Monday Morning Manager
This Week: NYY (5/10-13); BOS (5/14-16)
So what happened?
Minnesota---that's what happened.
The Tigers' being swept in the Twins' new Target Field, after years of being tormented in the Metrodome, reminded me of a quip from long ago Tampa Bay Bucs coach John McKay.
McKay was explaining away yet another loss in his team's infancy---when the Bucs were in the throes of their 0-26 start to their NFL career. The loss in question had come at home.
"We will attempt to come back next week in front of our home crowd at Tampa Stadium and get a win. We've now proven that we can't win on the road OR in front of our home crowd.
"So we would like a neutral site!"
The Tigers proved last week that they can't win at the Metrodome OR at Target Field. So they, we would surmise, would like a neutral site.
The Metrodome had its booby traps, and it looks like Target Field has wind issues.
Regardless, the Tigers went 0-3 in Minnesota last week, obliterating the hard work they used up in squeezing to within 1/2 game of the Twins.
The Twins' lead is back to 3-1/2 games, as it was before the Tigers' 6-1 run of two weeks ago.
Hero of the Week
Miguel Cabrera carries the Tigers even when they lose.
That's not a slam---that's a fact.
Cabrera has, as manager Jim Leyland said the other day, been locked in all year.
Has he ever.
Cabrera continues to horde the RBIs like it's a K-Mart Blue Light Special.
He delivered in Minnesota, despite the sweep---slamming two homers in one game, to boot. He had another dinger wiped out by Cleveland's rain on Friday night.
Cabrera has 33 RBI. The Tigers have played 31 games. You do the math.
Oh, and he's hitting .370 and has seven home runs, has scored 20 runs, has an OBA of .457 and a slugging pct. of .639.
You could rightly make Cabrera Hero of the Week every Monday in this space; it's hardly stepping out on a limb by doing so. But my goodness, the guy just keeps driving in runs and his batting average is Ty Cobb-like.
Honorable mention: reliever Joel Zumaya, who's looking better and better and distancing himself from his recent spate of injuries.
Goat of the Week
Calling Max Scherzer! Paging Max Scherzer! Report to MMM at once.
MMM is growing impatient with Mr. Scherzer, who's been soiling the mound for three starts in a row now.
Scherzer's latest adventure came yesterday in Cleveland: five innings, five earned, nine hits. In his last three starts, Scherzer's ERA has ballooned from 2.62 to an unsightly 6.81.
If it makes you feel any better, Edwin Jackson, who was essentially shipped to Arizona for Scherzer, isn't doing much better with the D-Backs.
If that DOESN'T make you feel any better, you're not alone. Scherzer is supposed to be a top three guy in the rotation, and he's nowhere near that now. Opponents are slapping the baseball around on him to the tune of a .327 batting average.
Upcoming: Yankees and Red Sox
Biggest week of the season at Comerica Park if you're a marketing person.
The two arguably most storied franchises in the game visit Detroit this week.
The Tigers have seven games to see how they size up with the torrid Yankees and the lukewarm Red Sox. The Bengals' 9-3 record at home will be put to the test.
Seriously, what a great week at the old ballpark. It kicks off with the team's tribute to Ernie Harwell tonight, which includes a special flag raising ceremony. Then the Yanks and Red Sox invade through Sunday.
The downer? No Curtis Granderson for the Yankees in their only visit to CoPa. Grandy continues to nurse a groin injury.
The Red Sox are a mystery. I mean, they were swept by the Orioles.
The Bosox are 16-16 and are in fourth place. They haven't been able to capitalize on a schedule that saw them play 20 of their first 32 at home; they're 10-10 at Fenway Park, 6-6 on the road.
That's all for this week's MMM. See you next Monday!
Labels: Monday Morning Manager