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Postby moochman » Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:44 am

I don't mean to pick apart at bits and pieces but the overall 1B hitting has been better this season, Pena hasn't been there all half.

My hind-sight bias was in full gear before the season started. I couldn't see any reason the Higginson was a major league player. It's a falicy that players can't work on the D during the season, Shelton could have improved his D while in Detroit as well as Toledo. Would've been a good PH and DH against lefties before we discovered that Pena sucks in the first half.

Vague terms like "in some way" are filler. You could say that in some way the Red Sox were worse last year than the year before. It means little, but what was presented was the notion that the Tigers had a better team than this year. I may have misread it, no matter. The point of my reply is that we have to stop looking at the Tigers in reflection of 2003. Any team looks better than 119 losers do. It's okay that we demand more from this team. They have a lot of major league talent and are not getting the production that they should, IMO.

And even though you think a manager doesn't make a difference, I disagree. As an example: Tram is still hitting the RBI leader, who is on a small hit streak, 7th-8th 8-o What!!!! On a team that has struggled to score runs, he hits his most consistant RBI guy at the bottom of the order???? You don't think that Monroe would put up better numbers hitting 3rd or 5th? It's little manipulations of the line-up that reward hot streaks and send messages to wake up lazy bats. Tram has no heart for it. I honestly wonder if he still remembers being a player so much that he defers to veterans too much.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:12 am

moochman wrote:I don't mean to pick apart at bits and pieces but the overall 1B hitting has been better this season, Pena hasn't been there all half.
As noted before, I was referring to the time that Pena was there which was a large portion of the first half.

moochman wrote:My hind-sight bias was in full gear before the season started. I couldn't see any reason the Higginson was a major league player. It's a falicy that players can't work on the D during the season, Shelton could have improved his D while in Detroit as well as Toledo. Would've been a good PH and DH against lefties before we discovered that Pena sucks in the first half.
Yet, again we covered that situation before. I agree that outfielder sucks, but the contract situation left by Randy Smith was a lose-lose situation for all those involved except for Mr. .077 Batting Average. Strangely enough, him getting hurt was probably the best outcome for the Tigers. I'm almost certain that an injury like his causes insurance to kick in and pay most, if not all of his salary for the time he's hurt. As far as Shelton opening the season in Toledo, I still believe putting him in a situation to play everyday was the best to do for the time being.

moochman wrote:Vague terms like "in some way" are filler. You could say that in some way the Red Sox were worse last year than the year before. It means little, but what was presented was the notion that the Tigers had a better team than this year. I may have misread it, no matter. The point of my reply is that we have to stop looking at the Tigers in reflection of 2003. Any team looks better than 119 losers do. It's okay that we demand more from this team. They have a lot of major league talent and are not getting the production that they should, IMO.
Forgive me for not writing professional quality as I try to throw my thoughts down in a public forum in a matter of minutes. I'll probably have more unintentional vague phrases after this post. I think you understood my ultimate point however, that despite the starting pitching and middle relief being effective, this team had numerous issues to deal with, that justify this team not having the talent to be a wild card threat as the early part of the season wore on, not at all factoring in Shelton/Polanco/Ordonez who all settled in later in the first half.

moochman wrote:And even though you think a manager doesn't make a difference, I disagree. As an example: Tram is still hitting the RBI leader, who is on a small hit streak, 7th-8th 8-o What!!!! On a team that has struggled to score runs, he hits his most consistant RBI guy at the bottom of the order???? You don't think that Monroe would put up better numbers hitting 3rd or 5th? It's little manipulations of the line-up that reward hot streaks and send messages to wake up lazy bats. Tram has no heart for it. I honestly wonder if he still remembers being a player so much that he defers to veterans too much.
I don't believe a manager makes zero difference, but as I said before, I believe the players performances much moreso than basketball or football, determine the peformance of a team. This is a league of mediocre managers. There are few in my opinion who stand out among all others, a bunch who are about good enough to get the job done, and a few who really aren't that good. I personally still place Trammell into the middle group. We can win with him, and he can only get better. To me his biggest weakness was having absolutely no professional managing experience prior to being hired, minor leagues included. That is a rarity for a guy to have none when getting a major league job. I think he's done ok (better than I initially expected), and on a whole I like the direction this team is going and I think the 2nd half will be the biggest indicator of where this team is at. Let me just say that few teams short of the divisional leaders in front of the Tigers in the standings impress me very much.

By the way, I'm glad you are finally starting to come around on Monroe after ripping him apart earlier in this thread. I like him too, although I probably also would have continue to hit him 6th the majority of the year as well. He's been wildly inconsistent this year hitting in the .260-.270 range for the majority of it. He's peaked at a time when our lineup is going really well, so he will probably continue to hit 8th in a generally stacked lineup for quite a while. He will hit 7th when Dmitri or Rondell sit out. Having him hit that low in the lineup is actually a good sign as it shows our lineup is finally coming together. I've heard rumors he may also be trade bait, too which is somewhat understandable.
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Postby moochman » Sun Jul 17, 2005 4:39 pm

Dood I think we've had all of these debates before :-b

I never meant to say that you said managers make no difference, you just seem to think they don't make much of one. All you have to do is look at the inferior team that came into our house and beat us 2 of 4. Before they changed managers the team had won about 18 and 32. The hire a journeyman in Bell (who is better than Tram in that he at least has the respect of his team) and are now 14-18. Is it because Bell is better than Pena was? Pena who won a manager of the year award. Or is it simply becuase, like Tram, Pena had lost control over his clubhouse?
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:18 am

The last thing I think you can accuse Trammell of is losing his clubhouse/no respect from his team. If there is any evidence in existence of such a thing, I would like to see it. It's all speculation.

As you can see, managers are a very fickle thing. In your own example Pena went from being praised to canned in a matter of a couple of seasons. Why? Because he simply didn't have the talent and too many dissappointing players to match the last season. Buddy Bell is having a nice opening run as manager, but we both know how the team is going to finish out the year after their recent "hot streak" ends. They will be the same old Royals soon enough if they don't bring in/develop some more talented players.

I'm probably completely done mentioning anything about this team's manager, as to state that he's doing a bad job is purely opinion with no facts behind it. While at the same time the only thing I can do to counter is give facts as to why this team may not be up to par, but it's very difficult to associate that directly with the manager. I'm going to list right here what I think are this team's real needs for the immediate future, some holes that cannot be masked that have/will contribute to this team's occasional offensive struggles.

1)Get a real left handed hitting offensive threat. This is an absolute must. Ideally this would be a big power threat who can fill the #5 slot in the lineup. This team kills LHP, but struggles against RHP and that is absolutely no coincidence. I can't believe a major league team like the Tigers is so light on left handed hitters, especially in a park built a little more friendly to lefty hitters. We had Pena and Alex Sanchez last year. Like them or not, just mixing in some left handed hitters can keep a RHP from getting on too much of a roll like we've seen often this year. Guillen and Young are returning switch hitting offensive threats, but how often have we even had them in the lineup together this year? Preferrably this left handed offensive threat would be capable of playing outfield and being RonDL's replacement assuming #3 below is taken care of.

2)Strengthen the bench. Another must. Carlos Guillen (knee) and Polanco (partially torn tendon) are going to need backups. Infante isn't enough. We need better than Hooper/Smith/anybody else at AAA, and no more AA rookies not ready for the bigs. Heck, even KC has some nice reserve infielders in Graffanino and McEwing. Why can't we have that much?

3)Trade RonDL White or lessen his role. This may sound off as he's been one of our best hitters and that's not a fluke, but he can't be relied upon to hold up all year and he's a free agent this offseason. He's yet another guy who is forced to sit out/DH from time to time. Having too many guys that need rest exposes our weak bench. You can't argue that we need more guys who can be relied upon to play almost everyday. He also leaves quite a bit to be desired defensively. Unfortunately I'm not so sure whether or not he'll command much value. Although if he'd be willing to do so, he wouldn't make a bad 4th outfielder, should #1 get accomplished and that player were an outfielder.

There are more little things this team can probably use, but to me these are the absolute necessities that must be taken care of and get done soon. I think three things are no brainers and will seriously hold this team back down the stretch if they don't get done. At this stage, I think this team needs to remain in the playoff picture all season and go into next season on a real positive note.
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Postby moochman » Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:07 am

The last thing I think you can accuse Trammell of is losing his clubhouse/no respect from his team. If there is any evidence in existence of such a thing, I would like to see it. It's all speculation.


Of course it's all speculatory. Look at what Tram says every year: "We will be a better fielding team, we need to do the little things better" And yet here we are again with the bottom 3 D in the league and are players have no grasp on so many fundamentals. Can't bunt, poor base running, and errors are the benchmark of Tram's teams. And yet this is something he has made a focal point for improvement. They aren't feeling any pressure from Tram.

On a lesser note, do you notice how cleancut Tram is? And yet how many players wear their unis as if they just woke up after a late night? I know it doesn't seem like much, but it makes you wonder.

Point 1) Couldn't agree more. They need a GOOD hitting lefty. And I hear that Pena saw the All-star game and now is hitting. Why isn't he in the line-up? He lit it up the second half last year and if that is what he is, then take advantage. Besides, Dmitri plays one game in the OF and his leg is too sore to play? Send a message and put him on DL. Then Toledo to learn to play OF.

2) A glaring weakness for the last decade. No hope in finding these players as the Tigers continue to suffer for decades of drafting mistakes.

3) They almost have to think of trading Johnson, Rondell and Young for the bench help and prospects they are missing. They have to realize that they need solid major league depth to win, not signing a Magglio to appease the fans. I don't think Illitch has ever understood that the Tigers aren't like the Red Wings and don't have the solid foundation that can be tweak with the addition of one or two players.

This long and painful rebuilding of a once proud franchise is still a very long way from completion. They need to do everything in their power to try to get young talent for the players who are getting older and won't be there for the glory years, and those impending free agents who's services won't be worth resigning.
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