Game 2009.105: Orioles at Tigers

by billfer on August 4, 2009 · 75 comments

in 2009 Season,Game Post

PREGAME: The Tigers certainly keep things interesting for us bloggers. The simple game story would be to talk about Jarrod Washburn’s Tigers debut. But Leyland and Dombrowski shook up the roster and the lineup tonight by recalling Wilkin Ramirez.

From the Orioles perspective they have a debut of their own with Brian Matusz, their first round pick from last year, making his debut.

As of “press time” I don’t know the lineup, but visions of a Ramirez/Raburn/Ordonez outfield with Washburn on the mound certainly isn’t reassuring. EDIT: Yep. That’s the outfield tonight.

Here is your Wilkin-ized lineup:

  1. Ramirez, LF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Thames, DH
  6. Raburn, CF
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Laird, C
  9. Everett, SS

POSTGAME: I’m sure that’s not the way that Jarrod Washburn wanted his debut to go (I encourage you take check out Samara’s Lion King-esque artistic interpretation). The first couple innings were rough for Washburn before he settled in and got on a nice role…until Nick Markakis launched one almost onto the concourse.

The offense put together good at-bats early on, but not at-bats resulting in enough hits, and once again the big hit never came and the team seemed to press more. Some Zach Miner add on runs and it was a blow-out, the second on in 3 days and both to inferior teams.

  • Adam Everett didn’t make 2 tough plays and both led to runs. Neither play was easy, but those are the plays Everett needs to make. He’s not here for his bat, and as his offensive numbers plummet it’s important he makes the tough and routine plays.
  • Zach Miner has to stop walking people. It cost him and Washburn a run when he walked the number 8 hitter to load the bases.
 
 

{ 75 comments }

Ron August 4, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Umm, this defense scares me.

jim-mt August 4, 2009 at 6:10 pm

Granderson needs a night off from a lefthander pitching.

Ian C. August 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm

What’s funny (to me, anyway) is that I commented to Kurt (Mack Ave. Tigers) earlier this afternoon that nothing seemed to be going on.

Kevin in Dallas August 4, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Hey guys – I was able to hack into the AT&T cell network and now have exclusive access to text message logs. Just found this:
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
DD: WTF? I brought up Ramirez just to piss off Boras, make it more obvious that Maggs’ remaining career = his hair, lol.

JL: NP, I think Manny will be good in left.

DD: U know that’s Wilkin Ramirez, right?

JL: Paws will be relieving Inge in the 3rd. xoxo.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Keith (Mr. X) August 4, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Some noteworthy splits vs Lefties-
Granderson- .177 avg, .259 OBP, .258 SLG, .517 OPS

Ordonez- .316 avg. , .369 OBP, .505 SLG, .874 OPS
Thames. .267 avg. , .352 OBP, .567 SLG, .919 OPS
Cabrera- .351 avg., .470 OBP, .521 SLG, .991 OPS
Inge- .294 avg., .423 OBP, .635 SLG, 1.058 OPS

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 7:14 pm

That’s a huge difference in avg/OBP for Cabrera, and an even bigger one for Inge. You’d almost think lefties were “pitching around” them…

Mike in CT August 4, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Well washburn should be used to the defense. Aren’t the mariners leading the league in errors?

billfer August 4, 2009 at 7:21 pm

The Mariner’s outfield defense is outstanding. It’s tops in all of baseball according to UZR at 41.7 runs above average…that’s 4 wins better than an average outfield.

greg August 4, 2009 at 7:13 pm

On the double could Granderson been able to get there? Did not see it.

billfer August 4, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Doubtful. Didn’t see the jump that Raburn got, but he wasn’t close to it.

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Why it’s Good to Have a Lefty in the Rotation, part 7: Luke Scott on the bench being platooned.

BigGulp422 August 4, 2009 at 7:22 pm

nah grandy couldnt have gotten to it

billfer August 4, 2009 at 7:24 pm

@Tigstown is live tweeting the Mud Hens game. Robertson allowed a single and a hard out in the first, but had a 1-2-3 second and he has 2 K’s through 2.

greg August 4, 2009 at 7:43 pm

come on Everett.

Nvm

ouchudied August 4, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Solid 5-pitch inning. Washburn needed it.

billfer August 4, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Washburn got 4 outs on his first 40 pitches, and 5 outs on his next 6.

billfer August 4, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Tigers with some good, patient ABs tonight. They just haven’t been able to center the ball yet. And Izturis certainly isn’t helping.

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Inge certainly “centered” one.

Jeff Molby August 4, 2009 at 8:03 pm

What do we think so far, guys… do we like Washburn?

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 8:17 pm

I like Washburn…I have to say I’m pretty impressed with Matusz also. Pretty good stuff for a ML debut, sneaking back-to-back change-ups by Cabrera…

Jud August 4, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Washburn will do just fine….the problem he faces like everyone else is losing 2-1

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Clutch Everett!

Jud August 4, 2009 at 8:17 pm

good to see Everett at CLUTCH again

charlie August 4, 2009 at 8:27 pm

robertson 2.2 IP 4 H 1 HR 2SO 39P-31S
bonderman 1.0IP 0H 13P-7S

scotsw August 4, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Thames has sitting there like a house by the side of the road and watching ‘em go by a little too often. Gotta protect the plate with 2 strikes, Marcus!

scotsw August 4, 2009 at 8:33 pm

These @$%^* strikeouts!

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Short version: bad luck to have him be the guy up next in that situation.

Not one of Marcus’ Country Strong Points.

Career with a runner on 3rd less than 2 out: 22K in 88PA. That’s 25%. Or 22K in 68AB if you prefer, that’s about 1/3. Career total sac flies: 9.

With the runner on 3rd less than 2 out he’s more likely to strikeout than to either hit a sac fly or walk, or 2 1/2 times more likely to strike out than hit a sac fly if you like that angle better.

Maybe the Tigers need a team hypnotist or something…

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Man, we just can’t buy a sac fly with a guy on 3rd and 1 out…

Jeff Molby August 4, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Thames has zero career sac bunts. I’d pay to see him try. :-)

mcb August 4, 2009 at 8:33 pm

8 men lob thru 5… That’s gotta be one category we lead the league in!

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 8:37 pm

I’m not sure about LOB (I’m not sure who has season stats on that even), but we are best in the league at striking out with a runner on 3rd less than 2 out.

(by “best” I mean worst, eg. “most”)

billfer August 4, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Those good ABs I was talking about, no so much from Thames and Raburn there.

scotsw August 4, 2009 at 8:38 pm

So…. Where would Baltimore be if MLB swapped them with the Royals and put them in the Central? 5 games in first? In the pack w/ CLE, DET and CHW?

Jeff Molby August 4, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Fun question. They’ve won 34% of their games against the east. 52% against the central. They project to win 26 games against the east (19 * 4 * .34) and 15 against the central (7 * 4 * .52). Flip the unbalanced schedule and you’d get 10 against the east (7 * 4 * .34) and 40 against the central (19 * 4 * .52). 26 + 15 = 41. 10 + 40 = 50. So they’d stand to gain 8 or 9 games. They’d still be under .500 though.

Shorthand formula: (CentralWinPct – EastWinPct) * 48

Jud August 4, 2009 at 8:43 pm

consdering they have to play 80 games against Boston-NY-Tampa with 10 in Toronto makes for a pretty tough schedule.

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Well this is going downhill quickly…especially with Cesar “body inhabited by Luke Scott” Izturis at bat…

Skip August 4, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Well…
This is a bummer…

And this lack of offense is getting old.
Washburn wasn’t terrible, but six runs doesn’t look so good either.

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 8:58 pm

It looked a lot better than a 6 ER performance though, I wouldn’t be too worried about Washburn. And the offense has been better than a 1 run offense; but if they don’t stop blowing so many easy run opportunities (striking out with runner on 3rd less than 2 out) it could become a very long August….

scotsw August 4, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Let’s beat the tar out of this two-bit reliever they’re sending out there.

EDIT: …nevermind

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 9:14 pm

So we leave him tar-filled; serves him right.

Jud August 4, 2009 at 8:58 pm

after the second run, the rest of the runs are meaningless with Tigers in their none or one mode of scoring

scotsw August 4, 2009 at 9:31 pm

The O’s were hanging up insurance runs in the fifth.

Jud August 4, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Ive lost track of the exact number but the Tigers are closing in on 40 times this year 0-1-2 runs scored

Jeff Molby August 4, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Billfer, you’ve done some graphs about this in the past. When you get a chance, can you compare our run distribution this year to years in the past? I’m curious to know if the distribution curve is weird or if it’s just that we’re used to more scoring overall.

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 9:35 pm

I’ll throw out a hypothesis here, which is that your run distribution tends more away from the center toward extreme lows and highs the lower the team pitches/plate appearance gets (and probably exacerbated by high GIDP totals).

I don’t have the math chops to see if that’s right or not, billfer may be a different story. Ooh, sorry about the “chops” term billfer. I mean I don’t have the “math celery.”

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Today would be 40, give the man a cigar.

On the other hand, before today: (0-2 run games-wins)
DET 29-4
CHW 28-2
MIN 27-3

In other words we’ve lost only one more 0-2 run games than the Twins, and fewer than the White Sox. (On the other hand if you venture outside the Central you find teams like the Angels, 17-4, etc. Must be because of the superior pitching in the Central…)

Jeff Molby August 4, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Today would be 40 … DET 29-4

Which of those is the typo?

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 9:29 pm

That’s pretty funny, although it’s not exactly a “typo”…today would be 30, which I thought he said, which is why he got the cigar…and was thinking 30 even as I was re-typing 40.

Whatever you call it–I retract the cigar!

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 9:40 pm

And since you’re around, and my response was later at night, it is more than anecdotal about the 1st pitch GIDPs, they are twice as frequent as the average of other pitch counts:

http://www.detroittigersweblog.com/2009/08/game-2009-104-orioles-at-tigers/#comment-125674

Coleman August 4, 2009 at 9:13 pm

I agree with whoever was downplaying the importance of coaching earlier (sorry, I’ll find who you are later). I do think there are times when it probably does matter, and not just the “fire the manager to shake things up” bit.

There are some teams that are consistently good at things like scoring with a runner on 3rd and no out, and some that are consistently bad, which seems to hold, with a few exceptions, as their lineups change.

I’m sure my frustration is overblown a bit; partly probably because when I played in HS with a guy on 3rd I could pretty much be counted on for a fly ball to center or a ground ball to 2nd. On the other hand, in all my other ABs I could also be counted on for a fly ball to center or a ground ball to 2nd.

My point is that when you are looking for a sac fly it might actually be easier for guys like Everett and Laird than for guys like Thames and Cabrera.

Yet on some teams the Thames-Cabrera guys come through; on others they strike out. I think it’s at least possible there’s a coaching element involved.

Dave111 August 4, 2009 at 9:41 pm

The Tigers had what you might call an “inspirational win” last night – come from behind, walkoff homer, etc. They’ve had several this season – the 4-3 extra innings win over the White Sox a week ago Saturday comes to mind. And once again they resisted the temptation to follow a big win with a strong performance. Every time I think they have a chance to build on a great win and maybe, just maybe, go on a roll, they stink it up. Man, this is discouraging.

mark_in_gr August 4, 2009 at 10:06 pm

I’m so glad to hear that Leyland is having the time of his life managing in a so-called pennant race this year in the leagues weakest division. Hey Jim, good for you, glad you are having such a fantastic time . . . when the rest of us are suffering through first pitch pop ups and called third strikes and a bullpen that is a joke. Fire Lloyd . . . stop letting your team hear you say you don’t believe in momentum and each game is as good as the day’s starting pitching.

Illitch, do you watch ANY of these games? Take some pride in what you own, like you do with the Wings. Leyland, his good ole boys, and DD will run this team into the ground, but I thought you were smarter than this. It looks like I was wrong. You aren’t a responsible, clever owner after all.

billfer August 4, 2009 at 11:09 pm

What part of it isn’t a pennant race? There are 3 teams within a couple games. Kinda feels like a pennant race to me. Oh yeah, you’re the guy that said the Tigers were in second place a couple weeks back because the White Sox were hot. And then we didn’t hear from you once the Tigers took 3 of 4 from Chicago.

And dude, you think Ilitch reads this site? Send him a letter because I guarantee he doesn’t come around here.

stephen August 5, 2009 at 12:05 am

This is a pennant race like the Pistons battling for the eighth playoff spot was a playoff chase and ballot stuffing for Inge makes him an all-star. Technically true, but also feels kind of fake and meaningless. And yes I know the ’06 Cardinals were crappy and still won a World Series, but that’s like saying I could become a millionaire by buying a lotto ticket. The amount of money this franchise has spent over the past three years just to spin their wheels is just depressing. You guys think I’m negative, but you can win 76-84 wins on the cheap. If you’re going to spend this kind of money so you can eke out 2 out of 5 from the Orioles and Indians and hope to win the division with 85 wins, well, that drives me nuts.

billfer August 5, 2009 at 12:18 am

But they’ve already spent the money. They are what they are and right now it’s a matter of making the best of it. Are you suggesting they should have been sellers at the deadline and punted a chance at the playoffs and the revenue that comes with sustained contention?

The Tigers are the worst first place team. I don’t have a problem admitting it. But they are in the Central and if not them then who? I’ve been hearing for over a month now about “here come the Twins” and “here come the White Sox” yet despite the Tigers playing really bad baseball, they’re still in first place. It’s not likely to keep up if they keep playing like this and I’ll be the first to admit it. But I also don’t think the team needs to apologize for playing in a division without any truly good teams.

stephen August 5, 2009 at 12:34 am

No, I’m not saying they should have been sellers. I’m saying that the folks like me who are frustrated. It’s not like we’re carping about, say, the Phillies or the Red Sox because their fifth starter doesn’t go six innings.

I’m frustrated because in my adult lifetime the Tigers have NEVER had a solid complete season. I’m not talking never losing, I’ve been following baseball for thirty years I know the ups and downs, but I’m looking for one solid season where the team plays hard and competes for an entire 162 game season.

Even in 2006 they completely spit the bit for the last 50 regular season games.

I’m 42 now, and the fact this team has not given me ONE consistent season since I was in college bugs me a lot. I’m not even talking a world championship, just a season where the team doesn’t seem to underachieve or go into a malaise for months at a time.

Maybe that is too much to ask for.

Jeff Molby August 5, 2009 at 12:52 am

Stephen, the 1990-2005 period was brutal and embarrasing. Ya need let it go, though. Since DD got here, the franchise has been behaving exactly the way one would hope an aggressive midwest franchise would. The results have been mixed, but we’re on the right track now. Our time will come.

Andre in Chi August 5, 2009 at 11:32 am

Stephen,

I get the frustration, it creeps up on me from time to time too. On the other hand, I work in an office full of WSox fans who’ve (like Billfer mentions) been saying “Tigers better watch it, we’re coming” for months now…and you know what, they haven’t. The whole division is pretty mediocre.

If I had to pick a time of year where I’d prefer the Tigers to struggle, I’d rather it be now with enough time to galvanize for the playoffs than, say the week before the playoffs (assuming these struggles don’t cost them the playoffs). Its funny that you mention the Red Sox like they’re some long-standing tribute to excellence, because until fairly recently I bet that most of their fan-base was echoing your complaints about having just one consistent season, in their LIFETIME.

Jeff Molby August 5, 2009 at 12:18 am

You’re absolutely right that we’re overpaying for our performance. I don’t think anyone here will disagree with you on that.

It’s pretty obvious why, though:
– Lingering effects of the “Tiger Tax” (::cough::Maggs::cough::)
– An unusual number of severe injuries and unexplained regressions

You can blame DD for some of the bad contracts if you want, but most of his moves sounded good at the time and some of his moves turned out better than anyone could have anticipated.

Bottom line, though, is that it is what it is. You’ll be a lot happier when you come to terms with it.

Mark in Chicago August 5, 2009 at 12:19 pm

stephen,

Can you provide an example of a team that played hard and competed for 162 games? That’s a lot of games, teams are going to have losing streaks and go through periods where they aren’t playing well. I agree with you that this team has taken lots of at-bats off and plenty of games (it seems), but I don’t think that’s unusual.

Frankly, you could argue the 2003 team played hard every day, but didn’t have anywhere near the talent to compete. Yet down the stretch, staring history in the face, they won 5 of their last 6 games to avoid setting the record for losses in a season. Is that what you have in mind?

stephen August 5, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Mark, you know that’s not what I’m talking about. (Although I did appreciate the effort in 2003). Every team has lulls, even the 72-10 Bulls had a lull. It just seems like the Tigers in my lifetime seem to get disinterested for months at a time. Every team in whatever sport is going to go up and down but the Tigers are just ridiculous on this front.

I know it’s a different sport, but the Pistons, again allowing for normal ups and downs, came to play 98% of the time from 2003 to 2008. I just would like the Tigers to have a stretch like that where you’re fairly confident you’re going to get your money’s worth on most nights.

Dare I say it gets back to the character issue?

Matt August 4, 2009 at 10:20 pm

I’m not happy with this game, but it’s just one. We need to take 3 out of 4 in this series. And if this game is the one loss of the series, so be it.

But we gotta have the next two. You can’t lose every series on the road and split the ones at home and hope to content for a pennant.

Mark in Chicago August 4, 2009 at 11:49 pm

We are losing to teams we should beat, while the Sox just took 3 of 4 from the Yankees and the first tonight from the Angels.

To clarify: not a good thing.

Jerry the Tiger Fan August 5, 2009 at 12:59 am

Well……………Mr. Major League Debut Guy did it to us again. The tired refrain of guys having stellar major league debuts as starting pitchers against us is as old as Al Kaline. Why can’t we ever seem to light Major League Debut Guy’s a$$ up and send him whimpering back to the minors with this tail between his legs? I can’t believe DD did not get a bat at the deadline. Unforgiveable. He’s watched this team everyday for four months like the rest of us and he adds to our strength and ignores our biggest weakness. How long is this guy going to keep getting a free pass from the media in Detroit? I read Joe Dumars getting ripped in the media all the time, yet he has at least orchestrated moves that brought the city a championship. Dombrowski is fortunate that he had Millen around the last few years to take the heat off of him, but now that Millen is gone where is the outcry over Dombrowski’s questionable personnel moves? Sheffield, Willis (the contract, not the trade), Renteria for Jurrgens, Nate’s contract, and now passing on a deal to shore up the team’s biggest weakness. Yuck.

Keith (Mr. X) August 5, 2009 at 1:58 am

The rookie did get pretty lucky though. He got into some major jams and we were hitting the ball hard, but Izturis made a couple of fantastic plays that saved at least 3 runs. Cabrera’s big hit that turned into a ground rule double also saved him from another run. Had the ball bounced a little less, it would of been a much different ballgame.

Jerry the Tiger Fan August 5, 2009 at 7:16 am

The Yankees have the best record in the AL, so they are getting their money’s worth. Please don’t compare AJ Burnett, Mark Texiera, and Sabathia with Dontrelle Willis. That is a huge insult to those players. None of those three names have come anywhere near the bust level of a Dontrelle Willis. They are actually earning their money, unlike a certain anxiety-disorder lefty who looks like a little league pitcher whenever he takes the mound for theTigers.

The Red Sox have won two WorldSeries in a 4 year span, something our illustrious franchise has NEVER accomplished in 109 years of playing major league baseball. Bill Buckner was a symbol for the frustration of Red Sox Nation, but that has all been wiped out by their recent run of success. What is Tiger Nation built on? The legacy of Ty Cobb? Hell, that was so long ago that most everybody who saw Cobb play has been dead for some time. The Detroit Tigers have exactly four world championships in 109 years of playing major league baseball. That’s one every 27 years, not a very good track record. Please don’t tell me that Tiger fans have nothing to complain about, whether it be my generation or my grandfather’s generation. We recently were subjected to the worst 10 year run in Tiger history (1996-2005), including the misery of 2003. We have been second-class citizens in the baseball world far more often than not.

Great point on the Cubs. We have a better track record than a team that hasn’t won a World Series in 101 years. Aiming high today aren’t we?

As far as this season goes, if you find this to be an entertaining season well I guess we have different ideas of entertainment. Yes, we are in first place but is the ugliest first place team I can ever remember cheering for. The frustration level with our hitters is off the charts for me, capped by the “beautiful” back-to-back stikeouts from Thames and Raburn in the fifth inning of last night’s game. Thames with an inexcusable stikeout (watching strike 3 go by with men on 2nd and 3rd with one out), followed up by Raburn’s strikeout. It happens night after night after night and if you are a diehard Tiger’s fan it becomes really tough to stomach, first place or not. The whole point of this diatribe is that DD failed at the trade deadline. Washburn was a “meh” addition when we needed a “hell yeah” addition to the team (i.e. Adam Dunn). I’m not worried about five years from now. When we are in contention I want an owner and a GM who go for it at the trade deadline. Who knows what will be going on in five years? Did anyone forsee the bankruptcy of GM five years ago? My understanding is that Ilitch gave DD the green light to do whatever it takes as he wants a World championship in baseball before he dies (he is age 81). DD (in his infinite wisdom) decided that he liked watching 2-1 games and added a pitcher so that maybe we could win a few of those (I suppose as I can’t understand not getting a bat so win those games by scoring runs). The Washburn trade was not bad in itself, but the real move that needed to be made was not made. We needed a hitter and that showed itself again tonight and Friday night in Cleveland. Could you imagine what our team would look like with Baltimore’s hitters and our pitching? Its hard to believe that Baltimore can find so many guys who can rake while we struggle to squeeze out three runs most nights. What is DD in terms of position player development? We have almost no one in the minors in terms of position players that look to be impact players down the road. Wilkin Ramirez is the only one who looks to have any potential at all. I hope that Avila and Sizemore aren’t the next Santiago and Infante (anyone remember when we Tiger fans were being sold that they were the next Whitaker/Trammell around 2001). This team is in position to win this division. Its biggest glaring weakness all year has been the inability to score runs and we get a…………starting pitcher? Wow. Just wow. To further make my point, my father is a diehard Tiger fan and is very even keel (the polar opposite of myself). Their lack of ability to hit has even provoked him to call me up and bitch about the Tigers (something I’ve never heard him do before including 2003). All I’m saying is that the Tiger’s lack of hitting is akin to a man who has no legs and that person’s caretaker (Dombrowski) goes out and buys that man a new pair of shoes. Why? We don’t need the pitching, and the guy who has no legs doesn’t need the new pair of shoes. The Washburn move was OK, but really needed to be paired with a hitter who could drive in runs (i.e. Adam Dunn with his power and .400+ OBP). If DD is unable to pull off a trade in August for a hitter, I think it will be the death knell of the 2009 Tigers. It is just a matter of time before we get passed. Somehow we have held on this long, but there are 57 more games to play and I don’t see how we can hold on that much longer with this group of hitters.

Keith (Mr. X) August 5, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Once every 27 years isn’t bad at all. Maybe you don’t understand that there are 30 teams now and only 1 team can win the World Series each year. It’s not hard to figure out that the average team will win a championship once every 30 years! The Tigers won it back in 1984. So we’re not really due to win the World Series again until 2014!!!

Things are just lovely in Tigertown.

Coleman August 5, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Actually it would be 1 every 29 years, once you factor in the Cubs never winning one.

Andre in Chi August 5, 2009 at 2:43 pm

The irony is that the 2009 Tigers are being hamstrung by several of DD’s past attempts to do what you wish he’d do now: going out and getting somebody to win NOW. We can moan and groan all we want about the lack of offense or the shape the team is in, but lets not re-write history and claim that the front office hasn’t done anything to field a winning team these last few years. Without revisiting every move that DD has made, for the most part (> 50%) his moves made sense at the time and addressed the perceived needs of the team.

If you want to be masochistic and compare yourself to the NYY or RSox, that’s your choice, but you’re ignoring the reality of the gap in the respective markets. Boston erased over 80 years of fan frustration with 2 WS in 4 years, but as recently as 2003 there wasn’t much separating the Tigers and RSox in terms of achievements.

Perspective people, is the key.

Jerry the Tiger Fan August 5, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Keith (Mr. X) said we had nothing to complain about as Tiger’s fans and compared our plight to the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, and Mets. My point is that given a choice I’d take the Yankees history and current makeup over our own. Same goes for the BoSox, even with the 86-year drought because the majority of that came before I was born. My main point was that Stevie Wonder could see that we needed a bat (preferably a left-handed bat) and a guy like Dunn was available. Sure the guy strikes out more than is ideal, but at least he gets on base AND hits for power playing on the worst team in baseball. Point is that he is easy to pitch around on that team and still puts up numbers.

Andre in Chi August 5, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Dunn is a fantastic bat, I love the guy and he’s on my fantasy team every year. However, he was “available” in the same way that Halladay was. The problem was that a) Washington wasn’t going to give him up cheaply, he’s still under team control for a reasonable sum after this year; and more importantly b) the Tigers had neither the ability to expand the payroll nor an easy way to fit him into the lineup, due to the 8 (exaggeration) DH-candidates already on the roster. Its easy for us to say that a good deal of the payroll is sunken cost and we should add to it regardless for the sake of winning, but its not our money and in the long run its probably not good for the team.

Stevie Wonder may know we need a lefty bat, but at a certain point you have to appreciate how limited the teams options are when it comes to adding payroll.

“My point is that given a choice I’d take the Yankees history and current makeup over our own. Same goes for the BoSox”

I don’t know what to say about that. I appreciate the Yankees, and the RedSox under their current management, and all the history that goes with them, but not to the extent that I want to trade places with them.

Keith (Mr. X) August 5, 2009 at 4:32 am

I can try to be just as pessimistic about other teams.

The Red Sox Nation was built on a foundation with Bill Buckner.
Boston is now stuck with Daisuke Matsuzaka. The 2nd stupidest move ever was to invest nearly $100 million in a guy who never pitched in the majors. They made the stupidest move ever when they traded Babe Ruth to Yankees. That’s Unforgivable.
Currently, the Red Sox starting rotation is almost in shambles. Beckett and Lester are good, but Smoltz and Penny have stunk. Matsuzaka and Wakefield are on the DL. Buchholz has been a huge disappointment. Can a team really make the playoffs with that starting rotation? I don’t think so.

How about the Yankees?
Do you realize how much they owe AJ Burnett, CC Sabbathia, and Mark Teixeira for years to come. About $400 Million for the next 7 years!!
ARod is hitting .265 and is getting paid $30 mill a year until 2017. LOL!!
Yes, this is a good team right now, but contracts go sour awfully fast, as we’ve found out with Dontrell Willis. How bout them Apples?

The Mets have a $145 million dollar payroll and they are 50-56 and in 4th place. They don’t even have a chance to make the playoffs.
This franchise re-wrote the book on underachieving and choking. Even with Santana and KROD they aren’t any good.

This years Cubs are almost a mirror image of the Tigers. They have a huge payroll. Their offense has been pathetic. Their fans have been in discontent. But they’re somehow in 1st place right now. Why? Because of their great pitching. Not much is worse than being a Cubs fan though. They haven’t won a world series in over 100 years. Tigers fans should have nothing, absolutely nothing, to cry about.

Coleman August 5, 2009 at 1:14 am

It’s hard to find too much positive in today’s game, but there were a couple things; true, Everett didn’t make a couple of tough plays, but he had a clutch hit and one of those rare “RBI” things; Maggs (since it looks like he’s gonna be around) got one too, and hadn’t packed it in yet in the 9th; Inge is back to at least warning track power–and dead center warning track at that; he also seemed sharp at 3rd, although he wasn’t really challenged. And…um…and now I remember what Wilkin Ramirez looks like.

Oh, and also: it only counts as 1 loss.

OK, I said there wasn’t much. Just trying to keep a positive/negative balance.

Keith (Mr. X) August 5, 2009 at 1:38 am

Right now, most people who I know that get the games locally on TV watch just about every single Tiger game. Even people who are not big baseball fans.
That’s what makes season’s like this so much more enjoyable. It’s because the Tigers are the talk of the town. Every single game gets glamorized. Every single decision gets criticized. Losses never hurt so bad before either.

Last season I learned one important thing though, it’s not who has the best team on paper, it’s who has the most wins at the end of the day.

phoenix carpet cleaners August 9, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Jim Leyland has done and continues to do an excellent job. I am sure it beats those Pittsburg days of fighting last place.

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