Archive for the ‘Tigers’ Category

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]

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).

FWP: I’ve Missed You All

May 15, 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.

I guess it’s been a while since I did one of these bad boys (that’s what she said). I think I did FWP last in March, the month before April – the month that Keeneland is open. Keeneland was absolutely insane, 30,000+ people were there the last two Saturdays which makes the place almost not that fun. Of course, saying Keeneland isn’t fun would be like saying a date with Smoothron isn’t fun; and if I had been on a date in the last six months, I’m sure the nice, young, cougar would tell you I’m huge… I mean great. There has been a lot of stuff going on in the last month or so that we need to catch up on. The baseball season has gotten in full swing, a certain basketball coach has begun tweeting the day away, the NBA Playoffs are as good as they’ve been in my lifetime, the NHL Playoffs are trying to be relevant but can’t and we’re in the middle of the Triple Crown. To mark my return, this could be the longest FWP of all time. Fasten your safety belts, ladies. Yep…

  • vanessabryantKobe Bryant will come out with an epic performance in Game 7. After last night’s stinkbomb, isn’t another thrashing in the cards for the Lakers? The Rockets can’t play well two games in a row, no matter how much we all want to see a team that has lost Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming beat the best team in the Western Conference. Also, can you imagine how pissed the NBA would be if Houston played Denver in the Conference Finals? Goodbye ratings! Oh well, Lakers win big. Vanessa Bryant approves almost as much as we approve of her… and her forgiving heart.
  • TGC and EDay will come to fisticuffs. Oakland and Detroit only play twice during the regular season and the MLB chose the weekend that EDay and TGC would be out of town with big internet questions. MLBTV may not be in the cards for one of the biggest weekends of the season for my two compadres and that makes me said… until I remember they’re playing 72 holes of golf this weekend. Then, I want to vomit.
  • Kasey Kahne will win the All-Star NASCAR dealio Saturday night. I opened up the NASCAR website and he was the first person I saw. I have no reason to believe he will do anything well this weekend, mainly because NASCAR has regressed more than any sport in these tough economic times. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I haven’t heard anything about car racing this spring. Come on, rednecks, show your support and give NASCAR some more cash! Also, I don’t think Kahne has a hot significant other, no picture.
  • MariaVerchenovaaria Verchenova will begin her reign to rule the world. How to rule the world in three easy steps: 1) Be born attractive. 2) Be good enough at golf to move the hell out of Russia. 3) Date Smoothron. Check, check and… almost check. Apparently, everyone just found out about Maria and we should expect nothing less than the Kournikova/Sharapova/Williams Sisters  treatment. You’ll probably all be sick of her soon enough, as Mrs. Smoothron and I grow old together.
  • The Celtics will win their second Game 7 of the 2009 Playoffs. It’s absolutely remarkable that the Celtics will end up playing 28 games in two rounds in two years of playoffs. I’m almost sure that last sentence made sense too. The Magic are just losers, plain and simple. No player on that team has ever won anything memorable in their entire career. Hell, their coach won an NBA Title and then was run off by his players. Good effort, Orlando, now go back to being irrelevant. Please.
  • Brett Favre, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and Michael Phelps. I don’t have anything to say here, but I bet you every dollar I have ever made you hear at least two of these names this weekend.
  • The New York Mets will not give Johan Santana any run support. The guy has lost two games this year. He has given up zero (0) (that looks like a boob, haha) earned runs in those two losses. You’ve got to be kidding me. I understand batters seeing their starting pitcher throwing darts and not going their hardest, but my gosh, the guy has lost two games and done nothing wrong! Be better, hitters.
  • JT will win Survivor. What? No one watches this show anymore? Well, it still sucks me in every f*#&ing time. This season was actually pretty good, oh who am I kidding, no one cares.
  • Friesan Fire will win the Preakness. He may have run 18th (out of 19) in the Derby, but this is still a champion horse. My buddy, Ludt, wouldn’t run him if it weren’t a real possibility that he could win. That’s at least what I will tell myself when I’m with all the other scum bastards at the Drive-Thru Betting line tomorrow.
  • ukcheerleaderJohn Calipari will tweet you, but not sleep with your girlfriend. Wow, I didn’t think I’d say that last part about a UK Basketball coach so soon. But, Calipari has come to Lexington and absolutely taken over the city and state. He’s on Twitter giving people motivation, he’s recruiting the #1 class in America, he’s getting Patrick Patterson to come back to school and he’s trying to take over China. He’s a hell of a guy in my book. It also helps me feel better that if I ever date again, the coach of my favorite basketball team won’t try and rail my special lady.

Enjoy your weekend, people. Whether you’re playing golf, coaching basketball or killing your liver… make it the best it can be. Sorry, all of Calipari’s motivational tweets must have gotten into me there.

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.

Afternoon Wake Up Call: Rain Out Edition

April 20, 2009

wakeupWhen you’re baseball team plays in a small market on the West Coast you get a little fired up to watch them in prime time, HD coverage on ESPN.  It was not to be tonight as the Yanks-A’s game was postponed.  Boo the rain people.  Boo it!  Okay, the sports world goes on so we’ll tone it down a bit.

The state of Kentucky continues to watch the basketball recruting process closer than people watched the birth of a baby panda on the interwebs.  John Wall is living it up.  One day he’s going to UK, now he’s talking to Billy D, and the NBA still beckons.  He might even end up in Europe.  All I know is that this guy knows how to market the John Wall brand.  I love it.  I’ve pretty much stopped keeping up with it from day-to-day because the information changes on a daily basis, but it will be fun to see where he ends up.  UK fans are also closely following the recruitment of the Henry brothers.  They’re almost as much as an enigma as everyone knows they’re down to KU and UK but that changes constantly.  Will they visit Lexington?  Who’s knows at this point, but they’ll eventually be somewhere and that will be another fun signing for one of those universities.

Baseball is being played in a few places and a few of the web site’s teams are still going strong.  The Tigers are still first in a close Central.  The Reds aren’t playing too bad.  The A’s are in a bit of a lull offensively but the bats will wake up.  Hopefully the pitching holds out.

Golf has slowed a bit after the Masters but the Pudge Cup kicks off this week.  We might drop an update for you from time to time and let you know who’s playing adequately.  Let’s be honest, none of the guys in this league are shooting 70’s, but it’ll be fun.

The NBA playoffs are in full swing.  The Mavs and Spurs are fighting it out again tonight and I expect TGC’s boys down in Dallas to get the better of their Texas breathren before it’s over.  Duncan is hobbling and Sir-Flops-A-Lot is out for the Spurs as well.  Not looking good to pick up #5 this year for my boys in Silver and Black.  I just hope Lebron gets it from Kobe in the Finals.  I haven’t liked that guy since he stole J.R. Rider’s dunk in the Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star weekend.  Yes, the alleged rape, his general attitude, and everything else that comes with disliking Kobe does not bother me as much as him stealing the East Bay Funk Dunk to win a dunk contest.  I’ve never pretended to be sane or fair folks.  It’s just the way I am.

Our favorite thing today will be Tiger Woods 2008 on the Playstation.  TGC is fervently trying to play his way up to face off against the virtual eDayStat.  Who needs to pay 60 bones for a new game when you can play last year’s golf game for next to nothing?  The only standing rule is no one plays with Vijay Singh.  It’s get ugly if I had to tackle someone in the middle of a round.  Have a few drinks, enjoy some playoff basketball, and if you can find some baseball on TV then bless you.  Enjoy the night folks.

Opening Week: Best and Worst, episode 2

April 15, 2009

Best Math: Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan.  According to Passan, the Cleveland Indians have hit the “Panic Number.”  Which is 1-6.  Which is technically two numbers. 

See why we call 1-6 the Panic Number?

It gets uglier when looking at the full seasons of the wild-card era. Since 1996, only three teams have finished above .500 after starting 1-6: the ’04, ’06 and ’07 Phillies, who seem to have a knack for reversing ugly starts.

It’s an interesting read.  Check it out.

Worst season opening scheduling:  Detroit.  The Tigers are in the midst of a 6-game 1pm start time streak, to be followed by 10pm, 9pm, 4pm (Sunday) and then three more 10pm games.  What’s a guy got to do to watch the Tigers on the back porch after work and not be up til 3am?  Sheesh.

Best Relief Pitcher-Hitter:  Nick Swisher.  In the throws of a 15-5 rout by the Rays, Swish pitched a scoreless 8th inning for the Yanks (oh, and homered).  He’s also hitting .458 with 4 dingers so far on the year.  And Eday had a beer with his dad in 2006.  What a guy!

Worst Relief Pitcher Hitter: Gabe Kapler.  Struck out against the first non-pitcher to throw in a game since Wade Boggs did it in 1997 (also for the Yankees).

Best APIAS homers surprise:  BobWicket’s Reds.  They’ve looked good and they are above .500.  Those two things haven’t been said in the same season since 2005.  I love the makeup of this team, now if only Dusty B would play more small ball.

Worst APIAS disappointment:  TIE Smooth’s Metropolitans and 2SL’s Cubbies.  The Mets have struggled in the close ones (3-4 overall), but the pitching is coming around and Johan is going to be fantastic.  The Cubs didn’t go undefeated.

Best Week Ever Ever:  Patrick Schuster. All Schuster did last week was throw 3 no-hitters.  No shit.  THREE NO HITTERS!  And his coach couldn’t be less enthused.  “He’s on a roll and he’s got confidence in every pitch he’s throwing right now,” Mitchell head coach Scot Wilcox said of his ace. “That’s why we’re seeing so much success out of him.”  Yeah, and I guess Scarlett Johanssen isn’t the ugliest girl in the bar tonight.  Schuster is a University of Florida signee, but something tells me he might not make it to Gainesville.

NOTE:  MLB has forced the takedown of all Youtube video of Nick Swisher pitching.  I’m thinking Steinbrenner had something to do with that…

RIP The Bird

April 14, 2009
Photo: The Detroit News
Photo: The Detroit News

1976 Rookie of the Year Mark Fidrych was found dead at his home yesterday due to an apparent accident.

I won’t spend too long on it this morning, but I did want to point out a great little read about him and a certain current major league manager in the Detroit News.

My favorite Bird story was of him pitching to Graig Nettles of the Yankees.  Bird started talking to the ball on the mound, like he always did.  Nettles steps out of the box, looks at his bat and says “Nevermind what he says to that ball, you hit it out of the park.”  After he struck out, Nettles said, “Damned Japanese bat, doesn’t understand a word of English!”

Keep talking to the ball Mark, wherever you are.

 Link courtesy of Bless You Boys.

Afternoon Wake Up Call: Opening Day Edition

April 7, 2009

wakeupAll kinds of things are happening in the sports world friends.  Some good basketball was played last night, some basketball odds went up, and lots of baseball was played.  Let’s get with it.

The NCAA Men’s Championship Game last night was a joke.  I watched approximately 5 minutes of both the first and second half and neither small window of viewing could keep me from flipping the old LCD back over to Component 1 and getting my Tiger Woods 08 on.  There was only one exciting play in the entire duration of my viewing last night and that was when Raymar got smacked in his broken nose.  I literally cringed when that happened, watched the aftermath, and promptly flicked it back to the Playstation.

With the laugher of a title game a distant memory, everyone can now turn their attention to next year’s NCAA season.  I heard on the radio today that UNC and UK lead the early props betting lines in Vegas at 12:1 odss for making the Final Four.  No one else is even 20:1 right now.  That says a lot about Roy’s ability to keep UNC stocked (they could lose 5 guys to the NBA) and Coach Cal’s abilities to bring in talent and coach.  I doubt he can turn UK around that fast, but I do appreciate the thought.

Baseball started yesterday and APIAS went 2-2.  Our National League teams both won while the American League teams lost.  The Tigers fought off the Toronto crowd (damned near literally) en route to a loss.  Oakland’s new-look offense didn’t bother to leave Spring Training as the A’s were swept by the Angels.  The Mets won a close one and the Cubs started their march to the 2009 World Series Championship behind a 4-2 win over Houston.

The only game I caught much of was the A’s game.  It looked like the pitching emphasis from the spring as Dallas Braden hammered the strike zone early and often with a strike percentage around 70% and only one walk in Wuertz and Bailey both pitched perfect innings in relief but it wasn’t enough as the A’s were shut out.

That’ll wrap up Opening Day as frigid weather throughout the Midwest and East make talking about baseball almost strange.  It feels like NFL season in these parts.  Our favorite thing for today is pretty obvious: baseball Ray.  As TGC likes to say it is the perfect game.  You’re never out of the game until the final out is recorded and there’s nothing quite like a night or, even better, a day at the park.  We’ll definitely be covering a lot of bat and ball sports this summer so stick around for road trips, live blogs that spring from the nether regions of a back porch, and plenty of bitching and complaining depending on how long it takes the Tigs and A’s to win a game.  Until next time, stay warm and watch baseball.  It’ll only be here for another 7 months folks.