By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on many different issues. Even with the season over for the Tigers, there is still much to talk about.
Kurt and Holly don’t share and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. It almost always translates into a wide array of thoughts; well, most of the time.
Innovation continues to change the way the game is played and the way a game is managed. Infield shifts have now become the norm in baseball and now managers are beginning to introduce a hybrid type reliever; i.e. the Indians with Andrew Miller being employed in different roles when he seems to be a classic closer. Teams that become more creative strategically will be the ones at the top of divisions going forward.
I am not going to lie, I found some satisfaction in seeing Max Scherzer denied once again of having his cake and eating it, too. Leaving Detroit for bigger money left a bad taste in my mouth to start with; but watching his team bow out of the playoffs didn’t hurt my feelings. Not to be ignored were the gutsy performances of the Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen and Clayton Kershaw who teamed to put the Nats away.
What the heck, while I’m telling the truth, I guess I won’t hesitate to admit finding pleasure in watching Dombrowski’s Red Sox team go down either. I think we can all agree in Detroit that the last thing we wanted is for DD to head to another team and win a championship right out of the gate. And the clean sweep made it even a little sweeter; sorry Dave.
Using closers in the middle innings, using starters as closers on 2 days’ rest, playing small ball early on in order to score the winning runs and playing with the highest sense of urgency. These were the playoffs so far – games that resembled chess matches between managers more than they did baseball. Even if the Tigers’ roster gets stronger, and Brad gets better, how can he possibly compete against guys like Bochy, Maddon and Francona, who have honed their strategies and gut instincts from years of managing and playoff experience?
Boston ain’t Detroit, Dave – where fans have zero tolerance for losing and aren’t thrilled with his reputation because he never won it all in Detroit. Online petitions have circulated all year for firing Manager John Farrell, despite the Bosox standings, 93 wins, first place finish and playoff participation. In the end, Dombrowski made no real commitment to Farrell’s future by offering his manager a one-year extension, just like Al Avila.
Who will be named the Tigers’ new hitting coach? Will it be Lloyd McClendon, the former hitting coach for Detroit as well as a former MLB manager who would like to manage once again? Or, could it be Victor Martinez as a part-time player/coach which would help answer concerns about his obvious physical issues and untradeable contract while also helping the team justify his salary and save a little money on one less hire.