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Release Maggs and his new haircut

Dave Ketterer

7-6-09

Detroit Tigers right fielder Magglio Ordonez was recently benched by manager Jim Leyland in hopes the rest would benefit the struggling outfielder. Ordonez took that change one step further, cutting his hair for the first time in over three years. The Tigers should take that same approach and cut Ordonez from the team. Ordonez has 14 extra base hits all season, while hitting a below ideal .266 in 68 games. In comparison, Marcus Thames has 12 extra base hits in 36 fewer games. Ordonez is a lifetime .311 batter, so the lack of extra base hits is not the only problem. The outfielder is 35 years old, and perhaps the wear and tear has finally caught up to him. His fielding is below average, his speed is nonexistent, and his swing just doesn’t look the same as it used to. There is nothing wrong with the Tigers considering cutting the former all-star (something they have not publicly said they are considering). Ordonez has club options on his contract for the next 2 seasons, totaling $33 million, so the thought will undoubtedly cross General Manager Dave Dombrowski’s mind. Those contract options will automatically kick in if Ordonez has 135 starts or 540 plate appearances this season, or 270 starts or 1,080 PA’s combined between the ‘08 & ‘09 seasons. The Tigers are going to have to make a difficult decision on whether or not to keep Ordonez towards the end of this season – his numbers are going to be very close to those contract “kickers”. The man who hit a walk-off pennant winning homerun in 2006 has seen his numbers diminish the last two seasons, and is not as valuable as he once was. Leyland has dropped Ordonez to seventh in the lineup in hopes that will shake something up and perhaps take some pressure off the struggling slugger. Paying a man $18 million to hit .266 isn’t going to cut it. The Tigers front office needs to make the tough but smart decision, and release Ordonez.

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