How Time Flies

The Detroit Tigers are 8-7 in Grapefruit League play as of this writing and are having a rather good spring overall, statistically speaking. A few injuries and a few WBC excused absences are the only flies in the ointment at this point. We’re getting to the point where Spring Training starts to get interesting, or as interesting as it can get for a team that came in with the starting lineup settled and the pitching staff largely so. So what’s left to decide?

Closer: I think it was decided as far back as last November that the Tigers would not be looking to the outside for a closer. Current rumors to the contrary are bizarre (which doesn’t rule out the possibility that they’re true.) But as I see it, whatever Bruce Rondon does or does not do over the next few weeks, the most that ST may decide is the prospective closer. (If you saw Al Alburquerque’s inning against the Astros March 4, you might have seen that prospective closer already.) The issue will not be settled until April. Or May. Or June. The good news is that the Tigers have bullpen talent to spare and multiple candidates. I think the “closer question” is really an overhyped non-issue at this time. It must top the list of Jim Leyland’s least favorite day in and day out subjects to address. If the bullpen lives up to expectations, a closer or a series of them will emerge. If the bullpen tanks, then it tanks, though “lack of a closer” might persist as a popular (and false) diagnosis.

Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly: Both doing quite well. Guess what? I think they’re both on the team Opening Day. It should take an offer the Tigers absolutely can’t refuse to pry either of them away in trade. Elvis Andrus is the only such offer I can think of. Are the Rangers that desperate? Flip a coin three times, and if it comes up heads each time, the answer is yes.

The bench: Brayan Pena is a given. It would appear that the three spots left must be for Infield Guy, Outfield Guy, and Versatility Guy. Jeff Kobernus (Rule 5 status) is obviously being given every opportunity to be Versatility Guy and seems to be taking advantage of it. Kobernus has the inside track, but depth in utility is not a bad thing, and I’ve gotten some positive impressions from Kevin Russo, Don Kelly, and Matt Tuiasosopo, Toledo-bound as they may be. I would have said that Outfield Guy was Quintin Berry’s job to lose, but his knee problems are complicating things. This might open the door for Brennan Boesch, whom I might otherwise say just doesn’t fit. But I still think Boesch gets traded, and if things gang a-gley for Berry, Avisail Garcia is Outfield Guy, and the steady ABs at Toledo thing is out the window. Infield Guy is between Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth. I feel that Worth is earning that bench spot, and Santiago’s injury has done nothing to help his own cause, but we all know Leyland’s leanings regarding proven (and in some cases unproven) veterans, so there’s a good chance we’re in for at least half a season of a declining Santiago.

The bullpen: Smyly/Porcello, Octavio Dotel, Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, Alburquerque. Two spots left, no? The front-runners to fill them appear to be Rondon, Brayan Villareal, Darin Downs, and Duane Below. Below is getting hit hard, and I think Rondon ought to start the season in Toledo, so there you have my slim-chance-of-accuracy guesses. I’ve heard the idea floated of turning Luke Putkonen and Below back into starters, and it sounds like a good one when you consider that the Tigers’ organizational starting pitching depth appears to consist of Casey Crosby and… um, well… Casey Crosby.

Nick Castellanos’s stance and swing remind me of Delmon Young. Not a criticism, just an observation. He’s putting up good numbers, and clearly the Tigers want his bat above all else, but my does he look ungainly in LF. I haven’t seen him play 3B – chime in if you have – but I have to wonder whether the Tigers are really doing him or themselves a favor by pushing Castellanos to the outfield. It occurs to me that an apprenticeship at the corner infield positions at some point from 2013-2015 might have been another possibility to consider. It’s not a certainty that Miguel Cabrera or Prince Fielder will be asked to slide over to DH in 2015 or 2016 (would they even be willing?), but it is possible. And there’s your open door for Castellanos the non-outfielder.

I’m looking forward to the return of the WBC-playing Tigers. So obviously I’m glad Venezuela has been eliminated, though it looks like the Dominican Republic might be at it for a while yet. Watched WBC highlights for the first time – pretty neat, pretty intense. How ’bout that Canada-Mexico game? If the MLB All-Star Game was played with such intensity, it might be worth paying attention to. That WS home field advantage thing isn’t really a motivator. Maybe if the losing team’s players had to sit out the rest of the season…. Ha ha. Blood sport!

If anyone’s due for a bounceback season, it’s newly slim and trim Jhonny Peralta. However, the stats so far suggest nothing of the kind. But it’s early. Right?

Homework assignment: Those injuries! They’re happening already. Consider some of the more devastating scenarios that would involve two players being on the DL simultaneously for weeks or months and how you see the Tigers dealing with it. Worst cases? Justin Verlander and Doug Fister? Cabrera and Fielder? How about the most likely cases? Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks? Alex Avila and Victor Martinez? Fister and Max Scherzer? Alburquerque and Villareal? I’m not suggesting you create a spreadsheet to cover all the possibilities like someone weirdly obsessed with Tigers baseball, but doing so might give you a more practical understanding of the Tigers’ organizational depth.



  1. The Strategy Expert

    March 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Wow great article with lots of smooth and fun to read analysis!

    Regarding the Closer situation, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Tigers land Brian Wilson. He already stated that he is going to sign on with a team once the season gets underway, and a lot of teams will have their situations resolved and I think the Tigers could be quick to jump on him if they have early season struggles with that role. He also seems to fit the profile of player types that DD looks for, being a pricey veteran with proven experience.

    I love the character titles of the open positions of Outfield/Infield/Versatility guy. I think Boesch is indeed still a trade potential, so that will be interesting to see how that shakes things up if a move is made considering we would probably not move him unless other players were included which would definitely change a few things around.

    I agree that Berry is out, but I don’t think it should be because of the injury although I know the Tigers disagree and think he’s valuable. I agree with Santiago having some edge as a proven veteran since the Tigers clearly place a premium value on guys like him. However much you like Santiago whoever is reading this; the Tigers like him even more. DD and Leyland are amongst his very biggest fans.

    Peralta is a good choice for bounceback, but I think Boesch has greater potential to be our comeback player of the year. He was at such a low point that a good season this year could outshine a Peralta improvement. And if the rest of our “Outfield Guys” are doing well in addition to prospects, then that could be a better time to deal Boesch, or Dirks in his place. I don’t suspect either would get a good trade haul in return, so to me it’s more likely to be our best option to keep both players. The #1 guy in our OF I would want gone is Torii Hunter by a long-shot, but we don’t need to talk about that since I’m the only person in Detroit who probably feels that way!

    For the homework assignment, that was one thing I thought about when I placed Mitch Moreland on the trade list that somebody else questioned. I am still of the opinion that we should trade VMart due to his lack of positional fielding usefulness while MM can play both 1B and OF, and that would give us insurance and depth and allow us to free up a tradeable asset to improve one of the other more important holes.

    Great read Loon!

    • Smoking Loon

      March 11, 2013 at 2:03 am

      Thanks, TSE.

      • Smoking Loon

        March 14, 2013 at 12:49 am

        The more I think about it, the less I like wasting a roster spot on Versatility Guy until and unless injuries create the need. It’s unfortunate that the Tigers can’t hold onto Kobernus in the minors. As it is, he has to better than any of the guys he’d displace – either Worth, Berry, or Santiago – and I just don’t think he is. I’m seeing more value in Santiago than I have now (not because of the grand slam), and Versatility Guys like Kelly and possibly Tuiasosopo and Russo can keep in AAA until needed. I’m thinking that the most sensible bench to begin with is really Berry, Worth, and Santiago.

        • The Strategy Expert

          March 15, 2013 at 11:13 pm

          I think Kobernus is a better value than Worth, Berry, or Santiago, and I feel confident in saying that despite never seeing him play. I just don’t respect the value of those 3 guys and think our organization needs to move on from them. Worth is the only one that could somehow break out as a surprise, but too unlikely with too low of a ceiling. And when he leaves the organization I’ll complain about the 2nd round pick we wasted on him and not choosing to trade him before we find out that he’s not a winning value player.

  2. William

    March 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Porcello with 5 scoreless today. He and Smyly both doing very well.

    • The Strategy Expert

      March 10, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      And the longer teams wait to make a good trade offer, the more they will miss in the meantime and the higher the price will be to pry him away later! Today is the day to get a bargain on him if you are a team that needs pitching help. The Tigers are the only team that doesn’t need to be in a hurry to move him, we can wait!

      • Vince in MN

        March 10, 2013 at 10:33 pm

        I wouldn’t be in any rush to trade him, especially with Fister getting hammered. Yeah, I know, Fister is “working on stuff” and “feels great.” But hang onto RP for a while, just in case.

    • Smoking Loon

      March 11, 2013 at 2:22 am

      Didn’t see him today, but Porcello looked very sharp in the outing before. It’s great news for the Tigers that both Smyly and Porcello are pitching well.

  3. tiggs1

    March 10, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    “Mr March” (Ryan Raybumb) has been hitting the cover off the ball again this year. We have all seen that movie before. Point is, Spring Training is a very lpoor indicator of how well a player will do during the REAL season. This year, because of WBC players are missing even more playing time with their teams and the talent level for those still in camp is so watered down, I wouldn’t place a whole lot of accuracy in evaluations of the 23rd – 25th players on MLB rosters. These guys are often interchangable with the teams AAA teams anyway.

    • Smoking Loon

      March 11, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      One thing that I find fun about trying to evaluate players on the fringe of the 25-man at this time of year is trying to guess whose moment in the sun, whether it be a couple months or a couple years, might be due. I emphasize “guess.” I’m sure some really baseball-smart Tigers fans were able to recognize early last year that guys like Berry and Downs were players to keep an eye on.

      Spring training stats aren’t very predictive, true. If I could watch every game, I might ignore them. I’ve watched 3 Tigers ST games so far. The FSD broadcast was decent, but the others were a little too casual. My complaint is that not only is the play-by-play not taken seriously, but they don’t even let you watch the game. Exhibition or not, I’d really like to see it, more than I need to see in-game interviews.
      Excuse me! Trying to evaluate here! Don’t give me the action in that little split-screen box.

  4. stephen

    March 10, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    In other news, former prospect but somehow still in the organization Mr Cale Iorg, 213 in AA/AAA over last 3 years, started for Canada in the WBC. He went a very Cale-like 1-11. Seriously, I can’t believe the Tigers are going to carry him in AAA another season.

    • Vince in MN

      March 10, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      He plays SS.

      • Smoking Loon

        March 11, 2013 at 2:14 am

        Yeah, gotta fill those minor league rosters as best you can. Thin at SS and 2B. If anyone can name the last middle infielder who came up through the Tigers system and went on to have some degree of MLB success, please do. Ramon Santiago? Anyone else?

        • Jeff Molby

          March 11, 2013 at 11:31 am

          Omar Infante came up alongside Ramon.

          • Smoking Loon

            March 11, 2013 at 6:26 pm

            Ah yes.

            Pitchers and outfielders appear to be the Tigers’ developmental strengths over the past decade or so.

            • Jeff Molby

              March 12, 2013 at 12:42 am

              I think it has more to do with drafting strategies than it does developmental capacity. All the coaching in the world wouldn’t make a lick of difference if you never use your top picks on talented infielders.

              • Smoking Loon

                March 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm

                You’re probably right. “Developmental” was a loose choice of words on my part. If it’s true that the drafts have disfavored infield talent, I wonder if there’s a deliberate strategy involved and what it might be.

              • Jeff Molby

                March 12, 2013 at 9:25 pm

                DD has made no secret of the the fact that he prefers power pitching. After that, it looks like there’s been a preference for catchers and outfielders, though I think the official policy is to just take the best player available.

                Also, we should probably give the organization partial credit for developing Worth (who was drafted as a SS 5 rounds ahead of Iorg) into a AAAA player. They should also get credit for Scott Sizemore, who will probably have himself a modest MLB career as long as he can stay healthy.

              • Coleman

                March 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm

                Well, if you’re going to get all Scott Sizemore on us, I’m going to throw out Wee Willie Rhymes (who is tearing it up in spring training for Washington).

              • Jeff Molby

                March 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm

                Excellent point. Rhymes is doing very well for a 27th round draft pick.

              • Smoking Loon

                March 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm

                Wasn’t it Rhymes who had a bit of a dust-up with Rondon last year? I watched the video, should remember, but don’t.

    • William

      March 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      Being in Birmingham and an Alabama graduate, I typically root for any ex-Alabama players….but he’s got to go.

      I’ll root for him at his next stop, wherever that is.

  5. Kevin in Dallas

    March 11, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Iorg’s best throw was the water bottle into the stands.

    • Coleman

      March 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      It is important to keep the fans hydrated.

      • stephen

        March 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm

        Yes, Iorg nailed the middle-aged cigar chomping trying to make a quick exity. Classic Cale.

  6. stephen

    March 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Damn my smart phone, that was almost in English.

  7. stephen

    March 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    More like dumbo phone.

    • Smoking Loon

      March 11, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      Don’t worry about it. I kind of enjoyed the image of a cigar (and what is middle-age in a cigar’s lifespan?) chomping. Not easy to hit a cigar with a water bottle from a distance, either, especially while trying to make a quick exity (Canadian colloquialism). Iorg must be better than we think.

  8. Smoking Loon

    March 11, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    11-0! Ouch. What happened today?

    I’m plagued with doubt about Verlander’s continued status as staff ace. An extension is now out of the question. Coke is off the team.

    I’m kidding. But 5 hits is kind of icky.

    • Coleman

      March 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      I’m excited. He is already in All-Star Game form.

      • Smoking Loon

        March 11, 2013 at 6:59 pm

        Ha. I wonder if he was actually having one of those days. He does have them from time to time. Game 1 of the World Series comes to mind. I can’t prove it now, but I was secretly hoping they wouldn’t start Verlander in the opener. That adrenaline/”I am invincible” thing, if it’s a real thing. Although the All-Star Game was “give the fans what they want,” I guess. Maybe related, though. Hubris.

        • Smoking Loon

          March 11, 2013 at 10:01 pm

          On the other hand, I can imagine someone analyzing my occasional bad days at work and coming up with theories about it and having it all wrong.

  9. Smoking Loon

    March 11, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    In Peralta’s defense, I think clam chowder could possibly be mistaken, visually, for cream of mushroom or some other cream soup. Note to self: Make soup ID test part of Andrus’s physical.

    • Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert1971

      March 12, 2013 at 2:52 am

      I am curious, is it a clam allergy or a chowder allergy? Maybe lactose? If the soup was in the clubhouse, perhaps the training staff and the clubbies could find out what will make guys sick if they eat it and eliminate it from the spread. If it was at a eatery, would have to be on the menu, unless of course it was the soup d’jour, or soup of the day, if you are scoring at home.

  10. Smoking Loon

    March 12, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Ah, it was mistaken for POTATO soup. I can see that. I’m guessing the allergy must be clams – I think potato soup is basically a chowder itself.

    A chowder primer from Wikipedia:

    Chowder is a seafood or vegetable stew (or thickened soup), often served with milk or cream and mostly eaten with saltine crackers. Chowder is usually thickened with broken up crackers, but some varieties are traditionally thickened with crushed ship biscuit. New England clam chowder, perhaps the best known chowder, is typically made with chopped clams and diced potatoes, in a mixed cream and milk base, often with a small amount of butter. Other common chowders include Manhattan clam chowder, which substitutes tomatoes for the milk and cream and typically omits potatoes; corn chowder, which uses corn instead of clams; a wide variety of fish chowders; and potato chowder, which is often made with cheese.

    • William

      March 12, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      corn and potato chowder is damn good when made right.

      unless you are allergic, of course:)

      • Coleman

        March 12, 2013 at 7:58 pm

        Try it with a bit of finely diced jalapeño.

    • Coleman

      March 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      One doesn’t get this sort of thing on other blogs. We aim to educate.

      • Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert1971

        March 13, 2013 at 1:16 am

        My favorite version is Rhode Isalnd Clam Chowder… no bacon or pork fat, and no milk or cream. After the spuds soften, you scoop them out and puree them. Always popular this time of year… it’s Lent you know.

        • Vince in MN

          March 13, 2013 at 12:17 pm

          Serve with hot cross buns for desert.

        • Smoking Loon

          March 13, 2013 at 8:36 pm

          I’ll take a Rhode Island Chowder with jalapeños in place of the clams and with some corn in it as well. Rhode Island Jalapeño Corn Chowder. That sounds good to me. With some ship biscuit on the side.

    • Vince in MN

      March 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      Ship biscuit, otherwise known as hardtack (and definitely not to be confused with bacon powder biscuits and the like), is inedible without soaking it (preferably boiling) in some liquid. Yum!

      • Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert1971

        March 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm

        Hardtack was the name of Seabiscuit’s Daddy.

      • Smoking Loon

        March 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm

        I tend to think of hardtack and “crisp bread” (think Wasa) as synonymous. It’s all Swedish knäckebröd to me, and it’s quite edible with nothing but margarine or butter on it, although a good tangy white cheese will add to the merriment. Breakfast of champions. Don’t let Vince discourage you! Soak it? Never!

  11. Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert1971

    March 13, 2013 at 1:22 am

    In Baseball news, was given the green light for a trip to Safeco for the day game on the 18th. Will make it a day night DH, the Tacoma Rainiers are playing the Fresno Giants that night. Friday is opening day at the Horse races at Emerald Downs, so will have a chance to visit my money. My bride had a procedure today and was medicated, so I took advantage… was that wrong?

    • Kevin in Dallas

      March 13, 2013 at 10:43 am

      I’d say brilliant.

    • Vince in MN

      March 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      I strongly advise against taking other’s prescription drugs.

  12. Kevin in Dallas

    March 13, 2013 at 10:45 am

    • Vince in MN

      March 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      I’m surprised, as it seems a bit early yet. They must have been really disappointed in what they saw in such a short time, although the part of the contract they have to eat by releasing him now is less than 400K. I would have thought they could have at least got a minor leaguer or two for him, especially if they waited til the end of camp, but I guess the interest from other teams has been luke warm at best. I guess this boosts Comeback Kelly’s chances of making the roster which should make for great feel-good human interest story….. for a couple of weeks anyway.

    • Jeff Molby

      March 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      Cue TSE berating DD for not trading him when his value was high (a.k.a when he was a crucial part of the team, working for the league minimum).

      • The Strategy Expert

        March 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm

        It goes without saying. Every player is not some one of a kind new experience, you either develop a player that is worth keeping for the long-term, or you do your best to find the most efficient exit strategy for that player. Boesch clearly had trade value above zero at previous points in time and we had to make a conscious choice to trade him or not trade him, and in this particular case it didn’t work out to be the best choice in hindsight. All you can do is question whether the proper foresight was used when making this decision and strive to make the right choice with the rest of your players. I don’t need to whine about this transaction or any to change my opinion substantially from what I think about this team’s decision making process.

        • Jeff Molby

          March 13, 2013 at 4:19 pm

          Boesch clearly had trade value above zero at previous points in time

          The vast majority of the players in the league have a trade value above zero. So what? You only get traded when your value to another team is meaningfully higher than your value to your current team. Boesch’s value to the Tigers only dropped when his performance dropped, which obviously dropped his value to other teams as well.

          It only would have made sense to trade him if they had reason to predict the drop in performance.

          • The Strategy Expert

            March 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm

            If they didn’t have reason to believe there would be a drop in performance, then they believed in him and failed. Either way you slice it, the Tigers lost on the Boesch mini-game.

            • Smoking Loon

              March 13, 2013 at 6:09 pm

              Don’t know that the Tigers lost on Boesch. Doesn’t seem in retrospect like there was much to be gained, especially if they were already shopping him last year.

            • Jeff Molby

              March 13, 2013 at 6:11 pm

              Of course. Such mini-losses happen constantly. They also suffered mini-losses on Kevin Whelan, Ronald Bourquin, Christopher Robinson, and countless other players that are released after failing to live up to whatever potential they had.

              The only people bothered by such losses are those that think it’s possible to achieve perfection in player evaluation.

              • The Strategy Expert

                March 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm

                I don’t know what you mean by “perfection in player evaluation”. Player evaluation skills are a subset of a talent in itself that is related to the process, and there’s no need or expectation for anybody or anything to be perfect. The Boesch mini-game includes an evaluation as but just one piece of the overall puzzle of what to do with that entire Case.

                If one is to follow a logical process of baseball roster management then wastes and inefficiencies can be minimized, and the Tigers’ long history of not doing so creates opportunities for these types of inefficiencies to manifest themselves. Nobody forced this destiny on us, we made our choices and I still contend that hindsight says we had better alternatives and that proper foresight should have enacted them. We are now a slightly weaker team than we could have been if we made better choices in the past regarding Boesch and what to do with him.

              • Jeff Molby

                March 13, 2013 at 7:03 pm

                “Player evaluation” as in the process by which you evaluate player and, by extension, what the organization should do with him.

                Had they evaluated him perfectly (using whatever data and processes were necessary to do so), they would have been able to predict his downfall and would have traded him in early July 2011, when his value peaked.

                Of course, they didn’t evaluate him perfectly and I don’t know of anyone that did, so lamenting such a thing is about as useful as an Enron stockholder lamenting the fact that he didn’t sell his holdings on 8/1/2000.

                I still contend that hindsight says we had better alternatives

                No kidding, Sherlock.

              • The Strategy Expert

                March 15, 2013 at 11:20 pm

                Then the Tigers should stop trying to evaluate players perfectly, and defer to logic when making strategy-based decisions. You can’t judge people perfectly, but you can apply logic properly 100% of the time. That’s the area we lose out on, not on the questionable lack of scouting evaluations; I’m looking at the big slices of our pie of problems.

          • Smoking Loon

            March 13, 2013 at 6:07 pm

            I’m not surprised that Boesch won’t be a Tiger on Opening Day, but I’m surprised by the release. Perhaps the Tigers had practically given up on him at the time of leaving him off the postseason roster, but thought it wise to see how the OF situation looked in ST before making any rash moves.

            I don’t think Boesch’s trade value changed much between last summer’s trading deadline and now, not sure whether anything he would have done in ST up till now would have mattered in that regard. When you consider some of the other OF signings around MLB over the offseason, well, I guess there must be a real glut of fringe outfielders. Mariners – Jason Bay? Indians – Ryan Raburn (although their interest might be more in IF or versatility, don’t know)? Phillies – Delmon Young? Over Boesch? That bad? Maybe just a matter of timing.

            I do know that Boesch never looked like he had it together at the plate in a single one of the 2012 games I’ve seen.

            • Jeff Molby

              March 13, 2013 at 6:14 pm

              I’d agree with that assessment. I think he was signed as a cheap insurance policy against injuries and on the off-chance that a rash of external injuries might have generated some demand for his services.

  13. Vince in MN

    March 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Did they re-sign Boesch before or after the Hunter signing this winter?

    • Jeff Molby

      March 13, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      Well after. The idea all along was that he would either win the starting LF job or be traded/cut before the end of ST. They never intended to pay him the full $2.3 unless they were certain his magic was back.

      • Smoking Loon

        March 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        Yankees? Hmmm. Somehow I can see that, even as some joke that he’s not old or expensive enough.

        • Smoking Loon

          March 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm

          You heard it here first. I want points for this.

          • The Strategy Expert

            March 15, 2013 at 11:28 pm

            Ok I award you 2 points!

            • Smoking Loon

              March 16, 2013 at 2:35 am

              I want 2.3. Then you can unconditionally release me.

              • The Strategy Expert

                March 16, 2013 at 2:51 am

                Where are my baseball manners, I’m so very sorry kind sir. Let me try this one more time. First of all i deeply appreciate and respect the tremendous investment you have bestowed upon our once torn franchise, you give us hope and spirit that there is a purpose to life in this universe. I fear some other snipers on here might try to pluck you from me, so let me be the first to offer you a contract for the full market value of your attributes and skills plus 10% for gratuity, 20% more for safety net to make sure we don’t risk underpaying you, plus another 15% for the general ‘x-factor more bling for you to buy’ variable, bringing the grand total to $13.5MM per year for 3 seasons, all of it fully guaranteed.

                Would you like that as Option 1 Payment in Full Upfront, or Option 2 where it is Deferred for over 5 years with a 30% bonus in totality? But it’s ok if you say no because you have a better offer, at least do me the courtesy to match if you have any such offer?

                I’m on the fasttrack to making the bigs one day, I learn fast.

      • Vince in MN

        March 14, 2013 at 1:25 am

        Yeah, that’s what I thought. At the time I thought it was odd signing a guy for 2.3M that was, realistically, considered a long shot to make the team. And based on last year’s performance, what other team was going to be interested in a trade if they had to take on that salary? Not that I didn’t think Boesch had some shot, I just couldn’t wrap my brain around the size of the contract. Even if they didn’t intend to pay him the full amount, 400K is a lot to dish out for just 2 or 3 weeks of work.

  14. Smoking Loon

    March 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Glad the Tigers had the day off. Helps me feel a little less behind the times with this:

    Santiago vs. Halladay career: 2 for 11 with a bunch of zeroes. Nice to see Ramon hit a grand slam, but if that pitch had been to Prince Fielder, the ball might still be in the air.

    • Smoking Loon

      March 13, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Oh. I guess the Tigers didn’t actually have the day off (Florida Southern). I was keeping up better before I started trying so hard to keep up.

      • Smoking Loon

        March 13, 2013 at 9:16 pm

        I would have expected to hear this from Coleman before hearing it from Jason Beck, but evidently Austin Jackson missed out on a rare opportunity to bat against Austin Jackson today. What was Leyland thinking? Has he no sense of the absurd? (A setup line if there ever was one.)

        • Coleman

          March 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm

          I save that sort of brilliant insight for the regular season.

          • The Strategy Expert

            March 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm

            Well you could mimic the Tigers and trade away a piece of your future brain power to try and shoot the moon today with some really top of the line commentary! What do you have to live for after today anyhow? The future? Us Tigers live only to satiate our daily instinctual desires to the max for there may not be a tomorrow.

            • Coleman

              March 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm

              Well that seems like a well-reasoned suggestion. But my brain power is being maximized in a 3-brain platoon here, and may fail in another system.

              Of course platooning only works if it is well-planned. Platooning is actually still in its most rudimentary stage. For example, no one had yet used the 1st half/2nd half platoon (for 3 or 4 years Raburn was hundreds of OPS points better, but did it ever occur to anyone to sit him in the first half?), I remember in 2007 Leyland was platooning Casey and Thames at 1B, based on whether the pitcher were RH or LH. The smart platoon would have been a day game/night game platoon–Casey was a few hundred OPS points better in night games. (I originally considered the possibility of vampirism, but my research has shown that vampires tend to move quickly).

              A day/night platoon could have caused quite a stir, and elevated Leyland to legendary stays, I’m thinking a movie (who would play Leyland? Harry Dean Stanton? At any rate, it would be hard to beat Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire as a title).

              • Coleman

                March 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm

                Autocomplete, the bane of cell-phone posting (stephen will back me up on this). That should be “legendary status.”

              • The Strategy Expert

                March 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm

                Well that was a hot smokin’ quip!

  15. Smoking Loon

    March 15, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Victor Martinez “sent to minors”? This with no detail according to . Beck is off, don’t see anything on Twitter about it.

    • William

      March 15, 2013 at 9:10 pm


      Is this true?

      • Smoking Loon

        March 15, 2013 at 10:54 pm

        I’m doubting it, don’t consider the source the most reliable, but it was strange enough to mention. If it’s a typo, which I find likely, it’s still hanging there at

  16. Smoking Loon

    March 15, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Revelation. Write this one down.

    “You have to be careful with [making roster decisions based on spring performance]” Leyland said. “If a guy’s got a pretty good track record — whether that be in the Major Leagues or the Minor Leagues — and then comes to Spring Training and looks healthy and pretty good, then that probably gives him a leg up,” Leyland said.

    It will take me some time to digest this kind of advanced theory. I’m just a fan, after all.

    • The Strategy Expert

      March 15, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      Well I’m glad they are careful on that. Now they just need to be careful with the plethora of other criterion that is often used to make roster decisions. If we could only do that then nobody would ever hear me complain and out team would dominate. So we just need the skipper to learn from his own words and hope the executives making the roster decisions can also pick up on this.

      But another question, how come we are so short of quality players if we keep passing up on the promising and potential players for the guys who have these solid track records? Who on our team does he consider to have a solid track record would be an interesting question in itself.

      In my opinion you should be careful about making roster decisions based on track records if you suck at qualifying what constitutes a good track record.

      • Vince in MN

        March 16, 2013 at 11:10 am

        The short version: “I like vets.”

        • The Strategy Expert

          March 16, 2013 at 3:29 pm

          Well you forgot the part about the foolproof eyeball test. Maybe Leyland should be a doctor. He could really help ease a lot of people’s concerns when they come in and he looks them over and declares that they look healthy and fine. No need for any testing or objective methods to qualify the source of your pain. It’s nice to know we won’t get stuck with anybody that can’t pass the Leyland eyeball test of fitness. That’s how you know for sure the guy will be a good baseball player somehow, when you combine that visual affect with the track record. I sure would be fascinated to have Jim walk me through how this track record review process works.