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The Dombrowski Presser

Dave Dombrowski met with the press today and fielded questions for about an hour. Jaosn Beck, Tom Gage, and John Lowe had it covered. There is enough there to warrant about 6 posts worth of further explanation. But until that happens…

Miguel Cabrera

Dombrowski had a range of emotions about the situation, many were negative, but it wasn’t the first time he’s been in this situation in his 20 years as GM. It’s not surprising that he believes Cabrera will take the necessary steps. As for the question on whether he should have played Saturday night, that gets a little more gray. The response was:

“First of all, you have some legalities that are involved. You probably should know the rules when it comes to the Basic Agreement (the collective-bargaining agreement between the clubs and the players union).

“Secondly, we thought he was capable of going out there and playing.”

I admit to knowing nothing about the rules involved when a player has been drinking and is scheduled to play. I will say the answer was somewhat evasive in that they “thought” he was capable of playing. There was no comment on whether they thought they made the right decision.

Lloyd McClendon

Dombrowski said he was a “very good hitting coach” but he also made no commitment about the coaching staff remaining the same. I still think McClendon is gone. He could very well be a good hitting coach, but the players did not respond to him this year. Whether or not he knows what he’s doing becomes moot if it isn’t being translated to results.

Dombrowski also spoke of changing the team’s approach throughout the organization with regards to plate discipline (like increasing it). Toby Harrah is the minor league hitting coordinator so his job may be at stake as well, but when you’re talking about an organization wide change in philosophy that doesn’t bode well for the incumbent hitting coach. (I have a full McClendon post I’ve been working on for about 2 weeks so there is more coming).

The final likely dagger is probably that Dombrowski said he expects much of the offensive improvement next year to come from within, kind of like the expectation about pitching improvement going into 2009.

Free Agents

Dombrowski didn’t say much except to say he didn’t have a budget yet but that he can’t retain all the free agents. Beck astutely pointed out that Aubrey Huff and Jarrod Washburn are in that pool thought so he didn’t really tip his hand too much about the fates of Placido Polanco, Brandon Lyon, Fernando Rodney, and Adam Everett.

He did say that the team would likely use a rotation at the designated hitter spot which makes sense. No need to pay extra for DH’s when you have a couple on the roster already.

Jim Leyland

Okay, he didn’t say anything about Jim Leyland. But for those who think he should be fired Dombrowski said that he thought this was about an 86 win team. The team won 86 games. So in Dombrowski’s view they didn’t really under perform so I wouldn’t expect Leyland’s demise anytime soon.

Posted by on October 8, 2009.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: 2009 Season, Contracts, Free Agents, Front Office

42 Responses

  1. McClendon will be the sacrificial lamb – when the hitting falls through the floor, the batting coach always gets the axe whether or not he devserves it – I don’t know – just sayin. The EM is not going anywhere after the 2-year extension this past summer (sigh). Washburn and Huff were horrible signings (for some reason I am reminded of Jose Mesa and Neifi Perez, but come to think of it W&H were probably worse than those two) – the team was worse with them on the roster – sticking with Bonine (or ?) and Thames and the Tigers wouldn’t have had to play #163. Sometimes when you are pressured to “do something” the best thing to do is count to ten and do nothing, which was the case here. Rodney is probably gone since he will demand a bigger paycheck than the Tigers are likely wiliing to pay. I’m not sure we can expect Sizemore to jump into the 2B position, so perhaps signing Polly for another year is the thing to do. I like Lyon better than Rodney and he will be cheaper. Everett – bye bye. Washbum and eNuff – please.

    by Vince in MN on Oct 8, 2009 at 9:47 pm

  2. First of all, Washburn and Huff were not signings, they were acquired via trade. Second of all, I find it very hard to fault DD for either trade, as at the time, they both looked like players who could help, in particular Washburn as he was one of the best pitchers of the first half. It is hardly comparable to Mesa or Perez. Unfortunately neither trade worked out, but that doesn’t mean they were terrible trades at the time. Also, I don’t quite get the whole “sticking with Bonine” bit, as by my count, he pitched far better than Jackson in the last few weeks of the season.

    One question I have though is about the payroll. I understand that it is going to be one of the top 10 payrolls again next year, but is it really as bad as people are saying? The only reason I ask this is I know that after next year, Bonderman, Willis, Robertson and Inge all come off the payroll, and quite possibly Ordonez as well, which could be over $50 million total coming off the books. While they will have to shell out huge money to keep Verlander and Jackson, it just seems that there is more payroll flexibility for the Tigers long term than many will acknowledge. Maybe not though? Just wondering…

    by Chauncey on Oct 8, 2009 at 11:29 pm

  3. Bill, could you please provide a link to video/audio of the presser? I’d like to listen to it.

    by Steve on Oct 8, 2009 at 11:52 pm

  4. Yeah, the payroll situation is still pretty bad, but it will start sorting itself out over the next couple seasons.

    Maggs will be facing a similar situation as this year with a vesting option based on plate appearances. Something like $15 million for 2011 if he gets 1000 PA’s over 2 seasons (2009-2010).

    You mentioned Willis and Robertson coming off the payroll which will be nice, but I’d bet that Bonderman (if he stays healthy) and Inge sign new deals for lower amounts. However, Verlander and Jackson will eat up part of that flexibility via arbitration or long-term deals in by 2011. If those two continue to pitch like they did this year, it’s going to be costly to keep them both.

    The next albatross is Guillen, I’m afraid. He’s signed through 2011 at $13 million, so we’ll almost certainly have a couple DHs on our roster the next 2 seasons making about $30 million combined. The odds of Guillen staying healthy that long are not good.

    What all this means is that guys like Thames, Polly, Laird, Rodney, etc. will likely either be non-tendered if they’re arb-eligible or simply allowed to leave if they are free agents. It will critical to develop young cheap players (I’m looking at you, Iorg, Sizemore, and Crosby) to fill some of the holes.

    by Mark in Chicago on Oct 9, 2009 at 12:10 am

  5. billfer,

    I know the popular sentiment around here is to pile on McLendon, but are we rushing judgement on him a bit? He can only work with the talent he’s given, and I’m not sure he had a whole lot to work with. The bottom third of our order was Inge, Laird, and Everett/Santiago. None of those guys has a track record of being a guy that hits for a high average or a lot of power (Inge excepted). However, Inge had a better approach early in the season, and seemed to regain his power stroke. His track record suggests: this is what he is as a hitter, and I can’t say McLendon (or anyone else) could have gotten more out of him. Same goes for Laird and Everett. This is what they are as hitters. Talent (or lack thereof) dictates that.

    Maggs had a miserable year, and maybe Lloyd should share in that, but he’s also an aging player with declining skills. It’s possible that Maggs isn’t the same hitter he once was, at least not consistently. I think it’s fair to put Polanco in that group as well. History is littered with middle infielders losing their skills into their 30s, and maybe Polly’s llate-season apses in fielding is the canary in the coal mine. He’s aging, and probably declining. What more could Lloyd have done? Finally, if we are going to blame him for the struggles of those two, it’s only fair to give him some credit for the improvement we saw from each in the second half.

    Guys like Clete Thomas, Ramon Santiago, Ryan Raburn, and Marcus Thames all had over 200 ABs this season. None of these players, with the exception of perhaps Raburn, are every day players at the major league level. Raburn had a nice season off the bench, shouldn’t McLendon get some credit for that development? Clete looks like he could have a good future, but he’s still developing as a hitter. Yet he routinely batted third, essentially being asked to do things he isn’t yet capable of doing. I think this is a reflection of Leyland more than Mclendon.

    Granderson is an interesting case, as the batting average and OBP went down, while the home runs went up. He was also a disaster against lefties. But his BABIP is 40 points lower than last year (.276 vs. .317) while his line drive % actually went up (19.1% to 21.2%). His flyball percentage was much higher than it’s ever been at 49.3% vs. 40.7% last year. Hence, more home runs (his HR% is virtually unchanged) and a lower batting average. Perhaps this is due to a change in Granderson’s swing or some mechanical issue, but a huge dropoff in BABIP like that (from a guy who’s normally well over .300) with a consistent LD% leads me to believe that luck may have played a large role in his dropoff this year.

    Finally, I don’t think Cabrera had a bad season when you put this lineup around him. He can be over-aggressive sometimes, but he still put up some pretty impressive numbers (even if he was half in the bag!). I can’t think of anything to pin on McLendon for Miggy’s performance.

    I agree with DD that there might need to be a shift in emphasis throughout the organization towards higher OBP and more patience at the plate. And McLendon might not be the guy for that (he had a career .325 OBP, so he got his hacks in). If McLendon gets the boot, I don’t think it’s as simple as saying “he did a terrible job” or “the message wasn’t getting through to the players”. It would a situation where the club wants a different point of emphasis, and they don’t think he is the right guy for that. Leyland and McLendon believe in aggressiveness at the plate, and that’s what they preached. As a group, the Tigers are aggressive hitters.

    by Mark in Chicago on Oct 9, 2009 at 12:46 am

  6. “Raburn had a nice season off the bench, shouldn’t McLendon get some credit for that development? ”

    No.

    by Eddie on Oct 9, 2009 at 8:58 am

  7. Eddie,

    Its nice to see such thorough analysis following what was, frankly, a weakly supported post by Mark in Chi. Wait, I might have it backwards.

    by Andre in Chi on Oct 9, 2009 at 9:17 am

  8. Inge used to say he didn’t need a hitting coach as he knows his swing better than anybody (and it shows).

    DD was right about changing the philosophy–3 run HRs are great, but singles to right with runners on 2nd & 3rd and one out are almost as good and should be easier.

    by jim-mt on Oct 9, 2009 at 11:49 am

  9. I don’t think that that is what he meant by changing the philosophy. I’m pretty sure he means developing a system that is able to take walks and be moire selective at the plate. Getting guys to take strikes early in the count that are pitchers pitches.

    Inge, at the beginning of the year was very selective and it showed in both his HR numbers and his obp. With two strikes he shortened his swing and made more contact. THat said, I do not want a guy like Cabrera lunging for a pitch early in the count to try and get a single to the opposite field. He should give up some points on his average in order to hit with power more often. THere is no reason that that guy shouldn’t hit 40 opr more every year. Not swinging at bad pitches wilol also get him more walks so his obp won’t suffer at all.

    by jb61973 on Oct 9, 2009 at 12:09 pm

  10. Dre,

    I thought of a snarky reply too, but yours was WAY better than what I had in mind. Well done.

    M

    by Mark in Chicago on Oct 9, 2009 at 1:25 pm

  11. What I have noticed watching the successful teams is that they are selective at the plate. They make the opposing pitcher work. In this day and age it’s about getting the pitch count up. I would love to see a stat on pitches per plate appearance. I bet the Tigers rank very low on that list.

    It always boggles my mind when a hitter swings at the first pitch when the pitcher has had trouble throwing strikes. I know you might think you will get a strike on the heels of a walk but working the pitch count is important as well.

    Granderson needs an eye exam. It seems that he is not seeing the ball very well lately(both in the outfield and at the plate) I’m serious about this.

    Again, someone on this team needs to bring a sense of urgency to each game. I would think that starts with the Manager. Maybe at Leylands age and the fact that he smokes like a madman, 162 games might sap him of his energy.

    I think they need to resign Polanco.

    I will continue to ramble later.

    by West Coast Tiger on Oct 9, 2009 at 1:51 pm

  12. I doubt Inge would be a victim of the philosophy change mentioned. In fact quite the opposite. Inge led the Tigers in pitches-per-plate-appearance gate-to-wire, it wasn’t even close.

    by Coleman on Oct 9, 2009 at 1:57 pm

  13. Here’s the dilemma, and it’s a bit paradoxical. The pitches per plate appearance is a definite problem. It’s not that the Tigers are low on the list–they varied from last to 2nd-to-last all season, finishing a tad ahead of Toronto at 3.75 PPA (league avg was 3.84, the Twins at 3.86, The Rays were best at 3.96).

    Those differences don’t look at big as they are. Looking at actual pitches can give you a better idea. The Twins saw 1,103 pitches more than the Tigers this season. Again, to put in context: Lyon threw 1,182 pitches the entire season. So the Twins got approximately one Lyon’s worth of extra pitches out of their opponents. Think that makes a difference?

    Now the paradoxical part. The best hitters on the team are the ones who take the fewest pitches. You yourself began your post stressing the importance of the pitch count and ended by saying they need to resign Polanco. Polanco is the poster child for low pitch counts. He finished at 3.48, better than exactly 8 guys in the American League. And this year was above career average. Move up the list from Polanco and there a few space above you see Cabrera (3.63) and Ordonez (3.65). So how much do you think you can change the approach of these 3? And considering they are currently the best 3 hitters on the team, would you want to?

    So the question is, how much of a difference will “the new philosophy” make if it only a applies to a few guys in the lineup? Inge was the one guy on the team well above average (4.09, 13th best in the league), but he was wasting his time–one guy working the pitch count is going to have almost no effect on the other team. The question is, how many do you need?

    Laird would be a good place to start though, with his sluggers PPA (3.55) and his backup-catcher’s OPS. On top of that he’s one of the guys you most want running the bases from the current lineup, so it’s even more valuable if he could get more walks.

    by Coleman on Oct 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm

  14. As for how much of the offensive struggles can be placed at the feet of Lloyd McClendon, I don’t think we’ll ever know.

    But I do think a change is in order. If for no reason other than making a change.

    If you’ll recall last year we had this same conversation about Chuck Hernandez. We asked the same questions about how much influence a pitching coach actually has over a major league pitcher.

    In this case, a change of pitching coaches worked out in our favor and we saw significant improvement from our staff. I doubt a new hitting coach will spark a massive offensive turn-around next year, and in fact a new hitting coach could actually make things worse.

    But I still think you’ve got to try it.

    Get some fresh coaches in there (I’m in favor of replacing Lamont as well), roll the dice and see what happens.

    by Matt on Oct 9, 2009 at 2:31 pm

  15. I’m confused by your opening statement, then. If you feel PPA is so important, why is that the best players have low PPAs? Put 9 Cabreras on a team and you’ll lead the league in Runs Scored while posting a all-time record low for PPA. So is the correlation between PPA and RS really as strong as you regularly assert?

    by Jeff Molby on Oct 9, 2009 at 2:44 pm

  16. Just saw a tweet from Jason Beck – all coaches are coming back other than Andy Van Slyke. So Lloyd will be back (as of today).

    by Jackandblue on Oct 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm

  17. Wonder what Andy is looking to do. Seemed like a pretty good coach to me.

    by Matt on Oct 9, 2009 at 4:50 pm

  18. Detroit News has the story on Van Slyke and the other coaches:

    http://detnews.com/article/200.....-to-Tigers

    We need some back story on this…what is the reasoning to keep McClendon but let Van Slyke go???

    by BaseballinDC on Oct 9, 2009 at 4:52 pm

  19. Well, unless you can prove that it was McClendon’s teachings that helped Raburn this year, you are wrong. I have a pretty good feeling that you won’t find any evidence that McClendon helped Raburn at all this year no matter how hard you dig.

    Sorry for the lack of supporting evidence in the post above, but there is more than just a correlation causation fallacy when dealing with Raburn’s 2009 and Lloyd McClendon.

    by Eddie on Oct 9, 2009 at 6:37 pm

  20. I’m still hurting.

    by Kevin in Dallas on Oct 9, 2009 at 6:48 pm

  21. Kevin. I know what you mean. We are visiting some
    Friends in the D and are watching the Yankees Twins game now. Boy that should be us. I will say this though… It was great to be in first place all summer. Kept me interested all year long and for that I am happy

    by Steve on Oct 9, 2009 at 7:30 pm

  22. Still want to change the ending and can’t.

    by Kathy on Oct 9, 2009 at 8:51 pm

  23. I can’t stop hurting.

    I will say what hurts most for me is, I believe the Tigers would have won the Yankees series. I just had a very good feeling about this, in the same way I had a very bad feeling about the last week of the season and the inevitable tie-breaker that I felt equally uneasy about.

    When the Tigers lost that first game of the double-header in the fashion they did, I knew immediately after the game that there would be a tie-breaker at the Metrodome — and I felt sick about it. I think I even posted something to that effect on that Tuesday afternoon prior to the night game. I figured the Tigers would split the series, but I also figured they would lose the Sox series and the Twins being the Twins would win out — forcing the tie breaker. Which is exactly what happened. And I never felt good about going to the Metrodome for that game. I feared the very results that came to pass — not the loss, per se, but the unbelievable freak-of-nature loss that eats away under one’s skin the entire off season. I think I also posted something to that affect just after the first game of the double header. Bottom line: the Tigers are just plain cursed playing the Twins. What else can it be? Baseball is strange in that way. There was just one comedy of errors after another playing this team — the ball Kelly lost in the dome (game changer); countless failures at pushing runners at third less than two outs across the plate in the day game of the double-header, Santiago’s seeming walk off that Span somehow ran down (game changer). On to the tie-breaker: First and third in the top of the ninth no outs — Randy Marsh blows a called third strike on Polanco setting up Nathan to wiggle out of a seemingly impossible-to-salvage jam. Tigers take the lead in the 10th negated by Rayburn’s misplayed ball in the bottom of the frame… Polanco’s mysterious lack of range on a double play ball that would have ended the game… bases loaded top of the 12th one out, Randy Marsh blows yet another HBP call that would have likely broke the game wide open for the Tigers…instead, Tigers fail to score. And on and on and on and on. What are the odds all those breaks go the Twins way? It’s just odd. If nothing more, if you calculate the odds of all those unlikely events occuring in one single game you have to be looking at something like 1 to 100… easily. If someone told you before the game the Tigers had a 99% change at wining this game, you’d take it. However, in the Metrodome, playing the Twins, and Tigers being the Tigers, no odds are safe.

    Here’s how I saw the Yankees series going down. Jackson and a very tired Tigers team lose game 1 — Verlander dazzles in a low-scoring game two which the Tigers eke out a W. The series is locked coming back to Comerica. Porcello dazzles in yet another pitchers duel in game 3, the Tigers lead the series 2-1. Yankees tie it up for a game 5 in New York, and we have the deciding game in the hands of Verlander. We may not have prevailed… but I like our chances.

    The most hurtful thing for me is that I will never know if my optimistic vision was to be as accurate as my pessimistic vision, which played out like a bad dream unfolding in time.

    by T Smith on Oct 9, 2009 at 9:56 pm

  24. Yeah, it was a great summer. DTW takes following the Tigers to another level.

    Watching this Twins/Yankees game is painful, but therapeutic in a sick way.

    This really won’t go away for quite some time, huh?

    by Kevin in Dallas on Oct 9, 2009 at 10:14 pm

  25. unrelated- but I finally saw an angle in the Twins/Yanks game that shows that Grandy WAS out on Maggs linedrive double play.

    still waiting for the angle that shows Brandon wasn’t hit! (and the ump had the guts to say after seeing the replay that it still didn’t hit him!!!)

    by Joey in Portland OR on Oct 9, 2009 at 10:18 pm

  26. I asked a buddy of mine, a Mets fan, exactly how long it takes to go away… to which he responded, “… it may subside slightly, but it NEVER completely goes away…”

    by T Smith on Oct 9, 2009 at 10:19 pm

  27. Weak, I love Andy!

    by Joey in Portland OR on Oct 9, 2009 at 10:21 pm

  28. Randy Marsh is a putz. Have the courage to say you missed the call. I have no respect whatsoever for him — not that he blew the call, it happens — but to deny blowing the call. What a putz.

    by T Smith on Oct 9, 2009 at 10:21 pm

  29. FML.

    by Kevin in Dallas on Oct 9, 2009 at 10:36 pm

  30. I keep thinking of the flag-raising in the spring and how everyone would have felt so proud to finally have a division flag hoisted. Honestly, if I allow myself, I can work myself into a rage about it. It is infuriatingly disappointing. I can’t talk about it anymore.

    by Kathy on Oct 9, 2009 at 10:50 pm

  31. That’s why it’s a paradox. :)

    Basically the way I would describe my feel for this is that taking pitches and getting high pitch counts helps teams (and yes, the teams with the high PPAs score more runs).

    On the other hand, taking pitches and getting a high pitch count hurts a batter–the best batter’s pitch is the first one (unless you can get a 3-0 count of course).

    So you have a situation where what’s good for the individual batter and what is good for the team are different. If I do it, it will hurt my hitting–but if I do it, AND you all do too, it will help my hitting, and yours. That kind of thing. That’s why it has to be an organizational thing. It has to be a team effort.

    The key, I think, is that there is a point at which the additional pitches have a cumulative effect that swing the balance. The only way to reach this tipping point though is to have many batters seeing pitches–the Red Sox, Yankees, Twins, and Rays all have multiple hitters among the high pitch count leaders. And when the extra pitches tire the starters or bring in relief pitchers, then the first pitch hitters have an even larger advantage than usual.

    When you have, say 2 guys above average (Inge and Granderson, barely) those hitters end up making their at bats more difficult without helping the team–the extra 4 or 5 pitches don’t change anything for the other staff, the way an extra 20 pitches would.

    I’m not sure where the balance tips. Would having 2 or 3 more guys seeing a lot of pitches in addition to Inge (I don’t mention Grandy because I think that’s something he has to stop thinking about because I think it worsens the batting funks he gets in) have an effect? I don’t know. But it would be nice if it did; one gets tired of the straight line we always see from starter to closer, when there are so many awful middle relief and even setup guys in the league…

    by Coleman on Oct 10, 2009 at 12:06 am

  32. PLEASE tell me this means McClendon will be first base coach next season and we have a new hitting coach coming in…

    by Coleman on Oct 10, 2009 at 12:21 am

  33. When you come to a conclusion that contradicts your premise, it’s usually best to double-check your premise instead of calling it a paradox. =P

    I guess I don’t put much stock in PPA because there’s no quicker way to run a pitcher out of a game than to drop 10 hits on him. I don’t have a problem with training the defensive specialists to go up there and waste pitches, but anyone safely above the Mendoza line should go up there looking to get on base. If you have guys that can hit and swinging early improves their chances, then they certainly have the green light from me, because the extra baserunners should make up for the 0.5 PPA that I might be sacrificing.

    by Jeff Molby on Oct 10, 2009 at 1:39 am

  34. I didn’t have a real conclusion–as I said, I’m not sure what the answer is. But I’m not sure that I contradicted myself. I think I explained how higher PPA can be good for a team, even though taking more pitches might be bad for an individual hitter. The paradox comes from the combined effect from the individual instances. If you mean that it’s impossible that each batter could do what is most advantageous in each at bat and yet the sum total may not necessarily be the most advantageous, then I guess that’s where we aren’t seeing eye to eye, which is reasonable. I just wouldn’t call it self-contradicting.

    I agree that the problem with the Tigers isn’t necessarily the low PPA–if they are hitting the first pitches all over the place, they’ll go through pitching staffs just as well if not better. The problem is that they aren’t. An easy way to see that is just to look at the total number of pitches they’ve seen (over 1,100 fewer than the Twins for example…there are other factors involved, like teams who hit much better at home vs road, but the Twins comparision is still good). If you’re aggressive approach is paying off, you have lower PPA, but more PAs, so you see more pitches that way. Clearly something isn’t working. And while Cabrera, Ordonez, and to some extent Polanco hit well with the aggressive approach, that doesn’t mean that that approach wouldn’t be even MORE successful within a lineup of higher PPA hitters.

    by Coleman on Oct 10, 2009 at 1:59 am

  35. Just as a related aside, I did some looking at results and depth of a plate appearance after the 2006 season. Once the retrosheet data is available it’s probably worth reproducing this year.

    http://www.detroittigersweblog.....pearances/

    by billfer on Oct 10, 2009 at 8:03 am

  36. I don’t think ppa is the issue. I haven’t done an analysis but when you strike out as much as Inge does you are going to see at least three pitches in most of your at bats. The issue, to me, is what pitches players swing at in what counts at what time of the game and in what game situation. I don’t know if it is even possible to do an analysis of this, and I don’t have the ability, time or the inclination to do one. What I mean is when Miguel Cabrera comes up with 2 out and nobody on and he hits the first pitch which is down and away for a bloop single to right field. That, for the most part is a win for the opposition. In that situation, especially early in the game, Cabrera needs to look for and wait for a pitch to drive out of the park. Chances are, if he;s selective enough, he will be able to work a walk if necessary, especially with the guys he had hitting behind him.

    by jb61973 on Oct 10, 2009 at 10:18 am

  37. Fair, I wasn’t taking sides on the issue, just thought Mark deserved “better” :)

    by Andre in Chi on Oct 10, 2009 at 12:14 pm

  38. On the other hand it’s easy to be “hard to strike out” like Polanco if you routinely bounce the 2nd pitch to the 2nd baseman…they never mention that as hard as he is to strike out, he’s just as hard to walk. You don’t do much of either putting the 2nd pitch in play. (Which makes Polanco dangerous in some situations–give me Polly every time with a runner on 3rd less than 2 out).

    by Coleman on Oct 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm

  39. The burden of proof is not on me, it’s on the people that want to see McLendon gone. I challenge you to prove that McLendon did NOT help Raburn. You can’t, nor can I prove that he did. We’ll never know because we weren’t in the clubhouse on a regular basis. However, I find it hard to believe that McLendon said nothing to Raburn all season, never worked with him or provided advice and reminded him of a mechanical issue or some such thing. Maybe he helped, maybe he didn’t, but how can you possibly back up a statement such as “you won’t find any evidence that McLendon helped Raburn at all this year no matter how hard you dig.” How do you know this to be true?

    Also, I’m not “wrong” about anything because I didn’t make a definitive statement. I simply asked the question, “shouldn’t McLendon get some of the credit?” for the nice year Raburn had. You are free to disagree, or answer in the negative, but don’t tell me I’m “wrong”.

    by Mark in Chicago on Oct 10, 2009 at 10:58 pm

  40. …to say nothing of the Twins going 13-0 down the stretch against teams that weren’t the Tigers (or had Zack Grienke pitching). The Twins faced Grienke twice all year. The Tigers? FIVE times. The Twins got the White Sox in Chicago the last month of the season as they were rolling over. BEFORE Ozzie’s tirade that inspired some better baseball for the Tigers’ series. Granted, it never should have come down to a playoff game, but the Twins got an AWFUL lot of breaks for it to occur.

    I felt good about the Yankee series also. I see it happening in much the same fashion as you, T. An exhausted, spent Tigers team loses Game 1, but a confident, loose team wins 2 and 3 with their best pitchers going. The pressure is on the Yankees to win 2 straight and I think the Tigers eventually put them away. We were dangerous in a short series because of our starting pitching, and the Yankees must have been ecstatic to get the Twins and Nick Blackburn, Brian Duensing, and Carl Pavano.

    by Mark in Chicago on Oct 10, 2009 at 11:10 pm

  41. It always drives me nuts when some announcer says that Polanco is one of the “toughest outs” in the league. Usually I scramble to my computer to check the top-10 OBP and look for Polly. This has, of course, routinely resulted in a failure to find him and me yelling at the TV.

    by Andre in Chi on Oct 11, 2009 at 3:20 pm

  42. “However, I find it hard to believe that McLendon said nothing to Raburn all season, never worked with him or provided advice and reminded him of a mechanical issue or some such thing.”

    It’s possible…

    by Eddie on Oct 12, 2009 at 7:50 am

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About The Detroit Tiger Weblog

About the Site Detroit Tigers Weblog was launched in July, 2001. At the time it was the only Tigers blog and it resided as a blogspot page. There were multiple authors and it mostly consisted of links to the rare times the Tigers were mentioned in the national media. We only had a few dozen […]more →

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