Game 2016.161: Tigers at Braves

All of MLB tees off at about 3:00 today. Did that happen last season too? Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention last season. These season there are three games going that will demand our attention.

I’d normally say there is too much at stake to worry about individual numbers today, but Detroit’s chances at a postseason game are going to be directly related to the ERA title. Verlander ERA sits at 3.10, Toronto’s Sanchez sits at 3.06, and both start today, with Detroit needing either Toronto or Baltimore to lose to have a chance to play Monday for a tie. If the do play Monday, it’s Fulmer’s turn to start, so Verlander could also give the rookie a shot at the ERA title by pitching well today.

This one won’t be easy: the Braves start their ace, Tehran, and the team and the fans will have an emotional rush as they say goodbye to Turner Field today, with a ceremony before the game.

Today’s Stayin’ Alive Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. Maybin, CF
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. JD Martinez, RF
  5. Upton, LF
  6. Castellanos, 3B
  7. McCann, C
  8. Iglesias, SS
  9. Verlander, P


  1. Tony de Florida

    October 2, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    I don’t know his name, I’m sure one of you will provide it, but my gratitude to the commish who thought up the 2nd Wild Card. Play Ball!

  2. Smoking Loon

    October 2, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    The Tigers hit slightly better and pitched slightly better at home this year. No surprise there. There were some significant departures, however:

    J. Wilson
    Verlander (except for the HR – ???)


    Essentially, the staters sucked at home, while the bullpen sucked on the road.

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  5. Coleman

    October 2, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    This is going like the Lions game.

    • Tony de Florida

      October 2, 2016 at 3:49 pm


  6. Jud

    October 2, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    19 K’s in 24 hours …so far…swing batter batter batter…swing!…..swing!

    • Smoking Loon

      October 2, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      At least Verlander has settled down. That’s encouraging. Sure am ready for some Braves bullpen. How long can Teheran last? Wait, don’t tell me.

      • Tony de Florida

        October 2, 2016 at 5:04 pm

        The way we’re hitting. 14-15 innings except he only needs 9.

  7. Smoking Loon

    October 2, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    The 7th inning is probably too early to pinch hit Victor, eh?

    Nothing else on the scoreboard looks encouraging. Chances look about even for a game tomorrow that won’t mean anything for the Tigers.

  8. Tony de Florida

    October 2, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Small ball alert!

  9. Tony de Florida

    October 2, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Things not going well for us. Sanchez has no-no against the mighty Red Sox offense at the end of 7 and Price is out of the game.

  10. Smoking Loon

    October 2, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    McCann bunts now? I’m no fan of the sac bunt, but even with 1 out I think i would have rather seen him bunt earlier when there were 2 on.

  11. Tony de Florida

    October 2, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Two career strikeout days for Atlanta starters in a row!

  12. Smoking Loon

    October 2, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Verlander at 89 pitches is about the only good news I can think of right now.

  13. Kevin in Dallas

    October 2, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Boston ties it up! JV looking sharp! Let’s go Tigers!

    (though let’s understand that we need a comeback, then 3 wins in a row to make the real playoffs).

  14. Smoking Loon

    October 2, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    I really don’t want to see anyone except JV in the 8th, but I suppose they’ve gotta pinch hit for him now.

    Or maybe they don’t.

  15. Tony de Florida

    October 2, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    It’s all JV’s fault: he gave up a run. How many times has the offense done this to JV this year? Good News Ramirez ties Team Canada.

  16. Jud

    October 2, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    How bad is it when the Braves pitcher has many hits as any of the Tigers

  17. Tony de Florida

    October 2, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Still Alive!

  18. Jud

    October 2, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    I would bat Romine here and bunt Iggy to third! But thats just me!

  19. StorminNorman$

    October 2, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    good season folks!

    they (DET) kept is exciting to the last day of the season… like it or not Ausmus will be back, as will many on this roster… there are signs of hope in ’17, but still obviously missing some pieces

    • Jud

      October 2, 2016 at 5:38 pm

      I agree Norman…fun while it biggest disappointment will be Brad coming back..99% sure he is back

  20. Jud

    October 2, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Hey VMart!…………nevermind!

  21. Smoking Loon

    October 2, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Great. Jeez. For shame, Tigers, for shame.

  22. Smoking Loon

    October 2, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    How can being down a run seem insurmountable? It does. Cabrera will bat in the 9th. So it’s irrational. But it does feel like this is over.

    Zero confidence in Rondon or any of them.

  23. Jud

    October 2, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Brad turned to Lamont and said….”we gotta work on that baserunning in spring training”…….this is a recording!

  24. Smoking Loon

    October 2, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Jays and Indians leading, game tomorrow probably happening. OK, Indians over Royals, final.

  25. Smoking Loon

    October 2, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    The Tigers strike out in order in the 9th. I’m calling it right now.

    Hold on. That’s Jim Johnson on the mound. Hmmmmm. Nope, i’m sticking with it.

  26. Tony de Florida

    October 2, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    No, if Team Canada wins, no game at all, Indians will have home field. If Sox win and we lose game will happen but only Fulmer will care.

    • Smoking Loon

      October 2, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      Really? I had it pegged wrong.

      • Tony de Florida

        October 2, 2016 at 6:07 pm

        Actually, If Sox win, NO Game now that we lost because tie breakers will decide home field. Oh shucks we can’t play the Indians again.

        • Smoking Loon

          October 2, 2016 at 6:20 pm

          • If Boston wins and Cleveland wins, then the Cleveland-Detroit make-up game would be necessary on Monday. In this case, if Cleveland wins the Monday make-up game against Detroit, they would clinch home field advantage in the ALDS against Boston. If it loses the Monday make-up game, Boston would clinch home field advantage in the ALDS against Cleveland by way of winning the head-to-head season series.
          • If Boston loses and Cleveland wins, the Indians clinches home field advantage in the ALDS against Boston. In this case, the Cleveland-Detroit make-up game would not be necessary to determine home field advantage in the ALDS since Cleveland would already finish ahead of Boston.

          I’ve confused myself about this. This seems to be the official word.

          • Tony de Florida

            October 2, 2016 at 6:25 pm

            I think you have it correct because if Boston wins Cleveland is still short one game and tiebreakers can not be used. It might be nice to see Fulmer qualify for the ERA lead and screw the Indians out of home field. I have a headache.

  27. Smoking Loon

    October 2, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    This game is a lot like the 2016 season.

  28. Tony de Florida

    October 2, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    JD is 1 for Atlanta, up to J-UP.

  29. Smoking Loon

    October 2, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Way to go, J.D.. 9 K’s in your last 3 games. I don’t see an extension in your future.

  30. Smoking Loon

    October 2, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    And I hope you walk after 2017, Justin Upton! Blah. Bah!

  31. Tony de Florida

    October 2, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    If you don’t consider how much he makes and who his girlfriend is, you have to feel sorry for JV.

  32. Kevin in Dallas

    October 2, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Man, what a kick in the n*ts if we have to come back out and play tomorrow. Maybe Fulmer can qualify for the ERA title.

    Crummy way to end the season, but realistically, winning this game would have only gained us a few more.

  33. Jud

    October 2, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    26 K’s in 24 hours from the team that just couldn’t get it done, basically all year!!

    Tigers and Lions should schedule a checkers match against each other..someone woukd have to win!

  34. Smoking Loon

    October 2, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Let’s stay in a depressed mood with this:

    A well-known big story in 2016 is how the Tigers fared against the Indians and Royals, particularly at home, where they were scorched by both offenses. 5-13 W-L, 53 RS – 97 RA. Even worse if you leave out the last couple iffy games vs. the Indians. 3-13, 35-94. Ouch! That’s 5 games in the standings compared to a coin flip. What happened?

    *Good Tomlin-Verlander duel, Byrd hits a first pitch HR off JV in the 7th, Salty can’t get a run in from 3B.
    *Sanchez gets hammered in less than 3, game over.
    *Greene is bad but VerHagen is worse (dock Bad Ausmus -1 for bringing him back out), 8th inning bases-loaded rally dies on a Cabrera popout.
    *A hurtin’ Zimmermann is hit hard, but a nice relief effort by Pelfrey/Lowe (!), and a scrappy 9th-inning rally falls short on a great catch by CF Rajai Davis.
    *Offense shut down by Carrasco, Sanchez and Lowe combining to yield 4 home runs.
    *Verlander gets battered (-1 Ausmus for leaving him in after a 30+ pitch 4th inning and then back to back jacks), Tomlin giving away nothing but solo home runs.
    *Well-pitched game by Verlander/J. Wilson/F-Rod, Collins ties it and Victor wins it in a 7th inning rally.
    *Pelfrey is awful, but the Dustin Molleken Experience (-1 Ausmus) is unneccesary – as though this were a blowout (not) with depleted bullpen (not) in a throwaway game (not).
    *Fulmer is brilliant and F-Rod undramatic, but it takes a Salty walk-off to win it.
    *Weak offense loses one that KC’s seemed willing to squander.
    *Verlander plagued by the home run and the offense manages 5 baserunners.
    * Yes, the lineup has been weakened by injuries, but 3 games in a row scoring 1 run? An outstanding game from Sanchez is wasted by the bullpen duo of J. Wilson/Greene.
    *Fulmer cruises through the Royals again, and the offense capitalizes on a sloppy game from KC.
    *Game in hand, F-Rod blows it.
    *Starter Boyd can’t even record an out, and it only gets worse with Sanchez, Greene, and Pelfrey in relief. 9 runs can normally get you a win.
    *The Wilsons team up to hand this one to the Indians, who demonstrably *have* a bullpen.

    A regrettable 3-13 at home, then, with blame falling all ‘round, as you might expect from an average score of 2.2 to 5.9.

  35. Jud

    October 2, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    The Tigers are the personnality of their manager…wait does he have a personnality.
    1. We are stuck with VMart who for as much as he does…. hurts the team everytime he gets in base. From first it takes 3 more hits to score him.
    2 Upton for as much asd he does cannot be counted on…period. Could go in 1 ior 2 or 3 month slump again
    3.McCann and Salty can’t hit a lick
    4. Maybin might walk
    5. Miggy should have had 135 RBI….the 30 he didn’t get were in important situations. Offensive skills great…at times.
    6.JD and Iggy and Casty are all ok and can be pretty much counted on as steady players. But not stars
    Kinsler, Cabrerra, Casty, JV, Fullmer, KRod, JD, Mabin, Romine, Rondon solid

    . VMart, Norris, Boyd, AWilson, JWilson, McCann, Upton, Collins, Aybar, JaCoby, Zimmerman all have Questions

    .Lowe,Salty,Greene,Farmer, McGee, Pelfrey,Sanchez, wasted roster spots

    Team loves Brad…why not …he demands nothing from you.
    Starting pitchers hate him. His 100 pitch under every single circumstance rule kills them.
    Bullpen loves him…no matter how bad you are you go in there..period

  36. Tony de Florida

    October 3, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Well, the season is over. Let’s enjoy the playoffs and World Series. Let me go on record now as saying that I will be rooting for the Chicago Cubs. Their fans deserve to get that more than hundred year old monkey off their backs.

  37. Jud

    October 3, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Hope we keep the blog going thru the playoffs…

    I like a lot of teams still playing that aren’t named Blue Jays or Orioles.

    Will Follow the Cubs,Indians,Texans and my home town Dodgers.

    • Tony de Florida

      October 3, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      I will assume the blog will be available as it was last off season (thanks to the guys that do all the work, Coleman & Kevin). After the baseball meetings there will be stuff to talk about and we will be watching Big Al to see if he makes any deals.

      I think Team Canada will beat the O’s. I want the Mets to beat the Giants who I have disliked very much since our unfortunate experience with them about 10 years ago.

      • StorminNorman$

        October 3, 2016 at 4:41 pm

        Ditto Tony’s appreciation for Kevin and Coleman for all their time and brilliant input into keeping this blog going.

        as for our Tigers…another horseshoes and hand-grenades kinda year… I believe in the end, they got what they deserved

        some reason for optimism in ’17, and especially if there are some key deletions and additions to next year’s roster

        hope you all have a stellar fall & winter …pitchers (hopefully a few new ones) and catchers report mid-to-late Feb ’17

        • Jim Eggers USMC

          October 3, 2016 at 5:04 pm

          I too pass on my gratitude for all the work and wordplay that occurs on this blog. I only follow one other blog ( A camp that I work at) and my day never feels complete till I read and comment ( or not). Everyone among the stalwarts I consider an unseen friend and I dream of the day we can all gather at a game and chant “Assmus!” ( if he is still around) I am with Jud, Dodgers and maybe the Red Sox in the WS. A fond farewell to the Voice, Mr. Scully, pretty sure he has earned his pension.

          • William

            October 4, 2016 at 3:42 pm

            ditto to all of the above. this blog is a godsend. I stumbled across it in 2006, and although I rarely post, I check it almost daily during the season. Very knowledgeable baseball folks on here and great insight into my Tigers. Living in Alabama, I don’t get a whole lot of either…especially this time of year.

            thanks to Kevin and Coleman for the work that goes into keeping the lights on at DTW. It is very much appreciated!

  38. Smoking Loon

    October 3, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    For me, it is hard to think of anything in baseball less interesting than managers, unless it is owners. But for those all of you with a hankering to be rid of Brad Ausmus, I have a strong sense that you will get your wish. From Ausmus’s own comments, and from the striking difference between a certain Ian Kinsler’s thoughts on Skipper between 2015 and 2016. Also from the apparent haste with this “review” that’s coming up.

    If there is a new guy coming in, one thing for sure: You’re not gonna like him. 🙂

    • Bpl7311

      October 21, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      I remember Francona being run out of Detroit.

  39. StorminNorman$

    October 4, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    for the record: KC ’16 payroll $135M, DET = $200M

    …sure, everything is relative, but see what KC’s GM had to say, “This payroll was put together with going deep in the postseason (in mind),” Moore said. “That didn’t happen. Again, I’m accountable for that. It’s not going to look very good on the spreadsheet when the bill comes due.”

    Read more here:

    • Tony de Florida

      October 4, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Thanks Norman, nice article on how the common man lives in the real world. We can’t always just throw money at our problems to get the results we want. The Tigers have tried to buy their way to a championship for years with no success. Hopefully Big Al will continue to build the organization and perhaps be more selective with Mr. I’s money than even Mr. I seems to be.

  40. Tony de Florida

    October 4, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    The “Save Ausmus” movement has been organized and as these articles show they think Brad should stay. It will be interesting to see what happens after Brad has his session with Al Avilia. I’m not sure he will go and can see why the Tigers would keep him for another year. What would really upset me is if thev keep him and do not make some coaching and medical staff changes. Go Cubbies!

    • StorminNorman$

      October 4, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      I suspect AAvila is waiting to see what Mgr’s are available before making any decisions on BBB or B-cubed (big brain Brad).

      not sure if LaRussa would be interested in managing again, but he might be looking for ‘a job’ in the near future (Dave Steward – AZ GM already fired, and Larussa was relieved of his Head of BB Ops position)…and its possible Mike Scioscia and the LAA part ways… so who knows what options might be available for DET

      if I were Avila and “if” a proven Mgr became available, I’d grant Ausmus his free agency, his 3-yr contract is up, so its a clean break financially – since, ultimately I believe this team has under-performed for the past 3 years.

  41. Jud

    October 4, 2016 at 11:40 pm


  42. Jud

    October 4, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    How about Jimenez he comes in and throws 3 strikes….WHAT!…single, single Dinger..ball game…..everyone knows he survives throwing balls only…ask the Pussycats!..they can’t touch him!…

    • Tony de Florida

      October 5, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Yes and all the while Buck has the “perfect” closer sitting on his hands waiting for the perfect situation to bring him in. Sound familiar? See even great mangers make great mistakes. Remember us going nuts a couple of times when F-Rod wasn’t brought in? Oh well, just trying to get you ready for next year.

  43. StorminNorman$

    October 5, 2016 at 7:35 am

    well i guess the speculation re: Ausmus may be over… and as anticipated he’ll be back

  44. Tony de Florida

    October 5, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Thanks for the encouraging words Norman. I have always thought he might be back unless a standout candidate is available. I do not believe it is a done deal yet only because I feel Big Al will wait until he sees who is ultimately available. Even if they sign him, it doesn’t mean the Tigers won’t eat his salary if the right person comes along. You have to believe that bringing him back will negatively impact seasons tickets sales. But if they don’t make some coaching changes I may become a Twinkies fan.

  45. Tony de Florida

    October 5, 2016 at 8:58 am

    And some of you were worried abut the blog making it during the off season!

  46. Jud

    October 5, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    250-234…..that projects to 84-78 next year……you get what you pay for, except in Detroit.$188 mil Roster…. the players will be happy.
    Pefrey, Lowe, Sanchez will be the happiest. Tigers will keep all three.

  47. Smoking Loon

    October 5, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Pitching, pitching, pitching! The Tigers need to stock up on prospects and possibilities. Avoid “possibilities” this time such as (before) Alfredo Simon, Mike Pelfrey. and Mark Lowe. Young or youngish pitching talent is what is called for. The only locks for the bullpen are Rodriguez, Rondon, and more or less due to contract, Justin Wilson. Turn the page on Greene, Hardy, Farmer, VerHagen. Alex Wilson and Kyle Ryan seem more solid than they are because of the mediocre bullpen they are in. I would like to see them competed with and perhaps out-competed in ST 2017. Some would say we’re stuck with Sanchez and Pelfrey no matter what. Perhaps, but I have to admit that a silver lining is that they can be serious starting rotation competition for Norris and Boyd next spring. Hope as we might, I don’t think either of these guys has earned a free pass into the rotation just yet. Best case, they both make it and Tigers absorb the cost of what it takes to deal Palfrey, Sanchez, or both of them next spring (not that it couldn’t be sooner as far as I’m concerned). I have to admit that unforeseen events could make it fortunate to have these guys (plus Greene as starter) still available.

    Backup catcher: Good gosh, what’s out there? I think you could throw a dart and not do worse. Saltalamacchia’s K rate is tough to swallow. But believe it or not, he has also some favorable hitting stats.

    The bench: Unless you’ve got solid prospects to fill it (the Tigers don’t) or part-time regulars (not really, unless CF stays that way), it’s hard to have that “really good bench” we think other teams have. Romine, Collins (or perhaps Jones), and Machado would be fine with me. I try to find reasons to get rid of Romine and can’t. He’s the uber-Donkey.

    Center field: Maybin is great, but he’s a part-timer. Either the Tigers keep him and pursue some kind of super-platoon (they could do better than Collins, I suppose), or they need themselves some kind of full-time, standout CF, or a CF of the future with a higher ceiling than Austin Jackson or Anthony Gose ever offered.

    I don’t think the Tigers could make any sort of splashy trades without giving up J.D. Martinez or Nick Castellanos. They do have spare parts to offer in exchange for pitching talent and better top level minor league talent, including Greene and most of the current bullpen and its periphery, plus Collins, Moya, Jones, and Gose.

    Victor Martinez: Signing him for 4 years was a bit of a deal with the devil, but there was a choice to be made and they made it. Let’s face it: It is much better to get on base and run slow than strike out and not get on base at all. The Tigers 5-9 hitters did this to an alarming degree.

    Miguel Cabrera: He’s a 130 RBI guy with more OBP talent ahead of him in the order. Kinsler and part-time Maybin won’t cut it. If nothing else, why not Victor? This might at least encourage Miggy to stop getting thrown out at second base and hurting himself.

  48. Tony de Florida

    October 5, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    Can’t deny it, New York is unique. Not especially the best place to grow up or live, I know I was born in the Bronx and didn’t leave until I enlisted. But to have Perlman playing the National Anthem, wow! BTW: Once is good.

    The Giants win with a lineup that has NOT ONE 20 HR hitter. But they manage to get Thor’s pitch count up and the Mets ball pen fails in almost Tiger fashion.

    BTW: Cespedes opted out in 2017, free agent. I wouldn’t go near him.

  49. Tony de Florida

    October 6, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Read the take on Brad’s rehiring. No one is surprised but I’m glad to see agreement with me (seldom get around the house) that keeping the coaching staff would be a very bad sign.

    My picks for the next set: Texas, Washington, Cleveland, Cubs

  50. Jud

    October 6, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Francona brilliant usage of his pen tonight….he called Brad in the 4th inning and asked him what he would do..Brad told him….. and then Francona did the exact opposite and won..
    Brads shaking his head and calling Lamont!!!!..

    • Tony de Florida

      October 7, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Jud, I agree. Some of the TV guys were talking about what is he going to do tomorrow using his pen like he did. Francona knew that winning the first game was the important move. If you let the game get away by “saving” the pen, you lost one and can still lose tomorrow. Brilliant.

  51. Jud

    October 7, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Guess he didn’t need that pen after all. Great managers coach one game at a time. One inning at a time. Unlike Brad who saves people just in case the 7-4 game just might go extra innings…Francona up 2-0..thats 2 playoffs wins more than Brad will ever have, considering Brad is 0-3…Brads three year last series of the year record is now 1-8

  52. Jud

    October 7, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Cubs throw a pitchout and pick a runner off at firstbase…..Brad called Lamont to see if that was legal!

  53. Jim Eggers USMC

    October 8, 2016 at 3:57 am

    What some of the great action from the post season is telling me is that the Tigers and for instance, the Mariners are not of the same caliber that these teams are.

    • Tony de Florida

      October 8, 2016 at 2:51 pm


    • Coleman

      October 8, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      I’m surprised at how hopeless Boston looks…best team in the best division, and they can’t hit, field, or pitch.

  54. Coleman

    October 8, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Wally Joyner out as hitting coach.

    • Tony de Florida

      October 8, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Fine, but is there anyone who can teach the Tigers the strike zone?

      • Kevin in Dallas

        October 8, 2016 at 9:54 pm

        Seems like the wrong guy to let go.

        • Tony de Florida

          October 9, 2016 at 12:09 am

          Bench and 3rd base would be my first choices.

      • Jud

        October 8, 2016 at 11:28 pm

        +1 on the strikezone!

  55. Kevin in Dallas

    October 8, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Between my Longhorns and Tigers, I’m mired in lame duck h*ll.

    I’ve been reading a lot about Ausmus these past few days and the consensus seems to be that he’s the best available choice. He hasn’t been awful (not sure if I agree there), and there aren’t any great alternatives. We could go on forever about Ausmus, but I’ve got a larger theory.

    I don’t think Avila wants the scrutiny on him. Ausmus is an easy scapegoat for Avila. Al Avila is 58. He’s not an up-and-comer. If he gets canned here, he’s back to being a senior scouting director for 10 years. He’ll get one more manager after Ausmus.

  56. Jud

    October 8, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    Kevin I agree on the “theres not a suitable replacement” theory. Although I would take a chance on Visquel. I mean you have Lamont and McClendon in house now and it hasn’t helped. All I know for sure is Francona, Collins, Maddon, Bouchey get way more out of what they have then the Tigers. And the Tigers seem to have a lot more.. Maybe I am wrong in my evaluation of the Tiger talent.

    • Tony de Florida

      October 9, 2016 at 12:19 am

      One problem is that any new manager would want a 3 year contract and as Kevin pointed out Big Al may only have one shot. Might as well hope there’s something better available next year. Other than being fluent in Spanish, Visquel would be risky: another first year experiment. A lot will depend on what can be done to make the club stronger in the off season (Sorry Jud we are NOT that good and with 3 rookie starters, it is still high risk next season.) Now if the wheels start coming off early next year, then Omar or Lloyd could be interim manager.

  57. Tony de Florida

    October 14, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Some personal observations and comments about the playoffs so far:

    Team Canada’s win over Texas wasn’t a shock to me but how easy they made it look was.

    I was wondering how Lucroy feels about turning the trade to Cleveland down now that he has some time to reflect on it.

    If the game had to end on an error, I was secretly pleased that it was committed by “Roughneck” Odor.

    Best sign I spotted after the Team Canada win in game 3: “It is better to be punched in May than to be knocked out in October.”

    Even with half his starters on the DL, has Francona proved just how good a manager he is. His motivation skills, pen management (even with Cody Allen throwing balls in the last game) and play calling is over the top. Can we get a gene transplant for Brad?

    Most underachieving Boston hitter had to be Jackie Bradley Jr. Big Papi: thanks for all the great moments, even the pain you treated us to.

    The Cubs win with the biggest comeback win in MLB playoff history! It proves that the best managers (even Brad) make questionable moves. Moorehead pitched 8 complete innings for the Giants giving up 1 earned run and 2 hits, 2 BB and 10 K’s. Why he wasn’t allowed to start the ninth we may really never know. It was a curious move especially when you consider the Giants pen has been horrible all year. Even with a 120 pitches, what are you saving him for, next year?

    The Dodgers beat the Nationals in game 5 in spite of Max’s good pitching. Max must know how JV has felt this season. Baker pulled Max after the HR, I don’t think Max would have given up 3 more that inning like the Tiger (oops) Nats pen did.

    I’m going with Cleveland and the Cubs to be in the World Series, although if Team Canada beats the Indians I won’t be surprised.

  58. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 14, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Good comments FLA. I am going with the Tribe in winning it all namely because of Francona, as you mention too. Unlike the Tigers the Tribe has a leader (chief) that conveys expectations and also motivates instead of just filling out a lineup card and managing the game. Of course the same can be said of Madden…I am just an AL guy.

  59. Jud

    October 14, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Some of the managerial moves so far are so far beyond Ausmus ability, it’s even scary! I have to now pull for my Dodgers. BlueJays or Indians should be a great match up as well as Dodgers -Cubs…. Great baseball. Many unsung heros!

  60. Jim Eggers USMC

    October 14, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Since the Dodgers were my 1st employer, I was emotionally and physically wrung out last night… Dave’s move to bring in Kershaw was bold and 100% correct! Reminded me of Sweet Lou brining in Randy Johnson in ’95, best game I ever saw in person. I know a lot of Cub fans (Sandberg grew up here in Spokane) but I think it’s the Tribe vs. LA for all the marbles…. A team we (the Tigres) cannot beat might win it all…

  61. Jud

    October 16, 2016 at 2:06 am

    These teams and managers are so far above the Tigers, its not even funny. The one base at a time And one base at a time manager could never compete at this level. Plus these teams have relief pitchers that are not requirred to pitch not only an entire inning , or else, but heaven forbid these teams use relief pitchers when they are actually needed. Sometimes only one or two batters, Brad!
    In three years Ausmus has made zero progress in this kind of game management. I even saw Dave Roberts actually come out of the dugout to talk to someone in the on deck circle. Plus these teams bunt, steal , and hit and run, oh my!!
    Besides being great games, these games show us, boys , just how far the Tigers are behind. And they are a lot farther than 2 1/2 games away!!!

    • Jim Eggers USMC

      October 17, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      Jud- you have nailed this post season down…. could not agree more with all you wrote… +10!

      • StorminNorman$

        October 18, 2016 at 8:14 am

        ditto Jud! …the competency gap (compared to Ausmus) is striking

        Francona/CLE have two of their better SP’s go down prior to the playoffs, last night his SP has to leave in the 1st inning, and he masterfully makes the moves to hold TOR to just 2 runs…. what no 7th inning pitcher/guy?! no 8th inning guy?! …no 9th?!? Francona will put his ‘best’ bullpen pitcher (his “closer”) in the game in the 5th, and then bring him back out for the 6th

        just hope Ausmus is paying attention and comes to the realization that his typical bullpen management is primitive thinking – as are many of his in-game offensive moves

  62. B.J. Rassam

    October 17, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    This season was a tough one for the Tigers and their fans

  63. StorminNorman$

    October 18, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    can you spare some ‘change’ Mr Avila?

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      October 19, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      Stormin…I have been following this too and here’s an update:

      To say everyone is eligible for trade makes me think that they finally figured out the current configuration doesn’t gel or play well together and that only a few tweaks won’t cut it?

      Meanwhile I am greatly enjoying the playoffs and quality ball we are seeing.

      • Tony de Florida

        October 19, 2016 at 8:29 pm

        I can see interest in Miggy and JV. I can not imagine anyone taking Victor unless as a gift or we eat part of the contract. How about unloading J-Up’s salary and use it to sign JD. Infield should be set as is, unless we move Victor which free Miggy up for more DHing.

      • StorminNorman$

        October 20, 2016 at 9:38 am

        apparently Fenech feels JD would be the most likely all star trade candidate – and unless Upton exercises his ‘opt out’, trading JD might be inevitable (financially)… contingent on DET getting a great return for him…which he should command based on the past few seasons. He’s been great since DET picked him up (for nothing), but DET’s financials make it difficult to add another JUP-type contract – which JD will get if/when he becomes a FA

  64. Tony de Florida

    October 19, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    I was saving these for until the Cubs won but right now they look like they are working to extend the streak.

    How many 0-2 hits have we seen in the playoffs? I’m old enough to remember when Yogi was the only batter who had a chance at hitting an 0-2 pitch. 0-2 pitches were either 55 footers or in the opposite batters box. Not any more, Montero gets a perfect hanger and wins game 1 for the Cubs. Too many analytics and no common sense.

    Most annoying and irrelevant commercial: Bryce Harper for T-Mobile talking about hitting a walk off bomb, in winter ball?

    Amazing what Francona has done with castaways this year, Raji good season and 40+ steals and CoCo a key sac bunt (probably illegal) and 2 playoff home runs. I also would like to know how he picked Merritt for game 5.

    Francona has put on a managing clinic during the ALCS and if Brad doesn’t beat him, should be AL Manager of the Year. Dave Roberts of LA is also pretty good, could be the NL choice.

    • StorminNorman$

      October 20, 2016 at 9:06 am

      great comments Ole Miss & Tony – as for Francona, instead of Mgr of the Yr, he should get Mgr of the Decade for what he’s done after losing two of his five starting pitchers (Salazar & Carrasco) – Francona is light years ahead of Ausmus on the competency scale… quite simply, Francona gets the best out of his roster (26th lowest payroll, while DET is #3 – over $100M higher), Ausmus does not

  65. Jud

    October 21, 2016 at 12:33 am

    Cybermetric people do not think out of the box. Cybermetric people do not think like Francona..Cybermetric people are great at doing things exactly by the book…..
    Cybermetric people are at home watching the playoffs.

  66. StorminNorman$

    October 21, 2016 at 10:43 am

    • Tony de Florida

      October 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Sad event. It makes me think that at 20 years older than Drew how fortunate I have been in my life. We never know how much time we have left and how we must try to make things better for our loved ones. May his family remember all the good times they had together.

  67. Coleman

    October 21, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Tigers going way outside the box to hire the replacement Hitting Coach! Your new Tigers hitting coach? (drumroll)…..

    Lloyd McClendon.

    • Tony de Florida

      October 21, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Come on Coleman, you’re pulling our leg. The Tigers would never do anything so outrageous! I think I would have liked working for the Tigers, I would have had a lifetime job. I’m not that disappointed as I understand he has some experience as a hitting coach. Wonder who might be interim manager next year if things blow up.

    • StorminNorman$

      October 21, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      the 2nd coming of Lloyd Mac?!?!…because it worked so well the last time Coleman? 😉

      • Tony de Florida

        October 21, 2016 at 7:23 pm

        They call him “Legendary Lloyd”.

    • StorminNorman$

      October 22, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      also joining DET staff as “asst hitting coach” is Leon “Bull” Durham… really

  68. Jim Eggers USMC

    October 21, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Well that is a blow below the belt, and we all have had plenty of those….

  69. Jud

    October 22, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Gee that’s everyone back
    …except Leyland!…… Hmmmmmmm!

    • Tony de Florida

      October 22, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      Wait to see how it looks in mid-May to early June.

  70. StorminNorman$

    October 23, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    i think its appropriate for Fenech to write that ‘in ’16 without JV and Kinsler this year DET would not have contended’, but to prognosticate that w/o JV & Kinsler DET in ’17, DET would be out of contention is an ignorant statement, seeing as if they were traded, what DET rec’d in return (to help them contend) and what if JV or Kinsler get injured or regress from their ’16 season?

    I like Avila’s approach that ‘everything is on the table’ – when you look to this year’s playoff teams’ rosters, which were and are built (trades, drafts) much differently than DET’s roster and other teams that didn’t make the playoffs.

    As the saying goes, ‘sacred cows make the best hamburger’

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      October 25, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      Meanwhile Fenech is also calling for the Cubs to sweep the Indians in the World Series. That may be true as the Tribe hasn’t unfortunately played an MLB game since last Wednesday and will most likely be off of their edge. However I am hoping for some more Francona magic that will position his team to excel.

  71. Tony de Florida

    October 23, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Windows 10 is proof that if you pay programmers, you get changes no matter if they are needed or not. Same applies to sports writers.

  72. Tony de Florida

    October 25, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    While I am hoping the Cubs break their streak, I won’t be surprised nor totally disappointed if some how Francona leads them to them to a series win with half his starting pitching staff. He should be runner up to Brad for Manager of the Year in the AL.

    • StorminNorman$

      October 26, 2016 at 8:41 am

      …funny Tony (re: Braddager of the Yr)

      me, i’m pulling for CLE for two reasons: 1) I like/respect Francona & CLE’s 26th highest payroll, and 2) many Cubs fans will become (if they haven’t already) like bosox (arrogant & entitled) fans if they win this WS

      the 3 things that have stood out this post-season for the teams that have won: pitching (top to bottom), defense and manufacturing runs … all things DET’s current roster have struggled with the past few years

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        October 26, 2016 at 2:46 pm

        Stormin…I always enjoy your analysis! Do you think that these days everyone in batting order from 1 to 9 swinging for the fence causes pitching, defense, and run manufacturing to rise to the top?

        Glad to see last night’s 6-0 shutout. Another win tonight and the Cubs cannot win the series while at home.

        • StorminNorman$

          October 26, 2016 at 3:41 pm

          Ole Miss, I do agree w/your ‘rise to the top’ observation, but it is also helps to have a roster that provides the talent to excel in those categories…oh, it also helps to have a mgr/coaching staff that gets the best out of their roster.

          Making and progressing through the playoffs requires first and foremost very good-to-great pitching, and as DET fans have seen in the playoffs (DET has been fortunate to participate in) since ’06, the free-swinging power hitting teams eventually run into teams with great pitchers that ‘step it up for the playoffs’, and scoring runs becomes increasingly harder (as a team advances) – so a team (like KC last yr) that can manufacturing runs and prevent runs (on defense) always have a fighter’s chance if their pitching is solid.

  73. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    October 26, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Hmm….I thought the system was supposed to be named Jud! 🙂

    • Tony de Florida

      October 26, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      Yes we should have analytics but as Norman said unless the manager can get the best from his players, it’s just kind of nice to have.