Huddle up


Steve raises a scary thought in his “Moneyball” post. Imagine that potential World Series: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Florida Marlins. Fifty bucks to the first person who can name their home stadiums (and when I say $50 I mean a hearty congratulations).

The best part of all these surprise performances is watching the inevitable reaction of the so-called favourites. Yes, the “closed-door team meetings” have officially begun. The New York Yankees held one this week—hours after team owner Hank Steinbrenner slammed his high-paid horses in the press (like father, like son). The Seattle Mariners called a group meeting, too. Three in one week! And then there’s the over-hyped, underachieving Detroit Tigers, who, after two more embarrassing losses to the Kansas City Royals, gathered for a players-only chitchat in the visitors clubhouse yesterday morning. It didn’t quite work. Later that afternoon, the Tigers were down 5-1 by the second inning en route to an 8-4 loss.

I don’t have the stats handy (I have a day job, too) but I’m pretty convinced that most of the time, the whole team meeting thing is a bust. OK guys, let’s get together and try to think of the reasons why we’re over-thinking too much in the batter’s box.

John Lowe, the long-time Tigers beat writer at the Detroit Free Press, summed it up best last night: “The kind of team meeting the Tigers now need is the one at home plate, where a player who’s finishing his home-run trot is greeted by someone who has scored on the homer, as well as the next hitter. The Tigers haven’t had that kind of meeting in two weeks.” If anything, the Tigers should convene another team meeting to talk about how witty John Lowe is…

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Huddle up

  1. Good to see you got that whole Rays-D-Rays thing sorted out, Frisco. Put me to shame (they’ll always be the Mighty Ducks to me).

  2. I’m gonna go way out on a limb here and say that by mid-august the Rays and Marlins will be well out of the playoff race.
    I confess – I know almost nothing about the Marlins except that the whole team makes less than A-Rod. They’ll wilt when the hot weather arrives.
    The Rays have impressed me this year. Crawford-Upton-Pena-Iyamura-Navarro…this is a decent hitting team. They have a stable of young pitchers coming into their own. And who doesn’t love a comeback story like Troy Percival?
    But the Rays play in a tough division. I think they’ll end the year around .500

    I still like the Red Sox in the east, Cleveland in the Central and the Angels out west. The wildcard race, is going to be a 5-way affair with the Yankees, Jays, White Sox, A’s, and yes…the Tigers coming around.

    If the Jays can play their way through this recent psate of injuries, and avoid any serious injuries to their starting rotation (a big ‘if’ I know) I like their chances. They have hit TERRIBLY this year and still they’ve managed to scratch out a 20-21 record so far. This offense will come alive, and when it does they’ll make noise.
    (My confidence in the Tigers is based on the same basic idea – all stars don’t just forget how to hit one day.)

  3. We should have a meeting to discuss that issue further…

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