Tigers fans should calm down about the Granderson rumors

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So says Detroit Free Press columnist Michael Rosenberg, who reminds us that Tigers owner Mike Ilitch is an emotional guy:

Ilitch surely is furious now, and for good reason. He gave Dombrowski one of the biggest payroll advantages in baseball — the Tigers had the fifth-highest payroll in the league — and they could not even win a weak division.

Ilitch might stay mad and demand that Dombrowski cut payroll. But he also might calm down. And if it comes time to actually trade a prime player, especially a popular one, Ilitch’s emotions might swing in the other direction, and he might decide he can’t accept losing one of his stars.

I can’t help but think that all of these stories about the Tigers allegedly imminent fire sale are borne of one overheard temper tantrum by Ilitch.  In light of the team’s ugly late season collapse, I’d have one too if I were him.

But like Rosenberg says, Ilitch is no idiot, and more to the point, he’s no cheapskate.  He’s worth over a billion bucks. His wife Marian owns the closest thing to a license to print money for cryin’ out loud.  They can cover the money guys like Curtis Granderson and Miguel Cabrera are owed, and they have shown time and time again with the Red Wings and more recently the Tigers that they’re willing to spend money on their sports teams.

Upshot: I’d be shocked if Curtis Granderson is traded this offseason.

Marlins, Giants get into heated beanball war

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You may have heard that Giants closer Hunter Strickland broke his hand punching a door in frustration after Monday night’s subpar performance. He’ll miss six to eight weeks as a result. Strickland came in to protect a 4-2 lead but ended up giving up three runs. The tying run was knocked in by Lewis Brinson on a single to right field. Brinson moved to third base on a go-ahead single by Miguel Rojas, which prompted manager Bruce Bochy to take Strickland out of the game.

On his way to the dugout, Strickland started chirping at Brinson. Much like Bryce Harper and Strickland, Brinson and Strickland have a bit of a history. Last Thursday, Brinson handed Strickland a blown save with a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Brinson was happy to help his team tie the game, pumping his fast and saying, “Let’s go” at no one in particular. That rubbed Strickland the wrong way. Everything seems to rub Strickland the wrong way.

During Tuesday night’s game, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez threw at Brinson with the first pitch, a 92 MPH fastball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher issued warnings to both benches. Manager Don Mattingly came out to argue, suggesting that his team hadn’t done anything wrong so it was unfair to essentially take the inside part of the plate away from his pitchers. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly could be seen saying, “You’re next” to catcher Buster Posey.

The Giants scored twice in the bottom of the second against Dan Straily to extend their lead to 3-0. Posey came to the plate with a runner on first base and one out. Straily hit Posey with a 91 MPH fastball on the first pitch, prompting ejections of both Straily and Mattingly. Posey was hit on the arm. If the pitch had come in a bit lower and hit Posey on the wrist or hand, Posey might have had to go on the disabled list for a couple months. Or if the pitch had hit Posey a couple of inches higher, in the head, then who knows what would have happened.

Things calmed down from there, thankfully. The two clubs have one more game against each other in San Francisco on Wednesday and that will be the final time they meet this season. If anything further is going to happen — and hopefully, nothing happens — then it will come tomorrow.

Straily will almost certainly be facing a suspension and a fine, as will Mattingly. It’s less clear if Rodriguez and/or Bochy will be reprimanded for throwing at Brinson, even though it was fairly obvious the pitch was intentional. Regardless, the punishments amount to just one missed start for the pitchers, which isn’t nearly enough of a detriment to deter beanball wars.