Wednesday Walewanders: Non-Sequiturs Galore

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Celebrate Nate! I might be the only person in the Tigers Fan Universe looking forward to Robertson’s return to the rotation. Ian?

Today’s Walewanders are fueled by Almighty Blend coffee from Ann Arbor’s Mighty Good Coffee Roasting Co., sent along by the aforementioned Mr. Casselberry.

Continue reading “Wednesday Walewanders: Non-Sequiturs Galore”

The Top 10 Tigers Stories of 2008: #9 – Edgar Renteria Can’t Play

Number 9Sure, it hurt when the Tigers sent Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez to the Braves for Edgar Renteria. There was some — i.e., a tad — concern about Jurrjens’ durability and, well, to get a player of Renteria’s caliber at such a vital position you have to part with some value.

We know how that worked out.

In 2007, Edgar Renteria hit .332 with 12 homers and a .390 on-base percentage. The most glaring part of the Failed Renteria Experiment was his .977 fielding percentage; but that tells only half the story. His fielding percentage was virtually .000 on balls he should’ve had. He and Miguel Cabrera and then Carlos Guillen helped give the Tigers one of the most ineffective left-sides of the infield in the majors.

If not for a strong second-half of the year, Renteria would’ve finished nearly 80 points below his ’07 average. (He batted .254 before the All Star Game, .296 after.)

Now he’s the Giants problem — maybe for two years. For Tigers fans, it only felt like two years that Renteria played in Detroit.

Discuss.

Shortstop Shopping

If the Tigers are dead-set against using Ramon Santiago as their everyday SS in 2009 (and I really don’t understand why they are), what are their options? Well, with Edgar Renteria (thankfully) in San Fran helping Zito form the All-Bust All-Stars, and Khalil Greene going to St. Louis, the field has narrowed a bit.

The trade route could yield Jack Wilson from Pittsburgh, who has to be better than Renteria defensively. But who would he cost the Tigers? At least a mid-level pitching prospect, most likely.

There are some interesting free agent shortstops out there. Rafael Furcal is probably out of the Tigers’ price range. It’d be a hoot to bring in Renteria’s nemesis, Orlando Cabrera, but his range is comparable to Renteria’s and he’s a Type A who’s been offered arbitration, so he’d cost a draft pick.

I’d like to submit a suggestion: Nick Punto. He’s relatively young (31), which gives him an edge over 3/4 of the FA shortstops out there. He’s versatile, having played 3B and 2B for the Twins, as well as SS. He won’t hit a ton, but he’s a solid fielder with good range, and he has played the past five seasons in a Minnesota system that stresses fundamentals and doing the “little things” that win ballgames. And let’s face it, there isn’t enough of that in the Tigers’ current lineup. And whenever Minnesota has one of those maddening water-torture rallies to beat the Tigers, Punto seems to be right in the middle of it.

They could do worse, and have before.

The Monday Report

We waited and waited and waited for news about the Tigers’ shortstop. And after all that waiting, all we get is who the shortstop won’t be next year? Oy vey. Take heart. There’s more to talk about this week:

Dan Schatzeder
Schatzeder, who turns 54 today, pitched for the Tigers in 1980 and '81.
  • On this date in 1961, the Tigers made the only Dec. 1-trade in their history by trading righthanders Bob Bruce and Manny Montejo to the Houston Colt .45s for righty “Toothpick” Sam Jones. (Baseball-Reference.com claims that on Dec. 1, 1955, the Tigers brought back pitcher Virgil Trucks in a trade with the White Sox for third baseman Bubba Phillips. But the Tigers media guide has the trade taking place on Nov. 30. A tie goes to the team media guide.) Something else you likely didn’t know: This was the only trade between the Tigers and the Colt .45s. Now, the Tigers and the Astros, that’s another tale altogether.
  • With the Baseball Winter Meetings just around the bend, Tigers fans can expect (hope?) for some trade or free-agent activity to come out of Las Vegas. In a recent Daily Fungo Pulse Check, 80 readers responded to the question: If the Tigers could address only ONE position this offseason, which would you choose? Here’s the final tally:
    • Premier closer: 44% (35 votes)
    • Starting shortstop: 39% (31)
    • Starting catcher: 18% (14)

    We certainly haven’t heard much about the closer options — at least compared to what we’ve heard about shortstops — and nothing at all, really, about catchers. Should be a fun month. (Be sure to weigh in on our latest poll, shown in the sidebar –>.)

  • I’d finally given up any hope of Jack Morris being voted into the Hall of Fame and then this appears.

Finally, Happy 54th Birthday to Dan Schatzeder, Jim Campbell‘s long-coveted southpaw starter. Traded from Montreal for Ron LeFlore, Schatzeder spent two unremarkable seasons in Detroit: 17-21 and a 5.04 ERA. On Dec. 9, 1981, he was traded with Mike Chris to the Giants for Larry Herndon. Now that’s a better trade.

Catching Up on a Week of News

Catcher.jpgEvery time I sat down to write about a bit of Tigers news in the past five days, another shoe would drop and I’d think “I’ll write about both of those items.” Then another and another, etc.

So, as I wait out this Tigers/White Sox rain delay from bright, sunny Phoenix, it’s time to weigh in on:

  • Todd Jones’s Retirement. The decades-old joke in Detroit is that the most popular person in the city is the Lions’ backup QB and/or the Red Wings’ backup netminder. I think we can now add the Tigers’ setup man to that punch line. Detroit is unusually cruel to its closers. Less than a year after Willie Hernandez won the 1984 Cy Young and MVP awards, he started getting booed and it’s never stopped. Mike Henneman did too, but to a much smaller degree. The Tigers were so unwatchable during Todd Jones‘s first tour of duty in Detroit, that often he was the only bright spot. Come to think of it, he was a welcome sight then because it mean the Tigers were in line for a rare win.

    But what was it about Jones in his second stint as a Tiger? What made it so infuriating? Sure, he got 93 saves in just under three seasons but his ERA was always around four and … ah, what’s the use? Jones is a good guy and I’m sure he’ll be missed by his teammates. I guess. For me, though, I’ll never be able to forgive him for not being Joe Nathan.

    Continue reading “Catching Up on a Week of News”