The Daily Breakfast: July 23, 2011

BreakfastGood morning from Metro Airport, where I sit and write this with bleary eyes after an overnight flight from Phoenix. I’ve got an hour to kill before my ride arrives.

Leading Off: The Tigers continued their stunning dominance of the Twins with an 8-2 beat down on Friday night. Eleven in a row against Minnesota certainly has a nice ring to it, but wouldn’t have one win in late September 2009 been nice (not to mention October)? By gones. Max Scherzer pitched his fourth strong game in a row – he allowed two hits and a walk over his final five innings – and the remarkable Jhonny Peralta (3 for 5, four RBI) continued his torrid assault on the Twins this season. How does a .542 average, 1.764 OPS, four home runs and 13 RBI in seven games sound? Meanwhile, the Tigers did not trade for James Shields, Clayton Kershaw or Carlos Beltran but they did sign two draft picks: first baseman Aaron Westlake from Vanderbilt University (third round) and righthanded pitcher Tommy Collier from San Jacinto College (22nd round).
[callout title=The Rundown]

The Tigers are in first place, 1.5 games ahead of the Indians, and five up on the White Sox.

There are eight days left until the July 31 trade deadline.

Today’s Game: Brad Penny (7-6, 4.47 ERA) vs. Scott Baker (7-5, 3.01 ERA) | 4:10 p.m. FOX/1270 & 97.1

Penny is 2-0 with a 5.79 ERA in four starts against the Twins, but surrendered five runs and 10 hits in six innings and did not receive a decision in a 6-5 home win over Minnesota on May 30. Baker is making his first start since July 5.

On this date in 2002 the Tigers acquired infielder David Espinosa and two players to be named, outfielder Noochie Varner and righthander Jorge Cordova, from the Reds for righty Brian Moehler, infielder Matt Boone and cash-money.

Fifty years ago today, the Tigers and A’s used 21 pitchers, 11 for the Detroit and 10 for the Kansas City (10) set an American League record for most pitchers used in an 18-inning doubleheader. At three hours, 54 minutes, the second game is the longest nine-inning affair in A.L. history. The entire doubleheader lasts six hours, 50 minutes, a major-league record. The Tigers sweep 6-4 and 17-14, taking first place by one percentage point. How long would that double-dip last today?

[/callout]Around the Central: The White Sox blanked the Indians 3-0 in Cleveland while the Royals were dropping a 10-spot on the Rays in sweltering K.C.

Speaking of Jhonny: According to Elias Sports Bureau …

Jhonny Peralta followed up on Thursday night’s 3-for-4 performance against the Twins by going 3-for-5 with four RBI against the Twins on Friday. He’s now hitting .429 (42 for 98) against A.L. Central opponents this season, an in-division batting average that is more than 50 points higher than that of any other major-league player with at least 100 plate appearances in division games this season. Jacoby Ellsbury is next-best, at a distant .374.

City Hall Looks Dumb on this One: Yesterday, NPR’s All Things Considered program aired a story about the group of fans that are taking care of the old Tiger Stadium grounds for the purposes of, you know, playing baseball. Here’s the intro of the segment by ATC host Robert Siegel:

Imagine watching a place you love and that your family has loved for generations fall into disrepair. Well, that’s how it’s been for many Detroit baseball fans, who think of the corner of Michigan and Trumbull Avenues as sacred ground.

It’s the site of the old Tiger Stadium, which was torn down in 2009. One group of fans decided to take care of the lot that remained, but while they may think they’re being helpful, the city of Detroit sees it differently.

Listen to the segment here.

Finally, Happy 50th Birthday to Woody Harrelson.

Martinez Official, But More to Come … Right?

Martinez.jpgDespite what some national guys are saying about the Victor Martinez signing, I think it’s outstanding.

Is it Jayson Werth or Adam Dunn? No. But signing Martinez to hit behind — or maybe in front of — Miguel Cabrera makes the Tigers’ lineup more formidable — especially when Martinez is in the lineup in place of Alex Avila.

As Jayson Stark writes this morning, the prevailing wisdom is that Dave Dombrowski isn’t done.

So even after making four significant signings, the Tigers clearly aren’t done.

They’re not finished with their bullpen. And they’re still prowling for a big right-handed, corner-outfield bat. They could be players for Jayson Werth. They could bring back Magglio Ordonez. They could have a surprise in store. But they have the dollars to make almost anything possible.

But is that it? It’s certainly impressive the amount of business the Tigers have accomplished. Yet even with all the activity the Tigers have had this month, I still think it will make the Winter Meetings next month even more intriguing — and worth watching.

There has to be a trade of some sort in the offing, right? If they miss out on Werth, do they make a deal for a slugger? Do they go after Hanley Ramirez and shift Jhonny Peralta to second? Purely speculation, of course, but I just can’t see the Tigers going to the Winter Meetings and not be open for some degree of business.

What do you think?

Here’s the Boston Globe’s story on Martinez’s conference call today announcing the deal.

In unrelated news, Happy 63rd Birthday to one of my favorite all-time Tigers, Richie Hebner. Today’s also the birthday of Mike Moore, brilliant with the A’s, dreadful for the Tigers from 1993-95. He’s 51.

Have a great weekend.

The Non-Sequiturs: Trick or Treat Edition

pumpkin.jpgEach October, I’m astounded to learn that Halloween is the second-largest retail holiday of the year. I’m not a fan of Halloween, though I do like the occasional, or frequent, Kit Kat.

It’s a treat to be able to watch the World Series on Halloween, though the Aubrey Huff and Edgar Renteria sightings are undoubtedly the “trick” part of the equation.

  • In our highest vote-gettin’ poll of the season, Fungo readers were emphatic on what the Tigers’ next offseason move should be: target Nationals’ slugger and free-agent-to-be Adam Dunn.

    Twenty-four percent (148 voters) of the 628 readers casting votes selected Dunn as their top choice. Here are the runners up:

    • Sign Jason Werth (16%, 103 Votes)
    • Sign Victor Martinez (15%, 97 Votes)
    • Trade for a starting pitcher (14%, 88 Votes)
    • Pickup Jhonny Peralta’s option (14%, 88 Votes)
    • Sign Magglio Ordonez (12%, 73 Votes)
    • Other (5%, 31 Votes)

    Thanks to everyone who voted and a special thanks for those that left comments. It was a great discussion. Keep those comments rolling in.

    Continue reading “The Non-Sequiturs: Trick or Treat Edition”

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”

News Galore on the Way Out the Door

It’s not often Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski gets loose and talks at length about the club’s plans, but on Sunday in Baltimore he did just that, breaking some news and confirming a few long-anticipated decisions:

  • Inge.jpgBrandon Inge gets offered an extension. As Ian wrote this summer, Inge is either loved or loathed in Detroit — with little in between. But I think even those of us who are frustrated by his lack of a strategy when he’s at the plate feel better about third base next season and maybe in 2012, too. In our recent Fungo Pulse Check, 79 percent of respondents (207 of 263 votes) preferred bringing back Inge over Jeremy Bonderman.

  • OrdonezHead.jpgMagglio Ordonez might be back. This isn’t a surprise. The Tigers aren’t picking up the $15 million option on Ordonez’s contract which means he’ll be a free agent, but the Tigers are open to re-signing him. I kept thinking that sentimental Mike Ilitch would tell Dombrowski to pick up the option for old time’s sake. I hope he comes back. If he does sign elsewhere — and you know Scott Boras is already firing up his hyperbole machine — I just pray that he doesn’t go back to the White Sox.

    Continue reading “News Galore on the Way Out the Door”

Tigers Today: September 25, 2010

BondermanHead.jpgTigers’ Record:

78-75, 3rd Place; 14 GB

Today’s Game

Tigers vs. Twins | 7:05 p.m. ET – Comerica Park | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Jeremy Bonderman (8-9, 4.92 ERA) vs. Carl Pavano (17-11, 3.60 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 10 – Twins 1

Continue reading “Tigers Today: September 25, 2010”