Today’s Tiger: Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson

  • Born: July 6, 1954 in Hollywood, Calif.
  • Bats: Left Throws: Left
  • Height: 6′ 4″ Weight: 200 lb.
  • Acquired: Drafted by the Tigers in the fourth round of the 1975 amateur draft.
  • Seasons in Detroit: 5 (1976-80)
  • Uniform Number: 30
  • Stats: .256 avg., 98 HR, 354 RBI, .779 OPS
  • Awards: Three-time All Star (1977, ’78 and ’82)

JasonThompson.jpg
On May 27, 1980, Tigers GM Jim Campbell traded my favorite player, first baseman Jason Thompson, to the California Angels for outfielder Al Cowens.

The Hollywood native joined the Tigers full time in 1976 and played 123 games that year, hitting .218, with 17 home runs and 54 RBI. Two of the homers cleared the rightfield roof at Tiger Stadium. It was in 1977, though, that he made his mark: .270, 31 homers and 105 RBI — and earned an All Star Game selection.

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Monday Mankowskis: Inge and Peralta More Alike Than You Think

No Tigers baseball for a week, how are you managing? Here in Phoenix we’re prepping for another season of Arizona Fall League action. (More on that later.)

In the meantime, here are some odds and ends from the last week:

  • If you’re still coming to grips with the notion of Brandon Inge and Jhonny Peralta manning the left side of the Tigers’ infield next season, here’s something I noticed that will either make you feel better or worse – and nowhere in between.

    Based on this year’s stats, it appears that Inge and Peralta are practically twins:

    2010 Stats Inge Peralta
    Games 144 148
    At bats 514 551
    Hits 127 137
    Home Runs 13 15
    RBI 70 81
    Average .247 .249
    On-base Percentage .321 .311
    Slugging Percentage .397 .392
    OPS .718 .703

    Of Peralta, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski last Sunday said: “We don’t know what we will do with his ($7.25 million) option, but would like him back next year as our shortstop.”

    I’m like many Tigers fans: skeptical, at best, about Peralta as a full-time shortstop. True, he’ll bring more pop to the position than either Danny Worth or Ramon Santiago. But that’s not saying much, is it? As for his defense, the 2010 edition of Baseball Prospectus described Peralta as “increasingly immobile.”

    Gee, if we wanted an immobile shortstop, why not give the job back to Carlos Guillen?

    Discuss.

    Continue reading “Monday Mankowskis: Inge and Peralta More Alike Than You Think”

Season Series Recap: Tigers vs. White Sox

WhiteSoxLogo.jpgThis is the first in a series of Season Recaps in which we’ll look at how the Tigers fared against division opponents in 2010.

Since the 2000 season, the Tigers are 40 games under .500 against the White Sox. That’s beyond ugly. That’s hideous.

Since Ozzie Guillen arrived in 2004, the Tigers are 19 games under .500. But somehow the Tigers, in this season of uneven play and disappointment, Tigers fans (or, at least this Tigers fan) can rejoice in their winning the season series against the White Sox in 2010, 11 wins and 8 losses.

Detroit eked out a 10-8 record against the Sox — up from 9-9 last season — and were able to play the role of spoiler in the series at Chicago Sept. 17-19, essentially knocking Ozzie’s band of jolly outlaws from playoff contention. Huzzah!

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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.