Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Old People Hate Brandon Inge???

And now, a moment in the life of Your Party Host.

As a general rule, I avoid talking with old people for several reasons. They smell weird. They’re always cranky and complaining about something. They chew even when there’s nothing in their mouths. They’re universally unpleasant to look at. They could drop dead at any moment and I don’t want people to think I caused it. They often make no sense. Etc.

Well, at the friendly bar/restaurant/hellhole that I am in charge of running, an elderly woman of around 80ish came in to place a to-go order. As she’s waiting, she sits down and starts watching the Tigers game that I’m, of course, staring at instead of doing my work. Who happens to be at the plate? Detroit’s Special Little Guy himself, Brandon Inge.

Predictably, Brandon strikes out. I mutter two words to myself rhyming with “brother trucker” and happen look at the old woman. She shakes her head, turns to me, and stuns me by saying, “I hate that Inge. All he does is strike out.”

I’m in shock. I was under the impression that Brandon Inge was the hero of old people, fat girls, and crippled children all over the world and could do no wrong in their eyes. I smiled at her and said, “Yeah, I know. He’s horrible.”

She then asked how old Brandon is. I told her 33, same as I am. She then amuses me by asking, “By now, shouldn’t he have some clue about batting? He’s been around long enough and still swings and misses by a mile all the time. I just don’t get it.”

At this point, I’m considering asking this woman if she can legally adopt me as her grandson. The last thing I asked her before returning to actually working was who she did like on the team. She responded, “The guy that saves games for them…I like him when he dances.” Then she got her food and left.

I learned something from this exchange. Old people, while a nuisance in almost every way, are in fact capable of doing something worthwhile other than leaving you money when they die. This woman made me smile. And that’s not something that’s easily done.

Thank you, madam. Godspeed. I hope we didn’t give you food poisoning.

xxxxx

Quick site note: I've heard both good and bad about the black background that I had up for a while. So, I’m trying this one right now...it's a bit easier to read. I’ll figure it out eventually. Thanks for stopping by, as always.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fun With Tom Gage of the Detroit News

Two posts in one day? I don't even know who I am anymore.

Tom Gage wrote this yesterday at the Detroit News site. I'm here to offer my take on it. Joy for all.

Tigers could make changes at four positions, including pitcher, for 2011

Next year.


Only in Detroit could an article be written looking towards next year on the day that the team takes over sole possession of first place. I assume this was written before the game, but still.

Nearly halfway through this year, let's talk about next. It's never too early.

Okay, I’ll bite. I’ve been more excited than anyone about the possibilities of 2011 with the contracts of D-Fail, Our Hero, Bonduh, and Binge coming off the books. What do you have for us, Tom?

That's not to say the Tigers aren't going anywhere this year. They might.

/checks standings

You do watch Tiger games, right?

They very well could. There is more than a half-season left.

They’re in first place.

But even if they do make some noise this season,

First f-cking place.

/checks score of current game

Well, they were.

what will they look like next? Possibly a lot different.

So far, we have “might”, “very well could”, “even if they do”, and “possibly”. Is Tom Gage writing this or is it Peter King?

Don Kelly “might” be the worst hitter in the majors.

Joel Zumaya “very well could” drink himself to death after blowing up his arm again.

“Even if they do” beat out the Twins this season, Ozzie Guillen “possibly” may have sold the souls of his children to Satan to win the Central again.

More after the jump.

Glass Joel's Arm Explodes...Again


Has taking over first place ever felt this horrible?

Last night in game against the Twins, Joel Zumaya threw a pitch to Michael Cuddyer and reacted like he had been shot. Word is, he has a non-displaced fracture in his elbow and will miss the rest of the season.

What a shame. Joel has continued to play Matt Anderson and battle arm injuries over and over, but unlike Anderson, come back to be a dominating setup man for the club. This year, he was a border-line All-Star pick going 2-1 with a 2.58 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 34 strikeouts in 38.1 innings.

The Tigers have recalled Casey Fien, the man that no one in baseball seemed to want for more than a week this spring, to replace him. Fien has put up an ERA of 2.29 in 39 innings at Toledo this year. We can only hope that he finds that level of success with the big club, unlike recent call up Jay Sborz, who found nothing but suck.

In a post-game interview last night, Phil Coke was putting the blame on himself for not getting the job done leading to Jim Leyland putting Zoom in an inning earlier than he would have liked to. Poor Phil. It’s not your fault. If you’re going to blame someone, let’s look at the suspects.

Jim Leyland: Has Jim overused Zumaya this year with his history of arm trouble? Did he play Captain Hook too early on Coke with Jim Thome on deck after Cuddyer?

Joel Zumaya: Was Zoom hiding any pain in his arm leading up to this? Has he not learned to be cautious with his million dollar arm at this point?

Joe Mauer’s Sideburns: The evil voodoo in Mauer’s 90210 facial hair has doomed the Tigers for a while now. Is this another case of Mauer’s evil hurting our beloved Bengals of D-Town?

Bad Luck: Our team is cursed more than any team not named the Cubs.

Perhaps it’s a combination of all of those things. I don’t know. What I do know is that someone, be it Ryan Perry when he returns, Mark Schlereth if he gets a call up, or maybe even Mr. Fien needs to emerge as a reliable set up guy for Jose Valverde if these Tigers are going to continue to be front runners in 2010.

As for Zoom…wow. I’ve always liked Joel and I hope this isn’t the end for him. He had a heck of a year going this season and I hope we haven’t seen the last of the 100mph heaters he has thrilled us with. Until then, Joel, take it easy and don’t beat yourself up.

I said take it easy! Yikes…

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Rant On Jim Leyland


Bear with me, kids, but this has been building inside of me for a while. When I’m not doing my usual “Jo Jo the Idiot Circus Monkey” schlong joke jamboree here at the DNR, I usually try to give an opinion that is honest, but perhaps not the general consensus of other Tiger fans I read and/or I talk to.

For example, I was pro-Gary Sheffield when not many were due to his high OBP and will to win. I was very much in favor of signing Jose Valverde when most were not. I’m of the opinion that Brandon Inge may possibly be the bloody antichrist while the majority of Tigerland wants a statue of him built in left field at Comerica Park. I even wanted Josh Anderson to be a starter, thinking he was going to morph into some sort of 1980’s Vince Coleman-type player. I’m not always right. (Don’t tell anyone.) But the point is, I try not to be anything close to cliché over here.

But I’m kind of about to be in this piece. Again, stick with me on this, if you will.

It is very cliché for a baseball fan to rag on the manager of his team. “He’s an idiot.” “Fire the bum.” “Heck, I could do a better job running the team than this clown.”

You can read comments like that after every article dealing with the Tigers over at tigers.com, the Freep, or the Detroit News site. Baseball fans always think they are smarter than the manager, no matter which club they’re a fan of. Second guessing the skipper has become an art form in today’s sports viewing with ESPN’s talking heads, instant replay, and of course, the internet becoming more and more prominent. Being a manager is a thankless job that one would have to be a little bit crazy to want to do in the first place. Look at Joe Torre, for crissakes. All the guy did in New York was win and it still wasn’t enough for them.

But screw Torre. This is a Tigers blog. And I am frigging sick and tired of Jim Leyland and how he runs the Detroit Tigers baseball team. At times, I even hate him more than Don Kelly. (I know!)

The icing on the cake for me, for whatever reason, was in the series finale against the Mets on Thursday. I can’t quite remember how it came up, but Mario and Rod were talking about stats, computer printouts, and whatnot. Then they said that Leyland wasn’t into any of that. They commented that at most, he’ll have one piece of paper that he’s written things on. Mario even noted that Jim’s seems proud that he “doesn’t even know how to turn on a computer.”

It is 2010, kids. Our manager is proud of the fact that he doesn’t know how to take advantage of information that might make his team better. He brags about being stuck in his ways. He continues to hurt the team when a regular player is hurt by just subbing a Quad-A player in the starter’s normal spot in the batting order, whether it’s Don Kelly leading off or Ryan Raburn hitting third. Mother of God, the most inept hitting player on the team, Gerald Laird, was second in the lineup the other day. What the fudge, man? It is ridiculous to me.

How many games did Jim cost us by stubbornly batting .230 hitter extraordinaire, Clete Thomas, third in the batting order last year? How many ballgames this season have been lost by his decision to bring make Dontrelle Willis the #5 starter over Our Hero, Nate Robertson or maybe Eddie Bonine? Exactly how long was he planning on leaving a gassed Fernando Rodney in there during the infamous Game 163? Why was Figaro starting the most important game of the year (at the time) last year and Polanco getting a day off the final week of the season when we needed him most? When exactly is he going to have a talk with Carlos Guillen about throwing, whether it be to the wrong base twice in the same game from left field against KC earlier this year, or throwing sidearm at second base and pulling Miguel Cabrera off the bag multiple times this month? (Apologies for the run-on sentence…I get worked up.)

I could go on and on. I’m just frustrated and fed up with The Marlboro Man’s antics. I’d like to see the Tigers follow the modern trends that are being followed in running the teams in Oakland, Toronto, and Boston, for example. Maybe I just picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

Big Al over at Bless You Boys wrote a good piece complaining about Jimbo’s lineups on Wednesday and brought up how great Jim is a managing the clubhouse. I agree 100% with him on that. Jim’s great at keeping players happy and his handling of the Jim Joyce/Armando Galarraga saga was perfect. Bravo, Mr. Leyland on that stuff.

But f-ck team chemistry. I give two slaps of a fat chick’s ass if the Tigers are a happy group and like each other. I want them to win baseball games. I want them to not continue to wilt under pressure late in the season. I want my manager to give the team their best chance at winning each and every time they trot onto the field. And batting Don F'n Kelly leadoff is not doing anything close to that.

I’ve always been one to think that a baseball manager does not win games for his team. But he sure as hell can do his part in losing them with his decisions. In 2,917 MLB games as manager, Leyland is 1,450-1,467…that’s a winning percentage of .497. With the exception of a piss poor Colorado Rockies team in 1999, Jim’s had pretty good baseball teams over the years in Pittsburgh, Florida, and Detroit and is still under the .500 mark. Yes, he won a World Series with Florida in 1997. But that Marlins team was so overloaded with superstars that even the Yankees would have blushed about it. A chimp could have taken them to the Series.

Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m actually Alan Trammell and am bitter about how the team screwed me over.

But I’m pretty sure that I’m not. I have zero confidence that Jim Leyland can lead the Tigers to the promised land. He got involved in a perfect storm in 2006 and I’ll be forever grateful to that team for the memories up until the World Series collapse against an inferior Cardinals team. But I don’t see it happening again. I just continue to see this team lose game after game where if we had a manager with even a minor interest in taking a look at the numbers that are readily available to him, to quit being so stubborn in his ways that have led him to a career losing record, to just use some f-cking common sense once in a while…

Sorry, Jim. I really, really hope that I’m wrong. You’re a nice guy. You’re a class act. You give some interesting as hell interviews when you’re in the mood. You don’t want to hear any weak sh-t from Jason Grilli. Amen!

But enough’s enough. It’s time for a change.

We are watching Detroit Tigers baseball at a very special time. Do you folks realize and appreciate that? Right now, we have arguably both the best hitter (Miguel Cabrera) and best starting pitcher (Justin Verlander) in Tiger history playing on the same team in the primes of their careers. (All due respect to Cobb, Kaline, Greenberg, Lolich, Morris, etc.) We have experienced supporting superstars in Johnny Damon and Magglio Ordonez that are more than capable of pulling their weight. We have two of the most promising young players in Austin Jackson and Brennan Boesch that I’ve seen come up as rookies in recent memory. We have the youngest pitching staff in the majors and these kids can throw...and more are on the way! We have an owner that is willing to spend cash to the point that he was the only owner to lose money in MLB last season...and he was cool with that. He just wants to win.

And in 2011, all of the pieces will be available for the Tigers to make their most legitimate run at a World Series since I started watching baseball in 1985. Most of the bad contracts will finally be gone, the kids will have a year of experience under their belts, and if we’re lucky, Joe Mauer will have died of AIDS by then. (Pray with me.)

But I ask you, one more time, is Jim Leyland the man that you want to see running the show again?

I say no. Please, no. With a capital f-cking "N".

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Keeping Score: Tigers @ Mets 6/24/10


Tonight, our Jeckyll and Hyde Detroit Tigers are trying to avoid being swept by the red-headed stepchild of New York baseball teams, the Mets.  Armando Galarraga’s 15 minutes of fame over his imperfect game is about up as he takes the mound for D-Town.  The Mets counter with Hisanori Takahashi.  Armando Galarraga vs. Hisanori Takahashi?  This may be a major league record for the longest names facing each other as starting pitchers.  As Casey Stengel said, “You could look it up.”  But I don’t have time for that…I’m Keeping Score.

/apologies for the cheesy intro

TOP OF THE FIRST

-Will someone please tell Rod Allen that his new glasses make him look like Steve Urkel?  It’s been bothering me for a week.

-Mario says it’s a “sultry” night in New York.  Sexy, Mario.  Sexy.

-Takahashi has an ERA under 1.00 against AL teams.  We’re either going to beat up on him or get shut out.  There never seems to be any in-between.

-Austin Jackson leads off, barely still over .300.  The count goes full and AJax draws the walk.  Nice start.

-Batting second is Ryan Raburn?  Sigh.  Oh well, at least he’s not third.  F-ck you, Jim Leyland.  I kid…I’m still on Raburn’s side.  Unlike you jerks that have all jumped ship on him.  He started slow last year, too…remember that.

-Raburn singles to left on an 0-2 pitch to make me look good.  Good boy, Ryan.

-Future All-Star snub, Magglio Ordonez is up.  He strikes out on a pitch in the dirt, but AJax and Raburn pull off a double steal.  Second and third, one out.

-And here comes Big Mig.  Argh…he’s swinging at crap in the dirt, too.  It’s quickly 0-2.  But Cabrera recovers to take one to the warning track…AJax and Raburn tag up and Jackson scores.

TIGERS:  1, METS:  0

-Two down for Brennan Boesch, the one-man crime spree.  Yes, I’m still working on a nickname that I enjoy for him.

-Boesch pops up to end the inning. 

BOTTOM OF THE FIRST

-RANDOM COMMERCIAL NOTE:  I hope that whoever is in charge of making the Little Caesars commercials is one day eaten by sharks.  So annoying…every damn one of them.

-Oh, no.  Armando shaved his stubble.  He looks like a lesbian again.

-Jose Reyes leads off.  I made the comment yesterday that I would burn down an orphanage if it meant the Tigers somehow acquiring him.  I stand by that statement.

-Reyes has cool looking cornrows.  Jeff Larish and especially Will Rhymes do not.

-Armando loses this attempt at a perfecto by walking Jose.  Blame the ump!

-Jesus Feliciano is up next.  Mario said he has spent 12 years in the minors before getting the call up.  Leyland would have him hitting cleanup.

-He pops out to Worthless at short.  One down.

-David Wright, the Jeter of the Mets, steps in.  He leads the NL in RBI, says Mario.  Not this time, as he pops out to Raburn who somehow manages not to drop it.  Two outs.

-Ike Davis is the cleanup hitter for the Mets.  Davis has been more like Ike Turner lately, beating the hell out of the baseball.  I’m sorry.

-Fly ball to center…AJax makes it look harder than it should have been, but three are down.  6-7-and 8 are coming up for Detroit.  Where are my Rolaids?

More fun ‘n’ games after the jump…

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Always A Tiger: AAA Edition

Like many of you, I get attached to the millionaires playing baseball on my TV screen for the Tigers. And I like to keep tabs on them when they move on to other teams. But one thing I haven't done on here is look through the AAA leagues at some guys that played for us and are trying to make it back to the show. So here's some ex-Tigers that I found playing in AAA ball and what they've done this year. Mud Hen guys aren't included.

International League


Position Players
Mike Hessman, BUF, .287, 18, 57, .985 OPS
Jacque Jones, ROC, .315, 1, 14, .777
Dane Sardinha, LHV, .254, 4, 20, .678
Brent Clevlen, GWN, .259, 1, 14, .761
Matt Joyce, DUR, .324, 2, 11, .970
Josh Anderson, GWN, .125, 0, 0, .310

Pitchers
Freddy Dolsi, CHA, 1-2, 4.54 ERA, 1.54 WHIP
Wilfredo Ledezma, IND, 0-1, 1.50, 1.13
Virgil Vasquez, DUR, 2-0, 5.28, 1.24
Mike Maroth, ROC, 0-2, 1.64, 1.36

Notes: I wish someone would overlook Hessman's early-30's age and give him a shot. The guy has freakish strength and did well in the majors the last time the Tigers gave him a look. In fact, I wish we would have gave him a shot last season at 3B when Brandon's knees were falling apart. As it stands, I believe he is the current leader in career minor league homers, at least among active players. Also, it's good to see that Mike Maroth is still alive. Poor guy was a sacrificial lamb for us. And Dane Sardinha is the only player I dislike more than Don Kelly.

Pacific Coast League

Position Players
Chris Shelton, RR, .291, 8, 31, .829
Jack Hannahan, TAC, .217, 3, 21, .644
Dusty Ryan, POR, .123, 4, 11, .488
Eric Munson, POR, .201, 7, 20, .732
Timo Perez, ALB, .297, 1, 7, .744
Josh Anderson, NAS, .245, 0, 2, .574

Pitchers
Andy Van Hekken, RR, 3-4, 3.80, 1.31
Luke French, TAC, 6-2, 1.93, 1.10
Clay Rapada, OKC, 1-0, 2.08, 0.96
Juan Rincon, COL, 2-2, 7.25, 1.93

Notes: How does Dusty have four dingers and only hit .123? I wish Luke "The Tickler" French was still around...screw you, Washburn. Josh Anderson continues to move around. Guess I was wrong about him...I thought he had something. And as always, I love Timo Perez.

Mexico

Position Players
Alexis Gomez, LAG, .359, 13, 64, .982
Jose Macias, CAM, .321, 5, 35, .880

Pitchers

Estaban Yan, MEX, 8-2, 5.11, 1.37
Victor Santos, LAG, 2-1, 4.97, 1.34
Roberto Novoa, MVA, 3-0, 6.98, 1.55

Notes: Alexis Gomez for MVP! And Victor Santos...there's a guy I forgot about. He has Porcello numbers...actually better. Viva Mexico!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Return of the Strange Visitor From the East


If you weren’t here for the first attempt at this, here you go. If you’re going to rip off someone, rip off the best. Johnny Carson ruled. On we go…

Ladies and gentlemen, it is once again time for a visit from the great stranger from the East. Heaven has no star brighter than our guest, Eddie Bonine’s personal knuckleball coach…I give you Rogo-nac, the Tremendous!

/Rogo-nac enters and trips on the stage.

Are you okay, mighty sage?

I’m fine, you idiot. Let’s not waste any more time.

Indeed, good 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 within Rick Knapp’s scouting reports on Minnesota Twin hitters, where no one would possibly look for or find them. We now ask you, oh great Rogo-nac, to use your divine powers to give the answer before opening the envelope and reading the question. Are you ready?

I am.

Hermetically sealed…

Yes.

In Rick Knapp’s Minnesota scouting reports…

If such things exist. Please, 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 Jim Joyce hail from your home town.

Ho, ho, ho…

/puts envelope to forehead

Tom Brady, Big Ben, and Don Kelly batting third.

Brady, Big Ben, and Kelly third…yes sir…

/rip…poof

Name a jock, a clock, and a crock.

HA, HA, HA…a brilliant start, sir!

/puts envelope to forehead

Catch-22.

CATCH…22.

/rip…poof

What does Ryan Raburn do with 100 fly balls?

HOHOHO…he’s a terrible fielder. Yes. Next one, great one.

/puts envelope to forehead

Mark Fidrych, Kurt from Bless You Boys, and Danny Worth.

Be careful…

/rip…poof

Name “The Bird”, a soccer nerd, and a useless turd.

Ha, ha, ha…so sorry, Kurt. He doesn’t mean it.

May Brandon Inge pick out a tattoo for you.

/puts envelope to forehead

Arabia.

Arabia?

/rip…poof

What did Fu-Te Ni say his favorite part of a woman is?

HIYOOOO! A labia! Brilliant, awesome one. But no more border line racism today, please?

May a fellow blogger send you a picture of her feet.

Haha…

More brilliance after the jump...

 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Top 50 Awesome Tiger Names in History


When your baseball team can be traced back to 1894, there are bound to be some interesting names listed in the all-time roster. And the Tigers have definitely had some odd ones over the years. Hopefully I don’t leave out any of your favorites, but this is what I consider to be the top fifty most interesting player names in Tiger history, in alphabetical order. Enjoy.

1. Billy Baldwin (OF, 1975)
Yeah, screw Alec, Stephen, and the fat Baldwin brother. Billy was a Tiger. Actually, this Billy Baldwin was involved in a big trade with a name that any Tiger fan should recognize. Billy was traded to the Mets for Rusty Staub and Bil Laxton. The guy traded with him? Mickey Lolich.

2. Skeeter Barnes (IF, 1991-94)
I have fond memories of Skeeter. He never played much in the majors until the age of 34 when he found time with some of those horrible early 90’s Tiger teams. Since retiring, Barnes has had several minor league coaching gigs.

3. Yorman Bazardo (P, 2007-08)
Yorman has one of the more fun Venezuelan names in the game. He did a pretty good job for us in ’07, but got shelled in limited action in ’08. He’s currently in the Astros organization.

4. Boom-Boom Beck (P, 1944)
As you’ll notice, player’s names were much more interesting in the first half of the 1900’s. Walter Beck got his name while pitching against the Phillies in 1934. He allowed numerous line drives against the wall that day that each made a “boom” sound. When pulled from the game, he threw the baseball against the wall making another giant “boom” sound. Boom-Boom would have made a good nickname for Jason Grilli, now that I think about it. Anyway, Beck was mainly a relief pitcher at the end of his career when he played in Detroit.

5. Lu Blue (1B, 1921-27)
Amazing as it sounds, Lu was a fun name that was a student of Ty Cobb, during his player/manager days, proving that Cobb didn’t actually hate everyone that he ever met. Blue had a lifetime OBP of .402 and was an excellent fielder. When he retired, he became a chicken farmer. Lucky guy.

6. Hiram Bocachica (OF, 2002-03)
I always imagined Beavis from “Beavis & Butthead” saying “Bocachica” over and over when I would hear the name. Yes, I’m weird. The Puerto Rican native is still active, playing for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League.

7. Raul Casanova (C, 1995-99)
It’s hard to believe that he was our main catcher in 1997. I just like to picture him introducing himself as “Casanova” to chicas in the bar and the looks he must have received in return. He last played in the majors for the Mets in 2008.

8. Flea Clifton (IF, 1934-37)
With a name like “Flea”, I can only assume that he was an impressive physical specimen. Clifton was a long time friend of Tiger legend Hank Greenberg and appeared in a 1998 documentary on “Hammerin” Hank.

9. Slick Coffman (P, 1937-1939)
“Slick” is always a fun nickname for anyone. Especially when you’re drinking and feel like being a jerk. Coffman didn’t last long in the majors, but Hank Greenberg hired him to manage a minor league team in the Indians organization when Coffman’s playing career was finished.

10. Tex Covington (P, 1911-1912)
I don’t know about you, but you don’t get much more of a bad-ass name than Tex Covington. I’ll bet John Wayne would have even shook his hand.

11. Davey Crockett (1B, 1901)
The king of the wild frontier had 29 hits in 28 games in his only MLB season.

12. Roberto Duran (P, 1997-98)
The lefty pitched in 31 games for Detroit before being claimed off of waivers by the Montreal Expos on New Years Day, 1999. His career was “no mas” after that. Zing.

More after the jump...



Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tiger Droppings For the Weekend of 6/11/10


Just a couple things that the voices in my head have been screaming about the past couple days:

Nepotism? Naw, Not Here
I admit that I know dick about the MLB Amateur Draft every year. Maybe I’ve been brainwashed by the NFL and how important draft picks are. And you know, I can see taking a flyer in the late rounds on the manager or an office employee’s kid. The White Sox drafted Ozzie Guillen’s kid late. Alex Avila has turned into a surprise in Detroit after being drafted by the team his Dad works for. That’s fine.

But was it necessary to use the 8th round pick on Jim Leyland’s kid this year? And after that, was it necessary to draft Rick Knapp’s kid, Lloyd McClendon’s kid, Tiger scout Barney Miller’s kid (what, Fish didn’t have a kid out there?), and Justin Verlander’s brother?

Was it necessary to recently draft the brothers of Nate Robertson, Joel Zumaya, and Rick Porcello? How about drafting Avila’s other kid last year? This stuff is amazing to me.

We have jack and squat in our minor league system other than some scattered good pitching prospects. I know the MLB draft goes on seemingly forever. I believe there are 845 rounds or something. But the constant nepotism in Detroit’s recent drafting history is not helping anything one bit. How about restocking our minor league system with real players that you've scouted instead of taking the bat boy's second cousin because you want to make him happy? Knapp already said that his kid isn't probably going to sign. What's the point of the draft, anyway, if the team's not going to take it seriously?

This Week In F-ck You, Jim Leyland
3-0 White Sox victory today. 8th inning, bases loaded, 1 out. Our #3 hitter is due up. The thing is, instead of moving Carlos Guillen up to the three-hole today with Magglio needing another day off due to his ouchie, Jim just bats Raburn 3rd with his sub .200 average and limited ability to hit a baseball this year. Raburn pops out weakly, Cabrera swings at a pitch in the dirt to end the inning, and Fatty Jenks closes the door in the ninth.

How hard is it to make a new batting order? How hard is it to move a good hitter up in the lineup when someone that usually bats there needs a day off? Logic would tell you to get your better hitters more at bats than your struggling ones. Carlos was .500 in his career against John Danks entering today’s game. Jim does this when Jackson gets a day off and puts AAA batting superstar Don Kelly at leadoff, too, sometimes. It infuriates me to no end.

Look, I like Raburn. I’m one of the few that isn’t calling for his head. But he has as much business batting third in a major league lineup as I do right now.

F-ck you, Jim Leyland.

Other Stuff

-Time for a quick check on the Patron Saint of this blog, overpaid Marlins pitching great, Nate Robertson. Nate’s last appearance was Saturday, 6/5, where he got shelled for 6 earned runs on 7 hits in 4 2/3 innings pitched. For the year, he’s 4-5 with a 4.83 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. He should be due to pitch tomorrow. Can’t wait. I miss you, Nate. Calling Don Kelly and Brandon Inge names is fun, but it’s just not the same.

-Congrats to Big Al from Bless You Boys and The Wayne Fontes Experience on his successful back surgery. Not only is Al always an entertaining read, but he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve met in the Tiger blogosphere. Enjoy the pain pills while they’re available, my friend. And get well soon.

-Dan Feldman, from PistonPowered.com sent me an email asking that I post a link to his site where he’s running a poll to see who is the most hated Detroit pro athlete, as voted by Detroit fans. There you go, Dan. What, no Don Kelly? Dammit.

I voted for Bertuzzi. He’s a prick.

-As you may have noticed, I'm playing around with the look of my dumb blog again. Bear with me. Thanks.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back in a couple days with something that should be interesting. You might even learn something about Tigers history that you didn’t know.

Don’t be afraid.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Paging Trader Dave: Make a Trade Now


The DFA announcement of Tiger shortstop Adam Everett (and his glorious hair) means two things to me. Number one, #4 is now available if Bobby Higginson is finally ready to come back. And two, Dave Dombrowski needs to make a trade or two.

Crazy as it may sound to anyone that’s read my nonsense in the past, I am in full agreement with Freep blog writer, Jamie Samuelsen on this one. His latest calls for the Tigers to make a trade and he makes some good points. Sadly, as with most articles written on subjects like this, Jamie doesn’t offer any solutions to the problem or players to target. That’s what I would like to explore with this post.

If the Tigers are serious about contending in 2010, we need to get a shortstop and/or a catcher. I know many are already throwing in the towel for us this year, but as crappy as we’ve played, we are still only 3 ½ games behind Minnesota with 2/3 of the season left to go. We can still win this thing, especially with the starting pitching showing signs of life.

Back to our worthless shortstops and catchers. As much as I enjoy watching Little Ramon play, he is not the everyday answer at short. And Danny Worthless has done nothing to show me that he’s the answer, either. Behind the plate, Gerald Laird has been an abortion with rookie Alex Avila not being much better. Something needs to be done if we want to make the playoffs.

When you look at the current VORP (value over replacement player) for the Tiger hitters this year, only 8 out of the 16 position players to bat this year have a VORP that isn’t in negative numbers. That is pathetic. We could have the average schmuck out there hitting better than our guys. But I’m concentrating on short and catcher, here. The VORP numbers for our guys?

Laird: -11.0
Avila: -2.7
Everett: -6.0
Santiago: 1.1
Worth: 0.7

Just for poops and giggles, Everyone’s Hero Brandon Inge’s current VORP is -0.3. But we all know he isn’t going anywhere.

So, great. We want to make a trade. But to who? Well, logic tells you that teams out of the playoff hunt are the ones looking to make trades and improve for the future. Currently, there are 9 teams in baseball at least 8 games out of first and a 10th team (Washington) that’s 6 ½ games out, but likely not to contend for their division the rest of the way. I’m limiting the trade options to these 10 teams for now: Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Chicago White Sox, Seattle, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Houston, and Washington. And naturally, KC, Chi, and Cle will be more difficult to deal with since they’re in the Central with us.

Here’s the top three candidates at each position on these ten teams that I can see fitting in and hopefully helping this club out.

SHORTSTOP

Stephen Drew, Arizona
Double D has worked a lot with the D-Backs in recent months hammering out the Jackson/Schlereth/Scherzer deal, as well as the Dontrelle dump. Drew is left handed bat in a 1 year/$3.4 million deal and is currently 4th among MLB shortstops with a VORP of 14.4. He’s hitting .285 with 4 homers and 20 RBI. His OBP is .350 and has only made 3 errors in 52 games this year. Drew is my ideal candidate for the job, but would probably cost the most, too.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland
Why not add another Cabrera to the team? It worked well the first time. Little Cabby is a switch hitter in a 1 year/$444K deal with a VORP of 3.3. He’s hitting .287 in a terrible Cleveland lineup with 1 homer and 7 RBI. He’s a competent defender and could add some speed as he stole 17 bases in 2009. Cleveland could really use some pitching and that’s the one thing we have an abundance of.
Josh Wilson, Seattle
Wilson is currently a part time player that would be the biggest reach for us. But at least he’s hitting the ball this year for the M’s, unlike our shortstops. He has a VORP this year of 8.3 and is hitting .301, 1, 12 from the right side with an OBP of .357. Ahh, screw it. Let’s trade the farm for Hanley Ramirez like all the crazy folks think we can do.

CATCHER

Ryan Doumit, Pittsburgh
The dream catcher for Tiger fans would be Mr. Doumit. The 29 year old is 4th among MLB catchers with a VORP of 11.5. He’s making $3.5 million this year, $5.1 million next year, and has two club options after that of $7.25 million and $8.25 million. You know the Pirates aren’t going to want to pay that. Doumit’s hitting .281 with 6 homers and 23 RBI with an OBP of .366. I would punch a baby if it meant Dombrowski could pull off a deal for him.

Jason Kendall, Kansas City
I’d be in favor of trading for Kendall just so Tiger pitching wouldn’t have to face him any more. Kendall’s a solid leader on the field and can still hit for average. He makes $2.25 million this year and $3.75 million next. Jason’s hitting .299 with 0 homers and 16 RBI with a .360 OBP. He also has 5 steals for KC this year and would make a great mentor for Avila.

Ivan Rodriguez, Washington
Yeah, it’s probably the homer in me that wouldn’t mind seeing Pudge back in Detroit to finish his career. He’s making $3 million this year as well as 2011. For the Nats, he’s hitting better than he has in years with a .325 average, 1 homer, and 16 RBI with a .351 OBP. I know things didn’t end well for Pudge last time around, but I think it would definitely make for interesting TV if he were to return.

To pull off a deal for any of these guys, we shouldn’t have to empty the farm system. We have tons of pitching in the minors backing up what is already the youngest pitching staff in the majors. There’s positon guys like Ryan Raburn, Ryan Strieby, and Wilkin Ramirez that might be attractive to other clubs, too.

We can’t afford to wait until the end of July to pull something off if we want to win the division or more this year. But releasing Everett and hoping the team stikes gold on yet another rookie out of nowhere isn’t going to get the team anything but disappointment, in my opinion.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Your 2010 Detroit Tigers Summer Shopping Guide

Quick Site News Note: On the right, I've added a "Search" function, as well as a list of what dumb tags I have used in the past (after the links and such). This way, you can relive my brilliance a bit easier if you get bored or were perhaps a bit late to the party. Warning: if you think I suck now, some of the stuff from early on is even more brutal. I'll attempt to clean it up a bit over time, but I am quite lazy/busy. As always, thanks for reading. Anyhoo...

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of stupid Detroit Tigers junk there is available for purchase on the internet. Today, Your Party Host has spent hours (about two) scouring the web for stuff that I can't imagine anyone ever buying. If you own ANY of this nonsense, do me a favor: walk in front of a bus. Your priorities are not in order and you may be a danger to society.

Here we go.
Fender Flair Purse: $317.00 from fieldofdreams.com. It is embellished with hundreds of Swarovski crystals, is velvet lined, and comes with a 21 inch crystal embellished leather handle. I don't know what any of that means, either. Guys, if your girlfriend or wife asks you for this, you have made a very poor choice in a life-partner and should start running now. A $300 Tigers purse...sigh, and it's one of the more sensible items on today's list.

More after the jump...


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Perfect Game Fiasco Reactions

Much like Jim Leyland, the Tiger players, and many others, a day has passed and I’ve calmed down a bit from Jim Joyce’s blown call yesterday. Armando Galarraga has become an overnight sensation (enjoy your 15 minutes, kid) in the country and public opinion has given him a perfect game, even if Bud Selig will not. Jim Joyce has been put through hell and has repeatedly apologized. I really feel bad for the guy at this point.

And the way Armando, Leyland, and most of the Tiger fans handled the situation last night and today has made me even more proud to be a Tiger fan. Can you imagine what a New York or Philly crowd would have done today to poor Mr. Joyce?

Anyway, on with the ha ha’s. By now, you’ve probably read what everyone and their brother in the Tiger blogosphere has had to say on the subject. So, I thought I’d bring to you the opinions of some people you may not have heard from yet.

RANDOM BOSTON FAN: Who the fack is Armahndo Galarragahhh? Who fackan cay-ahs? Red Sawx Nation is sick and tay-ahhed of watchin’ this fackan faggat ovah and ovah on ESPN! If it’s nawt the Sawx or the fackan Yankees, no one gives a fack! No one denies this!

GLENN BECK: Jim Joyce was obviously under orders from President Obama to prevent the perfect game from happening. This is what I’ve been telling you people all along. You see…

RICHARD BERNSTEIN: Even I saw that he was clearly out.

THE HAMBURGLER: Armando got f-cked. Robble, robble.

TIM DONAGHY: Wow. Joyce has balls. Even I was never THAT obvious.

THE DUDE: I do mind, the Dude minds. This will not stand, you know, this aggression will not stand, man.

HOMER SIMPSON: Arman…DOH!

BRETT FAVRE: I think he was out. But maybe he was safe. No, he was out. Well, there’s a chance he was safe. But I’m almost 100% sure he was out.

GARY SHEFFIELD: PLEASE…someone give me a job! Sheff can still play, dammit! Please! Only $10 million a year sound cool? Call me!

GARY COLEMAN: (could not be reached for comment)

Okay, this was a bad idea…

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Speechless

UPDATED to add pics and remove tag wishing death on Jim Joyce. He screwed up, but I don't want to wish death on anyone. Except Don Kelly.

Armando Galarraga was just screwed out of a perfect game with two outs in the ninth against Cleveland. Not by a bloop single. Not by a silly error. No, he was screwed by first base umpire, Jim Joyce. Here's the pic, stolen from Big Al over at Bless You Boys.

I don't know what to say. I'm kind of in shock. I can't imagine how disappointed poor Armando is right now. I'm actually thought Miguel Cabrera or Gerald Laird might kill Joyce after the play.

Here's a shot of the play from the Detroit News.

After the game, Armando was nothing but class. I tip my cap to him...he's a better man than I am. I would've attempted to assault Joyce. A couple more pics from the News.

First, catcher Alex Avila (who called a great game, too) offers a painful congrats to Armando after the game.

Finally, Armando salutes the Tiger faithful afterward.

Umpires have a tough job. No one is perfect. But Armando Galarraga should have been on this day.

Eff that. Armando WAS perfect. Joyce has no excuse for blowing that call. Ridiculous.

Armando got f*cked.

Garbage In, Garbage Out



JAY VOSS: Hey. I’m Jay. I was acquired for a $10 million sack of monkey turds. Nice to meet you.

BILLY BUCKNER: Sup? I’m Billy Buckner. Detroit got me for a $12 million pile of flaming sewage.

VOSS: Billy Buckner? Any relation to…

BUCKNER: Stop. I’ve got two words for you. F-ck and you. Never met the man.

VOSS: Damn. Chill, bro. Hey, who’s that guy?

EEUT GUY: Eat ‘em up Tigers, eat ‘em up!

BUCKNER: Somebody get me outta here…

xxxxx

Yeah, I had no ending to that.

As the eras of Our Hero and The D-Railed Train have come to an end, I thought I’d take a quick look at the wastes of roster space the Tigers got in exchange for their $22 million men.

Jay Voss
Voss is a lefty that stands 6’4, weighs 195 pounds, and is 23 years old. He was an 8th round pick of the Florida Marlins in the ’07 Draft. His pro debut was in 2007 with the short-season Jamestown Jammers where he went an impressive 0-7 with an equally impressive 7.63 ERA in 15 games, 11 of them starts. Sigh.

The next year with the Class A Greensboro Grasshoppers, he was again horrible as a starter going 2-5 with a 7.24 ERA. The decision was made to move him to the bullpen where he did a bit better, going 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA. Overall for the year, he struck out 55 in 69 innings pitched.

2009 was spent between the High-A ball Jupiter Hammerheads and the AA Jacksonville Suns. Combined, he improved his overall stats to 3-1 with a 2.72 ERA in 49.2 innings, striking out 46.

Since joining the Tigers organization, Voss has been in AA Erie going 1-1 with a 5.64 ERA in 22.1 innings pitched. He’s allowed 31 hits and struck out 14.

He may turn into a decent lefty situational guy, but that’s about it. And I think we have plenty of them around for the near future.

Billy Buckner
Buckner pitches right-handed, stands 6’2, 205 pounds, and is 26 years old. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2004 in the 2nd round (55th overall). A year earlier, the Rays drafted him in the 9th round, but he didn’t sign.

In parts of 7 seasons in the minors, overall he has a record of 49-42 with a 4.20 ERA in 736.2 innings pitched, with 625 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.44.

He made it to the majors in 2007 with KC going 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA in 34 innings. In December of that year, he was traded to Arizona for infielder Alberto Callaspo.

From 2008 to this season, Bucker had gone 5-9 with a 6.56 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 104.1 innings with the D-Backs. At the age of 26 with two teams giving up on him, Buckner’s future doesn’t seem too bright.

I can only assume that Double D was drunk and saw a picture of Buckner in a KC jersey and thought he was being offered Billy BUTLER. But what do I know?

And no, Billy isn’t related to legendary Red Sox scapegoat, Bill Buckner. But, yes, he is terrible. Can’t wait to yell curse words at him at a Hens game.

Dave Dombrowski has turned other teams’ trash into his treasure before, most recently with Armando Galarraga’s surprise 2008 campaign. Time will tell if he has found a similar gem in Voss or Buckner.

But it doesn’t look like it, kids. Move along…nothing to see here.