Saturday, October 23, 2010

Joe Girardi Emotes Like a Roomba

In watching last night's ALCS finale, in which my friend and I exulted over the Yankees' playoff elimination, we couldn't help but notice Joe Girardi's utter lack of emotional expression over the game's many meltdown moments.

Phil Hughes implodes? Calmly walk to mound and slowly tap forearm to signal for reliever.

David Robertson lasts a third of an inning and his ERA is 16.20? Turn in x-mo to the dugout phone and request that someone please begin throwing. Gingerly replace phone receiver on its cradle.

Robinson Cano grounds into a double play? Que sera, sera.

Curtis Granderson gets nipped trying to steal second? La di da, these things will happen.

Team is 0-3 with RISP? Come come now, kiddies, no cause for consternation.

Seriously, I never saw his breathing accelerate one iota, never saw his facial muscles constrict, never saw a blood vessel pop out, never saw his jaw set, never saw a flush of red rise up his neck and spread over his cheeks.

Now, here is my question to you. Was Girardi actually devoid of frustration, rage or angst, or was he maintaining a rock-solid poker face, but roiling on the inside all the while?

Get a load of the ultimate irony. In a post-game interview, the FIRST question posed to Girardi is:

"Can you just start, first of all, by expressing your feelings about the game, and your season?"

Did you not see automaton in action the whole game? Feelings?? What feelings? If he did have any, he sure as shootin' aint sharin' 'em with you, partner.

Hey Joe, maybe it would help your players once in a while to see a little fire or ice, you know? You could try it year. If the Yankees retain your services. Ha.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Will Kirk GIbson Be the Next Manager of the Tigers?

I'm not trying to push Jim Leyland out of town here, but I just wonder if Gibby might be his successor. Today, Gibson announced that he's donated a bunch of memorabilia from the 1988 World Series to his foundation. The items will be auctioned off, and Gibson's foundation benefits two Michigan high schools and Michigan State University. Included in the memorabilia are the bat, helmet and uniform used to in Gibson's historic 1988 World Series game 1 homer. According to an article by Jason Beck, Gibby plans to hold onto his Tigers memorabilia, for now. In referring to the Tigers items, Gibson said, "I just have my reasons. We'll just leave it at that."

You know what? I think those reasons are that the 1984 Tigers, and the Tigers in general are very dear to Gibson's heart. He's from Michigan, he came up in the Tigers system, he's lived here forever. I know for a fact that his feelings were very hurt when he and the rest of Trammell's staff were rather unceremoniously dumped in 2005. I heard him in an interview on sports talk radio last year. At one point, GIbson admitted something like he hadn't been following the Red Wings, and the host joked that maybe Gibson would lose his Michigan card over that one. Gibson retorted that he thought he'd already lost it. He was no doubt referencing the 2005 ouster. It was a raw deal for Tram, Gibby and the rest of the crew. They were brought into a losing proposition, and management knew it. The team was garbage. They needed something to improve the gate, to garner some good pub. Well, the Bless You Boys from 1984 fit the bill. Tram was underexperienced and proved himself unable to handle a big league clubhouse. Gibson had no coaching experience, while Lance Parrish had spent some time coaching in the minor leagues and with the Tigers previously.

Things are different now. Gibson has spent the past years as bench coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks. This year, after the mid-season firing of A.J. Hinch, Gibson was named interim manager. I hoped the team would give him a fair shot at retaining the job. Indeed they did, removing the interim from his job title for the 2011 season. I was very happy for Gibson to get the opportunity to manage. I will follow him with interest, and with an eye toward the future.

Like I said, I think Gibson is hanging onto to the Tigers stuff because it's still close to his heart. I think he would jump at the chance to manage the Tigers. Nostalgia notwithstanding, I hope he gets to make that leap. I think he'll make a fine manager. He's fiery, a good motivator, and is very committed to anything he sets out to do. Kirk Gibson, Detroit Tigers Manager. That has a very satisfying ring to it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Inquiring Minds

Piercing questions for the 2010 playoffs: Jayson Werth is channeling George Armstrong Custer. Is he anticipating a last stand against some giants? Planning to call in the cavalry? Just wondering.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

An Airtight Case

I recently admitted to fellow blogger Rogo of DesigNate Robertson that I would rather the Tigers retain Magglio Ordóñez than sign free agent Adam Dunn. His kind response was "you're nuts." My rejoinder was that I knew it and didn't care.

Let us delve a little further into the demented mind that would choose an aging Ordóñez over the ball-crushing Dunn. To begin, I freely admit my own blind prejudice. Magglio is my favorite player. I want him to retire a Tiger. Of course my reasoning will be colored (note I did not say polluted) by these facts. Therefore, I am not setting out to prove that Magglio is a better player than Dunn. However, I do want to look a little closer at the two to see just how outlandish my preference might be, or whether I can rationalize it with some (nifty massaging) of stats. These stats come to you via Baseball-Reference, a site at which I encourage you to sponsor your favorite Tiger. It helps support the outstanding work at Baseball Reference, and you get the opportunity to place a message on your player's page. Old English D is the proud sponsor of Larry Herndon's player page on Baseball Reference. But I digress. Let's get back to the rigged Ordóñez/Dunn showdown, shall we?


Because Ordóñez' season was cut (tragically) short, and because I don't want to project his numbers (because then folks will cry foul--I mean, I may be biased, but I'm trying to maintain a mere semblance of credibility), I am using stats from Magglio's 2007 - 2009 seasons, while Dunn's offensive numbers are from 2008-2010.



2008 .236/.386/.898/100/40/164/7

2009 .267/.398/.928/105/38/177/8

2010 .260/.356/.892/103/38/199/10



2007 .363/.434/1.029/139/28/79/20

2008 .317/.376/.869/103/21/76/27

2009 .310/.376/.804/50/9/65/19

In looking at these lines, I really don't see that I am totally certifiable in my preference. Yes, Dunn has more home run power, but his OPS isn't blowing Magglio out of the water. He strikes out WAY more, but doesn't GDP nearly as often. Yes, I realize Magglio's power numbers are probably only going to decline as we get into the autumn of his career. However, to bring up the forbidden projections, he was on pace to hit over 20 home runs in 2010, and his slugging percentage was .474, with an OPS of .872. I'm using statistics that favor my position. At least give me credit for admitting my slant, and not feigning impartiality. Thank you.


I'm not going to look at Dunn's work at first base for the Nats in 2010, because we all know he won't see much time at first if he's wearing the Old English D. In 2008 and 2009, playing left or right field, here are Dunn's Total Zone Total Fielding Runs Above (below) Average (RTot) numbers

2008 CIN LF -9 (110 games)
2008 ARI RF -6 (23 games)
2008 ARI LF 4 (9 games)
2009 WASH LF -14 (62 games)
2009 WASH RF -13 (22 games)

Now for Magglio's RTot numbers for the same time period:

2008 DET RF -8 (135 games)
2009 DET RF -9 (104 games)

In a July 2009 piece for Sports Illustrated, Cliff Corcoran stated that you could do no worse in left field than Adam Dunn. Ha. I know he'd likely be a full-time DH here in the D, but so what? I'm making my point here. You may recall my earlier caveat. I do not abide by strict rules of rationality and fairness.

So here you have it--a clearly partisan look at Adam Dunn and Magglio Ordóñez. Mi Magglio comes out on top. The best part of my system is that it cannot be refuted! How do you combat faulty logic and homerism? YOU CAN'T! Take that, Rogo. My point has been proven.

Enjoy the Lincecum/Halladay duel this evening, kids.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Please Recommend a Barbaric Form of Torture for this Hack

I'm in a bad mood. You know what I feel like doing? Tearing apart some idiot's pathetic writing. You know who that idiot is? Yours truly.

Sometimes it's painful to look back at a poorly written piece. Sure I could just delete it off the site, but let's have a little fun with it instead.

I penned a little ode to Phil Coke a while back. Listen to this swill, if you've got a strong stomach:

"He's a gamer. *snip* He always wants the ball."

Are you serious? Could you be more hackneyed? Let's try to run up a few more stereotypes, shall we? Of course he wants the ball, he's a pitcher, you half wit. A "gamer?" Come on. That term should long have been banished from the book of baseball jargon.

Here's some more unfiltered sewage to flood your basement and pollute your home with fumes so raw a maggot-riddled corpse would rise up and run away screaming:

"He shoulders blame like a regular pack mule. Personal responsibility is like Phil Coke's credo or something. He doesn't look outside himself. It HURTS when he gets hit around. He's not just out there to collect that paycheck."

Pack mule? Not out there to collect that paycheck? I just made myself gag. Is that possible?

I would like to issue a personal mea culpa to the reader, and it won't be some half-baked line of "non-apology" apology drivel either. I would like to shoulder the responsibility like a pack mule. This stuff is just pure garbage. I will be vigilant against it in the future.