By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
After 85 games (38-47), the Tigers remain buried near the bottom of the American League. As we get closer to the All Star break, that trade deadline looms larger every minute.
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.
Jim Leyland was notorious for refusing to use any kind of technology when he was manager and relied upon a single piece of paper with notes on it to make in-game decisions. An analysis by several computer science professors at MIT, using the infamous 2013 playoff game when Leyland pulled Max Scherzer, showed that JL made the wrong decision which was a key factor in turning the tide in favor of the Red Sox. They went on to say that had he used the computer data available, he would have kept Max in the game and the outcome could have reasonably been different.
Great guy, great pitcher but Justin Verlander needs to go down to the minors to work on his social media savvy. Once again, he’s being taken to the woodshed by fans for posting another Kate Upton photo where she’s unabashedly and prominently giving the middle finger – which joins the other posts illustrating her tendency to use the f-bomb. He needs to remember that he’s a role model for many young kids and showing this stuff is tantamount to saying that this behavior is socially acceptable.
Talk is cheap when the Tigers say they want to win this year “for Mr. I” and then play in a disinterested fashion. The KC Royals are putting action behind their promise as they faced rumors of being split up by the July trade deadline. Once closer to the cellar than the top, they have gone on a recent 7-out-of-10 win streak and now sit just 1 game back of the Indians.
Buried in the muck of another lifeless and ugly loss to the Indians Friday night was a milestone worth noting. VMart officially entered the 2,000 hit club with a bloop single to left. It was obvious to everyone how important it was to him to achieve the milestone and the Cleveland crowd did him right by standing and applauding the accomplishment.
Daniel Norris has struggled mightily over his last several starts and it is beginning to get to him. The Detroit media continues to beat the drum about his stuff and potential, which is hard to do right now, given his struggles to even get to the 5th inning, much less win games. But what is a good sign is how badly he wants to succeed; his emotions the other night in the clubhouse really demonstrated how bothered he is about his inability to produce – don’t give up on this guy.
The Anthony Gose pitching experiment has been an interesting distraction from the trials of the Tigers. The 90+ mph fastballs have been impressive to say the least; but knowing what we know about the organization, how surprised should we be that he’s now injured his pitching elbow and is headed for the DL? The smart thing may be to shut him down for the season, but again, I won’t be surprised if they run him back out there again to finish him off.