The Tigers made a trade Wednesday evening to acquire a Jhonny when they should have been trying to sell a Johnny. 

David Dombrowski may yet earn the other spelling of his name. 

The Tigers floundered yet again Wednesday night, falling yet again to the Tampa Bay Rays.

The loss puts the Tigers at 51-49, in third place in the American League Central, five games back of the Chicago White Sox. 

Before the game, the Tigers acquired 3B Jhonny Peralta from the long forgotten Cleveland Indians. Peralta will be inserted into the lineup to fill the void left at third base by the injury to Brandon Inge.

My question is, why?

Coming into action on Wednesday the Tigers were 3-10 since the break, 3-11 now after Wednesday’s game. The Tigers are sliding backwards, toward .500 and have let the White Sox take control of the American League Central.

More importantly, it wasn’t just that the Tigers got nipped in a couple of close games. Some of the games were not close at all. The Tigers have played flat out awful baseball since the All-Star Break.

Then the injury bug took it’s big bite.

Inge has a broken finger. He will not be back until about the end of August.

Magglio Ordonez broke his ankle. He is listed as being out six to eight weeks, but that is overly generous. I’ll state right now that he is out for season.

And of course there is always Carlos Guillen, ever the friend of the disabled list. He will probably be out until the middle of August with another nagging leg injury, this time to his calf. He keeps working his way down the leg, from knees to hamstrings and finally a calf.

It makes me ask, what kind of spark can really be expected from Jhonny Peralta? He’s hitting .246 with 7 HR and 43 RBI. More importantly, this is the second straight season in which his offensive production has been declining, nearly across the board. 

This brings me to my main point: forget the fact that the Tigers got him for cheap, why are they buying?

The Tigers are 3-11 since the break, playing awful baseball, and have now lost 1/3 of their starting lineup to injury, and are five games off the pace.

I think a black cat running across the field is the only remaining sign left to offer that the Tigers should be pulling the plug on 2009.

There is no shame in admitting that the season is lost. The Tigers had a solid team this year until injuries decimated the roster. It is unforeseeable to survive through the quantity and quality of injuries the Tigers have suffered.

Ryan Perry was having a good season until an injury claimed his last few outings and landed him on the DL for a month.

Joel Zumaya was dominant until his elbow exploded.

Let us not forget Bobby Seay and Zach Miner, whose seasons were over before they ever began.

Finally, Brennan Boesch has hit the first protracted slump of his big league career, as opposing teams have figured out how to get him out. 

Instead of buying a Jhonny, the Tigers should be selling a Johnny. Johnny Damon, that is. 

Damon has done just fine in a Tiger uniform. I love seeing him shake his stuff in the batter’s box before every pitch.

The thing is, he has value, he is a commodity that can be traded to begin piecing together next year’s squad. 

Why keep throwing good money after bad? The Tigers will just end up penniless. 

There are plenty of teams looking for a fourth outfielder to bolster their roster on their way to a playoff run.

The Dodgers grabbed Scott Podsednik from the Royals tonight. The Phillies have a need, especially since Shane Victorino just went on the DL. 

I’m sure the Yankees would love to have him back as a depth guy.

Damon is one of the few players on the current roster who is ideal to trade and has decent value. After all, who would really want Ryan Raburn?

It’s time to start building for the future again. Selling Damon works twice on that front.

It either recoups money or prospects in return, and also paves the way for outfielders Casper Wells and Ryan Strieby to get a protracted look in the majors

Granted, neither is setting the world on fire in AAA, but a chance to come up to the big show could pay huge dividends, especially if a call up inspires them.

It wasn’t that long ago when most people said the Central Division and a playoff berth were a long shot for the Tigers. The Twins had too good a team and the White Sox were a good dark horse to bet on.

Both of those projections are coming to fruition.

We all knew the wild card would be coming from the east. Correct again.

The Tigers had a strong first half, tempted us into thinking maybe the prognosticators got this one wrong. 

Then the second half rolled around….and reality set back in.

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