By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
After 78 games (35-43), the Tigers remain buried near the bottom of the American League. Now that July has arrived, things will really start to get interesting, as we contemplate player moves prior to the trade deadline.
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. Let’s see what Kurt and Holly 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.
Is there any question that the baseballs are ‘juiced’ this season? Coming off a record-setting month for home runs and countless tape measure shots all season, how do we properly judge statistics from one season to the next when the actual baseball impacts the numbers? If MLB wants to juice the balls to add more excitement, and the numbers show an increase in long balls since 2015, then just keep it that way.
Would the Tigers be so bold at the deadline to include one of their 3 young starting pitchers in a trade package? You know, given that 2 of the 3 have not performed during a season when they were expected to make more of an impact, it would not surprise me, given our organizational leadership. But when Al Avila has already said he wants to get leaner, trading the lean wouldn’t make much sense would it?
An All-Star Game without Miggy? It says a lot about this season and a lot about our team, as the Tigers’ success normally lives and dies on the back of Miguel Cabrera. The fact that he hasn’t been good enough or healthy enough to even earn a spot on the ALG roster is a fairly safe indication for anyone to tell how well the team is doing without even knowing their record.
It takes a lot to get former pitcher-turned-analyst Ron Darling upset but with yet another injury to a player on the Mets, he unleashed a torrent of thoughts. Darling addressed all baseball teams about the rise in injuries as well as players who appear to play with constant nagging injuries that impact performance. He suggested that all teams bring in their former trainers to school the current ones about how to condition baseball players – “not weightlifters, not six-pack wearers” – and not be part of the problem that prevents million-dollar investments from being fully utilized.
It’s no coincidence that the two largest local newspapers both printed nearly identical stories by 4 writers in 3 days after the Tigers won 2 games over 3 days. The message was identical in addressing the controversial issues while also issuing decrees that fans who disagreed with their proclamations were “screechers”, irrational and unknowledgeable. Highly unlikely that all 4 writers came up with the same topics, tone, timing and attack on their own because it smacks of a coordinated effort with willing participants.
An interesting article this week by Pat Caputo who points out the habits so far seen in Al Avila since he became GM. Namely that the man has made no big decisions other than to sign an expensive pitcher and even appears reluctant to pull the trigger on either Brad Ausmus or trading players. But is it because Al doesn’t have the skills or is it because the new owner has assumed the decision-making powers?