Monday, June 26, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Are They Good?
Tigers vs above .500 teams
Other good teams records vs. above .500 teams:
Red Sox, 17-18 (.486)
Yankees, 20-18 (.526)
Rangers, 15-17 (.469)
White Sox 12-6 (.667)
Blue Jays, 15-13 (.536)
The White Sox record is very good; the rest, not so much. No one writes about these teams like they do the Tigers. This is the burden of being the unexpected; no one dares trust your success. I don't either. (As a homer, though, I'm forced to defend the Tigers here. Despite myself, I'm coming to believe my own defense.)
The Red Sox are barely better than the Tigers. The Yankees are a few games up on the Tigers, but nothing a win streak couldn't cure. Like I wrote earlier, the Tigers are a handful of runs from being "really good." I think, at this point, the difference in record is less skill and more luck. If the trend follows for the entire year, I'll buy it.
The Tigers (.757) and the Red Sox (.731) have silly records against bad teams. The White Sox, as the flip, have a mediocre .591 record against teams like the Royals. That is probaby more due to boredom than anything else. The White Sox are good. These records look more like the Tigers and the Red Sox are the two teams playing just as good teams should play -- to about a draw against top teams and dominate bad teams. Everyone gets fat on lean teams; if the Tigers stay fat, they'll stay good.
Luft does point out serious problems with the Tigers. They depend too much on the HR. It's a shakey proposition to go this route -- despite Leyland's obvious misgivings about it -- when one of your leading HR hitters, Inge, is hitting around .220. As long as his batting average stays low his HRs will not stay this high.
The Tigers also strike out way too much. I just read Moneyball by Michael Lewis. I am a late On-Base Percentage convert. The Tigers need more patience at the plate, just a little. Here's hoping.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
A Bad Sign
Since I'm out of Tigers' tv range, I have to rely on Detroit online newspapers. This is the bad sign part: I went to check on the game at www.freep.com. I got this: Service Unavailable. Well, damn the Free Press website doesn't have to act like Detroit's closers of late.
"I figured him out," Cintron said. "He was throwing fastball, changeup, one after another. I was looking for the fastball."
Cintron got the fastball. His three-run HR ended a good night for the Tigers. Todd Jones the other night; Rodney last night. The Tigers can't keep throwing away games at the tail end. The bullpen has been great -- best ERA in baseball -- but if this becomes a trend the Tigers are...screwed. Closers can't throw homeruns this frequently.
Back to the pattern. Rodney is a young guy. Both of Detroit's catchers are vetrans, and so it should be on them what he's throwing. How does vance Wilson let a pattern develop that is that quickly tranparent?
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Not So Well
(By the way, the Red Sox lost by 2,000 runs last night. Season must be over.)
There seems to be an idea that these early games are more important to the Tigers because they don't believe they are good yet. Something like that. This could be true, but I'm not sure it is. Leyland has been around forever. Pudge has won a ring. It isn't all young guys on this team, and I think balance is present. I hope so.
Friday, June 02, 2006
Eric Mack, at Sportsline.com, writes the weekly Power Rankings and he's chomping to drop the Tigers. He wrote this:
"They're off to an 0-1 start, and playing .500 against them won't be enough to stay at this lofty place."
Actually, .500 against Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays and White Sox will be just fine. None of these teams sweep each other on the season. If a team plays around .500 (preferably above) against the best team and runs the bad teams, they'll be good.
That said, it'd been nice if the Tigers hadn't blown up in extra innings the other night. The positive (other than a comeback win last night) is that this Tigers team is capable of coming back from a big hole. This is a tough little team. This has to go almost entirely to Leyland.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Poor Bob Dutton
Here's a look at Poor Bob's work:
Tigers 8, Royals 0
Bob, what've you got to say:
"The answer, maybe, is for the Royals to call more of these players-only, pregame get-togethers. Alcoholics Anonymous, after all, works on a 12-step program. So what could the Royals — Royals Anonymous? — really expect from just one clear-the-air meeting?
"More than this, probably.
"The Detroit Tigers sent the Royals to a 10th straight loss Monday night by delivering an 8-0 thrashing in the opener to a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium."Tigers 8, Royals 5
Bob's getting pissed:
"It’s 11 straight losses and counting now for the Royals after blowing a four-run lead Tuesday night and wasting a four-homer attack in a miserable 8-5 giveaway to the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium."No art to this one, just an urge to throw-up.
Then, last night.
Tigers 6, Royals 3
This is getting hard, isn't it Bob:
"The solstice is still roughly four weeks away. So what? The Royals are operating on their own calendar and, already, it’s been one seemingly endless summer.
"Wednesday brought no relief at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals suffered their 12th straight loss in falling 6-3 to the Detroit Tigers. That matches the second-longest skid in club history.
"The countdown is on."Bob seems to be hoping for the record now. He wants 20 straight. At least, he seems to be saying, there'll be something for us to count towards.