Monday, July 30, 2007

Tigers Can't Stand Pat At Trade Deadline

There are a couple ways of looking at the Tigers’ recent malaise. One is that it is an inevitable part of any season, that even the best clubs go into slumps, and that the Tigers will soon pull out of it.
Another is that things are starting to pull apart a bit on the Tigers. They have been playing with fire with a shaky bullpen - and now they are starting to get burned.
I feel the answer lies somewhere in the middle.
The Tigers have been on the road seemingly forever. Their only break was a three-game set at home against Kansas City, which made their return trip almost just like another road trip. They have played very well on the road this season, but baseball is a game of levels. Eventually, their home record, which has been underwhelming, will rise and their road mark will drop. It’s just the way it works.
Losing Kenny Rogers is significant. His return had provided a much-needed boost. Now their rotation does seem as settled. A couple weeks ago, I didn’t think the Tigers needed to make a move at the trade deadline. Now I definitely feel like they do.
It shouldn’t be a big-name player in a move designed for "wow" appeal, but rather a serviceable relief pitcher. You know, somebody better than Jason Grilli. Somebody who can pitch in the sixth or seventh inning without it being a disaster. There are a number of them available that shouldn’t cost an arm and leg. Salomon Torres from Pittsburgh is an example. That’s who the Tigers are scouting in Pittsburgh. Kyle Farnsworth doesn’t throw that hard anymore. If he were that good, why would the Yankees, just 4.5 games behind the Tigers, deal him to Detroit?
And make no bones about it, the Tigers need bullpen help above all else. Getting Fernando Rodney back will only help so much. And it would be unwise to depend on the return of Joel Zumaya. That has to be viewed as gravy. If the Tigers don’t make a deal, it will be a huge disappointment because, as they sit right now, they aren’t good enough to win a world championship. Their bullpen is too much of a weak link.

Random Thoughts

- Don’t get me wrong. Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn were great players. I put both on my Hall of Fame ballot. But it seems like the baseball world going so giddy over their Hall of Fame induction this weekend had more to do with the solid nature of their personalities than their actual greatness as players. I mean, both are everything Barry Bonds is not. And seeing them honored as Bonds catches up to Henry Aaron’s home run record was oh-so-nice.

- Did you know that last season, 10 percent of the Lions’ offensive plays resulted in either a fumble, a sack or an interception? That’s why depending so heavily on Jon Kitna is risky.

- My early pick to reach the Super Bowl is Baltimore. To me, the Ravens got the steal of the off season when they acquired Willis McGahee from Buffalo.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Lions Have To Be Better, Don't They?

I find the opening of Lions’ training camp, at least since Matt Millen has been in charge - and that seems like forever - bewildering.
I want to look at the Lions, see the changes they have made during the off season and analyze them from purely a football standpoint.
For example, I do like some of the moves the Lions made during to bolster their offense. Acquiring running backs Tatum Bell and T.J. Duckett should help. Guard Edwin Mulitalo is a very good player and will improve their inside run blocking. George Foster is an upgrade at right tackle. And rookie wide Calvin Johnson has a chance to be special.
Defensively, the Lions still have tons of holes, journeyman Jon Kitna remains the quarterback and there is no veteran backup. So if Kitna goes down, so will the Lions’ season. But the Lions have to be better than last season. Three wins? The Lions must be headed up if for no other reason than they can’t go down any further. And I don’t want to cast judgement on a team and a coaching staff until they actually play.
I am hardly convinced Rod Marinelli is the answer, but this is just his second season. Maybe he learned something from the first one when he was so shaky.
Then again, I feel compelled to quell these notions because the false sense of hope presented by the organization, and some covering it in the media on a regular basis (I am not knocking them - they have a right to their opinion), that always suggests the corner is right there and will be turned in the upcoming season - when it never is
Honestly, even in a league where every dog seems to have his day, I doubt the Lions will ever win with their current front office structure with Millen at the top. I hope I am wrong for the sake of Lion fans, but the evidence is overwhelming. It seems to trump every other factor.

Random Thoughts

- Just like that, boom, the Yankees are six games behind the Tigers and only 4.5 games behind in the American League wild card race. Amazing.

- There was a fascinating show on ESPN 2 Thursday night about Hank Aaron. It was a repeat of a special Tom Brokaw did for NBC the winter between the 1973 and 1974 seasons on Aaron as he approached Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record. What I found ridiculous is how the commissioner at the time, Bowie Kuhn, snubbed Aaron. Not only didn’t he attend the night Aaron broke the record, he didn’t even congratulate him when Aaron hit his 700th home run. Aaron didn’t like it, met with Kuhn about it, and Kuhn still snubbed him the following year. Strange.

- The biggest two weeks of the Tigers’ season figures to the 13 straight games they play - home and road - against the Indians and the Yankees. Their fate may very well be decided right then and there.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Different Baseball Numbers Rule

Growing up, there were several magic numbers I recall pertaining to baseball. Probably the biggest was 714.
Of course, it was the number of career home runs Babe Ruth hit. It was a record that stood for decades. Then it became 755 - after Hank Aaron broke Ruth’s record. Aaron’s record, too, stood for decades.
There were others, most relating to home runs. 61 - for Rogers Maris’ single-season homer record. 500 - for the milepost that separated truly elite power hitters from others.
But, to me, the prestige of home run records is falling by the wayside. I just don’t see magic numbers when it comes to home runs anymore. When somebody hits 50 in a season now, for example, I just kind of shrug my shoulders. It’s like if Brady Anderson can hit 50 home runs in a season, does it really matter any more? When Frank Thomas hit his 500th home run this season, it was celebrated. Same with Sammy Sosa at 600. But it was a false hurrah.
To me, the biggest numbers in baseball are different. I think the top one is 56 - for Joe DiMaggio’s consecutive-game hitting streak. It is followed by 7 - for the number of no-hitters Nolan Ryan threw during his career. Then it’s .400 - will another hitter ever get there again? Same for 30 - as in a pitcher winning that many games in a season.
I like all those numbers for this reason: It is possible they can be reached - unlike something ridiculous like Cy Young’s 511 victories set during a skewed era. It is, however, highly improbable any player can get to those levels. That would make it very special if a player reaches those heights. I am not so sure the same can be said for when Barry Bonds breaks Aaron’s record. Whatever Bonds’ final total, it will kind of be like 73 - his single-season mark. It will be a record, but not THE RECORD. Not anymore.

Random Thoughts

- I do think an on-court official involved in gambling is a crisis for the NBA. I do not, however, feel it will have a long-term bearing on the public’s perception of the league. That is, of course, unless it proves not to be an isolated incident. Only if multiple officials are involved will all you-know-what break loose.

- Craig Monroe has a history of heating up this time of the year. Seems like he is doing so again.

- The Yankees are taking advantage of a weak schedule. They are only 7.5 games behind the Tigers and Red Sox for the best record in the American League. Watch out.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thugs And All, I Will Be Watching

I’m like you. I can’t wait for the start of training camp. I am looking forward to the preseason to see what the Lions do or do not have. I am always anxious for the beginning of the NFL season. To me, it is a ritual. And, obviously, I am not alone in that thought. I think it is safe to say it is the most popular of the major professional sports leagues in this country. Yeah, even ahead of my beloved baseball.
I just wonder when the issues involving deviant behavior by NFL players will begin to have an impact.
Michael Vick’s Federal indictment for dogfighting is just the latest incident. Name the crime, some NFL player has done the time - or might be doing it soon. This goes from murder (Rae Carruth) to pimping (Richard Seigler) to just-about-everything (Pac Man Jones, Chris Henry and Tank Johnson combined) to Vick.
But Vick’s involvement is the worst. He is a quarterback - supposedly one of the smart guys. And one of the top dozen players in the league in regard to visibility.
The innocent until proven guilty argument is usually a pretty solid one. Problem is that it takes so long for everything to sort out. Once an indictment is dropped like this, the cloud doesn’t go away until the trial or a plea bargain is complete - even if the accused is proven innocent. The damage has already been done.
But how much damage is it? It’s definitely the National Thug League, but does it matter? Will it have any bearing on the popularity of the league?
I can’t say that it will. I don’t know whether this is bad and I should feel guilty about it, or it is just being typical for an average American sports junkie, but I’ll be watching.

Random Thoughts

- Of all the series the Tigers have played this season, the one in Minnesota was the most impressive. Winning close road games against a team with that type of bullpen was tremendous. I have a feeling the second half of this season is going to be special for the Tigers.

- Don’t get me wrong. I think Marcus Thames has a lot of value to the Tigers. And I do understand why fans like him. I do, too. But if Jim Leyland played him every day, say, for 150 games in a season instead of smartly spotting him in the lineup when he is hot, I doubt he’d hit .230. Just being honest
- I find myself rooting for Barry Bonds lately to hit home runs. Not because I am rooting for him, but to just get this mess over. Maybe it’s because I was at the All Star Game and all that, or maybe it is just because I am tired of all the controversy surrounding him. But I have had enough of Barry Bonds. Period. Will this ever end?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

If It Ain't Broke, Why Fix It?

It is getting closer to the trade deadline, and there hasn’t been quite the same wild speculation as last year about the Tigers. Maybe it’s because the Tigers are a better team. They have already proven they can win the pennant. And they have added a hall of fame-caliber player since in Gary Sheffield.
Secondly, trading for relief help isn’t nearly as juicy as speculating about getting, say, Alfonso Soriano.
Plus, Dave Dombrowkski has done a decent job of rebuilding his bullpen already. Macay McBride has done very well and might be more than a situational left-hander. I like the depth with Zach Miner and Chad Durbin there. Jose Capellan has a chance to be very good. There is the possibility that Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya will return and give the bullpen a boost. If one or both of them come back at or near full-strength, it would be like the Tigers made a deal.
Also, Nate Robertson is starting to throw the ball much better. His cut fastball was a very effective pitch Tuesday night in the 1-0 win at Minnesota. That is just another starter going deep into the game.
I wouldn’t have said this a few weeks ago, but the Tigers are not in a position where they have to make a move for a reliever. At this stage, they seem to be in better shape than any team in baseball. So if ain’t broke, why fix it?

Random Thoughts

- I did catch Rodney Stuckey in an NBA summer league game and was impressed. I understand the caliber of competition is far from what he will face during the season, but I doubt he will be overwhelmed. Lets put it this way, I like the draft pick a lot more after seeing him play.

- Cory Redding is a solid player, but his contract is ridiculous. A sign of progress for the Lions will be when they have to let a player like Redding or Jeff Backus go because they have too much talent to keep them because of the salary cap, rather than willingly overpaying them because their talent base is so thin.

- The indictment of Michael Vick is just another scarlet letter on the NFL. It’s strange how it is both the most successful and the most troubled of the major professional sports leagues. And proof success can breed apathy. Paul Tagliabue was obviously asleep at the switch and conveniently got out at just the right time.

Monday, July 16, 2007

It Is Turning Out To Be A Brilliant Move

Sometimes you’re right. Sometimes you’re wrong. Sometimes you’re, well, in-between.
I have to admit I was wrong in my initial assessment in the Tigers trade for Gary Sheffield.
At the time, it seemed to me be a knee-jerk reaction to what transpired in the World Series, and played into the hands of the Yankees, who are copying the Tigers’ pattern by trying to horde young pitching.
And I didn’t like what I saw from Sheffield during the American League Division Series. He was awful at the plate, and even worse in the field during an ill-fated attempt to play first base.
Seemed to me, at 38, he was on the downside. I couldn’t been more off base.
He is a truly great player. I didn’t realize how great until the Tigers got him. It’s not just his bat speed, which is extraordinary, but also his all-around game. He is an excellent base runner with very good instincts. When I was with the team in Atlanta, he started in left field every day and made several good plays. He is solid outfielder with a good arm.
There is also this aspect of him playing mad. There is an extra surge he seems to get emotionally that puts him over the top as a player. I don’t agree with most of what he has said recently, but it hasn’t hurt the Tigers at all. If anything, the extra spotlight has only made Sheffield play better.
If you look at the Tigers this year compared to last year, they are dramatically better offensively. Some of that comes from improvement from within. Curtis Granderson, for example, has just gotten better through hard work and experience.
But the greatest impact has come with the addition of Sheffield. He has been brilliant. Considering Humberto Sanchez is out for the season with an elbow problem, the trade couldn’t have worked out better. It’s turning out to be another gem by general manager Dave Dombrowski.

Random Thoughts

- Watching the Tigers cuff around Jeff Weaver Sunday makes you wonder why they had so much trouble with him during the World Series. In two starts against the Tigers this season, Weaver has allowed 13 earned runs and 20 hits in 10 innings. The Tigers are hitting .426 against him. He had a 2.77 ERA in two starts vs. the Tigers in the World Series.

- This is the honest-to-God truth. I had a dream last night that the Tigers faced the Cubs in the World Series. Wouldn’t that be something? Wonder how Tram would feel about that?

- I talked to Cameron Maybin for a long time at the Futures Game in San Francisco. He is a poised kid for his age with a pretty good idea about where he is going. If you’re worried about what will happen when he arrives in the major leagues, don’t. He would move to a corner outfield spot without a peep. Granderson is a mentor to him. Talks to him all the time. Ultimately leadership will be one of Granderson’s best qualities. You can tell how his attitude and work ethic have rubbed off on Maybin.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Soccer Finally Has A Chance

It always seems strange when I write about soccer. I guess that is because I have never liked soccer. I suppose it goes back to when I was in high school and I didn’t think the players on the soccer team were nearly the caliber of athletes as the players on our football team. Anybody who was any good, I figured, played football. I had seen the Detroit Express play when they had Trevor Francis. It was just OK. I hadn’t gotten into World Cup soccer - even when it was at the Silverdome. Hardly followed it in Europe. I especially liked to scoff at those who would say baseball is dying and soccer is about to rule America because every little kid seems to play soccer. It never happened. The world is as it should be. With baseball and football as king. And basketball and hockey.
But my view of soccer started to change last summer. I did spent a lot of time watching the World Cup. And I did find it fascinating. Of course, the game at that level is a lot different than college soccer or the MLS or even elite games in Europe. I have tried watching all three levels since last summer’s World Cup and haven’t had nearly the same interest. I don’t think English star David Beckham playing in Los Angeles will change that, either.
But the Americans are starting to build a really good program. There is starting to be a group of young Americans that some day may threaten to win the World Cup.
The key is Freddy Adu. Remember the kid who was such a talent he was playing professionally when he was 14? Well, he is 18 now and just dominated the 20 and under world tournament. He had a hat trick against Poland and set up both goals beautifully in a 2-1 victory over Brazil. He might be the best 18-year-old player in the world.
Adu has taken a lot of criticism for not living up to the hype at first. He was just OK in the MLS. But he is starting to develop into something special. He will likely have to play in Europe to fully develop, but it does seem like America finally may have that truly great player to hang its hat on.
Developing a truly great American player - not Pele in the past or Beckham now coming from other countries - is what it will take to finally get soccer really going in this nation. Can you imagine if the United States ever wins the World Cup? Nobody really can. But if Freddy Adu, and the younger Americans continue to progress, it won’t be as far-fetched. And it would be huge.


- I had computer issues while in San Francisco at the All Star game that prevented from posting my blog Wednesday or replying to comments. Things are back to normal and I did reply to the comments. Thanks for your patience and support of this blog. Also, voting closes July 15 in the greatest Oakland County athletes of all-time poll. You can vote by clicking onto Contests/Events at

Random Thoughts

- I don’t blame Pudge for being upset at the umpire Thursday night. That was interference. I can understand him getting ejected. He did touch the guy. What I don’t understand is bad umpiring. Seems like we’re seeing more and more of it lately. And umpires with quick triggers that cause more problems than they solve.

- I get asked all the time about Craig Monroe’s trade value. I don’t believe he is the key to getting the Tigers’ bullpen help. Teams that are selling are looking for prospects. Really good ones. They are not looking to rebuild with arbitration-eligible players nearing free agency. Knowing Jim Leyland, he will ride out Marcus Thames while he remains hot. Then he will turn back to Monroe, who may get hot at some point. I think some fans are of the impression if Thames plays every day for awhile, Monroe has no value to the Tigers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

- Macay McBride looks pretty good to me. Better than I thought. Heard he has some command issues with the Braves. That hasn’t been a problem so far with the Tigers. Having said that, the Tigers bullpen is still the worst of any of the primary American League contenders.

- With Neifi Perez suspended, it’s time for Omar Infante to step up and be counted. This is not the time for him to be slumping.

Monday, July 09, 2007

OK, I Confess, I Like The HR Derby

Here in San Francisco at the All Star Game, tonight will be, admittedly, a weird one for me. As those of you who have read this blog regularly or heard me pontificate on the radio understand, I fancy myself as a traditionalist when it comes to sports.
I am not much for gimmicks. Never have been. Doubt I ever will be.
Still, in a spate of contradiction, I do have this strange attraction to the Home Run Derby at the All Star Game.
Seeing great power hitters drive the ball deep into the night, at least when you are seeing it live as opposed to on television, holds this odd fascination for me.
It goes back to the 1980s, when I had just started on the Tigers’ beat at The Oakland Press. There was a home run hitting contest at Tiger Stadium. It was part of something major league baseball was putting on. I forget the exact details. Only that Darrell Evans of the Tigers was facing Tony Armas of the Red Sox. And they were crushing bombs. Armas hit several over the left field roof. It was the first time I had seen that. Also, I watched it from the field level, not many feet from the batter’s box.
Of course, it means little. What makes baseball such an extraordinary challenge is the balance between a pitcher trying to get out a hitter with everything he has to offer. A home run derby is little more than slow pitch softball in that way. I also haven’t liked the way the Home Run Derby has taken away from the All Star Game itself. And it lasts way, way too long.
But having said all that, you’re darn I will be watching tonight. And with great interest.

Random Thoughts

- The Tigers are just a half-game behind the Red Sox for the best record in baseball. Amazing isn’t it?

- Salomon Torres is the ideal candidate for the Tigers to acquire for bullpen help. He can’t wait to get out of Pittsburgh, the Pirates can’t wait to get rid of him and he can still pitch. I hear Jim Leyland liked Torres a lot when he scouted the Pirates for the Cardinals.

- The ESPN movies and mini-series are usually more comical for their caricature aspect than anything to be taken seriously. But they’re fun. I will watch “The Bronx Is Burning.” Can’t help myself. The best one they have had so far was about Bear Bryant at Texas A&M. The worst one was the one about Bobby Knight.

- I don’t see Marcus Thames as an everyday player. I see him as a valuable piece of the puzzle as a bench player. Thames is the type of player you ride while he is hot, but sit when he cools. Eventually the holes in his swing get exposed if he plays too much. The Tigers are using him perfectly. I know this isn’t a popular thought right now, but Craig Monroe is the much better player.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Guillen, Not Mags, Is Tigers' MVP

Magglio Ordonez ranks among the American League leaders in many categories, not the least being batting average and runs batted in. He is, without question, the Tigers’ leading candidate for the American League’s Most Valuable Player Award. But is he really the Tigers’ MVP? I am not so sure.
The Tigers are, if nothing else, balanced. Every year, I vote for Tiger of the Year. Last year, I voted for Carlos Guillen, who won it. If I were handed my ballot and forced to decide today, I would still vote for Guillen. And, with all due respect to Ordonez, I might put Curtis Granderson second on my ballot.
Guillen is having an incredible season. He ranks among the major league leaders in OPS and has kept his batting near or above .300 - which he does every season. Defensively, he does have some breakdowns, but he more than makes up for it with his surprising range at shortstop. As importantly, he is the one protecting Ordonez in the Tigers’ batting order.
Granderson is among the league leaders in extra base hits and slugging percentage. There is all this fuss about Cleveland’s Grady Sizemore - and I like him, too, as a player - but Granderson just might be as good. Maybe he is even better. It’s amazing, honestly, how he gets the most out of what he has to offer in terms of talent. He isn’t that fast, yet few center fielders cover that much ground, and the number of triples he has hit is off the charts. He is a smart player with an extraordinary work ethic.
Beyond those two, where would the Tigers be without Justin Verlander and Jeremy Bonderman? They are 19-4 combined.
So even though Ordonez is having a "Norm Cash, 1961" type of season, a strong case can be made he isn’t even the MVP of his own team. It says a lot about why the Tigers have emerged as a true power.

Note: You can vote in The Oakland Press poll for the 10 greatest athletes in Oakland County history by just clicking on the Contest/Events page at Just write them in, 1-to-10 in order. I will be doing a series of columns counting down the Top 10 in the reader vote, combined with our staff vote, later in the month. It’s amazing when you look at the ballot how many great athletes have come out of Oakland County. Also, my audio commentary "Three-Point Stance" will be coming to late this month or early August.

Random thoughts

- It is good for the Red Wings they were able to re-sign Jiri Hudler. I thought he was an underrated factor in their success last season and he probably deserved to play more during the playoffs.

- I do like the way the Tigers bullpen is starting to take shape. The return of Zach Miner certainly has helped, and I do believe Jose Capellan and Macay McBride are upgrades. Todd Jones has also made some nice adjustments, most notably not throwing a first-pitch fastball to every hitter. And he has been getting those breaking balls over.

- I know the Tigers have to average near sellouts for all their remaining home games, but what a terrific feat it would be if they reached the three million mark in attendance this season. Personally, I think they will - sluggish economy and all. And I remember when people questioned if this was a great baseball town.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Tigers Can't Afford Any Letdowns

And so five Tigers - Ivan Rodrigues, Placido Polanco, Justin Verlander, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen - were selected for the All Star Game. If that isn’t a sign a team is a powerhouse, then I don’t know what is. And, it is even more telling that at least three other Tigers players - Jeremy Bonderman, Curtis Granderson and Gary Sheffield - should be in San Francisco, too.
And none of the Tigers’ selections were unworthy. Jorge Posada and Victor Martinez have better stats than Pudge this season, but neither can carry his jock defensively or are going to the Hall of Fame. Pudge is having a decent year. He is still the best catcher in the American League as far as I am concerned. Bonderman may get in via the final fan vote. The way he pitched Sunday night can only help. So will his stats - 9-1 with a 3.58 ERA.
But I am not sure if the Tigers’ obvious talent presents a glass half-full or a glass half-empty scenario. The Tigers are not in first place. Before eking out a win Sunday, they had lost four of their previous five games at home. They have problems in their bullpen that are more than a little troublesome.
The Tigers are improved in many ways. Sheffield has been everything advertised. Sean Casey is often maligned, but he is effective in kind of a quirky way. Whether it’s because he is finally totally healthy or whatever, Ordonez has been brilliant where last season his performance level faded in and out. Polanco has improved and Guillen has been just as good. Granderson is a much better player. Verlander and Bonderman have both made strides.
The injuries to Kenny Rogers and Joel Zumaya have been a hindering factor, sure, but I do wonder why the Tigers haven’t taken off a bit more. Every organization wants to be them now. Yet, you could just tell this weekend the Twins are still going to be very difficult to shake. As for the Indians, when the likes of Ben Francisco start hitting walk-off home runs like he did Friday, you know a team is on a special roll.
My point is the Tigers better be careful. They can’t afford to fall into the mode that cost the Pistons so dearly this spring. You know, where they are so calm when things start going awry, they never do get it right. I do like their calmness and cool under fire, but it needs to be balanced with a sense of urgency. They have to play better are home, for example. Their strengths can make up for their weakness in the bullpen, but only if they are unrelenting with that muscle. And the bullpen can’t be a total gas can. Somebody besides Todd Jones has to get somebody out.

A Note

You can vote in our poll for the 10 greatest athletes in Oakland County history by just clicking on the Contest/Events page at Just write them in, 1-to-10 in order. I will be doing a series of columns counting down the Top 10 in the reader vote, combined with our staff vote, later in the month. It’s amazing when you look at the ballot how many great athletes have come out of Oakland County.

Random Thoughts

- Nothing against Brian Rafalski. He is a local kid who made good and a solid talent, but the Red Wings would have been better off re-signing Mathieu Schneider. Rafalski is exceptionally skilled and will equal what Schneider provided on the power play, but Schneider is much better defensively. Loved how Schneider wanted to be "closer to his Southern California home," though. What kind of hockey player is that? That’s the good part. Rafalski gets to come home.

- I am going to the All Star Game this weekend on assignment. Don’t forget to check out my stories and columns in the print edition of The Oakland Press and at I can’t help but wonder what kind of circus Barry Bonds is going to create there. It will be interesting to observe up close.

- Jose Capellan should help the Tigers. It could be immensely. This is the type of deal that usually pays off for relief help. He throws hard - in the mid to high 90s - and is more than capable of being the setup guy the Tigers need. He is still relatively young and may have just needed a change of scenery after reacting unfavorably, and going AWOL, after being unexpectedly sent to the minors to start the season. Capellan was definitely a good value for the marginal prospect, Chris Cody, the Tigers traded to get him. I really like the trade. Can you tell? It got lost in the shuffle of the All Star stuff, but was hardly insignificant.