I know it's early, but I can't help but thinking that Trammell is a bad manager.
Example 1: The whole Higgy/Thames thing puzzled me to start with and still does. He keeps Higgy because he wants a left handed bat, right? So Maggs gut won't let him play and they play Thames in his spot. Against right handed pitching??? Isn't that what Higgy was kept for??? And we get to watch a journeyman catcher play in place of Mauer because of the match-up and he crushes the ball.
Example 2: Infante leading off. Tram says he favors Infante over Inge leading off and two games later Inge is leading off??? Talk about a vote of confidence. Infante better hope Tram doesn't start talking about how he's not going to send Omar to Toledo. And then when his slupming number 9 hitter comes up with runners on 1st and 2nd, nobody out he lets him swing away instead of bunt the runners over. We know how that worked out. And if anyone watched the game on MSN you had to feel the confusion from the booth on that one. Infante is up and they talk about him probably bunting. After his out the best they could do is a damning "Well Trammell knows his team better than we do".
Translation: What the heck is Tram thinking????
Fire Tram and Co. now! We have enough players that we don't need the 84 Tigers to legitimize this team.
I heard the Higginson decision may have been a higher decision than Trammell's. It's only a rumor, but I've heard it from relatively credible sources.
As far as Infante leading off goes, I don't see a problem with him having taken that risk. Like quite a few others in this forum, I was a bit skeptical of Infante being thrust into the leadoff position, but it hasn't worked out and he may be willing to move on with Inge as leadoff for a while. Infante's going to come around, I just don't think he'll be ready to hit leadoff just yet. I had to miss the game with the possible bunt situation, so I can't comment on that.
I think it's way too early to get pessimistic. Ordonez has had problems not related to his knee, Guillen is still showing signs that he had knee surgery last year, Percival and Urbina still haven't gotten into a groove yet.
When the Tigers finally put things together, all this will be forgotten. Let's just hope the Higginson situation finally comes to an end, whatever really is going on there.
[quote="mcqfesijiba"I think it's way too early to get pessimistic.[/quote]
I hate to be the gloomy voice of reality, but when you have a team that has lost almost 200 games the last two years predicting doom for them is more realistic than pessimistic.
Uribna looks like he is in mid-season form. He never looked un-hittable last year and looks even less so now.
We grossly over-paid for Percival, and he gets off to a slow start.
Maggs is likely gone for two months, and there is that nasty can't hit a Comerica thing out there yet.
Our stud catcher is reduced to a singles hitter.
We have no lead off hitter.
Our D sucks.
Tiger coaching is amongst the worst in the league.
And I still think that .500 is possible. But they will have to over-come a lot to do it.
I still like Tram, but he's made some curious decisions in the early going. That Infante non-bunt was unexplainable. I'd have brought in Logan or a pitcher to lay it down. That is a must-bunt situation.
I agree with everything mentioned, except for maybe the Higgy-Thames issue. It was a surprising move to be sure, but it wasn't without some reason. Teams often keep younger players in the minors for extra seasoning, especially if there isn't a regular spot for them with the big club. When Maggs is out, Thames starts in right, when Maggs comes back, Thamas may go back to the minors just so he plays every day. I don't agree with it, but it's not completely dumb.
This has been about as bad a start as the Tigers could have had. C'mon, Detroit, pull it together.
I'm not just the president of the Cornbread Maxwell Fan Club, I'm also the only member.
It is common that managers will send down a young player to get ABs in the minors, but Thames is 28 and has nothing left to prove in Toledo. Tram seems to think that veterans should be favored by some manager's code that Sparky Anderson had. But Sparky was defering to Rose, Morgan, and Trammells of the team, not the Higgys.
It shows what my biggest fear is: Tram is following a managing template, and not thinking for himself.
I get the feeling there's a disgruntled fan among us. Nothing wrong with that, as I've known many. After so many losing seasons, the bad stands out more than the good.
The Higgy/Thames situation at the end of spring isn't as clear as it appears. There are rumors that the decision came from higher up, and sadly enough, I can see that as a likely scenario. Maybe the higher ups think they can still trade Higginson, or maybe they don't like the idea of possibly paying him to play for another team. Or maybe Trammell did keep him just to have a lefty off the bench?
Percival is definitely a bit overpaid, but let's actually get him a save opp before we condemn a closer, ok Urbina.
Urbina looks worse than last year. He actually wasn't as bad as many think last year. He held opponents to a BA below .200, but had occasional flaky outings. This year, there's got to be something more going on. Not really much that can always be done about that.
With Magglio out, hopefully we won't see much of Higginson. If Higginson starts more than once a week, that's inexcusable. We'll have to see how that plays out. Thames and Logan should be in there before Higginson sees the field. Magglio was supposed to be a difference maker, but it hurts to not be able to even use him.
No leadoff hitter? Let's give Inge a fair shot first before we condemn him. He doesn't have the speed you'd like to see, but he'll find ways to get on base. Trammell has made the right choice to switch him and Infante in the lineup and hopefully is stays that way, unless Infante makes a case otherwise.
Even if Pudge has 0 HR's and 2 doubles, he's still hitting .333. The power will come even if he's not blasting nearly 20 HRs this year.
It's still early, but the fielding has certainly looked a bit suspect. I expect the infield defense to improve a bit as the season goes on as Inge continues to get comfortable playing everyday at 3B and Guillen gets healthier. Tough call about the outfield as I still consider Monroe to be a corner outfielder playing CF. We can't expect an elite defense, but middle of the pack is still a reasonable possiblity.
This has been a very iffy start to the season, but I don't see any clear reason to make Trammell the scapegoat yet. I think he deserves at least a couple of months before we look elsewhere. By then we will have a better idea of this team than 10 games. Coaching changes are always big gamble anyways. The ones that work out always are remembered, but most don't make much of a difference.