Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Anniversary Blues

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the 1984 World Series championship. There will be a reunion celebration at Comerica Park on September 28. However, it does not appear that it will come close to rivaling last year’s 40th anniversary party for the 1968 championship. It was wonderful to see so many of the ’68 Tigers players turn out for the fiesta, taking turns getting interviewed in the booth each inning by Rod and Mario. They gave such a great retrospective at the season, the Series, their careers, etc.

Alas, not too many ’84 Tigers are even planning to make the trip here.

Some players have genuine conflicts, such as Alan Trammell (Cubs bench coach), Kirk Gibson (Diamondbacks bench coach), Howard Johnson (Mets batting coach), and Rusty Kuntz (Royals first base coach).

Tom Brookens, who is a minor league manager at Tigers AA affiliate at Erie, should be available, since the Seawolves’ season ends September 8.

Lou Whitaker, in a March 2009 interview with the Tom Gage of the Detroit News, says he probably won't make the trip, instead taping a message to be played on the big screen. Lou, how can you blow off such a glorious opportunity to celebrate the ’84 Series victory before adoring fans?

Guillermo Hernandez' health is very fragile.

Chet Lemon coaches two AAU teams, called Chet Lemon's Juice--how cool is that? Will he be too busy?

I'm hoping that Milt Wilcox will come, since he gets his hair cut in the area.

Aurelio Lopez was tragically killed in an auto accident back in 1992.

Lance Parrish has been fired twice by the Tigers organization, prompting Tom Gage to wonder whether he'll have any bad feelings to stop him from coming.

Darrell Evans manages the Canadian Victoria Seals, a team in the Golden Baseball League. Their season will be over by September 28, but...

A Tigers fan I chatted with at a game says he parties with Dave Rozema all the time, so presumably he'll be interested.

Larry Herndon is the batting coach for our Lakeland Flying Tigers. I'm hoping they'd let him get away for this, since they are affiliated with our organization and all, plus their season will be finished by that time.

Johnny Grubb coaches high school baseball at his own alma mater Meadowbrook High School in Richmond Virginia. That's a spring sport, so September 28 shouldn't pose a major conflict.

Marty Castillo's whereabouts are unknown. Maybe he'll resurface for the reunion with some good stories.

Dan Petry participates in a lot of Tigers stuff, so hopefully he'll be here with bells on.

Jack Morris is a broadcaster for the Minnesota Twins. We're playing the Twins on September 28, so he'll be here!

Well, we know one '84 Tiger will be on hand for sure. Rod Allen was on the 1984 Tigers roster, in case you didn't know.

So there you have it, a sad portrait of a reunion to be sure. I sincerely wish for a great celebration of a season engrained in the memories of so many fans.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kitchen Sink

First of all, I must mention that I am in mourning over the loss of Magglio's locks. Clad all in black, I sit in disbelief that he didn't think to consult me before making such a foolhardy move. What, he listened to his wife you say? Well, uh, okay--I guess. I still neither understand nor approve of these goings on. Very, very disturbing. It would be like me donning some under-armor. Very unwise, very unflattering to see fat rolls bunched up like so much sausage. I know better than to do such a thing. I wear fabrics that float away from the body.

Anyway, back to baseball. Joel Zumaya needs to be force-fed some truisms from Bull Durham. Don't think, meat, just throw the ball. Don't shake off the signs. Just lean in, get the sign from your catcher and pitch, Nuke! When you're facing Micah Hoffpauir and you've been blowing the ball past batters to the tune of 103-104 MPH, you just stick with what's working, not serve up an 85 MPH grapefruit over the heart of the plate. Maddening, absolutely mind-swirling stuff. Could we get some career minor league catcher to come up and beat some sense into Zoom here? Just askin'.

Brandon Inge is bucking for a full-out apology from me. He hits homeruns, visits sick children in the hospital. What doesn't he do? I stand by my word, however. I will not issue said apology until the end of the 2009 season, and I see how his numbers stand up. I will say that he is having a year, for him, quite a year indeed, thus far. The rest I reserve until such a time as the Tigers play no more in 2009. Let's just say I hope that it's into November before I have to humble myself and apologize to Brandon.

Alan Trammell is photographed peering through the fence at the ruins of Tiger Stadium, which is now reduced to rubble. Oh, the agony. It made my chest tighten just looking at it. It is very hard to say goodbye. We'll survive on memories of the old girl. Please share them with your family and friends to keep her alive.

In my excitement over talking with some Brewer fans at last Friday night's game, I forgot about a significant happening at the park that night. Mark Fidrych's widow and daughter threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The jumbotron featured a video montage with some rather heart-rending music. In a sincerely touching moment, both women bent over and smoothed out the mound, just as Mark once did. Fidrych's daughter was in tears, and Jim Leyland caught the pitch, then proceeded to envelop both women in a sympathetic embrace. Geez, is everyone conspiring to make a girl cry or what?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday Night Lightning

I had such a great time at the ballpark last night. Aside from the fact that the ball was jumping out of the park off Tiger bats, I had a chance to interview (ok, chat informally with) a couple Milwaukee Brewers fans who were road-tripping. Here's how it happened. The heavy rains came in and stopped the game in the bottom of the fourth with two outs, right after Curtis Granderson hit a home run. Now, some of you may whine about rain delays, getting soggy, fighting crowds on the concourse, spending a lot more cash on overpriced concessions, but not me. I decided to do something very bold. Your intrepid blog reporter went up to two strangers sporting Brewers gear, and asked them if they had come from Milwaukee for the game. Actually, Eric and Joe are from Milwaukee (and Madison), but had just come from the Brewers' sweep in Cleveland. What a series they caught at the Jake (I mean, Progressive Field). The Brewers were down five runs twice in game one of that series and came back to win, with Prince Fielder hitting his first (still can't believe it was his first) major league grand slam. Yeah, it was the Cleveland bullpen, but still.

Anyway, I rather sheepishly asked Eric and Joe whether I could ask them a few questions, admitting I was a blogger. They very graciously agreed, and off the conversation went. We talked at length about Miller Park, the Brewers' season so far, their playoff run last year, renting CC Sabathia, hoping to hang on to Prince Fielder, and J.J. Hardy's offensive woes this year (he's a streaky hitter, and hasn't found his streak this year), to name just a few topics. I asked them to compare Miller and Comerica. Since we were experiencing a deluge, the obvious advantage of a retractable roof came up right away. But I ask you, without a rain delay, how would I ever have scored this exclusive interview? Besides, I really believe that baseball should be played outside. Eric also mentioned that the seating at the CoPa seemed a little far off the field (a common complaint of mine--do not sit in the upper deck). That started me on a nostalgic remembrance of Tiger Stadium's seating, which was right on top of the action. Were Eric and Joe nostalgic for County Stadium? Not so much, but both it and Miller share a coveted feature: on site parking lots, which allow for a very cool tailgate vibe. Imagine the smell of really good bratwurst grilling (some tofu dogs for me), and pregame fan solidarity. Nice.

Eric and Joe both agreed that the rental of Sabathia was totally worth it, even knowing they'd likely never be able to sign him. The Brewers made an offer, but well, you know what happened. I mean, he did basically pick the team up and carry them into the playoffs. Must've been a lot of fun. I remember last year, during one of the playoff games, Corey Hart was not playing all that well offensively, and then he made an error. He looked like a nine-year old little leaguer out there about to burst into tears. I honestly felt badly for him at that moment, despite my disdain for all things Brewer. Joe said Hart suffers from some confidence issues (we also discussed Willis' stints on the DL for an anxiety disorder).

They asked me what was up with Ordóñez, so I did my best to blame it all on Scott Boras (who is also Prince Fielder's agent). No, I promise you, I explained it all with utmost impartiality.

Anyway, Eric and Joe provided excellent conversation and terrific insight into our current interleague opponent. Thank you both for indulging me, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the series (if that's possible to do when losing all three games). For the record, I asked them how they'd been treated by Tigers fans, and they assured me the ribbing they'd taken was all in good fun. Good job Tiger faithful--always be gracious hosts.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Tigers/Brewers Rivalry

You may be laughing out loud at the notion of a Tigers/Brewers rivalry. But hold that thought a moment. There is such a thing. It exists among persons who are from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Remember that Milwaukee used to be an American League team, and further recall that up until 1993, the Tigers and Brewers were both in the AL East. Now that fact, along with geography, combine to juxtapose the Tigers and Brewers in the minds of baseball fans in Northern Michigan, to the extent that a person cannot be a fan of both. It's important to choose sides, because there is no middle ground.

I grew up despising the Brewers, that dump County Stadium, and loving to hate players like Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, and most especially Rob Deer. (Imagine my consternation when he briefly wore the Old English D.) I loved my 80s Tigers Kirk Gibson, Tram, Whitaker, Chet Lemon, Darrell Evans, Lance Parish, Tommy Brookens--the whole crew. I still enjoy talking some smack with hometown Brewers fans, even if it is impossible to understand how someone in his/her right mind would choose the Brewers over the Tigers.

So, while you may think of this as just another interleague matchup of no particular significance, I'll be at the game tonight, thinking of those bygone school days. Days filled with arguing the merits of the Tigers over the Brew Crew. Good times, good times.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hit the Pine

Magglio Ordóñez has been benched "indefinitely." The scuffling has turned to floundering. Although his average at .273 is considerably higher than say, Gerald Laird's Mendoza-ish .214, it's woefully lower than acceptable for someone who's two season removed from a battling title and a .363 average. Also missing is power, gone AWOL in fact. So, he's now riding pine. Not exactly surprising, but I find myself wondering whether there could be a grievance filed with the player's union if the benching lasts too long.

The storied contract option comes into play, and an argument could be made that the Tigers are trying to prevent that option from kicking in. Also, Magglio could contend that he's not playing poorly enough to merit a lengthy benching. I mean .273 isn't anywhere near deplorable levels. Like I said, it's WAY, WAY off Magglio levels, but not approaching Sardinha levels.

I have very mixed feelings on the whole situation. I try to be unbiased, but it's very difficult. I think that my posts on this blog have made it pretty obvious that Magglio is my Tiger. So, I don't see all that clearly when it comes to him. I realize that everything is a big mess as far as his contract is concerned, and that he probably won't be with the Tigers come next season. This fact, combined with his poor performance, gives me many nightmarish feelings. Feelings of loss (of his skills), anger (mainly at Scott Boras), pain (that his career in Detroit could end like this). I could go on, but I'll spare you the remaining details. Suffice it so say that tomorrow night, when I sit in my right field seat, I'll be missing a certain someone who used to stand in front of me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Zoom or Doom?

He might seem an odd person to pick on at the moment, when so many others have featured epic meltdowns. However, it had seemed to me like he hasn't been as sharp lately. He hasn't created any disasters, but he seems pretty good at getting himself into trouble, and then wriggling out of it.

Here are some numbers from Baseball Reference.

Joel's WHIP is now 1.429--ouch--he's following the Tigers' staff trend of issuing base on balls. Each outing in June has produced at least one walk, with three on June 7. He's also giving up a fair number of hits. In three of his six June outings, he's allowed a run to score.

One thing that does make me very happy is his strand rate--he doesn't inherit a ton of runners, but he's been decent at stranding those he does. Seven times this year, he's inherited runners, and only twice has he allowed any to come around and score--two of eleven to be exact, making his strand rate .819.

Zoom has four holds to his credit this year, one blown save, and one blown save/win.

I can't remember what game it was, but I believe it was his first opportunity to close a game this year, and he got way overamped/nervous/howeveryouwanttoputit. He admitted after the game that he was jittery being in there for the save. A lot of people thought he'd be our closer by now, but after injuries threatened his career and whatnot, we're still on a bit of a remedial track. Hopefully in time he'll be ready to be that guy.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bam Bam

Well, we've got another nickname for Miguel Cabrera, and he provided this one himself. Today's 1909 retro uniforms featured elbow-length sleeves. Miggy had an apparent distaste for his, and hacked them off every which way. The result was hilarious. The jagged sleeves billowed in the breeze, and looked just like something the Flintstones' little Bam Bam would have worn. Since he's also a slugger, Bam Bam is a perfect fit. I christen you, Miguel Cabrera.

Outlook Grim

When your three options are to break out in hives, break down in tears, or break something in a fit of rage, you know it's been a schrecklich (English wasn't enough here) couple days on the hill (and at the plate, for that matter). I'll say this much, the Detroit Tigers will not be in first place long if we continue to pitch and hit like this.

I really don't know what to say. Galarraga got knocked around like an arcade pinball yesterday, and Willis simply cannot convince the ball to stay in the same zip code as the strike zone. Nate Robertson will have me waking up screaming in the middle of the night with yesterday's performance--and today's? Well, I guess I can say he didn't surrender a grand slam.

It looks to me like Zach Miner will be getting a chance to start again. Although he hasn't copped an attitude (Brandon Inge and Nate Robertson--you could take a note from that), Zach is one guy who just might be entitled to do a little griping about the way he's been used. He'll get a chance now to grab a hold of a rotation spot, I would think.

We get runners in scoring position, and nothing...zippo, popup, GIDP, strikeout, take your stinking pick.

We're looking at interleague matchups against St. Louis, Milwaukee and Chicago. The Cards and Brewers are tied for first in the NL Central at 34-29. The Cubbies are 2.5 games back at .500, just lost two out of three to the Twinkies, but won today to help us retain a 3 game lead over MN. Maybe it's just me, but I don't like being reliant on another team for my baseball fortunes.

Well boys, use tomorrow's off day for some introspection, extra batting practice, or a heart-to-heart with Rick Knapp as appropriate to your personal situation.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rick Decides Good Pitching Not Enough

The Rookie, in dramatic fashion, decides to add the element of offense to his repertoire, driving in TWO, count them, two runs on two separate at bats, both hits. The young phenom went seven innings tonight--deep considering they've got the kid gauntlets on for the young fella. We're continually reminded by Leyland of the promises he made to DD to protect and watch over Pretty Little Ricky, to make sure his arm is not over-worked, burnt out or otherwise damaged. All of this is good, to be sure. It can get a bit comical and over the top at times, though.

Porcello, during his moments in the dugout when not pitching or hitting, ponders the late offensive slump. He calculates, and determines that if he wants the W today, he's going to have to do more than just pitch well. It's going to take a super-human effort, one that includes hits and RBIs. This is a kid who has never had a major league at bat, people!

What a night for the young whipper-snapper. I don't care that none of this post is original. I don't care that everyone will be lavishing him with the same praise. It's deserved, it's noteworthy, it's Rick Porcello--one man show! Actually Placido Polanco went 4 for 4, Brandon Inge hit a solo shot, and Fernando Rodney looked pretty good getting the save, so there were other contributions.

But this is his night to shine, so burn bright Rick!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Justin and Edwin Spoil Us Rotten

We are getting spoiled, and you know it.  Complete games are such a rarity these days, at least for Tigers pitching.  We had one all of last year, by none other than JV.  We had one in 2007, yes a dazzling no-no, once again by JV.  Now we've had three this young season, and two in less than a week.  I must admit, I'm enjoying the experience.  Complete games are satisfying on so many levels.  The starting pitcher goes out there for every frame--the whole game is his--no reliance on relievers.  Bullpen gets some rest, and sorely needed it was last night.  Generally, when a pitcher goes the distance, you're seeing a pretty dominant performance.

In the past two cases specifically, the ninth innings have been spectacular beyond expectation.  Edwin strikes out the side by burning it past the batters, and Justin gets Jermaine Dye to fly out, strikes out Jim Thome (after surrendering a home run to him earlier), and then touches 100 to strike out Josh Fields.  There are not enough superlatives to describe the elation.  I'm so sick of getting beat at the Cell, so guaranteeing a series win earns Justin 10,000 bonus points, a new car and a trip to Disneyworld.

Like I said, we're getting spoiled here.  Edwin's on tonight, and I don't want to get greedy, but it's hard not to expect brilliance from these two right about now.  Admit it, you're expecting a minimum of eight out of Jackson tonight, aren't you?   I hope he doesn't feel the weight of these expectations.  Pitching in a pressure-cooker is not what we want for young Edwin.  

I know this much, I'm thoroughly enjoying the pampering provided at the J and E spa.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Four in One

Sorry to say it, but the gaudy stuff does grab the headlines.  Clete Thomas broke a 5-5 tie, and put the game out of reach this afternoon with one mighty swat.  It was the first grand slam of his career, and he sure picked a dramatic spot.  After getting swept by the Red Sox, we most definitely didn't want to lose the series to the Halos.

This game was tense throughout, we were down early, came back to lead 4-3, walked in the tying run, etc.   Pretty Little Ricky did a nice job steadying himself after giving up three in the first.  Not a great performance, but I like grit, and he sure gave us that through five. 

So, when we tied the game (nice bluff home to induce the errant throw, Raburn!) and then loaded the bases with two outs (we can send the Angels pitching staff a fruit basket for issuing four walks in that inning), I found myself wound a wee bit tight, worrying that we'd strand the bases juiced, and I would leap off the edge of sanity into some pitiful state of lunacy.

Clete Thomas decided that shred of sanity was worth saving (and for that, I thank him).   He wouldn't even come out for a curtain call, when the fans were imploring him with chants.  Aw.  His humility seems quite genuine, so it's pretty durn adorable.

Now, I'm beginning to wonder about our Skipper a little.  I guess maybe he has to do it (but I don't think he really does), but why, why I ask, does he keep putting Rodney in the game for the now fabled "non-save situations?"   It would be laughable if it weren't so maddening.  Even FSN had the hideous splits plastered all over for the viewing masses to see.  Actually, in this game, Perry, Seay, and  Zumaya had already pitched, so maybe it was better than watching Brandon Lyon trot out of the pen.  But still, it's a valid question for Skip, no?

Polanco and the Kiddies

Before yesterday's game, little league teams from a Birmingham? league got to go down on the field.  They were milling around, getting photos, etc. when Placido Polanco came out of the dugout to take warm-ups.  He went right over to the kids, who immediately surrounded him.  They started jumping up and down, and he joined right in with them, and they all just bounced for several minutes in a huge gaggle.  I swear, it was the cutest thing. Polanco earned a billion warm fuzzy points with me last night, and I know he gave the kids an ultimate thrill.  I wanted to run down on the field and hug him for doing that.

Thank you Placido!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Man Up

Edwin  Jackson saw what happened to Justin Verlander last night, and decided he would just go ahead and handle things himself.  The result?   A nine-inning complete game, one run allowed, and 109 pitches.  It was indeed a thing of beauty.  After the nightmare experienced in yesterday's 9th inning, I decided to wash the taste out of my mouth by going to tonight's game too.  

Seeing Jackson strike out the side in the 9th was sweet vengeance.  The crowd was really behind him.  Everyone I could see was on their feet.  He seemed to feed on it.  Many of the pitches in the 9th were 98 MPH.

I can tell you this much, the next time Justin Verlander has pitched a good game, and Leyland tries to take him out, unless he's thrown like 200 pitches, he's gonna say "Skip, I cannot come out of this game."  He'll just refuse to hand over the ball.  I can't say I blame him.  

Once again, the offense just could not get it going, scoring their two runs in the first inning.  Do you realize that after Santiago dropped below .300 tonight, there was noone in the lineup with a batting average over .300? Geez.  Oh, Marcus Thames, please come back and put a charge into these guys tomorrow.   Puh-leeeez.

It was a happy vibe at the park tonight, with the Red Wings score flashing on the Jumbotron periodically, with enthusiastic cheers from the crowd with each goal.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Oh, the agony.  I had to sit at Comerica Park and witness Fernando Rodney take Verlander's gem and pulverize it.  I had to watch Curtis Granderson foul out to end the game, after we had closed the gap from 2-0 to 2-1, and had the tying run on third.  You may have noticed a maddening trend.  The Tigers, when trailing in a game late, play games with our emotions, staging a comeback, but falling tragically short.  

Is it possible that such an outing by a starter has been squandered so needlessly?  Our offense is so anemic, I'm prescribing prenatal vitamins to all.  They'd better be out there for 6:00 am batting practice tomorrow.  

Magglio Ordóñez and Gerald Laird both had doubles, but neither scored.  Whimper...groan.

It was exciting when the crowd realized Miguel Cabrera was coming into the game to pinch hit for Clete Thomas.  It was like mighty Casey was stepping to the plate.  Very electric.  It was a tad underwhelming when he walked, but certainly better than a strike-out.

One funny/pathetic note.  After Laird's double, the scoreboard displayed the slogan "Be Scared of Laird."  Seriously.

Can we really hope that Edwin Jackson, he of the very paltry run support, actually gets some tomorrow?  It may be asking too much.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tale of Two Teams

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

The Tigers were atop the AL Central.  The Tigers got swept by the Red Sox.

Justin Verlander leads the American League in strikeouts.   Dontrelle Willis loses ability to throw strikes mid-game.

Rick Porcello wins AL Rookie of the Month.  Zach Miner and Nate Robertson show they are ineffective as relievers.

Ryan Perry comes in today and allows no hits, no walks.   The remainder of the Tigers pitching staff makes enemies with the strike zone, surrendering NINE walks.

Justin Verlander wins AL Pitcher of the Month.  The Tiger bats go silent.

Jeremy Bonderman is finally ready to come off the DL.  Carlos Guillen is still a long ways off.

Are you feeling the dichotomy?  I've got to be honest.  The top of the third inning today had me ready to assume the fetal position and sob/rock myself to sleep so I could escape the horrible sadness.

I hate losing to good teams, because I don't want to hear sports analysts say we can't match up with Boston or New York.

All I can say is shake it off boys, you've got the Angels on tap.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Busy Night

Think the big news tonight is Josh Beckett's bid for a no-hitter?  Wrong!

Tom Glavine's release(!) from the Braves?  Good guess, but no.  Well, maybe if you're a public relations firm, which Atlanta will be hiring to do damage control.

In a stunning move, the Braves have traded prized (and former Tigers) prospect Gorkys Hernandez plus two pitchers (their names are irrelevant here) to the Pirates for Nate McLouth.  (Thank you Big League Stew!) Hernandez was sacrificed by the Tigers with Jair Jurrjens (currently 5-2, 2.59 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, with opponents batting .241 against) in the Edgar Renteria trade.  (Could all boos, cat-calls, and spewing of expletives please come to a halt?)

Now you may say that Gorkys is exiled to baseball purgatory, Pittsburgh being a place in which the last 16 seasons have been losing efforts.  We're not just talking about sub-.500 records here, but something a bit grander--the Pirates have lost no less than 87 games in each of the last eight seasons.  (Yes, this is a most opportune moment to offer your sincerest sympathies to Pittsburgh faithful world-wide.)

Do not extend your sympathy too far, however.  I just read an ESPN the Magazine article (June 1, 2009, page 44) that chronicled the Pirates' recent rebuilding efforts.  They are methodical and well-thought. They're not trying to buy one championship (or one winning season) only to be back at square one.  It's a long-term plan--one that's hopefully understood by serious fans, or there could be some boos, cat-calls and expletives heaped upon Pirates' executives upon their entry into favorite coffee shops.  Only time will tell, of course, but their blue-prints may be very sound indeed.

All of this was said to distract you and me from the past two losses at the hands of the Sox, and save us from ripping hair directly from our heads' tender follicles.  I say no more on the matter, except to console you further with the salve that Chicago, Minnesota and Kansas City all lost tonight too.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sponsor Your Tiger

Old English D is now the proud sponsor of Magglio Ordóñez' player page at Baseball Reference.

Many bloggers and baseball lovers alike use Baseball Reference all the time for good statistical information.

I encourage you to sponsor a page and support their good work.  Sponsorships vary in price (you guessed it the premier players' sponsorships cost more), but some are as low as $10.  So go out there and sponsor Barbaro Garbey why don't  you?  Baseball Reference will even send you an e-mail alert when a desired page becomes available for sponsorship.

Go Magglio!

Off Day Offerings

Here are a few good links for an off day.  Enjoy!

Big League Stew points out a web site dedicated to the over-hype of Matt Wieters.   Here is just one of the many "facts" posted there:  "Matt Wieters Is A Six-Tool Player- The Sixth Tool Is AWESOMENESS."  We need more about him, don't we?  Thank goodness there's no such Luke Scott site.  Actually, maybe there is, I just don't want to know about it.

Hazaa author J. Ellet Lambie gets the ultimate get:  an informal/impromptu chat with Milt Wilcox.  Jealousy rears its ugly head.

Baltimore Sun blogger Peter Schmuck agreed with me about pitching to Luke Scott:

"I'm pretty sure Tigers manager Jim Leyland has told his pitchers that the next fastball strike anybody throws to Scott will result in some particularly gruesome form of corporal punishment."

I was hoping for a series of intentional walks to Scott on Sunday, but instead Jackson showed him who's boss.   That works too!

 Verlander is up for Clutch Performer of the Month--from Beck's Blog.  Vote early, vote often.

Boston tomorrow.  Who's ready?