Game 2012.149: Athletics at Tigers

(sorry for the late post)

79-69, 2nd place, 2 games behind CWS, E# 13.

Quick turnaround today.

Let’s not discount how well the Tigers have played over the last two days. The Athletics were the ALs hottest team coming into Detroit, posting an 8-2 record over their last 10 games and going 22-9 over the last month+. And the Tigers have won two snoozers. A sweep this afternoon could be just what the Tigers need to gain some real momentum heading into the final two weeks of the season.

Drew Sharp wrote this morning that the problem is the roster, not Leyland. Considering that the 2 best players in the AL (or 2/3 if you include Trout) play for the Tigers, they have an outstanding staff and AJax and Prince Fielder to boot, I hardly doubt that the roster is the problem. Sure, some better filler players would be welcomed, but I don’t agree with Sharp’s criticism.

Speaking of the final two weeks – I’d like to get a DTW reader poll going. How far would Jimmy Leyland have to go into the playoffs before you’d be willing to bring him back next year? The consensus seems to be make the playoffs or get out. But what happens if we lose in the first round? If the Tigers can miraculously make it through to the ALCS, but then get summarily dismissed, is there any way that Leyland suffers the same fate? To be clear, I’m not asking for a prediction (we’ll save that for when we get there), but rather, for those of you who want Leyland gone – what level of success would cause you to change your mind about Leyland. And will you be willing to forego future complaints regarding JL if he can get to that level?



  1. Kevin in Dallas

    September 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Tigers have lost 10 straight 1 run decisions.

    For me, Jimmy would have to get past the first round to justify staying. There is simply too much talent on this roster to not be heading into the playoffs with some sort of home field advantage.

    • StorminNorman

      September 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      compare the A’s stats vs DET’s, and coming into the series the A’s were 22 games over .500, and DET was only 8 games over .500…but on paper, it looks like it should be the other way around.

  2. Coleman

    September 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    OK, nevermind this one, total Clown Show.

  3. StorminNorman

    September 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    DET’s defense have given the A’s 5 of their 6 runs scored today…pretty sad.

  4. StorminNorman

    September 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    the official scorer gave Kottaras a triple on that?! no question about it, E-8…i believe it even hit AJ’s glove

  5. William

    September 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    If they get in, they could win it all, pending Scherzer’s arm. Not saying they would, but St. Louis has won it twice in the past 6 years with being remotely the best team.

    I think ALCS appearance would be OK, but –honestly–short of a title, I think they’d be better off with new blood.

    • StorminNorman$

      September 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      i agree on all points, especially the part about “better off with new blood” (mgr, coaches and a few roster changes).

      There is no clear-cut dominant team this year, it kinda like the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs in some years, an 8-seeded team can beat a #1 seed, and any team that gets in can win it all.

      But, I suspect that a DET team w/o a Scherzer (the healthy/very effective version of the past month and a half) won’t even make the playoffs, unless the CWS implodes (which i doubt they will)

  6. StorminNorman

    September 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    BTW, good post Kevin re: Drew Sharp’s article…Sharp is a moron that just likes to stir things up with small-minded articles like his latest.

  7. Vince in MN

    September 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I agree 100% with StorminNorman re: Drew Sharp. The guy is a total waste of time.

    Leyland: I have wanted him gone for like 6 years now, so how far they go, if and when they get into the playoffs, doesn’t matter at all to me. –13 and counting.

  8. stephen

    September 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Can’t stand Leyland, but c’mon, part of it is roster. THEY HAVE NO ONE WHO CAN FIELD BESIDES AJAX. Seriously, catchers are decent but besides that the rest are below average to ghastly. Can’t be so deficient in such a key aspect of the game. And that’s not Leyland or coaching, that’s roster makeup.

  9. StorminNorman$

    September 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    i’m not laying the blame solely on JL. I recognize players have to perform on the field and DET’s defense has been fair to poor much of this year, but there are a couple other teams with more errors (OAK – 96, TAM 109) than DET (90) who are likely going to the playoffs (OAK) or competing for a spot. Offensively, TAM (.238) is 3rd to last in team BA, and OAK (.236) is 2nd to last, and both teams have scored about 50 fewer runs than DET (.268 BA).

    Yes, TAM (.328) is 1st in team ERA, OAK (.350) is 2nd, but DET is 3rd (3.80).

    DET is 3rd in the league in BA, 3rd in the AL in ERA, and arguably have 3 of the top 20 players in MLB, plus a pretty good supporting (albeit defensively challenged) cast of players…and they’re playing in the weakest division in the AL. TAM has made 19 more errors than DET, and TAM is hitting 30 points lower team BA, and they play in the AL East and have the same record as DET. OAK is hitting 32 points lower BA, made 6 more errors than DET, they play in the AL West and they’re 21 games above .500.

    Players and coaches will share the blame if DET misses the playoffs this year. Its only natural that some scrutiny will also be directed at the guy that fills out the lineup card, makes pitching and personnel changes and manages the team and coaching staff – that comes with the territory of being mgr or boss…for every MLB team.

    • William

      September 21, 2012 at 8:30 am

      could it be that OAK and TB players have far better range (I find it hard to believe it could be worse), and get to many more balls, thus increasing the # of errors?

      we suck defensively, that’s all I know.

  10. stephen

    September 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    White Sox just lost after intentionally walking Jeff Frickin Francoeur with two out in the 9th. The Tigers are just crummy, but the White Sox are going to choke it away. Seriously, Ventura will choke, their players aren’t great. Tigers go 8-5 they’ll do no worse than a tie. Bank it. I mean they would have no business being in the playoffs, but there they will be.

  11. Florian

    September 21, 2012 at 12:10 am

    I’d say let Leyland go, play-offs or not. I don’t think he can give the team any new impulses. If the Tigers don’t reach the play-offs, he should be toast, if they do reach, he can leave as well no matter how deep they go. Reaching the playoffs should be a good end of his career with Detroit.

  12. Florian

    September 21, 2012 at 12:20 am

    With the roster the Tigers had, they should have been much more dominant than they were. If the Tigers would have been dominant, but the White Sox that much more dominant, that would have just been bad luck. But with that roster, the Tigers barely scraped by and may very well miss the off-season, not in small part aided by idiocies like putting Raburn out there and clinging to Inge earlier the season no matter what. The rest of the coaching team must have also been asleep at the wheels, the D was not good to begin with, but those players are not bums either. Look, Oakland is on top of the wild card, six games ahead of Detroit after a series loss to this team. The A’s have a ca. .250 team batting average and are that much better. Detroit’s wobbliness is to a big part due to coaching problems.

  13. Rod in Tucson

    September 21, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Fielding stats are interesting with the Tigers. Tiger infielders, except SS, are in the lineup for hitting and not fielding– and boast the majority of the errors made. Fielder and Cabrera are at the top in innings played at their positions-compared to anyone else– suggesting that the Tigers lack quality utility infielders on the roster to allow these two to DH at times. Too many innings and putouts placed in the hands of mediocre fielding players in crucial situations–which lead to losses. The front office- and Leyland- are to blame.

    • Vince in MN

      September 21, 2012 at 8:33 am

      As the bullpen is a support for the starting rotation, the bench is a backup for the starting nine. We know DD has been pitching-centric and has done a very good job of building a good staff, but in my view the Tiger benches during his tenure have tended to get second shrift. They have been weak for years. And you can’t tell me Leyland hasn’t had a hand in all this, what with the likes of Neifi Perez and Don Kelly parading through and getting significant playing time over the years.

  14. NWO

    September 21, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Leyland has done a less than good job this year, but Dumbrowski deserves some blame as well. In hindsight, this team is not so well constructed. It is not Leyland’s fault that Infante became the leagues worst defensive 2B we he came over. It is his fault, however, that Raburn and Boesch got so many at bats this year, that he keeps his seemingly clueless coaching staff emplyed and that his in-game tactics/strategy is highly questionable. Anyway, if they win the division I think he will come back for a swan song year next year. If they don’t make it, i could see the whole front office clearing out.