Tag:Dave Dombrowski
Posted on: December 9, 2009 10:49 am
Edited on: December 9, 2009 10:57 am

Thanks, Curtis.

The Detroit Tigers traded the face of their organization to the New York Yankees yesterday. In doing so, they shed the payroll they needed to lose, but lost one of the great men of baseball.

Curtis Granderson was more than a rising star in centerfield.  Granderson was one of the good guys.  Major League Baseball recognized him as the Man of the Year for his work with the GrandKids Foundation.  The foundation’s mission is “to enforce educational initiatives to youth and to help bring the sport of baseball back to the nation's inner cities.”  

In a year where his batting average dropped 20 points, his power increased dramatically.  In the process, Granderson went from being a lead off threat to a solid hitter in the 3rd spot.  Granderson was not without his faults. His strikeouts increased and he flailed against left-handed pitching.

Still, he provided Detroit fans with a stunning glove and command of the spacious Comerica Park center field.  

Detroit did not have much choice but to deal Granderson.  Granderson was scheduled to make over $5 million this year and over $8 million the next. Attendance in a season where the Tigers were contenders until the very end was down significantly.  No one blames the fans.  Unemployment in the state of Michigan exceeds 15%.  Household discretionary spending was at a premium so spending a couple hundred dollars on a trip to Comerica Park was not realistic for many families.

As a Tigers fan, I’m hopeful about the trade.  There seems to be equal amounts of outrage on all sides of this three-way swap.  Yankee fan and D-back fan are thinking they got screwed out of prospects as much as the average Tiger fan is thinking they lost the two of the best players in the franchise.

I have to give Tigers Head Honcho Dave Dombrowski some credit.  He traded for Edwin Jackson who had a career year in Detroit. Dombrowski has had the magic touch most of the time.  This fan will give him the benefit of the doubt while I hope these prospects pan out sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I’ll be rooting for Curtis Granderson’s continued success on and off the field.  Thanks for six great years in MoTown, Curits.

Posted on: May 22, 2008 5:00 pm

Sheff, Its Time to Retire

I was not one of those fans who cheered when Gary Sheffield came to the Tigers.  I didn't understand why Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland brought Sheff over to the Tigers from the Yankees.  Sheff was coming off an injury and at 36 it sounded like a risky proposition to me.  But the Tigers management gets paid to do their jobs. I just babble inanely.

Sheffield's appearance with the Tigers started well enough.  He seemed to gel with the roster, offering another veteran presence to a team who had achieved so much in the year before. Gary produced.  In 133 games Sheff  was 9th in the American League with 107 runs scored, 10th with 84 walks, and for the 14th time in his career hit more than 20 HR (25).

Sheff did all this with a sore shoulder during the last 10 weeks of the season.  Perhaps the Tigers would have made the playoffs had he been playing at full strength.   Its is this supposition that leads me to my issue with this veteran.

I think Sheff is hurting his team more than he is helping.

Sheff had surgery immediately following the 2007 season on that bad shoulder.  The surgery was a success, but the scar tissue has been slow to heal.  Sheff has been forced to take Cortisone shots to deal with the pain here in late spring.  His swing is no longer what it once was.

There was a time where an opposing pitcher would never dare to pitch Gary Sheffield an inside fastball.  Slowed by age and surgery, the inside heat has become an out pitch for Sheffield.  It needs to be said that a lack of strikeouts was a point of pride for Gary Sheffield.  He's had more BB than K in 17 of his 21 seasons.  This year, he already has 26 K in 115 AB.

Worst of all, Sheff is hitting .183 with only 2 HR and 8 RBI.   On an under-performing team where run production has been at a premium, they cannot afford to have a weak arm in left or a cold bat in the DH.

The Tigers have 4 other players who can play LF or DH who can perform better than Sheffield.  Brandon Inge and Marcus Thames are both hitting for power and average better than Sheff.  Even Rookies Clete Thomas and Ryan Rayburn are hitting for average better.

Put him on the DL.  Let that shoulder heal.  In the meantime, Brandon Inge would get some valuable playing time or the team would be developing some young talent.  The Tigers cannot do any worse with the position than they are now.

I don't know who approaches Sheffield - Leyland or Dombrowski - or if this is a decision that Sheffield needs to reach himself, but its time.  Hang up the cleats, Sheff.
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