Saturday, July 9, 2011

Busting Some Detroit Tigers Myths

I spend entirely too much time reading about the Detroit Tigers. It’s almost sad, in a way. I check the majority of the blogs listed on the right frequently, some of them every day. I always check out the News, Freep, and mLive sites for news and/or something to make fun of. I often pop in to Yahoo, Fox Sports, and other major sites to see if they’re saying anything about my team. Add in the newspapers, ESPN (on the rare times the Tigers are discussed), MLB Trade Rumors, the occasional Game Thread over at BYB…it’s amazing I have time to go to work and occasionally take a dump.

But what’s annoying to me this season is that I keep seeing the same six topics coming up everywhere and they’re starting to get old. With this post, I hope to take on each of these topics and put the argument to rest once and for all.

Since I am the only true voice of reason in the online Tiger-verse, all my decisions will be considered gospel and final. If you disagree, than you…you…um…you’re a doodiehead. Sorry. I’m getting low on insults until I get off my medication.

Here we go…

Myth #1: Ryan Raburn sucks.

This is false.

Ryan Raburn is slumping. Badly. But think about this the next time you’re high. This whole first half of the 2011 season? It’s only half a season. It’s still a small sample size. There’s a LOT of baseball left. And a lot can change.

Case in point…let’s include the first half where he’s been “OMG SOOOO TIRRIBLEZ”, but add in last year’s second half for Mr. Raburn and give him an entire season’s worth of numbers. From July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011, Ryno ranks second among all AL second basemen in homers (20) and RBI (74). He trails only Robinson Cano in the ENTIRE American League over the past year.  And his overall numbers for 2009 and 2010 were very good.  So be patient before you have the guy strung up.

I’m amazed at how small everyone’s memory can be. Raburn does this every year. For whatever reason, he’s awful through July. Then August hits and the guy turns into a hitting machine.

In fact, in his last 10 games entering today, Ryan’s OPS has gone up 28 points. We may be witnessing the start of his yearly “rising from the ashes” act. Let’s hope so. (EDIT: He went 2 for 4 tonight, too. Yay!) Besides, it’s not like we have anyone better to play second, unless Carlos Guillen comes back healthy. Harf…

This leads me into the second topic.

Myth #2: Ramon Santiago hasn’t been given a real chance to be a starter and should be playing second base every day.

Again, this is false. And I keep seeing it everywhere, the most recent being in one of the famous “reader colunns” at the freep.

Let me start by saying for the 20th time, I’m a Ramon Santiago fan. But he’s not starter material, I’m sorry. He’s 31 years old, okay? He’s already played in 622 MLB games…he isn’t some kid that hasn’t been given a chance. In those 622 games, he’s had 1935 plate appearances where he’s hit .246/.314/.333 with 21 homers and 143 RBI. If you put his numbers over a 162 game average, he’d hit 5 homers and 37 RBI over the entire year. That’s not what we need in a starter.

Ramon’s a good utility guy and a great late innings defensive sub. But he’s never been starter material and never will be. Put it to rest, people.

Myth #3: Jose Valverde is awful in non-save situations.

For whatever reason, this is true. Take a look at the numbers, including tonight’s game.

2011 Save Situations: 23 innings, 1 earned run, 12 hits, 0.39 ERA
2011 Non Save Situations: 16 innings, 11 earned runs, 18 hits, 6.19 ERA

Closers are weird people by nature, it seems. I’ve heard several players say how they have a different mindset when it’s actually a save situation. And seriously, kids, take a look at Jose Valverde.
Does he look normal to you?

Jim, leave the big man in the pen unless the game needs saving, pretty please?

Myth #4: The Tigers do not play enough “small ball”.

This is false. And by the way, fuck you.

I hate bunting. It’s a waste of an out. Outs are precious things. You only get 27 of them a game. Don’t give them away for free. It’s dumb and should have disappeared in the 1930’s.

And by the way, the Tigers are second in the AL with 32 sacrifice bunts. Only the Royals have more with 35…and they suck. Meanwhile, every week someone starts saying that Leyland hates smallball and the Tigers need to bunt more. I just saw it here the other day at Yahoo. It’s just simply not true. So please stop saying it.

You know how many the ass kicking Red Sox have? NINE. Because they know that bunting is stupid.

Myth #5: Magglio Ordones can’t hit anymore and should be benched.

False. And suck my dick, asshole.

Someone said this in a Game Thread at BYB the other day and I walked away from the computer before I exploded and THE MIGHTY ENFORCER banned me from making dumb jokes on their site anymore. This is the kind of stuff that sometimes makes me hate Tiger fans more than cancer in children.

They bailed on Maggs a couple years ago when his mind was on his sick wife. And they bailed on him again this year when he wasn’t healthy. Since coming back from the DL this year, Magglio’s slowly returning to form once again. He’s now 18 for 64 (.281) with 2 homers and 8 RBI. Is the Magglio of old? He’s never going to be 2007 Magglio again, no. But he’s still a good hitter and is only going to improve as the year goes on and he gains more playing time.

He’s certainly better than Andy Dirks. Geez…

Finally, Myth #6: Brandon Inge is done.


He’s hitting .192 for the year. Since “recovering” from “mono”, he’s 4 for 40. What's the excuse now? Mumps? Chicken pox? Scabies?

I’ve never been a big Inge fan, but I’ve always respected the guy in a way. But he’s done. At this point, I’d rather see Don Kelly starting at third every day.

You heard me.

So move on to new topics, people. Do it for me. Pu-weeze?


Rob Benneian said...

I wish you could come to my site and set the thousands of moron commenters straight

Rocky the Ghost said...

5 1/2 out of 6 is pretty damn good.  The only one you missed is the first one.  Ryan Raburn is a sometime streaky good hitter who SUCKS.  He is bad karma tied up in a pretty little bow.  I never want to see him again.  Trade him. 

But again, 5 1/2 out of 6 is pretty damn good.

Raburn's 2nd Base Coach said...

Hey Rogo, is it just me or is Leyland trying to destroy Valverde's arm? 3 days in a row. I may not always agree with Leyland, but I can generally understand where he's coming from. I heard it was Valverde's 3rd consecutive day and I was just like WTF?

Eric said...

wow...a don kelly compliment.   backhanded. but a compliment none the less

SRogo said...

Desperate men do desperate things...

Jay Hathaway said...

Yeah, he looked worn out last night.  I noticed him saying little prayers when the bases were loaded.  Usually, he'd be  kneeling, then jumping, then slapping his knee, spitting on the ground, then punching Inge's wife to get psyched up.

Jay Hathaway said...

I similarly had to defend, ahem, Fernando Rodney against half-informed bar customers after the 2009 season.  They would say things like, "Rodney was a terrible closer last year, we need to get rid of him," and so forth.  I would proceed to inform them that he only blew one save chance all season, and that his bad outings were, like Valverde's, when there was no save chance.  This was predictably followed by, "Well, he always makes it so close, blah blah blah..."  I then cite William James' philosophy of Pragmatism, which states, basically, that if two different methods bear the exact same results, then pragmatically, both are correct methods.  Hence, whether Rodney never allowed a base-runner in those 37 saves, or he did things as he did, the only thing that matters is that he only blew it in one save situation all year, which  would have put him at an elite level if closers were really judged by that.  I think perhaps that Tiger fans (including myself) had just had enough of Todd Jones-style finishes at that point, and needed a mythical closer warrior to make things easier on their chili-cheese-fries-clogged hearts.  That, or most of them just really are dense and reactionary morons.

Pawsdeep said...

It's almost august--so mags and raburn will be hitting the cover off the ball the rest of the way.

I've taken down all the names if everyone at BYB who decided maglio wasn't worth playing anymore. I can't wait to unleash my fury in everyone of those people who haven't looked at his track record and wanted him removed from the team because of an injury...

People will pay.

rick2000 said...

It is not a myth that Ryan Raburn currently sucks. Somehow, you dismiss the argument for his suckitude without mentioning his defensive performance.

In a perfect world, he is a two-tool player; He can hit and run a bit. This is not a perfect world. Currently, he is a zero-tool player. He's hitting around .200 and clearly is playing the worst defensive second base in the majors.

You could make a strong argument that Raburn is, statistically, the worst regular in the American League when you factor in his defense.

This is the first year he's on pace for 500 ab's and been a bona fide regular. The result? He has blown chunks. Not a good sign.

The Tigers have no one else so they have to play Raburn but because of his profound defensive liabilities he is a merely adequate major leaguer platoon guy even when he hits.

Right now, he simply, absolutely sucks.

LeeS said...

Bunting is really stupid about 98% of the time, but I think the real reason that the Red Sox don't have many sacrifice bunts is because they have a stacked line-up.  When you have decent-to-great hitters 1-9, you never have to bunt. Unfortunately, when there are gaping holes in your line-up, you find yourself in more situations where 1 run might make the difference in the game, and the guy you have coming up sucks (and pretty much all pinch hitting candidates on the bench suck too).  Bunting makes more sense when you have no hope for 2 consecutive hits.

sr1966 said...

One more thing, when you say he has more rbi's than all second baseman than Robinson Cano. Uh, those numbers weren't accumulated as a second baseman! He played a handful games at second last year. Most of those numbers were added as a terrible outfielder.

SRogo said...

So? They still count. If Mig gets RBIs at a DH, they still count for him.

Jay Hathaway said...

I see your point, but I would say someone like Adam Dunn, whose only talent is hitting the ball really far, is the worst regular in baseball at the moment.  He is no longer doing the "Mongo hit ball far" thing, and it couldn't have happened to a better team.

Jay Hathaway said...

Bwahahaha, do it! Give 'em hell, Paws!  And tell them to kiss my ass and balls, too!

Michael Wilson said...

I agree with this statement!

sr1966 said...

He's not going to hit the same as a second baseman. It much more taxing position than outfielder.