Sure, that headline is a bit tongue-in-cheek – but the point is serious. Magglio Ordonez went 0-6 in the 3 hole on Saturday, so there was nowhere to go but up.
As we have discussed at great length, Jim Leyland’s modus operandi is to give the lineup slot of the regular to whichever player is replacing him. In this case, Maggs goes out so in comes Don Kelly. Don Kelly of the career .629 OPS. Don Kelly went 2 for 5, scoring 2 runs and driving one in. The Tigers didn’t win, unfortunately, because they left too many men on base (again) and couldn’t hold on to a slim lead (again) – but it wasn’t Don Kelly’s fault and it wasn’t Jim Leyland’s.
If Magglio Ordonez had stayed in the lineup and gone his now-traditional 0 for X, the Tigers wouldn’t have needed Joaquin Benoit’s blowup to lose – they would have been shut out by a masterful Masterson. So there are two things I’d like to draw your attention to:
1. How far has Magglio Ordonez fallen that replacing him with Don Kelly is what it takes to inject some life into the offense?
2. However far that is, Magglio Ordonez HAS fallen that far.