Game 2009.113: Tigers at Red Sox

PREGAME: For everyone expecting fireworks tonight I think you’ll be disappointed. Yes, there is considerable hate and vitriol between the fan bases today, but Jim Leyland and Terry Francona have likely spoken to each other and their teams and have no interest in seeing this continue. Throw in the fact that the umpires are likely on high alert and warnings and ejections would come quickly and most likely nothing happens tonight.

Not to mention the fact that Zach Miner who pitched 2 innings on Monday night is the emergency starter. And Freddy Dolsi who was recalled to take Chris Lambert’s spot pitched 2 innings last night. And Leyland would probably like to give Fu-Te Ni another night off. And the Tigers just don’t have a lot of pitching options at this point.

Oh, and Miguel Cabrera is out of the lineup tonight with Marcus Thames taking his spot in the lineup and Carlos Guillen taking his spot in the field (*gasp*).

And Josh Beckett is starting for the Red Sox. Things certainly aren’t tilting the Tigers way heading into tonight’s game…then again how big would a win be tonight?

Detroit vs. Boston – August 12, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: Well we knew this one was an uphill battle from the start. But through 4 innings I actually felt pretty good about things. Zach Miner wasn’t nibbling, and he was battling a small strike zone (more on this in a minute) and for those first 3 innings there were only 2 balls hit hard off of him – they both left the yard – but he wasn’t pitching bad. On the other side Josh Beckett was tossing a perfect game, but the Tigers were putting in good at-bats. After 4 innings Beckett had thrown 69 pitches, and he’d only allowed one batter, meaning the Tigers were averaging over 5 pitchers per plate appearance.

A Carlos Guillen lead off homer in the 5th and I started to dream a little. What if the bullpen can hold them at 3 or 4 runs the rest of the game? What if they chase Beckett by the 7th? Could they get a bloop and a blast and tie it?

Then the bottom of the 5th happened.

It was a brutal, miserable, Metrodome type of inning. With 2 outs the Sox posted a double, then a single. And Miner was done at that point, having gone an inning farther than I thought he would have. Freddy Dolsi got 2 strikes on Mike Lowell, sawed him off, but Lowell placed an infield single between the mound and second base. Then there was a walk. Another single loaded the bases for Varitek who then “walked.”

Freddy Dolsi walks Jason Varitek

Freddy Dolsi "walks" Jason Varitek

I mentioned a small strike zone earlier. Here is the gameday image of the “walk” to Jason Varitek. I really don’t know what else Dolsi could have done in that at-bat, but in the end it ended up an RBI for Varitek. Now the small zone wasn’t just an issue for the Tigers, it was pretty uniformly small for both teams. The biggest squeezing just happened to come at the worst possible time for the Tigers.

After the walk things got really ugly. There was a passed ball. And another error. And a reminder why Guillen no longer plays first base. And there were more hits. And then the game was practically over and you just hoped nobody got hurt.

  • The Tigers didn’t strand any runners in scoring position tonight
  • They only had to cobble together 8 innings from their pen
  • Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon are both fresh and ready to go tomorrow
  • Marcus Thames homered.

See. There was lots of good news.


  1. Robo-Tiger

    August 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Well hopefully the Tig’s can pull one of the next two games out for a ‘W’. The Dolsi move is strange..why not a AAA scrub just for a day or two as a long man. I don’t think Miner can be expected to go more than 3-4 innings after pitching monday, maybe if he’s effiecient and effective which he hasn’r been either lately. Maybe 40-man roster eligibility had something to do with it.

  2. Mike in CT

    August 12, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Not sure how they do odds for baseball games, but the Red Sox have to be about as heavy as favorite as possible heading into this one … but that’s why you play the games, right?

  3. Skip

    August 12, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Regardless of what happened yesterday, I think Boston is a pretty class act team. Youk apologized and Francona and Leyland are very professional. I too doubt another altercation will arise.
    Although, yesterday was FUN!

    • Coleman

      August 12, 2009 at 7:06 pm

      I strongly disagree–oh wait, nevermind, you said “pretty class act” and not “pretty, class act” because it’s been determined by a panel of impartial judges that the Tigers look better. (And Adam Everett apparently has really nice hair).

      Although Youk can look great from the right angle:

      • Kathy

        August 12, 2009 at 7:08 pm

        He sickens me. I can’t stand the guy or the Boston Red Sox. I do, however, admire Josh Beckett’s pitching. Hope he stinks tonight, though.

    • Kathy

      August 12, 2009 at 7:06 pm

      Personally, I think the only reason KY apologized is the media crucified him on ESPN and MLB Network. No one had anything good to say regarding the behaviour of KY.

    • Jeff

      August 12, 2009 at 7:34 pm

      What happened yesterday defined the Red Sox franchise until this era is over. Whoopee, the thug apologized after his thuggery. What a great man. He’s the new Lawrence Phillips.

  4. RoseTattoo

    August 12, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Still hoping we’ll see Porcello for at least 3 tonight.

  5. Skip

    August 12, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Everett does have fabulous hair!!
    (however, Giovonni Soto of the Cubs has GREAT hair! Especially for a catcher!)

  6. Skip

    August 12, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Hey Coleman
    how did that other night go? U’know, the one with the “impartial judges” 😉

    • Coleman

      August 12, 2009 at 7:23 pm

      Lamont held me at 3rd, being over-cautious. But then again maybe caution was the right call; one of them is a lawyer.

      (I did collect a couple of busines cards…)

      • ouchudied

        August 12, 2009 at 7:28 pm

        If you’re talking the same game of baseball that I think you’re talking about… getting to third base ain’t a bad night at the bar.

        • Coleman

          August 12, 2009 at 7:30 pm

          Well, I was using that more as a metaphor for not scoring (I suppose saying I was a LOB would have worked better)…I mean it wasn’t THAT kind of bar (if there is such a thing)…

        • billfer

          August 12, 2009 at 7:30 pm

          Especially if Gene Lamont was your wingman.

          • Coleman

            August 12, 2009 at 7:40 pm

            Hey, sometimes the old school approach works, and you’d never suspect him of “wingmanning” and…oh nevermind I can’t go on I’m laughing too much at the concept. (Van Slyke might be able to pull it off though…)

  7. Mark@HOU

    August 12, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Ugh…no Fox Sports on the Extra Innings package. Again with the Eck and NESN.
    Tonight I really wanted Rod and Mario.

  8. Coleman

    August 12, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    There are only 2 Tigers that have ever hit Beckett:

    Inge (9 PA) .333 .333 .556 .889

    and…oh dear…

    Everett (12 PA) .250 .250 .583 .833 with a double and HR. (Although none of the hits were in Fenway).

    All the other Tigers are sub-.600 OPS…
    Good idea not to take chances with Cabrera, especially considering the career OPS vs Beckett of .000 (6 PA).
    Could be a long night…
    I’m counting on the bottom of the order to pull through…

    And I’m sure billfer’s right in his pre-game post…but it’s also worth noting that Beckett has 3 career HBP of Polanco already, so you never know…

  9. ouchudied

    August 12, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    So I was thinking about how atrocious the umping was yesterday… and then I see the first pitch that Miner threw on gameday that was called a ball. Unbelievable.

  10. Mark@HOU

    August 12, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Where was that 2-2 pitch on Ortiz?…Cmon your the crew chief…

  11. ouchudied

    August 12, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    This is my last post complaining about the umps.

    Crawford sucks. Both those breaking balls to Guillen were strikes. Bad all-around.

  12. billfer

    August 12, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    The good news is the Tigers have seen 4.5 pitches per PA in the first 2 innings. The bad news is they’ve only had 6 PAs in the first 2 innings.

  13. Mark@HOU

    August 12, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    This has complete game 2 hitter written all over it.

    • billfer

      August 12, 2009 at 7:49 pm

      Unfortunately one of the hits was a homer.

      Oh wait, you were talking about Beckett.

  14. Mark@HOU

    August 12, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Nice AB Avila… I think its a homer in most other parks. Looked to be 365.

    Their fly balls are homers over the monster, ours are loud outs to right.

    I felt Santiago hit one that would have been out as well last night.

    That AB was fantastic.

  15. Coleman

    August 12, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Another phantom”strike.” Look, it’s not like Beckett needs the help…

  16. jason

    August 12, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    1/3 way through a perfecto.

  17. ouchudied

    August 12, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Too bad… Miner isn’t really pitching all that bad.

  18. Chris

    August 12, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    what a miserable series. This thing had 4-game sweep all over it… pure domination.

    • billfer

      August 12, 2009 at 8:18 pm

      I don’t know, a 1-run and a 2-run loss aren’t exactly pure domination. Especially the Monday night game.

  19. ouchudied

    August 12, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Billfer… you think you could link to that website that tracked balls and strikes called in the postgame again? I’d be interested to see how this game compared to last nights.

    • billfer

      August 12, 2009 at 8:24 pm


      BTW – Keith Law just tweeted how the Tigers were getting squeezed again tonight. And then corrected it to say that the zone tonight is just small period.

      • ouchudied

        August 12, 2009 at 8:43 pm

        Thanks. I’ll agree with Law-just bad umpiring in general.

        • Mark@HOU

          August 12, 2009 at 9:07 pm

          I think it’s like Big 10 basketball referees. These umps are intimidated by the crowd.

          Yesterday and today.

          Feel free to let a bouncer by Avila….

  20. Coleman

    August 12, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I still have faith one of our Bottom Of the Order Boys (B.O.O.Bs) will g

    • Andrew

      August 12, 2009 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks for the laugh, Coleman! 🙂 After seeing the score I needed a good laugh.

      • Coleman

        August 13, 2009 at 12:48 am

        Just a little something in the spirit of the Pine Tar Boys of the ’84 team…

        Although I would feel bad about the effect on billfer if it catches on…”hmm, more hits on the website, but do I let one of the classiest sports blogs online degrade to a a place people come to after a Google search on ‘BOOBS’…hmm…”

  21. Coleman

    August 12, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    That should be “get something going”

  22. billfer

    August 12, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    At least they are making Beckett throw a ton of pitches. Sigh.

  23. billfer

    August 12, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Not bad Miner. He gutted out 4 innings. He made a couple bad pitches, but mostly was right around the zone.

  24. Randolph

    August 12, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    All things considered, I think Miner’s done a helluva job tonight, too bad the Tigers have only mustered a single hit against Beckett so far (albeit a homer).

  25. T Smith

    August 12, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    So — Porcello was suspended 5 games. I know he’s appealing, but I’m assuming the suspension is effective immediately. (Can you chose which five game stretch?) Otherwise, why not just start Porcello tonight?

    • Greg

      August 12, 2009 at 8:39 pm

      He decided not to appeal and AG will start Sunday in his place.

      • T Smith

        August 12, 2009 at 8:43 pm

        But say he did decide to appeal. Wouldn’t it been a good strategy so he could just come out and start tonight?

        I know Miner has only given up three runs … but a lot of that is just plain fortune. They’re hitting him hard.

  26. T Smith

    August 12, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    A rain delay would be awesome right about now.

  27. ij

    August 12, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    AH GAWD Dolsi makes me nervous…….

  28. Chris

    August 12, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Red Sox get all the breaks.

  29. Chris

    August 12, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    all this happened with 2 outs, nobody on… God I hope a meteorite slams into this miserable stadium.

  30. jason

    August 12, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Dolsi 4 prez

  31. jason

    August 12, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    what … the … *************************.

    why am i subjecting myself to this torture

  32. billfer

    August 12, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    This was the Varitek walk. I really don’t know what else Dolsi could have done.

    • Chris

      August 12, 2009 at 9:07 pm

      This is typical Red Sox favored umpiring… No doubt, all those are strikes if that is a Sox pitcher.

      I think it’s time fans start demanding equal and fair umpiring. I’m tired of seeing the league giving special treatment to their “prized” franchises in Boston and in the Bronx.

    • ouchudied

      August 12, 2009 at 9:11 pm

      What a shame…

      • Jud

        August 13, 2009 at 2:08 am

        It’s all about big market teams making money for MLB….not much different in the NBA
        Dolsi threw three strikes there in four pitches and walked Varitek???????

  33. T Smith

    August 12, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    This team is an embarrassment.

    • scotsw

      August 13, 2009 at 10:48 am

      I wonder how you feel about the second-place team?

  34. Kathy

    August 12, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    This is shameful. I blame Leyland on this stupid lineup and his inept managing.

    • Shane Trapped in Toledo

      August 12, 2009 at 10:36 pm

      Who was Leyland supposed to put in the lineup? Cabrera was out. He had a bench of Laird, Raburn, and Santiago. What should have been the line up?

  35. Coleman

    August 12, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Wow Carlos is brutal at 1st

  36. ij

    August 12, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Well thats it…Ill go do some gardening…maybe punch myself in the face for a while.

  37. Coleman

    August 12, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I do appreciate how Everett tried to hit a Lowell

  38. Randolph

    August 12, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    People blame Leyland, sometimes he does questionable things, but does anybody else here feel like Leyland sometimes puts together these atrocious lineups and leaves his pitchers in to get lit up as if to spite the front office?
    Seriously I feel like he doesn’t pinch hit Everett 2 nights ago as if to say to D.D. “you should’ve traded for a hitter” or he leaves in a relief pitcher as if to say “this is who you signed, what else do you want me to do?”. It’s so frustrating some days.

    • Chris

      August 12, 2009 at 9:12 pm

      No, this is all that he had to work with. Armando is sick, the bullpen is thin and Cabrera is not available because the Cheat Sox intentionally hit him and hurt his hand.

      • billfer

        August 12, 2009 at 9:28 pm

        There’s no way that Cabrera was intentionally hit on Tuesday. There were 2 men on. Oh yeah, and he was bringing his hands forward and could have actually not even been awarded first if the ump decided he was swinging.

    • Mark@HOU

      August 12, 2009 at 9:14 pm

      No absolutely not.

      His bullpen is a mess His projected starters the last 2 games have went 1 inning combined… What was questionable about tonight? Believe it or not RP’s can’t go 3 innings every game.

      The Porcello ejection hurt us for 3 days,.

      • Chris

        August 12, 2009 at 9:22 pm

        It was a trap set by the Sox and the umps and the Tigers walked right in it.

      • Randolph

        August 12, 2009 at 9:31 pm

        I wasn’t specifically talking about tonight. My thoughts actually were more about the beginning of the season, when Leyland didn’t have the contract extension. Maybe it’s just the “conspiracy theorist” in me, but I felt that he was giving signals to Illitch and D.D. as if to say, “what do you want me to do with this team?” and “either extend me or fire me”.

  39. Andrew

    August 12, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Classic. Five run inning for the opponent followed by a seven pitch inning for the Tigers.

  40. RoseTattoo

    August 12, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    With any luck, Galarraga had a chance to stop by the Red Sox clubhouse for some smooches before he left Fenway.

  41. Robo-Tiger

    August 12, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Time for the annual August swoon. Even if the tigers hold on to win the mediocre AL Central, they will be 1-12 vs. NYY and BOS after tonight. Knowing that how can they be expected to win a playoff series against either one or both of them. Yeah, I know in a short series they could throw JV, EJ, and Washburn but somehow I think DD knew that the chances of this team winning a ship were slim so he didn’t mortgage the future for a bat at the deadline. I know some will argue that any team can win it such as the ’06 Cards but I don’t know if watching this team that we can believe we are watching a World Series team here. The Tigers are neither as bad as they look vs. BOS lately nor as good as they look from time to time when they put together a modest three game winning streak.

  42. Walter55

    August 12, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Well lets hope Seattle can help us out and beat WS tonight because this one was over from the get go. Really need a big win tomorrow.

  43. Coleman

    August 12, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    What was our record vs NY and BOS on ’06? And even though we “collapsed” didn’t we make the WS? And anyway, BOS won’t be in the playoffs, so they can “own us” all the want, but it’s mostly irrelevant.

    • Andrew

      August 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm

      I believe the Tigers were 4-8 versus Boston and NY in ’06 – not much better than this season. And of those 8 losses some of them were in the category of drubbings.

  44. Mark@HOU

    August 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Just get in….and then it’s a crap shoot. If 2006 didnt teach you anything is that in a short series anything can happen. It just depends who gets hot.

    Remember a team that won 85 games won the WS that year.

    • Stephen

      August 12, 2009 at 10:30 pm

      Actually, it’s not a crap shoot. For every 06 Cards and 87 Twins, there’s a dozen 86-76 teams that gets swept in the first round. Everyone remembers the exceptions, not the rule. Our chances are roughly equal to that of the 08-09 Pistons.

      • Mark@HOU

        August 12, 2009 at 11:03 pm

        In the last 10 years, seeding the teams by record.
        WS appearances
        1 seed …..6
        2 seed …..4
        3 seed…..6
        4 seed …..4

        WS wins
        1 seed….3
        2 seed….2
        3 seed …3
        4 seed …2

        That looks evenly distributed to me and thus yes a crap shoot. And if you get to the WS, each seed wins half the time. This is of course a small sample size, but there’s only 7 more to work with.

  45. Chris

    August 13, 2009 at 12:54 am

    This series is making me think these umps are on the take. Yes, he squeezed both teams at various times. But the spots to which he squeezed is where the intent could be imposed. He would have to know that the best coverup is a squeezing the zone on Boston as well, preferably early and when it doesn’t matter.

    The league desperately want Boston in the playoffs for a possible matchup with the Yanks in the ALCS. They saw Boston sinking in the WC race and Crawford threw them a life raft.

    Nice job Bud

    • billfer

      August 13, 2009 at 5:47 am

      The umpiring has been horrid, but I have no reason to believe there is anything fishy going on or that there is any sort of conspiracy. I think they are just bad umps.

  46. Brenden

    August 13, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Wow…this Boston series has absolutely sapped this team…We need a win tomorow and to get home to play KC, otherwise the dirty sox might over take us.

  47. Jud

    August 13, 2009 at 2:05 am


  48. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    August 13, 2009 at 2:05 am

    YES!!!! Griffey with the walk-off single in the bottom of the 14th in Seattle. The Mariners win 1-0 in 14 on a night where two aces pitched like aces, and the bullpens were pretty good too. No scoring until moments ago in the bottom of the 14th. Griffey just barely got a piece of the previous pitch (a 1-2 slider) to stay alive and then hammered the next pitch down the right field line with men on 1st and 2nd. Griffey’s drive short-hopped the wall in the RF corner and the Safeco crowd is going wild.

    It kind of reminded me of some our games in June and July where we can’t score in spite of numerous scoring chances. Same thing here for both teams, but Buerhle and Hernandez were the starters. Both sides missed some chances to win it earlier than they did. Seattle loaded the bases with two out in the 8th but failed to get the key hit, and the White Sox had 1st and 2nd one out in the top of the 14th and failed to score.

  49. Jud

    August 13, 2009 at 2:26 am

    I only listened to the game but sounded like many many very good defensive plays ended threats. Seattle only had a couple chances to score and the Sox many.
    All the usual Tiger Killers,,,,AJ, Thome, Posednick Quintin didn’t deliver like they always do against the Tigers. They must have been saving themselves for the Tigers….Dye never got off the bench in a 0-0 game. I think Leyland was managing the Sox.

  50. Coleman

    August 13, 2009 at 3:06 am

    I don’t know Jud, for me that doesn’t really pass the Thats How People Are test. The unfair Bob Watson punishments and media bias? Sure. The umpires? Eh. I can’t think of a good reason for umpires to be committed to furthering the profit goals of MLB or ESPN or whoever…that’s like assuming bad cops are secretly doing the bidding if the city council. I think we’re just the victim of !&*#! umpires who, because they are !&*#! umpires, are unduly influenced by the environment they are working in.

  51. mark_in_gr

    August 13, 2009 at 9:52 am

    After all the stats and theories I have read about on this site and others over the years, I honestly think it simply breaks down to the fact that we, as fans, are being played by the owner and GM of this organization.

    In business, if you don’t perform after a certain period of time, you are terminated and replaced with someone who your superior feels can do the job. In the many many years I have been a fan of this team, I can count the stellar seasons on my left hand fingers.

    Take the current Boston series . . . I see a Tigers team which is simply outclassed in every single area . . . hitting(patience, focus, determination), defense, pitching(first pitch strikes, strike to ball ratio, walks). Take the Yankees for example . . . a team which was in horrible shape not to long ago, and within a year or two, have cultivated one of the best teams in baseball. There is absolutely no reason why the Tigers can’t do the same thing given budget they have.

    It seems the answer is simple . . . in Boston and NY, the fans simply will not stand for a consistent loser. In Detroit, there seems to be a different attitude. Even though the Tiger’s organization continues to put a sub-par product on the field, fans continue to purchase $45 tickets, consume $8.50 beers and $10 chicken strip dinners and fund the salaries of players that apparently don’t mind losing and owners and GM’s that apparently laugh all the way to the bank.

    If you want to fix a problem, you fix it. If you want to skate buy and just be happy you are making a short term profit in a town that is addicted to sports and has more loyalty than anywhere, I suppose you could throw your honor out the window like Mr. Illitch is doing. Otherwise, if you have honor and care about your fans and winning, you would jettison our so called GM/Pres/CEO and whatever the hell else he calls himself, the entire coaching staff and manager(save Knapp possibly), and get someone in here that can produce a winner like the big market teams do.

    Until that happens, all of us will continue to read about stats and “oh Beckett/Buerhle/Grenke has great stuff” . . .

    I for one will not spend one more dime of my hard earned income supporting Illitch’s inferior product. The difference between the Twins/WSox and the Tigers is for them, their problems are temporary. The Tigers, on the other hand, are far more systemic and permanent I am afraid.

    • Andre in Chi

      August 13, 2009 at 10:34 am

      Records since 2006

      DET: 316 – 283
      CHW: 309 – 293
      MIN: 318 – 282
      CLE: 304 – 295

      Lets not get into the franchise comparisons with the Yanks and RSox, that’s ignoring the inherent disadvantage mid-west, mid-market teams have vs. those two big-spenders.

      Ok, just this one comparison: going into the series with Boston — DET: 59-51; BOS: 62-48. Wow, what a gulf that is separating these franchises.

      Sorry you feel down right now, maybe in your next life you’ll be born on the east-coast.

      • Stephen

        August 13, 2009 at 10:56 pm

        Andre, you realize the # of games the Tigers are above .500 since 2006 is almost entirely pre August 2006, right?

        I feel like we have the same arguments here over and over–between the half full and half empty crowd. I think a team with the 7th best record in a 14 team league with the Tigers’ payroll is frustrating.

        It gets back to my Inge obsession. Would Inge be a nice #9 hitter and slick fielding 3rd baseman if he was on a two-year $7m contract? Yes. But instead, he’s on a 4 yr 25 m contract with a lifetime batting average a .239 and an 09 batting average of .236 after April 1. And Tiger fans saw fit to launch a write-in candidacy to make him an all-star when he should have been resting his aching knees! Seriously, that’s like voting the Chrysler LeBaron car of the year because its Consumer Reports repair average is slightly less bad on the 2009 model.

        The bottom line is I understand why some think a few of us carp too much. But the problem is actually the other way around. A lot of you expect too little.
        Which, I would argue has been Detroit’s problem my entire life whether it be the Tigers, its political leadership, or the auto industry actually building a car that could compete with the Toyota Corolla and Honda Accord. If you’re happy with crumbs-i.e. just grateful they no longer completely suck- well, this is the team for you.

        • Andre in Chi

          August 14, 2009 at 12:37 am


          You realized that I was responding to Mark’s implication that the WSox and Twins were somehow less flawed than the Tigers right? That for all their ability to temporalize their problems, over a span of over three years, the Tigers are as good if not better than his examples, right?

          I can assure you that I’m not a glass-half-full kind of guy. I do realize that the Tigers have been a flawed team, and have for quite sometime. OTOH, I just don’t think that every dead-weight contract that has been signed since 2006 was destined to fail. I think that (at the time) most of the moves DD made were done with an eye to win; and not only to win, but to win in the short term.

          As far as frustration over the Tigers performance vs payroll, I’ve already said plenty about that in this thread, I won’t repeat myself.

          I suppose I’m somewhat of a young’in when it comes to my baseball fanhood, and I won’t claim to have struggled through decades of bad Detroit teams. You probably have me beat there. I do think that these Tigers are doing better than anyone could have hoped for, given the circumstances.

          Do please continue to QQ about Inge’s all-star appearance, its oh so amusing with the analogies.

          • stephen

            August 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm

            Andre, thanks for the kind words. I do have to admit I thought the Inge as slightly improved LeBaron was slightly inspired. Stay tuned for the comparison of Tigers payroll to the government’s cash for clunkers program.

          • Coleman

            August 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm

            I don’t think the Inge as LeBaron analogy is good at all.

            I used to have a LeBaron way back when, and the thing seemed to hit everything in sight.

    • scotsw

      August 13, 2009 at 10:39 am


      That’s a lot of frustration you’re venting over a first-place team. Losing three in a row happens to virtually every team. Ugly losses happen to EVERY SINGLE TEAM every single year. It happens. We’re lucky this happened on this night, rather than a night when Verlander was pitching a gem.

      I mean, speaking just about game 3, the Tigers were scheduled to send a somewhat struggling #5 starter against a great-hitting lineup and Josh Beckett, one of the game’s very best. He was too sick, so we used an emergency starter. Our best hitter was out with a sore hand. It was a recipe for a loss, and no surprise they lost. And so we move on. Today, our ace is on the mound, and maybe Cabrera’s back, and maybe everything will look better in about 12 hours.

      The key to this series was Porcello deciding to lose Game 2. Harsh? Maybe. But I don’t believe he was ordered to throw at Yukilis. I believe he decided to pitch him real, real tight to send a message, and plunking him was a completely predictable outcome. He’s a 20-year-old kid in the heat of a edgy series with the Boston Red Sox, staring his first-ever game in Fenway. Adrenaline, anyone?

      Did he “mean” to do it? Yeah, sorta, he did. Control is not one of Porcello’s problems. The Martinez chin music wasn’t an accident, either. He was probably trying to “dust” both of them, actually, but that’s a risky game. So Porcello gets tossed early in the 2nd inning of a game we were leading 3-0. It’s good to let your teammates see that you have their back. It’s really important to know the right time, place and manner to do that. First win, then settle the score. Porcello put his team in a hole. Lesson learned, hopefully.

      My point is, if Porcello stays in and the Tigers win game 2, they’re looking at a series split with a win from their ace today. And you’ll take a split on the road with Boston. It’s not all gloom and doom.

      • mark_in_gr

        August 13, 2009 at 11:04 am

        So Andri, we aren’t suppose to compare midwest and east coast markets even though we are both in the AL, huh? So what are we supposed to do, settle for mediocrity and an occasional pennant every 8-10 years because the AL East is ALWAYS going to produce better ball clubs? That is ridiculous.

        And the gulf you mention . . . I count a diff of 8 to 14 between those figures and considering Boston is not having a stellar year and they are in the tougher division, what does that say?

        I have no love of the east coast or the AL East teams. I am mid west born and raised. But I know when I see an organization not living up to it’s potential based on it’s available budget.

        Scotsw, I hear you, but you are talking specifics about one particular series or game. I am speaking of a systemic issue which has been left to fester during DD’s tenure. From Willis, to Magglio, to trading Pudge for Farnsworth, to the rotting bullpen . . . you can say what you want, but DD doesn’t know what the @#$% he is doing and him coupled w/a formula, rigid old coot like JL spells doom for this team until things change hands.

        • Andre in Chi

          August 13, 2009 at 11:32 am


          If you’re strictly basing your expectations on the payroll, I can see where the disappointment comes from. You’d also be taking things out of context by just looking at the payroll. If you’re still hung-up on the contract busts that were done in the name of winning, I can’t help you. Reams have been written here on the merits of the various deals that are now hand-cuffing this team. Personally I think that DD and company are still batting above .500 with contracts, overall. What’s done is done, and by most accounts the Tigers management has done the best they can with what they have.

          “And the gulf you mention . . . I count a diff of 8 to 14 between those figures and considering Boston is not having a stellar year and they are in the tougher division, what does that say?”

          I’m not sure what you mean here, but prior to the series, it wouldn’t have been a stretch (based on pitching matchups) to think that the Tigers would take 3 of 4. This would leave the Tigers with a 62-52 record and the Sox with a 63-51 record. A lot of strange things have happened in this series, and now the Tigers will be lucky to avoid the sweep. Yes Boston is playing in a tougher division, but aren’t they also underachieving based on payroll? The Tigers are a very flawed team, which was evident from the start of the season. They were written off in terms of contending, but they still find themselves with a 3-loss lead in the division.

          “So Andri, we aren’t suppose to compare midwest and east coast markets even though we are both in the AL, huh?”

          I’ll partially recant re: comparing AL-CENT with AL-EAST. Still, it shouldn’t be done without context. Until just recently there was a clear gulf in spending. While money doesn’t guarantee championships, there’s a reason why the Yankees win more than the Royals, and a lot of that is money related. You take divisional strength into account in Boston’s case, but you won’t acknowledge the money side?

          The Tigers payroll is about $120mil, but really when you look at the non-production from Robertson, Bonderman and Willis along with the sub-production of Maggs and Guillen — the Tigers are only getting $60mil worth of production from their payroll. To me, the 2009 Tigers are the definition of overachieving.

          • mark_in_gr

            August 13, 2009 at 12:44 pm


            It’s not just the payroll, it’s a lot of things. The under performing offense, spotty pitching(especially the bullpen), lack of a consistent and solid closer(although Rodney has a lot of saves and a high save to blown ratio, how many have been quality saves vs. someone like Papelbon or Rivera or Nathan?). Yet this team is still in first place. They seem to not care either way, based on the mundane reactions when they take yet another called third strike. And the lack of action from the front office on the offense which seems to be in hibernation, for SO LONG . . . I can see a series or two, but this has dragged on so long.

            And I really don’t think it is all about payroll. There are a lot of quality players that are pulling much more than their weight, i.e. Thomas, Avila, Rayburn, and Joyce last year . . . but why not mix things up a little? Bring up Hessman for a series or two, let the Toledo group show what they have instead of the horrible displays Inge, Everett, Laird and Magglio generally put forth. Instead, we see Everett striking out yet again last night after that pathetic performance the other night.

          • Andre in Chi

            August 13, 2009 at 12:59 pm


            re: the bullpen, see

            re: the want of fantastic closer, see the other 27 teams whose closer you didn’t mention.

            re: the lack of offense, see the 2008 Tigers finishing last in AL-CENT while finishing 5th in MLB scoring vs 2009 Tigers leading AL-CENT while 15th in MLB scoring.

            re: Toledo, see how 40-man rosters work. also, see moves to come when the rosters expand.

            Overall, I get the frustration, I just qualify it for myself with the positives. For example:

            “The Tigers winning percentage currently sits at a tidy, .522. Yikes. If they continue that pace, they’ll join this group of teams to make the postseason with such a pedestrian winning percentage:

            * 2008 Dodgers (84-78): Lost in the NLCS
            * 2006 Cardinals (83-78): Won the World Series
            * 2005 Padres (82-80): Swept in the First Round
            * 1997 Astros (84-78): Swept in the First Round

            So there ya go. The only team as bad as the Tigers to make the playoffs and win the whole thing was a team that beat the Tigers. It’s also worth noting that every one of these teams is from the National League. In 1993, the Texas Rangers were leading the AL West and were ten games under .500 at the time of the strike.”


        • billfer

          August 13, 2009 at 10:13 pm

          What I love about mark is that he only comments during a 3 game losing streak. His consistency is amazing.

          • David

            August 13, 2009 at 11:13 pm

            at least he reared his head, you get credit for that don’t you? somewheressssssssssssssssss

      • Jerry the Tiger Fan

        August 13, 2009 at 12:41 pm

        You are right about Porcello costing us that game Tuesday. We may not have won, but I like my chances up 3-0 with a decent starter in there. Chris Lambert is not close to decent and we may as well as just forfeited at the point that Porcello was ejected. Its a shame and I’m hoping that Verlander can stop the bleeding today, but with Cabby likely out I don’t know where the offense is going to come from on Thursday.