DON’T DRINK THE DETROIT KOOL AIDE

O.K. ….
So I know that I said I was going to find the time to blog more frequently and
I didn’t.

But this time I really, really mean it…

I’ve got several topics to tackle before opening day and
I’ll start out with my opinion of the 2008 Detroit Tigers.

I’m just not drinking all of the Kool Aide just yet here.

Why?

Because what about the pitching?

Every sportswriter and every broadcaster and every
blogger already has the Detroit Tigers going 132-30 next season, handily winning
the American League Central, winning the ALDS, winning the ALCS, and then
sweeping whatever team happens to represent the National League in the 2008
World Series.

There’s just one problem with that for me.

And that problem is that there is still a beast
slumbering in their own division out in Cleveland.

Because as much as I keep hearing about the vaunted
offense of the Detroit Tigers – Nobody seems to want to talk about their
pitching.

And the fact of the matter is that the bottom three
starters for the 2008 Detroit Tigers went 30 and 37 with an ERA of about 4.99
last season.

And that was WITH Joel Zumaya.

Now with the best relief pitcher on their roster out of commission
until at least the All Star Break they are going to be counting on Kenny Rogers
and Nate Robertson to go deeper into games than they did last year (under 5.9
innings per start) and you’re going to be counting on Dontrelle Willis to give
you something.

Willis_d
And when I say give you something — I mean something
more than his 10 and 15 record last year with an ERA of about 5.17.
And when I remark that he needs to give the Tigers something — I mean
something more than his 87 base on balls and his 29 home runs from a year ago.

I mean, apart from Justin Verlander (a legitimate stud
who is 35-17 with an ERA of 3.74 in his first three major league seasons) I don’t
see anybody on that pitching staff that’s going to go better than 12-5 next
season.

Did you know that nobody on the 2008 Tigers pitching
staff won more than 11 games last year other than Verlander and that the other
four starters for the 2008 Tigers averaged 8 wins each ?

I don’t care how much offense that they have — If their
pitching performs at last year’s level and if Joel Zumaya is really out for the
majority of the season they are going to struggle against good pitching.

Jake
And when I say good pitching I mean good pitching in
their own division where the Cleveland Indians starters average 13 wins per
starter and where they have two starters sitting atop their rotation who are
both under 28 years of age and who both posted 19 win seasons last year.

The Tigers are going to really lean on 43 year old Kenny
Rogers as their number two starter and really depend on their resident 40 year
old homophobe Todd Jones to close games.

I think that the Detroit Tigers will be a fun team to
watch in 2008 and they may set club records for long balls and for runs scored.

But they won’t set any records for pitching and I think
Dontrelle is just broken.

And if it comes down to a three game series in September
to decide the winner of the division with Cleveland_indians_2

Cleveland sending out Sabathia (19-7,
3.21 ERA and the 2007 AL Cy Young award), Fausto Carmona (19-8, 3.06 ERA and
4th in the 2007 AL Cy Young voting), and Paul Byrd (15-8, 4.59 ERA) to face
Verlander (18-6, 3.66 ERA), 43 year old man Kenny Rogers (3-4, 4.43 ERA), and
Dontrelle Willis (10-15, with a 5.17 ERA) — I would take the Indians to win
that series two games to one or maybe a clean sweep.

I was watching the Baseball Tonight Fantasy Baseball
preview show and at the end each of the broadcasters got to make one "bold
prediction".

I agreed with some and disagreed with some others.

But here’s mine…

The 2008 Detroit Tiger will come in second in the NL
Central and will fail to make the 2008 post season.

There I said it.

I could be easily proven wrong.

But that’s my theory for today.

2 Comments

I agree, the Yankees will out hit and outscore the Tigers.

Look at tonight, Phil Hughes looked good and had control of his fastball while the Yankees looked like the champions they are going to be this year! Yankees all the way!

http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/thebronxdaily/blog_index.html

http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/yankeesredsox/blog_index.html

Yeah, I agree too Mike. The Tigers’ offense should be very good, but I think their staff and bullpen have serious concerns. I’m not convinced that Willis (whom I like) is going to have an easy transition at all.

I see the AL East getting two playoff spots.

http://heartlandpinstripes.mlblogs.com/

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