Monday, October 03, 2005

Three & Out: Trammell Gone As Tigers Manager

Alan Trammell didn't have much to smile about as manager of the Tigers. In fact, the only truly big smiles I remember during his reign were when he was hired and he pulled on the Olde English D at the press conference, and when the club announced the signing of Pudge Rodriguez.

But there was mostly head shaking and frustrated blow-by-blow accounts of another wretched loss as all the reporters asked him, "Hey, what happened out there?" Tram probably got tired of giving the same answer, which was basically, "I have no idea, guys....we keep talking about this stuff, you know."

Well, Tram won't have to worry about answering those questions anymore. He is out as Tigers skipper, after three seasons and a grotesquely round record of 186-300.

Maybe it never was to be for Tram here, at least not beyond the three seasons he was given. Maybe he was destined to be the transitional guy that gets you from level to another, before another is brought in to take you the rest of the way. But maybe no one can take this group to the next level. Maybe.

You can make the argument that Tram never had that much to work with, certainly not in Year One, and you can say that injuries and trades contributed to this season's meltdown. But I believe that a horrid stretch of baseball that began in August with the team at 61-62, and never ended until the season itself was finished, cost him his job. The 10-29 finish sealed his fate like an envelope. Not only did the Tigers lose in bunches during that 39-game stretch, they got their tails kicked. The played with no life, no inspiration. No guts, even.

All that was too much for Tram to overcome, much more so than his errors with in-game strategy and his handling of the pitching staff and his questionable hires on his coaching staff. When a baseball team plays like a limp rag for almost a quarter of a season, that is an indictment of its leader, fair or not.

Trammell was offered a job in the Tigers front office. At least there, the employees don't throw to the wrong bag or make boneheaded baserunning decisions or leave runners in scoring position with less than two out.

1 comment:

dolphinfan said...

Looks like Jim Leyland is moving to town.