pug marks, Dec. 11

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Happy last night of Chanukah from Hank Greenberg and Roar of the Tigers! On to the pug marks.

pug mark 1
Lee has a really nice post up comparing Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge. If you want to argue about their relative merits and demerits, I would suggest you read that post. In fact, I think it should be required reading. The general idea is that, yes, Cabrera is an upgrade over Inge, we all agree on this because it would be completely bonkers not to, but when you factor in both offense AND defense, the difference is not so large as you might think.

Brandon Inge fans will note that something they knew intuitively all along is indeed borne out by the numbers. Satisfying!

pug mark 2
The Tigers just re-signed Timo Perez to a one year contract, and Matt says “ew”. I tend to agree. Why bother? Our big league outfield is our most comprehensively covered area right now, with the Granderson/Magglio combo in there for sure, Jacque Jones splitting time with someone (Raburn? Thames? Inge??), Clevlen a possibility, Freddy Guzman a not-very-exciting possibility… we really need Timo in there? Whatever, I can’t even get that worked up about this yet.

pug mark 3
According to the Free Press, the Tigers have been talking to the Pirates about Inge. I expect them to talk to every single team about Inge at some point, just for the heck of it, but I will note that both the Pirates’ big league catchers are 26 years old and not as completely terrible with a bat as some. Not that I think this is going to happen. Just saying. And I would be marginally less upset about trading Inge if we got some kind of viable catcher in return, because you all know my obsessive concern with our catching situation.

pug mark 4
Just in case you missed it, Lynn Henning talked to Big Red after he was traded to Texas. Despite the generally positive spin (“Yay, starting! Yay, new opportunities!”), Shelton still comes off as a little sore that he didn’t get more chances to stick in Detroit. He did have lots of chances, in my opinion, but then again he also was kind of blocked out by the fact that a cushy, old-man-friendly position like first base isn’t where you want to be as a marginal player.

pug mark 5
Not strictly Tigers-related, but I thought this was interesting. The MVP, Cy Young, and rookie awards given out by the Baseball Writer’s Association of America can no longer be monetary incentives in player contracts. The idea is keep the awards about the awards themselves and not something guys gun for out of a desire for cash. Purity of the game and all that.
You can debate the rationale behind this, but in any event they do mean business:

Starting in 2013, players with such bonus clauses in their contracts will be banned from receiving votes for any BBWAA awards.
Detroit News article

Lots of big guys have these clauses in their contracts, although obviously only a very few are ever ‘activated’ each season. I guess the 2013 date is to give players time to purge the offending language from their contracts and to avoid it in new ones, but if someone leaves it in (accidentally or otherwise) and ends up being a deserving candidate, would they really be banned from consideration for the awards? Harsh, man, harsh.

12 responses to “pug marks, Dec. 11

  1. And yet… This just in from a “hot stove” story on mlb.com:
    “For openers, there is Jason Bay, star of the Pittsburgh outfield and of recurring trade whispers.
    According to the Chicago Tribune, the latest, involving Cleveland, has gotten pretty specific, with Bay and catcher Ronny Paulino supposedly being proposed for outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, catcher Kelly Shoppach and left-hander Cliff Lee. Indians general manager Mark Shapiro’s reluctance to deal away his surplus pitching, and thus his insurance, could be the holdup.
    The Tribune also reported, ‘This deal could move quickly if the Indians substitute Aaron Laffey or Adam Miller, maybe even Jeremy Sowers.'”
    So, maybe we’re interested if they’re talking Ronny Paulino, but they have to get back to us as to whether he’s actually still on the team or not?

  2. What the hell the Pirates want with another infielder is beyond me… And I’m not all that excited about Ronny Paulino, thanks very much.
    And, come on, A-Rod getting a bonus for being named MVP… When you’re being paid more than the entire Marlins or Devil Rays, you *should* be the MVP — it’s expected, not something worthy of a bonus. The controversy that started that was Schilling’s new contract, which calls for a bonus if he gets *one vote* in the Cy Young voting (although I haven’t seen if that’s one vote of any kind or specifies one first-place vote), and he joked on his blog about bribing a member of the media to vote for him. Frankly, I think they’re right to at least bring it up for consideration. Seeing as how there’s 5 years between now and the first time they’re talking about doing this, then there’s time to figure things out. Good on ’em.

  3. Nice Greenberg, and a very happy Chanukah to you too! :)

  4. Jeff, yeah, it doesn’t make much more sense than any other Inge rumor I’ve heard out there, but what the heck. And hey, Paulino had a better OBP last season than Pudge did. ;)
    I understand the thinking behind the BBWAA decision, but I wonder how the owners and GMs are taking it. Those clauses, since they’re so rarely fulfilled, can be nice bargaining chips in contract negotiations for the front office guys as well as for the players…
    PfP, thanks! I rushed the coloring, but the original drawing came out OK.

  5. Oh my, desiring Ronny Paulino. Be careful what you wish for.
    Jeff: The Pirates want a *real* third baseman who can play defense. Jose Bautista probably isn’t that. The left side of the infield is particularly important when you have three left-handed pitchers in your starting rotation who don’t throw very hard. We’re still at least a full season away from being competitive, but I’d be willing to explore the viability of an Inge-to-Pittsburgh trade so long as Detroit is willing to foot part of the bill.

  6. I don’t WANT Ronny Paulino, I want Mike Rabelo back! I’m just scuffling around reasons for the Pitt/Detroit conversation that apparently took place. We need bullpen guys and a catcher, so. Is Paulino some kind of defensive black hole? That would be bad with Verlander in particular, but most of our other pitchers don’t need too much babying…
    We don’t want to foot the bill. This is gonna be the sticking point when it comes to moving Inge (not that I’d complain too vociferously about that).

  7. Chris Shelton will hit .295/.370/.560 and win comeback player of the year. Unless Inge is traded, in which case Inge will sweep every single awards category.

  8. I understand the tongue-in-cheek, dave, but Shelton didn’t hit that well (OK, so he had a 381 OBP, but still) at Toledo last year.
    Inge, on the other hand… If he gets traded to the NL, who knows? In some of the bandbox stadia (Philly?) in the Senior Circuit, he might blossom to 35 bombs.

  9. Samara, That’s a great illustration of Greenberg.

  10. Come on, Sam, work us up a good-bye pimp graphic… Please?

  11. Ha ha, yeah man, I have one primed and ready to go, but I’m waiting for the Mitchell report before I post anything…

  12. I want Rabelo back too :(

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