By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. With 147 (78-69) games behind us, readers have the opportunity to read and think about a number of different topics.
Kurt and Holly don’t share and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. It almost always translates into a wide array of thoughts. Suspect nothing different today.
The Tigers are collapsing at a most inopportune time; when the schedule was in their favor. There was hope and there was promise. But the key word happens to be “was” as the Indians once again toyed with the Tigers while Detroit looked like buffoons throwing the ball all over the yard Friday night.
Every Tiger loss now moves the discussion away from the playoff chase and closer to an off-season fallout. This is a discussion that really should be saved for after the season, but we have learned this week that both Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey need to become ex-Tigers. Ilitch is going to have to eat some money.
You have to give Brad a lot of credit for continuing to stay composed during this September collapse. Showing confidence in his starting pitchers far beyond their effectiveness is well, different, I must say. It keeps his offense on their toes as well when their manager’s decisions make it as difficult as possible to stay in a game or pull away. (Any twinge of sarcasm has been correctly detected).
So much for the highly-touted easy schedule which was supposed to be a huge advantage for the Tigers. The team is playing under .500 baseball this month and have only won 1 out of 4 series. If they can’t take the Twins and White Sox, how can we expect them to do better in the remaining series against the Indians (2 series), Twins (again) and the Royals?
More than 1 former player/ GM-turned-analyst this week has brought up how each team takes on the personality and energy of their manager. They pointed to managers like Terry Collins and Joe Girardi who have amped up their energy and become more scrappy these past couple weeks as part of their strategy to inspire their players into fighting harder for those wins. Girardi has done a tremendous job after many of his top players were traded away – exchanged for rookies – and resulting in surprisingly better play and upward movement in the standings and wild card.
Jack Morris has turned out to be a great on-air partner for Mario. He’s really improved since last year and offers excellent commentary and the much-needed critique factor, along with a professionally-trained speaking voice and higher Q-factor (likeability). The only question is whether the Tigers can pry him away from Twins broadcasting full-time.