Archive for the ‘Bullpen’ Category

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]

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Breakfast Wagon 27: ping ping ping ping ping ping ping

June 1, 2009

 

3rd fastest ever. (Reuters)

3rd fastest ever. (Reuters)

Danica Patrick apparently has no problem with cheating… winning on the other hand… [USA Today]

Columnist Dan Patrick asked Danica Patrick if she would take a performance-enhancing drug that she could get away with, if it allowed her to win Indy.

Danica: Well, then it’s not cheating, is it? If nobody finds out?

Dan: So you would do it?

Danica: Yeah, it would be like finding a gray area. In motorsports we work in the gray areas a lot. You’re trying to find where the holes are in the rule book.

Fox rates NFL Franchises by arbitrary criteria.  Raiders, Lions, Browns still bring up the ass end.  [Fox]

Gay comes in behind Bolt’s and Johnson’s.  [Reuters]

Ohio State ends baseball season… um… emphatically?  [Yahoo!]

Jason Stidham, the regional’s most outstanding player, hit a two-run double as the Seminoles scored eight times in the first and cruised past the pitching-depleted Buckeyes (42-19), who trailed 32-0 in the fifth.

An Economic Analysis in Detroit; baseball version

May 27, 2009

Now that we are a quarter of the way through the season, I thought it would be fun to take a second and evaluate the Tigers old and new against their free-agent winter prospects.  I’m using the 2009 salaries provided by ESPN.com and for a quantitative look at productivity, the ESPN Fantasy Player Rating.  Admittedly this is not the most scientific study, but it does provide two comparative data points with which to evaluate Mr. D’s spending habits.  (And let’s not forget, we are still in first place.)

Dollar value is calculated by multiplying the players 2009 salary by his current player rating (as of 5-27-09) and then dividing by 100,000 to get a usable number.

(c) TGC MMIX

(c) TGC MMIX

On first review, the Tigs fall right where you think they should.  Namely, Cabrera is worth every penny, Inge and Curt need raises, and Nate Robertson and Brandon Lyon are thieving bums.

Look a little closer though and you’ll argue that Dontrelle hasn’t had enough data points this year to accrue a valid rating, making his value an outlier.  I would argue that the guy makes $10 Million a year and that the evaluation is accurate.

Everette and Santiago are, as expected, in the middle of the pack and well worth the cost.  Josh Anderson has been a nice surprise with a league-minimum salary yet a positive player rating, while Gerald Laird is worth so much more than he’s given credit for here in unmeasureables.

So anyway, nothing too spectacular here as far as shocking information, but it appears that this confirms Dave Dombrowski as a man that knows how to spend a dollar wisely (for the most part cough… Gary Sheff… cough).

Binary Duet in KC; Conchords file suit

May 26, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a pitcher’s duel and some small ball.   Let’s bunt the man over, manufacture a run.  Let’s hit-and-run, let’s take the extra bag and get thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple.  And if you’re of the same persuasion as me (asians and baseball obvs), you’ll enjoy tonight’s matchup on MLB.tv from Kansas City.

In a battle of #1 and #4 in AL ERA (min. 30 innings) Royals’ ace Zach Greinke (7-1 0.82) will be taking on Tigers’ newcomer, and German-born African-American, Edwin Jackson (4-2 2.88) at 8:10pm Eastern.  Get ready for some zeros folks.

When comparing their WHIP’s, we can see that Jackson’s is a little bit bigger at 1.10 to 0.91, while Greinke gets paid a bit more at 3.25M to Edwin’s 2.2M.

Since April 24, Zach’s given up 1 run (unearned by the Tigers) and amassed 36 K’s.  In the same timeframe, Jackson has been nearly as impressive to the tune of 5 ER and 13 K’s in 3 games.

With fastballs busting inside at 95 mph and two quick-working pitchers, tonight should be a fun one.  My guess is it will come down to the respective setup-closer performance.

Until then, sit back, relax, and watch the zeros get hung.  I’ll meet you on the patio.

Welcome back Dontrelle

May 8, 2009
Packed up and ready to go!

Packed up and ready to go!

Thirty years ago today, the number one song in the land was “Welcome Back” by John Sebastian of Lovin’ Spoonful.  Today we can apply that to Motown (the baseball team, not the genre).  The $29 million D-Train will join the team tonight in Cleveland with plans to be activated next Wednesday as the starting pitcher.  The move will send aptly performing Zach Miner back to the pen.

You’ll recall (or not recall as it were) that since Willis’ signing prior to the 2008 season, he’s wracked up a mighty 8 appearances, 18 K’s, 35 BB’s a 9.38 ERA, 1 knee injury and 1 anxiety disorder diagnosis.

It is generally assumed that this trip to the bigs is his last chance in a Tiger uniform.  Dombrowski has shown already this year he’s willing to flush big money to make a move (see: Gary Sheffield).  Skipper Jim Leyland feels the same, “This is not a trial. This is not experimental. This is not developmental. This is the big leagues.”

You can count me among those pullling for D-Money to get back to 2005 form when he won 22 games and was 2nd in Cy Young voting.  There are plenty of detractors floating around various Tiger blogs, but I imagine that if he wins enough, those goobers will disappear.

Looking back, things have never really been the same for him since he got caught peeing on that car in Florida.  Maybe an older, wiser Willis is just what the Tigers’ hodgepodge rotation needs.

Aim for the bowl, Dontrelle, TGC is pulling for you.

Opening Week: Best and Worst, episode 1

April 9, 2009

cc_sad

The long-awaited opening week is halfway over.  We are now securely in the throws of regular season baseball. Let’s take a minute to review the weeks highs and lows, bests and worsts.

Worst $161 Million spent:  CC Sabathia.  The newest gazillionaire in pin-stripes (Main St, not Wall St people) showed up for his first day of work to a battery of hazing, delivered by the MLB equivalent of annoying 5th graders–the Orioles.  4.1 innings, 6 runs (that’s a 12.47 ERA).  Sabathia explained it this way, “We swung the bats well today and scored five runs. We should win the game when we swing the bats like that. It was just one of those days – a bad day.”  One would think, for $100+Million, you could buy what you needed to avoid bad days.  Just ask A-Rod.

Best Mustache:  Brian Tallet. Not only has Mr. Tallet had a good week on the hill, (2 games, 6 batters faces, no hits or walks) but he showed up to the dance with the best set of facial hair since Rollie Fingers.  I mean if I could grow a lip collar like that, I would do it in a heartbeat, sex with females be damned.

Worst off-season defensive upgrade: Adam Everett.  The Tigers blamed a lot of ’08s failures on lack of range, and defensive weakness, namely Edgar Renteria.  They planned to remedy the situation by signing Everett away from the Twins (who played all of 48 and 66 games the last 2 years).  His contribution so far 3 assists, 1 error (that led to a 5-4 loss), and no hits.  Stay loose Ramon Santiago.

Best Opening Day Starter: Roy Halladay.  Halladay has the B-Jays  4-3 on opening days (meaning, yes, Doc has gotten the nod 7 straight years).  The 2003 Cy Young winner, and last year’s runner-up, continued this feat going 7 strong Monday for the W.  He’s now halfway to Jack Morris’ record of 14 straight opening day starts.

 Worst New Closer:  TIE Brandon Lyon and Brian Fuentes.  Lyon spent most of spring training giving up 8th and 9th inning runs and ended up losing the closer job to Fernando Rodney before camp broke.  Fuentes won the job, but has already blown 2 saves in 2 tries.  Watching these guys try to get 3 outs is like watching Iraqis try to do jumping jacks.

Afternoon Wake Up Call: It’s Almost Over

March 31, 2009

wakeupKentucky basketball has been everywhere recently.  From the WWL to UK message boards and fan sites, the Interwebs have been abuzz with UK’s men’s basketball coaching search.  It all kicked off Friday afternoon when Billy Gillispie was officially shown the door by UK.  Since then the server for about every UK blog, fan site, and even many actual news outlets have been shitting all over themselves.

The big question remains: who will replace Gillispie at the helm?  Most reports have John Calipari of New Jersey Nets fame.  In fact, the ever-reliable Wikipedia already has him as the head coach (as of the time of this post).  ESPN still has Coach Cal as undecided so we’ll go with that today.

One thing that is absolutely true is that Cats fans are salivating at the idea of having Calipari on the sidelines next year.  A potential first ten of Wall, Meeks, Miller, Orton, Patterson, Hood, Harris, Stevenson, Galloway, and Cousins would make any fan smile.  That appears to be a strong possibility if Lee Todd and Mitch Barnhardt do indeed tap Calipari for the head man job.

There’s not much to say about this that hasn’t been discussed but let’s think for a moment what would occur if Calipari does get the job.  First, the UK-UL rivalry would ratchet up another notch as the old Memphis-UL rivalry was pretty heated when they were CUSA opponents (they’re even in a commercial together).  A second rivalry is the UK-UT showdown.  Bruce and John had turned the Memphis and Tennessee face-offs into serious games.  Just two years ago the teams were ranked #1 and #2 in the nation and playing on ESPN.  There appears to be no love loss between these two men either.  So UK’s main rivalries could be getting another shot in the arm with the addition of Calipari.

In other news (yes, there is other sports news) baseball kicks off in less than a week.  This particular blogger could not be more excited.  In fact, the old MLB.tv account will be paid up tonight to avoid any last second rush on Monday.  Can’t miss the A’s (and Tigers) first games now can we?

On the A’s front, young pitching is the name of the game.  It appears that all 5 members of the opening day starting rotation will be 25-years-old or younger.  That sure as Hell makes a guy feel old when his entire starting staff is younger than he is!  The off season acquisitions of some big name position players should give the youngsters some time to settle in, and even if they don’t there is a stable full of arms down in Sacramento just waiting for their opportunity.

The Tigers want to show everyone that 2008 was an anomaly.  With one of the best lineups in baseball again this year, and a heatly Sheffield, the Tigers will look to score in bunches again.  Offseason acquisitions of Jackson and Lyon will help push the pitching over the hump as well.  Don’t sleep on the Tigs in the AL Central this year as that race will be hotly contested again in 2009.

The Final Four also kicks off this weekend.  Give me UNC to hold off Jay Wright and his band of midgets.  Then give me Roy Boy to take down the sleigh dogs.  Just a hunch.

Our favorite thing today is going to be Pizza Hut.  This is only because it is about to be my dinner and absolutely no other reason.

That’s all for today folks.  Go out and enjoy the weather before the rain gets here.

NOTE:  While typing this ESPN has reported Calipari will take the UK job and Sheffield was released by the Tigers.  The sports world has gone nuts in the last 15 minutes.

Tiger Pitchers and Catchers Report Today!

February 14, 2009
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Hank Greenberg (left) in Spring Training 1936, Lakeland. (photo: michpics)

For lo’ the winter is gone!

Here’s a pretty thorough look at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, home of Detroit’s spring training for the last 75 years.

Baseball Prospectus has the Tigs finishing 3rd at 78-84.   I think 84 wins gets the division.  That’s a pretty slim margin and not starting the season 0-7 again could help the cause.

We can prognositcate later.  The 2009 Tigers are reporting today!

FWP: No F*#%ing Football

January 23, 2009

Fearless 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.

Oh, it’s that dreaded week with no football.  The NFL, for some ridiculous reason, has a bye week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl.  Why in the hell?  I don’t think there is a good reason.  Oh!  But next year there will the Pro Bowl to fill our football needs!  Whatever, the Pro Bowl won’t help the void then and nothing helps fill it now… not even the NHL All-Star game, which is Sunday for those who didn’t know.  Oh, you don’t care?  Yeah, neither does the rest of America.  Hopefully a slate of college hoops, the dumbest discussion ever and the scent of baseball in the air will keep you occupied.  Yeah, let’s do this.

  • anaivanovicAna Ivanovic will not play tennis… and no one will be better for that.  How pissed are you if you flew all the way to Australia to see this hot Serbian babe play tennis and then she gets ousted early?  I wouldn’t be happy either.  Let’s be honest, the only reason Ana is being mentioned (let alone tennis for that matter) here is because she is smoking hot.  Take a look at the picture of the sexy Serb and then keep reading.
  • China will issue some crazy edict against its people.  Remember when Yao used to blow the rest of the NBAers out of the water in all-star voting?  It was never even close.  Now, Dwight Howard is the leading vote getting receiving all-star of all time and Yao finished 6th on the ballot.  This won’t go over well in the communist nation.  And, hey, Yi Jianlian didn’t even get voted in!!  There will be hell to pay, Chinese people!
  • The And1 tour will be broadcast on national television.  Yes, Memphis is playing at Tennessee on CBS!  Ooooh snap!  See what I did there?  They are both streetball teams, get it?   More seriously, there will be a lot of athletes on the court for this one.  More importantly though, is the matchup of Big Brian Williams and Pierre Henderson-Niles.  There will be about 600 lbs. of man throwing itself around when those two get together.  Memphis tries to play the revenge factor, but they just aren’t very good.  Vols win another close one, 81-76.
  • marisatomeiYou will probably go see The Wrestler.  I won’t, but you probably will.  I don’t like to let things like movies get in the way of my drinking, but apparently movies are what Americans do on weekend nights.  Who would have known?  Have they ever tried to drink 25 beers in a night?  You can’t go see a movie and drink 25 beers!  In other words, Marisa Tomei is in it and I have heard she has trouble keeping her clothes on in movies anymore.  Hell, maybe I’ll go see it on Recovery Sunday.
  • The dumbest sports debate of the year will rage on.  Waaaaaaaah!!!  We got beat 100-0, please feel sorry for us!  Please talk about us incessantly on sports talk radio.  Please rip the coach of a winning team for letting his girls play when… that’s what they’re supposed to do.  Take the quote of a mom on the LOSING team and publish it for the entire country to see, not that she would be biased or anything.  Whatever, get the fuck over it.  You suck at basketball.
  • Pitchers and catchers will start loosening up the arms.  Watch out, baseball is just around the corner.  You can see our cool counter to the right that tells you just how quick it’s coming.  I’m going out on a limb and predicting a Tigers/A’s ALCS and a Mets/Cubs NLCS.  The Mets will win the NL, of course, and whoever drinks more tonight between EDay and TGC can pick the winner of the AL.  BASEBALL!!!
  • alabamagirlsBilly Gillispie will come to your college town, beat your college basketball team, then sleep with your college girlfriend.  The Cats play in Tuscaloosa and Oxford back-to-back, so you better turn up the brightness on your television sets.  In other news, Ronald Steele has opted out of finishing his senior year at Alabama.  His AARP benefits kicked in, so he figured he could go ahead and start seeing the world.  Jodie gets 37, PatPat gets 22 and the Cats get 76.  Sadly (if you are a Tide fan), Bama will only get 65.  Also, I’m sure you’re really proud of that blonde girl you started dating last semester and it’s lasted all the way through second semester, but BCG is coming to town.  I wouldn’t let her out of sight.

Hell yeah!  Weekend!  Beer!  Exclamation points!

Early returns on the MLB Network

January 5, 2009

mlb_networkJanuary 1 marked the debut of the MLB network on (some of) the major cable and satellite carriers around the country. Personally, it is not available on my particular TV network, but I’ll be changing that soon enough, dumping my regional-sports blackout-happy cable provider and moving to DirecTV where it is available–along with most Vols games on SportSouth.  The network claims to be available in 50 million homes, currently.

I thought I’d take a look around Blogfrica this morning and see how MLBN is being received.

The main focal point of the network so far is its baseball-only version of ESPN’s SportCenter called Hot Stove featuring Harold Reynolds, Barry Larkin, and Al Leiter.  The show is aired from Stuido 3 (honoring The Babe) and has a simulated indoor baseball field for demonstrations called Studio 42 (honoring Mr. Robinson).

More winter baseball televiewing after the slow-roller to third… (more…)