go get 'em Tigers

OK - all you 3rd place finisher predictors - what do you say now? I am pumped! Loved the post the other day about Verlander, but in this blog Iam no longer able to comment, but JV does deserve MVP consideration where would the Tigs be without him? It sure is exciting and fun to go down to the new corner. Looking forward to an awesome September. How long before Inge catches - this week I am sure. I am so glad to see Inge back - he is my Tiger. "Bless you Boys!"

Stats don't lie: Justin Verlander makes a case for MVP

By Tony Paul, Detroit News

DETROIT – No pitcher has been named league MVP since Oakland A's closer Dennis Eckersley in 1992.

And it's been even longer for a starting pitcher: Roger Clemens in 1986.
So, why the decades-long drought? A couple of reasons.

For starters, it's tough for some to fathom that the most valuable player of any ballclub, let alone an entire league, is a guy who doesn't play every day, or almost every day, or at least more than every fifth day. Then there are those stubborn Baseball Writers Association of America voters — full disclosure: I am one — who see the Cy Young as prize enough for pitchers.

Well, this year, it's not enough. Not even close.

Tigers ace Justin Verlander will win the American League Cy Young. He also should be the MVP.

Just think for a moment about where the Tigers would really be without him.
Certainly, they wouldn't be in first place in the AL Central, three games up on the Indians with 40 games to go. Heck, they'd probably be at least a distant third, watching the Indians and White Sox duke it out.

A stretch? Don't think so. Just consider these numbers:

* The Tigers are 19-8 when he pitches, 46-49 when he doesn't. They've won 17 of his last 20 starts.

* Verlander is 10-1 with a 2.38 ERA against the AL Central, after Tuesday's victory over the Twins.

* Verlander: 18-5, 2.31 ERA. Rest of Detroit's starters: 33-37, 4.88 ERA.

* He's accounted for a whopping 19 percent of the entire staff's innings, yet just 10 percent of the earned runs, 11 percent of the walks and 13 percent of the hits. Twenty-five percent of the K's are his.

* He's 14-2 with a sub-2.00 ERA following a Tigers loss. Three of his wins have come after the Tigers lost two games in a row, and two of his wins have stopped three-game losing streaks.

And all that doesn't even take into account all Verlander's personal accomplishments, like the no-hitter; the two near no-hitters; the All-Star Game that he would've started had he been allowed to; and the league-leading 18 wins, 204 strikeouts and 0.88 WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched).

(For all we know, he might've even single-handedly saved Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski's jobs. Not that that's an argument come award season.)

What other player in the AL can claim to be so critical to a team's bottom line? If you took Dustin Pedroia or Jacoby Ellsbury or Adrian Gonzalez off the Red Sox, or Curtis Granderson off the Yankees, it's a good bet you'd still see the two AL East powers waltzing into the playoffs. And if you took Jose Bautista off the Blue Jays, well, that team still wouldn't make the playoffs. To be fair, several arguments made for Verlander apply to Angels ace Jered Weaver, too, but Los Angeles' playoff hopes recently have tanked as fast as Weaver lost his cool in Detroit late last month.

MVP awards often go to players on playoff-bound teams, or at least contenders. And the Tigers are contending for the ballclub's first division championship since 1987. Yet, imagine if you plucked Verlander off the team and said, "There, try that." That wouldn't be a pretty picture.

He limits losing streaks, keeps the bullpen fresh and beats the rivals. He's dominant. He's indispensable.

He's Detroit's MVP, no doubt, in a landslide. And he just might be the league's, too.

If that actually happens — it's no slam dunk, because, again, voters are conditioned to make the MVP the MVPP (most valuable position player) — Verlander would follow an interesting pattern. Because, as rare as it is for pitchers to win the MVP, the last four Tigers MVPs have been pitchers: Willie Hernandez (1984), Denny McLain (1968) and Hal Newhouser (1944-45). A Detroit position player hasn't won the award since Hank Greenberg in 1940, though there've been close calls (Alan Trammell, Cecil Fielder, etc.).

At this rate, Justin Verlander figures to make eight more starts in 2011 — and if he manages to win most of them or even all of them, he'll put the finishing touches on one of the greatest pitching seasons in Tigers history.

Pivotal Series?

Well here we go -- Tigs vs. Indians - 3 wins = 7 game lead, 2 wins = 5 game lead, 3 losses = 1 game lead. Go get 'em Tigers!!

Tigers give Dombrowski, Leyland contract extensions

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers announced today the club and President, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David Dombrowski have agreed on a four-year contract extension through 2015. In addition the contract of Tigers Manager Jim Leyland was extended through the 2012 season.

In accordance with team policy, additional terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“Dave has built a solid foundation for this organization and assembled competitive teams that give us a chance to win year in and year out. We have a lot of confidence in his continued leadership of the Detroit Tigers,” said Owner/Director Michael Ilitch. “I am pleased Dave has agreed to continue to lead our organization.”

Regarding Manager Jim Leyland, Mr. Ilitch added, “I know Jim shares our desire to deliver a winner. We’re pleased to have him continue leading the Detroit Tigers on the field.”

Dombrowski, in his 10th season with the Tigers, and his 33rd in professional baseball, was named the club’s president and chief executive officer on November 5, 2001, before adding the role of general manager on April 8, 2002. The Tigers captured the American League Pennant in 2006, Dombrowski’s fifth season with the club.

“I am grateful for the continued opportunity Mr. Ilitch has given me to run this franchise, and I am equally appreciative of the unwavering support he has demonstrated the past ten seasons in our efforts to bring a World Championship back to Detroit,” Dombrowski said.

Prior to joining the Tigers, Dombrowski served as the president and general manager of the Florida Marlins. He was named the Marlins first executive vice president and general manager on September 19, 1991, and he added the duties of president on March 1, 2000. Dombrowski was the architect of the 1997 World Series Champions Marlins.

Leyland is in sixth season as the manager of the Tigers, compiling a 485-442 record (.523). He led the Tigers to the 2006 World Series and is 15 wins shy of becoming the fifth manager in Tigers history to register 500 victories with the club. Leyland, now in his 20th season as a major league manager, registered the 1,500th win of his career on April 15 at Oakland, becoming just the 19th manager in major league history to accomplish the feat.

“We’re delighted Jim will continue as Tigers manager through the 2012 season,” said Dombrowski. “He has led the Tigers to a World Series, and guided a contending team on a consistent basis during his tenure as manager. Jim’s managerial record and accomplishments speak for themselves.”

In related announcements, the Tigers have also extended the contracts of Vice President/Assistant General Manager Al Avila, Vice President, Amateur Scouting/Special Assistant to the General Manager David Chadd, Vice President, Player Personnel Scott Reid, and Vice President, Baseball Legal Counsel John Westhoff.

“Collectively, it’s as fine a group of quality baseball people as you will find,” said Dombrowski. “They continue to make significant contributions to the organization.”

The Tigers also promoted Duane McLean to Executive Vice President, Business Operations.

“Duane does a great job of running the day-to-day business operations and the title change reflects the additional responsibilities he continues to take on,” Dombrowski said.