By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
After 22 games (11-11), the season is in full swing and plenty of storylines are playing out before our eyes during the first weeks of regular season play.
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. Let’s see what Holly and Kurt have on their minds this week. They don’t share their Saturday topics and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. So, expect a wide array of thoughts.
In a radio interview earlier in the week, Al Avila was asked about Brad’s best qualities as a manager. He came up with exactly one – (sic) “always stays calm and never gets upset” as we saw during last weekend’s incident with Jones getting injured, Boyd getting ejected and benches clearing. What’s really concerning is that there was no mention of the skills that actually win games – like strategy, flexibility, or adapting to game situations.
Being a utility player gets no love and little understanding but where would the Tigers be without Andrew Romine? Named by some national media this week as the Tigers’ most athletic player, the man has earned his weight in gold by molding himself into any position or need created by injuries and lack of depth. And to “up” his hitting game because he wanted to make a bigger difference is even more value added.
The Tigers have been very sloppy in the field this year with the frequency of their gaffes gaining speed. A program recently on “clean play” discussed how errors don’t tell the complete story and every team needs to practice it if they want to win consistently. The analysts (including some Gold Glove winners) also said it is primarily the manager’s responsibility to ensure that “clean play” principles are preached, practiced and enforced.
I have been borderline insulted since the day Brad said it. When faced with questions about a very worrisome situation with our closer, Brad felt that people finding fault in KRod’s performance had “short memories.” Sorry, but in evaluating his current ineffectiveness, I find no value in considering that he used to be good. My memory is just fine and I realize that KRod has had a great career, but this part of his career is approaching the end for a reason.
We scratched our heads during the off-season as countless free agents were brought in to fill our minor league system. But it’s been refreshing to have 2 ‘veterans’ come up and contribute. Chris Ilitch is happy with the young guys (Jim Adduci, 31 and John Hicks, 27) but may want to check their birth certificates before considering them the next diaper dandies.
Are you getting tired of beating on the annual disappointments in the bullpen? Well, there is always the lousy defense to fall back on! Since the nightmare in Tampa, the Tigers only wish they could still blame a roof on their continuing troubles. But among others, ‘Nick’ Castellanos only has his glove to blame for 3, count them, 3 errors Friday night, in an ugly loss to the ChiSox.