(braces for hate mail...okay)
cult: an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers.
There is no way we are going to contend in our division with Clete Thomas continuing as our #3 hitter. I'm sorry. I don't know what kind of Clete's Kool Aid that Tigertown (or Jim Leyland) has been drinking when it comes to this guy, but it's that simple. Even Jason Beck's been infected with The Clete, as I call it. I can't find it now, but the other day on tigers.com he referred to Thomas as "explosive". He has one career home run! WTF?
I like Clete Thomas. I think he's a nice #4 or #5 outfielder. But he's not especially good at anything. He's not a great hitter. He's not great on defense. He's kinda fast, but not blazing. He's a left handed David Eckstein playing outfield. Sure, he's gritty, pesky, hard-nosed, and all the other words sports writers use to describe little white guys that try hard, but he's not a #3 hitter for a MLB contender.
This year in Toledo, coming off of an injury, Clete hit .236 with 1 homer and 10 RBIs. Then, Carlos pulls his normal DL thingy, and all of the sudden, Clete's hitting in the Kirk Gibson spot in the lineup with the big boys. Excuse me? What kind of pictures does Clete have of Jim Leyland that the Marlboro Man doesn't want us knowing about?
Clete had that big game against Cleveland in his first game back going 3/4 and missing the cycle by a homer. Awesome job. But since then, in the #3 hole, and after today's 2 singles, he's 5/18 with no homers and 1 RBI. That RBI (and one of those hits) was a weak grounder against the Tribe that their second baseman double clutched and Clete was safe. It should've been an error. Nice hustle, Clete. But weak grounders are not what we need out of the #3 spot.
Carlos and Marcus are gone for now. But why is Clete even playing every day? We already have a left handed, left fielder that is a better hitter, faster runner, and I think, a better defensive option. He is Josh Anderson...or Mr. Anderson to you and I. So far, Josh has hit .327 this year with 0 homers and 7 RBIs. He's 6/7 in steal attempts with a .373 OBP. What has he done to make Jim Leyland mad?
We are 3-2 in the games that Clete has batted third. And other than the first one, we aren't scoring runs. The pitching has carried us. I understand Jim's want of going lefty/righty in the lineup, but there are better options. I can't be the only one that's been screaming to the heavens to move Curtis Granderson to the 3 spot. (And what's Jim smoking batting Curtis 5th? Cabrera does not need protection at the expense of limiting Curtis' at bats.) Hell, if you still want to keep having Grandy lead off, put Larish there! I'd rather see Larish swinging for gaps than Clete legging out an infield hit batting third.
My ideal lineup for this team right now is as follows.
1. Josh Anderson, LF
2. Placido Polanco, 2B
3. Curtis Granderson, CF
4. Miguel Cabrera, DH
5. Jeff Larish, 1B
6. Magglio Ordonez, RF
7. Brandon Inge, 3B
8. Gerald Larid, C
9. Santiago/Everett, SS
Use Clete to give guys some days off...not to anchor the lineup.
After all, who would you want backing you up?
Don't kill me, Cult. I'm just looking out of the good of the group.