Monday, August 24, 2009

More With Magglio


Jamie Samuelsen has drawn my attention once again.

Sometimes, I really miss the simplicity of working on sports radio.

And if anyone here regularly listens to talk radio, as I often end up doing on my way to work, there is NOTHING more simple than the people that host these shows. Good lord...

If life were like sports radio

I would go on a daily shooting spree?

every issue could be framed in A or B questions. Should we sell our house – yes or no? Should we have a baby – yes or no? Should we go out to dinner or see a movie?

Should we talk endlessly about Brett Favre - yes or no? Should we beat the dead horse that is Michael Vick some more - yes or no?

Did you ever notice that? Most every topic is posed in an A vs. B sequence.

Yup. That's how you get a discussion going. Otherwise, you seem like a know-it-all blowhard like Peter King or Colin Cowherd.

You know – Batch or Mitchell? Batch or Detmer? Brady or Henson (Michigan QBs, not former WDFN hosts)? Keep Millen or Fire him? (Actually, that debate never happened.)

I admit, I am kind of new to reading Samuelsen. Does he insert ramdom Lions nonsense into every Tigers piece he does? Just curious.

The Magglio issue has been hotly debated in recent weeks, but this is NOT one of those keep him vs. dump him issues despite what the hosts and columnists and callers might say. There are a lot of levels to this that seem to get pushed to the side as irate fans scream that Maggs isn’t worth the money and should just be cut.

Well, hell. Everyone is wrong. Thank Aliva that we have Jamie Samuelsen here to straignten us idiots out. Bring it on...just no more Ty Detmer references...cool?

The first and most obvious issue is, and I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this lately, the Tigers offense isn’t the strongest unit ever assembled.

I'm not sure if you've noticed this lately, but you're not exactly Peter Gammons when it comes to covering baseball.

I don’t think they’re really in the position to be dropping hitters here and there. They pretty much need any bat they can get.

Like Gary Sheffield? Will ONE person give me props for calling this at the beginning of the season? JUST ONE?!? I hate you people...

And while Ordoñez has come to symbolize “ALL THAT’S WRONG WITH THE 2009 TIGERS,” that is a little rash.

There is no one in Tigertown that blames Magglio for all of the Tigers problems. The "cut Magglio" people are just being honest. He isn't producing the type of numbers that usually go along with $18 million. We could get 3-4 decent players for $18 million instead of an aging slugger that doesn't produce anymore.

In the month of August, he’s hitting .358 and slugging .585 – better on both fronts than Miguel Cabrera.

You can make any statement using a small sample size, Jamie. I've dealt with your kind before. But since we're going with August, Magglio, in the entire month of August, has only 6 extra base hits. Only two of the six were homers.

In the same time period, Cabrera has nine extra base hits. Since August 1st, Miguel's average has gone up from .336 to .338 and his OBP from .399 to .405. Perhaps you should have compared Magglio to his platoon partner, Clete Thomas, who has gone into the toilet in August. In 35 August at bats, Clete has ZERO extra base hits, his average has dipped from .257 to .242, and his OBP is down to .327 from .343. Why do people love him again? I forget.

He’s not better than Cabrera. He’s not more of a threat than Cabrera. But maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to simply push aside a bat that’s starting to come around.

WHAT DOES ANY OF THIS HAVE TO DO WITH CABRERA? Quit comparing an aging, falling star to the biggest rising star on the team!

It’s funny. At the trade deadline, so many fans embrace the notion that you have to go for it when you get a shot. You can’t concern yourself with the future if there’s a chance to win this season. Well, there is clearly a chance to win this season. So why are so many concerning themselves with 2010?

It's funny. Magglio Ordonez is not producing. People want to get rid of him and call up someone (or trade for someone) that may have a chance to produce for us. As a bonus, we can get $18 million off the books for 2010 and address the obvious problems of this year's team with that money.

Jamie, I kind of get where you're going with this piece, but Magglio Ordonez is not going to make or break the 2009 Tigers unless he falls into a fountain of youth somewhere...no matter how many seeing eye singles he has put together in August.

But there are some larger issues at play here. And to me the biggest is the future of Tigers free agency. The team agreed to this contract. There was no gun-to-the-head scenario here. And when you sign one of these deals, you don’t put these incentives in place so you can just cut and run when the player approaches them. That’s why they call them “incentives.”

"Incentives" are something you "earn". If you don't "earn" them, you shouldn't "get" them. This isn't like Ordonez is hitting .330 with 30 dingers and they started benching him because they are cheap. Don't be an idiot, Jamie. And no one put a gun to Magglio's head about this option thing at the end. Just saying.

You know that the MLBPA will pitch a fit if the Tigers bench Ordoñez down the stretch -- as well they should. You know that Scott Boras will be heard from as he was earlier this season when Ordoñez was benched indefinitely by Jim Leyland. And in my opinion, Boras and the union will have a very legitimate beef with how their man has been treated. He did what was asked of him, and as of right now, he is one of the most effective hitters on the roster. So why then shouldn’t he play?

The MLBPA pitches a fit about everything. They're a union...that's what unions do nowadays. But to say that Magglio has done what they asked of him this year? Who the deuce asked him to forget how to hit a baseball? Find out and fire them!

But let’s just say the Tigers limit his at bats and make him miss the next year of the contract. Why would any free agent take the franchise at its word in future negotiations?

I'll give you up to 18 million reasons, slick.

You want to create a scenario like the Red Wings have, where players flock to your organization. By dumping Ordoñez, you’re saying to all potential free agency that loyalty is a one-way street. As long as you’re producing, we’re loyal to you. But the minute that drops off, you’re gone.

At my job, I get paid a salary. I'm expected to produce. If I all of the sudden start being terrible at my job, I'm probably going to be fired. This happens in every industry, except perhaps writing for the Free Press.

As for loyalty in sports? What decade are you living in, friend?

We all repeat to ourselves over and over again that sports is a business. And it is. But we’ve all worked in business over the years and a big part of being successful is feeling comfortable. You don’t want to constantly watch your back. You want to be where you feel wanted. And if they Tigers turn their backs on Ordoñez, they’ll be paying for with their image among other players for a long, long time.

I disagree. The Tigers won't be the first or last team to cut ties with a player for money reasons based on a player's lack of production. I think you are making way too much of this. And as for them "turning their back" on Maggs, come on. They've been VERY patient with him. We're getting to the point where you can't fault them for releasing him or trading him for Kyle Farnsworth.

You may hate Boras and what he represents. But he also represents many of the best players in the game. And you can probably kiss those players good-bye for the next 10 years. Hardly the formula for success.

On the contrary, I think Boras and Dombrowski have one of the better agent/GM relationships in baseball. Double D gave big contracts to Maggs and Pudge that no one else in baseball would have given them. Dave has given big contracts to Boras clients coming out of the draft in recent years. Boras and Detroit will be fine, no matter what happens with Magglio.

David Dombrowski is a lot of things. He's a snappy dresser. He can hold a silver dollar in his chin divot. But one thing he is not, is a bad GM. He'll do what is best for the Tigers in the end. I have faith in that.

Magglio Ordonez is my favorite Tiger. His at bat against Huston Street in the 2006 Playoffs still replays in my head every day. But if he has to go for the good of the team, so be it. I don't think it means doom for the Tigers franchise, as you seem to think.

For what it's worth: I'd keep him around. It's not my cash. Send Clete out of here.

4 comments:

OldEnglish said...

"trading him for Kyle Farnsworth"--good one

John Parent said...

Thank you for continuing your FJM style pieces. Since that site went dark, there has been a great void in my daily reading. Well done, good sir.

John Parent said...

Thank you for continuing your FJM style pieces. Since that site went dark, there has been a great void in my daily reading. Well done, good sir.

OldEnglish said...

"trading him for Kyle Farnsworth"--good one