from a different computer than I normally do tonight, and I didn’t have the bookmark, so I typed it into my address bar as detroittigerweblog and it didn’t work. Had me wondering what the “official” title for the site is, and then when I checked when I did get to the site, turns out you have it both ways. Just thought I’d mention it.

    This is what we talk about when playoff hopes look bleak…

  57. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Jeez Rent, almost nice play.

  58. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Pinball baseball.

  59. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Holy crap.

  60. Jeff

    August 18, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Gee, I’m sure glad the Tigers traded Pudge for this . . .

  61. Brian P

    August 18, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    This reminds me of Steve Berthiaume always saying “Ohh, but that Met bullpen” on Baseball Tonight.

  62. sky

    August 18, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Billfer, I want to congratulate you for setting up this blog and maintaining it as much as you do. It is hard work, and demonstrates a great deal of dedication.

    I am leaving now. I have turned off the television. For me, the season is over. I really do not care anymore.

    Best to everyone!

  63. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    You jinxed em’ Bilfer.

  64. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Sky will be back. He’s a masochist like the rest of us.

  65. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Almost sounded like a suicide note. C’mon Sky, it’s only a game.

  66. Chief Monday

    August 18, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Bye sky. To bad you’ll be missing out on the best part of the season.

  67. Mike R

    August 18, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Man, Leyland with such a quick hook. I thought for sure Farnsworth was going to be finishing this game out tonight because Jim was still at Kenny’s house eating BBQ.

  68. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Sky, come back. They took the bad man out.

  69. Cameron in Singapore

    August 18, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Farnsworth is AWESOME

  70. Chief Monday

    August 18, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    The Tigers are still my team, but I’m kind of rooting for Minnesota and Chicago from here on out. One to win the division the other to win the wild card. Right now there is a good chance that neither NY or Boston makes the playoffs. I love to hate NY and Boston.

  71. sky

    August 18, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Before I go I want to add something. I finally realized that the reason I have been following the Detroit Tigers all my life is that I am from Detroit. The emotions of sports’ fans are funny that way. But I also realize that nowadays the players do not understand or care one bit about hometown feelings for a team. These guys…..all of them…are pure mercenaries. Tomorrow they will play just as hard (or not) against us as they do for us today, and it won’t mean a thing to them. All that will matter is the contract they get and the paycheck they deposit.

    When I was a kid I used to fantasize about being able to play well enough to sign with Detroit. And I would never include in those silly dreams of youth the thought of playing for anyone else. Pro players are no longer like that. They used to be in the days when you stayed with a team for many years and were often from the local community (Horton, Freehan, Lolich, Northrup, etc.).

    You see, it hurts old timers like me to see “my team” do poorly because it is the local team. But now that I fully realize that the players have nothing of that in them……ever…..anywhere….any more, I understand that pulling for the Tigers is like wanting a date with a porn star. You might get something out of it, but so will anyone else for the right price.

    I guess I still would like to see them do better. But the fire is out. In any event, I really do hope the rest of you enjoy the show.

  72. Chris

    August 18, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    forget K-Rod… Tigers should sign Farnsworth and make him the closer for ’09….

  73. Chris

    August 18, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Leyland is such a great manager

  74. Tbone

    August 18, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Chief – I’m with you on that one…

  75. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Sky, totally agree with you. Tell it like it is.

  76. Chief Monday

    August 18, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Yes. The Tigers win. Way to go boys.

  77. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Chief and T Bone jump ship. The rest of us will just sink into a deep depression.

  78. ron

    August 18, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Starting tomorrow. Tonite we rejoice.

  79. Kathy

    August 18, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Nothin like a good ‘ol heart attack inducer.

  80. ron

    August 19, 2008 at 12:06 am

    Sky, the 50′s and 60′s were the best for being a sports fan and just being a kid in general. You were very fortunate to be from that generation. You wear your heart on your sleeve when it comes to the Tigers and you’re to be commended for that. The only guy I see on this team that resembles one of the old timers in spirit and play is Granderson. They are our team so we’ll continue to root for them, but it ain’t the same and never will be.

  81. Deaner

    August 19, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Beautiful game by, my boy, Grandy!

  82. Chief Monday

    August 19, 2008 at 12:21 am

    I’m a Tiger fan 1st. A baseball fan 2nd. One thing for sure is that the Tigers have been exciting to watch these past 3 seasons. I’ve watched them more these past 3 seasons than I ever have before. In years past, I didn’t watch the Tigers nearly as much because they just didn’t have any players worth watching.

    Mostly Verlander, Bonderman, Rogers, Galarraga, Granderson, Polanco, Magglio, Guillen, Cabrera, Pudge, and Inge have helped make these seasons special and worth watching.

    Through the good times and the bad, the Tigers are giving the fans something worth caring about again. We’ve felt these growing pains with the Red Wings and the Pistons before. Maybe we were just getting spoiled and we were expecting too much from the Tigers.

    We knew Todd Jones was time bomb. We knew Nate was just an innings eater. We knew Sheff was brittle. We knew Pudge was gone after this season. We new Rogers was a gamble. We knew the Bullpen was swiss cheese. We knew are defense was weak on the corners.

    What we didn’t know was that Verlander would struggle. That Bonderman would be gone. That Willis would be incognito. That the Bullpen would melt down night after night. That the hitting would struggle to score runs some games. That nearly every player would get hurt or would spend time on the DL. And lastly, that Miguel Cabrera would be are most durable player!!!! He’s played in 122 games, which is 11 more games than any other player on the team! Just think of where we’d be if Cabrera wasn’t here. Last place probably.

    Cabrera and Galarraga have been are MVP’s this season.

  83. Mike R

    August 19, 2008 at 12:50 am

    I 100% disagree with Sky. You don’t think that someone like Granderson dreamed of playing for the White Sox? Or Nate for the Royals (or Cardinals … whichever team was his favorite)? Pro’s in sports, when they were kids, dreamed of playing for their favorite teams just as much as you, or anyone else, did as a kid. Free Agency has made it so guys don’t have careers with just 1 team anymore, but that doesn’t mean they don’t live, breathe, and love the game of baseball before anything else. I have a hard time placing any sort of negative connotations on guys who played the game of baseball from, say, age 5 through age 18 for free and for the love of just baseball with friends.

  84. stephen

    August 19, 2008 at 12:54 am

    Inge is my Tiger!

  85. stephen

    August 19, 2008 at 12:55 am

    I’m a competence fan first, a Tiger fan second.

  86. Coleman

    August 19, 2008 at 1:11 am

    Me, I just want that date with the porn star, and then I’ll get back to the rest of the topics here.

  87. Mike R

    August 19, 2008 at 2:32 am

    I’m a baseball fan first, Tigers fan 2nd. I openly root for only them. However, I like a lot of other teams but won’t root for them — especially the Red Sox because of how much i love that front office and wish I could wake up with that entire FO running the Tigers.

  88. billfer

    August 19, 2008 at 6:08 am

    Sky -

    I think you’re selling the players a little short. Why would a kid from Venezuela or the Dominican Republic or Chicago dream of playing for the Tigers his whole life? It’s not where they are from, and if you limit that to how you build your team then Al Kaline is remembered as a great Oriole.

    I’m not saying there aren’t players who just go where the money is (like Sheffield, or Pudge), but there are many who find themselves in a situation they like and choose to stay there until the team doesn’t want them anymore.

    Kyle Farnsworth cried when he found out he was traded because he loved the Yankees. The reason Ordonez isn’t a White Sox any more is because they didn’t want him.

    Meanwhile, look at the Tigers roster. Carlos Guillen signed 2 contracts here when he was eligible to be a free agent, without ever testing the market. Placido Polanco re-upped for 4 years without testing the free agent market when he could have. They both would have received more money elsewhere and both have set up charities in the community.

    Kenny Rogers said going into this year that he would only play for the Tigers and he fired his agent.

    Todd Jones has openly stated he loves being a Tiger. This is a guy that asked to wear Al Kaline’s glove for the last game at Tiger Stadium to honor Kaline and the building.

    Granderson signed a long term deal, for far less than he’d receive if he went year to year and became a free agent quicker.

    Whether it is loyalty to the city or Leyland, or Dombrowski, I don’t know. But there is some measure of loyalty there.

    And yes, there are probably many players on the roster that don’t know the entire history of the team, and don’t know about the riots and the 68 champs. But look at the celebration in 2006 and how they brought that into the crowd. You don’t think they know how much the city loved the team?

    Maybe things were better in the 50′s. But it would be hard to know how hard the guys played when you could only listen on the radio and read about it in the box score the next day.

  89. Ken in Las Vegas

    August 19, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Bilfer, thank you for commenting not only from the heart, but also from the brain. That was an amazing rebuttle to Sky’s comment and is exceptionally accurate. There are plenty of players here that have shown loyalty over money and we need to remember that. It’s just good to know that playing for the Tigers is no longer an embarrassment, but we need to finish out the season strong if we are to honor that statement.

  90. ron

    August 19, 2008 at 9:04 am

    What the heck were they celebrating? And I think some guys just reach a comfort level at a certain point in their career as far as money goes. Could be the player has school age kids, cost of living in a certain area, playing for a certain type of player friendly manager, teamates. I do think setting up charities is a factor that leans toward loyalty, if it’s not done strictly for tax purposes. Now if a player spends personal time out in the community, and not just at photo-ops, that is a loyalty plus factor. Other factors are going out of your way to sign autographs, buying blocks of tickets for kids who can’t afford them, shopping at local stores, and vocally expressing your joy for fan support thrughout the season and not just at the end of a successful season. I don’t live in Detroit, so I do not know if these type of things are going on, but I hope they are with a lot of the players.

  91. ron

    August 19, 2008 at 9:10 am

    One more thing, how many of the players live in Detroit during the off season?

  92. billfer

    August 19, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Ordonez set up a scholarship in southwest Detroit. Curtis Granderson has the Grand Kids Foundation supporting the schools in Flint and Detroit. At every Wednesday home game Carlos Guillen invites 20 kids on the field for batting practice, gives them t-shirts, and buys their tickets for the game. Placido Polanco and his wife have set up an organization (that I can’t remember the specifics of). Brandon Inge is involved at Mott, donating time and money. Todd Jones auctioned off his services to coach a kids little league team with the money going to charity. Dontrelle Willis auctioned off “Take Dontrelle to school day” where a kid gets to take Dontrelle to school with him with the money going to charity. Willis delivered presents at Christmas time to kids in need, prior to him even signing the contract. Those are just the ones off the top of my head.

    And they were celebrating advancing in the playoffs when no one though they could. They were happy. The fans were happy. Everyone was happy. It’s a game. It’s fun remember? It wasn’t about the money on that night. It was about winning. That’s the most important thing right?

  93. ron

    August 19, 2008 at 9:38 am

    That’s all good, very good. No, it’s a business, a 6 billion dollar business. The fans celebrate, absolutely. The players no. There was unfinished business. Come to think of it, there still is.

  94. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2008 at 10:18 am

    But now that I fully realize that the players have nothing of that in them……ever…..anywhere

    See Biggio, Craig

  95. Brian P

    August 19, 2008 at 10:42 am

    I guess the closest thing we have to a Craig Biggio or Derek Jeter is Brandon Inge. Ouch. I hope Granderson stays his entire career to steal that position.

  96. Steve

    August 19, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Great points by all. I think we need to also remember that they are all human beings like us and that money, fame and success does not give them super human qualities.

    I am bummed that the season did not work out better, but bilfer has clued us in on what some of the guys are doing. The Tiger have a decent club to watch everynight or spend money on going to the park. If you remember the “old” days where you could just go to the park and sit where you want, those are gone as I have had to get decent seats from STUBHUB to be able to go to the game.

    Some things get better and some get worse.

    Steve

  97. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 11:15 am

    I had a response to Sky and Ron’s general sentiments going, sort of a gentle rebuttal. Got pretty long. Then I decided I didn’t want to post an editorial this morning. Most of it has been said better already.

    The game played on the field hasn’t changed much since any of us grew up. What has changed is our awareness, our naivete. Players play to win no matter how much or how little they’re paid. It’s easier to find fault with them now that we know they’re real people who might not even be nice guys. Guys with personal lives outside of baseball, going through good days and bad days, conflicts with the boss and co-workers, the same general concerns and worries all of us have. Money doesn’t change any of that. And we don’t have to pay attention to any of that. Least of all do we need to pay attention to the money. What matters happens on the field. Still.

  98. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I was going to write a long dissertation on this topic, but billfer summed it up nicely. I will add that I don’t see players as ‘mercenaries’ as someone put it. Well, maybe Roger Clemens. Some fans may view it that way, but in the good old days of the reserve clause, players were basically indentured servants. You can’t honestly tell me that (to use an arbitrary example) Ted Williams wouldn’t have gone elsewhere if free agency was an option in his playing days. Terms like ‘loyalty’ and ‘honor’ don’t fit. Those players were ‘loyal’ because clubs had them by the balls. Using today’s model, Williams would have been a free agent after his 1947 season where he hit .343/.499/.634. When the Yankees (theoretically) came calling offering to triple his salary, you think he wouldn’t have taken it? And honestly in this day and age, I think it makes fans appreciate guys like Biggio, Gwynn, Ripken and the like much more because those guys are truly loyal to their teams. They had the choice and chose to stay with the same club.

  99. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 11:31 am

    “I think it makes fans appreciate guys like Biggio, Gwynn, Ripken and the like much more”

    Good point. One of many.

  100. Mark in Chicago

    August 19, 2008 at 11:37 am

    People remember the past better than it was, view the present not as good as it is, and expect the future to be better than it will be.

  101. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 11:43 am

    I’m surprised Farnsworth hasn’t been better. The trade still doesn’t bother me, but gee whiz. He isn’t really this bad, is he?

    I’ve started to think DD picked him up just for 2005 revenge. Now Farnsworth is making his play, pulling a Young Sheffield with the Brewers move. What will the Tigers come back with? Can we look forward to a Farnsworth as Jimmy Gobble inning, followed by a stint on the DL? Hardball.

    I’m kidding.

  102. Mark in Chicago

    August 19, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Sean,

    I really think DD picked up Farnsworth in order to secure the draft pick compensation. The organization thought Pudge might accept arbitration, and they didn’t want him any more, so they traded him to the Yankees for a guy who already didn’t want to be here, and will probably want a multi-year deal, thus allowing the club to offer arbitration and then secure the pick as compensation when he signs with the Mets.

  103. Mark in Chicago

    August 19, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Sorry about the run-on sentence in the previous post.

  104. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2008 at 11:54 am

    When Farnsworth craps the bed, such as last night, the refrain among the Tigers faithful should be “Why, Fart Snorkel”? Yes, I’m doing the anagram thing again.

  105. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    “Sorry about the run-on sentence in the previous post.”

    Yeah, Mark. Shame on you. Where do you think you are? Did you think all the English majors here were going to let that slide? Good thing you confessed quickly.

  106. Mark in Chicago

    August 19, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I know, I know. I go in box, I feel shame. Then, in two minutes, I get free.

  107. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    ‘I really think DD picked up Farnsworth in order to secure the draft pick compensation.”

    Yes, probably. I struggle to understand front office strategy such as this. Not that it doesn’t make sense, thinking long term and such, but I was thinking there was some hidden on-the-field, rest-of-this-season brilliance afoot with that trade. Like Farnsworth was going to be the secret ingredient to rejuvenate the bullpen.

    Well… I suppose it may have lit a fire under Rodney. Sure seems that way.

  108. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    I say this and I don’t really think it’s that far out of line – Rodney has the best changeup in baseball. Why he isn’t more dominant really escapes me.

  109. Mark in Chicago

    August 19, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Farnsworth is notorious for his partying days while he was on the Cubs, so maybe he was brought in to show the guys a good time and build team unity.

    At a minimum, I would speculate that’s why he wasn’t available last Sunday.

  110. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Just be glad Ugeth wasn’t here to read that, Mark. I hear that whole thing with machetes and fire and what-all started when he overheard one of the farmhands speaking without proper punctuation.

  111. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Sean: Lay off Uggie. He just had a natural curiosity about what skin smells like as it’s burning. Perfectly normal.

  112. Mark in Chicago

    August 19, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Chris,

    You’re probably right F-Rod has the best (or one of the best) changeups in the game. The reason he isn’t more dominant is because he can’t consistently throw his fastball for strikes. And you’ve seen him miss with that pitch, he damn near killed the guy on Tampa. So he starts to rely on the changeup for strikes, and hitters sit on it. They figure out pretty quickly that if it’ close to a strike, it’s a changeup. After that, it’s all about squaring up an 82-mph pitch and hitting hard someplace. Not too tough for a big league hitter.

    The last several outing where Rodney has been good have all had him throwing his fastball for strikes pretty consistently. When that happens, you get the domination you’re talking about since hitters end up having to guess.

  113. Mark in Chicago

    August 19, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Smells like burning chicken. So I’ve heard.

  114. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    I just noticed that the Click to Edit button only appears by my posts. That’s odd. I don’t know quite what to make of it. If I’m getting special treatment from Billfer here, is that good or bad? Does he want to give me the best possible opportunity for proper spelling and grammar because he holds me in such high regard? Or does it mean that he has no confidence in my command of the language? Maybe it’s a subtle way of telling me, you shouldn’t have posted that – you probably shouldn’t post anything – but here’s a chance to take it all back.

    Anyway, I’m sorry all you other people can’t edit your posts. I want to help, so I’m going to ask Billfer to give me Click to Edit buttons by everyone’s posts. Just type in “help” at the end if you want me to proofread it for you and fix it up, OK?

  115. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    I am anxiously awaiting Coleman’s appearance to spin something out of the recent stream of “fire under Rodney” – “Ugeth Urbina” – “burning skin” – “burning chicken” – “Partying Farnsworth.” I can vaguely perceive the shape of a story I would be unable to either make up or tell.

  116. Mark in Chicago

    August 19, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    I’m sure it will be baseball related, too. No doubt.

  117. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    I also hope that Coleman’s yarn will make liberal use of the concept of fart snorkels.

  118. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Mark: Yeah, FB command is F-Rod’s kryptonite I suppose. I had a weird feeling last night. When he came in to face Hambone, I actually knew he would strike him out. A gut feeling. Is that what having confidence in your bullpen (or at least one member of it) feels like? I haven’t felt that way in quite some time.

  119. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    “The reason he isn’t more dominant is because he can’t consistently throw his fastball for strikes.”

    What is Zumaya’s problem? The same, or that he has to rely on the fastball so much that guys wait on it like they wait on Rodney’s changeup?

  120. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    “I’m sure it will be baseball related, too. No doubt.”

    Everything here is baseball related, deep down. But I suppose Billfer isn’t always convinced.

  121. Mark in Chicago

    August 19, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    I would say Zoom has the same problem. He can’t throw his fastball consistently for strikes. And when he does, it doesn’t have the movement it once did. Very concerning. He doesn’t throw his curve for strikes either. My suspicion is that hitters find it very easy to pick up his curve, too. It seems like he hardly ever gets a swing and miss, even when he locates a good one. I think back to 2006 when he was able to get ahead with a well-located heater and put them away with something offspeed. It was almost unfair.

    Zoom isn’t 100% and it shows.

  122. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Am I the only one who has noticed that Edgar Renteria reaches base on errors a lot? I don’t even need to look it up to know he leads the team, probably by a wide margin. Soooo…. there’s a feather in his cap, right? Made a big difference last night.

  123. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Zumaya’s problems in a nutshell: a) he’s not 100% healthy. b) he doesn’t throw enough strikes. c) when he throws strikes, they are poorly located. d) he’s not 100% healthy. e) he’s throwing too many fastballs (83%). f) he’s not 100% healthy.

  124. Mark in Chicago

    August 19, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    agree on a) through e), Chris. But I’m not sure about f). Are you sure he isn’t healthy? ;-)

  125. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    A baseball-related anagram puzzle for Chris:

    Q: Why fart snorkel?

    A: A packed fart pudding.

  126. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Chris, by using anagrams, you could get away with calling Renteria “basic faking thug” quite plainly.

  127. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    OK, I’m impatient. At least I post my answers in a timely fashion, unlike certain residents of states not employing 2 or more stars in their flags:

    Q: Farnsworth?

    A: Pudge and a draft pick.

  128. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Zumaya and his health. I can’t dispute that he’s not 100%. But it’s been such a tiresome, recurring theme this season. Someone’s struggling, ergo, they must be hurt, must have been hurt, and of course they’d be much better if they weren’t and hadn’t been. When someone’s hurt and plays well anyway, no one credits the injury.

    Zumaya was pitching pretty crappy before I heard anything from the Tigers about him “not being himself.” Maybe – just maybe – “himself” just isn’t that good anymore, and needs more than health to be good again.

  129. ron

    August 19, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    If they had free agency in 1948, tickets today would be $10,000.00 for bleacher seats. And would someone please punch out Jeff Kent for criticizing octagenerian Vin Sculley.

  130. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Ron: Agree wholeheartedly about Jeff Kent. Seriously, that’s like criticizing Mother Teresa.

    Sean: My smoking habit got in the way of responding to your anagramically themed query in a timely manner, and for that I apologize. Your Renteria anagram would be better if you could replace ‘faking’ with another adjective that uses many of the same letters. As for Zumala, the major shoulder surgery was kind of a tipoff that he may not be feeling right. It usually takes a while to be 100% after something like that. I don’t think he was pitching ‘hurt’ as much as pitching while ‘still recovering’. There’s a difference there, I think. Maybe. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor (and I don’t even play one on TV).

  131. ron

    August 19, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Having someone by the balls is as American as Apple Pie. It makes this country great. Someone has to keep things in order.

  132. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Ron, if expensive players are to blame for expensive ticket prices, season tickets (if there was such a thing then) in 1948 must have cost a buck or so. Or maybe admission was free. They’ve always charged what the traffic will bear, and you wouldn’t see player salaries in the tens of millions if money in the hundreds of millions wasn’t rolling in.

    I punched out Vin Scully before I double-checked your post. Sorry.

  133. ron

    August 19, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    If Ted had bolted to the Yankees, you think those patriots from Boston would have been asking for his head?

  134. ron

    August 19, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    What traffic will bear? I haven’t been to a game in 20 years. Oh that’s right, it wasn’t the ticket prices, it was the ban on coolers loaded with beer. Never mind.

  135. Mark in Chicago

    August 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Try a minor league game, sometime, ron. Players mostly make scrap, they generally play hard, and coolers are (often times) allowed.

    Sure, the baseball sucks, but have you seen the Tigers play lately?

  136. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Sure, the baseball sucks, but have you seen the Tigers play lately?

    That was just cold.

  137. Coleman

    August 19, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Aww, now why you kids gotta go tempting me to write all that crazy nonsense, when I just wanna write about baseball? Gee whilikers…(and just what in tarnation is a whiliker??)

    I liked billfer’s line about Al Kaline the Oriole, and can you imagine how good they would have been with an outfield of Robinson-Blair-Kaline instead of Buford-Blair-Robinson or whatever other combos they had?

    I also think the players aren’t being given enough credit, considering they really DON’T, on the whole, get a choice; think of Inge, who seems sincere when he says the Tigers and the Detroit area are home to him now (well what if we don’t WANT you, says the fan)…and the one example that doesn’t appear to have been mentioned yet, the wanted-to-be-a-Tiger-from -the-time-he-could-walk-Jason Grilli….

    Not to mention that baseball players are generally from 4 places; Florida, Texas, California, and Latin America; and what would we do with the glut of free agents demanding to play for their home teams?

    And while you can’t get much cooler than Granderson’s consecutive triples, I can’t help noticing how many runs he scored yesterday…none…and the 1st triple was with 1 out…

    And I don’t like the idea of Granderson as Dude of the Game, without a co-game-dude for Sheffield, Joyce, and Inge, who were on base 9 times between them, and all had excellent baserunning days. (Although I guess it’s not full Whipping Boy powers with Edgar playing Edgarly).

  138. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    “Your Renteria anagram would be better if you could replace ‘faking’ with another adjective that uses many of the same letters.”

    Ah, Chris, but you need to put Basic Faking Thug in the anagram machine before you draw any such quick conclusions.

    I have come to the rentative conclusion that a guy such as Basic Faking Thug reaching on errors unusually often may be coincident with a) often putting the ball in play (few K + BB), b) often hitting groundballs to the left side, and c) often hitting groundballs with men on, which would lead to not only more double plays but possibly more infield errors as well, as the situation is more complicated for an infielder with a man on any base.

  139. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    “That was just cold.”

    Antarctica. Cold and dry. He’s good.

    “As for Zumala”

    Well, I’ve heard of him, I think, but I don’t follow the Olympics that closely. Let’s talk about Joel again instead.

  140. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Oh, and I forgot d) I think Edgar gets down to 1B pretty quickly, doesn’t he?

  141. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Dammit, Sean – you’ve got me messing with the Anagram machine again. This time I’ve been using the full names of each player (including middle). Nothing of note. Other than the fact that I found out Marcus Thames middle name is Markley. So now he’s Marky Mark and that’s all there is to it. Clayton Michael Rapada is ‘Loony Panchatantra Day’ (which is next Thursday, by the way.)

  142. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Sean: You may have thought that was a typo. But you’d be wrong. Allow this link to explain.

    http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2007/0.....el-zumaya/

  143. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Ah, you fooled me, Chris. Zumala it is, then. I support our President unswervingly, and look to him for all moral and baseball guidance.

    I thought it was pretty hilarious that Bush mentioned the Tigers in the context of the World Series, too, until I realized the article was from 2007.

    “Clayton Michael Rapada is ‘Loony Panchatantra Day’’

    That’s pretty funny, and I don’t to spoil anything, but where’s the M? Yeah. Let’s see you explain that one away with a link. : – )

  144. Chris in Dallas

    August 19, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    That one’s easy to explain Sean. I’m an idiot. His middle name is Anthony, not Michael. I must’ve been thinking about Anthony Michael Hall at the time and got confused.

  145. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    What Coleman mentions about Granderson not scoring after either triple, yeah, that could have been big. Surprised no one mentioned it, but then again, the late game comments especially were very thin.

  146. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 19, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    I’m glad that “Loony Panchatantra Day’’ is still on for Thursday, then. I’ll have to wait for Friday to celebrate, though.

    “I’m an idiot.”

    No name-calling, please. Site rules.