Yet these serious sites are necessary, otherwise we wouldn’t know what’s going on, and wouldn’t have talking points to argue about and/or make fun of. So I respect the hell out of those that cover the team in a serious way, as long as they know what they’re talking about.
That’s what upsets me about the following article I found on Yahoo today. How a site as big and widely read as Yahoo allows such nonsense to be printed blows me away. In fact, the author of this piece just decided to make stuff up off the top of his head. Am I beating a dead horse by doing these things all the time? Probably, but just bear with me. Your regularly scheduled yuck-yucks will resume in the next day or two.
But for now, I must vent.
Cabrera to Third Base: Will Tigers’ Defense Fail Them?
There’s your title. Though it’s a subject beaten to death already, it’s a fair question to ask. Fine. The full piece can be read here.
EDIT: Don't click that link. A reader informed me that these contributor pieces get paid by the page hit. Don't support his income on this piece, please. I've got most of it here, anyway.
The Detroit Tigers have been a team built to the unique specifications of Dave Dombrowski, one of the top GM's in the game and one with a unique philosophy.
Wait for the crazy owner to blow his family’s fortune on a guy many people say won’t be worth the money before the contract’s halfway through?
Dombrowski values power pitching,
Him?doubles hitters (especially because of the big gaps of Comerica Park),
Like this guy?
and oftentimes, defense.
But the Tigers are taking a risk this season in the latter category as they attempt to plug Miguel Cabrera in at third base in order to make room for Prince Fielder at Cabrera's old position of first base.
A fine, logical point. But wait. This is where I would start pulling my hair out if the Tiger teams of the 90’s and early 2000’s hadn’t already made it fall out on its own.
As someone who has seen the vast majority of Tigers games in recent years, I have to admit it is a little frustrating to see Cabrera leave first base considering that he may have been on his way to Gold Glove contention at the position.
Okay, that’s…batshit fucking insane?
I love Miguel Cabrera. With Magglio riding off into the sunset, the big guy is now my favorite Tiger. But saying he may have been on his way to Gold Glove contention is like saying that Danny Worth might contend for the home run title this year.
In both 2010 and 2011, Big Mig led all AL first basemen in errors. His defensive WAR last year was -0.7, his worst since switching from third to first several years ago. His UZR of -3.8 last year was so bad that only five other first basemen that qualified were worse. (One of those worse was Fielder.) In regards to UZR, 0.0 is average. Top defenders, Adrian Gonzalez and Mark Teixeira came in at 11.1 and 8.6, respectively.
To conclude that Miguel was on his way to being a Gold Glove winner makes me think that “someone who has seen the vast majority of Tigers games in recent years” was watching Missouri Tigers basketball and has never seen a Detroit Tigers game in his life.
Someone who once was regarded as a below average defender had worked his way into the position
Again, the numbers say he was getting worse.
and played it with skill and grace,
Phrases I Would Use To Describe Miguel Cabrera
Notice, nowhere in there was Defensively Skillful and Graceful. There’s a reason for that. Because the loveable lug is the direct opposite of skillful and graceful on defense.
and his size was ideal. But the Tigers are getting a huge reward in having Prince Fielder at first base, a man who is tailor made for Comerica Park and should be able to hit 40+ bombs, most of them to left field.
Wait…what? Prince will hit the majority of his bombs to left field in Comerica Park?
The fact that Cabrera would even consider moving positions even though he is one of the best offensive
Wait for it…
and defensive first basemen in the league
(Al Bundy gag blatantly stolen from XMas Ape at KSK.)
shows a lot about his reformed character after the disciplinary issues he has seen afflict him in the past, and is something Tigers fans should be proud of and get behind.
What, pray tell, does Miguel’s off-field drinking issue last year have to do with his “character” on it? The man has never been proven to be anything but a good teammate and one willing to do whatever to help the Tigers win. In fact, he never wanted to leave third in the first place! He did it because Jim Leyland thought it made them a better team at the time. (And he was right.)
This is like if Cabrera was thrust into left field for a game if Dirks, Raburn, and Young all got kidnapped by gypsies for one game. Would Mario Impemba say, “It’s nice to see Miguel willing to play in the outfield today. Which is a surprise since he got drunk that one time.”
Would that happen? Of course not. Because that is fucking stupid. Just like this article.
Many other superstars would not even consider such a switch in this ego-driven (at times) day and age.
(Cough) Jeter (Cough).
As for the transition itself, I think Cabrera is a different man now and has a good shot to pull it off.
I see. Better defense is a direct result of what kind of man one is.
Omar Vizquel = Saint.
Ryan Raburn = HITLER!
It’s science, people.
He might not have the most range at third but he has shown a slick ability to pick the ball at first and that will benefit him at the hot corner.
Indeed. As someone that played both first and third base regularly in my younger days, I can tell you that picking bad throws in the dirt from the shortstop is EXACTLY like playing the hot corner.
Oh wait. They’re actually nothing fucking alike. My bad.
Third base requires a quick reaction time and a good arm. First base requires good footwork, a big-ass glove, and a beer belly.
His past struggles at third are duly noted, but he is a much more mature player now who is driven to win big, something I've seen in his demeanor and actions over the past few years.
“The only other time he played third, he sucked. But he’s older and wants to win, so now he’ll be better. I’ve noticed that’s he’s more mature and driven by the past few years which saw him get into two separate off-field incidents involving drinking”
That sound like nonsense to anyone else?
Also, if Brandon Inge does move to second as has been talked about, it could improve the defense as a whole,
Brandon Inge, who has declined the past few years on D and has never played second, does not improve the defense over Ramon Santiago. My cat could tell you that.
And she’s more of a hockey fan than a baseball one.
As someone who bought partial season tickets the 2008 Detroit Tigers season, one in which they finished in last place in part because of poor defense after they acquired Cabrera and many thought they would have a historically good offense, I'm also aware of the risks of the offense-first gamble Dombrowski is taking with Prince Fielder in the fold.
The ’08 Tigers were not phenomenal defensively. This is true. Their 113 errors were the second most in the league.
However, 41% of those errors were made by three guys: Cabrera, Carlos Guillen, and Edgar Renteria. They also featured defensive studs like Inge, Placdo Polanco, Curtis Granderson, and Pudge Rodriguez. Overall, as a team, their defense was slightly better than the Amercan League average when you get into the deeper numbers like Rtot and others you can find at BR.
The real problem with the ’08 team was the dreadful pitching. Armando Galarraga was the only starter that wasn’t awful that year. The other starters to make at least 28 starts?
Justin Verlander: 11-17, 4.84 ERA
Kenny Rogers: 9-13, 5.70 ERA
Nate Robertson: 7-11, 6.35 ERA
This was also the nightmare year of Dontrelle Willis making pre-glasses, Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn look like Greg Maddux in regards to control on the mound.
You could have had Gold Glovers at every position that year. It wasn’t going to turn those guys into present-day JV, Doug Fister, Rick Porcello, and Max Scherzer.
But this time around things will be different because of Cabrera's maturity. I think he can handle third base because he appears to have set his mind to it this time around, and we all know what he's capable of when he does that.
Oh, eat shit. Miguel’s going to suck at third. But he’ll hopefully make up for it with his bat. Maturity has nothing to do with it.
Nick Meyer is a lifelong Tigers fan from Metro Detroit.
Nick, if you happen to read this, I’m sorry. But what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent article were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Also, don’t make shit up in the future. The people that leave comments at Yahoo are dumb enough without ignorant authors misleading them.