Friday, June 19, 2009

Tiger Fans Surprisingly Quick To Jump Off Magglio's Bandwagon

I was surprised by the "get the bum out of town" reaction we got to Magglio Ordonez’s benching while doing my radio show with Dennis Fithian before the Tigers’ game against St. Louis on Thursday.
Ordonez hasn’t been playing well. There is an obvious decline in his power. His fielding has been below par. He is 35 years old, there is a $30 million option that kicks in on his contract if he starts 135 games or has 540 plate appearances. A decision will have to be made on his future, but it is later.
It would be different if Tigers manager Jim Leyland just gave him a night off, but he called the benching "indefinite." It seemed like it made Ordonez the scapegoat for the Tigers’ offensive woes lately. He hasn’t hit well, that’s for sure, but is far from the only one.
The fans seem to be buying it. They want Ordonez out. I don’t agree at this point. I also think he should be put back in the lineup soon.
At least with Ordonez, there is a chance water will find a high level. That isn’t going to happen with Ryan Raburn or Clete Thomas or Josh Anderson or Marcus Thames. All will be exposed if played often. We’ve seen that in the past with Thames. Anderson is a good player, but must be used right. Not sure it is every day. Didn’t take Thomas long to slump and he has struggled at Triple-A. Raburn is, at best, a utility player. Only Thomas is that good defensively.
And don’t forget, Ordonez has been down and out before. Remember his ordeal at the end in Chicago? Remember his first year in Detroit? Remember how people wanted him replaced for Brett Clevlen in 2006?
Truth is, the Tigers would benefit a great deal if Ordonez returns to form. Or even comes close. Given his track record in Detroit and his comebacks in the past, he deserves the chance.
I would be surprised if Jim Leyland doesn’t give him one or two or three before the contract option has to be decided. I am shocked so many Tiger fans don’t want to give Ordonez even another one.
Maybe this is "bandwagon town" after all. Seems to be in the case of Magglio Ordonez.

Random Thoughts

- Contrary to the perception, Thursday’s win over St. Louis meant it wasn’t a bad road trip for the Tigers. They were 5-6. Only three American League teams are above .500 on the road - the Red Sox, Rangers and Angels - and each of those teams is just a game above .500.

- Dontrelle Willis has obviously pitched his last game for the Tigers. The "anxiety disorder" reasoning for putting him on the disabled list was likely done for insurance purposes to try to payoff his contract. Guess it’s the best way to describe what he has. Not sure if "The Thing" or "Steve Blass Disease" would fit legally.

- No major surprises at the NHL Awards. Just seemed weird seeing it in Las Vegas. Always thought it was Canada’s version of the Academy Awards. Still think Nicklas Lidstrom deserved the Norris Trophy, though.

My column in Friday's Oakland Press on Tigers:



Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, I am in between the bandwagon fans and yourself. I agree he should not be in RF and should be a part-time DH. I know Rasmus’ triple the other night was impossible to catch, I think, but Maggs did not look good going after the ball. As far as Maggs at DH, he should split time with Thames. You play who is every swinging a hot bat. Tiger management are adding trade value to their team by playing young guys and saving Maggs ABs. As far as Willis’, like JL said, “ He still shows sometime he has some life in his arm”. Willis should remain as a project in AAA. If the Tigers have any good lefties in AAA or AA they should be brought up for left-hand relieving. Bad enough the Tigers carry bad contracts, but what is worst is these contracts will cost you ballgames. Tigers are in first place, they should act like it. Field the best players you can, if a large contract has to go down to AAA, so be it.

9:24 AM 
Anonymous Steve Ventimiglio said...

Pat the tigers are going to win 88-90 games this year. They need to end the year for Willis and Bonderman and just pitch Miner.

What was so wrong with him. I believe he gives them a chance to win.

How about Zumia as a starter?

11:38 AM 
Anonymous Marty said...


I cannot understand your feelings about Magglio. He is having a very bad year by his standards, and he hasn't even shown any signs of improving. Leyland has tried sitting him, moving him around in the lineup, DH-ing him, even letting him try to work through the funk, and just about anything you can think of other than sitting him for an extended period and nothing has worked. So Leyland is trying to sit him for an extended period of time to let him clear his head (maybe the jeers from Hugo's detractors are getting to him?) I can't blame him for trying something new to try to get Maggs right.

I don't want to say it, since it is somewhat imflamatory, but it honestly appears somewhat irrational the way you are arguing this. Sitting him is not a way to blame the Tigers woes on him. That is a very detached strawman argument that I would expect out of someone like Drew Sharp, but not from you. I expect far more logical arguments from you, as you usually think things through without letting emotions get involved. The two things are seperate entities, and finding blame for problems is never a managers goal. The goal is always to fix the problems before it destroys your season, since it is your record that determines if you will have a job or not.

I appologize if I insulted you, as it was not my intention. My oppinion is no better than yours, but I wanted to let you know how you were coming off with this, at least to me.


1:13 PM 
Anonymous Marty said...


My last comment was probably too harsh. I appologize for it. We all get emotional at times, and this is a subject that you have passion for, so I cannot put you down for that.


1:29 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so you know... "Off" is spelled with two f's. Maybe you didn't notice it, it's only in your headline.

Geez, it's a good thing you're not a newspaper guy or anything.

Really though, you should be embarrassed of how often you make stupid mistakes like that.

3:38 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I don't think anybody would defend Ordonez's performance this season. It hasn't been good. My point is he does have a track record and there is a chance he could return to form. And that he doesn't deserve to be hated by Tiger fans. He has done more good than bad on the field through the years.

5:45 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Steve Ventimiglio,
Zumaya has really good off speed pitches that might be going to waste as a relief. Can see him being a very good starter, but it won't happen this year. He will remain in the bullpen for the rest of '09.

5:47 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

My whole thing about this is the venom toward Ordonez. Seems like overkill. So he isn't playing well. Maybe he won't again. Why not give him another chance. It's not like they are holding back all these great prospects to put him in there. Plus, he's done pretty well as a Tiger.

5:49 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

No offense was taken whatsoever.

5:49 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Guess I fall under the category of "nobody's perfect." Me neither.

5:51 PM 

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