Tagged: The Tigers

The Tiges…

I’ve been out of the game for a while, and if I still have any fans I apologize for that.  So this post may ramble for a bit, but oh well.

The Tigers are going to look markedly different this season as oppose to last, and I will say right now: I have NO problem with ANY move Dombrowski made.

Not one.

Yes I know that Curtis Granderson was a fan favorite, even I liked him.  He was a good guy, a community-oriented-good-to-his-mother-kept-out-of-the-headlines-face-of-a-franchise-kind of guy.

But I don’t care.

As awesome as it is to have a face of a franchise that is as clean as Granderson, I’d rather have a centerfielder who can throw and hit lefties a little better than his .183/.245/.239 line.

And for his image I could point to A-Rod and say image doesn’t matter if you produce, but you might say, “He wasn’t the face of the Yankees, that was Jeter.”

So what I will say is this: Larry Jones.  You might know him as Chipper.  And he is without question the face of the Altanta Braves.

And he doesnt’ have a squeaky clean resume.  He cheated on his wife.

But again, I don’t care if he did.  He’s a career: .307/.406/.541.

That said, I don’t care if Austin Jackson becomes a womanizing alcoholic mess as long as he can hit lefties better than a .183/.245/.239 clip.

That kid can absolutely run like the wind and has a cannon for a right arm.  He might not hit 30 dingers, but I can live with that.

Which brings me to my next point.

When building the Tigers outfield you need two things: speed and arm strength.  Jackson has both, Damon has speed, and Magglio doesn’t have either. 

In fact, I hope Magglio doesn’t hit a lick all season and can get benched to avoid his option vesting.  He might hit .330, but it will be with zero power and .285 of that .330 will come in blow-outs and mean zilch.

It isn’t that I don’t like Magglio, its that I’ve seen him play over the last few years and his pennant winning homer aside, he hasn’t been clutch at all during his tenure in Detroit.

I move on.

Damon’s signing isn’t a make or break.  I don’t see the Tigers going to the playoffs, and even if they do it won’t be Damon who is the reason-either way.

But what Damon will do is provide tutiledge for Jackson and provide a dependable (read:not Granderson) left handed bat at the top of the lineup to get on in front of Miguel Cabrera.  Nevermind his small collection of World Series rings.

Even the Edwin Jackson trade, which was my least favorite of the off-season wheeling and dealing, should end up paying dividends.  I like Scherzer, if he could ever become what he’s been projected to become, and that Schlereth kid should be all right, and Jackson was gonna make some big bread come arbitration.  So its okay.

And now, another fan favorite saying bye-bye that I’m not too upset about, Placido Polanco.

Lets face it, he was getting older, slower, and not any better.  I think he’ll do all right in Philly, but getting younger and faster for the Tigers is a grand plan.

And if Dombrowski didn’t shell out the money to keep Verlander and I ended up seeing him pitching for Baltimore in the next few seasons I would have been seriously upset.  He’s a man as far as other Major League starters are concerned.  And considering the quickness with shelling out absurd amounts of money to Nate Robertson, Jeremy Bonderman, and (sigh) Dontrelle Willis, I’m not sure why there was so much thinking about locking of Verlander.

Having said all that, I still don’t see the Tigers going to the playoffs, but thats fine.  They got younger and quicker and they should still be fun to watch.

 

–RM 

more reasons to hate the red sox… as if i needed more…

All right, I’ve played baseball for nearly a quarter century and I’ve learned some of the unwritten rules.

When you’re up ten runs in the fifth the running game shuts down.
Rookies carry vets bags to the bus.
You hit the best hitter in my lineup twice in one game and again the following night, intentional or not, somebody for the other team is getting plunked.  And if you’re stupid about it, you’ll get one in the earhole.
So.
Tonight my hometown Tigs were in Beantown and yesterday Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge both got drilled during at-bats during that game.
So.
In the top of the first Miguel Cabrera got plunked again.  And eventually Cabrera had to leave the game.
In the bottom of the first Rick Porcello let a fastball get away from him and came a little close to Victor Martinez.
Notice I said “a little close” and didn’t say “hit him with a pitch.”
Because its an important piece of information.
And Martinez, who I couldn’t stand in Cleveland and going to Boston did nothing to elevate him in my eyes, looks incredulous.  As if Porcello has done something wrong.
(Blinks)
WHAT!?  
Are you kidding me?
A guy misses tight with a fastball and its a newsworthy event?  Its worth getting huffy about? When recent history shows that  you deserve to get plunked anyway?  
And I haven’t even gotten to the best part.
The umpire–get this–warns both benches.
And pay attention.  ‘Cause that’s gonna come into play later too.  
So what the hell is going on here?  A guy throws tight, not hitting anybody, and he gets warned?  WARNED!?
For god sakes.  Why didn’t the umpire just say, “Uh, no, you can’t pitch inside.  At all.  Ever. Nope.  Kid, don’t you get it?  This is Boston.”
What he should have said was, “Hey Martinez, shut your mouth and get back in the box.  Your upper body is actually over the strike zone and your elbow could be called a strike.  He didn’t even hit you.”
So there were warnings and Martinez eventually ended up striking out on a high fastball.  
Bottom of the second inning is where things got really interesting.
Youkilis lead off and was immediately plunked in the back.  And immediately charged the mound after Porcello.
Moron.
Come on.  I’ve played baseball and watched it long enough to know when a guy his head hunting.  Bostonians should know better than most anyway.  A guy named Pedro pitched there for years–and he made a living throwing at guys.  
And he never looked at the ground and cursed because he just put the lead off guy on base in Boston when he’s got a three run lead.
No, Pedro would stand there, chest out, and glare.
Porcello whether he did it on purpose or not, wasn’t half the poor-sport chicken-**** pansy that Youkilis was.
First its also worth noting that Youkilis while not hanging over the strike zone does dive towards it to begin with.
Youkilis charges the mound and while Porcello has his hands up as if saying, “Really?” Youkilis throws his helmet at Porcello.
(Raises his eyebrow in disbelief)
I’ve never understood that move.
I mean, is it because the pitcher threw something at the batter that the batter feels he needs to somehow recreate the act?  
But to throw it so the pitcher turns his back, to obviously avoid the hurtling projectile, he continues to charge like the older brother chasing his smaller sibling.
Though Porcello’s like six-six, so…
Anyway, Youkilis attempts a tackle, which is thwarted and he ends up being tossed to the ground by a guy thirty pounds lighter, and there is a benches clearing incident.  
Now is where it truly gets complicated.
Youkilis is gone for sure. 
No debate.
You charge the mound, you’re gone.  Done deal.
Porcello’s fate, not as preordained.  
He was ejected.
But.
The rub?
Leyland wasn’t.
Hmph.
‘Member when I said to remember that there were warnings issued?
Well, uh… (ponders to himself) I was under the impression, as is the rule book, that once warnings are given, if the pitcher gets run, so too does the manager.  And Leyland, as of this writing during the third inning, is still managing the game and going down the tunnel to puff on an unfiltered Marlboro.
So why was Porcello ejected?
It couldn’t have been because he plunked Youkilis and disregarded the officials warning.  Or else Leyland would have had an early exit too.
My thought?
Because it was in Boston.
Had it been in Detroit I think it would have been a different story.
But much to Porcello’s credit, he didn’t go quietly.  Though if I were him I would have got my money’s worth.  I’d have gotten right into somebody’s face instead of screaming at no one in particular, just barking in general.
The whole charade was a bit of a joke.  Youkilis should get hit twice a week.  As should David Ortiz.
I tend to agree with Ozzie Guillen.  Though I never thought I would have an opportunity for that to happen.
You hit two of my guys?  I’m gonna plunk half your lineup.
And I’m sure Sox fans are gonna cry outrage because Youkilis was hit last night too.
Eat it.
I remember Sox fans rejoicing after Pedro’s incident when he threw at Karim Garcia and then suplexed Don Zimmer.
There is a huge difference.
Porcello, on purpose or not, was standing up for his teammates.
Pedro was crying because the Yanks were peppering him all over the yard.
Porcello was justified.  More than.
And Youkilis was a nancy.
A term I think the city of Boston coined originally anyway.
Let the hate mail roll in…
–RM