Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Apologies to those of you that enjoy what I do here at DNR. I recently started a new position in my company and it’s been taking up a lot more of my time…thus the lack of updates around here. In addition, there really hasn’t been much for me to say lately. I can only make fun of Don Kelly’s lack of ability or Will Rhymes’ inability to get onto roller coasters due to his height so many times.
In addition, my favorite thing to do here at the blog is to find an article that I disagree with and make fun of it, Fire Joe Morgan style. Sadly for me, the usual suspects haven’t been writing anything too terrible lately and that leaves me a sad panda.
/nods to Jamie Samuelsen
/salutes Lynn Henning
/flips off Drew Sharp
Then came today. The freep site has a link to this piece written the other day by Chris Stevens of the Midland Daily News. Chris is the sports editor of the Daily News and he has written what is quite possibly the worst article I have ever seen on the Tigers. Quite a bold statement, I know. But read along with me and you’ll see what I’m getting at.
What started out as a promising year for the Detroit Tigers is going to end with a thud.
I disagree. For a team that lost their setup men (and now their closer, too), #3 hitter, and #5/#6 hitter, this Tiger club has done quite well to be above .500 right now. Plus, they’ve been able to play spoiler and end the first place hopes of the evil White Sox. That’s been fun. Add in the fact that they’ve been able to take a good, long look at several of their prospects, I’d say that this wasn’t a lost season. And it certainly isn’t ending with a thud.
And the discouraging part is this: It probably won't get any better next year unless the Tigers make some big changes on their roster.
Well, duh. You have a .500 club. If you do nothing to it, it’s probably going to remain a .500 club. This is not something that one needs a PHD to understand.
Right now, seven teams in the American League have better records than the Tigers: the Twins, White Sox, Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, Rangers and Blue Jays.
Considering that we’ve played half the year with a bunch of rookies, including an ooompa-loompa at second base and a #5 hitter whose batting average has dropped from .342 to .265 since the all-star break, I’d say we should be happy that we’re still better than the Orioles, Indians, Royals, A’s, Mariners, and Angels.
The Tigers, who were 73-74 entering Saturday's game, are really settling into what they truly are -- a .500 ballclub. They're not as good as those seven other teams.
Again…groundbreaking journalism there. We’re not as good as the teams with better records. Thanks for clarifying that for us, numb nuts.
The Tigers are playing to their talent level. They've got one superstar, Miguel Cabrera; a very good, but not great, pitcher in Justin Verlander; and a bunch of other guys who are either expendable or sticking with the club based on potential.
Max Scherzer. Austin Jackson. Jose Valverde. Phil Coke. Hell, even Johnny Damon. I’d love to see the reactions of those guys if they were told that they were expendable this year or yet to live up to their potential.
Let's take a look at their lineup and play a game of "cut or keep." In other words, who would you cut and who would you keep for next year.
I get it, chief. We all get it. Bring it on.
First base/Miguel Cabrera -- A no-brainer. A keeper for years to come. One of the best hitters in all of baseball, and probably would be a shoo-in as the league's MVP if he played on a team that were going to the playoffs.
Miguel Cabrera, 1B: .325 Avg, 34 HR, 119 RBI, 1.025 OPS, 174 OPS+
Josh Hamilton, CF: .361 Avg, 31 HR, 97 RBI, 1.049 OPS, 177 OPS+
Robinson Cano 2B: .323 Avg, 28 HR, 102 RBI, .928 OPS, 144 OPS+
Shoo-in? I love Big Mig as much as anyone, but there’s a good case to be made for any of these guys. Hamilton’s probably going to win it, though.
Second base/Carlos Guillen -- Cut. Should have been cut last year. Past his prime years. His only role if he stuck around would be as a pinch-hitter.
Really? Just cut him? He’s hurt and will miss possibly much of next year. Also, he is still owed $13 million and can still hit when healthy. Sure, after next year you bid Carlos a big “adios”, but for now, having a bat like his coming off the bench might not be a bad thing. Keep that in mind for when we get to this clown’s thoughts on Johnny Damon…
Second base/Scott Sizemore -- Cut. There must be better players than him roaming around the majors or in the minors. Weak hitter.
You have got to be fist f-cking me. Let’s take this one bit at a time.
There must be better players than him roaming around the majors or in the minors.
We have dick left in the minors. As for major league second base free agents next year, they include such luxurious names as Ronnie Belliard, Willie Bloomquist, Aaron Miles, Nick Punto, and (sigh) David Eckstein. The only two guys that aren’t worthless would possibly be former Tiger, Omar Infante, and Orlando Hudson, who would cost a fortune and probably disappoint.
Personally, I’d like to see what Sizemore has, rather than go with any of those guys.
Which brings me to your second little statement:
Based on what? His slow start while still hurt from his leg injury? The kid’s done nothing BUT hit in the minors and now healthy, he’s gone 4 for 7 with 2 home runs since being re-called.
Weak hitter? Weak writer. If you want to crap on Sizemore, make fun of his shaky defense, not his bat.
Infield/Will Rhymes -- Keep. Intriguing player.
I'm basing this one on potential.
Rhymes will be 28 at the beginning of next season. When does a guy officially not have “potential” anymore? When he’s 35?
Looks like he could get better.
Based on what? How he continues to muff game ending double play balls?
Hitting .286 on the year.
In 156 at bats, as of your writing. Not exactly a big sample size.
/ignores easy Rhymes size joke
But I imagine Rhymes will hit .280-.290, like he’s done in the minors. Just like there’s reason to believe that Scott Sizemore will hit .270, with power, like the minors. Yet you want to cut him.
Zip for power, though. No home runs.
Well he got one yesterday. Maybe he’ll get another in a year or two. Just hopefully for someone else.
Shortstop/Ramon Santiago -- Keep. This may surprise you, since a lot of Tigers' fans don't particularly care for him.
Really? Is there some anti-Ramon campaign that I don’t know about? All I read about last year is how everyone wanted Santiago to get a crack at the everyday job at short instead of Adam Everett.
But I like his game. It'd be nice to have someone better,
As a utility infielder? Ramon has a good glove, occasional pop in his bat, and a good attitude by all accounts. Who do you want as a backup infielder? Derek Jeter?
with more pop in his bat, but go find someone like that who can also play shortstop. You probably can't. Therefore, I say keep him.
It’d be nice to have someone better, but there isn’t anyone. Okay. Then what are you complaining about?
Infield/Jhonny Peralta -- Keep. I like this guy's game.
.250 batting average? Shaky defense? Declining power? What’s not to like!
I think he'll be even better next year in his first full season with the team.
Why? Based on what? That he'll be facing Indians pitching now?
He should take over third base for Brandon Inge.
Both will hit .250. Both will hit 15 homers and strike out a lot. Inge will play much, much better defense at third and will probably be cheaper. Yet you want Peralta.
If this were suggesting that Jhonny play shortstop due to a weak free agent crop, I might get where you’re coming from. But instead of Inge at third? I hate Brandon Inge and I still think you’re nuts.
Third base/Brandon Inge -- Cut. Likable guy.
Indeed. His likeability index is .749. Compare that to Peralta’s likeability index of .562, and it’s a no-brainer. Oh wait…you said cut. And likeability index doesn’t really exist. Continue.
One of the team's most popular players, but his time is over. Just isn't consistent. Strikes out too much. Hitting .250 and probably will hit that or lower for the rest of his career.
No mention of his defense and what that means to the club? Again, Brandon Inge makes me want to strangle orphaned babies out of frustration with his hitting, but even I can’t deny that the man saves runs with his defense at third.
Outfield/Austin Jackson -- Keep. I'm hoping he'll become a dominant base stealer with his blazing speed. With speed like that, he should hit .300 for years to come.
Hear that? Speed = .300 batting average.
Josh Anderson, Brian Hunter, Kimera Bartee, Alex Sanchez, Hiram Bocachica, Gene Kingsale, Roger Cedeno, Curtis Granderson, and countless others have proven that this is a ridiculous statement.
If AJax is going to hit .300 for years to come, it’s because he’s a good hitter, not a fast runner.
Outfielder/Brennan Boesch -- Cut. I'd use him as trade bait.
You’re about 2-3 months too late on that one, buddy. Who are you going to get for him now? Dontrelle Willis?
A very disappointing second half of the season after tearing up the league in the first half. Tigers need to upgrade their outfield with more power-hitting players, and I'd use Boesch in a package deal to trade for a proven star.
OTHER GM: Hello?
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Hey. Dave here. You know that proven star hitter you have in your outfield? I’d like to trade you a 26 year old outfielder who plays crappy defense and has more holes in his swing than Jim Leyland has holes in his lungs. Perhaps in a package deal with three dozen Hot ‘n’ Ready pizzas. Deal?
OTHER GM: Hahahahaahahahaha…
Moron. You sound like a 13 year old writing on a message board. “We should trade Boesch for someone good cuz he sucks now.” Never mind things like reality, sanity, or common sense.
I don’t want to give up on Mr. Boesch quite yet. I say you put him in Toledo next year and see what happens. It isn’t going to cost you anything. Hope that he finds his swing again and go from there. But trade him when his stock’s at an all-time low? That’s dumber than the average girl at a Justin Bieber concert.
Outfielder/Johnny Damon -- Keep.
He'd only be used as a part-time player.
Scott Boras just sh-t his pants.
He can hit and run even though he's getting to be in his late 30s. Could be a valuable piece as a pinch-hitter on a team making a run at the playoffs.
Johnny’s gone, dude. Be serious.
He’s not going to come back to play part-time. He’s going to play somewhere where he gets to start most of the time and make at least $6 million. I really like Johnny Damon, but we need a DH with some power.
And remember when I asked you to keep Guillen in mind once we reached Damon? Carlos is already getting paid by us next year. He still has pop (not just in his knee) and is a switch hitter. Carlos is your pinch hitter for next year, assuming he recovers reasonably soon from his knee surgery. Otherwise, just sign Marcus Thames again. Dave never should’ve let him walk in the first place.
Outfielder/Casper Wells -- Keep. Again, this is based on potential. He's hitting .368 through 23 games.
23 games? Holy hell, that’s like 1/8 of a season! I’m sold.
Still, if you can send him to a club for a quality catcher, I'd do it.
Casper looks like a rapist,
but I like what I’ve seen of his game so far. Exactly what kind of quality catcher you expect to get for a pretty unproven minor prospect like Wells, though, I have no clue.
Outfielder/Ryan Raburn -- Keep.
Jeebus…if there’s anyone on this team that we should be trying to trade, it’s Raburn. The guy’s stock is higher right now than ever. THIS is the guy you want to be sending out feelers about! You might even, gasp, be able to get something useful in return!
To me, this is someone on the bubble. Can he hit 20-plus HRs a year? I just don't know.
Can he learn to catch four out of every five fly balls hit to him? I don’t know.
Will he ever show the ability to quit his streaks where he goes a month without getting a ball out of the infield? I’m not sure.
Will Raburn ever be able to stand on the field for more than 10 seconds without sticking out his tongue looking like Michael Jordan with Down’s Syndrome? I can’t be certain.
Does anyone know how I got to be sports editor of the Midland Daily News? No one knows.
That's what the Tigers need -- more power in the outfield. I'd keep him for a year and then deal him if he doesn't produce 20 HRs or a .280 average.
Yes. That’s your answer to everything. Wait until a player shows that he has no value whatsoever, and then expect some team to trade you an all-star for your failure of a player. What the f-ck are smoking in Midland?
Outfielder/Magglio Ordonez -- Cut. Another guy I'd trade.
Wait a minute. You’re writing about/covering the Tigers and don’t know that Magglio’s deal is over with? You want to trade him? Does that mean you want to pick up his $15 million option just to trade him?
Holy crap. Are you really Isiah Thomas in disguise?
Assuming that Maggs was under contract (for $15 million) next year, exactly WHO and for WHAT do you expect to get for a guy that would be making twice his value and coming off of a broken leg? And all this one year after he disappeared at the plate for the first half? Who are you trading with? Not every trade in sports is as silly as when the Lakers got Pau Gasol. Usually, they’re supposed to make sense for both teams.
Time to move on. Yes, I know he can hit around .300 or better, but it's time for some new blood. Maybe he can be part of a package deal with Boesch.
Maybe your father shouldn’t have been startled by the phone ringing and pulled out in time to prevent your conception from taking place.
Sorry…that was wrong. But you’re still an idiot. You’re going to trade Magglio and Boesch somewhere together. Right. And I’m going to wake up with Jessica Alba cooking me breakfast and begging to rub my…feet.
Catcher/Gerald Laird -- Cut. Good defensive catcher, but can't hit. This is a position that needs major upgrading.
Catcher/Alex Avila -- Keep. Only as a back-up. Not the starter. Need a better catcher. Period. This is a hole in the lineup.
Mother of Satan, it took this long into your babbling nonsense for us to finally agree on something. Period. Laird and Avila are garbage.
But wait a second…you’re moving on to pitchers now? No Don Kelly? How can you have ANY discussion of the 2011 Tigers without mentioning releasing Don Kelly? I’m of the opinion that mere seconds after the final out is recorded in Game 162 this season, Dave Dombrowski should run onto the field, douse Kelly in kerosene, and toss a lit match on his head.
The kids will love it!
Pitcher/Justin Verlander -- Keep. Although I wish the Tigers had pursued Cliff Lee when he was available earlier this season.
Yeah. When half the team went down to injury, the Tigers should have traded the farm to add a guy for maybe a couple pointless months that only plays once per five days. That would have made sense.
He'd make Verlander a better pitcher and the Tigers a better team.
It’s a little known fact that Cliff Lee’s presence can add 5 mph to the fastballs of the other pitchers on the staff, thus making them better. Ask Colby Lewis. He was only hitting 86 mph on the gun until Lee showed up in Texas and wiggled his ears. Now he’s in the low 90’s again. Amazing.
Anyway, Chris, did you know that Cliff Lee becomes a free agent in a month or so? Now the Tigers can sign him without giving up five players in return! And get a full season or more out of him! What an idea!
Pitcher/Jeremy Bonderman -- Cut. Time to move on.
Pitcher/Max Scherzer -- Keep. A power pitcher who should continue to get better.
You’re making sense again. I’m proud of you…
Pitcher/Rick Porcello -- Cut. Make that, trade. He's another inconsistent pitcher on the roster.
How does your bullsh-t get promoted on the Free Press site while no mention is ever made of the quality work done at sites like Bless You Boys on a daily basis?
I have to read that again…
Pitcher/Rick Porcello -- Cut. Make that, trade. He's another inconsistent pitcher on the roster.
Rick Porcello turns only 22 years old in December. In his rookie year last season, he won 14 games with an ERA+ of 114. He pitched his ass off in the national spotlight of Game 163 against Minnesota. This year, he started off rough as he struggled with his secondary pitches. Since a trip to Toledo, he’s rebounded to go at least 7 innings in 7 out of 12 starts, including 4 of his last 5. The sky’s the limit on this kid and you want to cut, make that, trade him?
You only trade him if you’re getting a proven top-of-the-line guy like Dan Haren, Roy Oswalt, or Roy Halladay in return. Oh, that’s right. You think we should be able to easily trade our below average players for other teams’ all-stars. Silly me.
Pitcher/Armando Galarraga -- Cut. Trade bait. Will be a .500 pitcher for years to come.
We should’ve traded him the day after the imperfect game. His stock will never be higher than it was that day. But still, you can do worse at the #5 starter spot than Armando. Give the guy an offense behind him and I can see him winning 12-14 games next year.
Closer/Jose Valverde -- Cut. Sorry, no confidence in him.
Did you even watch baseball this year? Do the names Todd Jones or Fernando Rodney mean anything to you?
If the Tigers want to be the best team in the Central, they need a better closer than Valverde.
Who? Please tell me.
In the first half, there was no better closer in baseball. In the second half, he has battled injuries and not been himself. Plus, he’s under contract for $7 million already next year. Add into all that the fact that Valverde’s been one of the best and most consistent closers in baseball the past few years. Who do you want? Mariano Rivera? Joe Nathan?
For poops and giggles, let’s take a look at this year’s free agents that have previous experience as closers. There’s Octovio Dotel, Frank Francisco, Brian Fuentes, Kevin Gregg, the corpse of Trevor Hoffman, Chad Qualls, Jon Rauch, the retiring Billy Wagner, Kerry Wood, Rivera (who’s not leaving New York), and Rafeal Soriano. Forgetting the fact that Valverde’s already under contract (like you seem to have), Soriano’s the only guy the team would have a chance at signing that would even be HALF the pitcher that Valverde is.
You, sir, are an idiot. You make even Joe Morgan himself seem insightful.
So what does this all mean?
That you didn't mention anyone in the bullpen other than Valverde, again proving that you are a simpleton?
That maybe I'm the moron for wasting three hours breaking down this lousy article?
That you’re a mental patient that should never be allowed to write about the Tigers again?
The Tigers should pursue a better catcher, at least one power-hitting outfielder (how would the Rays' Carl Crawford look in a Tigers' uniform?),
Holy sh-t! Never thought of that one!
a solid-hitting second baseman and at least two better pitchers and a closer. This could give them a shot a winning the Central next year.
The Tigers should trade every player they have except for Cabrera and Verlander for a bunch of all-stars in the primes of their careers! And this would give them “a shot” at winning one of the easiest divisions to win in baseball. Why hasn’t Dombrowski already done this?
Thank you, Chris Stevens. Every time I start to think to myself that it’s time to hang it all up here at DNR, I come across an article such as yours to make me change my mind. Except I have never, EVER, seen anything quite as awful as this drivel you managed to produce.
I am in awe, sir. In awe.