Friday, May 30, 2008

Tigers Benefit From Red Wings And Pistons

The greatest benefactor of the deep playoff runs by the Red Wings and Pistons may be the Tigers.
Their season, which began with such high hopes, is turning into a bitter disappointment.
But it has been moved off center stage. There are some calls to sports talk radio trickling in about the Tigers, and I still get e-mails about them on a consistent basis, most wondering how this could happen.
I think it’s combination of these factors:
- The Tigers have too many of the same type of players - right-handed batters who are hitters first, but lacking on other areas.
- I don’t think they have a bad clubhouse in the sense the players don’t get along, or don’t respect manager Jim Leyland, but it does seem like the Tigers lack urgency, a sign too many of their players are too comfortable with their cushy contract status.
- The starting pitching has been horrible. The Tigers starters needed to live up to the track records they established during their best seasons, not in 2007. It’s been just the opposite, though, and has been compounded by Justin Verlander’s woes.
- The defensive struggles of Carlos Guillen (surprising) and Miguel Cabrera (not surprising) have been costly.
- Gary Sheffield and Kenny Rogers apparently have hit a wall with their careers. Their stats say it all.
I still can’t believe the Tigers are this bad. I have to think they will pull out of this tailspin at some point relatively soon. For their sake, they better hope it’s before all the attention focuses squarely on them again.

7 Comments:

Blogger Andrew M. Fanco said...

Mr. Book, the starting pitching is turning around. Lots of quality starts lately. Unfortunately lately there has also been quiet bats and poor bullpen appearances. Tigers had a chance to sweep the Angels, but through bullpen blowups and offensive impotence dropped further and further below sea-level.

Kenny's latest start makes me think he still can be of use to this team, but I think the team has no more need for Gary. Thames can play the same role as him for much less, with a lot more upside. And he can actually play in left, though not an gold glove candidate. I think we can safely say this team will not make the playoffs this year, but I think they can at least get back into the conversation.

5:10 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book,

From the viewpoint of this one (and self-declared humble) fan:

I remember May 2006 and the topic was "are you ready to invest emotionally in these Tigers" - because many didn't believe the great start was real. And not everybody had yet bought in.

I think that's a big part of why that season was so special.

Last year we bought in much quicker - A World Series appearance will do that. But we expected the slide in July and August. And we prayed (literally) that we would hold on and make postseason play.

This year we were bullish on the Tigers emotional market since November last year. We knew about the bullpen, or so we thought then that was our biggest problem.

Our bullpen has been better than expected.

And AAA guys like Clete have garnished love here because we miss Maybin and Miller. Admit it. We do.

God bless Galarraga.

And Inge. I'm sick of hearing fans who love Inge being told they don't know squat. Thank God we got that wonderful bastard to catch and play anywhere else somebody fails us. With the hitting power that was supposed to be, Inge's bat (which was hot in April - but cold now) would have been acceptable.

I guess what I'm saying is that we feel betrayed, Book. By the players. By Management (yes I mean the irreverent Skip), and by (sorry Book) the media.

Fans still? Yes. Rooting for 'em? Yes. Grasping at straws for answers? Yes. Hoping they can turn it around? Yes.But do we expect them to? No.

And at some point disappointment leads to disinterest.

That's what happens when you play the emotional investment market, sometimes you get burned. And you look and feel like an idiot.

But we should never have expected THIS &#@%&!!!

There is an upside - I haven't been able to sit in the Tiger Den at Comerica since 2005 when the Yankees came to town.

But I would rather sit in the bleachers to see the bloody Dodgers play a great Tiger team any day!

Sorry for this very long rant, but I think I feel better now.

Go Wings!

5:18 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hi Pat: I always had this feelings that the Tigers are still looking for ways to improve or was not done dealing yet even if they were winning. The final pieces of the puzzle is not in place yet. With no help for pitching from AAA or AA (except for a few left handed pitchers) the cupboard is dry. They do have a few pitchers at A ball that look interesting but they can't help until 09 at the earliest. They could move a player or two at the deadline. I did not like Nate's contract at first but DD did not overpay. The going rate for 4/5 starter is 10 to 12 million a year. If he can string a few starts together and get his ERA below 4.50, you may have more than one potential playoff team bite at his contract at the trading deadline and of coarse that if Galarraga still pitching great. Cheers to DD for founding him. They need AAA or AA pitching prospects in a hurry. I would also be sending Miner down to AAA to become a starter, because they are needed, once the injured relievers get back.

8:50 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew m fanco,
What I can't figure out is how a club can be shutout as consistently as the Tigers have been this season. It's gotten the point of being ridiculous. They score seven runs in the first inning - and they don't score for the rest of the month. Unreal.
Caputo

11:21 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Thing is, so many people have already bought tickets. If this continues, you might be able to get some at less than face value if you look hard enough. It does make you appreciate 2006 a lot more. That was a special season. If only they hadn't played so lousy in the World Series.
Caputo

11:23 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Barry,
I don't know if it is an issue of tweaking their roster. Jim Leyland is obviously befuddled. I mean he was talking about playing Carlos Guillen in left field. Huh? It gets more surreal by the day with the Tigers.
Caputo

11:24 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, I hate to say it, but does someone in Tiger management have a screw loose? Actually I like JL because he usually thinks logically doesn't he? Maybe there is a trade coming? Tiger management was very upset of not getting back to the World Series last year, they must be pulling their hair out now. Moving Guillen would be next year project but than again if you do move Guillen to left what do you do with Joyce, Thames, Raburn and Thomes. Clevlen and Ramirez look like they are having interesting years too. Inge should be catching to see if he can replace Pudge next year as I would image Pudge be looking for a 3 year contract somewhere. Inge 217 batting avg is bad for a 3B. Where Santiago (batting avg 353) because I just read a stat that the Tigers only win 34% of the time against righties. I like Inge as defensive replacement. I think Guillen would be happy in LF, no sense getting a hard ground ball off the chops when you can just catch fly balls when you make over 10 million a year.

8:51 AM 

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