Friday, September 30, 2005

With Three Games Left In 2005, Trammell Makes His Case

Finally, after 159 games of what has been a miserable, drudge-filled season, Tigers manager Alan Trammell has sounded off: he feels he deserves another year, at least, to turn things around.

"I think it's unfair," he said to Mitch Albom of the Free Press about the speculation of his imminent firing, maybe as soon as this Monday. "I'm just telling you my point of view. I don't know exactly what everybody was expecting. I think people should take into consideration that I haven't jumped ship, every day I stand there, I try to answer the questions ... but I just don't think people are looking at the reality of the thing."

The "reality of the thing", according to Tram, and verified by a look at the team's diabled list traffic, is that he hasn't really been able to manage the players he had penciled in back in Lakeland in February. And there have been trades, also unforeseen, of closers Ugueth Urbina and Kyle Farnsworth.

Regarding talk of a fractured clubhouse, Trammell took the high road with Albom.

"Let's be honest, we went through a pretty good stretch" of losing. "... Guys get frustrated, I get frustrated. It's easy to perceive that kind of thing."

I agree that Tram should get one more season, which is what he has left on his contract. Of course, as former Pistons coach Butch van Breda Kolff once said of the written contract, "Hell, you can always quit, and they can fire you if they want to."

Regardless, injuries, trades and conspicuously down years from his so-called stars have hamstrung Trammell, and while GM Dave Dombrowski supposedly doesn't let emotion and nostalgia and legend get in the way of his decision-making, the feeling is here that cooler heads will prevail during the annual postseason meeting on Monday. I, frankly, will be surprised if DD pulls the trigger on Trammell, unless he has someone highly regarded in mind as a replacement (did someone say Jimmy Leyland?).

Alan Trammell has been fighting gallantly, as we all expected, to turn the Tigers from chicken feathers to chicken salad. He has the qualifications to do it, but he needs some help in the dugout. And that might be the next interesting story coming from Comerica Park.

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