Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lynn Henning Channels His Inner Chicken Little

In the wake of Victor Martinez pulling a Carlos Guillen, Lynn Henning of the Detroit News held a Q & A with his fan club at the News site.

What ended up being sillier? The reader questions or Lynn’s answers? Certainly the DEAN of Tiger writers can calm down the masses in the aftermath of Victor's injury, right? As long as you’re prepared to bang your head against the closest wall, read along with me and let’s find out! It’s been a while since I went on a cursing rampage…

Comment From Guest
What about Juan Pierre? speed, defense, 600 pa, leadoff man ?

Holy mother of Satan. Why, seriously someone tell me, WHY IN THE BLUE HELL do people continue to think Juan Pierre is an acceptable starting MLB baseball player? Pierre’s the kind of guy that only the delusional Ozzie Guillen could love. YES, he steals bases. He’s also led the league in being CAUGHT stealing seven of the past eleven years. His WAR was 0.0 last year and has been no higher than 1.8 since 2006. A four year old has more power and a better throwing arm. No one makes more outs than Bad Juan. And teams continue to pay him $7-$10 million a year to do so.

Juan Pierre is fucking terrible and anyone that tells me differently deserves to be incinerated on the spot with a flamethrower. Sorry…what does Lynn have to say about this?

HENNING: As for Pierre, it's possible. Delmon definitely goes to DH in just about any scenario you can imagine.

Sure, it’s possible. It’s also possible that Tim Tebow will piss on V-Mart’s knee and it will heal. Anything is possible. Just tell “Guest” that his idea would be the kiss of death for the Tigers. Any baseball fan that gets an erection over bunting should be sterilized.

Comment From Mike in Savannah
Obviously the talk of all Tigers fans is what to do with Victor Martinez out. Play GM for us, what would you do?

C’mon, Lynn. You’ve been at this a long time and are Dave Dombrowski’s mouthpiece to the masses. Break down the pros and cons of Vladmir Guerrero or Carlos Pena. Come up with a trade that makes sense for everyone involved. AMAZE us with some proper insight.

HENNING: I think the Tigers are just about out of popular options on this one. Pierre, again, is one of those possibilities, because he could lead off and give you some defense in left.

NOOOOO! Just because he’s fast doesn’t make Pierre a good leadoff man! Everyone bitches about Jackson last year and his OBP was only twelve points lower than Pierre’s! But Jackson had TWENTY more extra base hits than Pierre and thirteen more walks. Hooray, Juan got a bunt single. But then he got thrown out stealing. This will stop being entertaining, um, IMMEDIATELY.

As for defense…what's left of Ty Cobb’s skeleton is better than Delmon. But Pierre’s arm is so awful that he makes Johnny Damon look like fucking Roberto Clemente.

I don’t like Juan Pierre, in case some of you haven’t caught on yet.

HENNING: Delmon then goes to No. 5, or 4, if Cabrera bats third. Tend to think the Tigers will swing a big deal.

Lynn keeps talking about this “big deal”. He eluded to it on Twitter and wouldn’t expand on it. Either he knows more than he’s letting on, or he’s becoming a bigger troll than jackoffs like Simonson.

HENNING: To follow up: They need dynamic help, and that isn't going to be terribly available unless they pay heavy on a trade. Better to wait until July's trade deadline, when options are 10-fold more than they have today.

I disagree with the first part. “Dynamic” help leads me think of some expensive superstar like Josh Hamilton. They don’t need that…not to win a horrible division like the AL Central currently is. They just need a competent hitter to bat behind Cabrera and make folks pay if they choose not to pitch to him. There are no hitters of V-Mart’s caliber out there right now. But there are options like Vlad, Pena, and even Damon out there. Hell, Avila might be able to step into the role as long as Leyland doesn’t try to kill him by playing him two weeks straight behind the dish again.

Comment From john
Would you agree that losing Vmart means we have next to no shot of taking the next step (at least a WS appearance)?

Not in this division, John. We have, by far, the best pitching staff in the division. We still have Cabrera, Peralta, Avila, Delmon, and Boesch/Raburn (depending on which half it is). The Sox and Twins are worse this year. Kansas City is closer, but still has no pitching. Cleveland was a fraud the first half last year. The division is still ours for the taking unless JV and Mig catch some deadly STD from one of Porcello’s rats and miss months of the season. And with JV/Fister/Good Max/Porcello, a short series in the playoffs is very winnable.

And don’t forget, there are still over SIX MONTHS until the trade deadline. Have a little faith in Dave Dombrowski to make a move down the stretch if things aren’t working out. Ilitch isn't going to live forever.

HENNING: Today, yes, tough to see a deep October run.

No it’s not! We didn’t lose Verlander or Cabrera, for fuck’s sake! We lost a DH with a 3.0 WAR. If we had to lose someone, I’m glad it was him and not someone that’s actually hard to replace. If we get someone with HALF Victor’s ability, we’re fine and dandy.

HENNING: But keep in mind that the immediate move, and July's moves, are all unknown. They can win the division as currently equipped -- maybe.

Holy shit. When did Henning become Peter King?

HENNING: But they're already playing for October. And that means something radical has to be done, either now or July.

Again, no. Nothing radical. If the team panics and trades Turner and Castellanos for anything less than Babe Ruth’s reanimated in-his-prime corpse in response to Victor’s owie, they are goddamned nuts. NOT IN THIS DIVISON! Put the panic button away, Lynn! Back away slowly from it!

Moving right along…

Comment From Zack
What is the likelihood of bringing Johnny Damon back?

HENNING: Problem with Damon -- the only real problem -- is that he has no arm and would almost be as big a liability as Delmon in left. That's the hang-up with Johnny D.

Now let me get back to talking about how JUAN PIERRE is a decent option.


Comment From Guest
For all the talk you do of the Tiger's great pitching in the minors why is it no one wants any of them except Turner or #B Castellanos? Seems now would be a good time to trade a couple of them if they have any value

Well, Guest, that’s because Lynn’s full of shit. Turner, Castellanos, and Smyly are the only obvious potential guys left in the entire farm system. You see, the Tigers tend to only draft members of the organization’s family after the fourth round. Thus, our minor league system resembles a used toilet the morning after drinking half a keg of PBR.

HENNING: They want other guys, believe me, beginning with Drew Smyly. They would also take on Casey Crosby.

Yes. “Oooh…arm injury issues. Here, take BRANDON PHILLIPS AND CASH.”

HENNING: And everyone tends to sell Duane Below short. The difficulty for Detroit is that a lot of these guys will be more valuable at mid-season -- a la Charlie Furbush last year -- but the Tigers can't necessarily wait until mid-summer.

Yes they can. The AL Central is about as intimidating as Justin Bieber in a MMA fight.

Comment From MMike
Any chance Maggs or Carlos make a return to the D?

HENNING: None I can see. Magglio doesn't have the brand of power they need.

Agreed. He’s no Juan Pierre!

Comment From EB
Lynn, I've enjoyed your columns in the Detroit News through the years. Do you think Brennan Bosch has developed enough offensively to protect Cabrera in the batting order?

HENNING: Thank you, and Boesch is an option, in part because he hits LHers so well. But they love him in that No. 2 spot, and for good reason.

Is that reason the fact that he refuses to take more than one pitch per ballgame? I hate Boesch in the two-slot. If they’re going to continue with that, they need to fine him for every at bat where he doesn’t see at least three pitches and makes an out.

Comment From Chris
Lynn, I have always loved Vlad Guerrero - I know he is 36 and coming off a down year in Baltimore, but for a low price, he could have a big return hitting in the middle of the Tigers lineup. Thoughts?

HENNING: It's conceivable, but again, you'd have managers galore who would love pitching to Vlad over Cabrera. And that's what's got the Tigers over a barrel.

In the words of one of the homeless fellows outside of the Copa, “Let me ax you dis.” Can you name ONE PLAYER IN BASEBALL OUTSIDE OF ALBERT PUJOLS that managers would love pitching to over Cabrera? Of course not. But Vlad Guerrero is still a beast and is capable of making those managers pay.

Juan Pierre is not.

Comment From Zack
Why are you so high on Hernan Perez? He had a poor year (.677 OPS) while repeating lo-A ball and wasn't ever particularly young for the level (age 20 isn't exactly a baby in lo-A). PS - Keep up the interesting prospects analysis

HENNING: Because the kid is, as you say, 20, and because he's on target to become a pretty good big-league second baseman.

Remember when Lynn used to gush about Danny Worth? Cale Iorg anyone?

Comment From Canada Joe
Where is the best slot for Boesch to bat in your view.

HENNING: Ideally, right where they've had him: second. He gets his bat on the ball, has shown he can be selective (he always said he could, and he succeeded last year), runs well -- he's just about their best answer at No. 2.

/mouth drops to floor like a cartoon character

Boesch walked only 35 times in 472 plate appearances last season. That is not a gigantic improvement over the 40 walks in 512 appearances his rookie year. Look. I like the kid’s bat when he’s got his head on straight. But he’s about as selective as a drunken frat boy is with women at two in the morning.

I like Cabrera third, hopefully Vlad/Pena fourth, and some combo of Delmon and Boesch fifth and sixth. Let Avila bat second. Other than Cabrera, he’s the only actual selective hitter on the team, with possible apologies to Jhonny Peralta who’s just fine in the seven slot.

Comment From Patrick
After coming back from Toledo, Inge close to .300. Can he continue that for the entire season this year?

Patrick had better be under ten years old or a fat girl in disguise. Otherwise, I dearly fear for the human race.

HENNING: Not .300, but he won't hit .177, either. Split it down the middle. That's Inge.

/does math

Lynn projects Brandon at .239ish. He’s done that once since 2006.

/ignores fact that I predicted Inge to hit .250 in 2011

Comment From Earth, Wind & Fire
Hey Lynn, Do you still believe the Tigers will win the A.L. Central?

HENNING: Sure, because their pitching is good enough to win in a so-so division.
Um, what happened to needing dynamic help and doing something radical?

Comment From Justin
Do you think Brookens is our next manager?

HENNING: Brookens or Lloyd McClendon.

The sound you just heard was mLive exploding.

Comment From jmc
Delmon will somewhat replace Victor and Andy Dirks will be your everyday left fielder...his perdicted stat line. .280 AVG...170 Hits...18 HRS....84 RBIS...31 SB's Book it.

HENNING: You can make that case. You definitely can.

Andy Dirks is a fourth outfielder and always will be. The only way you can make jmc’s case here is if you take so many drugs that you are left with three functioning brain cells. I "perdict" that jmc did not do well on his ACT.

What the fuck is wrong with Tiger fans? Every shitty clone that comes up (Dirks, Clete, Larish, Wells, etc) has people christening them the next fucking Kirk Gibson.

Comment From Lenny
Lynn, What are your thoughts about Zumaya signing with the twins ?

Hahahaha...thank goodness someone asked Lynn about his bf. Bless you, Lenny.

HENNING: Smart, shrewd, inexpensive investment by the Twins. Terry Ryan is back in charge and this was a Terry Ryan-style move. I'd be fearful of that fact if I were the Tigers. I thought they should have invested in him and been happy to have invested in him. Obviously, they felt differently, as do most fans.

I like to imagine Lynn typing this with tears running down his face. No one will miss Joel Zumaya more than his secret crush, Lynn Henning.

Kids, there’s plenty more there if you dare to read it all. Believe it or not, I like Henning more than most people do and am just trying to be somewhat entertaining with this bit. He tends to think outside the box more than the average Tiger writer, in my opinion, instead of spewing the same lines as everyone else. Usually. And he definitely is in the Dombrowski inner circle when it comes to news.

But fuck, dude. This was awful.

Juan Pierre??? C'mon...


H2OPoloPunk said...

Why do you torture yourself with this asshole?

Jay Hathaway said...

The Pierre bit is clownish, but I agree that he generally knows what's going on, so I hope he's not fucking with us when he talks about these "big deals."

Phil Coke's Brain said...

Beck would not put up with this shenanigans. He would destroy people with things that make sense.

H2OPoloPunk said...


Heliosphan said...

I purposely try to avoid Lynn Henning's poor attempt at sportswriting. That being said, I think the Martinez injury will hurt us a lot... if we don't get someone to replace his production. Vlad Guerrero would be a good fit. Pierre would be absolutely awful.. he has zero power and he's not even that great of a defender for someone with his speed. I could tolerate a Johnny Damon reunion. We do need some team speed, and last year, his power numbers were closer to his career norms.