Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category

Doing my part for the D

July 5, 2009

It’s not often we as fans get the chance to directly affect a player or a game (bleacher seat heckling notwithstanding).

Now is one of those times, and for my favorite MLB player no less.

Go VOTE INGE into the All Star Game.

Now, probie!

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Oh you know what it means

July 2, 2009

The A’s manage to take game 3 and the series (2-1) on a hell of a performance by Dallas Braden to beat Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander yesterday, 5-1.   The season series (barring a playoff meeting) ends at 4-2 Tigers.

 TGC and Joel Zumaya take exception to the Short Message Service correspondence received from one EdayStat after the game.

GFY, good sir... GFY

GFY, good sir... GFY

 Oh yeah… how’d game four in ’06 work out for you?

To Battle We Go Again My Friend

June 29, 2009
badelephant

That's the kind of fire we need!

That’s right, it’s time for Tigers – A’s tonight.  The A’s are riding the coattails of a 5 game losing streak and need to turn things around against TGC’s Tigers.  Detroit on the other hand is 8-2 in their last 10 and will have the luxury of Rick Porcello going against Josh Outman to start things off in Oakland tonight.

Game time is 10:05, who knows when a live blog might pop up.

Still earning his money the hard way

June 24, 2009

The Tigers manage to hold on, despite Fernando Rodney’s best Todd “Rollercoaster” Jones impersonation NATE ROBERTSON PITCHING IN THE GAME.

This is my favorite line of the night:  Nate Robertson, 1 batter faced, 4 pitches, 1 hit, YANKED.  

Second best stat line: The Bullpen.  Miner (BS)(W), Seay (H), Lyon (H), Zumaya (H), Rodney (SV).

I guess he should feel good he got to play in a game that the good guys won for the first time in months.  It’s probably fair to say that ol’ Rod got some help with high strike calls, but once you’ve seen them called on the previous 2 hitters (I’m looking at you Kosuke), you have to SWING THE BAT.  Or get a Magglio haircut.  He found 2 hits tonight.

Sorry for the yelling, but I was sure that after a leadoff walk in the 9th, Fernando had his first blown save of the year.

Pic of the night?  Poor old Bartman still wearing that inside pitch, 5 years later, on an AWAY (!) broadcast.

The guy just wanted a souvenir.

The guy just wanted a souvenir.

I still maintain the Cubs will take tomorrow, but tonight was big for a few reasons.  1.  The Tigers now have the 3rd best record in baseball.  2. They have their largest lead of the year (5 games) 3. It was the 40th win and secures the best home start in the history of Comerica Park.

Also, apparently Fernando hit 104 tonight, in addition to Zumaya… again.  May want to get that gun checked out, FSD.

[Bless You Boys]

That’s just not fair

June 23, 2009

More on perennial Toledo Mudhen Ryan Raburn’s pinch hit walkoff later, let’s focus on this for now.

Right or wrong (and I bet if you ask Milton Bradley he’d say it was dead on) check out the strikeout pitch Zumaya threw by Bradley in the 8th.

Dayyammn

Dayyummn

He then proceeds to throw the go-ahead homerun to a guy most of you have never heard of in the form of a change-up.  Detroit4Lyfe has a great recap you should read, while Cubs announcer Bob Brenly had the sentiment right.  Which was the same thing I screamed at the screen (insert your own profanities where you deem appropriate… I deemed them a lot.)

“That’s one of the stupidest pitches I’ve ever seen. How does a guy that throws a 104 mph fastball with a snap curveball think its smart to throw a change in any situation?” 

Brenly was right.  After all, it wasn’t like Nate Robertson was calling the pitches.

[Detroit4Lyfe]

Oh My! (Lions unavailable)

June 23, 2009
Clark, Addison, Michigan, Trumbull... Check

Clark, Addison, Michigan, Trumbull... Check

Today starts the mid-week series between two APIAS homers in my Tigers and 2SL’s Cubbies.  Obviously this is an interesting interleague matchup between 2 historic teams.   It is also a rematch of the 1945 World Series, which I’m sure you all remember, was won by Los Tigres 4-3.  This was the same Series Cubs’ writer Warren Brown called “The World’s Worst Series.”  Seems like there may have also been somewhat of an international conflict going on around then, but who can say for sure?

The 1935 classic  was also won by the Tigs (4-2). 

You have to go all the way back to 1908 to locate a Cubby win against the boys from Motown.  Something sticks out about that year… but I digress.

More interesting these days, however, might be the pitching matchups those in the Chicago and Detroit metro areas (and all of us with MLB.tv) will get to enjoy.

Let’s take a look at what we’re getting this week.

Tonight:  Carlos Zambrano, RHP (4-2, 3.44) vs Edwin Jackson, RHP (6-4, 2.39)

Big Z is looking more like his old self after a quick stint on the DL.  He’s rocking a 2.20 ERA since rejoining the team.  Jackson, on the other hand, continues to be the horse everyone thought he was coming over from Tampa last year, only more impressive.  He is currently #1 on the team in ERA and has thrown more innings than Tiger ace Justin Verlander.

Tomorrow: Rich Harden, RHP (4-3, 5.27) vs Rick Porcello, RHP (8-4, 3.54)

This battle of relative newbies should provide plenty of contact but not much scoring.  Harden has held his spot nicely since coming over from Oakland and 20 year old Ricky P is doing nothing but validating his enormous signing bonus in 2007.  He may wear down sometime toward the late summer (having never pitched above single-A before this year) but don’t tell him, with his 8 wins and sub-4 ERA.

Thursday: Ted Lilly, LHP (7-4, 3.04) vs Armando Galarraga, RHP (3-7, 5.62)

Galarraga is one more bad outing from losing his job in the rotation.   The Tigers have hit LHP’s well this year, but Lilly has been consistently solid, with a team-leading 11 quality starts.  I’ll take the Cubs to win here, but the story really will be: Can Armando find the 5th inning?

Get ready for some good-time historic baseball this week.  I’m a sucker for tradition, so you can bet I’ll be on the porch watching this one.

Friday Afternoon Questions: There They Go

June 19, 2009

questionsHere’s a quick peek at what APIAS writer’s are wondering this afternoon.  Step into their brains for a moment.

TGC wonders, “will Tiger make a come back at the Open?”  Well Mike Weir is eating Beth Page Black up with a 6 under 64 in his first round and Phil is one under.  Tiger’s opening round +4 leaves him a lot of work but we’ve all seen the guy catch fire before and the playing conditions for his first round were not ideal.  The magic eight ball says “outlook not likely” but we say don’t count that man out until Sunday comes and goes.

Smoothron ponders, “now that Kobe has finished off the Magic what will I do with my sports viewing time?”  Well Smooth you’ll just have to tune in to the Metros games a bit more often.  But with them sitting at 4-6 their last ten you might as well watch A’s games with myself because it’s going to be a long summer for us both if this continues.

eDay thinks to himself, “why are elephants scared of the National League?”  That’s simple, the A’s are 8-3 against the AL in the month of June and 1-5 against the NL.  The bats put up only 14 runs in 6 games on the NL road trip.  That will not win you ball games no matter how good your young pitching is (only given up 27 in that time frame).

2SL would like to know, “how sweet are the beaches in San Diego and is Iowa really that boring?”  Our fourth writer is about to hit the road for a couple weeks so you won’t be hearing from him much over that time.  But to answer his questions, the beach in San Diego is about as awesome as the California burritos and I had a brother that lived in Cedar Rapids so yes, Iowa is that boring.

FWP: The Moral Dilemma Edition

June 12, 2009

fwpFearless Weekend Predictions is a weekly column running on Friday afternoons where our resident soothsayer (or whoever we can get) locks down what will transpire in the coming 72 hours. It’s better to get these out before the 7-year is open.  The crystal ball gets cloudy.

Well, it has been a few weeks. Last time we met was before Memorial Day weekend. Lots of things have happened since then. I went to Block Island, Rhode Island (which is about as modern as its website) for my cousin’s wedding. My cousin is an Irish-Jew and he married a Jamaican girl. They were both in the minority fraternity/sorority in college. Let’s just say the single, white females were NOT out in full force. And, of course the hottest one there caused me to have a major moral dilemma. But, I’m from Kentucky… and we’re not blood related… so, whatever. Then, last weekend, Bru’s sister got married at Keeneland. Yeah, you can guess what that was like. The great thing was the reception was in the same room that my friend, Regis, and I once went to the 2003 Taste of the Bluegrass. It was $75/plate and by “went to,” I mean we snuck in. Oh well, we had a great time. (Smoothron note: I had this great opening typed up until the internet crapped out on me. I don’t have the effort to re-write. Let me say again, she is NOT blood related.) Let’s do this…

  • amymickelsonPhil Mickelson will play golf and that is awesome. Look, I know I usually (try to) be funny or whatever on here. But, Mickelson is playing golf during a time when his family is going through a terrible time. We’re all praying that Amy Mickelson gets better soon and keeps being a cougar for many years to come.
  • Yankee fans and Met fans will brawl all weekend. Both teams just lost big series to their biggest division rivals. The Yankees haven’t beaten the Red Sox all year. The Mets are starting to look like the ’08 A’s with all the guys they’re putting on the DL. The Yankees new stadium is giving up more HRs than a 2SL prom date. Met fans are born angry. The economy is bad. El Nino is back. Yeah, it’s going to be a sight to see in NY this weekend. I almost wish I would have gone, but… nah.
  • Pete Carroll will be invincible. One coach has a former player that is accused of receiving over $300k while playing college athletics. Another coach gives a guy a thousand bucks. Who would you think would be let go (Yeah, I’m sure he “resigned”) first? Well, Tim Floyd lost his job this week and Pete Carroll will continue to be the face of USC. Good job, Tim Floyd! I would like to announce my candidacy for the next Head Coach at USC. I will not cheat, I will let Carroll be the BMOC and will lose 30 40 lbs. for the USC coeds.
  • carrieprejeanCarrie Prejean will not have much to do. Oh, poor Carrie. She lost her Miss California crown this week, now what the hell is she supposed to do? I could think of a few things I would love to do with her. Anyways, let me ask one question. If you are gay (not that there’s anything wrong with it), do you really want Perez Hilton championing any cause you have? Seriously? That guy? Whatever, I will marry the former Miss California tomorrow.
  • Phish will rock at Bonnaroo. Yes, I love Phish. I really wanted to go to Bonnaroo, but there’s just something about not showering for four days that I can’t handle. I also really like my cell phone, my TV, my computer and my bed. I almost wish I would have gone, but… nah. (Also, don’t know if you like Phish or not, but this clip below is sick. Flat out nasty!)

  • The Nationwide Series will run in Kentucky. One would think that NASCAR and the Commonwealth of Kentucky would be a match made in heaven. Sadly, it isn’t so. I have a possible idea for why that is. Because I live in KY and haven’t heard anything about the race until today! Granted, I’m not the biggest NASCAR fan in the world, but you would think people would be abuzz talking about a race less than 90 minutes from my house. Nope, but everyone can sure tell you the two guys who are off the UK Basketball team as of yesterday (Matt Pilgrim and Kevin Galloway).
  • lakergirlThe Lakers won’t win the NBA Title. These predictions are just for the weekend, remember? Yes, the Magic will get one more win (even without Mickael Pietrus, the dirty Frenchy) on Sunday night. That will allow more money for ABC and the NBA and also allow the Lakers to celebrate their title in LA. We will then get to hear all the Kobe-lovers talk about how great he is. And he is great, but he’s still not (and never will be) Jordan. Let’s not forget, Kobe doesn’t have the signature shot in his career like MJ has about 15. Seriously, try and think of the greatest Kobe shot ever. Um… yeah. Now, think of the greatest MJ shot. Over Russell in ’98? Over Ehlo in ’89? Hell, you could even throw in the one from the ’82 NCAA Title game. Chew on that, Kobe-lovers.

There you go. I have been stealing money all day at work, so I better do something for the last hour or so that I’m here (yes, it’s 12:30PM as I type this). And, please remember, be better! (And, yes, I do realize that the ladies today are all blondes. I don’t discriminate. Especially to you… because, you know… we ARE NOT blood related. Thanks.)

1/3 Season Baseball Review

June 9, 2009

While you were out on the golf course, or laying by the pool, or working your life away, the Major League Baseball season has kept right on trucking.  This week marks the 1/3 point in the regular season for most teams.  It is safe to say we’ve had a few surprises, a few disappointments, and at least a few what-in-the-hell-were-they-thinking moments.

Let’s take a three-day, partially homerrific look at the good surprises since April.

(1 of 3) Surprises that make GM’s look like geniuses:

Guess he could manage talent after all.

Guess he could manage talent after all.

We can’t have a GM/genius conversation without first mentioning Dodger head man Ned Colletti.  Now, while pulling over a free-agent Joe Torre back in ’07 was more or less a no-brainer, what I’m giving Colletti props for here is locking him up with a 3-year deal, when the all-knowing Steinbrenners wouldn’t even offer two.  All he’s done in LA is produce a playoff baseball team in year 1 and rock out the best record in baseball for most of 2009.  All the while doing most of his damage without Manny Ramirez.

Up by Lake Erie, Dave Dombrowski’s rookie-or-bust campaign seems to be working out.  Of all the preseason prognostications I saw, only 1 (Joe Morgan’s) had the Tigers making the playoffs as AL Central winners.  With plenty of questions in the starting rotation and bullpen, that was admittedly fair to say.  World Champion GM Dombrowski had a few ideas (along with manager Jim Leyland) on how to buck the system:  keep a couple of 19- and 21-year-old rookies with the big club out of Spring Training.

All that has done so far is prove dead on.  21 year old Ryan Perry (he of the 101 mph fastball) has more than done his job in a setup role (with Zumaya out) and in long relief.  He was recently sent down to Triple-A to make room for the return of Jeremy Bonderman, but not due to performance.  My assertion is that it was due to the gigantic (and ridiculous) contracts he already agreed to with Nate Robertson  $7M, Dontrelle Willis $10M, and Brandon Lyon $4M (otherwise known as the “Theiving Bums” around these parts.)

The other was 19 year old high-school pitcher Rick Porcello, who had no experience above Single-A ball before 2009 camp.  Porcello notched 6 straight wins and was in the tops of the AL in several categories for the month of May.  Arm strength duration may become an issue as he gets into the 20’s with games started, but for the first third of ’09, it was clearly the right move to make.  And with the Tigers sitting in 1st place most of the year, who’s to argue?

This way to the show.

This way to the show.

Other happy findings this year have been the surprise Reds with young talent all over the field, currently sitting only 3.5 games out in the NL Central, and the San Francisco Giants with All-World pitcher Tim Lincecum and the (new) ageless wonder Randy Johnson.  Nobody saw the Giants making any kind of splash this year, yours truly included, yet here they sit hovering around the NL Wildcard slot.

Honorable Mention: Zach Greinke (even though the Royals have fallen back to Earth), Roy Halladay, Texas Rangers pitching, the A’s Matt Holliday trade, and Trevor Hoffman.

We’ll continue with 1/3 season disappointments and  strange moments later in the week.  Now get back outside and enjoy the summer air.

I’ll leave you with my June 9, 2009 playoff predictions.  AL – Red Sox, Blue Jays, Tigers, Angels.  NL – Braves, Cubs, Reds, Dodgers

Defining Success, SoCar style

June 2, 2009

This doesn’t even need an intro.  However, here are a few facts: Football Titles = 0, Baseball Titles = 1, Basketball Titles = 0.

Baby steps, Cock fans.

Baby steps, Cock fans.