Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tiger Droppings: Halfway Over Edition


No attempt at a somewhat witty into this time. I’ve got a few topics I want to cover including the All-Star Game, hating on Prince Fielder, Ryan Raburn, and more. Also, I’m mildly drunk.

We’re at the halfway point in the season. This is the first time the Tigers under Jim Leyland have been under .500 after 81 games. No more screwing around, okay? Here we go.

SINCE WHEN IS GOING TO KANSAS CITY IS CONSIDERED AN HONOR?

I thought I’d cover the AL fan selections for the All-Star game and whether I thought they got the call right or not. Let’s take a look.

Catcher

Fans Choice: Mike Napoli
My Choice: Joe Mauer

Reaction: Joey Sideburns is hitting the snot out of the baseball again this year. Napoli’s hitting .235 and Mauer, Pierzynski, and Wieters all deserve to start over him.

First Base

Fans Choice: Prince Fielder
My Choice: Paul Konerko

Reaction: Prince has been good, but Konerko’s been outstanding. It’s amazing that no one thinks of him when discussing the best players in the game.

Second Base

Fans Choice: Robinson Cano
My Choice: Robinson Cano

Reaction: Duh. No one else is close.

Third Base

Fans Choice: Adrian Beltre
My Choice: Miguel Cabrera

Reaction: Even in a slower year (for him), Cabrera dominates AL third basemen in most offensive categories. And he’s been better than most thought on defense.

Shortstop

Fans Choice: Lord Derek Jeter
My Choice: Asdrubal Cabrera

Reaction: Jeter’s actually playing well this year, but Cabrera and Elvis Andrus are better.

Outfield

Fans Choice: Josh Hamilton, Curtis Granderson, Jose Bautista
My Choice: Josh Hamilton, Adam Jones, Mike Trout

Reaction: Curtis is hitting .244 and is 9th among AL outfielders in OPS. Bautista, who I love, is hitting .243. Jones and Trout are legit five tool players that are having outstanding years. And Hamilton is a beast.

DH

Fans Choice: David Ortiz
My Choice: David Ortiz

Reaction: Barely. Edwin Encarnacion makes it close, but Papi deserves the spot.

I agree with the fans on 3 of 9 selections. That somehow makes me feel good about myself.

DOES PRINCE FIELDER SUCK?

No. Unless you count milkshakes.

I can’t believe the hate I’ve seen lately directed at the Tiger first baseman. “He makes too much money to hit singles.” “Where are the homers?” “Waste of money, blah, blah, blah.”

Some people are just insane.

The guy is hitting .300. He is second to Cabrera on the team in hits, doubles, homers, and RBI. He is second to Jackson in OBP and leads the team in walks. He’s hitting .354 with runners in scoring position. With two outs and RISP, he’s hitting .351. As Albert Pujols and Adam Dunn have shown us, it’s not the easiest thing to do to switch leagues and dominate. And he’s done it all with ZERO protection from Delmon Young behind him.

The guy sucks on defense. I’ll give you that. But don’t crap on him because he has four less homers than you expected at the All-Star break.

Too many solo homers? Baseball’s a funny game. I actually like that he seems to concentrate on driving in the run over swinging for the fences every time. That idiot Boesch could learn something from him.

I’m going to stick with Prince. You keep chanting Quintin Berry’s name.

I CAN’T TAKE ME ANYWHERE

It was one of my best friends’ birthday tonight, so I met him out at a bar. Working in one, bars aren’t my favorite places nowadays. But I did so anyway.

And within five minutes, I was having a screaming match with a guy in there over Ryan Raburn as this dude was saying Ryno was a terrible player and nothing would ever convince him otherwise..

Sometimes I think some Tiger fans have the memory capabilities of a goldfish. That or selective memory of some kind. Raburn’s made some dumb plays in his time in Detroit. And he had a nightmare of a start to this season.

But from 2009-2011, he hit 16, 15, and 14 homers. He has made some spectacular plays in the outfield in that time, too. He has better range than Boesch, takes better routes than Berry, and has the best arm of all of them.

And for his career, he’s a .300 hitter with an OPS of .847 in the second half.

Is Raburn a star? No. And he never will be. But he can be a productive role player on a team that desperately needs them. And if you haven’t noticed, he’s been looking a lot better since his recall from Toledo.

Maybe I just need to avoid talking to others about the Tigers. Or quit wearing a Tiger hat when I go to bars.

Whatever. People annoy me…

WE NEED STUFF

Forget about second base. If the Tigers are going to impress in the second half, there are more important needs for the team.

1. Corner outfielder with power.

This team will continue to flounder until they find someone to protect Fielder in the fifth spot.

2. Another starter

Innings are eventually going to be an issue with Smyly. And Fister, Porcello, and Scherzer have yet to show that they can be consistent enough to be trusted this year.

3. A bat for the bench

Second half Raburn would be nice, but nothing is certain in life. And a bench of guys like Kelly, Worth, Laird, and Santiago is not what you find on a championship club.

4. Delmon and/or Boesch to get eaten by a bear.

Oh, what a happy day that would be.

I want Carlos Quentin. Or Hunter Pence. Sell, Philly…sell.

BUT, PLUGS

-Kurt Mensching may (allegedly) sound like a douchebag on the BYB Podcast, but he's a heck of a writer. His latest at the Detroit News expands on why signing Carlos Quentin would be a good idea. Well worth the read.

-Those filthy copycats at the Freep have enlisted a blogger of their own, Josh Worn of Walkoff Woodward, to contribute for them, as Kurt does for the News. Josh's latest is a good piece on Quintin Berry. Sadly, I have no information on if Josh sounds like a douchebag when talking. Let's just assume so for fun.

-Over at mLive, James Schmehl tells the inspirational story of new Tiger Darin Downs. He neglects to mention why Darin chooses to copy the haircut of Will Rhymes, though.

-The always entertaining Phil Coke's Brain takes a look at which Tigers we should all be buying or selling on. Good luck finding a buyer for Delmon.

That's all for today. Hope some of this made sense. Wednesday is Verlander Day in Detroit.

If they can't beat the Twins with JV on the mound, it may be time to sacrifice a Don Kelly to the Baseball Gods. With fire.

3 comments:

H2OPoloPunk said...

 And he’s been better than most thought on defense.

Just a heads up. Good piece -- I don't completely agree with all of your points, but it's still solid, rational thinking.

EightMileCats said...

I tend to agree about a corner outfield bat to protect Fielder.  I'd prefer Pence all things being equal, but I'm guessing he's awfully pricey in the prospect department.  But you may be able to get Carlos from the Pads for a fairly cheap haul...  

SphenicAtaraxy51 said...

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