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2021 REGULAR SEASON DISCUSSION THREAD


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So I kid (mostly) about Miggy playing his way out of the Hall of Fame, or playing his way out of a first ballot election. I want it to be clear that, short of committing some disqualifying sin against Baseball, I believe there is a 100% probability he will achieve the former, and 98%+ that he will achieve the latter.

But what is also mostly true is that he has played his way out of the pantheon of the greatest all-time hitters, meaning the top of the elite.

Miggy's last great season was 2016, his 14th. Then, like the flip of a light switch, starting in 2017, he became a below average hitter.

Through 2016, according to B-R, Miggy had 78.2 oWAR (o = offense only). That was good enough to rank 20th all-time for all hitters after their first 14 years. It made him the equivalent of Rickey Henderson and Mike Schmidt. You don't have to get very deep into the conversation of all-time hitting greats to get to those guys. That's the path Miggy was on.

In the four completed seasons since, Miggy's oWAR was 1.0, total, for all four years combined. That has him at 79.2 overall coming into this season. For all hitters in history after their first 18 years, that places Miggy at 37th, the equivalent of Robin Yount.

Now, Robin Yount is a bona fide Hall of Famer, no doubt, and he's there basically for his hitting. But in any conversation I have ever had with my buddies naming the all-time greatest hitters in big league history, at no point has Robin Yount ever come up. How about you?

Miggy is guaranteed to play three more years, through 2023, and so far in 2021, he is at -0.8 (that's minus oh-point-eight) oWAR right now. In view of how steep his decline has been even since last year's pedestrian 103 OPS+, it is not at all unlikely that he achieves 0.0 total oWAR between now and the end of 2023.

If MIggy ends up with 79.2 oWAR after a 21-year career, he will still cruise into the Hall of Fame, and probably still on the first ballot. But his rank among hitters would end up at 39th, which would place him behind Gary Sheffield.

I don't think anyone has ever argued that Gary Sheffield was a better hitter than Miguel Cabrera. After all, Gary Sheffield is not even a Hall of Famer. But If MIggy ends up with the same oWAR after 21 years he has now, it will be less than Sheffield's 79.5 oWAR for his first 21 years.

Nothing can take the shine off Miggy's first 14 years, during which he was a truly all-time great hitter. But when future baseball fans rank the greatest hitting careers of all time, Miggy's final seven years are also going to be included, and instead of being considered the equal of Rickey and Schmidt, and Jimmy Foxx and Ken Griffey Jr, Miggy is going to be considered the equal of Carl Yastrzemski, Cal Ripken, a guy named Roger Connor ... and Al Kaline, for what that's worth. Great Hall of Fame hitters, all. Just not elite inner-circle all-time greats, which I believe we all hoped Miggy would end up as.

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It occurs to me that John Means literally came as close to a perfect game as a pitcher can get, without actually achieving a perfect game.

It is obviously closer to a perfect game than Musgrove’s no-hitter or Rodon’s no-hitter, because each of those guys put a hitter on base by their own volition on a hit-by-pitch, while Means actually struck out Sam Haggerty, which is almost always a bona fide out, but in some weird twist of rules as a strike three wild pitch, was not an out.

It is closer to a perfect game than Ernie Shore’s famous 1917 effort, because Babe Ruth walked leadoff hitter Ray Morgan before getting thrown out arguing with the umpire about it, while Ernie came in, caught Morgan stealing, then retired the next 26 hitters. It actually was considered a perfect game for decades before being changed in the Great No-Hitter Purge of 1991. But even if it were still considered so, Ernie faced only 26 hitters, short of a full game, so Means’s effort is closer.

It is closer to a perfect game than Galarraga’s 2010 effort, because although Jason Donald was ruled safe even as he was clearly beat to the bag by Galarraga, it was still ruled a single, and Galarraga still faced 28 hitters, a circumstance which by definition precludes it from being a nine-inning perfect game. But because Haggerty was caught stealing on the very next play, Means still faced only 27 hitters doing everything he had to do to record an out against each of them, so Means’s game was closer.

I suppose the only way Means could have gotten even closer to a perfect game than this is if the third strike got by the catcher as a passed ball, relieving Means of the blame even for that, but I think that would be splitting hairs.

But otherwise, yeah: this is as close as it gets, folks.

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24 minutes ago, chasfh said:

 

I suppose the only way Means could have gotten even closer to a perfect game than this is if the third strike got by the catcher as a passed ball, relieving Means of the blame even for that, but I think that would be splitting hairs.

But otherwise, yeah: this is as close as it gets, folks.

And I think it could have been ruled a passed ball. Sure, it was breaking towards the dirt, but I think the catcher could have at least blocked it, giving him a shot to throw the runner out at 1st. It wasn't one of those wild pitches that the hitter flails at as the ball is tailing away.

https://www.mlb.com/news/john-means-throws-unique-no-hitter

EDIT: To be honest, I don't know if passed ball calls are an option in this situation. May be automatically ruled a wild pitch.

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1 hour ago, chasfh said:

So I kid (mostly) about Miggy playing his way out of the Hall of Fame, or playing his way out of a first ballot election. I want it to be clear that, short of committing some disqualifying sin against Baseball, I believe there is a 100% probability he will achieve the former, and 98%+ that he will achieve the latter.

But what is also mostly true is that he has played his way out of the pantheon of the greatest all-time hitters, meaning the top of the elite.

Miggy's last great season was 2016, his 14th. Then, like the flip of a light switch, starting in 2017, he became a below average hitter.

Through 2016, according to B-R, Miggy had 78.2 oWAR (o = offense only). That was good enough to rank 20th all-time for all hitters after their first 14 years. It made him the equivalent of Rickey Henderson and Mike Schmidt. You don't have to get very deep into the conversation of all-time hitting greats to get to those guys. That's the path Miggy was on.

In the four completed seasons since, Miggy's oWAR was 1.0, total, for all four years combined. That has him at 79.2 overall coming into this season. For all hitters in history after their first 18 years, that places Miggy at 37th, the equivalent of Robin Yount.

Now, Robin Yount is a bona fide Hall of Famer, no doubt, and he's there basically for his hitting. But in any conversation I have ever had with my buddies naming the all-time greatest hitters in big league history, at no point has Robin Yount ever come up. How about you?

Miggy is guaranteed to play three more years, through 2023, and so far in 2021, he is at -0.8 (that's minus oh-point-eight) oWAR right now. In view of how steep his decline has been even since last year's pedestrian 103 OPS+, it is not at all unlikely that he achieves 0.0 total oWAR between now and the end of 2023.

If MIggy ends up with 79.2 oWAR after a 21-year career, he will still cruise into the Hall of Fame, and probably still on the first ballot. But his rank among hitters would end up at 39th, which would place him behind Gary Sheffield.

I don't think anyone has ever argued that Gary Sheffield was a better hitter than Miguel Cabrera. After all, Gary Sheffield is not even a Hall of Famer. But If MIggy ends up with the same oWAR after 21 years he has now, it will be less than Sheffield's 79.5 oWAR for his first 21 years.

Nothing can take the shine off Miggy's first 14 years, during which he was a truly all-time great hitter. But when future baseball fans rank the greatest hitting careers of all time, Miggy's final seven years are also going to be included, and instead of being considered the equal of Rickey and Schmidt, and Jimmy Foxx and Ken Griffey Jr, Miggy is going to be considered the equal of Carl Yastrzemski, Cal Ripken, a guy named Roger Connor ... and Al Kaline, for what that's worth. Great Hall of Fame hitters, all. Just not elite inner-circle all-time greats, which I believe we all hoped Miggy would end up as.

If only Robin Yount had played in New York or Boston....

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2 hours ago, chasfh said:

So I kid (mostly) about Miggy playing his way out of the Hall of Fame, or playing his way out of a first ballot election. I want it to be clear that, short of committing some disqualifying sin against Baseball, I believe there is a 100% probability he will achieve the former, and 98%+ that he will achieve the latter.

But what is also mostly true is that he has played his way out of the pantheon of the greatest all-time hitters, meaning the top of the elite.

Miggy's last great season was 2016, his 14th. Then, like the flip of a light switch, starting in 2017, he became a below average hitter.

Through 2016, according to B-R, Miggy had 78.2 oWAR (o = offense only). That was good enough to rank 20th all-time for all hitters after their first 14 years. It made him the equivalent of Rickey Henderson and Mike Schmidt. You don't have to get very deep into the conversation of all-time hitting greats to get to those guys. That's the path Miggy was on.

In the four completed seasons since, Miggy's oWAR was 1.0, total, for all four years combined. That has him at 79.2 overall coming into this season. For all hitters in history after their first 18 years, that places Miggy at 37th, the equivalent of Robin Yount.

Now, Robin Yount is a bona fide Hall of Famer, no doubt, and he's there basically for his hitting. But in any conversation I have ever had with my buddies naming the all-time greatest hitters in big league history, at no point has Robin Yount ever come up. How about you?

Miggy is guaranteed to play three more years, through 2023, and so far in 2021, he is at -0.8 (that's minus oh-point-eight) oWAR right now. In view of how steep his decline has been even since last year's pedestrian 103 OPS+, it is not at all unlikely that he achieves 0.0 total oWAR between now and the end of 2023.

If MIggy ends up with 79.2 oWAR after a 21-year career, he will still cruise into the Hall of Fame, and probably still on the first ballot. But his rank among hitters would end up at 39th, which would place him behind Gary Sheffield.

I don't think anyone has ever argued that Gary Sheffield was a better hitter than Miguel Cabrera. After all, Gary Sheffield is not even a Hall of Famer. But If MIggy ends up with the same oWAR after 21 years he has now, it will be less than Sheffield's 79.5 oWAR for his first 21 years.

Nothing can take the shine off Miggy's first 14 years, during which he was a truly all-time great hitter. But when future baseball fans rank the greatest hitting careers of all time, Miggy's final seven years are also going to be included, and instead of being considered the equal of Rickey and Schmidt, and Jimmy Foxx and Ken Griffey Jr, Miggy is going to be considered the equal of Carl Yastrzemski, Cal Ripken, a guy named Roger Connor ... and Al Kaline, for what that's worth. Great Hall of Fame hitters, all. Just not elite inner-circle all-time greats, which I believe we all hoped Miggy would end up as.

That is a good summary.  Another one who has fallen remarkably hard is Pujols.  He has been healthier then Cabrera, but the contrast between his Cardinal and Angel careers is stunning.  He has gone from being a .328 lifetime hitter to .298.  

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35 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

That is a good summary.  Another one who has fallen remarkably hard is Pujols.  He has been healthier then Cabrera, but the contrast between his Cardinal and Angel careers is stunning.  He has gone from being a .328 lifetime hitter to .298.  

image.thumb.png.96494ac0578788a188d8a1f3af7f9b35.png

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Looking at Cabrera's similarity scores, he always used to compare most closely to Frank Robinson and Hank Aaron.  Now, he matches most closely to players like Sheffield, Palmeiro and Ramirez which supports what Chas was saying.  Those guys haven't made it due to PED proof or suspicion.  Cabrera doesn't have that problem.  He also has the Triple Crown and two MVPS in his favor.  I am still confident he will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.   

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5 minutes ago, Motor City Sonics said:

The fact that the Tigers don't have a single viable upcoming first baseman is just such an Al Avila type of thing.   No reason to cut Miggy, he ain't blocking anyone.  

They have Nunez short-term and Torkelson long-term.  

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10 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

They have Nunez short-term and Torkelson long-term.  

Nunez is a scrap-heap signee, and Jonathan Schoop who has never played first base, is a better defensive first baseman and Tork has several years for the Tigers development team to screw him up.     All this time at the upper echelon of this franchise and that's what we've got.   There is absolutely no excuse for it.  

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2 hours ago, Motor City Sonics said:

Sorry, I am dumping on Al Avila every chance I get.   It's not just a lack of money thing.  There should be more in our system that can replace the dreck we have now.  Rebuild or not.  

i dont think it’s even Al Avila’s fault, per se. I don’t think you can truly blame someone who simply doesn’t know any better. He Peter principled his way into the job and is doing the best he can at the GM part, which we all can see is not well. But that’s not even his job #1. Avila’s real job is to act as a shield for Chris Ilitch by being the lightning rod for criticism of the team, while Ilitch does truly reprehensible things like bastardizing the original vision of District Detroit and jumping feet first into the remaking of Ilitch Holdings as primarily a gambling empire. It looks ballsy to do this right under the noses of Baseball, but Ilitch has their blessings by dint of their silence as they look the other way.

Avila is basically a surface blemish who can be wiped away and replaced. The true rot is at the very top.

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37 minutes ago, chasfh said:

i dont think it’s even Al Avila’s fault, per se. I don’t think you can truly blame someone who simply doesn’t know any better. He Peter principled his way into the job and is doing the best he can at the GM part, which we all can see is not well. But that’s not even his job #1. Avila’s real job is to act as a shield for Chris Ilitch by being the lightning rod for criticism of the team, while Ilitch does truly reprehensible things like bastardizing the original vision of District Detroit and jumping feet first into the remaking of Ilitch Holdings as primarily a gambling empire. It looks ballsy to do this right under the noses of Baseball, but Ilitch has their blessings by don’t of their silence as they look the other way.

Avila is basically a surface blemish who can be wiped away and replaced. The true rot is at the very top.

But you don't need money to find even a halfway decent prospect or veteran to play first base.   One that is actually a first baseman.  How many years has he been part of the Tigers drafts and how many rounds are in the MLB draft...........they couldn't develop one?  Not even one?   

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40 minutes ago, Motor City Sonics said:

But you don't need money to find even a halfway decent prospect or veteran to play first base.   One that is actually a first baseman.  How many years has he been part of the Tigers drafts and how many rounds are in the MLB draft...........they couldn't develop one?  Not even one?   

Are you new here or something? :wink:

I think you already know they put all their eggs in the pitching basket.

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1 hour ago, chasfh said:

i dont think it’s even Al Avila’s fault, per se. I don’t think you can truly blame someone who simply doesn’t know any better. He Peter principled his way into the job and is doing the best he can at the GM part, which we all can see is not well. But that’s not even his job #1. Avila’s real job is to act as a shield for Chris Ilitch by being the lightning rod for criticism of the team, while Ilitch does truly reprehensible things like bastardizing the original vision of District Detroit and jumping feet first into the remaking of Ilitch Holdings as primarily a gambling empire. It looks ballsy to do this right under the noses of Baseball, but Ilitch has their blessings by don’t of their silence as they look the other way.

Avila is basically a surface blemish who can be wiped away and replaced. The true rot is at the very top.

Agreed.  Its not AAs fault that he lacks talent and resources.  Chris I is a bad owner who does not seem to intend to win, except as incidental to his primary goal of profit.

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10 minutes ago, Motor City Sonics said:

It is 8:42 am and Buck Farmer is still a Tiger.   WHY ??????

I'll go ahead and repost this here:

It might be a while before Buck gets the gate. He's a homegrown guy the Tigers have almost $2 million sunk into this year, and it's not as though there's any urgency to dump him like we're playing for a playoff spot or something. Buck is, at the very least, a warm body who can eat up mound time (maybe even innings if he can get any outs), and actually, he's coming off three pretty good seasons in a row. We might spend the rest of the season trying to recapture the 2018-20 in him.

Besides, it's not in the Tigers' nature to easily cut bait on guaranteed money. They withstood a whole year of 119 innings from Mike Pelfrey before shunting him off before his second year. It took an almost 8 ERA from K-Rod in late June to finally say sayonara to that guy. Even Josh Harrison, the most recent free agent flop, made it all the way to August with 147 plate appearances of .175/.218/.263 "performance" before we ate the rest of his million-dollar salary during historically-bad 2019.

By the way, fun fact about Josh Harrison: he is the Nationals' starting second baseman, slashing .329/.417/.466 in his first 20 games. In fact, last night, he went 2-for-5 with a double, a steal, and a run scored.

Bonus fun fact: Harrison's backup in Washington is Jordy Mercer, and he's slashing .333/.360/.375 in his 24 at bats. So ... yay, ex-Tigers?

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Here's an interesting thing I just noticed this morning: the major leagues are amazingly clustered around .500.

Seventeen of the 30 teams are between .450 and .550 in winning percentage, and there are no teams over .600. The best record in baseball is owned by the Boston Red Sox at 19-13, good for a .594 winning percentage.

There are only two teams under .400, and the better of them is only thirteen points below that (Colorado Rockies, 12-19, .387), and they fired their general manager for years of malpractice leading to a record like that.

And then there are the Tigers.

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