Sunday, May 31, 2009


Whew, I'm relieved the Os didn't sweep this series, because I would've lost a little wager, and been forced into sporting an Orioles window cling in my car for the next week, in place of my Old English D.  That was a little too close for comfort--losing the first two games, getting scalded by Luke Scott.

Edwin Jackson just tore it up today.  Two hits?  Eight innings, 102 pitches?  In Camden?  Not too shabby.  Good thing, too, since the Tigers managed all of three runs.  He's learned not to count on run support this season.

Well, Magglio's 16-game hit streak came to an end, but he sure gave in gracefully, not forcing anything, taking a walk in the 8th.  I'm just happy he's raised his average to .280.  Mario mentioned that McClendon's been working with him on keeping his hands up, and it seems to be working.

We finally managed to contain that imaginary Oriole Luke Scott, who naturally went 0-3, because he doesn't exist.  I'll admit, I was hoping for Jim Leyland to call for the intentional base on balls each time Luke Scott came up to the plate, but for once, it worked out pitching to him.   Hmm, well what do you know about that?  All the same, I'm pretty overjoyed the Os are not in the AL Central.  We'd have to make some ridiculous unequal trade to obtain him, or pay some thug to take a lead pipe to his knees.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Luke Who?

I've never heard of Luke Scott.  Luke Skywalker, Byron Scott, yes I've heard of them both, but Luke Scott?  No.  I disbelieve in his existence altogether.  Denial is self-preservation.  I advise you to try it.

Also, visualize world peace?   No, visualize the destruction of the non-existent Luke Scott--before tonight's game if at all possible.

Thankfully, I was spared first-hand knowledge of last night's debacle due to my son's game (also a loss, although to be fair the other team looked like it was on some killer designer steroids) and cooking dinner for some friends.  Trust me, the box score was grisly enough for me.

I trust that tonight's game will have a less spectacularly gruesome outcome.  

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Strike First and Win

According to the Tigers Game Notes for May 27, the Tigers are 21-9 when they score first in games, and only 4-10 when the opponent gets on the board first.  I kind of hate knowing that.  Now I'll be having gastric convulsions when we fail to score the first run.

Now the Os are on a bit of a high after coming back in dramatic fashion to sweep the Jay birds last night.  They were down 8-3 in the bottom of the eighth and scored five runs in that frame to tie it up.  Things were then knotted up until the 11th when the Jays scored two runs to spark a glimmer of hope that they'd end their eight game skid.  Not so fast, Blue Jays.  The Orioles plated four runs to win 12-10, capped by a walk-off 3-run Nolan Reimold jack.

Os hurler David Hernandez, 23, will be making his major league debut tonight, going up against embattled Tiger Armando Galarraga.   Also debuting this series (Friday to be exact) for Baltimore is key prospect Matt Wieters at catcher.  No pressure young man, you're just being thrust into the starting catcher's role in the bigs, ousting veteran Gregg Zaun.  Actually, the Os have been very careful with Wieters over the past two years, so they feel he's definitely ready.

On the Tigers side, we'll be collectively holding our breath (especially those first couple innings) to see how Galarraga performs.  Must be a little hard for him being the "weak link" in the rotation this year after being the lone bright spot last season.  Also on the line is Magglio Ordóñez' 13 game hitting streak.  It hasn't been exactly a tear, more like 1-4 and the like, but I'll take that for starters.  Beat the streak!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Oh Very Young

What will you leave us this time? --Cat Stevens

Well, very young Porcello will leave us with the satisfaction that he's the first rookie aged 20 or younger to win five straight games since the phenom Doc Gooden did it in 1984 (and 1985).  It's just the Sanders fudge atop vanilla ice cream to see him doing so well, developing his breaking ball and change-up, maintaining remarkable poise even after giving up the home run ball.  He can't celebrate with a beer jut yet, but this boy will be clinking glasses of high-octane Mountain Dew after tonight's little piece of history.

Once again, I understand that Rodney needed work, but will they never learn that a non-save situation for Fernando equals horror show?  I suppose the margin was wide enough to support a Rodney appearance in the non-save situation, but it makes for a grisly ninth inning.  And the funny thing is I'm a pretty big Rodney supporter.  I can't imagine how the haters feel.

First place is one nice place to be.  Here's to the Tigers still being in first place when it counts.

Running Up the Score

Let me start by saying there's no such thing as running up the score in the pros.  In the pros, you're entitled to score as many runs/points/baskets, etc. as you wish, and the opposing team has no right to whine.   There's no crying in baseball.  Bill Belichek is well known (well loathed) for running up the score, but you can't really get mad at him for that.  There are plenty of other reasons to heap coals of hatred on his head.

Having said that, I was just a smidge surprised when the Royals, during the bottom of the 8th inning of Tuesday's game, ahead 5-1, inserted a pinch runner for Mike Jacobs after he hit a double.  The reason for my surprise was this:  Greinke was on the hill.   You're not comfortable with a four run lead with Greinke on the mound?   Really?  Remember, his ERA is still sub one.  Remember, his only loss of the season came in a 1-0 duel.  Remember, he hasn't surrendered any home runs this season.

It wasn't that I was upset they were trying to add on, but like I said, a little caught off guard.  Actually, though, since the Royals don't have the most potent offense, they're probably always in manufacture mode as far as runs are concerned.

Update re:  crying in baseball.  Rod and Mario were just describing how Willie Horton and Todd Jones were crying in the clubhouse when the Tigers clinched a playoff berth in 2006 in Kansas City.  But see, those were tears of joy.  That's a whole different thing, you know.

A Greinke, A Greinke, A Fun and a Wonderful Toy

So we got Greinke-d for the second time this year.  At least we can’t say it hasn’t happened to a lot of other teams.  And really, we had our opportunities with some early baserunners, but they got erased by timely (untimely) double plays.


Um, did Edwin Jackson skip out on PFP this spring?  Errant throws by pitchers that remind us of the 2006 World Series are not permitted.


It’s a good thing the “Who’s Your Tiger” campaign has come to an end, because no one would have Brandon Lyon as their Tiger, and this would give him quite a complex.  I’m sorry, but when you come into a game and immediately surrender the long ball, it’s just not endearing.


It was nice to see Nate Robertson have a clean outing, even if it was only a third of an inning.  Straight zeros across his line.  Very neat and tidy.


That’s all I got for last night’s game folks.  Let’s just move on--quickly.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Saluting the Umpire

Rod and Mario brought to our attention a rather interesting little spectacle during today's Memorial Day rout of Kansas City.  Justin Verlander pitched seven scoreless frames for the Tigers.  Before he went into the clubhouse to hit the showers, he stood at the front of the dugout and waited until he could get home plate umpire Paul Emmel's attention.  He then gave him a little salute to acknowledge the good job the ump did in today's contest.  It struck me as a little odd.  It was like giving some of the credit to the ump for making favorable calls.  It was pantomime for "Hey Mr. Umpire, thank you for calling the strike on outside corner today.  I hope this acknowledgement will induce you to have a generous strike zone the next time you're behind the plate."  However, Rod and Mario said this little pitcher/umpire interaction is becoming more commonplace.  So maybe it's more of a courtesy, but it caught me off guard, nonetheless.

I guess you'd have to say the Royals disagreed with the assertion that the ump was doing a good job.  In the bottom of the eighth, there was a called third strike on Willie Bloomquist that appeared a tad low.  Trey Hillman then proceeded to get ejected for arguing balls and strikes.  It's all a matter of perspective.  From a Tiger fan's vantage point, this game was a beauty.  Sorry Royals.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Clete Thomas, I'm Sorry

In my ode to defense, I forgot to mention Thomas' brilliant assist, throwing a strike from right field to gun down Nelson Cruz at the plate.  Most excellent, Clete.  And now, you get your own post out of it, so it works out in your favor, see?

Gimme a D!

I had to DVR this game and then bury my head in the sand to avoid hearing the outcome.  I didn't finish watching until well after 11:00 pm.  What a worthwhile little endeavor that was.

Brandon Inge.  I must now extol the virtues of his vertical.  He saved a run and a certain Sardinha error with that leaping snare.  I have to admit, I was giggling with delight after that play.

Kinsler was putting on a one-man circus on defense as well.  Step right up, see second baseman run down a ball in foul territory, making a diving basket catch.  See him pinch the lead runner, ranging to his left and getting off a spot-on throw.  Step right up--you'll get your money's worth with the Ian Kinsler show, baseball fans.

Not to be outdone, Jarrod Saltalamacchia throws Jeff Larish out at second in the fourth inning.  Better, though, was him losing a foul pop in the sun and covering his head with his mitt in defense of his noggin.  Even the umpire was smirking to himself afterward.

In a not so sparkling defensive play, Clete Thomas misses a deep fly off the wall in the eighth, putting the tying runs in scoring position.  To be fair, it was a tough-ish play, and rightly not scored an error, IMO.  Mr. Jackson nearly extricated himself from the inning before giving up a double to Nelson Cruz to put things all square at three.  Jim Leyland decides to test Edwin Jackson's grit by letting him have a go at finishing the 8th with runners on first and third.  He triumphed on his 132nd pitch by striking out Saltalamacchia.  Jackson was staring off into space shaking his head ever so slightly in the dugout afterward, as if in disbelief that he was left out there so long, that he threw that many pitches, that he got out of it without surrendering the lead.  Oh the glory of it.  Hey, that's still a quality start.

I loved that Millwood and Jackson were both out there dueling in the 8th, and each in hot water.  It added to the drama.

And, oh, such a cute little bloop single by the mighty Cabrera to score Polanco.  You cannot script this stuff, and that's why this game is so intoxicating.

Finally, our use-me-only-in-save-situations-or-I'll-breed-many-ulcers-in-your-stomach-lining closer Fernando Rodney comes in to try to obtain his eighth save in as many opportunities.  Does he convert?  Oh, he does, you doubters.  Yes he does.  Does he give us an ulcer anyway, as vengeance because he's been used in many non-save situations lately?  Yes he does.  And again, it goes back to defense as we turn a lovely 4-6-3 double play to end it.

Bless you boys!

Oh yeah, and a triple play

I failed to mention that Detroit had the dubious honor tonight of having a triple play turned on them.  I guess it would be stupid to pretend it didn't happen.  Gerald Laird is gonna have to be the scapegoat for this.  Wait, not the whole goat, as Leyland had the hit and run on, which enabled the whole thing to come together very neatly for the Rangers.  

OK, here's how it went.  Inge on 2nd, Raburn on 1st.  Laird hits a liner to Kinsler, who flips to Andrus at second, who then tags Raburn to complete the trifecta.   Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Well, that would have been a real punch to the gut if not for the teensy little fact that we won the game.  All's well that ends well!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

That Ball is Outa Here!

I was privileged to see Wilkin Ramirez' MLB debut tonight.  He kind of came in with a bang, you might say.  Although he struck out twice, he hit a 433 foot blast into the center-field shrubbery in his other at-bat of the night.  Not a bad way to come into the majors.  The excitement showed in his sprint around the bases and exuberant high fives afterward.  I'm happy for the kid.  It'll be nice to have such a good memory of his first game.  He may not be up here that long right now, so it'll give him a little token of his time in the bigs.

Justin Verlander pitched well again, but had another elevated pitch count, and could only complete six innings.  Then we had to see Brandon Lyon take the mound, and sure enough, he gave a up the long ball on the very first pitch.  He did mitigate after that, but geez.

The young drunkards were pretty funny tonight.  One spent a sum total of about 5 minutes in his seat the whole night.  The rest of the time, he was engaged in getting drinks for himself and the other three people who were with him.  Seriously.  The entire game.  I'm pretty sure you can drink for a lot cheaper than at the CoPa, if that's what you're into.   At the end of this game, this same guy is wondering why we're not batting in the bottom of the 9th.   I'd like to say that I'm kidding, but no.

Another guy was telling me how he spent most of last year partying with Dave Rozema, and what a great guy he is, and what a jerk Kirk Gibson is by comparison.  He's got Dave Rozema's number in his cell right now.  He said that Dave says he doesn't want the Tigers to win another World Series while he's still alive.  Wow, hateration from Dave Rozema.  Do not steal this man's '84 thunder.

Anyway, it was a beautiful night to be at the park.  On the way home, I was listening to Jim Price and Dan Dickerson.  Jim was fairly gushing about this '09 Tigers team, saying they know how to play the game, and are getting contributions from everyone, playing fundamentally sound.  Yezzir.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


That's got to feel good for Dontrelle.  A winning record.  No losses.  A fresh start. 

One hit.  Two walks.  Five Ks.  Zero runs.

G'night all!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Under His Skin

When I was at Sunday's game, the guy sitting next to me mentioned that he and some buddies had been at Saturday's game sitting in left field.  He said they got under Matt Holliday's skin "pretty good."  I asked how and he said the whole section was chanting "0 for 4, 0 for 4."  And then when Gerald Laird hit a gapper between Holliday and Sweeney in the 7th, they heckled Holliday further, saying "that's how you get a hit."

Apparently, they really DID get to Holliday, because he turned around and flipped them the bird.  

Wow.  I don't think major leaguers are supposed to do that.  In fact, the official MLB rules expressly forbid it:

"3.09 Players in uniform shall not address or mingle with spectators, nor sit in the stands before, during, or after a game. No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game."

Ooh, Holliday could have received disciplinary action for that little gesture.

Holliday may be a little cranky due to the fact that he's slumping, hitting only .267  with 4 home runs, .338 OBP, .412 SLG.  He may be suffering from weighty expectations and the criticism that his hitting was inflated by playing at Coors Field.  His splits do tell the tale--he hit .357/.423/.645 at Coors and .281/.347/.454 on the road (Baseball Reference).  Pretty dramatic disparity.

Hecklers can either be very funny or incredibly annoying.  There's nothing worse than a loutish heckler who repeatedly yells the same tired line:  "you suck."  You've got to be funny and original.  It's got to be gratifying to get a reaction from a player.  You know you've done your job as a heckler, and helped out the home team by taking a guy out of his game.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Little Jimmy Jackson

On FSN's Tigers Live show last night, Leyland was asked what he thinks brought Raburn's hitting around the last couple games.  He said that he threatened to take away his walk up music.  He was like "I told him no more "Little Jimmy Jackson, and he started hitting."  Actually, Leyland told Jason Beck that he thought Raburn was pressing a lot, and has finally relaxed.  Funny stuff.  Raburn's walk up song is titled "Hicktown," performed by Jason Aldean.   Enquiring minds.


I decided at 11:00 this morning to catch today's series finale.  Kind of a good move on my part.

Got to see the Tigers finish off their second sweep in three series. (Never mind that little sweep by MN in between.)  The weather was sparkling sunshine, cool and breezy.  

I'm happy to report that Adam Kennedy's home run ball is safe within the confines of my home at this moment.  Now, hold on before you go off the deep end.  I fully subscribe to the unwritten rule that if you catch an opponent's home run ball, you throw it back on the field.   Here's what happened.   The ball caromed off the top of the right field wall all the way into center field.  Grandy picked it up and flipped it right at my kid.  The kid bobbled it and the guy sitting next to us picked it up and handed it back to my kid--thank you, sir!  So, you see, no violation of fan code has occurred.

Sadly Galarraga did not make if out of inning number one.  It was a little ugly out there for him today.  He may be the one squeezed out of the rotation if Bonderman comes back in form, and Willis is able to compete.  Who would have predicted that?  I hope it doesn't come to that, but it'll be nice to have some options if it does.  I know that he wasn't likely to keep his BABIP down as low as last year, but such a complete meltdown is alarming and unforeseen.  

Miner came on for 4.1 innings, and I was surprised he wasn't out there even longer.  Not that he was throwing all that great, but he is fully stretched out and all.  It worked out nicely though, as we got to see young Monsieur French do nicely after walking his first two batters faced.  Leyland came out to sprinkle some of that magic dust on the mound for him, and it seemed to do the trick.

Ramon Santiago is such a stud right now, despite his diminutive stature.  He was standing next to Cabrera during the game, and he looked like one of those "kids take the field" whipper snappers.  Speaking of which, the little guy who got to go out to center field today didn't realize he was supposed to run off the field once Grandy gave him his ball and shook his hand.  Curtis had to lean over and gently direct the young fella.  Getting back to Santiago, he fell a double shy of the cycle today, and one of his singles was almost long enough to try stretching to a double.   After a failed trip to the ferris wheel (monstrous line on free kids Sunday), we got back to our seats just in time to see his three run shot in the third.

Finally, my son enjoyed kids run the bases, while I tried to look nonchalant as I soaked up the parents' designated walk along the first base line, around home plate and past the empty Tigers' dugout.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Save Some for Tomorrow

Hey, I like scoring a truck-load of runs as much as the next guy.  Could it be said that two grand slams in one game is a little greedy?  Perhaps.  We haven't done it since 1968, when Jim Northrup hit both!  

What I don't like is getting skunked the following game.  I've seen the Tigers do that a couple times in the past.  Let's avoid that scenario tomorrow, could we?

Ryan Raburn must have heard me bad-mouthing him moments before he knocked in four runs with one swing of the bat.  I said something about him probably belonging down in AAA.  This comment was based partly on his sub .100 batting average, and partly on several fielding mishaps (read disasters) that have occurred in his limited playing time with the big club this year.   Well, you've shut my mouth (for now).  Very nicely done.

Brandon Inge, also oft-maligned by yours truly, decides to silence my criticism as well.  I'm happy to give credit where it's due.  The power certainly seems on the increase for Mr. "Inge-credible" this year.

Edwin Jackson's ERA now stands at 2.42, and he walked NOONE.   He averaged 4 walks per 9 last year.  His WHIP is down to 1.07.  Hmmm, I'm tempted to heap lavish praise on him right about now.  Last time I did that, it seemed a little over the top.  I'll just say, I'm pleased to say Edwin Jackson is wearing the Old English D.

Magglio Ordóñez defies the doom and gloom-ers who insist he's on a serious decline, and goes 3-3 with a walk and two RBIs.

Young Luke French comes into a nice low-pressure situation, spotted 13 runs, and gets a 1-2-3 9th inning.

Just a feel good night. 

Bunch of New Bloggers

There are several newish additions to the Tigers blogging community.  When I first started out (not so long ago), many of the veteran bloggers were supportive, kind and encouraging.  I really appreciated that.  So, here's an enthusiastic welcome to several newer writers.  I can never get enough of Tiger baseball, so new additions make me a happy reader.  The links have been added to the blog roll at right.

Check 'em out.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Poor lil Justin.  I could see the frustration in the way he was crushing his Gatorade cups and throwing them down in the dugout.  He strikes out a career high 13 batters, is out there on the hill twirling a gem, and gets a no decision out of it, and the team takes a loss.

After last night's kick in the cornflakes, who'da thought it could get worse?  Well it did.  We got swept at the Metro-dump.  That smarts, people.  With two good chances to win, we come away with nil, and reduce our road trip to a losing effort 3 and 4.

If someone were forcing me to come up with a couple positives, they would be this:

We got to see a spectacular eruption by Jim Leyland after home plate umpire Paul Schrieber puts his hand on Magglio Ordóñez' back in attempt to usher him back to the dugout after a disputed called third strike.  Leyland was totally gonzo.   That was great.  Number one, it was just fun to watch.  Number two, I like to see a manager stick up for his player like that.  Even if Leyland totally backed off today and said he hopes Schrieber doesn't get fined or suspended.  I'm fine with all that.  It's clear Schreiber was trying to avoid having to toss Magglio, but he shouldn't have put his hand on him.  That's because a player would be suspended for such conduct, and a huge deal would have been made about a player making contact with an umpire.   Turnabout is fair play, you know.  It's understandable that Ordóñez and Leyland were a wee bit upset last night when it first happened, because it's clear they were thinking about how it would have gone down if Magglio had initiated contact.

Also, I do believe we came just shy of seeing a position player pitching for the Tigers.   We all know that would have been Brandon Inge.  He's first in line for that job.  I, for one, am always tickled when a position player pitches.  I want to see every pitch.  I know a lot of guys pitched in college and whatnot, but when you haven't done it in a while, and you're just thrown out there cold, it's compelling drama, you know?

But, all in all, a very traumatizing little junket into Twinkie-land.  So happy the boys are coming home now.  Lick your wounds, and get ready to put a whupping on Oakland.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Deep Breaths and Righteous Indignation

I'm not going to sit here and lie to you.  As I began watching Dontrelle Willis' start tonight, I literally found myself, in between pitches, closing my eyes and inhaling deeply.  No hyperbole.  I was that nervous.  Mike McClary at The Daily Fungo has already given Dontrelle what he terms an "advance mulligan" for tonight's game.   This is wise.  It's the Metrodome, for one, and it's his first start after coming off the DL with an anxiety disorder, for two.  It seems that Dontrelle was quite nonplussed over the whole diagnosis and trip to the DL.  Naturally, now, there's his whole baseball career hanging in the balance and whatnot, so let's allow him to get one start under his belt before the judgment comes rushing in.  I know there won't be a long leash, nor should there be.  I'm just saying, give the guy one start to get his sea legs back.  As I finish up this post, Willis exits the game after 4.2 innings.  Not a disaster, not a jewel, but possibly something he can build on.

Ok.  Now, I must move on to the other topic of the hour.  Magglio Ordóñez is not likely to finish out the season wearing the Old English D.  Always a Tiger?  Think again.  I blame this whole situation on Scott Boras, and you'll soon see why.  Michael Rosenberg pens a column today for the Freep, which outlines the impossible nature of Magglio's contract, and the resulting quandary in which the Tigers find themselves.  If Magglio reaches either 135 game appearances or 540 at bats, hit option for next year automatically kicks in.  That options pays Ordóñez $18 next year.  Now, that figure approaches outlandish in the current market.  In addition, Ordóñez is 35 this year, and is a below average fielder and baserunner.  All of these circumstances conspire to get the rumor mill a-going, and good.  Many are predicting Magglio's outright release, so we eat this year's salary, but are off the hook for next year, other than a $3 million buyout.  I ask you, is it right that his career in Detroit could end in this way?  It strikes me as completely ridiculous.  How--how in the name of balls and strikes does it come to this?  Noone, not even I, could expect Illitch to pay out $30 million to Ordóñez over the next two years, nor will any team touch that contract.

I don't blame the club, because the market at that time was different, and Detroit had to overpay a little to get some talent to come here after the likes of the 2003 season.  I don't blame Ordóñez, because he had just been burned by Chicago, and felt he had to just go out and get what he could.  

I DO blame Scott Boras, evil überagent.  First, it's convenient to have an outsider on which to lay blame.  Second, he pollutes and corrupts all he touches.  Third, only Scott Boras, with his grinchy heart, 20 sizes too small, could craft such a contract and be brazen enough to bring it to the table and get it signed.  He doesn't care about us Whos down in Whoville, who love the game of baseball, and our ballplayers too.  Nope, it's only the jingle of millions in his pocket that motivates and delights such a man.

So, I demonize Boras in attempt to soothe my achy heart.  I'm sure a fan's ire has about as much impact on him as a mosquito hitting the grille of an 18-wheeler , but I put it out there just the same.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gift Horse: Looked in the Mouth

I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to share these snaps with you.  Today seems to be the day, as the Tigers (Morris' 77-90 team) are playing the Twins (Morris' 91 team and current employer--he's in his 6th year as a Twinkies broacaster).  You surely do not recall (I don't expect retention of the fare produced here) that I mentioned I was going to the game on Monday, May 4.  The giveaway that night was a Jack Morris jersey/t-shirt.

Due to the reduced numbers of Tiger faithful at the CoPa this year, I became one of the 10,000 fortunate fans to receive the #47 tent/awning, I mean jersey/t-shirt.  My first thought was to wonder whether Morris had to approve the t-shirt.  Now, I feel a little guilty bagging on a freebie, because I kind of hate when people complain about stuff that's given to them, but somehow my I managed to shove that feeling aside long enough to get this post up, so...

I think there was only one size--XL.  I thought I saw some people with smaller sizes on, but someone said they were told there was only one size.  I understand that it would be a logistical nightmare to have different sizes, and you've got to just put it out there as is, and whoever likes it/wants it is happy.  Mine fits me like a glove--yeah, Shaq's glove.  I  mean, I'm not a small girl, but let's just say it's a lot of fabric.  Maybe I'm looking at this all wrong.  I should be thinking, this is a t-shirt for two.  Let's get snug in it together.  The Belle Tire logo is ever so prominently displayed on the arm.  Sure, they sponsored the promotion, they want recognition.  Who can forget Belle Tire, what with the same ad running between every half inning on FSN (and then in our heads like a hamster on a wheel)?

Anyway, the Tigers have done some really great promotional giveaways--like the DVD of Verlander's no-hitter.  That was a gem.   Sorry I wasn't more grateful for this one.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Metro-dump

I wish I could say this is the last time the Tigers will play in the landfill known as the Metrodome.  Sadly, barring post-season play, that date does not arrive until September 20, 2009. 

Allow me to express, with heightened fervor, my abject abhorrence of the park in which home games are played by the Minnesota Twins.  The reasons are obvious, but I don't mind mentioning them:

The Baggie--offensive in its garbage bag plasticity.  This is not a wall, it's a disposable partition fashioned of sheeting.

The Carpet--so wretchedly ugly, so unnatural in its surface.  It makes balls go fast and take stupid hops.

The Dome--with its weird currents (and I love--and subscribe to--the conspiracy theory that its heating/cooling system is rigged in favor of the Twinkies).

So happy someone approved funds for a new park.  So ecstatic to see our Tigers relieved of the unfriendly Metrodome confines after 2009.  So enamored of the sight unseen Target Field, simply because it is NOT the stinking homerdome.  I did see some pictures/progress notes here.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tigers Stand at 6-3 in Divisional Tussle

Remember when I said we needed to win this 13 game stretch against divisional opponents?  So far, pretty good.   We're 6-3, and it was especially gratifying to complete a sweep of the Tribe today, regardless of the fact that they've been playing poorly.

Although Pretty Little Ricky didn't have his best control today, I liked how he got some big outs when he needed them, and gritted it out to complete five innings.  Our pen needed some work anyway (glass half full).

Fernando Rodney shows us again that he only wants to be used in save situations.  These non-savers are clearly not for him.  The mental edge is not present in a 5-1 game.  He works to simulate a save situation.  That's why he gave up two runs, so he'd feel like he could be in "closer" mode (even though a non-save situation does not convert into a save situation when the lead drops to three runs or less.)  Thanks to Blake of The Spot Starters for confirming that little fact for me a few weeks ago. 

Now, off day tomorrow as the club travels to the Twin Cities for the finale of this little intra-divisional skirmish.  I like being in first place--even if it is shared with the Royals (technically we are four hundredths ahead of them).

Friday, May 8, 2009

Haul It Back in the Yard

Rod Allen was still giddy during the "Tigers Live Postgame" show.  Aren't we all.

Well, it's nice to say that the opposing team got Verlander-ed tonight.  I mean, Lee pitched well, but we had some hits off him and didn't capitalize.  The Indians didn't really have anything on which to capitalize.

11 Ks
2 hits
no hits from 2nd-6th innings
complete. game. shutout.

Oh, yeah, and then there's the game saving play by lil CJ.  Baby, you're going out on the town tonight, and Verlander's paying.  I'm hopping in my car right now, getting on the turnpike and hitting every bar in Cleveland to join the party.

Nice chaser to make us forget last night.


Sometimes I am unable to write a post immediately following a bad loss.  I first attempt to cool myself off by slamming a few doors with all possible force.  I've had a mirror come unmounted from the back of a door and shatter all over the floor in a trillion polygonic granules.  My, wasn't it humbling (and hazardous) performing clean-up on that mess.   If that doesn't do the trick, I've got to break out the big guns and watch my copy of the no-hitter that I downloaded off i-Tunes.

All of this is done to spare the reader from invectives spewed in a disorderly jumble.  There certainly are times when an angry post is appropriate and cathartic.  In fact, it's why I started this blog after the 2008 season.  I just had so much bile poisoning my system, it had to be released.

So much for the blow-hard intro.  My point here is that last night's loss is now becoming a pattern.  We get Greinke-d, Buehrle-d, Pavano-ed.  Who's next?  Is Cliff Lee gonna make a run at a perfect game too?  Actually, that would NOT follow the pattern.  We usually follow up such a loss with a win.  We're playing .500 ball right now, and while that's a sight better than last year, it's not entirely satisfying.  I'm feeling that our team has a legitimate shot at contending.  We'll soon know whether Willis and then Bonderman can help boost us up to the next level.

If not, and in the wake of more tainting of our game coming to light, I may just move to following and blogging  my son's rec league team.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What Lies Beneath

A trail of tears leads me to this place.  Magglio Ordóñez finds himself floundering at the one place he's been most outstanding his baseball career:  the plate.  El Campeón Bate 2007 is currently carrying a .232 AVG, and has gone 0-4 the last game, and oh, yeah, the game before that too.

In an article by David Just, we get a hint of an explanation.  It sounds like there are personal problems afoot for our 2006 ALCS hero.

Jim Leyland says:

"He's got some other things on his mind."

Collective shudder.

We all know how personal problems can devastate a player's game, and rightly so.   Baseball is only a game after all, and one that requires a lot of mental concentration.  Amid personal ruin, I can imagine myself hunched over my computer alternately stifling sobs and sputtering angry words through clenched teeth, working at approximately .032 efficiency.

Just look at Pudge in 2005.  The team stunk, he was going through a divorce, and that was a cocktail for utter chaos in the clubhouse for him.  He hit. 276 in 2005, sandwiched between .334 in 2004 and .300 in 2006.  Although he had a very good defensive year in 2005, I'm attributing his offensive blip to his personal problems.   That is very sound logic, and there are no other factors that could have affected his plate production.  I can hardly stifle my own rebuttal to that statement, but just go with it, okay?

Anyway, I'm worried about My Tiger.  Hope everything's gonna be all right for him, both on and off the field.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Please tell me I was dreaming, and that we did not have another disastrous inning last night.  Crap, I just saw the evidence on SportsCenter.  Edwin Jackson may begin to get a little cranky if he continues to receive this paltry level of run support throughout the season.

Carlos Guillen is now battling a sore shoulder?  And why would he not be on the DL at this point?  You can't successfully battle two injuries.  I absolutely love Carlos Guillen, but he can't be kept in the lineup in his battered condition.  It's really hard to say this, but he looks brutal in left right now, too.  He's not getting to those deep balls even though he's playing deep.  Ugh.

In divisional news, Zack Greinke continues to dominate to the tune of a 0.40 ERA.    Last night he threw a complete game, shutting out the White Sox, while striking out ten.  I can only hope that on our next series against the Royals, we somehow miss his turn in the rotation.  In a way, it's exciting to see someone dealing like that, but when he's in our division, it has the tendency to take some of the fun out of it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Night Madness

I will “gracing” the CoPa with my presence at tonight’s game—ha ha.  I hope I don’t bring a hex with me as I just found out my son’s baseball team is the Twins.  I must admit that I do like the TC logo on the caps.  It’s 80s night at the ballpark tonight (groan).  I’m not too into the hokey themed nights like Country Night, etc.  Absurdly, I go to the park to watch the ballgame being played.  It’s also a promotional night in which the first 10,000 fans receive a Jack Morris replica jersey/t-shirt.  Is jersey/t-shirt an oxymoron?  I never make it the park that early, so I’m sure I won’t get one anyway.  The weather is expected to be picture-perfect, so play ball!

I’m looking forward to my first live look at Mr. Jackson.  While scrutinized at the time (by myself and a lot of others), the trade is turning out well for us so far.  I still believe Matt Joyce will be a quality player, and I’m interested in his career/progress.  But, it turns out we really needed another starter, what our left-handers’ pitching skills going AWOL and Jeremy Bonderman’s extended rehab.

Last year, I somehow made it into two video highlights due to the Puma hitting opposite field home runs right into my section.  My son said he hopes I get into another one this year.  I tried to explain how unlikely that is, but hey Miggy, if you wanna jack one into my row, have at it!  However, everyone made a lot of fun of me in those clips, so maybe I should lay low.  I’m starting to feel like Kathy Lee Gifford with all these mentions of my son, so I’m gonna try to limit that.  No sense in alienating and annoying your readers.

See you at the park tonight!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Color Me Conflicted

A couple things about our Tigers are starting to get real old.

First, the top of our lineup's slump.  I'm so tired of hearing how many of them are slow starters, they'll get it going, blah, blah, blah.  It's May now.  Let's go ahead and GET it going, k?  I can't stomach too many more feeble GIDP.  The bottom of our lineup, while performing more than admirably, can't carry us all season.

Second, these stinking games in which one bad inning does us in, usually highlighted (lowlighted) by a poor defensive play.  Once again today, what was essentially an error (but scored a hit) by Raburn, costs us 5 runs.  That should have been out number three.  Miner had just done a brilliant job getting Sizemore to strike out.  Then the inning's extended and ka-blowey, a five run lead evaporates.

The euphoria inspired by Adam Everett's slam is quickly replaced by a sickening knot deep in my gut.

Now, that being said, we did pull off the W today.  So, for that, I am thankful.  But I do hope we can resolve the aforementioned items of concern.

Sincere Apologies

I did not know that I had the ability to predict the future.  My last post was an ominous foreshadowing of the game that was to follow.  For that I am sorry.  I'll refrain from such fortune-telling in the future.

If you're feeling bad about the Tigers three-game skid right now, imagine yourself a Pirate fan.  They've now gone 22 innings without scoring a run.  Eeks.