Friday, April 4, 2008

The time is right for a palace revolution.

Chicago 8, Detroit 5; 0-4, 5th place

Nate Robertson. He sucks. The miracle of 2006 has blinded many Detroit fans to the flaws of some of the people in this organization, and Nate Robertson is one of them. They like to point out that he never gets any run support. Well the fact is, he's just not good. He's a marginal starter. His stuff is mediocre at best, his control comes and goes, and when he gets in a jam, he makes like Chris Webber circa 1993 - el choke job. Further proof that spring training stats mean dick: Nate Robertson.

Jason Grilli. Why is he even on this team? Three pitches was all it took today to give Chicago an 8-5 lead from a 5-5 tie. First pitch, double by Konerko. Second, single by Dye. Third, 3-run jack by that jackass Pierzynski. Three pitches, three hits, game over. And then he gave up hits to the next two batters to boot. When he finally got a strike past the next guy, the CoPa roared in mock approval. That's how much fans expected, and that's what it's come to - the fans being so pissed they're mockingly cheering the pitcher as he gets a strike. Grilli should've been released LAST year, and yet he still pitches. The bullpen sucks as it is, and still players like Grilli pitch.

Placido Polanco and Magglio Ordonez. Hey guys, you don't have to swing at the first pitch, you know? There's no new rule saying your batting average automatically suffers if you don't hack at the first thing you see. I guess some of this could be blamed on the cold weather, and I do believe the offense will come around...but while these guys free swing, do you think Cleveland is going to hang around? I scoff at those that say games in April and May don't count. Come back in September when you're trailing by 3 games, and tell me the losses that piled up in the early months don't count.

Gary Sheffield. Props to Sheff for refusing to go on the DL with the torn tendon in his finger, but while we're on the topic...stupid, stupid move going for second base yesterday, Sheff. Mental mistakes and inexplicable fuckups have been the name of the game for the Tigers' offense so far.

And that brings me to...

Jim Leyland. Grace period is over, Smokey. The only difference between Detroit and a place like New York is when you suck in Detroit, the fans don't show up as opposed to mercilessly booing in New York. When you're good, expectations are just as high. And expectations have never been higher for this team or this manager. It's time for Leyland to man up and fix what he's done so far. The team has been listless. They've been reading their own press clippings ever since Cabrera and Willis arrived, expecting the ball to magically jump off the bats and into the stands. It doesn't work that way, and that falls on Leyland. It's his job to get these guys focused and to buy into the team concept. There were glimmers of it today, and getting Granderson back (hopefully sooner than later) can only help, but so far Leyland has been a complete noshow in four games. He had the midas touch in 2006, but he has not done a single thing correct so far this year. Clete Thomas came through today with three hits and a sacrifice, but what was the reasoning for putting him at the top of the order yesterday? Renteria gets 3 hits - the only 3 hits the Tigers had - on Wednesday, and on Thursday he's batting 7th while Clete Thomas is leading off? Where is the logic in that? I certainly hope Granderson gets well quickly, because teams will start getting film on Clete Thomas, and many 0'fers will follow in the box scores.

The sky isn't falling. Yet. Granderson will be back, Sheff and Cabrera will heal up, and at some point in this season, the Tigers will rake and lay waste to opposing pitching. Fernando Rodney will return, and hopefully Joel Zumaya will at some point too. If those two can come close to matching their 2006 seasons, the Tigers' bullpen will be okay. Leyland will, at some point, get control and start making rational, correct baseball decisions. Until then though, I'll rely on Mick Jagger to do the talking for me:

"I'll shout, and scream, I'll kill the king, I'll rail at all his servants..."

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