By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. Now that the Hot Stove League is in full swing, there is plenty to contemplate about the home team and where they are headed.
Kurt and Holly don’t share and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. It almost always translates into a wide array of thoughts.
Justin Verlander received counsel from Jim Leyland on his participation in the World Baseball Classic. Wouldn’t you rather hear that Brad Ausmus advised JV not to play? Or maybe he did tell Justin and Verlander valued Leyland’s opinion more.
Speaking of the WBC, as manager of the U.S. team, is Leyland only advising players who would be candidates for his team? Shouldn’t he be attempting to change the mind of Victor Martinez who is maybe the last person who should participate in this exhibition? If Leyland is still going to have such an active role of advisement with the Tigers, let’s get some sound direction across the board.
Speaking of Victor Martinez, there he was front and center defending Omar Vizquel, who was in danger of being fired as manager of the Venezuelan WBC team after a run-in with Carlos Guillen. VMart threatened not to play if Vizquel wasn’t allowed to manage; and if that’s the case, here’s hoping they dump Omar. VMart is the last person who ought to be participating given his annual inability to make it through the regular season without injury.
The lingering health concerns of 2 pitchers are getting very little attention in the local media. Jordan Zimmerman is still experiencing neck pain, getting shots for them and not yet ready for physical therapy, which takes months – and Shane Greene is reporting that his fingers still get numb occasionally when he pitches. One would at least think that the possibility of not having your #2 or #3 starter available, and still owed $92 million, would have raised more red flags than it has about the 2017 season.
I never thought I would miss the days of Dave Dombrowski’s zipped lips until Al Avila decided to share what seems like his every thought with the public. Messages seen as being dire turned into mixed messages that confuse everyone topped with reports on which Tigers are the most popular trade subjects with other teams. I wonder how much impact his reports are having on the current roster of players – not to mention the value other teams are placing on potential trades.
I was stunned to watch Brad Ausmus steal the show on MLB TV the other night. The man was hysterically funny with a very quick wit, spontaneous behavior and ability to poke fun at himself. Is he finally getting comfortable with the job or is the job so demanding that it just sucks the soul out of anyone who takes it, especially in-season?