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I went to yesterday’s doubleheader. Did you ever wonder what it might be like to sit through a 26-5 Tiger loss. I had in recent years been present while the Tigers got shellacked by Anaheim (end of last year) and watched Oakland buzzsaw (during their 20+ game win streak) through Jose Lima in short work, but yet yesterday was a low point.

Jason Johnson, who recently complained about being pulled too early from a start because he was supposed to be the Tiger number one starter, had absolutely no command. Any pitch he threw near the strike zone Kansas City was able to hit. Jason Johnson’s recent performance may be opening the door for a return by Gary Knotts to the rotation before the year is out. I certainly do not have great confidence in the Tigers ability to win ballgames with the removal of Wil Ledezma from the rotation coupled with more appearances by Johnson. Jason had a nice stretch near the middle of the season but he seems to have proved what many experts have said that he is missing something that would allow him to be a more succesful pitcher through a complete season.

Yesterday gave me opportunity to think more about the Jeff Weaver trade. Hindsight is clearly 20/20 but is interesting to ponder that trade while watching Franklyn German struggle so mightily and Jeremy Bonderman pitch so well. Weav, who was very immature, has become a staff ace in Los Angeles. It appears that the Tigers have gained a very capable starter in Bonderman-who with any luck will peak as an ace starter to coincide with a more completely constructed Tiger line-up that will be able to benefit from his development. Franklyn German is an enigma. Even yesterday, there were moments where you could see how he could become a dominant reliever. He often was ahead in the count. Batters seemed to have trouble with his splitter. It will be a matter of just how much patience the Tigers can exhibit with him. I believe that the Tigers will ultimately have the better end of this deal, because Weaver is in his peak as a player and at this time the Tigers are just not quite good enough for him to be able to succeed in Detroit.

This offseason will be critical in Bonderman’s continued development and for Dave Dombrowski to make the tough personnel decisions necessary for this team to push closer to being a contender in their division. Yesterday I finally caught a foul ball at a Tiger game for the first time in my life. I was elated and very surprised when someone offered me $10 for it.

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