Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wrong messages doomed Tigers season

I don't see a lot of excuses for the Tigers right now. Carlos Guillen and Brandon Inge are back in the lineup. These aren't the Detroit Mud Hens like a couple weeks ago. They have added Jhonny Peralta, whose RBI production this season wasn't that far off the injured Magglio Ordonez's.
Tampa Bay is a really good team, but the Rays had been playing poorly coming to Comerica Park.
The White Sox have been hot, but those games were also in Detroit. The Tigers played tremendous baseball at home the first half of the season.
It's one thing to play bad baseball, it's another to be the worst in the major leagues. And that's exactly what the Tigers have been since the All Star break.
There were a couple wrong messages sent out. One was by general manager Dave Dombrowski when the Tigers were injury-plagued, but still very much in the race. He didn't move fast enough - and the season just went by while the Tigers were fielding the Detroit Mud Hens.
And secondly, when owner Mike Ilitch said Dombrowski and Leyland were going to be back. Now I really don't have any issue with that notion, but why say it when there is a third of the season remaining? Doesn't make for much accountability for the remainder of the season, does it?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree.

I mentioned in early July that this schedule was going to be brutal from July 19-Aug 19.

But the perfect storm hit when the injuries came. I was hoping for a 13-17 exit out of this tough schedule run but it could be 5-25!

However, this streak has shown that this team was playing right to their potential and lacked depth - starting pitching was in the bottom 5-8 teams out of 30.

Agree Dombrowski was either sleeping or just couldn't get any bites. Fact is, though, that he did a poor job in doing virually nothing for the team for which he should have been planning for.

Also, one can't blame Leyland when he had to field basically the bottom 5 worst offenses in the league.

But something doesn't feel right about Leyland. He's a really good manager but plays the game by the book. Old time baseball.

Look at Tampa Bay and how they changed the game with running. Yeah Jackson can motor, but where's the small ball? Seems like Leyland is kinda late in making changes. Stuck in his old ways - statistically conservative.

If I were Illitch, I would rubbing my chin and wondering.

12:11 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

You're certainly right about the wrong messages Pat! Ad those are only the ones sent to the public. It appears to me even more wrong messages have been sent internally to the players.

This whole thing was so predictable during the decent first half of the season - but even I didn't expect the wheels to come off immediately after the AS break.

That being said - 10 games can be made up in the course of a week or so - a Tigers winning streak and White Sox Twins losing streak - but that seems like wishful pipe-dreams.

This is why even when playing well - fans are very reluctant to belive in the Tigers - and it's been so bloody consistant!! You can set your watch to their second half tailspins.

So I for one do not think Dombrowski or Leyland should come back to the Tigers - even if I do not have a replacement for them - this is too sickening to watch anymore.

Is it Boesches fault he went on a slump slide? Sure.
Is it Cabrera's fault he can't pick this team up and carry them? Sure.
Is it any or all the players on this squads fault they are playing terrible baseball right now? Damn skippy it is!!

And that lays at the feet of the Manager - and the General Manager. And for the very first time ever - I am voicing my opinion it's time to kiss Leyland and Dombrowski goodbye.

Because next year will just look like this year if they don't.

It's so maddening because it was so expected.

12:41 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on, Book. You know better than this. Messages don't win in MLB... players do.

The bottom of the Tigers' order sucked even when they were in first place. When Ordonez went down, it was gonna be doomsday... no matter how you slice it. Guillen's injury was just the rotten cherry on top of the spoiled sundae.

Boesch was a surprise, but you knew the surprise would end.

Now, Cabrera is frustrated, and going after bad pitches. You need players around him, so he can be a team player and take those pitches like he did earlier in the season.

Blame Dombrowski for his offseason moves, fine, but there was no way he was going to overcome the situation he's facing now. Too many players required. Too many holes.

And Porcello taking a step back, as many of us predicted of this young pitcher. Relief pitching injured and now under extreme pressure. Veteran starters often buckling.

And Avila seemingly can't even catch a ball now. And Leland has to play him, just like he has to play the other kids.

It's just a player shortage problem. Dombrowski's pressure should come this offseason.

His past mistakes are what's killing them: Contracts for Willis, Guillen and Robertson. Absent those moves, maybe we don't settle for Evert at short, etc.

Leland's fine. Keep him if he wants to stay and has the fire.

12:50 PM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

Pat, Peralta doesn't provide anywhere close to the production Magglio did. RBI's are stats that say just as much about where you are in the order and if the guys ahead of you are getting on base as anything else.

Peralta's OPS the past two years is lower than both Brandon Inge and Roman Santiago. Magglio's is easily 2nd on the team (and .162 points higher).

You seriously need to convert to real stats one of these days. :-)

9:11 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The Tigers did have a number of younger players contribute and show some strength organizationally, but Dombrowski overplayed that card after the trio of injuries. A couple vets would have helped. A couple key hits at the right time might have changed the complexion of this entire season.

1:30 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Nobody is playing well on the Tigers. Effort is a tough thing to gauge. Everybody tries. It's more a matter of taking it beyond trying and have urgency and sense of purpose. This version of the Tigers quickly - too quickly - lost that urgency.

1:32 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I think you are forgetting how flawed the Twins and White Sox are, and how they lost key players to injury. And they still keep fighting - and winning - anyway. That's a credit to them, and not a credit to the Tigers, who have the best hitter, starting pitcher and closer in the AL Central.

1:34 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
That isn't what I was saying - and you know it. My point is simply they aren't playing just the Mud Hens anymore, that they have most of their team back - save for Ordonez, and have added somebody who was on pace to drive in roughly the same amount of runs.

1:36 AM 
Blogger Rick Heitmeyer said...

The Tigers are going nowhere with Jim Leyland. He quit in Colorado and now he's challenged management that if "I'm the problem, fire me." Illitch has no choice but to FIRE HIM and his coaches. McClendon and LaMont are never weres .... I wonder about Knapp with the pitchers who go down to the minors and come back better. It's been a worse season that 2003 because we knew we would be TERRIBLE then! Poor choices by DD -- we were "saving money" with letting Polanco go and dealing Grandy -- then we made a splash with two free agent signings ... MESSAGES? Yeah, strange ones.

10:18 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Rick Heitmeyer,
I not quite as harsh about Leyland as you are, but you do have a point. When his clubs start going South, they just keep going. With the Tigers, anyway, he hasn't done a good job of pulling them out of tailspins.

12:48 PM 

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