For the most part, I like Rod Allen. He seems like a nice guy. He can be entertaining doing color commentary. And most importantly, he explains things sometimes like a coach would be explaining it to a player. I enjoy that. But that's only about 20% of the time. The other 80% is spent sounding like a mental patient. Now, most Tiger fans I talk to really like Rod Allen. Hell, I just said that I do. But watch a Tigers game with a non-Tigers fan sometime. I have a White Sox fan as a friend and there's an Indians fan I know. Recently, I watched different games on Fox Detroit with both of them and they had similar responses. "How the f--k do you listen to this guy every night? He's a moron." As entertaining as we may find the guy at times, they are right. He has his little Rod-isms that fans enjoy, but I really don't think Rod knows what he's talking about most of the time. And in last night's Tigers/Angels game, I decided to really listen to what Rod was saying. Plus, lately Inge has been a good boy and Nate's been MIA...so I need someone new to pick on. Here's what went on.
Top of the 1st
-ROD-ISM #1: According to Rod, Granderson hit a "seed" back up the middle. If I were a more dedicated blogger, I might go to the local greenhouse, buy some seeds, and take them outside and smack them around with a baseball bat. But I don't think they'd go that far. Plus I just don't have that kind of time...not with the drinking problem. Spitting seeds? Same thing. Maybe 10 feet. So, what's with the seeds that Rod's always talking about?
-Rod's talking about the Tigers facing 5 really good pitchers coming into this game. Now, King Felix, Bedard, Weaver, and even Saunders...I'll give them to you. But Silva? A good pitcher? Silva has been as good at pitching (especially against Detroit) as I am at gymnastics. And that is not good.
-ROD-ISM #2: "Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good." He says this all the time. Tell you what, Rod. We'll each pick baseball teams. You pick the last guy to hit the Super Lotto and I'll take Albert Pujols. We'll keep going like that. Who do you think's going to win? I'd rather be good at what I do.
Bottom of the 1st
-Like he's done in every Jackson start, Rod starts giving Double D the GM of the Year award calling the E-Jax/Joyce trade a "steal" for Detroit based on Jackson's start and the fact that Jackson won 14 games last year. Now, look. I'm loving what I've seen of Jackson so far. He's a quality pitcher. But it's a bit early to call this a steal. Matt Joyce may turn out to be a pretty good hitter. And this 14 win garbage? I hate that. Wins are overrated. Juan Rincon got the win the other night pitching like Nate Robertson. You get wins with run support which is what Jackson had last year. What if you have a 2.00 ERA but your team only scores 1 run a game? Are you a bad pitcher? But if you have 15 wins with a 5.00 ERA and your team scores 8 runs a game for you...all of the sudden you're a good pitcher? To Rod, you are.
-Rod says that when Jackson gets ahead, he'll "put you away". Thus, the Angels should be swinging at early strikes. Jackson, for his career, has 6.12 K's per 9 innings pitched. He's struck out 328 guys in 482 career innings. He's not Nolan Ryan, Mr. Allen. He's Edwin Jackson and he gives up a lot of hits.
-Bobby Abreu gets on first and Rod says that Abreu's a good base runner, but he's not very fast. Considering that Bobby's had over 20 steals for 10 years straight and 325 for his career, I'm pretty sure that he's not Cecil Fielder on the basepaths. He's pretty fast. Of course, after Rod said that, Abreu steals second base.
Top of the 2nd
-Talking about how Angels starter Matt Palmer wasn't a high draft pick, Rod says that he had to "pitch his way to the big leagues". Really? So, if you're a high draft pick, you are just given the shot? No. That's not how it works. If you're taken in the 3rd round and get bombed in AA, you're not coming up. Everyone has to earn their way to the big leagues or else everyone would make it up there.
-Mr. Anderson beats out an infield hit that Izturis double clutched a bit. Rod says it's because of Anderson's speed that Izturis rushed and screwed up. Show me an infielder that doesn't rush on plays with speedy runners and I'll show you Edgar Renteria. Any other infielder will rush on those plays. Othewise, you won't get them out.
-Rod says that Mike Scioscia knows Jim Leyland's managerial tendencies. Leyland's been all over the place this year. I don't think Jim knows what he's going to do from day to day...so I'm pretty sure Mike doesn't know.
-Talking about the injuries to the Angels rotation, Rod says that "it's tough to overcome losing your #1 and #2 starters". In other news, water is wet and Polanco has a weird shaped head.
Bottom of the 2nd
-Rod talks about the homers that Jackson gave up against the White Sox. It was really against the Rangers which the producer most likely screamed in Rod's ear as he went on to correct himself later.
-ROD-ISM #3: Rod calls Mario "Pahdner". I have no problem with this one. It's cute. I'm just listing the Rod-isms as they come.
-Mario mentions that the Indians beat Kansas City. Rod says it's a "good thing". Why? Sure, the Indians started like crap, but by the end of the year, I'm more worried about the Indians being at the top of the standings than the Royals. We want the good teams in the Central to lose, Rod.
Top of the 3rd
-It's a 3-0 count to Magglio and Rod says that "some like to swing at 3-0 and some don't". Yep. And some people like scrambled eggs and some do not. What's your point?
-Mario lets everyone know that the Wings completed their sweep over Columbus. Rod replies with "April in the D, baby". My hatred of Rod today multiplies by fifty.
Bottom of the 3rd
-Talking about facing Rod's favorite pitcher in the next game, Zach Greinke, Rod says that Greinke has "always had good stuff". Greinke's been good lately, but he's 37-45 with a 4.15 ERA for his career. He's k'd 534 guys in 678.2 innings pitched. He was taken out of the rotation in '06 and '07 for NOT having good stuff. Keep your man-crushes to yourself, Rod.
-ROD-ISM #4: Rod says that Jackson throws an "easy 95 mph". I have no idea what that means.
-Talking about the Rays manager Joe Madden, Rod says that Madden is "notorious for trying to figure out what his players are thinking". Madden has one year managing in the big leagues. How can he be "notorious" for anything, especially for something that every manager does?
-Rod says that even through the Angels are down by 2, they won't stop trying to steal a base. It's the third inning, Rod. Not the seventh.
-ROD-ISM #5: After a diving catch, Rod calls Miguel Cabrera, "Cabby". Yes, we all hate that nickname. I blame Rod Allen for it.
Top of the 4th
-The Aflec question is asking which Tiger, other than Magglio this year, had started a season with his first 17 hits being singles. Rod had no clue that Magglio had 17 hits, all singles, so far. Is there any Tiger fan out there that didn't know that Ordonez doesn't have an extra base hit? Especially one that's paid to be a color analyst? (By the way, the answer is John Knox in 1974, if you missed it.)
Bottom of the 4th
-After finding out the answer to the question, Mario mentions that Knox wasn't an everyday player. Rod says that "that makes it more impressive". How in any world this makes sense...you explain it to me.
-Rod says that Edwin's 85 mph changeup is almost as fast as his fastball. Jackson throws his heater anywhere from 93-96 mph. Once again, you are wrong, sir.
-After the Tigers make another error, Rod's complaining about the Angels scorekeeper. He says the guy keeps giving the Angels hits and the Tigers errors. This is impossible. It's one or the other.
-ROD-ISM #6: Gary Matthews catches some chin music from Jackson. Rod becomes the first African-American male other than himself to say "Hello, Darlin'!" since 1962.
Top of the 5th
-Palmer throws an 87 mph fastball with late movement which Rod says makes it seem like a 94 mph fastball to a hitter. This is not true.
Bottom of the 5th
-FOOD/DRINK ALERT: A camera catches a shot of lemonade being served in the stands. Rod says it looks "real good". Good thing they didn't show cotton candy. Rod loves cotton candy. Can't remember if it's the pink or the blue, though.
-Talking about the Yanks not resigning Bobby Abreu, "How do you not want a guy like him?" Why did the Tigers cut Sheffield, Rod? The Yankees have Xavier Nady for right field. Unlike Abreu, Nady is cheaper (until his Angels deal), younger, and a better defensive player, yet still has pop in his bat. That's why. They didn't know that he would get hurt.
Top of the 6th
-ROD-ISM #7: Rod says that the Angels bullpen has been "less than stellar". He always says that. That's a broad statement...less than stellar. Pretty good is "less than stellar". The Angels bullpen has been dog crap. Say that next time.
-Rod is VERY quiet this half inning, hardly saying anything. I assume it is because someone brought him some of that lemonade. Or cotton candy.
Bottom of the 6th
-ROD-ISM #8: The Coors Light Freeze Cam shows Jackson recording an out at first base. Rod calls him "Johnny on the spot". He uses this one a lot. He is the only human under 65 to use this phrase since the 1940's.
-Rod says that Gary Matthews is running better since having knee surgery. Really? My knee's messed up, thus I can't run. I had surgery. I can run again. Mr. Obvious strikes again.
-Mathis has a 3 ball count on him. Jackson walked him earlier. Rod: "He wouldn't walk him again, would he?" I'm sure Jackson is really considering trying to walk the Angels #9 hitter. He sucks tonight, Rod. He's not trying to walk people.
-Bobby Abreu beats out an infield hit. I remember how Rod says Abreu isn't fast earlier in the game. I miss Kirk Gibson being an analyst.
Top of the 7th
-ROD-ISM #9: Fan Boy's talking about Grienke again. "He's better than good!" At least the guy's not "less than stellar".
-ROD-ISM #10: Angels pitcher Daniel Davidson is seen warming up. He throws side-arm. Rod says, "He looks nasty."
-ROD-ISM #11: The Tigers got "a boatload 'o' hits and a boatload 'o' runs" last night. How big is this mysterious boat?
-Davidson's in the game now. After Rod calls him "nasty" again, they talk about him making his MLB debut the other day. Literally a couple seconds later, Rod says the Angels recalled him after looking good in the minors. No, they called him up. If they recalled him, he wouldn't have just made his debut. Yes, I'm annoyed and picky right now.
-Rod blames the Angels bullpen woes on losing K-Rod. Seriously. The Angels pen had an ERA of 8.63 coming into this game. And it's ALL because K-Rod isn't there. This may be Rod's dumbest statement of the night.
-ROD-ISM #12 & #13: Rod makes a two-for-one by saying that Magglio might "come out of his shoes" and "hit a gapper". He doesn't.
Bottom of the 7th
-Kendry Morales is up. Rod says he's the third of three "great" players from Cuba the Tigers have seen this year. Great players. You say "great player", I think of, you know, Mantle, Mays, Bonds, Higginson. (haw) But, not these guys.
*Kendry Morales' Career Numbers: .251, 13, 51, .303 OBP in 142 games.
*Yuniesky Betencourt's Career Numbers: .282, 25, 184, .304 OBP in 541 games.
*Alexi Ramirez had a great rookie year last year. This year, though, .157, 0, 3.
Yep. Great players, there.
-Rod talks about the Angels having "home court advantage". This isn't basketball. They have home FIELD advantage.
-Mr. Allen says that "A lot of good players get no day off...ESPECIALLY in the Amercian League". This, like most things he says, makes no sense. Everyone takes days off nowadays, for one. And in the AL, the DH is there to give guys time off. This is another reason that was given for Sheffield's release. What game does Rod watch out there?
-Rod says "It's automatic that when there's a runner on first, if there's a hit, the runner will make it to third". Not true at all. That's why you hear about station-to-station teams. That's another reason the Tigers are trying to get quicker.
Top of the 8th
-Rod blames the 4 errors that the Tigers have made tonight on the Angels' field. Two were throwing errors and Miguel's, at least, was just a dumb play. Don't blame the field. The Angels are playing on it, too.
Bottom of the 8th
-ROD-ISM #14: "Crooked numbers". I just don't like this one. Sue me.
Top of the 9th (Thank God)
-Angels pitcher Justin Speier is in the game. Rod says that Justin's dad, Chris Speier, was a longtime shortstop of the Giants. Chris Speier played parts of 6 years, starting with '71-'77 in San Francisco. He then played 7 years with the Expos. Then, he spent a year in St. Louis, two with the Cubs, and finished back with two more with the Giants. So, if you want to get technical, he spent 8 in San Fran to edge out his time in Montreal. At this point in the evening, though, I'm very cranky, I guess.
I just picked this game at random. Just think...some days he's worse than this. If there is a point to all of this, it's that Rod Allen is nuts. But at least he's not one of those clowns that does the White Sox games. Now, THOSE GUYS suck.