The Detroit Tigers Podcast #123: The Fake Gary Sheffield Twitter Account

DetroitTigersPodcastAlbum.jpgWelcome to The Detroit Tigers Podcast. This is Episode #123, a 70-minute podcast about the Detroit Tigers recorded live from Scottsdale, Ariz., and Asheville, N.C.

In this episode we touch on:

…and much more.

Show Notes

Links to articles and items referenced in this episode:

Download the audio file or grab the RSS feed here.

Comments?

Leave a message on the listener line: (602) 903-5174. Or, reach us on Twitter: @TigersPodcast

We’ve also got a growing Facebook community: www.facebook.com/TigersPodcast

Reach the hosts via:

Theme music for the podcast produced by Paul Minshall.


The Detroit Tigers Podcast is not affiliated in any way with the Detroit Tigers Baseball Club or Major League Baseball.

Cabrera Victim of Circumstance in MVP Race

Who are we kidding? Miguel Cabrera is not winning the American League Most Valuable Player Award.
CabreraHead.jpg
And it’s not because of anything he has or hasn’t done.

In any other year Cabrera’s story of redemption would be a much bigger story. It’s just that this year Josh Hamilton‘s road to redemption will likely be more appealing top voters given the obstacles he’s overcome and the fact he’s playing on what’s assuredly a playoff team.

Hamilton, who’s still nursing sore ribs after running into an outfield wall in Minnesota on Sept. 5, has eye-popping stats: a major-league best .361 average, 31 home runs, 97 RBI and a 1.049 OPS.

[callout title=Tigers Often Fall Short of MVP]
Of course, this isn’t the first time a Tigers player has been the victim of the voters’ love affair with players on winning teams.

In 2007, Magglio Ordonez lost out to Alex Rodriguez, and in 1990 and ’91, Cecil Fielder lost out to Rickey Henderson and Cal Ripken, respectively.

The most egregious example of the a Tigers player falling short of the MVP award was in 1987 when Alan Trammell did everything right: hit for average, hit for power, played clutch baseball down the stretch and led his team to a division title.

But it still wasn’t enough.

Toronto’s George Bell — who went 1 for 11 against the Tigers in a division-deciding, final-weekend series — won the award. (You can read the post from 2007 in which I wrote about this, here.)[/callout]

Cabrera, as we know, is putting together a year for the ages himself: .333 average, 34 homers, 116 RBI and a 1.052 OPS.

Consider this, though: Cabrera has 30 intentional walks this season, the most in the majors. Hamilton? Five.

What would Cabrera’s stats look like if he’d had the protection of Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen and a more consistent Brennan Boesch all season long? Would it be enough to tack 30 points on Cabrera’s average? Doubt it.

Still, Hamilton has the protection of guys like Vladimir Guerrero, Michael Young, Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler. That has to account for something … maybe a lot.

The big difference between these guys is one number: 9.

That’s the number of wins the Rangers have over the Tigers at the start of play today. Which means that even though writers cast their votes for awards before the postseason begins, Hamilton will be playing in October and whereas Cabrera will not.

Miguel Cabrera can mount a challenge to Hamilton over the next three weeks but it likely won’t change the minds of voters who see Hamilton’s stats, triumphant personal story and winning team as irresistible.

I hope I’m wrong.

What do you think?

Two for Tuesday: Damon Decisions, Ordonez Operations

Thoughts on the news out of Comerica Park today:

  1. Damon.jpgJohnny Damon. I don’t care that the Tigers are going nowhere this season, Damon has been a good soldier for the Tigers and, based on what we read, he’s provided clubhouse leadership and mentorship for a youthful team. As of this writing, the Tigers are running roughshod over the Royals and likely to return to the .500 mark. With Damon’s decision to stay, he makes the Tigers a better team by his mere presence if not his on-field production. Right now we can only hope that this once-promising season ends with the Tigers north of .500 and they have a much better chance of achieving it with number 18 in the lineup.

  2. OrdonezHead.jpgMagglio Ordonez. Over the past week the Tigers have been hinting that we might not see him again this season given the stubbornness of his healing ankle. This afternoon we learned that he’s having surgery in Los Angeles and indeed won’t return in 2010. And that flat-out stinks. Ordonez deserves a much better send off from Tigers fans than the one he received as he was helped off the field after fracturing his right ankle on July 25. I, for one, would like to see him back next season on a one-year deal. Given the choice between Ordonez and Carlos Guillen at designated hitter, I’d much rather have Magglio. (You can weigh in on our latest Flash Poll and let us know if you think the Tigers will bring Ordonez back in 2011.)

By the way, today’s the 54th birthday of former heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney.

Welcome to Chaos Manor

scared-help.jpgAbout 36 hours before the Tigers game ended last night, Ian and I were interviewing Lynn Henning of The Detroit News for episode 119 of the podcast.

During the conversation, I mentioned that the Magglio Ordonez contract has really worked out well for the Tigers and, on the other end of the contract-karma spectrum, Carlos Guillen appears to be aging before our eyes. And we all agreed that Ordonez has turned out to be a good deal for the Tigers and that, well, poor Guillen’s knees just won’t allow him to age gracefully.

Little did we know.

In the span of three innings Saturday night their season at worst crumbled completely or, at best, their offense got dramatically retooled. After two consecutive victories, Tigers fans seemed to have come down off the ledge and were ready for a meaningful August — and quite possibly, September. Now, who knows?

The short-term fix, as you’ve already learned, includes infielder Will Rhymes and the now-versatile Jeff Larish. Both were part of the Tigers’ Arizona Fall League contingent in 2008, so it’s time to see if they really are the top prospects we’ve heard about.

My gut is telling me that this season is now effectively over. As Tony Paul writes in the News this morning, the Tigers now have too many holes to fill and Dan Haren, Ted Lilly, Stephen Drew, simply aren’t enough spackle — no matter how good they are.

No one wants to concede the division to the Twins or, God forbid, the White Sox on July 25. But after sifting through the wreckage from Saturday night, how can we believe the Tigers will be a factor in this race?

I’d like to be surprised, but I think the focus of this team has become, all of a sudden, 2011.

Checking in on Carlos Guillen’s Move to Second Base

GuillenHead.jpgIt’s been two months since the Tigers announced that Carlos Guillen, not rookie Scott Sizemore, would be the Tigers’ second baseman in 2010.

Who at the time would’ve guessed that the brittle Guillen could stay healthy for two months and regain his status as a productive member of the Tigers’ lineup?

But let’s be honest: the concern wasn’t Guillen’s offense, it was the defense. How many ground balls would he, could he, get to…without pulling a hamstring? Could he turn the double play with Adam Everett (and now Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth)? The answer to all those appears to be yes.

Let’s see if the numbers bear it out.

Continue reading Checking in on Carlos Guillen’s Move to Second Base

Weekend Wrap: 67% Satisfaction

NotebookXSmall.jpgIt was the best we could hope for, two of three from the Twins. Would it be greedy to have hoped for a sweep on Sunday?

In theory, no.

In reality, with the seemingly unbeatable Carl Pavano on the mound, the answer is a begrudging yes.

But who would have guessed, though, that the Tigers would take the first two games of the weekend series and still slip into second place? White Sox GM Kenny Williams? Probably.

And so here we are at the All-Star Break and the Tigers are an eyelash out of first place — and with a bit of breathing room between themselves and the Twins.

All things considered, not too bad.

Friday: Tigers 7 – Twins 3

Friday night’s game was the marquee matchup, Justin Verlander versus Francisco Liriano, and Verlander was at times excellent and baffling — 103 pitches in 5-1/3 innings? Yikes — and the offense, as the 7-4 score would indicate, was paced by Magglio Ordonez, Brennan Boesch and Carlos Guillen who went a combined 7 for 11.

After the game Jim Leyland blasted holes through the Rick Porcello trade rumorette — Jon Paul Morosi speculated that Porcello’s pushed-back start could be viewed as a showcase for a trade partner. Perhaps Morosi got a little too close to the truth and the Tigers wanted to respond? I’m thinking we haven’t heard the last of this story.

Continue reading Weekend Wrap: 67% Satisfaction

Game 70 Recap: Tigers Knuckle Under

AP

The Detroit Tigers turned in another dud of a performance tonight, falling to the New York Mets 5-0 at Citi Field tonight.

The Mets veteran right-hander R.A. Dickey won his sixth start (6-0) in seven tries, throwing eight scoreless innings, allowing just four hits.  Dickey retired the final 13 batters he faced.

Jeremy Bonderman pitched another strong game, perhaps becoming the most consistent starter.  Bondo allowed just two earned runs before departing, but was on the hook for two more when he was relieved by Joel Zumaya and Phil Coke. His final line: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.

The Tigers had an opportunity in the first inning when they loaded the bases with two outs. Carlos Guillen ended the threat when he grounded out harmlessly to second.

After the first, the Tigers failed to get anything going offensively against a seemingly pedestrian Dickey knuckleball. They are not the only ones to struggle against Dickey, however, as he lowered his ERA to 2.33.

Continue reading Game 70 Recap: Tigers Knuckle Under

Tigers Today: June 21, 2010

Tigers’ Record:

38-30, 2nd place; 1.5 GB of Minnesota

Tomorrow’s Game

Tigers @ Mets | 7:10 p.m. ET – Citi Field | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Justin Verlander (8-4, 3.54 ERA) vs. LHP Jonathon Niese (4-2, 3.64 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 3 – Diamondbacks 1 | Fungo Recap

Continue reading Tigers Today: June 21, 2010

Series Preview: Tigers vs. Diamondbacks

Dbacks.jpgThe Tigers welcome the Diamondbacks to town this weekend and it will be a series dripping with irony and plot lines.

Some will focus on the return of Dontrelle Willis and Edwin Jackson. Others will welcome back D-backs’ bench coach and Tigers legend (at least in my mind) Kirk Gibson.

Still others may peer at Arizona shortstop Stephen Drew and imagine him alongside Carlos Guillen in the Tigers infield.

No matter what your perspective this weekend, the Tigers are entering another series that is winnable, if not sweepable. (Hint: The D-backs are 9-25 on the road this season.)

Continue reading Series Preview: Tigers vs. Diamondbacks