Hondo's blog from Pittsburgh with the Tigers!
Here are some random thoughts from my weekend in Pittsburgh with the Tigers
- As I posted, I had asked Jeremy Bonderman how he was feeling in the lobby of our hotel in Saturday and he said good.Â I had asked hi because it was being reported that he had had a bought with some bad food.Â Well when we talked he was feeling much better and was ready to pitch.Â However, six hours latter, the knot was back in his stomach and he was hurting.Â To bad for Jeremy but we move and the Tigers won the series.
- I am not only amazed at the amount of fans that traveled to Pittsburgh from Michigan but they amount that came from Mid Michigan.Â I met so many of you great people and I am even going to have some of you on the news tonight.Â Michigan has the best fans anywhere and I am so proud of you all.
- Todd Jones is just simply bad.Â I donâ€™t care how many games he saves, he just gives up too much and he IS NOT a playoff closer.Â He is the Achilles heal of this team and I understand that the Tigers have way to much money tied up in him to just dump him, but that is one area that is going to have to be addressed.Â Maybe a nice guy but he is not a premiere closer on a premiere team.
- Great for Shelton to get back to Pitt and punish the folks who let him go to Detroit in the rule 5 draft.Â Shelton is such a great guy and it is awesome to see good people succeed.
- Granderson just continues to produce.Â His athletic ability and his baseball intellect are outstanding.Â I realize we have a superstar in young Maybin in West Michigan, but he may need to move to left to make it on this club in the future.Â Granderson isnâ€™t going anywhere.
- Where are all the people who emailed and told me how dumb I was when I said before spring training that Inge was a legit 3rd baseman?Â Well I am still saying it and now so is the rest of the country.Â He is arguably becoming, not yet but becoming one of the best defensive 3rd baseman in the American league and he is without a doubt the best 9th spot hitter in the MLB.Â He is also again such a fantastic kid and so appreciative to the fans.Â He is a great story.
- How about Vance Wilsonâ€™s job managing the pitching staff when Pudge gets a break?Â That staff all loves the way he manages a game from the catchers position and he is more then adequate from the batters box.
- Omar Infante again has a big hit when called upon, sadly for him but positive for the Tigers is that he is a legit player that canâ€™t get playing time on this team for now.
- Leyland seemed more relaxed then at anytime yet.Â He wouldnâ€™t admit it but to come back to a team that he clearly loves (he still says that he will always be a Pirate) and didnâ€™t want him last season, and to win this series, it meant a lot to him.Â I was glad for him to see his success.
- This team spent absolutely no time groaning and moaning about the lack of respect they were given with all-star spots.Â Instead they just praised Kenny and Pudge demonstrating what we here in Michigan have known all along, that they are a class act group.
- The only complaining about the all-star game was by Kenny Rogers who was visibly upset that Verlander didnâ€™t make it.Â He was not being at all disingenuous when he said to me:Â â€œI would gladly give up my spot for him (Verlander) he deserves to be there and I am sad for him.â€Â Kenny is a great guy that I have considered it an honor to get to know.Â No doubt why his fellow starters love this guy, he is nothing less then a class act.