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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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?
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?