DIRKS WAS A FINALIST FOR THE 2013 GOLD GLOVE AWARD?

So this was supposed to be a simple re-blog of a Detroit News post, H/T Nebraska and Sark, regarding Dirksburger’s rehab setback.  But then I read the article.

This was the last sentence of the story:

“Dirks has hit .275 with 24 homers and 100 RBIs over 297 games with the Tigers, and was a finalist for a Gold Glove in 2013.”

I’m sorry, what planet were judges on who made Dirksburger a finalist for the Gold Glove on?  What team were they watching? What player were they watching?  What sport were they watching?

The idea that Dirsky was among the top fielding outfielders in MLB last year is more than insane.  It is insulting.

“God I love baseball.” -Roy Hobbs | The Natural

Tigers Sign Rajai Davis…

Forgive me for not immediately ordering a Davis home jersey.

The detnews is reporting, hat tip Nebaraska, that the Tigers have signed, former Athletics and Blue Jays outfielder, Rajai Davis, to a two year contract.

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. — The Tigers have struck — they just haven’t struck gold. (UNDERSTATEMENT)

According to a report from Sportsnet.ca’s Ben-Nicholson Smith, speedy outfielder Rajai Davis and the Tigers have come to an agreement on a two-year contract. The Tigers have yet to confirm the move, but The News learned late Monday night that the Tigers were zeroing in on adding offense, and were likely to strike soon — and perhaps at the winter meetings.

Davis is a right-handed hitter who is in line to be in a left-field platoon with the left-handed-hitting Andy Dirks.

Keep reading here.

I don’t get it. Another platoon player? Great, he has speed but his on-base percentage is .312.  It is still impossible to steal first base, isn’t it?

This makes the Fister trade look even worse. What are the Tigers going to do with Lombardozzi?  A three way platoon with nobody that can hit.

All this wheeling and dealing and the Tigers still don’t have anybody to play left field.

And, they’re down a pitcher.

I feel another Dirksburger episode flaring up.

Should this be posted under WTF?  It seems that category is getting flooded this off season.

“God I love baseball.” Roy Hobbs | The Natural

Tigers Trade Fielder…

to Texas for Ian Kinsler!

According to this post at CBSSports dot com, the Tigers have moved Prince Fielder.

The Rangers and Tigers have agreed on a blockbuster deal to send Prince Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler, pending physicals and the approval of at least Fielder, CBSSports.com has learned.

There was no word yet of any other players being involved, so it may just be a one-for-one swap of stars. Fielder’s salary is much larger, and it is believed money will got Texas in the deal it wasn’t certain how much.

I like Prince Fielder but I think the Tigers made the right move.  I know overall, Prince’s numbers with the Tigers, looked pretty good.  But as Mark Twain once said, “there are lies, damned lies and statistics.”

I’m not sure why but it just didn’t seem like Prince was a good fit here.  He really couldn’t come through when Cabrera struggled, which was rarely, and Prince’s performance in the post season was nothing short of an abomination.  He could have been charged with two errors in the 9th inning of game 2 of the ALCS,  he got picked off at third in game 6 of the ALCS, and he didn’t drive in a post season run since game 2 of the 2012 ALDS against Oakland.  That being said, I like Prince, he just didn’t fit in here.  With all of his personal problems perhaps a change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered for Prince and the Tigers.

With Kinsler’s acquisition, it looks like Ian will go to second, Miggy will go to first, and Castellanos, though I ‘m not sold on him yet, goes to third.  Kinlser can fill the lead off slot in the lineup and let Ausmus move Austin Jackson down to the 7th or 8th spot.

Perhaps, even more importantly, the Tigers may have freed up enough money to sign Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.

Now for left field.  I hope Ausmus didn’t inhert Dirksburger syndrome.  He’s not the answer.

Hat tip to Nebraska, Vart, Sark and Mickey for giving me the news.

Also, a belated congratulations, from Flashin’ Leather to Miggy and Max!

“God I love baseball.” Roy Hobbs | The Natural

Tigers 5 Mariners 4

Fister pitched well and got his 13th win of the season.  The four runs he surrendered is a tad high but three of the runs came on a homer off of the bat of the Ackley Kid.

Smyly got the last out in the 8th and Joaquin Benoit converted his 22nd save of the season to close out the game and give the a Tigers 3-1 series win.

Incidentally, Tigers starters struck out 10 Mariners in 3 of the 4 games this series.  The only one with less was Justin Verlander.  Is this telling the Tigers something?  I’m not sayin.  I’m just sayin.

Torii Hunter got the Tigers on the board in the first with a solo shot but Fielder and Martinez did most of the damage this afternoon, they were a combined 5 for 6 with 3 RBIs.

Victor Martinez caught today and I thought he looked great.  Oh, and his batting average is now .301.

In the 6th inning, the Puppet Master, Jim Leyland, went to work.  He had Good Ole Dirsky pinch hit for Tui.  Dirksy didn’t get a hit but he had a hell of an at bat.  He bounced out to second base on the second pitch he saw from Mariner reliever Tom Wilhelmson. Tui wasn’t doing much but isn’t there anybody else to pinch hit, like Charlie Marcuse?  Oh, wait, the Tigers fired the singing hot dog man a few weeks ago.

Good Ole Dirksy redeemed himself in the bottom of the 7th, with runners at first and third and one out, Dirksy had another grind em out at bat.  He struck out on four pitches.

Letting Good Ole Dirsky bat in the 7th, against a good left handed reliever, Charlie Furbush, is a clear indication that the Puppet Master is still struggling with Dirksburger Syndrome.

Austin Jackson had a rough day. He was 0-5 including grounding into a double play.

Iggy got hurt and left the game when he was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the 6th.  Luckily, he’s only got a bruised hand.  When it happened it looked like it might be broken.

All in all this was a good win.  The Tigers’ magic number is 4.

The White Sox come to town tomorrow.

God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural

Tigers 6 Mariners 2

After three typically, pathetic innings, the Tigers offense woke up and scored single runs in the 4th, 6th, and 7th, then blew the game open with three in the bottom of the 8th to give the Tigers their 6th win in 7 games.

Sanchez was good tonight and the bullpen was even better.  Anibal threw 125 pitches.  He lasted 6 and 1/3, allowed 2 earned runs, walked two and struck out 10.

The Amazing Al did an excellent job of clutch pitching.  Alburquerque relieved Sanchez with one out in the 7th, runners at second and third, and the game tied at 2.  He got Abraham Almonte to pop out to Jose Iglesias at short, who flashed some leather making a nice running catch in shallow left.  The Amazing Al then struck out Franklin Gutierrez to end the inning and keep the game tied.

In the top of the 8th it was Jose Alvarez’s turn to come up big.  Phil Coke started the 8th and got Kyle Seagar to ground out to first base.  Prince Fielder showed he can flash leather as he made a nice diving stop on the bullet hit off of Seagar’s bat.  Coke then got into some trouble.  He walked Raul Ibanez and got Justin Smoak to hit what looked like an inning ending double play ball to the left of second base.  Unfortunately, the sure handed Jose Iglesias couldn’t handle the ball and everyone was safe.  The last batter Coke would face was Michael Saunders who he walked to load the bases on five pitches.  So in comes Alvarez to relieve Coke.  Alvarez battled Mike Zunino in an 11 pitch at bat but finally got the Mariner catcher to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Phil Coke was booed as he left the field.  I hate to see anybody get booed but tonight I felt it was really unwarranted.  I can’t defend him for the walks he gave up.  Walks are enough to drive anybody mad but his defense really let him down.  If Iglesias makes the play on the ball hit by Justin Smoak, like I’m sure he’ll do 99 out of 100 times, Coke gets out of the inning having only faced three batters.  But I guess that’s just how this season has gone for Phil.  Very little has seemed to work for him this year.

Let’s talk about Alex A Squared Money Avila.  It looks like he is getting healthy and his game is starting to show it.  His batting average is up to .225, not bad considering it was down to about .168 as late as June.  What really impressed me today was his triple.  He hit a line drive to right leading off the 7th inning that made it all the way to the wall and left Avila standing on third.  He’s never been a speed demon but he was running about as well as I’ve ever seen him.  Alex also had two walks in this game.  His second base on balls came in the bottom of the 8th.  After falling behind Seattle reliever Carter Capps 0-2, he was able to work a walk and load the bases.  For the last few weeks, Alex has been looking like the Alex we saw in the 2011 regular season.  Let’s hope he stays healthy and continues playing this way.

JV is on the mound tomorrow.

Update: I forgot to include this in the original post, perhaps I was subconsciously blocking it out.  In what can only be described as the most bizarre move I’ve seen in baseball, Jim Leyland, pinch hit Andy Dirks for Jose Iglesias with the bases loaded in the 8th inning.  This move is insane on so many levels I’m not sure where to begin.  I guess lets start with Dirks Blows!  He’s having a terrible season.  Iglesias is hitting .315.  Dirks is hitting .257. Iglesias is the best defensive player on the team, something I thought was important to Leyland, especially in the late innings.  Andy Dirks plays left field like Charlie Marcuse, the now deposed singing, hot dog, vendor.  The only logical explanation for this asinine move is Dirksburger Syndrome.  After lying dormant in the bowels of the Tigers manager for a few weeks, it was bound to flair up again and did.

Oh, yea, true to form, Good Ole Dirksy struck out.

Hat Tip to Sark for reminding me of this abomination.

God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural

Keep Dirks For His Glove?

Nebraksa knows turned me onto this article at DetNews dot come by Kurt Mensching, Tigers have the left fielders they need, if they’re used correctly.

For the first few paragraphs, I was agreeing with what Mensching had to say.  I don’t think Nick Castellanos is the answer to the vacancy in left field.  He’s not pounding AAA pitching, he’s only batting .278.  I think that at this point, the best the Tigers can do is platoon and hope Dirks’ bat perks up.  If it doesn’t, try Don Kelly.  If that doesn’t work, hoping and praying won’t hurt.

The second half of the article, Don’t Forget About Defense, is where I lost any interest in the story.

What should keep Dirks in the lineup is his glove. That’s a far cry from what we’ve come to expect of past Tigers left fielders.

The advanced metrics have painted a nice picture of his game. Those stats take into consideration a number of factors, such as where and how hard a ball is hit as well as the unique configuration of each stadium. Baseball Information Solutions has people watch and “score” every defensive play, then formulas are applied to the results to compare players.

This season, Dirks has been worth eight runs more than an average left fielder according to the Defensive Runs Saved stat. For his career, he has been worth 18 runs.

Using Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 games, Dirks again shines. He has been about 17 runs better than an average left fielder this year per that stat. For his career, he has been worth about five runs per 150 games by UZR.

I am a believer in Money Ball statistics and I’m sure there is an advance metric that makes Andy Dirks look like Willie Mays but I also know statistics and metrics can be manipulated to say anything.  In fact, there is an entire book written called, How To Lie With Statistics.  I’m not saying this “advance metric” is a Mensching fabrication, I’m just saying that empirical evidence doesn’t seem to corroborate the metric.

Dirks, at best has been an abomination in left field.  I’m thankful when he makes the routine play.  Anything more than routine, he won’t come close to.  I remind readers again of his embarrassing performance on the last trip to Chicago.

Look, here’s the bottom line, I know the Tigers don’t have a left fielder.  I think platooning and hoping is the only option for the Tigers right now.  That being said, running Dirks out there every night because Jim Leyland suffers from Dirksburger Syndrome is not the proper way to platoon.  Use Tui against lefties, but don’t let him sit around so long that he gets K’d by Ryan Rayburn.  Put Dirksy in against righties but don’t let him struggle for a month before pulling him out.

One more thing, NEVER PULL MIGUEL CABREREA OUT OF A CLOSE GAME UNLESS HE’S INJURED.

“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural

Tigers Lose Game and Series…

in the Bronx.

The Tigers lost this afternoon to the Yankees 5-4 and lost the weekend series 2 games to 1.  This was a terrible series to lose.  The Yankees have been struggling and the Tigers surging. but the Tigers found a way to lose two games.

Justin Verlander was, ok, not great, not terrible. He pitched 7 complete, allowed 4 runs on 4 hits, struck out 9 and walked 1.  JV was not lights out but his offense didn’t pick him up today.  The Tigers as a team left 23 runners on base.

Austin Jackson made another crucial base running error in the 8th inning.  With the score 4-2, Jackson was on first base with one out.  Torii Hunter followed with a long fly ball that Yankee center fielder, Brett Gardener, flashed some leather on. He made a fine running catch and crashed into the wall. He was momentarily hurt and unable to throw the ball in.  As a result, he shoveled the ball toward the left fielder Alfonso Soriano.  For some reason, Jackson never went back to first base and got double off leaving Miguel Cabrera in the on deck circle.

Miggy struck in the 9th.  He lead off the 9th with a solo shot off of Yankee closer Mariano Rivera.  After Prince lined out softly to third, Victor stepped up and hit a solo homer to tie the game.  Unfortunately, Brett Gardner homered off of Jose Veras in the bottom of the 9th to win the game for the Yankees.

Even with the late inning heroics, you can’t leave 23 runners on base and expect to win baseball games.  The Tigers have a gaping hole in left field and need to figure out a way to fill it, at least partially.  Matt Tuiasosopo played today and he seems to have cooled off but you can hardly blame him.  He hasn’t played much in the last two weeks as Tiger manager Jim Leyland was suffering from Dirksburger Syndrome and couldn’t find many at bats for Tui.

It’s on to Chicago.  They need to win this series.

“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural