By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
Thursday’s edition focuses on one question that appears easy to answer. But you know the way it goes around these parts, the answers could be the same and different all at once.
The Tigers’ imposing lineup can be shut down in a heartbeat when the heart is struggling. Anyone in particular come to mind?
Here are a couple takes on the topic.
Which batter in the lineup most concerns you right now?
Pick a Martinez, any Martinez. I’m concerned with both of those guys. But Victor concerns me the most, mainly because I don’t think he should be playing.
The Tigers took a pretty big risk in the off-season by signing VMart to a rather large and long, 4 year contract extension. So, a little extra care with this expensive of an asset would make sense, wouldn’t you think?
Victor is coming off the best season of his career. And we all breathed a sigh of relief when we learned he would only be out 4-6 weeks after injuring his meniscus in the spring. I understand that we can’t expect him to be 100% yet, but it’s beyond that. We are not helping him by playing him and I don’t buy that playing him is not introducing more risk.
Ausmus has shown no real control of the situation, at least from what we have seen; seemingly letting Victor make the decision on whether he should continue to play. They have been doing it since spring training.
Every time they have had a concern, Ausmus and his trainer end up running back to the dugout with their tails between their legs, having done nothing.
One day as we continue to run him out there, something bad is going to happen and we are going to lose him for a good long time. And we will have no one to blame but our manager.
As I speak, he just homered, but that is just a testament to how good he is, not how healthy he is.
It has to be VMart – he is the glue that binds this team together. He is Park Place to Miggy’s Boardwalk, with hotels.
When Victor is healthy, Miggy gets better pitches to hit and is walked less. So do the guys who follow Victor if he gets on base. He is the essential part of that 4-man stretch of the lineup that every team has to survive. Shorten it, or poke a hole in it, and offense will go down.
But Vmart’s hitting is not what concerns me. It’s his health. Victor reminds me of a Navy Seal I know who couldn’t stand to be slowed down by a cast on his broken leg and ripped it off so he could resume an active life. Victor needs to be protected from Victor.
Every game, I swear we have seen him wince in pain, hobble or grab his back after a swing. But he can’t put the necessary weight on that leg yet and is unable to help the team right now. Letting him play every day simply increases the risk that more damage will be done that may just put him out for months – or longer.
Since Brad is unable to exercise his managerial right, I propose the Tigers hire a mom who will certainly get players to listen and obey. And what a perfect weekend for this to happen!