Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Troll King Returns in a Huge Way

Batman has The Joker. Superman has Lex Luthor. Brandon Inge has curveballs in the dirt a foot off the plate. We all have our arch enemies in life.

Mine is Bill Simonson. “Huge”, if you will. He is a sports radio host in Michigan and contributes to mLive where he likes to misinform a large segment of the Tiger fans while constantly criticizing Jim Leyland. He is wrong on nearly everything he says and just does it to get fans riled up and get attention. Consider him the local version of Skip Bayless, but nowhere near as charming.

I dubbed him the “Troll King” last season as that is what he represents. He feeds the trolls with his B.S. and they go off spouting what he says. No matter that he’s almost always wrong, as I proved in this bit right here on all his stuff from last season. Check it out if you’re a newer reader to DNR. Last year, he was clamoring for Ryan Raburn to bat second and start every day at second base. Unlike today.

Unlike every other writer I’ve ever had “fun” with on this site (except maybe Albom), I have zero respect for Huge. I’ve been checking on Mondays at mLive to see when he’d try and infect the fanbase with his nonsense this season. But the sneaky bastard posted his first attack on the franchise on Tuesday this week. Lazy, Bill. Lazy. But some folks passed the link on to me.

I keep wanting to get away from these FJM ripoffs, but Bill makes it so difficult.

But eff it. Here we go.

It scares me to think that the Triple-A sons of Leyland -- Daniel Schlereth, Ryan Raburn and Brandon Inge -- are back again for the Detroit Tigers.

That’s because you’re a fucking dunce. Also on the Tigers are Doug Fister, Rick Porcello, Max Scherzer, Joaquin Benoit, Jose Valverde, Phil Coke, Octavio Dotel, Alex Avila, Jhonny Peralta, Brennan Boesch, Delmon Young, and Austin Jackson. Oh yeah, and also Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Justin Fucking Verlander. This is an amazing grouping of talent.

Picking the three guys that are currently struggling and labeling them something to be scared of on a team that just finished a 7-3 stretch against one of the best back-to-back stretches of 10 opposing starting pitchers I’ve ever seen is ridiculous. This team could start you or I half the time at second base and still do just fine.

And Leyland did not draft/trade for/extend any of these players. He is playing the with cards that were dealt to him.

These three are fringe major leaguers, who only serve a purpose when hot.

Even the Yankees do not have eleven time All-Stars at every position. Every team in baseball has role players and not all of them are good. Do you really think Joe Maddon is comfortable using Jeff Keppinger as his cleanup man?

And how can you tell if a player is "hot" if you never play them? Food for thought.

When they struggle they should never see the field. They are role players and nothing more in my baseball scorebook.

I can’t fault Huge in his questioning of Leyland when it comes to Schlereth. In no way do I feel the guy should be anywhere near the mound of a close game until he shows he can get people out consistently. That’s why we have Dotel and Coke around. But watching Jim for over six years, you have to know by now that he likes to test his young players and see how they respond. Better to test Schlereth in early April than in September, I guess.

But as for Raburn and Inge, give me a break. Ramon Sanitago is struggling at the plate, too. And he was sick most of last week. It’s been ten games. Someone has to play second. Grow up, asshole.

I wish I could climb inside the head of manager Jim Leyland and figure him out. I need to know what he is thinking before, during and after games.

I wish I could climb inside the head of idiot Bill Simonson and figure him out.

/echo that lasts five minutes

I want to know what he sees in Schlereth.

Schlereth is a 25 year old lefty that can throw in the mid to high 90’s that has struck out a batter per inning in his 92 professional games. I’m pretty sure that’s what he sees in him.

At what point did he make this below-average relief pitcher more of a go-to arm than established relief pitchers such as Phil Coke, Joaquin Benoit, and Octavio Dotel?

It was one game. Leyland did not name Schlereth the closer. The kid was acquired in one of the biggest trades in recent memory. He was projected as a possible future closer, a Billy Wagner clone. Eventually, you have to see if the kid can respond to pressure. As we saw in the playoffs last year, you can’t get by using the same two relievers every game and expect to succeed.

I don’t like Daniel Schlereth. I don’t want him pitching late in close games to become a habit if he continues to be glorified BP for opposing teams. But if they want to see what they have with him, again, April is a better time than September to find out.

How many more times does he need to see the left-handed version of Jason Grilli give up triples and home runs in tight games before he says no more clutch situations -- or any situations for that matter -- for Schlereth? Is Leyland so confident the Tigers will win the American League Central that he already is resting his big arms in April?

How many close games has Schlereth been thrown into so far? One? Two at the most? Are you suggesting giving up on the 25 year old lefty that throws 95+ mph on April 16th? Who would you have take his spot in the bullpen? Don Kelly?

Maybe Jimbo thinks the division is a lock, like most of us do, and he will do whatever he wants to because he is the field boss. I think this is just typical Leyland and he is too stubborn to go outside of his comfort zone. The more we all say "Why are you doing this?" the more Leyland does such idiotic things.

Miguel Cabrera is hitting .222. We have two starting pitchers with a win in ten games. Yet, we are 7-3 against amazing opposing pitchers so far.

You’re right. Jim Leyland is a fucking idiot.

It’s like starting Raburn, his suspect glove and his .074 batting average in right field Sunday. It looks like Jimbo refuses to take Raburn out of the lineup when he isn’t hitting a lick.

On Sunday, the White Sox started Chris Sale. Chris Sale is a lefty that throws very hard with a quirky motion that is rough on left handed hitters. The alternatives to Raburn were Boesch, Dirks, or Kelly…all lefties. Before the game, the only Tiger to have a career home run versus Sale was?

Ryan Raburn.

Miguel Cabrera isn’t hitting a lick right now. How long would you prefer Jim Leyland sit him to make you happy? You insufferable cockwallet.

Why does Leyland do these things? He claims rested players help you over the course of the season, so why not give Raburn a rest when he is struggling at the plate?

Exactly how does benching a struggling player help end a slump at the plate? It doesn’t. They need to get it figured out in games. And it’s not like there’s some hot prospect or established good hitter waiting in the wings to replace Raburn.

I believe he has his favorites. I also believe because Leyland was a journeyman minor leaguer, he has a soft spot for players who go through tough times. It might earn loyalty from a few players, but drives most of us crazy.
You are devoting an entire column complaining about which terrible hitter Leyland will bat behind a near All-Star team. This is a wonderful problem to have for a team.

For Leyland to make Inge a designated hitter in any game and leave Brennan Boesch and Alex Avila on the bench is beyond words -- which he did Sunday.

By all means, play Boesch and Avila to death. That worked out so well last year.

And again, Chris Sale was pitching. Inge tends to hit left-handed fastball pitchers very well, for him. Sale would be death for Boesch and Avila. And as soon as a righty came in and the bases were loaded, what did Leyland do?

He had Boesch hit for Inge. So fuck off.

Again, if Inge is hitting, I have no problem with him getting swings. Inge didn’t hit in spring training, nor during his rehab assignment in Toledo, went 0-for-2 on Sunday, but finally delivered a big home run against Kansas City on Monday.

Thank you for proving yourself wrong.

For this guy to be summoned off the bench as a pinch hitter one game and the DH the next game is Leyland telling everybody he is the boss. I can’t stand it when Leyland manages this way.

I hate it when Leyland makes decisions that pay off, too. Wait, no I don’t. I’m a Tigers fan. It’s not about you being proven right, you fuck. It’s about winning games. And the Leyland-led Tigers are 7-3.

What frightens me at times is that I thought almost $500 million invested in player salaries and three MVP candidates in the Tigers clubhouse would force Leyland to run out his best players every chance he gets.

BEST NINE! Praise the Huge mantra! Never rest ANYONE!

As for the three MVP candidates, Cabrera and Fielder have started every game. Verlander has started 3 of the first 10 games. Why even bring them up? It does your argument no good. 

Two weeks in, it looks as if nothing has changed when it comes to how he will run the Tigers.

Good. They won the division last year.

Some might say look at what he did last year. When I look at last year, I see the 10-15 games he gave away, like he usually does each year.

10 to 15 games he gave away last year?

/does math

So you’re saying if Leyland weren’t around, the Tigers would have won 105 to 110 games last year?
I’m done. I just…I just can’t deal with this idiocy. There’s more to the piece, but it’s basically him repeating himself over and over. Like the second-rate, dickbag sports talk host he is. Roadkill understands baseball more than Bill Simonson.

Bow down to the king, folks. He wins. I can’t reason with the unreasonable.

And mLive, fuck you for giving this pile of filth a platform to mislead the baseball fans of Detroit. There are too many talented writers over there that are forced to share space with such a disgrace.


Fielder'sChoice said...

I honestly think this asshole is doing serious damage to the Tigers fanbase. I am hearing more and more people spewing his brand of nonsense under the guise of "Tigers fan." People can't seem to be happy or excited about the impressive team in front of them. They have to bitch about something.
One of the main reasons I have always hated the Yankees is their spoiled, arrogant fanbase that feeds off of drama and expects everyone in the country to care about their team. I'm starting to see some similarities in the Tigers "fans"...and it terrifies me.

Quietadah said...

This is exactly what we've been complaining about in my house since the middle of last season.  This is why fans are booing their own players when they do something wrong, or are struggling, even when we're leading the division in a commanding way.  It happened last year, over and over, and it made me sick.  My husband said the other day that "I love this team, but I'm starting to hate our fans".  Word.

Quietadah said...

"I want to know what he sees in Schlereth."

Maybe he remembers that Schlereth had an excellent ERA through the end of last year?  Remember that, Bill?


Guitarin_goalie said...

A "3 facepalm" piece.  That says it all.

ChaunceyD said...

I watched the replay of the game this morning from last night (tuesday's game against Chen) and I could not beleive it when I heard Rex Hudler, the TV color man for the Royals say something along the lines of: "I spoke to Jim Leyland before the game. He told me that he manages by his gut, even if it means sitting some players when they are hot, or not trying to avoid lefty/righty matchups. If he doesn't manage that way, by his gut, then all he is doing is what the media and fans want him to do." That is almost exactly what Hudler reported that Leyladn said. It was in response to Santiago playing short.  Not that I agree with any Troll Kings, just wanted to let you know what was reported. So at least Leyland has heard the criticism!

"Tiger Fan" said...

It terrifies you? The hyperbolic excess of a typical fan I hope? If not, I suggest opening the newspaper to a section other than the sports page every once in a while. Expose yourself to some of the things in the world that should actually inspire fear. There's no shortage of such things, and  concern over the constitution of your favorite team's fan base doesn't come close to making the cut.

Also, I assume that placing the word fans in quotes, indicates your belief that there are real fans (you) and phony fans (everyone who has a different approach to pulling for their favorite team). I contend that there isn't a right way to root for the home team. Everyone is different and everyone has a right to be a fan in whatever way they choose. It's interesting to me that the fans who most abhor negativity from other fans, are those who most often express apoplectic, negative opinions of the state of the fan base--to the point of needing to draw holy-war lines in the sand between us (the just!the right!) and them (the moronic heretics ruining the game!).

If people want to lose their minds and throw shit across their living room every time Raburn strikes out or to concoct crazy love-triangle scenarios to explain his and Inge's playing time, they should have the space to do so. Obviously if characters like Huge are so offensive, I suggest turning the dial to something more in line with your sensibilities. Their existence doesn't threaten the game, the fan-base as a whole, nor is it cause for such negativity.

Jfj8ww said...

So if you're suggesting he start "turning the dial to something more in line with [his] sensibilities," why don't you do the same and bugger off?  You do realize you sound like the biggest hypocrite blow hard on the internet right now, don't you? (Go ahead, call me out on my hyperbole.)

If "characters" such as fielder's choice are so offensive to you (and obviously they are), then why don't you not visit the website, or at least not feel compelled to read and respond to the comments.

Lay off, bro.

Fielder'sChoice said...

 Ok, it doesn't terrify me. It worries me.

As for the rest of your post, I feel you are attempting to bait me into an some sort of argument about the legitimacy of fandom. Here is my retort:

Get fucked with a frozen flagpole. You've come to the wrong place for witty banter.

JRBlue said...

Spot on.  I hope you took as much pleasure in writing this as I did reading it.  That was high octane catharsis.  Simonson demon: exorcised.

Tim Cragg said...

The problem with Reliever ERA is that it doesn't account for letting inherited runners score, and while I'm too lazy to actually look it up I remember Schlereth letting a lot of inherited runners score. However I could be talking out of my ass.

Ricklehman said...

Hey Rogo, Wasn't Simonson fired from a Tulsa radio station for making racist remarks?  His resume speaks for itself, he's an idiot, and a legend in his own mind.  Good article.

Quietadah said...

Definitely true.  I'm too lazy to look it up right now, too, but that's an excellent point. 

Grath said...

 *Begins cheesy 80's movie slow clap.*

Starliter79 said...

Im not a Huge fan at all but he is right about Schlereth, Inge and Raburn. Im not looking for all stars to replace them. I want guys that are at least average. Schlereth: 5 innings pitched this season, 7 runs, 11 hits and a 12.60 ERA and
that's after the league changed a ruling that changed 3 earned runs to
unearned runs in Chicago. Raburn batting .065 after playing every game this season til tonight. Jim Abbot played better defense than Raburn! Inge just sucks at all his stats. Give me a break. None of these 3 should be on any team in MLB period!

Anonymous said...

He's baaaaaaaaaack! Such drivel this morning. Can't wait to see you trash this one!

Matt Sussman said...


NathanielSimon said...

Thank you!....
For Sale