Sunday, November 29, 2009

Grady Sizemore Is A Douchebag


Apparently, the franchise player of the Racist Logos de Cleveland got a new iPhone or something. More pics here at Deadspin if you're one of Grady's Ladies. Somehow I don't see Curtis Granderson ever being this big of a jackass...unless there's an auction going on.

Advantage: Grandy

Trade him and we riot.

UPDATE: It seems that the photos were stolen from Sizemore's computer, so he claims. He has hired the Scooby Doo Detective Agency to help track down the culprit. He's still a douchebag.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The DNR 25


Four months until pitchers and catchers report, and my muse, filty whore that she is, has left me high and dry. I've got nothing, kids. I'm not in the mood to speculate on whatever wild rumors Lynn Henning and others are throwing out there. I don't feel like going into my goofy conspiracy theory of DD secretly hating black folks. (released Sheff, let Thames walk, made Dontrelle go crazy, trade rumors about Grandy and EJax...odd, no?) And my normal ranting and raving with poop jokes mixed in? It gets tiring. (BTW, I'm kidding about the black folks thing. Save your hate mail.)

So, here's what we're going to do. A couple nights ago, as I was trying to calm down the voices in my head and fall asleep, it dawned on me that I've been a Tigers fan for 25 seasons. As we slowly creep towards April, one or two times a week I'll do a little countdown of my 25 favorite Tigers that I've enjoyed watching over the years. I'm going to limit it to guys only from the past 25 years, so obviously there won't be any Cobbs, Kalines, Hortons, Kells, or Lolichs on my list...just players that I watched on a daily basis over the years.

Blake, good friend of DNR, in between his brainwashing of the rich youth of the American Northeast, is counting down every Tiger team ever over at The Spotstarters leading up to the season. So, I'm going to steal his idea a bit, and do my own countdown. Hey...he ripped me off first with his Cup of Coffee piece, see? (Haha...) I'll have stats, career highlights, and yes...probably a bit of poop humor thrown in a bit, too. And if anything important really happens with the team, I'll chime in a bit on that, as well.

So, stay tuned, Happy Holidays, and whatever. And as always, I thank you for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mini Review: The Final Season


If you ever attended a game at Tiger Stadium, you no doubt have an opinion of the now demolished ballpark. Lots of people didn't like it there. Obstructed seats, not enough bathrooms, and an outdated design are complaints I've heard. Others just loved the place. The history, the closeness to the field, the overhang in right field. Myself, I loved it there...much more than Comerica Park which I really don't care for. My dad, however, hated it there. He thought it was a dump. Tiger Stadium inspired some sort of feeling in everyone that passed through the gates. It had too many ghosts living there for it not to.

In Tom Stanton's 2001 book, "The Final Season", Tiger Stadium certainly is inspriring to the author. Stanton attended every home ballgame in 1999 in his quest to write a book on the old ballpark and cover it's final year. And yes, he has a blurb about every game, mostly losing ones, that the Tigers played in '99, but this story is more a love story than a baseball reference. It's a story about families and how Tiger Stadium brought them together over the years.

Stanton spends a lot of time talking about his own family going back generations and their connections to the old park. He talks to parking lot attendents, vendors, fans, and even legends like Ernie Harwell (who, if possible, you will like even more after reading this book) about their families and experiences in Tiger Stadium. There are history lessons on several of the all-time greats to play ball at Michigan and Trumbull. Tiger greats like Cobb, Kaline, Horton, and Trammell are all represented. So are many Tigers that you may not have heard of that played over the years.

He paints a picture of Tiger Stadium with his words that brought back many memories of the park that I hadn't thought of in years. I remembered the first time my dad brought me there, the foul ball I caught years later, the time I flipped out, Randy Quaid in Major League 2-style, after a ninth inning collapse. I remember how a friend of mine would tear up when we exited the freeway, came up the hill, and the stadium came into view. (I used to make fun of him for it, but I did it myself at the last game I attended there, knowing the old girl was being closed.)

Anyway, it's a great book to read for those of you that want to reflect...not on the sub-par '99 team the Tigers had...but on a park that housed everyone from Kell, Greenberg, and Lolich, all the way to guys like Fick, Kapler, and Ausmus. If I have a complaint about the book, it is that Stanton spent a bit too much time on his family's history. But then again, that is what the park did to him. It made him think about his family and how the Tigers and Tiger Stadium brought them together over the years.

Check it out if you get a chance. I don't think you'll regret it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tiger Dorks Unite

Kudos to Kurt from Mack Avenue Tigers on getting 20+ of us to take time away from our mother's basement to reunite the Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes (DIBS). With so many Tigers blogs out there now, it seemed like a good idea to get us all together on a project.

What's the point of DIBS? Just another voice, I guess. It's an opportunity to hear from the nontraditional media on subjects. And Kurt put out four catagories for us to vote on. We each wrote our votes down on paper, sealed them in manila envelopes, and drove them to the parking garage of a seedy hotel in the greater Detroit area where a midget named "Screwball" was kind enough to collect them from us. Nice fellow, that Screwball. He thought Jen Cosey was cute. Anyhoo, the catagories and winners?

Tiger Hitter of the Year: Miguel Cabrera
Tiger Pitcher of the Year: Justin Verlander
Breakout Player of the Year: Rick Porcello
Most Improved Player: Justin Verlander


No surprises there, methinks. Those were the guys that my first place votes went to.

Your DIBS contributers...

Bless You Boys -- Ian Casselberry
Daily Fungo -- Mike McClary
DesigNate Robertson -- Your Party Host
Detroit4Lyfe -- Bob Biscigliano
Detroit Tigers Den -- Austin Drake
Detroit Tigers Weblog -- Bill Ferris
Eye of the Tigers -- J. Ellet Lambie
Fire Jim Leyland -- Mike Rogers
It's Just Sports -- Patrick Hayes
Jamie Samuelsen's Blog (Freep.com) -- Jamie Samuelsen
Mack Avenue Tigers -- Kurt Mensching
The Cutoff Man (MLive.com) -- James Schmehl and Scott Warheit
Old English D -- Jennifer Cosey
Roar of the Tigers -- Samara Pearlstein
Spot Starters -- Blake VandeBunte
Take 75 North -- Matt Wallace
Tigers Amateur Analysis -- Erin Saelzler
Tigerblog -- Brian Borawski
Tiger Geist -- John Brunn
Tiger Tales -- Lee Panas
Tiger Tracks -- John Parent
Where Have You Gone, Johnny Grubb? -- Greg Eno

Yikes. Does this mean I'm not allowed to make fun of Jamie Samuelsen anymore when I'm having a bad day?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Know Your American League Fans

As an overall group, I think Tiger fans are pretty cool people. Think about it. On what other team could you have tens of millions locked up on useless ballplayers like Nate Robertson, Dontrelle Willis, and Jeremy Bonderman...thus causing the team to not be able to resign good players like Placido Polanco and maybe Brandon Lyon...and the early rumors of the offseason are that the team may unload one or more of the most popular players on the team in Curtis Granderson, Brandon Inge, and Edwin Jackson because they're bleeding money?

Just as sure as the was the longest run-on sentence I've ever typed, in damn near any other city, people would be calling for the GM's head on a platter. He screwed up by giving huge deals to guys that didn't deserve them...and the team is now screwed. But Tiger fans that I've spoken to are taking it in stride. Fans elsewhere would be freaking out. If it were New York or Boston, it would be a heavily debated topic on ESPN. But in Detroit? Not so much. Amazing. Is that cool after all? I dunno.

In all, I think Tiger fans don't expect much. It's been 25 years since Detroit won a World Series. The teams have been pretty much terrible since then with a couple notable exceptions. ('87, '06, '09?) Tiger fans take it on the chin and move on. Truth be told, there's more important things than sports to worry about in Detroit. But what are the characteristics of other AL teams' fans? I thought I'd take a quick look at that with this post.

Boston Red Sox
-Racist and homophobic
-Have at least one kid named Tom, Brady, or Nomar
-Thinks JD Drew would be a superstar if he'd just play more like WelKAH does for the Pats!
-Complains about the Yankee payroll when the Sawx are always second in payroll, dwarfing #3
-Since 2004 have done the impossible in becoming more annoying than Yankee fans

New York Yankees
-Probably also fans of the Lakers, Cowboys, USC, and Duke
-Will talk to you about "True Yankees" like Scott Brosius and Paul O'Neill while not being to explain what a "true" Yankee is
-Feel entitled to the World Series trophy every year...and will constantly mention that they have won 27 championships
-Insist that Derek Jeter is the greatest shortstop ever...meanwhile, if he played on any other team, he would be Michael Young
-Are probably Italian...or very hairy in some way

Toronto Blue Jays
-Say funny things like "aboot", "looney", and "hoser"
-Usually polite until they get drunk--Canadian beer has a higher alcohol proof than our American beers
-Think Joe Carter belongs in the Hall of Fame because Mitch Williams hung a pitch in 1994
-Love Bryan Adams
-Think Roy Halladay should play left wing for the Leafs in the offseason

Baltimore Orioles
-Believe that Peter Angelos is Satan (wrong...David Stern is)
-Lay claim to Babe Ruth since he was born there...silly folks
-Think Nick Markakis would be a superstar in another market (sigh)
-80% of fans couldn't tell you the O's manager on any given day
-Believe that baseball was "saved" because their broken down shortstop was hurting the team by not taking a day off

Tampa Bay Rays
-All over the age of 59 years old
-Freak out over the word "Devil" for some reason
-Would attend more games, but are usually in bed by the 7pm starting times
-Wish the grandkids would call more often
-Enjoy Ensure, "60 Minutes", and Jay Leno's "edgy" brand of humor

Chicago White Sox
-Think Ozzie Guillen is a rational human being
-Also own Bulls and Raiders Starter caps/coats
-Cannot be trusted...they cheer for AJ Pierzynski, for crissakes
-Fatter than Cecil Fielder on a month long ice cream binge
-Have no soul

Minnesota Twins
-Think sideburns are dreamy
-For most, the first black man they ever saw in person was Kirby Puckett
-Would be more interested if Brett Favre were somehow involved
-Children think baseball should naturally be played on concrete, surrounded by garbage bags
-Males usually pee sitting down

Cleveland Indians
-Haven't been sober since Pat Tabler was on the team
-Best fans at throwing "Goodbye" parties since every athlete leaves town whenever they prove they are any good (Manny, Thome, Sabathia, Lee, Blake, Belle, soon to be Lebron, etc)
-Believe that "Major League" was a documentary
-Have a group called "Grady's Ladies" who are much like Brandon Inge's female fans, except that they're usually under 200 lbs.
-Think that racist logos are funny

Kansas City Royals
-Forced to get excited by signings of failures from other crappy teams
-Feel inferior to Cardinals fans who are a stone's throw away rubbing their futility in their faces
-Hate the smell of pine tar
-Think fountains are pretty
-Still bitter after being promised that Alex Gordon was the next George Brett

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
-Indecisive...can't figure out where their team is located
-Will tell you that rally monkey tastes like chicken
-Feel superior to Dodger fans because they leave games in the bottom of the 7th inning instead of the top of the 7th
-Actually miss Darin Erstad and David Eckstein's "scrappiness", even though they were terrible at baseball
-Own stock in Disney

Oakland Athletics
-Too poor to live in San Francisco
-Think steroids aren't a big deal--I believe they used to be sold in vending machines at the stadium
-Would attend more games if they had cool, scary costumes to wear like Raider fans
-Still think that Billy Beane is a genius despite zero World Series appearances with him in charge
-Couldn't pick a single player on the team out of a police lineup

Seattle Mariners
-Most likely Asian
-Enjoys rain showers, flannel shirts, and heroin
-In extreme denial over Ken Griffey's current talent level
-Think that since they can throw a fish, they could play at a "Jay Buhner" level
-In a band...could be HUGE if they'd just get a break

Texas Rangers
-75% illegal aliens, 25% crooked Texas oil men
-Think that with Josh Hamilton's resume, he could be governor, owner of the team, or president
-Care more about high school football than the Rangers...despite not being in high school, having any kids in high school, or a high school diploma
-Would enjoy team more if they involved cocaine and prostitutes more like the Cowboys do
-Wear funny hats all the time

Be happy that you're a Tiger fan. You may not get to enjoy victory as much as others can, but at least you can look at yourself in the mirror every day and not see a terrible human being.

Friday, November 6, 2009

THE TEAM: Exit Interviews

(Two weeks ago in Dave Dombrowski's office...)


DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Well, Jim, I think having these exit interviews with the players this year was a great idea. We’ve had a chance to go over the positives and negatives from the season, as well as letting the players know what we expect them to work on in the offseason and into spring training. Where did you come up with this idea again?


JIM LEYLAND: (puffs cigarette) Iwasdrunk. (cough)

DOMBROWSKI: Yes, well, wherever the idea came from, I think it has gone splendidly. We only have a few players to go. (into intercom) Rachel, can you send in the next player, please?

(door opens)


CARLOS GUILLEN: (slides to chair, waits 30 seconds, sits in chair) Hey, guys. I think I just sprained my ankle…

DOMBROWSKI: Hello, Carlos. Funny you should mention that. Overall, we still think you are capable of being the kind of player that we are paying you to be. But what can we do to keep you healthy?

GUILLEN: Play me every day. And I don’t want to DH. And I want to play shortstop.

LEYLAND: (cough, cough) Jesusfuc…

DOMBROWSKI: Ahem! Carlos, how can we play you every day when you are constantly on the disabled list? We were actually thinking the opposite. Perhaps a couple days off a week, some extended DH time…things like that. We really need a full, healthy season out of you, especially with Placido, most likely, moving on.

GUILLEN: I want to play every day. I’m sick of changing positons. (raises finger) I want (finger snaps) OWW! (gritting teeth) I can’t perform well if I’m not in the lineup every day.

LEYLAND: Listen (cough) youdumbsonofabi…

DOMBROWSKI: Okay! Let’s make a deal, Carlos. You work on staying healthy and we’ll make a commitment, right now, to you being our everyday left fielder next season. Agreed?

GUILLEN: Si. Gracias.

(leaves)

(trips and falls in hallway)

LEYLAND: (lights cigarette) Areyououttayour (hack) frigginmind?

DOMBROWSKI: I just want the players to leave these meetings on a positive note, Jim. (into intercom) Rachel! Next player, please!

(door opens)


JUSTIN VERLANDER: (glares menacingly at Leyland and Dombrowski)

DOMBROWSKI: Hey, Justin. Thanks for coming in. Great season, by the way. I’m sure we’ll have no trouble coming together on a deal and avoiding arbitration this year. Don’t you agree?

VERLANDER: (glares straight ahead)

DOMBROWSKI: Um, yeah. Now one concern we have is your pitch counts. We need to work on making you more efficient. We can’t keep having you approaching 100 pitches in the sixth inning every night. Can we agree on that?

VERLANDER: (begins sharpening knives)

LEYLAND: (cough) GreatjobJustin. You’re (hack) excused.

(Verlander leaves saying nothing. Stares at Rachel for five minutes while sharpening knives on way out.)

LEYLAND: Youtryingtogetuskilled? (cough)

DOMBROWSKI: Sorry. We need to get him some help. (into intercom) Rachel! Next player, please.

(door opens)


DUSTY RYAN: Hey, guys. Thanks for having me in.

(uncomfortable silence)

LEYLAND: (cough) Whothehellareyou?

DOMBROWSKI: Hey (looks at notecard) Dusty? Okay. Um, we have big plans for you in the future. Keep up the good work. That’s it! See you in Lakeland this spring!

RYAN: Um…thanks. (leaves)

DOMBROWSKI: (shrugs shoulders) (into intercom) Rachel.. Call security on whoever that was. And please send in the next guy.

(door opens)



CURTIS GRANDERSON: Good day, gentlemen! I brought some wine for the two of you.

DOMBROWSKI: There he is! Mr. Franchise!

GRANDERSON: Don’t you mean Mr. Marvin Miller Man of the Year? Say that five times fast, ha, ha. But seriously. It feels great to be recognized for all I do, but I just like the feeling of helping people. Do you know the progress that we’ve made in my Grand Kids charity? The kids we have helped? Not to mention, the hospital visits I do, the charity basketball games, all sorts of stuff! I may be just one man, but I’m enjoying the heck out of making a difference for everyone I can come into contact with!

LEYLAND: (cough) Exceptus.

GRANDERSON: What was that, Skip?

DOMBROWSKI: Well, Curtis, what Jim’s trying to say is that your game seemed to suffer this year and we’d like to see you concentrate a bit more on baseball in 2010 than your side projects.

GRANDERSON: But I hit 30 home runs this year.

LEYLAND: (hack) Andyouhitforjacksquatotherwise. Whoyouthinkyouare? BarryBonds?

DOMBROWSKI: Curtis, we love the player that you are, but what happened to the guy that hit line drives all over the park? Mr. 20/20/20/20? That’s the guy we want being the face of the Tigers!

GRANDERSON: Guys, I’d love to sit and talk to you about this, but I’ve got a charity auction to get to in a half hour. Then tomorrow, there’s this Make-A-Wish dinner. Then, I’ve got union talks to get into. After that…

LEYLAND: Getouttahere.

GRANDERSON: Gotcha, Skip. Have a GRAND offseason, guys! Ha, ha, ha. (leaves)

LEYLAND: Hemakesmesick. (cough) Howmanymorearethere?

DOMBROWSKI: Sigh. Just two guys to go. (into intercom) Rachel? Is our next person ready?

(door opens)


FU-TE NI: Herro, Mistel Domblowski! Herro, Mistel Reyrand. How wonderfur to be hel with you.

DOMBROWSKI: Hello, Mr. Ni. Great to see you. We just wanted to tell you what a fabulous surprise we found you to be this year. Not only did you do more than a quality job out of the bullpen for us, but your impressions are hilarious!

NI: Sank you, Mistel Domblowski. Tly this one. (curls lip and sings) Don’t be cluer. To heart that tlue. I don wan no otha rove! Baby it you I think oooooooof! Sank you velly much!

LEYLAND: (opens mouth) (cigarette drops into lap)

DOMBROWSKI: Great Elvis impression, Fu. You really are too much. Anyways, keep in shape this offseason. We’re expecting your role to expand even more next year. See you this spring.

NI: Sank you. It’s been honol to pray basebarr in Detloit. Ter me, Mistel Domblowski…is Lacherr singer?

DOMBROWSKI: Who?

NI: Lacherr. The leceptionist.

DOMBROWSKI: Oh. I’m sorry, Fu. I believe that she is engaged.

NI: Oh. That is tellibre. Anothel night with plostitute fol Fu. See you ratel. (leaves)

LEYLAND: What (cough) thehelldidhesaythatwholetime?

DOMBROWSKI: You’re one to talk, Jim, quite frankly. (into intercom) Rachel? Is our last meeting here?

(door opens)


(bed is wheeled in by a nurse)

BRANDON INGE: (fighting back tears) Hey.

DOMBROWSKI: Holy hell, Brandon! You okay?

INGE: Great. Never better. I’ll be ready to hit the field whenever you need me. (sobs quietly)

DOMBROWSKI: Brandon, you were a true inspiration this year. You played in 161 games despite being hurt. But I’m worried that maybe you were hurting the team more than helping at times. Next year, if you’re in pain, we’re going to give you some time off.

LEYLAND: Likehellwewill! Gimmiemysmokes! (Inge's nurse hands over a carton of Reds)

DOMBROWSKI: Jim, you have him running errands for you in his condition?

LEYLAND: Helovesit. Shuddup.

INGE: It’s okay, Dave. Ow…I’m happy to do it for my Skipper.

DOMBROWSKI: Brandon, it was a hell of a season. I mean, you started out so great! You were killing the ball! Then out of nowhere, your knees just went on you. I don’t get what could have happen…

(door flies open)


GARY SHEFFIELD: Brendon! You no good piece of sh-t! Where’s Sheff’s sh-t? I know you got into Sheff’s sh-t!

DOMBROWSKI: Gary? What are you doing here?

SHEFFIELD: Sheff was pissed when you punks dropped his ass. I took off…left some of my, um, supplements behind. Brendon’s locker was next to Sheff’s. I know this punk bitch took my sh-t! You owe me money, sucka!

INGE: Um…

SHEFFIELD: You ain’t foolin’ no one, Brendon! Power goes up. Knees break down. Sheff knows the drill. You either give me my sh-t or give me my duckets, Brendon!

DOMBROWSKI: (into intercom) Rachel, please get security up here again!

SHEFFIELD: That’s it. Sheff’s gonna kill all you punk bitches! Unless you want to talk deal, Dave. How’s four years, forty million sound?

DOMBROWSKI: Well, um…

(door flies open)

GUARD: Someone call for a security guard?

DOMBROWSKI: (facepalm)

LEYLAND: ShootmefirstGary. (cough)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Who's Pitching? Good Sign or Bad Sign?

Last night, I was out having a few drinks with friends, and at one point when I wasn't saying rude things to loudmouth Yankee fans, I was talking to a guy about the Tigers season. He made a remark about whenever Justin Verlander was pitching, he was sure that we were going to have a good chance at winning.

Now, that's not exactly a bold statement, especially with the year that JV put together. But it got me to thinking...is it true? Could I turn on a game in progress and make a conclusion about the outcome based on who is pitching? Probably not, but I have nothing better to do with my time today.

Here's a look at the record of the Tigers this year in games when each pitcher took the mound.

Justin Verlander: 23-12
Edwin Jackson: 17-16
Rick Porcello: 18-13
Armando Galarraga: 10-19
Nate Robertson: 8-20
Dontrelle Willis: 2-5
Eddie Bonine: 5-5
Jarrod Washburn: 4-4
Luke French: 4-3
Alfredo Figaro: 2-3
Chris Lambert: 0-2
Zach Miner: 25-26
Brandon Lyon: 37-28
Fernando Rodney: 61-12
Bobby Seay: 51-16
Fu-Te Ni: 11-25
Ryan Perry: 22-31
Casey Fien: 1-8
Clay Rapada: 0-3
Joel Zumaya: 20-9
Freddy Dolsi: 1-5
Jeremy Bonderman: 3-5
Juan Rincon: 2-5

I admit, this doesn't tell us a whole lot. The closer is going to appear in mostly winning games (unless he's Brad Lidge). Edwin Jackson didn't get a lot of run support. And Zumaya really pitched in 20 winnings games?

It does, however, help to explain why I want to jab a red hot poker into my eyes every time Nate takes the mound.