By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. With 54 games behind us, readers have the opportunity to read and think about a number of different topics.
Holly and Kurt don’t share and it’s only for the reader’s benefit. It almost always translates into a wide array of thoughts. Suspect nothing different today.
Why would a manager ever say publicly that he’s “tired of fighting”? Isn’t a manager supposed to lead and rally his troops into pushing their performance and competitive levels in an attempt to find a way to win each and every game? A most damning confession by Ausmus that supports many fans’ beliefs that he is not inspiring nor a leader or motivator.
The quest to boost ticket sales has now started in earnest given that the Tigers are picking up speed in losing attendance. With ticket figures that put them at #20 (net loss), the special price promos and increased advertising by Mario and Rod are telling. With the White Sox and Jays coming into town, bet that the attendance figures for these two series will be watched carefully and considered in the overall assessment and moves made by the organization going forward.
Especially this year, there is a marked difference in the energy levels, especially during celebrations, in the Tigers dugout. They are so restrained in comparison to other teams even when those big HRs are hit. None so evident then when VMart hit a monster HR and came back to the dugout jumping and screaming in an effort to get his team fired up.
Splattered all over the notes of everything I have ever written about this season is the notion of how critical Anibal Sanchez is to any championship aspirations the Tigers may have. To say he can be replaced would only open up another hole they won’t be able to fill in the rotation. So his return to form and placement back in the rotation is near the top in level of importance.
Doesn’t every team pitch their 5th starter in between their 2 best? The Tigers have the ability to shuffle their rotation and pitch Verlander against Sale today. But, considering how much sense that would make going forward, it will be Pelfrey. We are so often asked to lighten up on our manager, but this is another one of those critical ‘under the radar’ decisions that ruffle my feathers.
As we flip through the calendar, first April, then May and now June, we are still waiting on Justin Upton. Watching him at the plate, guessing his way through an at bat, swinging through strikes, is beyond puzzling. Mike Ilitch wanted more offense for the lineup and spent big money to get it, but Upton’s offense heading into the summer would be more accurately described as offens-ive, but boy, does he look good on paper.