Monday, August 04, 2008

Where Do You Begin With The Fingers Of Blame?

There are a number of directions the finger of blame can be pointed for what is rapidly turning into a lost season for the Tigers:
- General manager Dave Dombrowski, for not thinking more about a balanced lineup and pitching when he put together such a high-priced club. And for putting so much faith - and money - in aging veterans such as Gary Sheffield, Kenny Rogers, Edgar Renteria and Todd Jones, who clearly aren’t the same players they used to be.
- Manager Jim Leyland, because his team was obviously not prepared for the start of the season. Nor have his strategic moves exactly been working.
- Tigers players down the lineup, for underperforming based on their recent past.
It’s gotten to the point now where it’d almost be helpful if the White Sox or Twins took off on a hot winning streak. If there was ever a season that needs to be put out of its misery, it’s this one for the Tigers.
Leyland’s rant the other day was coming sooner or later. Seemed like he felt pretty good about his team after it survived that 13-inning marathon in Cleveland. What happened the next four games was inexcusable. The Tigers should be playing with a sense of urgency, but it’s something they haven’t done all season.
I thought it was almost laughable that Leyland is threatening to remove players from their regular spots. Who is he going to replace them? There aren’t a lot of options - not good ones, anyway.

Random Thoughts

- Many think the key to the Lions’ offense is the running game, but actually it is the passing game. The Lions have to use Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams effectively enough that opposing defenses don’t creep eight defenders at the line at of scrimmage. If they are forced to keep four defensive backs deep, it will great help the Lions running game.

- Count me among those looking very much forward to the PGA Championship this week at Oakland Hills. Just because Tiger Woods isn’t there doesn’t mean it won’t be a great tournament. Actually, I have a strong feeling it is going to be. Oakland Hills itself should not underestimated. It is one of Michigan’s great treasures.

- Seeing Pudge in pinstripes reminds me of seeing Lance Parrish in a Phillies uniform back in the day. Something just isn’t right about it.

14 Comments:

Blogger maddog52 said...

You know funny you mentioned that comparison of Pudge and Lance Parish. Me and my father were just talking about that Saturday. Personally I thought the move was pointless. I would have only agreed with the deal if we had gone after another bull pen pitcher like a recently released hawkins and or starter in Livan Hernandez. We went for neither. I mean farnsworth is a FA as well so was it really a money dumping thing? I just thougth pudge deserved better after all he turned this franchise around. Hell i wouldh ave let him finish off his career. I just don't think he is the reason we were losing and personally we got no value for him. If I were to throw blame its hard to say. Players aren't performing. Yeah.. How about the amount of guys left on BASE? Teh bullpen is what we thought it was. Leyland lets face it hasn't made very many good decisions this year. Guys getting picked off all over the bases. What about Chucky? Lets face it this guy got fired when the Rays sucked. Guess what his pitching staff hasn't adjusted or improved neither. My mind.. We still got time and I am remaining hopeful, but I don't have the same confidence. If I were the tigers I'd be concentrating heavily on Sheets or Sabathia along with F-Rod and or Salamon Torres. Also why not make Kenny Rogers if he is willing a Pitching coach next year?

I think you take a Verlander, Gallaraga, hell even Miner. Hopefully Willis and Bonderman can come back. then add a sheets or Sabathia to the top of that Rotation. Then throw a F-Rod or Torres into the mix with Zumya, Dolsi, Lopez, and Seay. I think you got a formatable staff. That is just me.

On the Lions yeah I can see what you are saying about the passing game. However, if you can't run the ball you will never open up the pass. I like the idea of letting a Kevin Smith get 4 or 5 yards a carry. Then break it open with the pass. Just me...

3:38 PM 
Blogger J.B. said...

Unfortunately, the bulk of the blame is going to be thrown on Leyland. He was the once fan proclaimed "genius", but suddenly he looks like an old fool. I suspect he was forced into bad decisions and reluctancy to correct obvious wrongs becaue of the money invested in some of the slugs.

I don't want to put the entire blame on Sheff, but he is the most obvious reason when I think of how Leyland is wearing out his welcome here. His man love for Sheff is digusting at this point. I don't think Leyland would have continued the romance THIS long, so I suspect it was a "shot gun wedding" coordinated by Mr. I and Dave D. because of the money they have invested. It's not really Sheff's "fault" that he is making the DH stand for "Don't Hit" in Detroit. He lost it due to age, plain and simple. BUT, it is Leyland's fault for allowing it to ferment this long. The bottom of the .200 bucket is NOT worth a spot in the lineup, period.

There are many, many more specific seemingly bone head decisions that he has made throughout the season, which might not have been so highlighted in my eyes. BUT, failure allows one to second guess more.

I am already excited about next season, because I think the changes needed can not be ignored this off season.

3:50 PM 
Blogger Larry said...

I've been looking forward to your blog comments on the Tigers' debacle all day, because your reflections are insightful. In this case I want to quibble about Leyland's remarks about removing players from their regular spots being "laughable." I agree that it is laughable, but for a different reason. It's laughable because the stunning thing about management this year has been the failure to hold the players to any reasonable level of accountability in their performance. I think its perfectly reasonable to replace Renteria, Sheffield, Robertson with Santiago, Larish, and Lopez. I'm not saying that this will lead us to the promised land, but it would help restore some credibility. Leyland's remarks are so laughable because he's allowed underperfomance for week after week. It's become almost absurd. I am far mor sympathetic in regard to the bullpen where (perhaps due in part to injuries) he's pushed every button he can push.

3:56 PM 
Blogger Max Perilstein said...

Pat-
2 notes-
Not sure if you watched that 10th inning Rodney fest on Sunday or not- but the one striking thing that I noticed was that no one ever went out to calm Rodney down. No Leyland, No Hernandez- no Guillen from 3rd. I mean if ever a guy needed someone to relax him, it was then. As an example after he drileld Riggans in the chest (scary) I woulda thought someone woulda called time and checked on him.
It just seemed to me that they were letting im sink or swim- and I found it odd.
2nd-
Its funny that chemistry does mean something- the 06 squad had a mix or old and young and guys who had career years being clutch (Monroe). Then last year, you throw Sheff in the mix, you lose character guys like Walker and the team suffers... then this year, you go ALL IN on vets.. Renteria, Jacque Jones, and so on.. and it seems that mix was gone. I think if you to when this thing started off the tracks it was acquiring Shefflied, but the Renteria trade- made WAAAAY too quick after the season ended, will be the one that haunts this team for years.

5:45 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the Tigers got off to that 75-35 start in 2006 they are a cool 161-164. That is what we got for a 130 million dollar payroll? The fans and Mr. Illitch have been ripped off. Beyond Granderson, Cabrera, Gallaraga and perhaps Verlander--no one is untouchable. Even the usually dependable Guillen and Polanco have been uninspiring. Mags has turned into a "Pudge like" singles hitter because of all the pressure to be a producer. He and Cabrera can't do it alone. I like Thames but he should have been dealt at the deadline--he had some value and like you say Pat, "when he plays too much he is exposed." What a waste! Nate Robertson should be in the bullpen if he still has that "bulldog mentality." There is enough blame to go around for everyone--top to bottom and we need to start being honest about the talent of this team instead protecting these underachievers.

Frank from Dearborn

7:30 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, yah your right that is bad when you hear that the Team was not prepare after spring training. If the Tigers do fully fall apart, the best move DD can do is to be super active before the Waiver Trade deadline. Dumping some payroll and have some room to sign top free agents next off season.

8:07 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

What a great page of comments.
I thnk this has been pent up for some time.

To me - the question is "who isn't responsible"??

As I see it, it all started with no starting pitching - but also that debacle of Guillen / Cabrera third/first - with Inge gaining support that he should be at third when Cabrera couldn't pull it off.

Then left field. Then DH. Then things settled - and the bullpen finnally became evidently flawed.

It's just been ugly.

So it's Leylands fault. And Hernandez for the lack of pitching - and probably Willie Horton and Al Kaline to?

[deep sigh with heavy head shaking]

Aside from Mags and Polanco and Galaraga - I think that this debacle is on the heads of every one wearing the old English D.

Let's face it - we blew it this year. If there was anyone I am truly mad at its everyone - including me - that thought that we would run away with this thing last November. High expectations before Christmas.

Lets not do this again.

12:21 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Maddog52,
I understand the Tigers needed bullpen help, but I have to admit, I felt the same way about the Pudge deal. I can't see the Tigers staying in this thing, though. Unless they play well in Chicago this week. Seems like a big "if"
Caputo

9:32 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

J.B.,
I'm one of those who feels things would have been much worse if it weren't for Leyland. His strategy hasn't worked, for the most part, but he is better than 99 percent of the managers at keying chaos from happening. I think the clubhouse would have gotten really bad with another manager. It hasn't.
Caputo

9:34 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Larry,
That's the downside to long-term contracts - they take accountability out of the mix. Seems to me the Tigers players generally are too comfortable.
Caputo

9:35 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Max Perilstein,
I agree about the swiftness of the Sheffield-Renteria deals. They happened almost too fast. Why not let the off season develop. As for Rodney, I don't know this, but maybe he is one of those pitchers who does't like his teammates to visit him on the mound.
Caputo

9:37 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Max Perilstein,
I agree about the swiftness of the Sheffield-Renteria deals. They happened almost too fast. Why not let the off season develop. As for Rodney, I don't know this, but maybe he is one of those pitchers who does't like his teammates to visit him on the mound.
Caputo

9:37 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Frank in Dearborn,
There is no question the money hasn't been well spent. The big concern is what they owe to player such as Sheffield and Willis beyond this year.
Caputo

9:38 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Of all the things that have gone wrong, the starting pitching issue has been the most important. Before this season, the Tigers needed their starters to have at least an average season by their standards. None of them have. If it weren't for Galarraga, they'd be 10 games below .500.
Caputo

9:40 AM 

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