Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Tigers Mid-Season Report Card

I havent posted in nearly two weeks, because I have been battling a viral infection, so im sorry to my two regular readers and all of the people who accidentally click on the link to this page from the 1996 Detroit Tigers baseball-reference page that I sponsor. To get an idea about how pathetic my page viewings are I have put a counter at the bottom of this site. Apparently there are blogs that contain family photos of vacations to Yellowstone that are more interesting than anything I have to write. But yes I have been sick, nothing life threatening, but just sick enough to where I don't feel well enough to do anything. Compounding this sickness is the fact that it has been on average 265 degrees during the month of July here in Michigan, which means I have been fortunate enough, or finally had an excuse to do nothing but watch baseball, namely the Tigers. So Im going to do a quick midseason report on the Tigers, with grades and everything, because frankly thats my favorite sports writing gimmick. So enjoy Kevin................... Ill resume my RBI rundown at a later date, and don't think I dont want to finish that series because that game is great and it allows me to draw on my bank of useless baseball trivia, about non descript players from the 80's whose drug dealers dont even know they played professionally let alone have had a knife thrown at them.

Kyle Farnsworth: Grade: A. I was going to give Farnsworth an A- even though his performance on the field this year has been amazing. Hes gone something like 25 innings and only allowed a single run. However I was going to give him a minus because I had been disappointed with him in the fact that he hadnt lived up to his psycho billing, and then stated that he was more mature this year and ready to take on responsibilities. Boring. Responsibilities? What! wheres the guy throwing lawn chairs on the field, kicking air conditioners, being to hung over to pitch in day games, what happened? Well the Farnsworth I had hoped to know and love but was giving up on came through against the Royals on Sunday. When he circled the scrum and tackled Jeremy Affeldt to the ground, which was reminiscent of his Paul Wilson beatdown he delivered a few years ago. Not only that but he took down the Affeldt who was fantasy baseball poison for me last season, and yes I hold lifelong grudges against 20th round fantasy picks who fail to perform How can you not love a pitcher who has a signature bench clearing brawl move. They need to sign this guy to an extension, make him the closer give him big money. Please Mr. Illitch, Mr. Dombrowski, anybody............... please.

Doug Creek. Grade: I. Doug Creek plays for the Tigers? Who is this guy, did Matt Ginter change his name. Where is Matt Ginter, are him and his banjo back in Triple A. Did he even exist? How can a guy like Creek with a career ERA over 5 play 10 big league seasons? Oh hes left handed thats right. When I have a kid Im going to tie his right arm behind his back and make sure hes lefthanded just so he can enjoy a long big league career no matter how ineffective he is. Go ahead call Child Services. Im going to make Marv Marinovich and Bing Crosby look like Fathers of the Year.

Craig Dingman. Grade: I. Craig Dingman is back with the Tigers? How? Hes not even left handed.

Sean Douglass: Grade: A. So far hes pitched well, I remember he used to be an Orioles prospect or something, but was a total spazz (or is it one z) and never stuck with a team that long, But as long as he keeps pitching as good as he has this season hes alright.

Franklyn German: Grade: B+. He hasnt really pitched well in his appearances since the break, but so far this season hes been a effective reliever.........errr I wish I could add something about him, but I cant think of anything noteworthy that hes done, which is good if your a reliever.

Jason Johnson: Grade B. I dont think Ill ever really warm to this guy because he seems like he would be a total prick for some reason, and not the good kind like Reggie Jackson, or Terrell Owens, guys who are so brash and arrogant that you cant take them to serious. Johsnon seems like a whiny brooding jerk. That and he had a bitch session after being pulled out of a game after the seventh that the Tigers ended up losing. Hes been good though and deserves more than the 6 wins hes gotten this year.

Mike Maroth: Grade C+. Maybe Im being to hard on Mike, but he seems so hittable, I think I could get a hit off of Maroth. Hes so effortless and slow that it looks like hes throwing batting practice. He has been pitching better of late though, and hes seems like the one Tiger I identify with the last five years or so of bad teams because hes always been there, and Id hate to see him gone.

Nate Robertson: D-..........no B. I hate Robertson because he pitches EVERY GAME I GO TO. I dont think hes pitched since the last time I was there either, and I plan on going again this weekend and if hes pitching Ill refuse to watch, no offense to him, but I need variety, I need excitement, I feel like Ive been in a long relationship with a girlfriend and need some time to myself for a week or two. Or at least thats what my friends in relationships tells me it feels like.

Fernando Rodney. Grade A-. If Farnsworth leaves Rodney has got to be the closer next year. This guy throws changeups ranging from nasty to unhittable. The 7 K's the other night against the Royals over three innings was incredible. The ball was disappearing, and the Gotay's and Teahans of the world have no chance. Speaking of which, I wrote earlier this year that the Devil Rays were the saddest, most irrelevant team, but after watching the Royals series Im having second thoughts, but Im not going to elaborate here. Anyways a nasty changeup is my favorite pitch to watch, and Rodneys is awesome, not Santana awesome, as the immortal Rod Allen was comparing it with but nasty in its own right.

Chris Spurling. F. This is a "what have you done for me lately" grade and the last thing I remember Spurling doing was giving up three bombs including one to Juan Uribe that was so huge had it been on RBI it would have made such a high pitch whistle as it was leaving the park that it would have made your ears bleed. Also Spurling has a horrible tattoo on his right elbow, and wears that ridiculous medallion with his number on it. This guy seems to take himself way to serious, especially for a middling relief pitcher whose only been in the big leagues for two years. I wish we would have kept Matt Roney and his size 11 3/8 head instead of Spurling. Yuck.

Jamie Walker: Grade A-. Walker has been good at what he does...............whatever that is.

Jeremy Bonderman. Grade A. Bonderman is great, Ive wrote at length about him a couple of times and really have nothing new to add at the moment. To bad he couldnt have gone to the All-Star game instead of Kenny Rogers, although Im glad Detroit fans booed Rogers both before and during the game, not so much for what he did to the cameraman but for taking Bondermans spot. Because who cares about cameramen, their not even human.

Pudge. B. After batting .500 last June, I had high hopes for Pudge this year as I expected him to carry that average through a whole season, but alas. He has been tremendous behind the plate cutting down runners better than ever. However Pudge is scary looking because he always seems so intense. Like he would stab the shit out of you if you crossed him. Had he come to prominence in the 80's I think he would have thrived in Miami as a cocaine dealer, wearing the pastels and cutting and shooting people for fun.

Vance Wilson. Grade D: He is putting up Craig Paquette numbers, which is never good. I may have posted this before but I am still convinced that Wilson is just Matt Walbeck in disguise.

Carlos Guillen. Grade B+. Hopefully hes finally healthy and I like the way he reacted after he got beaned sparking the brawl. Hes been solid but it would be nice to see him drive in some more runs.

Ill finish this tomorrow...........

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