Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Catfight: Clete Thomas vs. Don Kelly


In the battle for the final roster spot for a position player on your Detroit Tigers, it seems that Don Kelly has beaten out Clete Thomas to be this year’s token untalented white guy off the bench. While it is no secret that Your Party Host wishes that both men had been aborted by their mothers, it is only fair that I do a complete breakdown on them to try and see if the team made the right decision. Let’s take a look in a bit that I’m going to start calling “Catfight”.

Given Name
Clete: Mike Thomas
Kelly: Don Kelly
Advantage: Push. You don’t get much more boring than those names.

Hitting Ability
Clete: Hahahahahahaha…
Kelly: Bwaaaaaaaaa, hahahahahaha…
Advantage: Clete. Slightly. Nothing to be proud of…did you ever see the South Park when they are choosing between a Giant Douche and a Turd Sandwich to be the school mascot? It’s kind of like that.

College
Clete: Auburn
Kelly: Point Park College, a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania
Advantage: Clete. Don Kelly is a hippie…who knew?

Age
Clete: 26
Kelly: 30
Advantage: Clete. After 30, it’s not cool to nail 19 year olds anymore. It becomes creepy. I don’t agree or understand it either, but that’s what everyone tells me. Oh, plus it is better to be younger in baseball or something.

Memorable Tiger Moment
Clete: Walk off homer against Baltimore in August, 2009.
Kelly: Losing a fly ball in the ceiling of the Metrodome contributing to us losing the 2009 AL Central title.
Advantage: Clete. F-ck you, Don Kelly.

Famous Namesake
Clete: Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel
Kelly: Don Johnson
Advantage: Kelly. Sonny Crockett was the man back in the day.

Can Play
Clete: Outfield
Kelly: Anywhere…will possibly be available for birthdays and bat mitzvahs if you throw in a free hot dog.
Advantage: Kelly

Coolest Name of a Minor League Team He Played For
Clete: Erie SeaWolves
Kelly: Tuscon Sidewinders
Advantage: Kelly…only because he also played for the SeaWolves. And both played for the Mud Hens and Whitecaps.

Got First Shot In Detroit Replacing…

Clete: Curtis Granderson (due to injury)
Kelly: Clete Thomas (due to Clete being terrible)
Advantage: Clete. C’mon. Grandy is still loved here at the DNR.

Career Stats

Clete: .253 Avg, 8 HR, 48 RBI, .336 OBP, 89 OPS+ in 443 plate appearances.
Kelly: .217 Avg, 0 HR, 3 RBI, .301 OBP, 53 OPS+ in 94 plate appearances.
Advantage: Clete. Holy hell, I cannot believe that so many of you want Don Kelly to make this team. Sure he can play a lot of positions. But he is horrible. Horrible! The PITTSBURGH FRICKIN’ PIRATES RELEASED HIM, FOR CRISSAKES!

Survey Says:
And by a score of 6-3 (with one tie), Clete Thomas is your winner! Congrats, Clete. But sadly, Your Party Host is not in charge of this team. Ryan Raburn can play anywhere as poorly at defense as Kelly, so I think Thomas should have got the spot. Who cares if Kelly doesn’t have any options left? Would anyone want him? And wait…am I defending Clete Thomas? Man, this whole Nate being traded thing has me off my rocker…

Good luck in 2010, gentlemen. I honestly cannot wait to make fun of you both for another season.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nate Traded For Magic Beans


Good night, sweet prince.

Really? I come back early only to see Our Hero shipped off to the Marlins with cash for, wait for it...ANOTHER lefty reliever? This is not how things were supposed to go down. So much comic material...wasted!

The Tigers sent Nate and his tender groin to Florida with cash considerations in return for Jay Voss, who was ranked by Baseball America as the Fish's 23rd best prospect. He is projected as being a lefty specialist out of the pen. One can only imagine the erection that Dave Dombrowski had while acquiring yet another left handed reliever. Really, Dave? W...T...F? You, sir, have a fetish problem with these lefties.

Voss split time between A ball and AA ball last year with a 2.72 ERA, 8.3 K/9, and 3.3 BB/9 according to mlbtraderumors.com. Welcome to Detroit, kid. Try not to piss me off.

In seven years with the Tigers, Nate went 51-68 with a 4.87 ERA. In 1042.2 innings pitched, he allowed 1149 hits, 145 homers, walked 374, and struck out 709. In other words, he sucked. And he is namesake of this blog due to being so terrible, yet almost universally loved by Tiger fans along with Brandon Inge and Clete Thomas.

However, Robertson was capable of eating innings and at times showed signs of being a decent middle-of-the-rotation starter. Nate was always described as a great guy off and on the field. I'm sure the Marlins are going to be happy with his presence in the clubhouse. And moving to the National League and playing for a new contract might just propel Nate into having a decent year in 2010.

So, that's it. Ding dong, Our Hero's dead.

And Nate, no hard feelings. I hope you win the NL Cy Young.

Do I need to change the blog name, now? Is deathtodonkelly.com taken?

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Strange Visitor From the East


For those of you too young to remember (d-bags), Carnac the Magnificent was a character played by the late, great Johnny Carson on the old “Tonight Show”, back before Jay Leno ruined the program. (Sorry, I’m with Coco.) Carnac was a psychic that held envelopes to his head and would give the answer to a question written on a piece of paper sealed in the envelope. He would then open the envelope and read the question. The also late, not-as-great, Ed McMahon was Carson’s sidekick throughout the skits. It was much funnier than it sounds…check it out on youtube if you’re still lost. David Letterman has also done the schtick in the past.

Anyways, in later years, a guy who used to write on the net named Chris Hyatte would rip off the bit and I always got a laugh out of it. And since the only original bone in my body is neglected and unwanted by any female I come into contact with, I’m going to rip off everyone in my attempt at applying Carnac to the Detroit Tigers.

I give you “Rogo-nac, The Tremendous”. Brace yourself.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for a visit from a great stranger from the East. It is the all-seeing, all-knowing, sage, soothsayer, the man who taught Don Kelly how to hit…I give you Rogo-nac, The Tremendous!

/Rogo-nac enters and trips on the stage.

Are you okay, Great One?

Fine, you twit. Let’s get going with this.

Yes, sir. I hold in my hand a pile of envelopes. A child of four can see that they are hermetically sealed and have been kept hidden deep in Lloyd McClendon’s scouting reports of opposing pitchers, where no one would possibly look for or find them. We now ask you, great Rogo-nac, to use your divine powers to give the answer before opening the envelope and reading the question. Are you ready?

Indeed.

Hermetically sealed…

Yup.

In Lloyd McClendon’s scouting reports…

If such things exist. Give me the first envelope.

Ladies and gentlemen, the first envelope!

Rogo-nac must have complete silence.

Most times, Rogo-nac gets nothing but complete silence.

May you come home drunk to Miguel Cabrera’s wife.

Ha, ha, ha, ho!

/puts envelope to forehead

Made in Taiwan.

Made…in Taiwan, okay.

/rip…poof

Who did Fu-Te Ni lose his virginity to?

HO, HO, HO, a maid in Taiwan! Brilliant!

/puts envelope to forehead

Spic and span.

/rip…poof

What was the centerfield platoon of the Twins last year?

HA HA HA…you’ve used that one before, oh seemingly racist one.

May Lynn Henning criticize your personal life. Next one.

/puts envelope to forehead

Coke, Washburn, and Grilli

/rip…poof

Name a pop, a flop, and a wop.

Ho, ho, ho, Jason Grilli was terrible, sir.

/puts envelope to forehead

An ugly orangutan.

/rip…poof

What do you get if you cross Gerald Laird with an orangutan?

Heh, heh…not a great effort, mighty one.

May a fellow blogger want to set you up on a blind date with her friend.

/puts envelope to forehead

Brandon Lyon

Brandon…Lyon. Yes, sir.

/rip…poof

What was Inge doing when he blamed his knees for his production dropping in the second half?

HO, HO…that lying little bastard can’t hit, can he, Great One?

May your general manager commit over $30 million to three washed up starters.

/puts envelope to forehead

Nate Robertson, a slider, and Kevin Youkilis.

/rip…poof

What is filthy rich, Bondo’s pitch, and Porcello’s bitch?

HA, HA, HA…YES! So witty!


/puts envelope to head


Johnny Damon’s contract and Dontrelle Willis’ welcome.

/rip…poof

What is overpaid and what is overstayed?

Heh, heh…preach on, evil one.

May you attend a basketball game with Gerald Laird’s grandfather.

Ho, ho…that perverted, old fart.


May you be stuck in an elevator with Rod Allen. Next envelope, please.

/puts envelope to head


Jacob Turner, Randy Smith, and Fu-Te Ni.

Turner, Smith, and Ni…


/rip…poof

Name a hope, a dope, and a slope.

Oooooooh…resorting to racism again, are we? You’re better than that, sir!

May Dane Sardinha meet your girlfriend while you are at work.

May your home city be not cosmopolitan enough for an ex-stripper.

May your personal life be ruined by blowing a .09.

Ho, ho, nice trifecta there, oh mighty one. Your next one.

/puts envelope to head

Sweet and sour shrimp.

/rip…poof

What do you call a moody Will Rhymes?

Har, har…he is tiny and untalented, Great Rogo-nac. Scrappy, he is!

May you discover your closet full of Dombrowski’s sweaters.

/puts envelope to head

Section 204 at US Cellular Field.

Ooh…

/rip…poof

What is 40 feet long, has 10 teeth, and smells like dog piss?

HO, HO, HO! Filthy Sox fans, yes, sir. Good one.

/puts envelope to head


Buzzsaw Craig Monroe.

Buzzsaw…Craig Monroe?

/rip…poof

Who did Buzz see working the grill at McDonalds the other day?

HEYOOO…low blow, my friend. Poor Craig…

May Joel Zumaya show up to your keg party.

/puts envelope to head


Jim Leyland’s lungs.

/rip…poof


What were the only black things not traded or released from the Tigers in the
offseason?

Yikes! Ho, ho…maybe too far, Rogo-nac.

May your team count on Aubrey Huff to ignite the offense.

Ugh…

May you be told that you resemble Bobby Seay or Jason Kubel.

/puts envelope to head


Justin Credible

/rip…poof


What does Rick Knapp say if JV makes it through six innings at under a hundred pitches?

Ooh…I think you’re beginning to lose steam, sir. We should finish up.

May your number one fan call himself “schwangfoo”.

/puts envelope to head


Magglio Ordonez, Avila’s glove, and Samuelsen’s blog.

Uh oh…

/rip…poof

What is looking fit, a catcher’s mitt, and a pile of sh-t.

YOWZA! Ho, ho, ho…genius!


May your posts be heavily edited by The Bleacher Report.

/puts envelope to head

Back, crack, and sack.

/rip…poof

What are problems for Carlos Guillen, Josh Hamilton, and Nate Robertson?

Ho, ho…poor Nate and his groin. Can’t you leave him alone?


Shut up. May you be forced to teach Bondo a third pitch.

/puts envelope to head


Ozzieball.

Haha…Ozzieball.

/rip…poof

Who do I despise and where do I want to kick him?

Ho, ho…kick Ozzie Guillen in the nuts, oh awesome one.

/puts envelope to head


Ernie Harwell, Bondo in the 1st, and Jen from Old English D.

Bracing myself, sir…

/rip…poof

Name the all-time best, a frustrating test, and an annoying pest.

HEYOOOO, HO, HO! YES! You are the greatest, Rogo-nac!


May your manager leave the closer in for a fourth inning of relief.

Ouch. Game 163 still hurts, sir.

May you get stuck teaching spoiled brats in Connecticut.

Heh, heh, poor Blake. Oh, Great One, I hold in my hands the last envelope!


(audience roars)


Finally!


May Lloyd McClendon try to teach you to hit left-handers.

Ho, ho…

May your city’s prized NFL free agent be Pacman Jones.

Ewww…


May Clete Thomas bat third for your baseball team in a pennant race.

Please, Great One. The envelope.

May your untalented third basemen be worshipped by thousands of fat, white girls.

/holds envelope to forehead


Ajax’s skill, Gibby’s hobby, and Damon’s wife.

/rip…poof

What is to bunt, to hunt, and a c-nt. Seeya.

HYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! HO, HO…thank you, Rogo-nac the Tremendous! Visit us again, oh Great One!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Well, Look What The Cat Dragged In

Yup. I’m back already. Just call me the Casey Fien of the Tiger blogosphere. You can’t get rid of me that easily.

So, I thought it would be for the best to take some time away from my soapbox of Nate-Hate to take care of the issues that have recently wrecked havoc on my personal life. As it turns out, things aren’t going to be as time consuming (at least right now) as I thought they would be. Sure, down the line I’m going to have to serve some jail time take a small break again, but for now, I can see no reason why we can’t continue to have fun with the Tigers at the good ‘ol DNR.

But to do this, we need to establish some new ground rules around here. Let a brother explain.

While I was being truthful in thinking I needed a break from writing on here due to the personal stuff, there was another reason that I stopped, as well. The thing is, I just wasn’t happy writing about the Tigers anymore. I actually started to hate it. And as soon as I felt that I had an out, I took it.

I started this little blog to entertain myself and some friends of mine. Over time, I felt the need to be more like the other Tiger blogs out there and occasionally get away from the humor stuff that I enjoy doing. And while reporting news and doing serious analysis is fine for other blogs (and the vast majority of them do a fine job) it’s just not for me. The DNR 25 thing that I was doing, quite frankly, bored the crap out of me. The Tiger Droppings, while funny in my opinion, put a weekly deadline on myself that became a burden. So, I’m done with all of that. Baseball is a game, people. It shouldn’t be taken as seriously as so many people do.

And let’s be honest, kids. If you’re coming to a blog called “DesigNate Robertson” and you’re looking for news, you probably should stick a lawn dart in your eye and save us all some trouble.

Basically, I’m going to stick with what I do best. And I’m going to stick with what I enjoy:

I’m going to make fun of Brandon Inge.

I’m going to second guess every decision that Jim Leyland makes.

I’m not going to be politically correct.

I’m going to call it as I see it, no matter how unpopular it is.

I’m going to make fun of Clete Thomas.

I’m going to make fun of stupid things written about the Tigers.

I’m going to keep pointing out that Don Kelly is horrible at baseball.

I’m going to do the “Keeping Score” thing that I did last season from time to time.

I will occasionally try to write something to make you think. (maybe)

I’m going to wish death by fire on Nate Robertson while maybe secretly pulling for him at the same time.

And I’m going to try to come up with some new ways to keep you kids entertained during the 162 game trek we call the baseball season. Let’s have some fun.

If anyone out there reading this has a problem with any of that, piss off. Stick to tigers.com and the freep. This blog is not for you.

Let me end on this. To those of you that texted me, left a kind word here on the blog, or emailed me your thanks and support, I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. While “Rogo, Your Party Host” may be a prick and may say goofy things from time to time, Scott Rogowski, the person, appreciates every nice comment and all the support you have sent. You guys rule. Thank you for reading and caring.

To those of you that quietly lurk out there and check out this blog from time to time, I thank you, too.  I hope you get some entertainment out of it and welcome you here anytime.

As for the rest of you, crawl up a bear’s ass and die.

We’re going to have some fun around here from now on.  I'll do my best.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Designating Myself For Assignment

Kids, we need to talk. I'll attempt to be brief and not bore you here.

In the past week, my personal life has been turned upside down. I am going through several things at once and my time is going to be quite limited for a while. Because of that, I'm going to have to take a break from DesigNate Robertson while I get my personal affairs back in order. I'd like to look at this as not a "goodbye", just more of a "smell you later". (Simpsons reference, ha.)

But before I disappear, I would like to thank you, the reader, from the bottom of my black, little heart. I started this thing as a way to kill time, entertain myself, and make a few of my friends laugh. I never expected to make new friends, develop any kind of actual readership, or any of that stuff. But thanks a bunch for "getting" what I've been trying to do here, even if many folks (mostly Clete fans) still don't understand me or what I've been trying to do.

Special thanks to Ian, Blake, and JP. You guys rule and I wish you all continued luck. That goes for everyone in the Tiger blogosphere, as well. I'll still be checking in from time to time, so don't start sucking at this while I'm gone.

Most of all, thanks to Jen at Old English D. If everyone on Earth was as good of a person as she is, the world would be a much better place.

And real quick, for the two of you that actually care, let me finish the DNR 25 for you. When I get back, I'll probably do the full article treatment for these guys.

#7 Chet Lemon
#6 Cecil Fielder
#5 Mickey Tettleton
#4 Magglio Ordonez
#3 Kirk Gibson
#2 Alan Trammell
#1 Bobby Higginson

Shut up.

If anyone wishes to reach me for anything, my email address is rogoisgod@yahoo.com. Long story there...I don't really claim to be God. I hope to be back to making poop jokes about the Tigers around the All-Star break if all goes well. Until then, be good, take care of yourselves, and go Tigers! (Even you, Nate.)

I leave you paraphrasing the words of the great prophet, Frosty the Snowman:

I say goodbye
But don't you cry
I'll be back again someday.

Thanks again. Seeya.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tiger Droppings: 3/5/10


Top Story:  The Battle of Lakeland
Spring Training has finally begun.  Everyone likes to say that the games are meaningless, yet for some they mean too much.  There are guys out there fighting for jobs that mean everything to them.  Sure, most of the rosters are pretty much set from the get-go, but many guys are auditioning for other teams and playing for future considerations when guys get hurt.
In Detroit, it is no different.  There’s a roster spot or two that isn’t spoken for.  There are a few guys making a boatload of money that the Tigers have to make decisions on.  And while nothing noteworthy can really be said after only two games, Your Party Host will take this time to predict what the final Opening Day roster will look like (barring injury or trades) and who is fighting for what.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Season Is Over

I've been a very well behaved boy for quite a while.  But this gave me a screaming headache.  From Samuelsen at the Freep...

Tigers don’t look like a playoff team to me

That’s exactly the title of an article that I’m sure all Tiger fans want to see on March frigging third. Bring on the doom and gloom!

I could write a cogent, thought-out, long blog entry about how the Tigers are going to win the AL Central.

No you couldn’t.

I could write a cogent, thought-out, long blog entry about how the Tigers won’t win the AL Central.

Also doubtful.

That’s the thing about spring-training predictions, especially for a team with as many questions as the Tigers. Both arguments could make complete sense. But I'll reserve final judgment until Opening Day.

Indeed. Making predictions a month earlier would be stupid. But by the first week of April? It all becomes clear. Why do they even play the stupid games?

When the Nos. 4 and 5 spots in your rotation are comprised of two guys named question mark, I'm allowed to take some time to assess.

As opposed to last year when our 4th and 5th guys were named Nolan Ryan and Bob Gibson. We’re actually looking a bit better with the Bondo/Armando/Coke/Nate/Dontrelle group battling it out this year, methinks. And by the way, we led the division most of last year with guys named Figaro, French, and a broken down Washburn starting games at the back of the rotation. I hardly think our 4th and 5th starters are going to keep us out of the playoffs. The offense is what needed work.  But please, go on.

So with that as a disclaimer, I don’t see the Tigers as a playoff team this season. There are just too many questions for a team that had a lot of holes last season.

And finished the season tied for first with all of those holes. You’re right. No playoffs for us.

That’s the thing to remember about 2009.

That we forced a one game playoff with more exposed holes than Jenna Jameson?

Sure, the team should have won the division last year.

Holes, I tell you! Comerica Park looked like it was infested with moles!

But as the Tigers flailed down the stretch while trying to maintain that lead, there were reminders galore of how many flaws gripped the team. The rotation was incomplete.

No team has five All-Stars at starting pitcher. JV, Rick, and EJax did a great job last year. (Well, Edwin was good much of the year.) Of course, they're not going to win every time out.  And the four and five guys aren’t going to lose every game out. So, if you win an average of 3/5 games, you’ll have a .600 winning percentage (roughly 97 wins), more than enough to win the AL Central. The rotation wasn’t the problem.

The lineup was full of holes.

Holes! Swiss cheese, this team reminded me of!

And even the big guns had stretches during the season during which they struggled mightily. So when you subtract from that guys such as Placido Polanco and Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson and Fernando Rodney, it doesn’t make sense to me that a flawed team somehow will be better.

Polanco and Granderson were dog crap last year. Polly’s OPS+ was 88 and Grandy’s was 100. Those were the table setters last year. Jackson disappeared in most of the second half and Rodney was so impressive with his 1.47 WHIP that no one wanted him to be their closer this year. So these flaws that you mention, well, they are no longer there. Improvements were made. Make sense, yet? Okay…

Sizemore will be a step down in defense at second, but he should be able to top an 88 OPS+ with ease. Johnny Damon doesn’t have Granderson’s power, but he is better at everything else offensively. Max Scherzer is at worst, Jackson’s equal. But from everything I’ve read, he seems to be a big step up. And Jose Valverde is so much better than Rodney that it’s frightening. Even if are still crying yourself to sleep over Grandy leaving and think he’s going to rebound after the past couple years of suck, you have to admit that we’re looking up in your other examples.

We haven’t even touched on Miguel Cabrera’s new attitude and lack of booze, Magglio Ordonez reporting to camp in shape and without the distractions of his wife last year, Gerald Laird having some actual help behind the plate this year, Brandon Inge’s rebuilt magic legs, and Carlos Guillen being able to walk and not being counted on to play in the field all year. And speaking of health, a healthy Jeremy Bonderman is one hell of a #4 guy if you want to go back to your rotation stuff. I’d say we look a lot better than last year’s bunch of losers that led the division all season.

That’s the bad news.

Best bad news ever.

The good news is that the other two contenders in the division are the Twins and the White Sox, not the Yankees and the Red Sox.

I agree. We have a good chance at making the playoffs. Let’s stop this nonsense and go get a beer.  You buy.

So while the Tigers are not a perfect team, by any stretch, neither are their rivals for the crown. The Twins have to adapt to a new ballpark and, in the process, lose a great measure of their home-field invincibility. If the Twins were playing outdoors last year, you easily can make the argument that the Tigers would have won the division. Seriously. Do you think Don Kelly drops that ball in the Saturday game in September if he’s not staring at a gray ceiling?

Yes. Don Kelly is horrible at baseball.

I don’t.

Oh, well. By the way, you’re hurting your point that the Tigers won’t make the playoffs this year by pointing out how bad the other teams are. Is anyone else noticing this?

And the White Sox are clearly rolling the dice with players such as Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones, whose best years were five and six seasons ago.

Don’t forget Alex Rios, Freddy Garcia, Mark Kotsay, and Omar Vizquel. Paul Konerko’s an old man, too. The Sox are old and overrated. Well, except for one guy that I’m sure you’ll mention.

Maybe they pick up Adrian Gonzalez and start to look a little more formidable. But until they do, they have questions as well.

Oh, no mention of Jake Peavy?  One of the best pitchers in the game?  Ring a bell?  Good call, hopefully he dies in a bizarre gardening accident or something.

More good news is that the Tigers have this weird ability of defying expectations ever since Jim Leyland arrived.

Yeah, they defied expectations like a mother in 2007 and 2008.

I’m not sure if that’s on him, and I’m not even sure it’s a good thing.

It’s not. And it’s not even true. Even in 2006 they collapsed at the end of the regular season before catching fire in the playoffs…and flaming out against a clearly inferior Cardinals team in the World Series.

But think about the four-year run. Their best year was 2006, when nothing was expected of them. They followed that up with two disappointments,

I thought they kept defying expectations? Is Peter King ghostwriting your blog?

including 2008, which was one of the greatest duds in Detroit sports history. Both of those years, they were an easy pick to win the division or even win it all. Last year, they seemed to be retooling a bit, choosing defense over offense. And they came a day away from another postseason series against the Yankees.

Holes! Wait…holes? Were they good or bad…are they good or bad? What were we doing here again? Does anyone know?  I feel drunk.

This team reminds me a little of 2006, right down to the highly thought-of youngster in center (Austin Jackson this year, Granderson in ’06).

In 2006, Nook Logan was going to be our centerfielder. Grandy came in and took the job from him. Poor Austin Jackson has the weight of the world on his shoulders compared to Curtis in 2006.

If you believe in those things, maybe this is your team.

If a team reminds me of a World Series team, then yes, yes, a thousand times yes, it is my team.

But I’m also a big fan of what I can actually see (unlike Rod Marinelli, who is a big fan of the invisible).

You should write jokes for Leno. I think he’d like the cut of your jib.  Wait, aren't holes invisible?

And I simply haven’t seen it … yet. Certainly not enough to call this a playoff team.

Yes, but certainly enough NOT to call it a playoff team, either. It is the beginning of Spring Training.  And in this division, even the Royals have a chance. Let’s give it a few months before we start eliminating the Tigers from the playoff picture.

Pretty please? And let them play a few games before we start complaining about holes. No more about holes for two months, at least. No more holes! Okay?  A-hole?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The DNR 25: #8 Lou Whitaker

Full Name
Louis Rodman Whitaker

DOB
5/12/57

College
None (Martinsville High School, Martinsville, VA)

Drafted
1975, 5th Round, Detroit Tigers

MLB Seasons
1977-1995

Tiger Seasons
1977-1995

Career Stats
.276 Avg, 244 HR, 1084 RBI, .789 OPS, 116 OPS+

Career Leaderboard
5 time All-Star (1983-1987) 
3 Gold Gloves (1983-1985)

4 Silver sluggers (1983-1985, 1987) 
1978 AL Rookie of the Year


Best Tiger Season
Wow.  Of all of the Tigers on this list so far, picking out Lou’s best season is the toughest.  You can make a decent case for several of Whitaker’s campaigns.  But I’m going to go with 1983 as Lou’s best all-around year.

In ’83, Sweetness hit a career high .320 with 12 homers and 72 RBI.  He played in a career high 161 games and had an OPS of .837 and an OPS+ of 133 while adding 40 doubles, also a career high.  This was well before he became more of a power threat late in his career.  He finished 8th in the MVP voting in ’83, won his first Gold Glove, played in his first All-Star game, was third in the league in batting average, third in hits, and fifth in runs created.


Little Known Fact
At the 1985 All-Star Game, Lou forgot to pack his jersey.  Not realizing it until just before the start of the game, he had to make due with whatever replica merchandise he could find on sale at the park.  He found an adjustable mesh hat and a blank Tigers jersey that he wrote his #1 on the back of with a black magic marker.  The jersey is still on display at the Smithsonian to this day.


Reason For Being On The List
Well, what Tiger fan isn’t a fan of Sweet Lou?  Of course he was going to be on this list.  My first ten years as a baseball fan were spent watching the man play and it was a pleasure.  From 1977 to 1995, he and Alan Trammell were the faces of the Tiger franchise.  Don’t believe me?  Check out Magnum P.I.

 

Awesome.  With his combination of being able to get on base, hit for occasional power, sweet glove, and his quiet way of playing the game the right way, Lou’s going to always be a favorite of mine.


What Happened To Him?
Lou has stayed out of the spotlight since retiring.  He got shafted in the Hall of Fame voting, in many people’s opinion.  His numbers are very close to Ryne Sandberg’s (and many other HOF second basemen), but Lou barely got a glance from Hall voters when it was his time.  Whether it was playing in Detroit, his non-reporter friendly attitude, or whatever, but Lou has really never gotten his due for the contributions he made to the game.

Greg Eno wrote a great piece on Whitaker that you can read at his site, if you missed it.  Scroll down to the 1/27/10 piece.
I look forward to the day that the Tigers finally retire Lou's number.  Hopefully, they can get him and Trammell together to retire them both at the same time.  It's only right.

Info ripped off of baseball-reference.com and Wikipedia.
Pic via Google.


More Fun With Spring Training Photos

Robin Buckson from the Detroit News and Julian Gonzalez from the Freep continue to have their fine photos from Spring Training coming in. Please check their work out.  As I've said before, I love when camp starts up.  Everyone's joking around and having fun.  Baseball isn't a "serious business" quite yet.  And I like to have fun with it, of course.  So here's some more pics with some goofy captions that shouldn't be taken seriously.  Check them out after the jump.  And yes, my stupd ass finally learned how to put in a jump break.