Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The DNR Five Least Favorite Tigers of All Time

I don’t like Will Rhymes (pictured above). He’s terrible at baseball, too old to be considered a “prospect” anymore, and the fact that he was called up to the team this year makes me depressed at how barren our farm system currently is. Yet as I pour through Tiger sites and message boards, I’m astounded at the amount of Tiger fans out there that (seemingly without spell check) are such big supporters of Rhymes and want him on the team. It blows my mind. I get it…he’s tiny and/or “scrappy”. Great. But he sucks at hitting a baseball and we’ve got enough guys that have that ability.

Anyway, it got me thinking about other Tigers over the years that I would have preferred been drowned at birth, rather than grow up to take up space on my favorite baseball team. The team you support is like your family. You usually support them, no matter what. But remember, some animals eat their own young. And there have been several guys wearing the Old English D that I just could not get behind. I have no doubt that many of these guys are wonderful people from a personal standpoint, but their play in the D over the years has caused me to utter “f” words like a deranged sailor with Tourette Syndrome.

I narrowed it down to my top five. But (dis)honorable mention must go to (deep breath) Rhymes, Nate Cornejo, Paul Gibson, Melvin Nieves, Juan Encarnacion, Karim Garcia, Kyle Farnsworth, Felipe Lira, Eric Munson, Gary Knotts, Gary Ward, Neifi Perez, Al Levine, Nook Logan, Chris Gomez, Clete Thomas, Brandon Inge, and yes…Nate Robertson.

But on to the Top (Bottom?) Five…in no particular order after the jump.

Dane Sardinha, Catcher, 2008-2009

Tiger Numbers: .133 Avg, 0 HR, 6 RBI, .346 OPS, -9 OPS+ in 83 plate appearances.

Yes, that’s a negative OPS+. I’ve never even seen that before. Sardinha is, by far, the worst offensive player I’ve ever seen in a Tiger uniform. Or a Mud Hen uniform. Or a Little League uniform. The Hawaiian born former 2nd round pick (really?) of the Reds was okay defensively in limited action for Detroit, but made Gerald Laird look like Johnny Bench at the dish. Thankfully, he was not re-signed after the ’09 season and moved on to the Philadelphia Phillies organization before he could sleep with any more of my friends’ girlfriends. Prick. He also got a DUI during Spring Training down in Florida. Sucks to be him.

/looks around nervously

Fernando Rodney, Relief Pitcher, 2002-2009

Tiger Numbers: 15-30, 70 SV, 4.28 ERA, 105 ERA+, 314 K in 330.0 IP.

No one was happier to see Fernando Rodney sign with the Angels in the offseason than I was. After the roller coaster that Todd Jones was as our closer, you’d have thought that Rodney would have been a breath of fresh air. But, no. Rodney, in my eyes, was much worse. He was the Brandon Inge of the pitching staff. You could see the potential and he would offer glimpses of something greater, but would then implode and look like he had no business being out there. Rodney’s 4.15 ERA and 1.51 WHIP for the Angels this year is hardly making the $5.5 million/year they’re giving him look like a decent deal. Good riddance. And wear your hat straight, you douche.

Don Kelly, Outfield/Third Base, 2009-present

Tiger Numbers: .228 Avg, 2 HR, 15 RBI, .572 OPS, 53 OPS+ in 220 plate appearances.

I hate Don Kelly. I think I may have mentioned that before. And to be honest, I’d probably like the guy if it weren’t for Jim Leyland batting him first, third…anywhere other than ninth. He’s a good defensive utility player. There…I said it. But the guy just can’t hit a baseball to save his life. Meanwhile, Leyland puts him in a position where he is going to fail and it makes me want to drown his entire family in boiling oil. Plus there was that letting the fly ball drop in at the Metrodome last year that made me drink enough booze to kill an elephant that night. Yeah…still haven’t let that one go.

Jason Grilli, Relief Pitcher, 2005-2008

Tiger Numbers: 8-8, 4.31 ERA, 106 ERA+, 108 K in 171.1 IP.

Wow…if you look at Grilli’s career numbers in Detroit, he doesn’t appear to be that bad. But to most Tiger fans, they remember him as a human gas can, especially at home. In 2007, for instance, he had an ERA of 7.96 at Comerica Park, compared to a 1.91 ERA on the road. Upon being traded to the Rockies in ’08, Grilli made unkind comments about the Tiger organization leading to Jim Leyland and I being on the same side for the first time in history, as the skipper made remarks to the effect of “not wanting to hear any weak sh-t from Jason Grilli”. The last I heard on “The Cheese Man” was that he was in the minors for the Cleveland Racist Logos…where he belongs.

Juan Gonzalez, Outfield, 2000

Tiger Numbers: .289 Avg, 22 HR, 67 RBI, .842 OPS, 115 OPS+ in 496 plate appearances.

Is there any Tiger fan out there that has fond memories of the man that was once thought to be the savior of baseball in Detroit? On November 2, 1999, Gonzalez, Danny Patterson, and Gregg Zaun were traded from the Rangers for Alan Webb, Frank Catalanotto, Francisco Cordero, Bill Haselman, Gabe Kapler, and Justin Thompson. “Juan Gone” had been an offensive beast for the Rangers up to that point (AL MVP in ’96 and ’98) and was thought to be the man to lead the Tigers into the new millennium, at least by then-GM, Randy Smith. However he would battle injuries during his lone season in Detroit and made it clear that he wasn’t happy playing in the Motor City. He complained about the ballpark being too big and demanded the fences moved in if the Tigers expected him to stay with the club. Smith reportedly offered Gonzalez an eight year, $140 million contract that THANKFULLY Gonzalez refused to agree to. He moved on to Cleveland in 2001 putting up his final useful season before hanging on another four years with other clubs. F-ck Juan Gonzalez.

That’s it. Let me know if you think I forgot someone. And if you say Bobby Higginson, I hope green warts sprout on your private parts.


Dan said...

You forgot to mention Rondell White. I hated that SOB. From Jim Price's "don't knock the rock" to RW hitting every homer he ever hit in 8-2 blowouts. I was fortunate enough to be in KC on a roadie to see the Tigers when his knee exploded. I cheered and smiled the entire drive back to Detroit.

Rob T said...

Well dude, I agree with your list, but Inge has got to be a top 5 in my book. I agree with your dishonorable mention guys. Many were not around long. Here is my 5 on the sh%t list. Inge, Ryan Jackson, Don Kelly, Rodney, Todd Jones. My buddies and I still want to see that Inge pic I sent you on a future post.

Curly said...

Ray Oyler couldn't hit his weight. It was like having two automatic outs at the bottom of the batting order (unless Earl Wilson was pitching). We won the pennant in '68, and almost won it in '67, with seven batters. They said he was there for his glove at short, but I never saw him do anything that would justify keeping a .175 hitter in the lineup. I understand that he drank himself to death.

Dan said...

You forgot to mention Rondell White. I hated that SOB. From Jim Price's "don't knock the rock" to RW hitting every homer he ever hit in 8-2 blowouts. I was fortunate enough to be in KC on a roadie to see the Tigers when his knee exploded. I cheered and smiled the entire drive back to Detroit.