The Detroit News’ Tom Gage writes Tigers closer Todd Jones “has never been much of an attention-getter”. And while I couldn’t disagree more, Motown’s paragon of manhood manages to reflect humbly on a long career.

He’s 22nd on the career list. With another 30 saves, for instance, he’ll leapfrog several notables — Bruce Sutter, Doug Jones, Tom Henke and Goose Gossage among them.

If Armando Benitez at 289 falters, Jones would climb to 15th with another 30 saves.

But when asked to assess his own career, Jones said: “I’ve never been the blond at the end of the bar, I’m not even worth $3 in fantasy baseball.”

“I have a very low perception of myself on some things,” he said. “Like baseball.”

He agrees, for instance, that he’s accomplished something, “but the other half of my brain says ‘Yeah, but it took you 14 years,’‚” Jones said. “Some guys do it in 10. Some guys do it in eight. Then again, not too many have done it (at all).”
Jones said passing Gossage at 310 would, “be the coolest because Goose is the first guy that made closing sexy.

“I’d certainly never make anyone forget about Goose, but I’ve proven you don’t have to have dominant stuff to close. I used to throw harder than I do now, but nothing like Goose.”

Getting past 300, however, would be “more about my journey than about the number,” Jones said. “I sat for (three) years getting one or two a year thinking I’m never going to get to 200. I’m never going to close again.”

Jones earned his 26th save of the season earlier today, pitching a scoreless 10th inning in Detroit’s 4-3 defeat of the Twins. Former Met Timo Perez scored the winning run on a Brandon Inge double ; earlier Placido Polanco and Gary Sheffield hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the 7th.

Perez was promoted from Toledo on Thursday after OF Marcus Thames pulled a hamstring while making a game saving catch off a Joe Mauer line drive in the 8th inning of Wednesday’s 3-2 win.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Perez Hilton lookalike Bernie Miklasz took issue with Tony La Genius failing to discipline Juan Encarnacion and Albert Pujols for allegedly dogging it, an offense followed by the manager blaming the messenger.

When FSN-Midwest’s Joel Goldberg asked a perfectly reasonable question about Pujols’ standing in the batter’s box, La Russa barked at the reporter and asked if Goldberg’s intention was to “start trouble.”

Once again, La Russa found it more convenient to jump a media person rather than hold his players accountable. It continued a season-long pattern: La Russa initiating a conflict with the media while waving off his players’ lapses in the commitment to fundamentally-sound baseball.

Viva El Birdos soaks up Bernie’s observations and responds thusly ;

the fight that really matters to tlr — the one he has already lost — is the battle over the future of the organization. he wants to stick with the tried-and-true formula — sign or trade for established veterans, and work in a few kids around the margins — but the organization wants to emphasize player development. it’s no secret that tony’s pissed off about that; it has been reported both locally and nationally. i think he’s misplacing his anger, directing it at players and reporters.

if my armchair psychoanalysis is even close to being right, then tony’s got to go. of course, if it’s right then he probably will go voluntarily — but if he doesn’t, he should be shown the door. the field manager has to be committed to the organizational philosophy; if he’s not, no good can result. if he were fired, it wouldn’t mean that tony was a bad manager in the past; it would mean he’s not the right one going forward.