Game 2010.032: Yankees at Tigers

For the second time in the last couple weeks Dontrelle Willis will miss his scheduled start due to flu like symptoms. Understudy Brad Thomas will once again fill in. Here’s hoping that he can give the Tigers 50-60 pitches and that those pitches span at least 3 innings.

Sergio Mitre goes for the Yankees. This is Mitre’s first start of the season, so at least Thomas has the edge in games started.

For those heading down to the game tonight, the team will be honoring Ernie Harwell. At 6:15 the Fox Sports Ernie Harwell special will air on the scoreboard. There will also be a flag raised with Harwell’s initials and long time broadcast partner Paul Carey will throw out the first pitch which will be delivered by Ray Lane. Finally, Jose Feliciano will sing the National Anthem.

On paper this doesn’t look like it will be a good game for Tigers fans. I think we all should approach it like Ernie would. The first time I interviewed Dan Dickerson I asked him about what it was like broadcasting for a really bad team, and he harkened back to advice Ernie gave him:

It really goes back to some advice Ernie gave me early in my career, when in 2001 the Tigers started 9-23, and that was supposed to be a pretty good team with the Juan Gonzalez trade and the deals they made. I said “How do you do this?” This was my team, they are 9-23 and I was down. He said “Remember, every game stands on its own.” That advice was very simple but it really stuck. You might see something you’ve never seen before, you might see a great individual performance, you might see a great game between two bad teams. And it’s true, it sounds so simple and I think all fans realize that, and that’s why you have fans at games. For some reason, just to hear him say that, it really stuck with me and I found it’s true.

Let’s just see what this game has in store for us tonight.

New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers – May 10, 2010

80 thoughts on “Game 2010.032: Yankees at Tigers”

  1. Come on Dontrelle, you just can’t let this sort of stuff happen with semi-regularity…

  2. I wonder How Dan felt in 2003…………….. Probably like the rest of us.

    Lets go TIGERS

    Steve

  3. Good move. If Willis isn’t feeling 100%, I don’t want him anywhere near the mound.

  4. I am sorry to come across as completely heartless on this front, but enough already!

    Willis is stealing money. He’s got two wins in 2.25 seasons. He’s been paid, roughly, 23 million dollars already. He starts pitching adequately and now this. You can’t ask out of your second start in two weeks because of flu-like symptoms! Who does that? Jack Morris? Bob Gibson? Walt Terrell? I doubt it. Seriously, I’ve never heard of such a thing in 30 years of baseball watching.

    You’ve got the toughest team in the league and you ask out because of flu-like symptoms?? That is just a lame move. Could he have the flu twice? Possible! But after the Tigers claimed anxiety disorder while Willis said he never had it, frankly, I don’t believe a word that comes out of either of their mouths regarding his health. You’ve got to take some personal responsibility at some point, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Willis finally got into decent shape this year because it’s an option year. Maybe his problems are legitimate, who knows at this point, but he’s not a good member of a team sport.

    Do I think that Willis can consistently win games at the major league level? Possible, I guess. Rational people can disagree. But I don’t want him on my team any more just like I didn’t want Rasheed Wallace on the Pistons toward the end. I’m not making a moral judgement here, but there has got to be a modicum of professionalism and consistency, particularly when you have so many young players.

    Enough already. Dontrelle, your time is up. Go somewhere else.

    1. Willis had a 102-degree temperature.

      “He didn’t sleep very well last night,” Rand said. “He was burning up.”

      Willis was examined by Dr. Michael Workings, the Tigers’ physician, to make sure he had nothing worse than the flu. Once Willis was diagnosed, the club asked him to stay home to keep him away from his healthy teammates. So far, no other players have come down with a similar illness, and the team hopes to keep it that way.
      http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....Id=rss_det

      1. Could be true, or could be another shading of the truth a la Willis’s entire tenure here and the selective fact released regarding Cabrera’s drinking spree. The franchise hasn’t exactly covered itself as a paragon of truth in the past couple of years.

    2. Good stuff Stephen. I’m down for giving him till the end of his year b/c frankly, starting lefty pitching is nearly impossible to find these days. But I definitely see where you are coming from.

      1. Stephen, the reason that others and now I chide you is that you imply Dontrelle is doing something on purpose and that his intentions are less than honorable. I think others would agree that something is not quite right when a guy goes down with the flu twice in a short period of time when it’s not happening to anyone else, but I doubt you’d find many that think that he’s faking it. If anything, I think these bouts with the flu reinforce the anxiety diagnosis. Anxiety builds as his start nears (especially a start against the Yankees) and it manifests itself in physical symptoms. That’s not at all hard to imagine. And of course it is not an ideal situation for any player on any sports team, and certainly grounds for a fan to want to tell him to take a hike.
        None of us want that situation for our team, but to say it’s a lame “move”, as if it is something he has carefully calculated, is going to turn off anyone who thinks they know anything about what kind of person Dontrelle is.

        1. I don’t know if his intentions are honorable or not honorable, the point I’m trying to make is this as devolved into a scenario where the Tigers are enabling his behavior and choices. If he really has anxiety disorder, then maybe the only thing that is going to get him to face it–he still denies he has it– is getting released. Maybe it’s time for a little less coddling and a little more tough love. It might be better for Dontrelle in the long run. Was he sick or not sick? Only he knows. But he’s been a sideshow for far too long on this team.

          1. Of course, he was sick!. The weather here in Michigan is awful, People coughing and hacking everywhere you go.

          2. A little too speculative and conspiratorial for me. Here are the possible scenarios I see:
            A) Dontrelle was sick. The reason he was sick can be debated to determine whether it was an acceptable contraction of the infirmity.
            B) Dontrelle wan’t sick.
            1) Dr. Workings went to the bar instead and made up his diagnosis
            2) Dontrelle paid off Dr. Workings to tell the team he was sick
            3) Management knows he wasn’t sick but they’ve decided to lie in concert with Dontrelle to all of Dontrelle’s teammates
            4) Management has told Dontrelle’s teammates that he wasn’t sick but that he couldn’t or wouldn’t pitch that day. They have asked his teammates to accept this, explaining that they think it will be good for the team’s win/loss record in the long run. The team accepts this because they unfailingly trust their manager and/or because they like Dontrelle the person so much that they don’t care if Dontrelle the player helps the team or not.
            I just don’t think the team functions this way. The skipper knows he would need EVERYONE’S buy-in to be able to play it this way and still have a cohesive clubhouse. The skipper also knows that he’d be allowing different treatment for different players. I just don’t think that’s possible.
            If it is as you say (the Tigers enabling his “choices”), he will be gone very soon. One of these choices you say is his denial that he has anxiety disorder. Is this something you can back up, or is it just Dontrelle doing what anyone would do, declining to disclose one’s state of mental health to strangers?

            1. Birdy, when you’re getting paid $10 million a year and a team publicly puts you on the disabled listed with an anxiety disorder and then you deny it, that’s a little more than Joe Blow not wanting to discuss his mental health problems in public. He could have just said no comment. By his response, he is either lying, calling the GM a liar, or he is still in deep denial about the nature of his problem. I have all the sympathy in the world for him, I have friends who suffer with anxiety, but this is a team and his behavior has impact beyond his own situation. Plus, he still gets paid. Let him go and let him come to grips with his demons on his own. The Tigers will have paid him 30m by the end of the year, they have gone above and beyond their responsibility to be patient and get him help. Now that they need to do what’s best for the team. Right now, I’m sure they think keeping him on the team gives them the best chance to win. I just think that’s short-sighted and detrimental to the other 24 players on the roster.

              1. I think you’re taking the few facts that we actually have and assuming the worst case scenario. I suppose I’m doing a bit of the opposite.
                I trust the skipper not to do things that are detrimental to the other 24 players on the roster, and I don’t think he could get away with that without the media noticing.
                I think he was sick, and I don’t have any evidence to say it was anxiety induced. I don’t think he “asked out” of his start. He was told to stay home because he was sick.
                I think he’s regaining his confidence, in part because of how his teammates and manager have unfailingly supported him. I think he’s going to continue to get better, and I think he’s going to be one of the great stories in baseball this year. I hope he does because one of the things I appreciate the most about him is how he has taken personal responsibility for his poor play, rather than blaming someone or something else. I trust that if the Tigers thought he was not owning up to his “disorder” that they wouldn’t have stuck with him or continue to do so.

  5. Now the REAL season begins…….when the Tigers have to start playing some REAL baseball teams.

  6. You could go root for the Indians, they don’t have Dontrelle on their roster. Actually, please do

    1. What’s got your shorts in a knot…..did your boy-friend tell you “Not tonite dear, I have a headache!”

      1. Another good one, going for the tried-and-true homophobic response. I have no earthly idea why you put a hyphen between boy and friend.

  7. I think Johnny Damon must have donated his right arm to Nick Swisher out there in right. What a shotput that was.

  8. Carlos is going to have a tough time displacing BB when he get’s back.

  9. Just like Ernie said, “Remember, every game stands on its own.” That is something for all of us to inculcate for every game and to enjoy what we see – one game at a time.

  10. Will one of the current Tiger catchers end the season batting above .200……will it be Avila or Laird?

  11. I’m liking Eddie Boknuckle…he even fields his position.

    Actually now that I think of it, Leyland probably wasn’t gonna start Avila tonight knowing he had a knuckleballer coming in after a few innings…0

  12. Well, true Stephen…then again so would have Inge…

    I’m all for not infecting the rest of the team with what he has (even if it’s anxiety and not fever, actually)

  13. I’m liking the thought of Zumaya following Boknuckle–can you imagine how fast 100 looks after this?

  14. The soothing thing about Inge is he so damn consistent.
    He’s about 4-7 days from perfectly intersecting his 2010 season numbers with his lifetime .237 306 oba.
    That will be followed in 8-11 days by me going on a Inge jihad.
    That will be followed in 11-14 days by Inge hitting 7 home runs in a week.
    That will be followed by everyone posting ‘Stephen, how you like Inge now!’
    I call it the Phases of Inge.

  15. Whewwww….thank God….or should I say Zoom Zoom…..we got out of the inning unscathed!

    1. (note, I wrote that for him talking back to the ump, not the flyout. but he is what he is.)

  16. I like to see that the Tigers are starting to be more aggressive on the basepaths.

  17. Wow Zumaya looks good…that was awesome: a 99 strike, a 101 strike, 102 inside, then an 85 strike 3

  18. Seeing Zoom Zoom has thrown 18 pitches…..can/will he come back out for the 8th?

  19. Any thought why Leyland is leaving Zumaya out there to face Cano (lefty) and Posada (switch)?

  20. What is Zoom still doing in there? He’s tiring, and staying righty with Posada puts Posada in his wheelhouse. Coke is made for this.

  21. The Cano AB was interesting–Zumaya shook off Laird twice and tried the slow curve after the inside heat combo again, and Cano was sitting on it

  22. This is the domino effect of your starter calling in sick. You’ve got to pitch guys longer than they’re used to just to get by.

      1. Definitely will be flashier plays tonight, but that was a game-saving WEB GEM. Hope ESPN recognizes it, should the Tigers win.

    1. K’s the side and the heart of the Yankees order. WOW. I’m so glad we got Valverde. He just seems so much better than Rodney ever was. Getting him didn’t come cheaply, but he’s definitely been worth his weight in potatoes.

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