It has been a long time coming, but it finally is clear to all.
Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen are done in Detroit.
They have been responsible for some incredible memories and countless wins. They, along with Ivan Rodriguez, helped to put Detroit baseball back on the map. Their legacy in Detroit is cemented, even if they never won it all.
What they did was help resurrect a baseball town, something that should never be understated.
But things have changed. This team no longer needs two players that can no longer field any position, and worse yet, are unable to hit a lick.
Their stats this year: Ordonez is hitting .223 with four home runs. Guillen is hitting .207 with two home runs and an embarrassing .247 OBP.
Furthermore, take into consideration their places in the lineup. Ordonez is hitting in front of the best hitter in the division, and Guillen is hitting in front of a couple All-Stars.
If they can't hit in those spots, where can they hit?
It's not like they bring something to the game that the Tigers couldn't get anywhere else. Think to yourself about the scariest place to see the opposing team's hitters hit the ball. If you answered anything but right field, it would be second base. And these are the positions that these two are playing.
When you look around the organization, you undoubtedly will find other players that could more than ably fill their roles.
Will Rhymes, after struggling earlier in the year, was tearing up Toledo (Rhymes recently was called back up to the bigs).
Andy Dirks has been great this week, even having a four-hit game.
Ryan Strieby has been tearing the cover off the ball in Toledo to the tune of 18 home runs, and even the ageless wonder Timo Perez could provide good defense and a solid bat.
The point of the matter is that there are countless options for Detroit within the organization.
But this is a team that is challenging for the playoffs, and by all accounts, should get there. They have a roster that is as talented as any this side of New York. This should not be a tough division to win.
In the case of Guillen, it appears that an injury beat manager Jim Leyland to the punch, yet again placing him on the disabled list. Detroit should encourage him to take all the time he needs to get back.
The tricky situation is Ordonez. Leyland, for all of his faults, is famously loyal to his players. And given the curious timing of the extension he just signed, he has no added pressure to produce a winner. He can continue to trot out Ordonez until team president Dave Dombrowski releases him.
Read the quote from Leyland in today's Detroit Free Press:
"We've got a nice complement of players, so I think we're fine. Magglio's throwing in his hits. I think there's certain type pitchers I'll rest him against, and certain type of pitchers I'll play him against."
This quote should be maddening to Tigers' fans. He basically is saying that he can afford to have Ordonez in the lineup because he has good players around him that can hide his offensive mediocrity.
But why? This game is still a business, and you have one piece that doesn't contribute anything aside from a nice smile and a great attitude. Why continue to write him into your lineup.
What needs to happen here is a hard decision. The Tigers need to designate Ordonez for assignment. If he clears waivers, you can give him the option of joining Brandon Inge in Toledo or calling it a career. Heck, maybe he rediscovers his swing in Toledo like Inge has done and then he could make a September call up.
But the page needs to be turned. Talent is being wasted. Pennant races are sacred and rare.
It is time to part ways.
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