QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, KUDOS & CONCERNS

By:  Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder

Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on many different issues. With the news this week that the Tigers will field trade offers for just about everyone, speculation is running rampant.

Holly and Kurt don’t share and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. It almost always translates into a wide array of thoughts.


HOLLY

QUESTION

What is going on with the umpires this year? There has never been more controversy and teams irate at their calling of balls and strikes. But now I’ve seen it all with one of their worst, Angel Hernandez, selected as one of this year’s “best” umpires, to work the playoff games.

COMMENT

I will never understand those who say that managers either don’t make any difference to a team’s performance or have little impact. The most visible proof is this year’s playoffs where the moves of Bochy, Maddon, Roberts and especially Francona have become more of a topic of conversation than the actual play. There is no coincidence that these 4, and their teams, ended up in the playoffs.

COMMENT

Given the new edict of “younger and leaner”, we are potentially facing the dawn of a new era with the Tigers and that means we need to view components of the team, including the manager with a fresh perspective. While Brad was not the match for a team that needed experience and guidance to get them to the post-season, the pressure may now be off him. His ability to maintain a calm clubhouse, coupled with his ability to nurture young players, could be a real asset to a team expected to experience the stress of multiple trades and an influx of youth.

CONCERN

He may no longer be manager, but make no mistake; Jim Leyland still pulls many of the strings for the Tigers. Now with Lloyd McClendon back as the hitting coach, JL’s whole gang is back together. And it’s not hard to fathom who will take over as manager when Ausmus’ single option year expires after 2017 if JL is still employed by the team.


KURT

COMMENT

The sudden death of Drew Sharp this week should really make us all take pause. Drew was a controversial writer in Detroit, often known for rubbing readers the wrong way. His sudden loss should make us all step back and consider what we say about members of the media; they all have lives and they all have talents. So, I am saddened by the death of one of the pillars of the Detroit media, who routinely extracted passion from his readers, the ultimate goal for all writers.

CONCERN

Mike Ilitch has been known to be one of the greatest team owners in sports. His passion for the city and his sports teams is quite evident, but I feel at long last that he has failed Tiger fans. We have all been blinded by the bright lights of the big stars on this team, when in the background they have represented irresponsible management of a baseball franchise, and it looks like we are all about to suffer for it.

QUESTION

Did you ever think at the time of Brad Ausmus’ hiring that he would continue to hold onto the remnants of Jim Leyland’s staff? Gene Lamont continues to hold down a spot on the Tigers bench, Jeff Jones survived the transition from Jim to Brad before ultimately leaving and now Lloyd McClendon has now returned as hitting coach. It’s strange how the Tigers have decided they need to be more responsible and progressive with their roster, but strangely seem to have taken the opposite position with Brad’s coaching staff; please join me in my confusion.

QUESTION

Did Al Avila introduce to his ownership the risks involved with signing Justin Upton? Did he make it clear that it may cost the team one of their most popular players down the line? This new team direction towards a more fiscally responsible approach is a year too late where one big signing too many now forces the Tigers to potentially give up a very popular player in JD Martinez; a student of the game, as he continually took notes after every at bat in his constant and successful effort to improve.

16 thoughts on “QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, KUDOS & CONCERNS

  1. Kurt: At your request, I join you in wonderment that the Tigers espouse one theory for the players and keep almost all of the old (in mind and body) has-been retreads on the bench. Anything else I can help with, such as keeping JD around while dumping Upton, etc?

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  2. Geez, the first salvo in the Tigers reboot is to bring back McClendon. Are you kidding me; guess who takes over when Ausmus is eventually let go. Leyland’s cronies are all over the place, If the Tigers are serious about a new course and emphasis on advanced statistical data, why this?

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  3. I believe it is Game Management that is killing us. Resting hot players, etc. The teams in the playoffs seem to have a certain energy, a spark. Getting rid of JD won’t bring that to the Tigers. A guy like Francona would. Ownership and Avila are barking up the wrong tree.

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  4. Who didn’t see Lloyd’s return..patterns anyone? Avila has had a perch high on the totem for years. Where was this new vision hiding? We’re hearing a lot of new sounds but they’re coming from the same old voices. Fool me once..etc. Drew Sharp knew how to keep the conversation going. He will be missed.

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  5. My belief – start rebuilding the farm system, get rid of Upton, keep JD and get refocused on speed, base running, bunting and taking chances. Make it fun to watch. Fans appreciate it when the manager is thinking and taking chances.

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    • Upton’s horrible contract makes him completely untradeable. Avila knows he’s going to pay dearly for those awful decisions he made giving $200+ million dollars to Zimmermann and Upton and sadly a quality player like JD Martinez is the first of a few big losses that are coming cause of it.

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  6. You guys are amazing. TT just keeps getting better and better. Thanks Kurt for expressing what I could not on Drew. MLB needs to DESPERATELY “fix” balls and strikes and the DH controversy. Why jump ship NOW – keep JD. Mr I has the $$.

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  7. It is nice to read what you guys think without someone coming back with some negative comment every time their “Holly” alarm goes off. I appreciate the lack of personal attacks one might run into elsewhere whenever someone disagrees with your post. I really enjoy and appreciate you two.

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  8. It’s so sad most Tigers fans consider this recent 11 year stretch of exciting, winning baseball a failure because they didn’t end up getting lucky enough in the playoffs. That’s exactly what nearly every MLB GM / president / manager will also say as the ultimate goal is to build a team to get to the playoffs.

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  9. I think Avila was softening the huge blow that’s coming as the Tigers are going to reduce their budget by reportedly $25-35 million next season. The only way to do that is get rid of higher priced players who still have value to other teams.

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  10. So much for thinking out of the box for a new hitting coach. Maybe ownership and management are now trying to play the fan base for fools. It also appears that now since the Tigers are rebuilding, and in decline, bringing back an old name might spark some interest.

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  11. The worst managed restaurant I ever worked in the manager never hired anyone. The owner,wife,church friends,frats and sorties did. So he was mostly indiffernt. Felt bad for him and now Brad and the fans.

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  12. The Old Guard coaching staff is ill-suited to guide a youth movement, but that is not the worst mismatch. The old hands who supervised the atrocious drafting during the last decade constitute the biggest barrier to a successful youth movement. They are still in place.

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