Thursday, September 07, 2006

Why was Dmitri Young released? It rhymes with "Themistry"

I think we can all agree that the Tigers everyday lineup is not the most talented in MLB. I think we can also agree that the Tigers may just be a team that thrives on that mysterious thing called "Chemistry." Which brings us to the abrupt release of the Dmitri Young.

Not much has been made clear in regard to Da Meat Hook's release from the Tigers braintrust, that being Dave Dombrowski and the Marlboro Man. All we have been told is the cryptic "It's a performance issue." They claim that it's nothing more than that. And if you believe that spin, Matt Millen has an overweight wide receiver to trade to you.

Was the final nail in the Young coffin his on the field performance? Seems like a stretch, as Leyland batted him 3rd in the order in his last game as a Tiger. Young hasn't been tearing it up, but he hasn't been God awful. Not at a black hole of suck, Neifi Perez type of awful, anyway. (If Perez was released, you would hear all of SE Michigan let loose with a collective sigh of relief.) The Tigers thought it was best to outright release their number 3 hitter? Strange thinking, considering this is a period of expanded rosters, when nobodies like Kevin Hooper can be in major league dugouts. Remember when we were told that Young was going to fix their left handed bat woes? It's a HUGE flaw in their lineup, and the Tigers released the supposed solution. So why Dmeat out the door? Something stinks in the locker room, and it ain't just the jock straps.

Why else would the Tigers cut bait on Young? If you connect the dots, it absolutely has to be attitude or clubhouse chemistry related. It's been speculated far and wide, and has been accepted as a given, that Young was the "Clubhouse cancer" that undermined the Alan Trammell regime. Most fans, this one included, wanted the Tigers to wash their hands of Delmon Young's role model all together.

When you think about it, Young's entire season has been one long disruption for the Tigers. From his under the Mendoza line batting average and Neifi Perez-like power numbers to start the season, to an arrest for beating his much younger girlfriend, leading to an extended stint on the DL for rehab, to his much hyped return as the lefty power bat that was so desperately needed, ending with his slumping at the plate and unceremonious release. I'm sure the Tigers also realized that the team has a losing record since Young's return.

Suddenly the Tigers couldn't rid themselves of Young fast enough. What makes the whole situation even more bizarre, is that the Tigers also needed to make room for Mike Maroth on the 40 man roster. If something apocalyptic didn't happen to screw with team chemistry, then why was Chris Dingman released earlier in the day to make room for Maroth, rather than the soon to be ditched Young? The only thing that makes sense is there was some sort of off the field teamwide problem, not an on the field "Performance" issue.

There has to be more to this story than the Cigarette Smoking Man and Dombrowski are letting on. But I doubt we'll ever hear the true reason for Young's release. I'm guessing it was not for taking cuts in the buffet line, but for stabbing someone in the back.

So the Tigers finally said good riddance to bad trash. We'll improve the team with some addition by subtraction. I'm sure it won't take long to see if this move helps pull the Tigers out of their nearly month long funk. With this weeks "Biggest series of the season" starting in the Baggiedome tonight, the funk can't end soon enough. I can only hope that the ditching of Dmitri Young sends the rest of the Tigers the correct message.

I'll just say this, Da Meat Hook won't be missed.


  1. If the Tigers' performance last night is any indication of how they're responding to this, I think Dombrowski should strongly consider re-signing Da Meat Hook, and then cutting him again, just to keep them sharp.

    And I think you're dead-on about him not being missed, Big Al. There are quite a few rumblings going around about him not being a popular guy in that clubhouse.

  2. Word. I know of no one who was buying for a second that this was "performance-related".

    Unless said performance had something to do with Dmitri's performance in the clubhouse. Which come to think of it, might be where Dave D was going.