TURBULENCE ON THE TIGERS SHIP
The Seattle Mariners and Oakland A's did not end the Tigers season by beating them five of six games during a recent western swing.
The Tigers season ended when closer Kyle Farnsworth was sent to Atlanta for a pair of mid-level prospects.
The deal angered the dressing room. Guys fumed and grumbled to teammates that the Tigers were not committed to winning. A quality closer is one of the most difficult things to find. Farnsworth was solid the past month. That is not enough time to give him a seal or approval.
But teammates felt he could help them this season and in 2006.
Players are questioning Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski, chief among them catcher Pudge Rodriguez. The Tigers promised him they'd increase payroll and make a commitment to winning. They've done that for the most part.
But a dangerous signal was sent by management that as soon as it felt the season was out of reached it traded away a high profile player that teammates liked and respected. The Tigers brought in the future again, rather than play for the present or near future.
It did not sit well with players, some who grumbled that they want out.
It will be interesting to see how the Tigers play the following weeks. My guess is they will not finish anywhere close to .500.
The dive might not come immediately. But it is coming. A sign may have come during the Tigers dismal western swing.
Guys are questioning management. More questions are sure to follow.
Chief among them is does Pudge turn private talks of wanting a trade into a demand of management. He has not done that yet. But it is something to look out for.