Junkballing: Booing, Injuries, Waivers and Minors

A hodgepodge of all the stuff that went down this week that just didn’t fit anywhere else:

Much ado about a boo

A lot of disgruntled fans did a lot of booing this week. Gary Sheffield received his share when culmination about frustration with his production collided with Sheff being Sheff. That was noisy, but not too surprising. Sheffield responded somewhat, and was still a little misguided.

“Compare me to me,” Sheffield said. “If you’re looking for .300, 30 [home runs] and 100 [RBIs], then I look pretty awful right now. I ain’t the only .220 hitter in this game. I ain’t the last one to hit .220, but it’s never a big deal when a lot of guys that play everyday, hit in the same spot everyday, and hit .220 and nobody says a thing.”

But Gary, you’re getting paid to be you and that’s the problem. You’re not being paid to be a .220 hitter.

But there was more booing. Joel Zumaya bore the brunt of it when he and Bobby Seay blew a 3 run lead. Zumaya, who said it felt like his shoulder exploded, wasn’t a fan saying

“I think it’s pretty lame,” Zumaya said. “I give it everything I’ve got.”

Bobby Seay didn’t appreciate it either.

I’m not a fan of booing. I understand it, but it’s not something I do. That said I don’t know that the booing was directed specifically at Zumaya and specifically at the outing. But it was general frustration with the bullpen crapping the bed again.

Oww, my aching…

The medical staff has been busy, but it seems like everything has been reactive. Todd Jones hits the DL after getting destroyed repeatedly. Joel Zumaya hits the DL after blowing up. It’s reminiscent of Jeremy Bonderman’s situation last year. I understand players wanting to play through things, but how many times once the team suffer for a player trying to gut it out.

But then you’ve got the other side where in that previously linked Sheffield article he said he was hurting, his trainer said he’s doing too much, but the organization said he was fine.

“I’m just going to give it to you straight,” he said. “When the organization tells you that you’re fine, I can’t say I’m not fine. I have to be on the same page as the organization. That’s just the way it goes.

“I talked to my trainer, and he said, basically, what I’m doing is unrealistic. That’s what he said. I said, ‘Why won’t anyone say that on my behalf? Why do I always have to come up here and defend me?’ And he just said, ‘Be realistic with yourself.’ That’s all I needed to hear. After that, I felt good about walking on the field. I have no extra incentives to play hurt.

I don’t understand it.

Jeremy Bonderman will be rejoining the team this weekend, but to rehab and likely not play.

And speaking of injuries, Marcus Thames is expected back in a day or two, as is Carlos Guillen who is dealing with a pinched nerve in his back. And Freddy Dolsi was optioned out to Toledo to make room for Todd Jones who is back. Though his role hasn’t been decided. Dolsi will likely be back when rosters expand.


Gary Sheffield cleared waivers. Shocking. The bigger news is that the Tigers put in a claim on Raul Ibanez. Corner outfield/DH doesn’t appear to be a need for the Tigers so I can’t figure out the intent unless they hoped to get him for free, and then take the draft picks when he walks. Luckily they didn’t work out a trade that would have had the Tigers sending the Mariners anything of value.

Minor interest

The Tigers have had some good news in their farm system this year from some unexpected sources. And it’s getting some press. Wilkin Ramirez is a high ceiling guy that has had his progression and production limited by injuries. But he’s putting it all together this year earning this assessment from a scout:

“He has power, on-base skills, and don’t forget that he’s a 60 [on the 20-to-80 scouting scale] runner as well. His defense is adequate, but I think he’s the kind of guy who is an everyday corner outfielder on a first-division team—he could be pretty special.”

Also in the same article are some kind words for James Skelton, though scouts still can’t decide if his slight frame is an issue.

Another catcher making noise is Dusty Ryan. Tigs Town recently profiled him.

With the Tigers concerns at the catching position heading into 2009, Ryan will have a wonderful opportunity to enter Spring Training with a chance to impress and earn a big league job.

Finally, Ryan Strieby has been destroying the Florida State League.


  1. Eddie

    August 14, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    That Sheffield quote is something else. Heads should definitely roll when it comes to the team’s medical/training staff.

  2. Chief Monday

    August 14, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Here’s an article of some interest- Study: Detroit Tigers fans are second least loyal in Major League Baseball

    With all the complaining I’ve heard over the past year, I’m not surprised at all.

  3. Mike R

    August 14, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Honestly, how many of us (Eddie and I have said it multiple times and, you, Billfer said it at times) have to beat the drum on this medical team being a complete joke?

  4. Chris

    August 14, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    As one of the fans at the ballpark and a few rows in front of me noted today, Gary Sheffield is the best .220 hitter in the league…

  5. judpma

    August 15, 2008 at 9:38 am

    not only is he the best .200 hitter in the league considering he is being pitched to like Babe Ruth-Ty Cobb- Hand Aaron- Al Kaline and Brandon Inge combined we should be thankful he is hitting that good.

  6. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 15, 2008 at 10:48 am

    The faster that fans boosted attendance and the more hastily they abandoned poor performance indicated fans who were less loyal,” the report says.

    “With all the complaining I’ve heard over the past year, I’m not surprised at all.”

    Non sequitur. Baseball fans everywhere complain about their teams, win or lose. Including fans who attend games regularly. Said fans are known to complain regularly while at the game. Appreciation and criticism are two sides of the same coin in being entertained by a baseball team. Drama needs good guys and bad guys, and the plot line is richer and more complex – more entertaining – when some of the “bad” guys are your guys.

    Fans who attend baseball games on a regular basis constitute a small minority of fans overall. To equate complaining and/or not attending games with not being loyal is to misunderstand the concept of loyalty in sports, which is very nearly meaningless to begin with.

    I have never known a serious sports fan who didn’t have a certain team they rooted for and kept rooting for, for reasons that were entirely sentimental and mostly illogical. We would call switching allegiance from the Tigers to an organization and a team that’s run better and plays better “fickle,” but that would actually be the logical choice if your goal was finding the best and most entertaining baseball to invest your time and interest in.

    Wrigley Field has developed a certain cache, a reputation, an aura, making attending a game there a “place to be” kind of thing. It’s almost incidental that the Cubs play there. Attendance at Comerica Park has much more to do with the Tigers’ level of play (or expected level), and I think that says something good about Tigers fans.

    There are smart fans and dumb fans, fans who support their teams with real cash money and fans who don’t, but there are no good or bad fans. Only fans.

    And those Forbes guys are too much. Boosting attendance quickly is the mark of a disloyal fan base? Ha.

  7. Sean C. in Illinois

    August 15, 2008 at 10:56 am

    “I ain’t the only .220 hitter in this game. I ain’t the last one to hit .220, but it’s never a big deal when a lot of guys that play everyday, hit in the same spot everyday, and hit .220 and nobody says a thing.”

    What Sheffield says here is true on the face of it. But am I wrong to think he crosses the line into pointing a finger at certain teammates with it? Am I wrong to think that Leyland, if made aware of this statement, should call Sheffield on it as harshly as he has with others in the past?

  8. jim-mt

    August 15, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    I doubt if Sheff thinks much about his teammates.