Carlos Guillen hits 1000, everyone sighs in relief


photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

FINALLY.

That was a Huge Sigh of Relief Game (hereby known as the unpronounceable HSRG) if I ever saw one. The losing streak was starting to get bad… not that all losing streaks aren’t bad, because they ARE, but this one was starting to weigh us all down with incredibly heavy depressing thoughts. Thoughts of the Racist Logos. Thoughts of the Yankees. Disgusting teams to have to think about, really.

Thanks to the HSRG, we can now drag our minds out of the gutter for one night before we have to worry about plunging our thoughts back into the cold, cold depths of murky losing again.

Now, I would like to see if we can win more than once a week. Winning one was good. Winning several in a row would be a lot better. I know we have to take baby steps up out of this slump and I know that the HSRG is just a beginning, but I would be a lot happier inside my own obsessed, Tigers-fan brain if some positive progress could be made.

Speaking of progress being made! Tonight Carlos Guillen reached a milestone, as he acquired his 1,000th hit. Carlos is DHing in an attempt to rest his Surgically Repaired Knee (a joint with whom we are all far too familiar, and from whom we hope to not hear anything soon). Even the unusual rhythm of DHing, coupled with the probable slight soreness in his knee, could not keep Carlos’ bat down. He went 3-for-4 and was a home run short of the cycle, and in the process of all that hitting, he managed to smack his 1,000th.

Quoth Carlos: “You stay healthy, you can do these things.”

Downplaying as usual. Hugs for you, Carlos. Nobody in the universe will care except for us, what with ARod and Barry Bonds and Tom Glavine all splattering onto the windshield of the record books at once, but it’s a nice round number to reach, and Tigers fans commend you most heartily for it.

The Mayor’s home run: awesome, yes or yes? It was kind of like, OK, Sean Casey has gone yard. We cannot now lose this game. Sean Casey, who now has a grand total of 3 home runs this year; this was his first at Comerica, because the park is just too bloody big for his solid lil’ bat. How can you not love seeing a guy like that hit one out of the ballpark, just when we need it most? Pure Mayor-dom.

Oh, and there was a Tigers roundtable over at AOL Fanhouse. Questions were asked of Billfer, Ian, Kurt, and Lee, in addition to me. So you know I sound especially ridiculous. But variety is the spice of Tigers blogdom! So be sure to go check that out.

7 responses to “Carlos Guillen hits 1000, everyone sighs in relief

  1. Jeff, I agree: defensive stats suck. I’m not sold on Carlos being a huge defensive liability, but that’s because I’m not looking at defensive stats, I’m thinking about how many times in the recent past I’ve thought to myself “oh crabcakes, if only we had had Shortstop X in there instead of Carlos, we would have made that play and been out of the inning”… which is just as terrible a way of evaluating defensive players, I’m aware… but it just doesn’t happen all that often. You’re quite right when you say that having Inge and Polanco around him help a lot. Sure Inge gets tagged with a lot of errors, but I’ll bet some of those are from when he ranges into what on another team would be shortstop territory…
    His Surgically Repaired Knee is a serious concern. We’ve seen that you can have cork for knees and still play first (HAI SEAN CASEY!), but this weird insistence on getting Carlos over there RIGHT AWAY… hm. I wonder if the team knows more about the state of his knees than they’re telling us. That would make some of this Jack Wilson insanity at least a little more understandable– ‘tho I still don’t like it one bit, not at that price.
    tiff, one of my very very favorite Carlos quotes was something he said right before the All Star break, when he was trying to name other Venezuelans in the game this year and brought up Jorge Posada. Someone pointed out that Posada isn’t Venezuelan and Carlos said something along the lines of “Oh, but we have the same ears! We are brothers!” And then I died from the sheer adorableness.

  2. I probably should leave this comment over on the AOL discussion side, but since there’s a great big Carlos at the top of this post, it also makes sense here:
    I don’t understand the fascination with getting Carlos Guillen over to first base ASAP. First of all, whatever defensive liability he might be (and I’m not convinced that he is one) is ameliorated by having Gold Glovers to his immediate left and right on the infield. And here’s the other thing: He’s a great-hitting shortstop, whereas he’s a so-so hitting first baseman. I’m going to employ my favorite Bill James stat, RC/27 (for those unfamiliar, that’s Runs Created (which is often as simple as TB x OBP, it’s true) divided by the number of outs the player makes, times 27, with the concept being “if you could have an entire lineup of (player’s name here)s, how many runs would that lineup score per game?”):
    Among shortstops:
    Hanley Ramirez – 8.64
    Edgar Renteria – 7.06
    Carlos Guillen – 6.94
    Jose Reyes – 6.77
    Derek Jeter – 6.47
    Jimmy Rollins – 6.42
    And there’s a big drop-off after these six guys.
    Among first basemen:
    Carlos Pena – 8.01
    Derrek Lee – 7.99
    Prince Fielder – 7.98
    Mark Teixeira – 7.84
    Ryan Howard – 7.80
    Albert Pujols – 7.76
    Dmitri Young – 7.43
    Todd Helton – 7.16
    Kevin Youkilis – 7.15
    Ryan Garko – 7.03
    Carlos Guillen – 6.94
    Justin Morneau – 6.59
    Kevin Millar – 6.32
    Paul Konerko – 6.11
    Lance Berkman – 6.00
    Anybody else see the problem there?
    Look, I’m not a big believer in fielding stats, per se, but everyone admits that using errors and/or fielding percentage (where Guillen finishes dead last among regular shortstops) is iffy at best. According to Range Factor, though (and this with among the rangiest 3rd basemen out there playing right next to him), he’s about on par with Jason Bartlett, Tony Pena, Jr., Khalil Greene, Jimmy Rollins, Orlando Cabrera, Julio Lugo and Stephen Drew. I’d say only 2 of those (Rollins and Cabrera) are even in the same zip code as Carlos on hitting. Use the funkier Zone Rating stat, and it rates Carlos as being about as good as Jimmy Rollins, Yuniesky Betancourt, J.J. Hardy, Jhonny Peralta, and (very interestingly) Edgar Renteria. Funny how you don’t hear the Braves considering moving Renteria to first base any time soon.
    Yeah, yeah, I know. The balky knees. Still, before we just all willy-nilly go moving Carlos over to first base, let’s consider the consequences, shall we?

  3. The consequences, especially if Jack Wilson is meant to replace him. Shudder.
    I adore Carlos and all his adorable humility, and those ears? How can you not love the ears?
    HSRG was the perfect antidote to why I was feeling so edgy last night. Let’s do it again!

  4. Am I a bad person because I secretly root for Carlos Pena? Because every time he gets up to bat, I really want him to be awesome. He is still one of my favorite baseball players. I guess as long as the Tigers win it’s ok, right?
    I can’t imagine the state of your brain when the Red Sox play the Tigers. I’m having trouble here and it’s just one player!

  5. N’aw, Whit, I root for Pena too. Not only is he a former Tiger, not only did I LOVE watching him play (defensively, anyhow), he ALSO is a Boston kid, born and educated. So my love for Carlos Pena runs deep.
    As for the dual-rooting… I guess maybe it just gets easier with time and practice. :)

  6. That’s actually a really funny picture of Carlos. He seems apprehensive, like he’s not sure why the photographer is looking at him like that.
    I always wanted to like Carlos Pena, too–as a Toledoan I’m always pulling for former Mud Hens. I’m glad he’s doing well. But seeing him brings back bad memories, you know? The Pena Era wasn’t the greatest time in team history, not that it was entirely his fault. It’s like seeing Robert Fick when we played the Nats. (Remember when he was the best hitter on the team?) I always shiver a little.

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