The Tigers won the first three games of this series and looked as though they may never lose again. In the first game the Tigers hit seven homeruns off the Rangers staff including six off of knuckleballing R.A. Dickey, (which sounds like the name of an old timey 1890's baseball player, an era when guys used to go strictly by their initials and you would see names like H.M.M. Chesterfield and O.W. Preston, why did this change, why are initials now limited to the T.J.'s and J.R.'s of the world.) This game was on T.V. so I actually got a chance to watch it, well in between commercials on the Pistons-Heat game. Impemba and Allen were as excruciating as ever breaking out the cliches that they use every year (i.e. country strong, country mile, fundamentals, blah, blah blah.) I actually thought I might get a reprieve from Impemba/Allen, when WB20 picked up an extra 15 games this season, finally gettting to listen to gentle Frank Beckmann and a parade of drunk Tigers from the '84 team (look everyone its Dan Petry!, he was good...remember......) But it was not to be , in fact it was the worst possible scenario as the team announced it would be the same two jackasses, which means everyone has to be subjected to at least 45 more hours of their nonsensical banter.
The Tigers ended up winning the next two games in the series, with Justin Verlander getting Tigers fans legitimately giddy with a two hit performance Saturday night in the Ballpark of Arlington. It was great because every year it seems as though there are a handful of rookie pitchers who get a ridiculous amount of hype and those pitchers have never been on the Tigers (unless you count a Peter Gammons article from about three years ago, where he compared Cornejo, Bernero, and Maroth to a young early 90's Braves rotation of Maddux, Smoltz, and Glavine. Jesus Christ Gammons, he must have been tripping serious balls with Walton as he wrote that.) Also at some point during the series Shelton, was batting a mere .700 and was on pace for 216 homeruns, I think it goes without saying that I have the hands down 19th round pick steal of the fantasy draft this year. The series ended with Shelton getting owned by Vincente Padilla (!?!) by striking out three times and the Tigers lost their first game of the year and proved they were human by shedding their first drop of blood.
Unfortunately that drop of blood turned into massive hemoragging out of control and spraying blood all over Comerica Park in getting swept by the White Sox. I skipped my Contracts class on Monday to watch the home opener, but that's not saying much as I've skipped my Contracts class to watch the conclusion of Roadhouse. It started off pretty exciting as the two jets that flew overhead at the end of the national anthem flew directly over my apartment building about 1 second later, which means that if I ever traveled from my apartment to Comerica at over 600 MPH I could get there in a little over 1 second. Bonderman got the start and looked great early before giving up a 785 ft moonshot to Jim Thome, unfortunately for the Tigers, the Thome moonshots would become a theme for the rest of the series. Of course Allen remarked that Thome was "country strong". Seriously who didnt fucking see that coming, I practically mouthed the words along with him, I swear to God I hate these guys.....hate them. The other highlight was Craig Monroe's homerun and the cameraman showing a homeless guy sitting behind the Tigers dugout.......oh wait that's just Jeff Daniels, what happened to this guy, has anybody told him he doesnt have to play and look like Harry Dunne anymore? The Tigers then dropped the next two in the series to complete getting swept, although Shelton did hit two more homeruns in the series to raise his total to 7 although it came at the expense of his average as it came tumbling all the way down to .514. Personally I think he's starting to focus on the long ball too much and should be sent to Toledo to work out the kinks. (If anybody takes that last sentence serious, I just want to let you know I'm joking, and that you're an idiot.) Verlander also came crashing back down to earth today, getting roughed up for seven runs in 2.2 innings. I'm not sure what his problem was, because once again the game wasnt on T.V. because FSN didnt want to lose those highly rated poker tournament matches. Chris Spurling came in and did his thing today as well, relieving Bobby Seay, and immediately allowing all of the runners he inherited to score. So what's Spurling's appeal again? Has he ever been anything but below average? Is it good when the only adjective you can come up with to describe a pitcher is "hittable"? Regardless the Tigers now stand at 5-4 with red hot Cleveland and Pronk coming to town, I'm going to the game on Saturday so I can personally watch Shelton and Hafner battle for Goony, Un-Athletic, White Guys, Who Flat Out Rake supremacy.