Tigers Today: July 19, 2010

BallHand.jpgTigers’ Record:

48-42, 2nd place; 1.5 GB Chicago

Today’s Game

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

Pitching Matchup

Jeremy Bonderman (5-6, 4.79 ERA) vs. RHP Scott Feldman (5-8, 5.32 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Indians 7 – Tigers 2

Continue reading “Tigers Today: July 19, 2010”

Friday Fungoes: Inauguration Week Edition

WoodBats.jpgClearing out a mental notebook — and a paper-based one, too — on a dreary Friday afternoon:

  • Morris Left Out Again: Our most recent poll question, Does Jack Morris deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?, pulled in 57 responses, 61 percent (35 votes) said yes; 39 percent (22 votes) said nay. Early on, the results were dead even but as the month progressed — and the Hall of Fame voting drew nearer — Morris gained steam among the Fungo Faithful.

    Alas, another year has passed and Jack the Cat will not be inducted in Cooperstown. Yes, his vote total reached 44 percent this year, but it seems that Morris may end up a Veterans’ Committee selection down the road. You know how I feel about that.

  • Speaking of the Hall of Fame, Alan Trammell garners a meager 17.4 percent? That’s embarrassing.

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  • On this date in 1996 the Tigers acquired OF Duane Singleton from the Brewers for LHP Henry Santos.

  • And here’s one we missed from yesterday: on Jan. 22, 1992, the Tigers traded LHP Paul Gibson to the Mets for OF Mark Carreon and LHP Tony Castillo.
  • Happy 58th Birthday to former Tiger

    Charlie Spikes who played in 10 games for the 1978 Tigers (.250, 0 HR, 2 RBI). He was acquired on Dec. 9, 1977, from the Indians for shortstop Tom Veryzer.

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  • So Brandon Lyon looks like the Tigers closer for 2009. We’ll see if he can shake off whatever ailed him last season in Arizona and actually close some games. If he does sign with the Tigers he will be the second Brandon on the team and – how’s this for minutiae? – both Brandons have last names consisting of four letters. Yeah, it’s a slow news week.

Have a great weekend.

Emptying Out the Mental Notebook

There have been lots of thoughts percolating around my head lately. Now that I’ve cleared my driveway of snow for the third time today, it’s time to get those thoughts out to the masses.

Brandon Inge
If you recall prior to the 2004 season Mr. Inge acted like a petulant little child when the Tigers signed Pudge Rodriguez. He whined and complained about how the catching job was his and he wasn’t giving it up without a fight. Of course he turned into a super-sub of sorts (playing 139 games, logging 400+ ABs at five different positions) and eventually won the starting third base job.

Fast forward four seasons and Mr. Inge no longer wants to be a catcher; he fancies himself a third baseman apparently. Though not as loudly, he appears to be lobbying to move out of town now that Miguel Cabrera appears to be the Tigers’ new third baseman. I don’t believe for a minute the Tigers can trade him and the $18 million left on his contract and receive anything close to good value. With that said, I suggest Brandon close his yap, buy a few extra gloves, learn how to scoop balls at first, play all three outfield positions, and get comfortable in the tools of ignorance again. Return to the role of super utilityman for this season. Milwaukee Brewer Bill Hall logged over 500 ABs in a similar role in 2005, playing three different positions. If Inge can play 3B, 1B, OF, and even a bit of C, I would expect enough at bats will come his way to keep him happy.

The goal, or promise to Inge, is that he becomes your full-time catcher effective 2009. He’ll have this year to study the pitching staff, pick Pudge and Vance Wilson‘s brains, and relearn the position. With the offense that will be surrounding him, Inge would merely have to concentrate on his fielding — any hitting would be a bonus. And if you’re really trying to do the hard sell, remind him the staff he would have to catch would include Justin Verlander, Dontrelle Willis, Jeremy Bonderman, and — at some point — Rick Porcello.

Dontrelle Willis

I heard Willis’ first interview on local radio following the trade. WXYT had him on and I liked what I heard. He has a passion for the game, he has a personality, he’s energetic, and he should endear himself to the Detroit fanbase. Will he be able to pitch? The good news, I suppose, is that Detroit isn’t counting on him to be the ace. All they really need from him is 200+ serviceable innings. Ideally (with the bullpen the Tigers have) that’s what they’d like to get from all five starters — save Rogers I suppose. Chew up innings boys. The bats should get enough runs to keep this team in virtually every game.

One other item about Willis. Don’t underestimate the impact another African-American will have on the Tigers’ fan base. Willis is an inner-city kid and, like Curtis Granderson, has a personality that will make him popular. For a city that’s attempting to make a comeback, I think it’s outstanding the youngsters in town will have a couple of role models on the home team to look up to.

By the way, has anyone else noticed an entire Hispanic infield? Non hablas Espanol?

The Mitchell Report

Nothing surprises me (nor should it), but I’d like to launch a conspiracy theory on Roger Clemens. I wonder if his decision to stall his comeback each of the past couple of seasons was due merely to making sure he had it in him or rather he had it in him? I’m certainly no expert on performance enhancing drugs, but doesn’t it suddenly seem plausible that The Rocket was taking a late-winter cycle of PED’s before deciding to come back? Are unsigned free agents subjected to the testing? If not, it wouldn’t surprise me if Clemens got his body finely tuned and then gave his body time to flush the evidence before signing. So much for all those stories of his legendary workouts that I always admired as a younger man.

Mitchell Report Part II

Nook Logan? Mark Carreon? Alex Sanchez? This is our Detroit connection? No wonder our home team stunk during the Steroid Era!

Clearly Carreon wasn’t on the juice when he was a Tiger. He hit a career-low .232 that year.As for Sanchez — the first to be busted — it’s a good thing he was on the stuff, otherwise half of those swinging bunt singles he had would’ve rolled foul at the plate, right?

And Nook? Well, I got nothing for Nook.

Bullpen

If the starters can get into the seventh inning I don’t feel too bad about things. It’s that middle/long relief that gives me the Guillermos. I know Zach Miner will be serviceable and I shouldn’t fret about Jason Grilli, but neither instill a lot of confidence — especially if they get thrown into roles they’re not comfortable in.

I actually feel pretty good about the two situational lefties they’ll enter camp with: Tim Byrdak and Bobby Seay. Seay was especially effective the last half of the season when used correctly. Speaking of using folks correctly, Memo to Jim Leyland: Todd Jones can only pitch one inning this year and it should be at the start of the inning, not mid-inning with runners on base.

I’m not expecting Joel Zumaya to contribute anything this year.