Mmm, sugared goodness.

So far as I can tell, every win now, when everyone has given up on the season, is just icing on the cake. Granted, the cake is a bit lopsided and has got raisins imbedded in it at unexpected places (and I hate raisins), but it’s got frosting on it, dammit! And that frosting is made up of fun wins at the end of a(nother) utterly futile season! Hooray!

No, really, look at the good bits, OK? Jason Grilli? Wasn’t that pretty neat? His first game in Detroit, wearing his dad’s number, and he pitches really well and gets the win! FSN had a camera on his dad all night, which was hilarious, because his dad would flip out whenever Jason got into trouble, and would leap up ecstatically whenever he induced a double play or something. It was cute.

Chris Shelton has gone right back to being an unholy terror at the plate. He had those few little slumps, but none of them lasted very long, and he didn’t seem unduly rattled by any of them. He hasn’t even been up the entire season and he’s already got 17 home runs. I’m hoping this kid’s the real deal, and I know I’m excited to watch him again next year.

Plonkers has been whacking the heck out of the ball, and if he hadn’t switched leagues he’d be winning the batting title this year. So choke on that, A-Rod… you may be the fancier player, but we all know it’s really our very own swollen-skulled second baseman who’s the best.

As the frustration mounts for the rest of the team, more and more crud is coming out about how utterly unhelpful Pudge is when it comes to team chemistry. Well, I can’t say it’s not disappointing. But I still say that you’d be hard pressed to find a replacement catcher who can put up similar numbers. And has anyone else noticed that he seems to be actually trying to take a walk here and there these days? I wonder what had to happen to bring that impossibility about.

I don’t know about you cats, but I’m still kind of giddy over that catch Craig made over the wall the other night. That ball wasn’t just going to go out, it was already out when he snagged it. It may be hard to get really excited about Tigers baseball these days, but damn if that play didn’t get the ol’ blood flowin’.

Oh, and for the record, I want Brandon Inge at third base next year. The whole year. In a starting capacity. I like our infield now, with the obvious weak point being located at Carlos Guillen’s knee. If that can’t stay in one painless piece, we need a real shortstop. But a 3-4-5 of Big Red-Plonkers-Inge is one I like.


7 responses to “Mmm, sugared goodness.

  1. A shout out for Inge staying at third! Wow, you don’t read that too often. But I tend to agree with you. He’s been a little error-prone, but he’s been the best defender the Tigers have had at 3rd since Travis Fryman. And he’s hit pretty well; at least well enough to deserve his place in the lineup.
    Plus, even if you wanted to replace Inge, there’s really no sufficient upgrade available. I’d be fine with that infield too. I must be clueless or drinking the Kool-Aid, because I think the Tigers’ lineup looks pretty good. Really, who would you replace? (Sure, I’d love to ship Pudge out of town, and I’m hoping Dombrowski can sucker Omar Minaya into trading for him.) Pitching is where the upgrades should be made.

  2. Samantha,
    I know you are somewhat influenced by Inge’s posterior
    (not sure on spelling-didn’t want to say ass) I want Inge to
    succeed, but not sure he can. I think fielding will only get better
    but he, like all the other Tigers need to take a walk. This is really
    evidensed by his SO rate. In 95% of the cases, if a player becomes
    more selective = much better hitter. I think he has potential to
    be a very good hitter, especially since I think he’s probably one
    of the most athletic Tigers. He definately needs guidance. I’m not
    sure if management will wait. Also, if they do trade Pudge, I think
    that they would try to talk Inge into going back to catching, even though
    he would much rather be at 3B.
    Speaking on slight different subject, I think a player like Dunn
    (who bats LH and walks a lot) would be a good fit for LF.

  3. SamARA, at this point I’m all for trading Rodriguez to the Rockies for a crate of protein shakes. And if for any reason he shows up in Maine, and I have the rest of the afternoon free so being arrested for assault wouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience, I will spit on him. I am so, so over this guy. I would not miss him and his .293 OBP one little bit. And honestly, last year’s Red Sox taught me to prize team chemistry over what’s on paper.
    Oh, and you totally forgot to mention that Vance Wilson’s BA is .215! Way to go, Vance!

  4. Ian, I agree that he’s had some frustrating errors, but he’s also had some gems, and I think the errors are a result of the same thing the gems are: he’ll just lay it all out there to get at a ball. Also remember that this was his first full season at third, the errors were kind of expected. And I like the lineup too, but then again I really liked it at the start of this year too, and look where that got me. :/
    Jim, hey now. I keep the posterior admiration quite separate from player evaluation. I mean, I think Brad Ausmus is incredibly cute, but I would HATE to see us take him back in place of a better catcher. I REALLY don’t want to see Inge back at catcher, because I’m almost dead certain you’re going to sacrifice his BA if he’s playing there. And I do think he can get more selective; at least he seems to have a better eye at the plate, when he’s not pressing, than most of the team (excepting, of course, guys like Plonkers or Big Red). And it is, as Cat points out, Samara, or Sam, or Crazy Tigers Blogger Chick, but I’m not too particular. ;)
    Cat, I know, I know… the thing is, if Pudge were walking a lot, I’d be perfectly willing to say ‘screw chemistry’ and keep him around. But he’s just not getting on base like he should, so the chemistry issues DO become, well, issues. To be redundant about it.
    Ha ha ha, so it is! Over .200! I think this calls for a celebration. I’ll eat an Oreo in his honor or something.

  5. I honestly don’t think they would have lost QUITE this many games if Pudge was getting on base more. Take any of our guys and get them on base more in some of those absurd close losses we’ve had, and we win some of those. If Pudge was performing really well I’d say yes, screw the clubhouse, you overlook a LOT for raw talent, especially at a position like catcher where it’s so rare.

  6. Okay. What if he did have like a .425 OPB and that was the ONLY thing different about the past month? If he still behaved the same way and the team was still umpteen under .500? Would you want to keep him? Obviously, we can only go on the reports that get out to us, but it sounds to me like Rodriguez’s behavior is having an impact that cannot be balanced by any numbers. I’d rather have a happy team that tries than a team that phones it in while one of its so-called leaders acts exclusively in his own interest and tears into the manager once in a while for good measure.
    And Vance is totally my new favorite (active) Tiger. I suspect he has been for a little while. but it is now official. =D

  7. But don’t forget how awesome we are at getting guys on base and leaving them there!
    . . . okay, yeah, at this point, maybe I’m being just a touch contrary. And perhaps I would be less gungho about ditching Rodriguez if he was performing like he has in the past. (Also, random aside, I wonder if all this stuff would be coming out if the team were playing at the level they should be able to.)
    But I am *furious* with him, on a fairly intense gut reaction level, and you know how well logic mixes with gut reaction. I think I’m actually angrier than I was at Pedro last winter, because at least Pedro managed to wait till he was a Met before he started trashing the Sox. You just don’t trash your team. You just don’t. Doing the “we suck right now” bit is one thing, plenty of athletes do that, and sometimes it needs to be said. Saying “YOU GUYS suck and I win at life” is quite something else and really everything else that has come out since that interview is diarrhea icing on the crap cake. (To totally warp and destroy your analogy, sorry.)
    So, yeah, that’s pretty much where I’m coming from – a place that cannot be swayed by such arguments as “but we like when good players are on our team.” I am completely unreasonable on the subject by now and I will freely admit it. The whole thing has just really pushed my buttons.

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