Thursday, August 11, 2011

Detroit Media Lineup Solutions: Good and Bad

We need a little controversy, cuz it feels so empty without me. –Some Guy From Detroit

Hello, upstate ballers and ball-ettes…Daddy’s home. I feel recharged, I’ve got a brand new laptop, and I have a LOT that I want to cover in the next week.

But for my first trick back, I would like to address the national pastime of Tiger fans and writers: bashing Jim Leyland. With the Marlboro Man receiving his extension, everyone and their mentally challenged brother is out there giving their thoughts on Leyland the man, the manager, and the leader.

Myself, I’m not fond of how he manages a game, but I love how he manages a clubhouse. And when I defend him here, most times, I try to defend him against stupid complaints…not complaints in general.

Does that make any sense? Well, let me illustrate.


We start with what I consider to be a rare GOOD criticism piece on Leyland. It’s done by Terry Foster of the Detroit News. In it, he addresses the common complaint of Leyland’s questionable lineups.

What Terry does that’s different from the majority of other yahoos out there screaming “BEST NINE” to the heavens without any logical thought behind it, is offer a solution. He went 1-9 in the lineup, listed who he thought should be batting and starting there, and explained why. CRAYZEE, isn’t it?

Now the only thing I would do differently than Foster would be to switch Boesch and Peralta. He has BB second and JP third. Peralta’s more of a #2 guy to me and Brennan sees better pitches batting 3rd and always seems to have good games batting there. I even agree with his idea of benching/platooning Magglio. Until he shows he can hit, Maggs doesn’t deserve the automatic start anymore. Breaks my heart.

So yeah, good work, Terry. Now, I point Terry’s work for a reason. Because over at the freep’s site, Michael Rosenberg is just trolling. He too criticizes who Leyland starts, but his solution is for the team to get more SCRAPPY!

It doesn't have to be this way. The Tigers can and should win this division, especially if they pay attention to the best player in this series: Cleveland's rookie second baseman, Jason Kipnis.

After only 253 games in the minors hitting .297, the newest great white hope of local sports writers has emerged in Cleveland and is off to a great start for the Tribe. The 5’11” lefty (short enough to be “scrappy” by just one inch) is hitting .295 with 6 homers in his first 67 major league plate appearances.

Good job, Jason. Also, good luck keeping it up once teams get a scouting report on you and the holes in your swing become more apparent. Ask Brennan Boesch and Austin Jackson about that. Also, get fucked with a rusty ice pick in a seedy bathhouse with Grady Sizemore.

It’s good to be back.

Kipnis started the year in the minors. He replaced a respected veteran, 36-year-old Orlando Cabrera, who has since been traded to San Francisco. The Indians went with the better, more energetic player over the more proven one, and it has paid off.

Cleveland is 7-9 in Kipnis’ 16 games. I hope it keeps paying off like that.

As for O-Cab, I’m happy to see him leave Cleveland, too. Since 2004, his team has made the playoffs every year except 2006. Also, he’s a 2-time Gold Glover, a proven leader, and a .272 career hitter against Detroit (with 7 HR). Later, O-Dawg.

But what does Kipnis have to do with Detroit?

The Tigers are struggling to pull away from Cleveland and Chicago partly because they don't scratch out runs, don't run well and don't steal enough hits with their gloves, especially in the infield.

MOAR SMALLBALL PLZ!

Ugh. The Tigers are struggling to pull away from Cleveland because of their pitching. The starters not named Verlander need to end their Jeckyl & Hyde nonsense for the team to pull away. And the bullpen needs to stop their ongoing competition to see who can resemble Jason Grilli on the mound the most.

You know who hasn’t scratched out runs, run well, or stolen hits with their infield gloves the past 7 years or so? The fucking Red Sox, that’s who. And they’ve seemed to do pretty well. With good pitching and scoring enough runs to win games.

At the trade deadline, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski went on and on about how strong his farm system is.

LOL Dave.

Well, if you have so many great young players, why are you leaning heavily on low-producing 37-year-old Magglio Ordoñez and 35-year-old Carlos Guillen in a pennant race?

Because he was lying. He was trying to say nice things and/or sucker someone into a trade. The Tigers farm system, with the exception of maybe three players, is an abortion. You can’t be naïve, Mr. Rosenberg.

But Ordoñez has an on-base percentage of .288 and rarely drives the ball anymore. Injuries and age have robbed him of whatever range he had. Yet manager Jim Leyland still plays him in rightfield and bats him third regularly. Ordoñez's production does not match up to the faith the Tigers show in him.

Regularly? That’s a stretch. I start almost as much as Maggs does lately. But I do agree about him batting third. Maggs is my boy, but that shit needs to stop.

Forget the names on the jerseys. The numbers and my eyes tell me less-heralded players give the Tigers a better chance to win right now.

Oh, Christ. Get more GAMERS on the field, Detroit!

Andy Dirks is not a superstar, but in 2011 he is a better fielder and hitter than Ordoñez.

Ty Cobb’s rotting corpse is a better fielder than Maggs at this point. I’ll give that to you. But hitting? Dirks is hitting .255 with an OBP of .299. Magglio’s not lighting the world on fire, but I still prefer his presence, experience, and ability to get key hits in the lineup over Clete Version 2.0’s. But not batting third anymore.

Now excuse me while I take a quick sip of my ginger ale…

Will Rhymes (who is with the Mud Hens) and Ryan Raburn are clearly better defensive second basemen than Guillen, and they should exceed Guillen's offensive numbers.

/spits ginger ale all over new laptop

Are you fist fucking me? You said you were going to use your eyes and numbers for a solution.  Did you use Richard Bernstein's eyes and numbers supplied by the Bush White House? (insert Obama's name if you're a Republican...GWB jokes are just funnier to me)

I am the world’s only Ryan Raburn defender and even I would not call him a better defensive second baseman than Guillen or anyone. And if Tinkerbell, who can’t get a ball out of a major league infield, is your answer at second…perhaps you would be more comfortable leaving comments as ROSENiceBERG6969 at mlive or yahoo instead of writing for the Free Press.

These are not fun questions to ask. But this is how pro sports work.

Yes. Benching your high priced talent for shitty, unproven replacements is how pro sports works.

On Jupiter, maybe.

If the Tigers want to be the best team, their best players have to play the most.

Or just pitch better. Boesch, Cabrera, Peralta, Avila, and V-Mart can pick up Guillen and Magglio’s slack on most nights if the pitching staff does their job. 1-9 in a linup do not all have to be all-stars.

I don’t care if people agree with me. And I don’t need to agree with every article I read. But at least back up your arguments with logic, my writer friends.

Gold star to Terry Foster today. Shit-brown star to Rosenberg. Will Rhymes…good lord. That’s the answer.

Glad to be back again. Fun stuff to come this week. I promise.

3 comments:

Eric said...

where can I pick up these "shit-brown" stars?  

Derek Schwanger said...

Agreed!

Pawsdeep said...

I read the Rosenberg article and found it to be hilarious. When he brought up raburn as a defensive upgrade I freakin' shit myself. I know I'm not alone when I say this; that dude lost all of his baseball credentials with that statement alone. I love me some second half raburn, but the only defensive replacement he could possibly be upgrading at second would be Adam Dunn.