Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Way The Tigers Have Been Losing Suggests A White Flag

These are crucial days for Tigers manager Alan Trammell.

Oh, he'll tell you they aren't, and maybe even management would back him up on that. The company line that would be toed would be something like this: "We evaluate the entire season, not just the final weeks."

But the Tigers lately have looked so defeated, so punchless, so feeble, that you have to wonder what, if any, fight is left in their clubhouse, or more importantly, their hearts.

And that can't be good for Trammell.

I still don't think Tram will be shown the door anytime soon, although when it comes to him surviving the entire 2006 season, all bets are off. But I must admit that my confidence in that viewpoint is waning, because the Tigers look like a team going through the motions, too eager for the season to come to a merciful end.

This could be one of the most interesting offseasons in recent history, if only because there appear to be unsettled issues out there beyond just Trammell. Pudge Rodriguez, Dmitri Young and maybe a couple of others could be gone before next season, and we have no idea what owner Mike Ilitch will do with all the money freed up from the end of fat contractual obligations like that to Bobby Higginson. Sprinkle Trammell's fate in there and you have the makings of quite a hot stove league.

But right now, it's not THAT the Tigers are losing -- it's HOW they're losing. They're either getting stomped or shutout, or both. They have, frankly, the look of a team that's packed it in for the year.

And I'm starting to wonder if Alan Trammell's luggage will be included this winter.

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