Game 2009.163: Tigers at Twins postgame

by billfer on October 6, 2009 · 149 comments

in 2009 Season

Post image for Game 2009.163: Tigers at Twins postgame

Congratulations to the Minnesota Twins and their fans. You have to hand it to a team that finished the season 17-4 (and the Tigers were responsible for 3 of those 4 losses) without their second best player. They went out and took the division from the Tigers. They went down 3 runs early tonight and came back to take the lead. They were down in extra innings and tied it up. The Twins went out and won one of the best and most entertaining baseball games I’ve ever seen.

As for the Tigers, congratulations doesn’t really fit. But they did play a heck of a game against a red hot opponent in a hostile environment in the midst of a media blitz and distractions. Unfortunately they came up short on too many rallies tonight (and throughout the season) and like in 2006 the Tigers surrendered first place on the last day of the season.

We’ll discuss what comes next for the team in the weeks and months ahead. In the meantime a litany of thoughts on tonight’s game:

  • Rick Porcello was amazing. I don’t know where the 8 K’s came from but the way he pitched gave the Twins fits. If most voters hadn’t already cast their ballots there’s a decent chance he wins Rookie of the Year.
  • Miguel Cabrera quieted talk of focus and distraction with a double and a homer in his first 2 at-bats. He also did a nice job getting to 3rd base in the 12th inning on Don Kelly’s hit. I think saying he doesn’t care isn’t fair, even in light of what happened over the weekend.
  • Fernando Rodney pitched well and he wasn’t the reason they lost. In Leyland’s post game he said that Rodney asked for the ball that last inning. He completes the season with only 1 blown save but he was on the mound when a ground ball found its way between first and second.
  • Inge had a heck of a game with 2 spectacular diving plays and a big RBI double. He failed in 2 situations with runners on, but he certainly carried his weight tonight. Heck, he even should have had an RBI in the 12th when he was hit by a pitch and a call was missed.
  • Like Inge there were so many players that had ups and downs tonight. Granderson got doubled off in the 9th inning in a baserunning mistake and took a bad angle on the ball that got by Raburn. But Grandy also had 2 hits and made a diving play in centerfield.
  • Ryan Raburn lost the Cuddyer ball in the lights, but gunned a guy at the plate and also picked up a couple hits.
  • Gerald Laird however will think about this one for awhile. He struck out to end the 9th and the 12th. He didn’t get a ball out of the infield, he failed on a sacrifice bunt. He didn’t even get the pleasure of throwing out a runner. But I do think his presence prevented some steal attempts. As much as I wanted him pinch hit for, I still wanted him behind the plate.
  • So many plays to look back on, but the Magglio Ordonez line out to shortstop is still the killer. He ripped a ball off of Nathan and had nothing to show for it. Ugh.
  • And the other play was the grounder up the middle that ended up out of the reach of Polanco. We’re so used to Placido making plays all over the place. That the ball was out of his reach is something I still can’t believe.

The Tigers went 17-16 in September and October. For the season they finished as a .527 winning percentage team. I don’t know that constitutes a collapse. Yes, they had every chance to put the division away and they should take heat for that. But they didn’t tank in the 2nd half. The Twins went and took the division from them.

I will throw out one offseason prediction that I’d guess happens soon. My guess is that Lloyd McClendon will be relieved of his hitting coach duties. Not because of this game, but because of a season’s worth of offensive struggles. I don’t know if he’ll be fired or moved to another coaching position, but I think Lloyd will be gone.

 
 

{ 149 comments }

Ron October 6, 2009 at 11:14 pm

How ’bout that umping. Two strikeouts when we were batting that shouldn’t have been, according to gameday (weren’t really even very close), and Inge’s non HBP. But we should have came through in other places and won it ourselves.

Jeff Molby October 7, 2009 at 12:21 am

The HBP was legit, but don’t lose any sleep over the strikes. The zone was really tight most of the time, but expanded randomly on occasion for both teams. Not good umping, but not a difference-maker.

RoseTattoo October 6, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Thanks Billfer. I’d like to buy you a beer — what’d you do with that button?

Kevin in Dallas October 7, 2009 at 12:12 am

A bunch of people have asked, billfer is too proud to post it – you can paypal him at bill@detroittigersweblog.com. Thanks billfer.

My heart is still somewhere between my stomach and somewhere lower. I feel you everyone. Thanks for the highs Det. Boo for the lows.

Jeff Molby October 7, 2009 at 12:22 am

Sanitize that link. He deleted a similar post of mine. I’m assuming because he doesn’t want his email address spammed to death.

soulBunny October 6, 2009 at 11:26 pm

That’s too bad. Umpiring seemed ok. The ball at 2nd looked in reach, but it wasn’t at all. Anyways it was a good game. 5 out of 10 times either team is winning this game was a coin flip anyways.
Two Voices | Two Guys

Vince in MN October 6, 2009 at 11:29 pm

Yep, congrats to the Twins, who did their usual late season thing and played good sound baseball. As for the Tigers, to be honest, the same old same old is getting kind of tiring. Not that I was greatly surprised by the fiinish, since at the onset of the season I didn’t think they would end up higher than 3rd. Sure they provided some thrills of a pennant race, but they were never really believable as a playoff team and in the end the mediocrity won out. I know I am not the only one who has been expecting the other shoe to drop for a long time and it is not simply because I am a glass-is-half-empty guy. I think the whole organization from the top on down needs to do some serious soul searching over the winter and ask themselves what the hell is going on here. Fundamentals on AND off the field, players as well as management, was pretty poor (again).

Carlos October 6, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Congrats Tigers, from a Twins Fan. Game could have gone either way and that was quite the battle. Might be one of the most exciting games I’ve ever seen. Ranks up there with Jack Morris and his 10 inning win in the WS. Porcello was outstanding.

I agree umpiring was erractic, but for both teams. Orlando Cabrera’s K came with 2 pitches that hadn’t been called strikes all night. On the HR for O.C. and whether it was catchable, the LF fence is higher than it looks. If it reaches the first row of fans like it did, no human can catch it. That’s the 2nd row of seats and probably about 15 feet above the playing surface.

Anyway, just wanted to say ‘great game’ and nice job leading the division most of the year. Twins are playing their best ball of the year right now and Tigers were right there in this marathon game. Sad to see anyone lose this one.

Coleman October 7, 2009 at 12:15 am

Thanks, nice input on the LF HR catchability.

Jeff Molby October 7, 2009 at 12:24 am

Eh, catchable or not, RaYburn barely even left the ground. My vertical leap is all of 2 inches, so I can’t talk, but he clearly mis-timed it.

Mark in Chicago October 6, 2009 at 11:46 pm

17-4 over the last 3 weeks is absolutely unbelievable. This Twins team is solid, but they are not that good, they just got hot at exactly the right time. Kinda like the Rockies’ 22-1 stretch that got them into the postseason.

Losing this division hurts. It was the Tigers’ to win and the Twins took it from them. Very disappointing.

RKT in Mississippi October 7, 2009 at 10:02 am

Let me add that one of the 4 losses was against Zach Grienke, and like Billfer mentions the others against the Tigers. When your hot, your hot! Watch out Yankees!

thatguy October 7, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Twins fan here.

Sorry to be contradictory…but the Tigers took it away from themselves with that sub-par final month of ball. The Twins did what they needed to to win and Detroit did everything wrong. They should’ve locked up the division at the very least Twins vs. Tigers series but they were given so many chances before and after and just didn’t deliver. The only ones they can blame are themselves…

Great game last night though, and it is apparent that the Tigers are a good team and will be solid next year with just a few changes. Keep your heads up Tiger fans.

Dave in New Have(n) October 7, 2009 at 1:29 pm

All true, but worth noting that the Tigers would have been reasonable to expect more help than they got. The Twins went 11-1 against teams other than that Tigers over that last 21 game stretch. A good many of those games were on the road too, where up until September, the Twins had been pretty bad. In my view, the biggest game for the Twins among their final 21 (excepting game #163) was their win against Grienke on Satruday.

thatguy October 7, 2009 at 1:35 pm

^Very true. Beating their stud was huuuuuge. Over the hump for us I guess.

johnfan October 7, 2009 at 11:09 pm

On Greinke’s loss: Poor fielding by the Royals, the bane all year, reached up and bit him. Before Mauer smoked the icebreaking hit, he hit a foul down the line that three Royals failed to reach. Then the leftfielder alligator-armed a high slicing drive down the line. Then Mark Teahan took an absolutely terrible line on a catchable drive hit by Delmon Young. Greinke, and the Tigers, did not deserve that.
Oh well, life isn’t fair. You have to make your own luck.

Coach Jim October 7, 2009 at 12:05 am

I’m glad I’m not the only one sour about the umpiring. I coach a 12-and-under team, and I (try) to teach them to never complain about bad calls, because there are going to be thousands in your life. But at this level (MLB) and with this much at stake (the entire season), I would hope for better. The way I see it, we only had 1 out in the 9th. Polanco’s strikeout was not close. Then the double play. I never did see an angle that showed Granderson being out. If anyone else thinks Grandy was out, let me know. Then Inge being hit with the bases loaded in extra innings….

Oh, and the classic astroturf single up the middle. I’m glad we’ve played our last game in the joke-dome.

I had a long drive home after the game and got to listen to The Ticket. A few callers tried to lay some blame on certain players. That’s not for me. Especially Gerald Laird. I know he was hitless today, and many days this season. But he is SO good behind the plate – he’s a hero, not a goat. Same with Adam Everett. Class guy all the way and gave us our first really good shortstop since {long time}. Maybe his batting stats were below average, but he balanced that with a lot of clutch hits this season. Hats off to ya. Personally, I applaud DD’s decision to tip the scale a little towards defense. I mean, is anybody really wishing we had Edgar Renteria instead of Adam Everett?

So now Bill has to go back through his archives and search for “if the Tigers lose the division by 1 game, this will be the game that…” I think we had about 8 of those heartbreakers this year.

Coleman October 7, 2009 at 12:18 am

“is anybody really wishing we had Edgar Renteria instead of Adam Everett?”

Yes…mmm, ham sandwich….

Seriously though, not only is Everett preferable to Renteria, but we saved almost half an Ordonez-vesting-salary on him.

johnfan October 7, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Uhh, that would be “defensive replacement” Don Kelly losing a ball in the ceiling in that fateful Verlander loss in the Horrordome in September. I was a mediocre high school ballplayer, and with what was on the line, I’d like to think I coulda concentrated that one into my old George Brett edition Rawlings.

cib October 7, 2009 at 12:10 am

It was the inconsistency, all season. The whole team was “the rollercoaster” this year. Some great moments, though. What can you do.
Anybody want a fancy baseball ticket bookmark??

jason October 7, 2009 at 12:13 am

The record of 17-16 that you mention is not the key stat that caught my eye on TV tonight. They showed that the Tigers were 11-17 from Sept 7th, I think it was… meanwhile the Twins were 19-8.

Jeff Molby October 7, 2009 at 12:28 am

That’s cherry-picking, though. The 11-17 stat deliberately excludes the 7 game win streak immediately prior. Billfer’s approach is correct. Going on a monthly basis is purely arbitrary, but it’s also completely unbiased. The Tigers played slighly above average baseball all year long. It wasn’t quite enough. That’s all there is to it.

Coleman October 7, 2009 at 12:33 am

This caught my eye–and I’VE been posting Inge clutch stats all season, even if some are just to inspire stephen posts–tonight was Inge’s 8th go-ahead hit after the 7th inning (OK, sounds right), which is tops in the American League (huh? seriously? now THAT I wouldn’t have guessed).

Which almost begs the question–how much would you lose by bringing him in in the 7-9th innings as a pinch-hitter/defensive replacement now and then? You know, skip the un-productive ABs and just use the good ones? Just now and then, you know, against, say, pitchers like Baker (.358 OPS)…

Jeff Molby October 7, 2009 at 12:35 am

Interesting thought… I guess it depends on whether ABs are independent statistical events. Maybe he needs to get 7 bad swings out of his system before he’s ready to get that key hit?

Coleman October 7, 2009 at 12:40 am

I’ll have to look this up again when I’m not on an iPhone with a dying battery, but last time I looked Inge was peculiar in that he hits better against relief pitchers (even closers) than starters, and was doing better against starters the first time he batted against them…so the late-inning “clutch” stats might be part of a “good against relief pitchers” thing…

stephen October 7, 2009 at 12:38 am

I support this!

Coach Jim October 7, 2009 at 12:18 am

Well that’s just baseball. A player doesn’t bat .250 by going 1-for-4 in every game, just as a .500 team doesn’t alternate between wins and losses. There are streaks…so I’m okay with that.

Coleman October 7, 2009 at 12:47 am

Shhh, that’s too rational for us right now (at least me…even though I agree!)…it’s like playing probabilities–even though bringing in a certain pitcher to face a certain hitter has a more probable chance of success than leaving the pitcher in, that doesn’t mean he’s going to get the batter out. Over the long run, he would get the batter out more often than the guy he replaced–but that doesn’t mean he would get the batter out this time. And it doesn’t mean, when he gives up a home run, that it was the wrong move. (It still kinda bites though..)

Brian M October 7, 2009 at 12:21 am

Hey Tiger Fans,
Great season punctuated by one of the best games I have ever seen.
Baseball is awesome.
I know a lot of us are feeling pretty down right now. But we should remeber that this is a pretty flawed team with a ton of injuries, and yet we nearly tasted the postseason. We got 163 games of exciting baseball (and for many of those games we got 9 full innings of excitement…right Rodney). Anyway, yeah, I still love this team and it’s Mendoza-like OBP.
Lastly, Bilfer, thanks for another great season. You maintained a positive tone while still being critical and interesting.
Tigers in ’10!

cib October 7, 2009 at 12:24 am

What Brian said!!

Keith (Mr. X) October 7, 2009 at 12:45 am

I could actually taste the post-season a few times.

KS October 7, 2009 at 9:47 am

My question is why is this such a flawed team? They have the 5th highest payroll! Serious decision making issues with the front office have caused this. I think in Detroit we settle for mediocrity way to easily. I can’t bring myself to slap these guys on the back and say “good try”, “you’ll get ‘em next year”. They’re professional athletes. There job is to win, and they didn’t get it done. It’s been 22 without a division title, that’s pretty hard to do. We deserve much better in this town, I only hope we begin expecting it.

Dave in New Have(n) October 7, 2009 at 1:35 pm

“5th highest payroll” is certainly true, but misleading. It includes multi-million dollar hits for Gary Sheffiled (who didn’t play for us this year), Jeremy Bonderman (who pitched something a dozen innings for us this year), Dontrelle Willis (who spent most of the year on the DL, perhaps dubiously), and Nate Robertson (who was out much of the year, and not particularly good when he was with the team). Maybe you still have to count Robertson’s salary, but if you want to make an implicit, Pythagorean-theorem-like estimate of the Tigers’ expected performance based on payroll, you’d have to discard at least the first three.

Chris October 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm

You can’t just count salries you like…it isn’t misleading. The Tigers spent the 4th highest because they paid Sheff to play for the Mets. The bottom line, the owner gave them more money than he really could afford to, 75 million more than the Twins. It is the fault of how that money was allocated, only Bonderman’s was a legit injury…all the others were ridiculous extensions for people either past their primes, not very good (Robertson, giving him Halladay money.LOL), or those that had proven nothing (Willis). They also gave a huge extension to a DH (guillen) pretending he was a SS when they re-signed him. Add Curtis Granderson’s huge Contract in the years’ to come and he may be unable to play against lefties.(we hope a new hitting instructor helps) We get Maggs, another DH, for 18 Million. They have made it difficult to improve, w/ the new economy. The payroll isn’t misleading, they just spend inefficiently. They may not have money for a bullpen next year, so, lets hope Ryan Perry is the real deal. They need a fast defensive corner outfielder, with their ballpark and money situation.

Andre in Chi October 7, 2009 at 3:09 pm

“It is the fault of how that money was allocated, only Bonderman’s was a legit injury…all the others were ridiculous extensions for people either past their primes, not very good (Robertson, giving him Halladay money.LOL), or those that had proven nothing (Willis).”

I think that statement is a little revisionist, except the part re: Willis. Many of the moves seemed in the neighborhood of “reasonable”. Even in the cases of over-paying, it didn’t seem ridiculous at the time.

Either way, the issues you raise have been hashed out many times, and been rebutted far better than I’m doing here. I do agree that salaries can be misleading in many ways.

Andre in Chi October 7, 2009 at 2:57 pm

“My question is why is this such a flawed team? They have the 5th highest payroll!”

If you’re still asking that question, in relation to the payroll, it probably means you haven’t been paying attention for the last 2-3 years, or just haven’t been lucky enough to find this site until recently. There’s more than enough analysis in previous posts to explain how the Tigers arrived at their present condition.

KS October 8, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Thanks so much Andre… I actually “found” this site around 2005-2006. As for analysis, I’ve been getting that since I was 7 years old in 1979, found Bill James in 1983, and studying sabermetrics ever since. But, thank you of course, there are many on this site who I have learned from along the way.
My issue is the distribution of payroll, and the dead contracts. Paying Nate Robertson a kings ransom isn’t what any sane fan had in mind, Nate being nothing more than a league average pitcher, with a huge rate of balls in play that are subject to large fluctuations. Sheffield was pretty obviously finished, and Dontrelle’s contract was beyond questionable even to casual fans.
That said, I do understand the need to overpay for premier talent earlier in the decade. Pudge’s contract was well worth it, and whether I agree with Magglio getting his contract vested for next year, he has more than served his purpose by getting us into the World Series in ’06, and the monster ’07 season where by rights with average pitching the Tigers would have been in the playoffs. Dombrowski’s decision making is in question from my perspective. Whether Illitch changes course on him frequently I have no way of knowing (does Illitch want to sell out to win every game in a particular year, does Dombrowski want to build long term? Who knows). Whatever the reason, the horrible season of ’08, and the mediocre production in ’09 (when taking into account runs scored and allowed, among a myriad of other factors) put Dombrowski on notice. I’d hate to let the misery of 89-05 influence my expectations. No division titles in 22 years is pretty ridiculous. They don’t exactly have the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, and Angels in the division.

Jeff Molby October 8, 2009 at 9:19 pm

The Dontrelle, Nate and Sheffield moves were all generally well received around these parts. There were dissenters, but no major uproars. Those that voiced complaints back then have right to maintain their criticism, but most of us have to accept that the moves seemed good at the time.

http://www.detroittigersweblog.com/2008/01/robertson-extended-for-3-years/
http://www.detroittigersweblog.com/2006/11/tigers-acquire-gary-sheffield/
http://www.detroittigersweblog.com/2007/12/dontrelle-plus-3/

Randolph October 7, 2009 at 12:35 am

Forget about 11-17 since September 7th and forget about the “there are streaks…so I’m okay with that.”. The fact is that this team didnt close it out when it counted this year. They didn’t close it out in 2006 regular season when it mattered for the division, nor did they “close it out” in the World Series that they were HEAVILY favoured in. I’ve never questioned managements decisions on players, nor Jim Leyland’s ultimate choice for lineups as manager, but after watching this heart-clenching display, there’s reasons all around as to why the Tigers have won only 1 world series in 40 years.
Some teams get lucky and can pull out that championship season from seamingly nothing (aka Detroit Pistons 2004). But it takes good players, great managing and terrific personnel moves to make a team into a contender, year after year which has not happened for the Tigers…

Jeff Molby October 7, 2009 at 12:42 am

It bothers me when people look at the Tigers and vent about the last few decades. The 1990-2004 period were a pure waste. No excuses, it was a major embarrassment for the organization, but it was an isolated incident, so it’s time to get over it. Before that we had a decent organization that fluctuated (like every other organization) and had some great moments. Since 2004, we’ve had a solid team. Ups and downs, for sure, but respectable talent on the field every year. Improvements can be made, but we’re not lumped in with the Royals and the Expos anymore. Appreciate that.

KS October 7, 2009 at 9:54 am

So since we’re not the dregs of baseball we’re supposed to be happy with that? An isolated incident also doesn’t extend 16 years normally. It bothers me when people don’t demand more from those who represent all of us.
Look at the AL Central, really who has more local resources than the Tigers? They’ve had every advantage over the teams in there division (the only franchise that comes close is the Sox who are a distant second in there own town). They’ve won exactly 0 division titles since 1987, in a 5 team division since 1994 that’s pretty hard to do.

Jeff Molby October 7, 2009 at 5:46 pm

An isolated incident also doesn’t extend 16 years normally.

No, of course not, but it happened. It’s a sunk cost. It was dispicable, but it’s over and aside from Illitch — who I believe has redeemed himself by opening his checkbook after the farm system was finally replenished –, nobody responsible for that era is still in the system. Judge the current regime for what it has done. It’s unfair and counterproductive to water down their accomplishments by lumping them in with the Embarrassment Era.

So since we’re not the dregs of baseball we’re supposed to be happy with that?

To some extent, yes. We’re not a big market team and never will be, so expecting 90+ wins every year is foolish; you’re just setting yourself up for constant disappointment. I think it’s realistic to expect an average of 85-87 wins with some 95 and 75 win seasons sprinkled in when things go particularly well or particularly poorly.

It bothers me when people don’t demand more from those who represent all of us.

I agree with you that we aren’t getting great bang for our bucks, yet, but remember that it’s still early. We just started to outspend our division a few years ago and a good chunk of that went to pay the Tiger Tax and another big chunk was eaten up by bizarre turns of events. Did you complain about the Sheffield trade when it happened? I don’t think there were many people that thought he would degrade that quickly. Extending Dontrelle was probably a hasty move, but seriously, did anyone expect him to bomb so bad as to make replacement players look good? Losing Nate and Bondo for long stretches, possibly forever? C’mon, that’s 450 solid innings each year right there.

It’s baseball… these things happen and you can’t dwell on them, but you should factor them into your expectations. A $120 million payroll doesn’t mean squat if only $80m of it is on the active roster.

KS October 8, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Excellent, well reasoned response. Thank you. Though I may not completely agree with everything you’ve said, your logic to me is quite sound.

KS October 7, 2009 at 9:54 am

Randolph, I completely agree with you.

stephen October 7, 2009 at 12:46 am

Relive the magic of the 1989-2003 years!
http://www.slate.com/id/2147676/

Coleman October 7, 2009 at 12:50 am

Warning: this link contains disturbing, graphic phrases like “K-Car.”

stephen October 7, 2009 at 12:54 am

Yes, but do you recognize ‘the glass is three quarters empty’ similarity between the writer and a certain commentator?

Coleman October 7, 2009 at 12:59 am

I did notice a 50% correlation in nomenclature…or actually, I guess it’s a 67% correlation, since there are 2 first names and one last name total… :)

stephen October 7, 2009 at 1:02 am

Yes, I think I may have recycled some of my Slate anecdotes here over the years. It’s not plagiarism if you’re ripping yourself off!

Coleman October 7, 2009 at 1:07 am

Hehe, well, I may be an old statistico-comedic fool, but that doesn’t mean you can sneak a fastball by me on a 3-2 count with bases loaded.

And now you may be one of the top Google hits if some lost soul ever does a search on “K-Car…”

Coleman October 7, 2009 at 12:53 am

Somewhat Random Yet Relevant: It looks like Granderson’s catch against Sizemore at Cleveland made Sportscenter’s Plays of the Year (#5…that’s it? only 5?)…

Jud October 7, 2009 at 12:57 am

The better team won tonight. Great effort but that’s the bottom line

Bobber October 7, 2009 at 1:00 am

Maybe Raburn lost Cuddyer’s ball in the lights, but I like to think he lost it in that giant Minnesota mushroom cap they call a dome. Inge’s uniform singe was probably impossible to hear, even from five feet away (hey he did pick up on Huff’s). Also, Polanco’s ball had some serious synrhetic-induced top-spin going for it.

In any case, there is one thing to celebrate tonight. That ever-friggin’ dome is history!!! Next year them Twinkies have to come out to play. No, their strong finish was not totally on their dome, but I can’t wait to play ‘em out of doors style, the way Abner intended. The long baseball nightmare is over!

Coleman October 7, 2009 at 1:14 am

In general I’m not a fan of the sliding catch bit. And we’ve had a bunch of them lately (Raburn-blown; Ordonez-made; Guillen-blown).

And maybe when trying to make a sliding catch in the Hump Dome your vision is challenged. How many sliding catches have you seen Twins outfielders make/attempt? I bet not many…

stephen October 7, 2009 at 1:15 am

I wonder what Rod Allen is doing at this very minute..

Coleman October 7, 2009 at 1:49 am

Maniacally chasing Mario around the Hump Dome.

stephen October 7, 2009 at 2:06 am

I think he is softly caressing and applying a cold washcloth to the soiled brow of the Tiger catcher he calls G-Money. (AKA G-Broke).

Joey in Portland OR October 7, 2009 at 1:51 am

chasing some japanese dude around his back yard.

Joey in Portland OR October 7, 2009 at 1:52 am

HA, glad we were on the same page Coleman!

NWO October 7, 2009 at 1:15 am

The Tigers broke our hearts, but Bilfer you won every game. Great season. Thanks.

James in Minneapolis October 7, 2009 at 2:09 am

I was there tonight and I am crushed. That was an amazing game, and I don’t know that TV can get the sense of the crowd noise and just electric energy through that whole game start to finish. But to have them fail on me now, after I’ve been following them all year – it’s just a dagger to the heart. And it tore me up inside to watch that dome celebrate. Detroit what the hell? How many close but ultimately futile games am I going to suffer in 2009?

Something has to change in the Tigers next year. There were four spots in that lineup tonight that were pretty useless all game. How many players can one team carry that are all glove and no stick in the AL? And this is from someone who loves Brandon Inge. Frankly Laird needs to be a backup until he can get his offense going.

The fact that Orlando Cabrera is playing for the Twins while we have Everett infuriates me. They were both available this winter and Cabrera is far and away the better player offense and defense. This isn’t news – he was last year too. Does anyone know the salary comparison? It can’t be much – probably less than one post-season game revenue. Dombrowski screwed the pooch on that one. Everett needs to go.

Polanco needs to go too. I hate to say it, because he’s done a lot for Detroit. But it’s time. The defense hasn’t been there and he’s no longer the force at the plate. I don’t care if you didn’t like the strike zone, you struck out twice in the biggest game of the year and your whole offensive approach is to not strike out. Granderson needs to be shopped. Give him some time with a new hitting coach, but unless the rest of the lineup starts hitting to allow him to refine his absolute failure against lefties it’s time to see if he’ll get us some decent prospects.

Miner killed us tonight. He was shaky in warmups and it was pretty obvious that the dome noise and pressure was getting to him – yet he stayed in the game to allow more and more damage. The other bullpen thing that I’m not sure was shown on TV: Leyland still had nobody up in the pen in that last inning. Rodney was over 50 pitches and nobody was getting loose, and the Tigers were guaranteed going to need another inning if they had survived. Basically if we hadn’t lost it in the 12th we would have lost it in the 13th.

I can’t stand the Twins. I loathe the White Sox. I despise the Royals. And I think I care more about beating them than everyone on my favorite team combined. That makes me sick. Wake up call Detroit: you can’t reach the postseason because you let the other AL Central teams kick your ass year after year. Maybe you should take a page from the Twins and find guys who statistically wail on your nemeses, and then sign them (i.e. Crede and Pavano for Minnesota).

Goodbye Metrodome you lousy horrible pile of gopher turds. May the Twins sink to mediocrity without the huge advantages you’ve given them. God I hate that everyone around me is going to gloat about this just like 2006. Again!

I wish I could get Cabrera to understand what all of us feel when they choke and there are stories like his.

Dre October 7, 2009 at 9:16 am

“How many close but ultimately futile games am I going to suffer in 2009?”

Um, not any more if you’re a Tigers fan. I’m pretty sure that’s a safe bet.

T Smith October 7, 2009 at 10:43 am

Not necessarily true. This was is mared in memory.

Figdawg October 7, 2009 at 2:20 am

Bilfer,
I have enjoyed your website very much this season. Thanks.

I think what is so upsetting is that we never should have had to play this game in the first place. You have to hand it to the Twins for playing so well down the stretch. That being said, it is always unbelievable to me how they always seem to get every break in a crucial game. Our line drives (Ordonez, Clete Thomas) – right at somebody. Their succession of ground balls and bloops in key situations always being in the right places. I don’t how you can blame the Tigers for that aspect of the game.

The Tigers have a lot of problems for 2010 until they can dump a lot of this salary at the end of next season. I think one thing that stands out from this game is the lack of range Polonco now has. He has been a good player, but I think the Tigers need to turn the page. I think Magglio would be a very good number 2 hitter.

If they could sign one free agent, it would be Mario Scutaro as a shortstop and leadoff man. Hopefully Inge’s knees will recover properly, and he will supply the same sort of offense he did for the first half of the season. What the Tigers can’t do is to go into next season with both Laird and Everett at the bottom of the order. Since there is a good likelihood that Polanco will not be back, we may have a lack of offense at that position also. I think you have to stick with Laird because catching is so difficult to find, which means that offense at shortstop has to be upgraded. One other thing – Curtis Granderson CANNOT bat leadoff! He has to bat 5th or preferably 6th. (Who’s going to bat 3rd or 5th? – Good Question)

I would not bring Rodney back (Brad Lidge?). If you do not do that, you have to bring Brandon Lyon back as the closer. Otherwise, it’s time to start promoting some of those young arms from Erie.

Lets hope that Bonderman can start again next year. Bonderman, Jackson, Verlander, Porcello? Not bad. Maybe Casey Crosby will be ready sooner then we hoped. I also would not be totally opposed to bring Washburn back, IF we could get him on a one or two year contract at a reasonable price. I still think when healthy he could provide the type of left hander that Kenny Rogers was in 2006.

I hear so many different opinions on Leyland. What I like about him is the same thing I liked about Scotty Bowman – you never hear anything bad coming out of that clubhouse. I think the fact that he has finished so poorly each of his four years here has to be questioned, however. Why is it our pitchers seem to falter so much late in the season?

I don’t think you will see
Leyland replaced. However, I would be STUNNED if Lloyd McClendon is not let go.

Another season gone. I can’t wait until hot stove starts.

Thanks

John Johnson October 7, 2009 at 6:48 am

It’s sad to leave the dance before we even get in the door but I feel like I just watched an entire playoff series last night. What a classic! We were able to stay in first place for five months playing without a real closer. Lets hope that is addressed in the off season.

John Johnson October 7, 2009 at 6:52 am

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. — A. Bartlett Giamatti

Chris in GR October 7, 2009 at 7:18 am

Billfer, thanks for writing this post. I’m a new fan of baseball since 2006, it’s the only sport I like to watch … and this is a new experience for me. I knew I’d be emotionally invested in the game but I can’t believe how depressed I still feel 12 hours later. Wow! But you’ve pointed out a lot of stuff that’s just flat out true and I feel a lot better after reading it. Your blog has been invaluable to me in the last couple years I’ve been subscribed and I hope we as readers have sufficiently expressed that to you. Thanks!

Anthony Lewis October 7, 2009 at 7:51 am

I wanted to avoid posting until the morning after. It’s to easy to post an angry hate-laced entry about who is to blame and what went wrong. I find myself not that upset. I think I’d be more upset if they got blown out and nobody hit anything. I don’t think anyone can watch that whole game and say they didn’t put everything they had into that game, I sure saw it.

After sitting through loads of really bad seasons and losing records I will gladly take a season like this. Am I upset or heartbroken that they lost? Of course I am and I don’t know who wouldn’t be. The Tigers play just-above-average ball all year and nobody else in the Central did. The Twins just went on one of those “once in a blue moon” streaks and Tigers just couldn’t match that kind of baseball. After a dead last finish I will take a winning record and a second place finish. We’ve had to sit through an 0-16 football season and the Wings losing in game seven, we didn’t make the playoffs and it was well within reach but I’m still proud of the team, still proud to be a fan, and I am looking forward to next season a lot more than I was this time last year.

Bill October 7, 2009 at 7:57 am

I cried last night! I actually cried.

Dave111 October 7, 2009 at 8:06 am

Good Morning Billfer – Thanks for making the effort to do blog – I discovered it this year. It’s fun and interesting everyday.

The Tigers made two big moves – Washburn and Huff – I think they had to try – and neither made any contribution. Imagine what might have happened if they had. It’s a good thing we gave up little of importance to get them.

This is hard to take. I don’t expect anything of the Lions and basketball and hockey just don’t grab me the way baseball does.

This makes me think of the lines with which Jim Bouton closed his sequel to “Ball Four”. He wrote, “You spend most of your life gripping a baseball and it turns out it was the other way around all the time”.

Jeff October 7, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Thanks for the Bouton quote. That’s one of my favorites and it really does apply here.

An epic game, enough drama for a whole postseason, and now it’s over.

Except I too will be checking back on the DTW for daily updates — Billfer, this site is now the first place I go, before the MSM, to find out what’s going on with my favorite team. Awesome work, fantastic dedication. THANKS!

SJC in Detroit October 7, 2009 at 8:33 am

Billfer — thanks again for DTW. You made an entertaining season even more so.

Mark in DC October 7, 2009 at 8:41 am

A disappointing loss, no doubt about it. I don’t think we exactly collapsed at the end of the season this year, but no team is going to completely overcome the number of starting pitching injuries we had. Our top 3 lasted all season but the other two starters were a rotating cast of the walking wounded, head cases, and recovering from injury guys. I think that was a major factor in any late slide, but as Bilfer pointed out we were over .500 for the last two months of the season. Relative to the rest of the season that may be slightly below average but I would not categorize it as a collapse.

This team does need more offense. I don’t think I’d look for it by jettisoning Inge – his overall stats may not be that impressive, but he performs at the plate when runners are in scoring position. Plus, his D is outstanding. I’d keep Polanco as well – his range might not be quite what it was but he is still a good fielder and still hits for average. If we can land someone better, fine, but unless that happens he’s not exactly a weak spot. That leaves short and catcher as potential places for offensive improvement. I like Laird’s D but would have substituted Avila, who is a much better hitter, late in this game as a pinch hitter for him. Avila, provided his defense is up to snuff, could be the long term solution at catcher. It would be nice to get more offense out of another outfield spot on a regular basis.

Basically, we need a solid fourth and fifth starter – be it Washburn, Galarraga, Robertson, or Bonderman. All had injury issues this year but hopefully two at least will get healthy and return to pre-injury effectiveness. If that happens and we can add just a little more offense we should contend next year.

That Inge hit batter call was a crock – it would have given us the lead and might have rattled them a bit. But I guess bad calls are part of baseball. Congrats to the Twins on an amazing end-of-season run.

BaseballinDC October 7, 2009 at 9:11 am

Billfer,

Thanks so much for hosting another great season!

Agree that McClendon is gone – the Tigers simply didn’t score runs this year, and this game was fairly symptomatic in that the missed a lot of opportunities – a lot of bad fundamentals – guys not moving runners over, popping up, blowing bunts, etc. We need a hitting coach who can teach these things (I suggest we do what we did with the pitching and raid whoever is responsible for teaching hitting in the Twins minor league organization – they’re the class of the league when it comes to working with the kids).

After that, what do you do? Huff contributed nothing. I’d look at replacing Everett – there has to be SOMEONE good at short who’s not a miserable hitter. Finally, if we can replace Laird with someone who can work with the pitching staff and hit a baseball, we do that . He’s a harder call, though, because you need to consider the impact on the pitching staff.

Dave Reason October 7, 2009 at 9:15 am

The Tigers, by William Flake

Tigers, Tigers, fighting bright
In the ballparks of the night
Your pitching’s fair, your field’s adroit
So why no pennants for Detroit?

You start out brave with each new year,
With stalwart hearts, you know no fear
Then from on high, while sitting pretty
You blow four games in Kansas City.

You blaze around the big league parks
With bats that fairly give off sparks
But when they total up the score
You’ve lost again to Baltimore.

The Cleveland Indians go to work,
They beat you good, so does New York.
When Boston adds a mortal blow, all you can cry’s,
Look out below!

Before the season’s finally done
You’ve been out-played by Washington.
Amid the heated pennant race
You fight to cling to seventh place.

Tigers, Tigers, fighting bright
In the ballparks of the night
Someday the fans will get their fill
And ship the team to Louisville!

(Originally published by Mad Magazine)

Fritz October 7, 2009 at 10:00 am

SEVENTH PLACE! I miss that old AL East, sometimes. Mad magazine too.

David October 7, 2009 at 11:06 am

Check out Neyers blog on the game, he is spot on.

tbliggins October 7, 2009 at 11:22 am

I cannot get three things out of my head:

- Losing 5 of 6 to the Royals in September
- Losing 4 games 2-1 in a 5 game stretch right after the all-star break
- Getting less than replacement value from Washburn/Huff.

While the loss yesterday was crushing, there was no reason that play-in game should have ever happened. We knew they were a flawed team all year, that doesn’t make it any easier, though.

Paul Riggio October 7, 2009 at 11:46 am

We lost last nights game because Leyland didn’t bunt to advance a runner. It’s elementary baseball in the late innings to get the runners in scoring position and advancing them in any way possible. First and third with no one out twice and nothing to show for it. Inexcusable. Taking Ordonez out of the game for a pinch runner when we could use his bat in the extra innings.

We did not manage very well and lost a very tough game that we should have won.

jb61973 October 7, 2009 at 12:29 pm

SO you wanted him to bunt with runners on first and third? Or maybe the reason he didn’t bunt at other times is because it is stupid to give away an out when you have Inge, Laird, Santiago, etc. coming up. Actually, a major complaint I have with Leyland is that the Tigers had the second most sac bunts in the AL (more than the tWINS BY THE WAY) despite the fact that they have a bunch of hitters that strike out and hit into double plays.

Brent October 7, 2009 at 11:54 am

My wife cried when we lost.
I love my wife.

mark_in_gr October 7, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I used to think it was ironic that Detroit had some of the worst GMs and managers/coaches when it is such a heavy sports town. Then I realized that with such dedication from the fans, the owners really don’t have to produce an excellent product, the fans will continue to patronize the events irregardless.

But even that fan loyalty has limits. Let’s hope the Illitch realizes this before we all witness the sea of blue on our TV screens from the empty seats like in KC.

Wake up, Illitch. This is all on you! Just get it fixed.

Kevin in Dallas October 7, 2009 at 12:24 pm

It’s really over. I’m still in shock. I remember hearing the local (Dallas) and national media say over and over “The central is wrapped up…Detroit is going to win that division…There are no good races left in baseball…” Props to Minny, but man did we blow a golden opportunity. These don’t come around all that often. One bad injury and it could be another 5-10 years before we are competing for the division.

I was pretty disappointed to read Leyland’s quotes about “we played hard” and “I was proud of the team.” He needs to accept some responsibility here. I’m anxious to debate his future on DTW. Not winning the division this year has got to be termed as an epic failure. I can’t see it any other way.

David October 7, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Yup. Leyland has to take a lot of the blame, at least it should have been going on past inning #12. To be honest, I don’t want him back.

Still you have to hand it to the Twins. Besides losing to us in the last stretch the only other loss was to Zack. Pretty amazing.

I think I’m rooting for the Twins. After a night like lasts, you’ve got to wonder how their 2009 will end.

Kevin in Dallas October 7, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Roger that. It’s hard not to like their team. Gardenhire was a class act after the Bondo/Young incident. I’m pulling for them.

jb61973 October 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Is anyone else curious as to why Alex Avila only played in 2 of the last 18 games or something like that?

Kevin in Dallas October 7, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Avila had a pretty precipitous drop back to average in Sept/Oct. His OPS was .745 in 29 PAs compared with 1.080 in 42 PAs in August. By comparison, Laird was at .615 for Sept/Oct, but his defense and management of the pitching staff was invaluable. I’m okay with having a hole in the lineup at C, and to some extent at SS. But if we are going to have gaping holes at 3B, LF and CF (let’s face it, Grandy was pedestrian overall [.780 OPS is probably a little low for a starting CF] and downright terrible vs. Lefties), then the SS and C problems become exacerbated.

Kathy October 7, 2009 at 12:55 pm

As much as I hate to admit it, our season is over. We can all think of hundreds of decisions and things that would have given us another chance to win more games. The rest of us can speculate on decisions that need to be made, but ultimately, it will be Mr. I and Dombrowski who make those decisions. When I think of the revenue we lost by not making the playoffs, I could puke.

KW October 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm

I figured the Tigers were going to get killed last night, and I was prepared for it. Then they had to go ahead 3-0 and get me all excited. Then they had to lose the lead, tie it up, go ahead, lose the lead, and give me a heart attack in the process. After the game last night, I felt so numb I couldn’t sleep. Today I feel like an emotional wreck.

I started to tear up reading some of these comments, especially the quote by Jim Bouton. Maybe I’ll get over it. But I just saw a special on the MLB network about the 2006 World Series and I felt sick watching it. Still.

One thing I’ve noticed about the Tigers coaching staff since Leyland showed up is that they can bring players up to a certain level, but not get them over the hump (see the difference between Chuck Hernandez and Rick Knapp). I think it’s time for a changing of the guard–coaches and players. This team needs more energy, a few vets to lead the way, and a coaching staff that thinks outside the box.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go cry my guts out.

Chris in Dallas October 7, 2009 at 1:05 pm

I hate this. But, I’m really really looking forward to watching Rick Porcello for the forseeable future. He may be 20, but he’s a man.

This game was a study in bullpen management. Gardenhire uses approximately 629 pitchers and gets the win. Leyland burns Rodney to the ground and loses. I’m not sure how much you can take out of a one game sample, but it was interesting seeing two completely divergent tactics on display.

Bill October 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm

I would get rid of Dumb browski + keep Leyland. I cant get past the Dontrelle fiasco, the pickups of Washburn + Huff-gross failures, the money we are paying Sheffield, its 1 bad move after another. Why didnt we get O. Cabrera when he was available instead of Everett. Do you think Jurgens(sp.) would have helped our pitching? Who did we get for him?

jb61973 October 7, 2009 at 1:36 pm

WEll if you were going to get Cabrera then you were just as well off keeping Guillen at short. They got Everett becasue they wanted to improve the defense. Cabrera is horrible defensively. Everett is actually a more valuable player when defense is taken into consideration.

Chris in Dallas October 7, 2009 at 3:07 pm

What have you done for me lately? Geez. Without DD at the helm, this franchise is completely irrelevant. 2006-7 and 2009 never happen. Sure, Willis and Renteria were flat out dumb moves. But at least with Willis, Cabrera was part of the package. I can’t blame him for Huff/Washburn – that both turned out to be such epicfails was unexpected, but the process was sound.

Polanco, Pudge, Ordonez, Guillen, and Cabrera all were productive acquisitions, not to mention drafting Verlander, Porcello, Maybin and Miller (plus guys like Crosby, Turner, Satterwhite et. al. who will be arriving over the next few seasons). And, offensive struggles aside, Laird and Everett really helped this club.

Andre in Chi October 7, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Probably had something to do with Cabrera making four times what the Tigers paid Everett in a year where the Tigers were strapped for cash. Maybe.

Brent October 7, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Quick Question !

Should Placido have gotten to that ball. It seemed he should have?

Was it a difficult play?

I yelled double play when I saw it hit?

Jeff Molby October 7, 2009 at 5:55 pm

If he had been playing at normal depth, probably. I think he playing halfway, though.

Brent October 7, 2009 at 1:12 pm

WE got renteria for jurgens. Best trade ever.

Jeff Molby October 7, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Did you complain about it at the time? We had a surplus of pitching and a gaping hole at SS. Renteria had solid credentials. It worked out horribly, but unless you can set aside hindsight and propose a better move, I’ll continue to believe it was a solid move that worked out poorly. It happens.

T Smith October 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm

I complained very much about it at the time. Look through the archives if you must.

Mike from Florida October 7, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Let’s face it, the Tigers were mediocer last night, just as they were most of the season.
1. While Leyland is/was a great manager, I don’t agree at all with the daily lineup changes. Players need to play as a team and play every day. No comfort in batting/playing every other or 3rd day. No team concept.
2. They definitly need a GOOD hitting coach. No way you have such low batting averages at this level. Less than .250 in left, center, short and catcher. How can a catcher miss pitches when he spends half the game watching the spin? Inge’s avg can be explained by his knees, but a better coach would have him taking less first ball strikes and almost always batting from behind. Granderson has reminded me of Wesley Snipes in Major League all year. Should have been doing 25 pushups every time he didn’t hit a liner/gap ground ball. He affected Polonco’s avg because he wouldn’t steal and Poly did great advancing him w/grounders. Leyland’s decision to not play Mags every day was embarrassing. Mags shouldn’t have played in WBC, too old, not enough spring training. Left field? Thymes, Rayburn, Guillen, & others. Combined – low avg. SS, 2nd merrigoround? Santiago would be a great full time player & proove it playing every day. Get Laird to hit/make contact or put in Avelo/hold Laird for 3 months to train him. Only 3 guys played same position all year, Cabby, Inge and Granny. That’s not right.
3. Come on Man! Watch the replay of Raeburns miss. Same as Guillen’s the other day. Are you sliding for TV/Sports Center? Rayburn slid wrong and his left arm bounced off the carpet knocking it up above the ball. LL teaches “Stay on your Feet”!
4. Just not enough pitching. Willis cost them, Zumaya needs a demanding coach, Rodney did good w/numbers, but scares me every game. Get a pitching coach that demands low strikes and high heaters. Gallagra shouldn’t have played in WBC. Get rid of Robertson, Willis the other hurt started (?)from ’06.

Just seams like there’s no TEAM in Jim!

Mike from Florida October 7, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Let’s face it, the Tigers were mediocer last night, just as they were most of the season.
1. While Leyland is/was a great manager, I don’t agree at all with the daily lineup changes. Players need to play as a team and play every day. No comfort in batting/playing every other or 3rd day. No team concept.
2. They definitly need a GOOD hitting coach. No way you have such low batting averages at this level. Less than .250 in left, center, short and catcher. How can a catcher miss pitches when he spends half the game watching the spin? Inge’s avg can be explained by his knees, but a better coach would have him taking less first ball strikes and almost always batting from behind. Granderson has reminded me of Wesley Snipes in Major League all year. Should have been doing 25 pushups every time he didn’t hit a liner/gap ground ball. He affected Polonco’s avg because he wouldn’t get on or steal and Poly did great advancing him or one of the bottom guys that got w/grounders putting them in scoring position. They keep stats on sac bunts, do they keep stats for advanced runners? He’d be at top or close, making CONTACT more times than not. Still a keeper. Leyland’s decision to not play Mags every day was embarrassing. Mags shouldn’t have played in WBC, too old, not enough spring training. Left field? Thymes, Rayburn, Guillen, & others. Combined – low avg. SS, 2nd merrigoround? Santiago would be a great full time player & proove it playing every day. Get Laird to hit/make contact or put in Avelo/hold Laird for 3 months to train him. Only 3 guys played same position all year, Cabby, Inge and Granny. That’s not right.
3. Come on Man! Watch the replay of Raeburns miss. Same as Guillen’s the other day. Are you sliding for TV/Sports Center? Rayburn slid wrong and his left arm bounced off the carpet knocking it up above the ball. LL teaches “Stay on your Feet”!
4. Just not enough pitching. Willis cost them, Zumaya needs a demanding coach, Rodney did good w/numbers, but scares me every game. Get a pitching coach that demands low strikes and high heaters. Gallagra shouldn’t have played in WBC. Get rid of Robertson, Willis the other hurt started (?)from ’06.

Just seams like there’s no TEAM in Jim!

Andre in Chi October 7, 2009 at 2:52 pm

I guess you might be able to call the performance mediocre, but to me they played mostly fantastic with a few key misteps/blown chances. Not that it changes the result, but I still feel like if this had been a “normal” mid-season game, we would have said there were more positives than negatives. Too many close calls that could easily have gone in our favor for me to label last night as a mediocre performance.

Chris in Dallas October 7, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Spot on, Dre. (Get it? On? Dre? I kill me.) Anyway, one game is one game. Losing 5 of 6 to KC in September and never being able to land the knockout punch down the stretch were what doomed this team. They played their guts out last night, and I’m proud of them for it. Well, maybe not Zach Miner.

Andre in Chi October 7, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Dude, you just inspired my next gamertag.

Jonathon October 7, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Wow, there’s some people on here that just need to relax and take a big picture look at this team. Dombrowski changed this team for this year and put them in the position for them to go out and win. He did his job and then it was up to the coaches and players. You can’t fault him for the Huff/Washburn moves. They both were having excellent seasons when acquired and should have helped this team. While Leyland did have his share of questionable moves this year, he also had to deal with the players/situations he has. Many injuries left this team without players for stretches and also handicapped some to certain positions or situations. Would we love to have an everyday leftfielder and shortstop who can hit and play great defense? Of course everyone would want that. The fact is that in ordre to get the best productivity out of this team, the platooning and situational pinch hitting and running was the best situation for this team.
Don’t blame the managing decisions on last night’s lost. This team lost last night because of their inability to advance guys with less than 2 outs. That game last night should never of gone to extras because of situational hitting. When everyone is calling for certain guys to go cause they can’t hit or field, its not as easy as just finding better guys as everyone wants to do.
I agree with Bilfer that of coaching staff to go, mclendon has to. This team with fundamental hitting and situational hitting is what cost them this year. That coaching spot needs to change. Hopefully with time, people will come to their senses and realize the real reasons why this team was what they were and why we we did not go to the playoffs. Also congrats have to go to the twins for playing a hell of a month and earning their spot in the postseason.

Kramer October 7, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Well….at least Drew Sharp will be happy now.

stephen October 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Meanwhile, John Lowe of The Free Press reviews the Tigers position-by-position and…declares the Tigers perfect! Inge is the rare combination of defense and power! (career .699 OPS, .217 since May 1 with 150 strikeouts. Exactly one (!) OPS+ above 100 in his career ). Everett and Santiago are an offensive juggernaut at shortstop! (Everett OPS 60). Pencil in Bonderman and Robertson for next year’s rotation! (Combined ERA of 08/09 over six). Laird is awesome, all he needs is a little Avila seasoning. (see yesterday’s game).
Seriously, according to him, the team has few weaknesses. Reading this makes me shocked the Tigers didn’t win 110 games this year. This is called ‘covering your ass so everyone will talk to you next year in spring training.’ Just awful.
http://freep.com/article/20091007/SPORTS02/91007065/1319/2010-Tigers–Position-by-position

Stormin Norman $ October 7, 2009 at 4:00 pm

RIP 2009 Tigers – last night pretty much summed up their whole season, another blown Quality start, some untimely fielding and base-running miscues and a bunch of horrendous AB’s (especially with RISP… yes, that would include you Mr. Laird and your 0-6 with 10 LOB) and the usual poor managing personnel decisions… and oh ya, Z. Minor giving up the obligatory 2 runs… and the lead.
Another September fade is hard to reconcile for the fans who made the 163 game investment/committment, but it is time to MOVE ON and hope for a better “next year”. And if you really are a long-time Tiger fan, you had to know they’d find a way to blow it (the 7-game lead in mid-sept, the 3 game lead with 4 remaining and the leads they held in last night’s game

Andre in Chi October 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm

“And if you really are a long-time Tiger fan, you had to know they’d find a way to blow it (the 7-game lead in mid-sept, the 3 game lead with 4 remaining and the leads they held in last night’s game[)]”

Because sports teams perpetually continue trends, as a rule.

Tbone October 7, 2009 at 4:53 pm

I still haven’t recovered from last night. I have nothing of value to add other than it was the most crushing defeat I’ve experienced as a sports fan and yet one of the most exhilirating games I’ve ever watched. My daughter and I were waving Kelly around third in the 10th as if he were watching us. I really thought they had finally shaken the 22 year monkey off their backs.

I’m proud of the Tigers for putting up such a good fight. The Twins won this more than the Tigers lost it.

T Smith October 7, 2009 at 4:56 pm

I was going to refrain from this post, but after digesting this season and last night’s game for nearly 24 hours now, I’m compelled to throw it out there.

Jim Leyland should be fired. I don’t think Leyland’s botched managing necessarily cost the Tiger’s the tie-breaking game (although there are strong arguments to the contrary all over the blogosphere). I‘m also very aware of the widespread homage for the Leyland/Dombrowski team in Detroit; they have beguiled a good majority of fans, including many who comment here. I expect nothing short of a good skewering for saying so, but the conclusion remains: If the Tigers are committed to winning, Jim Leyland should be fired.

These are not knee-jerk sentiments after a heartbreaking season culminated perfectly by a historic collapse and a heartbreaking winner-take-all. There are valid reasons why Jim Leyland should be fired if the Tigers are serious about winning going forward. Here’s why:

• He’s not a very good manager. It’s hard to argue with a manager’s career: Leyland’s overall win percentage is under .500. On what exactly do the beguiled claim that Leyland is one of the best managers in the game? At best, Leyland is a mediocre manager.
• He’s a horrible manager after the All-Star Break. When races culminate and the pressure is on, Jim Leyland’s record is atrocious. In his four seasons with the Tigers (all four teams favored and/or contending at the break), the Tigers have a 138-157 record after the All Star break, 104-124 after August 1, and 54-61 after September 1. That’s a real sampling of real collapse. We’re not talking about losing teams – we’re talking about contenders.
• He conveys the wrong message. I can’t help but notice when Leyland’s teams thrive and when they tank. Leyland’s teams thrive as Cinderella (2006, 2009), and tank when expectations are high (2007, 2008 and at the finish line of aforementioned seasons). This can’t be coincidence or subjective observation. This pattern reflects the manager. Consider Leyland’s own quotes: “Mark my words; this will come down to the wire…” Really? Why not just say you’re gonna lose a boat load of games and the other team is going to catch us? Why would you possibly instill that message in the players/fans when you lead the division by 7 games with 26 games to play? Why not tell the team that this is our division to take, let’s step it up a notch and close the door? The confidence of the whole team begins with Leyland – and he instills so little confidence. I could site example after example of how JL teams perform so well under little or no expectations and how poorly they perform when expectations are high. But we all know this. And as long as the Mike Ilitch is committed to invest in this organization like it was a large-market team, I’m going to expect the Tigers to win – legitimately as one would expect given its payroll/talent, not merely as an unlikely Cinderella. I don’t buy that this is a just mediocre team crap… lower your expectations.” BS. I do buy that we have a medicore manager.

With Leyland at the helm, the Tigers may put out a respectable effort; they may win some games and may actually vie for a division crown – they may entertain and give the fans a good show (which, granted, is a hell of lot more than the Tigers did in the previous decade) but if the Tigers are really serious about winning, it’s time for Leyland to go.

Andre in Chi October 7, 2009 at 5:21 pm

On your first point, I think that its insufficient to point at his winning-percentage as a manager, you have to look at the teams he was working with too.

On your second point, as Billfer points out, the Tigers didn’t so much collapse down the stretch as they did continue their year-long trend. They were .515 over their last 33 games in a year where they went .527 overall. Failing to match an opponent’s torrid pace isn’t the equivalent of collapsing…they hadn’t “built” much to begin with.

I may start to come around to your third point though. I’ll admit I’m still beguiled by his gruffness with the media (I’m not one of those who cares when the media get offended, as it seems to happen much too frequently and easily), and his general tough-old-guy-ishness. However, I see what you mean now when you criticize his “down to the wire” comment (unless that is, he was saying one thing to the media and something else entirely to the team). It does seem lacking in confidence, chutzpah, balls, or whatever. I don’t want somebody like O. Guillen who runs his mouth all the time, but maybe the swagger that Leyland says he likes to see in his teams, isn’t there because he doesn’t have it himself.

Anyways, still not sure where I stand on Jim, but you’ve got me thinking outside my box.

RPS October 7, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Funny thing is, I totally agree that Leyland should be fired, but not for any of the above reasons. A manager’s W/L record is hugely at the mercy of his teams, and you never know what a guy says behind closed doors as opposed to what he says to the media.

In my mind, the fact that Inge and Huff were allowed to play major roles on the team down the stretch is the most damning evidence. Huff was obviously as cold as a hitter can be, and Inge was playing on imaginary knees. To keep running those two out there, day after day, knowing they were performing at well below replacement level, and having no reason to believe they would improve, has to be a fireable offense. Ditto for the decision to give starts to Figaro and a clearly injured Washburn with Miner wasting away in the bullpen (and no legit reason whatsoever to start Figaro).

I firmly believe that if 100 Inge/Huff PAs turn into Kelly/Raburn PAs and 25 Washburn innings turn into 25 Miner innings, the Tigers take the central by at least 2 games.

I have absolutely no idea how much the manager’s clubhouse style matters, and reasonable people can certainly have differing opinions about when to pull starters and bullpen usage. I think it is a safe conclusion, however, that Jim Leyland cannot be allowed to decide who plays on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, I think he’s got to go.

Stormin Norman $ October 7, 2009 at 5:39 pm

T Smith i concur with almost everything you posted, with the exception of the mediocrity begins and ends with Leyland; Inge is a career .230 hitter, Laird and Everett about the same – decent fielders yes, but overall, mediocre ball players.

They have not had a LF that could consistantly hit, drive in runs and field his position for several years. No real team speed, no productive guidance when it comes to hitting or scouting opposing pitching. Granderson’s numbers have steadily declined since ’07, and he’s not a good lead-off hitter (strikes out too much and only has a .328 OBP). Ordonez is a good hitter, but has never been more than an adequate fielder… Guillen has been perpetually hurt, etc, etc. –

my point being, the team is basically a .500 team – they have some gaping holes to fill – had it not been for some quality starting pitching and a decent bull pen this year and THE FACT THAT THEY PLAY IN THE AL CENTRAL, the Tigers would have been pretty much out of any playoff race by August 1st.

Andre in Chi October 7, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Wait, are you suggesting that the Tigers weren’t considered to be an AL-powerhouse at the outset of the year, and that they didn’t plan to rely on offense this season?

I mean, for me, the real surprise was that they ended up relying on defense and pitching to contend in what was widely considered to be the best division in baseball going into the season. That they were able to adapt to these unanticipated scenarios will be the defining aspect of the 2009 Tigers.

jcm October 7, 2009 at 5:45 pm

2010

Laird will be there. Avila is not ready, he allows Leyland to give more rest to Laird.
Cabrera is locked for 5 more years. You cant dump him like Sheffield or D. Young. Of course you can trade him to the White Sox (sarcasm)(With Piniella out of Chicago there are no more player´s managers)
Sizemore can bat at AA level but how does he play the field? Of course Polanco made one error after another( some not in the official score but ..)on the final week . and he forgot to bat. He doesn’t want to be back for sure
Inge is signed for one more year. And after surgery nobody will take him .Guillen could be back at third. He is signed until 2011
Everett must be back if Polanco is out. You can win with rookies in the middle.
Rayburn… Raburn earned a chance. He is bad a the field but not worst than Guillen
Granderson: injured before 08 and went to the WBC ( to be in the bench)in 09. With a full sprint training he will be better
Ordoñez is playing better , he will earn the 2011 option and he is 10/5 so he is locked unless the Angels fail to sign Abreu( they asked for Ordoñez last year and were rebuked )
Verlander must be locked now. That will strain the purse in 2010 but the payroll will be freed after 2010
Jackson was overworked and the low run support weighted on him. He failed with D´s and R´s to be the star he was with Detroit because of his attitude but he is not to blame this time. One more year will be needed to know is he is another Mike Norris broken by a reckless manager
Porcello is the ROY , but also overworked
Willis on the disabled list will be pay by the insurance company at least in part
Robertson must go. If you cant trade Bradley you can trade a lhp
Bonderman could be in the 5th spot
Galarraga must play in Venezuela to regain his form
I guess Lyon will be easier to keep than Rodney and he is better than most closers at Tigers reach
Miner , send him with Grilli
Ni must be the setup over Seay.
I guess the Tigers will hire Hermida ( he played for the Marlins so he belong to the northern Marlins)and perhaps Cody Ross. Hermida will be available for nothing
So until 2011, the wait will be long.
And the solution is not to call Heismann ( the 29 years old rookie) or any other . Rookies dont win championship. Many of them have been called and failed this two years
Leyland was signed also for 2010

Stormin Norman $ October 7, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Good analysis ‘jcm’ – agreed: trade or give away = Robertson, Willis, Miner and i would also add Bonderman to that list, although nobody is likely going to offer up anything for a pitcher that threw about a dozen run-filled innings and will make over $10M. The Tigers need to strong send a message to their fans and the remaining Tigers: eliminate the dead weight (especially those pulling down the biggest salaries) that have not produced over the past two years.

i would also hire Van Slyke (or someone other than a recycled relic) as the manager and show Mr. Leyland, Mr. Lamont (and his 70s style batting helmet) and the rest of coaching staff the door (with the exception of Knapp, i’d keep him as their pitching coach).

Andre in Chi October 7, 2009 at 6:17 pm

“Good analysis ‘jcm’ – agreed: trade or give away = Robertson, Willis, Miner and i would also add Bonderman to that list, although nobody is likely going to offer up anything for a pitcher that threw about a dozen run-filled innings and will make over $10M.”

How is this “good analysis”? You say yourself that nobody will offer anything up for this group. You owe these people the money anyways, and for the most part the Tigers seem to have been able to keep them off the active roster while giving them time to show any sign of returning to form. But I guess it’ll “send a message”…although what that might be, I don’t know.

P.S. DD should get GM of the decade if he can get anyone to trade for Miner, who’s contract runs out this year.

Stormin Norman $ October 7, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Andre in Chi – i said nobody would offer up anything for Bonderman (but the same goes for Willis) but they might get something for Robertson, and you’re right Miner is in a contract years…

as for “sending a message” that would be the same message they sent to the Tiger fans, the team and the organization (including those in the farm system) when they paid Sheffield $15M TO LEAVE… that being, past results are not a replacement for a current lack of production.

Coleman October 7, 2009 at 8:27 pm

I have a feeling it will keep coming. The post-season “analysis” of what went wrong. I’ve been refraining from commenting on any comments–it seems unseemly, like slamming a friend over something he said after a beer or two (after the other beer or twos)…we all need a bit of slack after what we’ve been through. Still, at some point, it’s time to start making sense. Critical? Well yeah, that makes sense. Disagreeing? Inevitable. But we can at least respect each others opinions and make an effort at making respectable opinions.

And where the heck did that come from? Beats me…I’m not responding to anything specific…hmm, oh well time to go catch the end of the game, time to get Cabrera’d

David October 7, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Ask yourselves this question.

What would the Tigers record have been with Ron Gardenhire or Mike Scioscia?

What would the Twins record have been if they had a possible Cy Young candidate and ROY pitcher along with Morneau in Sept. any better?

It is no fluke these Twins/other teams can catch and beat out much more talented teams. Their managers are maxing their teams potential. Leyland doesn’t.

http://www.detroittigersweblog.com/2009/04/game-2009002-tigers-at-blue-jays/

In the post game comments is a nice summary of my feelings to that game.

Wait, what’d he do in game?

Take out a starter early when he was dealing? Yes

Bring in a pen guy and leave him in for a long arse time? Yes

Lose another game? Yes

Blow another lead? Yes

The Twins have a lot of fight, but we would have won this division with a better manager.

With the $$ the Tigers have thrown around lately, it is hard for me to believe that they can’t afford more talent in a skipper than the joke that is Jim Leyland. Fire him, I’ve seen more than enough from this sub .500 joke.

T Smith October 8, 2009 at 1:31 pm

You are 100% right on this issue.

Look. I actually like Jim Leyland. I like his personality, I like his quirks. But, as many point out here when we begin lambasting certain players, he is who he is. And to his credit, there are a lot of major-league managers out there a whole lot worse than Jim Leyland. But there are also a lot of managers a whole lot better. His is what he is: he’s just mediocre manager.

If the Tigers want better results, they need to step up to the plate and fire him. If they’re content at being the kind of team — at best, an also-ran — as we’ve seen the past couple years, by all means, keep him.

David October 7, 2009 at 8:38 pm

I think it was you Stephen who was flamed for saying only in Detroit/midwest is this mediocre mentality acceptable.

Well count me off that boat. The Yankee’s would have voted him off the island a long time ago, it is time we learn. Not extending him was step #1, now we have to do step #2 and finish the job.

T Smith October 8, 2009 at 1:35 pm

If Leyland were managing in NY under the same circumstances, he would have survived 2007, but absolutely would have been dismissed after 2008 — we don’t even need to bring 2009 into the equation.

Kathy October 8, 2009 at 1:36 pm

AMEN! DITTO! True, true and more true!

Kevin in Dallas October 7, 2009 at 10:53 pm

I’m still fuming over the John Lowe article that stephen posted above. Is that really what poses for journalism these days? I’d rather hear Teddy Ruxpin’s thoughts. Goodness. Just reaffirms that DTW is the only place to come for Tigers analysis.

T Smith October 8, 2009 at 10:56 am

Does John Lowe actually make money at that gig?

johnfan October 7, 2009 at 11:21 pm

PLEASE: I have been asking sportswriters this question and none has answered: How many days has Leyland had the Tigers in first place WITHOUT winning a division title?

I suspect it is a MLB record. All of 2006, except the final day.

Most of 2007, until a late-season collapse.

And nearly six full months of 2009. Total, that’s something like 500 days without a title.

Look at Gardenhire. In ’06 and ’09, he occupied first place a grand total of two frickin’ days. Just he ones that mattered.

johnfan October 7, 2009 at 11:21 pm

PLEASE: I have been asking sportswriters this question and none has answered: How many days has Leyland had the Tigers in first place WITHOUT winning a division title?

I suspect it is a MLB record. All of 2006, except the final day.

Most of 2007, until a late-season collapse.

And nearly six full months of 2009. Total, that’s something like 500 days without a title.

Look at Gardenhire. In ’06 and ’09, he occupied first place a grand total of two frickin’ days. Just he ones that mattered.

David October 7, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Really questions what jersey you should be a fan of doesn’t it?

I mean this team had no Santana, Radke, or Morneau and still got a spot in the dance.

Kurt October 8, 2009 at 12:45 am

You could look this up at Baseball-Reference and find all the details to really educate yourself on the topic, if you like.

Start here and keep changing the year:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/DET/2006-schedule-scores.shtml

You’ll note some key things, such as in 2007 the biggest lead was two games. In 2006 and 2009… well, I can’t really give Leyland a lot of help there.

Kathy October 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Many Twins fans complain about Gardy like crazy saying he does just enough to win the division and that they’ll never go further. Fans will be fans.

T Smith October 8, 2009 at 1:56 pm

They might complain. But this is hardly Gardy’s fault. If Mike Ilitch were their owner, and if they signed some of the talent they developed but let walk instead, e.g. Santana, Hunter, etc., along with some other key free-agent acquistions coupled with the young talent they have, they’d go plenty far. They are basically playing in October with one star and a bunch of really scrapy players that rose from AAA by virtue of guts and heart.

David October 8, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Yea I don’t get it. It would make no rational sense to blame Leyland on his finishes if he was dealt a horrid hand.

The fact of the matter is Gardy while given some talent, I’m sure works his ass off and gets the most (and then some) out of what he is given.

Leyland does not.

Gardy doesn’t do the spending, their GM/Owner have much more tug.

Illitch provides the funds, DD has the final say the spending.

DD is better than Randy Smith, but there are plenty of people who can do a better job than he. Although I don’t think he is under performing as much as Jimbo. Hopefully he makes another bold statement and fires Jimmy to give himself(DD) more credibility that this losing manager will not be tolerated.

Shane Trapped in Toledo October 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm

I am curious, who, in your opinion, are better candidates for General Manager and Head Coach?

T Smith October 8, 2009 at 5:17 pm

I kinda like DD actually. He takes risks — some thay pay big, some that tank big. No GM is going to reap huge dividends with every move. But I think you need to take some risks and fall every now and then to get the kind of returns the Tigers have enjoyed with some of DD’s moves — I give him a pass, even with his faults… for now.

I don’t know exactly who would be a better candidate than JL. If there were an obvious candidate available for hire perhaps we would be talking about our new manager right now instead of whether or not Jim Leyland should be fired. But just because an obvious candidate isn’t immediately evident to me doesn’t mean there isn’t one out there. The organization should consider its options.

I can’t speak for David, but my point is Jim Leyland is just average, and as long as he’s skipper the Tigers are going to get just average results. It’s very likely JL could lead a team like the NY Yankees to a division title; he may even lead the Tigers to one — but I’m not holding my breath. IMO he does some things right and a lot of things wrong. He’s not the worst manager ever and I’m sure the Tigers could do worse, which is the general response to any criticism of Leyland. But that caliber of manager just isn’t going to win championships. Again, imo.

I know, I know … Leyland has already won a championship and vied for another. He’s an enigma. He can rally the right kind of team and win, e.g. 1997 Florida Marlins and 2006 Tigers (both wild cards and underdogs), which is his forte. Maybe he’s the Tony Robbins of baseball or something — I dunno — which has to count for something. But as far as his actual managerial decisions go, he’s lacking in a big way. This is well documented. Many many people scratch their heads when Jim Leyland pushes some of his buttons — which is fine and well if you win pushing those decisions. But when you consistantly fall short making those decisions, something’s gotta give.

David October 8, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Shane I haven’t researched that. I know that I personally and several I have met if given a multi-million$ contract and only focused on baseball could do a better job, if not collectively in managing the Tigers.

I’m sure you can also find many established guys at the minor league level who could do a fine job and would love the promotion.

As far as GM, DD I think has done overall a very good job in the draft by going over slot. He has had good and bad FA signings and good and bad trades. His contract situation is horrid. He has consistently signed career years of mediocre players.

He also as I pointed out likes to go after the injury risk guys and hope they stay healthy. He also hasn’t gone after enough quality pitching.

Next year if the OF is Guillen/Granderson/Ordonez it will be horrid. All three have terrible arms (Granderson’s arm is horrible). And the two corner guys are horrible fielders as well.

I have no idea what budget he has to go after MIers or resign Poly/Everett. The rotation has as many question marks and solidified spots. The pen will not repeat I don’t think, without a good signing either. A lot of question marks for this team.

Right now, I like the White Sox to win the central outright, I think they have a very strong team. Much is subject to change though as we all know.

rings October 8, 2009 at 1:06 pm
David October 8, 2009 at 2:58 pm

The more I think about it and really look it up and try to understand what he did, the angrier I get.

The Joe Mauer’s of the world aren’t doing this. Talent loses to talent+effort every time. Old habits hopefully die in this case.

Andre in Chi October 8, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Once you know that he’s either lazy or apathetic, its pretty easy to understand.

Edit: Unless you mean DD.

David October 8, 2009 at 8:54 pm

If you’re replying to me/ attempting to make some type of ironic joke, I don’t get it.

KW October 8, 2009 at 4:56 pm

You don’t know if the Joe Mauers of the world are doing this or not. Cabrera did something like this back in August, but we just now found out about it. These guys are young, talented, and some of the wealthiest people in the world. I think I’m mostly a stand-up guy, but put me into that situation and who knows what would happen.

Cabrera probably also had a drastically different upbringing than most of us, so who knows what has shaped his personality.

I find it hard to get too upset about all of this. I expect him to address the issues in his personal life, but what else can you say but, “Well, I guess he’s human, too. I hope he doesn’t keep making the same mistake.”

David October 8, 2009 at 9:02 pm

The burden of proof is on you. Presumption of innocence. Until I hear that Joe Mauer or Ichiro or Albert Pujols or Derek Jeter are drinking heavily and trying to destroy themselves, I have no reason to think that they are.

Cabrera now has a track record, so does Zumaya. There have been published reports/photos of this behavior.

You find it hard to get upset? Well, to me it is just one more reason not to be a fan of the Tigers.

I’m for players doing everything they can to obtain an positive edge. As far as this crap goes, anyone who on purpose does something as blatant as this to destroy his natural talent doesn’t deserve my respect and will never be all they can.

I don’t have to go and support him, and can boo him loudly.

To be honest I like roids/ozzie having his pitchers emulate gibson/stealing signs. I want guys who are serious about winning/producing. I don’t want guys like Cabby who couldn’t give a flying f###, and are out to destroy the team I loved and a manager who plays to lose more often than to win.

I will not support this behavior in myself, in others I know and not in the Tigers as well.

Kathy October 8, 2009 at 10:14 pm

David, please don’t be naive. Jeter has been a party boy for years an so are lots of other players on all the MLB rosters. I cannot believe how judgemental you are.

Andre in Chi October 8, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Actually, the burden of proof isn’t on him: he’s not accusing Mauer of doing anything, only stating that you have know way of proving your statement.

And its not so much that I like arguing for its own sake, although I won’t say that I don’t, its just that you frequently make assertions (or have issues phrasing things) with little supporting evidence.

Kathy October 8, 2009 at 10:41 pm

I guess you’re talking to me Andre in Chi. All I can glean from David’s comments are that he would never be a friend to me or like me because I’ve done things in his opinion that are destructive or somehow immoral in his opinion. Well, I’ll be right upfront. Sure I have. There’s “heavenly” and “evil”. Most of us are in and around the middle. No theories, no stats to back that up. It’s just kind of what I’ve learned growing up.

Andre in Chi October 8, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Sorry Kathy, I was totally replying to Dav-o, you just happened to post while I was typing. You seem swell to me :)

Kathy October 8, 2009 at 11:13 pm

Hah! That was funny!

Mike from Florida October 14, 2009 at 8:41 am

But, even if the Tigers ever get thru Minnesota, Chicago and/or Cleveland, face it – they’ll never make it thru the Yankees. I’ve been a fan since the 50′s, but have never seen this team so over matched by the Yankees.
LF Tigers – avg hitter, NY above avg hitter, high run scorer.
CF Tigers – avg hitter, low run scorer – NY above avg hitter
RF Tigers – great hitter on managers s*#t list, NY avg hitter, high run scorer
Infield – beat to death at 3rd and SS. Tie for 2nd and 1st
Catcher – low avg, high DP’s, sure out – NY high avg, run producer. A team with 7/9 hitting less than .300 will never win the american league. Even the pitching is lacking. Starters aren’t allowed to go past 6 and the BP just blows games. NY’s pitchers have more complete games and better relievers if needed.
The tigers have 2 3rd basemen, 3 SS (one delegated to LF and not fast enough, 4 LF w/none batting or playing at ML level. 2 RF with one an all star and the other a swing and a miss. No catcher bat support. Lousy base running, lousy relief pitching, and still say most is due to Leyland’s platooning. Sheffield and Pudge should never have been discarded. Look whay they got to replace them! DH @.240, catcher @.230.

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