I took some heat for my last post on Tram when I said he should be given one more year. First off, I apologize about the error. They were 26-26 in two runs games, not in games decided by less then two runs. All I was trying to show here was one of many indicators that the Tigers have been “okay” in close games.
I guess the main reason why I think Tram should be given another year is, he’s never been given the tools to win. We’ve been trying to rebuild since 2002 (actually, it’s a lot longer then that, but 2002 would be when the “current” rebuilding began) and we were starting from rock bottom. Even this year, when many (including myself) thought the Tigers might get over the hump, the Tigers really don’t have what it takes to win in our division much less securing a playoff spot. It goes to show you when Chris Shelton is your best hitter. While he’s had a solid season, I just don’t see him more then a “good” player on any team that’s in the playoff mix.
And while our rotation has done better then anyone would have expected, it’s still not much better then average. Kyle Farnsworth still leads our team in Runs Saved Above Average (10), and unless Bonderman (7) has a strong finish, Farnsworth could end up the team leader at season end.
I’d just like to see Tram be given a chance with a playoff contending team. If he falls on his face and doesn’t get the job done (a la Larry Bowa), then I’d feel safe about replacing him.
Two managers who come to mind that I would consider putting in Tram’s place would be Davey Johnson (who looks like he’ll be heading up the Orioles again) and Jim Leyland (not sure what his situation is, but he’ll be 61 in December). Both are proven winners and each have World Series rings. One of the readers mentioned Larry Dierker and he’d also be a definite upgrade. I am curious to know why he hasn’t found work since leaving Houston though. He did suffer from a seizure in the dugout, but that was 1999. He went on to have a few more successful years after that.
But outside of securing a handful of proven commodities, I’d like to see Tram in the dugout, and I’d also like to see how he could a handle a more talented team.
I finished David Wells autobiography “Perfect I’m Not.” It really was a great read. Just a good baseball book. And I dare someone to read it and not come away a David Wells fan or (I can hear the groans already) a Yankees Fan. Yes, they have obnoxious fans, but David Wells really paints the team in a favorable light.
I’m also reading John Helyar’s “Lords of the Reams,” which is a fantastic look at the business of baseball. I’m also 200 pages into David McCullough’s tome/biography of Harry Truman. Finally, I started another good read called “Wedding of the Waters” by Peter Bernstein. It’s a look at the construction fo the Erie Canal and it’s effect on our nation.
The Tigers took two today at KC after a tough series in Toronto. The World Champs come to town next for a three game series.