links for 2009-07-16

17 thoughts on “links for 2009-07-16”

  1. (1) Lynn Henning made a completely contradictory argument regarding Magglio Ordonez.

    He first says that there is absolutely no disputing that Ordonez sucks in every facet of the game (hitting, fielding, and baserunning).

    He then says that the Tigers can’t release him without getting in trouble with the union.

    What? The Tigers can release him for poor performance, and everybody damn well knows this – it was explained ad infinitum in the papers and talk radio months ago. So, was Henning simply trying to meet a word count and so he threw together a bunch of nonsensical sentences, or is he actually just schizophrenic?

    (2) Lynn Henning just LOOOOOVES the Tiger’s defense. (Oh, sure, the Yankees and the Red Sox have, indisputably, been the two dominant teams of the decade, and both of them have had defenses that were either bad or horrible, but nevermind that: Who wants to win two World Series like the Sox or 100 games every other year like the Yankees? Not me! I want to be able to say that my team is “gritty”!)

    But here’s the problem….the Tiger’s defense is NOT GOOD. It’s below average. Their defensive efficiency is 16th out of 30. Henning doesn’t seem to be too proficient with math, but even he should be able to see that 16 is closer to the last place team than it is to the first place team.

    (3) Henning calls Lucas French “trustworthy”. The dude has had TWO starts. One was horrible, the other was good….and the good one was against one of the worst offenses in baseball (a team that just added Yuniesky Betancourt and actually IMPROVED their offense!)

    He also seems unusually certain that Rick Porcello – he of the horrible K-rate, bad K/BB, and skyrocketing E.R.A. – is a great pitcher. Why, exactly, Lynn? Wanna, like, back up your claim? Perhaps Porcello’s great because he got utterly pulverized by the Yankees and Red Sox? (I know that that seems like an argument AGAINST Porcello’s greatness, but remember that Lynn applies an inverted logic to things.)

    So, in summation:

    Lynn Henning Loves:
    -Rick Porcello
    -Clete Thomas
    -Lucas French

    Lynn Henning Dislikes:
    -Magglio Ordonez
    -Armando Galarraga
    -Curtis Granderson
    -Carlos Guillen


    1. “But here’s the problem….the Tiger’s defense is NOT GOOD. It’s below average. Their defensive efficiency is 16th out of 30.”

      I’m not all that familiar with the defensive efficiency stat, or how all-encompassing it is as a defensive metric for a team. The Tigers D seems to fair better in other metrics though, 7th best in fielding % for example.

    2. Fangraphs has the Tigers as 5th best in MLB, based on UZR, behind TB, SEA, PIT, and SF. (3rd in AL).

  2. This talk of releasing Maggs is ridiculous, the guy deserves better treatment from his team and from the fans. One down year out of five(Okay, 2005 was suspect as well), and people are calling for his head? It is not even equal to Sheffield situation considering that he was never healthy in a Tigers uniform. Maggs deserves better.

    1. If it was just a matter of Magg’s being inconsistent , or if there were evidence of some type of injury to explain his numbers, I would agree with Brenden. However, there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of explaining this, other than he just doesn’t have the power or bat-speed anymore.

      I agree with Henning on this,

      “And so the inevitable seems to be closing in. I continue to believe the Tigers will be forced to release Ordonez at, or near, the All-Star break. They can’t go into the season’s second half with a hitter who no longer can hit in the manner necessary of run-producing outfielders.

      And they sure can’t risk triggering the vesting options that could bring back Ordonez and his big paydays for 2010 and possibly 2011.

      It’s an utter shame. There is no finer person in sports — none — than Magglio Ordonez. He and Carlos Guillen are bookends for what you want people to be as athletes, and as individuals.”

      1. Take a look back and see how Pudge struggled during the 2005 season when he was going through a divorce. He bounced back the next year and helped push a team to the playoffs. I understand that we weren’t really in contention in 2005, but I still don’t think it matters. We often forget the influence of family matters into why players may not be producing. Magglio’s wife has now undergone two serious surgeries, and to think that isn’t going to affect his playing is foolish. Whatever happened to loyalty, especially to a player that has been so important to the Tigers resurgence? We showed it towards Pudge, and should do the same for Maggs. Maybe he will show new signs of life in the second half, and if he doesn’t, he still deserves to be here. One bad year should not doom a player of his caliber.

        1. You’re comparing two pretty different players; both in terms of the value they brought through positional play and their respective contract situations.

          The Tigers could afford to give Pudge the benefit of the doubt; @ $8 mil that year — his .735 OPS wasn’t great, but about league average for catchers and he was good enough behind the plate to net himself a WAR of 2.2.

          On the other hand, Maggs is making $18 mil, his OPS dropped .200 pts in one year to .673, and of outfielders with over 250 PA, he ranks 71st of 76 in terms of WAR (-.50).

          With Guillen possibly rejoining the team, if the Tigers don’t release Maggs, they’re looking at having to populate 2/3 of the OF with the likes of such defensive maestros as Maggs, Guillen, or Thames. The irony is that only Thames has performed up to par offensively, and his PAs suffer because of Maggs’ playing time.

          As far as loyalty, if anything the Tigers have given Maggs all the rope he wants to hang himself with; he’s 5th on the team with 294 PAs. For the Tigers to show more “loyalty” would mean them risking huge options vesting on a player who shows no signs of recovery.

          Look, it sucks and nobody likes to see this happen, but the Tigers are already eating tens of millions of dollars on players who aren’t contributing for various reasons. Now they’re looking at a situation where their $18 mil OF — who by all accounts is one of the nicest people in the game — is, literally, hurting the team.

          Lets also remember that loyalty cuts both ways. The Tigers took a gamble and paid big money for Maggs, who was coming off experimental knee surgery (I know that some of this was necessary to “lure” him to Detroit and that the Tigers took steps to protect themselves contractually). Maggs must realize that with the salary he’s earning, his non-production is hurting a team already crippled by dead-weight contracts. By all accounts he’s handled this better than anyone could expect.

          1. I think that as fans, we need to demand more accountability from our players. It’s hard to do, especially with a guy like Maggs, but if he were running a publicly traded company that I had stock in, I’d be calling for his head.

            Just about everything I do concerning the Tigers (go to games & buy concessions, pay for, pay for the At Bat application, buy Tigers branded gear, etc.) is in some tiny way lining Maggs pockets. If Maggs were to get cut and the union filed a grievance on his behalf, that would be the story of the year in this economy. I’d love to see the analysis.

            We simply can’t guarantee future payments because of past performances. It’s terrible business and adversely affects the fans. I hope that he snaps out of it b/c a producing Maggs could be what we need to ensure an AL Central title. But I’m fine with cutting him.

          2. I agree with/believe

            1) He should be cut
            2) He has handled it very VERY well

            You can almost be sure than 2010 he will have a strong bounce back year, but nothing short of what he did in 2007 would warrant the $$.

            He ain’t getting any younger and in any event – can’t run or throw. If you’re paying 18mil or even 15 mil for a 36/37year old DH he better be a darn great hitter (Ie be top 5 in the MVP voting). And I think the chance of that is slim to none.

            To be perfectly honest I’d like to see this team have ~a handful of 30year old+ players next year.

            If Ordonez likes it here and wants to resign for ~3mil with 12mil in contract incentives… do it, otherwise it was nice knowing him. I’d rather be prudent with my limited resources.

  3. Is Carlos 0-10 now in his minor league at-bats?

    It’s early but that’s certainly not encouraging.

    1. I think Carlos will be alright as long as he is healthy. You have to figure he is practically starting over at Spring Training.

  4. I’m not sure where Henning is coming from–or going to–with the Granderson bit. The Tigers are lost if he doesn’t hit .300? He’s had 1 half-season where he hit .300 (2nd half 2007); I sincerely doubt the Tigers were EXPECTING and DEPENDING ON .300 from him. Henning points out that Granderson doesn’t have leadoff hitter stats (without actually looking at his stats when leading off, which are awful)–then says he has to bat leadoff, because of his “speed and formerly reliable knack for igniting” the offense. Is he referring to last season, when Granderson had a leadoff OPS of .611? Igniting is hardly the word I’d use.

    And we can live without the speed leading off–take away the 4 1st inning stolen bases last season and the 3 from this season and hardly anyone would notice. The speed at any rate seems to be no match for the Polanco GIDP, which has already nabbed him 6 times. (If Leyland isn’t going to send Curtis for the SB, he should at least consider sending him in DP situations, I think the odds of the GIDP are so high it’s more risky to not run).

    For whatever reason between the 2007 and 2008 season Granderson morphed into a lower AVG lower OBP higher power hitter. To me it makes more sense to just accept this, move him to the 5th spot, and take advantage of it. Or we could continue to pretend he is really the leadoff hitter he is in our imaginations.

    At any rate…”he needs to make baseball his fixation?” Eh? Is Henning suggesting his little occasional blogs are distracting him? Now that seems a bit of a reach…

    1. Although he was chosen to be an All-Star he has had a pretty crappy offensive year so far.

      104 OPS+ – .789 OPS for an outfielder of his caliber isn’t cutting it.

      He is 28 years old right smack dab in his prime, I hope he has a big second half. When you consider his age, and supposed talent level, and the position he plays, his offensive contribution can be described weak at best.

      Lynn by virtue of being an “insider” to the clubhouse, I would think has some idea either by sight or hear say of a lot of club inner-workings – work ethic being one of them. I wouldn’t be surprised he was right and Grandy (like most players) could spend more time training.

      His BaBip is pretty low compared to his career, so maybe some of this will fix itself. Still seeing his #s regressing from ’07 to ’08 and now from ’08 to ’09 is def. not encouraging.

      Purely a guess, but I’d say many could have expected to at least reach the 120-130 runs and knock in 70-80 before the season began. He is on pace for the 81rbis, but only 97 runs scored – which isn’t anywhere close to ideal.

      Still again pitching and D is key and IMO he is very low on “the Detroit Tiger trouble spots” list in the 2009 season.

      1. Yes, CG’s BABIP so far this year is .278; his career mark is .329. If he were hitting at his career BABIP rate, his average this year would be .290. The thing that irks me about henning’s “analysis” of CG’s season is that it’s based on the mirage of batting average. If, for example, granderson had just 6 more singles (two per month so far, raising his babip only to .302), he’d be hitting .271 with a .353 obp, and with his other numbers, NOBODY would be complaining one bit.

        But henning honestly seems to think that those 6 missing singles are more important to the tigers than his 18 homers, 15 steals, gold glove level defense and team leadership. No wonder print journalism is dead.

        1. I’d say this to you

          First of all – Gold Glove Level D? huh?

          his UZR is positive at .9 but hardly close to the (center fielder) league leader Franklin Gutierrez (13.6). According to Fangraphs there are 6 CF’s(2 from the AL) above him in UZR. And there are 30!!! OF’s who rate above him. Many more than 6 significantly(ie 10 and above) so.

          …..On to Offense….

          To your point about having “6 more singles” – yea if he had 6 more singles his season would be viewed better, same if he had 20 or 30 more singles.

          Fact is he doesn’t. Even with the increased Hr rate (mainly b/c his GB/FB rate is down) he hasn’t been hitting triples or doubles.

          Maybe 2007 was a career year and the best he’ll ever do. Fact is he shouldn’t have been an all-star and Henning is calling him on his work ethic – something he knows better than most likely anyone here.

          You can’t argue that his sub .800 OPS for him at his age is even decent. He is having a bad/mediocre year, save for Hrs. To be honest, I’m disappointed in him and expect more from his second half.

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