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 Thames to get everyday shot to play

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PostSubject: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Thu May 29, 2008 2:15 am

05/28/2008 10:59 PM ET
Thames to get everyday shot to play
Tigers manager Leyland trying to kick-start his offense
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Marcus Thames is going to get his shot.

While Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced Wednesday that he'll play Curtis Granderson against some left-handed starters in an effort to get the leadoff man going, Leyland added that he'll give Thames regular at-bats over the upcoming stretch. That has a little more to do with trying to get the offense going.

"Marcus can be a streaky guy," Leyland said. "and hopefully we can get him on a streak. I've got to try something."

Thames was already scheduled to be in the lineup Wednesday, batting third in the order against Angels left-hander Joe Saunders. The change will come when he stays in there this weekend against Seattle's three right-handed starters.

Leyland indicated Thames will get his playing time in left field in place of rookie Matt Joyce, who hit five home runs over a nine-game stretch but is 1-for-16 with seven strikeouts since then.

Over the course of Thames' career in Detroit, he has had his stints as an everyday player. He filled in for an injured Craig Monroe two years ago and ended up with 110 games played, then succeeded Monroe down the stretch last year after rookie Cameron Maybin struggled against big league pitching.

How long this one will last is unclear. Leyland said he didn't know how long he would play Thames regularly, but if he can provide some punch to a struggling Tigers lineup, it could be a while.

He certainly made an immediate impact in that regard Wednesday. He hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Saunders, giving Detroit a 2-0 lead.

Forty-five of his 71 plate appearances this season entering Wednesday had come against right-handed pitching, but all four of his home runs this season have been off left-handers -- including Wednesday's shot.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Thu May 29, 2008 2:15 am

Yes!


About Time Leyland
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Thu May 29, 2008 10:07 am

I agree . How would Leyland know if he's streaky or not he hasn't given him much of a chance except when Monroe was injured and if memory serves thats the year we went to the world series.

Now if my fantasy team could just find Thames as DH Cabrera in LF
Inge on 3b Guillen on first we'd be cooking with propane for sure.
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Thu May 29, 2008 10:34 am

exactly my thoughts in another thread....give :thames: a chance, dang it!
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Thu May 29, 2008 3:14 pm

After last night :thames: 's butt needs to be a playin'!!!!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Thu May 29, 2008 7:21 pm

Thames is Country Strong!


We need it!
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Thu May 29, 2008 7:22 pm

If Thames plays everyday, he will hit over 40 Home runs this season
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Thu May 29, 2008 8:30 pm

Sorry to say gang, about the only base Miggy can play is 1st. He can't run fast enough to get to the ball in outfield!

And C. Guillen is better at DH or 3rd than 1st. He was not learning fast enough to play safely there. I am sure he would get injured in a collision at 1st if he stayed there. Now that we know why he was making the errors against the Angels, he can heal and be ok.

But I still feel Inge is the best current player at 3rd!


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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Fri May 30, 2008 1:44 am

GO INGE!
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:09 pm

Power surge: Red-hot Thames' last seven hits have all been homers

SAN FRANCISCO - Hot pitching doesn’t always stop hot hitting.

San Francisco right-hander Tim Lincecum came into Monday night’s game at AT & T Park with an 8-1 record and a quality start in every start this season.

Marcus Thames came into the game with a homer in three straight games. In his last 24 at-bats, he’d had five hits - all homers.

On each of his first two career at-bats against Lincecum, Thames homered to left.

“The kid has good stuff,” Thames said. “He hung a breaking ball the first time, and he hung a change-up the second time, and I didn’t miss it. That’s what you’ve got to do.”

It was the second time this season that Thames hit two homers off a pitcher with an 8-1 record. He also did so against the Angels’ Joe Saunders a few weeks ago.

As late as Saturday, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said that Thames might not play Monday night against Lincecum. Then Monday arrived, and Leyland put Thames in the sixth spot in the order.

“If he gets four at-bats, he probably has a better chance of running into one (homering) than (Brent) Clevlen or (Ryan) Raburn do,” Leyland said before the game.

Now, if Thames homers tonight, he’ll become the first Tiger since Willie Horton in 1969 to homer in five straight games. The Giants scheduled starter tonight is a left-hander, Jonathan Sanchez.

Lincecum had allowed three homers in his 13 starts before Monday.

On Thames’ first at-bat, he fouled the first four pitches he swung at, then drove the ball halfway up the left-field bleachers for a 1-0 lead.

With the score 1-1 and a runner aboard in the fourth, Thames lofted Lincecum’s 1-2 pitch over the fence in left, this time by not more than a few rows it appeared. The Tigers had a 3-1 lead.

On Thames’ third at-bat, he got booed. Now there’s one of his strongest compliments yet.

“They booed me the whole time in the outfield,” said Thames, who played left. “I smiled at them and waved at them.”

Now, entering tonight, Thames’ last seven hits have been homers. He said he never recalls being in a streak like this, nor can Leyland recall seeing anything like it.


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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:27 pm

clap
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:33 pm

Go get em Thames! You never know when Leyland will change his mind... Get them homers and show them you deserve to be an every day starter! You now are the teams leader in home runs!


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:58 pm

clap :thames: applaud bow
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:45 pm

Hit them into the water tonight! Feed the fishes with some baseballs! thumbs up
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:03 pm

love to visit SF!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:12 pm

laprimamirala wrote:
love to visit SF!!!

SF rocks! Easily the best city in the already great state of California. Possibly the best city in the US. Only Chicago has a shot at being better but I haven't spent enough time there to know.


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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:42 pm

Just love the Japanese Gardens and the 1915 Fair thing. Also Lombard Street and the Irish coffee at the Buena Vista!
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:08 pm

I wish Detroit had SF Weather.


At least when the Tigers were home!



Will Feel just like Miami when we are home next week
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:12 pm

gs78 wrote:
I wish Detroit had SF Weather.

So does every city in the US. SF has EASILY the best weather in the country no matter what the time of year. There's just no way to argue it. In January the highs are about 66 degrees. In August the highs are about 68 degrees. It's just perfect.

Whatever you do don't be like me - long sleeves are a must at a night game at AT&T Park!


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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:15 pm

catbox_9 wrote:

So does every city in the US. SF has EASILY the best weather in the country no matter what the time of year. There's just no way to argue it.

I've been told by more than 1 person that San Diego had the best weather year-round.


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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:16 pm

catbox_9 wrote:
laprimamirala wrote:
love to visit SF!!!

SF rocks! Easily the best city in the already great state of California. Possibly the best city in the US. Only Chicago has a shot at being better but I haven't spent enough time there to know.

I'll take Chicago. I heard that their's a bunch of weirdos in SF. No offense to those that live in SF.


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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:18 pm

Got news for ya...the weirdos are EVERYWHERE!! Big Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:23 am

06/17/2008 10:09 PM ET
Thames playing, hitting, homering
Tigers outfielder one game shy of tying team long-ball record
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Finally, Marcus Thames is getting some respect. He's getting booed.

Five home runs in four games, including two homers on the road off a pitcher who had given up just three over 90-plus innings this season, will do that. So after Thames homered in his first two at-bats against the Giants on Monday night at AT&T Park, he stepped to the plate in the sixth to a San Francisco shower of negative sentiment.

Thames was taken aback at first, then he loved it. After all, it's hard to get booed from the dugout.

"That must mean I did a little something," Thames said. "They boo you, and then when you get out, they clap for you. That's all right."

As far as home runs go, of course, he's done a lot. Entering the middle game of this series against the Giants on Tuesday, Thames' last seven hits were home runs. He hadn't had a base hit that didn't clear the fence since June 7 against the Indians at Comerica Park. He has started 10 out of 11 games in that span, including Tuesday.

In the process, he's proving that his old role of playing against left-handed starting pitchers was simply the part he played, not the kind of hitter he was.

His last six home runs have come off right-handed pitchers, giving him more homers this year off righties (seven) than lefties (five). Only Magglio Ordonez, in fact, has more homers against right-handers among Tigers hitters this season.

"Coming up, you face more righties than you do lefties," he said. "In Double-A, I hit .321 with 31 home runs. I don't think I hit 31 home runs off of lefties. In '04, when I was down in [Triple-A] Toledo, I hit .340 with 22 homers before the break, and I don't think all those were against lefties.

"I mean, I just wait my chance. You sit over there and you're just wanting to get in there. Never had that chance, but I'm getting a chance to run out there now and I'm just trying to take advantage of it."

In doing so, he's also disproving another notion that he's primarily a low-ball hitter. He has hit his share of guys who have tried to keep the ball low, notably Dodgers right-hander Derek Lowe, but he's also now hitting guys who have tried to get him to chase up in the zone.

If there was anyone he shouldn't have been able to hit, it should've been Tim Lincecum on Monday. The Giants youngster had the odd combination of allowing just three home runs over 90-plus innings entering Monday while also challenging hitters high with his power arsenal. But he made two mistake pitches with his other stuff, and Thames pounced on both of them.

"Just trying not to miss my pitches," Thames said. "The kid's got good stuff. He hung a breaking ball the first time. He hung a changeup the second time. And I didn't miss it. And that's what you've got to do."

That's what manager Jim Leyland was counting on from Thames. Not that he knew Thames would hit Lincecum, but he felt Thames would do something with a ball if he connected.

"That guy's a tough matchup for any right-hander," Leyland said of Lincecum.

The sum total had Thames on the verge of a club record Tuesday. Thames' homer streak is one off the franchise record of five games, last matched by Willie Horton in 1969 and shared with Hank Greenberg, Rudy York and Vic Wertz.

If he could match it Tuesday, he probably wouldn't get greeted with cheers. That's fine with him.

"You hear it," Thames admitted, "but I still go out and have fun. They booed me the whole time in the outfield. I smile at them and wave at them and keep playing baseball."

It's the playing part that's important.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:24 am

Quote :
The sum total had
Thames on the verge of a club record Tuesday. Thames' homer streak is
one off the franchise record of five games, last matched by Willie
Horton in 1969 and shared with Hank Greenberg, Rudy York and Vic Wertz.


If he could match it Tuesday, he probably wouldn't get greeted with cheers. That's fine with him.

He does it with a homer Tuesday!!!!!!


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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:13 am

06/19/2008 7:40 PM ET
Thames' homers keep Tigers winning
Outfielder's power makes impact for Detroit in close games
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- There's something different about a Marcus Thames home run. It's about impact, and the bat meeting ball is only the start of it.

Physically, they're not simply hit hard, they're hit big. While teammates Gary Sheffield and Miguel Cabrera are better known for connecting on line drives that get out and go far in a hurry, Thames' shots seem to get in the air and stay there a while. They still get their distance, as Tuesday's 465-foot launch to straightaway center field at San Francisco's AT&T Park demonstrated. When they get their altitude as well, they're a little more majestic.

"It's been amazing to watch him over the last week," left-hander Kenny Rogers said after Tuesday's homer. "I knew he had power, but it's amazing. When he hits them now, they're homers, tough ballpark or no. You don't think he hits them, and they keep carrying."

The big home run Tuesday earned comparisons to some of the best that Barry Bonds hit there, even if the resume is different. Tigers manager Jim Leyland compared him to another record-setting hitter.

"He hits some of his like [Mark] McGwire used to hit them, just high fly balls that just keep going," Leyland said. "He hit one in Oakland during BP [two weeks ago] up near the walkway where people come in."

The physical impact is hard enough. The impact on the games has gone well beyond. He has yet to actually hit a scoreboard, but he has had plenty of effect on them.

Six of Thames' 13 home runs this year have come with the game tied. Three more have been in one-run situations. Eight have occurred with men on base.

"One thing about Marcus Thames: He hits big ones. I don't mean long ones, but big ones," Leyland said. "He hits them when it's 2-1, 2-0, 1-0. Those are big ones. ... I'm not really into records. I'm into winning games. And Marcus has helped us win a lot of games."

Thames' home-run streak ended Wednesday at five straight games, tying a franchise record, but his impact on the Tigers continues. For himself, he has all but secured an everyday role for an extended stretch, the first time in his Major League career. For the Tigers, he has given Detroit a piece that its lineup needed.

For all the talent the Tigers assembled to build what was expected to be the greatest offense in baseball, they didn't have really a pure, unapologetic home-run threat. Sheffield and Cabrera are obviously known for their home runs, some of them massive, but they've made their bigger impacts with extra-base hits and RBIs. Cabrera has power to all fields, often taking the ball out to the opposite field this year.

Thames is a pure, pull power hitter. The next base hit he gets other than a home run will be his first since June 7. All eight hits he has had since then have cleared an outfield fence, the longest such streak in the Majors since McGwire reached 11 in a row in 2001.

"Marcus has as much power as anybody in the big leagues," Leyland said. "I'm not saying he'll hit them as often. I'm not saying he's as good of a hitter. But pure power-wise, he's got as much as anybody. Take it to the bank."

Tuesday's home run to straightaway center was the furthest from left field he has hit one this season, according to hittrackeronline.com, a Web site that charts Major League home run distances and trajectories. His last four have been estimated at over 400 feet, according to the same site.

Leyland talked early this season about the value of someone who simply pulls the ball for home runs. He now has that hitter. As it turns out, he's had that guy all along.

The difference so far this season is his ability to make contact consistently and sustain it game after game. He has had as many or more strikeouts than hits in every season in his big league career. That hasn't been an issue so far this season.

He has said more than once that a steady diet of at-bats helps him. He's proving it now.

"I just wait for my chance," Thames said. "You sit over there [waiting] and biting at the bit, just wanting to get in there. I'm getting a chance to run out there now and I'm just trying to take advantage of it, use my ability and go out and give it 100 percent, see what happens after that."

He'll still put up his fair share of strikeouts, but the old strategies of getting him out aren't as simple as they used to be. Thames has always been dangerous against particular kinds of pitchers, notably left-handers and guys who succeed by keeping the ball down in the strike zone, where he can get his arms extended and swing the bat.

Since getting on his recent tear, he's hammering all kinds of pitches. On Monday, Giants starter Tim Lincecum paid for leaving a changeup and a breaking ball up in the strike zone. Tuesday's home run came when reliever Vinnie Chulk threw nothing but fastballs against him. White Sox starter Javier Vazquez lost out challenging him high last week.

"I'm just trying not to miss my pitches," Thames said earlier this week.

This weekend will give him a challenge both from a pitching and a park standpoint. Thames has never faced future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, but he's slated to pitch for San Diego on Friday. He'll be working with the wide expanse of left field at PETCO Park behind him.

Whether Thames' streak of hits as homers stands or falls, however, his effect continues.

"I hope he starts another one," Leyland said. "He's probably right at the head of the list of this streak that we've had of playing better. It couldn't happen to a better guy. He's getting an opportunity and he's taking advantage of it. I'll watch him close, but he's certainly pretty much earned the left field job at this time, I would have to say.

"I don't expect him to keep at this pace, but Marcus is a threat, and everybody knows it."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:48 am

scratch Gee...Marcus's HR's remind me a little bit of a slugger we had on the '84 team....only in the oppposite outfield corner. Hmmm...who could that have been? lol!
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gs78
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:14 am

Thames gonna hit a couple more home runs this weekend



GO MARCUS!
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gs78
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:27 am

Marcus sat on the bench tonight! rant
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tigersaint
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PostSubject: Re: Thames to get everyday shot to play   Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:30 am

.....and Clete got 3 hits!!

.....and a walk!!
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