Who will be the sacrificial lamb for the Detroit Tigers this year?


Last year it was Pitching Coach Rick Knapp who was sacrificed, or who was made a scapegoat. Of course we cannot argue with the effectiveness of Jeff Jones as the Tigers got fire after that firing, as the pitching staff was no less than dominant. This year that is not the case, but much of the anger and bitterness is being saved for Hitting Coach Lloyd McClendon. Of course in this town that is something of an old bit, as fans have often pointed towards the hitting coach as the cause of all the team’s ills.

Yes, we could say that the batting average of Danny Worth (.200), Don Kelly (.179), Brennan Boesch (.234), and Jhonny Peralta (.239) are a excuse to say it is all McClendon’s fault. He has been the hitting coach for the Tiers since the 2007 season, after Manger Jim Leyland brought him toDetroitas his bullpen coach when he was hired in 2006.

To be fair in that time he has managed two American League Batting Champions (Magglio Ordonez (2007) and Miguel Cabrera (2011), but there are a lot of guys who have flamed out at the plate including Brandon Inge and Ryan Raburn in this very season. Inge was able to go toToledoand find his stroke again last year, and they hope that Raburn can do the same. While both men are notorious slow starters one has to wonder if McClendon cannot get through to them if he still deserves to be here.

Granted McClendon seems to do fine with the top tier talent, but the real problem with this team in 2012 is the supporting cast isn’t very good. He needs to be doing a better job reaching those players to help right the ship. It may in fact be that his message has gotten stale with this group of players (and yes we might just take the argument a step further and say Leyland and a good portion of his staff simply need to be replaced).

At this point in the season, with a team falling to live up to expectations the Tigers front office needs to make a move, they need to make a move to keep people coming out toComericaPark, before a good percentage of the fans start to tune this team out. If you think that is an over reaction check any social media site and find out that fan apathy is a very real concern for this team moving forward. Of course firing the hitting coach when the team as a whole is in the top ten in most offensive categories (Batting average, On Base %, and Slugging %) could seem a little strange for folks on the outside, but it seems to me the people who watch this team day in and day out know what the score really is.

Someone is going to lose their job, some players are going to be traded and the die hard fans out there have to hope that it all will be enough. The stink of 2008 is all around this team. 25-29 in June is not very pretty, and the window for a team turn around is rapidly closing on this team. It is not over yet, but a little panic in the fan base is perfectly understandable.

With that being said DJC will go ahead and say that the Tigers should fire McClendon to send a message to its players and fans that the status quo is not acceptable. Sometimes a move like this can fire up a tem, and a fan base. It seems to have worked last year, and Tigers fans can only hope something happens soon to give them some hope for 2012. In a week when the Tigers went 2-5 it is something this Tiger fan really needs.

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