Monday, October 01, 2007

Final Thoughts on the 2007 Detroit Tigers

88-74, .543, 2nd place in the American League Central

Position Players

Curtis Granderson--Curtis went into yesterday’s final game batting .299 and needed one hit to get to .300, a personal goal of his. He got that hit, and then did not get a hit the next time up. He stayed in the game, risking his .300 average. He not only got one more hit, he got two. That’s class. He was the first player since Willie Mays to hit more than 20 HR, 20 doubles, 20 triples and to steal 20 bases. It was a very nice season.

Placido Polanco—Polly hit .341 for the season, finishing third in the AL and made no errors at second base. Just amazing!

Gary Sheffield—Struggled at the plate at the beginning of the year and then caught fire, leading the Tigers for a while in HR and walks. He got injured in July in a collision with Polanco and was never the same. He should have stopped playing then, because he created a giant hole in the 3-spot where he hit .178 for the rest of the season.

Magglio Ordonez--2007 American League Batting Champion. What more can be said? Not only did he hit .363, but he hit .429 with runners in scoring position, with an on-base percentage of .498! That is called clutch hitting! With only one error in the outfield all season, Maggs is without question the Tigers’ MVP this year.

Carlos Guillen—Despite 24 errors at shortstop, Carlos put up a decent year, hitting .296 with 21 home runs and 102 RBI, the first time in his career he has reached the 100 RBI plateau. I think a move to first base will put him in a better position to play every day without injury and allow his legs to be fresh when he bats.

Pudge Rodriguez—Pudge didn’t have a great year, finishing at .281, several points under his .303 lifetime average. Defensively he let a lot of balls get by that he didn’t before, and runners were not afraid to steal on him. I don’t know if the Tigers are going to pick up his $13,000,000 option next year, but I don’t see any suitable replacements for him in the free agent market either. I say keep him. He started our revival.

Sean Casey—I never liked having Casey on the team. The Tigers signed him for $4,000,000 this year and he hit four home runs and had only 54 RBI. They say he’s a nice guy, but I’m not watching for courtesy on the field. I want to see production. If they move Carlos Guillen over to first, the Tigers can shop for a shortstop.

Brandon Inge—While making some outstanding plays in the field as always, Brandon struggled a bit at the plate this year (.236), striking out way too much with a career-high 150 K’s. He was okay with runners in scoring position (.296) but had a dropoff in home runs this year with only 14, down from 27 last year.

Marcus Thames—Marcus didn’t have a lot of at bats again this year, but in the past few weeks I have seen a shorter, more compact swing and he is finally starting to hit the other way. Opposing teams will no longer just be able to pitch away to get him out, and that’s a good thing for the Tigers.


Justin Verlander—He is our ace. From his no-hitter on July 12 to his 18-6 record, JV is showing that he is the leader of our pitching staff.

Kenny Rogers—Stick a fork in him, he’s done. He missed the start of the season with surgery to repair a blood clot and when he came back he was hit and miss. He now says that he’ll never be 100%. Take him at his word and cut him loose.

Jeremy Bonderman—A great first half of the season followed by a total collapse. He was 10-1 on July 13 and finished 11-9 with a 5.01 ERA, which is his highest since his 6-19 rookie season. Hope he gets his arm back.

Nate Robertson—Nate never gets the run support he needs. I usually feel sorry for him but yesterday he finally got some help.

Joel Zumaya—If Joel is healthy this year, it’s a whole different season. When he ruptured a tendon in the middle finger of his throwing hand, the season started to slide. Having to depend on a Zach Miner or a Jason Grilli to hold a close game is not ideal.

Fernando Rodney—I would pay money to see him shipped out of town. He looks like a lost child on the mound and fields his position like a coachless little leaguer.

Jason Grilli—Can’t stand him. Every time I see him do something good he immediately turns around and walks the bases loaded. Too many inherited runners score on his watch and someone usually has to bail him out.

Todd Jones—Last but not least, the Roller Coaster. Get rid of him before he gives every Tigers fan high blood pressure.

It was a good season, but I hope the Tigers make some moves this offseason because I want to get back to the playoffs next year!

Go Tigers!

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