QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, KUDOS & CONCERNS

By:  Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder

After 72 games (32-40), the Tigers are plummeting and fast, sitting in last place when this post went to press, which in a morbid sort of way, will make the next month pretty darn interesting.

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.


HOLLY

COMMENT

There is a reason why Tigers fans are often apoplectic over a number of Brad Ausmus’ in-game moves. A study was published that ranked all of MLB’s current managers based upon their strategic and tactical acumen. No one should be surprised to learn that Ausmus ranks #29 out of 30.

CONCERN

I’m now at a loss for words (and that is hard, folks!) after Brad used KRod twice within this past week in high-leverage situations and eventual losses – and I have to think he made these moves for reasons other than the actual game. Was it: To send a message to Al Avila? To hasten KRod’s departure from the team? To put KRod in his place? Or did he see the writing on the wall about his future with the team and decided he wanted out by inducing his own firing? (It appears he got at least one of his wishes Friday night.)

KUDOS

More than one analyst is asking how the Tigers failed to keep Cameron Maybin while also getting fleeced in the process of trading him. Maybin is leading the AL in steals, scored 46 runs for the Angels (tops on the team), hitting .277 and has an OPS of .829. Mike Scioscia has maximized Maybin’s talents and the entire team credits him as the firestarter – which couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.


KURT

COMMENT

Now that the Tigers have dismissed KRod from Detroit, it adds another layer of mistrust in the ability of Al Avila to make smart deals for the ballclub. Why the Tigers didn’t think they could get a better deal involving KRod prior to the season instead of Maybin, I just don’t know. Instead, Rodriguez stuck around long enough for the Tigers to get absolutely nothing, while Cam continues to thrive with the Angels.

QUESTION

Every year it seems, the demise of the Tigers always includes the word “underperforming.” Why is that exactly? Why do they underperform? Whose responsibility is it to get the most out of their talent?

QUESTION

Almost as quickly as KRod complained about his ‘mop-up’ role in the pen, Brad gave him a bigger role in the now overused term ‘high-leverage’ situations. You make the choice. Was Brad catering to one of his stars to shut them up or was he giving Rodriguez enough rope to predictably hang himself?

17 thoughts on “QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, KUDOS & CONCERNS

  1. Can you share the study please ? Would like to see it as I often question crazy stuff other managers do on a nightly basis and wonder what exactly Brad does that draws so much focus .

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    • Hi, Rick – We don’t post links to outside sources due to security/hacking risks. If you’re looking for specific examples, the study itself only lists the parameters used and does not go into detail for each manager due to the obvious space limitations that evaluating 30 manager would create. Thanks for reading! – Holly

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    • Started as soon as the Angels were officially eliminated from contention. He lit nothing up for the 1st month of the season when he couldn’t buy a hit or catch a cold. Now that it doesn’t matter (see Miggy, any time over the past 3-4 years. Season over, get hot, great phony numbers at the end of the year)…… JMO

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      • Good points, Doug. And we all need to remember Cam was to earn $11 million this season. Add in the luxury tax increase, and his cost to Detroit would have been $15 Million this year. Anyone think he is worth that much?

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  2. It’s like that famous line from a movie. The Tigers are about to stare into the abyss. It’s a test and we shall see how they respond to it. They should aggressively move as many assets as they can right now and include the younger players if the right deal presents itself.

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  3. “Was Brad catering to one of his stars to shut them up or was he giving Rodriguez enough rope to predictably hang himself?” Kurt, that implies a thought process, not a skill demonstrated at any point by Brad during his audition as “manager” for the Tigers. JMO

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  4. I have to disagree about keeping k-rod in the offseason. He was a cheap option who had 44 saves last year. In hindsight it was a disastrous move, but it was the right move at the time since we had no other option.

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    • Right move at the time, lousy results and too long to recognize that they were wrong. Alexander for Smoltz still a great trade but hind sight is always different than the reality of the moment.

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    • Possibly forced mgmt’s hand to keep KRod since Rondon came in to spring training out of shape. So much organizational dysfunction, would revamping the roster thru selling really help? Same decision-makers (AA and BA), plus lackluster training and wellness program… no hope on the horizon.

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    • He showed signs of losing it many times last season. He might have brought something in January. I’ll admit I did not give it much thought last year, but many did, and many suggested moving him.

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  5. I’m of the belief that BA used KRod for purposes suggested by Kurt. If trying to enhance his release as posed by Holly theTigers really are in a very deep sink hole. The KEY is JD. If AA retains him there is “hope” for rebuilding the Tigers in the next couple years. If Al trades him and has an all out garage sale (JV, Ian, AA, Nick) this transformation looks more like 3-5 years to me.

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  6. Watching the way things are going with tigers/wings— draft picks and so on-makes me wonder at behind the scenes ( the Chris factor). The attitude’s of players and very strange questionable moves by erstwhile so called brilliant (if not average smart) general managers. Makes Holly’s sale of teams by Chris more logical. Would explain some stupid moves by GM’s expecting to loose thier jobs soon.look to Holly and Kurt’s take on this.

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  7. Back in the day players would have a (can’t remember the term,) were they’d throw games to get the manager fired. I believe with tigers and wings this is happening now against Chris I. Both players and GM’s. Explain ‘s Miguel’s eye language , his semming indifference untll at bat in verlanders almost no-no. Why the change from impassive to (I’m gonna get you) eye contact with the pitcher.

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