Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005 at 9:16 AM

Thoughts on "Fun Maggs".

I wonder if Tram spent his Super Bowl Sunday with a pen and a bar napkin? Can’t you just see his face, smiling and doodling batting orders this way and that? “Well, I can put him here and him there…” like a kid playing a baseball video game? It seems fairly obvious to most that the numbers 3-4-5 are all but set, but what about the rest? Here, just for fun, is my very own bar napkin line up:

Inge – 3B
Guillen – SS
Pudge – C
Maggs – RF
Young – DH
Pena – 1B
White/Monroe – LF
Infante – 2B
Sanchez – CF

Yes, I dropped Mr. Sanchez to #9 and gave Inge a shot at the top of the order. Why not? Tram loves “little ball” and Sanchez at #9 is very much that, a national league style line up. He bunts very well but is not patient enough at the plate to be your typical lead off man. The pitcher in the NL is all but a situational bunt hitter and Sanchez fits that bill to a tee. I think Inge could excel if given the opportunity at lead off, he makes good contact and has a patient eye. Obviously I am not Tram, but I still would give it a shot none the less. Even Infante might be better suited at lead off, but I say Inge because he has a little more big league experience in. But if you ask me, and unfortunately Tram won’t return my calls, Sanchez would be better suited at the #9.

As far as the knee is concerned, I think it is worth the risk. If something like that is going to reoccur, it will happen in the first year most likely and the contract gives the Tigers an out if that does happen. The thing that scares me the most about Maggs is not his knee, but his career stats at his new home field, Comerica Park. He has 1 home run in 135 career at bats with a .259 batting average to boot. Forget the damn knee, even when it was healthy he sucked at big old “Co-Pa”!!!! He will (hopefully!) be playing half of his games there each season and those numbers are not exactly what I would call “clean up hitter friendly.” Hopefully he will get more comfortable playing there on a consistent basis, otherwise knee or not he is damn Juan Gonzalez Jr.! Hate to say that, but damn if it isn’t true! Hopefully he will grow into his new home park or maybe Illitch will finally wise up and make the park a little more hitter friendly for everyone.

As far as an outfield log jam I don’t see it being a real big issue. The names that keep popping into my mind are Higgy, Monroe, Thames and White. For what it is worth, this is what I say they do and it doesn’t involve releasing Higgy at all. He is in the final year of his contract, as is White, and it seems clear to me that neither will be back next season. For that very reason I say send Thames down to Toledo to play everyday and continue to grow as a consistent hitter. He could be next year to the outfield what it appears to me Monroe will be this year – a platoon type of guy. Monroe will still get plenty of AB’s this year between resting an aging Rondell White and being cautious with Maggs recovering knee. He may not start everyday, but he will still play damn near a lot. The leftfield job will all but be his next year, full time, unless he does something this season to screw it up. Thames then could come up next year and see more playing time and be much like Monroe is this year, platooning and resting guys, especially with White and Higgy off the books. What about Higgy, you still haven’t said why the hell you wouldn’t give him the Easley treatment and release his under productive over paid ass? For two reasons – he a lefty hitter of the bench and his defense. He would be a left handed pinch hitter off the bench and a late inning defensive replacement, nothing more. His bat speed may have slowed down, but he still has a canon of an arm. Put him in the outfield in a tight game and I dare anyone to try and squeeze an extra base out of a hit. Every day player or not, he still has the best arm out of the bunch. I say send Thames down to Toledo to grow, go with the main four of Monroe/White in left, Sanchez in center and Maggs in right. Sit Higgy on the pine, keep him for the reasons I stated and nothing more. Plus, don’t forget, Monroe got some time in center last year and held his ground out there when he played.

So, if I had to pick my opening day 25 man roster, here is what I would give myself:

Pitchers – Jason Johnson, Mike Maroth, Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson, Wil Ledezma, Gary Knotts, Chris Spurling, Jamie Walker, Steve Colyer, Fernando Rodney, Ugie Urbina and Troy Percival.

Position Players – Alex Sanchez, Craig Monroe, Rondell White, Magglio Ordonez, Dmitri Young, Bobby Higginson, Brandon Inge, Carlos Guillen, Omar Infante, Carlos Pena, Ivan Rodriguez, Vance Wilson and Jason Smith or Ramon Martinez.

Look, if you release Higgy you still have to pay him right? Just keep him, use him like I sad and look forward to next year when his contract will be off the books and his ass will be off the bench. He has no trade value either, the only guy I see being moveable in Rondell White, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see that happen either. So, in closing, I would like to go on record now and say that the Tigers are going to flirt with .500 this season, Maggs or not! That is right, I am putting it in writing right now! Later, I have got to go finish smoking whatever it is that you guys, I am sure, are accusing me of smoking right now. Later – the sports dude.

Blogger Dan Joseph said...

The Tigers just acquired Farnsworth from the Cubs for Novoa and a couple other guys in the minors. He could bolster middle relief nicely.  


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