Damon and his homers

by billfer on February 21, 2010 · 267 comments

in 2010 Season,Players

Post image for Damon and his homers

Much has been made about Johnny Damon’s offensive numbers being inflated by the new Yankee Stadium. Damon matched his career high of 24 homers last year at the age of 36. He also posted the highest slugging percentage of his career and with 17 of his homers coming at home he clearly benefitted from the short porch. How might the move to a much more spacious Comerica Park effect Damon’s 2010 production?

Using the ever-valuable Hit Tracker we can see exactly where each of Damon’s homers landed in 2009. But with a little image manipulation we can overlay Damon’s homer onto Comerica Park’s dimensions and get a feel for the impact of his new home park would have on his production.

2009DamonHomers

Five of Damon’s homers would have come up short in Comerica Park, and two to three more would have been in jeopardy as well.

Clearly Damon benefitted from the shallow dimensions at Yankee Stadium, but did he “luck into” those homers or did he he alter his swing to make make the most of those dimensions? Scott Boras claimed that Damon tried to hook homers at Yankee Stadium while using his whole-field approach other places.

Grabbing the balls-in-play plotted data from the MLB Gameday application it is easy enough to see if Boras was correct in his assessment, or just making claims with little regard for factual accuracy.

Similar to what I did with the assessment I did of Curtis Granderson, I calculated the vector of each ball in play and then classified each as opposite field, up-the-middle, or pulled. First the table for Yankee Stadium (the new version of course in 2009 and the old version in 2007-8)

Home
Direction 2007 2008 2009
Oppo 27.23% 25.11% 23.86%
Middle 38.03% 34.04% 28.41%
Pull 34.27% 39.57% 45.45%

 

And now the road version.

Away
Direction 2007 2008 2009
Oppo 30.38% 24.28% 20.63%
Middle 35.38% 32.92% 28.97%
Pull 32.69% 40.74% 48.02%

 

Damon has begun to pull the ball more in each of the last 3 years, but that isn’t limited to Yankee Stadium. He exhibited the same tendencies on the road, and in 2009 it was even slightly more pronounced.

It doesn’t appear that Damon concocted a special swing he only used in Yankee Stadium last year. He appeared to pull the ball no matter where he was. Damon will still likely hit his share of homers, but a total in the mid teens is a more likely outcome. As is a line that is closer to his 2009 road numbers (284/349/446) than his homer inflated home line (279/382/533).

 
 

{ 267 comments }

Wind February 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm

The main advantage was not the shorter wall in NYS but was the wind tunnel effect. Balls would carry there that would not keep carrying in Comerica.

Chris Y. February 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm

I think the Damon signing is OK (focusing on the .349 OBP, here).

But, Boras has been and always will be full of it. He’s the Richard Berman of baseball.

Matt in Toledo February 21, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Good job on this, Billfer. I tried to get at something similar with some actual evidence but after failing had to settle for a lame “his home numbers won’t be affected as much as some people seem to think” or something to that effect.

I do wonder if Wind is onto something – though I can’t repeat his certainty – since Yankee Stadium allowed so many home runs despite having the same dimensions.

Dr. Detroit February 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Here here. Very nice job.

Shane Trapped In Toledo February 21, 2010 at 11:23 pm

I do not know how to quantify it, but I was wondering if Granderson’s home run totals would be effected by playing in Yankee Stadium. Without numbers, I cannot help but think that it would not make much of a difference because he hits so many line drives to right field. Any thoughts?

Lee Panas February 21, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Excellent article Bill. I was hoping somebody would do something like this. The Tigers need Damon’s left-handed bat badly but we should temper our expectations. His 2010 numbers should look more like his career numbers (.288/.355/.439) than his 2009 numbers.

Lee

Keith (Mr. X) February 22, 2010 at 8:36 am

It’s tough to say. 5 out of the last 6 years, he beat his career numbers.

We’ve had quite a few players come here in recent years and have great hitting seasons. Polanco, Guillen, Pudge, Ordonez, and Cabrera have all hit over .320 at Comerica Park. If Damon has a .300+ batting average, it just wouldn’t surprise me. He’s hit over .300 a handful of times in his career. Comerica is a great park for line-drive / ground ball hitters also. The home runs is something I don’t really care about from a lead-off hitter. HR’s is not the reason he’s coming here.

The one thing that concerns me though is that Damon’s fly ball rate went up about 8% last season (up to 42%); and as Billfer documented, he’s pulling the ball more too. If that trend continues, then he won’t be nearly as good as I’m hoping. He’s still not to be considered a fly ball or pull hitter though because he’s still below 50% in both aspects.

Coleman February 22, 2010 at 2:34 am

Well that was cool.

I think it’s worth pointing out that Damon’s adjusted Comerica HR projection is about the sane as what Granderson put up (10 HR in 2009…he had 4 in Anaheim)…Granderson didn’t have Comerica power, wheras Cabrera, Inge, and Raburn (?) do.

Before you bet the ‘over’ on Granderson HR’s now that he’s in NY though, you might want to consider something relevant–opposing teams run out lefty pitchers there like…well like they have run out righties vs Detroit. Granderson won’t see anything remotely close to the 511 PAs vs RHP that he saw with Detroit (Damon had only 438 PA vs RHP last year BTW).

Which means Damon will either get a boost in his RHP/LHP ratio this season, or that Damon’s presence will result in less righty-skewed rotations; either way we benefit (I’m veering from the Damon-Granderson comparison a bit here, and assuming that Damon + A-Jax will mean one more LHB…and if Guillen stays healthy, and Avila gets a lot of ABs, and, and…)

Coleman February 22, 2010 at 2:43 am

Shane, I just saw your comment, but I think I already gave my opinion on it. Regardless of how well the park suits Granderson, he will either face more lefties (and we know how that goes), or spend more time on the bench…and the same, to a lesser extent, on the road–I doubt you could find a lineup where you’re less likely to see a lefty than what he had in Detroit.

I’ll go on record as predicting FEWER HRs for Granderson in 2010 than 2009 (though he may have more per PA if they sit him against lefties)

Lee Panas February 22, 2010 at 9:56 am

Granderson/Thames would be a pretty strong platoon.

Lee

Jeff Molby February 22, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Very true. Why can’t we ever get our hands on players that complement each other that well??

Coleman February 23, 2010 at 1:39 am

I love it, very…I don’t know, DTW-ish, replies…

I wonder if the Yankees would consider dealing the Country-Grand platoon if we offered Damon/A-Jax?

Apropos of not much, I’m still disappointed Leyland never tried the special Thames/Casey platoon at 1B in 2007. No, not the RHP/LHP platoon, he did try that a bit, I mean the Night-And-Day platoon.

Day Games:
Casey .235 .308 .301 .608
Thames .293 .337 .674 1.001

Night Games:
Casey .327 .376 .440 .876
Thames .215 .247 .407 .654

Not only would we have ended up with a 1B around .300 .350 .550 .900, but Leyland would have assured himself a future spot in the Hall as the innovator of the Night-And-Day platoon. But, alas, it wasn’t to be…

(Interestingly, Casey never had the First-Baseman-of-the-Night bit going while at Cinci, but he continued it at Boston…his career OPS was .866 day, .789 night. Why the change at the end of his career? I wonder if this wass random or there is something interesting involved…)

Keith (Mr. X) February 22, 2010 at 7:45 am

Well done Billfer. You certainly proved that Boras should never be trusted. Can you also find out if Damon really likes octopus?

Correction on Damon having a career high SLG% last year. Damon’s career high was in 2000 when he posted a .495.

West Coast Tiger February 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

Perhaps, Johnny Damon will share the secrets of Yankee hitting with Lloyd MClendon.

the fume February 22, 2010 at 11:01 am

I don’t think he had a special swing for Yankee Stadium last year, but he may have decided (consciously or subconsciously) to pull the ball more in all stadiums because of the short porch.

At any rate, he looks to me to be a .820-.830 OPS guy with good OBP and 10-15 hrs. Nothing wrong with that.

Scottwood February 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

It should be noted that while NY was a HR happy park, it also suppressed doubles and triples and actually suppressed runs more than Comerica Park did.

Dr. Detroit February 22, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Good point. His homerun totals were up last year, but so were his strikeouts (98 a career high), and he had one of the lowest years in his career hits wise. If he sacrifices some homeruns for fewer strikeouts, more walks, more hits and focuses on some extra-base gappers in right center, all meaning he is getting on base for Miggy and the crew to generate runs, we got what we paid for.

scotsw February 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Is this a “sucker’s bet” phenomenon? Where guys see the juicy target of a short right field at the New Yank, and start swinging for the seats, thereby ensuring more Ks?

Steve in Green Bay February 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Shared this with my friends, nice little piece of information. Thanks for the leg work.

jcm February 22, 2010 at 9:01 pm

The distance is not the only factor in HR. The cold or hot air. The wind .The altitude. The humidity.
The hot and dry air of Arlington made that park a HR´s paradise.While the cold air in Frisco made hard to hit a HR

Chris February 23, 2010 at 1:41 am

There is nothing to like about this signing… Nothing!

Coleman February 23, 2010 at 2:01 am

There are things to like, and things not to like. Short-term there is little to not like (overpaying for him may be distasteful, but any negative effects from that are longer term).

Coleman February 23, 2010 at 2:32 am

The simple way to explain what I think is good about Johnny Damon: the things he is good at are exactly the things that the Tigers are worst at.

1. He can, still, run the bases.

2. He has no glaring holes in his hitting–no need for platooning
2009 OPS: vs RHP .889, vs LHP .776 7HR 26RBI That’s better *vs LHP* than Inge, Guillen, Thames, Polanco, Laird, Everett…and of course Granderson (vs RHP .897 vs LHP .484 2HR 9RBI)

3. He has a very low GIDP rate–career 84 in 1591 GIDP opportunities. Last season DET hit into 131 in 1261 opportunities.

4. He can work the count. Last season DET had a team avg Pitches Per Plate Appearance of a measly 3.76. Best on the team were Inge at 4.09 and Granderson at 3.96. Damon was 4.06 last season, following seasons of 4.10, 4.30, and 4.08. Any of those would be career highlights for any Tiger.

5. And that thing that was the bane of many of us on the game threads–the dreaded Runner on 3rd Less Than 2 Out situation. And not only do we fail but we generally do it by striking out, which is beyond frustrating. And these are the numbers that made me think hmm I might like Damon in the lineup:

2009 DET R3 L2O:
PA 334 K57 (17%) RBI 199 (1/1.68 PA) .302 .342 .478 .821

Best Tigers (career)
Ordonez 441PA 28K (6%) 355RBI (1.24/PA) .444 .424 .687 1.111
Inge 230PA 37K (16%) 159RBI (1/1.45 PA) .395 .397 .593 .990
Cabrera 305PA 46K (15%) 193RBI (1/1.58 PA) .383 .416 .543 .960

Damon (career) 500PA 27K (5%) 362 RBI (1.38/PA) .421 .428 .613 1.041

In other words he is comparable to Ordonez–the career Ordonez. The difference is Damon has been consistent (last season he was .391 .423 .565 .988, whereas last season Ordonez has 4K and 4 GIDP in 22 PA).

So, the Tigers are bad at baserunning, vulnerable to righty/lefty matchups, bad at working the pitch count, hit into too many double plays, and terrible at getting runners home from 3rd with less than 2 outs. And these are the things Damon is good at.

And that is why I like the signing.

Andre in Chi February 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Coleman,

Great post. The only thing about this offseason that I ended up questioning was the idea that we needed Damon because we needed a lefty-bat. I was more of the opinion that we needed him for the reasons you outlined, but not so much because of the weakness vs RH-pitching. I made a spreadsheet of the R/L splits for various Tigers, including their ’09 and career numbers (its definitely rough, and only has MLB numbers so it doesn’t have much to go on for Avila, or anything for Sizemore or A-Jacks, but hopefully its makes sense):

https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=b04c80799f&view=att&th=126e21fd2aa94c58&attid=0.1&disp=vah&realattid=f_g5tsx89b1&zw

A quick recap of the spread-sheet:

Cabrera (R): Equal contact / Slightly better power vs LH
Ordonez (R): Slightly better contact vs LH / Much better power vs LH
Raburn (R): Better contact vs RH / Much better power vs LH
Avila (L): Much better vs LH
Santiago (S): Much better vs RH
Guillen (S): Better vs RH
Thomas (L): Better contact vs LH / Better power vs RH
Everett (R): Slightly better vs LH
Inge (R): Much better vs LH
Laird (R): Much better vs LH

Interesting Notes: Avila, so far, hasn’t shown to be a better platoon option in terms of R/L pitching (although he remains the better offensive option @ C); Raburn and Thomas both make better contact vs like-handed pitching, while showing more power vs opposite-handed pitching.

Amateur Analysis: With run prevention still presumably being the strong point of this team; Inge and Laird all figure to be starters regardless of which side of the mound the opposition throws from. While Santiago may well platoon straight up with Everett (or Sizemore if he ends up not being able to hit) vs RHs, that still means that two players who struggle mightily vs RHs will play regardless.

The Damon signing means that, aside from Jackson who’s an unknown, it would mostly be players who aren’t terrible vs RHs that would be affected in terms of a drop in ABs (Ordonez, Raburn and Guillen), although Leyland has recently said that Guillen will get all the ABs he wants. This doesn’t mean that Damon is be a bad addition, as you point out, he certainly projects to be just the sort of thing the Tigers could use at the top of the rotation, along with his club-house presence, yada yada yada. I just think it means that there was too much ado about his rectifying the RH-weakness.

Mat February 23, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Very interesting analysis and points made from both of you.

TSE February 23, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Johnny Damon is a good baseball player and a dependable baseball player. You have some good points about him, but when you spend 8 million dollars for a player you should get those points or something better even. This deal isn’t about Damon being a good player, it’s about whether he fits here and belongs here. And for our screwed up team design he does make sense, but if we reshaped our team to what would make sense, then he wouldn’t fit. And that’s why I don’t like the signing, it’s only good in this scenario where we do things the wrong way and try to play salvage ball, and I don’t play salvage ball, I play dynasty ball.

Andre in Chi February 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm

“And that’s why I don’t like the signing, it’s only good in this scenario where we do things the wrong way and try to play salvage ball, and I don’t play salvage ball, I play dynasty ball.”

Totally man. I also hate insulin shots, ’cause they’re only good if you have diabetes, and I don’t play diabetes, I play not-diabetes.

TSE February 23, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Exactly. Who in their right mind would voluntarily give themselves diabetes just so that they could take insulin shots. The problem is that you have choices in baseball and you can choose to stay diabetes free or you can choose to live off insulin, whereas in real life people don’t get to make those choices for their own health, they have to deal with the cards they are dealt because they are not the dealer.

Mat February 23, 2010 at 2:29 pm

“for our screwed up team design he does make sense, but if we reshaped our team to what would make sense, then he wouldn’t fit.”

This is a strange approach to being a fan. At what point to you accept the team as is and move on. You could spend years following the team and say ” yeah but, if they had made that trade for X and not signed Y and drafted Z, we’d be a totally different team”. You’re probably right…but at some point it becomes ridiculous. I can stew all day about signing Damon Easley and not trading for Bernie Williams, but using that as grounds to complain about signing Damon seems rather preposterous.

With the team-as-is, Damon is a good signing. That the team-as-is is in a bad spot is sort of a separate topic.

TSE February 23, 2010 at 2:47 pm

When I say with the team as-is I still don’t like the signing because there are other alternatives that I still prefer. So while Damon makes our better team than it is without Damon, it still isn’t the best alternative to playing in this screwed up state. As a fan I accept everything at present day as stuck where we are and I don’t try to use any previous mistakes as a justification against new transactions, I only look at the current state and measure each transaction against that state, and in this case signing Damon isn’t the best choice for us from this present state. Now the next transaction doesn’t get evaluated pre-Damon, it only gets evaluated post-Damon. We are stuck with Damon now for 8 mill and we have to assume we can’t trade him at all since he was a FA and we apparently were the highest bidder. So for purposes of a trade deadline asset, well that asset isn’t as high as some people seem to perceive, because the value of him as a player isn’t just about his production, it’s about his production/salary ratio, and since we know that his salary number is at such a high point that nobody wants that ratio as is for what we can project for his production, well that factors a huge chunk of him being a trading chip at the deadline. If he just hits for his projected stock, well why would a team want him at a deadline for the same ratio they could have him for the whole season with that kind of ratio? The answer is they wouldn’t want him because they apparently haven chosen that this ratio isn’t a favorable one to invest in for purposes of winning more games.

Andre in Chi February 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

“I only look at the current state and measure each transaction against that state, and in this case signing Damon isn’t the best choice for us from this present state”

Just for the record, what was the best choice for the Tigers? IYHO?

TSE February 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm

SS, Catcher and 3B are our weakest 3 positions so we should focus on those spots first, not the outfield. 8 million dollars invested into one of those spots is what we should have done.

Andre in Chi February 23, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Oh, sorry, I had assumed that you had specific people in mind.

Coleman February 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Assuming you are setting aside defensive value, our weakest 3 positions are probably Catcher, DH, and CF.

Here were our AL OPS ranks by position (1-14, 1 being best)
Obviously our 2B and CF aren’t relevant to this season.

CF – (1)
1B – 2
LF – 8
3B – 9
SS – 11
2B – (11)
RF – 12
DH – 13
C – 14

Considering that the DH contributes nothing defensively, and that we’ve been at the league bottom for a few years running, this is our biggest problem, not catcher, 3B, or SS.

There is no excuse for having nothing from the DH position, we are not a National League team. The problem is that Leyland doesn’t take the DH seriously as a position–to him it’s just a slot to rotate guys in and out of to rest them. This puts us at a huge disadvantage to teams that have actual DHs.

RBI from the DH position in 2009:
Twins 99
White Sox 97
Tigers 65

Think an extra 34 RBI from the DH position might have made that game 163 unnecessary?

Coleman February 23, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Or another way to look at the DH problem: if Inge would have been moved from 3rd to DH last season it would have upgraded our DH performance (Inge OPS: .720 DH OPS: .704).

TSE February 23, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Well there’s easily over 200 players in baseball that I would prefer to trade for in lieu of signing Damon as a FA. We need to get as many of those types of players as we can.

Jeff Molby February 24, 2010 at 6:21 am

With that many to choose from, you should have no trouble tossing out a couple concrete examples.

Dr. Detroit February 24, 2010 at 1:13 pm

If I am catching what you are throwing in your post, you are “worrying about the present state” but then you immediately go into what sort of asset he will be at the trade deadline. He has not even played a spring training game and you are already talking about trading him.

Also, the three positions you write about, can you name any players that you think we should be concentrating on for those positions? In your present state analysis, that means current players that teams would trade and/or FAs. Should we call about Jeter? How about A-Rod? Maybe Boston would like to give up Martinez for Mags. Epstein would go for that, right? Nope, nope and nope. In a vacuum it would be nice, but DD does not have that luxury. Concentrating on positions in a vacuum is great, but when you have to run things, and stay in the here and now, getting premium players for those positions you listed is impossible without giving something up more than the poo-poo platter. Miggy for A-Rod? Probably not (since they have Texiera). How about for Martinez? Boston would jump on that I bet. So we would have catcher down, but wait a tic, 1st base is now occupied by Guillen. So we have a catcher, but not a legit MVP-like 3-hole powerhouse 1st baseman anymore. Time to make another trade!

Finally, Damon’s contract is for 1 year. Per Andre’s excellent look at this the whole “we need a left-handed hitter” is not as crucial as it seems. If it doesn’t work out, he is gone next year. We may have paid a bit too much, but who cares, it’s baseball–no cap limitations so overpaying is irrelevant. But for the present, he was better than the bundle of lead-off hitters available (Podsenik, Pierre, etc.) We needed a top of the order guy, and Damon barring injury and steep decline in skills is the best one available and we got him. I like that present very much.

Mat February 24, 2010 at 1:37 pm

“overpaying is irrelevant”

Not really true. There may not be a salary cap but there are still budget restrictions. The 8M could be spent elsewhere or in other seasons. I wish the Tigers had been willing to spend the money last year on a team that could have been a title contender had it made better acquisitions. In that regard TSE has a point. Of course, last year is in the past. But there is some validity in “banking” some money for years when this team will contend.

“He has not even played a spring training game and you are already talking about trading him”

Damon’s potential trade value in July shouldn’t be discounted to his current value. Without that option, he’s worth significantly less than 8M. Its a nice asset to own if the team turns out to be deadline sellers. He’s a veteran, a proven winner, and a get-on-base guy with no future contract obligations that every contending AL team at least, would be happy to have .

For the record, I think it was an excellent signing. I think there are a few legitimate reasons to question it, but TSE isn’t making his point very well.

TSE February 24, 2010 at 2:43 pm

I don’t need to make my point. The Tiger’s giant payroll and giant accumulation of losses over the last 5 years speaks for itself. Our team is the greatest underachieving team in the 4 major sports and is an embarrassment due to the gross incompetence of our GM and owner, and the people they hire. If you don’t agree with that point then I think you just need a reality check or need to start paying attention to what’s going on.

Andre in Chi February 24, 2010 at 3:33 pm

TSE,

Tigers’ giant opening day payrolls during this period of record underachieving (Cots Contracts):

* 2009: $115,085,145
* 2008: $137,685,196
* 2007: $ 95,180,369
* 2006: $ 82,612,866
* 2005: $ 69,092,000

Tigers’ giant collection of losses

GP W L W%
2009 163 86 77 52.76%
2008 162 74 88 45.68%
2007 162 88 74 54.32%
2006 162 95 67 58.64%
2005 162 71 91 43.83%
811 414 397 51.05%

2008 was pretty embarrassing, the rest, not so much. One who was “paying attention to what’s going on” would know that.

“I don’t need to make my point.”

I’m sure it helps that you don’t have a real point to make.

TSE February 24, 2010 at 3:39 pm

All that post shows is that you have low standards. I’m an exceptional person that demands exceptional results and nothing short of it. Our money spent in conjunction with the losses we have have is sickly disproportionate to what it could be if we simply behaved intelligently. It’s one thing to lose in a sport because you come up short on physical abilities that you can’t automatically control for certain, but there are no good excuses for making egregious mental mistakes.

Andre in Chi February 24, 2010 at 4:22 pm

“All that post shows is that you have low standards.”

You don’t need to read that post to know that about me, I have plenty of ex-girlfriends who will testify to that.

Mat February 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm

A “person that demands exceptional results” from their sports team is ridiculous rather than exceptional. Like Yankee fans, they can’t be taken seriously or respected if they’re unreasonable. Making demands on something you have no control or influence on is not something to brag about. At least Yankee fans have their marketplace as an excuse…

Any Tiger fan who experienced the 1990s, should recognize how great being a contender is. The 2006 season was wonderful. DD may have made some bad moves, but he’s also the best GM this franchise has had in the last two decades.

I don’t like many of the moves made (and not made) over the last few years, but this offseason has made perfect sense: Build the base of young talent, acquire as many young power arms as feasible, limit long-term financial commitments exclusively to franchise players, supplement with veterans to address short-term needs and keep competitive.

They seem to have learned from past mistakes. I don’t think as fans we can ask for more.

Dr. Detroit February 25, 2010 at 8:22 am

Not to jump on you, Mat, because the post immediately above this one was right on, but what I meant by “overpaying is irrelevant” is that any sort of budget restraints you counter with are completely self-imposed budget constraints by owners, not the MLB salary system. Of course the Detroit fan base has taken a hit since the Big 3 have floundered over the last couple of years, and that is tied into how much money an owner is willing to pay players to put a championship caliber team on the field, but “overpaying” a guy necessarily implies that the money that could have been saved from paying him “market value” could have been spent elsewhere. If necessary, what I have seen from Illitch the last couple of years, if there were such a player in FA that required a big payday and the market dictated he be paid a gob of money more that the average player, Illitch would pay it regardless of if he paid someone else more than he was worth.

I mean, look at what they are doing with Willis/Bonderman/Robertson. Those guys make a combined 32 million (!!) or so, the most over-paid trio in baseball, bar none, and yet when the best lead-off guy on the market, Damon, was available, Illitch found the necessary funds after paying those rubber arms their green, and did not hesitate to go big to get him. So “overpaying” Damon is not relevant in the grand scheme. Trust me, if Hanley Ramirez were all of a sudden available, the extra 3-4 million we should have saved in paying Damon would not factor in Illitch/DD going big to get Ramirez. No cap, no problem. Look at the Boss. He has been overpaying for years!!

Mat February 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm

That all makes sense. My point is simply that everyone, even Steinbrenner, has their limits. Regardless of the source, self-imposed or systemic, it exists, even if its fluid. We can reasonably speculate that if Illitch didn’t have to pay the Willis/Bonderman/Robertson trio, or at least feel some pressure to get production out of his investment, he’d have the cash to pursue a high-priced starting pitcher.

Illitch has been very generous and looked beyond his own interests. I have no quibble with the sacrifices he has made, but I recognize that there are still some limits.

TSE February 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm

HItler had good intentions too. All he wanted was world peace and didn’t want to see people suffer with disabilities, so he basically just did everything he could to make Earth a Utopian society. But sometimes the ends don’t justify the means especially when the means requires killing millions, if not a billion or more. Atrocities are not allowed to be substituted for good intentions in my opinion and what Illitch is doing is a business/baseball atrocity. Thus if he does have good intentions buried deep down inside, I consider those intentions disqualified, they mind as well not exist. I’d gladly give up the good intentions if the atrocities that pair with them go away as well, that’s a good deal, but we don’t have that choice, we are forced to live with the worse option.

Mat February 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm

The Tigers made a World Series thanks to Illitch. Good intentions, good outcome.

TSE February 25, 2010 at 3:03 pm

No, no no no no no, we didn’t get to a WS because of Illitch. And I will tell you that year while we were actually in the WS, I was the only person complaining about it. Because we didn’t belong there, we got statistically lucky to compensate for other areas and our baseball merits of that season did not warrant us to be in that game. It was a fluke situation that only encouraged Illitch and DD to make them think they were doing things right. I was extremely pissed about that season cause I knew that just about every fan in Detroit was going to increase their opinioin of DD and Illitch as a result of the appearance, and that’s exactly what we needed to stay away from. If we could go back in time and miss the playoffs that year then DD wouldn’t be here today, and that’s what pisses me off, he’s getting extra time because of that WS and he doesn’t deserve credit for getting us there cause he didnt do anything about our plethora of problems, he ignore our problems and got lucky and since then hasn’t been able to get lucky again.

Mat February 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm

I agree that the Tigers got lucky that year. They’ve also been unlucky in other seasons. Dombrowski is the best Tiger GM in 20 years. He did great in Florida and has done well in Detroit. Luck is always a factor, but if measured over the long-term, DD has had great outcomes. We can quibble with individual decisions, thats part of the fun, but there is success overall.

Man though…if you’re a fan and you can’t enjoy a world series run…what’s the point?

TSE February 25, 2010 at 3:58 pm

So, last year the Lions had their best season out of the last 2 seasons. Just because you can find a winner in a small sample of epic failures doesn’t mean you have a success story. We still went 2-14, so while we win against our 2008 record, we are still losers. I will say that without a doubt DD is the worst GM in baseball of all 30 teams. He has sooo much money and player assets available to him and he gets just about the least amount you could statistically get at this high dollar investment level, short of if he was trying to lose on purpose.

Andre in Chi February 25, 2010 at 5:04 pm

A few weeks ago I joked about a modification of Godwin’s Law…

You just proved it TSE.

TSE February 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Ha sorry lol. I use Hitler a lot because I actually contend that his main theories and end result were logical, just that he had a faulty premise that Jews and such were inferior and evil. If you replaced Jews and others that died under Hitler’s regime with say evil Vampires, then Hitler looks like a hero and is doing exactly what he should be doing. So there wasn’t a problem with the overall logic of his central theories, only a failure at not realizing how jacked up his premise was that Jews were evil. And that’s why I analogize it to DD, because I’m sure he believes he has good intentions, but he isn’t shrewd enough to evaluate his premises accurately and that’s what throws our team off track from being a “proper” baseball team according to how baseball actually works, not how it is perceived by ignorant followers like DD and Leyland and virtually all fans that don’t get the complexities of this game.

Coleman February 26, 2010 at 12:15 pm

“I use Hitler a lot because…”

Godwin must be spinning in his grave. And he’s still alive!

TSE February 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm

They learn from past mistakes about as quickly and sharply as Obama does, which means that they don’t learn from them enough to not repeat the same mistakes. That’s all we did this entire offseason was make the exact same types of mistakes we made in previous years. We let valuable players walk for free, we made weak trades where we took a loss on overall margin, and we paid big bucks for some aging vets that have little to no chance of being able to be a part of a logical long-term plan. I also have not heard ONE press conference statement from DD that says he’s doing to do something about the team’s bad lineup constructin, baserunning skills, pinch decisions, and batting instruction. Does DD not understand that we fail miserably in these categories, or does he not have the brainpower to figure out the solution? I believe he doesn’t even think they are problems, he thinks everything is honky-dory in those areas, and that’ snot learning from past mistakes. I have to assume I’ve watched more Tigers games in the last 5 years than anybody that could be reading this, and I have seen hundreds, if not over 1000 mental mistakes within these areas that could have been prevented. That’s not learning from past mistakes.

The only way you can support a claim that the Tigers learn from past mistakes is if you fail to understand what the mistakes are and do not acknowledge that they exist. I acknowledge they exist because I know 100% for a fact that they do, because I saw it with my own eyes, over and over and over again. This team takes the game of baseball and warps it into an ugly mess and they really dishonor the sport with their excessive ignorance of the finer aspects of the game. Mr. Illitch is an embarrassment to his community, to this sport, and to business-minded people in general. He slaps all of those perspectives in the face and laughs at us cause he shows us that he truly doesn’t care and he has a lot more money personally then I think most people realize (several profitable companies/holdings) and he’ll die long before he’ll ever worry about a dip in his funds. We could be winning lots of baseball games with this money, instead it’s just a big insulting joke. To me it’s just too disgusting to give yourself a financial edge over other teams only to squander it to the point that you can’t even beat those teams. What I’m trying to say is that I’m just ashamed of the Detroit baseball product.

Mat February 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm

“We let valuable players walk for free, we made weak trades where we took a loss on overall margin, and we paid big bucks for some aging vets that have little to no chance of being able to be a part of a logical long-term plan”

I don’t know who you are referring too when you say players walked for free. No significant franchise pieces were given away.

Theres no sense in rehashing the Granderson/Jackson trades. We’ll see what Scherzer, Schlereth, Jackson, etc. provide…

The mistakes from the past that I’m referring to are related to player personnel. Signing people like Easley, Inge, Higginson, and Robertson. Long term commitments to players that are far off being elite. That was NOT done this offseason. Thats what the Granderson trade was about and the Valverde/Damon signings reflect it as well. They are rewarding consistent production rather than speculating based on potential and a career year.

The Tigers are a business, not a charity. Illitch is not an embarrassment because he won’t donate his personal wealth to make the team a winner. Frankly, there are many better outlets for philanthropy. Illitch has done more than enough.

I agree that its slightly embarrassing to have a top payroll without a top team, but again, the mistakes of the past are being avoided in regard to payroll at least.

As for coaching and in-game strategy…thats another topic altogether.

TSE February 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm

We let Polanco walk for free. We could have traded him in many previous seasons and we chose not to. We missed a HUGE opportunity and that cost was an unnecessary penalty because DD can’t figure out how to efficiently manage our resources. If you aren’t going to retain a player then sell him, and he had a LOT more trade value in his 2nd and 3rd year in Detroit than he did in his last year. DD wasn’t paying attention and doesn’t get this game, and we lost one player for nothing. Maybe to you Polanco wasn’t the greatest player in the world and you aren’t worried about it, but to me a penny saved is a penny earned, and Polanco’s value was a helluva lot more valuable than a penny and we didn’t bank it or invest it, instead we took that bag of money and threw it in the garbage. I never throw anything away of value that I can sell for a significant profit. And that’s just ONE player, there’s several other guys you are missing and not accounting for, but there’s no point to debate them anyhow. That stuff is in the past and it’s time to move on.

Mat February 25, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Polanco was a valuable player. And maybe he should have been traded at some point in the past. The key part there is IN THE PAST. He was a free agent this offseason. Resigning him would not have made sense at this point with Sizemore awaiting, unless you combine it with dealing Inge…for whom there isn’t a great market.

One of the nice thing about having Damon in the lineup (compared to Polanco) is the example he should set for Sizemore and Jackson. For all his good qualities Polanco didn’t walk enough.

Its interesting that you argue for trading Polanco when his value was highest …seems to me thats just what was done with Granderson and Jackson.

TSE February 25, 2010 at 3:53 pm

No, Granderson had an awful year at the plate, we didn’t trade him at his highest value. And yeah Polanco was a FA, but that means you just simply offer him the money to retain him. You can’t let him walk for free. If you are going to let him walk for free then you have to trade him as early as possible. That’s the problem, is the mere fact that we were in this situation is a problem in itself. Polanco was so incredibly overrated as a player by fans and peers and that was the time to sell him, while the market overvalued him. Granderson and Polanco both are leaving here not at their peak values and not for peak value in return. This is called baseball management incompetence.

Mat February 25, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I’m betting the Yankees had Granderson’s 2007 and 2008 stats available when they made the trade. Granderson was at his peak in value because of his age, contract, and marketability.

Not offering Polanco arbitration might have been a mistake. Probably not an egregious one since he didn’t fit the long or short-term roster needs. But yeah, it would have been nice to get something for him. The risk was evident though.

TSE February 25, 2010 at 4:25 pm

But they also have his 2009 stats. If we traded him before last season started, Granaderson would have had better overall stats in his history and we wouldn’t have had a whole season of fans taking shots at him, and he would have been a year younger with one extra cheap year on his contract. How can you possibly say that he is worth more to trade him now when we did, and not prior to the 2009 season?

As far as the Polanco issue, the arb thing is a minor loss, the egregious loss is not trading him when he hit .341. We should have traded him before the 2008 season, and I would have been fine with end of 2007 if the price was right. We kept him 2 years longer than we should have, that’s pathetic and that’s shameful that any GM would choose to keep him and ride him out rather than spin him for a new and more logical long-term asset. He was the perfect trading candidate at the perfect time and it would have been a sweet set up so that our 2010-2020 would all be protected and insured by having one extra leg up if not more than one extra leg up. DD doesn’t understand the science of baseball or the logic of managing player resources.

Mark in Chicago March 1, 2010 at 12:05 pm

TSE,

Do you mean like trading Edwin Jackson after a career year that was well above his historical norms to get two young, inexpensive players that have a high upside, one of which can contribute right away and another that is at most a year away?

Jeff Molby March 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm

This is all pretty silly. Sure, Granderson’s value went down because of his ’09 season. So what? Did you know that he was going to have a bad year? He could have had a great year. He could have had a nice year. He could have had an average year. He could have had an atrocious year. He could have been run over by a bus.

All of those possibilities are priced into his value at any given time. The only way you can extract a profit from flipping a player is if you know something about him that the rest of the league doesn’t.

TSE, maybe you were certain about that he would never learn to hit lefties (still remains to be seen, btw), but ya know what… I’m gonna defer to the guys that work with him every day. Your analytical prowess would have to be astronomically superior to theirs in order to overcome your complete lack of hands-on data. It’s logically possible that you are that good, but I hope you’ll understand that I consider it to be statistically improbable.

TSE March 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Mark, yeah that’s basically what I mean. The way we moved Edwin from our roster for what we got in return was a logical trade. But to be the best at baseball you should make logical moves with 100% of your players, or as close to it as humanly possible. DD has flunked out on this ratio for all the years he’s been here. He hasn’t remotely sniffed coming close to stringing together positive transactions consistently.

Jeff, there are no probabilities or possibilities with Granderson’s ’09 season, it already happened! The ’10 season you can make those guesses on, but not ’09. Why are you so confused on this issue?

In terms of you seeing me as a longshot to be as smart about baseball as I claim to me, I can agree that you would have to see it as extremely improbable. I’m well beyond a million to one talent, so from your point of view you can either take my word for it or choose to think I just happen to be that one guy in the world that knows more about baseball than anybody you will ever talk to. That’s like a person saying they just won a lottery jackpot, ok well believe them or don’t. If you don’t then the odds they happen to be the lucky ones are astronomical. But look at after the fact that they one. Go up to a lottery winner and have them tell you they are a lottery winner, is that so unlikely? No cause at that point it’s a gurantee, they already won the prize and now anybody they can tell, it’s not an impressive thing to say from their point of view, only the point of view of those that try to reconcile the claim only to find out that they are the lucky ones.

My expertise in baseball is that good. I could improve our players play over our own coaches, and I know this for a fact for myself even if don’t know this. I know more about baseball than any person I have ever met or read or talked to, and I know what our coaches are capable of and I watch baseball religiously. I can see exactly how and where our coaches are screwing up our players and I know how to fix it. I know what I know and I know I’m right when I say I have this game down to a science better than any man that is publicly known.

Jeff Molby March 1, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Jeff, there are no probabilities or possibilities with Granderson’s ‘09 season, it already happened! The ‘10 season you can make those guesses on, but not ‘09. Why are you so confused on this issue?

If you have a few minutes, apply your exceptional analytical talents to the English language. In particular, I think conditional verb tenses would be a nice addition to your arsenal. This wonderful little tool lets you talk about things in the past as if we were still in the past. That way things like hindsight don’t muddy the waters. It’s easily the best linguistic invention since the f-bomb.

That’s like a person saying they just won a lottery jackpot, ok well believe them or don’t.

If all I have is their word, I’d be a fool to put much stock in their assertion. If, OTOH, they lean out of their shiny new Maserati and yell, “I just won the lottery, b****es!”, I’d be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

You don’t show us anything that would differentiate you from any other armchair quarterback. You don’t make any falsifiable predictions. You just spew unsubstantiated assertions about what should have been done. Comments of that type aren’t worth the bandwidth it takes to download them.

Andre in Chi March 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Jeff,

Maybe the problem is that the English language doesn’t follow logical construction. The issues that TSE has with it might be the direct result of a being of pure-logic interacting with a imperfect system ;)

TSE March 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Interesting theory, well one thing’s for sure it never hurts to practice thinking outside the box!

Mark in Chicago March 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm

TSE,

Good luck.

Mark

Vince in MN February 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Damon definitely makes the Tigers a better team – just like that they go from a 76 win team to a 78 win team. With a little luck they may even compete for the division if enough players overperform/return to form/live up to high expectations. I guess this is the feeling of Illitch/DD given the weakness of the Central Division. In any other division the Tigers would be in complete rebuild mode, doing similar to what the Indians are doing this year. Given the fact that they are hamstrung by too many bad contracts (which fortunately go off the books next year), I suppose they figured what is another 8M. And it is only for one year. What the hell, give it a shot. Next offseason should be really interesting when they will be able to delve into the FA market. Maybe we’ll get some clues about 2011 even earlier if they are out of it at the trading deadline.

Crouse February 23, 2010 at 8:07 am

Damon doesn’t need to hit any homeruns. I look for him to get on base a lot and score a lot.

Big Game James February 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm

@ Crouse
Amen to that. I am looking for MC Hammer to put up a Big Daddy like 145 RBI this year with help from Damon on base ahead of him.

@Andre
Way to lay the wood to “libertyboy”. Good to see that cooldrywit popping up all over the net, lol!

Signing Damon is a long term/short term compromise. Not my favorite dude maybe, but I’ll cheer for him now. Tigers hitters should be okay, but this year’s competitiveness will be all about the pitching staff, IMO, and I can’t wait to get it cranked up.

Coleman February 25, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I was reading DTW, and enjoying it, as usual, when I dozed off for a bit.

And I had the strangest dream, about being upset that the Tigers were in the World Series, and how Mike Illitch was a combination of Obama and Hitler, and–well, I’m glad I woke up. Now where was I?…

Shane Trapped in Toledo February 25, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Well man, when you live in a dream where everybody is intellectually inferior to you, it is hard to derive much joy from anything.

TSE February 25, 2010 at 5:31 pm

I don’t live in a dream, I’m very lucid and observant and not biased in favor of myself. It is not true that everybody in this world is inferior to me nor do I believe that. Your comment is just another example of somebody trying to manipulate the way things are into something that is ugly and untrue that also provides a negative connotation about me. That’s the difference between people like me and people like you. I don’t need to use bad logic, lies, and misinformation to prove that I’m better at something than somebody else. I rely on intelligence, truth, logic, common sense, and being in touch with reality to do that for me and to expose the weak-minded. And that’s why I often say that the Education system in this country is the #1 greatest problem our country faces today. If we retooled our education system to make our constituents smarter and more logical, then a ton of other problems could be prevented in advance.

Coleman February 25, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Ah, The Spock Equivalent, I always wondered what it stood for…

:)

Mark L February 25, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Right. Only an exceptional person that demands exceptional results.

TSE February 25, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Hmm, I’m a big Star Trek fan, but not familiar with that, what is this Equivalent you speak of? Was it referenced in one of the movies or the old series?

Kevin in Dallas February 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Just catching up, here are my takeaways:

1) TSE has yet to give us concrete examples of where that $8M should have gone.

2) Here is the post of the thread:

Andre in Chi February 24, 2010 at 4:22 pm
“All that post shows is that you have low standards.”

You don’t need to read that post to know that about me, I have plenty of ex-girlfriends who will testify to that.”

First Tigers ST game is in 5 days. Beautiful.

Andre in Chi February 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Thanks Kevin, it was either that, or lose more brain cells arguing with bizarro-Spock.

On the bright side, I’m about to make millions of dollars selling a movie script to Hollywood featuring a heroic HItler rallying the forces of Germany to fight off an epidemic of evil vampires.

TSE February 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm

You lose brain cells arguing with any person. You lose them every second of every day no matter what you do. If you move your head to the left or right even slightly as you talk then you can lose even more. Brain cells leave you in massive numbers on a daily basis, so to single me out and insinuate I”m the reason you are losing brain cells is just a falsehood. You should do what I do and think more logically about what you have to say before you say it and then discredit future opinions by saying stuff that isn’t intelligent and doesn’t make sense.

Andre in Chi February 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I know, I know. I’ll try harder to un-discredit my future opinions. Maybe I’ll go your route and talk about how Hitler just had a bad premise.

TSE February 26, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Sounds great! lol

Here I’ll give you some ideas…

What SS in baseball can we get for trading Everett plus Laird plus Guillen plus we throw in 8 mil towards Guillen’s contract?

Or what 3B can we get for Inge Laird and the Guillen deal?

Or what OF for Raburn in the mix?

Or a pitcher related deal or a deal regarding another position on the team, or a deal involving more players or different players, we have all kinds of options but I like the first one the best, or something that shifts 8M of our trade equity into a SS enhancement.

Kevin in Dallas February 26, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Problem with your scenarios, TSE, is that the answer is no one. A pile of crap on top of another doesn’t equal a good player. It’s just a bigger pile of crap. Well, we could maybe get Adam Everett, but I think we already have him. (Actually, I really like Everett.)

When I was 15 and got into my first Fantasy Baseball league (found it in the back of Sport Magazine, we did everything by hand, got weekly updates in the mail, had to sneak upstairs to call long distance to make trades so the parents wouldn’t get to upset), I pulled off an amazing deal (or so I thought) whereby we traded Brady Anderson (before he got on the juice, but still great) for six!!! players. Six for one! I thought I was a genius. Until my co-manager who had vastly superior baseball intellect explained to me that 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 = 0.

I think you would have difficulty finding a team that would take on Inge, Laird and Guillen for their minimum salaries. Inge would be of value for some teams, but if you called the other 29 teams, and said you can have Inge, Laird and Guillen, but you have to take all of them and you have to pay them their CBA agreed minimum salaries, you may not have a single taker. Every single team would laugh and say “I can fill those players out of our farm system for 1/20th the price.”

Raburn actually has tremendous value, and I’m gonna go ahead and predict that OPS-wise, he’ll be our 3rd best hitter this year. I’d look for him to be a regular in 2011.

Andre in Chi February 26, 2010 at 4:19 pm

At least we can be sure the “S” doesn’t stand for “sarcasm”. I mean, not as long as we assume the “E” stands for “expert”.

billfer February 26, 2010 at 5:56 pm

While I don’t know if this is clinically true, I’ll assume it is for a moment. The conversation is accelerating the loss of brain cells via
-increased head shaking
-facepalms
-carrying out my desire to bang my head against the wall.

TSE February 26, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Well just do your best at least with not hitting your head into a wall. That could give you a concussion and a steep hospital bill, and then that money just comes out of the budget for trades and such. Take one for the team and stand tough Bilfer!

TSE February 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm

The 8 mill should go to a trade, I already said that. We have guys that have weak trade value due to bloated contracts, I would use that extra 8 mil to pay down those contracts and increase the value of my trading chips and start reshaping the team with logical players to the future. Instead 8 million will vanish for a short term rental player of an old and unspectacular player. He’s dead weight for the long-term and bigger picture of this organization and Illitch is getting the worst ROI on his baseball investment money that he possibly could. I’m sure Illitch wont’ hurt but is still embarrassing from a business point of view to watch him conduct business this way. It’s sad.

Kevin in Dallas February 26, 2010 at 4:16 pm

You’re confusing purchase price with fair market value. Even at $5M/yr I don’t think there would be any teams lining up for Guillen.

Shane Trapped in Toledo February 26, 2010 at 4:20 pm

The question is, if you pay someone like Guillen’s salary down to increase his trade value, would anybody still actually take him? Could you get decent porspects in return?

Also, could you define who a “logical player to the future” would be. A few names, or even a type of player, would be nice.

TSE February 26, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Well the Tigers are taking Guillen, that shows me that he’s not worth 0 like some knuckleheads think. Whatever his value is today from another team, by adding in 8 million, that team is going to offer 8 million more on top of whatever they think he’s worth today.

As far as names, anybody that’s a good player that is under the age of 30 would be ideal. PIck whoever you’d like. Whether it’s Jones or Johnson, we need to build for the future and find guys that can fill holes. You win in baseball with the infield, not the outfield, and that’s why I don’t like investing 8 million dollars into an old outfielder, because I want new investments to bolster our infield, and for old investments to simply be transferred to the infield. There’s no point in arguing what Guillen is worth in the market, the logic is that whatever he’s worth we should exchange it into a different currency format. Whether it’s 100 dollars or 80 dollars, the point is I want to trade pesos for dollars, and at whatever the market exchange rate happens to be for Guillen. And whatever that rate is, I’m going to have 8 mill more dollars instead of 8 mill more worth of pesos.

Andre in Chi February 26, 2010 at 4:43 pm

“the point is I want to trade pesos for dollars”

Thas racis

Kevin in Dallas February 26, 2010 at 4:59 pm

TSE, I’m gonna make one last run at this, and then wait until the next thread and pray that it’s about unicorns and gumdrops, or something that you are likely to understand.

The Tigers have already GUARANTEED Guillen’s salary at $13M. Thus, they have to pay him regardless. It’s contract law. So if they cut him, and add Jones or Johnson, they are now essentially paying Jones or Johnson $13.4M ($13M + league minimum).

Even if we were to pursue your hypo, where the Tigers pay Guillen $8M, so only $5M is left on his contract for this year, there is not a team in the Universe that would take him on for $5M (not to mention the $13M next year). Not in his current state, anyway. Guillen’s purchase price was set four years ago, his value was set yesterday. His purchase price > > > than his value, which is why he is worthless as a trade piece.

If you really do understand currencies, think of Guillen as a future. We bought a fat option contract on the peso, hoping that its value relative to the dollar would stay high. Unfortunately, it has tanked, and we are left having to pay out our option contract. There’s not another investor out there that’s gonna buy an out of the money, expired contract.

Mark in Chicago February 26, 2010 at 5:43 pm

this conversation is making me uncomfortable.

Kathy February 28, 2010 at 1:57 am

Amen, brother.

Kathy February 28, 2010 at 2:01 am

Really looking forward to seeing how our new leadoff man does. He comes across as a pretty cool customer. He says his defense is good, seems confident in himself. We’ll see.

Kathy February 28, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Saw a guy in the store today all decked out in Tigers gear. I asked him if we were gonna win this year. “We sure are”, he said. His voice sounded just like Jim Leland.

TSE February 28, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Ahh you should have asked him the follow-up of “how many times” ;)

chirho February 28, 2010 at 9:50 pm

That would have been the exceptional response.

Kathy March 1, 2010 at 1:24 am

He patted my arm as he said it. That was enough.

Dr. Detroit February 28, 2010 at 10:25 pm

“There’s no point in arguing what Guillen is worth in the market, the logic is that whatever he’s worth we should exchange it into a different currency format.”

That’s who Illitch needs to hire next, George Soros. We need some hardcore currency speculators, and if we don’t have the cash, I am sure TSE would not mind trading Leyland for a bucket of fungo balls to make room. BTW, he may not earn the 13 million he is being paid, but I predict a comeback year for Guillen. Somewhere in the 290-300 BA, 12-20 homeruns, and 75-95 RBIs. Plus, if we make a run at the Central, Guillen will come thru clutch for us. Man, he was big for us in the 2006 run.

Mark in Chicago March 1, 2010 at 8:55 am

Carlos can still hit, it’s been all about staying healthy. I doubt we’ll get 600 ABs out of him, but if he’s healthy, I agree with you I think he’ll produce.

Dr. Detroit March 1, 2010 at 11:32 am

Yeah Mark, I think my eyes were bigger than my stomach with his HR/RBI totals since he has a history of nagging injuries and won’t be in the line-up every day, but a career average year from him (.290ish) and some clutch hitting would be fantastic.

Leyland is quoted as saying the ball is thundering off of Mags’ bat so far. If he can produce like he did in the last two months and with Miggy behind him so he will see plenty of fastballs, he may make that 18 million number (wincing, but still….) not look so bad

Coleman March 1, 2010 at 3:08 pm

“Leyland is quoted as saying…”

Well, you know…Uncle Smokey can sit and watch the Tiger pitchers face the Tiger hitters and then tell you the pitchers are all throwing unhittable smoking lasers and also the hitters are all literally knocking the cover off the ball and also he sees 7 or 8 gold glovers making plays in the field…

Dr. Detroit March 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm

His quote above only dove-tails into what he said about what Maggs last two months last year, the rest he got in the off-season, no worries with his wife’s cancer and a new approach. Leyland’s quote is an early attestation of what everyone saw in the last two months last year and if is indeed true provides some hope that he is indeed back to his career levels. And sure it is Spring Training, the bats and mitts are cracking and there is hope in the air, but to single Maggs out like that is a good sign to my point that an average career year out of Maggs almost makes his 18 million palatable, almost…..

Andre in Chi March 1, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Dr. D,

What Coleman is pointing out is all the hyperbole that comes out of spring training. If the players were engaged in live practice vs each other; pitchers being un-hittable, hitters hitting the ball 500′ and amazing defense can’t all be happening at the same time.

I hope Maggs has a big year, but it was a little worrisome to see him put up some fantastic second half OPS with little run production to show for it, along with a pretty unsustainable BABIP.

Basically, don’t believe the hype just yet.

Rick G March 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm

The pitchers would be unhittable, the hitters would be all hitting 500′ homers, and they would all be playing amazing defense if only they had the right coaching.

On an unrelated topic, did you know that the most confident people also tend to be the most inept? It’s true

Andre in Chi March 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Rick,

It would be much easier to believe a study like that if we had some examples here in the comments to reference. But I can’t think of anyone that illustrates this study.

Dr. Detroit March 2, 2010 at 10:14 am

Of course man spring training is all about hope and good-will towards all men. And I will take your word on the BAPIP/OPS stats. I don’t live in Michigan so I don’t get the chance to catch them on the tube unless they play teams in my area, but what I saw in game 163 and that homer he cranked, and when he came up to bat I saw, dare I say (which will totally date me) the Eye of the Tiger in Maggs again. He WANTED to be in the batters box, and I wanted him in there. I could not say that with a straight face about Maggs for a long time–I mean, how many times did we see (or I hear, anyway, on the radio) him grounding out to second or getting a seeing eye single up the middle. He was not driving anything for the longest time. But those last two months, that rocket he set loose late in 163 and now what sounds like by the quote that he is in great shape and smoking the ball, makes for some excitement. Does he earn the 18 million? No way, but at least it is a bit more palatable if he produces like he did in 2007-08.

TSE March 2, 2010 at 10:56 am

The study is really not much of an extension beyond common sense.

Keith (Mr. X) March 1, 2010 at 3:06 pm

“My expertise in baseball is that good. I could improve our players play over our own coaches, and I know this for a fact for myself even if don’t know this. I know more about baseball than any person I have ever met or read or talked to, and I know what our coaches are capable of and I watch baseball religiously. I can see exactly how and where our coaches are screwing up our players and I know how to fix it. I know what I know and I know I’m right when I say I have this game down to a science better than any man that is publicly known.” -TSE

Coleman March 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm

OK, it’s been a while since I coined a new term, and the pressure of popular demand has been growing, so this seems as good a time as any to give in.

So here goes:

“Exaspertise”

Keith (Mr. X) March 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm

As for Polanco and other FA 2B’s, Orlando Hudson, Felipe Lopez, and Adam Kennedy weren’t offered arbitration either. Had Polanco been offered arbitration and he rejected it, there is a chance that he’d still be an unsigned free agent right now. 3 years / $18 MIllion is what he got and that is looking very ridiculous right now. He’s moving to 3B too. He’s going to be one of the weakest hitting and oldest 3B’s in the majors. We didn’t even want to offer him a one year deal because we were afraid we’d be stuck with him for another year.

Lopez settled for a one year deal at $2 Million with St. Louis.

Hudson got a $3 M one year deal with the Twins, that is heavy with incentives that could add up to add up to another $3 M in deferred payments.

Kennedy will get $1.25 M this year from the Nats, with a $2 M club option in 2011.

Out of the 4 players, Polanco is the oldest, but also had the lowest OBP and OPS last year. If the Phillies were smart they would of waited and signed either Hudson, Kennedy, and Lopez instead. You can never guess someone else’s stupidity though, so I don’t blame the Tigers for letting Polanco go.

TSE March 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Exactly! Which is why we should have traded him and been paid to move him along!

Keith (Mr. X) March 1, 2010 at 6:07 pm

I once wanted to trade Polanco also, but now I realize that it would of been a mistake. We actually did get something in return for Polanco. We squeezed 4.5 solid seasons out of him before he left. That’s pure gold compared to what the Phillies got out of Urbina.

Also, dumping him when we’re trying to contend for 1st place isn’t the best way to win games. We’ve been in the play-off hunt since 2006, even in 2008 we were surging to make a play-off run, but we spiraled out of control after dealing Pudge for Farnsworth. Fans blame our late season failure in 2008 on that trade. A hypothetical Polanco trade in 2009 would probably cause more damage than good because then we would of opened a hole at 2B.

Also, for the last few years, not many teams have been searching for an aging 2B. It’s just that the supply of singles hitting 2B’s is quite high and demand is low. The demand is for young power hitting 2B like an Utley, Cano, or Pedroia. We think we might have something like that in our rookie Sizemore.

The only other trade that I could use as a benchmark for dealing Polanco was
the 2B Freddy Sanchez deal to the Giants for minor league RHP Tim Alderson. He’s a 2007 1st round prospect that’s still a few years away. That’s probably the best prospect the Tigers could of got for Polanco. With this prospect we’d also get scrutiny for flushing the 2009 season down the toilet. Is that what you really want?

I conclude that Dombrowski probably saved face by not trading Polanco or offering him arbitration. Things could of turned out far worse.
.

Coleman March 2, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Tigers win! Tigers win! Tigers win!

OK, it was only an exhibition game against Florida Southern, but still, fun nonetheless…Dlugach was 3-4, Strieby and Wells homered, and the pitching was unhittable until Satterwhite was shelled (relatively) in the 9th.

I saw that Colin Kaline (grandson of Al I believe) was at 3rd for Florida Southern (2-for-3).

Am I imagining this, or didn’t the Tigers draft him? I’m assuming, in case I’m right, that he decided to go to college instead? (at Florida Southern?)…

Rick G March 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Yeah, they took him in 2007
They took Colin Kaline, Al Kaline’s grandson, in the 25th round. Four rounds later, they drafted Wade Lamont, the son of third base coach Gene Lamont. Then they took Joel Zumaya’s brother Richard in the 42nd round, and Nate Robertson’s brother Matt in the 43rd.

jason March 3, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Post #1 in this thread pretty much summed it all up… at least in my opinion:

Wind February 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm

The main advantage was not the shorter wall in NYS but was the wind tunnel effect. Balls would carry there that would not keep carrying in Comerica.

Damon is old, overpaid, and will not have a year like last year. It doesn’t help that he is basically replacing one of my favorite Tigers in a long time. It makes it tough to accept this move.

Let’s dig this thread up at the end of the year, when Damon has 12 HRs.

Andre in Chi March 3, 2010 at 1:48 pm

jason,

“Let’s dig this thread up at the end of the year, when Damon has 12 HRs.”

Or… judging by how few (if any) people have voiced opinions to the contrary, lets not dig this up. I don’t think anyone is predicting Damon to set career-highs in HRs this year.

“Damon is old, overpaid, and will not have a year like last year. It doesn’t help that he is basically replacing one of my favorite Tigers in a long time. It makes it tough to accept this move.”

Again, not news, but perhaps you’ll accept the move better should the gulf in their OBPs from last year continue into this year.

Keith (Mr. X) March 3, 2010 at 6:23 pm

You might not need to dig very far. It’s March, and this blog has been pretty dead all year.

Keith (Mr. X) March 3, 2010 at 7:14 pm

It’s just the same old crap. Fans were voicing their frustration with the Tigers all last year, even though they were in 1st place for most of the season. There were numerous complaints about every single player and everyone in the organization. Granderson was a big part of it. I’m glad he’s gone. We should just get rid of everyone and move the team to a different city.

Kathy March 3, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Let’s hope the players don’t feel that way.

Dr. Detroit March 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I’m new to this blog (about a month), Keith, so I don’t know how this will pan out during the season but my guess is that the boo birds will come out in flocks when we lose, and the opposite when we win. But I plan on being here regardless. Yes, I use “we” with the Tigers because I grew up with them, as I am sure many of the bloggers here have. I watched countless games with my gramps and dad when I was young and have invested hours of my free time into them. I feel the struggles of the Detroit area instead of making people anemic have rather made them upset, and as such can’t see a good thing smacking them in the face. Case in point: DD is a helluva of a GM. Yes, we can debate his moves, but he wants to win and makes splashes where he can. Name 5 other GMs that have garnered as much national attention that he has in the last couple of years (outside of Epstein and Cashman, hell, throw them in too). Yet people question his intelligence, make countless ad hominem attacks (or in TSE’s case tries to….wait a tic, what are you trying to do again, TSE?….)and make him out as though he is Randy Smith. Remember him?

Like you said we were in 1st most of the year last year with everyone but Miggy in the line-up having subpar years, and JV just CARRYING us. I mean, I have not felt like this about a Tigers pitcher since Jack Morris, whom I will defend to the bitter end should be in the HOF, ERA and other “stats” notwithstanding. The ACE of the ’80s and threw one of the best clutch games ever (1991 Game 7 10 inning shutout). That’s for another day….

In short, great win yesterday and Go Tigers!

TSE March 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I just try to stand up for logical baseball theory when I see it being perverted by so-called “professionals”.

David March 4, 2010 at 8:48 pm

The fact of the matter is DDs tenure is a failure by any measure. How Leyland is still manager of this team is beyond logic.

And are they going to win this year?
Lets see. They have the worst arm in the majors in LF, a rookie in one of the biggest CF in the majors, an ancient statue in right who watched balls whiz past him and drop for doubles.

Their first baseman is no fielding stud, their 2nd base prospect has garnered the nickname iron glove from MiLB scouts. Their SS has lost a step and is average. Their 3rd baseman has two busted knees, and is a year older.

Has the offense improved from last year? Will Inge repeat his first half or second half? Will Damon/Ordonez be better or worse based on what they “went through” last year and the fact that they are getting ancient? Will Guillen be healthy for over 80 games? How will the two rooks adapt to MLB pitching? Will we see a lot of Clete and Ryan? Will Cabrera show up sober if we are in the chase?

Now to the pitching?
Can we count on Robertson? how ’bout Willis? Bondo? Was Armando a one-year wonder? Have opposing hitters found weaknesses in Porcello? sophomore-jinyx? How will Scherzer fare against the AL? Will Verlander repeat ’08 or ’09 or be somewhere in between?

Will the pen even matter? If so was it prudent to spend all that $$ on a closer?

And one final question and the most important one of all. If the stars align for the 2010 Tigers, and the rest of the division self-implodes, how will Leyland find a way to blow it on the last day?

Now count the question marks…

Someone explain to me (without defying all rational thought) that Los Tigres are better than they were in 2009. Also someone please attempt to defend the second half of the Tiger’s 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons.

Ilitch might be willing to blow his own money, but he is a fool. These guys need to lose their jobs pronto. Dombrowski while not totally incompetent like Leyland has lost my support. I am not blind to the truth and to facts and live in denial. After trading away Mr. Popular Curtis Granderson for prospects and subsequently giving the most mixed signal you can think of by overpaying for old-man Damon and a closer Valverde without giving Perry a shot he deserves to go. He didn’t even address the two most important team needs (firing of Jim Leyland, and good young SP).

billfer March 4, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Well sure, if you look at the negative aspect of every player and expect the worst things look bleak.

Look, I’m down on the off season also and I don’t think the team is as good as it was last year. But some of the criticisms here aren’t fair. First, while Perry could be a good closer at some point, I didn’t see nearly enough last year to indicate he is ready and should be handed the job.

Second, how does Max Scherzer not qualify as a good young starting pitcher?

You don’t want the old guys to play, you don’t want the rookies to play, and you slam one of the best hitters in the league who happens to be in his prime.

I don’t have high hopes for this season and I think the team is .500ish or a win or two shy of that. But fortunately (or sadly) I don’t see it taking the entire division imploding or the stars aligning perfectly for the team to contend in the central.

David March 5, 2010 at 2:12 am

Please explain to me how our defense is going to be good.

Maybe Perry shouldn’t have gotten the job, but why go after Valverde at that price tag?

I didn’t say Max didn’t qualify as young and good, I just feel that after going for youth&cutting costs&possibly selling high on Jackson(all of which I thought were smart) he goes and blows a lot of cash on Valverde and Damon of all people. The team needs to be rebuilt, not slapped with a band-aid. I mean if he had that kind of cash why not go after Rich Harden (who is getting 7.5mil).

I don’t see this as a .500 win team. You can have the beat writers pump up the team all you want to sell tickets but at the end of the day I think that (with good reason) most fans will not be picking the Tigers to compete this year.

Keith (Mr. X) March 4, 2010 at 9:34 pm

I think this post is beyond logic. What a crock of a critique.

TSE March 4, 2010 at 10:11 pm

I thought there were a ton of good points in the critique.

David March 5, 2010 at 2:16 am

LOL well everybody and his brother who have read your posts on this blog know the blind&deaf positive spin you afford the Tigers.

That is a realist talking, they will be very lucky to get to .500. I’d also like to add that I hope you are right… I wish them well, I wish that they go 150-12 and prove me wrong.

Shane Trapped in Toledo March 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Who should be the General manager and manager. Give examples and names please.

TSE March 5, 2010 at 1:05 am

I should be the GM.

If not me, there is not one person in this world that I know of offhand that I would vouch for that I feel comes close to matching my abilities and expertise in all facets of this particular job/role. I don’t know who I’d select as manager offhand either. I’d have to hunt for one and find a manager that is adaptable like moldable clay that can take my baseball philosophy/platform and properly infuse it into how I want each of the areas of the team modified. As much as I despise Leyland’s philosophy and strategy I still wouldn’t be opposed to keeping him on board. If he’s willing and able to follow orders and instructions then he could be a fantastic manager for us. He has all the intangibles and everything you could want in a manager except for the baseball logic. If he finds my baseball logic to make sense and he can integrate it into how he runs the team, then he’d be my guy. Finding a great manager for our team would be one of the easiest areas to take care of and the last thing that I would worry about on my end.

TSE March 5, 2010 at 1:53 am

I’d also be willing to accept trading DD for Bilfer or some of the bright posters here. That could be a win-win. For the team, and then I could finally talk to DD through this blog and try to unravel the logic behind his bizarre baseball theories to see where he went wrong.

Keith (Mr. X) March 5, 2010 at 12:56 am

In 2006, Tigers 95 wins and 8 post-season wins vs Twins 96 wins and 0 post-season wins.
In 2007, Tigers 88 wins vs Twins 79 wins
In 2008, Tigers 74 wins vs Twins 88 wins
In 2009, Tigers 86 wins vs Twins 87 wins and 0 post-season wins.
The Tigers have a total of 351 wins in 4 seasons. The Twins have won 350 games.

There is no path of certainty in this game.
It takes many years to build a good farm system and a solid foundation. The Twins are what I’d call one of the most successful franchises right now. They started building up their farm system many years ago and are a few years ahead of the Tigers in organizational depth. The Twins have had 9 straight winning seasons because they’ve had a good consistent flow of great young talent. They’ve endured Tori Hunter and Johan Santana leaving town also. How many World Series have they won lately though? NONE. So what the point of doing things this way? Their fans haven’t had it any better than us.

Back in 2001, Seattle had a dream season, won 116 games, and won the division by 14 games, but they couldn’t beat the Yankees in the ALCS to make it to the World Series. They haven’t made it back to the play-offs since. That’s how quickly the window closes for some teams.

So here in Detroit we have our little soap box also. The Tigers have been the winningest team in our central division these last 4 seasons whilst building nice stable of highly regarded young players. We got Cabrera and Verlander locked up for the next 5 years, so we’re not taking any steps back like Twins did when they lost Hunter and Santana.

Thank the Tigers owner, Mike Ilich, for risking his money on these guys. Some of the contracts haven’t worked out for him, but that’s business as usual for any baseball owner that is trying to contend . The Tigers owner has given us a large margin of error on these contracts. This is a great thing for Tiger fans. Understand that Ilich is no George Stienbrenner and we have yet to compete with the Yankees over a Free Agent. We only go after the players that they pass on. We never will be playing on a level playing field with the Yankees and no other team will be either.

This is how the roster looks different now compared to the end of last season-
Sizemore, Damon, Jackson, Scherzer, Valverde, Coke, Schlereth
vs
Polanco, Thames, Granderson, Jackson, Rodney, Lyon, Fien

The new players look better to me, now and in the long-term.
I think Scherzer and Edwin Jackson are about even.
I think Valverde, Coke, and Schlereth is a big improvement over Rodney, Lyon, and Fien.
Sizemore, Damon, and Jackson will give us more speed and should give us many more run scoring opportunities.

In 2009, nobody expected us to do much better than the previous season. Yes, we SHOULD blame the manager for that. How dare our idiot manager squeeze more wins from this very flawed team. Maybe this team shouldn’t win now. Maybe it shouldn’t have won before. Maybe they shouldn’t have beaten the Yankees in the 2006 play-offs either. Everyone that loves the Tigers should be thanking Ilich, Dombrowski, and Leyland for making baseball matter again in a failing city like Detroit. .
That’s my evaluation.

David March 5, 2010 at 2:35 am

2009 Detroit – $115mil….Minny – $65
2008 Detroit – $138mil…Minny – $57
2007 Detroit – $95mil…Minny – $71
2006 Detroit – $83mil…Minny – $63

You tell me who has done a better job with their funds?

Also in 2009 nobody expected us to do better?

http://www.detroittigersweblog.com/2009/04/everybody-has-an-opinion-prediction-round-up/

Please read comment # 20 my direct quote

“The only thing I’ll say outright is I think they are a pretty sure lock to be over .500 when it is all said and done… Beyond 82 wins this team is too hard to predict atm…”

Keith (Mr. X) March 5, 2010 at 4:00 am

“You tell me who has done a better job with their funds?”
Obviously the Twins.

You tell me which budget would you rather work with?

Here’s a list of mlb team wins (including post-season wins) and total payroll from ’06 to ’09
06 to ’09 Total Wins Total Payroll
NY Yankees 396 $794,832,890
Boston 389 $518,262,072
LA Angels 386 $445,648,666
Philadelphia 379 $388,975,472
LA Dodgers 357 $425,904,839
Detroit 351 $430,563,576
Minnesota 350 $257,067,538
NY Mets 350 $503,483,989
St. Louis 349 $367,331,052
Colorado 340 $239,513,500
Chicago Cubs 331 $447,249,664
Chicago Sox 331 $428,680,332
Toronto 331 $332,190,000
Milwaukee 329 $289,674,834
Cleveland 327 $278,253,999
Oakland 322 $251,887,145
Arizona 321 $251,471,150
Atlanta 321 $376,539,558
Texas 321 $272,438,461
Florida 320 $104,151,000
San Diego 316 $245,418,524
Tampa Bay 316 $166,675,098
Houston 315 $372,237,331
Seattle 312 $410,991,314
San Francisco 307 $339,486,425
Cincinnati 304 $277,490,694
Baltimore 271 $300,438,302
Kansas City 271 $243,175,333
Pittsburgh 264 $182,638,366
Washington 262 $215,779,500

Kathy March 4, 2010 at 9:18 pm

I don’t understand why some folks here even watch the games if they are so down on the players and management, including the owner. I mean, what’s the point? Why make yourself miserable. Pick another team that you believe is superior in every way, thinks like you do and does everything you think it should do. I live and breathe Detroit Tigers…..win, lose or draw.

Shane Trapped in Toledo March 4, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Every sports fans has to suspend some disbelief to be a sports fan. It’s what makes sports fun.

David March 5, 2010 at 2:49 am

I’m sorry but after watching them tank year after year in the second half, and getting befuddled by our GM’s mixed signals and after watching the horribleness that is Leyland I’ve had enough.

I mean you want me to invest a lot more time and $$ into a team that obviously thinks that it can get away with the results it has. How is the manager not fired? How? With that payroll… I just can’t justify it. They did a piss-poor job looking after their prized asset – Cabrera. They go on spending binges for guys like Robertson/Willis/Sheffield and then end up letting them suck up roster space.

Blind patriotism IMO is foolish. It is healthy to take a step back every now and then and question the validity of your beliefs.

To say that you bleed Blue and Orange or you breath Detroit Tigers is exactly what the management likes. Devoted money and support with no accountability based on performance.

TSE March 5, 2010 at 3:13 am

Illitch makes a decent cheap pizza, I give him credit for that.

Although I prefer Pizza Depot. If I was a billionaire it’s still the only pizza I would ever eat just out of sheer principle that it’s the best deal. For $10 you can get 3 medium 2 topping pizzas and a 2 liter of Coke. For quite a while they even had free delivery. Every once in a while I’ll go through all 3 pizzas in one evening, not bad for a skinny guy lol. I’m a once per week guy.

Keith (Mr. X) March 5, 2010 at 4:15 am

Leyland has been one of the most successful managers, that’s why.

Kathy March 5, 2010 at 10:30 am

Certainly, I don’t agree with all the decisions Leland or Dombrowski make. I’ve been watching the Tigers for more than 50 years. The only team to win lots of WS and postseason victories is NY. That’s how it is in baseball. In the ’90′s and early ’00′s I seldom watched them becasue they were so awful. But I always root for them, enjoy a game at the ballpark a couple times a year and remember the good years all the time. I also enjoy watching other MLB teams play, but I don’t love any other team but my Tigers………win, lose, or draw.

David March 5, 2010 at 3:52 pm

The burning question is – which of the following is more frustrating?
A) A team that sucks that isn’t trying to win
B) A team that tanks that is clearly trying(as evidence by the payroll) to win

I mean in the 90s and early 2000 you knew what you were going to get…you didn’t have high expectations.

This team has been a let down year in and year out save for ’06.

Coleman March 5, 2010 at 3:39 am

I don’t know what it is yet. But I’m close, so close I can taste it.

…Coleman’s Law.

This post first proved Godwin’s law, then proved its inadequecy…I will use my exaspertise to finally, belatedly, bridge the gap from Hitler to pizza, to unravel the conditions that engender these previously unanticipated comment vectors.

All within a post-Freudian framework of a modified absence-of-father-figure thematic…yes, that could be the key…

Keith (Mr. X) March 5, 2010 at 4:09 am

The Tigers are 6th on this list in total wins and they have a total payroll that is right in line with their number of wins. Hopefully this will make some of you quit crying about how much money the Tigers have spent.

06 to ‘09 Total Wins Total Payroll
NY Yankees 396 $794,832,890
Boston 389 $518,262,072
LA Angels 386 $445,648,666
Philadelphia 379 $388,975,472
LA Dodgers 357 $425,904,839
Detroit 351 $430,563,576
Minnesota 350 $257,067,538
NY Mets 350 $503,483,989
St. Louis 349 $367,331,052
Colorado 340 $239,513,500
Chicago Cubs 331 $447,249,664
Chicago Sox 331 $428,680,332
Toronto 331 $332,190,000
Milwaukee 329 $289,674,834
Cleveland 327 $278,253,999
Oakland 322 $251,887,145
Arizona 321 $251,471,150
Atlanta 321 $376,539,558
Texas 321 $272,438,461
Florida 320 $104,151,000
San Diego 316 $245,418,524
Tampa Bay 316 $166,675,098
Houston 315 $372,237,331
Seattle 312 $410,991,314
San Francisco 307 $339,486,425
Cincinnati 304 $277,490,694
Baltimore 271 $300,438,302
Kansas City 271 $243,175,333
Pittsburgh 264 $182,638,366
Washington 262 $215,779,500

total wins includes post-season wins.

Keith (Mr. X) March 5, 2010 at 4:29 am

The Tigers have 6th most total wins, the 6th highest payroll, and 5th most post-season wins. To me that means they are actually getting fair value for their money spent.

Just look at Seattle. 24th most wins with 312 and the 9th largest payroll at $410,991,314.

Andre in Chi March 5, 2010 at 11:04 am

Mr X.,

So you compile this list… a list (presumably) meant to justify the Tigers’ return on investment… a list where the two teams directly above the Tigers in wins spent less… a list where the team just below the Tigers spent $200m less and has only one less win to show for it…

Well done.

Keith (Mr. X) March 5, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Teams have spent more than us with less success also. The Mets and Cubs spent more. The White Sox have spent about the same amount as us also.

I could compile a list from previous seasons and the Tigers will be last in Wins. Our record from 1992 to 2005 was the worst in baseball.

TSE March 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Bottom line is that it isn’t even relevant to compare a GM to his peers anyhow. It only matters to do that if the other teams are all doing a top level job. This is pro baseball, there should be 30 fantastic and brilliant GMs out there, but we don’t have anywhere close to that.

It’s like playing golf. If you go out on a course and you shoot 10 over and 100 other people that are playing that day all do worse, does that mean you are a remarkable golfer? What if we had a tournament where we invite the best 100 golfers in the world to play. Let’s say all 100 golfers do better than 10 over. How does your score look now? Rating against peers is only going to accomplish it’s intended goal if you can qualify and verify who these people are. I evaluate GM not against any specific other GM, I do it simply and logically. I create a theoretical “perfect” GM and then measure DD against that construct. A GM should never volunatarily make a logical mistake in his decision making. All a GM has to do is conduct his job with never making a mistake. And the guy who doesn’t make any mistakes, or the guy who makes the least amount of mistakes wins, or at least in general probability terms they win. To me there’s no reason not to have a perfect scorecard or a virtually flawless scorecard. Any GM that doesn’t put in a nearly perfect scorecard each and every year is incompetent, and doesn’t need to be compared to peers to define his status.

No matter what group of peers you stack around a loser, he’ll never be the true winner. Why not compare him to a group of nuns, or a group of schoolchildren? Unless you are comparing him to 30 legit professional top-caliber baseball GMs then you are wasting your time trying to be analytical with this data set, cause it’s all apples and oranges at the moment, and the 30 guys that represent these teams are FAR from the smartest 30 baseball men in the world. To beat this group of peers is not a big deal even if he did beat most of them. Beating inferior people is not something to be proud of. Play against the world’s ACTUAL best 30 baseball geniuses and STILL go to the playoffs and then you know you have the real deal. The fact that a man could have money and power and not beat out THIS sad group of GMs we have in this league just makes me continue to scratch my head. The numbers are ugly, but the context behind the numbers just amplify DD’s magnitude of failure.

Dr. Detroit March 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm

TSE: Are you for real or are you just messing with everyone? Seriously, I need a ruling on this.

TSE March 5, 2010 at 3:50 pm

For real.

And I genuinely believe that I’m the real deal. I promise you that I’m very right or very delusional. I can’t see the middle ground as being very likely. My logic gives me the proof I need to know that I am as advertised and the only way that couldn’t be true is if there was something seriously wrong with my brain or perception of reality in some way that I am unaware of and unable to identify.

Jason March 6, 2010 at 1:46 am

TSE,

It requires minimum intelligence to second guess every decision. Taking everyone to task from your computer chair is too easy. Make some quantifable predictions that will concrete your “gift”. Lay it out. BE THE OPPOSITE OF VAGUE. And if you can’t or if you’re wrong shut the f up.

TSE March 6, 2010 at 4:02 am

I feel I’ve been pretty clear about any opinions that I’ve shared on here. If anything is vague then you should ask clarifying questions. I can only assume if I don’t receive questions that my content is received and understood. I would have no reason to suspect otherwise.

Andre in Chi March 6, 2010 at 12:21 pm

TSE,

“If anything is vague then you should ask clarifying questions.”

We ask all the time, like when we asked you to clarify who the Tigers should have acquired instead of Damon…and you came back with:

“Well there’s easily over 200 players in baseball that I would prefer”

Where I work, if I have a problem with the way things are done, people usually ask, “ok, what would you change”. If instead of submitting a better alternative I were to say, “I could think of lots of things”, but not outline what those things were, I would be told to present my alternatives, or quit complaining. I’m surprised, with your (alleged) business background, that this seems foreign to you.

Also, assuming that a lack or response to your comments (vague or otherwise) is acceptance of said comments shows both arrogance and, if I may be so bold, wrong-thinking on your part. Mostly, we’re just tired of your habit of not supporting arguments with evidence. And no, assuring us that you have followed a logical train of thought is not a substitute for evidence.

Enjoy the off-season TSE, I think you’ll find you garner less attention once the season begins and our boredom subsides.

TSE March 6, 2010 at 4:22 pm

First of all, the players I wanted in place of Damon weren’t known to be available. I was asked about who I would like and I offered a plethora of information. I explained what positions I liked and who I wanted to trade and for what. There are over 200 baseball players that we could trade for that might make sense to add to the roster, but when I listed my plan, clearly you can see that number drop down quite a bit. Like when you do my 3 player trade for a SS, well there’s only 30 starting SSs, and we have to get one that’s better than Everett. There’s no purpose to knowing the name of the player we get.

Logic dictates that if we trade Everett plus Laird plus something else, we should get a SS that is BETTER than Everett. Why do you need me to pick a name? You can pick any SS in baseball that is better than Everett and then you can understand the concept. This is quite simple. I wrote paragraphs explaining my rationale, and I give too much information and say too much information when people ask me questions typically. I usually get blasted for talking too much!

And then after that question nobody else had any questions. I answered them for as long as they kept coming, that’s how communicating works. It’s your responsibility to inform the other person if your have additional questions beyond the questions that I’ve been asked.

Why are you playing these games with me?

Why not just act logical and rationale and simply STATE what questions you have or what you don’t understand. I can’t soilve the confusion in your head if you don’t talk to me about it and keep it to yourself.

I am not an arrogant person. You shouldn’t complain about people’s behavior when you have improperly identified what their faults are. I behave rationally and logically at all times, and others have abandoned those in talks with me. When logic is confronted by illogical stupidity and/or ignorance, and when you have a person that doesn’t respect the generally understood rules of polite and professional and logical conversation, then things can get out of whack. I’m only responsible for myself, and I’m doing the best I can. From my seat I have offered lots of opinions and I’ve answered every question that has ever been asked me that I know of. I can’t do better than that!

Keith (Mr. X) March 5, 2010 at 2:53 pm

You remind me of a guy I know that is always explaining to everyone how extremely high his IQ is. Problem is he has zero people skills, little common sense, and nobody will ever listen to him.

The way you think is absolutely backwards. I don’t think you could manage a puppet show, let alone a professional baseball team.

Dr. Detroit March 5, 2010 at 3:02 pm

“zero people skills, little common sense, and nobody will ever listen to him”

Meaning, thanks for saying my IQ is so high! And nope, working downtown DC and not in my mother’s basement like many bloggers, so people skills hunky-dorey. So go project your weakness back on that guy you know. Rock on!

Keith (Mr. X) March 5, 2010 at 7:32 pm

my comment wasn’t directed towards you.

Spike March 6, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Dr. Detroit,

How is working in downtown DC a qualification for anything?

Just wondering because I’ve been doing it for 30 years and I can’t see that it confers much wisdom on anything.

Spike from A2

Dr. Detroit March 6, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Spike in A2: that went to people skills only, which by mistake I thought Keith was writing I did not have. Agree completely that working downtown DC, or any “downtown” for that matter does not confer wisdom, but one could argue actually the opposite….

David March 5, 2010 at 4:08 pm

The funny thing is too that if he were to redo that list using only the last two years it wouldn’t look nearly as favorable towards the point he is “trying” to convey.

2008 alone…yikes!

Dr. Detroit March 5, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Up top to Keith: ahem, yeah, I thought as much after reading the string. Sorry, new to the blog here. But that does not mean you should stop rocking on!

Dr. Detroit March 5, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Now to the pitching?
Can we count on Robertson? how ’bout Willis? Bondo? Was Armando a one-year wonder? Have opposing hitters found weaknesses in Porcello? sophomore-jinyx? How will Scherzer fare against the AL? Will Verlander repeat ‘08 or ‘09 or be somewhere in between?

Alright, Dave, I’ll bite:
Will Jeter fall off this year? A-Rod’s jinx is over, will he stay motivated? Burnett tossed out a cow biscuit in th playoffs, will he come back? CC is not getting any younger, or thinner, can he survive with all of the innings he has thrown? Will they bat Granderson leadoff, watch him strike out 2-3 times a game for two weeks, and then platoon him?

Will David Ortiz bounce back at all to his 2003-2007 run? Who the heck is going to score any runs for the Sox? Will Martinez continue hitting like he has the last couple of years, or will he start to fall a bit? Pedroia to SS, how is that going to effect him? Youkilis’ (whom I love) deal with the devil is just about up–does it look like he will fall a bit? Lackey a savior? Dice-K doesn’t like to workout and has more mileage on his arm than my dad’s T-Bird, will he falter a bit? Beckett seemed to taper off the end a bit, and his lower back is giving him problems, will that be a problem>

The Mets….I mean, c’mon, where do you begin? Who is their opening day pitcher? Delgado gone; Beltran under investigation; Wright can’t seem to drive the ball with any regularity, who is going to carry their line-up

The Twins: Will Morneau bounce back? Mauer for a full season, does he taper off in the end when the Tigers (hopefully) make a push for the title? Who the hell is their Ace? Liriano?

The Angels: Lackey is gone, their pen has Rodney (not good) and Guerrero is on his last half of his last leg? Do they have to count on Matsuii to drive in a ton or runs?

The point: EVERY team has question marks/issues, pointing out a bunch of assumptions and declaring that failure by the GM has absolutely no cause and effect logic. Take Porcello: DD will not point out his weaknesses, or whisper in his ear “sophomore jinx, sophomore jinx” so why on earth is Porcello’s assumed demise have anything to do with DD? He drafted the guy in the latter part of the first round because no one else would bite because of his unsignability, we sign him and he goes out, wins some big games, throws Youkilis (love Youk) to the ground, and makes Joe Mauer look bad twice in one game (not many pitchers can say that). And you blame DD for this for some reason?

David March 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm

You make unjust comparisons. The rotation beyond Verlander and possibly Porcello and Scherzer are question marks.

Like I’ve said several times, the White Sox rotation is far and away superior to ours ATM. Look if Bonderman can revive himself and remain healthy then that could change a whole lot.

A ton could change between now and opening day… I’ll wait until then to make my season prediction this year along with the rest of you. I just think labeling our staff after the first 3 starters as ? is valid.

Dr. Detroit March 5, 2010 at 4:42 pm

David, man, how can you say the Sox have a better starting rotation than us. I mean, we have Justin Friggin’ the Man Verlander as our Ace. He is so good that he counts as two upper-level starters on another team. Porcello may be young, but man he showed me something in 163, and he sounds like a great kid. I will take those two over anyone, even Lincecum and Cain, right now. Throw in Scherzer who my Padre fans buddies say is just nasty and we have possibly the best 1,2,3 in the game (4 if you count Verlander twice; I do!). 4 and 5 is a bit up in the air, but so is everyone else’s 4 and 5 starters.

David March 5, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Also Vlad is on the Rangers. DHing.

Dr. Detroit March 5, 2010 at 4:31 pm

They’re not unjust comparisons, David, they are meant to convey this point that all teams have question marks, and to claim DD (who yes did open his wallet a bit too much to some guys–though I will defend him and say that it was because they got drunk on the 2006 run and tried to make a run for it and came up short. Willis’ contract is what it is partially because we had to take him to get Miggy) is to blame for what may happen with your question marks is thin. And, with Vlad on the Rangers, that just gives the Angels one more HUGE question mark. Measuring up the question marks, and yeah, I think the Tigers don’t look all bad considering.

David March 5, 2010 at 4:12 pm

LOL check the video

http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100304&content_id=8672228&vkey=news_det&fext=.jsp&c_id=det

Ryan Raburn has a brother that looks a lot like Mr. Gum Time. Also Leyland is shown trying to pump up the team like a real estate agent pumps up a house or a stock broker pumps and dumps a stock.

Kramer March 6, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Almost makes you wish we were back in 2003 when all of the haters didn’t bother to even show up to games.

Keith (Mr. X) March 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Those were the good ole days when I could easy get 4 box seats together right behind home plate for individual games that I could cherry pick. I couldn’t get any decent seats when I tried ordering tickets Today. Season ticket holders will have all the premium seats again.

David March 7, 2010 at 2:41 am

I hope you aren’t talking about me. I’ve been a fan my whole life. In fact as a kid I actually wrote a Mr. Xesque review that is #1 on Urbandictionary.com for our team… click the following link.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=detroit+tigers

And I do agree those you mentioned(with few people) are good games. The only games I like better are when it is either packed on Opening Day, or we have a late inning comeback. The best game I vividly remember going to live is when Maroth 1-hit the Yankees in 2004. Damn Gary Sheffield.

Still I think this team has wayyy too many question marks to contend. I hope I’m wrong. And how Leyland hasn’t been fired yet is beyond me.

Keith (Mr. X) March 6, 2010 at 5:42 pm

TSE- How can you think DD wasn’t looking for a better SS? He didn’t sign Everett until Dec 7th. The Shortstop is the hardest position player to fill on any roster and other teams just aren’t willing to trade them away for nothing. There is an extremely high tax to pay to get a decent SS in a trade. That’s why the Tigers had to give up Jurrjens a few years ago. Would you like to see the Tigers give up more top prospects to get another mediocre SS?
Look at Boston, for the last several years, they’ve had a big hole at SS and they probably have one of the smartest GM’s in baseball with Jim Duquette. On Dec. 4th of this off-season they gave Free Agent Marco Scutaro, a mediocre 34 year old SS who is coming off of a career year, a 2 year/$12.5M contract. That is a crazy money to give to a guy who is likely a one year wonder. Scutaro actually turned down more money from the A’s so that he could play for a contender. Once Scutaro was off the market, the Tiger’s only other real option was Bobby Crosby. Right about then, Adam Everett was looking like a peach at $1.5 Million.

Also, you’ll never find a trading partner if you’re openly calling other GM’s incompetent. You need to be on good terms with other GM’s so that they’ll answer your phone calls. If you mention that you’re shopping Adam Everett, they’ll hang up on you in an instant.

TSE March 6, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Timing doesn’t matter of the when we got the SS. We could have made a trade last year to line this up, or we could offer Everett plus something else today or anytime we want. Is it that impossible that there could be just 1 team out there that would take Everett plus something for a better SS? I mean what are their needs? I’ll give them an OF that is old but good if they want Ordonez, I’ll give them a decent young cheap OF if they want Raburn, what about pitchers, I’ll give them that too, how about financial relief? We have endless possibilities to find a match, and I think we need to explore ALL of them. Bottom line, either Everett and standing pat is the best option, or doing something at SS is better. Take an infinite number of all possible SS related decisions and rank them, which one is number 1? If the way things are now aren’t number 1, and there is a glint of a chance to make it number one or closer to number 1, then we should do it. And for the overall team, we need to find areas that are farthest from the 1, and to me the SS spot is just about our top spot of being farthest from that 1 best possible avenue. And if they have some predisposition to not wanting Everett no matter what, then we can cut Everett and give them something else. That would just cost us a mill or so and would come out of our budget, and that would be making an offer that is based on other players or money.

Bottom line is if we are playing hypotheticals, well all I can do is look at it as I’m the GM and I have to do my best to find the best moves. So now I am your GM for this hypothetical and as YOUR GM I am giving you my word and promise that I will do everything I can to uprgade our SS position and in a net positive effect fashion and I will succeed in making that happen. I will not fail you on this promise. Now hypothetically if I still failed, then you should fire me for apparently lying to you or being incompetent to the point that I promised something that I couldn’t execute. Whichever case it may be, it would be proof that I’m not the best GM that we can get. From a random unbaised person, this would sound like a risky gamble, but from my perspective it’s a sure thing. I don’t believe there is even 1/10 of 1 percent chance that I won’t get precisely what I want for each area of the team that I want to change. I’m going to get what we MUST have and NEED to have. The only question is how much bonus headway can I make, I can see realistic outcomes of MASSSIVE bonus gains that would blow your mind, as well as worst case scenarios that still yield very relevant improvements.

Keith (Mr. X) March 6, 2010 at 5:52 pm

“Logic dictates that if we trade Everett plus Laird plus something else, we should get a SS that is BETTER than Everett.”

That’s not not logic. That’s irrational thinking. You can’t package mediocre players and expect to get something better than a mediocre player in return. You’ll have to give up some nice bargaining chips, like Ryan Perry, Alex Avila, and some other guy to get that Shortstop you want.

TSE March 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Ok, now we are making progress. Everybody has different opinions, so your unique opinion is you like Avila and Perry. Those guys aren’t worth much to me anyhow and are VERY expendable. I would guess that you think they are more valuable than I think they are. We have a difference of opinion. Thus, if I’m trading with you then I want your SS and you can start with Avila plus Perry. Do you need more? If so tell me what you want.

Now if another person comes here and says you’re nuts, why did you give him a softball and say Perry or Avila, they might disagree with you and say guys that are good chips are somebody else. And somebody else is going to say yet somebody else or something else. We have up to 29 unique offers for 29 teams, we just need to take the best of those.

Not only is this very logical, but in my claim all I said was that the logic dictates that you “should” be able to. And should doesn’t translate to always. I might as well have said that humans live on the planet Earth. My statement has built-in truth to it, it was really just a fluff statement.

Dr. Detroit March 6, 2010 at 8:25 pm

TSE: You telling someone that they are making progress in your bizarro world of facts and logic could almost be taken as an insult. Again, as I have said up top with your “hypotheticals”, and as Mr. X referred to, to get something you need to give something up. Most moves in sports are zero-sum moves: you give up something to get something, outside of signing a FA, and the way baseball is set up, the players who are the most desirable rarely make it to FA. So, to get this “hypothetical” shortstop you continue to harp about, you need to give up something. And if you insist that the SS position is the “1″ position, so I am assuming the most important to address, and in your “infinite wisdom” as this Platonic GM you would do whatever it takes to get this shortstop, than who is the best shortstop right now? And in your world, Free Agency, money, timing, means nothing, so I will (I think regretably) dive into your world: who is it? Factoring in age, numbers, future potential (I know you are big on the “present” but seriously, c’mon, you need to think about the future in these moves). My money is on Hanley Ramirez.
So, assuming for hypothetical purposes you agree that Ramirez, and not some guy you dream up in bizzaro world, is the best, then how do you propose as this GM-supremo we go and get him? Florida is just not going to take a boat load of money for him, they are going to want players. So who do you give up? Maggs, Guillen, Everett and Inge? Umm, even with your lack of respect for your fellow GMs, no GM in their right mind would make that trade. I mean, if DD even had a hint that Florida would make that move, Ramirez would be batting third for us right now. So who then? You have to go big man. Verlander? I mean, he may go down barring injury as one of the all-time greats. I just can’t let him go. Miggy? That is the most logical, but then we have Guillen at 1st again with no real threat in the line-up other than Ramirez. So, again, it is a zero-sum solution. So, now you have to look at the potential of Miggy v. Ramirez. One, yes, plays a premium defensive position, but also a position that lends itself to more injuries, fewer years at peak level, and the guy may not produce like he would in the American League. Miggy plays a less defensive-premium position, but barring a freak injury he has probably more years of peak productivity because of the relatively easier position at 1st. And Miggy is arguably one of the best 4 hitters in the game, and will be for quite some time. Do you pull the trigger on that? Let it out for everyone to see.

TSE March 6, 2010 at 8:49 pm

I can’t speak for Florida. If I hypothetically speak for Florida then you could just disagree with my choice of how to speak on their behalf and we’d still have no resolve. I’m the hypothetical GM of the Tigers and how I’m going to get Hanley Ramirez is going to be a process that reacts off of how what they say and do. The answer to your questions is embedded in the actions of another person that I have no control over. Thus I can’t answer them without speaking for the team that I’m not representing, and that’s not a logical way to discuss this topic.

Dr. Detroit March 6, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Of course you can’t speak for Florida in this hypothetical. Speak for the Tigers: Do you make that move?

TSE March 6, 2010 at 9:30 pm

What is the specific trade proposal on the table?

Dr. Detroit March 6, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Ramirez vs. Cabrerra. Do you make that trade?

TSE March 6, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Ok you twisted my arm, you have yourself a deal. See how easy that was? Now we have our SS. It didn’t take but 1 second of negotiating!

Kathy March 6, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Straw Man Fallacy
Explanation
A straw man argument is one that misrepresents a position in order to make it appear weaker than it actually is, refutes this misrepresentation of the position, and then concludes that the real position has been refuted. This, of course, is a fallacy, because the position that has been claimed to be refuted is different to that which has actually been refuted; the real target of the argument is untouched by it.

Example
(1) Trinitarianism holds that three equals one.
(2) Three does not equal one.
Therefore:
(3) Trinitarianism is false.

This is an example of a straw man argument because its first premise misrepresents trinitarianism, its second premise attacks this misrepresentation of trinitarianism, and its conclusion states that trinitarianism is false. Trinitarianism, of course, does not hold that three equals one, and so this argument demonstrates nothing concerning its truth.

Dr. Detroit March 6, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Nice one Kathy. I think I addressed TSE’s main point below.

Dr. Detroit March 6, 2010 at 9:14 pm

“And for the overall team, we need to find areas that are farthest from the 1, and to me the SS spot is just about our top spot of being farthest from that 1 best possible avenue.”

My post above does not address this point. I can’t believe I am writing this, but yes, I will give you this, the SS position, when looking at our entire team, may be what you are trying to say, the “weakest link” on the team. Great, so in your “infinite wisdom” who do you package with Everett to get the next SS up the chain? And if you get that player up the chain, which gets you closer to this “Number 1″ archetype, who says that new player makes the SS position on the Tigers better than the other 9 positions plus the pen? So maybe you have to go up the ladder a bit more, go and get a player who is considered, let’s say, in the top 15 players at SS (and I am not saying that Everett is not–he is a fine, fine player, can’t hit much, but man can he flash the leather–and in the age before steroids and Cal Ripken, shortstops were not expected to produce much with the lumber). So, you want to get this player, address the weakest link, the furthest from the “1″ on the Tigers, great: name those players in the top 15, and provide a list of players we have now to throw in the deal to get that 1-15 SS. You mentioned Laird–TSE, he may be one, if not the best, defensive catchers in the game. He should have won the GG last year. He cannot hit a lick, true, but man I like him back there. So if you throw him in with Everett and fill that SS need, now who is the weakest link? You have to take it to the next level TSE–you have to go there with it. Follow your “logic” here–if Laird is gone, we have Avilla filing in. Fine player, nice hitter, but now arguably catcher is the weakest link, the “furthest from 1″ on our team. Now make a trade to address THAT weakest line: Avilla and who to get the next best catcher up the chain? List out the catchers now. And you have to go to the top ten in my book because I believe Laird is a top ten to 15 catcher in the game. Avilla and Perry, Zumaya and….who? Then when you address that, you have go to the next weakest link. Sizemore at second, perhaps. So what do you do from there.
In all of your posts, you continiously harp on taking things logically, to their end. Let’s see it.

TSE March 6, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Well as demonstrated with the other poster, Avila and Perry. Whoever the other team wants. I’ll part with any player on this team if the receiving team is valuing that player as our best player. Whatever floats the other boats team I will oblige and give them what they want. I know how this is going to play out in the end by going at it with this perspective, and the end result is going to be a glorious thing. We might even be of great aid to a team that has a particular bad mis-shape that we can reverse their situation. For each team I’m talking to I’d look at my perspective of what’s wrong with them and then I’d start thinking about trades to solve that and then feel out what their needs are from their perspective, and if necessary I may try to sell my perspective of their problems so that they can possibly come to an altered conclusion such that they do business with me.

Dr. Detroit March 6, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Okay then who could we get that is better than Everett with Avila and Perry. No offense to those guys, but they are not exactly setting the world on fire at the moment, where Everett is a bona fide top 5-10 defensive shortstop

Dr. Detroit March 6, 2010 at 9:59 pm

TSE: That is just not how things happen with peers/equals. In the rarified air of baseball GMs, where there are only 30 in the world, one GM convincing another by “selling his perspective” is as far-fetched as the Lions going undefeated next year.
You have to go to philosophy to set yourself apart then. I like DDs philosophy/attack plan: he gobbles up strong, young arms, and outfielders. With those pieces, he can go out and package those arms/outfielders (guys who can play 2 maybe 3 positions (LF/CF/RF) instead of middle infielders where a move from second to short, or third, is difficult) and he goes out and gets those players. I don’t agree, though, with some of the moves he has made: Juirjens and Gorkys Hernandez for Renteria was one such move that I did not stomach well. And I think some of that blame, if not all of it, falls on Leyland’s say in player matters. I like Leyland, but he should stay out of player trades. But I do like how the Tigers are built at the present: pitching and defense. We need to score some runs and get some more lumber in the line-up, but we will have plenty of money in the very near future to address that, all the while having a chance to compete this year.

Kathy March 6, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Johnny Damon, according to 97.1 is “going caveman” this year. How cool is that as he drives up in his Ferrari.

Dr. Detroit March 6, 2010 at 10:12 pm

“Ok you twisted my arm, you have yourself a deal. See how easy that was? Now we have our SS. It didn’t take but 1 second of negotiating!”

Okay TSE!! I don’t agree with you entirely, though some of my buddies would side with you on Ramirez, but hey at least we are talking about real players and potentially real deals that could materialize.

TSE March 6, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Well if you took the best 30 SSs in the world, and you handed them out 1 to each team, then Everett is not on a team. If Hanley is the #1 SS ranked on that list then that is the best outcome and the one I want. If I have to settle for 2 that’s just as good almost and a huge win. Same with 3, 4, 5, and if for some reason God is playing a trick on me to make everything go wrong every possible way with all of the top 28 other teams, then I’ll settle for that 29th team and take a minor upgrade just for the sake of at least doing something to give me a benefit through the efficiency logic of improving the weakest variable of the team at the cost of material from the stronger variables. And for that minor upgrade, naturally the price will be minor as well. In fact, there could be a team or two out there that might actually like Everett more than their guy. Maybe some teams see their guy as #30 on their ranking and see Everett’s defensive plus as a reason to make him 29 or 28 or a small upgrade for them. But either way, there’s no logic in keeping that weak link unchanged while stronger variables are locked into getting lower ROIs. Illitch HAD to have learned this in the pizza business; why he’s abandoned that same logic that worked for him in the past to get him to this point is just… unfortunate, and annoying.

Keith (Mr. X) March 7, 2010 at 1:23 am

Actually, Everett never was or will be the Tiger’s lone starting Shortstop. We worked a platoon last year with Everett AND Santiago. This platoon worked well for the 1st half of last season, then Everett’s hitting disappeared completely, and it didn’t work so well. It should be worth trying again, but I’d pull the plug on it if Everett’s bat disappears again.
I expect them to get equal PT if they both stay with the team the entire season. The way Dlugach is playing so far this Spring, I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually pushed Everett off the team completely.

I do agree that SS is our weakest link, but I think DD done a decent job to adequately fill the position without breaking the bank. I’d rather stick with the Everett/Santiago platoon than trade down to what half of the other teams are serving at SS. So to think that we’re ranked 30th at SS, is just completely and utterly wrong.

What’s so hard about naming names anyway. I got no problem cherry picking out who I’d want and who I wouldn’t want.

Here’s the guys I’d definitely want, but are most likely unavailable in a trade (but if they are, get ready to sell the farm because the asking price will be high)-
Derek Jeter
Asdrubal Cabrera
Alexei Ramirez
Erick Aybar
Yunel Escobar
Hanley Ramirez
Jose Reyes
Jimmy Rollins
Ryan Theriot
Stephen Drew
Troy Tulowitzki
Alcides Escobar

Here’s some I’d be somewhat interested in, but only if the asking price wasn’t too high ( I wouldn’t give up any top young players/prospects like Perry or Avila for any of them) -
Jack Wilson
Elvis Andrus
Marco Scutaro
JJ Hardy
Brendan Ryan
Rafael Furcal
Tommy Manzella

I don’t want any of these guys (Our platoon is likely just as good or better)-
Cesar Izturis
Alex Gonzalez
Yuniesky Betancourt
Cliff Pennington
Jason Bartlett
Orlando Cabrera
Cristian Guzman
Ronny Cedeno
Bobby Crosby
Edgar Renteria
Everth Cabrera
Julio Lugo
Brendan Harris
Nick Punto
Paul Janish

TSE March 7, 2010 at 1:31 am

What group would you put Tejada in?

Oh and for the record I wouldn’t even put Everett in the top 40 SSs. No way. I might be able to go further even, but the point is we are off the grid there and we at least need to show up on the map.

Keith (Mr. X) March 7, 2010 at 1:33 am

Tejada is moving to 3B. His defense isn’t good enough to play SS any longer.

Keith (Mr. X) March 7, 2010 at 1:39 am

Defensively, Everett is one of the top 5 in the game. So he would find work with somebody even if it wasn’t for us.
Cesar Izturis will be playing SS in Baltimore over your boy Tejada.
Cesar Izturis is basically the same thing as Everett. All D, no bat.

In a good batting order, we could easily get by with Everett/Santiago. If Inge and Laird are struggling again, then it becomes a problem.

TSE March 7, 2010 at 1:44 am

Well Tejada’s not exactly my boy. In all actuality I probably wouldn’t have even hinted at making an offer for him. Even if we had him, he’s old and needs to be replaced. If I was to make a play for Tejada, my play would be to stay out of it and not drive up the price for another team, and then after he works out a financial deal if the deal is cheap and favorable then I have a nice option of trying to make a strategic low profile trade to get a nice upgrade, and if the trade doesn’t accommodate me comfortably I still have almost 30 outs. But if I were to get Tejada, I only want him after I see the price first and certify that it will fit as a trade steal, that way I get cheapest solution possible to my problem out of the solutions that exist with Tejada involved. And in a sense I’m simultaneously looking at the same dynamics for those other 40 SSs and keeping tabs on which ones we can pick up steam for that are most attractive.

As far as Everett’s defense, you will get no argument from me there. But you are falling into the trap of many baseball fans that overvalue defense. You aren’t accounting for what that is worth correctly. Now if you say an out is worth an out and one on offense is worth the same on defense, I will agree with you on the overall truth to that statement. But if you look at the physical and mental things that contribute to why a player is better at defense than another in conjunction with the things that relate to hitting you’ll find that the extra appreciation you have for that defense is really manifested by factors that you are counting twice. So there is a double counting effect, but one that is masked into some of the less objective elements/interpretations of logical baseball theory. So if you were telling me about a player who has a defensive bonus over another and that relates to ‘x’ outs for ‘y’ runs thus it’s worth ‘y’ runs, what I then do is I DISCOUNT that ‘y’ by a a small adjustment factor to make reparations for the double counting. Unless DD one day came around to THIS very specific perspective, he and I will NEVER agree on what a player is worth, well SSs moreso probably. Maybe we have a shot at matching up at some other positions by accident.

Keith (Mr. X) March 7, 2010 at 2:18 am

Defense is a huge bonus if your main strategy is to shutdown the opposition in the late innings with your bullpen.
I’m 100% with Leyland on his defensive strategy and think we have the best chance at winning with a slick fielder at every position in the late innings. That’s where Adam Everett is gold. He doesn’t need to start to be effective. He just needs to be out on the field in high leverage situations. Insert him in the 7th/8th inning with some other defensive subs and he’ll likely won’t even bat.

TSE March 7, 2010 at 2:34 am

That’s cool. I just disagree. I think DD and Leyland and Illitch were all stunned last year with how small the results were based upon what they probably expected. They saw a gold team and I saw aluminum foil that they didn’t even bother to spray paint to look gold to the naked eye.

Dr. Detroit March 7, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Agreed Mr. X. In fact, Santiago for the first half of April last year was smoking hot for us and came up big in key situations–he was batting something like near .350 for the month of April I think before tapering off. I like the both of them platooning, and unless there is a Ramirez, A-Rod or Alan Trammel in the minors somewhere why try and upgrade the position. We need lumber, not more defense, and outside of Ramirez and A-Rod if he moved back to SS upon getting traded, there is not anyone to go after to address defense, to keep with the core concept of the team, AND someone to put some numbers up. It is a very nice platoon indeed, and like you say if that is our weakest link that is something I can definitely live with.

TSE March 6, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Have you guys seen the movie Temple Grandin? That’s a fantastic movie about an autistic woman, very similar to Rain Man, but I actually think it’s a better movie than Rain Man. Anyhow, the story is about an autistic girl that nobody ever took seriously, but she was a genius and she ended up impacting the industry of animal husbandry profoundly. I feel like I felt for the cows and what they had to go through with the knuckleheads that were in charge before Temple Grandin showed up and fixed everything. But since we are not cows and we are bestowed with the ability to speak, I feel it’s my duty to gripe and whine until the powers that be fire the knuckleheads that don’t know what they are doing. I can accept if I’m not the GM, ok, fine, you don’t want me, whatever, but just get somebody good. There’s no reason not to have somebody good. There’s only 30 GM spots to go around in this world for Christ’s sake, and there’s a lot more than 30 people that could do this job exceptionally well and consistently well and perpetually. Go out and hire one! Geeze!

Coleman March 7, 2010 at 1:14 am

Actually, DH, not SS, has been the weakest position on our team, it isn’t even close (remember, at least the SS has some sort of defensive value).

Last season our combined DH OPS was lower than Inge’s OPS. Contemplate that–if we moved Inge to DH it would improve our DH performance.

IF Guillen is healthy (big if), the Damon signing actually improved our worst area, by moving Guillen to DH.

So I will argue that the Damon signing improved our number 1 problem position…other than that I choose to ignore what’s going on above.

TSE March 7, 2010 at 1:17 am

That’s an overly simplistic inside-the-box perspective that doesn’t take into account the upside of finding the best option for the bigger picture. It’s exactly in tune with DD’s philosophy, but it doesn’t do the team any good. If that’s how you feel, then we should keep tabs on you and ask you about upcoming rumors cause maybe your perspective will give us an accurate read as to what DD might be about to do!

David March 7, 2010 at 2:48 am

TSE, Mr. X, Dr. Detroit

Why don’t the three of you do a fantasy league or two and put your “skills” or lack thereof to the test. If you have time to make posts that long, surely you have time for this to prove your point with actions rather than words. :)

TSE March 7, 2010 at 3:51 am

******LONG POST WARNING! ******

Fantasy baseball sucks, it’s nothing like real baseball. And if you are interested in exploring ideas for baseball to be more entertaining and interesting, well that would also be a big area that I would attack. I’m not just suggesting that I be a guy that moves a few players around here and there and puts a bug in the Manager’s ear, I’d be looking to transform the very nature with which baseball is a part of this state’s culture.

I would create a process that brings the fans more into the game, I have all kinds of ideas of things I would do that would allow the organization and front office a way to set up a bridge or a link of which the fans can feel more flow from both a participation and intimacy standpoint. For one, I would be more public and open and sharing of information and insight into things that are going on, without giving up sensitive information of course, and fans would have more of an opportunity to ask questions in person or perhaps even on the net. Maybe we have a forum that fans come to and every once in a while some guy makes a post buried on page 14 of some thread, and I quote it and chime in on it. And I invite people to show up at certain times and have the opportunity to ask questions or include their advice of who do we draft next week or what guys should we trade for. Just give them the sense that they are part of the team and the process and that their voices are not only heard, but considered, and in some cases interacted with. And then it’s fun for that community, you just make posts like you do here from time to time and any fan at any time can potentially have access to talk directly to the guy at the top that is running his team.

And I’m telling you we would win a ton more games, and we would win games the right way and start creating a brand identity of being a top flight baseball team that not only gets the excellent production, but is a joy to watch and appreciate for the fundamental approrpriateness of our play as an inspiration and example to others. Fathers will start talking baseball more often with their peers and their kids. Their will be a festering of joy as the team gains more success and brings home titles, and baseball will become a more potent and enjoyable part of our lives.

They say the economy is bad right now and especially in Michigan. Well the State of Michigan should consider campaigning on my behalf for me to have the job, because if I change the face of the baseball climate as we know it, then the state gets a free piggyback benefit of being able to ride the coattails of our success. I just came for the job and for the sake of breathing life into the game but at the same time I’d also be contributing to the solutions of the state’s economic problems through the game of baseball itself. Baseball is America’s past-time and a fantastically intriguing game, but we can also let it help us improve our local society by making life more enjoyable, more pleasant, and with monetary profits that will inevitably come right back directly into your pockets.

People will come David. They will come for the game of baseball, and fork over $20 without even thinking about it and not knowing exactly sure what they are paying for with this new system in place, but they’ll nonetheless succumb like innocent children that will be longing for the past, for it is baseball that they loved once, and it is baseball they so badly want to love again. They’ll find so much peace and joy with the game as if there was a potent cloud of vapor that they have to brush away from their faces. The one constant through all the years David, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an Army of steamrollers, it’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked this time. This field, this game, it’s part of our past David. It reminds us all of once that was good… and it could be again. People will come David. People will most definitely come.

Keith (Mr. X) March 7, 2010 at 6:05 am

I’m kind of bored of fantasy baseball myself. I’d rather just talk about the Tigers and our rivals these days.

Kevin in Dallas March 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Checkout Scoresheet or Box Baseball.

Coleman March 7, 2010 at 5:13 am

Perhaps this was not meant as a reply to my post. And also “That’s an overly simplistic inside-the-box perspective that doesn’t take into account the upside of finding the best option for the bigger picture” is something I’ve found to be a useful guideline for many situations.

But here’s what I meant about the DH/SS comparison.

The avg OPS (and I’m sure many other metrics will turn up similar results) show that the avg SS was at .719. Ours was at .644. This is certainly a problem. But our SS contributed something in the plus column (and it’s debatable how much this is worth) defensively.

The best SS by team:

TBR .904
NYY .868
LAA .783
TOR .774
CLE .757
CHW .746
OAK .716
DET .704

Oops, sorry, that last number was the OPS for the DETROIT DH last season. In other words, the majority of the AL teams have better hitting SS than we have at DH. The AL avg DH had an OPS of .780, so the difference from avg, while only slightly greater than our variance at SS, is a bigger problem, because it isn’t offset by any amount of defensive contribution–unless you want to argue that our DH is a plus defensively also.

And it’s been that way a while. In 2008, it was even worse–the avg DH was at .775, we were at .697–do you know how low that is? THE MAJORITY OF AL TEAMS HAD AN AVG OPS HIGHER THAN OUR DH OPS AT EVERY POSITION. Our DH had a lower OPS than the average catcher, than the average 2nd baseman, than the average SS, than the average CF, etc etc (OK, I didn’t count pitchers in interleague play…and technically the avg SS was .694, but half the teams were above .697 at the SS position).

Even in our own mediocre Central Division, look at what we are giving up on average at the DH position over the last 2 seasons:

CHW +.124
MIN +.105
CLE +.042
KCR +.005

Do you have any idea what a .100 OPS point advantage at a position means for your lineup?

So I’m all for improving the SS position, but please let’s get a real DH first.
We’re in a huge hole every year because we act like we’re a NL team…

TSE March 7, 2010 at 5:55 am

I advocate improving as many positions as possible and heck if you can find a way to improve all 40 well then more power to you, just do as much as you can, so DH will be taken care of, roger that.

Smith March 7, 2010 at 6:13 am

I advocate having an All-Star at all 40 roster spots… See? Then all our problems are solved! /sarcasm.

You’re a nut-job.

TSE March 7, 2010 at 6:35 am

Is your name Dr. Detroit? Yeah I didn’t think so. Let the expert diagnose me.

Dr. Detroit March 7, 2010 at 9:38 pm

TSE: I’m flattered (I think). And if the people of Michigan could vote for the Tiger’s GM instead of Mike Illitch making the call, it would be a very interesting campaign to have you run for GM.

TSE March 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm

That’s all I ask is for the deciding party to listen to what I have to say before they decide. If the person in power can look me dead in the eye and tell me I’m not the best candidate they have ever seen, then so be it. But let’s see if that person can do that first, cause I don’t think he/she will be able to say no once I present my case in a logical and controlled fashion.

Keith (Mr. X) March 7, 2010 at 6:21 am

Aubrey Huff contributed to those numbers the most. He had a .540 OPS in the 36 games at DHr. How a .540 is possible, I don’t know.

Another thing that has also hurt us is that every player we traded for down the stretch these past few years has turned into a black hole. Farnsworth, Washburn, and Huff all backfired on us.

TSE March 7, 2010 at 6:34 am

Just as they should have been expected to. We never should have had anything to do with any of those guys.

Coleman March 7, 2010 at 2:03 pm

And the reason we ended up with Huff there in the first place? Because we didn’t already have a DH there. Huff wasn’t responsible for the .697 DH OPS in 2008 (that’s lower than Inge’s career OPS).

And if you remove Huff’s stats that leaves our DH numbers as .257 .330 .401 .731 (with all of 56 RBI) still 50 points below league average.

It’s not just bad luck. It’s because Leyland conceives of the DH spot–and he has said this himself many times–as a place to rotate players to rest them. That is not how the rest of the league does it. They use the spot as a way of having 2 high-OPS first-baseman type hitters in the lineup when you only have one first base.

And here’s a thought–if a guy is too sore to play in the field, might he also not be a bit off at the plate (Sheffield, Guillen last year)? Could the bench or the DL possibly be a better place to rest a guy than in the DH spot? Just a thought.

Keith (Mr. X) March 7, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Huff was added to give us some depth for the stretch run just before rosters expanded. He was a career .282 hitter with a .812 OPS that should of helped us lock up the division. We didn’t want him back because he sucked for us and would of caused a log jam at DH on our 25 man roster. He’s the perfect kind of guy to add for September roster expansion though.

Dr. Detroit March 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Nice layout Coleman. Man taking a look at those numbers does make us look like a NL team. As much as I like Guillen, particularly healthy and with a duck on the pond late in the game, we do need some fresh blood at DH more often. This idea of platooning Damon/Guillen at LF/DH just leaves me cold. Damon can play centerfield of course to spell Jackson so why keep a guy like Thomas on the roster to spell Jackson. Thomas is a solid player, but we need some pop in the line-up, and with Thames gone, we need a big bat there. Why not keep Thomas off and keep a guy like Streiby or Wells, SOMEBODY that does not have a history up in the show (so the opposing teams don’t have a file on him yet) and can maybe pop some dingers for us. Platooning Guillen/Damon is just a waste of a DH.

Keith (Mr. X) March 7, 2010 at 9:33 pm

I think it’s smart not to get another DH. We have already have 3 DH type players with Damon, Guillen, and Ordonez. Damon won’t be playing CF, that much I do know.

Dr. Detroit March 7, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Mr. X: I don’t think we should go out and get one, but let one of the younger guys have a shot at it, and not Clete Thomas. And why couldn’t Damon give Jackson a day off every now and then? Because the Yankees would not put him there? The Yankees are already talking about putting Granderson in left, the same guy who played CF for us for the last 5 years. Basing Damon’s skills at CF on what the Yankees saw is tenuous.

Keith (Mr. X) March 7, 2010 at 9:57 pm

I’ve seen Damon play CF and his range is quite bad and his throwing arm is worse. For LF he’s not good either, but he’s a shade better than Guillen.

Kevin in Dallas March 7, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Let’s move forward.

Bondo not looking good at all. Can’t get ahead in the count, everything up today. Is he the set in stone #4?

Coleman March 7, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Only 1-2 are set in stone. 3 is set in, I don’t know, wet concrete mix. But if not Bondo, who? ‘Mando? Maybe things will go better with Coke? Maybe all the “gee Jacob Turner is sure advanced for his age” talk–nah, they wouldn’t dare. But, hey, Willis sure is looking fine…

Dr. Detroit March 7, 2010 at 9:27 pm

I think Bondo is cooked. The guy has pitched over 30 games a year since his 20th birthday. If he keeps the ball down, and his velocity up, he would be a fine 4 of course but those are two big ifs with him these days. I can’t watch the games because I live out of state, so what does he look like? Is he keeping the ball up? And speaking of mild disappointments, what the hell happened to Scherzer the other day? He got beat up pretty good. Was he up in the strikezone, getting behind hitters, off-speed stuff missing, etc.?

Keith (Mr. X) March 7, 2010 at 10:02 pm

None of these ST games have been on TV anywhere.

Mark in Chicago March 8, 2010 at 9:04 am

I wouldn’t get too concerned with the results of the pitching staff so far. The pitchers are nowhere near midseason form and may not even be using all their pitches like they want to. At this point, get the work in and try to stay healthy.

If we’re still seeing results like this at the end of March, it might be a little concerning. Until then, don’t sweat it, they have time to get straightened out.

Dr. Detroit March 8, 2010 at 9:57 am

Oh yeah Mark these guys totally need to work out the kinks, but JV and Porcello both threw fine games, and to have our stud number 3 rocked a bit is a little concerning, particularly because the book on Scherzer is that his delivery is herky-jerky and thus leaves the ball up/his off-speed stuff not effective. I think he is the lynch-pin this season–if he can win as many games as Jackson did for us last year, we are going to be tough.

Dr. Detroit March 7, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I’ve seen Damon play CF and his range is quite bad and his throwing arm is worse. For LF he’s not good either, but he’s a shade better than Guillen.

And you know Mr. X if taken to the next step, if Damon were spelling Jackson, and then Guillen in LF, Maggs in RF to make room for this young guy, man, that would be a truly scary situation! I mean, the other team might as well just try to get it in the air and run everything out–there’s a good chance it will fall between those guys! (though instead they would have the young guys playing in the OF) Also, I have not counted up the spots, but there may be space for a guy like Strieby and/or Wells to make the squad, right? Assuming that Raburn can play CF maybe and they keep Thomas down in Toledo. I am just not a big fan of Thomas.

Keith (Mr. X) March 7, 2010 at 10:22 pm

I don’t expect Thomas to make the team either.
We have our 9 starters
10 – Santiago in platoon at SS and back-up at 2B
11- Back-up Catcher
12- Raburn as 4th OF
13- ?
Don Kelly is my guess to make the team as a defensive specialist since he can play nearly every position fairly well.
Strieby and Wells have never played in AAA yet, so I’m expecting them to play in Toledo. I do think they’ll get called up sometime during the season, likely in September. Toledo is going to have a very nice team this year.

Kathy March 8, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Like Bondo, Scherzer is not doing so hot.

Kevin in Dallas March 8, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I was just looking at that. I’m not as worried about him. If he’s doing this on March 28th, then I’ll be worried.

Kathy March 8, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Whew! Rick Knapp has his work cut out for him. I’ll hold judgement, but usually pitchers are ahead of hitters and he’s bombed 2 times now.

Ryan March 9, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Two words: spring training. Don Kelly is batting .563 in ST right now, if that tells you anything about how indicative it is of good regular season performance.

TSE March 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Just 56 percent? Ehh, that’s still an F, wake me up when has a B+. ;)

Coleman March 10, 2010 at 2:51 pm

“‘On my iPhone, one of my bookmarks is still the Tigers’ Web site”
-Curtis Granderson

OK, Curtis, you’re still cool, especially for a Yankee…

http://www.freep.com/article/20100310/SPORTS02/100310059/1318/One-of-my-bookmarks-is-still-the-Tigers-Web-site

TSE March 10, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Yeah he is cool. You just don’t find many guys like Curtis. If you want a guy like Curtis, you gotta go out and trade for him, can’t sit around and wait forever for one to fall in your lap.

Rick G March 13, 2010 at 9:09 am

Just got done reading Luckiest Man by Jonathon Eig – a biography of Lou Gehrig. That guy was absolutely amazing (duh) – he played his last full season (1938) at the age of 35 while suffering from the early stages of ALS the entire time. People could tell something was wrong with him in spring training of that year, but many assumed he was just getting old.

He had an off year for him, and kept switching to lighter bats and changing his batting stance to try to get going, and still managed to hit .295 with 29 homers (OPS = 0.932). He still played in every game that year, including a span of 5 straight days with doubleheaders. The following year he played a few games even though it was obvious he was no longer capable. Two years later he was dead. Fantastic book if anyone likes reading this kind of stuff.

Al March 15, 2010 at 10:07 am

Best wishes to Johnny Damon this season. Whether it’s in Boston or New York, he’s proven that he brings something special into a team’s locker-room. Could it be a winning attitude and work ethic?

TSE March 16, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Maybe, but like every year, we should stop trying to improve the locker room at the expense of the quality of the team on the field. Attitude and work ethic are nice, but they don’t win baseball games by themselves, you need strategy to win at baseball, everything else is just a nice bonus.

Jeff Molby March 16, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Your definition of “strategy” doesn’t include intangibles? It seems illogical to use a strategy that doesn’t include all relevant factors.

TSE March 16, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Yeah of course it uses intangibles, I brag all the time about how I correctly evaluate intangibles with great logical precision. That separates me from basically everybody on that one element alone. I can win a lot of baseball games by helping the Tigers just simply PERCEIVE their intangibles more logically.

Jason March 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Why are we allowing bandwidth access to patients under psychiatric care? Evidenced by his undying self-worship, he must have some sort of spinal contortion that leaves him staring ceaselessly at his navel. It is morbidly amusing to watch him slip farther down the bell curve with every post. And the hilarious apex to this bad opera? He has no effin clue.

Jeff Molby March 16, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Yeah of course it uses intangibles, I brag all the time about how I correctly evaluate intangibles with great logical precision. That separates me from basically everybody on that one element alone. I can win a lot of baseball games by helping the Tigers just simply PERCEIVE their intangibles more logically.

FTFY ;-)

Andre in Chi March 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Strike-through 4TW.

Jason March 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm

By the way, to the sane posters here: Is this site dead? Has he closed up shop or just taking a break?

Jeff Molby March 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm

It’s in transition. We’re not sure what the future holds yet.

In billfer’s words: http://www.detroittigersweblog.com/2010/01/trying-to-balance/

kathy March 18, 2010 at 1:06 am

Are we being weaned? Is anyone else wondering who our #4 and 5 will be?

Waaaa!

Keith (Mr. X) March 18, 2010 at 11:02 am

I like the in-house competition. I hope they keep these spots up for grabs. I want these bubble guys fighting and scratching to pitch because nothing should be given to them. They need to do more than have a good Spring to earn a spot in the rotation. They should be on probation until they pitch in some real games after the season starts. I want them to rotate those rotation spots until someone flat out earns a spot. I doubt this will happen though.

TSE March 18, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I’m rooting for Robinzon Diaz early on, hoping that he can convince Leyland to bump Laird from the starting lineup.

kathy March 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Armando just got optioned to Toledo. Turner to W. Michigan.

Keith (Mr. X) March 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm

That narrows it down some.

Scott March 18, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Great to see Dontrelle do well today. He looked a lot more relaxed, a lot more confident than at any point during his Tigers’ career in my opinion.

Keith (Mr. X) March 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm

He certainly did look good. He gave up no hits and one walk. He looked nasty and painted the corners of the strike zone. I just hope the Umps don’t squeeze that strike zone when the season starts.

kathy March 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Yes, he looked good, but do we have to have all the drama. He’s constantly hurting himself everytime he pitches. A five full innings or more would probably tell us more.

Keith (Mr. X) March 19, 2010 at 4:13 am

That’s fine by me. It’s now or never for Willis and a some pain is probably a good thing for him. I’ve had some of my best games while playing in pain (bowling/golf). What’s great about pain, is that you forget about tweaking your mechanics and you go back to the basics. You just do what comes natural and you don’t think about anything else. Thinking too much and tweaking mechanics is what you do when you’re in a slump. I think pain is one of the best slump busters out there.

Major injuries and severe pain is another story. I’m just talking about minor stuff that goes away with a long soak in a hot tub and few aspirins.

kathy March 19, 2010 at 8:59 am

He’s quite a character. If he can be successful, he’ll draw people to the park.

jcm March 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Inge hbp in a … simulated game

jcm March 20, 2010 at 11:32 am

Casey Florida-trotter Fien is back in the den

Scott March 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I think if I were Fien, I’d be trying to come up with a new pitch …. something to make myself standout. Hey, Casey, can you throw a knuckleball?

Keith (Mr. X) March 22, 2010 at 5:35 pm

The season is just 2 weeks away. It’s time for Billfer to get that keyboard warmed up. We want to hear what you think!

ouchudied March 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Billfer, I feel like a junkie. I keep checking DTW and there is no new info. My itch needs scratching! I’m looking forward to hearing what you think about the upcoming year.

Doug March 23, 2010 at 9:15 am

I second ouchudled & Mr. X…

I need something Bilfer…these other blogs just don’t cut it!

TSE March 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I’d be willing to produce fantastic articles in exchange for equity share. I could come up with a ton of good stuff all season long. :)

jcm March 22, 2010 at 7:20 pm
kathy March 22, 2010 at 8:21 pm

For Baseball Prospectus, no less. Nice article, Billfer. I couldn’t listen to the game today even though I paid 19.99 for a subscription. I thought for sure Willis would pitch more than 1 inning. You just gotta wonder what’s up their sleeves (Leland & DD). Also, Perry has been getting shelled and we haven’t seen much from Zoom, except for lots of HR’s. I have to wonder if he’ll make it.

Keith (Mr. X) March 23, 2010 at 6:29 am

I think Willis is still due to start on Thursday. They probably threw him Yesterday because he got shutdown early on Saturday. They also need to get the longest look at Willis they possibly can before deciding what to do with him.

scotsw March 23, 2010 at 4:32 pm

DTW… Dying… Dying….

TSE March 23, 2010 at 10:34 pm

But there’s no reason to think that it will be dead after the season starts. Baseball is a patient man’s game, and the season start is right around the corner. Why all the gloom?

briggs45 March 24, 2010 at 7:05 am

Did you read Hennings lastest article? It’s all sunshine and lollipops in Lakeland.

Keith (Mr. X) March 24, 2010 at 10:33 am

That’s what it is right now. We have to soak up this warm sun when we got the chance. You got to live for the present. You never know when things will get ugly again. It could be tomorrow, it could be 15 years from now.

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