Friday, August 7, 2015
I have written before about my love for baseball and especially my favorite team the Detroit Tigers. It has been a most discouraging season. I had high hopes.
Victor Martinez is our designated hitter. He does not play in the field. All he does is take his turn at bat. He is a good batter even if he is old for a baseball player. He has had some problems with injuries but seemed healthy this year. He just has not produced hits like we hoped.
Justin Verlander was our top pitcher for years. He was thought of as the best pitcher in baseball. Last year he was off a bit and I kept saying there was something wrong with him. Turns out he had some abdominal muscles that needed to be repaired.
Verlander had surgery in the off-season and all looked good this spring. Then suddenly there was a problem with his arm. For the first time ever he was placed on the disabled list until he was able to pitch again.
When he came back it took him a few games to get adjusted again. Whispers said that he had lost "his stuff". He is now pitching better.
Miguel Cabrera is our first baseman. He is recognized as the best hitter today and maybe ever.
Cabrera had a rough time last year. He was obviously hurting but the team needed him so much that he continued to play. There was no one who could reasonably take his place. He did not know it but he was playing with bone spurs and broken bones in his foot. He had surgery in the off-season.
When he came back to play this season you could see that he was better. For one thing he could run without wincing in pain with each step. He was beginning to have a normal year for "Miggy" which is so much better than anyone else.
One day while running the bases during the game he pulled up in pain. If "Miggy" stops for pain most of the rest of us would be writhing on the ground screaming for morphine. He had some tears in his calf muscle. He has been on the disabled list ever since. He should be back in a couple of weeks but we have missed him.
The rest of the players have worked hard at picking up without the key players performing well. And they have actually done a decent job.
Our pitcher that we depended on for wins, David Price, was just traded to another team. He probably would have moved on after the end of the season but I hoped he would be here for this whole season. He is a great pitcher. I also hoped the Tigers would find a way to keep him after that.
Yoenis Cespedes is an outfielder. He is also a fantastic batter. He was traded to another team. I still have hopes that he will come back next season.
Our closing pitcher, Joakim Soria, was also traded. The closer is the pitcher who comes in at the final inning or so of the game when the team is leading by a small score. He is supposed to keep the score the way it is so we will win.
While at times our hitting let us down it was our pitching, especially the bullpen that has been a problem. The bullpen is the relief pitchers who are called in to pitch for various reasons after the game has been played for a while. Our bullpen just has not done the job.
The writing on the wall told us that we were probably not going to be in line for the playoffs this year. That is why those players were traded. A team will try to cut back and rebuild after a season like this.
We have had Dave Dombrowski as our general manager for 14 years. He is also recognized as the best. The general manager is the one who makes deals involving players, trying to make up the best possible team. Dombrowski has no equal in that regard.
This year was the final year on Dombrowski's contract. I felt it was a strong possibility that he would move on at the end of the season. Today the Tigers let him go.
I was shocked. I get attached to most of the players and managers and coaches. It actually hurts sometimes when they make a business decision to get rid of one of my people.
I can know that it is a good decision in my mind but that does not lessen the pain of separation. I suppose it seems silly to be like that but there you are. I cannot help it.
So my Tigers will not be contenders this year most likely. I can be okay (sort of) with that. I suffered through many years of 4th place teams. I will just have to adjust my cap and enjoy the rest of the season. Then I will look forward to a better year next year.