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Closing Out May

Todd Jones was the losing pitcher yesterday, and it seems like whenever he loses a game or blows a save, everyone comes out of the woodwork to proclaim that he shouldn’t be the team’s closer.  In my opinion, I think Jones is best left where he’s at for the simple reason that 1)  I think he’s the third best reliever on the team (at least at this stage of their careers) and 2)  closing usually puts a reliever in a lower leverage situation then a middle reliever.

We can use last night’s game as an example.  The Tigers were down by two runs and the Yankees had one on and one out in the sixth inning.  The Tigers were down 6-4 and any additional runs would severely hamper the team’s chances at coming back.  I’d much rather have Joel Zumaya in that situation then having him wasted by bringing him in the ninth inning with nobody out and a two run lead.  Zumaya then got Alex Rodriguez to fly out and then he struck out Jorge Posada.  He finished the game with 2 1/3 innings and gave up only one hit with four strikeouts.  He left the game and the Tigers were still only down by one run game so he increased the Tigers chances of staging a comeback.

By the end of the game, the only player who would have a higher Win Probability Added (WPA) was the other Tiger reliever who I think is better then Todd Jones.  Fernando Rodney got the final hitter out in the eighth and pitched a shutout ninth.  During that time, the Tigers tied the game up.  The game went into extra frames and Todd Jones took the loss.

So the question is, do you want Jones closing games, or would you have put him into any of the above situtation and expected him to do any better.  I’m of the opinion that Leyland played this one right on the money, he just ran out of his better arms.

So I’ve actually been happy with Todd Jones so far.  He’s blown only the one save and then last night’s game, but outside of that, he’s been fairly reliable in his role, and that just happens to be closing games.  I say we keep him there.  Then again, I’ve thought the “closer” has been silly for quite some time so what do I know.

We’re going on our annual baseball trip this year, and it’s a little earlier then normal.  We’re combining a trip to Disney World with a stop at Tropicana Field to see the Devil Rays play the Toronto Blue Jays.  I’ll be back in time to catch the White Sox series, but I’m taking my laptop so I’ll be able to listen to the Tigers take on the Red Sox this weekend.

Eh, I’m not so sure. I agree that Rodney and Zumaya are better bets out of the bullpen. But what happens in late September, crucial series, 4-3 lead over the White Sox, and Jones comes out to pitch the ninth? I don’t like that scenario.

Posted by Ardo on June 2nd, 2006 at 7:43 am

Not impressed with Todd Jones. The Tigers played good baseball tonight until he started pitching and blew it for the whole team in the nineth inning. He didn’t earn his $$$ tonight.

Posted by Linda on June 2nd, 2006 at 6:23 pm

I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about Brian. Jones is a piece of shit pitcher. He should not be pitching in high-leverage situations unless we absolutely need him to. He just gave up a two-run shot to Youkilis, and do you want to know why? Because he sucks. He is a shitty pitcher and a complete waste of money. I have not changed my mind on this, and I’ve been saying the same thing all year. Who cares if Rodney and/or Zumaya are providing more value IN GENERAL. Jones should not have been pitching when he was pitching in this ballgame. I don’t want to hear anything more about it. I’m sick and tired of there being different opinions about stuff like this. This is a no-brainer. godDAMMIT!

Mike Lowell was 4-7 lifetime off of Todd Jones. Now he is 5-8, and do you want to know what one of the biggest reasons is for that? TODD JONES IS A SHITTY PITCHER. It’s a small sample sive, but it’s also important to remember that TODD JONES IS A SHITTY PITCHER.

In one inning tonight (sorry, 2/3 of an inning), Jones threw no fewer than 5 fastballs that got way too much of the plate. Want to know why? HE IS A SHITTY PICTHER.

Todd Jones has an ERA of what, 6 or so? Also, he’s punched out only 7 batters in something like 20 or 25 innings. Have you guessed the reason? Because TODD JONES IS A SHITTY PITCHER.

Let there be no more debate on this. There are at least a few games I can think of, off the top of my head and separate from the ones he blew outright, that Todd Jones has tried his best to blow because HE IS A SHITTY PITCHER.

Todd Jones had a good season last year, out of the blue, and he is old. It was a dumb signing, and it is especially dumb to bring him into ball games that we’re winning by one run or, wheen it’s a very good offense like Boston’s, when we’re winning by two.

Just because the team is doing well doesn’t mean Jim Leyland is making the right moves. There are all sorts of asinine calls made in every series, the pointless hit-and-run plays, the ill-concieved bunt plays, and it’s pissing me off because in the long run it is going to cost us. Jim Leyland is not paid to bat .300 as a manager, or to even bat .700. It is his job to know what he’s doing, to do the homework, and to understand simple facts such as this one:


Bunch of crap.

Posted by Dan on June 2nd, 2006 at 6:27 pm

Dan, I concur with your sentiments exactly. Why penalize this team who fights to get into these games by brining this piece of crap out there? I hated the guy when he was in his prime, it’s beyond belief that a 39 year old Todd Jones who is a never was is the closer of this team. Tonight was what you’d call a high leverage situation, who, including the players wanted to see Leyland call his number? Unreal. Once you earn that ridiculous label of “closer” you can never lose it.

Posted by KS on June 2nd, 2006 at 6:30 pm

Yes, the closer stuff is bullshit. Bring in the picther who is best for the situation. Todd Jones is absolutely never the best for a one-run situation unless Zumaya and Rodney are both already burned and a righty is up at bat. Never. But you can’t strip a guy of his closer status, evidently, because it is some sort of unwritten rule.

Why we are paying millions for a pitcher of Jones’ quality is beyond me. That is just pure incompetence.

Posted by Dan on June 2nd, 2006 at 6:53 pm

I’m still sick over Jones blowing that game. After reading the latest blog entry my question to you is, what woodwork are we crawling out of to blast Jones? We have been out in the open hating the fact that this bum was brought back to detroit. Just as dan said. He is a shitty pitcher. Lets look at what happened. He got out the two tough hitters (ramirez and veritek) Why on earth did he need to confer with Pudge in the middle of the at bat with Lowell? that just was a bad omen. we need to cut our loses with jones before the season gets out of hand.

Posted by michael on June 3rd, 2006 at 3:53 pm

I kicked the dog and threw my remote when he gave up that home run. just the game before I hugged my dog when Guillen got that hit in the ninth..anyways I just bought tickets to the tigers cubs game at wrigley on friday the 16th any good bars to go to before the game?

Posted by Darryl on June 3rd, 2006 at 5:58 pm

That’s a day game, Darryl, just so you know, but if you were aware of that already I like your thinking. There are a lot of bars around Wrigley Field, none of which are top notch in my opinion. You have to go a little further out for those. Try the Ten Cat, on Ashland just south of Irving Park. It’s exactly one mile from the field. As for Wrigleyville in particular, the Gingerman is the best one you’re going to find. That’s on Clark a couple of blocks north of the park. Oh, and there’s Sheffield’s, a true beer maven’s hangout. Sheffield and School streets, about a half mile south of the stadium. Michael and I will be at that game as well. Go Tigers.

Posted by Dan on June 3rd, 2006 at 6:37 pm

yeah we will be there for the cubs game friday and saturday. Darryl go to sheffields. The ten cat is great but sheffields is closer and has a great atmosphere.

Posted by michael on June 3rd, 2006 at 8:07 pm

Thanks guys see you at sheffields!

Posted by Darryl on June 4th, 2006 at 8:20 am

For Wrigley beer joints, I’m partial to Goose Island on Clark just south of the ballpark. Better food, better beer, a little bit less of a drunken Schaumburg-ite scene. Maybe I’m just getting old.

Brian, saying that Jones should be the closer because he’s the third best reliever is dodging the point. He’s the third best reliever, at best. Rodney and Zumaya should pitch the high-leverage situations, save situation or no. You’d think that after the Percival signing, the Tigers would have known better than to overpay for aged relief pitchers.

Posted by Jeff on June 4th, 2006 at 8:57 am

on another subject, I’m tired of us wasting out on Monroe. he has no plan or dicipline at the plate. he is killing us. its time to insert Thames into left and for Dombrowski to go get us another big bat. If that big bat be a LF then so be it. Keep Thames at DH. But Monroe needs to be sent out of town on a rail.

Posted by michael on June 4th, 2006 at 9:45 am

Agreed, Mike. Monroe is awful, and he should not be starting. I realize that Shelton is not swinging a hot bat, but what is the point of giving him every third day or so off? Let him get his swings! He’s obviously a better hitter than Monroe, and Thames should be our full time left fielder. Monroe is the biggest thing strangling this offense. Monroe and the constant goddamn double plays. Too many free swingers.

When Jones shit on the mound that was huge. Now we’re looking a t a near-guaranteed loss with Miner in there, and the Sox have Buehrle going today. We’ll be 1.5 games up by the time most of you read this.

Jeff, you’re nuts. How does Goose Island have better beer than Sheffield’s? Sheffield’s has dozens and dozens of beers, all veru high-class as far as that thing goes, and they have a beer on the hand-pulled cask at all times. No contest.

Posted by Dan on June 4th, 2006 at 10:37 am

There goes Monroe again. That’s terrible. 0-4 again. Before today, he had an unthinkable .282 OBP and 11 walks against 51(!) strikeouts. That is just awful. He has been a bad player his whole career. I just do not understand why he NEVER EVER SITS. Why? We need to spread the word on ever Tigers website out there so that the writers and everyone else picks up on it. Monroe should not be playing every day. A leftfielder who hits the way he does has no business playing every day. He would be considered a bad hitter even if he played shortstop or catcher. He has no clue what he is doing at the plate.

We cannot expec tto contend this year if we have players like Monroe in the lineup. Not everyone has to be abvoe average, but we’re not talking about average here. We’re talking about the Mendoza line. This is getting ridiculous.

Inge had better pick it up, too. His fielding cannot even come close to the havoc he is wreaking on this lineup. I’m tried of watching bad at bats from these guys.

Posted by Dan on June 4th, 2006 at 12:27 pm

Dan I agree. If we are going to even think about contention then we have to close these loopholes (Monroe, Inge, Jones). I’ll let inge slide a little bit if, and only if, Monroe is run outta town on a rail and if Jones follows Monroe on his way out of detroit. Whats with Grilli also? I was very surprised when he made the team over Tata, He walked in 3 straight today with the bases loaded. that in itself is grounds for dismissal. I wish Dombroski or Leyland would start telling these guys that changes will be made if this shit doesnt change. We have waited far too long for a season like this. Leyland is aways yammering in the paper about how he doesnt care about what the “experts” are saying about the tigers. He only cares that they are in first place at the end of the season. thats all fine and good but what he needs to realize is that every game holds the same weight. a blow save against the red sox on a friday night in june means the exact same as a blown save in late august. Gentlemen, Dan and I will be going to the tigers black sox game on tuesday. If anyone has ever dealt with a black sox fan then they will understand the kind of hell that UScrapular field can be. I hope that this is our year. our team never threw the world series.

Posted by michael on June 4th, 2006 at 7:06 pm

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