How the Detroit Tigers Can Build on Their Lead


I think Leyland has a point this time, Mr. Joyce

The Tigers lead the rest of the field in the American League Central by three games. This is obviously the position they want to be in, but the amount would be more comfortable if the margin was bigger. I have some suggestions for the front office and coaching staff on how the team can extend its lead to have a more substantial cushion.

Rotating the designated hitter makes sense during the dog days of August. Players like Victor Martinez, Carlos Guillen, Jhonny Peralta, Alex Avila, and Brennan Boesch can get half days off around once a week to keep them fresh and their bats in the line-up. It is an added bonus to players that play demanding positions in the field like catcher or shortstop.

Manager Jim Leyland should refrain from playing small ball. Fans of the Angels are cringing right now. The Tigers are built around offense. Therefore, the strategy and philosophy should adapt with the strengths of the players on the field. If the squad had a bunch of burners up and down the order like Austin Jackson, then bunting and stealing bases would take a larger role in the style of play.

It’s time to take Brad Penny out of the pitching rotation. In addition to his blow up with Avila, he has been ineffective. He attained his ninth loss on Thursday and his earned run average is hovering near five. It’s the opportunity for someone else to at least get a chance because allowing runs and a bad attitude is a lethal combination.

Late game substitutions in games are ways to keep the regulars fresh and the bench players interested. Every man has a unique skill set, so utilizing pinch runners and defensive amendments to guard leads keeps everyone happy and on their toes. The entire roster then has buy in when the playoffs come around.

The September call ups from the minor leagues are only a few weeks away. Pitching is usually on the minds of the brass at this juncture. This season may require the decision to rest as much on experience as it does with talent. It wouldn’t be prudent to put a green twenty-year-old in Yankee Stadium on the hill in October.

No scoreboard watching is necessary by anyone in uniform. The only thing that they can control is winning the games on their schedule and anything that takes their focus away from that goal is useless.

The marketing department should cross promote with the Lions on packages that include tickets to Tigers games and Lions contests in the preseason. There is a new buzz around town this season with increased expectations at Ford Field, and the Tigers could capitalize on this by embracing the renewed interest instead of thinking of the NFL as competition. The full stadium will keep the team motivated.

Manager Jim Leyland can approach the players about creating a pot to foster competition during the last month and a half. The athletes with the most stolen bases, home runs, wins etc. would have money donated in their names to the charities of their choice.


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