Friday, June 22, 2007

So long Mike Maroth, and thanks for all the pitches

Mike Maroth is no longer a member of the Detroit Tigers. He was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals this afternoon for...Well, we don't know just yet.

Considering the best you could say about Maroth was as an AL starting pitcher, he's a good hitter, who knows how what kind of value the Tigers received in return. I'm guessing not all that much, something on the order of a autographed Albert Pujols poster, David Eckstein's growth chart and a player(s) to be named later who isn't really all that good, otherwise known as a P(s)TBNLWIRATG.

Say what you will about Maroth's abilities as a pitcher, he was a good soldier for the Tigers. Anyone who could could survive a 21 loss season in 2003, and come out the other side as a member of a pennant contenders pitching staff, says volumes.

Look up "Soft-tosssing crafty lefty" in the Wikipedia, you'll see Jamie Moyer's picture, but Mike Maroth should be, at the very least, mentioned in the references...

Back in the dog days of that ugly 2003 season, when it become obvious that Maroth was on the fast track to 20 losses, he could just as easily have accepted an offer to be removed from the rotation to avoid certain infamy. But Maroth wanted the ball, kept his spot as the de facto number 1 starter, and suffered the ignominy of a 20 loss season. But in doing so, he gained the respect of Tigers fans.

Unfortunately, when a team gets to the point where they are (Hopefully) a perennial contender, players of Maroth's ilk are the type whom are jettisoned. As Maroth is not by any means bullpen pitcher, he either starts, or he's gone.

Sure, Maroth did have a winning record this season, but that was more in thanks to the Tigers murder's row of an offense, than anything he actually did. If you go by the cold, hard facts, Maroth was the least talented of the 7 pitchers whom the Tigers considered for their rotation. He was 7th in a 7 horse race, a backmarker soon to be left in the dust.

Maroth was living on borrowed time, and his time ended when Kenny Rogers and Nate Robertson were deemed healthy, Chad Durbin plainly out pitched him, and Andrew Miller appears to be living up to his 1st round pick hype.

Mike Maroth is what he is, a .500 pitcher (at best) with a 5.00 ERA, who can give you 5 innings a start, 30+ times a season. Playing in the JV league, Maroth may be a little better than that, but he's 4th or 5th in any team's rotation. Unless that team is as awful as the 2003 Tigers...

To put it simply, Mike Maroth had out lived his usefulness as a Tiger. Sad to say, as a survivor of the 2003 season, but true.

Maroth represented the Tigers well, should be remembered fondly, and will be missed.

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