Biggest series for the Turtles..er..Tigers in, well I can't remember when. Lose a heartbreaker 2-1 becuase you have a runner on 3rd with no outs and don't score him. So what does the brainiac Tram do the next game?
9th inning, 3-3 game, 2 outs and bases loaded. You have perhaps your best bat-handler at the plate. A guy so good that you continously sing his praises about how smart and what a complete player he is. Okay, go to the atbat. Palanco is up and for reasons that make no sense the 3rd basement is almost on the outfield grass! Perfect time for Tram and his love of small-ball to pay off! Palanco lays a bunt down the 3rd baseline and we all go home happy. But Noooooooo. Tram has him hit away, right to SS for the last out.
This is the type of inconsistancies that make me wonder if Tram can do the job. Plays small-ball in the 1st inning, when giving up outs doesn't make that much sense. Then when the game is on the line, he doesn't.
And why was the 3rd baseman playing so deep? Could it be that the book on Tram is that late in games, when the game is in doubt, Tram lets 'em swing away?
That would certainly explain how Pudge Roidriguiz would strike out on 3 pitches with nobody out and the bases loaded, after Dmitri walked in 4 straight pitches. Did nobody say "Take a pitch, make him throw the first strike" Nice job Fields, your hitters are amoungst the most poorly disciplined and least instructed in the league.
On Wenesday Dmitri and Monroe lost the game, but yesterday the Tigers coaching staff blew another one. So frustrating watching this team waste fine pitching as if it will always be there. Sorry to be so negative, I know it takes a long time to undo the bafoonery that was the Randy Smith experiment but we just can't keep giving gammes away playing stupid.
Thought I'd drop in here...just wanted to say that Trammell was very inconsistent as a thirdbase coach, as well. He'd hold guys in a certain situation and then send him a week later in a similar situation against an outfielder with a better arm. He never completely made sense to me either.
Good luck the rest of the way, though. The Tigers are one of the few AL teams I like to root for.
I still see some mixed results here. He does make questionable decisions from time to time, but the talent on this team overall in my opinion without Guillen and Ordonez is not of a .500 team. And what did we manage to do? We made it over .500 very recently before being swept by the best team in baseball.
With Magglio AND Guillen (mostly) healthy and if the rest can stay healthy, I expect yet even more improvement out of this team and anything else would be seriously dissappointing.
Say what you want about Trammell, but this team if they can stay away from anymore big injuries will be playing meaningful games later into the season than they have in quite some time.
The Tigers pitching has been very good the first half, top 4 in the AL. And Trammell couldn't manage to find ways to get them to win more than they lose. Sure they haven't hit as well as they should have, but that can be tied to poor coaching as well. During Tram's tour Tiger batters have been notorious for short at-bats due to their impatience. Watch a game and see how the slappy announcers drool over how great a hitter Palanco is, just because he looks at pitches and can make contact. He has the perfect approach for Comerica National Park.
Why, in three years, hasn't Trammell and his band of merrymen been able to get even one of the Tigers hitters to develop the same traits? Is it because they hit in Tiger stadium where the long ball was commonplace? "That's the way we did it" Smart hitting is a must in a cavernous stadium like the Copa. And the Tigers haven't been able to figure that out. I place the blame on Trammell & Co. for not stressing the type of hitting needed to be a Detriot Tiger.
moochman wrote:The Tigers pitching has been very good the first half, top 4 in the AL. And Trammell couldn't manage to find ways to get them to win more than they lose.
And at what point does the coaching staff get credit for them pitching well, instead of just criticism for them not always winning? Maroth and Bonderman have developed well. Johnson has turned around from a poor 2004. Robertson has had seemingly less effective stuff than last year, but is somehow having a better year.
moochman wrote:During Tram's tour Tiger batters have been notorious for short at-bats due to their impatience.
Brandon Inge is among the league leaders in pitches per plate appearance, rivalling Bobby Abreu for most pitches seen in all of baseball. Craig Monroe improves his plate discipline every year and he works the count often, only lacking consistency in doing so. Shelton also gives many quality at-bats in his short time. There's 3 hitters developed by this system that have a lot of potential to be quality hitters for a number of years. Also Guillen really turned his career around since arriving here and has become one of the league's better hitters. Is the coaching staff to receive credit for this? I don't know, but it clearly isn't anywhere near as bleak as you say.
moochman wrote:Watch a game and see how the slappy announcers drool over how great a hitter Palanco is, just because he looks at pitches and can make contact. He has the perfect approach for Comerica National Park.
There just aren't a lot of players like him in all of baseball, not just here. Not enough in fact. If enjoying seeing a guy who can handle a bat like him makes one a slappy, then count me in.
I see your logic, but it's always easier to find the faults than to find the successes. Remember in some of the young hitters not developing as you wish, is that this organization is still recovering from the Randy Smith plagued farm system. There wasn't that much talent down there to begin with to develop very good hitters. Things are starting to slowly look up in that regard.
Trammell is a young manager still with much to learn. But whether it's to his credit or not, this organization has done nothing but improve under him and Dombrowski. We've gotten this far with them, and I think we're very close to taking that next step.
There is no doubt that I cut the Tigers coaching staff and front office organization very little slack. Maybe unfairly given that Dombrowski does seem to be correcting decades of ineptitude.
I have been very critical of Kluck and his coaching style and have to eat crow. The staff is doing better than anyone could have hoped for. I still have issues with his insistance on teaching fastball pitchers to take MPH off the fastball in favor of more break. But I can't argue against the success he is having with them.
Tram, though, isn't getting it done, IMO. Yes there aren't a lot of Palanco's, but the better teams seem to have more of them. Inge has done a very nice job at the top of the order. Monroe can look at all of the pitches in the world, but it seems that when the game is on the line he starts hacking. His at bats lately with runners in scoring position late in games have been abysmal. And I don't know that he is improving as his power numbers aren't there. And if you're going to point out players the Tigers developed you can't point out Inge and Monroe and leave out Infante, Logan, and...uh, well that's about all they've produced of late. Now why would I be bitter. Shelton is a Pirate prospect that learned to hit elsewhere.
As for the other hitters, they can all read the take sign. They can all be told that so-and-so will throw pitches out of the strike zone so take a few. But they never seem to be aware. Mussina tonight was striking out hitters without throwing a pitch in the strike zone.
Understand that my venting is more a sign of how much I care than how much I hate. I feel the Tigers should be much better than they are right now, and I feel that Tram is responsible. Sorry, it's just how I feel. It will take some winning to change my mind on this, I need proof not promise.
I think Trammell deserves all the criticism he gets. It just goes with the job. I don't think of him as a great manager at all despite the positive spin I try to put on things. I just don't like to put too much blame onto the coaches alone. Overall, he simply seems to a relatively run of the mill manager. What I don't want to see is a managerial change just to make a change, which would probably result in some other run of the mill guy coming in and not making any positive difference and if anything, a negative impact. We've had the likes of Larry Parrish, Buddy Bell, Luis Pujols, Phil Garner (am I missing anybody?) since Sparky left. If we replace Trammell with another one of those types, what's the point?
Right now the team is on the rise talent-wise and is slowly becoming a little more attractive to free agents, although Comerica's dimensions will always be a hindrance in attracting hitters. To me the first step in building a winner is to stock talent at both the major league and minor league level, and it is hard to deny some progress in that respect. I'm all for looking into managerial options during the offseason. Just do some homework/scouting and get a manager of real character who is a proven winner or displays a lot of promise as a manager.
Also, we need to take a long look at our minor league coaching staffs. Our problems in developing young players goes way beyond our major league coaches. The front office puts guys there, and the minor league coaches work with them. These guys fail to develop or are busts long before they reach the majors. We seem to be turning the corner a little in this regard, however and the minors are starting to revive after having some time to recover from the Randy Smith era, so hopefully that is already corrected and the results are waiting another season or two to really show (I'm talking primarily hitters here).
Even if we were able to find another manager as bad as Tram we still need to make that change. They also need to trade a Young, Johnson, or a Monroe. They have got to send a message to the team that playing uninspired, unfocused baseball is unacceptable.
When they see the manager getting fired and a fav like Dmitri, who doesn't seem to think he has to play smart baseball and quite frankly has been very lazy at the plate lately, then maybe they'll take stock of how little attention to the details that make a baseball team competent.
I think if they want to turn this team around, not just for this season but for the future, then they have to taek some drastic steps.
The Tigers are playing good baseball. Unfortunately they come out a little flat some days, but all teams have that problem. Managers make very little difference in the game-to-game decisions and usually just play the odds. No manager can win without talent (see Lou Pinella) and any manager can win with it (see the line of recent Red Sox managers, though Francona seems to be a decent one). Joe Torre, Tommy Lasorda, Sparky Anderson, blah blah blah ALL have had many bad seasons.
I just don't see what Tram has done to warrent a firing. He seems to plays the right guys. He seems to play the right pitchers. How many managers would have inserted Chris Shelton into the middle of the line-up? Sean Douglass has made great starts and has not been overused. The bullpen, considering the personnel, has been extremely good with only the overpriced closer being a slight disappointment. Tram has let Bonderman work through some tough spots when other managers might have yanked him too early and Bondy has proven himself a warrior.
If "sparking" a workforce is reason enough to fire someone, thank God for unions. It'd be more fair to ban members from the Cafe for making spelling errors.
I'm not just the president of the Cornbread Maxwell Fan Club, I'm also the only member.
The one thing that I've been annoyed with on this team all year is the failure to drive in runners in scoring position by our key players. We've been too reliant on Rondell White and Craig Monroe to be the big run producers all year, and those are two guys who shouldn't be our big RBI guys. Rondell White essentially forced himself into the cleanup spot by producing, but he simply isn't an everyday player. Craig Monroe has been our 6th hitter most of the year and earlier in the year was coming through after Pudge and/or Dmitri's failures to get the runners in, resulting in him leading our team in RBIs.
Pudge, Dmitri, and Guillen were supposed to be the big run producers with Ordonez out. How are these guys doing with RISP?
Guillen, .192 (yeah, he's managed 52 ABs in this situation)
That just won't get it done. Those three guys are veterans and you expect much, much more from them. With all of the 1 run games we've lost this year, you've got to think that if all of these guys were up over .275, which is the minimum you expect of middle of the order hitters, we might have 5-10 more wins. And hopefully that is where Magglio Ordonez will have some impact.