Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our Hero Returns!


Armando Galarraga has been sent on the short bus back to Toledo for 10 days or so. His replacement in the starting rotation is Nate Robertson.

...

Yes. That Nate Robertson.

My reaction? Phew! Just when I was running out of stuff to make fun of. Now I can save all my material on Brandon Inge's ridiculous tattoos for a rainy day! Hooray!

Nate will start Saturday. Hopefully, Zach Miner starts warming up shortly afterwards. We'll probably need him.

Nate is 1-0 with a 7.71 ERA in 21 relief appearances for the Tigers this year. He has thrown 21 innings, giving up 25 hits, 17 walks, and stuck out 17.

In Toledo, he was 1-1 with an impressive 1.89 ERA in 19 innings. His 1.21 WHIP and 21 strikeouts against only 4 walks are also signs of improvement.

No one's rooting for you more than I am, big guy. Make me proud.

Or retire. Either way.

Monday, August 24, 2009

More With Magglio


Jamie Samuelsen has drawn my attention once again.

Sometimes, I really miss the simplicity of working on sports radio.

And if anyone here regularly listens to talk radio, as I often end up doing on my way to work, there is NOTHING more simple than the people that host these shows. Good lord...

If life were like sports radio

I would go on a daily shooting spree?

every issue could be framed in A or B questions. Should we sell our house – yes or no? Should we have a baby – yes or no? Should we go out to dinner or see a movie?

Should we talk endlessly about Brett Favre - yes or no? Should we beat the dead horse that is Michael Vick some more - yes or no?

Did you ever notice that? Most every topic is posed in an A vs. B sequence.

Yup. That's how you get a discussion going. Otherwise, you seem like a know-it-all blowhard like Peter King or Colin Cowherd.

You know – Batch or Mitchell? Batch or Detmer? Brady or Henson (Michigan QBs, not former WDFN hosts)? Keep Millen or Fire him? (Actually, that debate never happened.)

I admit, I am kind of new to reading Samuelsen. Does he insert ramdom Lions nonsense into every Tigers piece he does? Just curious.

The Magglio issue has been hotly debated in recent weeks, but this is NOT one of those keep him vs. dump him issues despite what the hosts and columnists and callers might say. There are a lot of levels to this that seem to get pushed to the side as irate fans scream that Maggs isn’t worth the money and should just be cut.

Well, hell. Everyone is wrong. Thank Aliva that we have Jamie Samuelsen here to straignten us idiots out. Bring it on...just no more Ty Detmer references...cool?

The first and most obvious issue is, and I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this lately, the Tigers offense isn’t the strongest unit ever assembled.

I'm not sure if you've noticed this lately, but you're not exactly Peter Gammons when it comes to covering baseball.

I don’t think they’re really in the position to be dropping hitters here and there. They pretty much need any bat they can get.

Like Gary Sheffield? Will ONE person give me props for calling this at the beginning of the season? JUST ONE?!? I hate you people...

And while Ordoñez has come to symbolize “ALL THAT’S WRONG WITH THE 2009 TIGERS,” that is a little rash.

There is no one in Tigertown that blames Magglio for all of the Tigers problems. The "cut Magglio" people are just being honest. He isn't producing the type of numbers that usually go along with $18 million. We could get 3-4 decent players for $18 million instead of an aging slugger that doesn't produce anymore.

In the month of August, he’s hitting .358 and slugging .585 – better on both fronts than Miguel Cabrera.

You can make any statement using a small sample size, Jamie. I've dealt with your kind before. But since we're going with August, Magglio, in the entire month of August, has only 6 extra base hits. Only two of the six were homers.

In the same time period, Cabrera has nine extra base hits. Since August 1st, Miguel's average has gone up from .336 to .338 and his OBP from .399 to .405. Perhaps you should have compared Magglio to his platoon partner, Clete Thomas, who has gone into the toilet in August. In 35 August at bats, Clete has ZERO extra base hits, his average has dipped from .257 to .242, and his OBP is down to .327 from .343. Why do people love him again? I forget.

He’s not better than Cabrera. He’s not more of a threat than Cabrera. But maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to simply push aside a bat that’s starting to come around.

WHAT DOES ANY OF THIS HAVE TO DO WITH CABRERA? Quit comparing an aging, falling star to the biggest rising star on the team!

It’s funny. At the trade deadline, so many fans embrace the notion that you have to go for it when you get a shot. You can’t concern yourself with the future if there’s a chance to win this season. Well, there is clearly a chance to win this season. So why are so many concerning themselves with 2010?

It's funny. Magglio Ordonez is not producing. People want to get rid of him and call up someone (or trade for someone) that may have a chance to produce for us. As a bonus, we can get $18 million off the books for 2010 and address the obvious problems of this year's team with that money.

Jamie, I kind of get where you're going with this piece, but Magglio Ordonez is not going to make or break the 2009 Tigers unless he falls into a fountain of youth somewhere...no matter how many seeing eye singles he has put together in August.

But there are some larger issues at play here. And to me the biggest is the future of Tigers free agency. The team agreed to this contract. There was no gun-to-the-head scenario here. And when you sign one of these deals, you don’t put these incentives in place so you can just cut and run when the player approaches them. That’s why they call them “incentives.”

"Incentives" are something you "earn". If you don't "earn" them, you shouldn't "get" them. This isn't like Ordonez is hitting .330 with 30 dingers and they started benching him because they are cheap. Don't be an idiot, Jamie. And no one put a gun to Magglio's head about this option thing at the end. Just saying.

You know that the MLBPA will pitch a fit if the Tigers bench Ordoñez down the stretch -- as well they should. You know that Scott Boras will be heard from as he was earlier this season when Ordoñez was benched indefinitely by Jim Leyland. And in my opinion, Boras and the union will have a very legitimate beef with how their man has been treated. He did what was asked of him, and as of right now, he is one of the most effective hitters on the roster. So why then shouldn’t he play?

The MLBPA pitches a fit about everything. They're a union...that's what unions do nowadays. But to say that Magglio has done what they asked of him this year? Who the deuce asked him to forget how to hit a baseball? Find out and fire them!

But let’s just say the Tigers limit his at bats and make him miss the next year of the contract. Why would any free agent take the franchise at its word in future negotiations?

I'll give you up to 18 million reasons, slick.

You want to create a scenario like the Red Wings have, where players flock to your organization. By dumping Ordoñez, you’re saying to all potential free agency that loyalty is a one-way street. As long as you’re producing, we’re loyal to you. But the minute that drops off, you’re gone.

At my job, I get paid a salary. I'm expected to produce. If I all of the sudden start being terrible at my job, I'm probably going to be fired. This happens in every industry, except perhaps writing for the Free Press.

As for loyalty in sports? What decade are you living in, friend?

We all repeat to ourselves over and over again that sports is a business. And it is. But we’ve all worked in business over the years and a big part of being successful is feeling comfortable. You don’t want to constantly watch your back. You want to be where you feel wanted. And if they Tigers turn their backs on Ordoñez, they’ll be paying for with their image among other players for a long, long time.

I disagree. The Tigers won't be the first or last team to cut ties with a player for money reasons based on a player's lack of production. I think you are making way too much of this. And as for them "turning their back" on Maggs, come on. They've been VERY patient with him. We're getting to the point where you can't fault them for releasing him or trading him for Kyle Farnsworth.

You may hate Boras and what he represents. But he also represents many of the best players in the game. And you can probably kiss those players good-bye for the next 10 years. Hardly the formula for success.

On the contrary, I think Boras and Dombrowski have one of the better agent/GM relationships in baseball. Double D gave big contracts to Maggs and Pudge that no one else in baseball would have given them. Dave has given big contracts to Boras clients coming out of the draft in recent years. Boras and Detroit will be fine, no matter what happens with Magglio.

David Dombrowski is a lot of things. He's a snappy dresser. He can hold a silver dollar in his chin divot. But one thing he is not, is a bad GM. He'll do what is best for the Tigers in the end. I have faith in that.

Magglio Ordonez is my favorite Tiger. His at bat against Huston Street in the 2006 Playoffs still replays in my head every day. But if he has to go for the good of the team, so be it. I don't think it means doom for the Tigers franchise, as you seem to think.

For what it's worth: I'd keep him around. It's not my cash. Send Clete out of here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Random Acts of Nonsense



I'm bored. We won today. What else is going on in Tigerland?

*It's been a while since I checked in on The Human Money Pit, Nate Robertson. In three starts at Toledo, Our Hero has gone 7.1 innings pitched with a 1.77 WHIP. But, hey...he has struck out 8. Give him a raise, Double D!

*Speaking of the Tigers wasting money, Gary Sheffield is causing drama in New York. Shocker. He apparently asked the Mets for an extension and was denied, to no one's surprise except for Sheff. Now, he is unhappy. The Mets placed him on waivers and he was actually claimed by someone. (Probably those dicks in Chicago.) The Mets pulled him back off of waivers and are now unable to trade him. This year, Gary's hitting .286 with 10 homers and 43 RBI's in 248 at bats with a .846 OPS. I remain the only Detroit Tiger fan in the universe that still wishes Gary's presence was in the Tigers' lineup somewhere.

*And our other highest profile ex-Tiger, Pudge Rodriguez, was traded to the Rangers just as his incentives were about to kick in under his deal with the Astros. Brilliant move on their part to save money. Magglio Ordonez had no comment on the issue.

*The Orioles claimed Chris Lambert off of waivers from the Tigers today. No one noticed or cared.

*Rookie catcher, Alex Avila, who is off to a Wieters-like start (if Wieters had good numbers) has his genitilia stroked (figuratively) by Detroit News writer, Lynn Henning. Henning says "Avila has a streamlined swing and a great eye." This is despite Avila having struck out in 1/3 of his official at bats so far and only three walks. Look...I'm loving what I've seen so far out of the kid, especially when comparing the pop in his bat to that of Gerald Laird. But he's only had 21 at bats coming into today. When the inevitable slump comes, don't be shocked. Instead, admire how he can grow a full beard within six innings. It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen in sports.

*Personal story. There's a new girl at my work. She sees my Tigers hat and asks if I like Brandon Inge. I say no. She looks sad. I ask her if she has a tattoo on her lower back. She says yes. I die a little inside. True story.

*WTF is up with Curtis Granderson? In his last three games alone, Grandy is 0-12 with 7 strikeouts. He was given today and tomorrow off by The Marlboro Man since lefties were/are the opposing starters. Curtis is on pace for 145 strikeouts this season...not what we need in the leadoff spot. We're screwed if the table setter doesn't start hitting. No silly joke here as I really am worried about the only Tiger loved by everyone. (including me)

*Finally...sigh...I feel that I must give a hearty congrats to this guy.

Leader of the Cult of Mediocracy, Clete Thomas, had a great 8 pitch at bat resulting in a walk off single against the Mariners today. Thomas, who despite his .242 Avg, .329 OBP, and .735 OPS, keeps getting at bats in the Tigers lineup and keeps getting raves from deranged Tigers fans everywhere I go. I guess there are things in this world that I will never understand. But, Clete, I thank you. Good job. Your reward for your heroics?

Rape. Your biggest fan, The Marlboro Man himself, appears to have given you the loving embrace that only his wife and the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company have had the pleasure of receiving in the past. Well done. Now enjoy your shower as the water and tears blend together and you try to keep the sobbing noises down.

Eat 'em up Tigers...eat 'em up.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Keeping Score #3: Tigers/Mariners 8/18/09

Good day, my friends. Did you see that the Rangers traded to get Pudge back today? WTF? I thought we got Laird because Texas had way too many catchers. Oh well…I hope he’s happy there. Though, I doubt it...cranky bastard.

Oh...before we get started. Today's warning...if you don't like doodie jokes and/or insist that I treat Brandon Inge and/or Clete Thomas with respect, go here instead of reading this.

Speaking of trades, today’s the big day. Aubry Huff? Who? I’m talking about Brett Favre! Did you see!?! FAVRE SIGNED WITH MINNESOTA! Bet you hadn't heard...especially on ESPN. Peter King’s genitals exploded today, I guarantee it. Brittfar, Brittfar, Brittfar!

But Huff…yeah. I like the trade. He’s a type A free agent this year, so we get some picks back if he bolts. And hopefully he can drive in some runs for us. Normally, I wouldn’t be too happy about trading a 6’6, 22 year old kid that was our 4th pick last year, but without some sort of bat, we have no chance this year.

Bonine went down? No one saw that coming. Everyone thought it would be Clete or Raburn. Mr. Thomas has performed yet another miracle, it seems.

Brittfar! Hey…how come all the white announcers love Favre and all the black ones hate him? Just asking…

In the pregame, Trevor Thompson claims that the Mariners traded their best pitcher a couple weeks ago in the form of Jerrod Washburn. Trevor, you ignorant slut. King Felix is going to no-hit us today. Just you watch.

Wait…they’re starting the game? But right now, Favre’s giving a press conference in the way that only he (and perhaps Forrest Gump) can deliver one! Cancel the game! BRITTFAR!!!!!

I hope Urlacher cripples that hillbilly prick this year.

TOP OF THE FIRST

-The Brock Lesner of the Tigers, Rick Porcello, is pitching for the first time since making Kevin Youkilis look like a freaking goof. Too bad Mike Sweeney’s not starting for the M’s today. Remember when Jeff Weaver drilled his ugly ass a few years back for us? That was a fun fight.

-Rod says Rick has no future in fighting? He made Youk look like a bitch! Come on, Rod. Back up your boy.

-Carlos Guillen’s in left for the first time since coming back tonight. Get the EMT’s ready.

-Ichiro leads off. A microphone picks up him saying “You! Porcherro! No bean barrs! Keep fastbarr ovel prate! I no Youkirus.”

-Suzuki lines one off of Inge’s glove for a single. Raburn would have caught it. Or turned it into a triple.

-Branyon hits into a double play…the 21st Rick has induced this year. Awesome. Bonderman would be down 2-0 by now.

-Rod calls Rick a “young boy”. Who you callin’ boy?

-Jose Lopez, the worst player to hit third in the majors this year (not named Clete) steps in. He quickly grounds out to Cabrera ending the inning.

-Sweet! Now I can flip back to ESPN! BRITTFAR!!!

BOTTOM OF THE FIRST

-Granderson’s first. Lifetime, he’s hit over .400 against Felix according to the pregame.

-Oops. Curtis strikes out looking. Screw the stats today.

-Placido Polanco continues to hit, singling to right. Scott Sizemore curses under his breath. Now that he's hitting, think 'ol Double D might be thinking about signing Polly for one more year?

-Nothing got hit to Guillen in the top of the inning. Thus, he didn’t manage to hurt himself and is up next.

-Carlos lines out to short. He's obviously exhausted from running out to a defensive position for the first time in ages.

-Miguel Cabrera is up…let’s see if he feels like trying today. He’s 4 for 8 lifetime against King Felix. Let's hope he has a big day.

-Solid single to left. First and second, two out. Bring up our new savior.

-Big round of applause for Huff. Hey, he looks kinda buff. As an out, he is certainly tough. Hope he had enough time in Baltimore to pack his stuff. Homer Simpson likes to drink Duff. So far this inning, King Felix has looked rough. Polly acts like he’s going to steal, but it’s only a bluff. Tiger Woods used to be caddied by Fluff. Anyone else remember knuckleball pitcher, Charlie Hough? Okay…I think that is enough.

-He grounds out to first. A run driving in machine, that Aubrey Huff. Know who we should have picked up to be our DH? BRITTFARRRRRR!

TOP OF THE SECOND

-The guy that used to be Ken Griffey Jr. leads off. The Chuck Liddell of our pitching staff wastes little time in striking him out.

-THIS JUST IN! Brett Favre just took a dump! BRITTFARRRRRRRRRRRRR!

-Franklyn Gutierrez, one of the first to be thrown off the Cleveland sinking ship, is up and he too, quickly strikes out.

-Since Rod and Mario claimed Rick isn’t a strikeout pitcher, his struck out the last two guys. I love how that always happens.

-Jack Hannahan, who only plays well against Detroit, is up. Hey, his average is up to .222. I think I’ve seen Jack play more games in person than any other Toledo player…except Mud Hen for life, Mike Hessman, of course.

-He lines out to Granderson. End of inning.

BOTTOM OF THE SECOND

-Clete will NOT be performing any miracles at the ballpark this evening, I’m sorry to say. He used up all his powers today by somehow keeping a MLB roster spot when Huff arrived.

-Seriously, Clete didn’t get sent down? Really? I mean, Bonine is horrible, but aren’t we short a pitcher now?

-First pitch, Clete pops up foul down the left field line. A fan interferes and knocks the ball away from the left fielder! THE CULT IS EVERYWHERE! Don’t mess with him, Langerhans! The Cult has diplomatic immunitity! The umpires are scared, too, and don’t call interference. M’s got screwed there. Good.

-Clete works a 3-2 count after getting away with cheating and finally draws a walk.

-Brandon Inge and his knee with 12% mobility is up. He pops out to shortstop, Josh Wilson. Didn’t they trade for Jack Wilson? I’m confused. But that is par for the course with me.

-Future Hall of Famer, Alex Avila, is up. You’d think his dad would get him a better spot in the order than 8th. Or do they not want to make it too obvious?

-Look, I love how the kid’s played so far. But once teams get a scouting report on him, expect him to struggle a bit. Just saying.

-Ball gets away from the catcher and Clete’s too stupid to take off for second. Come on, dude. The catcher’s name is Rob Johnson, but he doesn’t have ex-quarterback Rob Johnson’s arm. But maybe that's a good thing for him, now that I think about it.

-Next pitch, Avila strikes out and Clete steals second. My God…he can hear me. He really is all knowing. Clete, I’m sorry for everything! Give me 20 million dollars and three Jessica Simpson clones and I promise I’ll be nice!

-Runner on second, two outs, and Adam Everett is up. They show lesbian starting pitcher, Armando Galarraga, in the dugout. He lost 16 pounds by getting sick. John Keating should try that diet plan.

-RBI single for Everett! Awesome! Didn’t expect that.

-1-0 Tigers.

-Everett steals second as Johnson makes another bad throw.

-Next pitch gets away from Johnson…Everett looks like he’s running in frickin’ quicksand…out! Dammit. End of inning.

TOP OF THE THIRD

-Tonight’s text poll: Greatest Grandy catch. The one the other day crashing into the wall, the Sizemore one from earlier this year, or the Wily Mo Pena one from a couple years ago? The Pena one is awesome, but the Sizemore one won us a game. I’m going with that one.

-The M’s leadoff hitter, Butterfingers Johnson, grounds out.

-Ryan Langerhans is up next. He, too, quickly grounds out to Cabrera. Our own Royce Gracie, Porcello, isn’t screwing around much today.

-Josh (not Jack) Wilson is up with two down. Mario calls him “well traveled”. That is announcer code for "he sucks". Rick usually gives up homers to terrible players, doesn't he? But this time, he strikes Wilson out.

BOTTOM OF THE THIRD

-Anyone want to pre-order Lions tickets, the announcers ask? Anyone? Yes, YOU! Oh...you were just stretching? C'mon, anyone? Didn’t think so.

-Wait…they play the Vikings! BRITTFAR TICKETS! BRITTFARRRRRRRRRRRR! At least Lions fans know at least one game won’t be blacked out this year. (And Thanksgiving…that’s two!)

-Granderson will try again to start things off. But he’s an idiot and strikes out looking again. Can we get Legendary Lloyd to quit trying to make Magglio collect his option and have him spend some time with Curtis? Quit looking for the homerun pitch, CJ!

-Mr. Potato Head is 1-1 and steps in. He hits one that Wilson slides over to catch. Throws…OUT! Great play. Why’d they trade for Jack Wilson when they have this guy? Stick with the cheaper Wilson! Everyone knows that.

-Guillen comes up and shows off his Higginson-like power by flying out to the warning track. Wait…did I just make fun of my hero? I’m so bitter…

TOP OF THE FOURTH

-Ichiro leads off. Aliva tells him that it’s an honor to play against him. Ichiro calls him “Arrex Arriva.” Haw…I kill me. Or is it “kirr”?

-Porcello stikes him out. That’s 4 so far.

-AFLAC: Only 2 players have more 200+ hit seasons than Ichiro. Who are they? I’m going with Pete Rose and BRITTFARRRRRRR!

-Branyon is up. He’s under .200 since the All Star break. He K’s looking. Again, Mario claims that Rick’s not a strikeout pitcher. Keep saying it, guys. Maybe he’ll strike out 20 today.

-Lopez grounds out to second. Tito Ortiz Porcello is on a roll.

BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH

-Miguel Cabrera stuffs an entire Hot Pocket into his mouth before stepping into the box. I kid…he has lost quite a bit of weight since coming to Detroit.

-Tubby singles up the middle. Hey, he's 2-2.

-Aflac Answer: Rose and Ty Cobb. Well, that was easy. Favre and Cobb…same thing. Hall of Fame rednecks.

-Huff hits into a double play. C’mon…Magglio could have done that.

-Clete’s up. Notice how he looks exactly like a newborn bird? Mouth open, gawky looking.



-Seriously...is there a more awkward looking hitter in the big leagues?

-Rod says Lloyd is trying to make Clete realize that he is a good player. I’d love for them to convince ME that he’s a good player and not a journeyman-at-best waste of a roster spot.

-Sorry, guys. Maybe I'm a bit hard on the kid. I blame you, though.

-Clete strikes out. For the hundredth time, why didn’t we keep Josh Anderson and send Clete down? He has options left. At least with Anderson’s speed, he had a use to us. Forget it! I'm not being too hard on him! I must try harder! I appreciate the walk off earlier this year, Clete, but for crissakes…CLETE THOMAS IS NOT A LEGITIMATE STARTING MAJOR LEAGUE OUTFIELDER! AGGGGHHH! BRITTFARRRRRRR!

TOP OF THE FIFTH

-Griffey’s corpse leads off against Porcello. He taps it to the mound for out #1.

-Ooh…talking about youngest pitcher/catcher combos this year, Mario and Rod work in a Matt Wieters reference! Way to beat me to it this game, guys.

-Gutierrez is next. He becomes a season high sixth strikeout for BJ Penn Porcello. Two down. That’s 13 straight retired by Kid Rick…can we score some friggin’ runs for him? Please?

-Hannahan’s up now. He works the count full before hitting it to Inge. It goes under his glove for an error. Rod blames the knee.

-Put the guy on the DL, dammit. Call up Hessman. Or platoon Huff and Raburn…whatever. Just for two weeks. I know it won’t get completely better. But it can’t hurt for him to rest for a while.

-Rob Johnson is up after the error and promptly becomes the 7th strikeout victim. Porcello is seriously carving this team up today…Verlander style.

BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH

-Gimpy Knee leads off. The average is down to .247. Can’t catch a grounder? Blame the knee! Can’t hit anymore? Blame the knee! Brett Favre can't make up his mind? Blame Brandon's knee. But don’t put him on the DL. Brandon grounds out.

-Dusty Ryan’s arch enemy is next. I like when Avila is clean shaven at the start of games. By the ninth inning, he has a full beard. That’s awesome. Meanwhile, it took Inge a week to grow a mustache that a 15 year old would make fun of. Well, a 15 year old boy. 15 year old girls find it dreamy.

-Avila K’s again. Gerald Laird feels a bit better about himself.

-Two down, Everett up. Rod brings up Brett Favre…sigh. Of course he did.

-Everett swings at one a foot outside for strike three.

TOP OF THE SIXTH

-15 outs so far by Porcello and only one has been a fly ball. Interesting. He usually starts to flame out in the 6th. Then again, the M's have no offense.

-Langerhans strikes out leading off. That’s 8. Wow. I know this isn’t the most impressive lineup the kid is facing, but it’s still a hellova game for him.

-Josh Wilson is next. And…



-1-1

-Home run on a terrible 0-2 breaking ball down the middle. Who are you, Rick? Fernando Rodney? Waste a pitch, dammit.

-4th career home run for the “Well Traveled” Wilson. It’s always the bad ones that get to him. Didn’t Langerhans get him earlier this season?

-Ichiro follows with a single. He bows to Miguel over there and says “Herro, Cablella-san”.

-Still only one out for Russell Branyon. I once knew a guy that called himself “Russell The Love Muscle”. But he wasn't as creepy looking as Branyon.

-Make it three straight hits as Branyon singles to right. First and second.

-Leyland looks pissed. He also looks like he's going to die any minute. Get some patches, Jim. They help.

-Jose Lopez, who Mario tells me leads the league in double play balls, is up. Rick Knapp comes out to call Porcello names.

-Lopez flies out to Guillen. Carlos not only catches it, but he doesn’t rip out his shoulder throwing it back to the infield. Good job. Two out.

-Ken Griffey Jr. is the M’s last hope this inning. Sadly for them, this isn’t 1991, and Griffey’s hitting .114 this year with 2 outs and RISP. Wow…I could do that.

-Griffey hit his first ever homer off of Tigers pitching great, Eric King. Which dinger was the one where he looked at Sparky Anderson and grabbed his crotch? Never liked Griffey after that.

-Junior draws a walk. Bases loaded. Uh oh.

-The Marlboro Man’s seen enough and is calling for Ryan Perry. It’s amazing how quickly Rick can go from unhittable to lost out there.

-By now, you all must be familiar with the Seay-Lyon from Roar of the Tigers. Perry is part of the lesser known tag team of the Ni-Ryan. I'm about as artistic as Clete is good at baseball, so email Samara about creating that beast. She's awesome at it.

-Perry gets Guitteriez to fly out and end the inning. Phew.

BOTTOM OF THE SIXTH

-Porcello and Washburn are shown together. Did Jarrod adopt this kid once he came over? They’re always together now in the dugout. Hopefully Washburn has a Kenny Rogers-like effect on the young guys.

-Granderson leads off. If he K’s again, something needs to be done.

-He strikes out for the third time. Quit looking for the home run pitch, CJ. I say they find him every time he hits a dinger. Get him swinging for the gaps again instead of for the seats. Better yet, those underprivelaged kids he loves so much? Have Andy Van Slyke stand at first with a gun to one of their heads. Curtis strikes out? Bye-bye. Um. I sense I may be alone on this one. Moving on...

-But Van Slyke's nuts. He'd do it if Leyland told him to.

-Polly want a single? I know I do. He’s 1-2 so far.

-Nope. Polanco grounds out to third. Two down.

-Guillen creaks his way up to the dish. He lines out to second. End of inning. Big surprise.

TOP OF THE SEVENTH

-Each team has one run on four hits as we start the seventh. Over on ESPN2, Cris Carter is talking crap about Brett Favre. I still can’t believe they’re playing this stupid baseball game with this earth-shattering Brittfar stuff going on.

-Poll Update: 74% are going with the Sizemore catch. For the first time ever, I am in agreement with Tiger texters.

-Bobby Seay is warming up as Perry strikes out Hannahan. One down.

-Speaking of Bobby Seay…here’s a little known fact about Jen from Old English D. She is a doodiehead. You heard me. A doodiehead. NOW…we are even. Mess with ME, will ya...

-Porcello and Perry are BFF’s, according to Rod. I’ll take his word for it. When has Rod ever been wrong?

-I wonder what Alex Aliva’s favorite reality show is? Can we get Rod on that one?

-Rob Johnson strikes out. That’s 10 combined K’s for Tigers pitching. Two down.

-Langerhans swings wildly at the first pitch. Perry’s looking damn good so far.

-Perry strikes out the side as he gets Langerhans looking. And the peasants rejoice. Bask in the glow of your future closer, people.

BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH

-4, 5, and 6th hitters due up. We really need to work some counts and/or do some damage. Either way, we need Hernandez out of this game.

-Is there any above average pitcher in the league that we can score more than 1 run against?

-Cabrera leads off and hits it to third. Hannahan knocks it down and throws him out.

-Aubrey Huff is up looking to end his Imation of Magglio Ordonez and do something productive. Huff lines one up the middle as I type that for a single.

-That brings up Michael Clete Thomas. Sean White’s up in the bullpen. YES, PLEASE! Go to the pen!

-Clete strikes out looking. Sigh. F-you, Leyland.

-We are in first place. With this offense. Think about that. How is that even possible?

-Two down for Inge, who quckly gets down 0-2. Next pitch, strike three. Is there a worse offensive team in baseball?

-(Seattle?)

-Quiet…no one asked you.

-Yes…I’m talking to the voices in my head. Don’t judge me.

-Hernandez is only 23 years old. Jeez…

TOP OF THE EIGHTH

-Josh Wilson leads off with a single. Hernandez is getting congrats from teammates in the dugout, so hopefully, that prick is done for today.

-Leyland can’t believe that Perry was as dumb as Porcello to give up a hit to Wilson, so he yanks him. Cue Bobby Seay and his irritating chinstrap beard.

-While Bobby warms up, I flip back to ESPN2. Sure enough, it’s still all about Brittfar! They’re talking about if signing a 40 year old washed up grey bearded quarterback with only three weeks until the NFL season starts makes the Vikes the favorite to win the Super Bowl.

-F-you ESPN.

-Seriously.

-Ichiro is the first guy Seay will face. He seems upset to see the right hander (that he calls “Lyan Pelly”) is out of the game. Sorry…it doesn’t get old!

-Ichiro leads the AL in intentional walks. Rod seems very surprised. But if you think about it, Ichiro is the only Mariner hitter that isn’t a piece of excrement. Of course people are going to walk him!

-I'm willing to bet that Ichiro is good at match, too. I believe I may be officially out of stereotypes, now.

-Double to right field…crap. Second and third, no outs. Branyon coming up. Cue the ominous music.

-Wow…replay shows that pitch from Seay was a foot inside and Ichiro hit it for a double. I don’t know if even Pujols could hit a pitch like that.

-3-0 on Branyon. Uh oh.

-Branyon swings for the fence and flies out to Clete. Both runners move up.

-2-1 Mariners.

-One out, runner on third, and they’re going to walk Lopez to pitch to Old Man Griffey.

-I was 11 years old when Griffey made his debut. Holy hell, that prick is old. And he still looks 24 years old! Well, in the face, he does. The rest of him is very Carlos Guillen-ish.

-Flyout by Griffey to center and Ichiro scores.

-3-1 M’s lead.

-Runner moved to second on the throw and Guiterriez is up with two down.

-They’re going to walk him to pitch to Hannahan. Why not?

-3-0 to Hannahan. Seay looks like crap today.

-White Sox lead KC 4-1 behind…Freddy Garcia? Really?

-Ball four. Bases loaded. I don’t feel well.

-Rob Johnson is up. Can’t believe Seattle isn’t pinch hitting Johjima or someone else here for Johnson.

-Flyout to right. We need runs.

BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH

-Blake texts me that he hates Bobby Seay. Blake hates the entire Tigers bullpen, except for Fernando Rodney. I generally like the Tigers bullpen...EXCEPT for Rodney. We might have to fight about this one day. But SOMEONE up and ran away to Connecticut...haw.

-I bet Connecticut people are excited about Favre coming back. White folks LOVE them some BRITTFARRRRR!

-Mark Lowe is the new pitcher. Thank you for the opportunity to come back, Seattle. Felix was tough today.

-Avila is first up and HA! Home run #3 for Alex! I can’t believe it.

-Screw it…PRAISE AVILA! I will join your bandwagon, Tiger fans! (EventhoughIstillthinkCletesucks.)

-Ramon Santiago will hit for Everett. Fine by me. Base hit to right! Taking Hernandez out…not wise, methinks.

-Speaking of which, no one is happier to see Felix gone than Granderson. 3 K’s so far.

-Granderson weakly pops up in foul territory. Does his knee hurt, too? Geez…

-Polonco up with one down. Double play ball to short…..MUFFED BY WILSON! So THAT’S why they got JACK Wilson! First and third, one out.

-Guillen up…THIS is why Cabrera should be third in the lineup. I don’t trust Carlos again just yet.

-If Carlos hits into a DP here, I’m going to kill a neighbor of mine at random. Just you watch. I will effing do it.

-Carlos works it to a 3-1 count. Cabrera on deck. Fans are on their feet. Ball four! Loaded for Miggy Smalls!

-Put the Ding Dongs away, Miguel! We’ve got a game to win!

-He pulls a Pedro Cerrano on the first breaking ball and misses by two feet. Sigh.

-Lowe is a moron and gives him a fastball down the middle….BASE HIT! Two runs score! Eff you, Felix Hernandez!

-4-3 Tigers lead!

-Thanks again for that error, Josh Wilson. Expect to be DFA’d any day now.

-Aubrey Huff is up and could really make a lot of new fans if he can knock in the runner on second. Mariners are going to the pen.

-While we’re at commercial, here’s a fun fact. If we hold on and win, Bobby Seay’s going to get the win. That is why wins as a pitching stat are the most overrated stat in baseball, despite what Joe Morgan will tell you.

-Raburn is running for Guillen at second. Sean White is the new M’s pitcher. As long as it isn’t Felix, I could care less.

-Huff launches one to the warning track in center. That’d be a homer in a lot of places. Welcome to Detroit, Aubrey.

-Raburn goes to third. Two outs, first and third, and…Clete is up.

-Cabrera is caught off of first….dammi…wait! Raburn breaks for home! Instead of tagging fatty Miguel, they throw home….SAFE! Raburn scores as the M’s make another stupid play in the field. And you all wanted him sent down in favor of Clete. Oh well…we all win. Bonine’s gone.

-5-3 Tigers!

-Clete flies out because he is terrible at baseball. Rodney’s coming in. Do a shot and come back for the ninth, kids!

TOP OF THE NINTH

-Raburn’s in left and Santiago’s at short. Rodney’s on the mound.

-Rod says Rodney’s been outstanding this year. I say that Rod is a meth addict. Neither of our statements are true.

-Ryan Langerhans leads off the ninth with a single to center. Uh oh.

-(Fills glass with vodka. Takes three big gulps.)

-Where was I?

-Wilson is up. He has a homer and the biggest error of his life today. 1.44 ERA for Rodney in save situations. 5.67 ERA in non save situations. Why? That’s what frustrates me about this guy. He has the ability!

-Wilson is out, thus bringing up Ichiro.

-“Felnando Lodney” gets ahead of Suzuki 0-2. He laces one up the middle for a single. First and third, one out. That’s four hits for Ichiro.

-Branyon’s up. Raburn’s heads up run is looking HUGE right now. Hopefully that makes up for his screw up on Sunday that everyone’s crucifying him for.

-Calm down, Clete. When I said "crucify", I wasn't talking about you. Yet.

-Ichiro steals second as Avila almost throws it into center field. Nice catch by Santiago. Second and third, one out. I need a paper bag to breathe into…

-Branyon strikes out! Two down for Lopez.

-A base hit ties the game. It also causes me to go on a violent killing spree, so let’s hope Fernando gets him here.

-The Royals have tied it! Eat that, Freddy Garcia.

-Griffey’s on deck. Mario says we don’t want to face him. Why not? Does he have a time machine with him? Griffey is terrible! Mario…I love ya, but you are a frickin’ moron sometimes. (FSD…please bring back Josh and Gibby. The D-Backs will be firing all their coaches soon, anyways.)

-Lopez works the count full. Crowd is chanting Rodney’s name. They never did that for Todd Jones. Well, they did. But they were all carrying torches and pitchforks.

-25 pitches for Rodney this inning so far. I hate him more than I hate AIDS in children.

-Foul ball again.

-Another foul.

-STRIKE THREE!

-Tigers win, 5-3!

-The Tigers are 55-0 when leading after eight innings, Mario tells me. No kidding.

-Fun game that Seattle should have won. If you’re going to make the playoffs, though, you have to steal some games. Great job, guys.

-Thanks for reading, kids. Seeya next time.

-BRITTFARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sit the Special Little Guy Down


Brandon Inge was the hero the other day with is walkoff homer against Kansas City. As much as I rag on the little bastard, I can't help but feel good for the guy when he succeeds. He's unbelievable on defense, the most popular Tiger there is, and possibly the emotional leader of the team. But he needs time off. Check out Lynn Henning's Tiger Notebook. Here's some highlights.

Jim Leyland watches Brandon Inge wince while swinging at a breaking ball.

That's odd. I wince every time I watch Brandon Inge swing at a breaking ball.

Or grimace as he makes a sharp cut while fielding a ground ball. And the Tigers manager concedes, "I don't know what to do with him."

Easy, Jim. Put him on the DL...now. At the end of the season when we're fighting to stay on top in the AL Central, Brandon Inge, especially on defense, is going to be a key part of the Detroit Tigers winning games. We need him as healthy as possible down the stretch when we're finishing the season against the Central teams. And the chances of that happening get worse with him playing every day in early and mid-August.

Inge's knee tendinitis has been bad enough for long enough to have knocked him onto the disabled list. But he plays.

If you ignore the signs your body is sending you when you have knee tendinitis, your leg muscles will weaken while compensating for the pain in the knee and instability of the patellar tendon. You also end up with larger and larger tears to the tendon. Recovery time varies between a few weeks to a few months, depending on how bad it is. A couple weeks of rest can't be anything but good for Inge's health.

"I appreciate his toughness," Leyland said. "I saw him cringe on one breaking ball. You could see it tonight (in the field). There are certain times it's hard to get off against a particular ground ball. "And you can tell on pop flies down the line when he can't get there."

This isn't about being tough. Hey, I pick on him more than anyone, but I respect Brandon Inge's guts. He is a wonderful teammate, no question about it. Even when he was upset with his role on the team, he still rooted the other guys on more than anyone, from what I saw. But for his health and the good of the team in the long run, sit his ass down for 15 days and give Mike Hessman a call up.

Hessman, the white Marcus Thames (crap, that's Rob Deer...whatever), is the 31 year old Mud Hens third basemen hitting .213 with 17 homers and 58 RBI's. Not great numbers, sure. But in 31 plate appearances with Detroit last year, the big guy hit .296 with 5 dingers, enough for a 1.276 OPS. He's decent on defense, too. He'll get us through while Brandon gets some much deserved rest.

Standing in front of his locker after Friday night's walk-off victory, Inge didn't argue. But he was in no mood to talk about anything other than a pitching masterpiece between Kansas City's Zack Greinke and Detroit's Jarrod Washburn.

Yeah, he knows he's in pain. But he's not going to ask to come out. He wants to play. But you have to do what's best for the guy. The Tigers need to give Inge some "tough love" and ground him for a while. Our small chance of winning in October gets miniscule without Brandon at third. (I can't believe I'm typing this. If you'd have told me I'd be saying this at the beginning of the year, I probably would have asked you used to ride a short bus to school every day as a kid.)

Of course, I'm not there every day with the guy. You'd think that the Marlboro Man and Kevin Rand would do what is best for Inge and the team. At least I hope so. If they keep letting him play and he completely tears his knee apart, we're screwed. And they're going to have a lot of explaining to do to the angry mob of 13 year old girls in Detroit.

Just for fun...later in the article:

Leyland, incidentally, is adamant that Raburn, 28, is a better outfielder than an infielder.

Leyland, incidentally, appears to be smoking as much crack as he is Marlboros. My five year old even covers his eyes when a fly ball is hit to Raburn. (He also cries hysterically when Rodney comes into the game. Smart kid.)

And my favorite part of this piece from Henning...

Colon, who once pitched for the Tigers, said of his pitch that Inge hit out: "He knew I was throwing a fastball, and I got it in the strike zone and he hit it. Inge is a good hitter for a short guy."

Good hitter FOR A SHORT GUY! Oh, no he didn't!

No respect...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dreamboat Rick Becomes A Man (updated)



EDIT: The original video I had here was removed. This one is from around the third row and proves what most people already know. Red Sox fans are stupid.

Aftermath, Youk and Rick both get 5 games?

Bull. That goof, Youkilis, should get ten. Throwing a helmet? That's worse than the guy throwing a shoe in Austin Powers.

But Rick, great job. You have graduated from being "Dreamboat Rick".

You are now "Ultimate Fighter Rick". Please continue to serve us well.

I hope Youkilis gets testicle cancer.

Oh, and what brawl conversation is complete without the greatest of them all? I give you Rod Allen in Japan.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Defending Jim Leyland



Read this piece from the Freep's site, then come back to me.

Welcome back. Take a seat. I'm about to support Mr. Jim Leyland. This doesn't happen often nowadays.

Let's go over "Special Writer", Jamie Samuelsen's piece, little by little.

Jim Leyland said Sunday that most people who care about the steroids issue probably don’t like baseball. Kind of harsh or is he spot-on? Well to start with, he’s dead wrong.

You see what you did there? You did what is called "taking out of context". It's what a-holes in the "gotcha" media do nowadays. Now granted, your opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the Detroit Free Press or its writers, but it is on the Freep's site. Try and be professional. This is what Leyland said:

"I've always thought when something was confidential and sworn to be confidential I don't know how stuff like that comes out," Leyland said. "I don't condone steroids or growth hormone or anything else... For the most part, I don't think fans (care.) The people that probably care about it are the people that probably don't like baseball. So they really got something to (complain) about baseball. I don't think the fans care that much. Or maybe they do, I don't know."

He didn't say "most" people. He said "the people that probably care". In his opinion. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to, maybe. But Jim's right. The ones you always hear screaming to the heavens are those that like to bash baseball. The ones that are out for "a story". Those guys, and the people that are brainwashed by them. Sadly, most people in this country do not like to think. They'll beleve anything they hear on TV.

Talk to the average baseball fan, Jamie. I do all the time working in a sports bar. People are sick of the steriods talk. Testing is in place. You can't change the past. Lets move on. But first, explain to me why The Marlboro Man is "dead wrong".

I like baseball a lot. It’s my favorite sport, by far. And I care about the steroid issue.

When you're dealing with cases of "most" or "probably", there are going to be exceptions. In your case, you are the exception. You also seem like a douchebag.

I’m pretty sure Bud Selig likes baseball (although he doesn’t act like it given his decisions sometimes) and I know he cares about the steroid issue.

Yeah, but we were talking about fans...not the bloody Commish. He has to care. It's his job, half wit. Leyland was talking about the fans.

And as for your little shot about Selig not acting like he cares sometimes with his decisions? Screw you. Bud Selig takes a lot of crap, but let's run down his resume a bit.

-Realigned the teams into three divisions per league and introduced the wildcard system to go along with it. Result? More teams make playoffs. More fans are happy. More exciting division races to follow.

-Interleague play. Purists (old white people) hate it. But the average fan loves it still 12 years later judging by attendence.

-World Series home field advantage going to the winner of the All Star Game. This came after the All Star fiasco, but it has worked. The idea was to make the players care more and interest the fans more. I think it has worked.

-Was a big part of organizing the World Baseball Classic helping to make baseball a worldwide event, not just the national pastime.

-Implimented strict PED testing and fines in 2005. Too late? Maybe. But it's there now.

-Credited for the financial turnaround of baseball during his tenure with a 400% increase in the revenue of MLB. Also introduced profit sharing among the teams.

He doesn't seem to care, you say? Was it an attempt at a joke? Believe me, you're talking to the master of jokes that don't work. I think you're just talking out of your ass. Please continue.

Albert Pujols likes baseball and he cares so much about the issue, he’ll tell anyone who will listen that he’s clean.

What do you want him to do? Lie? Say he's on PED's? The man is repeatedly asked about drugs and he answers them honestly. (I hope.) Why bring him up? LEYLAND WAS TALKING ABOUT THE AVERAGE FAN!

Leyland’s overall point is correct.

Cue up "A Few Good Men" here. No! You said he was "dead wrong". I asked you, "dead wrong?" You said, "Is there any other kind?" I can have the court reporter read it back to you...

Most of us are sick and tired of the story. He’s tired of talking about it, and we’re all tired of reading about it.

By the way, thanks for writing about it for us to read when we're tired of reading about it. Wait, didn't you earlier say that you cared about this stuff?

But to simply lump all the steroid talk into a group of baseball haters is ludicrous. And I’m guessing that’s one line that the skipper wishes that he had back.

Ludicrous? No...THIS is Ludicrous.


And by the way...have you ever heard of Jim Leyland? The man rarely, if ever, says something that he would like to take back. And he didn't lump "all" of anything. You're now paraphrasing instead of taking him out of context. Another dick move on your part.

Leyland used a classic jock-ocracy strategy. “You simply don’t get it.” When someone in sports is proven wrong, doesn’t have the answer or simply wants something to go away, he says, “you just don’t understand.”

Uh oh. Here we go. This is where Jamie starts thinking back to his childhood when he was picked last for kickball and gets mad at athletes. Take cover, kids. I smell a hissy fit. That or he's going to go on a rant that has nothing to do with Jim Leyland, baseball, or steroids.

Rod Marinelli loved doing this as Lions coach. My goodness, the collective amount of football knowledge that fans and media lacked according to Marinelli was simply staggering. Yet, the Lions somehow managed to go 0-16. Hmmm, maybe we did know what was going on. Marty Mornhinweg did this, too. When Joey Harrington was clearly outplaying Mike McMahon in training camp in 2002, Mornhinweg scoffed at the media, saying that anyone who knew football knew that McMahon was better. That eventually became the lesser of two evils. But Marty was just going to a bunker and talking about how we simply didn’t understand.

Get off topic much, Jamie? The Lions have nothing to do with what Jim Leyland was trying to say and you know it. The Lions were going to be terrible no matter who was the coach, by the way. Blame Matt Millen for that, not poor Marinelli or Mornhinweg. And for the record, comparing McMahon and Harrington is like comparing Paris Hilton's acting skills with a first date with Paris Hilton. Either way, there's a lot of sucking going on. Back to your nonsense.

I’ve written and talked about steroids so much, that I just end up repeating myself.

You and everyone else that won't shut up about it. But you're tired of reading about it. Well, keep writing about it. God forbid, you guys ever move on from this.

And in a way, that’s what Leyland was trying to say. Why are we rehashing the same issues over and over and over again? But in a very small way, Leyland is part of the problem. He’s part of this MLB code where everyone involved in baseball is simply silent. No accusations. No claims. Everyone just plays dumb and keeps quiet.

Just like the armed forces. Or in a family. You don't rat out your brothers and sisters, Jamie. It's called trust. Honor. Ever hear of it? Jim Leyland and everyone else in baseball has to come back to the park the next day with the same guys and try to play as a team, get along on the field, and win games. That becomes a bit harder when you're pointing fingers in the papers about your teammates. Plus, these guys are payed to play a game and hopefully, play them well. They're not paid to police themselves.

Leyland said that there is no proof that his former star Barry Bonds ever took steroids. Well, other than the inflated numbers, the inflated biceps and the inflated cranium, I guess he’s right. There is no positive test (other than the one that came out in the grand jury in San Francisco).

Bonds never tested positive when baseball had their new rules and punishments. I think that's what Jim was saying. Was he on stuff? Of course. But, why do you want Leyland to dance on the man's dead career? He just stated a fact. Jim Leyland doesn't throw his players under the bus unless they throw him first. (See Grilli, Jason.)

But here's the follow up question: “Do you think he took steroids?” He’d say that’s a B.S. question and that we just don’t understand baseball.

Don't put words into a man's mouth that commands the respect of a Jim Leyland, please. I think he's earned that respect over the years. But, for poops and giggles, is that what Jim would say? I doubt it. The b.s. part? Probably. The other part? Not so much. You seem like a very bitter man, you know that?

But, of course, the answer is yes. Everyone thinks Bonds took steroids, just as everyone thinks Mark McGwire did and now really everyone thinks David Ortiz did too.

No they don't. Not everyone, especially with "Big Papi". Ortiz still maintains that he didn't take steroids, just supplements and vitamins that obviously had something banned in them. And lots of people believe him. Jim Leyland does.

And if Papi took them? Do I care? No. 2004 was one of the greatest baseball seasons in history. David Ortiz has done more for kids and charities than 90% of any athletes in sports do. He brought happiness to thousands upon thousands of people over the years and provided many moments that will live on forever. Am I going to forget any of it because he might have been taking drugs and, by the way, was competing against pitchers that might have been taking the same drugs? No. I'm not. The same is true for Big Mac, Man Ram, and the rest.

And almost assuredly, another big name will leak out from that 2003 list in a matter of months. It’s just the way this story goes.

And this "story" and it's leaks are against the law. Results were not supposed to get out. Whoever is leaking these names to the press, I would argue, is someone that hates baseball. What other reason is there to bring up 2003 when these guys are considered "clean" nowadays? Gotcha! Pricks. I hope they find them and they go to jail. You know why? Because whether McGwire, Ramirez, Ortiz, Ordonez, Pudge, or David Friggin' Eckstein were, were not, are, or are not on PED's, they play my favorite sport, they play it well, and they entertain me. (Well, not Eckstein.)

If the media cares so much about sports and PED's, why aren't they all over football? If half of the NFL is not on HGH, then I will purchase a Nate Robertson jersey and dance up and down the streets of Detroit to the tune of your choice. No...they only want to tear down baseball, for some reason.

Selig has tried to deal with the issue head on, at least once he was forced to.

Did Bud turn a blind eye? Looks like it. But it brought baseball back, saved a franchise or two from disappearing, and made the game popular to a new generation of fans. Cal Ripken wasn't going to bring fans back after the strike all by himself.

The rest of baseball seems content to ignore the problem and hope it goes away. And if asked about it, like Leyland was, they just shout down the questioner and act as if they simply don’t understand the game. We understand the game all right. And more than that, we understand the game that Leyland is trying to play. It’s just getting a little bit old.

You are the one that doesn't understand, dude. Steriod use was out of hand. Usage is definately down, now, due to testing. They can't test for HGH yet. So, that's a problem. But it's a problem that we've been hearing about day after day after day after...

Baseball fans care about watching their team win. Believe me, if I thought we could get away with it, I'd have Clete Thomas bent over and taking shots of andro in the ass three times a day if I thought it would help the Tigers win the World Series. Maybe I'm wrong.

But we're talking about baseball, a sport where one of its oldest sayings is "if you're not cheating, you're not trying". From greenies, to stealing signs, to corking bats, to spitballs, to PEDs...cheating is nothing new in baseball.

No matter what the case may be, whether it is baseball, football, working in an office, designing video games, taking an exam in school...people are going to do dishonest things to get ahead. Sometimes you get away with it. Sometimes, you do not. In baseball, people got away with taking steroids for a long time...possibly going back to the 70's, from what I've read. But they're doing the best testing that they can do as of now. We can't change the past. We can only learn from it and move on. It took a while, but I think baseball is doing just that.

So, Jamie, please move on. And if you don't want to? Keep it to yourself. You yourself admit that people are sick of hearing about it...even though you don't understand why. As a self-described baseball fan, just try enjoying baseball for the game, the playoff races, and the moments that you never know when are going to happen. That's what I do. And if you can't? Then maybe you're not the baseball fan that you think you are.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Keeping Score #2: Tigers/Twins 8/8/09

Hey, kids. Hope you like the new look of the site. I got bored last night and decided to try and improve the look. Not the content, though…obviously. Response was good when I did this Keeping Score thing the other day, so we’ll give it another shot. I’ve got nothing better to do tonight other than get drunk and fall down a lot, so what the hell? As always, if you insist on taking everything that I say serious, go here, instead. Otherwise, let’s see if we can take another game from those rat bastards from Minnesota. Here we go.

-Welcome to Fiesta Tigres night in Detroit. It’s been a raining all day around here. I hope nobody’s back gets wet today. Yikes…sorry.

-Comedian Robin Williams appears to be our staring pitcher tonight. When did we sign him? Oh, it’s Verlander. I saw those forearms and just assumed. Seriously, the guy’s arms look like Chewbacca’s.

-Rod tells us that Mauer’s a career .407 hitter against JV. Bean him in the face, I say.

-What’s the over/under on how many times Rod and Mario speak broken Spanish and then giggle like idiots afterward? I’m guessing in the twenties.

TOP OF THE FIRST

-Denard Span leads off with a double. There goes the no hitter. Can we take our scouting report on this guy and toss it on the next fire that the bullpen starts?

-Orlando Cabrera was acquired from the A’s for some reason and bats second. Too bad they didn’t start Nick Punto at short on Fiesta Tigres day. His name is more fun to try and translate.

-Cabrera grounds out to second advancing Span to third.

-Joe Mauer’s sideburns are up now. Those things are so perfectly groomed that they should be named “Matt” and “Wieters”.

-And the pitch...


-Mauer homers on the first pitch to left field. Are you f-ing kidding me?

-2-0, Twins.

-Rod immediately calls Mauer “calliente”. F-you, Rod. Don’t be silly right now.

-Filthy Canadian, Justin Morneau, comes up and bombs one to the left center wall where Our Savior, Clete Thomas hauls it in. Didn’t get enough of the ball, eh?

-Jason Kubel is next. Old English D’s Jen thinks that I look like this guy. He looks like a date rapist, so she could be correct.

-Kubel strikes out. Yeah, I used to do that when I played, too. End of inning.

BOTTOM OF THE FIRST

-Denard Span’s in centerfield for the Twins. Did you know that he and fellow Twins outfielder Carlos Gomez are the Great Lakes Tag Team Champions as “Spic and Span”? Zing.

-Sorry…not sure if that’s racist. I hope not…not on Fiesta Tigres night. But hey…I’m half Polish. No group of people have suffered through more jokes at our expense than the Polacks. I don’t see Al Sharpton or the ACLU sticking up for the ‘ski’s of the world. And it’s not racist if it’s about the Twins or White Sox. They’re not even real people. Bloody savages.

-In addition, I voted for Obama. Well, actually, I didn’t vote. But I would have voted for him. Trouble is, Shawshank Redemption was on TNT and that NEVER happens, so I didn’t have time. “Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.” Ahh, Morgan Freeman. Love that guy.

-Can we get Morgan Freeman to call a game with Rod one of these days? No offense to Mario, but can you imagine Freeman describing Ryan Raburn fumbling around after a ball he misplayed like a moron out in left field? That would be glorious.

-What…there’s a ballgame going on? Sorry about that.

-Leading off for the Tigers is Curtis Granderson. He faces Carl Pavano, who the Twins picked up this week, probably just to face us. The Tigers are the only team he can beat this year.

-Granderson continues his trend of swinging for the fences instead of acting like a table setter and strikes out.

-Mr. Potato Head is up playing a lot better lately. Four hits yesterday. Hey, whaddya know? Polonco immediately singles to center.

-Clete Thomas is due up, but first has business to attend to. You see, there’s a man on crutches waving Clete over. He looks to have a broken leg…car accident, it seems. Clete smiles and places his hands over the man’s multiple fractures. A bright glow appears around the injured leg as Clete’s face breaks into at least five hundred facial ticks! The fans around the area gasp as they can HEAR the bones moving back into place! The leg is healed as the Cult rejoices! The man thanks a smiling Clete and begins dancing up and down the aisle stairs, when suddenly, he trips and falls down twenty steps splitting open his head and breaking his arm. The crowd is stunned as Clete sheepishly shuffles to the batter’s box and the man is taken away by EMTs. The Cult does not notice this development.

-Back to the ballgame, Clete fits his batting helmet over his halo and steps in. Our #3 hitter, Clete Thomas. Sigh. World Series or bust.

-Pavano was given Torii Hunter’s number. What a dick move by the Twins.

-Clete flies out to Mr. Span. Denard will burn in hell for that.

-Miguel Cabrera salsa dances his way to the plate. He grounds out on the first pitch. This fiesta is off to a bad start.

TOP OF THE SECOND

-Michael Cuddyer leads off. JV’s working quickly and strikes him out on three pitches.

-One down for Delmon Young. He brings back memories of Big Brother Dmitri by grounding out on the first pitch.

-HEY! Nick Punto IS playing today! At third base, I guess. Donde esta La Puntaria? That’s the only thing I know how to ask in Spanish.

-Punto strikes out because he's terrible and JV’s out of there after 9 pitches.

BOTTOM OF THE SECOND

-Tomorrow is Miguel Cabrera Growth Chart Day. What…are they giving out scales?

-Carlos Guillen creaks his body up to the plate to lead off. Pavano gets him to pop out to Casilla at second on two pitches.

-Magglio comes up and is first pitch swinging…base hit! 4/6 guys have swung at the first pitch tonight. Not a good sign, methinks.

-Brandon Inge uses his bat as a cane and comes up. If he’s hurt, wouldn’t it be better to call Hessman up and let Brandon rest up for September? I’m pretty sure Big Mike could come up and hit .150 with the occasional home run.

-Pavano tries to put Inge on the DL himself by beaning him in the shoulder. HEY! No one picks on Brandon but me, you sonova...!

-Gerald Laird is up, hurting Alex Avila’s Rookie of the Year numbers. Think ‘ol G-Money’s been dying a bit inside with each extra base hit and RBI the kid’s put up the past couple days? At least Mr. Misty-May Treanor took the easy way out and isn’t being embarrassed by one of the boss’ kids.

-Here in Toledo, on the evening news they reported some guy threatening to jump off a bridge while screaming that Avila was ruining his life. They weren’t sure that they got his name right before the authorities got to him, but they thought he said he was “Rusty Dyan”. Wonder what he has against young Alex? People are crazy…

-Anyhoo, Laird has two on with one out. I smell a double play…that or the Fiesta Night nachos are strong.

-Laird tries to get doubled up (bless him), but it takes a bad hop and hits Punto in the face, or close to it. Rally time?

-All 140 pounds of Adam Everett steps into the box with the bases loaded. He does have a granny this year. How about another?

-That statement was sillier than Rod Allen on magic mushrooms as Everett strikes out easily.

-Granderson’s up with two down. First pitch, check swing, tapped back to the mound. Sigh. End of inning.

TOP OF THE THIRD

-The White Sox are beating Cleveland 1-0 right now. We need to build a lead on those pricks before Peavy comes back.

-Alexi Casilla leads off for the Twinkies. Too bad. I was hoping Matt Tolbert would be playing. I love hearing Rod talk about him like he’s Chase Utley or something.

-Casilla taps out to Polly.

-Denard Span’s up again. Ha…Mario says the Leyland remarked before the game that Span hits the Tigers like he’s in their scouting meetings before the game. Wow…they actually have scouting meetings, after all. The way they approach Span, Mauer, Luke Scott, Kelly Shoppach, Joe Crede, Jim Thome,and Jermaine Dye, I’d have never guessed it.

-Crede...why isn't he playing? He'd better be hurt, or Gardenhire's a moron.

-Span singles off of Verlander’s glove. Yep. Great scouting report.

-Cabrera lines into a double play. Mario gets the first lame “Johnny on the Spot” remark out of the way today referring to Polonco. End of inning.

BOTTOM OF THE THIRD

-Polonco leads off the inning. His average is up to .273. He flies out to center.

-Hey…the Yanks shut out the Sawx, 5-0 today. Want to bet that if a plane crashed into Comerica Park tonight killing both teams, Sportscenter’s lead story would still be the NY/Boston game?

-At least we'll be able to see Tiger highlights this week on ESPN without waiting until the last ten minutes of the show. That's about the only good thing I can see coming out of the Boston road trip.

-Clete comes up. On 1-2, he takes a pitch right down the middle that the ump calls “ball 2”. I guess he decided that since Clete is infallible, it must have been a ball. He then grounds out on the next pitch.

-Two outs for Cabrera. Cabrera wants the ball checked and the ump throws it away. Weird. New baseball, same result: Cabrera easily flies out to right to end the inning.

TOP OF THE FOURTH

-AFLAC: Who was the first Latino player inducted into the Hall of Fame?

-Mauer leads off. Hit him, Justin! In the face!

-He strikes him out on three pitches? Holy thunder!

-That hoser, Morneau, is up. He taps it to short for the second out. JV’s on a roll, now…unlike me. One and a half of these things and I’m out of bad jokes already. Anyone like knock-knock jokes?

-Kubel, the Apparently Handsome, is next. Justin gets him to tap to first and we’re done with this inning.

BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH

-AFLAC answer: Roberto Clemente! Your prize for getting it right? More bad Spanish jokes by Mario and Rod! Exceliente!

-By the way, I heard how they’re keeping Guillen sorta healthy. They’ve got Clete spitting in a cup and Kevin Rand is rubbing the saliva on Carlos’ shoulder! Why didn’t I think of that? Keep that stuff away from Nate’s elbow, though. We don’t need him back just yet.

-Carlos swings at a pitch at his shoes (he does that a lot) and pops out weakly to center.

-C’mon, you guys. This is Carl Pavano on the mound. He’s already shut you down three times this year. The rest of the league hits him like he’s Armando Galaragga. How do you look this bad against him?

-Maggs steps in and takes strike one. I miss the flowing locks…I have to admit it. Isn’t he due to be released any day now? He’s got to be only around 90 at bats away from the option for next year kicking in.

-He flies out to left. Two down.

-Inge waves and misses horribly at the first pitch. Rod calls Pavano’s command over the Tigers amazing. I call it disgusting. Amazing is the fact that Inge waved and missed again at the exact same pitch for strike two.

-Pavano’s 5-1 against the White Sox and Tigers this year. The Minnesota GM says that had nothing with the Twins acquiring him. Rod and I agree for the first time ever…we aren’t buying that.

-And Inge can’t buy a hit by swinging and missing for strike three. Give me Hessman, please. Brandon needs to be put on “time out” for a couple weeks. Just do it, Brandon. Imagine the mustache you could grow in that time!

TOP OF THE FIFTH

-Fifth inning? Already?

-They have Mario and sigh, Rodrigo, piñatas. And a picture of Rod, Mario, and Paws as the Three Amigos. Why do I root for these guys?

-Cuddyer leads off with a double to left center. Don’t pout, Justin. Please don’t pout.

-Little Dmitri (and his complete lack of the power that he used to have, cough, roids) is next. They traded Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett for Young. That’s worse than Jurrjens for Renteria.

-Strike two sees Delmon almost fall down swinging. Again, memories of Dmitri.

-By the way, get well, Dmitri. Hope you’re not done.

-Young fowls one off of Larid’s mask. Avila would have caught it with his teeth.

-Magglio takes the worst route ever to a fly ball, but manages to catch it. Cuddyer scoots over to third.

-Infield comes in with one out and Punto up. Rod tells us that Verlander has the ability to get a strikeout of Punto here. Also, water is wet, grass is green, and Rod Allen tends to talk too much.

-JV’s trying to be cute. 3-0 on friggin’ Nick Punto. He never learns.

-Punto walks. First and third. One out. Casilla coming up. Leyland looking pissed. Clete looking lost. Me looking bored. Megan Fox looking hot.

-Casilla flies to shallow center. Cuddyer takes off for home and Grandy…can’t get him. WFT, Curtis? When did you get a Johnny Damon arm?

-3-0 Twins.

-Tony Gwynn, er, Denard Span is up. 6-8 in the series, so far. Inge and Laird both try to talk to Verlander, but JV tells them to f-off. Avila probably would have broke down crying there. I don’t blame him. No wonder Leyland won’t let him catch Justin yet.

-Now Justin balks. Rod says his spikes got caught. Don’t pout, Justin!

-Polonco saves a run by making a diving catch. He couldn’t get anything on the throw, though, and Span has an infield single. Well, when you throw him another fastball right down the middle, what do you expect?

-We need to get Orlando Cabrera here so we can hold Mauer to a solo homer in the next inning.

-Verlander cranks up to 98 mph and strikes him out swinging. Nice.

BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH

-We’re brought to you by Belle Tire today. In the past couple months, I’ve taken my car to them three times for a slow leak in my front right tire. Three times, they can’t find anything wrong. It still leaks. Screw Belle Tire.

-Laird grounds out to third on the second pitch. That’s 9 in a row retired by Pavano.

-Adam Everett’s up. Rod’s talking about how it’s weird that Philly would have the “great” Pedro in the bullpen instead of starting. Someone remind Mr. Allen that it isn’t 2004 anymore.

-Holy hell, Everett doubles to right.

-Let’s see if Curtis continues being worthless today…

-Oooh. Cleveland’s up 4-1 on Chicago. Can we get rid of all of our high priced players and start winning more like the Tribe is doing?

-Grandy drops one into right for a single. Everett must have gotten a horrible read on it, because they stop him at third.

-Time for some Potato Head magic!

-Abracadabra, Polonco hits into a double play. Dammit.

-Great play by the Twins all around, I have to admit. Inning over.

TOP OF THE SIXTH

-The Antichrist (Anti-Clete?) Joe Mauer leads off. Hey, he pops out. Whew.

-Morneau stops thinking about hockey long enough to come up. He stares out at Justin and again starts thinking of power plays, slap shots, and Sidney Crosby. Then he thinks about back bacon. By the time he snaps out of it, Justin throws ball four. Dammit.

-Stand up double for Jason Kubel. I hate the Twins. And I look nothing like this prick, Jen.

-4-0 Twins.

-Cuddyer strikes out. Two down.

-Delmon Young smacks a single up the middle. Kubel waddles his way home as again, Grandy’s throw is a moment too late.

-5-0 Twins.

-Punto is up. My attention to this game is waning. I think CSI: Miami is on A&E right now. Sue me…Caruso makes me laugh.

-Young helps things out by being a greedy prick and is thrown out stealing by Laird. Three outs.

BOTTOM OF THE SIXTH

-Clete walks up to a Latino family in the crowd. He asks to borrow a young boy’s sombrero. He twitches his eyebrows a couple times, waves his fingers, a flash of light, and WOW! A rainbow appears out of the sombrero. Clete smiles and The Cult rejoices! But, oh no…the family is shreaking and the boy’s grandmother keeps making the sign of the cross. “Es el Diablo!”, they keep yelling while pointing at Thomas. Clete tears up and heads to the plate. Apparently, his savior status has not reached Mexicantown quite yet. The Cult does not acknowledge this as they don’t speak Spanish.

-Clete’s hitting .265. 265…hey, that’s my credit score!

-Pavano hangs one right down the middle and…sigh. Pop out to center field.

-No one’s on base, so it’s safe for Miguel to get a hit here. I’m pretty sure that’s how he thinks.

-Ouch! Cabrera gets beaned in the elbow. They hit our best hitter. If Mauer doesn’t take one off of his sideburns, then JV is a wuss.

-Guillen takes strike three right down the middle on three pitches. Go back on the DL, Carlos. Any way we can trade him for Gary Sheffield?

-Two outs for the guy that used to be Magglio Ordonez. Pavano continues looking like Roger Clemens by striking Maggs out.

TOP OF THE SEVENTH

-Chris Lambert is the new Tigers pitcher. Well, Leyland’s given up on this one. I see Lambert has taken Nate’s spot at the “human white flag” in the bullpen. How nice.

-First pitch, Punto singles to left.

-Casilla singles to left. Clete decides to play “Bad News Bears” and air mails Inge at third when no one is even running to third. Both runners advance. Yep…DFA Anderson and trade him for cash. No use for him. We’ve got Clete. Leyland's pet.

-Span pops up to left…and Clete almost falls down! Ball drops in for a “hit”. Span’s 4-4 and the run scores.

-Really?

-6-0 Minnesota.

-Can we trade Clete to Mexico for Timo Perez? It is Fiesta Tigres day, after all.

-Cabrera pops out. Way to go, Lambert.

-Mauer’s up. Ha! Lambert went WAY inside. Didn’t hit him, though. If you’re going to make a point, Chris, drill the guy. Then hit Morneau, too, that maple syrup drinking bastard.

-Joey Sideburns draws a walk. Bases loaded for Morneau. Time to start drinking.

-Maple Leaf Muscle has two grand slams this year. Hold your breath, kids. Then again, it’s 6-0…I’m probably the only Tigers fan not at the game that’s still watching. So, go screw yourselves.

-Single to center. Two runs score. Chris Lambert. Yep. Good move, Jim. Still only one out.

-8-0 Twins.

-Down by 8 in a game that Verlander started. Didn’t see that one coming.

-Then again, I'm a retard. I picked the Tribe to take the Central at the beginning of the year. Shut up...I wasn't the only one.

-Kubel comes up with runners at 1st and 2nd. Lambert manages to strike him out somehow. Two down.

-White Sox tied the game against Cleveland on homers by Thome and Quentin. When It rains, it pours. Too bad we didn’t get rained out.

-Cuddyer takes Lambert to the warning track 410 feet away in center for the third out. Inning over and I hope Lambert will be on a bus back to Toledo tomorrow morning.

BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH

-Gimpy Knees leads it off. He still appears to have a bunch of dirt on his upper lip. Keep trying, kid. Inge pops up to first.

-Carl Pavano. Seriously?

-Rod’s talking about the Red Sox. Says Beckett is their only good pitcher not on the DL with the Tigers coming into town next week. As I’m screaming “Jon Lester and Brad Penny” at my TV, he and Mario finally remember them.

-Laird out, Everett out. I’m about done, myself.

TOP OF THE EIGHTH

-Santiago takes over at second since Placido doesn’t play in blow outs.

-Young flies out. Does he have flames on his arms like Dmitri did? That’d be awesome.

-Punto up. Punto out.

-Mario tells me that Mike Maroth just had a baby girl. I hope he finds a job to support her.

-Casilla walks.

-Span is up again. He’s 4-4. Again. Lambert learns NOTHING from the past two days and gives up a single up the middle. Again.

-Raburn’s playing first. I didn’t even notice. Apparently, the defense hasn’t looked lost enough for Jim tonight.

-Orlando Cabrera is up with runners at first and third. He fouls a line shot towards the seats on the first base side. Sombreros went flying everywhere. I laughed…I admit it.

-Hit to the gap, Cabrera with a two run triple. Curtis dove for it…he doesn’t quit.

-10-0 Twins.

-Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

-Mauer is up. Why is he still playing in this game? I hope he gets hurt. Put him on the DL with a bruised sideburn, Lambert!

-Mario wants to know if there’s a chance Mauer would leave after next year when he’s a free agent. With the Twins payroll? Does the pope crap in the woods, Mario?

-Mauer with an RBI single to center. Lambert out, Miner in. Great. That’s an improvement.

-11-0, A-Holes lead.

-Morneau is the first guy Miner will face. And he taps back to Zach for the third out. How nice.

BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH

-New pitcher! Yes! Mijares is his last name. Nice of the Twins to throw a Latino pitcher against us tonight. Add insult to injury. And Thames will bat for Granderson here. Fine with me. It’s a blow out and Grandy hits Everett’s weight against lefties.

-Glad that Pavano and his eyebrows are out of the game. Those things are hairier than Verlander’s arms.

-Marcus flies out to center.

-Santiago’s up to make sure that all of our Latin players get a chance to play poorly on Fiesta Tigres night.

-White Sox are up 6-5.

-Santiago grounds out to Punto. Yes, I’m running out of gas, here.

-Oh, what the hell. It’s 11-0, I’ll do one more tonight. Clete walks over to a young Latino youth in the crowd. He asks him if there’s anything he can do for him. The boy says, “You can’t even play defense, ese! What ju gonna do for me?” Clete wrinkles his brow and nods to The Cult who procede to pummel the boy until security breaks it up. The Cult is not pleased with Fiesta Tigres Day. Neither am I, down 11 runs.

-Rod says that Mijares has 95 in his back pocket. I check my back pocket and find a condom that expired two years ago. I’m so lonely…

-Clete strikes out. The Cult is too busy eating tacos to notice.

TOP OF THE NINTH

-Thames goes in to play left and Leyland shows he still has a sense of humor by putting Clete in center.

-Kubel grounds to Santiago…who plays it lazy. Goes under the glove for a hit.

-5-4-3 double play gets rid of Cuddyer and we quickly have two outs.

-Delmon Young faces Miner. He eyes him up like Dmitri eyes up a ham sandwich.

-Strike three. We’re almost done…I promise.

BOTTOM OF THE NINTH

-Some happy salsa music is played as the AT&T Rapid Rewind shows replays of the Twins beating up on the Tigers all night. Cute.

-F-You, FSD.

-Glen Perkins is the new pitcher. Isn’t he a starter?

-Rod says Pavano has pushed Perkins to the pen. Sucks to be him.

-Raburn’s tongue steps into the box, quickly followed by Ryan Raburn. He flies out.

-Guillen bats lefty against the left hander, Perkins. Clete hasn’t worked on that shoulder enough, I guess. Rub some dirt on it, Carlos!

-The Twins have scored 73 runs in 10 games against us this year. All that despite them only having two good offensive players in their lineup.

-Guillen walks. He must not be trying to make it out in time to catch the UFC pay per view like the rest of the guys seem to be doing.

-Magglio’s up. He’s got a weird goutee thing going tonight.

-Soft single to left. First and Second, one out.

-Special Little Guy steps in. Jerk in the crows yells, “C’mon, Inge, get a hit!” Sigh. No, Brandon’s trying to hit into a double play, moron. Baseball fans annoy me to no end. I’m glad that I’m not one.

-Brandon hits it hard, but Span runs it down. Carlos advances to third without pulling anything and there are two outs.

-Laird is the last hope. He grounds out on the first pitch as Alex Avila gives him the finger. Your final score is 11-0.

Wow. That was depressing. Carl Pavano improves to 4-0 against the Tigers this year and I am out of here. Thanks for stopping by.

Worst fiesta ever.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Keeping Score #1: 8/6/09

I’m trying something new today that could either turn out fun, or it could be a total train wreck. Join me for a tongue-in-cheek look at the Orioles/Tigers game from 8/6. If you lack a sense of humor or you own a Brandon Inge jersey, you may want to go here instead. Let’s play ball.

-Before the game, they tell me that everything I know about fantasy football is about to change with Fox Fantasy Football. Does that mean I have to draft five defenses, touchdowns count against me, and the MVP of my team will be a kicker?

-Rod and Mario are sporting the blue shirts today. Sexy stuff, guys.

-Alex Avila gets the start today. The boys try to convince me that he has earned the call up and nepotism has nothing to do with it. No, sir. Nope. None here.

-Did I get Dusty Ryan demoted? It wasn’t him banging my buddy’s girl, Double D! I’m sorry! It’s not my fault my idiot friend wasn’t clear enough. Tigers backup catcher…first name begins with D. And I get blamed for thinking it was Dusty? Give the kid a chance, at least. Does Al Avila have pictures of you that you don’t want seen by the public, Dave?

TOP OF THE FIRST

-Dreamboat Rick gets the ball today. Ya know, I’m as straight as they come, but I haven’t seen a Tigers hurler this pretty since a young Matt Anderson first made his way to a pitcher’s mound. Or am I thinking of Mark-Paul Gosselaar from “Saved By The Bell: The College Years”?

-Avila’s wearing #13. Didn’t take long to piss on Josh Anderson’s grave, did it?

-Brian Roberts leads it off for the Loathsome Bird-O’s. He’s scrappy, hard-nosed, and hustles on every play, according to sportswriters. That means he’s small and white. He’s like David Eckstein, if Eckstein had any talent.

-Roberts flies out to left on the second pitch.

-Next up, Nolan Reimold…whoever he is. He pops out to Polonco. Well, this is starting out nicely. Think we’ll score more than two runs today?

-Nick Markakis is third.

-Rod’s talking about Porcello’s mound presence and how great it is. Like every other rookie pitcher breaks into tears whenever he gives up a hit. Like all other pitchers pout and cry when an error is made. Only Verlander does that, that I know of.

-Markakis grounds out to first. Porcello’s not dicking around today.

BOTTOM OF THE FIRST

-Great. Clete’s batting third today again. Find me another team in the majors that Clete Thomas would have a chance at batting third for, and I’ll show you a team in last place whose stadium is near the Lincoln Memorial.

-David Hernandez starts for the O’s. Whenever we face a kid pitcher, they either seem to shut us down or get bombed. How about the latter for a change?

-Granderson immediately flies out. Sigh. Make him do pushups, Jim! Like Willie Mays Hayes in Major League!

-Polonco decides against making Hernandez work, too, and immediately grounds out to short.

-Clete’s on his way to the plate and spots a young girl in the crowd looking sad. He walks over and mutters a weak “What’s wrong?” to her. Her tearful mother explains that the girl has a severe stuttering problem and is afraid to talk. Clete smiles and places a hand on her head. He closes his eyes and breaks into a hundred facial ticks. A bright light shines over his hand and the girl’s face. Her eyes get big and she has a peaceful smile. Her stuttering has been cured! All hail Clete! The Cult is pleased! The girl yells at the top of her lungs, “I love you, Matt Wieters!” Clete frowns and sulks to home plate. The Cult doesn't notice.

-Clete walks.

-Cabrera swings at a pitch at his eyes and pops up to first. He’s no Pujols, just yet.

TOP OF THE SECOND

-Aubrey Huff is still alive and leads off. Why don’t the O’s bat Luke Scott cleanup every game against us? Huff proves my point by weakly grounding out back to Porcello.

-Ty Wigginton is next with his giant head. Even Polonco makes fun of Ty’s noggin. He looks lost and strikes out on three pitches.

-Rod’s talking about arm slots. He calls Mario’s mother a slot. Well, not really.

-Luke Scott is up. Ordonez climbs into the stands to play defense.

-Porcello proves that he’s the smartest pitcher on the staff by walking Scott.

-Matt Wieters and his .788 batting average comes up...at least that's what I've been told. I was at the game on Tuesday and every time he came up, you could feel a warm glow coming from the field.

-Wieters takes pity on the Tigers and flies out to right. Thank you, Matt. You are kind.

BOTTOM OF THE SECOND

-A tape of a talk with Leyland. He mumbles for a while and I don’t understand a word. Something about Cleveland being terrible.

-Guillen makes it up to the plate without hurting himself. His average is up to .220. Good thing we dropped Anderson for not hitting enough.

-Carlos pops out to right. His shoulder thankfully doesn’t explode.

-What’s left of Magglio Ordonez is up next. He swings late at a couple fastballs (sigh) before getting around on one and singling to left field. Is he quietly coming back a bit or am I experiencing some wishful thinking?

-Brandon’s up. First pitch, home run! Welcome back, Brandon. Now quit blaming the knee for everything.

-2-0 Detroit.

-Avila, the catching savior, makes his MLB debut. They show Papa Al and Mama Yamile in the stadium. No nepotism here. No sir-ree.

-Rod’s still babbling about how Avila has earned his call up despite going 3-33 in his last nine games or something.

-Avila strikes out. Dusty Ryan giggles like a schoolgirl from whatever dirty hotel in Toledo he’s shacked up in.

-Santiago steps in with his fancy-lad shades on. Ramon drills one to right-center for a stand up triple! I love Ramon Santiago. I can’t believe they haven’t released him yet since that’s what they do with guys that I enjoy watching play.

-Granderson’s up with two down, runner on third. Much like Rex Grossman, he’s probably thinking, screw it, I’m going deep.

-Well, no. Grandy laces one down the line for an RBI double. Wieters Bless America.

-3-0 Tigers.

-Mr. Potato Head steps in. He lines one…OFF THE BAG AT THIRD! Granderson never stops running and scores on the play! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a play quite like that one.

-4-0 Good Guys.

-Granderson took second on the throw home and Clete’s up. He’s all business as he performs no miracles before stepping in. Hernandez is up to 54 pitches, a good sign. Brian Bass is up in the O’s bullpen. No word on if he’s a large mouth or not. Sigh.

-Clete walks again. Baltimore fears Clete. Wieters isn’t comfortable having Hernandez throw strikes to another that can walk on water.

-Miguel can blow this one open here with a big hit. He drills it to deep center, but alas, we’re in Detroit, and it’s a 400+ foot flyout.

TOP OF THE THIRD

-Text Poll questions: Who has been the best minor league call up for the Tigers, Ryan Raburn or Clete Thomas? Geez…why don’t you just GIVE him the trophy? (Billy Madison reference)

-Felix Pie grounds out to short. And I thought the O’s only had white guys on the team.

-Andino(?) bounces out to third before I can figure out who he is.

-Brian Roberts is up again. He leads the AL with 38 doubles, Mario tells me. He hits a fly ball that Magglio and Curtis almost collide on, but the catch is made and we move on.

-If Porcello keeps this up and The Marlboro Man pulls him early again for the pen to blow it, I may burn down Comerica Park.

BOTTOM OF THE THIRD

-Rod tries to convince me to buy tickets for the Mariners series. No thanks. I’ll watch Luke French no-hit us from home, thank you.

-Guillen leads off by grounding out to first. Josh Anderson shakes his head in disgust. Quit crying, Josh. You’ll probably be the cleanup hitter in KC.

-Maggs grounds out to third as Rod explains that they have the kinks in his swing worked out. Let’s hope so. Lloyd will certainly have earned the name “Legendary” if he can bring Magglio back.

-Brandon Inge is up again looking intense. It works as he singles up the middle. First time I do this and Inge is playing his first good game since the All Star Break. Coincidence? I think not.

-Avila steps in to the box. They compare him to Lance Parrish since “The Big Wheel” also wore #13. I throw up in my mouth a little bit.

-Rod and Mario talk about retired Tiger numbers. Why #1 and #3 aren’t retired yet is a mystery to me.

-Avila takes one down the line for an RBI double as Inge scores from first! Dusty Ryan, in a fit of anger, punches the hooker he picked up to watch this game with right in the face.

-5-0 Detroit leads.

-Rod just comes short of declaring Avila ready for the Hall of Fame.

-Al Kaline and Al Avila hug. Screw it, I’ll be nice. Congrats Al and Alex. That’s gotta be a good feeling. I can’t wait to ruin my son’s life by pressuring him into baseball when he’ll most likely want to do something else. “You’ll play baseball and you’ll like it, you ungrateful little bastard!” "But I want to be a doctor!" SLAP! "Quit crying and grab your mitt!" Sniffle...can't wait.

-Santiago flies out to end the inning.

TOP OF THE FOURTH

-Reimold leads off. He grounds out to Santiago.

-AFLAC: Who is the only MLB pitcher to win a World Series game in 3 different decades? That’s easy. Matt Wieters.

-Markakis is up. He hits one to right that I was sure Magglio was going to screw up by the look on his face. But Ordonez puts it away for the second out.

-Huff huffs his way up. Hardy har. He immediately pops up to third. Holy no-hitter, Batman!

BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH

-Commercial Note: The Bernstein family scares me. I want a lawyer to protect me from them.

-Huh. Apparently the AFLAC answer was Jim Palmer. Wieters is acceptable, though, I’d imagine.

-Bass is the new pitcher facing Granderson. He walks Grandy to start things off. Well, we are about due for a double play.

-Potato Head steps in. Rod just “got confirmation” that Josh Anderson is back in the big leagues and just had a baby boy! Congrats, to you, Neo. Maybe Junior will be “The One”.

-Polanco goes the other way and singles to right. Granderson takes third. Why didn’t I go to THIS game? Dammit.

-Clete floats to home plate instead of walking. Just because he can. The Cult is pleased by his showing of his powers. He shatters his bat on a fielder’s choice and Granderson scores.

-6-0 Tigers.

-Miguel Cabrera puts down his sandwich long enough to come to the plate. Miguel swings at a LOT of bat pitches, I’ve been noticing. Is that because he’s not seeing good ones? He strikes out as I type that swinging at a pitch that isn’t even close. Hmmmm.

-Guillen comes up and laces one to left for a single. I watch to make sure he doesn’t turn an ankle rounding first, and all appears well.

-Crap. Miguel appears to be hurt in the dugout as a trainer looks at him. The entire Tigers organization holds their breath except for Jeff Larish who gets excited. You know it's true.

-Maggs is next at the dish and weakly pops out to first. Yeah…the swing is fixed, Rod.

TOP OF THE FIFTH

-Did I mention how good Rod and Mario look in blue today?

-Rod says Avila has done a good job leading Porcello today. Do they get a $100 bonus every time they kiss this kid’s ass?

-Wigginton’s giant head leads off. He has three more chins than the O’s have hits. Dammit, make that two as Ty singles to center.

-Darth Vader is next up. I never realized it until now, but Scott has some Mauer-esque sideburns. Maybe that’s why he kills us every game. He taps out to Porcello as Wigginton moves to second.

-Wieters is up. Before Tuesday’s game, I stopped at Hockeytown Café. There was a chick there in an Orioles cap. I sneaked up behind her and whispered into her ear, “Matt Wieters”. On the spot, she had three orgasms and ran into the bathroom screaming in pleasure.

-Seriously, how many baseball rats do you think Wieters has given herpes to so far? I’m thinking in the hundreds by now.

-Polanco angers the gods by robbing Wieters of a single up the middle. Two outs and the runner advances to third.

-Felix Pie singles in the run. Prick.

-6-1 Tigers.

-The shortstop, Robert Andino, who I missed the first time around, is up. Robert Andino…not the same ring to it as Cal Ripken, I guess.

-Rod and Mario talk about Avila some more. They just keep kissing this kid’s ass. I haven’t seen this kind of rookie love since Sparky Anderson first set his eyes on Chris Pittaro. Dusty must be in tears by now. That or he’s hiding that hooker’s body.

-Andino walks on a 3-2 pitch. First and second, two out. Rick Knapp is out to try and break the curse that Matt Wieters no doubt placed on Porcello after getting robbed.

-Roberts is up again. Apparently, the doubles stat is the only one Mario has on Brian as he gives it to us again. Someone in the truck wakes up and puts up some more for Mario to read. Basically, Roberts is pretty good for a second baseman. He grounds into a fielder’s choice that Andino’s hustle makes much closer than it should be. Inning over.

-Holy hell...are we finally going to get Rick his 10th win?

BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH

-Inge leads off to the squeals of 13 year old girls everywhere. Wait, is Brandon growing a mustache to go with his stupid little soul patch thing? I don’t get a better look as he quickly grounds out to short before I can be sure.

-Avila’s up to highlights of his first hit. Trumpet players announce his arrival with a ten minute musical piece. Confetti and streamers fall from the upper deck. Al Avila shrugs and says, “What, too much? I do this for ALL rookies!”

-Avila singles up the middle as Gerarld Laird gets uncomfortable on the bench. Dusty Ryan begins to slice his thigh with a razor that he found in the hooker’s purse.

-The Little Tiger That Could, Ramon Santiago, steps in. Wieters mishandles a pitch and Avila takes second. Of course, they give Bass a wild pitch on that. Wieters does not make mistakes.

-Ramon grounds out, 4-3, and advances the runner to third. Great job, Ramon. I like him so much better than Everett.

-Curtis is up with two down. Infield single and an RBI! Nice try by Roberts, though. Why can’t we do this more often?

-7-1 Tigers.

-Polly grounds out to end the inning. Clete’s next miracle will have to wait a while.

TOP OF THE SIXTH

-Reimold leads off for The Birds. Porcello hangs a breaking ball and Nolan singles to left. Think Reimold’s dad wanted him to be a pitcher when he named him? Or is "Nolan" the wife’s father’s name?

-Markakis is next. The Tribe has taken at 2-1 lead over Minnesota in the ninth. The White Sux are down 5-0 in their game. Good news everywhere! The Detroit bullpen is stirring…so does my stomach. It’s Perry and Ni. I can deal with them, I guess.

-Nick draws a walk. First and second, no outs. Rick looked great through four. Not so much since then.

-Huff steps in as the Indians have held on to win. Rick gets to 2-0 on him and Avila walks out to talk to him. He no doubt draws back on all of his big league experience to calm Rick down. That or they talk about the Jonas brothers for a while.

-Huff hits into a double play! Runner to third, two out. Good job, Alex. The Jonas brothers ALWAYS calm Rick Porcello down.

-Wigginton doubles a run in on a ball that Clete maybe should have caught. If only Thomas wasn’t hearing the prayers of everyone in attendance today all at once, he would have gotten a better jump on the ball. The Cult didn't notice, so it's okay.

-7-2 Tigers.

-That’s it for Dreamboat Rick. Get us another rookie in here.

-5 2/3 for Ricky. He just seemed to run out of gas. What a shame. At least we scored for him today.

-Made In Taiwan is in the ballgame to face Luke Scott. Scott’s amazing powers fail him once again as he pops out to Polanco.

BOTTOM OF THE SIXTH

-The Coors Light Freeze Cam is on, sigh, Alex Avila. The biggest “sure thing” since Ken Griffey Jr, the way Rod is talking. Kiss ass.

-Before coming to the plate, Thomas (as a joke) changes Porcello’s Gatorade into wine. Leyland notices as Young Dreamboat is about to take a sip and stops him. He orders Clete to change it back since Rick’s not 21 yet. Clete looks sad, twitches his nose, and the Gatorade returns. He sulks up to the batter’s box as Leyland glares at him. The Cult was amused, though, as they don't care about liquor laws.

-He grounds out to Brian Roberts. The Cult doesn’t notice.

-Cabrera, not hurting too bad, it seems (thank Wieters), draws a walk.

- Guillen swings at a pitch at his feet and singles to center. A “seed” according to Rod. Finally, a Rod-ism. It took six innings for one.

-Ordonez pops out to center field.

-Mr. Mustache is up. Brandon must have hit puberty, finally. His eye hasn’t matured, though, as he swings at a pitch a foot outside and strikes out.

TOP OF THE SEVENTH

-Raburn comes in to play left and Clete moves to right. By the way, Clete’s leading the text poll 85% to 15% over Ryan. No kidding.

-Why does Raburn always have his tongue hanging out?

-Wieters hits a sure double to right center, but Clete (or “Johnny on the Spot”, according to Rod) makes a FANTASTIC running catch to rob him. Our false prophet is better than your false prophet, Baltimore! Suck it.

-Pie grounds out hard to Cabrera at first.

-If Clete gets a Cult, I think Fu-Te should get some Knights that say “Ni”. I’m sorry.

-The O’s shortstop that isn’t worth remembering comes up and grounds out to Potato head.

BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH

-Rookie of the Year frontrunner, Alex Avila, leads off. Dusty Ryan stands on a chair with a noose wrapped around his neck waiting to see what happens in this at bat.

-Avila gets another highlight package. Mother of Satan…

-Alex grounds out on a great play by Roberts. Dusty steps down from the chair. He’ll give it a little longer.

-Rod’s in a giggle fit over something. I’m sure it was hysterical, but I wasn’t listening.

-Ramon flies out to right.

-Danys Baez apparently came into the game to start the inning. I didn’t notice. Apparently, the Tigers broadcast team didn’t, either.

-This is where we get into trouble. We get a five run lead and the guys start swinging at the first pitch. We don’t score anymore and the bullpen lets the opponents creep back into the game. I’m not trying to be negative, but I’ve seen this crap too many times.

-Curtis hears me and draws a walk. At least someone listens to me.

-Polanco flies out to right. A-hole.

TOP OF THE EIGHTH

-Bobby Seay is here to pitch the 8th. Roberts will start it off for Baltimore.

-He drops one in between Granderson, Thomas, and Polanco for a single.

-Judge Reinold is up as Rod and Mario talk about him as a Rookie of the Year candidate. Sure…until Avila gets enough at bats, that is.

-Seay is struggling with his control. He gets to 3-2 on Nolan before walking him. Leyland needs a smoke as Markakis steps in.

-Lyon’s up in the pen as Seay stalls. Knapp likes that idea and he runs out to the mound, too. They, no doubt, talk about what a wonderful job Avila is doing out there today.

-Markakis swings at some bad pitches before popping out to first. Thanks for the help, Nick.

-Aubrey Huff is next. Another double play would be nice out of Huff, here.

-Instead, he singles to left center. Roberts scores.

-7-3.

-First and third and Leyland’s seen enough of this crap. Lyon’s coming in.

-Seay has sucked lately. Can we give Jamie Walker a look since the O’s dumped him?

-Ty Wigginton steps in. Lyon continues to impress by striking him out on a nasty breaking ball. “X-Mo’s nice”, says Rod in a creepy voice.

-Flyout to center by Scott ends the inning. Wow…he must be hurt.

BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH

-Clete’s up first, but before stepping into the box, he walks over to the stands. A small boy is standing there holding an empty soda cup. Clete smiles at the boy, wiggles his ears, and a bunch of flowers grow out of the cup. The boy giggles with glee at the miracle. The Cult is pleased. Then, a large bumblebee lands on the largest flower. Before he knows what is happening, it stings the boy in the face sending him into hysterics. Clete gasps in horror as he runs up to take his turn at the plate. The Cult was too busy talking about the flowers to notice.

-Jim Johnson (if that IS your real name) is the new Orioles pitcher.

-Clete recovers from nearly killing the young boy to double to left field. That takes concentration.

-Horatio Sanz steps to the plate. Wait, that’s Cabrera.

-Miguel strikes out. He doesn’t seem to want to be at the ballpark today.

-Guillen stands in there, no doubt proud of the fact that he hasn’t pulled anything today. Clete takes off for third as Guillen grounds out to “not Mike Bordick” at short.

-Raburn’s up for his first at bat. His tongue is sticking out, of course. Sigh. He reminds me of Odie from the Garfield cartoons.

-Lambert and Rodney(?) are warming up in the pen. The quad-A long reliever and the closer are up with a 4 run lead. WTF?

-A breaking ball is hung, but Raburn can only weakly fly out to left. To the ninth we go! (Thank Wieters…I’m tired…and I’ve got to work soon.)

TOP OF THE NINTH

-Lyon faces Wieters to begin the inning. Wieters is done being merciful and laces a double down the right field line.

-Felix Pie hits one near the left field warning track that Raburn manages to not drop. Whew.

-Andino is up and Rod and Mario are very quiet for some reason.

-He strikes out. One more to go!

-The crowd gets to their feet as Brian Roberts comes up. One pitch and he grounds back to Lyon…GAME OVER!

-Tigers win, 7-3!

This was fun. All kidding aside, congrats to Alex Avila on a great debut. And to you, thanks for reading. Take care. I’m out of here…