Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dave Dombrowski has huge brass balls

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski is rolling the dice, trying to draw into a royal flush, hitting on 16, and betting the over on the Pistons, by not making any deadline moves to improve the his bullpen.

"It takes brass balls to sell real estate be a MLB GM"

He's gambling with the Tigers hopes of winning the world championship. For the Tigers' sake, Dombrowski best not throw snake eyes, draw a 2 of spades, bust with 22, and have Tim Donaghy betting the under.

It appears that the Tigers are betting totally on the health, and effectiveness, of both Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney to fix a leaky bullpen. Obviously, the Tigers' brass knows much more about the recovery of their 2 stud set-up men.

In not making any moves, the Tigers unquestionably expect Zumdney to return before the stretch run, with fastballs intact, and control in hand. It may be too much to ask of a pair of relievers who haven't pitched all that well since October 2006, and been hurt most of 2007.

Tonight, there's one question that every Tigers fan will be asking. Will Zumdney return to the mound in their mostly dominant 2006 form, or their mostly below average 2007 form?

I'm not saying that the season is over. Their talented everyday lineup, and top-tier starting pitching will keep them in the race. The bullpen has been their Achilles all season. If the injured set up men don't return in prime form, the pen will remain their Achilles.

I'd hate to be in Dombrowski's shoes if the Tigers come up short down the stretch, and miss the playoffs, because the bullpen continues to lose games. God forbid they blow the division because Jason Grilli can't hold a 7th inning lead, Macay McBride walks a left-handed hitter he was specifically brought in to face, pouring gas on an 8th inning rally, or Zach Miner throws away a 9th inning sacrifice bunt, costing Detroit a game.

As if all that could actually happen...

The chance to win a World Series doesn't come along every season. God knows we in Detroit know that first hand. The Tigers can win this season, if the bullpen could just hold their own. I'd hate to think the Tigers front office was afraid to make something happen this year, for the possibility that they will compete in the future. The problem with that thinking is that there's no guarantee that will happen.

Just as there's no crying in baseball, there are also no guarantees in baseball.

Shoring up the pen would not have guaranteed that the Tigers would make the World Series,but it sure as Hell would have shortened the odds. And isn't that what every gambler wants?

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