Because I am bored and pissed off at the thought of another wasted season, and because clearly others out there want to talk about this, I put together a list of observations I have about the Tigers and their amazing play this year -- right up there with the Pirates and the Royals. In no particular order:
1. This team has no fire. Outside of Verlander, is there anyone you'd want with you in a Zombie Apocalypse? Maybe Peralta, because he can't possibly outrun me.
2. No one on this team is playing simple, fundamental baseball. Man on third, no outs? We might get that one run and that's it (happened the other night). No one takes pitches and makes the SP tire, bringing out the opponents' middle relievers. No one takes an extra base. How is this not a Leyland problem? He can't get 25 grown professionals to act like professionals? I get that he can't hold the bat for them, but at some point, if he can't get them to at least play as competently as little leaguers, it's on him.
3. We have assembled, yet again, a John Madden Fantasy Team instead of an actual baseball team. For all the preseason predictions about a fearsome lineup, what do we really have? We have a good leadoff hitter. We have a 3/4 combo...and that's pretty much it. We have no #2 hitter. We have no #5 or #6. We have four guys (Dirks, Avila, Boesch, Peralta) who are #7 hitters. The rest of the team is a mess and should be on a bench or batting 9th.
How is this not a Dombrowski problem? if I built a car with a starter, and engine/tranny, one brake and 4 steering wheels, I'd be sued, fired, and probably shot by an angry grieving father outside of a courtroom. He throws out a Raburn/Inge poo poo platter as 2B, throws $5 million at Delmon Young (who has all the range of Kurt Cobain), and hopes for the best? Are you kidding me?
4. We can't even play high school quality defense. We have a 1B who cannot throw and can barely catch the ball. God help him if he has to bend over to grab a ball. We have a revolving door of bench fodder at 2B. We have, I swear to god, an actual fatass playing SS. He looks like a 45-year-old divorced cop trying to play beer league softball out there. Oh, and let's not forget the 3B who belongs at 1B. We have one decent OF (Dirks, when both legs work) and one great CF. That's it. The entire rest of the team is a liability, to both the team and any fan within 500 feet.
5. There is no leadership and so far, there is no plan. Captain Leyland has taken Dombrowski's Titanic and driven it right into the iceberg. The season's going down and all we get are empty smoky platitudes, obtuse optimism that flies in the face of facts -- facts we all see on the damn ballfield every game, and "hope". I don't know what the answer is. I don't know that there is anything that can help turn this around now.
I just know that all these things are a problem and no one beyond Brandon Inge and Ryan Raburn (both batting .150) is being held accountable. I'm not a "fire everyone, start over" kind of person, but at some point, JL/DD have to either produce a plan that will work or we need to find a new management team that will.