Game 2009.117: Royals at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers have answered their 3 game losing streak with a 3 game winning streak, let’s keep it going today.

I love going to Comerica Park, and I enjoyed myself down there the last two nights. I’m happy to be watching this one in “crystal-clear HD” from the comfort of air condition. It is a scorcher today and many eggs could be fried various flat heat gathering surfaces today.

Throw in the fact that there are two run-preventionally challenged starting pitchers today and there could be much offense given the temperature and breeze and it could be a very long day.

A illness weakened Armando Galarraga will take the mound for the Tigers. I can’t imagine he’ll last long either due to the heat and fatigue or maybe just getting bludgeoned.

Kyle Davies is on the mound for the Royals. Earlier in the year when Davies was pitching good, the Tigers still beat him up twice scoring 12 runs against him and chasing him in the 6th inning both times. He was since demoted and in his 2 starts since returning to the rotation one was effective (5 IP, 1 Run, 3 W, 6 K) and one not so much with the effective (3.2 IP, 8 R, 2 W, 3 K). But he hasn’t allowed a homer in either of those starts.

The lineup gets a little bit of a shake up today with a lot of righties against Davies, who has struggled with righties this year. This might not be an optimal defensive configuration.

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

Kansas City vs. Detroit – August 16, 2009 | MLB.com: Gameday

POSTGAME: I think it is safe to tally this one under the column of “bad loss.” The game was there for the Tigers the whole time. Kyle Davies was nothing special as the Tigers repeatedly put runners on base. But their failure to do anything with those runners was somewhere between comical and pitiful. Let’s rehash it:

3rd Inning: Adam Everett leads off with a double. Curtis Granderson who routinely pulls ground balls to first or second manages only a pop-up leaving Everett at second. Polanco and Thames follow with grounders to the left side and Everett doesn’t move.

4th Inning: Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Guillen single so Ordonez his hitting with runners on first and second and nobody out. And he hits a 6-4-3 double play. Ryan Raburn catches the Royals off guard with a bunt that Kyle Davies fumbles. Cabrera was also caught off guard as he doesn’t budge off of third. Gerald Laird lays down a beautiful bunt but gets jobbed by a bad call at first by Country Joe West. The inning ends. At least Raburn and Laird gave the team a chance to score.

5th Inning: The Tigers are now down a run but Adam Everett leads off with a single. Granderson once again fails to advance him by striking out. A hit and run puts runners at the corners and fortunately the Royals incur a wild pitch allowing Adam Everett to score. The Tigers have the go ahead run at second but a K by Marcus Thames and a Cabrera ground out means once again he doesn’t move.

6th Inning: Carlos Guillen leads off with a hustle double. An Ordonez ground ball would be helpful here, but instead he flies out to shallow center. Guillen tried to take matters into his own hands and steal third which was unsuccessful and costly as Rabun singled.

7th Inning: Adam Everett again gets on base, this time via HBP. Once again Granderson can’t advance him, but Everett moves up on a passed ball while Polanco is batting. Polanco at least hit a grounder to get Everett to 3rd. The second time that Polanco actually advanced a runner. But he’d go no farther as Thames grounds out.

8th Inning: Cabrera reaches base via an error and then steals second! Guillen hits a ground ball to get him to 3rd (silver star for Carlos). But Ordonez strikes out and Raburn hit the ball deep to right center but it was easily tracked down by Josh Anderson.

9th Inning: Alex Avila walked with 1 out. Not that exciting as Granderson once again didn’t advance a runner and the inning ended quietly.

Yes, Ryan Raburn completely blew the 10th inning by biffing two routine grounders and undoing a very effective stint by the bullpen including 2 innings from Ni, 1 from Perry, and the 2nd inning from Rodney. But the truth of the matter is it never should have gotten to the 10th inning. This was a collective effort. It wasn’t just the inability to get a hit with a runner in scoring position (0 for 16) it was the collective inability to even advance runners save for Placido Polanco. In the end the Tigers wasted a very solid starting performance from a sick Galarraga, a great bullpen effort, and even all the offense that they did generate to start innings. And they wasted a chance to add an a win.

  • Granderson failed to advance runners with less than 2 outs in 4 different PA’s. But he did make a tremendous catch and sacrificed his body crashing into the wall.
  • If Brandon Inge is in the game at the end this one might have turned out differently, or at least it wouldn’t have ended in the 10th. But the guy is hurting and this was a chance for 2 full days off. I can’t fault Leyland for holding him out…but let’s be consistent. Don’t bring him in as a defensive replacement in a blow out game (like in Texas).
  • I thought the Avila pinch hit move was curious. I thought that after Laird fouled the ball off his leg perhaps Leyland was going to take him out of the after the at-bat and I thought the move made sense because you might as well get Avila an AB if he’s coming in anyways. But it didn’t so much play out like that.

104 Comments

  1. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    I really don’t like Carlos at first…would it have killed Uncle Smokey to have given Inge and Cabrera days off, but not on the same day? (in other words Raburn at 1st instead of third. And wasn’t Thames a reasonable first baseman at one point?).

  2. mcb

    August 16, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Gallaraga should not have started.

    • billfer

      August 16, 2009 at 1:21 pm

      He didn’t get hit that hard in the first and he was right around the plate to DeJesus. Still, I think it will be a pretty short outing for him.

  3. charlie

    August 16, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    27 first inning pitches…haven’t seen domination like that since well the last time he pitched.

  4. mcb

    August 16, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I like that Gallaraga is proving me wrong!

  5. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Nice to see Josh Anderson again :)

  6. charlie

    August 16, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    that was much better. my usual internet tv source isn’t broadcasting today so i’m only watching on gameday.

  7. mcb

    August 16, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Everytime Maggs gets a hit now I think “is that the 18 million dollar hit”?

  8. Greg

    August 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Rayburn! What was that?

  9. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    It’s always sad to waste a leadoff double, but wasting a leadoff Everett double, that’s a crime.

  10. Greg

    August 16, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Yeah, 2 on no one out. Hopefully they score this time.

  11. Greg

    August 16, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    So we ground into a doubleplay, then we bunt 2 times in a row with a man on 3rd???

  12. Kathy

    August 16, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    He was safe!

  13. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Maybe Grandy needs a day off

  14. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Please no KR3L2O!!

  15. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Good baserunning all inning by Everett! He saved us from the dreaded KR3L2O

    Whatever he had for breakfast today he should eat more often.

  16. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Love ya Josh!

  17. Matt

    August 16, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Gamecast says Guillen caught stealing third.

    Please tell me that’s a mistake. I can’t think of any situation where I would have a guy as slow as guillen attempt to steal 3rd.

  18. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Alas, that is correctamundo. I guess Guillen didn’t want to be another wasted leadoff double. And he had just taken an extra base on his bloop single, so he was feelin’ it.

  19. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Man Granderson is just useless at the plate right now…

  20. Ken in Las Vegas

    August 16, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Not useless with the glove!

  21. Anson

    August 16, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    But he looks pretty in the field.

    • Jud

      August 16, 2009 at 3:50 pm

      What a great play….. again in an important situation

  22. Keith (Mr. X)

    August 16, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Great catch, but the Tigers are really screwed if Granderson is hurt. IMO, he’s our most important everyday player.

    • Jud

      August 16, 2009 at 3:49 pm

      defensively

  23. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    It don’t get any better than that, as Rod would say.

  24. billfer

    August 16, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Fear not. The rally celery has been employed for the 8th inning. As evidenced by the error and Cabby stolen base.

  25. Ken in Las Vegas

    August 16, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    C’mon Maggs. Were you looking to walk there?!

  26. Jud

    August 16, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    0-16 RISP

  27. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Uh oh, apparently I’m eating the anti-rally, KR3L2O pizza…

  28. Jud

    August 16, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    come on… KC wants to get on that plane and go home….lets get a run here!

  29. Matt

    August 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    You let Laird foul out… and then hit Avila for Everett?

    I don’t get that move at all. Why not hit Avila for Laird?

    • Jeff Molby

      August 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm

      Presumably because he prefers Laird’s defense and pitch calling.

  30. mcb

    August 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Pathetic AB by grandy.

  31. Jud

    August 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    as much as we expect from Granderson, it is amazing how many easy outs he makes..pop out.. K,,,,pop out… K….

  32. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Do not try to unravel the mysterious ways of the Smokey One…therein lies madness

  33. Jud

    August 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    a line drive single by Anderson

  34. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    We seemed determined to blow this

  35. Jud

    August 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    hey Rayburn nice inning!!!!

  36. Jeff Molby

    August 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I didn’t know you could blow a save with three groundballs. Ya learn something new every day. :-)

    • Jud

      August 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm

      can Rayburn be charged with the blown save

  37. Jud

    August 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    5 outs and a squibber and everyone will blame Rodney

  38. Matt

    August 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    I’m starting to think maybe Rayburn shouldn’t be holding down 3rd.

    Just a thought.

    • Jud

      August 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm

      if Inge is playing third the Tigers would be hitting a long time ago at 2-2
      and probably ………..

  39. mcb

    August 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Definately not Rodney’s fault.

  40. mcb

    August 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    We need to bail Rayburn out. Let’s go!

    • Matt

      August 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm

      Let’s get a couple men on base and let Rayburn bail himself out.

  41. Greg

    August 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Why would Ramon not play 3rd when Inge needs a day off? At least he plays the infield.

  42. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    I think in that situation you pull out the stops and go for the win, or leave your starters in. Uncle Smokey tried to do both things. I like Laird behind the plate too; but if you’re worried about defense, why pull Everett? and why not bring in Inge at 3rd?

    • Coleman

      August 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm

      Upon further review it has occured to me that by pinch-hitting Avila Uncle Smokey left himself without a backup catcher, and left Inge on the bench instead of swapping him with Raburn on the off-chance that he would need an emergency catcher replacement (this would make more sense if Inge didn’t have bad knees)…but the emergency emergency backup is Raburn, who Inge would have replaced, so you’d end up with, what-Bobby Seay? catching or playing third…

  43. billfer

    August 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    The 10th inning was completely Raburn’s fault. But the offense is at fault for the game reaching the 10th inning in the first place. Lot’s of blame to go around.

  44. Jud

    August 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I vote Thames is not he answer in the 3 spot in the order

  45. Matt

    August 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Wow, Marcus 0-6 on the day. That’s impressive.

  46. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Tough when your 1 and 3 hitters are both Sardinha. Oh wait, I guess that’s wrong, at least according to the box score. But Everett (!!) and Polanco have been hitting, sandwiched between completely useless ABs (except for Laird’s bunt “single”)

    • Chris

      August 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm

      Granderson is not having a good season. He never seams to get a clutch hit. The strikeouts are a real liability.

      • Coleman

        August 16, 2009 at 5:00 pm

        I was just referring to today BTW with the Sardinha crack…it does seem Granderson is almost becoming more Thames-like though: there are days he seems to hit everything hard, and other days he can barely put a ball in play; on a given day he seems either on or off. I don’t know if that depends on the pitcher or what.

        One thing that has been happening to the offense all season though is having a couple of guys hitting, but being unable to put anything together because they are sandwiched between guys who not only aren’t hitting, but aren’t advancing baserunners, hitting into GIDPs, striking out with guys on 3rd no outs, etc.

        It’s a shame to have Granderson come up empty on a day when Everett’s getting on base like he’s Ichiro or something. In fact the only time Everett managed to get home was courtesy of his baserunning and the Royals’ catcher’s problems stopping pitches.

        But not capitalizing on a day like that from Everett is like sleeping through Halley’s Comet.

  47. Jeff Molby

    August 16, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    I’m not going to defend Rayburn’s play, but please don’t turn this into one of those things where you extrapolate his two mistakes today to mean that he can’t play the position at all. I don’t want to hear a bitchfest every time he gets the call.

    • Matt

      August 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm

      I’m not going to say he can’t play the position. You want to give him the occasional start at 3rd, fine.

      But in the 9th and 10th innings, I don’t want to see Rayburn at 3rd and Inge on the bench.

      • Jud

        August 16, 2009 at 4:39 pm

        if you are going to make some moves to try and win why not make all of them …Inge should have been in there

        • RPS

          August 17, 2009 at 11:50 am

          Raburn has a significantly negative FRAA in his career at every position except RF. He’s not the world’s worst glove, but, with a suspect bat, I really question why he’s the 25th man. Santiago, Thomas, and Avila cover the backup at C, 2B, SS, and OF. What is really needed in that roster spot is the ability to back up 1B and 3B, with outfield ability a nice plus. I’d really like to see either Don Kelly or Larish in Raburn’s spot. Unless Larish is now considered a 1B/DH instead of a 1B/3B, which kinda seems logical since this is too obvious an answer otherwise. Then Kelly.

          Certainly no blame to Leyland for playing Raburn. But if that guy’s the second best 3B on your roster, your roster needs tweaking.

          It doesn’t count as versatility if you butcher most of your multiple positions.

  48. Jud

    August 16, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    was this a road game???????????????

  49. Kevin in Dallas

    August 16, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    We gave the game away. It happens from time to time. We were definitely the better team.

  50. Mike

    August 16, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Ryan Raburn is a classic example of the saying “the baseball will find you” if you are a poor defensive player. Whether he is in LF or at 3B, it has been nothing but a comedy of errors.

  51. Matt

    August 16, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Hopefully the Sox will drop the game tonight and continue their (and our) trend of doing anything to avoid locking up the division.

    • Coleman

      August 16, 2009 at 5:22 pm

      Extremely unlikely.

      • Coleman

        August 16, 2009 at 6:40 pm

        But, clearly, not impossible :)

  52. Sam

    August 16, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    This is one of the bad loses to take. KC played bad, let runners all over the field, and we just were way too tight to win this game.
    0-million with runners on.
    Rodney doesn’t give up one hard hit ball and gets screwed by his defense!

  53. Kathy

    August 16, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Unfortunately, Raburn has had too few opportunities to play 3rd base. I understand that Brandon wants to play every game, but unless someone can play that position from time to time, the result will be what you saw today. Same thing with Guillen on first base. It’s been too long since he’s played that position. Leland just irritates the heck out of me.

  54. walter55

    August 16, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    If the Tigers don’t win the division it will be because games like this in which they just don’t produce against average to crappy pitching. This Davies is terrible and not being able to score 3 runs on him is bad. Go A’s hopefully they can rally past the White Sox.

    • Coleman

      August 16, 2009 at 6:30 pm

      They tied it up in the 8th, and shut the White Sox down in the top of the 9th! Oops, White Sox still up, they ruled Nix safe on a groundout. Replay shows he was easily out. Now Nix has stolen 2nd. Hmm, looked out on that too, WTF. Figures.

  55. MCM

    August 16, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    No way you leave Raburn in at 3rd in a close game final two innings – Rod Allen even said it at the beginning of the game: “Leyland is giving Inge a couple days rest with an off day tomorrow but you’ll see Inge at 3rd today in a close game near the end” or something like that.

    Managerial Malpractice without a doubt.

    And Thames has had more than enough strike outs and poor at bats – enough is enough already, sheeeesh.

  56. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    No way!

    Mark Ellis (Mark Ellis?) just yanked a line drive down the line off Bobby Jenks for a walk-off, A’s 4 – White Sox 2!!!

  57. Mike in CT

    August 16, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Mark Ellis walk-off scenario.

    Oakland 3, Chi-Sxx 2!

  58. Jud

    August 16, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    this whole AL Central thing IS A JOKE……..but we are only smiling not laughing

    Oakland wins!

  59. Stephen

    August 16, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    I don’t know why everyone is complaining. The Tigers have the fifth highest payroll and the twelfth best record. This is clearly a team of destiny. Don’t forget the 06 Cards!

    • Coleman

      August 16, 2009 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks for the reminder, I almost forgot about them…NOT!

      I wonder how our pitchers’ fielding practice has been going…

    • billfer

      August 16, 2009 at 8:00 pm

      Stephen -

      What should we as fans do differently at this point to help bring the win total in line with payroll? Help me understand because this is clearly a hot button issue for you.

      Or better yet, what should the team do? Yes there is a ton of dead weight on the payroll. How should they change that at this point? They can’t really add payroll because I don’t think there is really room to do anything and even if they could add payroll they couldn’t add 15 wins by doing it. They can’t cut payroll because it is guaranteed.

      Where is the solution that you’re looking for?

      • Coleman

        August 16, 2009 at 8:26 pm

        Clearly it would help to get rid of Cabrera and play Raburn at first.

        Cabrera has cost us over $200,000 per RBI, and Raburn only $13,000.

        Even Inge is a bargain (about $90,000 per RBI) compared to Cabrera. So we could bat him 4th and Raburn 3rd.

      • Jud

        August 16, 2009 at 10:32 pm

        Billfer that was good
        but…
        I think we should continue to help some by buying more Pizza than we actually need.

      • Stephen

        August 16, 2009 at 11:50 pm

        I’m not the Tigers CEO so can’t make solutions but here goes:

        For Fans:
        Not start write-in campaigns for guys who don’t really belong on all-star teams.
        Have higher standards for their team rather than ‘I’m just glad they’re in first place and no longer lose 95 games.’
        This is a classic Detroit problem whether it be sports, cars or politicians.
        Politics:”Bing doesn’t seem like he know what he’s doing but at least he’s not Kwame.”
        Auto Industry: “You know the Chevy Cobalt isn’t as good as the Corolla, but hey, it’s better than the Chevy Citation.”
        Tiger fans: ‘Stop complaining about the bottom third, we’re in first place!’

        Fans should realize that a #5 payroll in this market is an absolute gift and be frustrated that the money has been squandered on 2007-2009 teams that often lack fire and have a cumulative record of .500. Believe it or not, fan pressure actually leads to changes in other markets.

        For Team: That’s not my job. But I was on record wondering why everyone was psyched about Laird and Adam Everett’s signing when they were not fit to be #8 and #9 hitters on a purported contender.

        For Management: Get new management.

        • Coleman

          August 17, 2009 at 12:16 am

          i think you’re doing your own argument a disservice here, since it’s an idea worth serious consideration. But starting out with “Not start write-in campaigns for guys who don’t really belong on all-star teams” just looks silly.

          For one, this is just the sort of thing that fans in the franchises you imply we are underperforming do all the time. But more importantly, I can’t conceive of a way the franchise would be seriously better off if we had all voted for Ian Kinsler (BTW since All-Star break OBP: Inge not so good at .274. Kinsler: .255).

          Unless you mean that it cost us what 25K in bonus money (the same amount equally un/deserving Granderson got, sounds like SOP contract stuff for Detroit maybe?). Surely if we had that 25K in pocket we could have Halladay right now…

          I’m actually more sympathetic to your Inge complaints that it probably seems, but I actually think his contract deal has turned out to be a decent move by DD. At any rate the fans gaming the All-Star system sounds to me like the OPPOSITE of the “Detroit” syndrome you are complaining about, don’t you think?

          (PS: The Laird/Treanor signings looked good because Laird had just hit over .300, and WE HAD NO CATCHERS, which can be a problem…refraining from cheap joke about looking good re Treanor…and Everett still looks like a good deal to me after Renteria, and 1/10 the cost, literally (not to mention Ham Sandwich cost us JJ). Red Sox fans were similarly happy to have “SS to be named later” to replace Renteria when they had him.)

        • Jeff Molby

          August 17, 2009 at 12:48 am

          The politics and car industries don’t apply because in both cases, you have plenty of other choices, so it’s stupid to settle for sub-par. I’m assuming the same is true for you, but I sure as hell don’t have any other choices for baseball teams. I can accept my team as it is, cheer them on, and lobby for realistic moves that will make them better in the future… or I can be apathetic. I suppose I could tilt at windmills too, but I have more important things to spend my energy on.

          As for the team, I don’t remember too many people getting psyched about Laird and Everett. In fact, Billfer said, “3. The bottom third of the order will likely be close-your-eyes bad.” back in December and nobody seriously disagreed with him. Both moves were value plays and we all recognized that. I know you wanted more, but the organization didn’t want to shell out for the other options. Considering how high the payroll is relative to the market, I would expect you to understand that. They had to do something. They did what they could.

          Management: This is the same management that resurrected the franchise. Some of their moves have worked out spectacularly well. Others were spectacularly bad. Others were mediocre. Most of fan base has supported most of the moves at the time. Maybe you’re on record as disagreeing with most of the moves — wouldn’t surprise me, since you seem to see the half-empty glass all the time — but the rest of like the daring and aggressiveness that we see from management, even if the results aren’t always there.

        • Andre in Chi

          August 17, 2009 at 12:56 am

          Stephen,

          I think that a lot of us don’t feel like the money was squandered. There were contracts that certainly didn’t work out as most people had hoped or expected, but its hard to say the money was squandered. Bonderman, Guillen, Ordonez, Robertson and Willis weren’t all projected to be all-stars at the time of their various signings and extensions; but each of them was expected, not all that naively, to contribute consistently. The laundry list of crazy injuries and production drop offs couldn’t realistically have been expected at the time.

          To me, its not a “Detroit” thing. I don’t feel like I’m settling with the Tigers. I’m not under the illusion that they’re a great team and I’m unhappy about certain contract situations the team put themselves into. But I am able to understand the limits this team is operating under. Under most circumstances I would expect a team with a payroll this high to perform better than the Tigers have been so far. Maybe to you this all seems like making excuses for the team, but I don’t think its fair to simply look at the payroll and think: this team should be 5th place or higher. That’s ignoring a lot of unforeseeable issues that happened in a short amount of time.

          So no, understanding that there’s nothing to be done isn’t the same as settling for less. And I’m sure the fine citizens of Detroit appreciate the broad strokes you’ve painted them with.

        • Kathy

          August 17, 2009 at 10:33 am

          Oh, Stephen. The Yankees have a payroll that’s almost double the Tigers and the Mets have a much bigger payroll, too. I know you can’t stand Inge, but he really is a great 3rd baseman. He’s had a great year and makes the web gems more than anyone else. Maybe he’s not the greatest hitter, but that glove he has is pure gold. We have great ptiching, but for some reason we are not hitting. You want all offense all the time. Sounds like pure New York speak to me.

          Colorado had a lousy team that was going nowhere, until they fired their manager. Since then, they’ve been on fire.

          You’re comparing the team to how you see the rest of Detroit which says alot more about you, than the team.

    • colin

      August 16, 2009 at 10:21 pm

      You _are_ aware that the AL is a tougher league…… right?

  60. Kathy

    August 16, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    You broke it down real good, Billfer. A masterpiece of analysis.

  61. Coleman

    August 16, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Buying pizza–no problem.
    Rally pizza–not recommended.

  62. David

    August 17, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Believing payroll and wins have a super strong correlation in baseball is a naive false belief and of someone who doesn’t know much about its history. The sport is littered with (and I use this in quotes for a reason) “overachieving teams” and “under performing teams.”

    The way some contracts are handed out are pure ludicrous and ideally you would pay – not weighted heavily on past performance – only on the present results. When I soon become part of a front office I plan to make that a reality.

    And one more thing Stephen – to lump and clump all people or anyone else in categories shows your naivety.

    I’m happy they are in first. I don’t by any means think it is a spot assured… especially when you look at their August/Sept history under Leyland + Peavy coming back for the ChiSox + Minny always being right there.

    Still if they edge their way into the playoffs and get hot at the right time(“it’s not who you play, but when you play them”) I can see them being the ’06 Cards and winning it all. With a dominating Verlander/EJax and a Washburn who had claimed to have “figured it out” I don’t hate our chances in a short series.

    You’re right on one point only – this is far from a dominating team. But then again a lot of things would have to go right and you’d need a much smarter GM than DD to win 120 games.

    I think you need to sit back, relax, stop being so overcritical of the Charlie vote, and Detroiters. Enjoy they are in the hunt and if they make it out alive they have shot.

    With the Sheffield, Bonderman, Robertson and Willis contract, let alone what Maggs, Poly and Guillen have or haven’t done this year it “ain’t half bad.”

  63. Stephen

    August 17, 2009 at 11:59 am

    The Yankees and the Mets can afford to waste tens of millions of dollars. Detroit can not. My frustration is that a team like the Tigers have once a generation chances to compete with the big boys before someone decides to look at the bottom line. (See the Pirates of the early 90s). I’m just frustrated that the window is closing and we haven’t done more with it.

    500 games is a statistically significant sample size. The Tigers are 249-251 over the last 500 games. That’s really disappointing based on their payroll. Sure, there are unforseen circumstances like Willis’s meltdown but at some point someone has to be accountable.

    I wasn’t knocking Detroit, I was knocking the attitude that ok is good enough. And, for me, Inge is the microcosm of that. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, his teammates seem to love him. And he’s a helluva defensive third baseman. But the turning of a charitably mediocre ballplayer into a cause celebre All-Star just rubs me the wrong way. The fact that he actually went to the game rather than take 3 days off to rest his self-described aching knees, the fact that he put his aching knees–the ones that hurt more when he bats–through the Home Run Derby suggest Inge’s eyes are set on the wrong prize.

    Would I have the guts to turn down my only chance at an All-Star game to rest up, for the good of the team? That’s a good question. But I’ve never even seen it raised by a reporter or a blogger.

    Yeah, I live on the East Coast and maybe this is just the East Coast mindset talking. But for all the headaches and trauma and self-important idiocy of the East Coast, it does instill one quality: accountability. And that’s what I meant with the political and auto industry comparisons. The people of Michigan are some of the coolest, nicest people in the world. (Much of my family still lives there). But sometimes, I wish the citizens of Michigan would be a little less nice and demand accountability from their public figures, whether they are sports stars, politicians, or auto executives.

    But you all make good points, sorry if I offended.

    • Mark in Chicago

      August 17, 2009 at 12:32 pm

      My turn.

      Stephen,

      I understand your point about Inge, but at the time of the voting, he really WAS deserving of consideration. Look at his numbers relative to other 3B. Yeah, he used a monster April to carry a lot of that weight, but that fact is, he was truly among the best at his position when you factor in all aspects of his game. That fact that it’s luck, or that he is a career .230 hitter, doesn’t matter. An All-Star game is a snapshot in time, the back of his baseball card is the movie version. Sometime they tell different stories.

      That’s to say nothing of the value of All-Star games as an indicator of value. Like Gold Gloves and RBI, they are not. But his numbers to that point placed him (however briefly) among the best performers at his position at that point in time. Nothing more, nothing less.

      As for the acceptance of mediocrity, I think you have a reasonable point. However, the organization was in such a shambles for so many years, it is perhaps our midwest modesty that prohibits us from demanding something to which we don’t feel we are entitled. We want the Tigers to succeed, but do not accept it as fact that they must. What we can demand are players who play hard (Maggs gets routinely ripped around here for a lazy run to first. Same for Sheff when he was around.) and a management that treats the fans to something worth watching. By and large, I think they’ve done that. You may disagree. There is a fair amount of wasted resources (mostly dollars), but they have also begun drafting well and are not shy about giving young kids a chance. That makes them interesting to follow and fun to watch.

      Anyhow, nice to see you back around here posting, it’s an interesting discussion.

      • Coleman

        August 17, 2009 at 2:29 pm

        What you call midwest modesty i prefer to call realism. Being happy that the Tigers are so good now compared to a few years ago could be called accepting mediocrity I suppose; I call it enjoying progress. Any car, be it a LeBaron or a BMW or whatever, has a limit to how quickly it can go from 0 to 60. And 6 years ago we were at 0. At some point on your way from 0 to 60 you’re going to be at 30. That’s just how it works.

        And it’s harder than it sounds. When you are bad, it’s harder to get good than when you are already good. Fans don’t go to games, so you have less money.
        Players don’t want to play for your team; so to get good players you have to pay them above their market value–with the money you don’t have because fans aren’t showing up. Unless maybe the players are enticed by the chance to live and play in the vacation mecca of Detroit. And maybe your team is awful and also has few or no spanish-speaking players at a time when the best free-agent players in the game are Latin–that’s another big draw I’m sure. Ever hear the phrase Tiger Tax? That’s why the Pudge signing was such a huge deal.

        We might not be one of the top 5 organizations in baseball–yet–but we are one of the few that have climbed from the depths of small-market disaster. I don’t see any signs of sliding back. I think we are moving forward. And I plan to enjoy each step of the way.

    • RPS

      August 17, 2009 at 12:43 pm

      Paragraph by paragraph:

      1) There is no window closing. With the economic climate, the window is as closed right now as it gets, unless Ilitch dies. I don’t really see any connection with the finances of the early 90s Pirates.

      2) Very disappointing. Many problems, both avoidable and unavoidable, went into it.

      3/4) You know the last-man vote participants were decided by the league, right? All the fans did was vote for Inge out of the five choices. And there was a very good case to be made that Inge was deserving. And I don’t think that ten pop flies and an inning of hanging out around third are having any lasting effects on his health. Rest is great for him, but he was only actually doing stuff for like 12 minutes at the game. I could never ask him to forsake what will probably be his only chance at an All-Star game.

      5) You’re serious? The East Coast instills accountability? I can’t even…

      Anyway, what? Sports stars are accountable to their employers, not to the public. If Magglio is not trying 100% when I’m at a game, I’m less likely to buy tickets, which hurts the Tigers. Magglio is in no way accountable to me. Auto companies are entirely private. Assuming the federal loans get paid back, the auto companies have no responsibility whatsoever to me, as a non shareholder. They are free to succeed and fail as they see fit. Politicians are not allowed to hold office until they receive a plurality of “votes” in an “election”. That sort of breeds accountability. Just like on the east coast!

      I really don’t see the failure of the people of Detroit and Michigan to demand accountability, or being too willing to settle, or whatever your argument actually is. The reason people are reacting so negatively is that, intentional or not, you’re painting Detroit and Michigan residents as backwards morons who either can’t or won’t evaluate situations to your satisfaction. It’s great that, in what I can only assume is Massachusetts, you have a good baseball team and a good economy. But that really isn’t a result of the public demanding accountability and refusing to settle for good enough. It is a result of a good GM hire and not ever having had an almost entirely manufacturing-based economy. Please don’t act like things are better where you are because the people there have some sort of innate quality that inexorably improves all things it touches.

      Some people don’t take well to patronization. I’m one of them.

      • Stephen

        August 17, 2009 at 2:50 pm

        RPS:
        I actually work in an industry that is imploding quicker than the auto industry, so no worries on that front! I don’t live in Massachusetts, hate the state actually. With the exception of the beaches which I find outstanding. I write this from my sweltering attic-like study where I’m dining on Tostitos and drinking Diet Mountain Dew. Brad and Angelina aren’t stopping by any time soon.

        The East Coast, at least the one I live in, is filled with good people but also jerks who would climb all over you to get your job. You are mistaken if you think i am holding it up as a paragon of virtue. Where I live, the governor had to resign because of a prostitution scandal and the state senate was held hostage by a senator, as far as i could tell, who wanted a bigger office and a job for his son.

        But there IS more accountability. The media markets are so much more competitive that they are often cruel and unfair, but that competition drives people to find more stories which makes politicians, gm’s, execs more accountable and feel like they have to work harder.

        I just feel Tigers fans are so relieved they no longer lose 100 games they think that’s good enough. I do think certain cities are more accepting and forgiving than other cities. That’s a great thing if you want a good life and low stress which is 99% of life. But that forgiving nature has a 1% downside. And I think the examples I gave suggest that downside.

        Ok, need more Tostitos. Gotta go.

        • Kathy

          August 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm

          It’s only Brandon who’s relieved we don’t lose 100 games anymore.

      • T Smith

        August 17, 2009 at 4:08 pm

        I think maybe this is a little reactive — perhaps I’m missing something, but I don’t see the implied connection between “complacency” and “idiocy.” I don’t think anybody is claiming the Detroit fan base is chock full of “backwards morons” or patronizing.

        As far as I can tell, the main point is: someone in this organization would have been given a pink slip long ago (Mclendon? Leyland? Paws? I dunno) if the team happened to play in New York. To counter this point, I don’t think there can be any argument. Of course this is not necessarily a state to which to aspire and emulate — but on the other hand, there is an uncanny correlation between performance and accountability.

        Be that as it may, stephen could have underscored his point without so much fuss by simply citing Matt Millen’s illustrious tenure in Detroit…

        • Stephen

          August 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm

          This is not the first time TSmith has better summarized my point! Yes, forget all my other examples. Matt Millen, Matt Milllen, Matt Millen.

          • billfer

            August 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm

            Millen is actually a pretty poor example. Nobody liked Millen, and nobody was shy about voicing their displeasure for Millen. That’s media and fans alike. WDFN organized the Millen man march. Fire Millen became a catch phrase. What else were the fans and media supposed to do (and the media isn’t supposed to try and get people fired anyways – it may just be a byproduct). The trouble was that there was 1 guy who liked him, and he was the one that mattered. William Clay Ford gets skewered routinely and has for years, but he ain’t selling the team.

    • Kathy

      August 17, 2009 at 12:59 pm

      When the Tigers were lousy, you know, like in 2000 -2003 (through 2009 in your mind, I’m sure) the attendance was lousy, too. The Tiger organization knows they have to put a winning product out there or they will be doomed, precisely because they are in Michigan. There won’t be crowds of 25,000 or more on a Tuesday night, not in our economy here in Michigan. Leland always says he wants the fans to be able to forget their troubles for a few hours by enjoying the game. Well, the Tigers ned to find a way to start making them more enjoyable.

  64. RPS

    August 17, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Breaking News: Detroit, MI (AP)

    *** The Detroit Tigers currently lead the AL Central by 2.5 games, with a 51.74% chance of making the playoffs. ***

    All RaBurning and Chevy Citiations aside, this team is more likely than not to make the playoffs. With all the RISP failure and timely Keystone Kops defense and Inge’s velcro knees and stuff. Instead of fretting about RISP failure, think of how good this team will be when the RISP BA moves up to about .260, as it almost inevitably will. It’s bad luck. It will probably normalize.

    The Tigers don’t have to be good. Just better than the White Sox and Twins. I like the chances.

  65. anaaki

    August 17, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Maybe I didn’t read correctly but I think you missed Magglio’s HR in the recap. I know he didn’t do much else, but he at least deserves credit for scoring HALF our runs from yesterday.

    Also, be thankful you didn’t go, ’cause we did. And while I enjoy every game I go to (ok, maybe not some from last year), it really did put a damper on things to be sitting in 87 degree cloudless, sunny heat for 3 hours and 20 minutes (after having not a lot of players come to our side of the field during the photo day promotion) and then watch the errors and the lack of hitting with RISP. It was a miserable day and a miserable game.

    • anaaki

      August 17, 2009 at 12:33 pm

      Ah I see, you picked up at the 3rd inning… but still. I think it deserves a mention.

  66. Keith (Mr. X)

    August 17, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    I was never an Inge fan until last year when I missed his defense. I didn’t think a 3B’s glove could make a significant impact in how well a team does. Raburn reminded me once again how valuable Inge is.

    Don’t tell me how to vote either. Last year fans voted in Jason Varitek when he was hitting about .200. Things like popularity, league contributions, and defense should count when you vote for All-Stars. Inge is deservingly an All-Star this year. The Tigers team and the fans would be hurting greatly without him.

    To me it’s just sour grapes. I feel a little insulted and I’m always going to be on the defensive side because we Detroiters have been the whipping boy to the rest of the world for the past 50 years. Detroiters in general share a common believe that we can overcome whatever is thrown at us. Just like the 2009 Tigers.

    Inge has rise and fallen, and risen again. He’s a excellent role model to us all. Some day this city will rise to the top again too.

  67. Chris in Dallas

    August 17, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Isn’t it ‘Cowboy’ Joe West?

    • Coleman

      August 17, 2009 at 2:37 pm

      Let’s hope so; there better not be more than one of them out there….