Lynn Henning Wants to Wave the White Flag Already

Was anyone in the world happier to see the Tigers swept by Cleveland than Mr. “Sky is Falling” himself, Lynn Henning? The man hates Tiger baseball...I'm convinced of it.

Let's play general manager,

Okay, sweet.

Leyland’s fired. Welcome back, Tram. Here’s a major league roster this time around. Sorry about before.

Don Kelly, don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. DFA. Say hi to Ashlee for me. Jeff Larish, welcome to Detroit. Missed you.

Andy Oliver…buh-bye. Thanks for trying. See you in two years if you don’t get traded.

Brad Thomas is put on a plane back to Australia. Bring Schlereth back up.

Galarraga goes on the trading block. See if anyone thinks that perfect game still meant anything in the long run. Joining him is Ryan Strieby, Wilkin Ramirez, Fu-Te Ni…hell everyone not named Verlander, Cabrera, or Turner.

I want Stephen Drew, unless the price is outrageous. Otherwise, I’ll take Theriot from Chicago. He shouldn’t be that expensive. I also want a catcher that can hit at least .240 since we don’t have one. One bullpen arm and one starter. Again, look to the Cubbies. No need to empty the minors, no need to try and bring in a #1 guy. A #3 will suffice with JV, Max, and (hopefully) Rick looking okay.

Wait. You didn’t really want to do this, did you Lynn?

which is always fun unless you're faced with the choices Dave Dombrowski is staring at 12 days before the trade deadline.

Do I wear the ugly argyle sweater or the ugly striped sweater today?

Do you buy, and hope you can steal the American League Central Division when it's sitting there like a bank vault with the door swung open?

As long as it’s reasonable, yes. And remember this. He just said that the division is “sitting there like a bank vault with the door swung open”. It is there for the taking, this Central Division.

Do you sell, knowing that what you feared all along is likely to be realized, day by agonizing day as July and August make plain what your roster all along suggested would be true:

/checks calendar

It’s not August yet. Just saying.

That your team isn't yet ready to contend,

As of this writing, we’re 1 ½ back after the All Star break. That’s contending.

but could be pretty good in the ensuing seasons.

Wait ‘til next year, gang!

Go write for the Cubs, Lynn.

The answer's clear on this end:

I love you, Joel!

You sell.

Can you imagine the reaction on ESPN and among the Tiger faithful? If we’re even three games back near the trade deadline and Double D starts selling everyone off and throwing in the towel? If you thought the backlash when Granderson was traded was bad, just wait.

That is, if you can.

Good point, actually. Who you gonna sell off? JD? Bondo? Inge? Good luck. What’s the point? Add, don’t subtract. Just be smart about it. And if you can’t, stay put. Let’s see how this turns out.

That the Tigers got swept by Cleveland during the weekend is inexcusable, and yet not a total shock.

It was unbelievable, yet completely believable. Okay, Peter King.

The team's starting pitching is bipolar.

Sonofabitch…Dontrelle was contagious.

Two of spring camp's starters have been traded,

Irrelevant. It’s a good thing that Nate and D-Train are gone.

two have spent time in the minor leagues,

Which did wonders for Max and seemed to help Rick, too, if you saw his start against Cleveland. My theory is this. Toledo is such a God forsaken hellhole, that it can inspire anyone to play above their ability just to avoid being sent back there again. I should know. I’ve lived here all my life.

and the other two -- Justin Verlander and Jeremy Bonderman -- have won 16 games, 11 of them by Verlander.

JV rules. Bondo sucks balls. A rotation of Verlander, Scherzer, Porcello, Bondo, and a yet to be determined guy is not bad. If you can get Ted Lilly or Tom Gorzelanny from the Cubs or Ben Sheets from Oakland without gutting the minor league system, I’d put that rotation up against any in the AL Central, at least. Easier said than done, I know, but work with me.

The bullpen is on fumes,

The bullpen has been very good this year. Quit sulking because your boyfriend’s arm exploded like it does every year.

there's no RBI bat at shortstop,

AL teams with an “RBI bat” at shortstop: Yankees…oh, that’s it.

I’m serious. With Alex Gonzalez being shipped to Atlanta, Jeter is it.

the starting catcher who pretty much has replaced the incumbent catcher (batting .185) is two years out of college.

Don’t pick on Avila because he’s young. Pick on him because he’s the boss’ kid. Or because he looks like he’s a shaved ape. Or because he sucks.

There are rookies in center field and in left field.

Who have played, and continue to play, outstanding.

“Hello, I’m Debbie Downer of the Detroit News. Join me for my chat this Friday where I complain about everything in Detroit except for Joel Zumaya and Jim Leyland.”

This is a long column, kids. Please follow me after the jump.

And people think this team is a contender,

They are. 1 ½ games back, remember? They were even in first a week ago. Do you even watch, Captain Crankypants?

that it can match Minnesota's overall talent,

Mauer, Morneau, Span, and a bunch of fat and/or old guys. We have better pitching than they do, too.

or that it stacks up against the White Sox's rotation,

Peavy pulled a Zumaya. The rest of them pitched WAY over their heads last month. Are you really scared of Freddy Garcia at this point in his career, Lynn?

which is only the most important part of any team?

JV, Scherzer, Porcello, and question mark. That’s why we need to buy. Turning that question mark into an exclamation point will put us over the top in the Central. After that, once you get into a five or seven game series, you never know. Remember 2006?

People instead want Jim Leyland fired.

/raises hand

That will solve a lot all the problems, you bet. A new manager will arrive with new starting pitching, two bullpen arms, and better up-the-middle bats.

No, they won’t. And you’re exaggerating the needs of the Tigers to win the Central, you dolt.

What a new manager, hopefully, would do is quit hurting the team with highly questionable moves. What moves?

-Don Kelly batting leadoff

-resting Austin Jackson and Brandon Inge on the same day coming right off the All Star break

-Clete Thomas batting third much of last year

-questionable bullpen management

-over reliance on the lefty/lefty and righty/righty matchups over game performance



N-word please. That would have been funnier. Imagine it in a Chris Rock voice. Sorry, I’m off point.

Get realistic about the Tigers' problems

Poor hometown journalism, for starters.

that have zero to do with the manager, no matter that he stoically -- and falsely -- took the blame for his team getting waxed in four games against the Indians.

Obviously, JL wasn’t completely to blame. But as I mentioned, he didn’t help much. I blame the lifeless prick in the Cleveland bleachers that's always banging that stupid drum.

Dombrowski's dilemma Dombrowski, in fact, has everything to do with this. He's the man responsible for the team's roster, which is more than a few bricks shy of a load in 2010.

He’s a witch! Burn him!

And unless he's dead set on messing up a team that could


-- definitely could –

Oh. Just making sure.

contend next year and beyond, he'll be careful about what he does between today and the July 31 trade deadline.

Dave, despite the deals he gave to Nate, Dontrelle, and Bonderman…the guy’s not an idiot. If the man deals Rick Porcello for Kyle Farnsworth next week, though, I’ll be with you.

He can trade some valuable minor-league talent and find another starting pitcher, and maybe even a shortstop.

There you go.

And not only will that likely not be enough to salvage a pennant race in 2010,



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Sorry…was beating my head on my keyboard.

it will damage the team's long-term health.

No. That’s what they said when we dealt Maybin and Miller to Florida with other AAA junk. We have dick in the minors right now, other than Crosby and Turner. Our rotation is already currently the youngest in baseball. If you can pair anyone else up with a Raburn, a Strieby, a Ramirez, or whatever and can get a Drew, Lilly, etc, you do it and do it f-cking yesterday. If not, then at least you tried.

What you do NOT f-cking do is wave the white flag and start selling when you’re less than two games back of your division leader in a division where first place is sitting there like a bank vault with the door swung open. Remember when you said that?

That's why playing GM is like playing with matches.

General Motors? Agreed.

If he makes any move in the next two weeks, Dombrowski will probably go small

David Eckstein? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

-- probably dealing for a reliever. The other stuff is too expensive.

You don’t know if you don’t try. You are not a baseball GM, Lynn. Thank goodness. We’d be the Royals if you were.

The Tigers can't afford to mortgage their farm system for the short term, no matter how many fans believe instant gratification is but a couple of moves away.

Does it have to be one way or the other with you? Black or white? No one is saying sell off the big guns unless you can get a boatload back for them.

And we are already young at catcher, first, second (counting Sizemore), left, center, and the pitching staff. What future are you so concerned about?

And yet if Dombrowski sees during the coming days that this thing could steadily disintegrate, which the schedule is aching to prove, he needs to invest in the future, not in the present.

I know I’m getting sick of repeating myself. Aren’t you by now?

“Rabbit season!”

“Duck season!”

“Rabbit season!”

“Duck season!”

Should Damon be traded?

I interrupt this silly nonsense as they have just told us on TV that Brandon Inge will be out 4-6 weeks with a hand ouchie. My first reaction is…

Bwaaaaaaaa, hahahahahaha! Oh, happy day! I can hear the wailing of the fat girls of Detroit as I type this sentence.

But on second thought, I’m not sure how I feel about this. If it means that Kelly is our new third baseman, I may kill myself. But hopefully, Larish gets the call up and we can see what he can do.

Or Sizemore comes back and Carlos goes to third. I bet that’s what they do.

/shudders at thought

What’s the going rate for Ty Wigginton?

Back to tearing apart Lynn Henning’s hard work.

So, who goes?

Inge, obviously. Ha. Sorry. Say, do you still think he'll be up there in Player of the Game every night while he's out?

Johnny Damon would be a first candidate. The Tigers can patch up in left field for the final two months, particularly when Ryan Strieby is a good bet to be called up when rosters expand Sept. 1.

Will there be a serious market for Damon? Sure. Just don't expect an All-Star prospect in return.

Then don’t do it, ass. JD has become the leader of this team in the locker room in only three months. Let these kids learn from him while he’s in the D. And by all means, try to keep him around next year. He's been nothing but good for this squad. Make him player/manager, I say.

Who else can be spun off in an effort to make the 2011-2016 Tigers better?

2016? Holy Jeebus…

Jeremy Bonderman, perhaps. Except the Tigers are dealing with a Catch-22 situation with Bonderman. If he were pitching better, he would be impossible to forfeit, because the Tigers would be a better playoff bet. Bonderman would be indispensable on a rotation that right now is as predictable as a roulette wheel.

But because he has not pitched well of late, his market value is, well, not what it would have been a month ago. If he gets hot during the final weeks of the season, the Tigers run into another problem:

Bonderman will be a free agent, much coveted in an off-season market that this winter will be light on starting pitching, and the Tigers might not be able to offer him the lopsided contract he'll pull from somebody.

They will also get no draft-pick compensation if he signs elsewhere, all because he spent last year on the disabled list.

Then, fine. The Tigers ride the rapids with him the rest of the way, and sign a so-so Bonderman to a 2011 contract.

I just let it all go. When I read it to myself, it sounded like the “bwa bwa bwa” of the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons talking.

Bonderman sucks. He occasionally has a decent game. He’s Nate Robertson, except younger, dumber, right handed, and without the lazy eye.

Read the rest yourself, if you want. He just repeats himself some more. I’m tired.

But before I end this, do not get me wrong. I don’t think the Tigers are a great team. They’re not New York or Tampa. But they are good enough to win this division. It is there for the taking. If a move or two can be made to help things along, I say do it.

What you do NOT do, though, is throw in the towel when you were in first place a couple days ago.

Get well soon, Brandon. Just don’t get any more tattoos while you’re gone.

And if Lynn Henning visits you in the hospital, don't let him in your room! He might try to pull the plug on you.