Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Now That The Winning Is Here, Young Unable To Contribute

It must be frustrating for Dmitri Young. At least he's not Bobby Higginson.

Young, a Tiger thru and thru by now, is recovering oh-so-slowly from a variety of injuries, all having to do with his legs. He's already been on the DL, and may go back soon. So he's missing out on a lot of the fun that this 2006 season is already bestowing upon the Tigers and their fans. He's giving it a go, with manager Jim Leyland's blessing, but it's not all that beneficial to the team. Young struggles now to hit at even a .200 clip, the Mendoza Line -- a place where he is certainly not accustomed. For DY is a perennial .300 or near .300 guy.

Young's health could be key to Tigers' chances

Almost everyday, it seems, the Tigers consult Young and huddle together to determine whether Dmitri needs a second placement in sick bay. It may be the wise choice to DL Young again. Better now, and have him healthier later on, than try to muddle through now and perhaps do even more damage. The usual sports injury dilemma.

But for now, Leyland plays Young as his DH and hopes the switch-hitter can provide the Tigers with a much needed lefthanded bat against righthanded pitching. But the gravity of DY's physical condition was evident last week when, in Baltimore, Leyland opted to use Pudge Rodriguez at first base instead of Young, when the skipper wanted to give Chris Shelton a day off. It was Rodriguez's first game at the position in his 15-year big league career. Of course, just like everything else Leyland has tried this season, the move worked. Pudge made two outstanding plays in the first few innings.

Still, Young can't help but feel like he's an outsider looking in at a party that he always hoped would happen in Detroit.

Young came to the Tigers before the 2002 season, and he now finds himself as the senior member of the team -- the Daddy Cat. Naturally, that means he has been gulping down the losing longer than any of his teammates. Now the Tigers can call themselves winners -- at least for the time being -- and Young hasn't been able to help the cause all that much. Can't be too gratifying.

But Young is not Higginson, so there's that much he can be thankful about.

Bobby's gone now, and the team nor the fans seem to miss him all that much. But Higgy toiled for 12 seasons in Detroit, and with nary a sniff of playoff contention. Often, the teams were out of it by Mother's Day. A couple seasons, by Easter. No joke. You wonder how Bobby feels about the Tigers now -- winners with him gone, out of baseball.

Dmitri Young isn't gone, and he certainly isn't forgotten. But so far -- and we're about 25% through the season -- he hasn't been a factor in the Tigers' new-found winning ways.

Who said baseball, or any other sport for that matter, was fair?


Blogger Ian C. said...

What are the chances that DaMeatHook is playing left field for the New York Yankees by July?

11:48 AM  
Blogger Big Al said...

It'd make me so happy if the Tigers could come up with a legit LH bat via trade, so we wouldn't have to put up with the Dmeat drama. Look at all the crap from 2005. Is he a clubhouse cancer? Is he hurt, or just lazy? Is he too fat or just big boned?

Ian, if DD could foist Young on the Yankees, that alone should get him the exec of the year award...

3:06 PM  
Blogger Ian C. said...

DaMeatHook might have a whole other mess to deal with off the field, if reports are true.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Ozz said...

Yeah, unfortuately it looks like his lousy '06 just got worse.

9:12 PM  

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