Who's Left? Any August Believers Still Out There For The Detroit Tigers?
See that guy in the picture? That's outfielder Magglio Ordonez. Do you know why he is sticking his tongue out at you? Because he is not on the field driving in runs. Because the Tigers look more deserving of a berth in a trash heap than in a pennant race.
Anyone out there have any faith that the Tigers are still in a pennant race?
I certainly hope not. If so, I'm sorry to burst your soap bubble, but allow me to disillusion you. The pipe dream you were in has expired, welcome back to reality.
The Tigers are in the midst of yet another late season tumble. Need proof? Look at the standings.
52-53, eight games back of the first place Chicago White Sox.
Perhaps someone noticed that the Tigers totally took one on the chin from the Sox in the first game of today's double header.
The Tigers had a very slim chance to regain some ground, and credibility, with a strong showing against the White Sox this week.
That particular pipe dream evaporated after a 12-2 beat down in game one. Game two hardly looks any more promising. The Tigers will send Jeremy Bonderman to the hill, he of the 5.05 earned run average.
You may remember I wrote back on July 28th to say that essentially the Tigers were dead in the water.
They have done little to impress since then.
They lost the final two games to the Rays since then, followed by dropping two of three in Boston to the Red Sox.
The Tigers have now compiled a record of 4-14 since the All-Star break. That in no way smells of contention for a division crown.
The Tigers are their own worst enemy. Ordonez, Brandon Inge and Carlos Guillen could not have gotten hurt at a worse time.
Although, Inge has eaten plenty of Tums and is almost back from a broken finger already, it still reeks of too little, too late.
In addition to the injuries, the misdirection of manager Jim Leyland has been a stain on this ballclub, contributing to the two losses in Boston.
It started with the 61-pitch meltdown of closer Jose Valverde in the 6-5 victory on Friday that lead to his unavailability for the remainder of the weekend.
The repercussions from that? Leyland intentionally put the winning run on base in the ninth inning Saturday!
Was anyone surprised when the winning run scored from first on that David Ortiz double?
Finally, Valverde's burnout meant Robbie Weinhardt was given free reign to literally throw the game away on Sunday.
I'll slip a footnote in right here. Don Kelly put on a clinic in the outfield on Sunday, gunning down an unsuspecting Adrian Beltre at second, and making a great snow cone catch against the Green Monster late in the game.
Kelly's reward for his great play? On the bench for the start of both games of the double header, in favor of Ryan Raburn.
Please someone step up again and waste your credibility defending Raburn. He still looks like a train wreck in the field, and is only hitting .210 after going hitless in the first game of the double header.
Granted, Kelly is only hitting .197 but his superior defense erases that deficit.
Raburn's WAR (win above replacement level player) value is -0.1, where Kelly's is 0.1.
So, you might disagree with much of what I say. Oh Dave, this is just the rantings and ravings of an outraged fan.
You would be right that I am outraged. You should be too. After all, who could be happy with this club right now?
Inge might need the Tums for the calcium to help heal his hand. I need the Tums because watching this team gives me heartburn.
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