Detroit Tigers: An Uninspired Group

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The Detroit Tigers are currently one and a half games up in the American League Central. They have, however, only won fifty six of one hundred and seven games this season. This proves that they have been the cream of the crap, instead of the cream of the crop. As I have predicted numerous times, the Cleveland Indians are faltering due to their lack of depth. The addition of Kosuke Fukudome from the Cubs is not the answer to all of their problems.

Thursday’s game against the Angels was proof positive that the team is in a malaise and not playing even close to its potential. Going back to his riffs with Jeff Kent in the LA Dodgers locker room, starting pitcher Brad Penny doesn’t have the best reputation for being an affable human being. His altercation with catcher Victor Martinez during a visit to the mound was comical, unless you have a rooting interest with this team.

During his in-game discussions with Penny, pitching coach Jeff Jones is walking on egg shells and limiting his discussions to a matter of seconds. While it is true that Penny is a veteran with a successful track record, that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be able to take suggestions on adjustments that could be made to increase his success. Sometimes an observer can notice things that a pitcher doesn’t even realize are occurring.

Phil Coke has already been moved to the bullpen from the rotation. Maybe it is time for Penny to receive a wake-up call with the same maneuver or possibly getting skipped for a start. The team could minimize it by blaming it on a scheduling anomaly, but the message would be clear. This type of behavior is unacceptable and will not continue. Most managers are pretty tolerant about players airing their dirty laundry behind closed doors, but the minute that it becomes public, all gloves are off.

The squad has also looked listless in the field. Second baseman Carlos Guillen is playing due to his bat, but his hands are unsure at second base. Miguel Cabrera has never been Don Mattingly defensively over at first base, but his reluctance to run out ground balls has been contagious. He is supposed to be a veteran leader by example. If Brandon Inge could do anything with the bat, he could be the needed spark for increased motivation.

Manager Jim Leyland blew his top in Thursday’s contest and was relieved of his duties for the day by the umpiring crew. One of the curious things that transpired is that hitting coach Lloyd McClendon took over for him. Usually it is the bench coach that takes the reins. The Tigers don’t have one of these on its coaching staff.

Maybe it’s because Leyland has multiple coaches that have Major League managerial experience. This is actually a shrewd move on his part because it doesn’t create a chain of command. If one coach asks you to do something, it would be the same as if anyone else on the staff did.

 

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Comments

  1. I’m pretty sure you don’t know much about what you are talking about. Guillen is better than any second basemen we have and Cabrera doesn’t need to be a gold glover. Cream of the crap? Any team in first place at this time of year isn’t crap. This is one of those articles that makes you think twice about how it got published. You are a terrible writer and even worse at trying to argue a point that isn’t there.

  2. paulmbanks says

    OMG! Did you seriously say the AL Central isn’t a crappy division? You really just did that, didn’t you?

    wowwwwwwwwwwww You must not have watched baseball in 2011

  3. Patrick Herbert says

    I appreciate your opinion Fiore. Thanks for reading.

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