Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Catfight: Nate vs. The Farns

A battle of favorites(?) of mine. Nate Robertson vs. Kyle Farnsworth. Who ya got?

1. 2009 So Far
Nate: 1-0, 9.00 ERA, , 6 games, 6 IP, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR, 1.50 WHIP
Farns: 0-3, 9.95 ERA, 8 games, 6.1 IP, 3 BB, 6 K, 2 HR, 2.05 WHIP
Advantage: Nate. That's amazing. The Farns has been even more Farnsworthless than when he was up with us last year.

2. Best Season
Nate: 2006-13-13, 3.84 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 137 K's in 208.2 innings
Farns: 2005-1-1, 2.19 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 87 K's in 70 innings
Advantage: The Farns. In '05 he was dominant and looked to be one of the best relievers in baseball. Nate had poor run support (and Gumtime), but wasn't the beast that Farns was.

3. Glasses
Nate: Goofy (to correct lazy eye)
Farns: Goofy (cause he's goofy)
Advantage: Nate. He has a legit reason other than poor eyesight. How have I not made fun of this before?

4. What'd we give up for him?
Nate: Mark Redman & Jerrod Fuell
Farns: Roberto Novoa, Scott Moore, Bo Flowers (1st time), Pudge (2nd time)
Advantage: Push. Pudge is a hall of famer but was done when we dropped him.

5. What'd we get for him?
Nate: Came over with Gary Knotts and Rob Henkell.
Farns: Received Zach Miner and Roman Colon.
Advantage: Farns. Miner's not the best, but he's decent. Gary Knotts is in my five least favorite Tigers of all time for being absolutely terrible.

6. Contract
Nate: 2nd year of a 3 year $21.25 million deal.
Farns: 1st year of a 2 year $9.25 million deal.
Advantage: Farns. Nothing is as bad as Nate's deal...except maybe Dontrelle's.

7. Who you want with you in a fight?
Nate: "I dropped my gum."
Farns: Bad ass. See 2003 vs. Paul Wilson and 2005 vs. Jeremy Affeldt. Kyle's big and crazy...you want him on your side.
Advantage: Farns by a landslide.

8. Stupidity
Nate: Goes from being the worst starter in baseball with a huge contract in 2008 to complaining about not starting and wanted to be traded in 2009.
Farns: In 2004, kicks an electric fan and ends up on the DL.
Advantage: Nate. Kyle has one of the dumber stints on the DL that I know of there.

9. City Loyalty
Nate: Only Tiger (I believe) that lives in Detroit area. Active in the community.
Farns: Hated in Detroit, Chicago, and New York. KC can't like him too much, either. Not sure about Atlanta.
Advantage: Nate. He may suck, but he's a Detroit guy.

10. Stuff
Nate: Low 90's heater. Useless slider.
Farns: Has hit triple didgets. Awesome when he has command.
Advantage: Farns.

11. Future
Nate: Who knows? Doesn't look good. If they released Sheff, Nate can't feel too comfortable.
Farns: Has the ability to rebound. Was decent with the Yanks last year before being traded to us.
Advantage: Farns.

12. Easier to make fun of
Nate: Made a stupid blog out of it
Farns: He scares me.
Advantage: Nate.

There you have it. Kyle Farnsworth is slightly more valuable than Nate Robertson. Here's to hoping that they both turn it around. (At least you, Nate. Love ya, buddy.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Friends/Old Enemies

Just a quick thing about the Rod Allen post: Take a joke, kids. Of course it's hard to call a baseball game. Everything a guy says isn't going to be perfect. I'm just having a bit 'o' fun with Mr. Rod Allen. And I'll probably do it again. If you're looking for a blog featuring nothing but rah-rah Rick Reilly stuff, you're in the wrong place. Loosen up, people. I love my team and I make fun of those I love. I learned that from Jeffrey Ross. For some reason, you're on a blog called DesigNate Robertson. We will not be discussing whether or not Ryan Raburn is prettier than Josh Anderson. We will, however, be trying to have some fun and occasionally being cocky...all while loving the Detroit Tigers.

Whew. With that out of the way, I went to my second Tigers game of the year last night and they brought their all-important record with me in attendance up to 1-1. JV was outstanding for seven innings and Maggs put one out again. Part of my weird love of Bobby Higginson was him almost always seemingly hitting a homer when I went to a game. Magglio's kind of taken that role over and that's a big reason why I love the goofball. Bobby Seay continued to be perfect and Polonco hit two doubles. A fun night for everyone, it was.

I also got to meet two other members of the Tiger blogosphere last night in Blake from The Spotstarters and Jen from Old English D. Both were very nice people and I hope to see them at the ballpark again in the future.

But, sadly, there were a few people at the game that I almost ALWAYS see and I'm kind of sick of it. I'm sure you know these people, too. Any chance we can get rid of the following?

-The old guy begging for change out front chanting "eat em up Tigers, eat em up" over and over again? Learn a new song, buddy. That's almost as annoying as "April in the D".

-The fat girl in the Inge jersey. Ugh...go away.

-The drunk guy screaming over and over for the section to start the wave. Meanwhile, Seay's pitching his ass off with two on and no out, but I've got this clown yelling "1, 2, 3" over and over. Screw the wave. You're the reason beer stops being sold early at ballgames, buddy.

-The slutty girl in the Inge jersey. How old are you? Fifteen? Put some pants on.

-The guys sitting behind two eight year olds that can't go one sentence without using the "f" word three times. Now, myself, I'm a big fan of the "f" word. Just not with little kids around. Even I'm classier than that.

-The guy accusing every player on the field of being on steroids. Get over it, dude. You'd have done it in their shoes, too.

-Fernando Rodney.

Okay, two more with the Yanks. Keep up the good work, kids.

Friday, April 24, 2009

In Rod I (Don't) Trust

For the most part, I like Rod Allen. He seems like a nice guy. He can be entertaining doing color commentary. And most importantly, he explains things sometimes like a coach would be explaining it to a player. I enjoy that. But that's only about 20% of the time. The other 80% is spent sounding like a mental patient. Now, most Tiger fans I talk to really like Rod Allen. Hell, I just said that I do. But watch a Tigers game with a non-Tigers fan sometime. I have a White Sox fan as a friend and there's an Indians fan I know. Recently, I watched different games on Fox Detroit with both of them and they had similar responses. "How the f--k do you listen to this guy every night? He's a moron." As entertaining as we may find the guy at times, they are right. He has his little Rod-isms that fans enjoy, but I really don't think Rod knows what he's talking about most of the time. And in last night's Tigers/Angels game, I decided to really listen to what Rod was saying. Plus, lately Inge has been a good boy and Nate's been MIA...so I need someone new to pick on. Here's what went on.

Top of the 1st
-ROD-ISM #1: According to Rod, Granderson hit a "seed" back up the middle. If I were a more dedicated blogger, I might go to the local greenhouse, buy some seeds, and take them outside and smack them around with a baseball bat. But I don't think they'd go that far. Plus I just don't have that kind of time...not with the drinking problem. Spitting seeds? Same thing. Maybe 10 feet. So, what's with the seeds that Rod's always talking about?

-Rod's talking about the Tigers facing 5 really good pitchers coming into this game. Now, King Felix, Bedard, Weaver, and even Saunders...I'll give them to you. But Silva? A good pitcher? Silva has been as good at pitching (especially against Detroit) as I am at gymnastics. And that is not good.

-ROD-ISM #2: "Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good." He says this all the time. Tell you what, Rod. We'll each pick baseball teams. You pick the last guy to hit the Super Lotto and I'll take Albert Pujols. We'll keep going like that. Who do you think's going to win? I'd rather be good at what I do.

Bottom of the 1st
-Like he's done in every Jackson start, Rod starts giving Double D the GM of the Year award calling the E-Jax/Joyce trade a "steal" for Detroit based on Jackson's start and the fact that Jackson won 14 games last year. Now, look. I'm loving what I've seen of Jackson so far. He's a quality pitcher. But it's a bit early to call this a steal. Matt Joyce may turn out to be a pretty good hitter. And this 14 win garbage? I hate that. Wins are overrated. Juan Rincon got the win the other night pitching like Nate Robertson. You get wins with run support which is what Jackson had last year. What if you have a 2.00 ERA but your team only scores 1 run a game? Are you a bad pitcher? But if you have 15 wins with a 5.00 ERA and your team scores 8 runs a game for you...all of the sudden you're a good pitcher? To Rod, you are.

-Rod says that when Jackson gets ahead, he'll "put you away". Thus, the Angels should be swinging at early strikes. Jackson, for his career, has 6.12 K's per 9 innings pitched. He's struck out 328 guys in 482 career innings. He's not Nolan Ryan, Mr. Allen. He's Edwin Jackson and he gives up a lot of hits.

-Bobby Abreu gets on first and Rod says that Abreu's a good base runner, but he's not very fast. Considering that Bobby's had over 20 steals for 10 years straight and 325 for his career, I'm pretty sure that he's not Cecil Fielder on the basepaths. He's pretty fast. Of course, after Rod said that, Abreu steals second base.

Top of the 2nd
-Talking about how Angels starter Matt Palmer wasn't a high draft pick, Rod says that he had to "pitch his way to the big leagues". Really? So, if you're a high draft pick, you are just given the shot? No. That's not how it works. If you're taken in the 3rd round and get bombed in AA, you're not coming up. Everyone has to earn their way to the big leagues or else everyone would make it up there.

-Mr. Anderson beats out an infield hit that Izturis double clutched a bit. Rod says it's because of Anderson's speed that Izturis rushed and screwed up. Show me an infielder that doesn't rush on plays with speedy runners and I'll show you Edgar Renteria. Any other infielder will rush on those plays. Othewise, you won't get them out.

-Rod says that Mike Scioscia knows Jim Leyland's managerial tendencies. Leyland's been all over the place this year. I don't think Jim knows what he's going to do from day to day...so I'm pretty sure Mike doesn't know.

-Talking about the injuries to the Angels rotation, Rod says that "it's tough to overcome losing your #1 and #2 starters". In other news, water is wet and Polanco has a weird shaped head.

Bottom of the 2nd
-Rod talks about the homers that Jackson gave up against the White Sox. It was really against the Rangers which the producer most likely screamed in Rod's ear as he went on to correct himself later.

-ROD-ISM #3: Rod calls Mario "Pahdner". I have no problem with this one. It's cute. I'm just listing the Rod-isms as they come.

-Mario mentions that the Indians beat Kansas City. Rod says it's a "good thing". Why? Sure, the Indians started like crap, but by the end of the year, I'm more worried about the Indians being at the top of the standings than the Royals. We want the good teams in the Central to lose, Rod.

Top of the 3rd
-It's a 3-0 count to Magglio and Rod says that "some like to swing at 3-0 and some don't". Yep. And some people like scrambled eggs and some do not. What's your point?

-Mario lets everyone know that the Wings completed their sweep over Columbus. Rod replies with "April in the D, baby". My hatred of Rod today multiplies by fifty.

Bottom of the 3rd
-Talking about facing Rod's favorite pitcher in the next game, Zach Greinke, Rod says that Greinke has "always had good stuff". Greinke's been good lately, but he's 37-45 with a 4.15 ERA for his career. He's k'd 534 guys in 678.2 innings pitched. He was taken out of the rotation in '06 and '07 for NOT having good stuff. Keep your man-crushes to yourself, Rod.

-ROD-ISM #4: Rod says that Jackson throws an "easy 95 mph". I have no idea what that means.

-Talking about the Rays manager Joe Madden, Rod says that Madden is "notorious for trying to figure out what his players are thinking". Madden has one year managing in the big leagues. How can he be "notorious" for anything, especially for something that every manager does?

-Rod says that even through the Angels are down by 2, they won't stop trying to steal a base. It's the third inning, Rod. Not the seventh.

-ROD-ISM #5: After a diving catch, Rod calls Miguel Cabrera, "Cabby". Yes, we all hate that nickname. I blame Rod Allen for it.

Top of the 4th
-The Aflec question is asking which Tiger, other than Magglio this year, had started a season with his first 17 hits being singles. Rod had no clue that Magglio had 17 hits, all singles, so far. Is there any Tiger fan out there that didn't know that Ordonez doesn't have an extra base hit? Especially one that's paid to be a color analyst? (By the way, the answer is John Knox in 1974, if you missed it.)

Bottom of the 4th
-After finding out the answer to the question, Mario mentions that Knox wasn't an everyday player. Rod says that "that makes it more impressive". How in any world this makes sense...you explain it to me.

-Rod says that Edwin's 85 mph changeup is almost as fast as his fastball. Jackson throws his heater anywhere from 93-96 mph. Once again, you are wrong, sir.

-After the Tigers make another error, Rod's complaining about the Angels scorekeeper. He says the guy keeps giving the Angels hits and the Tigers errors. This is impossible. It's one or the other.

-ROD-ISM #6: Gary Matthews catches some chin music from Jackson. Rod becomes the first African-American male other than himself to say "Hello, Darlin'!" since 1962.

Top of the 5th
-Palmer throws an 87 mph fastball with late movement which Rod says makes it seem like a 94 mph fastball to a hitter. This is not true.

Bottom of the 5th
-FOOD/DRINK ALERT: A camera catches a shot of lemonade being served in the stands. Rod says it looks "real good". Good thing they didn't show cotton candy. Rod loves cotton candy. Can't remember if it's the pink or the blue, though.

-Talking about the Yanks not resigning Bobby Abreu, "How do you not want a guy like him?" Why did the Tigers cut Sheffield, Rod? The Yankees have Xavier Nady for right field. Unlike Abreu, Nady is cheaper (until his Angels deal), younger, and a better defensive player, yet still has pop in his bat. That's why. They didn't know that he would get hurt.

Top of the 6th
-ROD-ISM #7: Rod says that the Angels bullpen has been "less than stellar". He always says that. That's a broad statement...less than stellar. Pretty good is "less than stellar". The Angels bullpen has been dog crap. Say that next time.

-Rod is VERY quiet this half inning, hardly saying anything. I assume it is because someone brought him some of that lemonade. Or cotton candy.

Bottom of the 6th
-ROD-ISM #8: The Coors Light Freeze Cam shows Jackson recording an out at first base. Rod calls him "Johnny on the spot". He uses this one a lot. He is the only human under 65 to use this phrase since the 1940's.

-Rod says that Gary Matthews is running better since having knee surgery. Really? My knee's messed up, thus I can't run. I had surgery. I can run again. Mr. Obvious strikes again.

-Mathis has a 3 ball count on him. Jackson walked him earlier. Rod: "He wouldn't walk him again, would he?" I'm sure Jackson is really considering trying to walk the Angels #9 hitter. He sucks tonight, Rod. He's not trying to walk people.

-Bobby Abreu beats out an infield hit. I remember how Rod says Abreu isn't fast earlier in the game. I miss Kirk Gibson being an analyst.

Top of the 7th
-ROD-ISM #9: Fan Boy's talking about Grienke again. "He's better than good!" At least the guy's not "less than stellar".

-ROD-ISM #10: Angels pitcher Daniel Davidson is seen warming up. He throws side-arm. Rod says, "He looks nasty."

-ROD-ISM #11: The Tigers got "a boatload 'o' hits and a boatload 'o' runs" last night. How big is this mysterious boat?

-Davidson's in the game now. After Rod calls him "nasty" again, they talk about him making his MLB debut the other day. Literally a couple seconds later, Rod says the Angels recalled him after looking good in the minors. No, they called him up. If they recalled him, he wouldn't have just made his debut. Yes, I'm annoyed and picky right now.

-Rod blames the Angels bullpen woes on losing K-Rod. Seriously. The Angels pen had an ERA of 8.63 coming into this game. And it's ALL because K-Rod isn't there. This may be Rod's dumbest statement of the night.

-ROD-ISM #12 & #13: Rod makes a two-for-one by saying that Magglio might "come out of his shoes" and "hit a gapper". He doesn't.

Bottom of the 7th
-Kendry Morales is up. Rod says he's the third of three "great" players from Cuba the Tigers have seen this year. Great players. You say "great player", I think of, you know, Mantle, Mays, Bonds, Higginson. (haw) But, not these guys.
*Kendry Morales' Career Numbers: .251, 13, 51, .303 OBP in 142 games.
*Yuniesky Betencourt's Career Numbers: .282, 25, 184, .304 OBP in 541 games.
*Alexi Ramirez had a great rookie year last year. This year, though, .157, 0, 3.
Yep. Great players, there.

-Rod talks about the Angels having "home court advantage". This isn't basketball. They have home FIELD advantage.

-Mr. Allen says that "A lot of good players get no day off...ESPECIALLY in the Amercian League". This, like most things he says, makes no sense. Everyone takes days off nowadays, for one. And in the AL, the DH is there to give guys time off. This is another reason that was given for Sheffield's release. What game does Rod watch out there?

-Rod says "It's automatic that when there's a runner on first, if there's a hit, the runner will make it to third". Not true at all. That's why you hear about station-to-station teams. That's another reason the Tigers are trying to get quicker.

Top of the 8th
-Rod blames the 4 errors that the Tigers have made tonight on the Angels' field. Two were throwing errors and Miguel's, at least, was just a dumb play. Don't blame the field. The Angels are playing on it, too.

Bottom of the 8th
-ROD-ISM #14: "Crooked numbers". I just don't like this one. Sue me.

Top of the 9th (Thank God)
-Angels pitcher Justin Speier is in the game. Rod says that Justin's dad, Chris Speier, was a longtime shortstop of the Giants. Chris Speier played parts of 6 years, starting with '71-'77 in San Francisco. He then played 7 years with the Expos. Then, he spent a year in St. Louis, two with the Cubs, and finished back with two more with the Giants. So, if you want to get technical, he spent 8 in San Fran to edge out his time in Montreal. At this point in the evening, though, I'm very cranky, I guess.

DONE!

I just picked this game at random. Just think...some days he's worse than this. If there is a point to all of this, it's that Rod Allen is nuts. But at least he's not one of those clowns that does the White Sox games. Now, THOSE GUYS suck.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Catfight: Inge vs. A-Rod

My newest attempt at dumb humor is a ripoff of Nick Bakay's old "Tale of the Tape" thing he did on ESPN. Give me a break, I got sick of recaps after a week. I'll compare two people, places, or things in 12 important catagories and see who comes out on top. Today's matchup is DNR favorite Brandon Inge against Alex Rodriguez...you may have heard of him.

1. Owner
Inge: Pizza Empire
A-Rod: Evil Empire
Advantage: A-Rod. Good will never triumph over evil because good is dumb.

2. Goes 0-4
Inge: Tigers fans cheer him
A-Rod: Yanks fans invent new curse words for him
Advantage: Inge

3. Goes 4-4
Inge: Tigers fans cheer him
A-Rod: Yanks fans yell "You're still no Jeter, you (bleep)!"
Advantage: Inge

4. Uniform
Inge: The D
A-Rod: Pinstripes
Advantage: Push. I'm not getting into that battle.

5. Average Groupie
Inge: 13 year olds
A-Rod: Madonna
Advantage: A-Rod. Unless you're on "To Catch a Predator".

6. Currently
Inge: Playing like A-Rod
A-Rod: DL
Advantage: Inge

7. Roids
A-Rod: Used from '01-'03
Inge: Should have used from '01-'03
Advantage: Push. There are no winners here.

8. Plays next to:
A-Rod: God of New York
Inge: A cripple
Advantage: A-Rod

9. Looks
A-Rod: In the mirror kissing himself
Inge: Like he's 15
Advantage: Inge

10. Salary
A-Rod: $28 million and possibly underpaid if healthy
Inge: $6.3 million and overpaid for hitting .220 every year
Advantage: A-Rod

11. Commercials
A-Rod: Guitar Hero: World Tour
Inge: Watches them on TV
Advantage: A-Rod

12. 2003
A-Rod: MVP
Inge: 43-119
Advantage: A-Rod

So, by the slimmest of margins, A-Rod wins. But Brandon put up a better fight than you'd think he would. Kind of like he's done in 2009 so far. Keep up the good work, kid.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Meanwhile...Down on the Farm...

I attended the Mud Hens Home Opener last night, a 2-1 loss to Columbus, AAA of the Indians. The Hens are 6-2 so far, mostly due to pitching. They have a team ERA of 2.48 so far, but are only hitting .247 as a group.

Wilkin Ramirez singled home Brent Clevlen to score the only run despite the Hens having 10 hits. Starter Ron Chiavacci (who?) only allowed one earned run in 5 2/3 innings. Ryan Raburn already has 3 homers in the first 8 games.

If you've never attended a Hens game, they are known for having one of the best ballparks in AAA baseball. It really is nice, not having a bad seat in the stadium. However, last night, they set an attendence record of 13,100 people. And it was annoying. You couldn't move in the place...shoulder to shoulder people. Food, beer, and bathroom lines were unbelievable. Drunks were all over the place outside the stadium cussing up a storm in front of little kids. Another lovely night in Toledo, Ohio.

Brightest spot for me as a Tigers fan, though, was seeing an interview with Raburn before the game. The guy interviewing him started with a prickish question dealing with the "surprise" of Ryan being a Mud Hen again instead of Detroit. But Raburn answered that and all questions with a smile and really acted like a nice guy that liked playing for the Hens. He said he's willing to do whatever the organization asks of him and came off as a real class act.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Game 9: Catching Up

5-4

I went to Monday's mid-thirty degree, 10-6 embarassment of a game. Miner was beyond terrible, but so was the usually baffling Gavin Floyd. The Sox just did a better job of taking advantage of mistakes. A rainout followed by today's wonderful 9-0 Armando masterpiece has us tied with KC for the lead in the AL Central. 82-80 might win this division this year. Anyhoo...

THE BAD
-Granderson's struggling early sitting below the Mendoza line. Getting the entire offense clicking at the same time will be a key this year, especially the guy at the top.

-Miner. Zach has been moved back to the bullpen for the next couple weeks until we need a 5th starter again. And if/when Bondo's back? Who knows who will stay?

-Perry. The kid's a bit wild. I have to admit to liking him almost killing a couple Sux players with inside fastballs. I hate Chicago more than any team in baseball.

THE GOOD
The Matrix Pictures, Images and Photos
-Mr. Anderson. I'm becoming more of a Josh Anderson fan every game I see the kid play. Good trade so far, Double D.

-Arrrrrrrrrmando. Maybe the kid isn't a fluke after all. Props.

-Cab-boom. MVP.

-Crooked Hat and Special Little Guy. The two guys (not named Nate) that draw my ire more than anyone...they just keep looking good this year. I may end up growing hair back if they keep this stuff up. But with Rodney and Inge, I'm not holding my breath.

ON DECK: Early western road trip for the Tigers starts Friday. As for me, I'm hitting the Mud Hens home opener tomorrow evening. I'll tell Raburn, Clete, and the boys that you all say hi.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Game 6: Hello, .500. It's been a while.

3-3

It seems like every team out there has another team that just has its number. For the Tigers...it's the entire AL Central. But for the Rangers, it just seems to be Detroit. I love playing the Rangers and today, Detroit squeaked out a 4-3 win that wasn't as close as the score indicates.

THE BAD
-Now, THIS is why Brandon Inge irritates me...for the two things he did today. One, runner on second, less than two outs, he grounds out to third. I knew those early homers would screw his swing up (even more) because he's swinging for the seats again every time. Brandon, you are NOT Babe Ruth! Swing more like Magglio than Miguel...please! The other was the throwing error. Brandon Inge makes some amazing plays. But routine ones, he screws up way too much for someone with his defensive talent. I don't get it and between him and Everett, they almost cost us the game today.

-I know Rod Allen has his fans. And you know, I can see why some find him entertaining with his goofiness. But he's terrible. Tim McCarver shakes his head at Rod's commentary. He screws up almost everything he tries to say. The next intelligent thing out of his mouth will be the first. For example, Mario's talking about Armando's performance yesterday. Rod butts in and calls him "Andres Galarraga". Mario corrects Rod. Rod apologizes and mentions that Andres was a shortshop. WTF? Let me simplify the "Rod Allen Drinking Game" for you. Every time Rod says something that is wrong or makes no sense, take a drink. By the All-Star Break, your liver will be gone.

-Idiots who text for Player of the Game. I don't know who won, but the early leader was Miguel who was hitless today. How does that make sense? By the way, I was kidding about the whole "Senor Ding Dong" nickname for Cabrera. I like what the Tigers put on the scoreboard when he does well. "Cab-oom". Much better than "Cabby".

THE GOOD
-The pitching. JV struck out 8 and only gave up one run. He didn't get the win and only pitched 5 innings due to 4 walks and the Everett/Inge misplays jacking up his pitch count. But Justin looked much better today. All we needed was a little less "April in the D" and a little more "D in April". Yes, I just went there. Sorry. After that, Our Hero was DomiNATE today, Seay and Perry did their jobs, and Fernando? Is that you? Do we start calling you K-Rod-ney? You're pitching like it's a contract year or something!

-Polonco. Two doubles today. Hopefully this gets him on a roll.

-Special props to the fan down the third base line today. Polonco's double is rolling around and some idiot tries to grab it. Another fan grabs the idiot from touching the ball and Everett ends up scoring from first with the winning run. If Steve Bartman's Detroit cousin touches that ball, who knows what happens today?

ON DECK: Tigers go for the sweep on Easter Sunday and try to get over .500 for the first time in a while. I'll be at the game on Monday. If you're there, just look for the creepy guy harassing girls in Inge jerseys about if they have a tattoo on their lower back. I love doing that. Happy Easter, kids.

Fun Fact

Here's a little tidbit that I found interesting, depressing, and annoying all at the same time. No, it's not about how they decided on who got to sing "April in the D".

The Detroit Tigers are paying $36.1 million to three guys that are not on the opening roster.

Gary Sheffield: $13.6 million (Thanks for taking $400,000 off for us, Mets!)
Jeremy Bonderman: $12.5 million (DL, shoulder)
Dontrelle Willis: $10 million (DL, crazy)

$36.1 million

The 2009 payroll for the entire Florida Marlins team? $36.8 million.

Sigh.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Game 5: Homecoming

2-3

Quite the drubbing of the Rangers today. Senor Ding Dong hit another homerun today, this one a grand slam, as the Tigers romped. I haven't enjoyed watching a ballgame this much since the '06 playoffs. Well, I'm sure I have, but the memory of all of last year's defeats combined with my drinking problem...well, you know.

THE BAD
-Guillen's defense in left scares me. We've got Granderson and Inge as part time left fielders at this point as Carlos has the mobility of roadkill, despite what Rod and Andy Van Slyke may be trying to convince upon me. Great grab by Brandon in the first, by the way. Little prick continues to try to win me over...

-Fox Detroit. STILL with the "April in the D" crap. Then they have prostitutes in the stands singing it. And worst of all...they gave Rod a "FILTHY" graphic. Don't encourage him, FSN.

THE GOOD
-Armando pitched the best game of his career today going 7 innings, allowing 1 run, and striking out 8. Plus, he looks exactly like this lesbian that used to come into a bar I used to work at and I find that funny. So, great job, Armando!

-Miguel and his 6 RBI's. Senor Ding Dong (yes, that's my vote in "Nickname Miguel Contest") is rolling so far.

-Kris Benson's wife is still hot. His pitching? Not so much and that's good for us on both counts.

ON DECK: JV tries not to suck tomorrow as we look to get back to .500. Our ace against their #5. Hope we bring the bats again...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Game 3: That's More Like It

1-2

To everyone that was saying 0-7? Eat it. The Tigers played like a team is supposed to in beating the Jays today. I know...it looked weird to me, too. Miguel Cabrera looks awesome so far and Brandon Inge looks like the complete, total opposite of what Brandon Inge normally looks like. Even the bullpen looked great today. Great job all around.

THE BAD
-Polonco has struck out in all three games so far. Something's not right with him. He's got the day off tomorrow.

-Double D. Another bad sweater.

-The Good Luck Joes. I'm getting ice cream headache from all the ways I want to see these guys die all rushing into my head at the same time.

THE GOOD
-Cabrera. Two more homers today. The guy's a machine.

-Inge. Just for a second...can you imagine a Tigers team where Brandon Inge hits, say, .270 with 28 homers and 90 RBI's? That would be something, eh? Well, three dingers in three games for the Special Little Guy...not bad. Just don't try to be Babe Ruth, kid. You're still in there for your defense. Keep it up.

-Zach Miner. 5 2/3 innings, 1 ER, 6 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts. Not great, but it got the job done. Especially not bad for the guy that wasn't good enough to make the rotation.

-The BULLPEN! 3 1/3 scoreless. Even Rodney got a 1-2-3 inning. Most importantly, Ryan Perry made his MLB debut going a 1-2-3 eighth getting a strikeout. Too bad he didn't get the chance last night instead of leaving Lyon out there to die.

Next: Porcello makes his debut at 12:30 tomorrow. Let's go for .500!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Game 2: Lyon, The Tiger...oh my.

0-2

Well, that wasn't fun. Edwin Jackson was a beast on the mound tonight until a late dinger by Scott "Why Aren't I On The DL Yet" Rolen made it a 3-1 game. Brandon Lyon came in and proceded to show he's a real Tiger reliever and give up a 3 run homer to seemingly blow it. Surprise early MVP Candidate Brandon Inge hit a 9th inning homer to tie it. Lyon, however, wasn't done. He bumbled his way into a bases loaded, one out situation that screamed for Ryan Perry or even (kill me) Fernando Rodney to come in for a chance at a ground ball or a K. But Leyland sat and stared and fly ball pitcher Lyon gave up a sac fly to lose it in an event that Stevie Wonder saw coming. Horrible stuff by Lyon.

THE BAD
-Brandon Lyon. Way to shed the "Todd Jones Jr." stigma you were given early on. Welcome to the team, dick.

-Gerald Laird. Hitting 6th (where Sheff would've been) he popped up to kill a bases loaded rally that would have blown the game open in the late innings. Sorry to keep beating this Sheff horse when all of you hate the guy so much, but I can't help it. $14 million dollars and you let him walk.

-Leyland. Why did he stay with Lyon so long when everyone in the world watching the game knew he had no chance at closing it out? Why did you even bring Perry up north, Jim?

-Double D's sweater. Holy hell, that was ugly.

THE GOOD
-Jackson. Outstanding first effort for the guy we traded Matt Joyce for. Matt who? Exactly. Keep it up, big guy. We can't blow them all.

-Inge. The new stance is working. I still hate your guts, Brandon, but you may win me over yet.

-Miguel Cabrera. Another two hit day. Keep it up, big man.

Zach Miner gets the ball tomorrow in a chance to show that he belongs. 0-3 does not sound good, so let's hope he has his head on straight...and that Leyland gives the team a chance to win.

Opening Day: Justin Embarassment

0-1
Not pretty.

Verlander joined Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, and Brandon Webb in the "aces to get rocked on Opening Day" department yesterday. I'm a bit late on this one, due to my suicide attempt in the 4th inning, but here's a quick look.

THE BAD
-Verlander. Don't want to think about it anymore.

-Adam Everett. Adam did his best Renteria impression on Day One by going 0-4 with an error. Didn't believe me about the Higginson Curse, did you? Give back the number, Adam. Give it back.

-Juan Rincon. Stellar Spring. Rough Opening Day.

-Blue Jays fans. This is why on Opening Day, you play a day game. By 7pm, these hosers'd had a bit too much Molson, eh? Luckily, the Jays will be lucky to draw 15,000/game the rest of the way and we won't have to worry about it anymore.

THE GOOD
-Granderson. Leadoff walk followed by a homer to break up the no-no of Halladay. Can we start building his statue yet?

-Miguel Cabrera. 2-4 and he looked really good in the field. Maybe Leyland's right about him defensively.

-NATE! 1 inning pitched. 2 STRIKEOUTS! He K'd both lefties he faced and gave up a 400 foot flyout to the rightie! Kudos to Jimbo for getting him out of the game with something positive to build on. Great job, Nate! Pad that Cy Young resume!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Almost Time/Predictions

Here we go, kids. Next stop, Toronto.

This just in...Josh Anderson is going to start in left on opening day. Guillen's going to DH because Leyland's worried the Toronto turf will turn Carlos' knees into dust. Anderson's going to bat 9th. Good luck against, Halladay, kid.

Anyhoo, here's my worthless predictions for this year based on everything that we've seen. Well, that and my bias towards Detroit...thus them not being predicted last like they are in most places.

AL EAST
New York
Boston (Wild Card)
Tampa Bay
Toronto
Baltimore

AL CENTRAL
Cleveland
Detroit
Minnesota
Chicago
Kansas City

AL WEST
Los Angeles
Oakland
Texas
Seattle

NL EAST
New York
Philadelphia
Atlanta
Florida
Washington

NL CENTRAL
Chicago
St. Louis (Wild Card)
Milwaukee
Cincinnati
Houston
Pittsburgh

NL WEST
Los Angeles
Arizona
San Francisco
Colorado
San Diego

MVP
AL: Miguel Cabrera
NL: Albert Pujols (duh)

CY YOUNG
AL: C.C. Sabathia
NL: Johan Santana

MANAGER OF THE YEAR
AL: Bob Geren, Oakland
NL: Tony LaRussa, St. Louis

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
AL: Justin Verlander, Detroit
NL: Gary Sheffield, New York (couldn't resist)

WORLD SERIES
Yanks over Mets

Yup...I really went out on a limb there. I know. Go Tigers.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Nate = Crazier Than Dontrelle


Our hero has finally lost it. Check out Beck's story. Props to Samara for beating me to this and doing a much better job at it than I could. But, I can still have fun...

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The last time Nate Robertson started a season in the Tigers bullpen, he ended up winning back a spot and starting a five-year stint in Detroit's rotation. This time around, he's taking his relief role as a sign of a possible end.

Thank you, Jeebus!


While Robertson believes he can still be an effective starting pitcher, his remarks in the Tigers clubhouse at Joker Marchant Stadium on Thursday morning clearly made it sound like he doesn't think it's going to happen in Detroit. If he can't start here, he gave the impression he wouldn't mind starting elsewhere.

On behalf of everyone here at DesigNate Robertson, from the interns and the secretaries, all the way up to the executives, I would like to say...

Hopefully, that works better for me than it did for Bush.

"I think the cycle of a player's time in certain places, it comes and it goes," Robertson said.

Just like Ripken, Whitaker, Trammell, Jeter, Rivera, etc. But then again, they were good. You are not. Your cycle was up two years ago. Instead, you got a $21 million contract. Quit whining.

"This is my seventh year in the organization, and maybe my time here is nearing its end. And I'm fine with that. I'll tell you what, this is a first-class organization, and I appreciate everything that's been done for me.

Don't forget what they will continue to do for you. You'll collect, I believe, $17 million the next two years to take the spot that rightfully belongs to Clay Rapada.

"I don't go home and say, 'Man, I feel like these guys are really sticking it to me.' But at the same time, I'm 31 years old and I've got to think about my career."

This is where I start to get irritated. At the end of this contract, you will be 33 years old and have $17 million more in the bank. That's a hell of a career. In the BEST season that you've ever had, you were a .500 pitcher. There is NO REASON for you to have the contract that you have. So appreciate it and if you don't like it, PITCH BETTER AND EARN YOUR SPOT BACK!

Look, it's not the same situation, but Jay Cutler can get away with this, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a Bears fan. (Woo hoo!) Cutler is a Top 5 player in the NFL at his position. Like you, Nate, he wasn't happy and also, his team wasn't a winner. He wanted out, and guess what? Other teams WANTED him! No one wants you! Not for the $17 million remaining that you somehow sucked out of Double D! Shut up and pitch better!

"I can be very productive as a starting pitcher."

Grrrrr...
2007: 9-13, 4.76 ERA, 199 hits allowed, 177.2 innings pitched.
2008: 7-11, 6.35 ERA, 218 hits allowed, 168.2 innings pitched.

If by "productive", you mean "bloody awful", then I guess we agree.

"That's what I believe. I think I can go out there and be durable, take the ball every fifth day, give you a chance to win as a starting pitcher in the big leagues. There's no doubt in my mind."

My four year old believes in the Tooth Fairy. Tom Cruise believes in Scientology. Katie Holmes believes that Tom Cruise is straight. Belief and fact are two different things.

The Tigers obviously feel differently at this point. And the response from manager Jim Leyland provided serious doubt that Robertson is going anywhere.

"I don't want to start on a negative note here," Leyland said. "I think Nate Robertson has an excellent opportunity to be a huge part of our ballclub."


If I had a nickel for every time I've heard The Marlboro Man use this line now on guys he wants gone...

"You don't always finish how you start. But at the same time, the best way to get yourself in the position that you want to be is prove that you're supposed to be in that position."

Holy hell...we agree. Earn your spot back, Nate. Shut up.

"Or, as Leyland also said, "We don't end anyone's career in the organization if we think it's best for our team that they make contributions."

The sound you just heard was Gary Sheffield and his .387 Spring OBP banging his head on a wall. (Good luck with the Mets, Gary. I'm still with ya.)

Robertson spent Spring Training competing for what was supposed to be one rotation spot but ended up being two when Jeremy Bonderman had a setback that sent him to the disabled list. Swingman Zach Miner and 20-year-old Rich Porcello won those jobs Wednesday, while Bonderman is expected to be back within a few weeks barring further issues.

And most likely, gone again with a matter of days. But I'll pick on Bondo another day. Back to our story...

The bright side in Robertson's performance were the steps he made towards becoming a more effective pitcher. His 6.35 ERA last year was the highest for any American League pitcher with at least 162 innings. His 119 earned runs allowed led the league, and he was briefly pulled from the rotation in August before finishing out with a series of September starts.

Pitching coach Rick Knapp suggested to Robertson early in camp that he should "pitch more left-handed," meaning mixing pitches and working in and out of the strike zone more. Robertson responded with back-to-back effective outings before a double-play throw sprained his left thumb with little more than a week left in camp.


And those two good outings? Against the AA or AAA caliber lineups that Houston and Washington put out. Here's a small list of other guys that could pitch well against those lineups this Spring: Dan Petry (today), one-armed Dave Dravecky, my mom, Gary Sheffield, that annoying opera singing vendor at Comerica, and Chuck Hernandez. As you can see, I wasn't too impressed.

Robertson returned from the thumb injury for one last outing, this one a long-relief outing Tuesday. He gave up five runs on six hits in three innings, including two home runs.

Against Washington. Hee hee.

"If you look at Spring Training, the only [thing] I think I graded myself badly was when I put people on base [with walks]," Robertson said. "The balls weren't being driven up until that last outing, when I gave up a couple long balls. For the most part, keeping the ball on the ground has been something I've been doing pretty well. Taking all that and applying that to be an effective starter in the big leagues, I think that I'm on track for where I need to be. You don't just lose the ability to know how to pitch.

Yet, somehow, you have. This Spring, you've gone 2-1 with a 5.52 ERA in 14.2 innings. You allowed 16 hits and 9 walks. You haven't looked decent since '06. Every scout says you're done. Your velocity is gone. Your slider doesn't slide. And we're paying you $17 million more and let $14 million of Sheffield with his still high OBP walk.

"Again, you have to take some of the experience. You learn a lot of stuff up in the big leagues. Starting Monday, this stuff goes on the back of your baseball card. All that [Spring Training] stuff doesn't mean anything."

Bull. It doesn't mean anything to Verlander, Galarraga, or Jackson. They had jobs no matter what they did. You knew that to make the rotation, you needed to pitch well. And you didn't. Don't make excuses. Ask Porcello or Perry if Spring Training meant anything to them and their careers.

Leyland said he called Robertson into his office to explain the situation before he called in Porcello and reliever Ryan Perry to tell them they had won jobs.

"In my conversation with [Robertson]," Leyland said, "I explained to him the importance of the entire pitching staff, the importance of him accepting the situation with a tremendous attitude, and the bulldog approach that he showed me before at times to take this and run with it. I'm well aware that Nate Robertson wants to start. I think that he believes he's a starting pitcher. I believe that myself if it's the Nate Robertson of 2006."


Amen, Jimbo. We agree again. Tell you what, Nate. Call Barry Zito. He was good in 2006, too. Between the two of you, you can buy our own team and you guys can pitch for them. But we're concerned with today, my friend.

The Robertson of 2009, however, is going to begin in the bullpen. His guaranteed contract, which will pay him $17 million through next season, would be an impediment to any deal.

And an impediment to Clay Rapada...or the success of the Tiger bullpen.

"I'm going to continue to work hard and prepare myself, wherever that road may take me."

Hopefully, it'll be here.


I've always been pretty solid in believing that there's a plan for me somewhere, whether it be here or somewhere else. As long as you're healthy, then you have an opportunity. One person's opinion on you is going to vary from another's in this game. I've been around long enough to see that.

Opinions are like a-holes. Everyone's got them. And you, sir, are being an a-hole about this. I'm an expert.

"I'm going to obviously do my very best to be a good teammate to these guys. I've been around a lot of these guys for a while. I think it just comes down to what I think about myself, and that's what I stick with."

Nate, no one, I think, will ever question you being a good teammate. You started that whole Gumtime craze in '06 and I've never heard a bad thing about your attitude before this. You and your wife are active in Detroit charities and are good people. As I've said here before, I'm rooting for you, believe it or not. I think most Tiger fans are. But stuff like this is going to turn people against you...at least the ones that your performance already hasn't.