Tigers Got 99 Problems...
When it rains, it pours. Literally, in the case of the Detroit Tigers this postseason.
With today’s news about Magglio Ordonez, few would blame Tiger fans from quietly kissing their family members before walking into their basements and shooting themselves. But not just because of Maggs. This has been building up for a while. The possible end of Tiger hero Magglio Ordonez’s career is just the icing on the cake.
Consider the following.
1. Magglio’s ankle is broken and he’s out for the year and may be forced to retire.
2. Carlos Guillen is still MIA.
3. Brennen Boesch is out for the year with his thumb owie.
4. Delmon Young is out for at least the ALCS with his oblique injury.
5. Mother Nature is a filthy whore and has messed with the Tigers and Justin Verlander through the entire playoffs.
6. When he has been able to pitch, JV hasn’t been himself. His 5.54 ERA in three starts is not what anyone expected out of him.
7. Part of that has to do with the erratic strike zones the Tigers have faced so far. The home plate umpiring has been atrocious thus far.
8. Austin Jackson has mentally checked out. He has looked uneasy on defense, where he was amazing all season, to go along with 11 K’s in 26 plate appearances. Overall, he’s hitting .143 this postseason, so far.
9. The media and fans aren’t helping Jackson, or anyone, either by constantly reminding the world of Curtis Granderson’s name every time Jackson so much as blinks his eyes.
10. Alex Avila looks like he’s never picked up a bat before. He denies being hurt, but you have to wonder since he’s 1-20 (.050) combined against NY and Texas.
11. Alexi Ogando continues to dominate the Tigers like a father playing basketball against his 5 year old son. Sunday’s rainout puts him back in play for Game Two.
12. Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli, and Ian Kinsler are all healthy and great hitters.
13. Miguel Cabrera is hitting .222 in the postseason.
14. Victor Martinez’s toe may have fallen off by the time you read this. After Game One against Texas, his postseason average dropped to .191.
15. Jim Leyland continues to be obsessed with lefty-righty matchups. Against Feliz, the Rangers’ closer last night, he pinch hit struggling Wilson Betemit for Brandon Inge. Inge is 2-2 with a homer in his career vs Feliz. Betemit was 0-6 with 3 K’s. Make that 0-7 with 4 K’s now. Quit outthinking the room, Jim.
16. Speaking of Betemit, the “clutch” bat acquired from the Royals is now 0-9 with 5 K’s in the playoffs this year.
17. Brad Penny is still on the roster.
18. Mutiny. Will Rhymes tweeted the following during the 9th inning of Game One against Texas:
I turned the game off when danny ran for santi, they are the same speed at best. Very confused. Ill check the box tomorrow.
I imagine that it must be frustrating to be left off the playoff roster. But keep that stuff to yourself, dude. Others must have said something similar to Captain Scrappy, because 12 hours later, he tweeted again…
Some of you guys need to lighten up. It is so stressful for me to watch these games, sometimes I just have to turn them off.
Great, Will. Then don’t seemingly bury Danny Worth along the way. And attacking your fanbase is not helping, either.
19. Don Kelly is now your right field starter. One home run doesn’t change the fact that he has a lifetime OPS+ of 74.
20. Tim McCarver will return on Tuesday. Granted, this isn’t a Tiger problem. It’s just one for baseball fans everywhere. Keep Francona, Fox. If you insist on a Tiger problem here, um...I know. No more bunting, please.
21. The Rangers bullpen is much, much better than Detroit’s.
22. With Ordonez, Boesch, and Young down, there aren’t any outfielders left to call up to replace them. Clete Thomas and Ryan Strieby are the ones left on the 40 man roster and neither played in the majors this year. In fact, they were awful at the Triple A level.
23. The only decent outfielder the Tigers didn’t call up this year was Timo Perez, and he’s suspended for 50 games for using a banned substance.
24. Texas maintains home field advantage. If only Detroit wasn’t featuring spring training lineups after clinching the division at the end of the year, they may have finished with a better season record than Texas. At least we wouldn’t be dealing with monsoon season in Arlington right now.
25. AJ Pierzynski picked the Tigers to win in six games. AJ is a walking Tiger curse (though I did enjoy his work on Fox in Game One).
26. Mitch Album is still “covering” the Tigers. If this story is 100% accurate with NO fabrications, I will eat a barrel full of broken glass.
27. Al Alburquerque looks like a deer in headlights. His postseason ERA is currently 81.00.
28. Remember Joel Zumaya? Yup.
29. Daniel Schlereth may have to be trusted to get an important out at some point.
30. A large portion of Tiger fans are panicking like a slutty girl in a bad horror movie right now.
So yeah, we’ve got problems. The sky does appear to be falling right now. But weirder things have happened in baseball, my friends. Cabrera, Martinez, Peralta, and Avila are still breathing. #PlayoffHeroRyanRaburn is getting his chance to play and has thus far continued his second half hitting magic. And if the weather holds, we still have the edge in starting pitching. Justin Verlander will pitch again.
So do what the Tigers must do. Dust yourself off and keep going. We’ve all come too far to give up now.
And if you don’t…fuck off. Some of us still have hope.