Monday, October 01, 2007

Monday Morning Manager

(this is the last edition of MMM for 2007. Beginning next week and continuing until spring training 2008, this blog will be updated on Mondays and Fridays only. Thanks for reading this season!)

Last Week: 3-3

I don't know that anyone would want to take the time to look up such a thing, but I can't imagine the Tigers ever playing a season-closing game that was filled with as many individual milestones as yesterday's 13-3 win over the White Sox provided.

To wit:

1. Magglio Ordonez wins batting title. With a .363 BA, to boot. I never dreamed that Maggs would stay this hot for this long. I kept waiting for the nosedive to the .330s or so. But he was simply unbelievable in 2007. A monster year. Let's put it this way: as rich as Ordonez's contract was that he signed in 2005, I bet most would have considered it a bargain had they been told that the contract would include a walk-off HR to win the AL pennant, and this line in 2007: 216 hits, 117 runs, 54 doubles, 28 HR, 139 RBI, .363 BA, .595 SLG, .434 OBA. Goodness gracious.

2. Placido Polanco gets 200 hits. The Energizer Baseball Bunny. Polanco is amazing. He finished at .341, which wins batting titles many seasons. He struck out only 30 times all season. Plus, he committed no errors. That's zero. Zilch. Nada.

3. Curtis Granderson has his first .300 season. Well, .302 to be exact. Grandy was overshadowed at times by Ordonez, but his 20-20-20-20 season (2Bs, 3Bs, HRs, SBs) and 122 runs scored is an MVP-type year sometimes.

4. Carlos Guillen has his first 100-RBI season. Well, 102 to be exact. Again hampered by injuries, Guillen nonetheless hit .296 and slugged 21 HRs. Next year's first baseman had himself a very decent year, once again.

5. Mike Rabelo hits his first big league home run. He waited till the last day of the season to do it, but Rabelo erased that goose egg in his HR column. His final numbers might not have been much worse than Vance Wilson's would have been, but the Tigers' loss of Wilson to elbow surgery was underrated. It's hard to quantify what a veteran backup like Wilson brings to the table.

Of course, the team milestones, the Tigers fell short of: a playoff berth, 90 wins. But with as many man-games missed to injuries, 88-74 and not being eliminated until the final few days of the season isn't all that bad.

Coming Wednesday: I handicap the playoffs in both leagues.

Coming Friday: I hand out my sightly warped end-of-season awards.



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