Tigers debacle

I probably should refrain posting anything after todays game until I calm down but what the hell, this may be for the best. It is not often that I find myself almost speechless but Old Smokestack and the Tigers made me hit that spot today.

First things first, the lineup. If I was Justin Verlander I would sucker punch that senile old manager at the first opportunity. For the last 3 years JV has been the victim of the proverbial Leyland “Sunday lineup” in which every Tom, Dick and Mud Hen is in the lineup when Verlander hits the mound. A simple, “Hey Skip, more than 2 runs of run support with a lineup that is not normally in Ohio would be kinda cool” obviously does not work with Smokestack. Verlander has not been at his best so far this year but today he was awesome and he was a better man than I because if I saw that lineup card this morning I would of immediately had the worst case of turf toe or tendinitis to keep me from pitching for that mess.

Small ball. Make it stop. You know who sac bunts? Losers. You have a lineup with no speed and guys that cannot handle the bat other than to hit the ball hard. Stop the nonsense. Sac bunting in the middle of the game and wasting outs is just stupid. If you don’t trust whoever is at the plate to put the ball in play with guys on base and 0 or 1 outs then cut them or send them down. Sacrifice bunting is for the 9th inning or extra innings when 1 run may win the game not as a tool to kill potentially big innings the way Smokestack is working. It sucks, it’s dumb, and this lineup and is not capable of doing it.

Valverde. What needs to be said? This is the most predictable implosion since Hangover 3. He was brutal at the end of the year last year and when he is bad you can see it coming from roughly 326 miles away. Even when he has survived a 9th inning it has been the kind of roller coaster ride that would make Cedar Point and Todd Jones blush. As much as I would like to solely blame Leyland for this a lot of guilt falls to Mr. Dave Dombrowski for not even remotely addressing the bullpen in the offseason. Throwing all of your cards on the table with an unproven minor leaguer (Rondon) is how we ended up with Papa Small Latte anyway. It needs to be fixed.

Thanks for reading guys. Please share and comment and of course follow on Twitter @Craiger211

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Jake Long does the right thing

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Ok folks, this blog is going to be a little different than the normal ranting that you will see out of me. Yesterday I had the pleasure of playing in a charity golf outing in Lapeer to raise funds for the Lapeer East football program. Many of the fathers from my sons baseball team are close to the program so we put some groups together and went out for a day of golf and fun. It was typical of every charity scramble on a Saturday morning in Michigan. Early morning cocktails, strategic wagering and good old fashioned nonsense. For the most part if you can’t have fun at one of these events you are probably just a pretty miserable person.

The coolest part of a day of golf and fun was the participation of former overall #1 NFL draft pick, U of M star and Lapeer alumnus Jake Long. As far as our area goes you are not going to find a much bigger star. The even better part ? You could not have asked to have a more generous, humble, and overall fun dude to have around. I am writing this because so many big time athletes get a deserved bad rap for their behavior and here is one that deserves miles of credit. Not only did he come out and golf with friends, have some beers and participate like everyone else he made sure to do even more. The door prizes consisted of very cool Nike Golf swag that he donated as well as some autographed footballs from his new teammates with the St. Louis Rams. After dinner he spent time with any person who wanted a picture or autographs or just a chance to talk some football. It was awesome to see a local guy come home and seem like he cared about the folks that helped him get where he is today. Hopefully there are a lot more Jake Longs out there and way less PacMan Jones and Terrell Owens.

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Tigers baseball and Leylands lunacy.

Ok folks I have been gone for awhile but the recent play of the Tigers and the nonsensical managing by Jim Leyland call for at least a brief rant.

1) This past weekend against the Orioles was Jim Leyland taking his horrible in game decisions to a whole new level. Bunting Alex Avila with two men on in the 7th with no outs and 2-1 lead may be the height of idiocy. First of all, Avila doesnt bunt. Secondly he runs like he has a piano on his back. And what was the point? Even if it had worked and he somehow moved the runners you sacrificed an out and had Ramon freaking Santiago coming to the plate. Brilliant !! Small ball is a joke. You lay down a bunt when you have a leadoff guy on in the 9th or 10th and you want a chance to score one run for the win. Not in the 7th evening with two men on and a pitcher on the ropes. If you don’t trust Avila to swing the bat then let him go. Send him to Toledo. I don’t really care just dont bunt !!!

2) The Don Kelly love affair. It is ridiculous that this guy is even on the roster let alone seeing significant playing time. I realize the Jackson injury and Hunter being gone for a couple days changed things but this clown is seeing way to much action. Using him as a pinch hitter in the late innnings? If I was the manager and had to look down the bench for a pinch hitter and my choice included Don Kelly I would probably quit. He is horrible. Period.

3)The bullpen. This is a huge issue. This oine doesnt fall entirely on Old Smokey but the organization needs to figure out a solution for the rest of the year. Closer by committee is awful but closer by Valverde may be worse. He is a ticking time bomb right now and one more bad outing away from being the hot mess he was last fall. Figure it out guys because the bullpen as currently staffed is not going to win a World Series.

Alright guys, thanks for reading and remember you can follow on Twitter @Craiger211