Game 2013. Playoffs X: Game Over

ALCS: Boston 4, Detroit 2. Game 6: Boston 5, Detroit 2.

Good game. Good series. Good season. No real disgrace in losing your final game to the best team in the American League.

7th inning, bottom half. Detroit up 2-1, somehow. Well, not “somehow.” The lead could have been bigger, maybe, but a big hit from a big bat and an ace starter stamping out every small fire is legit. Could be a Game 7 afoot here. Right? Despite the feeling of doom. A walk to Bogaerts, with a questionable call thrown in, to put men on 1st and 2nd, none out (forgot about Max striking out Drew) one out. Max’s good night is done (I don’t suppose we should overlook the leadoff double by Gomes, which wasn’t cheap). A defensible call to the bullpen for Smyly v. Ellsbury. An improbable error by Iglesias loads the bases, still none out one out (that’s right, and it’s even worse – I guess I forgot that the DP could’ve ended the inning). Veras comes in to face Victorino. Two good curveballs, 0-2. A third curveball. Not sure why. Victorino hits it over the Green Monster. Just like that, a long season is over in a heartbeat.

This isn’t gonna cheer anyone up, I know. Screenshots of all the bad news. I’m not bitter about the final game, though. Really. It truly was a good game, and I’ll remember Victor Martinez’s two-run single off the LF wall that gave the Tigers the lead and big hope, and all of Max Scherzer’s good pitching, just as well as any of the lowlights. It’s just that the lowlights highlight (lowlight?) so well where the wheels have come off – when they’ve come off – the entire 2013 season. Done in by the bullpen, by ____ baserunning  (and the attendant coaching), by defense, and famously by feast-or-famine offense.

Though not bitter, I am most certainly disappointed with how the season ended. I’ll try to get that out of my system with this, and come back with some outlook uncolored by it next time out.



iglesias 2




74 thoughts on “Game 2013. Playoffs X: Game Over”

  1. One of the better comments I’ve heard: “Peralta makes that play.” It might be true. Funny.

    1. The ball that was really a strike out a runner on first who should not have been there, which caused Iglesias to make an ill-advised attempt at a double-play, which led to his error. So yes, the bad call caused the grand slam. That’s baseball!

      1. Perhaps, but why was Scherzer having such a hard time with Bogaerts all game? A rookie. Why didn’t Max just take him to school? Why such finesse?

  2. they’ll send me my spring training ticket order form in December [I live about 40 miles from Lakeland]…….I’ll fill it out, and by March, the pain will have worn off and I’ll be ready to watch some baseball again. I’m not sure if I’m gonna watch the Series or not; this is a real let-down……. 🙁

  3. Boy, that look on Scherzer’s face. It’s not sadness, it’s not disappointment—it’s contempt. It has to be so hard to go out there and pitch your heart out multiple times and watch your teammates blow it. It’s hard enough investing six months of your life every single year in a good baseball team and watching them pack their bags without a trophy. I can’t imagine actually playing and going through it first hand.

    1. Torii said it felt like his heart was ripped out. Prince said the season’s over, life moves on, gonna enjoy time with his kids. Which answer do you like (I like both)?

      1. I kinda like both, except, was Prince quoted before or after the series began?

        Either way sounds plausible to me.

          1. “I kinda like both, except, was Prince quoted before or after the series began?”

            Ha ha! Touché!

            I was gonna wait to comment on the Prince, but it would be better to do it here rather than come off all soapbox above.

            I know Fielder plays hard and tries hard. He doesn’t have to prove it to me with facial expressions or gestures, although I think it’s cool when he’s smiling and laughing. I can also imagine that if someone badgered me with questions after a bad day, I’d say some things I would have rather not said.

            It was going to be a double play anyway: No. You froze and made it a double play. You don’t have to admit it or apologize. But then don’t say anything about it. “Just one of those things.” “Tough play.”

            The kids: Why go there? The questions are about a baseball game. No one’s asking you to cry or pretend that your life is ruined. How about some life lessons in not being evasive or defensive?

            Pouty: Who’s asking anyone to be pouty?

            They [fans] don’t play: True, but they are the larger part of the reason there’s a market for baseball sufficient to support $20 million a year jobs in it. If all the fans *did* play… well, there goes your monopoly.

  4. My daughter, who is attending law school in Boston, texted me to inform me that she and her dimwit hubby are going to some baseball? event in Boston later this week. I replied that as far as I knew, the baseball season ended saturday.

      1. Yeah, good one. It ended for me, that’s for sure. Except for all the 2013 in review and 2014 in preview I’m plotting. I guess it does go on. But I’ll ignore the rumored exhibition games just the same.

      1. I had a hunch there was something going on when Leyland was getting so big-time emotional about winning the division.

          1. I think Ozzie would make a great bench coach – and someone who could really motivate, communicate and relate to DET’s Latin players; but i’m not sure any Mgr would want to set himself up for that dynamic (Ozzie’s strong personality and shoot from the hip attitude), and i’m not sure Ozzie would accept a less-than-mgr position.

            BTW: Gibby could be brought in to manage, but AZ would have to release him and there would have to be come compensation to AZ since he’s under contract

            1. Yeah, Ozzie is a bit bigger-than-life, would take quite a personality to handle him as an assistant. I could almost picture it if Tony LaRussa came out of retirement.

              1. Ozzie is a good show in someone else’s dugout. He eclipses the teams he manages. Don’t need that.

  5. i’ve rec’d a dozen text’s from DET fans, all very excited about this news, and i’d put myself in that camp, though with cautious optimism that his replacement won’t be Lamont or someone similar

    i agree with JL’s statement, “this team needs someone younger to manage them”

    1. I’d be doing cartwheels right now, but I first want to see who DD tabs as the next manager before I celebrate too much. Ol’ Smoky was not my favorite manager by a long shot, but that being said we could do worse (see: Booby Valnetine 2012). I would really like to see Dave Martinez be interviewed (bench coach in Tampa under Maddon the last several years) as he had to have soaked up some of what Maddon is doing in Tampa (which is mostly positive). Off the top of my head I can’t think of any others that would be good candidates as Francona is in entrenched in CLE now for the forseeable future (he was who I was banging the drum for after last season when he was still a TV analyst). I do hope that we don’t see Lamont or McClendon promoted to the manager position in DET. I also don’t think that a guy like LaRussa would be a great fit either as he is getting up there in years and he was very close to Leyland (which means he probably wouldn’t be interested).

      Darkhorse candidtate: Bo Porter in Houston. I liked the way he prepared his team to play this year. They had a huge talent disadvantage in comparison to the rest of MLB, but he got the most out of his team that anybody could reasonably expect. I don’t feel that we got the most out of our talent, so he would be a candidate that I would not be displeased with as the new skipper.

      1. Edit: Bobby Valentine, not Booby Valnetine although the I probably got the first name spelled correctly the more that I think about it. What a disaster he was in BOS last year.

    1. i’m hoping a new mgr and coaching staff will bring out the best in Fielder and some others. Hopefully Mr. Fielder will come back next year losing: a) 40-50 lbs, b) all the baggage associated with the personal matters (divorce, etc) he’s carried this year – and with a renewed quest to become the player he has the potential of becoming.

  6. Thank you JL for turning around a floundering franchise (though Trammel deserves some, but never gets any credit for his efforts) and instilling a culture of winning to the team.
    You’ve presided over probably the best run (3 straight division titles) in DET history and DET fans are grateful.

    Thank you also for knowing when to walk away (some may argue a year or two late, but let’s keep this positive) – and the next best thing to ‘walking away on top’ is walking away ‘near the top’. Thank you for everything you’ve done for the team – and now go an enjoy your life and the dramatically reduced number of critics that will now occupy your life (wife and kids?).

    1. well said.

      some of his decisions were maddening, but considering what we dealt with from 1989-2005, the Leyland/DD regime has been a very good run.

  7. Leyland made his decision September 7, and told only Dombrowski (who told Illitch), Gene Lamont, and Tony LaRussa.

    In retrospect, it makes the postseason that more dramatic knowing that Leyland knew these were his last games.

  8. Tony LaRussa’s name sure comes up a lot around the Tigers. If Dave Dombrowski really were to replace Bud Selig, could LaRussa be a future GM?

  9. The pundits are all agreeing Detroit needs an established name that all its star players will respect, so the obvious solution is: Scott Boras.

    1. Tony LaRussa, but he probably won’t go onto the field again.

      Typically, the pundits will think a “name” is needed, because, also typically, the a$$ licking punditry think in PR terms (somebody famous they can have a beer with). If DD and Illitch go that way again, the Tigers won’t be any better off than the last eight years. A little more emphasis on smarts over reputation would be nice for a change. The Cardinals have done well with Matheny for example. Being a corporate enterprise, my cynical self assumes they will biased toward a “who-you-know” type over a “what-you-know”.

      1. The Tigers now have an opportunity for something we haven’t seen much in baseball thus far: an enormous payroll AND a new-school coaching staff. Someone more of the Moneyball school of thinking could be just what this team needs as far as in-game strategy goes. If they decide to go with someone like Dusty Baker, I’m afraid it’ll just be more of the same.

          1. Maybe the Tigers could try a year without a manager or any coaches, just to see how it goes. Kind of a team-building exercise.

            1. Jim Leyland: “We’re just changing the guard a little bit. That’s all we’re doing.”

              Hmmm. Brookens?

  10. I think Dave Martinez is a viable candidate. It was said of him in his playing days that just because your name is Martinez, it doesn’t mean you are a good ball player.

    1. Joe Maddon would be my first/best choice, but TAM has him under contract thru 2015, but as Jim (and Jerry) mentioned above Dave Martinez (Maddon’s bench coach) might be a viable option, but I suspect the Cubs are going to hire him any day.

  11. spent two weeks at spring training every year for 23 years. in 2011 I stopped going as long as Leyland was still the manager. Spring training Lakeland is a joke. Coaches all ride around together in their golf cart. you would think they eack would be doing something differnt than each other. Fundementals like baserunning are just a gab session players never bust butt..unless your number is above 60 then you work hard. Most drill sessions are just done to do them. I realize baseball is a game of repitition , but this is almost was worse when Inge was here, he would joke around all the time. No one would tell him to stop or get serious.
    I am waiting to see who gets it and if its a guy who can kick some underachieving overpaid butt…I will go again…in fact I am ready for Spring training as soon as I heard Mumbles was no longer in charge. Nice guy…but nice guys finish 1758-1728…great coaches do better. Jim Leyland was a good coach, but far from a great one..

    1. Well stated. I noticed the same in the past few recent spring training’s I’ve attended.

      I think even the most supportive JL DET fans recognized that ‘it was time’.

      I believe JL’s retirement pretty much ensures that DET won’t deal Scherzer this off-season…unless of course ‘the deal of the century’ presents itself. The new Mgr is going to want the ’13 Cy Young to go with that starting rotation.

    1. Ha ha. Nice. Just getting Brookens out of the third base coach’s box should probably win us three more games regardless of prsonnel moves! 🙂

  12. What is Bob Melvin’s situation/contract status in OAK? He is another guy that I think would do well here. I think he would make Austin Jackson and Jose Iglesias more aggressive baserunners and utilize the little bit of speed that they bring to the table. I’d like a guy that tries to manufacture a run once in a while versus a guy waiting around for the three run bomb or the two run double.

  13. Rumors abound that Mattingly is interested… after the way the Dodgers treated him before they went on their run.


    1. was watching a bizarre presser from LA.. .Coletti is leaving him dangling, so I would heartily endorse Donny BB as a excellent choice. I know some of his fam (coached his cousins) and they are salt of the earth type folks from Indiana.

    Mattingly, noting that he’s basically challenging ownership and Colletti to give him a contract extension: “I love it here, but I don’t want to be anywhere I’m not wanted.” – Mattingly’s delivered his candid comment while sitting just six feet away from Colletti

    is it possible that LAD would let Mattingly go and bring in Dusty Baker? hmmm

  15. Ya the Tigers lost again…it’s a great thing to hear! on behalf of the Red Socks nation I am glad to say: “Nananana BooBoo we beat you again, the Tigers are overrated! welcome to America where the best teams win and move on and the chokers go home to mommy!’

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