Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Got DIBS...Voting Results and Reaction

DIBS (Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes), which I am somehow a member of, had their voting for several awards for your 2010 Detroit Tigers this past week. I submitted mine, but I’m not sure Kurt from Bless You Boys got them, since I admittedly filled out my form drunk and I’m not sure it went through. I have issues…but you already knew that, didn’t you?

Kurt changed things up a bit to attempt to get away from the predictable “Best Hitter”, “Best Pitcher”, etc, nonsense you see everywhere else. Props to Samara at RotT for coming up with several of the awards. Anyway, here’s the complete list, who I voted for, and my reaction. After that, I’ll have a few of my own special awards.

Best On-Field Celebration: Jose Valverde

Well, duh. I, too, voted for the Big Potato’s dancing exploits. I mean, who else is there? Brandon Inge’s sadface when celebrating a strikeout? Ryan Raburn’s excessive tongue wagging after doing whatever it is he does? Perhaps Miguel Cabrera’s drinking benders when the ChiSox are in town? Naa…Valverde was the right choice.

Best Hair, Facial or Otherwise: Phil Coke

I voted for Cokehead. Had to…the guy’s so entertaining. He would have lost if Adam Everett was still on the team, though. That guy’s hair was flawless, second in sports to only Tom Brady. I actually gave Everett my 2nd place vote, though I don’t think it was counted. Honorable mention goes to Johnny Damon, who finished second in the overall voting. Johnny tried, but his 30+ year old frat boy look couldn’t top the “redneck homicidal maniac” appearance of Mr. Coke.

More after the jump.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tiger Droppings: Start of Free Agency Edition

Lots to discuss and I’m a very busy man. No witty intro (is there ever?), so let’s get on with it.

Dombrowski Goes Shopping at V-Mart

Today the Tigers signed noodle-armed, awesome-hitting catcher/DH/first baseman Victor Martinez to a four year/$50 million deal. The Tigers will also lose their first round draft pick to the Red Sox, unless they also sign Jayson Werth. In that case, the Phillies would get the Tigers pick. As if those pricks haven’t received enough from us the past few years.

How does Your Party Host feel about the deal? I love it for the next two years. But the other two? I think we’re looking at Carlos Guillen, Part Deux. Vic’s already in his early-thirties. He’s an abortion at throwing runners out. And now we’re basically locked down at DH for the next couple years.  Speaking of Guillen, where does he do now?

On the bright side, V-Mart has a career OPS+ of 121. He doesn’t strike out much at all. He’s a hell of a hitter and knows the AL Central well after so many years in Cleveland. He should be happy with fellow ex-Indian, Jhonny Peralta on the team, as well as the rest of Team Venezuela. Seriously…is there anyone on the team that can speak understandable English anymore other than Verlander, Inge, and Jackson? I mean have you heard that hilljack Raburn speak? It’s all clicks and whistles to me…

Deals Martinez reportedly turned down:
*Red Sox: 3 years/$36 million
*Red Sox: 4 years/$42 million
*Orioles: 4 years/$48 million
*White Sox: 3 years/$48 million

Eat it, Chicago.  With Victor signed, right field remains the biggest hole the Tigers have to fill. And with Martinez, I’m hoping that it’s just another reason that Magglio returns to town. The more Venezuelans the merrier, am I right? That is Dombrowski’s motto, you know.

Welcome to Detroit, Victor. Try not to piss me off. After all, you are the only non-Tiger bobblehead that I own. See?

Ha…we’re buddies already.

More free agent fun after the jump…

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Your Handy Guide to This Year's Free Agent Crop

The Tigers have so far been linked to every free agent out there with a pulse. It is my responsibility to bring you the pros and cons to the potential signings of the big names out there. Let’s not waste any time and just dive into it, shall we?

Carl Crawford, OF

*Faster than any player the Tigers have fielded since a young Nook Logan graced Comerica Park with his mediocre play.
*Was offered scholarships to play point guard at UCLA and quarterback at Nebraska, therefore could moonlight for the Pistons and/or Lions. He can’t be any worse than the idiots they have now.
*2010 Gold Glove winner. We’ll need that out there with Jhonny Peralta letting 2/3 of all balls get past him this year on the left side of the infield.

*Will cost approximately 3,600,000 Hot ‘n’ Ready pizzas per season. Yikes…that’s a lot of heartburn and diarrhea.
*African-American. With Austin Jackson on the team, Dave Dombrowski has already made his quota of black guys on the team. Crawford would most likely have to adopt a Dominican accent and change his first name to Carlo.
*Career OPS+ of 107. Considering what he is going to ask for in years/salary, may become the most overpaid player since Carlos Beltran tricked the Mets into giving him such a huge deal.

Adam Dunn, OF, 1B, DH

*Nickname is “Big Donkey”. I can hear Rod Allen giggling like a schoolgirl already.
*Unbelievable plate discipline. Surely, someone else on the team would eventually take notes, wouldn’t they? Sigh…
*Insane power and the ability to provide the protection in the lineup that Miguel Cabrera has lacked since arriving in Detroit. Dunn has the 5th lowest at bat/home run average in Major League history trailing only Mark McGwire, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, and Jim Thome. Again, Rod Allen would benefit by being able to say “Country Strong” again, something he has been lacking since Marcus Thames left town.

*Stupid. Thinks he can play defense despite making Ryan Raburn look like Torii Hunter in the field.
*Strikes out more than Brandon Inge and Austin Jackson combined. Not that I care, but I would be forced to read stupid articles complaining about his strikeouts despite his insane OPS.
*Has been criticized for his “lack of passion” in the past. Everyone knows that most Tiger fans prefer their heroes to be scrappy and terrible (Inge, Brandon…Rhymes, Will) than unfriendly and talented (Sheffield, Gary).

Victor Martinez, C, 1B, DH

*From Venezuela. The more the merrier. If Maggs isn’t re-signed, the Mafia will need another hitman, anyway.
*Is not Gerald Laird.
*Would save us from having to watch as much of Alex Avila grounding out weakly 2-4 times each game.

*If they give him the 5 years he wants, his contract has a 99.8% chance of being the next “Carlos Guillen” problem.
*With Peralta already signed, would give us our second long-time Indian on the roster. This is unacceptable unless that second Indian is named Cliff Lee.
*Throws like a girl…with a broken arm.

More after the jump...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Should Jim Leyland Do?

What should I do?
Admit that I constantly make mistakes?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Awards Are Now Officially Meaningless

They've announced that Derek Jeter won the 2010 Gold Glove for AL shortstops.  Yes.  Derek Jeter.
F-ck you, Major League Baseball.  Seriously.  F-ck you.

That is all.

The Secret Manager Search: Volume 2

Tigers owner, Mike Ilitch, has publicly endorced manager Jim Leyland for the 2011 Season. However DNR has learned that secret meetings between Mr. Ilitch and General Manager David Dombrowski have been going on interviewing possible replacements for Leyland, should the team get off to a slow start. This is the second of these meetings. The first can be found here.

Detroit Tiger Headquarters, Detroit, MI

DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Well, sir, it’s good to be back in the office. I know you’ve had a lot going on with attempting to buy the Pistons, your three-a-day blood transfusions, and the bitter separation with Johnny Damon…

MIKE ILITCH:  Oh, Johnny. (single tear rolls down cheek)  Please, Dave.  Too soon.  I miss him so…

DOMBROWSKI:  Of course, sir.  My apologies.  But we really need to continue with these interviews.  I mean bringing back the same-old, same-old with Peralta and Inge…

ILITCH:  Man of the YEAR, Brandon Inge, thank you.

DOMBROWSKI:  Sigh.  Of course.  Well, as, er, brilliant as those decisions were, we need to prepare for the worst.  If things don’t work next year, Tiger fans are going to want heads to roll.  And we need to have a guy ready.

ILITCH:  Sure thing, Dan.

DOMBROWSKI:  Dave, sir.

ILITCH:  Right.  Well, who’s our interview with today?

DOMBROWSKI:  As you know, we haven’t been the best team on defense.  And this gentleman’s specialty is defense.  Actually, he should be here any moment…

/door flies open

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bless You, Sparky

The first book that I can remember reading on my own as a child was “Bless You Boys”, by Sparky Anderson. It was a daily diary of the 1984 Season that had Sparky’s comments on each game, his views on all the players, and a glimpse into his personal life. After reading it, over the next couple years I bet I checked that book out of my local library at least a dozen times to re-read it. I can actually remember a librarian laughing and asking me how I wasn’t sick of that book by now. Truth is, I could never get sick of seeing, hearing, and/or learning from George “Sparky” Anderson.

And now the man is dead. Sparky died this morning at his home in California at the age of 76. It’s been a tough stretch for Tiger fans recently. First we lost George Kell. Then the legendary Ernie Harwell passed. And now we’ve lost the most iconic figure of the Detroit Tigers of my childhood in Sparky Anderson.

Of course, Sparky would never want to hear that. He always took any praise heaped onto himself and immediately credited the players. In fact, on the day of his Hall of Fame induction, he said, "I got good players, stayed out of their way, let them win a lot, and then just hung around for 26 years.” But Sparky wasn’t fooling anyone. He was and is one of the greatest leaders in baseball history.

Sparky won 2,194 games as a manager, which was the third-highest total in major league history when he retired. All these years later, he’s still ranked sixth. Anderson was the first manager to win World Series titles in both leagues and the only manager to lead two franchises in career wins with Detroit and Cincinnati. Most importantly, the man held the respect of all of his ballplayers. Noted tough guys like Kirk Gibson and David Wells credit much of their professional success to Sparky’s leadership.

For me as a kid though in the 80’s, none of that mattered. I just remember being captivated by the white-haired little man’s passion whether he was smiling and talking to a reporter or screaming his head off at an umpire that dared to make a stupid call. It sounds cheesy, but whenever I think of him, I imagine him with this little twinkle in his eye. I imagine him yelling at Gibby that Goose Gossage doesn’t want to walk him. And whether he was calling Chris Pittaro baseball’s next superstar or Gibson the next Mickey Mantle, you couldn’t get mad at Sparky for his hyperbole. That was just Sparky being Sparky and Tiger fans wouldn’t want him any other way.

At the end of the 2009 season, I was lucky enough to be there for ’84 Tigers reunion. Before the game, my friends and I were walking to our seats when word spread that some of the players were about to arrive and pose for pictures. We stopped to see who it would be and I can’t tell you how surprised I was to see Sparky as one of the guys. My excitement turned to sadness, though, as the legendary manager looked like a shell of his former self. He was so skinny and pale. But as quick as I could register those thoughts, something seemed to spark, no pun intended, in his mind as he broke out in a grin and began laughing and talking with all of the fans. I actually teared up when I saw that…please don’t tell anyone.

When the players were introduced later on, no one got a bigger reaction than Sparky. And he didn’t disappoint when he addressed the fans showing some of the old fire from his managing days.  It was awesome.  For the second time that day, I had to wipe a tear from my eye. It really was a magic moment and something that I’ll never forget.

And for the third time, the tears welled up again today as I learned of the passing of the Icon. The fact that his #11 hasn’t been officially retired is disgusting to me and I hope Mr. Ilitch and the team properly honors Sparky on Opening Day this season. The man gave so much to not only the Tigers, but to the entire city of Detroit with his tireless charity work that it’s the very least the team could do for his memory.

Okay, I’m done. I know this isn’t the kind of stuff you check out this blog for, but it feels good to get this out. Sparky, bless you and your family, good sir. Thank you for so many great moments in baseball history. Your memory will live on forever.