Monday, October 31, 2011

On the Next American Pickers...

VOICEOVER: I'm Mike Wolfe. And I'm Frank Fritz, and we're pickers. We travel the back roads of America looking for rusty gold. We're looking for amazing things buried in people's garages and barns. What most people see as junk, we see as dollar signs. We'll buy anything we think we can make a buck on. Each item we pick has a history all its own and the people we meet are a breed all their own. We make a living telling the history of America...one piece at a time.
MIKE: Beautiful day, isn’t it Frankie? Nothing I’d rather be doing today than driving around doing some freestyling. No telling what we’ll come up with today!

FRANK: You said it.

/phone rings

FRANK: It’s Danielle. Hope she has a lead for us.

MIKE: I’m amazed she’s awake. Hahaha…

FRANK: Yello!
DANIELLE: Hey, guys. I just got a call from a guy named Scott that’s right around where you guys are driving today. He says he’s got a whole barn full of junk that you guys might be interested in. I just sent you directions to his place. Thank me later.

FRANK: You’re the best, Danni!

MIKE: Sweet. Let’s go!

/ten minutes later
FRANK: Wow! There’s GOTTA be something in there that’s up our alley. Hope this “Scott” guy is willing to sell.

/knocks on front door

MIKE: Hello! Scott? I think you talked to Danielle today? She said you might have some things for sale. Can we take a look around?

Gr8: #6 Victor Martinez, Professional Hitter

The “Great Eight of 2011” will be a look at the eight Tigers that impressed me the most in 2011. The order I am choosing these players in is not necessarily who the best overall player was. No, these guys are simply the ones that made me say “wow” more than anyone for whatever reason.

.159/.292/.277, 11 HR, 42 RBI, 177 K, $12 million
.330/.380/.470, 12 HR, 103 RBI, 51 K, $12 million

The top stat line is that of Adam Dunn in 2011. The bottom is Victor Martinez. In the 2010 offseason, these men were the two that Dave Dombrowski was reportedly considering signing to be the DH of the 2011 Tigers. Chicago went with Dunn. Detroit went with V-Mart.

I think it’s safe to say that the Tigers came out on top there. Kind of like Alabama would if they played a random junior high football team.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Jose Reyes to Detroit? Get Real.

With the holiday season approaching, I keep reading and hearing from Tiger fans with visions of Jose Reyes-to-Detroit dancing in their heads.

I hate to break it to you, but this is ridiculous and would cripple the Tigers ballclub in upcoming seasons, in my opinion.

“But Magglio and Carlos are coming off payroll”, they say. Sure, the Venezuelan ER unit will be gone, but people are forgetting that a sizable portion of the team is due raises this year and in upcoming seasons. And with Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera already in the $20 million range, there is NO WAY a team in a market like Detroit’s can afford another guy with that price tag.

Keep in mind, I’m no financial expert when it comes to running a baseball team, by any means. But I think I’m pretty close to being on the mark with the following.

Take a look.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gr8: #7 Joaquin Benoit, Set Up Man-Beast

The “Great Eight of 2011” will be a look at the eight Tigers that impressed me the most in 2011. The order I am choosing these players in is not necessarily who the best overall player was. No, these guys are simply the ones that made me say “wow” more than anyone for whatever reason.

Here’s what I said immediately after the free agent signing of Joaquin Benoit in last year’s offseason:

It’s a gutsy move by Dombrowski, but if Benoit pitches close to like he did for the Rays, it’s one that we’re all going to be thrilled about. It also gives Joel Zumaya more leeway in making his comeback as he won’t be counted on to immediately be the bridge to Jose Valverde in 2011.

Zoom who? Good gawd, I love being right.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Gr8: #8 Jhonny Peralta, Career Reborn

The “Great Eight of 2011” will be a look at the eight Tigers that impressed me the most in 2011. The order I am choosing these players in is not necessarily who the best overall player was. No, these guys are simply the ones that made me say “wow” more than anyone for whatever reason.

For 12 straight years (1981-1992), an icon to anyone reading this site, Alan Trammell, was the Tigers’ Opening Day starting shortstop. He would do so later, as well, in 1994 and 1996. Since then, the position has been in a constant state of flux, it seems. Travis Fryman, Chris Gomez, Deivi Cruz, Billy Ripken, Shane Halter, Omar Infante, Carlos Guillen, Edgar Renteria, and Adam Everett would all be Opening Day starters since Tram’s streak at short. Only Guillen would truly be effective, despite being a constant injury risk. (Fryman would fare much better as a third baseman in Detroit.)

So call me a pessimist, but I wasn’t THAT excited when Dave Dombrowski traded minor league pitcher Giovanni Soto to Cleveland for a struggling, .246 hitting, apparently already past his prime Jhonny Peralta in July of 2010. Great, I thought. Another crappy stopgap until we call up yet another mediocre Quad-A player “ready” to play shortstop (Cale Iorg, I presumed).

Peralta hit .253 with 8 homers in 57 games in Detroit, enough to convince Dombrowski that Jhonny was worth signing to a 2 year, $11.25 million deal, with an option on a third. I didn’t really expect much out of him, myself. Why in the blue hell would I?

I am glad to have been proved very wrong.

Friday, October 21, 2011

ALCS Loss Causes Freep Writer to Go Insane

John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press has lost his mind.

I know that with the Tigers eliminated and their season over, article topics may be hard to come by for these men that are used to covering the team every day. No more upcoming games, no more quotes to dissect, and no more lineup speculation. Your Party Host, too, has had little to say or write about the past few days since the team was eliminated and our World Series dreams were crushed by a superior Rangers team.

But Lowe’s latest piece suggests that the ALCS might have turned out differently if Texas had more right-handed starters, which would have let Don Kelly play more.
I’ve let all of the Kelly articles slide for a while now, everyone. I’ve tried my best. But this is beyond stupid. Look, Detroit reporters. I understand that Don Kelly is a nice man and is endless with his time and politeness with you. But enough is enough. Quit trying to make a guy that is an average utility option into Alan Trammell with your words. It is an insult to your readers and it’s really starting to piss me off.

The article after the jump…with my responses.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Season's Over. What Else Is On?

So baseball season is over. Sure, there’s a silly World Series going on, but do you really expect me to watch a matchup between the guys that just eliminated the Tigers and the team that beat Detroit in the ’06 World Series? I’d rather watch my cat get euthanized.

So what do we do now? Spring Training is a long time away. Four months is like…a year from now, you know? Sure, there’s the Winter Meetings, free agency, arbitration, etc, etc, zzzzz…but out of all that, you get like three newsworthy days and a bunch of B.S. speculation in between. Speaking of which, those of you that think the Tigers are going to sign Jose Reyes are crazier than Jim Leyland bringing in Schlereth with the bases loaded. If they do, I’ll start a Don Kelly Fan Club.

Yes, it’s this time of the year that we are forced to seek other forms of sports as entertainment while baseball is away. And today, I thought I’d take a look at our other options available until pitchers and catchers report…and why none of them are decent enough alternatives to my favorite sport of baseball.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Always a Tiger: End of 2011 Edition

Booooooo! New shirt!

Yeah, that's really never been my style. I try to keep tabs on ex-Tigers in their new surroundings and see how they're doing. Guess I really bought into the whole "Always a Tiger" thing...well, except for Jason Grilli. Eff him.

So, if you're interested, here's the final stats of all the ex-Tigers I could think of that played this year. First will be major league stats, followed by Triple-A stats. Take a look...you'll probably come across some guys you forgot all about. In one case, I found a guy that I thought retired YEARS ago.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Scapegoat We Can All Hate Together

Good news, everyone! Thanks to a tip from my friend, Keith, I have found someone to blame for the Tigers loss to the Rangers in the ALCS. Someone that we can ALL get behind in our blind hatred.

Much like 99% of things that have gone wrong in my life, I can now easily blame this season's postseason woes on one man...Randy Smith. Yes, THAT Randy Smith. Rat commie bastard...

How so?  Remember 1999's big trade that brought Juan Gonzalez to Detroit? Who could forget? Well, one of the young players Randy Smith dealt to Texas to get his prized slugger JuanGone was Francisco Cordero. In 2006, Cordero was then dealt to Milwaukee with two other players for Carlos Lee and...NELSON CRUZ! The same shaved gorilla man that just slaughtered us in the playoffs!

The Ghost of Randy Smith continues to HAUNT US ALL years later! Someone kill him with fire...

Tip 'o' the cap to the article Keith pointed out to me by Evan Grant.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Game Over. Season Over.

So yeah…it’s over.

You can blame bad weather, if you want. Maybe crap all over the poor umpiring that always seemed to go against the Tigers…there was plenty of that. Perhaps you want to blame the dreaded injury bug. And many will turn their least favorite Tiger into a scapegoat. Go right ahead.

But don’t do it here. Please take that to other blogs.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Brain Farts from @PhilCokesBrain, Vol 4: Playoff Edition

How can last night's victory over Texas get better? Easy...a submission from everyone's favorite Twitter portal into the mind of last night's closing pitcher, @PhilCokesBrain.

Be sure to follow @Phil, but don't ask him for autographs. He's a very busy brain.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Still Alive: Tired Notes from ALCS Game Five

Just breathe. We're not dead yet.

I safely returned from tonight's Game Five between Detroit and Texas without harming anyone or myself. It was a slow-arriving crowd that seemed ready for the worst. Luckily, the Tigers had other plans.

One thing I'll always remember about the 2011 Tigers, no matter what happens, is how tough these bastards are. Delmon Young hit two more homers today, even though he probably shouldn't even be playing. Victor Martinez is busted up even worse, yet he hit a key TRIPLE in today's ballgame. Justin Verlander threw, I believe, 482 pitches today to take one for the team and save the tired/crappy bullpen. Miguel Cabrera is still a monster. And poor Alex Avila, who some might say is clinically dead, muscled out a homer off of CJ Wilson. Amazing day.

Quote of the day belonged to the 50+ year old woman next to me at the game. After hearing the loud ovation that Brandon Inge received from the CoPa crowd today, she muttered, "I must be the only person in this place that doesn't think this guy's very good." I laughed and asked her to adopt me.

The season is now in the hands of Mr. Max Scherzer. If Good Max shows up on Saturday and we get it to Fister on Sunday, I think this bad boy is ours. Our walking wounded pack of Tigers can still pull this off, kids. Step one...complete. Keep the faith.

Oh my...almost forgot. Mega props to the ULEASHED BEAST in the form of #PlayoffHeroRyanRaburn.
The Ryno hit a single and homer today and upped his postseason average to .316. Who was it that never lost faith in him again?  Um...oh yeah. ME, ME, AND ONLY ME! The Ryno's my boy.

Well deserved day off on Friday for the Tigers and their fans. One more time, everyone, we can still do this. It's not over until the Brandon Inge fan fat lady sings.

Note: The Tigers are now 3-0 in playoff games where I am in attendance including 2-0 this year. Someone buy me airfare and tickets to Texas, NOW.

Photos via The Freep.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Down 3-1, Is There Hope?

No jokes tonight, kids. No silliness. Just...yeah.

This one was hard to swallow. Lamont will take blame for sending Cabrera. (He made the right call.) Leyland will take heat for walking Beltre. (I would have pitched to him.) Porcello will take heat for repeating his pickoff mistake of Game 163. (Moron.) But finding a scapegoat doesn't change a damn thing. The Tigers are out of mulligans and must win the next three, the final two in Texas, if they're to make the World Series.

They're injured. The pen is gassed. They're facing a team that is much more talented than they are. But they've amazed us before and still might have some fight left. Verlander goes tomorrow at home. You know he'll be amped. Scherzer has been great in the postseason. He can do so again in Game Six. And if it gets to a Game Seven? There's no one I would rather see on the mound than Doug Fister right now.

If only they could score some f'n runs.

Do or die, Game Five is tomorrow. I'll be there, Section 116, Row 35. Waving my stupid white towel. But not a white flag.

Yeah, I still have hope. Whatever. See you on the other side.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Art of the Pre-Game Speech

DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Jim, we’re two hours from Game Three. Don’t you think it’s time you gave these guys some kind of wake-up speech? Something to get them going? Anything?
JIM LEYLAND: (lights cigarette) No. They’llbefineIthink. (hack) Notlikethey’re abunchofLittleLeaguers.

DOMBROWSKI: I thought you’d say that. But I’m sorry, Jim. I disagree. These guys need a reality check. So I placed a phone call. He should be here any minute now.

LEYLAND: (cough) Ohno, youdidn’tcall…

DOMBROWSKI: Yup.

/loud crash heard in hallway

LEYLAND: Ihateyou.

DOMBROWSKI: Deal with it.

/door shoots open

Monday, October 10, 2011

Baseball Is Stupid

So, in the last couple days, my baseball team has fallen behind 2-0 in the ALCS to the Texas Rangers and my favorite player broke his ankle and his career is likely over. There are not enough curse words that have been discovered yet to fully express my feelings. Instead, I offer you a quick look at what's been good and bad about the ALCS so far.

The Good
1. Max Scherzer
2. #PlayoffHeroRyanRaburn
3. Don Kelly (of all people)
4. Terry Francona's commentary

The Bad
1. (tie) Everything Else

Once again, we look to Doug Fister to save our season. Hope is not lost, kids. But she's fading...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tigers Got 99 Problems...

Well, maybe not 99 problems. But a lot of them.

When it rains, it pours. Literally, in the case of the Detroit Tigers this postseason.

With today’s news about Magglio Ordonez, few would blame Tiger fans from quietly kissing their family members before walking into their basements and shooting themselves. But not just because of Maggs. This has been building up for a while. The possible end of Tiger hero Magglio Ordonez’s career is just the icing on the cake.

Consider the following.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meanwhile...A Disturbance In New York

DEREK JETER: What can I say? Of course I’m disappointed. Our goal each and every year is to win a World Series championship here in New York. But we gave it our best shot. Those guys are a good ballclub and they were the better team out there. I’m not gonna make any excuses and all I can say is we’ll just work hard looking toward next year. I want to thank the incredible Yankee fans out there and I’m sorry we let you down. Okay, if that’s all, I’d appreciate it if the press could clear out so I can have a moment or two with my teammates. I hope you understand. Thank you.

/media slowly exits the room

JETER: Are they all gone? Excellent…
CURTIS GRANDERSON: Uh oh…I’ve got a bad feeling about this…

Game Five: By The Numbers

I don't know about you all...but I love everything right now. Dancing on the Yankee lawn...if there's anything better, let me know. Hopefuly with eight more wins, we will find something better.

Here's a look at Game Five by the numbers.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

TBS: Very Funny

BRIAN ANDERSON: Hello fans, and welcome to TBS’ coverage of the American League Divisional Series featuring the TWENTY-SEVEN TIME World Champion New York Yankees…and yup.

RON DARLING: Yes, the Yankees have shown the world EXACTLY WHY they are America’s team and the favorites to take home the trophy again this year.

ANDERSON: The Bombers are led by the man, the legend, the CAPTAIN, Derek Jeter. Jeter’s leadership has been evident throughout this entire series as he has single-handedly guided the Yankees one step closer toward the title. Rumor has it, he's been the main reason behind Curtis Granderson's improvements in center field this year. I'm told Granderson had never even played the position before arriving in New York.

DARLING: Indeed. Even when Jeter gives the opponent false hope by purposely striking out or hitting a weak grounder to short, his grittiness and the all-around intangibles that can’t be explained help to propel his teammates to victory.

ANDERSON: Taking the mound tonight is the unquestioned Rookie of the Year favorite Ivan Nova. He looked unstoppable in Game One when he was thrust into the spotlight after the game had earlier been halted by rain.

DARLING: Again, you have to credit Jeter on this. I have no knowledge of any of this happening, but you know The Captain must have given young Nova quite the speech to help him look like Cy Young out there earlier this week.

ANDERSON: And how about that Pudge Alex Rodriguez? His bat finally came around in Game Four after, no doubt, a Jeter pep-talk, and he looks to be the A-Rod of old, doesn’t he?

DARLING: You know it. I expect Rodriguez to hit at least three homers tonight, all inspired by the greatness of Derek Jeter, the ultimate teammate.

ANDERSON: I’ve been handed a note saying that we should mention the Yankees’ opponents tonight. Ron, how do you see the Detroit, um, Lions (?) matching up?

DARLING: You have to feel for these unknowns, led by slugger Melky Cabrera, who killed a busload of nuns in the offseason with a blood-alcohol content of .88. Hopefully, they all at least have a chance to meet Derek Jeter and have a story to tell their grandkids one day.

ANDERSON: It should be fun to watch before the Yanks get ready to sweep the Dallas Rangers in the next round. So, sit back, and don’t touch that dial, fans. John, do you have anything to add?

JOHN SMOLTZ: Sigh. No.

ANDERSON: It's Yankees-Pistons NEXT! Only on TBS.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The DNR 2011 MLB Award Winners

Since there’s a day off here before Game 5 of the Tigers/Yankees series, I thought today would be a good day to name my choices for the big awards in Major League Baseball. You can only analyze this series so much before your brain feels like it’s going to explode, you know? Plus, I wanted to get these out of the way before the actual winners are announced.

So below, you’ll see what my choices would be if I had a say in the voting for the MVP, Cy Young, and Manager of the Year voting with the runners up, along with who I think the voters will actually name as the winners. I decided to skip Rookie of the Year just because I haven’t seen enough of those guys to feel comfortable making a choice. Sue me. After that, I’ll give my Tiger awards, too.

Keep in mind, I don’t subscribe to the idea that the award winners have to be on a playoff team. I feel that the best man deserves the award and shouldn’t be punished for how poorly his teammates may have played. That’s how they jobbed Miguel Cabrera out of the MVP last year.

Game Four: Keeping Score


I haven’t done a “Keeping Score” since July.  Now’s as good of a time as any.  For those unfamiliar with it, this is where I keep a running diary of the game jotting down every stupid thought that comes into my head as it goes on.  Thrilling, huh?  

If we win, this will be fun to look back on and remember, I guess.  If we lose, I’m going to shoot myself in the face with a shotgun.

Get your peanuts, Cracker Jacks, and Schlitz Light ready, kids.  This game should prove to be interesting, no matter what happens.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Look, Ma...I'm on TV!

RAFAEL SORIANO: What are the chances that Young swings at the first pitch in 83 consecutive at bats? I'll just groove this one over...
DELMON YOUNG: Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich...uh oh, time to swing!

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

DAN DICKERSON:  GONE!

TBS:  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

 ROGO: (Freaks out like a 16 year old girl at a Twilight movie.)

/thank you, Delmon

Game Three: Must See JV...Live

Well, I'm home. Safe and sound from Game 3 in the D. And it was quite simply, amazing. I have to work in a few hours, so just a couple notes...

-The crowd was electric all night. When Verlander struggled in the first, the place was so quiet that you could hear a mouse fart. But once things got rolling again, it was unbelievable to be in the middle of it the rest of the game. The MVP chants for JV and Miguel Cabrera were deafening in person...I hope they came through on television.

-JV, luckily, got his blowup inning out of the way early and was a machine the rest of the way. Striking out the side in the 5th on 10 pitches was beyond effing sweet.

-One of the biggest cheers of the night was one that those of you watching at home sadly missed. Kenny Rogers threw out the first pitch to thunderous applause and looked good doing it. Better than Brad Penny, at least.

-Unlikely heroes were made in Brandon Inge and Ramon Santiago. That's what the playoffs are all about. Just ask that little runt David Eckstein about 2006. And as much as I've ragged on Inge over the years, I admit to have been cheering my ass off for him tonight. Ask Jen from Old English D...she was happy to mock me over it. Sorry...I was happy for the special little guy.

-Delmon Young made Dave Dombrowski look like a genius and/or Minnesota look stupid tonight. His go-ahead homer landed just a few rows away from our seats tonight. I may have messed my pants at that point.

-Nice bunt, Don Kelly. You still suck.

-I no longer hate Nick Swisher with a passion. No matter how tense the situation tonight, he still kept up a banter and goofed with the Tiger crowd in right field all night. He's either cool as hell under pressure or just a gigantic clown. But he made me laugh tonight quite a few times. My former hatred for Swish now goes to Brett Gardner. Congrats, Brett!

-I'm worried about V-Mart. Dude's in pain and just doesn't look like himself out there.

-Jose Valverde...still perfect. And a lovable goof as long as he's on your team.

-Had a few Yankee fans around me in the bleachers. Most were quiet and polite. But there was one obnoxious prick in a Cano shirt that was annoying all night. I'll never forget the look on his stupid face when Jeter K'd to end the game. It was glorious. Entitled jackass. And for any Yank fans that are trolling here, I bid you welcome. Suck my balls.

I can't tell you how amazing it is to be there in person for a playoff win. I hope it's something that all of you get to be a part of at some point. It's the best feeling in the world. Tonight was an unforgettable night for me and I can't thank my friend Jen enough for securing me a ticket and putting up with my nonsense throughout the game. Thanks for keeping me from rushing the field when Leyland put Kelly in for Maggs so early in the game.

1 more to go, kids.

Then 8 more for nirvana.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Game Two: Beyond Thunderdome

A couple thoughts since I've finally taken the gun out of my mouth...

-Miguel Cabrera is awesome.

-Max Scherzer needed to have a huge game. And Mad Max pitched beyond all expectations.

-Magglio went 3-3. Remember when ALL OF YOU JERKS wanted him cut? Eat a lit cherry bomb.

-Don Kelly almost ruined everything. Really Don? An RBI single in the 9th to put us up by 4? What's wrong with you?!? Valverde is awful in non-save situations! Think next time! This is why we cannot be friends.

-Papa Grande's "Ghost of Todd Jones" act was the most stressful 20 minutes of my life since I last saw police sirens...not a good feeling.

-Verlander must be amazing tomorrow since Benoit and Valverde are gassed. Now's the time to show if he's worth all this MVP talk.

-And I'll be there. Wearing the ratty black hoodie I wore to the Magglio '06 homer game. Because I'm weird like that.

Keep the faith, kids. Despite what TBS/TNT thinks, the Yankees aren't the only f'n show in town.

Saturday, October 1, 2011