Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bill Simonson is an Idiot, Volume 185

After a break from complaining about the Tigers, probably because they were playing well, Bill Simonson is back with his latest offering of the finest in babbling nonsense one can find concerning the Detroit Tigers.

It is titled “Detroit Tigers must consider trades to upgrade, make run at AL Central and World Series”. Catchy, huh? This was chosen over the initial headline of “Ryan Raburn is a doodiehead and let’s talk about unrealistic trades that won’t happen”.

Deep breath, all…

I think the Detroit Tigers are in the middle of that run we all have been waiting for.

A run of games against the Twins and Royals? True. I always look forward to that. But technically, they just ended it.

Here, at the All-Star break, they sit two games over .500 and 3 1/2 games behind the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.

How is this possible? I was led to believe by this author that such a thing would be impossible with Jim Leyland at the helm.

Outside of Jim Leyland’s blind loyalty to Ryan Raburn and his .170 average, the cranky clubhouse leader seems to be running out his best lineup lately.

It’s amazing what can happen when half your roster isn’t on the DL or standing in line to be duct taped together by Kevin Rand.

I will say, watching Quintin Berry sit two games in a row last week 00

00? Is Bill being idiotic in binary code now?

as Raburn played -- gave me a couple of Jim Leyland-induced brain seizures. Most of you know what I’m talking about.

True. This is written on mLive.

However, what you fail to mention is the fact that those two games were against left-handed starters, who Berry has somehow struggled mightily against, despite being 95% composed of grit, unicorn hearts, and rainbows.

Raburn has struggled this year, to put it mildly. But for his career (including 2012), he has an OPS of .805 vs lefties, over a hundred points higher than against right-handers. He has six more career homers against southpaws in 275 less at bats. Plus, though few will realize it, Raburn is a better defensive outfielder than Berry. He takes better routes and has a cannon for an arm.

If Raburn is going to be on this team, starting in the outfield against lefties is the best place for him.

It goes like this: You see Raburn in the Tigers lineup and your blood begins to boil.

This is what irks me. You know how if you go to the grocery store and are gone for 45 minutes and when you return, your dog is jumping down all happy like you’ve been gone for days? That’s because dogs are dumb and have no concept of time. This seems to apply to many Tiger fans this year, too.

Ryan Raburn has been awful this season. This shouldn’t be a surprise. For his career, he’s a career .215/.273/.367 hitter in the first half. In the second, he’s a much better .300/.351/.497 batter. The past three seasons overall, he’s hit .291, .280, and .256 with 16, 15, and 14 homers in limited playing time. That is pretty good and exactly what you want out of a part-time, cheap player like Raburn.

But in 54 games and 190 plate appearances, all before the All-Star break, everyone wants to overlook the track record, call him a worthless piece of shit, and boo him every time he comes out of the dugout. Like we haven’t all seen this from him the past three years.

Blows my mind. If the guy had zero track record of hitting, I’d get it. But he does this every year, comes up with huge hits down the stretch, and everyone forgets about it ten minutes later. Why is everyone's brain made of the same materials as an Etch-a-Sketch?

Remember September 3, 2011? Doubtful. But I do. The Tigers were down 8-1 early to the White Sox and Raburn hit the 2-run, game tying home run in the ninth to set up a Cabrera walkoff. One of the best games I’ve ever seen. But, no. “RAYBURN SUX.” “Boooooooooo!” “Shoulda kept Inge LOL”. Fuck.

I understand that many of you hate Raburn. Myself, I can’t stand Kelly or Boesch. We all have our favorites and our whipping boys. But every player has their plusses and minuses. It’s just silly to pretend otherwise. Not everyone can be as good as Miguel Cabrera.

You then watch him hit into what seems like 19 double plays and boot three routine balls at second base.

I get that you’re being dramatic, but Raburn has only hit into 6 double plays and has just 3 errors at second all season. In just five more plate appearances, Ramon Santiago has hit into 5 double plays and has 4 errors himself.

Also, wasn’t your complaint about Raburn playing in the outfield over Berry? Now you’re bitching about him playing second. And isn’t the title of this piece something to do with making a trade? Not “Ryan Raburn is the Anti-Christ”?

Then, Leyland praises him after the game, and you’re left screaming at your television.

A reoccurring theme with Huge is him getting mad at Leyland for not throwing his players under the bus. I’ve never quite understood this one. Is this the scenario you’d prefer?

/Raburn goes 0-4 with an error
SHANNON HOGAN: Jim, Raburn had a tough game today. Care to comment?
JIM LEYLAND: He’s a piece of shit. I pray every day that a bus runs him over so we never have to see him again. Also, I’d like to add that I’m senile and this team should be run by a hack sports talk asshole.

I have no problem with Raburn playing the outfield or DH'ing when he is hitting the baseball. What I can’t understand is how Raburn still gets time instead of Berry and Brennan Boesch.

What I can’t understand is how you can say Berry and Boesch aren’t getting playing time. Raburn got some starts against lefty pitchers. But he has only played in 54 games this year. Berry has played in 42, despite not being called up until May 23rd. And Boesch, despite being terrible himself, has played in 79 games, more than anyone on the team other than Prince and Cabrera.

Bill, you’re a liar and a nutjob.

One guy won’t kill a team, but he will hurt you in games when runs are tough to come by.

Like Quintin Berry’s repeated brain farts on the basepaths? Or his terrible judgment on balls hit toward him?

Look, I like Berry. And I've enjoyed watching him. But to insinuate that he’s been flawless out there is just plain ignorant and/or misleading. Raburn, Boesch, Berry, and Santiago are all flawed ballplayers. Sometimes you’ll get lucky by starting them. Sometimes you won’t. But until there are better options, Jim Leyland is going to have to hope he guesses right with his lineup.

Leyland then seemed to hear my screams, and Berry helped kick-start a five-game win streak before the break.

Wrong again. In the current five game streak, Berry only played in four, and started just three. He want 4/12 with 2 RBI, 2 runs scored, and 4 strikeouts. .333 is great, but don’t overstate his contributions.

In the same stretch of games, Prince Fielder went 5/17 (.295) with 3 HR and 10 RBI. Austin Jackson went 10/22 (.455) with 3 extra base hits and 6 runs scored. Miguel Cabrera went 8/18 (.445) with 4 extra base hits. Even Delmon Young went 7/18 (.389) with 4 HR and 6 RBI.

To credit Berry for the streak is mind-boggling.

Berry’s glove, speed, energy and numbers are so much better than Raburn.

Tigers by Energy Quotient*

Berry: 11.2 (second best on team behind Coke)

Raburn: -1.6 (second worst on team ahead of Delmon)

(*This stat doesn’t exist.)

Also, Quintin Berry sucks in the outfield. Leaping catches after he completely blows his route to the ball aren’t the same as Austin Jackson’s leaping catches at the fence. Raburn has the occasional brain fart in the outfield, but overall the guy is pretty good out there, especially when you consider the alternatives currently on the roster. But everyone just focuses on the negative with him.

Did Raburn pull a Sandusky at some point that I didn’t hear about? The hate the man gets is unreal. Part of me hopes he goes to Oakland and hits a couple grand slams off of Tiger pitching.

Boesch is a streaky hitter who needs the at-bats when he is on a roll.

Define “on a roll”. Boesch goes up and hacks at everything. If we’re lucky, his long, slow swing actually makes contact. And he’s worse than anyone other than Delmon on defense out there.

What is obvious to everyone this season is Raburn and Don Kelly aren’t getting it done.

Shit, NOW Don Kelly isn’t getting it done? Really, Larry the Cable Guy? Where have you been the past couple years?

Kelly is doing what he always does. He hits like a blind elderly woman while playing capable defense everywhere on the field. What did you expect from Don Kelly? Kelly isn’t the problem this year.

/realizes Huge made me defend Don Kelly
/takes long, hot shower

Ramon Santiago has earned the everyday second baseman job.

.230/.304/.316/.620, OPS+ of 70, -0.2 WAR, .01 Defensive WAR.


He is strong enough to handle playing every day the next two years.

Obviously. To the undeniably insane.

Austin Jackson’s return to the lineup, coupled with Berry’s splash in Motown, is the reason the Tigers finally have some mojo on Leyland’s lineup card.

Again with the mojo, Simonson’s new 2012 catchphrase.

Never mind the continued excellence of Miguel Cabrera, the recent power surges of Prince Fielder and Delmon Young, the improved starting pitching, and the shutdown bullpen.

Or playing the Twins and fucking Royals.

I like the look of this team right now, outside of Raburn and Kelly. One of these guys will be off the roster when Andy Dirks heals from his Achilles injury.

Or the just returning to the team Danny Worth. Probably Danny Worth. (Huge forgot about Danny Worth.)

I think the other guy is out by the end of the month when the Tigers deal for a power bat from the right side who also can play the corner positions in the outfield -- Carlos Quentin or Justin Upton.

Carlos Quentin plays the outfield corner position about as well as a golden retriever can play a tuba.

The Tigers also need the insurance of a veteran starter in the rotation just for protection down the stretch; someone to do what Doug Fister did for this team in the final two months of 2011.

How about Doug Fister for that spot? He’s at the equivalent of finishing Spring Training now.

The Chicago Cubs’ Matt Garza would be a guy I would deal for in a heartbeat. The starting rotation must be stronger for the Tigers to win a playoff series if they get there.

Okay. If you’re willing to pay the huge price that Theo wants for him.

Garza for Rick Porcello and a minor league pitcher is a deal I wouldn’t think twice about.
You’re insane. With the added Wild Card spot this year, there are an excess of buyers and very few sellers. The Cubs are going to ask for the world to get Garza. And they’ll probably get it from someone. While Porcello is still very young, he has been a minor disappointment thus far in Detroit. His WHIP is nearly 1.60 this year. Unless the unnamed minor leaguer you suggest is Jacob Turner wearing Nick Castellanos as a backpack, there is no way in hell Theo would even consider that.

I trust Tigers president Dave Dombrowski to do what is necessary. He sees what Kevin Youkilis has meant to the Chicago White Sox. Maybe Quentin or Upton will be that guy for the Tigers by the end of July. You might move Boesch and a minor league pitcher and catcher for either guy.

Again, San Diego has several teams foaming at the mouth over Carlos Quentin’s bat. Offering them an inconsistent mess like Boesch with your fictional minor leaguers would get you laughed at. And to get Upton from Arizona will cost you twice as much. Not to mention, Upton has Detroit on his no-trade list and has ZERO interest in coming here.

Fuck it. Let's go the Huge route. Boesch and two fictional players for Quentin. Raburn and three unnamed minor leaguers for McCutchen. We'll give Kelly and the Easter Bunny to Texas for Kinsler. And just for fun, we'll deal Cale Iorg and the missing FSD Girl to Miami for Hanley Ramirez. IT'S JUST THAT EASY.

I’d take the veteran over Boesch in a second. That way, Dirks or Berry plays in right field.

I agree on the first part. But I wouldn’t be so sold on unproven guys like Andy and Quintin to man RF on a daily basis. Of course, I’d prefer anyone to Boesch out there.

I think it’s impossible to take Berry out of the everyday lineup right now. Dirks will have a tough time getting at-bats when he comes back until Berry cools off.

Impossible? C'mon, dude. Berry's been a nice surprise, but he's not Barry Bonds. We’ll cross that bridge when Dirks can show he can take five steps without falling down. I think we’re still a ways off.

Delmon Young has started to heat up to the point that he has gone from trade bait to a huge part of this long awaited run to normalcy.

How exactly is a guy with massive off-field issues that wasn’t hitting and can’t play defense considered “trade bait”?

And again, you’re being the dog getting excited when master comes home. Delmon’s been good for four games. If Raburn strings together a solid week, are you going to be anointing him the team’s MVP all of the sudden?

Delmon hit well against the Royals. Awesome. Let’s give him a six year extension.

But I will say, giving Leyland too many lineup options is what buried this team in the first place earlier this year.

/swallows 50 sleeping pills

Fister, Smyly, Valverde, Dotel, Avila, Dirks, Jackson, and Laird were all hurt at various points early in the year. At the same time, Avila, Peralta, Boesch, Young and whoever at second base weren't hitting. I’m pretty sure THAT had a bit more to do with the team’s struggles than Jim Leyland having options.

My gawd, you are everything that is fucking wrong with people that analyze baseball.

Leyland loves to play different lineups like he did with 40 different combinations in the first 51 games.

LEYLAND: Another starter is hurt? Yippie! Time to get Matt Young in the lineup! I’m so happy


The injuries in the past five weeks actually helped this team. It forced Leyland to run out a lot of the same guys, which led to a 19-11 record in their past 30 games.

There are so many flaws to this logic. So many. In fact, I’m getting ice cream headache from them all flooding my mind at the same time. You can’t possibly be serious. With complete, healthy team, Jim Leyland will start his normal lineup the majority of the week. Occasionally, he’ll give a guy a day off, unless they are named Jackson, Cabrera, or Fielder.

I just…fuck. Moving along.

It forced the Tigers to give Berry his first shot in the big leagues. What scares me is that, when you give Leyland too many player options, he over-manages.

There should be a term for writers that, um, over-write? Or is it under-write? You use such idiotic logic to draw your insane conclusions that I can’t believe you’re capable of tying your own shoes each day.

And what is scarier are the people in the mLive comments to this piece that are praising Simonson for having the courage to “tell it like it is”.

The Quentin/Upton and Garza moves are the veterans that would put the Tigers over the top in the American League.

And they’d be so simple to do! Other teams are jumping at the bit to deal their stars for struggling Tigers! What’s wrong with Dombrowski? Just do it, man!

With Victor Martinez looking like he isn’t coming back this season, they need a guy like Quentin.

Another guy to be on the DL?

Kidding, I want Quentin as our DH over Delmon. But his game and Victor’s game are completely different.

Upton gives them more speed.

And another $6.75 million in payroll this year. And $9.75 million next year. And $14.25 million in 2014. And $14.5 million in 2015. And HE DOESN’T WANT TO COME TO FUCKING DETROIT TO THE POINT THAT IT’S WRITTIN IN HIS GOD DAMNED CONTRACT!

(EDIT: A week later, it has come out that Detroit is not on Upton's current no-trade list. The report that they were was based on a prior year's no-trade clause. However, I stand by the statement that Upton is a bad idea in Detroit.)
The only Upton coming to Detroit is Kate. Although with that particular Upton, a BJ is possible.


I think a change of scenery, a pennant race and the middle of that Tigers lineup can crank up their 2012 numbers.

Is this a real sentence? Fuck it, I’m so done with this one.

People, quit comparing Simonson to Skip Bayless. Skip actually makes a good point from time to time. Bill here is the worst of the worst and it's getting to the point where it's not funny anymore. Because people are starting to believe what he says.


Robeartoe said...

amen Rogo   I can't stand to read that dumb SOB without you calling it straight thanks

Nick Papageorgio...from Yuma said...

I agree with almost everything you wrote, however the national consensus is that Huge is in fact a DB - not an idiot.

Jmakula87 said...

Well written. Reading this was a great way to start off my day. 

Rings said...

I never bother reading Huge. I just wait for the Rogo-rebuttal. Gold.

Justin Wiedle said...


H2OPoloPunk said...


Jay Hathaway said...

"The only Upton coming to Detroit is Kate. Although with that particular Upton, a BJ is possible."  Ahhhhh, I see what you did there.  Very clever.

Quentin would be a nice bat, but I don't trust his health record.  As I stated in a previous comment, if we're really gonna go for broke with a blockbuster deal, I'd go with Victorino.  You get a switch-hitter with excellent speed and a fair amount of power, and not to mention fantastic defense.  He would be a nice complement to Ajax in the OF.

SeanJE said...

He's the Fox News of Detroit sports writers.

ImperialStout said...

I feel like we would drink well together, Rogo.

Mike Hunt said...

You think you're so smart about baseball. I can't understand why you want an automatic out like Raburn in the lineup. Ok, great, Raburn's track record is that eh gets hot int he 2nd half. But, to do nothing in the first half is not acceptable. He needs to go. And yes, Boesch and Kelly need to go too. They would not be missed. And stop rooting for non-Detroit teams in other sports!

Ricklehman said...

What I feel sorry for, is all the folks that like Huge, and actually agree with him.

Seymour Butts said...

 You didn't support your arguments with facts or statistics.  Bill?  Is that you?  Something about that sentence structure seems remarkably familiar...

Ryan Healy said...

I think the snark train missed out here...either that, or it's maybe not  wise to engage in discourse with "Mike Hunt."


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