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Bad Timing, Tram


Here I am defending Alan Trammell and he goes out makes me look bad. In case you missed it, the Tigers were up 3-2 heading into the ninth. Nate Robertson had held the Red Sox to two runs on two hits, and he did it all by just throwing 90 pitches.

Instead of letting Robertson throw in the ninth, in comes the so called closer, Fernando Rodney. He gets Edgar Rentaria for the first out, but gives up a solo shot to David Ortiz to send the game into extra frames. The rest is history as the Red Sox went on to win the game (by scoring seven runs in the 10th no less).

And there’s really no excuse. Yes, he went righty/righty for the first batter, but why not put in Jamie Walker to face Ortiz. Tram showed he once again was working from some kind of flawed cook book when he does this stuff. He put his “closer” in to “close” the game. Only thing is, Fernando Rodney, while he’s a quality arm, isn’t nearly as good yet as the guys we got rid of (Ugueth Urbina and Kyle Farnsworth) or the guy we have on the shelf (Troy Percival).

Which makes this loss even less excusable. He knows his pen is depleted and rather mediocre, so why not let Robertson throw the ninth. Let him win the game.

In a lot of ways, Trammell is a lot like Sparky Anderson. Very text book. This time it got him into trouble.

And for those of you who haven’t checked, when Robertson throws 91-105 pitches, he has a .225 batting average against and a 1.27 WHIP. Not too shabby.

Brian, I think Tram did this just to make you look bad. Not like winning the game was going to count for much, right? (g)

Seriously, I don’t understand the prevailing thought the closers are almost always brought in to finish games that aren’t out of control. It seems quite silly to me.

Posted by The Bench Jockey on August 17th, 2005 at 1:52 pm

Here we go again. That Trammell thinks he must go with his closer in the “closer” role is one of the many reasons he is a bad manager.

I live in Chicago, and sometimes Neifi Perez and Jose Macias me look bad. I’ll try to explain to a casual Cubs fan that Perez has been one of the worst hitters in baseball for essentially his entire career and should really just be a backup/late-innings defensive replacement, or I’ll tell someone that Macias just plain doesn’t belong on a major league roster. Then Perez will hit two doubles in a game or Macias will drive in the winning run because he was Dusty Baker’s only bench option. No matter how bad I look, however, I’m right, in the long run. Perez really IS a bad hitter, and Macias really is a bad everything, and their statistics more than back me up.

Too bad we don’t keep more managerial statistics. What a coincidence that Trammell made you look bad for defending him the very day after you set out to do so! The difference between my looking bad before a big game by Neifi and you looking bad for defending Trammell is that you have no leg to stand on. Trammell has been doing a terrible job of managing his pitching staff all season long, time and time again, and you’ve chosen to ignore it for whatever reason. I see this all the time, on this and other blogs and bulletin boards (yes, I have no life) and I can’t explain it except to maybe guess that it has something to do with his cache as an ex-star with the Tigers, which of course is why he was hired in the first place. Face it, you have decided to be pro-Trammell, and since we don’t have statistics for managers, you don’t have to face up to how much he sucks.

Definitive statistics anyway. The Tigers have come up short of their pythagorean record by a cumulative total of 15 games during Trammell’s tenure. -6 in 2003, -7 in 2004, and -2 so far this year. Is this all because of luck and a bad bullpen? Maybe, but it’s not something you want to put on your managerial resume either, and it’s likely a hell of a lot better measure than the team’s 26-26 record in games decided by two runs or fewer.

If your guy is shutting down one of the best offenses in the game through eight innings on 90 pitches, it probably means he’s “on” that day, wouldn’t you say? Trammell pulled Robertson because he wasn’t using his head and because he doesn’t know any better in the first place. He’s made many mistakes of this ilk these past few seasons. Period.

Posted by Dan on August 17th, 2005 at 3:00 pm

Actually, I haven’t chosen to ignore. What I’m doing is much, much worse.

Tram was the man here in the 1980s, which was when I grew up watching the Tigers. I hate throwing out the term “hero” for a ball player, but this guy was someone who was idolized here. While Lou Whitaker was always my favortie player, Alan Trammell was right there as well.

So I’m basically clinging to that. I want him to do well so bad, that I’m willing to give him several chances to prove himself.

Posted by Brian on August 17th, 2005 at 3:08 pm

Fair enough. Also, I understand. I grew up in Detroit and idolized the man. He used to be my favorite Tiger ever, but not anymore. I’m doing the opposite of what you’re doing. I’m hating him because I used to like him so much, because my disappointment is greater with him than it was with a scmoe like Larry Parrish or Buddy Bell. Bottom line: I should never have children.

Posted by Dan on August 17th, 2005 at 3:25 pm

C’mon guys…
He’s Alan Trammell. Don’t turn on him. One more year, let him finish his contract.
While some of his decisions have been wrong at times, I feel he definitely deserves one more year. He is not the reason we’ve fallen apart the last few weeks, it’s players getting injured and underperforming.
So please, let him finish his contract. And lay off him Tiger fans! Remember who he is!

Posted by Cameron on August 17th, 2005 at 9:59 pm

Wait a minute!

Those of us who were listening to the game and not just reading a box score would like to point out that the last two outs of the 8th inning were fly balls to the warning track. Nate had also given up a lot of what Jimmy Price called “At’em balls.” It would be fair to say that Tram saw that his luck and gas were both about out.

If he had left Nate in, I think that the game would have been tied up or lost anyway. Naturally, this would have been used as more ammo against him, because he didn’t take him out and missed the signs in the 8th.

Posted by Mike on August 17th, 2005 at 10:00 pm

Very well put, Mike.
If the Tigers lost, Trammell was going to be blamed either way. So keep supporting him Brian!

Posted by Cameron on August 18th, 2005 at 12:16 am

Bullshit. I’m tired of that line of reasoning. I don’t know what people would say, but I sure as hell wouldn’t have blamed Trammell for sticking with a guy who had shut down the Red Sox for 8 innings on 90 pitches. It’s easy for you to say that, since I can’t prove that there were times when I DIDN’T say anything about what I thought were good moves by Trammell. And when I say “good moves” I mean “moves that weren’t stupid”. You make claims that are utterly baseless and impossible to disprove at the same time.

Oh, you’re right, I would have blamed Trammell either way. After all, I AM human, right? That is garbage.

Posted by Dan on August 18th, 2005 at 10:48 am

And by the way, what is this?!:

“If he had left Nate in, I think that the game would have been tied up or lost anyway.”

Okay, we’ll I think it WOULDN’T have been. See how easy that is?

Posted by Dan on August 18th, 2005 at 10:53 am

Statistically speaking, if you have a fresh closer in the bullpen at the start of the 9th in a close game, you bring him in. You’ll be successful far more often than unsuccessful.

MLB is not Diamond Mind, Pursue the Pennant, or Strat-o-matic. But if Bob Cluck agreed with the decision to put in the closer, you just have to write it up to hard luck.

I seem to remember everyone in the free world though the ball should have been handed to Eckersley in Game one of the ’88 series. Eckersley owned the world that year. Then Gibby went up to bat with no knees and took Eck deep. Who knew?

Posted by afs on August 18th, 2005 at 11:42 am

Tram’s reasoning was that it was an opportunity to see what kind of stuff Rodney was made of, being that he had a slim lead against a good hitting team. And why not? Given that there’s no playoff hopes for this season, I’d like to see the team trying things out. It was a move aimed at next season, which is exactly where Tiger Mgmt. and fans need to be looking.

It failed and Rodney did not look good, but maybe it was the fire that made him harder for future battles. His performance in last night’s close call might be evidence of just that.

Posted by Doug Purdie on August 18th, 2005 at 4:30 pm

Exactly Doug.

Case any of you haven’t noticed, season is done. Over. It’s time to figure out what we’ve got going into next year. How anybody could pin this loss on Tram is beyond me. Tram knows what he’s got in Nate, he needs to know what Rodney brings to the table.

Also, there’s a reason it’s called a textbook move, because it works. It didn’t this time. And so we’re 57-62 instead of 58-61 and maybe Trammell knows a little bit more about what Rodney has to offer to this team in the future.

Posted by Bryan on August 18th, 2005 at 5:52 pm

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