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Tigers can't hit, can't defend; lose to Royals

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How's the retirement plan, Jim?
How's the retirement plan, Jim?





Final - 4.10.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City Royals 0 0 2 1 2 0 2 1 1 9 15 1
Detroit Tigers 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 0 1 5 10 4
WP: Luke Hochevar (1 - 1)
SV: Joakim Soria (3)
LP: Rick Porcello (0 - 2)

Complete Coverage >


BOX

KEY STAT

Tigers commit four(!) errors

KEY PLAY

Hard to find one that matters all that much. The freshest one: In the eighth inning the team gets two runners on with no outs while down by four, but Will Rhymes nearly hits the ball just inside the foul line. But it's a foul and followed by hitting into a double play. The team scored but that kept the inning from a crooked number.

THOUGHTS

Forget the key play. I mean, it was certainly part of the story. But it wasn't the story. The story was a mixture of can't pitch and can't field. Return to the most obvious stat of them all: four errors. How does a major league team commit four errors? These are professionals. Four errors? We knew the defense wouldn't be great this year, but four errors? Just what were they doing during spring training. FOUR ERRORS?!

Or look at that Royals scoring line: 0 0 2 1 2 0 2 1 1. The Royals scored in six of seven innings to end the game. This wasn't just one pitcher's fault, or the defense's fault. This was a full on team screw up.

Let's be clear here: I am not calling for Jim Leyland's head. But I do have to say there's no way he gets or deserves to have his contract extended with the awful way the team started the year. They may have won during spring training, but they have repeatedly not looked ready for the task in front of them. That falls on the manager as well as the players. But the players (with contracts) aren't likely to be going anywhere, not during the season anyway. The manager, on the other hand ... well Leyland knows his seat is getting a little warm, I'm sure.

As they say, you don't want to play a bad team early. Not that the Orioles or Royals are necessarily going to be bad teams. But they're probably not going to be good teams either. They just don't know that yet. The Tigers, on the other hand, look for all the world like a bad team.

Now is the season over because the Tigers are 3-6? No. Far from it. They are three series and just over one week into the season. What we've seen has been some pretty awful baseball at times, but that doesn't mean it will continue to be that awful.

With the Rangers coming to town and then a West Coast swing, the Tigers just better snap out of it before they find themselves in a sizable hole before the first month of the year is even over.