Detroit Tigers Q&A With John Parent: Not Panicking Yet


With the Tigers in the middle of a crucial late-season series with the second place Cleveland Indians, I decided to track down John Parent, editor of Motor City Bengals, to get his opinions on the current shape of the Tigers and their chances in the stretch run.

Me: The Tigers beat the Indians last night, but the division lead is only 2.5 games, and they have a 5-5 record in their last ten contests. Is your hand near the panic button yet?

John: Not even close. There’s still almost 40 games to go in the season and the Tigers look to have the horses to get to the finish. They’ll need some things to go right that haven’t gone right in years past, but as long as they continue to play well within the division, they will be fine. Now, if they were down 2.5 games and this series were in Cleveland, I might be ready to hit that button, but not in this case.

Me: Do the Tigers have enough pitching to get into the postseason? Do they have enough pitching to make a run in the postseason?

John: Oddly enough, I’m not sure they have enough pitching to get to the playoffs, but i do think they have enough to go deep should they get in. In a short series, Justin Verlander is capable of winning twice, then they need something from Scherzer, which he is more than capable of giving them. The extra days off will be helpful to a top-heavy bullpen as well.

Me: What do you think about the recent acquisition of Delmon Young? Was this the type of move that gives you confidence in Dombrowski as a GM?

John: I loved the Young trade. Giving up a pair of relief prospects for 25-year-old with his talent should be a no-brainer. I understand the flaws in Young’s game, but here is a ready-made replacement for Magglio that is more talented that anything the Tigers could offer from within the organization. Young might not have the ability to hit for as high an average as Ordonez, but he has good extra-base power. I’m hoping that the Tigers look at shifting him to right next year to take advantage of his arm a bit more, but his bat is the real key.

Me: Detroit has oodles of games remaining versus division opponents. Do you like that the unbalanced schedule gives an August and September that is so heavy in divisional games?

John: I do like it. For as much as the national media likes to gripe about the unbalanced schedule, I’d rather see the last two months filled with games that make an immediate impact on the divisional race than seeing the Tigers play in Oakland while Chicago is off in Baltimore. The race for each division should be decided by who is best against their immediate competition. The playoffs, then, are for deciding which of those clubs are the best overall. And no, I don’t think I’d feel differently if the Tigers were still playing in the East.

Me: What’s the number one reason why the Tigers WILL win the division?

John: The Tigers have the two best players in the division, bar none. Beyond that, the supporting cast is very good as well. Detroit mix of veteran hitters and potentially great starters in support of Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera is what sets them apart from the rest of the division.

Me: What’s the number one reason why they WONT win it?

John: Inconsistency from all non-Verlander starters. Guys like Porcello and Scherzer can be great when they’re on, but neither has been able to put together a great run of starts very often this year. If those two pitch to their capabilities, the Tigers will win. If not, they’ll probably be on the outside come October.

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