Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Trade Part I.

Few things were capable of disrupting my weeks in the making meticulous plan to creepily stalk about the Hannah Montana concert at the Palace this evening. In fact the only two things I could think of that would deter my plan would be 1: Being contacted by the FBI or 2: The Tigers pulling off the biggest trade in my lifetime for a 24 year old third baseman with Hall of Fame potential who could be a Tiger for the next 10-12 years and a solid if not spectacular 25 year old left-hander three seasons removed from winning 22 games and whose presence provides the Tigers with enough depth in their rotation to ban the likes of Chad Durbin to the seventh circle of hell, which if I remember correctly from my European history class is patrolled by Centaurs and houses violent sodomites and disappointing No. 5 starters or in the case of Jason Grilli, both. I know this will upset the swamp monsters that crawl out of the primordial ooze known as Lake Erie, don tattered Charles Nagy t-shirt jerseys and call themselves Indians fans but the Tigers just clinched the Central Division on December 4th 2007 a full five months before Opening Day. Even though the deal is over a day old I'm still too excited to write about this trade coherently so I'm going to break down the key players of the deal one at a time beginning with Mike Rabelo....haha, just kidding, who cares about Rabelo?
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1: Miguel Cabrera: I've been slow to embrace sabermetrics in the past but I've been trying very hard to catch up and learn the various formulas and analyses needed to project future performance and compare players across generations and after running some numbers on Cabrera's addition to the Tigers lineup I project the Tigers will score somewhere between 950 and 4 glorjabillion runs next season and, even more amazing, through the age of 24 Miguel Cabrera's numbers are most similar to 1: Jesus H. Christ who OPS'ed an astounding 1.084 over 5 seasons in the Galilee Federal League (GFL) before his growing popularity earned him a suspicious lifetime ban under the orders of Commissioner Kennesaw Moutain Pilate, 2: Hank Aaron and 3: Hitbot v.2.8 a automaton specifically programmed to hit baseballs. O.k. I realize I might be overstating things....slightly, but if you go to the indispensable baseball-reference.com and look at the ten players most similar to Cabrera by age, six of the players listed are Hall-of Famers (including Aaron, Frank Robinson and Mantle), 2 of them are arguably future Hall of Famers (Griffey Jr. and Vladdy) and the remaining two aren't that bad either (Andruw Jones and Hal Trosky). I still can't wrap my head around the fact that four years ago I was rooting for a Tigers team that was trotting out a lineup that had the likes of Bobby Higginson, Dmitri Young and Eric Munson as the heart of its order to cheering for a team that is rolling out a 3-4-5 of Sheffield, Ordonez and Cabrera and also features 5 other past/current/future All-Stars at every position with the exception being Jacques Jones in left-field who probably feels as inadequate in that lineup as I would in the Pistons locker room shower. Had I slipped into a coma 4 years ago and woke up today to find the Tigers had joined the Red Sox and Yankees as baseball's superpowers I would have immediately assumed that society had crumbled and the world was being run by apes. This lineup is so potent that it should be able to overcome any deficiencies in the bullpen and build leads large enough that Jason Grilli himself won't be able to blow them, try as he might. (Is it petty to throw in a pointless sentence at the end of this paragraph to take a second shot at Grilli even though the season ended 2 months ago and I should be over any lingering bitterness? No.)
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2: Dontrelle Willis: D-Train scares me a little bit. He's coming off a really down season where he might have been pitching through an injury. He's still young but he has thrown a ton of innings in his career and people who know a hell of a lot more about baseball than me have been counting down the days until his herky-jerky delivery causes his arm to detach at the elbow. Also, Ozzie Guillen compared an appearance Dontrelle had against the White Sox last season to "facing Jamie Moyer without the changeup." Umm...if you take away Jamie Moyer's changeup you essentially have me or you pitching and I don't think I could get a major league hitter out even if he played for the White Sox. I'm holding out hope that Dontrelle will have a bounce back season just for the fact that he should be rejuvenated mentally by pitching for a contender in front of more than the 500 fans and 60,000 neon orange seats he was pitching in front of down in Miami. If I had to rate how worried I was about Dontrelle right at this moment it would rank about 50,000 spots behind the wet fart I just had that smells too much like Big John's to be anything but diarrhea. I must add that the one thing I'm most excited about with Dontrelle is the fact that he looks EXACTLY like my friend T.J.. The only difference is instead of being a 6'4 athletic major league league pitcher, T.J. is a 5'10 overweight, white, retail worker who has logged more than 900 hours on his Pokemon DS game, sweats profusely and had to get off the phone with me a couple of days because he was out of breath from eating too much Jell-O. I swear I'm not making that last sentence up. Despite these glaring differences they do look identical in the face. In fact I think I just came up with the idea for a sequel to Twins but I don't think the general public is ready for something like that......yet.

Later I'll take a look at what the Tigers gave up to acquire these two namely Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin, make sure to look out for that sometime between now and spring training '09

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Toastin'


My original idea for this post was to steal a page from Michael Jordan's book and leave a two word post that simply stated, "I'm back." Then I realized how many levels of ridiculous that statement would be coming from somebody like me.

For example, when Jordan first retired from the NBA he was coming off three consecutive championships, was in the prime of his life physically, had established himself as one of the greatest basketball players of all-time and with nothing left to prove in basketball decided he was such an amazing athlete that he might try his hand at professional baseball because....well, why the hell not? He's Michael Jeffrey Jesus Adonis Jordan! He defies gravity and is the beacon through which all that is graceful, beautiful, athletic and organic about basketball shone and to think for a second that he would not excel at a sport that breaks down to "see ball, hit ball" is preposterous to the point of hilarity. Hahahaha. (He really couldn't play though, he OPS'ed .555 in his one season of AA ball. Even Cesar Izturis is appalled by that number.)

On the other end of the spectrum I am a lonely man who probably doesnt even run the best blog in my apartment complex, (Seriously, there is a 90 year old lady in my building who runs the definitive blog on urban culture, fashion and sneakers. She had photos of BBC/Ice Creams fall collection on-line two full weeks before Hypebeast, that's how tight her game is.) let alone in Detroit, I can't even walk up a flight of stairs without having to catch my breath, I spend most of my time chronically masturbating to "Paramore" videos (The lead singer of that band, Hayley Williams....wow, she may warrant her own post in the near future because she is so unbelievably hot...Jesus Christ! How old is she? Is it even a she because Hayley could double as a really gay boy's name. Hang on.../frantically searching the internet/...She's a she and 18, oh thank god.), microwaving French Bread Pizzas and single-handedly dragging Wayne State's Law School into the dreaded 4th Tier of the rankings with my low GPA. Michael Jordan I am not.

The reason for my absence this time is that I've been trying really, really, REALLY hard in school so I can at least salvage my GPA and not have to take a job at a criminal defense firm that advertises on a spraypainted bedsheet, "Rape? Murder? Robbery? We Defend Everything". The main source of my anxiety this semester was a paper I had to write for my Urban Housing and Community Development Seminar that was due on November 20. Notice I wrote "was" due. That's because during the course of writing my paper tonight I had my first miniature meltdown and as I was panicking at the edge of despair I went to my syllabus in search of some hope that Nov. 20th wasnt the actual due date for my paper. It wasn't. I couldn't believe it, I thought it was some kind of frenzy induced hallucination so I raced to my phone and called my friend Matt who shares that class with me to verify my information. The conversation went something like this.

Me: "Matt I know its like 2 A.M. on a Saturday night and the last thing you want to talk about is school, but I just found in my notes that our seminar paper isnt due next Tuesday but rather any time between now and ten days before grades are due. Is this right or did some dragon just fly through my computer screen and steal my reality."

Matt: "Yeah it's true, he's mentioned that about a million times. What are you stupid?"

Me: "That class is at 10 A.M. I can't be held responsible for remembering anything at that ungodly hour."

So now I have been granted a reprieve. I now understand what a prisoner feels like when he receieves a last minute stay from the governor. I know what it feels like to be given a second chance at life. I also understand how to belabor a point and write repetitive analogies. So how am I going to spend my new found time? By writing my paper so that I don't find myself in this exact same situation 1 month from now? Hahaha. Of course not. Instead I will write my hundredth post promising to update this site and then fail to fulfill that promise, watch Misery on the Sci-fi channel, fall asleep to crappy videos on VH1 and hope to wake up in time for the Lions game tomorrow at 4. See you in 6 weeks, jerks.

No. Seriously I plan on writing again, real soon. Honest.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Detroit Tigers Final Season Grades Vol. 1 Starting Fielders

Yo. I have returned from my nearly two month long sabbatical completely recharged and ready to blog about the Tigers deep into October. I'm sorry that I left in the middle of the pennant race but I felt as though my writing had become boring, stale and stilted. I needed to get away in order to find my voice and rediscover the magic that made me the winner of "Detroit's Funniest, Most Handsome Blogger of the Year" 3 years in a row and counting, a fictitious award that I just created 10 seconds ago and retroactively bestowed upon myself, but legitimate nonetheless. The purpose of my furlough was to broaden my horizon, open my mind to new cultures, styles of prose and to visit the places that inspired the greatest writers in history.

My journey initially took me to the Montparnasse section of Paris, where I purchased an ostrich skin notebook, dined in the cafes near the River Seine and engaged in intellectual arguments over the existence of "God" with thin fingered, wispy moustached, chain-smoking Parisians until I realized how gay it all was and left for Amsterdam. While there I experimented with drugs, drank Absinthe, explored my sexuality, and raved at 220 bpm until it felt like my heart was going to explode in my chest and I had to be pulled from the dance floor and put on a plane to Thailand. One night in Bangkok I was romanced by a millionaire transvestite businessman from Japan who placed a bag of diamonds in my hand and begged me to travel the world with him....at that moment I knew it was time to return home and update this site.

Now that I've returned let me just check the standings and see how far the Tigers have distanced themselves from the rest of the field in the American League. Holy shit!?! The Yankees came back and won the Wild Card! They were like 100 jabillion games out of it at the All-Star break and the Tigers had one of the best records in baseball. How did this happen?

Wait, wait, save your breath and don't explain it because I have something to tell you guys. My whole first two paragraph were a lie. I didn't leave the country on a two month sabbatical but rather I was living and dying with the ups and, mostly, downs of the second half of the Tigers season just like the rest of you. I would sit down to write a post about the Tigers but everything about them was so frustrating and depressing that my posts swung so wildly in tone from hopelessly optimistic and positive to hate filled, disparaging, bitter and negative that no one would have been able to make sense of it, and this is coming from someone who already scoffs in the face of proper sentence structure, comma use, syntax and leaves hanging antecedents like they are going out of style (although my spelling is impecabel....immpeccabble, impec....oh fuck it.) So instead of publishing my manic depressive posts, I would just end up watching American Gladiators re-runs, eating Cheeto's and reading my Criminal Procedure, or if I really wanted to punish myself Conflict of Laws, casebook. So now that the Tigers have officially been eliminated from the postseason I thought I would trot out my favorite gimmicky writing feature...handing out grades for the season. On to the subjective judgements and overly harsh criticisms!!!

Ivan Rodriguez: I'll admit it. I'm responsible for that string of mysterious and grizzly murders in northern Genesee County a few years back. Whoops wrong admission, let's pretend that last sentence never happened and no one else will have to disappear. What I meant was I was never a big believer in sabermetrics as recently as two years ago. I was never hostile towards sabermetrics either, it's just that I never took the time to think about it for more than two seconds and now I can't believe I ever followed baseball without an understanding of it. What I'm trying to say is in years past Pudge's 9 walks in 500 at bats wouldn't have bothered me but now it keeps me awake at night. Batting .280 isn't all that impressive when you swing at every friggin pitch you see. I mean, just by pure dumb luck at least 28% of those balls are going to drop in for hits. However, on the bright side history shows that catchers usually peak at the age of 36 and after 2,000+ games caught, which augers well for a bounce back season in the final $13m year of his contract. Ugh. Grade: C

Sean Casey: Let the record show that I was firmly entrenched in the Anti-Casey camp from Day 1 and if I had the money to hire a court reporter to dictate all of my inane ramblings/predictions, I would present you with the report and a gigantic arrogant self-satisfied smile. I was screaming for the return of Chris Shelton to at least platoon with Casey but my pleas fell on deaf ears, which caused me to stop arguing with the old people at the nursing home. However, I would plead with other less feeble minded and decrepit people by saying things like, "He has the lowest OPS of any starting 1st baseman in the league, and provides little force to the premier power position on the field." And the reply was always, "Oh well, he's a good clubhouse guy, he's always smiling, and high fiving, and whispering words of encouragement into young players ears, and telling jokes, and tying balloons in the shapes of animals and performing magic tricks to cheer up Brandon Inge when he's feeling blue." Who cares if he's a nice guy? I would rather have Chris Shelton down at first with his grotesque appearance, and creeping people out with dead baby jokes if it meant having a first baseman who hit 20 homeruns and slugged higher than Ramon Santiago. Also I bet Casey is a real douchebag. I'm sure he's genuinely nice and friendly but I get the feeling he's one of those guys that's so nice he comes across as a big douche. I would explain this theory further but I dont even know what I'm trying to talk about. Grade: D+

Placido Polanco: Not to toot my own horn again but before the season started I predicted that Polanco would take home the batting title, and he went on to hit .340 in route to a spectacular season at the plate and in the field. I know the Phillies have Chase Utley, who is one of the best players in the N.L. and a potential MVP candidate this season, and Polanco wasnt going to play in Philly for long anyways, but the Polanco for Ugueth Urbina swap has got to be one of the biggest heists in recent years. Lets quickly break it down once more. Tigers get: A career .300 hitting All-Star second baseman, albeit with a Milk Dud shaped head, who is flawless defensively at second base and sign him to a more than reasonable multi-year extension. Phillies get: 1/2 season of a deranged and homicidal relief pitcher who no doubt leads the Venezuelan Penitentiary League in both saves and shankings. I love Dombrowski. Grade: A

Brandon Inge: I'm torn on Inge. I just crushed Casey for being a swirling vortex of deep, cold and infinite sadness, yet he statistically had a superior season than Inge in just about every meaningful, and some meaningless, categories. However what Inge lacks offensively, which for some prolonged stretches can seem like everything, he slightly offsets because of his outstanding defense and range at third. I think my favorite play of this Tigers season was when Inge fearlessly launched himself into the stands in Seattle to catch a foul pop-up. The frustrating thing about that catch was how little play it got nationally. Had Derek Jeter made a similar catch in New York we would have been subjected to the replay a million times on Sportscenter, a Gatorade commercial lionizing it and a special half hour edition of Baseball Tonight where Karl Ravech, John Kruk and Steve Phillips quietly and continually masturbated to the clip. Now get that mental image out of your head. I still have faith in Inge turning it around next season but if he fails me and makes me look stupid let it be known that I will be openly campaigning for him to be publicly drawn and quartered in Campus Martius and replaced by Mike Hessman. Grade: C.

Carlos Guillen: Carlos was, as Mario Impemba would describe in the gayest way imaginable, "sparkling" this season. Carlos did what he always does, which is bat .300, hit 20 homers and drive in 100 runs, while looking like he would rather be doing anything in the world than playing baseball. Guillen is becoming so consistent with his play that I'm starting to overlook him. It's like I know exactly how he's going to perform so his consistency gets lost in Magglio and Granderson's historically great season's and the anger and irritation I feel every time Casey or Pudge steps to the dish. I for one can't wait for Carlos to make the full time move to first base whenever that happens. Not because I'm down on him as a shortstop but I'm excited about all the fielding range he would give us at first. Between Guillen and Polanco on the right side of the infield I don't think we'll give up a basehit in that direction all year. Grade: A-

Curtis Granderson: At the beginning of the year I was upset at Curtis because he charged me 25 bucks to shake his hand and sign an autograph at the mall. Now I would pay $100 for the honor of being in the same room as him, or to let him kick me in the crotch until I threw up (hopefully his management company isnt reading this and nodding their heads in agreement). What's not to love about Curtis? The blog, the fact that "Little Big League" is his favorite baseball movie, the way he interacts with fans, all the triples, being the first guy since Willie Mays to have a 20-20-20-20-20-20-20-20-20 season, a feature article in Sports Illustrated. Some of it makes me nervous that he'll burst onto the national scene and become a big star, and he'll forget about me and I'll be stuck raising the kids by myself while he's out hooking up with floozies in all the glamorous A.L. cities like Oakland, Tampa Bay and Kansas City. Oh that's right, we're not married.....yet. Grade A+

Magglio Ordonez: Wow. I've watched the Tigers for nearly 20 years and I've never, ever seen a player locked in over the course of a season like Maggs has been this year, not even Melvin Nieves when he managed to go back to back games without striking out has a Tiger looked this much in the zone. It's a shame that Maggs had to have his career season during the same year that A-Rod decided he wanted a 300 million dollar contract and play out of his skull. I've had this theory about the impetus for Maggs amazing season and here it is. I picture Maggs lazily playing Pokemon on his Nintendo DS during Spring Training when he roused Carlos Guillen from a mid-afternoon nap and told him that he was going to hit .360, to which Guillen replied "Cool" and, tired from all the exertion in waking up from his nap, slept for the next 12 hours. I would like to take this moment to clear up any preconceived notions that I think of Guillen and Ordonez as tired and lazy because of their heritage. I'm not some kind of racist who plays on antiquated stereotypes, o.k. However I can't explain away the fact that I picture Guillen and Maggs wagering their respective station wagons on Maggs proclamation. I think that just made things worse....moving on. Grade A+++++

Gary Sheffield: My friend T.J., who I've written about on here numerous times before, hated Gary Sheffield. He bemoaned the trade as soon as it went down and complained the whole off-season about how Sheff was finished, washed-up and a clubhouse cancer. For months I defended Sheff against T.J.'s hatred and when Sheff got off to his slow start at the beginning of the season it only added fuel to T.J.'s fire. So when Sheff began to play out of his mind in May I saw to it that T.J. was barred from the Sheffield bandwagon in perpetuity. I wouldn't let him praise Sheff in anyway and after every Sheffield homerun I would call and leave him a voicemail reminding him he couldn't cheer Sheffield's success since he wasnt there for his struggles. Anyways, T.J. came down to stay at my place towards the end of July and hit up his first Tigers game of the season against the Kansas City Royals. While we were at the game he wanted to run to the Tigers team store and pick-up an Inge t-shirt jersey for his mom. I declined to go with him because it involved me moving and sounded tedious and boring, but when he came back I noticed there were two shirts in the bag. I asked him what the second shirt was and he played dumb like there was no second shirt and I immediately knew what that two faced bastard had done. I wrestled the bag from his hands took the shirt out, held it up and saw SHEFFIELD 3 on emblazoned across the back. I was horrified. I couldnt even talk to him. Of course that was the game that Sheffield hurt his shoulder while playing right field, which effectively derailed his season and hurt the Tigers playoff chances insurmountably. Of course I blame T.J. and his bad karma for ruing the season. Sheff's grade: B+. T.J.'s grade: F-

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What The Hell?

I was reading the re-cap of the Michigan Notre Dame game on Yahoo! and came across this sentence tucked away in one of the final paragraphs.

"You don't get much chance to enjoy the victory," said Carr, who was joined in the postgame by friend and actor Russell Crowe. "But it's a lot better than suffering in defeat, I can tell you that."

Lloyd Carr and Russell Crowe are friends? Can someone please explain how this happened?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Most Exciting Game of the Year? Part II


Wow, what a finish tonight. I'll admit it, after the double play I bailed on the Tigers. Not just on the game but the whole season. It was just a moment of intense frustration mainly over the teams level of play during the past few weeks and the rash of injuries the team has had to endure on a seemingly daily basis, including two more tonight (Zumaya and Bonderman). As I watched Timo Perez feebly hit a ground ball to short to set-up the 6-4-3 double play it became too much for me to handle. I sat on my futon and stewed. Here I was balls deep in reading for Conflict of Laws and Criminal Procedure and I had just pissed away a whole night of studying to watch Roy Halladay own the Tigers like he always does. However I couldn't stay mad at the Tigers for long and I turned it back just after Brandon Inge singled and the Jays went to the bullpen. I was intrigued about the possibility of a comeback until I realized that the Jays were probably bringing in a lefty to face Granderson and essentially end the game given Grandy's anemic batting average against southpaws. Seriously, if Granderson ever figures out how to hit lefthanders on a major league level he will be completely unstoppable. However, Jays manager John Gibbons inexplicably brought in a righty, whom Granderson absolutely crushes, and that small glimmer of hope that the Tigers could make a rally became much brighter. Granderson came through with a Texas Leaguer to right center that scored 2 and made the game 4-3. I won't bore you with the details of every at-bat but when Magglio smoked that final ground ball into right field to score the winning pair of runs I was jumping up and down in my apartment cheering, much to the annoyance of my neighbors I'm sure, but I didn't care. On the television I was surprised to see Jim Leyland acting the same way I was. I didn't think the man was capable of any demeanor other than surly or churlish much less unabashed jubilation. It was a complete 180 degree turn in emotions from how I felt about the team a mere 30 minutes earlier. I've written this before....wait no I haven't because once again I've neglected my site and alienated by readership base, but I know I've at least said this before, probably during a late night conversation with myself, but hopefully this is the kind of win that will be a turning point in this season and hopefully ignite a winning stretch run towards the playoffs. Go Tigers.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Most Exciting Game of the Year?


Absolutely. Finally the Tigers are playing on a time schedule that suits dangerous loner alcoholics like myself. Also how cool was it that most of the fans stuck around until well after 3 A.M. to watch the conclusion of the game and cheer on the Tigers? Probably because they were afraid to leave and venture back to their cars alone. Seriously though, this game has all the makings of being a season altering win, something we could all look back on in October as a defining moment, not unlike Craig Monroe's grand slam against the White Sox last season. What a game.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

So Long C-Mo

As I'm sure everyone knows by now the Tigers designated Craig Monroe for assignment yesterday, which effectively ended his days in a Tigers uniform. Surprisingly, in spite of the rampant C-Mo hating that has occurred on this website over the past three years, I'm sad to see Monroe go. See, I'm a sucker for sentimental garbage and Monroe was one of the last vestiges of that horrendous 2003 Tigers team that helped bridge the gap in recent Tigers history as the team transformed from embarrassing doormat to World Series participant and perennial pennant contender. I'm not arguing that Monroe wasn't terrible this season (double negative, I know, but my grammar sucks and I just spent the last ten minutes trying to think of how to write it correctly and ended up feeling like I needed a nap) but now that he's gone it's like burying an old family dog. Sure, C-Mo was frustrating when he would strike out five times in a game, admire a flyball out to centerfield like it was a 500 ft homerun or lose control of his bowels as he walked around the house (wait, I think I just mixed up this old family dog analogy, let's forget it and move on) but Monroe will always be remembered by Tigers fans for his numerous clutch hits down the stretch last season, namely his grand slam against the White Sox in a pivotal series in July and for his stellar play in the ALCS against the Athletics. However, I'll most remember Monroe as a major point of contention between my friend T.J. and I so gather 'round for I am about to tell a tale but don't ask any questions or try to talk over me or I'll throw your ass out of here. Hey you in the green shirt, don't test me. Now where was I? Ah...yes.....

Back on
May 14th of 2003 T.J. and I went to a Tigers-A's game for his birthday. By that point of the season the Tigers were already 13.5 games out of 1st place and had exhibited the potential to go down as one of the worst teams in Major League history. Despite the plethora of reasons to NOT drive 90 minutes from Clio to Detroit to see the completely overmatched Tigers take on an Oakland team that had won over a 100 games the year before and were starting their ace Tim Hudson against no talent ass hat Gary Knotts we decided make the journey anyways because 1: There wasn't shit else to do and 2: We were losers obsessing over the most depressing team in baseball (although T.J. would flatly deny the accusation of being a loser, even as he was laying around his parents house at 24, stoned, wearing nothing but Spongebob boxers and playing Pokemon on his Gameboy DS. Oh yeah, did I mention he was 24. I did. Great.) Anyways, the two of us showed up along with 11,000 other equally bored people, bought two tickets in leftfield and settled in for what was surely going to be a bloodbath of a loss. Instead we were treated to a pitching duel that led to a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth when a then relatively unknown Craig Monroe strolled to the plate to face Hudson.

"He's gonna hit a homerun this at-bat", said T.J. as Monroe dug in at the plate.

I looked at him incredulously before spitting out, "Are you insane? Hudson's one of the best pitcher's in baseball right now. No way you think Monroe, who you've never even heard of before tonight and who is only playing for this glorified Triple-A team because he's slightly less terrible than Gene Kingsale and Hiram Boccachica, is going to take Hudson deep. I bet he gets carved up for a strikeout in, like, 4 pitches."

T.J. continued, "I can't explain it, I'm just getting weird vibes from him right now. It's like we've connected on a higher metaphysical plane. I am guaranteeing a homerun in this at-bat."

I started to argue that if this guy had one iota of talent he wouldn't have languished in the minor leagues for 8 years and not get regular playing time until he was 26 and.....but I stopped, it just wasn't worth wasting my breath over this argument, especially since I was attending that game while confined in an iron lung (That joke only works if iron lungs help you breathe. I stumbled across this picture on Wikipedia and had been waiting for a chance to use it so that last joke was completely forced, if you couldn't tell already). So we watched Monroe's at-bat with much anticipation, waiting for the result and the chance to rub the result in the other's face because even though T.J. and I have been friends for years we secretly hate each other, (wait, what do I mean secretly. Our whole relationship is based on overt hostility and aggression towards one another at all times). And we waited....and waited....and waited as Craig Monroe put together the most impressive at-bat I've ever seen in person, fouling off pitch after pitch and even calling time so he could perform some basic sword swallowing and tying a series of balloons together in the shape of a carousel and handing it to a sick child sitting behind the dugout. With each pitch the anticipation in the stadium was building before, with a full count and on the thirteenth pitch of the at-bat, Monroe took a cut at a Hudson pitch and watched it explode off the bat towards deep left field and straight for T.J. and I. The two of us stood there awestruck and tried to position ourselves among the gathering crowd that was vying for the homerun and watched as the ball descended from the clear twilight sky and right into the hands.....off the guy standing next to us. We missed out on catching the homerun but T.J. screamed out with delight, not so much over the fact the Tigers had taken the lead but because he was right and Monroe had delivered on his prediction in the most tense and drawn out way imaginable. The battle lines had now been drawn. T.J. would now support Monroe for life and incessantly bring up the fact that he had predicted Monroe's blast and I would continue to disparage Monroe at every possible moment in every medium available and to anyone who would listen to me. C-Mo could have slept with my girlfriend, run over my dog and eaten the last bowl of Trix and put the empty box back in the cupboard (a big pet peeve of mine and something my old roommate Mike used to specialize in) and it still wouldn't have alienated me any more than proving T.J. right that night.


Monroe didn't stop proving me wrong after that homerun either. I talked about how he was an atrocious outfielder and then he would make a spectacular catch the next game. I predicted he wouldn't hit over .250 in a season because he couldn't hit breaking stuff and he went on to hit .293 that season. I said he was nothing more than a decent fourth outfielder on a contending team and he would never contribute to a team that had real post-season aspirations. Then he became one of the integral pieces on a World Series team. Monroe even continued to perform for T.J. whenever he was in attendance as he had arguably his best game of this season against the Royals with T.J. and I in attendance once more. By that time it seemed as though T.J. was Monroe's only remaining fan considering the amount of groans from the crowd as he strode to the plate with two on and two outs. I turned to T.J. and said, "Fucking great, here comes Mr. Rally Killer himself." T.J. was silent, maybe a little unsure if his continued support of Monroe was justified when, on the third pitch of the at-bat, Monroe took De Le Rosa out of the park. The crowd went wild and T.J. and I just sat there smiling knowing Monroe had made me look like an ass again.
It turned out to be one of Monroe's last homeruns in Detroit and it feels as though I was present for the bookends of his career as a Tiger. I understand that baseball is a business, that Craig Monroe had been maddeningly inconsistent and that Cameron Maybin is the future of the Tigers and had earned the right to play given his superlative play during his short stint in the minors, but I would be lying if I said I was reveling in the demise of my arch enemy Tiger. But in spite of all my thinly veiled hostility towards Monroe, I always wished him to do well and in a deep down place far away from anywhere T.J. could see I kind of liked Monroe, and it's sad to see him leave.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Series Wrap-Up: Cleveland Indians

I know I've been avoidant lately. I know the Tigers are in the midst of the most important two week stretch of their season with 13 straight games against A.L. Central co-leader Cleveland and current Wild Card leader New York. I know Tigers fans across Michigan have been refreshing this page every minute for the past two days with pleading eyes, waiting to read what impressions these past two games have made on me and I have left you all wanting, yearning and twisting in the wind for me to drop knowledge bombs and enlighten the masses. I also know that I have failed you, my loyal fanbase of Canadian readers who mistakenly stumble across my website while doing a Google Image Search for Kate Beckinsale photos, (seriously check my site meter, like 90% of my traffic is accounted for by the scenario I just laid out) for I have yet to write about any of the games in this series. However I have been pre-occupied by other important manners for the past 48 hours and it's NOT because I've been obsessively playing Madden '08 like all those sexless, loner, acne ridden and jobless nerds. No. My time has been devoted to a more pressing need. Organizing the most kickass High School Musical 2 Premiere Party in the city of Detroit. I've made a cake, bought both Original Cast Recordings, choreographed a dance, and after the movie ends we can talk about how brilliant it was (They all get summer jobs!!!) how dreamy Zac Efron is (OMG did you see his Rolling Stone cover?!?!) and stickers and puppies and unicorns. Wait, this fictitious story sounds way worse than what I've actually been doing for the past 48 hours, which is.....sitting around my parents house, pantsless, playing Madden 08. I tried to conceal my addiction to the Madden franchise but it proved impossible. That foul temptress has a powerful hold over my heart and emotions and though it does nothing but spurn my advances year after year I hold out hope that one day I can teach it to love me the same way I love it. Enough of this nonsense, I've decided to take a short break from Madden and instead of emptying my colostomy bag or chronically masturbating I will jot down a few of my thoughts from the Tigers split with the Indians in their recent 2 game series.

Game 1: This may have been the most exciting and well played game the Tigers have had this season.

1: The game began, of course, with the Tigers falling behind 2-0 in the first inning after Bonderman threw one of the biggest meatballs I've ever seen to Grady Sizemore who promptly deposited it beyond the wall in right field for his twentieth homerun of the season. This led to a long string of profanities and an exasperated phone call from my friend T.J. which led to us spending the next ten minutes discussing Bonderman's struggles in the first inning and brainstorming solutions to his problem, most of which were hate filled and mean-spirited. However Bonderman settled down and pitched six shutout innings after the first inning, which bought the Tigers enough time to scratch out two runs against Captain Cheeseburger before he turned it over to Byrdak who appeared to give up the go ahead run to Travis Hafner in the 8th before.....

2: Curtis Granderson made one of the most clutch catches I've ever seen and this is coming from someone who saw Willie Mays, in person, make a spectacular over the shoulder grab in Game 7 of the 1936 Olympics off the bat of Mephistopheles with the fate of humanity and the eternal struggle between good and evil hanging in the balance and it wasn't 1/10th as clutch as Granderson's grab in the 8th inning last night. I'm way to lazy to fact check that last sentence so I'm just going to assume everything in it is true and move on.

3: What a relief to see Fernando Rodney strike out the side in the ninth. After he gave up a leadoff double to start the ninth I thought a major meltdown was imminent. One that would be responsible for the birth thousands of flipper babies in the Cleveland area over the next several years. Instead of a meltdown, Rodney ended up striking out the next two guys on mid to high nineties fastballs before getting the third batter to feebly swing at one of his gross ass changeups. It reminded me of Rodney's dominant performances from the beginning of last season and gave me hope that the Tigers might actually have ONE effective and reliable reliever for the stretch run.

Game 2:

1: The Tigers were without Polanco, Pudge, C-Mo (who cares anyways) and potentially Todd Jones because Justin Verlander had infected them all with the cholera he had contracted from that 19th centrury opium den he insists on hanging out in. (Note: This last sentence may not be true). So the Tigers had to cobble together a lineup that included Mark Salas behind the plate and Skeeter Barnes at second. I only included this note becuase it gave me a twenty minute long excuse to poke around baseball-reference.com and pore over the stats of the early 90's Tigers.

2: I was impressed with Jairface Chippenjens in his debut, (where else can you find tortured nonsensical references to "The Tick" on a blog about the Tigers? Wait, you said several places and there is a blog dedicated to the Tigers that's written from The Tick's point of view. Fuck it, I give up. Every angle is covered nowadays). He threw much harder than I expected and I think he is worthy of a second start especially given Andrew Miller's struggles in his rehab start this evening.

3: There was nothing the Tigers could do against Fausto Carmon tonight. He pitched a great game and had total control of the lower portion of the strike zone. Those types of pitchers seem to own the Tigers and I am definitely not looking forward to watching us try to match up against Chien-Ming Wang in the upcoming Yankees Series.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to get back to my Madden Franchise and register my 40th sack of the season with Ernie Sims. Or maybe hang myself, whichever is less depressing. The results of this exciting question and more on the next fascinating post here on the Mickey Tettleton Memorial Overpass.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Charlie Sanders is Greatest Tight End in Lions History?

Sure Sanders was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame but why is everyone so quick to forget Pete Chryplewicz?


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

756

As I'm sure everyone is well aware of by now Barry Bonds hit his 756th homerun tonight. In the effort of full disclosure I have long been a Bonds apologist and I even wrote a post in his defense last March in light of the allegations levied against him in "Game of Shadows". Ever since Bonds hit 754 I've kept an eye on his at-bats on ESPN2 when I've had the time. (Wait. By writing, "when I've had the time", I'm implying that I might have been too busy to take time off to watch the games and I want you to know this couldn't be further from the truth. For example, yesterday I didn't even put pants on until 9 P.M. and not because I was going anywhere or leaving my apartment or anything but rather based on the principle that I should wear pants for at least a portion of the day....but I digress.) I was fortunate enough to witness No. 755 live as I had been flipping back and forth between Guitar Hero and the game and happened to catch that at bat. However, I wasn't able to witness his record shot tonight as I was driving home from my friend Matt's house. Matt called me during the drive and told me that Bond's had just broke Aaron's record and I felt an immediate pang of sadness. Not because I was sad to see Aaron, the symbol of everything stoic, gracious and humble, have his record broken by that arrogant, cheating, jerk face with the face of a jerk Barry Bonds or any bullshit moralistic high ground reason like that. I was upset that I missed a chance to witness history being made. A chance to watch the most meaningful record in sports fall right before my eyes. This moment of sadness almost immediately subsided when I remembered that I would be subjected to the highlight on ESPN 5 million times over the next two weeks and have to listen to the jackasses on Around the Horn yell at each other while debating the merits of his record. Anyways here are my thoughts on Barry Bonds surpassing Hank Aaron on the all-time homerun list.

1: Steroids: Like every other baseball fan I hate the steroids era. I hate the fact that steroids were so rampant during the time period that I grew to like baseball as a child. However I do not for one second feel sorry for Major League Baseball nor Commissioner Bud Selig as they oversaw this whole era and turned a blind eye to it. In my opinion the only thing that is more preposterous then denying that Barry Bonds used performance enhancing drugs during his career is believing that MLB was completely ignorant of a massive problem that threatened to destroy the integrity of the game. Who knows what the record books would look like if people like Ken Caminiti and to a lesser extent Jose Canseco hadn't spoke up publicly about steroid use when they did. Right now Bonds would probably be closer to Sadarahu Oh then Aaron while Sosa closed in on The Hammer and MLB sat back and banked on the fan's interest in seeing these artificial sluggers topple the most storied records in sports. Instead a few former players blew the whistle on the whole operation and baseball stumbled all over themselves covering their tracks, instituting drug testing about twenty years too late and launching a lengthy multi-million dollar investigation that will yield little to no useful information in an effort to save face and show the fan's that they are concerned with something about baseball not associated with the bottom line. MLB played a part in creating this problem even if their participation was only passive and when shit went crazy they bailed and made a concerted effort to vilify individual players, as long as those players were African-American. (I know I'm not mentioning anything new but seriously, how the hell is it that Bonds is hated yet Roger Clemens who has the exact same suspicious career path of peaking in HIS EARLY 40's be lauded for his achievements and work ethic. I hate when people play the race card but come on that's pretty blatant.)

The only analogy I can think of is this. Let's say MLB and a friend named Steroids are going to a party and when MLB picks up Steroids he notices that Steroids has a gun and a giant sack with a dollar sign on it. Steroids has MLB stop by a party store to pick up some smokes and runs inside with the gun and sack. While Steroids is away MLB here's a woman screaming and gunshots before Steroids returns breathing heavily and with a sackful of money. MLB thinks the money and gunshots might have been related but says "fuck it" let's celebrate my friends new found wealth by going to Meijer and buying $300 worth of Andy Capp Hot Fries and wine (sounds like fun to me). Later the police find MLB and Steroids covered in cheese residue and stinking like booze and bring them in for a suspected party store robbery. When the police go to interrogate MLB, MLB loses his cool, sells out his friend and offers to testify against him before the police ever ask him a question. What a rat, right. That kind of snitching gets Luca Brasi sent to your house to take care of business and makes MLB a very unsympathetic character. But that's exactly what happened in real life and yet MLB seems to skate. I don't understand.

2: Another pet peeve of mine is when sports writers take on the air of our moral superiors and protectors of the last vestiges of decency for a society of immoral hedonistic sports fans. I'm sure Woody Paige will be on Around the Horn calling Bonds a cheater and bad role model and as soon as the camera stops rolling he'll walk over to some young intern, pull his dong out, lay it on her desk and make her stare at it for the next 30 minutes. Or Mitch Albom will file some interview he had with Babe Ruth's ghost at Ebbet's Field when it turns out Babe Ruth's ghost was really holding his press conference at the Polo Grounds. Or Mike Lupica will give a 10 minute speech on the Sport's Reporters before feasting on a barrel full of live baby animals with largest and saddest eyes. That's why I loved Hank Aaron's sincere congratulatory video to Bonds after his record fell. I bet that blew a hole through all of the columnists who had mailed in some Hank Aaron is the true champ and hates Barry Bonds and blah blah blah type column. Man I hate sports columnists. They only make everything not fun.

3: Bonds is a jerk. Who cares? I don't. You know who else was a jerk? Jack Morris. And he may be my favorite non-knuckleball pitcher in the history of Detroit. So what if he thought women were objects (they are) and shouldn't be within 25 miles of a lockerroom (they shouldn't...i'm kidding, i'm kidding. I love women they are very interesting and attractive....things) he won games and that's all I was interested in. I don't understand why people care if an athlete gets along with reporters. I don't care if Bonds snaps at Pedro Gomez after Pedro asks him the same retarded question about Greg Anderson for the 85th consecutive day so he can run back and report his findings on SportsCenter. I'm a very private person and understand why someone would bristle at constant and in many instances unwanted media attention. If I were a rich and famous athlete I know I would be the most insufferable and ungracious jerk. I would probably live in a castle surrounded by a moat filled with alligators and gorilla's, (Can they swim? otherwise I'll have to purchase some very expensive gorilla SCUBA gear), answer questions by flexing and emasculate pudgy writers by making them lift their shirts and do the Truffle Shuffle. I would make Bonds look more accommodating than Tiki Barber. I guess that's why I'm cursed with a poor work ethic and nine inch biceps. It keeps me humble. Hang on that amazingly talented blogger and Adonis of a man has reappeared in my mirror and I feel compelled to stare at him for awhile.

4: I had another reason for writing this but it got really late and I'm pretty sure I can see the sun rising so I'm calling it quits on this one after saying Congratulations to Bonds (I heard he's a big fan of mine) and I know I'll be watching 8 years from now when A-Rod comes through and smashes your record.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Burning Questions for Lynn Henning

Hi everyone...Oh Jesus Christ when did you buy a shotgun!! Relax. Relax. It's me Andrew. I didn't mean to startle you so just put the gun down, I'm not going to harm you. I know I haven't really been around the last couple of weeks and that you are frightened and a little bit hungry and the website has fallen into disrepair (seriously, I leave for like two weeks and I come back to my site and the fucking stove is in the yard? What were you guys doing while I was gone?) but thats what happens when your favorite and most devilishly handsome blogger with his bedroom eyes and chiseled jaw (sorry I was looking at my reflection in the window and got distracted) has an addiction to crystal meth. I just up and disappear for a couple of weeks before I wake up on a bunch of shattered light bulbs next to some fifty year old grandma on a farm in Iowa hoping I have all of my teeth and a wireless connection. Lucky for you guys I have both this time and the Overpass is coming to you live from Dubuque with a really innovative idea. Actually it's not innovative because it's not my idea at all but I'm going to mock Lynn Henning's Burning Questions columns from the Detroit News. I know Big Al over at The Wayne Fontes Experience is already doing this but I'm going to take it in a different direction. I'll pause for a few seconds to let you recover from just having your mind blown....(Seriously though Big Al sorry for ganking your idea I've just had writer's block forever). I'm going to present Mr. Henning with a series of non-baseball related questions (except for one) and transcribe his answers to you. I'm warning you now this post is going to be very spiteful and mean spirited for reasons unbeknownst to even myself. So if things are getting a little too real for you around here, a little too IN YOUR FACE, then feel free to leave this site at the expense of having your manhood questioned and girlfriend tooken. On to the questions!!!

Q: On average, by what time of the day are you drunk?

A: It depends. If I havent fallen asleep from the previous night I'll usually start drinking at around 10 A.M. with the hopes of being pissed by the time Price is Right comes on. Otherwise I'll hold off until mid-afternoon. However if Jerry Green is around all bets are off. One time Greenie kicked my hotel room door off the hinges at 7 A.M. hopped on my bed and started pouring an unmarked bottle of booze down my throat. We continued to drink from that point on until the bars closed at two that night. Sure enough we get pulled over by the police and Green has to take a breathalyzer and blows a 2.00 meaning he had twice as much alcohol than blood in his body. A normal man would have died hours before then but Green ended up making love to the police officer until the sun came up.

Q: I have a ten year old Lhasa Apso named Sadie who doesn't know her own name and is afraid of thunder and vacuum cleaners. Am I right to presume that she is more qualified to write columns for the Detroit News then Rob Parker?

A: Yes

Q: When was the last time you felt the tender caress of a woman?

A: Well my wife and I haven't slept in the same bed for two decades and the prostitutes I pick up on the road have such souless eyes and defeated personalities that I don't even consider them human. This is a very tricky question. When did Ralph Houk last manage the team? 1978. Yeah about that time. I remember Dave Rozema tricked some groupie into thinking I was a recent call-up and future star of the team instead of the new beat writer for the Detroit News. She found out the truth the next morning and has spent the last 29 years cleaning herself in a hot shower.

Q: If I were to go into Danny Knobler's crawlspace how many bodies would I find? 5? 10?

A: Haha, that's a very ambitious estimate. Knobler's crawlspace is actually body free. He disposes of them in the Flint River.

Q: Seriously why didn't the Tigers trade for a reliever?

A: What good does it do to have a lights-out bullpen if your starting pitching can't get you to a point where the bullpen makes a difference? The Tigers' problem is no longer a bullpen that figures to be a lot better when Fernando Rodney, to say nothing of Joel Zumaya, returns late this week. It's a starting rotation that suddenly can't stay on track.

Q: When did this ad hominem attack on all of the Detroit Tigers beat writers cease to be funny?

A: 3 paragraphs ago.

Q: Can I buy weed off you?

A: You can reach Lynn Henning at (313) 222-2472. I've got some Reggie Miller shit that'll make you choke.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Greatest Movie Ever

As anyone who has read even a single solitary post on this website knows, I am a pretty big Simpsons fan. Nearly every joke I've written on this website has been a twisted version of something I heard on the Simpsons, made less funny and claimed as my own without even realizing I had stole it. I have seen every episode of the show numerous times and annoyingly recite lines from it amongst my friends. I feel as though I know the characters on that show as well as I know people in real life. I believe it is the funniest television show in the existence of forever and the absolute apex of achievement by man (slightly ahead of Tecmo Super Bowl...slightly). That's why when I first heard the movie was being made over a year ago I was worried. I thought this movie reeked of a cash grab by a show on the decline that was looking for one last big financial windfall before riding off into the sunset. I was worried because I had waited 18 of my 23 years for this movie to come out and there was no possible way it could meet the ridiculous expectations I had created for it. I was wrong. The Simpsons movie was the most exhilarating experience of my life. It was like being conscious during your own birth and realizing all of the wonder and magnificence that awaited you during your new lifetime. If you compiled every great thing that Frank Capra, John Ford, Stanley Kubrick and Woody Allen ever put to film and then multiplied it by a number so large that saying it would take a lifetime you still wouldn't even be close to how great this movie is. Jesus Christ himself could have come bursting through the theater doors riding a surfboard on a wave of fire, carrying the head of Satan in one hand and shooting a shotgun into the air with the other and I still wouldn't have been able to turn away from the brilliance that was occurring on screen and if that last sentence didn't make sense to you then you haven't seen the film yet. That's how amazing this movie is. I don't know how more highly I could recommend it. But if you want to have your life changed for the best then go see this movie. Right now. And when you're done watching it watch it again. Please.

Monday, July 23, 2007

YoYoYoYoYo

I don't do this nearly enough because, well, I guess I've never really done it before but the Tigers have some of the most dedicated and entertaining bloggers of any team in the majors, especially that strikingly handsome Andrew at the Mickey Tettleton Memorial Overpass with his arresting hazel eyes, commanding voice and humorous, insightful and punctual posting.

Anyways, everyone knows of the stellar work done on a daily basis at Detroit Tigers Weblog, Mack Ave. Tigers and Bless You Boys as well as the excellent posts at The Wayne Fontes Experience.

However, this post is meant to introduce you to a new blogger on the scene who has received Andrew Stout's personal seal of approval (by the way I'm working on this seal and the rough draft is me wearing a bandolier while smoking a pipe and riding a shark, it would've been done by now but the seven year old whose doing it can't draw for shit.) Enough of that though the name of the site is Go Get'em Tigers. He's new to the game but so far his work has been Grade A Premium Dolphin Meat (o.k. I'll stop with all the classifications and seals...it's getting late.) So I suggest you check out our new blogging friend and enjoy. I mean unless your some kind of selfish jerk. Now if you'll excuse me these models at my apartment keep asking me to take my shirt off and I would like to oblige them... Check it Out

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Who's Your Tiger?

As long as I can remember the Tigers have had pretty terrible ad campaigns to promote their product on the field. The most memorable of these ads (and if you remember things like old Tigers T.V. commercials you are probably some kind of obsessive nerd who hasn't been on a date in months, downloads Hentai and uses your two Netflix rentals on Akira and Videodrome respectively...wait, I just described myself and I still have the nerve to complain about being to busy to update this site) were the ones which aired during the historically bad 2003 season. These commercials featured new manager Alan Trammell donning a pair of shades while wearing a no-nonsense expression and walking around the bowels of Comerica Park banging on doors with baseball bats as the rest of the coaching staff (Lance Parrish and Kirk Gibson) emerged from smoke-filled rooms wearing the same style sunglasses and growling things like "It's go time." These commercials were outrageous on several levels but namely for the fact that Trammell has the friendliest disposition of any player/manager ever and casting him in the role of a bad-ass totalitarian who wore a necklace made of Barbaro Garbey's teeth would be the equivalent of going to a production of King Lear and finding out that Jean-Claude Van Damme had been cast in the lead role (when everyone knows he would be perfectly suited for the part of Edmund...that noise you just heard was my entire readership leaving my site en masse at that tortured attempt at a joke...snobs.)

In 2004 the Tigers switched directions and went with a lighthearted comedic ad campaign that had a theme like "Know Your Tigers" or something equally as lame. These ads featured new editions Rondell White and Carlos Guillen playing catch with some guy and his dog by throwing the chew toy around the horn and Dmitri Young and Eric Munson crashing some kids birthday party and exploding the pinata with a homerun swing. In the latter ad I was always troubled by how eerily subdued the children were at the fact that a large crackhead looking baseball-bat wielding man had just emerged from the shrubs and destroyed their party game. Had this occurred at a party I was at as a child I would have turned around screaming and ran up the nearest tree but I guess that's just because I'm a racist. (I'm kidding about being racist, I may be a lot of things, polygamist, xenophobic, communist but I am definitely not racist.)

Anyways the 2004 ads were as forgettable as they were retarded and in 2005 the Tigers unveiled what may be my least favorite thing in the history of....ever. The Who's Your Tiger? ad campaign. The first incarnation featured children saying cutesy things like "Pudge is my Tiger because I play catcher too" or, "Dmitri Young's my Tiger because I saw Daddy choke Mommy last night." (Jesus I don't know why I'm so bitter.....wait I listed all the reasons above, that's right). However, after the first few ads the commercials abandoned the child narration and instead went with a formula where a narrator spouts an assortment of statements consisting of trivia (100 game errorless streak at 2nd base), useless statistics (batted .330 in day games in May) and corny nicknames (Polly) with the inflection of asking a question before smugly revealing "Then your Tiger is Placido Polanco." (No shit, jerkbag). I think one of the ways to make this ad campaign slightly less hateable would be if they expanded the breadth of players featured as over the past few seasons these commercials have been reserved for the stars of the team and Chris Shelton. So I'm taking up the cause of promoting some of the less popular and unfamiliar members of the team using the formula for the ads as I outlined above. Just to get the ball rolling on this idea and as a service to the p.r. department and the fans I've decided to take the time to create a "Who's Your Tiger" ads for these players beginning with...

"Does your Tiger have an ERA a shade under 6.00, is unilaterally scorned by the entire fan base and has a repertoire consisting of a straight-as-an-arrow 95 MPH fastball and a curve that breaks belt high and over the heart of the plate like it's sitting on a tee for the hitter?"

"Does your Tiger go by the nickname "Cheese Man" presumably because he doesn't wash the gel out of his hair for weeks at a time leaving his scalp smelling like Limburger that was drug under the radiator by a dying rat and does he make your heart sink and stomach churn with a sense of impending doom every time he enters to pitch in a close game?"

"Does your Tiger's appearances usually end with him staring at the dugout floor with his head in his hands after giving up the lead and is his father a former Tigers pitcher whose career could best be described as being the Jason Grilli of the late 70's."
"Then your Tiger is Jason Grilli and I hate you."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

3 Things I Hate More Than Anything Ever.

1: Law School
2: Nazi's
3: Law School

I'm done with summer classes so I'll be posting again soon.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Tigers Send Five to the All-Star Game!!!

Congratulations to Magglio Ordonez, Placido Polanco, Pudge Rodriguez, Carlos Guillen and Justin Verlander on being selected to the All-Star team. I know all of you guys check my site every day and wait with bated breath in hopes that I will praise you or acknowledge your accomplishments in some way so I figured I wouldn't keep you waiting. Seriously though I'm still not used to the Tigers being successful and it seems like only yesterday that they were sending one, undeserving, representative like Brad Ausmus, Robert Fick or Justin Thompson because of the rule that every team had to be accounted for at the game. Now I get to be the asshole/obnoxious fan of a good team who complains about the fact that Gil Meche got a spot on the team over Jeremy Bonderman or Gary Sheffield, just because MLB feels its necessary to get the 20 Royals fans in existence excited for the All-Star festivities. (I'm kidding, I sympathize with Royals and Pirates fans and believe the system in place is good for the overall health of the game.)

I know this is a short post and I've been infrequent with my updates (your probably saying, "What else is new?" or "I didn't know you were ever frequent with your posting", which I would reply to by putting my arm around a total stranger, pointing at you and saying really sarcastically "Hahaha, this guys hilarious, how late did you stay up thinking of that joke? Your a regular Red Skelton.....jerk".)but I'm balls deep in work for my summer classes and have my exam coming up shortly. However, I do have a lot of ideas for posts and am slowly piecing together my three act play regarding Matt Millen's reign as GM of the Lions that will either be the most brilliant post in sports-blogging history and propel me to international acclaim and millions of dollars or a rushed and poorly executed abomination that isn't 1/1000th as funny as I had originally anticipated. Yeah it's gonna be the latter....

UPDATE: Jeremy Bonderman is on the last man ballot over on MLB.com so go over there and vote the hell out of that poll.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Revisiting the 2003 Tigers

I didn't get a chance to write about the Mike Maroth trade because I had one of those busy summer weekends (family cookout, birthday party, bonfire) that kept me away from the computer. I won't write a lot about Maroth because it's already been covered by all the other Detroit blogs but I would like to add a couple of things. Even though Maroth was easily our worst starter this season, I would be lying if I said I wasn't sad to see him go. I was in attendance when Maroth made his major league debut against the Phillies back in 2002 and I remember my friends T.J., Kevin and I had no idea who he was or why he was starting that afternoon. Hell, we couldn't even pronounce his name correctly calling him Maroth with a long O vowel sound the whole game. We just assumed that Maroth was going to be one of those obscure minor leaguers who made a few starts for the Tigers before floating around in the ether alongside Andy Van Hekken, Shane Loux and Dave Borkowski (wait Borkowski still plays at the Major League level? Jesus, the National League is terrible. If I'm Greg Gohr I'm having my agent set up workouts with the Reds and Pirates). Much to our enjoyment Maroth pitched an excellent game, throwing seven shutout innings before, surprise, Danny Patterson blew the lead and the Tigers lost 2-1. Heading into the 2003 season Maroth had become the de facto ace of arguably the worst pitching staff in history, (somewhere Felipe Lira, Omar Olivares and the rest of the 1996 Tigers staff are indignant at the previous sentence...maybe not though. I don't think Lira can read.) and went on to become the first pitcher to lose 20 games in a single season in 23 years. He then, unwittingly, became half of the worst joke I've ever heard in my life. Of course it was uttered by none other than corny-ass Mario Impemba who called Maroth, Maroth-ra during a showdown with Hideki Matsui, an overwrought and painful reference that flew over Rod Allen's head and alienated me for life. Despite Mario's lame joke, Maroth turned it around and pitched effectively for a couple of atrocious Tigers teams and last season was in the midst of his best year before succumbing to an injury late in May that effectively ended his season. Now he's been unceremoniously dumped onto the St. Louis Cardinals for a player to be named later. Kind of sad but I wish him luck with the Cardinals.

Anyways my friend T.J. and I were talking over the weekend about the trades of Mike Maroth and Wil Ledezma and the dissolution of the remnants of the historically bad 2003 Tigers outfit. (It's not until I re-read my posts that I realize what a semantical and syntactical nightmare my sentences are...yikes.) We decided to keep a "Flying Hellfish" style list of the remaining players from that team with the surviving member winning prized artwork stolen from Nazi's during World War II. (Wait, that's what actually happened during that episode and we don't own any artwork outside of a drawing of a panda bear that I purchased at Goodwill. Hmmm I guess I could give that away along with some CD's we don't listen to anymore like Deion Sanders' "Prime Time" and Spacehog we'll have to work on the prizes, but I digress). In compiling the list the two of us went to the indispensable Baseball-Reference.com to make sure we didn't overlook anyone and while we were browsing T.J. and I became curious as to what happened to the rest of that team in the years following. After a lot of research on my part and a lot of pot-smoking and pornography watching on T.J.'s part we were able to compile the following information regarding the 2003 Tigers following their 119 loss season.

Still Tigers:

1: Brandon Inge: Inge may have been the worst everyday player on the worst team in the 100+ year history of the American League. When the Tigers signed Pudge before the '04 season everyone assumed Inge was a goner given his poor performance at the plate. However Inge turned himself into a utility player extraordinaire in '04 before settling in as the starting 3rd baseman and becoming a genuine bottom of the order power threat. He signed a four-year extension this past off-season and has arguably come the farthest of any player on the team over the past four seasons.

2: Craig Monroe: C-Mo on the other hand is the Tiger who has improved the least since 2003. In fact he's on pace to have a worse statistical season than he did four years ago. Despite this Monroe is still pulling down regular at-bats for one of the best teams in baseball, while Marcus Thames is glued to the bench. You know what this is just making me angry, let's move on.

3: Omar Infante: Played a limited role as a back-up infielder much like he has this season.

4: Jeremy Bonderman: It's a miracle that Bonderman wasn't irreparably damaged during his rookie season. As a 20 year old Bonderman was thrown to the wolves and after successfully vanquishing them, (this was Bob CLuck's way of testing a young player's mettle), Bondo was allowed to join the rotation. He nearly joined Maroth in the 20 loss club before the Tigers shut him down for the season to safe him from the humiliation. Thankfully Bonderman has blossomed into an elite pitcher despite the rocky start to his career.
5: Fernando Rodney: Struggled in limited playing time before undergoing Tommy John surgery, which caused him to miss the entire '04 season.

6: Nate Robertson: Made his Tigers debut in August and went on to start 8 games long after everyone ceased caring.

Still in the Tigers Organization:

Ramon Santiago (Currently playing for AAA Toledo), Andres Torres (Currently with AA Erie).

Still in the Majors:

Carlos Pena: Currently teasing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays into thinking he's a potential star. I can't wait until he bats .100 in the month of September and the D-Rays agonize over whether to bring him back for another full season, that was always fun...I mean excruciating.

Dmitri Young: The All-Star rep for the worst team ever, he might even make a return appearance this season repping the Nationals, which would have to make him the worst 2-time All-Star ever. Sorry Scott Cooper

The Rest: Hiram Bocachica, Cody Ross, Mike Maroth, Jamie Walker, Eric Munson, Wilfredo Ledezma, Chris Spurling.


Kicked Around for Awhile Before Disappearing

Alex Sanchez: Easily the worst baserunner I've ever witnessed. He was the first Major League player suspended under the new steroid policy and provided instant proof that the games top sluggers (Sanchez career homeruns: 6) were nothing more than steroid fueled monstrosities.

Bobby Higginson: My #3 Least Favorite Tiger ever and this was about the season I began to sour on him. Continued to steal the Tigers money for two more seasons following '03


A.J. Hinch: Ghost continues to haunt the Comerica Park confines and assault back-up catchers, recently claimed Vance Wilson as it's latest victim.

Gary Knotts: Works at a 7-11 in Southfield where he would totally score with those 16 year olds he sold beer to if his hard ass manager McLain didn't have him cleaning the Slurpee machine.

Matt Anderson: 2003 ended up being his last hurrah in Detroit as he blew his arm out in an octopus throwing contest, easily my second favorite Tiger who came within inches of having this website named after him.

The Rest: Danny Patterson, Kevin Witt, Ernie Young, Adam Bernero, Franklyn German, Steve Sparks, Matt Roney.

Never Played in the Majors Again:

Warren Morris: Currently resides in Pineview Estate's Mental Institution hallucinating that he mans second base alongside Ray Oyler to form the worst offensive double play combo in history.

Matt Walbeck: Currently resides in Pineview Estates Trailer Park in Mt. Morris, Michigan.

Sir Gene Kingsale: Was knighted by The Netherlands monarchy shortly before the season began as a reward for being a below average major leaguer that hailed from the island of Aruba (that makes sense), instantly becoming the most unnecessary and overrated knight since, oh I don't know, Paul McCartney.

Chris Mears: The teams saves leader with six he had to leave his lucrative baseball career behind to return to his native Canada and become a doctor in a rural town in order to repay student loans.....wait that was the set-up for "Northern Exposure", I think Mears just sucked.

Steve Avery: Former Brave phenom and native Michigander who hadn't pitched in four years before becoming the team's left handed specialist, as you could probably guess this didn't turn out so well.

The Rest: Shane Loux, Ben Petrick, Dean Palmer, Craig Paquette

Listed on Baseball-Reference.com but We Have No Recollection Of Them Nor Proof They Even Existed:

Brian Scmack, Danny Klassen, Erick Eckenstahler. Seriously TJ and I watched about 90% of the games during the 2003 season and neither one of us could recall seeing these three guys play. I thought I remembered Eckenstahler but I was thinking of Jeff Farnsworth, I bet those two guys get confused for each other all the time. Haha....I have no life.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Detroit Tigers 43% Report: Hitter's Edition

This post is a conclusion to my Trimester Report that I started a week ago breaking down the Tigers progress this season. Do to sheer laziness, (what else), the Tigers are now closer to the midway point of the season than the ....uh...thirdway (sic?) point, so I ditched the Trimester portion of the title and created a more timely/appropriate one. Anyways here is the hitter's progress report in all it's glory. Enjoy.

Let me begin this post by bidding farewell to Fredo Ledezma, a former favorite here at the Mickey Tettleton Memorial Overpass, and one of the few remaining vestiges of the "Dark Ages" when the Tigers carried multiple Rule V picks and lost 100+ annually. When I first started this site a little over two years ago I favorably compared Ledezma to a young Pedro Martinez and wrote that Fredo had some intangible dominating mound presence that all the great young pitchers possess (and can be seen in Verlander and Bonderman this season). Luckily I had a readership of about 3 people in those early days, unlike the monopolistic sports blogging empire I currently run here at Beefshower Inc. with a daily readership in the hundreds, but they still bothered to e-mail me and tell me what an idiot I was and how insane my prediction looked. Now two years later Fredo is out of my life, traded away for a reliever who will likely be sent to the minors to make room for the return of Kenny Rogers. I feel like I should be the one to drive Ledezma to the airport, see him off to his gate and never be able to muster the courage to tell him how I've felt all these years. Then go sit in my car, crying, while playing "Starlight" by Muse really loud as I watch his plane take off for Atlanta and 2,000 miles away from my heart.....but that's just me.

Alas, the Tigers offense this season has been amazing, leading the American League in several offensive categories. I could probably list the categories but that would require a two second Google search and .....eh....I don't really have the time for that. Wait, I have an idea that will be fun and save me from being slightly inconvenienced. We'll make this a scavenger hunt. You the reader have to bring me up to the minute MLB team statistics, a photo of Kwame Kilpatrick, a bus schedule and the skeleton of Harry Heilmann. The winner will receive whatever is laying around my desk at the moment, which currently consists of half a bag of Ricola's, floss, a plastic fork and some Hi-Liters. Have fun!

Ivan Rodriguez: Pudge is having a solid season except for his outright refusal to draw walks. He seems to have reverted back to his 2005 form when he drew only 11 walks in over 500 at-bats and had a league low .290 OBP for players who qualified. I'm not saying that Ivan should turn into Tony Phillips or anything, even though it would be cool to see him morph into another player or an animal like a panther or something like that, but it would be nice to see him be a little more patient at the plate.

Mike Rabelo: I think I had this guy as a virus last summer. Wait, no I had rubella...or was it syphilis...maybe both. Oh well, that's neither here nor there. The main thing is Rabelo has filled in ably for the injured Vance Wilson, batting a solid .281 even though he started off the season 1-17 and had me lamenting for the days of Matt Walbeck. I do feel really bad for Vance Wilson though. I always joked, usually to myself (pathetic), about how the Tigers went through a series of terrible back-up catchers (i.e. A.J. Hinch, Javier Cardona, Bill Hasselman, etc.) over the past decade and none of them were ever able to stick around for more than a couple of seasons. That was until Vance came along and gave the team some stability behind Pudge culminating in a two year contract extension before this season. Of course Vance went down in spring training with a sore elbow and after Tommy John surgery a couple of weeks ago Wilson will miss nearly two whole seasons. Apparently the Ghost of A.J. Hinch and his army of serpents is impossible to defeat.

Sean Casey: Before the season began I predicted Casey would hit nine homeruns and so far this season he has smashed.....drumroll......one. Oh well, historically first base hasn't been a position that supplied a lot of power which explains why such all-field and no-hit fringe players like Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols and Justin Morneau are first-sackers. With that in mind Tigers fans should be thankful to get any homeruns out of Casey and not be saddled with the punchless trio I just mentioned. O.K. I'll stop being sarcastic. Casey was atrocious the first month of the season, which had to lead "Sloth" down in Toledo wondering what the hell he had to do to make it back to the Majors before becoming frustrated and gobbling down a whole bag of Miniature sized Baby Ruth's and tearing at the chains restricting him to his locker. In Casey's defense he has picked it up considerably over the last two months on the offensive end despite his lack of homeruns and if he's not careful he might even hit another one out this season.

Placido Polanco: Before the season I predicted a batting title for Polanco and so far that statement is holding up pretty well. I'm only mentioning this because I think it's the first time in my life that a prediction I made has a chance of actually happening. I was almost certain when I wrote my season preview that my prognostication would jinx Placido and he would currently be hitting .219 after two stints on the DL. Maybe my luck is changing and all my forecasts will become true. Let's try this out. (Clears throat) I predict that next year Avril Lavigne will break up with her Lilliputian douchebag husband and move to Detroit where she will fall in love with a stately and august recent Wayne State Law School grad named Andrew. Hold on. Storm clouds are gathering and lightning is flashing outside. I think something strange is afoot, this may be working. What's this? YARRGGHH! A large rat just bit me in the throat. Nevermind, I guess my luck still sucks.

Carlos Guillen: Guillen has been amazing this season. I don't think there is any question Carlos is one of the most criminally underrated players in baseball. He's on pace to become the first Tigers shortstop to have a 100 RBI season since Alan Trammell twenty years ago. He's also a model of consistency having hit .318, .320, .320 and .317 during his four seasons in Detroit. Hopefully Leyland finds room to take Carlos with him to San Francisco for the All-Star Game and actually get him into the game unlike the last time Carlos went in '04 and Joe Torre let him rot on the bench and have the distinction of being the only position player not used in the game. Fuck Joe Torre.

Brandon Inge: Brandon Inge is having another solid Brandon Inge type season. He's hitting in the .250's, drawing some walks, showing 25-30 homerun power, playing above average defense at third and going through some stretches where it looks like he couldn't make contact if the pitcher was throwing a watermelon (surprisingly the watermelon pitch was banned in the late 1920's effectively ending the career of Ira "Seeds" Donovan...that was lame and a total waste of time. My apologies). I almost bought a Inge t-shirt jersey this season before I realized that I would be the only person wearing one who wasn't either 1: an awkward 14 year old girl who swoons when Inge bats or 2: a delusional 38 year old mom who thinks it's young and hip to talk about Brandon Inge's butt when it's really uncomfortable and sad. I opted for the Zumaya shirt and his finger promptly exploded.

Neifi Perez: Neifi made a spectacular play that helped save Verlander's no-hitter. However outside of that singular incident Neifi has been his usual awful self. I don't have anything else to add other than the fact that in the last 5 days I've heard that Jimmy Eat World song "The Middle" like twenty times on the radio and TV. Did I travel back to 2002? Am I a freshman at State again? Why is this happening?

Omar Infante: Omar has been great this season in a limited role. Umm, again I have nothing to add about Omar so.....End Transmission.

Magglio Ordonez: Magglio has been amazing this season. I have never seen someone so comfortable at the plate as Magglio has been this year. After going 3-4 tonight he's batting a robust .383 and is on pace to smash the single season doubles record by about 614 and banish that devil-worshipping, wife-beating, alcoholic Earl Webb from the record books (I actually know nothing about Earl Webb but if I imagine him as an evil person I won't feel bad that he's about to lose his only piece of relevancy in baseball history). Maggs has also been stellar in the outfield this season making a series of nice catches and not making adventures out of routine fly balls or standing around taking line drives to the chest. Maggs also owns the funniest nickname my friend T.J. has ever come up with, which happens to be a name so offensive I won't even write it down because it would make me feel dirty and this is coming from a guy who throws around the C-word at weddings and funerals. I remember being nervous about Magglio when the Tigers signed him and thought it was going to end disastrously but in year three of his deal Maggs seems like a bargain.

Curtis Granderson: When the season began I was upset with Curtis because he charged me $25 bucks to get his autograph and shake his hand, but I'm glad to see our fighting didn't effect his play on the field. Granderson has completely redeemed himself with me for two main reasons 1: The triples. Curtis now has 13 on the season and every time he hits one in the gap I immediately snap to attention and start shouting for him to go for three. 2: His highly entertaining ESPN.com blog. My favorite entries so far were the ones where he wrote about running into Vance Wilson buying patio furniture at Wal-Mart, a scenario that cracked me up for reasons unbeknownst to myself and when he wrote that "Little Big League" was his favorite baseball themed movie ever. In case there is anyone out there who hasn't seen "Little Big League", I suggest you leave work or school or whereever you are reading this and rent this movie. 99% of this movie is lame as hell save for one scene that happens to be the big-screen debut of none other than Mickey Tettleton. I remember seeing this movie at my friend Kevin's house shortly after it came out on video. Once I saw the scene where Tettleton catches the ball in foul territory and then leans over the railing to trash the kids mom, I lost it. I started walking around with my hands on my head in disbelief. That one line has to go down as one of the greatest in cinematic history right up there with "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." "Here's looking at you kid" and "Ass to ass!!!!" from "Requiem for a Dream. As a matter of fact if I'm ever elected Emperor for Life my first act will be to tear out Marlon Brando's plaque on the Walk of Fame and replace it with Tettleton.

Gary Sheffield: After a slow start my friend T.J. bailed off the Sheffield bandwagon and started talking about how Sheff was washed up and how it was a huge mistake to bring him to Detroit, blah, blah, blah. I tried to reason with him but he wouldn't listen, mainly because he was engrossed in his game of Pokemon on Gameboy (did I mention T.J. is 24 years old? If I met my friends today I don't think I would ever talk to them again, yet I continue to hang out with them on a daily basis.) Almost immediately after T.J. bailed Sheff began to play like one of the best hitters in the league. Since then T.J. has tried to rejoin the bandwagon but I have been steadfast in denying his re-admittance and I've enjoyed every second of it. I also love how Sheff has given us a taste of all his personalities. We've got crazy Sheff, when he flipped out on the umpire which earned him a three game suspension, controversial Sheff, with his statements in GQ about keeping Omar Infante on a leash or something, now all we have to see is lovesick Sheff and scientist Sheff. I can't wait.

Craig Monroe: C-Mo is the only Tiger on offense that has consistently struggled this season. He's also revealed himself to be an arrogant and big-headed athlete in the past couple of weeks. First he made comments in the paper where he referred to himself in the third person three times in two sentences. Then he unveiled his personalized cleats with C-MO embroidered on the tongues. I remember I tried to pull these stunts when I played Little League and all it did was get me laid all the time. I mean severely beaten and ridiculed. I get those two things confused.

Marcus Thames: I'm just giving Marcus a grade: B+. I would elaborate but I've written too much already and if I continue it feels like my eyes will melt out of my head because it hurts so much right now. I hope you understand and if there are any Thames fans who read this far and didn't get what they wanted. Too bad, hahahahaha.......ow.