Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Catfight: 2008 Tigers vs. 2012 Tigers

First off, real quick, a tip of the cap to Carlos Guillen who announced his retirement. Classy guy, good teammate, and maybe the most overlooked player in Tigers history. Thanks for everything, 'Los.

And anyhoooo...with the Tigers being such heavy favorites to win the AL Central this year, several lazy journalists have pointed out how it’s similar to 2008 when Detroit was also a big favorite. As we all know, that team finished at the back of the pack with a 74-88 record. Also, that team was nothing like this one, if you take into account things like logic and a simple understanding of baseball.

That 2008 team had dreadful pitching. It had multiple guys on the wrong sides of their primes. Comparing the ’08 team to this group is like comparing apples and tampons, in my opinion.

But I could be wrong. Maybe I’ve been sniffing too much glue this week. (Is it possible to sniff too MUCH glue? So intoxicating…)

The only fair way to figure this out is in what we call around these parts a nice CATFIGHT. 2008 Tigers vs. 2012 Tigers. Bring it.

CATCHER

2008: Ivan Rodriguez
2012: Alex Avila

Advantage: 2012. Avila’s coming off a year where he started the All-Star game for the AL and is one of the most pleasant surprises to emerge on the Tigers in years. Pudge, while a big name, put up very pedestrian numbers in ’08 as it was obvious to everyone but himself that his prime was over. He’s still in denial four years later.

FIRST BASE

2008: Miguel Cabrera
2012: Prince Fielder

Advantage: Push. Mig hit .292 with 37 homers and 127 RBI. Prince has shown that he can do the same. Both suck like a Hilton sister on defense.

SECOND BASE

2008: Placido Polanco
2012: Ramon Santiago

Advantage: 2008. Mr. Potato Head’s defense and clutch hitting has yet to be replaced since his departure from the D. Ramon is a nice little player, but he’s never played full time and will be splitting time with Brandon Inge and Ryan Raburn. Polly doesn’t go over huge here, like many would say, but I think he’s definitely the better choice.

THIRD BASE

2008: Carlos Guillen
2012: Miguel Cabrera

Advantage: 2012. Carlos’ career was beginning to enter his “on the DL every three weeks” phase. Cabrera is in the prime of his career and the best hitter in baseball not named Pujols.

SHORTSTOP

2008: Edgar Renteria
2012: Jhonny Peralta

Advantage: 2012. Renteria was a bust in the D while Peralta has enjoyed a career rebirth. Not even close.

LEFT FIELD

2008: Marcus Thames
2012: Ryan Raburn

Advantage: 2008. Thames wasn’t much on defense, but Ryno is a walking punchline in the field. Marcus hit 25 homers in 2008. Raburn might hit 20, but 18 will be after August 1st.

CENTER FIELD

2008: Curtis Granderson
2012: Austin Jackson

Advantage: 2008. Grandy hit .280 with 22 homers. Jackson strikes out 280 times a season with 8 homers. Jackson has the advantage on defense, but he’s still not at ’08 Granderson’s level yet overall on the offensive side.

RIGHT FIELD

2008: Magglio Ordonez
2012: Brennan Boesch

Advantage: 2008. Maggs hit .317 with 20 homers and 103 RBI in ’08. Boesch is being hyped up as a guy that may do something similar this season. But until he proves he can play a full productive season, Magglio is the big winner here.

DESIGNATED HITTER

2008:  Gary Sheffield
2012:  Delmon Young

Advantage:  2012.  Sheff's numbers took a nosedive in '08.  Delmon is entering his prime and is a force at the plate. Just keep him off of the the field on D.

BENCH

2008: Inge, Joyce, Raburn, Santiago
2012: Inge, Kelly, Laird, Dirks

Advantage: 2012. At first, I leaned towards 2008’s group due to Joyce’s pop. Then, I decided a push was the way to go since Dirks is capable of doing the same. But the more I thought about it, I think that one of the real intriguing things about this year’s club is its flexibility. We literally could see a different lineup every day this season without losing anything, other than when Kelly gets his 50 annoying starts to make Leyland happy. That 2008 team's flexibility was crippled by Sheff’s ability to do nothing but hit and complain. So I’m giving it to 2012 for the bench being so important to the team’s success.

STARTING ROTATION

2008: Verlander, Galarraga, Robertson, Rogers, Bonderman
2012: Verlander, Fister, Porcelo, Scherzer, Below

Advantage: 2012. This should count for ten advantages. The ’08 rotation was beyond horrible, including Verlander. Armando, at 13-7 with a 3.73 ERA was the only decent one in the bunch. Any of this year’s crop, including Below/Turner/Wilk/Whoever would have had a chance of being the ace of the ’08 staff.

CLOSER

2008: Todd Jones
2012: Jose Valverde

Advantage: 2012. Jose Valverde trumps Todd Jones any day.

BULLPEN

2008: Miner, Lopez, Rodney, Seay, Dolsi, Fossum
2012: Benoit, Dotel, Coke, Schlereth, Ballester, Pauley

Advantage: 2012. Again, pitching is the real reason that 2008 team failed. It wasn’t all Sheff and Renteria’s fault, as many would lead you to believe.

OVERALL

2012 beats 2008 by a score of 8-4-1, and due to the pitching, it shouldn’t have even been that close.

It wouldn’t be baseball without the doom-and-gloom crowd trying to scare us all. But to compare this team to 2008’s is bad, even for them. Next time you see that happen, email the author and tell them to get AIDS and fall into a tar pit. Twice.

4 comments:

H2OPoloPunk said...

Very well done. No arguments here.

Biff Mayhem said...

I agree with the water polo punk. Nicely done.

Spockmaster said...

Just for clarification, should we wish that they get double aids and then fall into a tar pit twice?

Ert said...

hey dickhead.
stop slacking and give me better coverage of spring training.