Tag:Magglio Ordonez
Posted on: February 15, 2012 5:50 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 5:58 pm

Is this it for Magglio Ordonez?

Is this the end of the line for Magglio Ordonez?

Ordonez, who turned 38 last month, told Deportes Union Radio in his native Venezuela Wednesday that he hopes to play one more season in the major leagues. But Ordonez also admitted that the free-agent market hasn't yet provided him with an opportunity, and said that he's not interested in a minor-league contract with only an invitation to major-league spring training.

"A few teams have been interested, including Oakland, but there's been nothing concrete," Ordonez said. "The market has been tough for me, but I'm working towards continuing my career."

Ordonez drove in just 32 runs in 92 games last year for the Tigers, after signing a one-year, $10 million contract. He had trouble coming back from a broken right ankle suffered in 2010, and then refractured the same ankle during the American League Championship Series against the Rangers.

Earlier last October, Ordonez said that he had nearly retired last year -- "I almost hung it up," he said -- because of the difficulty of coming back from the first ankle injury.

Ordonez has 294 career home runs and 1,236 RBI in 14-plus big-league seasons. He made six All-Star teams, and won the American League batting crown in 2007. His .363 batting average that year was the highest by a Tiger since Charlie Gehringer in 1937.

According to baseball-reference.com, Ordonez has made more than $133 million in his career, and people who know him say he has also done very well in business in Venezuela. But while money may not be an issue to him, his pride is. If he never gets anything more than an offer of a minor-league contract (and that's very possible), Ordonez could well retire.

Category: MLB
Posted on: October 10, 2011 11:07 am
Edited on: October 10, 2011 1:26 pm

Tigers put Delmon Young back on ALCS roster

ARLINGTON, Texas -- To replace the injured Magglio Ordonez, the Tigers chose an outfielder who hit three home runs in five Division Series games against the Yankees.

Delmon Young is back on the roster. And back in the lineup, batting third, for Monday afternoon's rescheduled Game 2.

Young was removed from the Tigers' roster before the American League Championship Series against the Rangers, after he strained an oblique muscle in Game 5 in New York. Young healed quicker than expected, and Ordonez suffered a broken right ankle that ended his season and quite possibly his career.

The Tigers had no other good options to replace Ordonez, and they added Young back to the roster even before they were certain he could play Monday. Manager Jim Leyland said that Young went through early drills Monday morning and was cleared to play.

Young's return could be a big boost for the Tigers, who had been faced with the lost of two right-handed hitting outfielders, both of whom bat in the middle of the order.

With Young back, Leyland returned to his normal lineup, with Young batting in front of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. Ryan Raburn, who played left field in Young's absence in Game 1, subs for Ordonez in right field in Game 2 and bats sixth.

Especially with Ordonez out, the Tigers badly need Young's right-handed bat. They face Rangers left-hander Derek Holland in Monday's rescheduled Game 2. The Rangers have a right-hander, Colby Lewis, pitching Game 3 on Tuesday in Detroit, but left-handers (Matt Harrison and C.J. Wilson) set for Games 4 and 5 on Wednesday and Thursday.

Posted on: October 9, 2011 5:15 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2011 7:13 pm

Ordonez breaks ankle, Tigers in trouble

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Tigers have lost another outfielder, and this one's bad.

Magglio Ordonez is out for the rest of the postseason, after fracturing the same right ankle he broke in July 2010. Given how much trouble Ordonez had coming back the first time, and given his age (he'll be 38 in January), this injury could well be career-ending.

The Tigers at first announced only that Ordonez had reinjured the ankle, but later confirmed that X-rays and a CT scan showed a break. According to a source, Ordonez hurt the ankle before Saturday's game, tried to play, then was pulled from the game after the second rain delay.

While the Tigers can and will replace Ordonez on their postseason roster, they're already short on right-handed hitters, after losing Delmon Young to an oblique strain in Game 5 of the Division Series against the Yankees.

That's two right-handed hitting outfielders, and two middle-of-the-order hitters, lost for the Tigers in just two days. Worse yet, the Rangers are starting three left-handed pitchers in this American League Championship Series, and the Tigers have few right-handed options to replace Ordonez.

Ordonez was 5-for-11 in the Division Series, and he said last week that he finally felt healthy, after nearly a year trying to recover from the initial injury. Ordonez said that the recovery was so slow and so difficult that he seriously considered retiring a couple of months ago.

"It's like a car with a flat tire," Ordonez said then. "Now the tire has a lot of air."

Or it did, until Saturday.

Ordonez had three plate appearances in Game 1, a 3-2 Tiger loss. He grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the first inning, in probably the biggest at-bat of the entire game. He struck out looking in the fourth, then was intentionally walked in the fifth. At that point, Don Kelly pinch-ran for Ordonez.

Ordonez has played 15 seasons in the big leagues, and has a .309 career average and 294 home runs. He made six All-Star teams, and finished second in the American League MVP voting in 2007.

Posted on: October 2, 2011 9:30 pm

Ordonez: 'I almost hung it up'

NEW YORK -- He's not the focus of the Tiger lineup anymore. He's not the Tigers' MVP candidate, or even the second choice.

But Magglio Ordonez can still do a lot for the Tigers, as he showed in a 3-for-3 night that helped lead to four of the runs in Sunday's 5-3 win over the Yankees.

Good thing for them he didn't go home. Good thing for him.

That's go home, as in for good. That's go home, as in retire.

"I almost hung it up," Ordonez revealed Sunday.

His right ankle, the one that required surgery after he broke it in July 2010, just wasn't responding. He didn't feel right.

He wasn't hitting.

"When I was playing, I didn't enjoy the game," he said. "And I play with my heart."

This was three or four months ago, Ordonez said Sunday. The 37-year-old outfielder said he talked it over with his family, and decided to be patient, and hope that the ankle would respond in time for him to help the Tigers later in the season.

It did. And he did.

On Aug. 12, Ordonez was hitting .224. From that point on, he played in 21 games and hit .365.

"I feel normal, like before," he said.

Like before he got hurt, he means. And while he may not have the power he had earlier in his career, Ordonez looks a lot more like the guy who could always get a hit, the guy who hit .363 and finished second in the MVP race in 2007.

And not like the guy who couldn't get his still-hurting legs under him for much of the season.

"It's like a car," he said. "When you have a flat tire, it's hard for it to run.

"Now, the tire has a lot of air in it."

Now, he's happy he didn't go home. And now, the Tigers would agree.
Category: MLB
Posted on: June 13, 2011 12:41 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 8:10 pm

Holliday ranks top in big week for returns

Sunday night, after the Giants activated Pablo Sandoval from the disabled list, I asked on Twitter which of the five big-name players coming off the DL this week would have the biggest impact on the pennant race.

One problem: I missed two of them.

There aren't five big-name players that could come off the DL this week. There are seven.

Seven players who have combined for 17 All-Star appearances, six batting titles, one MVP and two runners-up, four Gold Gloves and 15 Silver Sluggers.

And I didn't even include Jason Heyward, who began a rehabilitation assignment with the Braves' Triple-A Gwinnett team, and could be activated as soon as Wednesday.

Anyway, I'll ask the question again: Which one will have the biggest impact on the pennant race?

And I'll try to answer it:

1. Matt Holliday, Cardinals, left quadriceps, last played May 31, could return Thursday. When Holliday missed seven early-season games with appendicitis, the Cardinals scored just 18 runs and went 2-5. He's missed the last 11 games, and they've scored 49 runs and gone 5-6. They're a first-place team that scores plenty of runs when he plays, a sub-.500 team that struggles to score when he doesn't. Fortunately for the Cardinals, it looks reasonably certain that this Holliday absence won't last much longer.

2. Travis Hafner, Indians, right oblique, last played May 17, could return late this week. Even with Hafner, the Indians may not be good enough to hold on in the American League Central race. But it's clear that without him, they've got no chance. The numbers are skewed a little by the strong pitching Cleveland has faced since Hafner went out, but it's still stunning to see that they were shut out just once with him in the lineup -- and six times in the 24 games he has missed. The Indians were hitting .271 as a team when Hafner got hurt. They've hit .224 as a team (with a .289 on-base percentage and a .346 slugging percentage) without him. The Indians will go as far as their talented young hitters can take them, but those young hitters are hurting without Hafner's presence in the lineup. Hafner is due to begin a rehabilitation assignment Tuesday at Double-A Akron. The Indians have told him they'd like him to stay there three or four days.

3. Joe Mauer, Twins, bilateral leg weakness, last played April 12, could return Thursday. If the Twins weren't already nine games out, Mauer would top this list. If they were still 20 games under .500, as they were a couple weeks back, he'd be farther down the list. The Twins aren't nearly the same team without Mauer, but his impact on the pennant race is limited by how bad they've been without him -- and by the continuing uncertainty about how effective he'll be when he returns.

4. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins, back inflammation, last played May 29, expected to return Tuesday. The Marlins, finishing up a brutal offensive homestand that cost hitting coach John Mallee his job, obviously need a boost. Ramirez, a one-time National League batting champ, could obviously provide it. But will he? Ramirez hit just .210 in 48 games before going on the DL. Even with that, the Marlins were just two games behind the Phillies when Ramirez last played. They're seven games out now, and he'll be back for the start of a four-game series in Philadelphia.
5. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers, right ankle weakness, last played May 10, returning Monday night. If he hits .172, as he did before the Tigers put him on the DL, he's the least important guy on this list. If he's a .300 hitter, as he has been for most of his career (including last year), he's as important as anyone, and might be enough to make the Tigers clear favorites in the AL Central.

6. Pablo Sandoval, Giants, fractured hamate bone, last played April 29, will return Tuesday. The way the Giants struggle to score runs, some will make the case that the Panda is as important as anyone. I dropped him down only because the Giants went 25-16 in his absence. Yes, Buster Posey is out of the lineup now, but the Giants are above .500 since he's been out, too.

7. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals, abdominal surgery, last played April 9, expected to return Tuesday. The Nationals without Zimmerman might be the worst offensive team in the game. The Nationals with Zimmerman could hope to escape last place by passing the Mets. It's hard to say Zimmerman will impact the pennant race, except by making the Nationals a significantly tougher opponent.

Posted on: June 5, 2011 8:11 pm

3 to Watch: The Jeter (and Pete Rose) edition

Pete Rose needed 2,370 games to get to 3,000 hits. Derek Jeter, 14 hits away from 3,000, has played in 2,350 games.

Pete Rose had just turned 37 when he got to 3,000 hits. Derek Jeter won't turn 37 until June 26.

We spend so much time talking about how old Derek Jeter is, how long he should play shortstop and how long he should lead off, and we forget that technically, he's still ahead of Pete Rose's pace.

"If there's one guy who could scare Pete, it's Derek," Chipper Jones said over the weekend. "If Derek can play five or so more years, he could definitely scare 4,000."

Before the Jeter-haters go crazy, this is not a prediction that Jeter is going to beat the Hit King. Rose was a .324 hitter when he got to 3,000; Jeter is at .260 after going 1-for-5 to get to 2,986 hits on Sunday in Anaheim.

But there are more comparisons than you'd think.

Here's one: Back in 1978, when Rose was chasing 3,000, the Reds considered it very important that he get there at home. Reds manager Sparky Anderson even suggested to reporters that he'd pull Rose from a road game, if necessary.

"I will not allow Pete Rose to do it anywhere but Cincinnati," Anderson said then. "I would not cheat those people. It's a must that he do it at home."

And he did.

Now Jeter and the Yankees come home, for 10 games starting Tuesday against the Red Sox. And now the pressure is on for Jeter to do it at home, too.

Obviously, it's not impossible that he will. Plenty of times in his career, Jeter has had 14 hits in 10 games.

Obviously, it's not a given that he will. Jeter hasn't had 14 hits in any 10-game span this year. And of the 14 players to reach 3,000 since Rose did it, only three -- Lou Brock in 1979, George Brett in 1992 and Paul Molitor in 1996 -- got the final 14 hits in as few as 10 games.

Rose, for what it's worth, needed just eight games to go from 2,986 to 3,000.

And then he needed another 1,192 games, over eight years, to go from 3,000 to 4,256.

When he got to 3,000, Rose said he wanted at least another 631, to break the National League record that then belonged to Stan Musial.

When he gets to 3,000, it's a safe bet that Jeter will not admit that he has any number in mind.

They're not the same. But for now, they are on the same pace.

On to 3 to Watch:

1. The Cubs are losing so often that no one asks anymore whether they can be part of the National League Central race. Instead, the talk when baseball people meet is about who will be the next Cubs general manager (Brian Cashman? Ned Colletti?). The Reds have lost 13 of their last 18 to fall a season-high 5 1/2 games behind the first-place Cardinals, but the talk there is about how they catch St. Louis. One answer may come in Cubs at Reds, Tuesday night (7:10 ET) at Great American Ball Park. Edinson Volquez is expected to return then from his two-week exile at Triple-A Louisville, and there's little question the Reds need him to come back and succeed.

2. It's looking like the biggest day of the Rangers season came two weeks ago, when Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz came off the disabled list. The Rangers, 10-16 in their last 26 games at that point, are 10-3 in their 13 games since. The Tigers would love to think that the return of Magglio Ordonez can give them a similar boost. Ordonez could come back in Tigers at Rangers, Tuesday night (8:05 ET) at Rangers Ballpark. If nothing else, it's a good spot for Ordonez's return. He has a .377 career average in 44 career games at the ballpark.

3. According to baseball-reference.com, Jeter has faced 1,163 different pitchers in his big-league career. Tops on the list, both in terms of most plate appearances (115) and most hits (31), is Tim Wakefield, the Boston starting pitcher in Red Sox at Yankees, Wednesday night (7:05 ET) at Yankee Stadium. Jeter's career average against Wakefield is just .287, below his career average of .313. Jeter also has 21 career hits against Josh Beckett, who starts Thursday, and 12 against Jon Lester, who starts Tuesday.

Posted on: May 5, 2011 2:11 pm
Edited on: May 5, 2011 2:17 pm

2:45 a.m.? That's nothing -- try 3:30

Baseball at 2:45 a.m. is nuts.

But I've seen worse.

Try a walk-off home run at 3:30.

It happened. I know. I was there.

It was Aug. 24 (and then Aug. 25), 2007, Yankees at Tigers, Comerica Park. It rained, and rained, and rained.

The Tigers were determined not to have a rainout, so they waited. And waited.

They started the game at 11:06 p.m. (or about the time that Wednesday's Angels-Red Sox game resumed in the fifth inning). Like the Angels and Red Sox, the Yankees and Tigers went to extra innings.

And in the 11th inning, just as the clock struck 3:30, Carlos Guillen homered off Sean Henn to win it.

It was, without doubt, the strangest walk-off home run I've ever seen. Along with Joe Carter's World Series-winning walk-off in 1993, and Magglio Ordonez's pennant-winning walk-off in 2006, it's one of the most memorable walk-off home runs ever.

After all, I might see another walk-off home run win a World Series. I might see another walk-off home run send a team to the Series.

What are the chances I see another walk-off at 3:30 a.m.?

Fortunately, the Yankees and Tigers played a night game the next day (or should I say later that day?). The Red Sox and Angels, after playing the latest finish in Red Sox history (beating a 2:32 a.m. finish in Texas in 1988), were back at work in time for a 1:35 game on Thursday.
Posted on: May 3, 2011 2:53 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2011 2:58 pm

Tigers haven't lost 8 in row (yet) under Leyland

In the 10 years before they hired Jim Leyland, the Tigers had 18 losing streaks of at least eight games (including six that hit double-digits).

In five-plus years with Leyland as manager, the Tigers have never lost more than seven straight.

They're at seven now, facing CC Sabathia and the Yankees on Tuesday night as they try to avoid making it eight.

Already, the seven-game losing streak forced the Tigers into a roster move. They called up second baseman Scott Sizemore from Triple-A Toledo, where he was leading the International League in hitting.

Leyland also told reporters that he may cut back on slumping Magglio Ordonez's playing time, especially once Victor Martinez comes off the disabled list Wednesday.

How special is it that the Tigers have gone more than five years without an eight-game skid?

Special, but not unheard of.

Seven other teams have avoided an eight-game losing streak in the same span, and two of them -- the Red Sox and Twins -- haven't even had a seven-gamer. The Twins, however, have a current six-game streak, heading into Tuesday's game in Chicago.

The Twins' last seven-game losing streak -- and their last eight-game losing streak -- came in 2003. The Red Sox haven't lost seven or more in a row since 2001, when they lost nine straight.

The other teams that have avoided an eight-game losing streak for at least five years:

-- The Mets, who somewhat surprisingly haven't done it since 2004.

-- The Angels, whose last eight-gamer came in 1999, under Terry Collins.

-- The Phillies, whose last eight-gamer came in 2000, under Terry Francona.

-- The Rangers, whose last eight-gamer came in 2005, under Buck Showalter.

-- The Yankees, whose last eight-gamer came in 1995, also under Showalter.

And the teams with the most eight-game losing streaks in the last five years?

The Orioles and Pirates, with eight apiece (that's eight eight-game losing streaks).
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