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@Dan Ramsey As far as the Russians are concerned, the West orchestrated a coup in Kiev in order to bring Ukraine into the EU and NATO and pry it forever away from Russia - hence the need to do what is currently being done. Do not assume that - if Ukraine is being invaded specifically to keep it from joining NATO and being used as a base for NATO troops - that the threat of NATO action to protect it from Russia will prevent the invasion. NATO standing behind Ukraine may demonstrate to Russia why invasion is necessary instead.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117040/after-crimea-putin-going-take-eastern-ukraine
From what I have read, the Tigers do tend to sign a lot of international free agents - it's just that they don't often seem to be in on the "blue chip" 16-year-olds that get the big bonuses.
2 years ago on Minor Moves (Actually Pretty Major), Adelin Santa Released
@LeePanas That's usually my strategy as well. I decided to mix things up a bit for this time.
2 years ago on This Years Tigers vs. Last Years Tigers
I have the feeling that Wilk's next cup of coffee is going to be for another organization... Just too many jacks. Casali is definitely a guy I'll be following.
2 years ago on Tigers Mid-Season Top 30 Prospects 25-21
@DetroitDale To be frank, I DO think it's unlikely that the Angels will deal anybody else from their major league roster during the season despite the stiff competition for playing time. I don't think Hunter is going anywhere, nor do I think that Vernon Wells is going anywhere - right now. The team is just too hot for that. That doesn't mean that the Angels don't have players that the Tigers or other teams might desperately want.
2 years ago on Trade Target: Peter Bourjos (and Maicer Izturis)
@Turks Teeth I know Tigers, not Angels, so I appreciate your input. Brantly isn't ready, but Conger might seem a nice addition to Detroit. I would be inclined to take the last deal you mention - but that would be due to very real concerns over Alex Avila's knees and the kind of workload he'll be able to sustain over the next 3 years. Most I think most Tigers fans would see such a deal as a baffling white flag, though - Avila for a catching prospect and a couple of throw ins (based solely on Bourjos and Izturis offensive numbers in 2012). Elite defenders appeal far more to fans of the team that watch them play than to fans of other teams that look at their back-of-the-baseball-card stats. By your own admission, though, it doesn't sound like Avila is a fit for the Angels - he is not a good defensive catcher by any means and sometimes opposing teams seem to more or less steal at will. I suppose that wouldn't be relevant anyway - it's impossible to imagine Captain Nepotism being dealt away by his own Dad (Assistant GM & team VP Al Avila).
@Inside Pitch So... what you're saying is that Coke, Valverde and Worth are terrible and "under no circumstances would the Angels ever agree to such a deal"? It's quite probable that they wouldn't. But bear in mind that most Tigers fans would say the same about the 31-year-old rental utility man and leadoff hitter with the sub-.300 on-base percentage.
And the one and only source for the idea that the Angels actually want relievers IS Stark, which I believe I did mention above - it may be completely inaccurate. You can't argue with Frieri's zero runs allowed, but I could imagine somebody worried about his walks. But, then I certainly wouldn't say that they have any other clear needs. Mainly what I try to argue is that Bourjos could be a better fit for the Tigers' actual needs than players typically discussed as trade possibilities should he, in fact, be available at a price the Tigers could afford to pay.
2 years, 1 month ago on Trade Target: Peter Bourjos (and Maicer Izturis)
Too late. The Orioles landed him for a couple of mediocre A-ball prospects. A catcher with a .622 OPS and a 2-8 starter.
2 years, 1 month ago on Trade Target: Jim Thome
How do you feel about trading a player on the major league roster for an outfielder with several years of team control remaining? The thought had crossed my mind that the Angels might conceivably be willing to do such a deal for a reliever.
2 years, 1 month ago on Tigers Need Outfield Help
@JAYRC_MCB He IS 41, but he's also a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. He had an .838 OPS last year and has an .854 OPS in limited playing time this year... what's so horrifying about Jim Thome?
2 years, 1 month ago on Strange Seasons For Fielder and Cabrera
@opus132 .877 OPS for Prince, .876 OPS for VMart. Pretty darn close.
@finsfan13 Basically... yes. The Tigers as a team aren't meeting expectations because of individual players who aren't meeting expectations - and what was expected from Cabrera was an MVP bat not just an above average bat. In effect what I'm saying is that if you blame Brennan Boesch but not Miguel Cabrera, you're holding the two of them to the same standard when that really isn't fair to do.
@DoctorDaveT Perhaps. I brought up Brantly only because Lynn Henning keeps talking about what a great trade chip he will be.
I think the only reasons that we are seeing Berry batting second is that Leyland gets to keep is alternating-sides lineup and that Berry is filling in for the #2 guy while he's on the DL. (Just like we used to see Kelly fill Ordonez' lineup spot). The difference between Berry and Jackson is that Jackson is more likely to get an extra base hit while Berry is more likely to steal a base. I'd rather see Jackson trying to drive in Berry than the other way around.
2 years, 1 month ago on One Man's Opinion: Where Do We Go From Here?
This team will not go 53-35 down the stretch unless guys like Boesch, Young and Avila start raking and Valverde stops blowing saves. But maybe they don't actually have to. Do you expect the White Sox to go 49-39 from here on out? I don't. That's what it would take to put them at 88 wins. If they go an equally plausible 45-43, they only win 84. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see 85 wins take this division, like the NL Central in 2006. You're right in one respect, though: you definitely like the Tigers chances to win the division with 89 victories... you're a lot less comfortable about their chances as an 85 win team (that goes 49-39 from here on out) but it seems more likely that that is the scenario we may see play out.
2 years, 1 month ago on Detroit Tigers Playoff Math
Maybe Young and Peralta are the ones who should flip in the order. Leyland likes that L-R-L-R thing for the most part.
2 years, 1 month ago on Breaking Down Tigers’ Offense by Order and Position
I would have figured that idle speculation was our job, not Nick Cafardo's. Anyway, I don't think Lowrie is going to keep hitting home runs at this pace - but he'd probably be able to help the team this year and for the next few even without that kind of pop.
2 years, 1 month ago on Trade Target: Jed Lowrie
@opus132 I am becoming more and more convinced that the Tigers can and should be satisfied with a pretty poor defensive infield, but they must make up for that with a good defensive outfield - and I'm talking range and not arms.
2 years, 1 month ago on Should the Tigers SELL?
@BrettWalker I like Berry as a pinch-runner, but as a defensive replacement I'd much rather go with Don Kelly - who is better at every position as well as being more versatile.
@DoctorDaveT If you get A-ball prospects, clearly you run the risk of losing now in order to win later. If you get major-league ready AAA prospects you can potentially improve the team now in the process of improving the team later - you're just putting your chips on a different number. Any gamble makes you risk the agony of regret.
Expect a post-form reply to this very interesting piece later today...
2 years, 1 month ago on A Seller's Market
The second wild cards does also reduce the financial returns to getting a wild card spot (in terms of playoff tickets sold). I'm not sure that a 1-and-out in the playoffs would give the boost they're looking for to season ticket sales the following year either.
I'd go with having no official closer and playing matchups. A few other teams did something like that last year when their closers got hurt or lost the role. The guys we've got can handle that. The problem is going to be the new 7th reliever that is actually replacing Valverde on the roster if he's DLed.
2 years, 1 month ago on If Jose Valverde Is Out For Awhile, Then...
Thank YOU for reading, and for giving us your opinions too.
2 years, 1 month ago on Trade Target: Dexter Fowler
Yep. If the Tigers had followed the MCB prescription this offseason, they would have declined to offer a contract to Delmon Young, picked up Carlos Beltran and Kelly Johnson (but NOT Prince Fielder) and signed Papelbon over Valverde (in an attempt to net a sandwich pick). I think such a team would look, at this point, every bit as good as Texas without having spent a dime more than they actually did.
2 years, 1 month ago on A Reminder Of What Might Have Been
@timoteus That I would. I think we fans have two consistent tendencies: we underestimate the cost of a quality regular in the trade market, and we overestimate the value of our own team's prospects. The Tigers had to give up Jair Jurrjens in order to get (ugh) Renteria because chances were so good that he'd do pretty much what Andrew Miller has done.
@rockiesprspcts If the Rockies want to unload only the players Iike Scutaro, Giambi, Belisle and Guthrie) that they don't really consider to be parts of a 2013 contender, they won't get much quality or quantity in return. Fowler, I think, could.
@garretkc I don't suppose you know of any data sources to see if over his (minor league) career he has struggled to hit heat? It seems like guys that have no trouble at all with same-side pitching tend to like hitting breaking stuff.
2 years, 1 month ago on Quintin Berry: Below Average Major Leaguer
It's hard for me to really imagine a scenario in which his tenure with the Tigers lasts longer than Andy Dirks' stay on the DL. He seems like a pretty good option for a fifth outfielder - get some range in the outfield in late innings, pinch run, etc... The problem is that he would be backing up two left-handed hitters and sharing that outfield bench with a third.
For all we hear about it, I'm not sure that the Tigers "should" have problems hitting lefties with their existing roster. Cabrera and Peralta are righties that hit lefties well. Raburn and Young have huge R-L splits. Avila might struggle against lefties, but that's what Laird is there for. Fielder and Boesch are the only left-handed bats that would normally play against a southpaw... Are the Tigers going to try to improve their lineup against lefties by leaving Boesch on the bench? In 2010 and 2011 he hit lefties better than righties.
2 years, 1 month ago on A Poor Man's Casper Wells?
@DetroitDale I'm not sure there are any second basemen worth having on the market. That's why I advocated signing Kelly Johnson this past offseason - sure would have helped...
2 years, 1 month ago on "So Much Going On Right Now" For Tigers
@Matt Snyder You're right, looks like I mistakenly listed his 2010 number as his 2011. He was also below replacement level due to bad D in 2009, though.
I agree with you here, Garrett. Too much attention has been focused on who's slumping at the plate. The high BABIP allowed and lack of double plays turned is killing the team (more than anything else, I think). It's just remotely possible that there's some bad luck involved, but both sound like classic symptoms of a terrible infield defense. We're talking about a sustained differential of about a half a run per game relative to an average dollop of luck and defense.
2 years, 1 month ago on Panic Setting In, But Season's Not Over
The Yankees seem like a rough assignment for a guy who struggles to hit his spots...
2 years, 2 months ago on Scouting Casey Crosby
@MCBjohnverburg I think we've reached the point where the Tigers will need to play - for a stretch, at least - much better than their true talent level in order to win the division. Mean regression ain't gonna do it if this is "really" an 88-win team playing like a 75-win team.
2 years, 2 months ago on Of MLBs Big Guns, Tigers Last Laggard
@MCBjohnverburg Maybe a reliever. It's only for a couple of days until Jackson comes back.
2 years, 2 months ago on Ryan Raburn Demoted to AAA
@BSakowski @ChrisHannum A 4.7 range factor at second seems OK.
2 years, 2 months ago on The 2nd Base/Ryan Raburn Situation: My Thoughts and Speculation
@BSakowski @ChrisHannum I don't know about "stole my idea", I think of it more as saving me an hour of writing. I definitely wouldn't advocate simply getting rid of him (though many fans do), but since there's no risk of that I'd rather bank on calling him up again as soon as it appears to be clicking. And seriously... look at Justin Henry's numbers in the month of May...
@BSakowski @littlestclouds We do have 27 and 29 year old second basemen in Toledo tearing it up...
This should be the topic of the week around the Tiger-net. I would have written this piece myself, if you hadn't beaten me to it. I agree that trade upgrades are probably going to be mediocre and costly, but were I the GM I'd at least be sending out feelers to LA over Maicer Izturis. They already locked up Kendrick and Aybar and have Trumbo and Callaspo at third, so Izturis is a backup making $3.8 million in his walk year.
I'd say that Raburn needs to be demoted immediately - he does have an option. The difference between what he has done offensively and what other struggling players have done is a bit like the difference between what we "expected" from Raburn and Miguel Cabrera. Other Tiger flailers have shown some positive signs lately, like Boesch, Young and Santiago. A platoon of Santiago and Worth looks like a stopgap, but still an improvement. The Tigers loaded up on AAAA second basemen at Toledo this year - so far we've only seen one of them (Worth), but Justin Henry, Matt Young and Eric Patterson are still kicking around down there.
Any batter that combines a lot of strikeouts and a lot of infield hits is an oddity, but probably not one with a great big-league mix of tools.
2 years, 2 months ago on QUINSANITY!
Whaddaya know! It really is!
2 years, 2 months ago on The Best Cure For A Struggling Offense
@Sam Genson Nope. The didn't HAVE to DFA Balester. They WANTED to DFA Balester.
2 years, 2 months ago on Austin Jackson Should Be On The Disabled List
I don't know about you or anybody else, but when I watched yesterday's game I saw a good team getting bad breaks. That's a far cry from what I saw when they were being abused by the Seattle Mariners. We've got to remember that this is baseball, not football. Nobody goes undefeated, even if they are always the best team on the field.
2 years, 2 months ago on The Detroit LOBsters
The decision to keep Putkonen on the big-league roster over Balester seems odd, given how bad Putkonen's results have been.
2 years, 2 months ago on Collin Balester DFA, Quintin Berry Called Up
@funkytime I know that Barry Bonds did it in 2002 and 2004, but those were literally the two best seasons ever by OPS. Cabrera's 2010 was merely very good.
2 years, 2 months ago on Detroit Tigers Hit Bottom
@funkytime That's good to hear, thanks!
2 years, 2 months ago on At The Quarter Pole: Team Defense
@opus132 The worst defensive team since these advanced metrics came on line is the 2005 Yankees, for what that's worth. They did lose in the first round of the playoffs, but they won 95 games along the way. The 2006 and 2004 Yankees are also among the worst fielding teams, both made the playoffs but only the 2004 squad won a series.
Unfortunately, there isn't much cause to expect that things must get better - aside from Raburn and Boesch, who can't be as bad as their early numbers. Since the end of the M's series, Boesch has had an .858 OPS and Raburn a .736 OPS. That's only 6 games each, but maybe those two have 'turned the corner'.
2 years, 2 months ago on Tigers Are A Mess