QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, KUDOS & CONCERNS

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.


HOLLY

COMMENT

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.

CONCERN

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.

COMMENT

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.


KURT

KUDOS

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.

COMMENT

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.

COMMENT

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.

21 thoughts on “QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, KUDOS & CONCERNS

  1. Holly, absolutely on the money with regard to JV’s “acceptance” of Kate Upton’s deplorable behaviour. I thought the same thing when she went on a rant when Porcello took the Cy Young last year. People don’t seem to have any sense as to where to draw the line, as often evidenced from the postings of “fans” on the two Detroit newspaper sites.

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  2. Looks like that 2013 ALDS has turned around as the Tigers cruse. True is it was a bad move, but I have also read it was Scherzer who said he had no more in his tank. Max is known to be a selfish player, me first and than the team. He came out with the lead! Hope I’m not mistaking.

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    • Ciao, Frankie! You bring up memories of one of the great controversies. JL took a lot of heat for removing Max given that Max was cruising and the disastrous state of the BP. It appears that both sides attempted to quell the increasing controversy by revising their statements afterwards. In the beginning, Max said “They wanted me done. They had it all lined up how they wanted to approach the eighth inning.” He then later switched to saying he was done. Magically, the controversy died. 🙂 Thanks for keeping the dialog going! – Holly

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    • This is astounding. I’d never read this. If true, that’s awfully shallow. In the playoffs, when the team calls your number, you pitch u told your arm falls off!!! Period. Great point! That hook by JL has baffled me ever since it happened.

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  3. Watched his body language in the dug out after he was pulled, he definitely looked glad to be off the field. Seemed he said the same about being tanked.

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  4. Say what you want about Verlander, but he was the most gracious player on the field with our veterans on the Fourth of July. He seemed to really care about us.

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  5. So what in Brad’s interview “blew Dave away?” Perhaps it was nothing. Maybe Dave was just selling Brad to the media and paying public after a disaster of a ’13 postseason.

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  6. Holly, your comment was spot on “Talk is cheap when the Tigers say they want to win this year “for Mr. I” then play in a disinterested fashion. What a remarkable thing to watch, would be interested in your thought as to what you think is happening, and is this what we have to look forward to the rest of the season.

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  7. Norris appears to be another gifted “physical” athlete, a dime a dozen. It is the guys that get it between their ears that make it big. We’ll see but no evidence to support anything beyond a potential, no results filled career. As for the JV/Kate thing, give it up. That IS what is acceptable in today’s world.

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    • Look how many “followers” JV and Kate have and comments that follow as well. I have a Twitter account (TT is the only thing I “follow”) because I have more important things going on than to follow what goes on in other people’s lives. Besides, if we continually stress needing to mold leaders, then why does seemingly everyone want to be a “follower?”

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    • Norris has great stuff, is extremely competitive, has a great deal of athleticism, and by all accounts possesses a fine work ethic. And yet somehow he has gone backwards in his two years in Detroit. I would be very curious how he might have fared in an organization (Pittsburgh? Cleveland?) with a clue as to how to develop pitchers.

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  8. It was sickening to watch the boys bumble and snooze through the opener of the crucial 3 game set this weekend. BA can crow about a 162 game evaluation and players can repeat (alarmingly) Ausmus’ words that last nite was just an “off” night and they need to come back today and be ready to play ball. Really? Avila should begin the purge Monday and it MUST start with Brad.

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    • Agreed here on Max with the posters. He definitely wanted out with nothing left in the tank. As for Friday night’s 11-2 loss, unacceptable. When they get that far out of hand, I switch channels and watch something else and check back into the game during the something else’s commercial breaks.

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      • Dace, I think we are still at the point that if we win every series, we’re in the playoffs. But I still hold out hope that we get things turned around and start winning a few.

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    • If I were manager, knowing my career with the Tigers may be in jeopardy, I would have left the starters in to suffer the embarassment until the bitter end of the game. Doesn’t really seem like Brad has been sending any messages. Just excuses. If they win today he will probably “rest” his starters tomorrow.

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  9. I have to wonder how the “science professors” at MIT knew that Benoit was going to groove the first pitch to Big Papi?? I’ll take Leyland and his old school ways over these shift-happing, computer geeks anytime. Someday, someone will realize that stats are stats and are only a reflection of what happened in the past.

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    • Except they had blown Papi away until then with FBs, he simply couldn’t catch up. Let’s try to trick him, throw him a CU that came in as meat and see what happens. Bad BP use by Leyland, horrible pitch selection by Benoit and the rest, as they say, is history.

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    • And someday they will also realize that Leyland was a barely .500 manager for the same reason Brad will end his career as a .500 (or worse) manager. If you can’t manage the game things seldom turn out as you expect.

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  10. Thinking back to last year’s wings when Chris gave his first round pick away (sold it) to a west coast team so they’d take Pavel’s contact off his hands is a hugely negative sign of Chris’s thinking process. It’s not like he’s broke or the wings are a hockey version of Tampa or Kansas city. A lot like the maybin move.

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