Gary Sheffield released

Wow. I actually suspected that at some point this year Gary Sheffield would get released. I didn’t expect the week before the season began. Being owed $14 million I thought that the Tigers would give Sheffield a chance to perform before cutting their losses. The timing of this is stunning and puts yesterday’s move into perspective.

I expected Sheffield to hit when healthy this year, but I didn’t expect for him to stay healthy. He’s been relatively quiet this spring, with the bat and his mouth.

As for what this means? I’d guess that Marcus Thames would be the primary DH and this may be his chance to hit those 40 home runs.

I’ll have more on this later tonight. In the meantime nice call by Scott Warheit yesterday.

UPDATE: Other roster moves announced today bring the total in camp down to 31

  • Jeremy Bonderman to the 15 Day DL
  • Clete Thomas optioned to AAA
  • Wil Rhymes and Timo Perez assigned to minor league camp.


  1. scotsw

    March 31, 2009 at 10:05 am


    How about a Guillen/Thames platoon at DH, and a Anderson/Guillen/Thames platoon in left?

  2. Chris in Nashville

    March 31, 2009 at 10:10 am

    That is kind of what I was thinking Scotsw. The team has MUCH more flexibility now. I hope this means Thames is on the team again, but who knows at the rate things are going. I thought the offense was set and it was pitching that would be moved around. Wow is the best word Bilfer.

  3. jim-mt

    March 31, 2009 at 10:20 am

    I am so happy. I had come to hate seeing those long foul balls down the line, then a double play grounder and Sheff wouldn’t even run.

  4. greg

    March 31, 2009 at 10:21 am

    At first, I was as surprised as everyone else. My guess is Sheffield whined about not being able to play OF and being relegated to DH. The Tigers pamper all their players, especially the prima donnas that cry if they don’t get their way. So they probably just released him to placate him, and the Anderson trade was all part of it.

  5. Andre in Chi

    March 31, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Oh my! Don’t DD and Ilitch know there’s a recession going on? Throwing away $14M, in this economy? Is this an indication of Ilitch being willing to take a short-term loss in a bad economy…for the sake of winning? I hope he has some money saved because I hear attendance might be down this year.

    Sarcasm aside, this move could well be 4tW…even if I’m gonna miss the snark that Sheffield brought to the table. At the very least it reinforces what they’ve been saying about performance, not salary/reputation, being what determines playing time. Warheit probably won himself a couple rounds from his buddies with that call…good on him 🙂

  6. greg

    March 31, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Amen Jim, Sheff’s extreme loafing won’t be missed.

  7. Kathy

    March 31, 2009 at 10:36 am

    I was so hoping Clete Thomas could take that LF position, but he’s been sent to Toledo. Marcus just isn’t that good in LF. I love the guy, but he just isn’t. I’ve also noticed that Sheff didn’t travel with the team as much and also his name wasn’t mentioned several times when the players were held back at Lakeland to practice. He wasn’t hitting this year and looked exactly the same as last year. It’s a good move for the team.

  8. ron

    March 31, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Welcome back Marcus, I think.

  9. Dave BW

    March 31, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Well this certainly makes things easier. Though it would have been nice if they hadn’t waited until the last second to do it. If they don’t move Guillen to DH now, I’m going to pull a John Bale on my wall.

  10. rings

    March 31, 2009 at 10:55 am

    It’s a GREAT day to be a Tiger fan! Good riddance to Sheffield – a mistake from the beginning.
    This gives the lineup much more flexibility and paves the way for Guillen, Maggs & Miggy to enjoy “off” days at the DH.
    Its also good to see that the Tigers are making decisions based on putting the best team on the field, rather than assembling their squad based on payroll.

    Side note: of Jim Leyland’s “acquisitions” (Mesa, Perez, Sheffield), none remain.

  11. Chris Y.

    March 31, 2009 at 10:59 am


  12. jason

    March 31, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Incredible news. Although, I found this in one article, and couldn’t help but feel a bit bad for him:

    His uncle, Doc Gooden, and other family members had planned to attend Detroit’s season-opening series, hoping to watch him reach 500.

    edit: bah, every website has a different way to quote… and I can’t figure this one out.

  13. Kevin in Austin (now Dallas)

    March 31, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Good observations Kathy. Maybe this will be a little pick me up in the clubhouse. I don’t think that Gary was exactly a “team player.”

  14. Kathy

    March 31, 2009 at 11:31 am

    I think the clubhouse will be relieved. Also, in an article in the Free Press, Dave Dombrowski says Marcus will be on the team. Different players will take turns at DH. How ’bout them apples?

  15. Chris in Dallas

    March 31, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I guess they can also fire the clubhouse oncologist. No more cancer to worry about…

  16. Chris in Nashville

    March 31, 2009 at 11:44 am

    The Freep article also quotes DD that Thames has made the team. As Kathy said above, we now have a ton of versatility with our DH and can rest many guys without missing their bats (i.e. Gullen, Maggs, Miggy). I love it.

  17. Mr. X

    March 31, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Glad this happened sooner than later. Only a few question marks left.

  18. Kyle J

    March 31, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Good move. Guillen to DH, I say. He’s too fragile to play in the outfield every day, and we need him healthy to keep his versatile bat in the lineup.

    Oh, and Free Marcus Thames!

  19. Mark in Chicago

    March 31, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Agree, Dave BW. Guillen needs to be the primary DH. LF should be some sort of platoon between Thames, Raburn, Anderson, and Larish (who is probably the odd man out since he has options left).

    I like the flexibility here as well. Rotating the DH around to spell Maggs and Guillen from the field without losing their bats should keep them healthy(er).

    Now we just need some pitching….

  20. Chris in Nashville

    March 31, 2009 at 11:56 am

    I’m guessing that normal lineup against RHP, Guillen would be DH and Anderson would be in LF. Against LHP it would be Guillen/Thames in LF/DH.

  21. Chris in Nashville

    March 31, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I actually take that back..knowing Leyland, I dont’ think we are going to have an every day lineup.

  22. Dave T.

    March 31, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Tom Gage or Lynn Henning I can’t remember which predicted Gary would hit 30 HR’s this year. I agree it gives us some flexibility, but I don’t like the idea of cutting a guy who has a chip on his shoulder and something to prove to the league.
    I thought Gary would at least come out hot.
    But I do like the idea of Curtis hitting in the 6th hole vacated by Gary with Anderson leading off.

  23. Scott

    March 31, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    How long before Mt. Sheffield errupts and starts bashing the Tigers, JL, DD and Paws?

    As you all have indicated, this was the right move. I think we’ll get a lot more production from the DH spot with Thames/Guillen/whoever. Given 500 AB, I don’t think Sheffield’s numbers would be much better than last year.

  24. Chris Y.

    March 31, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    He’d never have sniffed 500 AB, which was a big part of the problem.

    I don’t think it’ll be long before you hear the outcry by Gary. I’m guessing the second he’s picked up by another team.

  25. ron

    March 31, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Any comments from Gary yet?

  26. Andre in Chi

    March 31, 2009 at 12:37 pm


    However long it takes, plenty of fans will have beat him to the punch, both in taking shots at the Tigers as an organization and at him as a player/person. I understand the ill-will that he engenders, and a good deal of it is certainly his own doing. However, I feel that he really was a victim of injuries and that he could have been something special for the Tigers if things had gone differently in that regard. There have been times where the Tigers have seemed to lack an “edge”, and I had always thought of Sheff as somebody that had the potential to not only produce on the field, but also to impart some that “je ne sais quoi” to a team that could seem blaze sometimes. I know he would get criticized for not running out “outs”, but he was far from the only one – it was just that the others were producing at the time.

    Basically, I just wish the injuries hadn’t marred his potential impact.

  27. Dave T.

    March 31, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Andre in Chi

    Sheff may have had the ‘je ne sais quoi’
    but to quote Ed Rooney ‘le jeux sont faits’

  28. greg

    March 31, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    It’s true that the team packed it in the last couple of months, but Sheff’s loafing was the most egregious, both in frequency and degree. In running to first stats, Sheff lead the team in ‘slow trots that were slower than an average walking pace’, and he also led in ‘I’m not even going to fake it, so I’ll just slowly walk to first until I’m officially out’ events. I caught Maggs doing it once or twice, and ripped him for it as well, but Sheff did it habitually, so he deserves the biggest black eye.

    I don’t care if someone is hitting .420 with 70 HR’s and 180 RBI’s, if he engages in extreme loafing, I don’t want him on the team.

  29. Mr. X

    March 31, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Sheff-filled a need when we got him, but we didn’t have Miguel Cabrera and a gimpy Guillen back then either. In baseball the greatest laid plans never seem to work. If a team can look great on paper, in reality they are almost always going to underachieve. You can’t buy championships, you have to earn them. That’s what is great about the game.

  30. Vince in MN

    March 31, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Better late than never. Like a cork in a bottle, the old man really plugged up the roster. This gives the team so much more flexibility. It has been good to see mangement finally starting to admit past mistakes and move on.

  31. Vince in MN

    March 31, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    As far as the Thomas reassignment goes, to me this is a good move in that it is a sign that the Tigers are taking greater care in pushing injured players. Rushing players back has proved to be counter-productive over the last few years (see Joel Zumaya, Matt Anderson) and it looks like the new approach is a “better safe than sorry” one. Three cheers.

  32. Chris in Nashville

    March 31, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    So who do you guys think take Bonderman/Zumaya’s spots on the roster until they are healthy? My bet is Porcello gets a start and Perry gets a chance before both go down once the regular guys are healthy.

  33. Andre in Chi

    March 31, 2009 at 1:18 pm


    Sheff’s trots did seem pretty bad, but again, I’ll say that they looked worse than they were. I saw plenty of loafing, you mentioned Maggs, and I would have added Cabrera and Renteria based on a couple egregious incidents. However, he balanced his trots to first on 99%-certain-outs (although its nice to get that errant 1%), with being better on the bases than anyone else but Granderson in his two years with the Tigers. Granted, that’s not saying much given the competition, but it says something that your #2 base-stealer is near 40…and might be a better indication of how hard he played than the ever infuriating slow trot.

    BTW, I’m not saying this isn’t a good move, I agree with all the above statements re: versatility, and it was very possible that injuries had in fact not only caught up to, but overtaken Mr. Sheffield. Just thought that his lack of production wasn’t for lack of effort.

  34. David

    March 31, 2009 at 1:20 pm


  35. Chris in Dallas

    March 31, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    I think the fact that Sheffield was something like 8-for-45 this Spring contributed to this. When you combine that with his total futility in 2008, all signs seem to be pointing to a guy who’s washed up. I’ve defended the guy plenty, but if he can’t do it anymore, he can’t do it anymore. You don’t want to be wasting AB on a guy who’s not going to produce. At least ‘sunk cost’ is in the organizational dictionary.

  36. Scott

    March 31, 2009 at 1:41 pm


    Don’t get me wrong, I actually like Sheffield. As a former reporter, I always appreciated players and coaches that didn’t speak in cliches. Gary always says what’s on his mind and I respect that … it may be self-serving at times, but that’s okay. What I was eluding to is that he has pretty much always gone off on his previous teams … it’ll be interesting to see what he says.

  37. Jeff

    March 31, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Anderson as the left half of a left field platoon would be a bad move. He’s fine as a 4th outfielder and he’ll get plenty of playing time. But 400 at bats to a corner outfielder with limited power and a low walk rate will make an Inge/Everett lineup that much weaker.

  38. joey c.

    March 31, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Dudes, don’t hold your breath on Thames being everyday…Leyland will find some reason to keep him out.

    As for Sheffield…I think this is a move that’s long overdue.

  39. ron

    March 31, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    How many former steroid users we got left, One?

  40. Kathy

    March 31, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Well, I have to go along with Andre in Chi’s assesment that Gary was a victim of injuries. He played spectacularly in ’07 and did bring an edge to the team. He was so exciting to watch play and actually steal bases. Fortunatley, I saw him play against the Red Sox in June of ’07 when the Tigers won in 13 innings and as Gary crossed home plate, he kicked dirt towards the Red Sox dugout. Some people didn’t think that was “nice”. I loved what he brought to the team, but after bumping into Polanco, he was never the same.

  41. mcb.

    March 31, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    It’s a little bit like spitting in the guys’ face seeing as he was so close to 500 HR. Oh well… it’s just good business, I guess! As my father-in-law texted us recently, just another unemployed Detroiter….

    Less than a week ’til opening day. Can’t wait to see how this all plays out.

  42. Ypsi

    March 31, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    It is the year of Marcus Thames!

  43. Chris Y.

    March 31, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Well, said MR. X.

    That’s exactly why I bet we’d all like to field 9 “Grandersons” every day.

  44. Chris Y.

    March 31, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    As for the rotation, a quick look at the Tigers box score looks like Robertson will likely join Bondo on the DL.

    So, this is it for Opening day: Verlander, Jackson, Galarraga, Miner, Porcello?

  45. jud

    March 31, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    yea..,…..thank you baseball gods

  46. Andre in Chi

    March 31, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    On the bright side, while the Nats lead 5-1 in runs, the Tigers are leading 3-0 on the basepaths (Porcello pick-off; Zimmerman CS; Anderson SB). So we have that going for us, which is nice.

    Also, while not usually being a fan of rumors, another site pointed out ESPN’s Baseball Today podcast on 3/26…where they mention a source within the Tigers talking about Leyland and DD clashing, specifically over Porcello (Leyland wants to start him). So we have that….

  47. greg

    March 31, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Looked worse that it was? I don’t believe that’s possible…..unless the 400 lb woman I saw at the supermarket looked fatter than she really was. Obviously Sheff didn’t loaf 24/7/365, but nobody does, or ever has. Your take on this would be similar to acquitting a shoplifter because, a shoplifter could say, ‘I only shoplift once a week, the rest of the time I’m a regular everyday citizen, contributing to society.’ Would that be acceptable? Similarly, egregious loafing should never be tolerated. It’s disrespectful to the game, and to the fans who,indirectly, pay the player’s salary.

  48. Andre in Chi

    March 31, 2009 at 4:00 pm


    I think a lot of this comes down to perception. You saw the trots down first as “egregious”, while I saw other people doing similar. The difference seems to be that they weren’t named Sheffield.

    While “running it out” to 1st is certainly a reasonable expectation of people being paid millions for sport, its hardly a universal occurrence, and its not entirely fair to brand those more prone to it of having an overall lack of effort. There’s an extremely low percentage pay-off to running out 1st in most cases and a not-insignificant added risk of injury, so it doesn’t bother me that some veterans choose not to when its fairly obvious that it won’t matter.

    If you choose to look at that aspect of his game (although I’m sure it’s by no means the only negative in Sheffield’s case), that’s fine. I choose to counter that observation with his tendency to hustle once on base, which to my mind likely results in more runs. I’m a little iffy on your shop-lifting analogy, but I’ve made my share of obscure remarks. I never felt disrespected by his occasional trots, but that’s me, I’m weird like that; I also never thought that his remarks were racist (merely politically incorrect and in this regard I believe there’s a clear difference)…and find that things like “Manny being Manny” and “Schilling being Schilling” to be ok.

  49. scotsw

    March 31, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I want to let Cabrera off the hook a bit here… Someone fingered him as a loafer, but I don’t think that’s ever been the case. I think he played April and most of May last year with a strained quadriceps which was probably worse than he ever let on… I base this on having 27-game plan tickets on the first-base line, and watching his ginger, uneven gait at the beginning of the season. He played hurt, his numbers suffered, and I think he made a bad first impression with some fans. If the last 4 months of the season are a good indicator, though, he’ll be fine.

    As for Sheff, I’m stumped. There’s obviously nothing wrong with his bat speed. He’s still got a great eye for the strike zone… I have to think his injuries have messed up his mechanics, and he’s just not getting the barrel of the bat where he’s aiming it anymore. He could be a great pick-up for an AL team looking for a power. He should be signed by tomorrow afternoon (which is probably why he was released today).

  50. Andre in Chi

    March 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm


    The purpose of the comment I made wasn’t to label Cabrera as a loafer, I don’t think he is (and contrary to the national media, I think he’s a fine 1st baseman). I was merely trying to point out that occasional trots to 1st do not necessarily a loafer make – and that, even if they did, Sheffield was not the only one on the roster that should have been so labeled.

  51. greg

    March 31, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Andre wrote:

    “I was merely trying to point out that occasional trots to 1st do not necessarily a loafer make”

    I see, so then would you say that robbing a bank only occasionally(say, once a month) doesn’t make one a bank robber? After all, most of the time they’re not robbing banks, just once a month.

    Or if an employee at McDonald’s only cusses out one out of every 5 customers, would you say that’s not enough to label that employee as having bad customer service skills because the majority of the customers aren’t cussed at? 80% receive good customer service, so that’s good right?

    Would you also say that even if a driver gets in an average of 6-8 wrecks a year, and gets 6-8 additional tickets for speeding/reckless op, really, we can’t label them as being a bad or reckless driver, because 80% of they’re obeying the traffic laws? After all, a few reckless incidents do not a reckless driver make.

  52. greg

    March 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Andre wrote

    I think a lot of this comes down to perception. You saw the trots down first as “egregious”, while I saw other people doing similar. The difference seems to be that they weren’t named Sheffield.

    I see, so if Sheffield walked down to 1st 80-90 times, and Maggs did it once or twice, there’s no difference there. They’re both just as bad. You’re probably right.

  53. Adam

    March 31, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    The only loafer I was ever upset at was Sean Casey, when he thought he’d hit a line drive the shortstop caught. The ball had actually gone over the shortstop and into left.

    The left-fielder threw him out at first. But, like I said. That was Sean Casey.

  54. Chris in Dallas

    March 31, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    My view re: Sheffied/loafing coincides fairly closely with Andre 3000. It’s a long season, and I don’t think the reward outweighs the risk. How many times have you seen a guy pull a hammie stretching out those last couple of feet to first base? In late & close situations, you want to see a guy bust it down the line, but in other situations it’s not value-added. Especially if you’re pushing 40.

    I’d also like to posit that the blame is being cast in the wrong direction. If a guy is loafing and it pisses you off, blame the manager for not enacting a ‘no jogging’ policy. Even guys like Jimmy Rollins and Jose Reyes have been benched for that in recent seasons, and those are MVP-type performers.

  55. Andre in Chi

    March 31, 2009 at 4:59 pm


    What, no “4 out of 5 Dentists prefer…”?

    -What if the bank robber gave all the money to the poor?
    -What if the employee had tourrettes?
    -What if the wrecks weren’t their fault and the cops were out to get them?

    What if we stopped with the absurd analogies?

    Yes, Sheff loafed occasionally. Others did too. Possibly less than Sheff. Sheff also stole bases. More than almost everyone else on the team. Maybe he’s not as lazy as you say.

    I have no “loafing” stat to compare Sheff or anyone else to, and I didn’t watch every game last year. If you say Sheff walked down 1st 80-90 times vs. Maggs 1-2, I will take that for what its worth – and ASSUMING that’s true, I’ll acknowledge that 90 loafs is worse than 2 loafs (the grammar is confusing to me). However, despite a much higher OBP, Maggs stole a total of 5 bags in the combined years in which Sheff totaled 31. When calculating loafing average, I don’t know how much you want to weigh steals vs trots…but 31 steals is better than 5 steals.

    Also, thanks to having to one-up your analogies, I’ve forgotten my own name.

    Edit: when i first posted, got some weirdness having used less than and greater than symbols…

  56. Joel in Seattle

    March 31, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Greg’s just a hardline Strongbadian:

  57. Chris in Dallas

    March 31, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Dre: I always get confused with greater than and less than. I avoid them at all costs, lest I look like a numbskull for using the wrong one.

  58. greg

    March 31, 2009 at 5:38 pm


    Honestly, I think the analogies are very fitting, as they illustrate my point well.

    I think the real difference is loafing doesn’t bother you at all(or very little), you go for the bottom line/Wins. Which is fine. Perhaps if I were the owner and only in it for financial profit, I might feel the same way. As a spectator, I just find it difficult to maintain any rooting interest in a team/player that only plays hard when they feel like it.

    I think your idea for loafing stats is excellent. Sure, it would be subjective, but so are errors/fielding %. We could put clauses in contracts giving them bonuses for dirtbag behavior, or fine them for excessive Sheffield behavior.


  59. Kathy

    March 31, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    OMG, I don’t believe this loafing business. The guy stole home for chrissakes.

  60. Chris in Dallas

    March 31, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    For my sakes? 🙂

  61. greg

    March 31, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Gee whiz Kathy. I didn’t think of that. Once someone steals home, after that, it’s physically impossible to loaf. How silly of me.

  62. Chris in Dallas

    March 31, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Are you calling Jackie Robinson a loafer? The nerve! I kid, I kid. Maybe if he’d gotten hold of some of Neifi’s go pills he wouldn’t have slacked so much…

  63. Birdy

    March 31, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Marcus Thames is certainly a more likable fellow than Gary Sheffield so I can understand to a certain extent the support he gets from some here , but I don’t think he’s a very good player. His OBP last year was .292 and he batted just .206 the second half of the year. He’s a below average outfielder as well. He hits the ball far sometimes and is exciting to watch for that reason, but I’d be very surprised to see him DH against righties. The Tigers need speed in their lineup and better outfield defense. To me that means Anderson in left and Guillen at DH against righties. Thames and Guillen play against lefties. Take your pick who you want in left. Guillen’s the better outfielder but a bigger loss if he gets injured out there.

  64. Andrew

    March 31, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    I’m sorry, but all of this talk about Sheffield’s bad trots has given me the laughs. He shoulda taken some Imodium AD and gotten rid of those awful trots. Poor fella.

  65. Jeff

    March 31, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    The Tigers’ biggest offensive problem isn’t lack of speed, it’s low OBP. Anderson has a poor walk rate. At least Thames offsets his low OBP with power. Anderson will get playing time, deservedly so. But having him as the bigger half of a platoon in a lineup that already has a lot of deadweight is just asking for trouble.

    Seeing the box score today with Anderson leading off made me cringe. Juan Pierre Junior.

  66. Kathy

    March 31, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Well, I liked Sheff just fine, just as much as Marcus (sometimes he can hit, sometimes he can’t for long periods of time). I never saw Sheff getting lazy and I watched almost every day. So I suppose I’m blind. Right now, I’m more concerned with Brandon Lyon, the home run king. Even Jonsey didn’t throw that many HR balls. Brandon Lyon is giving me heartburn way worse than Jonsey ever did and the season hasn’t even started.

  67. Ryan

    March 31, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Sad that Sheff only had two months here to rake because his body decided to be old (and he couldn’t have things-that-you-don’t-stick-in-your-backside anymore). Glad to see him released. I think Thames/whoever is a much better hitter at this point and will take up less ABs by batting sixth. Bad options must be physically removed from Leyland.

    On a totally different subject, I was leafing through the ’09 Hardball Times book at Meijer, and there were a couple real gems in the Tigers’ descriptions. The Inge entry made a reference to sticking sharp things in your eye, and the Miner entry concluded that there are about 400 pitching jobs, and Miner is generally deserving of one.

  68. David

    March 31, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Sheffield wasn’t a loafer at all. He just was plain washed up and/or injured for most of his tenure. Why any team would want him now is beyond me, the fact is many AAA and AA players could outproduce him in many facets of the game while not being a DH.

    Oh and for the ultimate anti loafer stat which apparently is steals of home —-


    by comparison Max Carey (2nd place) has 33

    Oh and I forgot to add that Sheffield has the IQ of a fly, the guy always tried to hit the S*** out of the ball and pull it.

  69. Dave BW

    March 31, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    The whole “running to first on ground balls” argument is basically a subset of the fascination with gritty/gamer/scrappy players — I find the whole thing silly (hey, let’s bench B.J Upton for a game or two for failing to run out a ground ball — he’s only the second or third best player on the team). As has been stated, the payoff over the course of a year is less than marginal.

    Also, Sheffield strikes me as reasonably intelligent (in the context of baseball players), though completely lacking in tact.

  70. Ken in Vegas

    March 31, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Marky Markus is not that bad of a defender in my opinion. Maybe I’m watching the game with my own speed and skill as a comparative model, but I think he’s average. It’s not like he doesn’t have the capability to lay out and make a fantastic play now and again. I’ve seen it many times. I just don’t see him as a liability out there. He’s not going to save many runs, but he’s not going to cost us many either. That being said, he has struggled with consistency at the plate, but who wouldn’t when you have no idea when you’re playing day to day. Give the guy some sense of security and stability and let’s see if we can’t make him our country funk doctor version of Adam Get’er Dunn. Whoooo’s coming with me…….

  71. Dave BW

    March 31, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    I don’t think Thmaes (where is Smoking Loon, already?) is an everyday player — the platoon against lefties idea was right on.

  72. Ken in Vegas

    March 31, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    The fact that I love the guy has totally tainted my ability to be objective about this. I will downplay all his weaknesses and pronounce all his strengths. Unfortunately, the truth is that the more that pitchers studied Thames the more easily they could put him down with a low-hanging sinker or slider. Hopefully, he has worked on that this offseason.

  73. Ken in Vegas

    March 31, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    The Smoking Loon has clearly decided to trade in his dial-up modem for a less progressive model……..nothing. He just couldn’t handle the notion that one can type a comment into this computer box and it could be read by others after it loaded only 25 minutes later. Now instead of living in the outskirts of Illinois, he lives in the outskirts of Siberia. He’s probably wearing his Sheffield jersey, while listlessly drawing a baseball diamond in the sand. Or he might have been abducted by aliens who appreciate baseball analysis written in a Shakespearian voice just a little more than we do.

  74. greg

    March 31, 2009 at 8:29 pm


    The whole “running to first on ground balls” argument is basically a subset of the fascination with gritty/gamer/scrappy players — I find the whole thing silly (hey, let’s bench B.J Upton for a game or two for failing to run out a ground ball — he’s only the second or third best player on the team)

    I find it silly that someone actually would make this statement. So the amount of effort you put into the game is totally irrelevant? It has no direct and indirect effects on the outcome of a game? Now that’s pretty silly. I also find it difficult to believe someone actually believes this.

    I guess you’ve never seen a fielder rushed as a result of hustling on a routine play/grounder, maybe you don’t have a tv….and you’ve never seen the countless direct and indirect results of hustling & loafing. I can only assume you’ve never played organized sports.

  75. Coach Jim

    March 31, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Wahoo! Guillen will be the every day DH. Josh and Marcus to platoon in LF. I think Josh will leadoff when he plays. He just needs Tony Philips to teach him his strike zone philosophy. He could really be something special.

  76. Dave BW

    March 31, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    No, what’s silly is judging one’s effort based on how they react in what amounts to a largely irrelevant situation. Sweet straw man argument, though.

  77. Dave BW

    March 31, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    I heard Loon operates a beet farm outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania now

  78. greg

    March 31, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    “No, what’s silly is judging one’s effort based on how they react in what amounts to a largely irrelevant situation.”

    Such an assessment is rather ignorant….unless of course, one is of the persuasion that scoring runs, winning, and losing, are all largely irrelevant.

  79. Dave BW

    March 31, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    To be clear, the irrelevant situation I’m speaking of is running to first on nearly certain outs. I seriously doubt that the number of times a fielder screws up a tag at first adds up to a whole lot of bases over a year for any given player, let alone runs (let alone wins). But prove me wrong. If you can’t, it’s awfully irresponsible to refer to my statement as “ignorant.”

    Give me data, Greg! Data!

  80. billfer

    March 31, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    This loafing argument seems to be going nowhere. But it’s good for page views I suppose.

  81. David

    March 31, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I agree with Greg on this one. Laziness gets you nowhere. Great effort + Great skill + Smarts = HOF.

  82. rings

    March 31, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Indeed, Bilfer.
    Bottom line is that Sheffield was not productive – especially relative to his cost – and his acquisition was a mistake. Once again, the Tigers have made a committment to winning, no matter the cost, as they feel the roster is better off without him. (I agree wholeheartedly, as this is the very definition of “addition by subtraction” IMHO)

    What I find more interesting, are the ESPN rumours of a DD-JL rift brewing regarding Porcello. Leyland has been dead wrong about many of his pet roster moves (Mesa, Perez, Sheffield), so one has to wonder if DD has lost some faith in The Marlboro Man’s judgement. No doubt, Jim wants the kid in the rotation as his best option to win now, whereas Dave is interested in Porcello’s longer term potential and career.

  83. David

    March 31, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    This whole topic is great for page views and great for the Tigers.

  84. David

    March 31, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Hey Rings, give me a time machine like the one Marty McFly had I’ll tell you if it’s a good idea…

  85. Ryan

    March 31, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Guillen should surely DH. He has an extensive injury history himself. LF should be Thames against RHP, Anderson against LHP. Get rid of Raburn (he would probably get claimed on waivers anyway), and have Larish make the team.

  86. Joel in Seattle

    April 1, 2009 at 12:35 am


    Don’t you want lefties facing RHP and vice-versa?

  87. ron

    April 1, 2009 at 2:33 am

    Smoking Loon phone home. Finally, the loafing problem is being addressed. Sheffield had to be kicked off the team before it was ever brought up. This has been going on for some time.(where is Loon)? Isn’t it loaves?

  88. ron

    April 1, 2009 at 4:44 am

    Ken in Vegas, following up your lead, I got on Google Earth and typed in Siberia and mysteriously, the little magnifying glass honed in on Siberia, Indiana to a farmhouse at the following coordinates; 38degrees14’21.28″N and 86degrees43’58.58″W. It appears that someone is in the midst of putting together a baseball diamond as 2nd base is clearly visible at the above location. Could Loon be building his Field of Dreams?

  89. Coleman

    April 1, 2009 at 7:51 am

    There was a point to the Loaf back when there was a ham sandwich to be had…

  90. Dave BW

    April 1, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Today’s Detroit News “E-Edition” (grrrr) claims that Thames will be the DH. Why do the Tigers hate me?

  91. ron

    April 1, 2009 at 9:14 am

    If Coleman can’t root him out, no one can.