Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Tonight the Tigers were able to roll out their complete lineup for the first time all season. O.k. so they were missing the desecrated corpse of Gary Sheffield and Polanco's wonky back held him out of action again, but with Granderson available for the first time this year (for those of you just waking up from a coma Grandy had missed the first 21 games after breaking his hand during spring training and a hip shark with sunglasses named Zak has become president) and hitting atop the order the lineup finally felt complete. During the Tigers offensive struggles at the beginning of the season, when they were shut out four times in their first fourteen games, I, along with everybody else was extremely disappointed by this offense that was projected to score well over 800 runs.
Not as disappointed as I was when I got a set of Walkie Talkies for my birthday when I was a child and soon found out that they had a range of about ten feet. Man did that suck. I think every kid had dreams about having walkie talkies and going on adventures like the Hardy Boys. Well at least all the lame kids like my friends and I had those kinds of dreams. When I first got them I envisioned giving one of them to my best friend Greg and the two of us would go searching through the wooded areas by our houses hoping to stumble across a dead body that had a briefcase laying next to it with millions of dollars inside. Instead we usually came across high school kids with mopeds and bb guns smoking weed and when we desperately tried to radio for help before getting our asses kicked we discovered just how bad the range on the walkie talkies sucked and that's the story of how I never learned to get my hopes up for anything.
Wait. That's not what I was writing about. Hold on and let me get my thoughts back on track.....hmmm. Oh yeah, Granderson. Anyways, I wondered whether the problem was not just a team pressing to live up to unreasonable expectations but rather the fact that the team was missing its catalyst at the top of the lineup. Nothing against Clete Thomas, who did a remarkable job of filling in and hopefully will avoid contracting Brent Clevlen Syndrome (usually afflicting impressive outfielders during their cups of coffee in the majors who completely lose their ability to hit after returning to the minors and are never heard from again) during his stint in Toledo, but the team just didn't seem to have that same energy it does when Granderson is rocking the top spot. The Tigers seemed so lethargic, old and slow during the first few weeks of the season, seemingly grounding into double plays every time someone came to bat with a man on first. However tonight everything seemed different. It looked like everyone was flying around the basepaths, being aggressive with their baserunning and most importantly having fun.
Look I know as much as the guy sitting next to me....wait. Why is there a guy sitting next to me? I live alone in my apartment. Excuse me sir but can I help you? Uh huh....O.k....understood....thank you. Turns out his name is Reginald and he plans on robbing and kidnapping me but is going to be polite enough to let me finish my post. Now that that matter is cleared up I was saying that I'm not so dumb as to suggest that the Tigers were playing poorly because Clete Thomas doesn't laugh at Edgar Renteria's jokes about the differences between people from Barranquilla and people from Cartagena (for example "Have you ever noticed that drug lords in Barranquilla murder people with machetes and yellow bandanas while arms dealers in Cartagena murder people with machine guns and purple ski masks?" LOL). But when you watch a team day in and day out and they become such an important and interwoven part of your life that you find yourself pretend talking to Marcus Thames on your cell phone and empathizing with his lack of at-bats its hard not to let subjectivity and irrationality creep in. I find myself perceiving things out on the field that aren't really there. Things such as chemistry and energy and hustle and that little demonic badger that crawls out of Chuck Hernandez's mouth and screams at me in German to set the Domino's down the street on fire. I know that if I asked Leyland for his opinion on the improved chemistry or higher energy level after Granderson's return he would just curse at me and then put his cigarette out on my face. Also I know that it's just one game back for Granderson and the Tigers could get shut out tomorrow or that they will continue to be inconsistent until the starting rotation starts to pitch more effectively and deeper into games, but the return of Granderson coupled with a nineteen run outburst made tonight feel like the beginning of what we've all been waiting for. Now if you'll excuse me ich brauche zu Beginn eines Brandes. (That German is horrible, it's been 3 years since I slept through every German class I took over a two year period at MSU so for my one reader in Berlin I apologize. Also I know I forgot to call back to the joke about the guy robbing my apartment but it was kind of lame so I'll just let it die a slow death.)
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Here is my advice regarding law school. Don't go. Not just to Wayne, don't go anywhere. It's a nightmare. Well, let me amend that by saying don't go unless being a lawyer or a judge or a politician is absolutely, positively, 100% what you really, really, really, really want to do with your career. It's a lot of work and a lot of money and a full time commitment for three years of the prime of your life. On top that the market for lawyers sucks in Michigan, like every other part of the states economy, so unless you know someone who is already a lawyer or you graduate in the top 10-20% of your class job prospects are dismal, and you'll likely be clerking at some firm in Southfield for $20 an hour your first year out of school until they fire you to hire some other first year clerk on the cheap, which is the fate about 50% of the people I'm graduating with are going through.
Maybe I'm being cynical but if I could have met my present self three years ago when I was considering law school I might have changed my mind and tried to do something I really loved instead of falling into law school. (My first mistake was getting a history degree, which was worthless). Anyways I've got no beef with Wayne, even if their Career Services office is more poorly run than the Lions front office. Seriously, there is one person in charge of the whole school's job placement program and if you aren't near the top of your class they have no interest in helping you. I've sent e-mails to them that have gone unanswered and half way through my third and final year they sent me an e-mail to me with the heading "Getting to Know You" and asking what my interests were and that if I found work after graduating to report it to them so their numbers would go up, as if anybody there had any hand in helping me find work.
As for classes you are assigned your classes and teachers based on what section you are in your first year, something you don't have control of. I was assigned to the group that had Mogk, Browne and Findlater as professors and all three of them were excellent (as was Moran but he's leaving this year to teach at Ann Arbor). I liked Browne so much that I took a couple of employment law classes during my second and third year that he taught just because I enjoyed him. If you are into environmental law or administrative law, Prof. Hall is a great teacher. He's young, easy-going and funny and more importantly a fair grader (i.e. lots of A's). If you are into IP law take the classes that Bambauer teaches, he has similar qualities to Hall. Now that I think about it I can't think of anything negative about any of the faculty as they were all knowledgable and relatively friendly. The only class I absolutely hated was Secured Transactions but that was more because of the subject matter than anything else.
Finally my advice for things to do while at school is to move to Detroit. Move close to Comerica and go to a ton of Tigers games, find restaurants in Detroit that you like, go to concerts at the Magic Stick and other music venues. Living in Detroit has been tits to say the least. When you get to law school you will quickly find that 90% or more of your fellow classmates are insufferable douchebags that you would never associate with outside of school. Any girl who is remotely attractive is already married or engaged and will spend every minute in class browsing theknot.com and or talking about their wedding. It's awful. I was fortunate to identify the few really cool people I go to school with early on, namely the aforementioned Matt from the previous post, and have spent most of my time in school hanging out and talking with him. I'm also painfully shy, awkward and possibly paranoid so take my advice about making friends with a grain of salt.
Anyways if you have any more questions just send me an e-mail and I will gladly answer them for you as best as I can.
He called me gay.
I deserved it.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
I know, I know, everything is wrong with the Tigers right now and it's completely unfair to place all of the blame for the teams struggles on one middle relief pitcher. Is it Grilli's fault that Miguel Cabrera is hitting .100 after the first week of the season (maybe)? Is Grilli responsible for the bad luck the Tigers have experienced in the first few weeks of the season (probably)? Has Grilli's mere precense in the bullpen made all of the other relief pitchers ineffective, like he's some sort of human kryptonite towards good pitching (definitely yes)? But it's so much fun to have a scapegoat, and since there are no Irishmen on the team, I'm placing all the blame on Grilli.
While I was watching Grilli implode today many thoughts were raced through my mind. Most of them involved some kind of tortuous grisly demise for Grilli, such as that hawk that flies around Fenway swooping down and plucking his eyeballs, and another thought that involved a gnome riding a sleigh pulled by rabbits and chipmunks, which kind of made me happy for a second. Then Grilli walked in a run and the rage returned. By the time I snapped back into consciousness I was naked, covered in blood and had piles of panther carcasses piled up around my apartment. I don't really know what happened during those few hours but I picture it looking like a scene from 28 Weeks Later or to a lesser extent Rob Schneider's "The Animal."
Seriously though, when I watched the game I couldn't help but wonder what kind of pitches does Grilli even throw? Of course there is his bread and butter pitch that can only be described as a 94MPH 4 seam cockshot with just enough movement to swing back over the heart of the plate, but what are his other pitches? From what I saw today I think they are an 87MPH BP fastball that he can't locate and another pitch that clocks in at 79MPH, which I think is supposed to be a changeup but since it bounces three feet in front of home plate every time he throws it I can't say for certain. The only thing I do know for certain is that Grilli doesnt seem to possess one major league caliber pitch in his whole repertoire of shit. The Red Sox were just teeing off on him this afternoon and the damage would have been much worse had Cabrera not flopped onto the ground and stabbed a grounder by Manny that almost certainly saved two runs. Grilli just had absolutley no chance against the Sox and if I didn't hate him so much I might have felt bad about him being completely overmatched and helpless on the mound. However, as much as I enjoy seeing Grilli twist in the wind I realize that he's hurting the team in the process. Wait, I don't mean hurt, I mean absolutely killing any chance his team has at winning while also completely demoralizing an entire fan base.
I need to wrap this shit up, so from my possibly irrational and biased point of view I think this is a got-to-go situation. Grilli has had his chance, several of them, so many in fact that for a split second I actually questioned Leyland's decision to bring Grilli into the game today and I've never questioned anything Leyland has done before. I trust Leyland so much that he could tell me it's a good idea to turn to hardcore drugs as a cure for my crippling anxiety and depression and I would probably do it. Grilli just can't get guys out and putting him on the mound doesnt give the Tigers the best chance, wait no, ANY chance of winning and if he comes back to Detroit and blows up on the mound again it's going to be ugly as the Tigers fans have absolutely no patience for him anymore. It's past the point of no return.
One last thing. On Grilli's MySpace he sells t-shirts that have a picture of him pitching with his arm blurred out and the headline "Grilli's Gone Wild" with a tagline of "It's Filthy." Jesus Christ. When I become Emperor of the World in about 20 years I'm going to invite everyone that purchased one of those shirts to a special free screening of "Meet The Spartans." When the lights dim and the movie starts the audience will be shocked to see the movie is just clips of Grilli giving up doubles and homeruns with footage of me laughing spliced in between. As the moviegoers became confused gas would start creeping in from the vents and.....well I don't want to ruin the surprise.
It was Sunday Night Baseball with Verlander on the mound against Mark Buehrle, who the Tigers have fared pretty well against the past two seasons. They were certainly going to win this one.
Nick Swisher hit a homer on the second pitch of the game.
I immediately started drinking.
I found half a fifth of Popov that I hid underneath the couch and began drinking it straight out of the bottle. Then I found myself looking for other means of distracting myself from the inevitable. I turned off the volume to the television and put on a Stevie Wonder CD (becuase I couldn't find my Miley Cyrus CD anywhere). You must be wondering why I wasn't hooking up my mp3 player (stolen out of my car) or listening to a playlist on my laptop (broken), because no one listens to CDs anymore.
About 10 hours later I woke up in a pool of my own vomit. It was everywhere - on the floor, pillow, blanket, and on the empty bottle of vodka. I was somewhat surprised that I blacked out so easily, but I remembered that I had hardly eaten anything at all the day before.
Despite the mess I had to deal with, my first order of business was to turn on ESPN and find out the final score of the game, since I had no recollection of when I passed out or what the score was at the time.
After dutifully eliminating the evidence of my latest act of brilliance (I'm so pathetic), I took two Tylenol and laid down in the shower for about 40 minutes, until the hot water ran out, and thought about what was probably going to happen to the Tigers this year.
As of right now, they are sitting at 0-6, which is just 4.5 games out of first place. Obviously, the Tigers are not looking at an insurmountable deficit; however, teams that typically make the playoffs just don't drop the first six games of the season. Also, the bullpen, which was believed to be a potential (or maybe probable) Achilles heel, has been as bad as many have feared.
I would rather gargle with broken glass than see Jason Grilli, with that bullshit, white trash, idiot look on his face as he watches an 0-2 belt-high fastball sail into the 10th row of the left field seats by some slap-dick #9 hitter. You know what really pisses me off? Watching the fucking replay and listening to Rod Allen say: "Boy, he hit that one right on the screws." Oh, right on the screws. Thanks Rod. Could you do me a favor and tell me how the FUCK you came up with that? Or explain where the screws are, since there aren't any on the bat or the ball or anything related to game at all.
I digress, back to what I was saying.
Injuries haven't helped either, but every team has key injuries during the 162 game marathon. Sure, the Tigers have been hit with injuries worse than most teams at this point with Granderson, Zumaya, and Rodney completely unavailable and Sheffield/Cabrera playing hurt and missing games as well. They still have five healthy starters and enough bats in the lineup to easily be one of the best two or three offenses in the league, and one would think that a legitimate playoff contender would have found a way to steal a game or two at home against the lowly Royals and White Sox.
Now the Tigers are rolling into Boston for a three game series starting today. Now I know you probably want to raise your index finger and firmly place it on the panic button. OK, go ahead. I think it's a good idea.