The Sports Pages: Ben Guez, New Staff, the BBA, and Links from the Tigersphere


“I always turn to the sports pages first, which records man’s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man’s failures.”

– Earl Warren

The Tigers had originally planned to send 1B/OF Ryan Strieby to the Arizona Fall League this year, but unfortunately, Strieby’s wrist had other plans. OF Andy Dirks was all set to take his place until this morning, when Mark Anderson of TigsTown tweeted that OF Ben Guez, not Dirks, would be going to Arizona.

Guez was a 19th round pick by the Tigers in 2008, but he’s progressed quickly through the system, playing the majority of the 2010 season at AAA Toledo. The thought is that he’s not really a prospect, but was moved to Toledo due to a need with the ‘Hens. In 68 games with the MudHens this year, Guez hit .251 with a .778 OPS and nine home runs. He’s small, listed at 5-10 and 170 lbs, but he’s not a base stealer. He’s been successful in just 41 of his 60 stolen base attempts in his minor league career and managed just 14 steal in 24 attempts this season.

When I asked Mark about the change in plans, he responded “No injury that I’m aware of, may have just decided to give Dirks time off. Guez is an organizational guy filling a spot in my mind.”

Still, non-prospects can become prospects if they take advantage of opportunities. Guez is 23 years old and held his own while playing at AAA this year and now he’ll get a chance to play against the best prospects in baseball. Maybe he’ll show us something.

Moving to in-house matters, I am pleased to announce an addition the staff here at MCB. Chris Hannum has joined the team and will be giving you his take on the Tigers throughout the off-season. Look for his first post soon, but while he’s getting set-up, let me be the first to officially welcome him to the staff.

Another thing to be aware of is the Baseball Bloggers Alliance post-season awards. The BBA has over 220 baseball blogs covering all 30 clubs and several general sites. In the weeks to come, the member blogs will be posting their official ballots on each blog for each award. You’ll see more on this later on this very site, but for now, if you have a blog and would like to get yourself some free exposure and actually have a say in who wins awards, contact BBA founder Daniel Shoptaw and apply for membership. There’s really no reason not to do this.

Speaking of awards, Tony Paul of the News joined forces with Tom Gage and Lynn Henning to give their picks on the BBWAA’s awards. What’s fascinating here is not that Paul picked Miguel Cabrera for MVP, or even that Henning chose Josh Hamilton, it’s that Gage couldn’t disclose his pick, as he had an official vote. Henning faced the same problem when it came to the Cy Young award. To me, the vote should be transparent. Writers should have the chance, even the responsibility, to justify their votes to the public.

Yesterday at Bless You Boys, Kurt took a look back at all the good things that happened in Tigerland this year. I expect you’ll see alot of this kind of thing at many different blogs, including this one, but few do it as well as Kurt.

One of the main points in his piece was looking back at the Granderson trade. I agree with his take here. I loved the trade when it was made and I like it even more now, even as Grandy tears it up in the playoffs.

Do you like those “look back” pieces? Are you a fan of wonderful drawings? If not, move on to the next link. If so, be sure to wander over to the Roar of the Tigers and see the depiction of every major event of the Tigers season in one piece of artwork. Samara is remarkable, to say the least.

At the Free Press, John Lowe wonders why Lloyd McClendon hasn’t been given consideration for another managing gig. Lowe notes that McClendon’s tenure as Pirates skipper doesn’t look so bad in hindsight and Legendary Lloyd thinks his stint as Tigers bullpen coach in 2006 has given him a greater appreciation on how to handle a pitching staff.

It’s a good read and from what I’ve seen when McClendon has taken over the Tigers, as he does when Jim Leyland gets ejected, I like the way he manages a game. As much as I’ve wondered at times about his effectiveness as a hitting coach, I do think he would make a fine choice to manage a club.

****UPDATE: This one came in late, but I didn’t want to have to wait a week before directing you there. Jen at Old English D took a page out of Rogo’s book and went all FJM on…. herself. Cut yourself some slack, Jen. It wasn’t that bad.

That’s all I got this week, kiddies. Enjoys the links!

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