Game 2012.52: Yankees at Tigers

Detroit Tigers, 24-27, 5 games behind Chicago, winning streak: 1 game. And it’s Polish-American night.

It was all a terrible misunderstanding.

A lot has been written about the last day of the current installment of the Ryan Raburn Experience, mostly about the surprise appearance of Raburn in the 2nd spot in the order.

Subsequent stories have described this as a last ditch effort to see if Raburn could produce before lopping off his head, or at least fitting it for a Mud Hens hat. Because nothing relaxes a player who is pressing like being moved up to the 2nd spot in the order (there are two ways, of course, to look at this: Leyland is a fool, or Leyland is a genius, who could have predicted Raburn would strike out 3 times and just wanted to get this demotion thing done with).

The real story though is much simpler, and shows the importance of good communication within an organization.

Dave Dombrowski walked by while Leyland was in a pre-game fret about Raburn, and was asked for advice on what to do with Raburn.  Dombrowski: “He would be a good table setter.” Leyland, already stumped at how to get a table setter in the 2 spot on base in front of Cabrera and Fielder, jumped at the suggestion.  Much to his embarrassment, only later did he find out that Dombrowski was suggesting Raburn spend the day setting up the post-game buffet.

When asked why he didn’t question Dombrowski immediately about the unusual suggestion, Leyland said it fit with what he thought Dombrowski had previously said about Raburn: “He’s scrappy.”  Turns out he had misheard that.


Of course, the Raburn affair was overshadowed by the foul tip in the dirt which was neither tipped nor in the dirt, which joined the balk which was not a balk and the bunt off the invisible leg at the top of the list of Tiger umpiring travesties.  But be that as it may, how would you like to have to deal with what the Yankees have had to deal with from the umpires?

Why just Wednesday, the Yankees had to contend with an umpire throwing new balls to the pitcher, instead of letting the catcher do it! Remarkably the Yankees were able to prevail under these adverse conditions, and still beat the Angels 6-5.  Still catcher Russell Martin had no hard feelings over the incident, leaving umpire Laz Diaz with the conciliatory words, “you’re such a d—. You’re a d—, dude. Like, for real. Unbelievable.”


Tonight the Yankees will have to overcome the unknownness of Tiger rookie Casey Crosby, making his MLB debut against the enormous talent of C.C. Sabathia. Crosby posted an uninspiring 4.26 ERA at Toledo, but will be aided by the Yankee inability to recognize him from his generic Gameday photo.  I hesitated before posting the Game Post pic (it clearly reveals Crosby as a lefty), but have been assured that Yankee players rarely frequent this blog.

No word on whether Avila is out as a precaution after getting his mask knocked off, or whether Leyland is playing the usual RH/LH strategy.  Dirks is out with a sore achilles, which is apparently getting worse. And still no Jackson. We may see Raburn back at this rate.


Stat of the day: Prince Fielder (at 275 lbs) just hit his 10th career triple. According to, Prince Fielder is the second player in MLB history weighing at least 275 pounds to have 10 career triples. Adam Dunn (285 lbs) also has 10. I’m not sure which is more astonishing: the 10 triples, or that Fielder is listed as 10 lbs less than Dunn. Although if I read this correctly, all Austin Jackson has to do to break this record is to gain 90 lbs.


Tonight’s Player of the Pre-game:  Prince Fielder. The matchup between Fielder and fellow ex-Brewer Sabathia will be huge. Apparently, Sabathia was trying to convince Fielder to become a Yankee.  Tonight Sabathia will really wish Fielder was a Yankee.

Tonight’s Rookie Hazing Lineup:

  1. Quintin Berry CF
  2. Danny Worth 2B
  3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
  4. Prince Fielder 1B
  5. Delmon Young LF
  6. Gerald Laird DH
  7. Brennan Boesch RF
  8. Omir Santos C
  9. Ramon Santiago SS

48 thoughts on “Game 2012.52: Yankees at Tigers”

  1. Ah, The Raburn Affair. Sounds like the title to a new Dan Brown suspense novel, or perhaps a mystery story by Iain Pears. Inspector Raburn (or perhaps Rayburn to avoid potential lawsuits for defamation of character) goes in search of a recently stolen famous bat (or “The Bat” in the Brown story). Exciting stuff. Expected release date ~August 1st, 2012.

    1. A good lawyer could successfully have defamation charges dropped due to the plaintiff being in an existing Pre-defamed condition.

  2. As I mentioned in a late post to yesterday’s game thread, the bench “strength” of the Tigers (namely Santos, Santiago and Worth), not being particularly inspiring, of course means that Leyland, who it now seems reads this blog regularly (perhaps Damus Fuscious was correct about Tiger officials), wants to prove me wrong and so has all three in tonight’s lineup. I concede that there may be some merit in this, considering the result of my last evening’s prognostication was woefully incorrect. However, in my own defense, I must argue that at least I had the score right, and even though I was in complete error on the rest, still, 1 out of five (.200) is still a better average than Kelly, Raburn or Inge were able to muster to this point.

    1. I was actually half serious wondering whether the lineup was a rookie hazing for CC (as opposed to C.C.).

      1. With the “uninsipring” Crosby going tonight, perhaps Leyland just decided to potentially concede the game and give some of the regulars an extra day off. At least Below, Marte and Villarreal are rested and I wouldn’t be surprised to see all three get work tonight.

        But, I have been wrong before.

  3. talk about self-inflicted… OK, so maybe the Crosby experiment is already over

  4. May be wishful thinking / hallucinating, but does Worth look like he has a lot more confidence now that Raburn is gone?

  5. as many games as I can recall over the last few weeks have each had a pivotal inning that make or break the game for Detroit and here we are again.

    1. that was both pivotal and typical. I’ll be surprised if we get another chance like that to break this open.

  6. .114 with the sacks juiced………that stat tells all: worst in MLB……..and it’s lower now that Boesch K’d………. 🙁

  7. The numbers with the bases loaded is a joke. That at bat by Boesch was PATHETIC. The fact that this team has Duane Below on the roster and allows a kid, who can’t throw strikes to pitch is a joke.

  8. Who is going to get the start, the next time Fister’s turn comes up in the rotation?

  9. what?….an umpire call in our favor?? of course there’s a downside: Laird hurts himself…..

  10. Is anybody surprised by Crosby’s performance? C-mon, raise your hands, don’t be shy.

    Note to JL and DD: wing and a prayer approach ain’t gonna get it done.

  11. I swear the Tigers are snake-bit……whatever can go wrong does……even when CC shouldn’t throw the pitch [his fielder was out of position]…….they get a DP out of it……

  12. Some people say the manager doesn’t make any difference.

    I respectfully disagree. Who sets the lineup? Who decides when it is time to go to the bully? Etc.

    1. I love people who say he doesn’t matter. Jim Leyland in 2007 made 2 million dollars per year. That is an awful lot of money for a position that makes no difference. The guy who writes for the Bless you boys blog, went on and on, how firing Jim Leyland will do no good, etc. It may not help, but, nobody would pay those kind of salaries, if it doesn’t make a difference. The team sucks, how is he not responsible in some way? Quinton Berry could have been used ahead of Don Kelly for a week, Danny Worth could have been getting regular at bats ahead of Raburn, a while ago. Leyland never punishes lack of huslte, poor situational approaches, “being drunk the morning of a game”, They have underachieved during his entire tenure and A manager change could NOT hurt at this point. A 27 year old rookie has given more energy and passion to this team, then the majority of this team…That is a problem. Those that disagree w/ his firing…How long do you wait? Do you just give up on the season? Talent is not their problem…It is a lack of focus, concentration,etc. There has been a complete lack of accountability on this team. It took a drunken debacle by Young, to get Dirks in the everyday lineup. They just give away runs every game both offensively and defensively (Young allowed a guy from 1st to score on that play) It’s pathetic. They play horrible baseball on a consistent basis…When is somebody going to be held accountable? I know I am ranting, but, the guy has LOST the team.

      1. I don’t think Leyland has lost the team as much as he hasn’t led it. A smart manager, who plays (I’m convinced he is the 26th guy) INTELLIGENTLY and with CREATIVITY, will pass that kind of attitude onto the team over time. If, on the other hand, he is managing by his gut, well who wants to be the manager’s gut.

        Studies have proven that intuition is wrong more often than it is right, so flying by the seat of your pants isn’t the way to go. Critical decision making isn’t always going to guarantee success of course (you can over-think too), but it sets a pattern that is more dependable in the long run than basing decisions on mostly guesswork, which is akin to flipping a coin – over the short term there will be more heads than tails (or vice versa), but over the long run it will average out to close to 50% – see Leyland’s carrer record for an example. Another problem that arises is that when the guessers run into a bad streak, they can start doubling down on their fallacious approach (because they don’t know anything else) and the chances of success become even more remote. The myth of the intuitive genius is just that, a myth, but we (the human brain) seems to be predisposed to believing in this nonsense, and the consequnce is that we accept nincompoops in positions of authority without thought, when any reasonable examination would make us conclude that “we have to get this guy outta here.”
        End of rant response to your rant.

        1. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” –Albert Einstein

  13. I don’t know. I’m sort of surprised Omir Santos isn’t tearing it up…gold star to VIM for the insight that maybe Uncle Smokey was writing this one off from the start.

  14. It’s like a broken record, but, you get a leadoff double…The Yankees have their top 2 relievers on the DL and even ahead 3-0 in the count, Our 214 Million dollar man can’t even get a productive out.

  15. When the Yankees leave town, the Tigers will have completed 1/3 of the season – aside from their first 12 games, the disappointments have significantly outweighed the positives…so far.

    Other teams with better records/success have had to endure more injuries to key players than DET – so eliminate that ‘excuse’. When does some accountability rest on management/coaching staff?

    1. 15-25 in last 40 games = not good. And now they are starting to be hit by injuries. The accountabilty issue boils down to this: Illitch loves Dombrowski and Dombrowski loves Leyland, therefore the unhappy results are due to the players underperforming, bad calls by the umpires, poor weather, Fate and so on. There is no accountability while deniability holds sway.

  16. I sure hope Boesch stops playing when Jackson comes back…That was a horrible swing on the first pitch. Why can we not have better swings…if we are going to swing at the first pitch? That guy has not improved offensively or defensively in his entire career.

  17. seems like when the Tigers face a guy up from the minors they make him look like Cy Young…Tigers bring up a guy and he walks 5 and gives up a grand slam..

    1. I think there is something not quite above board happening here…it’s almost as if they are using advance scouting or something.

    2. i’ve also noticed that recurring theme also…with the exception to Smyly’s first 5 starts

      a ‘lack of execution’ falls mostly on the players, but a ‘lack preparation and motivation’ rests on management (or lack thereof)

  18. The Tigers have done a better job this year manufacturing runs… unfortunately the majority of those have been for the ‘other’ team 😉

  19. This team has an entitlement about themselves. They have no fight, no scrappiness, and have shown a shockingly poor mastery of the fundamentals. They have consistently tolf everybody that “They will hit”, they are a “good team”, etc. Yet, they have said some bizarre things like Leyland after getting ejected talked about how they swung at terrible pitches and wasted at bats (as if this was some anomaoly to that game) Then they are trying to set a record for ejections in a two week period. Leyland goes off on the umpires, yet, still has not gone off on his zombie like team. Now, we can no longer say “it’s early”. Raburn is in the minors, Inge has been cut, Granderson has more HR’s then Fielder and Cabrera combined. They have serious, serious issues and they have no idea on how to solve it. That is why I would fire Jim and hire Terry Francona (He does have two titles…after all) We have to hear all about Jim’s one title over a decade ago…whenever we criticize. HISTORY TELLS US…This coaching staff will not fix anything this year.

    1. I’m not sure if Francona is ‘the solution’, but i’m pretty sure JL and his staff are not.

    1. Looks like he will pass Ralph Houk and become 15th on the all-time win list this year. Based on how the (mostly dolt) sportswriters vote on HoF membership, he has a petty good shot at getting in, although I would argue that his high win total is due to some dummy allowing him to manage 1000+ games too many.

    1. As long as Felder and Caberra start hitting, and Bosh comes around, and once Rayburn gets into 2nd half form.

  20. I’m not giving up on the season, the Central is such slop this team could win it at 86-76, but what pisses me off to no end is that the Tigers have not actually had a single awesome regular season since 1987. Even that there was an 11-19 start. In 2006 there was the last 40 game implosion. It’s as if this franchise is incapable of one (one!) wire to wire regular season in my lifetime. Sure they could get going, but the regular season is already a hot mess. And I’m sorry, it won’t be completely redeemed if they go 62-50 the rest of the way.

    1. Have heart stephen. Remember, they only need to be good enough to be the 2nd wild card team.

      1. Although at present it looks like both teams will come out of the East, which come to think of it, may have been the idea of adding another team to begin with – with 2 wild card teams, it is almost a sure thing at least one of them will be from the East division = more $$$$.

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