Some thoughts on the Ordonez situation

The news of Magglio Ordonez’s prolonged absence is certainly devastating on a number of fronts and only compounded by the loss of Carlos Guillen. Already without Brandon Inge for at least a month the Tigers lost a third of their starting lineup in the last week. It changes the outlook for the trade deadline, and may very well change the look of the 2011 team. It also likely puts a significant dent in Miguel Cabrera’s chances for a triple crown.

Ordonez and Guillen will be replaced on the roster with Wil Rhymes and Jeff Larish while Don Kelly, Ryan Raburn, and Ramon Santiago see increased roles. The lineup is more Toledo than Detroit at this point which is tough on a team that already has heavily reliant on rookies. There is only so much depth.

Buyer of Sellers

The Tigers had some holes to fill, be it starting pitching, a lefty reliever, and a little more consistency and offensive pop at both shortstop and catcher. Filling 1-2 of those holes would likely have kept the Tigers in the race deep into September without dramatically impacting the future fortunes of the team.

However the Tigers holes have doubled, and in a hard to replace way. I still think Scott Sizemore can hit at the big league level and he could slide into Guillen’s spot. The loss of Ordonez though is just too much for this team to overcome given the question marks at other positions. With playoff odds that were essentially split with 3 teams already, the Tigers chances of the postseason just got much longer and it may make sense for the Tigers to flip the switch from buyers to sellers.

The Option

One of the biggest stories last year was whether or not the Tigers should cut Ordonez to avoid his option vesting. They didn’t and the reaped the benefits of his performance this year (and the burden of his paycheck). There is a $15 million option for next season that now will not automatically vest. The Tigers may have $15 million additional to spend next year, or they may pick it up (which would be an overpayment), or perhaps decline the option and sign Ordonez to a more reasonable 2 year deal.

The business move is of course to decline the option. We’ll see if Mike Ilitch feels the same way though, especially given the fact that Ordonez broke the ankle hustling on a play in a game in which maybe he shouldn’t have even been playing.

The decision to send him home

I don’t think you can blame Gene Lamont for sending Ordonez home. It was just a bad situation. I’m not even sure that he broke it on the slide. Given the way he was running I don’t know that he would have been able to put on the brakes at third base anyways without damaging the ankle. It was unfortunate, but not a bad decision.

Cabrera and the triple crown

One of several real bright spots this season was Miguel Cabrera’s pursuit of the Triple Crown. The odds were long on this one as well just because of the shear difficulty of the feat. Ordonez and his .378 OBP will no longer be in front of Cabrera meaning fewer opportunities for RBI and more opportunities for teams to pitch around Cabrera.

25 thoughts on “Some thoughts on the Ordonez situation”

  1. You guys who write about/for the Tigers need to wake up and realize there’s a lot of Tiger fans who are tired of Lamont being protected for the calls he’s made; either holding up runners when they should have scored a run, or sending them home when there was no way the runner would be safe. Aside from Magg’s unnecessary trip around third, is Johnny Damon’s stumble between second and third the other night. That was Lamont’s fault too, as he’s supposed to be the eyes for the runners and to let them know what’s going on in the outfield. Yes, Damon is supposed to watch too, but in this case, he needed help determining whether to run or not. Lamont didn’t give Damon any help at all, he just hung Damon out to dry.

    Lamont’s third base coaching is despicable and either needs to improve somehow or Lamont needs to be replaced, regardless of what Jim Leyland says about it. You guys in the media are no help, covering up stuff in this ‘old boys’ network that there seems to be at Comerica Park.

    Knock it off.

    1. I don’t think there is any sort of conspiracy, but I agree that the blame must lie with the guilty. And Lamont is a horrible 3rd base coach. I vividly remember Cabrera blatantly ignoring his stop signal while rounding third and then he scored easily. That’s just one of many.

    2. I probably shouldn’t speak for billfer, but I’m not sure how much he can check his blog anymore and I think something should be said here. He is hardly “the media”, he’s a guy who runs a blog because he loves baseball and loves the Tigers. He’s not covering up anything or part of any old boys network, he’s always been fair in his coverage, criticizing when it was appropriate. If you don’t like his coverage, I’m sure we can all get along without you.

      Rip on Lamont all you want, you’re entitled to your opinion (for the record I agree that he was too aggressive with Maggs the other night), but you should check your assumptions before you go calling people intellectually dishonest.

  2. Carol — Please reread the passage on which you are commenting. Attributing Bilfer’s comments to membership in an old boys network is laughable.

    Lamont may or may not be any good, but to hang this injury on him is ridiculous.

    I’m really bummed that Ordonez got hurt. Bilfer, thanks for writing about it.

    1. Those are Carol’s own comments and I believe she’s referring to Leland’s gool ‘ol boys club. I’ve never thought Gene was a good coach at 3rd.

  3. I like Maggs and would like to keep him around at reasonable money he was one of the 2 or 3 guys that really helped us get off the garbage heap, and who will ever forget his blast over the A’s, I can see that in my over and over. I think (and hope) he wants to stay here. We all knew this would be a transition year so I am happy they are in the hunt but agree with Bill, way too much to fill at way too cost right now. Play the younger guys, get some experience and lets get a few FA’s over the winter to join our already strong core and really be set up to kill it next year

    Bill, Glad to see a post and hope we can get a game thread or two out of you, although if I look at your last thread pattern it only looks like news ….no game threads which I do miss. Your call as its your site, but mark me down a game thread supporter.


  4. Someone wrap Verlander in bubblewrap Quick!!!
    He and Santiago are the current ones from the 2006 team that haven’t spent time on the DL or been sent to the Minors/ or out of baseball this year.

    Pudge: DL stint with Wash (think it was only 2-3 weeks)
    Casey/Shelton: OOB, Minors
    Polonco: DL Philly Month
    Guillen: DL list twice
    Inge: out 4-6 weeks
    Monroe : OOB
    Granderson: DL 6 weeks Yanks
    Ordonez: 6- 8 weeks

    Of the subs only Santiago, Infante and Stairs have escaped. All others are in the minors or out of baseball

    Rogers: OOB
    Verlnader :
    Robertson:sent to minors
    Miner: missed season
    Bonderman; INjured last year missed last season
    Zumaya: out for season
    Seay ; out for season
    Durbin : DL stint philly
    Miller: Minors
    Jones: OOB
    Rodney: safe for now

    Others are OOB or in the minors. Which Twin Gypsy put a curse on the Tigers?

  5. I know that the RISP problem looks to be terrible for the Tigers, but a few stats:

    Tigers: .251, .714 OPS
    AL Avg: .261, .747 OPS

    Tigers: .314, .837 OPS
    AL Avg: .305, .813 OPS

    It’s really not as bad as it ever seems. Well, as far as the hitting goes.

    I have serious concerns about the injuries and the resulting lineup we’re throwing out there every day. If the right deal comes in for Damon, we’d have to consider it.

  6. What a situation the Tigers find themselves in. I don’t think Damon is leaving Detroit, nor do I think Sizemore will stay. Just my opinion, though. There are a ton of rumors floating out there regarding trades, etc. but I’m still grieving about the loss of Magglio. And here we have the premier leader for MVP and his backup guys go down. Well, they said this team would be interesting. Maybe we can get a win tonight. Kind of enjoy listening to Dan and Jim, although MLB Network is showing snippets of this game. God help us! Go Tigers.

  7. mlbtraderumors reports Haren to the Angels and Tigers supposedly interested in Adam Dunn and won’t trade Oliver/Turner for a rental.

  8. It was JL fault. Ordoñez was injured and it was irresponsible to put him to play.Damon food poisoning didnt help either-He is a pro he must take care about what is he eating- And have been rested a lot even if he is healthy

  9. Ordonez slide very poorly and broke his ankle. How is that Leylands fault? Ordonez has never been fleet of foot since his knee injury. I’m surprise that this was his 1st major injury since joining the team 6 years ago.

  10. Im not just talking about the Ordonez situation! The horrible road record for the last three years! Their failure to clinch first place last year!

  11. Geez Tigers’ fans. Injuries come with the game of baseball. Either support the team or don’t but problems start to arise when people start trying to point the finger at whoever they think are at fault. Get over it. I love my current Tigers as well but let them heal in peace. Support who we have left and hope (better yet pray) for a good rest of the season

    Peace guys

    1. This season doesnt matter to me, i’m worried about the state of the franchise and the next couple decades and we are in weak shape right now and the owner is blowing massive millions, it’s very unsettling, why support the team when the team isn’t behaving responsibly? A revolt is warranted because the goal and the end is just and deserving of one. But that doesn’t mean we can’t revolt politely and professionally.

  12. I’m not a pro, never have been, never will be. I’m 58 and athletic until I turned 50. I played many sports, but baseball was always my favorite. The only thing better than playing was going to see the Tigers. Nothing better than going to a Tigers game with Dad and many times Mom, maybe Sis. Dad and I either listened to the game on radio, watched it on TV or went to the game. Sometimes Dad would turn the TV sound off and we’d listen to Harwell or Kell on the radio when they were trying out new broadcasters.

    1. Why do Laird, Avila, Kelly & Larish look at me when they’re swinging? Hitting requires the batter to watch the ball all the way to contact with the bat. How hard would it be to force low average batters towatch film of great “hitters” like Rose, Kaline, Mags & Miquel and compare film of their approach and lack of contact. On Laird’s homer on 7/21, he actually watched the ball contact his bat, rather than just swing and hope he’ll run into it. How can a catcher not watch the ball to contact when that’s what he does with ball to glove all game?
    2. Who taught these guys when a pitch is close to the plate to take it as a called 3rd strike? This is Little League 101. It’s sickening to watch over 50% strikeouts being called 3rd strikes. You’re a “batter”, not a “looker” and can’t be a “hitter” taking strikes. Shouldn’t players with a batting average below .250 be fined $500 or have to wear a sign saying “I’m an idiot” when they have 5 called strikeouts?
    3. Why was Guillen trying to play 2nd base at the shortstop position?
    4. Who taught Guillen to swing at the first pitch when the bases are loaded and the pitcher just walked the guy in front of him?
    5. Why can’t Guillen throw a ball like he means it? His la-de-da approach to fielding and especially throwing makes it look like he just doesn’t want to be there or doesn’t care. Good candidate to sit down and tell he’s going to DH and unless he improves he’ll be fired.
    6. Why does Boesch run like a gazel on the bases and like a drunk in the outfield? Its like he tries to crash into walls and drop catchable balls! Is he really a first baseman?

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