Game 2015.110: Red Sox at Tigers

Now that the dust has settled a bit on the Dombrowski firing, and there’s been plenty to read about the subject, I’d like to offer up a few thoughts:

A. This was a win big or go home year for Dombrowski. It’s been revealed that Dombrowski never got any indication of an extension during the season, which we would have expected for someone with his tenure and past success. I think Mr. I wasn’t happy with a string of unsuccessful playoff runs and likely felt that the team shortcomings (lack of a bullpen, no young talent) were mostly, or at least partly, on Dombrowski. As the season progressed and the mediocrity set it, Mr. I made up his mind.

B. Mr. I played this masterfullyAccording to Lynn Henning, Illitch made up his mind during a front office meeting in Florida before the trade deadline when DD confirmed that the Tigers didn’t have the roster, or the chips to get the right pieces, to make a playoff run. (Why anyone would have to travel to Florida to learn that news is a mystery to me; DTW faithful have known this for a month.) But Illitch still left DD in place to do what he does best – make deadline deals. I’m sure that DD was well aware that his job was in jeopardy, but by Illitch keeping DD in the dark, DD was left with no choice but to make the best deals possible for the team, in hopes of keeping his job. He did make great deals, netting 6 prospects, 5 of whom are pitchers, and I’m thankful that he was around to do it. This may not have been the nicest way to treat a great employee, but it was best for the ball club, which is what is most important to me. Dombrowski has been well compensated for his time here, and I’m sure he’s still collecting a paycheck. No need to feel sorry for him.

C. Great Move Putting in Avila Early. Once Illitch made up his mind and the trade deadline had passed, there was no reason to keep a lame duck around. By calling Avila and offering him the job before letting DD know, that gave Avila the chance to round up his team, and make sure the other lieutenants didn’t bolt with DD to wherever is next for him. Moreover, since Illitch was willing to commit to Avila (5 year contract, never any talk of an “interim” tag), why not let him start playing around with the roster to try some things out over the rest of the meaning less season?

D. I think (hope) that Ausmus is auditioning for his job. I really don’t have  lot of insight as to who hired Ausmus, but given Dombrowski’s tenure and multiple titles (President, CEO, GM), I’m guessing that it was Dombrowski’s hire. Hopefully Al Avila isn’t yet committed to Ausmus and can objectively evaluate things over the remainder of the season.

E. We’re stuck with Alex Avila. Alex is a great game caller and a good defensive catcher. He’s young enough that there is still hope for him to be a close to average hitter, which could keep him in the bigs for a long time. (Does that resume sound familiar to anyone?) I think he has a lot of value here b/c of his familiarity with the staff and the lack of any left handed bats in the dugout. With his dad now in charge, I don’t see how he ever gets dealt. I’m sure that Illitch thought this through. What makes this even more difficult is that McCann looks to be a real leader (see below), and he’s earned the starting role. If Avila can be the #2, I’m fine with that. Hopefully his Dad is too.


Good chatter on the thread yesterday regarding the McCann/Iglesias scuffle. It’s hard to believe that with Iglesias’ range he ever takes a play off, but usually where there is smoke there’s fire. Kaline Fan mentioned that he (she?) remembered Iglesias and Kinsler getting into it earlier in the season. Maybe there is some precedence, but considering Kinsler took off the entire month of June, perhaps it was the other way around. Regardless, I’m happy to see some spirit in the dugout, because I worry about apathy.

Iglesias was unapologetic today after no comments last night. I don’t have a problem with Iglesias standing up for himself, but I do have a problem with the way he handled it. Ausmus seems in the dark about everything. Par for the course.

What I loved most about the scuffle was the way the team handled it afterwards. Good solidarity. And I get the feeling that it came from the players, and not Ausmus. McCann and Gose, however unlikely, look the be the ones who are stepping up. Maybe this galvanizes the team. Not to make a playoff run, but at lease to play smarter and harder. Also, if you didn’t see it already, check out the comments from David Price regarding James McCann. Those got me fired up. McCann should be getting the majority of the ABs moving forward.

Overall, I like where the players are going, in spite of their direct leadership.

Pray that Simon goes at least 6 tonight, because Buck Farmer is the designated long man.

TIGERS (career numbers off Miley)

  1. Rajai Davis, LF (1-for-2, HR, K)
  2. Jose Iglesias, SS
  3. Ian Kinsler, 2B (0-for-3)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (0-for-2, walk, 2 K’s)
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  7. James McCann, C
  8. Jefry Marte, 1B
  9. Anthony Gose, CF

32 thoughts on “Game 2015.110: Red Sox at Tigers”

  1. The weird thing about the Iglesias-Kinsler confrontation is that it happened after the game, while everyone was high-fiving each other. Iglesias tried to shake his hand or something, and Kinsler gave him a little shove. At the time, I figured it was just Kinsler being jerky (he had a reputation for that). Supposedly the conflict was about Iglesias not being at the bag for a potential DP.

    I don’t see Iglesias as being a dogging it type. He just looked awful in the field and at bat yesterday; I’d guess he wasn’t feeling well, or worse, is hiding an injury. If he’s playing hurt, I can understand how he would freak about being called out for dogging it.

    Still, it was very immature and brattish to start it all up again today. Would that have ever happened under Leyland

  2. Yeah great post Kevin with much food for thought. I will be the first to predict Alex A. will replace Ausmus next year!

      1. … i agree Coleman…and the sooner he becomes one (coach first, then mgr) the better for DET

  3. Yes, comprehensive and thoughtful post, Kevin. Thanks for mentioning me, but actually, I only acknowledged remembering when Coleman brought it up again. (Btw = me male!).
    And this one starts off with —-what? No one in coaches’ corner informing Iglesias that Miley has a great move to first?

  4. Yes, GREAT/thoughtful post Kevin! I also was happy to hear Price’s praise regarding McCann – now if McCann can just hold up his end (and produce for the remainder of the season)…so that hopefully Papa Avila will NOT re-sign his son for the role of backup C in ’16 – because $5M is way too much for an often injured backup catcher hitting south of Mendoza.

  5. Gibby calls it from the booth = “2-0, gotta make a good pitch to Ortiz here.”
    Unfortunately, Simon wasn’t listening?

  6. Maybe the develpoment if the next Tigers Star is occurring right in front of our eyes in…………….. James McCann!!!

  7. Hey Jeff Jones..Ortiz is hitting .245. You know your scouting report on him…well it sucks…everyone pitches him off speed and down and away,thats why he is hitting .245,,,but no your going to throw him fastballs and watch the ball can go with Ausmus and DD….

    1. I wasn’t born yesterday. That’s not VMart, that’s just a guy in a Victor Martinez costume.

  8. Great comeback win! I think in the future Simon should be limited to 5 innings. It seems that recently he falters after 5 or 6 innings (2 or 3 times through the order). He can usually keep it close through 4.

  9. Rondon has some serious stuff…he is coming!..Ausmus +1…I would have put Wilson out there…in fact Ausmus +2 more.. well managed game…Rondon’s pitching of Ortiz in the 9th +1…classic, every pitch… game! +3

    1. Skipper Alex —–yes! The newer, improved Catcher-turned-manager!
      Let’s do it! Give Brad a coaching position, which he would probably be more comfortable and better at —–less challenging, less thinking necessary.

  10. How bad are things in your minor league system when the best you can do is bring up Tom “the gas can” ” Gorzelanny!!!!!

      1. My “gas can” will always be Ryan Perry, Leyland’s pet.
        Oh how I hated to see him trot to the mound in late innings!!

    1. Wilson’s shoulder is bothering him…so enter ‘the cheeseman’ (Gorgonzola) with his 6.38 ERA… as was the case with Phil Coke, who had some spans of effectiveness in his decade long career, Gorzelanny is still in the MLB because he happens to through left handed

  11. Prior to his injury-riddled start in Baltimore, Simon had put together his best effort in months against Boston on July 25. He held the Red Sox to just one run on five hits in six innings, with four strikeouts and two walks.

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