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 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 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


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.