Category Archives: Detroit tigers

“NOBODY ASKED ME BUT” – IN MEMORY OF JIMMY CANNON

Back in the day when newspapers were read as voraciously as we check our email today, a-siegel-deadlineJimmy Cannon wrote a weekly column that appeared every Sunday and was read across America by his avid fans. His favorite sport to write about was baseball, but occasionally he delved into other areas if it suited him. He called his column “Nobody Asked Me But……….”. What follows is a attempt to create a piece (hopefully) similar to what he might write if he were with us today……..

Where does Adam Wainwright (now that he’s back) fit the in the Cardinals post season pitching plans…….

Rookie or not, big stage so what……..The Yankees should pitch Luis Severino over their announced starter Tanaka. He’s less known to hitters and exudes nothing but confidence on the mound.

Regardless of what happens in the down to the wire final Wild Card chase in the American League, the Minnesota Twins deserve a round of applause for their effort with a team most everyone wrote off in March.

The Mets without Matz if injury shuts him down – or at least out of the starting rotation is a big blow to the team – not to mention what happens with Cespedes after last night’s hand injury. But they’ve bounced back from adversity all year so who knows…..

It’s just not right that two of the best teams in baseball have to face each other in a do or die one game playoff. The Pirates and Cubs deserve better than that. It’s easy to fix……just shorten the season by four games and make it a best of three (at least).

You may or may not like the cup of tea Donald Trump is pouring, but you have to admit it certainly tastes different. Question is how many of  us prefer our regular tea……

Having the home field advantage in the Playoffs is overrated. Besides, the weather promises to be far more pleasant on the West Coast than it does in New York next week. Calm down Met fans.

Yogi Berra deserves some kind of a Humanitarian Award for his service to country and baseball. Your move, Mr. President.

The Washington Nationals and the Detroit Tigers are competing for a spot on the T.V. Show “Extreme Makeovers”.

MVP VERSUS THE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – A NEEDED CHANGE

Similar to yesterday, today’s post calls for another change that’s warranted and needed in Major League Baseball. Simply put, there should beimages-17 an award given to the Player Of The Year in each league that is separated from the vote for Most Valuable Player award…..and here’s why.

Mike Trout (left) and Miguel Cabrera (right) both are having stellar years again. In Trout’s caseimages-20 hardly a day goes by when he isn’t being seriously being talked about as a MVP candidate…..as well he should be given the current rules and the traditional way MVP’s have been selected over the years.

But, how “valuable” can a player really be when his team doesn’t even manage to make the playoffs (as the case will be for the Angels and Tigers this year). In the case of the Tigers, they have been a truly awful and disappointing team whether he was in the lineup or not (out with injuries).

And that is why the MVP award belongs to either Jose Altuveimages-13 (left) of the Houston Astros or Josh Donaldson(right) of images-30 the Toronto Blue Jays. Altuve’s current batting average of .306, 36 steals, along with a .796 OPS  hardly compare to the gaudy numbers of a Mike Trout. Josh Donaldson’s most certainly do – but he is a late arrival on the team putting him more in the category of Player Of The Year…..so my vote goes to Altuve who is indisputably invaluable to the Astros as they continue to lead their Division.

It’s the same thing in the National League. Who is having a better year than Paul Goldschmidt (left)? He’s (currently) hitting .326 with 26 homers images-27images-24
96 RBI, 20 stolen bases, and a whopping 1.005 OPS.  Meanwhile, there’s another player who plays on a team that is destined for the playoffs and has numbers like .305, 20, and 85 RBI. Not as sexy but again, where would the Pirates be without Andrew McCutchen…….. their team leader in so many ways. (my vote hands down)

It’s really a simple change that would augment fan interest during the Hot Stove Season while giving players an added incentive to keep playing at a high level……in spite of their team’s  losing season   (these awards talk very loud at contract time). And needles to say in case you are wondering…..yes one player could win both awards.

BITS AND PIECES – THE TRADE DEADLINE!

We get all worked up about this trade deadline thing and often forget that some of the biggest “trades” have been made after the July 31 deadline via the waiver clause……but let’s take a look at what’s transpired so far looking at the impact…….or overall non-impact of these changes of scenery for some of the big names dealt so far……

The Royals landed  Johnny Cue to. An impressive addition to their staff images-19and no doubt one of the the premier  starters in the game today. Still, the unanswered question is how will he thrive in American League lineups stacked with  hitters top to bottom. We’ll see but it’s worth wondering about.

Troy Tulowiski…….another big name going to the Blue Jays….but what is images-21the added value of him over another pperennially injured player in Jose Reyes. Surely, it makes a splash in the hometown newspapers and talk radio……….and (cynically) maybe that’s the intent…..but beyond that……I don’t get it.

Basically, it boils down to this. Sellers (or at least they should be at this point in the season) like the Tigers and Padres should clean house as best they can to fortify the future………while buyers  beware the temptation to strike lightning in a bottle because…….well I challenge you………give me one or two examples of a player aquired now (in the past) who you can justify “made the difference” for the team that acquired him………

Winners And Losers – One Third Thru The Season

At the one-third mark in the 2015 season, it’s a good time to take a look at the winners and losers weighing a team’s performance against the predictions made  during the Hot Stove winter league. Not surprisingly, there are more losers than winners….but we’ll start with the….

WINNERS 

HOUSTON ASTROS

 This team was on no one’s radar when the season began. 150px-Houston-Astros-Logo.svgTheir treasureload of young talent was supposed to be on the way and ready next year. The question is how far can their young pitching take them and how long can they continue to win games only when they hit two or more home runs. It’s a weak division so it’ll be fun to watch as the season plays out.

MINNESOTA TWINS

Like the Astros, they’ve come out of nowhere with a no name roster. The infusion of Tori Hunter1987-2009-Twins-primary-logo-150x150 in the lineup and more importantly the clubhouse cannot be overestimated. Mike Pelfrey may finally “get it” and looks more like pitcher instead of a thrower. Still, it’ll take a miracle to compete over a whole season with the Royals and Tigers.

NEW YORK METS:

They’ll need to stay healthy and get a big bat in return forimages-16 some of their pitching. Terry Collins is underrated as a manager and Sandy Alderson is overrated as a GM. The good news is that the Nationals can’t get out of their own way leaving the Mets a way to sneak in there if Matt Harvey can be Matt Harvey again.

NEW YORK YANKEES:

For a team that is expected to be in the playoffs every year, even the most diehard Yankee fans have to be heartened by the way this team is playing. images-13A-Rod and Tex are managing to carry a team that is woefully lacking in hitting, especially at the bottom of the lineup. Working for them is competing in the American League Least.  Tanaka and Pineda can take them a long way in the playoffs.

THE LOSERS

SAN DIEGO PADRES:

No team made a bigger splash than the Padres during the off season. Will Myers, Matt Kemp, James Shields………..images-14but here they are struggling even to get to .500. Fan excitement lasted about as long as a San Diego winter. They’ll make a run……..but it’ll be too little too late.

CLEVELAND INDIANS:

The Sports Illustrated curse seems to have affected images-20the the Indians  again. Picked to win the World Series no less……….they find themselves in the basement looking up at some very good teams. They still look good on paper but that’s the problem……it’s only paper.

WASHINGTON  NATIONALS  / DETROIT TIGERS

These two teams are lumped together as the biggest underachievers of the season

 

Both teams appear to be sleepwalking through a season that can easily get away from them.images-17 As Yogi Berra used to say “It’s getting late here early”. No doubt, they have All Star teams. And maybe that’s exactly what the problem is. They’re both playing a very dangerous game.

SEATTLE MARINERS:

A total embarrassment (except for the best pitcher in baseball).images-19 Robbie Cano non chalants his way through another season while  Justin Smoak continues to suck up $$ based on what he might do tomorrow.  And Lloyd McClendon is a powder keg on the brink of exploding. In a small market town the Seahawks own………why even bother?

MIAMI MARLINS:

Here’s another team playing well enough to lose. images-18Despite the influx of $$, the Marlins appear to be dysfunctional not only on the field but in the clubhouse as well. Maybe the  re infusion of their ace Fernandez will energize this team but again time is not on their side.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX:

Yet another team that captured the Hot Stove season…….but now…..nothing. images-11Win two lose two will not cut it in this division. What’s wrong….Chris Sale only pitches every fifth day. Plus…….there are too many teams ahead of them in a very crowded and competitive division.

DEAD ON ARRIVAL

BOSTON RED SOX

Big Papi often looks overmatched, Mike Napoli is usually overmatched,images-26 and Pablo Sandoval should be arrested for robbery.  It’s no accident this team has a firm hold on last place in a very winnable division.  Still, the $$ keeps pouring in at perennially sold out Fenway.

CINCINNATI REDS

With  three solid everyday players (Votto, Frazier, and Phillips), images-24 along with a menacing closer you have to wonder if there isn’t something  going on  in that clubhouse. They’re no match for the Cardinals and the Pirates and seem content to just play out the season.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

While the rest of baseball is whizzing by them, the Philliesimages-29 seem mired in limbo with their aging and highly paid stars.  Meanwhile, Cole Hamels languishes on the mound every fifth day as the front office dreams of landing a package of young talent before hell freezes over.

OAKLAND A’S

The Midas Touch of Billy Beane can now only be seen in Hollywood in the form of Brad Pitt. Oaklandimages-3 is not a major league city,  and neither is the team they run out there every night. Commissioner Manfred needs to step up and step in forcing the Giants to abandon their non existent fears and let this poor team move to San Jose.

RECAP

It ain’t over till it’s over………but for teams not taking games in April and May …and now June….seriously…….waiting for that magic moment when they catch fire and everyone around them freezes in time……it rarely works that way. But then again…….you never know…..remember the Royals last year ……