QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, KUDOS & CONCERNS

Holly Bio PicKurt Bio PictureBy:  Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning

Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible.  It’s hard to imagine that we are on the doorstep of February already and soon Tiger pitchers and catchers will be headed to Lakeland. So there is much to contemplate as Spring Training nears.

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


KURT

KUDOS

Congrats to former Minnesota Twins manager Tom Kelly, who will be honored this season for leading the Twins to 2 World Titles; a statue will be erected in his honor. Congrats to David Ortiz, who will be honored by the Red Sox this season through the retirement of his #34. Boston will waste no time in honoring one of their greatest players who helped lead them to 3 World Titles.

COMMENT

The Tigers announced this week that Jack Morris will no longer be part of the TV broadcast crew. I can’t get behind a common opinion that Morris was one of the weakest of the color analysts. Without ranking strengths of the 3, I thought Morris brought the most to the broadcasts; a successful pitcher’s perspective is an underrated broadcasting attribute.

QUESTION

Did the Tigers overpay for Alex Avila? This week the Toronto Blue Jays signed former Tiger catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a minor league contract that could be worth $1.5M if he makes the team. Salty certainly didn’t help his cause hitting just .110 for the Tigers after August 1st in 2016, but Alex will have a hard time providing the deep threat that Salty brought off the bench, as so many of his 12 home runs were game changers.


HOLLY

QUESTION

Why have the Tigers not made more of an effort to get more left-handed bats into the lineup for more than a couple of years now? Analysts keep referring to their unbalanced right-handed lineup and how it limits them in creating consistent run production. They also said this is why the Indians dominated them last year given that they have a stellar starting rotation and bullpen of dominating right-handed pitchers.

CONCERN

It appears that Al Avila can keep a secret given the news that Vmart had hernia surgery almost 4 months ago. But while the Tigers typically downplayed the seriousness of it, other reports say it is identical to the surgery that both JV and Miggy had. But my greatest concern is why the Tigers seemed to have cornered the market on hernia surgery with 3 players now having had it in such a short time period.

COMMENT

No one should be surprised that Kirk Gibson was retained for the broadcast booth in ’17 despite poor audience feedback. Even if you disregard the Tigers’ infamous loyalty factor, no team is going to fire anyone who is battling significant health concerns which would shower the team with a virtual storm of negative publicity. Even the Red Sox, mired in last place with the second highest payroll, did not fire John Farrell who was experiencing serious health issues.

18 thoughts on “QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, KUDOS & CONCERNS

  1. Kudos to Edgar Martinez who will have his number retired by the Mariners! He will also be enshrined in their franchise HOF. The M’s are being proactive due to his increasing vote totals for HOF. Why couldn’t the Tigers have done this with at the very least Jack Morris?!

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  2. I like both Gibson and Morris in the booth. Can’t believe they give Rod Allen seemingly a lifetime contract. Could be coincidence that their arguably three biggest stars all have the same surgery but does seem odd. Any figures on how many players around the league have had it in the same timeframe?

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    • Hi, Randall – 2 players per year in all of MLB have hernia surgery. Going back over 5 years, all of the players have been from different teams, except for the Tigers. In summary, over the past 5 years, 10 players have had it. 7 of them from 7 diffferent teams. 3 of them from the Tigers. Ouch! – Holly

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      • Physical condition may well have played a part for 2 of the 3 (your choice). Tigers simply do not appear to be a well conditioned team and haven’t been for years. JMO

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  3. Re: 3 hernia surgeries in short time. Why? Can I please be annoyingly repetitious? When are the Tigers going to get a proper training regimen in spring training? When are the Tigers going to get a competent Medical Director; capable new, up to date trainers; and top drawer physician specialists on call for referrals?

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  4. I consider Gibby a good color commentator on the merits. His managerial experience shows. He was my least favorite star player in 84, but hearing him leads me to think he is more intelligent and more a student of the game than I had realized back then.

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  5. Kurt, it is astonishing that the Tigers don’t honor their own. With all the loyalty in the front office, you would think they would over do it, not neglect their history. Holly, didn’t I see a stat where the Tigers hit better against RHP?

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    • Hi, Oliver – Great question. The Tigers hit marginally better against RHP. However, what’s interesting is that their extra base hits, esp. HRs and walks are higher against LHP. We also need to take into account that they face RHPs twice as much as they do LHPs which can possibly skew the numbers. Also, the quality of the RHPs faced impacts this which possibly explains why they couldn’t make much of a dent in the Indians’ pitching. Thanks for keeping the conversation going! – Holly

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      • The real issue against the Tribe in ’16 was that the Tigers fell behind early and big in most games. Poor SP and defense was the issue, NOT the performance against the RH pitcher they faced.

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    • I guarantee you Miguel and Justin won’t have to wait decades to have their numbers retired. Maybe the Ilitch family only cares about Tigers history post-August 26,1992. The Horton statue and number retirement was a p.r gimmick by the Tigers to reach out to the surrounding community.

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  6. Why the Tigers battle injuries each year is no mystery. Come on down to Lakeland and put their “workouts” under a microscope. Same goes for their lack of fielding and base running flaws. Just one mans opinions.

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  7. Morris and Gibson offer insights that enhance our understanding of the fine points of the game. Rod’s forces me to watch games with the sound muted. As for the prevalence of hernias, we must take into account that some are genetic and are immune from the expertise of trainers or exercise regimens.

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  8. Did someone just mention Comerica Park, now you’ve done it. One of my favorite topics. And I don’t mean that in a positive way.

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  9. Always turn sound off on TV when rod and Mario are doing the game. Announcers first must be likeable, entertaining and then informative while building atmosphere. Where’d I get this from? Ernie,Vin Scully,Harry Carey and others. Rod and Mario just don’t have these talents.

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