Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hmm...Whom Can I Vent On? Aha!

Much like all Tiger fans, I'm still upset about the other day. I've tried to move on, but to play a game like that and be on the losing end after leading most of the season...I just want to kill someone. If only there was some horrible, evil person that we could all agree deserves our hatred. If only there were some sort of person that just the mention of his name sparked curse words out of the mouths of even the nicest of Detroiters. If only there was a guy that just the sight of his mug made people want to throw things and scream in protest.

Thank goodness for Drew Sharp! Let the pointless anger on my part begin. From the Freep.

The angry want answers or, more specifically, a scapegoat to bear the blemish of the first team in major league history to lose a three-game, first-place lead with four games remaining.

F'n A right, Drew! Fire Leyland!

Jim Leyland isn't that man.

Damn! Fire...Kwan?

He'll take the bullet because that's his personality, but firing him isn't the solution.

Good call! Let's string his ass up! Or maybe hide his smokes! Maybe, we can force him to read a years worth of Drew Sharp articles?

This was the best managerial work of Leyland's career,

86-77 in the worst division in baseball...playing mostly against the horrible teams of the AL Central. Okay. Much better than going 95-67 with the Pirates in '90. Much better than going 96-66 with Pittsburgh in '92. And 95-67 in Detroit in '06? World Series? Ooh...there was that World Series title he won in 1997 in Florida. Ring a bell? Naw. This year was much better.

considering the Tigers' ultimately fatal structural flaws -- the inability to bring runners home with less than two outs and poor corner outfield defense.

Those things sound like something a good manager would have his coaching staff work with a team on. Hitting fly balls, improving defense...

Despite those obvious imperfections, the Tigers almost got away with stealing a divisional championship.

Nice, Drew. Accuse someone in Detroit of stealing something. No wonder people don't like you.

You can't go from American League manager of the year one second to the managerial unemployment line the next.

Mumbles McMarlboro won the award three years ago. Hardly a second. But since you brought it up, Tony LaRussa won it in '83 and was fired in '86. John McNamara won it in '86 and was fired in '88. Jim's buddy, Gene LaMont, won it in '93 and was let go in '95 by Chicago. Buck Showalter won it in '94...fired in '96. Davey Johnson won in '97 and was let go after the season. Same with Joe Girardi in '06. Jimy Williams in '99? Fired in '01. Tony Pena in '03? Pink slip in '05. Eric Wedge was fired the other day after winning the award in '07. My point? You are an idiot.

There's always second-guessing.

Freep Editor: We really let this guy have a job still?

Why did he rest Placido Polanco in the Tigers' first potential clincher against Minnesota last Thursday?

Santiago was 6-12 in his career against Scott Baker while Polly had a career average of .212 in 33 at bats against him...that would be my guess.

Why did he pass on pitching Rick Porcello last Saturday against Chicago?

Short rest...don't want to take chances with his arm. Pretty sure on that one.

Why did he let an obviously tiring Fernando Rodney pitch the 12th inning Tuesday night?

Alzheimers? Lack of faith in his bullpen at the worst time? Was on a smoke break at a critical moment? No, I agree with the Rodney question. There's no defending that one, in my opinion. But instead of the first two questions, try these. Why the quick hook on Porcello after he started brilliantly? Why not pinch hit for Gerald Laird with the bases loaded and Laird having his worst offensive game of the season? (and that's saying a lot) Why not argue the Inge call more and get an appeal from another umpire? Why Zach Miner over Brandon Lyon when yanking Kid Rick?

But frustration compromises common sense, and people easily forget the half-dozen managerial decisions every game that allowed a deficient team like the Tigers to remain in the playoff discussion as long as they did.

The Tigers were in the playoff discussion because they play in a divison where three of the five teams threw in the towel two months ago. Worst division in baseball. We covered this.

And if the Tigers overreact and make a change, exactly where do they go for a replacement?

Bobby Valentine. Buck Showalter. Rod Marinelli. I dunno. Like it matters. Sometimes, you just need a new voice shouting orders. Terry Francona hadn't won a damn thing before becoming the greatest manager in Red Sox history. Hell, give Trammell another shot...this time with MLB players instead of a AA squad. At least his team won games the last week of the season.

How many World Series-winning, multiple-playoff-experienced managers are out there looking for something to do?

Ask Davey Johnson what he's up to. I'm sure there's others. Already getting bored with you...don't wanna look it up. You don't look anything up. Why should I?

Leyland remains the right voice for what will remain a heavily veteran-laden team in 2010.

If veterans like hearing mumbling and a hacking cough, then I guess you're right.

The Tigers will likely still have one of the top 10 highest payrolls in baseball next season, considering they're now stuck with Magglio OrdoƱez's $18-million contract after a season in which he only hit nine home runs and drove in merely 50 runs.

Yeah, Magglio. You dick. You spent the start of the season worried that you wife was going to die. Then the media crucified you and wanted you cut from the team after all you've done for the Tigers. After that in the second half through October 2nd (thanks for the stats, Blake), all you did was hit .359 (.411 in the last 28 days) and have a OPS+ of 146. Then, you hit homers in the last two games, including a game tying one against the Twins in Game 163. Eff YOU, Magglio!

The Tigers must sign Justin Verlander to a lucrative contract extension this winter because he's now only two years away from free agency.

So...we don't have to sign him just yet? Technically, we could wait. Or pull a Cliff Lee deal with him if he looks like he's going to want a crapload of money.

That could cost Mike Ilitch another $18 million annually.

That depends on Justin and the market, I think. If he wants to stay, he'll take a discount. No one's going to be looking to empty the bank vault other than the Yanks and Sawx, of course. And plus, JV was miserable in '08. He's only had one awesome year. I'm not taking a dump on the guy, JV's a cyborg that I love, but will he command top dollar? Here's guys that have better resumes over longer tenures than Justin (arguably) and their 2010 salaries.

Roy Halladay: $15.75 mil.
CC Sabathia: $23 mil.
AJ Burnett: $16.5 mil.
Johan Santana: $21 mil.
Josh Beckett: $12 mil.
Dan Haren: $8.25 mil.
Brandon Webb: $8.5 mil.
Jake Peavy: $10 mil.
Mark Buehrle: $14 mil.

So, yeah, Pizza Pizza is going to have to pay some cash, but does he really command Sabathia cash from a non-New York team?

And they're still on the hook for $34.5 million next season for Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis -- three starters from whom they got next to nothing this season.

Fire Dombrowski!

You don't trust a managerial novice with such potential conflicts.

Dumbest thing you've said so far. What do the salaries of the players have to do with the manager? Double D is the GM. That's his problem.

Nobody wants to hear this right now, the wounds are still too fresh, but this wasn't a choke.

I want to choke you.

The 2004 New York Yankees who had a 3-0 lead against their supposedly cursed nemesis, Boston, lost four straight for the first time ever in baseball postseason history. That was a choke, a very good team that couldn't perform at its previously high level.

3 games up with 4 to go. That's a choke. What the Yankees did. But not what the Tigers did. You lost me, big guy.

This was more like a collapse, an average team playing over its mediocrity for so long that it couldn't bear the weight of its own limitations in the final two weeks.

A bit dramatic, aren't you? Like suddenly, the weight of the city caused 25 guys to forget how to play baseball. Even drove their best player to the bottle...

There will be the requisite national pity following this latest disappointment,

No. The media has already forgotten. The Yanks and Sawx are still playing! And did you see that BRETT FAVRE?!?

another opportunity for the country to sigh "Oh, woe is Detroit."

You're the one that accused them of trying to "steal" something...

But if anything, Detroit will remember 2009 as one of its most thrilling, most compelling sports campaigns ever.

How 'bout those Lions? Um...Pistons? That barely .500 Tigers team? Do the Shock still play here?

There were no parades, no ultimate championships.

UFC. That's what Detroit needs. Kimbo Slice vs. the Eat Em Up Tigers guy.

But Michigan State fighting for the national championship in its own backyard, the Wings hosting Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals and the Tigers providing everyone with a delightful summer should convince even the most perplexed that the city was pretty fortunate this year.

All of your teams keep coming up short, Detroit. Be happy. And get a job. Quit stealing things.

That should inevitably soothe the anger.

Die in a fire, Drew Sharp.

There. I feel a little bit better. Thanks, Drew. Keep up the good work.

1 comment:

Curly said...

It was 41 years ago today (4:06 pm EDT), that Tim McCarver popped up to end this perfect World Series. I was in the TV room of my dorm at Oakland University, and remember every play. At the beginning of the Series, God had said to Mickey Lolich, “You’ve got one week, son. Enjoy.” Hitting home runs, picking off two of the best base-runners in the National League and, oh yes, three complete game victories, which, thanks to pitch counts and closers, we’ll never see again.
Forty-one years later to the day, we don’t even know who’s going to be in this year’s World Series. The 1968 Tigers had won it and were flying back to Detroit at this point. What we do know is that it will be played at night, using designated hitters and men wearing batting gloves. If the Yankees and the Dodgers, having the best records in their respective leagues, don’t make it to the World Series, it won’t even be a legitimate Series.
The ‘68 Series was the last one before that other abberration, divisional play, came into being. In this era of personalities, emotionalism, choreographed celebrations, and meaningless tributes, something’s missing. (We’ve gone from the President throwing out the first pitch, once, at the beginning of the year, to half a dozen kids throwing them out at every game.) Go back and look at the 1968 World Series, when it was done right.