Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Detroit Tigers. Good/bad news

The good news for the Tigers is the Minnesota Twins have been on a losing streak. The Motowners are right there for second place in the AL Central Division.

The bad news is, after getting thumped for the last two games by the high-flying KC Royals, the Tigers find themselves a whopping 14 and a half games back.

The good news is, given the current playoff format that allows for two wild-card teams, if the Tigers can get on a bit of a roll, they just might have a shot at the post-season yet.

The bad news is, only five teams can make it and the Tigers find themselves tied for 10th place out of 15 teams. Further, they are within a whisker of thudding into the basement of their own division.

The good news is, outfielder J.D. Martinez is having a stellar season. He's already clubbed 30 home runs, is on pace for 100 RBIs, and has become a decent defensive player.

The bad news is, pretty much the rest of the team. Former ace Justin Verlander has started 10 games and the Tigers' record is 1-9 in those contests. David Price is gone for a few prospects. So is Yoenis Cespides. The rest of their starting pitching is iffy at best and the bullpen continues to be pretty much batting practice pitchers.

The good news is, second sacker Ian Kinsler is holding his own with solid numbers. As is shortstop Jose Iglesias.

The bad news is, designated hitter Victor Martinez, a switch-hitter, is barely batting his weight. Whoever heard of a regular DH only hitting .240 being celebrated? It's one thing for him not to be able to field a position, but quite another for his running ability on the basepathes to be clocked with a sundial. Let's just say this guy isn't exactly fleet of foot. In the time it has taken yours truly to write the above, V-Mart would take about the same time to trudge from first to third. This dude's slower than road repairs.

The good news is, in the catching department, youngster James McCann shows promise. He has a rifle arm and comes through with a key hit here and there. The really good news comes for veteran backstop Alex Avila. His daddy just got promoted to GM, replacing the long-time Dave Dombrowski. Nothing like job security in a family way.

The bad news is, Avila is hitting about a buck seventy and has an on-going history of having high speed projectiles find their way into hitting him in the head repeatedly and knocking him silly. See concussions. No wonder he can't hit. Poor dude's going up to bat punch drunk. He can't even seem to manage to shave himself anymore.

The good news is, the Tiger faithful and their koolaided media offering up the usual hype, seem to think perhaps the team will be better in the future. Hope springs eternal, as they say.

The bad news is, so do suckers. This team is nowhere near high-caliber, and likely won't be in the foreseeable future. Many recent stars have departed and the Tigers have a lot of guys on their roster that would be in the minor leagues for other good ball clubs. The Tigers and their media are loath to say the words, but they're basically in rebuild mode. Being 5 games under .500 three quarters of the way through the season is what it is. And remember, the Tigers had David Price for the first 100 games. Not any more. Things will likely get worse before they get better.

The good news is, the Tigers have a handsome rookie manager in Brad Ausmus. He will likely only get better.

The bad news is, why is it such an otherwise suave, debonair, and knowledgeable baseball man has the need to spit through his teeth every 5 seconds while in the dugout? C'mon Brad. Do you do that at home? Straighten up. Kids are watching too, ya know.

The good news is, owner Mike Ilitch will likely continue to look for ways to make his baseball toy competitive and get back to a World Series, with the ultimate goal of winning it.

The bad news is, Ilitch is now 86 years old. Like Alex Avila, he probably doesn't know what the hell is going on anymore either.

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