Friday Fungoes: Mad Max, Old Men and Edwin Nunez

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — In many ways, I’m thrilled that I didn’t know the Tigers had a day game on Thursday and I’m equally pleased that, at least for one day, I didn’t renew my XM Radio package in the car we drove from Phoenix to Denver for the weekend. If that 14-hour drive isn’t bad enough, listening to the Red Sox drop two touchdowns on the Tigers would’ve made it even more interminable.

  • Draw your own conclusions: last year the Tigers finished Memorial Day Weekend at 26-24. Today, they’re 25-24.

  • Speaking of the Globe, in his Sunday “Baseball Notes” column, Nick Cafardo writes about the amount of noise that fans endure at baseball games these days.

    One of the more enjoyable parts of this season for me came during a Friday night Red Sox-Yankees game when the Yankee Stadium PA system malfunctioned for about two innings. Unfortunately, it was fixed.

    No more blaring music or dancing mascots. It was pure baseball, just like the old days, when all you heard was the occasional organ music in the background.

    We all understand the “presentation’’ that very talented and creative people put together for a ballgame, but couldn’t those same talented and creative people incorporate a two-inning silent time during the course of the game, when baseball is the most important thing taking place in the ballpark?

    I guess I’m now officially and old man because I completely agree with him. While it’s mildly amusing to find out which song the players select to get their at-bat groove on (most of them I’ve never before heard), the cacophony is at best irritating. What do you think? Could big-league parks use a little quiet time?

  • And how about this Jhonny Peralta hitting nearly .300? He’s batting .330 with four doubles, a triple, six home runs and 18 RBI over his last 26 games dating back to April 22. He is sixth among all American League players with a .585 slugging percentage during that stretch, while he is tied for eighth with six home runs. I think we would’ve been giddy if he could approach a consistent .275.
  • In case you were wondering, coming into tonight’s game the Tigers all-time record: 947-1,016-13. I need to look into those 13 ties.
  • Today the News’s Lynn Henning looks at the plight of Brandon Inge and how lost the Tigers third baseman appears at the plate.

    Inge [says] he feels “great” when he’s at .204, and when, most alarmingly, his slugging percentage in May is .254. Pair that number with a .284 on-base average and Inge has a May OPS (on-base plus slugging) of .538. That’s a good 200 points beneath what the Tigers or any big-league team minimally needs at third base.

    I find it interesting that, using Inge as an example, how over time there’s really no position on the diamond that clubs can reasonably tolerate light-hitting players. Before Cal Ripken, Robin Yount and Alan Trammell, teams could hide a featherweight at shortstop (think Eddie Brinkman and the Orioles’ Mark Belanger).

    Now, though, clubs need power hitters at the corners of the infield and outfield, behind the plate and, ideally, at either short or second. So, if this is the future (or should I say, the present), the Tigers need help at third, second and in center, and it wouldn’t hurt if Brennan Boesch started to hit a few homers.

    But back to Inge. The Tigers need him to see the light soon or else we all better get ready for a lot more action for Don Kelly.

Finally, Happy 48th Birthday to Edwin Nunez. In 69 appearances across two seasons with the Tigers (1989-90) he posted a 6-5 record, a 3.01 ERA and 7 saves.

Have a safe and relaxing Memorial Day Weekend.

4 Comments

  1. I still think Boesch has the CHris Shelton look about him. Horrible defensively and that swing is too long. I hope I’m wrong, but…

  2. That drive from PHX to COL is brutal, but awesome – and sometimes necessary this time of year. Sizemore to the A’s for Purcay, btw

  3. I can’t believe that with Inge and Rayburn as every day players, Jackson (our leadoff hitter) leading the league in strikeouts (again) that anyone would criticize Boesch. He is the least of our problems.

  4. Shelton is still a .300+ hitter as a professional. His failure to rebound in ’06 can be laid at the feet of Tiger management who banished him during his slump (when he admittedly fell in love with the longball) and failed to recall him in ’07, despite his hitting .400 the following spring, in favor of Sean Casey (who spent most of the first half of his final season below the Mendoza line).
    Many others, Raburn & Inge in particular, have been given a MUCH longer leash over the course of a MUCH worse performance…and they’re STILL getting chances.

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