Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Prepare for the Worst in the MVP and ROY Voting


Prepare yourself. I know I am. Miguel Cabrera and Austin Jackson are probably going to get dicked over in the end-of-year award voting this year.

Much like most umpire crews we’ve run into this year, the BBWAA voters for MVP and Rookie of the Year are going to end up screwing the Tiger players over. Why, you ask? Because the Tigers aren’t going to the playoffs. USA Today and ESPN both have recent annoying bits up on it.

It’s the most idiotic argument that the voters put out there every year. Many say that they won’t give an award to a guy that’s not on a winning team. It’s ridiculous, preposterous, absurd, ludicrous, nonsensical, and f-cking retarded stupid. Dumber than batting Don Kelly in one of the top five places in the batting order.

I mean, really? You have a guy that’s the most dominating offensive player in the league, a guy that came close to setting the AL record for intentional walks because no one wants to pitch to him, and you won’t vote him the MVP because he’s surrounded by a bunch of Mud Hens due to injuries to his teammates? Or you won’t vote for a guy because the team he plays for has a poor pitching staff, perhaps? It’s mind-boggling to me.

I’m not saying that the MVP race is not close and I admit that I may be a bit biased toward the guys I’ve watched play every day this season. So let’s narrow down the MVP candidates to the three guys I’ve seen named most often: Josh Hamilton, Miguel Cabrera, and Robinson Cano. Let’s see where each of them stack up in some of the major AL stat catagories.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Your Party Host vs. Bad Tiger Articles: The Never Ending Battle Continues


By now, I’m pretty sure that any of you that come here to read about the Tigers aren’t expecting a serious in-depth analysis of the team. I usually try to keep things light, make a few jokes, and provide some entertainment on our favorite baseball team.

But sometimes, I do try to offer what limited insight that I might have into the Detroit baseball club. When I do, I try to remain consistent and actually provide some reasoning, whether it be stats or whatever, behind whatever I say. It only seems fair to do so. Simple, right?

When I offered my thoughts on the upcoming offseason, I suggested that we focus on getting Adrian Beltre to play third base next year, among other things. If not, I said I would reluctantly accept Brandon Inge as my second choice if Jhonny Peralta were kept at short. Then later, I offered my possible goodbye piece to Inge where I said something like “anyone but Inge” for third in a joking way. I don’t consider that a flip-flop…I think you all can judge when I’m being sarcastic by now.

But what I can’t stand are writers that don’t offer logical backup to their statements, or even worse, constantly flip-flop their positions on certain ideas…especially those that write for the big sites like the Detroit News or Free Press. No one is going there for a silly poop joke about Don Kelly like they do here. They want facts and serious journalism, in my opinion.

Jamie Samuelsen’s latest bit at the freep site is the kind of nonsense I’m talking about. Look, when Jamie wants to be, he can be okay. But when he’s bad…well, take a look after the jump.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bye Bye to Brandon Inge?


The Brandon Inge era may be entering its final week in Detroit.

He is the longest current tenured Tiger, first appearing in the Old English D back in 2001. Over that time, he has played in nearly 1300 games hitting .237 with 134 homers and 561 RBI. He has a career OPS+ of 85, a stat where the MLB average is 100. He just set the all-time Detroit Tigers record for strikeouts with 1100, breaking Lou Whitaker’s record of 1099. He stands at 1101 now, in only 4311 at bats, as Whitaker’s number came in 8570 at bats, almost double Brandon’s. “The Special Little Guy”, as I have sarcastically nicknamed him, has made me utter the “f” word so many times over the years that truckers and porn stars alike would be left feeling uncomfortable around me.

Exactly how in the blue hell has Brandon Inge not only lasted in Detroit for so many years, but in that time become one of the most popular players in Tiger history?

Honestly…I don’t know.

His first three years on the team, he hit .180, .202, and .203. The Tigers responded by acquiring a future Hall-of-Famer, Pudge Rodriguez, to become the team’s catcher. Brandon would still catch a bit, but also spend time in the outfield and third base, a position that he would come to love. The move from away from catching seemed to help his bat, too, as he would hit a career high .287 in 131 games, with another career high 109 OPS+ in ’04. His first full year at third, though, was a rough transition for him. He would lead the league in errors in 2005 with 23 and see his average fall to .261. (He’d lead in errors again in 2007 and 2009.) He would never see his batting average finish that high again.

The World Series year of 2006 saw my personal frustration with Inge grow as he fell in love with going for the long ball. He would hit a career high 27 homers (equaled in 2009) that year, but would see his OPS+ drop to 98 as he became an all-or-nothing hitter at the plate. Defensively, though, his acrobatic diving catches became the norm for the Tigers and were making many fans forget about his shortcomings at the dish. 2007 would see his offensive numbers regress further, as he would hit .236 with only 14 homers in 577 plate appearances.

In 2008, the Tigers would acquire NL All-Star third baseman Miguel Cabrera from the Florida Marlins. Inge seemed to take this as a slap in the face and requested a trade. Sadly, no matter how remarkable his defensive abilities could be at times, there weren’t any teams willing to trade for a .230 hitting guy that was making over $6 million. So, the Tigers kept him as a utility player that would see him open the year in center field while Curtis Granderson recovered from injury. He would also see time at third and catching. He sulked through 113 games in ’08 hitting a miserable .205 and an OPS+ of 76.

Amazingly, the Tigers decided in 2009 to move Cabrera to first base and make Inge the full-time third baseman again. Brandon would respond be being named to his first ever All-Star team, despite finishing the season hitting only .230 with an OPS+ of 87. 2010 has seen his power numbers be more than cut in half from ’09 as knee injuries may be having more of an effect on Inge’s abilities than he is willing to let on.

But here we are now. Eight games to go in the 2010 season and the light-hitting Inge remains, at the very least, one of the three most popular Tigers with Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander. In 26 years of watching baseball, I have never seen a guy get more out of a career with so little hitting ability. And he is a free agent. What do the Tigers do?

Do they let him walk and risk the ire of the fans a year after letting fan favorites Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco walk away? Do the hand the job to ex-Indian and Tiger-for- two-months Jhonny Peralta? Do they explore free agency and offer the big bucks (as I have suggested) to current Red Sox third sacker Adrian Beltre?

Or do they stick with the face of the franchise, the face of futility in my opinion, Mr. Charles Brandon Inge?

No. You let him walk. And you don’t look back.  We need something better if we're going to be a real playoff contender in 2011.

Thanks for the great diving plays, Brandon. Thanks for trying to play when hurt (even though it cost us the AL Central in ’09). Thanks for all the kind words about Detroit and all the time you spent with sick kids. Thanks for all the goofy grins that made me want to steal your lunch money at recess. Hell, thanks for all of the silly material you’ve managed to supply me for this ridiculous blog. Thanks. Seriously.

But it’s time for a change. Adrian Beltre. Jhonny Peralta. Chris Pittaro. Anyone.

A quote from Jim Leyland after Saturday’s win over the Twins, where Brandon actually got the game-winning hit, sums it up for me:

"You worry that he might try to pull a lefty like that. We were yelling at him, 'Don't try to pull him. Stay on him'.”

After ten seasons in the majors, Brandon Inge still does not have the confidence of his manager to do the right thing with the game on the line.

It’s time to say goodbye. It’s been time for a long while now.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Your Party Host Gives His Thoughts on the Upcoming Offseason


So, in my last post I made fun of some hack and what he thought the Tigers should do in preparation for the 2011 season. It’s only fair now that I lay out what I’d like to see the team do.  My dumb ideas can't be any worse than his, right?  Anyone?  Sigh...

Let me preface things by laying out what should be obvious with the club. There are some guys that will definitely begin next year in the D unless Dave Dombrowski has a few too many at a kegger and drunk dials another GM like he did in the Jurrjens/Renteria deal a while back.  So hopefully, these guys should be safe.  They would be:

Catcher: Alex Avila
First Base: Miguel Cabrera
Center Field: Austin Jackson
Infield: Ramon Santiago
Starters: Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello
Bullpen: Jose Valverde, Phil Coke, Joel Zumaya, Ryan Perry
DH/Second Base/Bench/Disabled List: Carlos Guillen

That leaves question marks at the other catcher, second base, third base, shortstop, the corner outfield spots, DH, two starters, and maybe the bullpen. Good thing there’s money to spend…yikes.

So, let’s take a look at each of these areas, one by one. Keep in mind, though:

1. I’m a moron.
2. I’m not sure exactly how much cash Mr. I is willing to part with next year.
3. Double D and The Marlboro Man share different tastes in players than I do.
4. I’m very unorganized.
5. I’m a moron.

Cool? Let us proceed then.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Worst...Tiger Article...Ever


Apologies to those of you that enjoy what I do here at DNR. I recently started a new position in my company and it’s been taking up a lot more of my time…thus the lack of updates around here. In addition, there really hasn’t been much for me to say lately. I can only make fun of Don Kelly’s lack of ability or Will Rhymes’ inability to get onto roller coasters due to his height so many times.

In addition, my favorite thing to do here at the blog is to find an article that I disagree with and make fun of it, Fire Joe Morgan style. Sadly for me, the usual suspects haven’t been writing anything too terrible lately and that leaves me a sad panda.

/nods to Jamie Samuelsen

/salutes Lynn Henning

/flips off Drew Sharp

Then came today. The freep site has a link to this piece written the other day by Chris Stevens of the Midland Daily News. Chris is the sports editor of the Daily News and he has written what is quite possibly the worst article I have ever seen on the Tigers. Quite a bold statement, I know. But read along with me and you’ll see what I’m getting at.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Catfight: DJ vs JD


Two things about this Derek Jeter fooling the umpire nonsense:

First, no one would care if it weren’t Derek Jeter or the Yankees being involved. The Tigers get screwed by umpires every third game and ESPN can’t be bothered to even show highlights of the game.

Two, if it were A-Rod that did it, the talking heads would be having a field day calling him names. Instead, they’re defending Jeter as if he were their own child. Jamie Samuelsen of the Freep actually beat me to that one. Good job, Jamie. See? I’m fair and balanced.

And seriously, who cares? Jeter’s right. His job is to get on base. If I learned anything from watching wrestling as a kid, it was when Jesse “The Body” Ventura would tell me that you should “win if you can, lose if you must, but ALWAYS cheat”. Wise words, “Body”. They got you elected Governor, in fact.

Anyhoo, today while driving home from work and suffering through what constitutes as sports talk radio, they were babbling about the Jeter crap and one guy , for some reason, brought up Johnny Damon and how similar his stats are to Derek’s for their careers. I’ve seen FSN do the same in the past. So, I thought what better way to see who really is the better player by playing America’s favorite pastime, “Catfight”.

Johnny, Derek…COME ON DOWN! Ten catagories, ten battles. Let’s see who the better man is after the jump.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Scrappy Dappy...Don't


Let me start with an apology of sorts to our little Tinkerbell, Will Rhymes. Will is doing an okay job in his first taste of the big leagues, hitting around .300 and not being too much of a Raburn on defense. He’s definitely done better than I expected him to. Don’t get me wrong…I still can’t stand him starting with Scott Sizemore around, but that’s another story. Point is, sorry, Will. You probably don’t deserve all the scorn I send your way. That kind of stuff should be left to Don Kelly and Brandon Inge.

But this here isn’t really about the runt of the Tiger litter. This is about the lazy, cliché filled way that the media talks about the guy. I hate when I’m trying to unwind from work and then I read something that annoys me to the point of wanting to punch a baby bunny.

Lynn Henning had a perfectly nice piece on Scott Sizemore going, and then we get this:

Sizemore's prime competition is fan favorite Will Rhymes, and for good reason. Rhymes hustles, scraps, gets a couple of hits every other game or so, plays a decent second base, and is one of those 27th-round draft picks who develops at age 27 into a valid big-leaguer.

Hustles! Scrappy! If I didn’t know better, I’d think that Mr. Henning was talking about the Great High Priest of short, crappy ballplayers himself, Mr. David Eckstein! If only we could get that dirty Santiago guy to actually hustle or scrap.

Scrappy. The next guy that calls Rhymes “scrappy” gets a f-cking fork stuck in his eye.

But he’s not done:

Rhymes has talent and will play in the majors. But if Sizemore comes through as anticipated, and with Ramon Santiago under contract next year, Rhymes can help another club in need of a peppery infielder with legitimate skills.

Now I admit, the idea of Rhymes leaving Detroit and playing for another team gives me a special feeling in my crotch area. But I’m talking about the word, “peppery”. Why does the fact that a player is short inspire these guys to describe them that way? It’s giving me brain cancer, kids. I swear.

Let’s go over them once more: Scrappy. Gutsy. Plucky. Pesky. Sparkplug. Throwback. Hustler. Grinder. Feisty. Gamer. A go-getter. All heart. Has moxie. Spunky. And now peppery.

Facepalm.

One final note. Austin Jackson has quickly become one of my favorite Tigers that I’ve had the pleasure of watching over the years. I just love the guy. He doesn’t have a lot of power, though. And he’s really skinny, well under 200 lbs. He hits around .300, with many singles. He hustles on every play, whether in the field or running out a grounder.

Yet do you ever see him being described as “scrappy”, “pesky”, or “peppery”?

No. Something isn’t right white about all that.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Will Rhymes: Movie Star

Does he rescue Brandon Inge and Don Kelly from evil invaders in Chicago White Sox uniforms?  That'd be something I'd pay to see!

Yeah...I've got nothing.  Writer's block is a bitch.  Thanks to Shannon for the idea, though.  Ha...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Our Hero DFA'd...Again


Our Patron Saint has been desigNated once again.

I’ve had quite the busy week at work this week and wasn’t even aware that someone in the Phillies organization gotten drunk/high/crazy enough to call Our Hero up to the big club. But after Wednesday’s outing featuring 2/3 of an inning and giving up 6 runs, Nate has been sent packing, probably for the final time in 2010. How fitting for Post #250 of this silly blog.

In two appearances for Philly, he went one full inning pitched. He allowed 6 hits, 6 runs, walked 2, and struck out 2.

Overall this season, Captain Gumtime has gone from Detroit, to Florida, to Memphis (AAA team of the Cardinals), opted out of that deal to head to Lehigh Valley (AAA team of Philly), to the City of Brotherly Love, and now back to the unemployment line again.

Combined 2010 AAA Numbers
3-2, 7.34 ERA, 30.2 IP, 8 BB, 18 K, 1.63 WHIP

Combined 2010 Major League Numbers
6-8, 5.95 ERA, 101.1 IP, 42 BB, 63K, 1.55 WHIP, 70 ERA+

He made $10 million to do all this, $9.6 million paid for by your Detroit Tigers.

Last Friday, Nate turned 33 years old. (Sorry I missed it, buddy!) He has made over $25.5 million in his nine-year career, one that has seen him put up an ERA+ of 89. A below average pitcher has made over $25 million…and crap, that figure’s actually just in only the past seven years combined. WHAT A COUNTRY!

F-ck you, Dave Dombrowski.

And Nate, I can’t imagine who in their right mind will ever let you pitch for their Major League team again. Take the money and run, brother. Go fishing every day with Bondo or something.

But whatever you do, you’ll always have a home here. I’ll be waiting.

(Thanks to reader, Michael, for being the first to inform me of Our Hero's fate.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Very Little Middle Ground With This Tiger Team


It’s been a weird season for the Detroit Tigers. From a better than expected first half, the collapse after the All-Star break, the Armando game, the crippling injuries, the major league debuts of so many kids, to the fight back to .500…yeah. It’s been weird.

And it’s been strange on a personal level for me, as well. I’ve never seen a Tiger squad where almost every player fell into a “like him” or “hate him” category in my mind. Usually, there’s a decent amount of guys on the team that I really have no emotional attachment to. Guys like Craig Monroe, for instance. Craig had his moments and never really annoyed me too much. I had no problem with him being on the team. Also, I had no problems when the team let him go.

But this team is different. Almost every guy out there either has me rooting for him, or me wanting me to see him shot by a firing squad. It’s almost like this whole season, I guess. Some days, the Tigers look like world beaters, such as this recent series where we have crippled the White Sox and I love them. Other times, they’re just plain bowling shoe ugly and I wish I were born a fan of the Reds or something.

But I’ll show you what I mean in “stupid list form”. I’ll limit the hitters to at least to those with at least 100 at bats and the pitchers to those with at least 30 innings pitched. I’ll keep it fair to the Jay Sborz’s of the world.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Who Wants To Bid On Don Kelly's Kettle Corn?


This Wednesday, September 8th, you…yes, YOU can bid in an auction on Fox Sports Detroit and purchase gift baskets hand-picked by the wives of your Detroit Tigers and filled with their husband/boyfriend’s favorite things! Holy sh-t! Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Miguel Cabrera’s favorite flask (not used in nearly a year)? Tickets to see a Suns game with G-Money's family?  Will Rhymes’ footie pajamas (size 3T)? Maybe get your grubby little hands on the crayons that Brandon Inge uses to draw on his arms?

Sadly, there’s nothing THAT good in there. Go here to see the whole list. But thankfully, I’m here to go over some of what I think are the highlights of each package...after the jump.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Catfight: 2010 Tigers vs. 2003 Tigers (July 26th Lineups Only)


In the first half of 2010, we saw Zach Miner, Bobby Seay, and then Joel Zumaya step into vicious Tiger traps and be taken from us for the season. Tragic as that was, our Motor City Kitties kept marching through the AL Central jungle and hung with the leaders into the second half. Sadly, injuries would then take out Brandon Inge, Magglio Ordonez, and Carlos Guillen (twice) to send Detroit into a downward spiral that they still haven’t completely recovered from. Dreams of a first place finish quickly faded away.

Then it got worse. Although misery had been gathering for Tiger fans quicker than lint in the navel of Todd Jones, the low point of the season came on July 26th against the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays and Matt Garza. Garza, the former Twin (of course), no-hit the depleted Tiger lineup and became the first (Devil) Ray to throw a no-hitter in team history.

The first thing that I could think of after that game was 2003. For those of you that weren’t around before 2006, the 2003 Tigers famously lost more games than any team in American League history going 43-119. They came one loss from tying the ’62 Mets for the most losses in Major League history. It was a horrible time that I wouldn’t wish on anyone…other than White Sox fans. And Yankee fans. And Red Sox fans.

Anyway, I still haven’t completely gotten over it. And for some reason, I started thinking about the no-no and 2003 again tonight at work as I watched our Tiger Hens struggle to defeat the lowly Kansas City Royals in extra innings. Exactly how much worse were the 2003 Tigers than the 2010 version on that particular date?  Can I really compare them? Obviously, this year’s batch of Tigers, overall, is much better than the ’03 Cats. Those guys would kill for a Cabrera, a Scherzer, a Verlander, a Jackson…hell, maybe even a Peralta.

So, I got the idea to have one of my silly Catfights using only the particular lineups from the July 26th, 2010 Tigers against the Detroiters of July 26th, 2003. I intentionally have not looked at either lineup yet before writing this introduction so I go into this unbiased. By the way, I will be consulting the greatest baseball site of all time, www.baseball-reference.com, to retrieve these lineups. Let’s see how it turns out after the jump.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tiger Droppings: "Waving the White Flag" Edition


Sorry, Max. You deserved better out there. We traded Edwin Jackson to get you, but sadly, we forgot to get rid of the horrid run support that we always gave him.

Exactly at what point did he replace Verlander as the ace of this staff? Dude is unbelievable lately.

Oh well, onto the Droppings.  Today, I've put together a dazzling half-assed column where I throw in the towel on the 2010 Tigers, make fun of Will Rhymes some more, namedrop Timo Perez again, admit which Tiger frightens me, and actually promote other writers' good work.  Jump with me.