March 3, 2005


Sanchez, Inge keys to Tiger turnaround (MICHAEL ROSENBERG, March 3, 2005, Detroit Free Press)

Nothing gets the blood flowing like a pre-preseason tie, and the Tigers' stirring 2-2 death stare against archrival Florida Southern sure got me fired up.

Years from now, when ESPN does its retrospective on the game, we can relive the details. For now, let's concentrate on the beginning.

Batting leadoff, Question No. 1, centerfielder Alex Sanchez.

Batting second, Question No. 2, third baseman Brandon Inge.

This is not how the Tigers planned it. They wanted to sign a centerfielder or a third baseman over the winter, sending Sanchez to the bench and leaving either centerfield or third base for Inge.

Yet here they are. And for the Tigers to seriously improve, they both must deliver.

Ah, Spring, when even the Tigers have "keys" to a successful season...

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 3, 2005 4:17 PM

hey, no joke! Jeremy Bonderman is the next Roger Clemens and IRod is still the best catcher in baseball; and look at the bullpen: Farnsworth-Urbina-Percival, is there a better trio for the 7-8-9 innings?

this team will have a Tigers '83 season this year and watch out in 06

finally, the decade of Tiger management idiocy is at an end

let's have no more Tiger bashing, livingroom-safety-helmet-man.

Posted by: Palmcroft at March 3, 2005 5:36 PM

What do you think of the Nationals' uniforms?

Posted by: pchuck at March 3, 2005 5:49 PM

I had a Senators lid for years, so I like that & the logo is cool.

Posted by: oj at March 3, 2005 6:11 PM


Yes, Bonderman is far more a key than Sanchez.

Posted by: oj at March 3, 2005 6:12 PM

Farnsworth! snort, giggle, snort.

(Goodluck keeping him out of the local taverns . . . . and getting him to throw the ball within a mile of the plate)

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at March 3, 2005 7:08 PM

Tonight's Red Sox game is being webcast free on

Posted by: David Cohen at March 3, 2005 7:14 PM

Jeez, did Mary Mapes fact check this one? Neither Alex Sanchez or Brandon Inge were who the Tigers really wanted in those positions. They begged every centerfielder and third baseman worth having to come to Detroit, but they all signed elsewhere for less money. The real keys is Magglio Ordonez, if his knee holds up (somewhat of a large if) pitchers won't be able to pitch around Rodriguez anymore and the lineup is suddenly formidable again. Other equally significant keys are Nate Robertson and Will Ledezma, if they take steps forward similar to what Bonderman does, this team will shock the world.

Posted by: MarkD at March 3, 2005 7:22 PM


Ledezma could be at least three quarters of a Johann Santana, which don't stink.

Posted by: oj at March 3, 2005 8:39 PM

Tigers over the Cubs in 6 games in the 2005 World Series this October! Hay, it could happen. Actually, I'd be happy just to see the Tigers put together a few good winning streaks, play decent baseball and finish the '05 season a few games above .500! "Go get 'em Tigers!"

Posted by: Dave W. at March 3, 2005 9:43 PM

IRod the best catcher in baseball? Did Jason Varitek retire when I wasn't looking? IRod can't call a game to save his life.

I like Trammell but the Tigers are really far away from being competitive with the big boys. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if they go .500.

Posted by: Bart at March 3, 2005 10:15 PM

Statistically Irod has a number of the best defensive seasons of any catcher ever and Varitek ranks among the worst of his era.

Posted by: oj at March 3, 2005 10:19 PM

Defensive statistics are virtually meaningless. The only one that matters for a catcher is team ERA when he catches vs. that when he does not. You will note that IRod's is significantly higher than other catchers wherever he has played, while Varitek's is lower. Mirabelli is by any definition among the best defensive catchers in the game, yet his percentage throwing people out and his passed balls ratio are embarassing.

It is not Jason's fault that no one on the Sox knows how to hold a runner.

Posted by: Bart at March 3, 2005 10:45 PM

Bart, but Mirabelli has almost exclusively caught a knuckleballer, Wakefield, accounting for the high # of passed balls certainly. Also probably alot of the stolen bases.

Irod had a terrible season defensively last year iirc -- they still gave him a gold glove tho.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at March 3, 2005 11:42 PM

even in a "terrible" year, no one ran on him and he lowered the staff ERA precipitously.

Posted by: oj at March 3, 2005 11:49 PM

Texas let IRod go because they thought he was killing the staff.

Posted by: Bart at March 4, 2005 6:59 AM

What staff?

Posted by: oj at March 4, 2005 7:45 AM

And read Matt Clement's comments today about Jason in the Globe.

Posted by: Bart at March 4, 2005 8:15 AM

Tribe will win the Central.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 4, 2005 12:21 PM

"I believe! I believe! Tigers are alive in 2005!

Posted by: Dave W. at March 6, 2005 10:30 PM

I believe! I believe! Tigers are alive in 2005!

Posted by: Dave W. at March 6, 2005 10:31 PM