Thursday Thoughts: Lee, Hinske, Tribe

Not much going on in the Tigersphere these days as we have to wait much longer than usual to start the Hot Stove season.  That makes for a shorter offseason, though, so no complaints from me.  Less time without actual baseball games makes for a better year.  Here are a few things I have found interesting in the postseason so far.


Eric Hinske is at it again.  You may recall that back in June I called for a trade that would bring Hinske to Detroit.  Alas, the Yankees pulled the trigger on a deal with Pittsburgh and now Hinske has been a part of the past three American League champions. 


Offseason priority number one for Detroit should be to sign Hinske, as he is obviously the key to getting to the World Series.  That and he is a left handed hitter with some power that can play four positions and won’t cost a whole lot, certainly someone the Tigers could use.


Joe Sherman of the New York Post penned a good column about the troubles now facing the Yankees after Cliff Lee’s mastery in game one.  Also of note, Sherman is very excited to watch Pedro Martinez pitch tonight, and so am I. 

Martinez was once the best in baseball for almost a decade and he’s been there and done that.  When the Phillies signed Pedro, I have figured he couldn’t possibly perform anywhere near where he used to, but his start versus the Dodgers in the NLCS showed that he still has it.  Gone is the mid-90s fastball, but he still has the pinpoint command and the knowledge of how to pitch.  I always enjoy watching great pitchers, so whenever I get a chance to see one of the best ever, you can bet I’m not going to miss it.


While we’re on the topic of great pitchers, you think the Phillies were smart by “settling” for Cliff Leewhen the price was too high for Roy Halladay?  I thought at the time that Indians GM Mark Shapirogot fleeced and with every start Lee makes, I feel more strongly about it.  I could be wrong, but I doubt Carlos Carrasco will ever be the pitcher that Lee is, and Lee is signed through next season.


One thing I will not miss in 2010: seeing Lee pitch against Detroit five times.  But hey, at least the Tribe still has Fausto Carmona…


Speaking of the Indians, they decided that Manny Acta was the right man to lead a team of under-talented young players.  How did that work out in Washington?  I am starting to think that Shapiro is not very good at his job.  Acta will have a club that has little pitching and three (at most) good hitters.  But Shapiro wanted a manager with big league experience, I guess it didn’t matter how bad his experience was.  Remember, the Nationals got significantly better after Acta was fired.


Feel good thought of the day: No matter what you think about Dave Dombrowski, at least the Tigers don’t have Dayton Moore or Mark Shapiro making their decisions.

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Tags: Cleveland Indians Cliff Lee Detroit Tigers Eric Hinske Manny Acta Mark Shapiro New York Yankees Pedro Martinez Phillies

  • Chris

    Don’t forget – before Cliff Lee’s Cy Young winning renaissance he was one of the worst regular starters in the league. Nothing in his track record up to that point would have suggested that he was on the brink of becoming Halladay-caliber. I think the Indians were smart to sell high, even if the package they got doesn’t perform to expectations. If Lee keeps up this level of play, obviously the Indians couldn’t afford to resign him after 2010 but if he got off to a bad start in 2010 people would assume that ’08-’09 was a fluke and they wouldn’t be able to get much for him.

    • John Parent

      That’s an excellent point Chris. After Lee’s sparkling 18 win season in 2006, he completely fell apart in ’07, spending part of the year in the minor leagues. He wasn’t a lock to make the 2008 club at all, then was able to right the ship and perform at a very high level. I am assuming he is unlikely to “lose it” once again, but stranger things have happened. I’m not disagreeing with the decision to trade Lee or even the timing of the deal when I pointed out his 2010 option year, but I do feel like the package they got in return was much less than they probably hoped for. But as they say, an item is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay you for it. Obviously, Shapiro felt he got good enough value out of the trade.

  • Chris

    If I was an Indians fan – which I’m not – it would be enough to make me cry in my beer.