Sunday, February 28, 2010

The DNR 25: #9 Justin Verlander

Full Name
Justin Brooks Verlander
DOB
2/20/83

College
Old Dominion University

Drafted
2004, 1st Round, 2nd Pick, Detroit Tigers

MLB Seasons
2005-present

Tiger Seasons
2005-present

Career Stats
65-43, 3.92 ERA, 840 IP, 746 K, 116 ERA+


Career Leaderboard
AL All Star (2007, 2009)
2006 AL Rookie of the Year
2007:  No Hitter (6/12/07)
2007:  5th in Cy Young Voting
2008:  1st in Losses (17)
2009:  1st in Strikeouts (269)
2009:  1st in Innings Pitched (240.0)
2009:  1st in Wins (19)
2009:  3rd in Cy Young voting

Best Tiger Season
2009 was disappointing for the Tigers in how their season ended, but for Justin Verlander, the season was a statement that he had arrived as a certified pitching ace.  He went 19-9 with an ERA of 3.45 and an ERA+ of 133.  He led the league in starts, innings, batters faced, wins, and strikeouts.  With Justin on the mound, you couldn’t help thinking that the Tigers were going to win that day.  Well, they’d win if they could score more than two runs…

Little Known Fact
Justin became the first Major League starter in 24 years to load the bases with nobody out in the ninth inning or later and get out of it without allowing a run when he pulled off the feat July 24, 2009.


Reason For Being On The List
I don’t love many things in life.  It’s just how I am.  I love my mom and my son.  I love “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”.  I love Bacardi rum.  For some reason, I think I’m in love with Lady Gaga.  And dammit, I love Justin Verlander.
He’s the best pitcher I’ve ever seen in a Tiger uniform.  From the evil stare he gives on the mound to the 98 mph+ heaters he throws, I just am in awe of the guy.  To this day, I’m amazed that he plays for Detroit, almost like it’s some sort of mistake.  I mean, the Tigers don’t get pitchers like this.  I’ve lived through pitching staffs with aces like Bill Gullickson, Mike Moore, and Mike Maroth.  But this guy?  Good gawd…
JV is the only pitcher in baseball history to toss a no-hitter, start a World Series game, be a Rookie of the Year and an All-Star in his first two full seasons.  If that doesn’t get you excited as a fan, you are either crazy or Lynn Henning.
I was overjoyed to see JV get his extension this offseason.  The impartial analyst side of me was trying to rationalize to myself that it was too many years or we could wait a bit longer.  But the Tiger fan inside of me was jumping up and down like a hyperactive six year old. 

What Happened To Him?
He is the ace of the Tigers pitching staff and looking to show in 2010 that he is truly one of the best pitchers in baseball.  With any luck this year, he will win his first Cy Young Award and be the World Series MVP.  Hey, it could happen…

Info ripped off of baseball-reference.com and Wikipedia. 
Pics via Google.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Tiger Droppings: 2/26/10

Top Story: Training Bros

Spring Training…is there anything like it? It always starts the same. Everyone is smiling. Everyone is talking about how they haven’t felt this good in years. There is hope in the air. Fun and games abound.

Detroit is no different. Johnny Damon is everyone’s best friend. Miguel Cabrera is a clown. Magglio Ordonez is looking buff and talking about playing four more years. Zoom’s a new man. Carlos Guillen doesn't mind being a DH, all of the sudden. Things are looking up.

And then the third base coach runs over the manager’s foot and breaks his toe. I love the Tigers.

For your enjoyment, here are a collection of my favorite photos posted by the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press from Spring Traning the past couple days. Head over to either site to view them all. All photos are by Julian Gonzalez of the Freep and Robin Buckson of the News. As for the dumb captions underneath them, that’s my gift to you. Enjoy.

"Late night, huh? Are the White Sox in town?"


"Dude, I don't care if your grandpa thinks it's funny. Quit grabbing my ass."


"Did you hear? Carlos says he doesn't mind DHing."


Little did Nate know, but Dombrowski offered Nate's $10 million to whoever killed him first.


"I wish I could quit you."


"Why...so...serious?"


"Uh oh! Jose made boom boom in pants."


"But in Boston, the ladies like 'The Shocker'."


"Haha...I farted again."


"Freeze! Police! Don't move, Laird!"


He can't be any worse than Don Kelly up there.


"Yeah, I know. They keep paying me, too. Ahh, hahahaha..."

In Other News

-Vodka and Pineapple, Please


Former Tiger failure Dane Sardinha was arrested by Clearwater, FL police this week for a DUI. He spent around six hours in jail before being released on a $250 bond. I only post this because I hate Dane Sardinha and hope they give him the electric chair. (Sorry again, Dusty.)

-Mighty Casey Has Struck Out

In the wake of the Johnny Damon signing, relief pitcher Casey Fien was designated for assignment to make room for JD on the 40 man roster. I didn’t realize the guy was already 26 years old. We’ll see what happens to him. Meanwhile, Don Kelly still has a spot. Sigh.

-A Moment in the Life of Your Party Host

As I have mentioned here in the past, in the real world I run a sports bar in southeast Michigan. The following is an actual conversation that took place the other day between myself and some guy sitting at the bar that saw me walk out in my Tigers hat. This guy appeared to be in his 40’s and had the glorious mustache of a date rapist.

GUY: Tigers fan, huh?
ME: No. I like the Astros. I just found this hat outside.
GUY: Huh?
ME: Nothing. I was kidding. Yeah, I’m a Tigers fan.
GUY: Me, too. Man, they’re gonna suck this year.
ME: Eh, they’ll be okay. No one in the Central is that good. I actually think they’re a better team than they were last year.
GUY: I don’t even know who any of these new guys they have are. They suck.
ME: Well, we’ll see. I’m more excited about next year. Most of the big useless contracts will finally be gone. And we might finally be done with Brandon Inge, too.
GUY: What? I love Inge! He’s awesome.
ME: Yeah, I hear that a lot but don’t get it. The guy can’t hit. And he’s overrated in the field, too.
GUY: What are you talking about? He hit .309 in 2006!
ME: No he didn’t.
GUY: Yes he did.
ME: No. He didn’t. He hit around .250, dude. (It was .253.) Look, I’ve kind of got some things to do…
GUY: You think I’m an idiot? Inge is my favorite player! He hit .309 in ’06, man. I remember because I was betting a buddy at the end of the year if he’d finish over .300.
ME: My bad, man. Take care.

This is why I drink. I picture guys like this posting comments at mLive, Yahoo, and on the Tigers home page. Ever read those comments? Look at what poor Ian had to deal with this week.

-Always A Tiger News via MLB Trade Rumors

The San Diego Padres signed Eric Munson to a minor league deal. Munson, as you may remember, was quite possibly the worst fielding third baseman in Tiger history a few years back. He has been a backup and minor league catcher in recent years. His brother, Roy, was profiled in the bowling movie “Kingpin” years ago.

Really…that’s it this week? Who is still a free agent that has played in Detroit? Glad you asked.

Paul Bako, catcher
Tony Clark, first base
Gary Sheffield, left field
Jarrod Washburn, pitcher
Troy Percival, relief pitcher
Jamie Walker, relief pitcher

Retirement is probably a possibility for all of them, with the exception of Washburn. I do hope that Sheff signs somewhere. He’s always good for material.

But, Plugs

-Congrats to Lee over at Tiger Tales. Lee’s got a book called “Beyond Batting Average” that just came out and you really should buy it immediately. Unlike most of us crappy bloggers, Lee knows his stuff and is the resident sabermetrics guy among the Tiger community. Why are you still reading my nonsense? Go buy Lee’s book!

-Fernando Rodney says that Game 163 affected the interest in his services as a free agent. I’m pretty sure the fact that Fernando Rodney sucks had a bit more to do with it.

-Kurt has put together a great look at the Tiger offseason and the reasoning behind the moves they made. Check it out.

-All Tiger moves this offseason are right here in case you've been living under a rock. Weirdo.

Until our next adventure...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The DNR 25: #10 Curtis Granderson

The DNR 25 is a list of my personal favorite Detroit Tigers players of the past 25 years. If you’ve missed any so far and care to catch up, here’s the previous five.

#15: Lance Parrish
#14: Frank Tanana
#13: Placido Polanco
#12: Darrell Evans
#11: Tony Phillips

And we have (finally) reached the Top Ten.


Full Name
Curtis Granderson

DOB
3/16/81

College
University of Illinois at Chicago

Drafted
2002, 3rd Round, Detroit Tigers

MLB Seasons
2004-present

Tiger Seasons
2004-2009

Career Stats
.272 Avg, 102 HR, 299 RBI, .828 OPS, 113 OPS+

Career Leaderboard
2009 AL All-Star
2007: 10th in MVP voting
2007: 3rd in Runs (122)
2007: 1st in Triples (23)
2008: 2nd in Runs (112)
2008: 1st in Triples (13)

Best Tiger Season
If 2006 was the year the Tiger fans discovered Curtis Granderson, then 2007 was the year they fell in love with him. He hit .302 with 22 homers and 66 RBI. Add on to that the 38 doubles, 23 triples, and 26 stolen bases (in 27 attempts), and Curtis had put together a historic season. He became the third man in baseball history to have at least 20 doubles, triples, homers and stolen bases, joining Willie Mays (1957) and Frank “Wildfire” Schulte (1911). His OPS in ’07 was .913 and his OPS+ was 135. Tiger fans thought they had finally found their “franchise” home grown player they had lacked since Alan Trammell. Weird how things can change so quickly…

Little Known Fact
Curtis grew up as a fan of the Atlanta Braves.

Reason For Being On The List
The answer to this is simple. Curtis Granderson was a heck of a ballplayer for us and an even better person. In a world where it is difficult for me to point to a famous athlete and be sure that I can tell my son that “right there is a guy you can look up to”, I feel confident that I can say so about Grandy.

He has become an ambassador for the game, both in the US and overseas. Granderson has traveled to far off places like China, South Africa, and Italy to teach kids and make folks aware of the game he loves. As a direct result, Bud Selig wrote Granderson a letter that read in part, “There are so many fine young men playing Major League baseball today, but I can think of no one who is better suited to represent our national pastime than you.” Amen.

We were lucky to have a guy like him in Detroit and I hope everyone enjoyed him as much as I did.

What Happened To Him?
Not sure. Let me know if you hear anything.

So, yeah, he’s a New York Yankee now. In the trade that made Detroit fans’ heads explode all over the country, Grandy was traded in the offseason to The Dark Side. He might end up being a left fielder for them. It’s doubtful that he’s going to be batting in the top half of the lineup anymore. And maybe it’s my natural bias against the New York fans, but I don’t think he is going to be appreciated half as much as he has for the past four years in Detroit.

It’s amazing that a guy impacted so many fans, both young and old, in only a few quick seasons, but Curtis Granderson accomplished that. I understand why the trade was made and I even supported it after it happened. The team comes first and baseball is a business. But it still doesn’t change the fact that I’m a Grandy fan for life and I wish him nothing but the best playing in Gothom and beyond.

Well, except for when he’s playing us. In that case, I hope the bastard strikes out every time up. And he probably will if there's a lefty on the mound. Harf...

Take care, Curtis. Thanks for letting us all be Grand Kids for a while.

Info ripped off of baseball-reference.com and Wikipedia.
Pics via Google.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The DNR 25: #11 Tony Phillips


Full Name
Keith Anthony Phillips

DOB
4/25/59

College
None (Roswell High School, Roswell, GA)

Drafted
1978, 1st Round, 10th pick, Montreal Expos

MLB Seasons
1982-1999

Tiger Seasons
1990-1994

Career Stats
.266 Avg, 160 HR, 819 RBI, .374 OBP, .763 OPS, 1319 BB, 109 OPS+

Career Leaderboard
All Time: 35th in Walks (1319)
1992: 1st in Runs (114)
1993: 1st in Walks (132)
1996: 1st in Walks (125)

Best Tiger Season
Tony the Tiger’s .443 OBP in 707 plate appearances during the 1993 season was amazing. He hit .313 with 7 homers, 57 RBI, and an OPS+ of 130. He led the AL in walks that year with 132. Phillips scored 113 runs, as well. Overall, he personified what the perfect leadoff hitter should be that season, something I’ve been thinking a lot about in all the Johnny Damon mania lately. Phillips finished 16th in the MVP race that season.

Little Known Fact
In 1993, Tony was the first player to have 100 or more hits, walks, runs, and strikeouts in the same season with less than 10 homers. He's still the only player to do so, for what it's worth.

Reason For Being On The List
Tony Phillips is simply the best leadoff hitter the Tigers have had in the past 25 years. Lou Whitaker and Curtis Granderson are remembered more fondly by Tiger fans, but in Tony’s time in Detroit, he had a .395 OBP, averaged 100 runs a season, and had a combined OPS of .800. Outstanding.

He did everything you want out of an unselfish leadoff hitter. The man got on base and got runs on the board. It sounds simple, but in modern baseball, chicks dig the long ball and the little things are overlooked. You don’t get many like Tony Phillips.

It’s even more amazing when you consider that Tony didn’t mind playing a different position every day if he was asked to. He logged a lot of time at second, short, third, DH, and outfield during his tenure. Imagine Ryan Raburn if he was good at everything...that was Tony Phillips.

What Happened To Him?
In April of 1995, Tony was traded for the California Angels’ Chad Curtis. Curtis was a younger, cheaper player, but in retrospect, it was a bad deal for the Tigers. Phillips would hit a career high 27 homers that year for the Angels. After that season, he joined the Chicago White Sox as a free agent. That didn’t last long as Tony was traded back to the Angels in May of 1997 with Chad Kreuter in exchange for a young catcher, Jorge Fabregas, and relief pitcher, Chuck McElroy.

Tony’s career was winding down as he was released by the Angels in April of 1998. A couple months later, he signed as a free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays, where he only played 13 games. Phillips was on the move a month later when the Jays traded him to the New York Mets for a guy named Leo Estrella. That December, Phillips re-signed with his orginal MLB team, the Oakland A’s, where he would play his final 106 games and have a respectable 108 OPS+ in 484 plate appearances.

Info ripped off of baseball-reference.com and Wikipedia.
Pic via Photobucket.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Johnny...Be Good

Well, the prick finally signed.

Good News: We finally have a left handed batter and a guy that can lead off.

Bad News: We're paying this clown $8 million, around $4 million more than the next highest reported offer. And there's a no trade clause. Ugh.

Good News: Damon put up excellent numbers last year.

Bad News: He played in that bandbox in New York where most of his homers were hit.

Good News: Either Clete Thomas or Don Kelly aren't going to make the team! Woo hoo!

Bad News: Ryan Raburn's playing time just went to hell.

Good News: I don't have to post this link to dirt on Damon's wife. Oops...

Bad News: I'll have to put my Johnny Damon "Hate" article on hold.

Hopefully for all of us, Johnny will in fact, be good. It's only one year, kids. We're a better team today than we were yesterday. It's not your pizza money paying for him.

Welcome to Detroit, Captain Caveman. It's not the most comsmopolitan place in the world, but at least Ozzie Guillen won't be your manager.

Now, excuse me. I have some reading to do.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger Droppings: 2/19/10


Top Story: Overpaid Athletes Report to Florida Against Their Will

It’s that time of year, kids. Pitchers and catchers are reporting for Spring Training. Screw the melting of snow or the days getting longer, this is the true first sign of Spring. And you can look all over the various Tiger sites to read the “feel good” stories out there. You can read how Joel Zumaya is feeling great this year. You know, like he does every Spring? You can read how Tom Brookens thinks Scotty Sizemore’s going to be better in the field this year because apparently Double A ballpark infields are made of rock formations and land mines. Perhaps you’ll even find one where Jim Leyland claims to really like his team this year. I love those. You can read plenty of those stories that mean nothing right now.

But that’s not why you come to DesigNate Robertson, is it? Oh, no. Well, just for you, my half dozen dear readers, Your Party Host dispatched one of his spies down to Lakeland, Florida and my dude turned up some great stuff. Here’s a list of several things that were overheard on the first day of pitchers and catchers reporting.

“Why is there a freaking gorilla on the field? Oh. The Avila kid forgot to shave again.”

“Gerald! Tell your grandpa to get the f-ck away from my wife!”

“Johnny Damon? Great. Just what this team needs, to waste money on a washed up piece of…oh, hey, Nate. Good to see you.”

“What you mean Glandelson tladed? He owe Ni hundled dorrals on Wolrd Selies bet!”

“Want to see JV go nuts? Remind him that Nate, Dontrelle, and Bondo are all each making almost twice what he is this year. It’s priceless.”

“Were Dombrowski and St. Pierre’s dad in ‘Nam together or something? Dude’s been invited to Spring Training for like ten years now.”

“Someone get Schertzer some sunglasses. Porcello’s scared of his eyes and won’t come out of the clubhouse.”

“Really? It’s spelled R-O-B-I-N-Z-O-N? What are you, some kinda fruit? Not that there’s anything wrong with that…”

“Brad Thomas? Wasn’t he the tall, grumpy brother on ‘Everyone Loves Raymond’?”

“Hey, Laird! Your brother just tried to beat up the bat boy. Hope you have bail money.”

“Zoom wants us all to get bombed before the other guys get here. You know Cabrera’s gonna be all preachy this year.”

“So…which one of us do you think is going to New York next?”

“Yeah, well my kid tried telling me he’s failing math because he has an anxioty disorder. So, I told that lazy, lying, sonofa…Dontrelle! Long time, no see! How ya feeling?”

“You’re an idiot. Porcello doesn’t look like The Situation.”

“For April Fool’s, I talked Dave into telling Nate they want to give him a four-year extension. It’s gonna be great.”

“Jim can’t smoke at the park starting in May. Fifty bucks says a reporter dies by June.”

“Phil Coke just asked me where the personal assistants, leather dugout seats, and candy dishes full of hundred dollar bills are. Stupid Yankees.”

“G-Money! Why’s your grandpa drooling and staring at my girlfriend’s ass?”

“Wait. One, two, thlee, foll, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, EREVEN reft-handels in camp? What the herr is going on alound hele? Ni is being sclewed.”

“Yeah, so Knapp’s over there teaching Valverde that to close in Detroit, he’s not going to be a success unless he starts walking a few more guys and allowing occasional hits. I don’t get it either, but that’s how Leyland likes it done.”

“Ohhh. Seay-Lyon! I get it now! Oh, well. Too late, I guess. Wait. Bobby, get Perry over here. How about Seay-Ryan? Huh? Just don’t say it in front of Fu. Apparently, that’s racist.”

“Cody? Casey? Robbie? Do any of these kids have a name that doesn’t sound like they’re in a boy band?”

“Rabello’s back? Jesus Christ, if I see Robert Fick or Randall Simon show up, I’m out of here.”

“Hey, I’ve got some tickets to the Phoenix/Orlando game coming up. Anyone want to go? No, not you, Gerald. Nothing personal.”


Yup. There’s some time taken out of your life that you’ll never get back. You’re welcome.

In Other News

-Johnny Not On The Spot

If Johnny Damon doesn’t end up signing with the Tigers, he might end up the most hated guy in Detroit sports history. Hell, the way things are going, he might end up like that no matter what.

In the past week, it has been reported that the White Sox have made it a two-team race with the Tigers for Damon’s services. Their offer is said to be at $4.5 million compared to the Tigers offer of $7 million, but the Damon/Boras camp is letting people know that Chicago might be where Johnny goes. It was said that Damon and his wife would prefer him to play in a more “cosmopolitan” city than Detroit. Chicago is certainly that. It is also home to thousands of people who have a diet consisting of primarily sausage, cheese, and cheese-filled sausage.

The sickest report that I read this week about Damon was the one that had him golfing on Monday with White Sox catcher and all-around douchebag, AJ Pierzynski, and the most annoying sports analyst on the planet, Hawk Harrellson of the Sox. Really, Johnny? Those two? Hell, I don’t even think Miguel Cabrera would be caught drinking with that pair.

Toward the end of the week, both Ken Rosenthal and Joe Cowley were reporting that the Sox had gone from longshots to favorites in the race for Damon’s services. However, Thursday, Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald reported that GM Ken Williams wasn’t willing to discuss the Sox’s interest in Damon. He is thinking this means that Johnny has chosen Detroit.

Whatever the case may be, I think I speak for everyone when I say HURRY THE F-CK UP AND MAKE UP YOUR F-CKING MIND, JOHNNY! If Damon were a girl I was trying to pick up in a bar, I’d have left a long time ago and would be in jail facing stalking charges on another chick by now. That's just how I roll.

If by chance Damon doesn’t sign, at this point there are only a couple left-handed bats left on the free agent scrap heap. Carlos Delgado, Russell Branyon, Hank Blalock, Felipe Lopez, and Garret Anderson are the only ones I’ve seen that might be capable of making any kind of impact. Delgado’s saying he’s going to wait a couple months, from what I’ve read. Branyon has narrowed his choices down to the Indians and Rays, according to reports. Anderson’s older than dirt. So, Blalock and Lopez may our only choices left if Ozzie’s Filthy Sox land Damon.

Is it 2011 yet?

-Dude, Where’s My Balls?

Our Hero reportedly had groin surgery in November due to lasting discomfort from his prior surgery. Life keeps kicking Nate Robertson in the balls. Perhaps I should give him a break.

Just one more year of him...

-The Further Adventures of The Marlboro Man

Jim Leyland said that umpire Randy Marsh apologized to him for missing Brandon Inge getting hit by a pitch in a pivotal moment of Game 163. Randy Marsh still remains on my list of people to kill when I finally lose it. I don’t care how funny he is on South Park.

Leyland also admitted this week that he may cheat when the smoking ban hits Michigan on May 1st. As someone that works in a bar, those fines add up quickly if you get caught. Leyland could end up the most fined person in Detroit sports history since the Bad Boys days of the Pistons. Be careful, Jimbo.

-Designate One of These Clowns

The following Tigers are out of options and have less than five years of service time: Don Kelly, Brad Thomas, Bobby Seay, and Ramon Santiago. They would have to clear waivers before being sent to the minors if the Tigers decide they don’t have room for them. Well, Ramon and Bobby aren’t going anywhere, unless it’s a trade. Kelly is garbage. I say cut him now. As for Thomas, I can’t see him making the team, but I know about as much about him as I do about brain surgery.

-Always A Tiger News via MLB Trade Rumors

Cody Ross won his arbitration hearing with the Marlins. He’s going to pull in $4.45 million instead of the $4.2 million that the Fish offered him. Only in Florida would there be arbitration case over such a small amount. Yet those pricks have two recent World Series wins. Sometimes I hate baseball.

MLB.com’s Bill Ladson wrote that Gary Sheffield would not be a good fit for the Nationals as he wants to play every day. Ladson spoke to a source who believes that Sheff won’t accept a role as a backup. You know, Gary might be a pain in the ass, but you have to respect his complete lack of understanding reality. Him and Pudge are two of a kind. Wait, Washington signed Pudge…why not Sheff? That would be an awesome trainwreck to watch.

Jair Jurrjens needs a scan to determine the cause of soreness in his right shoulder. You see? Double D is never wrong! Goodbye, Jair. Nice to know you. Wait…we got Renteria for him. Call it a push, then?

The Diamondbacks and Edwin Jackson avoided arbitration, agreeing to a two-year, $13.35 million deal. EJax will get $4.2 million this year and $8.35 next year. He also receives an $800K signing bonus. Good for Edwin. He pitched Nate-like at times in the second half, but his awesome first half was a big reason we were there at the end.

Congrats to my least favorite Tiger position player not named Don Kelly, as Clete Thomas and his wife Susie had a kid on 1/30. They named it Brooks Massey Thomas. Brooks is Susie’s maiden name and Massey is Clete’s grandfather’s name. Rumor has it that the kid already has a better swing at the plate than Clete does.

But, Plugs

Eff that. No one ever plugs me. And I'm tired. And a deaf guy did karaoke at my bar tonight. And they played that SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS song. I'm miserable.

See you next time when we discuss how the Padres or someone else stupid is in the Damon sweepstakes. Until then, think warm, be good, and pray that Zumaya doesn’t blow up his shoulder on the first fastball he throws.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The DNR 25: #12 Darrell Evans


Full Name
Darrell Wayne Evans

DOB
5/26/47

College
None (John Muir High School, Pasadena, CA)

Drafted
1967, 7th Round, Kansas City Athletics

MLB Seasons
1969-1989

Tiger Seasons
1984-1988

Career Stats
.248 Avg, 414 HR, 1354 RBI, .792 OPS, 119 OPS+, 1605 BB

Career Leaderboard
2 time All-Star (1973, 1983)
12th all time in walks (1605)
42nd all time in HR (414)
1973: 1st in walks (124)
1974: 1st in walks (126)
1985: 1st in HR (40)

Best Tiger Season
1985 and 1987 were both monster seasons for Darrell, but ’85 was the year I fell in love with him as a player. His 137 OPS+ that year was the third highest of his 21 year career. He hit a league leading 40 homers with 94 RBI, and only struck out 85 times in 594 plate appearances.

Evans finished 14th in the MVP voting that year and at the time was the oldest guy to ever hit 40 home runs.

Little Known Fact
Evans was actually drafted four other times before the Athletics signed him. First, it was the Cubs in the 13th round in 1965. In the January Secondary Draft of 1966, the Yankees drafted him in the 2nd round. In June, he was drafted by the Tigers in the 5th round. In January, 1967, he was drafted by the Phillies in the 3rd round. And finally, the A’s took him in June of ’67 and signed him. Oddly enough, he would be drafted again by the Atlanta Braves in the 1968 Rule 5 Draft.

Reason For Being On The List
Darrell is this high for me because he was the first OPS guy that I ever liked, before I knew what OPS was. In fact, Bill James once described Evans as the most underrated player in baseball history due to his defensive skill, power at the plate, and the amount of walks he drew. He was the first guy in history to hit 40 homers in a season in both the AL and the NL. Only Darrell’s low .248 career batting average keeps him from being discussed as one of the game’s better all around power hitters.

When I think of Evans, I always think of him leading the pack running out of the dugout when the Tigers won the World Series in ’84.

What Happened To Him?
Darrell left after the 1988 season for free agency, signing with his original MLB team, the Braves in December. He played his final 107 games in Atlanta in 1989 hitting .207 with 11 homers and 39 RBI.

Today, Evans is the manager and director of player personnel for the Victoria Seals of the Golden Baseball League.

Info ripped off of baseball-reference.com and Wikipedia.
Pics via Photobucket.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The DNR 25: #13 Placido Polanco


Full Name
Placido Enrique Polanco

DOB
10/10/75

College
None (Santa Clara High School, Santo Domingo, DR)

Drafted
1994, 19th Round, St. Louis Cardinals

MLB Seasons
1998-present

Tiger Seasons
2005-2009

Career Stats
.303 Avg, 90 HR, 579 RBI, .761 OPS, 98 OPS+

Career Leaderboard
2 time Gold Glove winner (2007, 2009)
2006 ALCS MVP
2007 AL All-Star
2007 Silver Slugger
1st in at bats/strikeout (2006-2008)

Best Tiger Season
At his worst, Placido Polanco is a guy that will hit .285, move runners along, and not strike out much. In 2007, Polly was at his best. He hit .341 with 9 homers and 67 RBI. Polanco’s first gold glove was won along with his errorless streak record for a second baseman in ‘07. His OBP was .458, a career high. And he hit 36 doubles and only struck out 30 times in 587 at bats.

Hit ability to make contact is something the Tigers are really going to miss in 2010 more than I think most people realize.

Little Known Fact
Albert Pujols is the godfather of Placido’s son, Ismael.


Reason For Being On The List
Have you seen the shape of his head? Awesome. How could he not be on this list?

Well, on top of that, the guy was really good for us over 4+ years. We traded jailbird/murderer Ugueth Urbina to Philly for him, not realizing what a treat he would be as a player to watch. Polanco always seemed to be on base, he was great in the field, and a good guy in the clubhouse.

Like many people on this list, though, Polly’s true legacy to me as a Tiger will be for his play in 2006. In the playoffs, he hit .412 against the Yankees and .529 against the A’s to get us to the World Series, winning the ALCS MVP along the way. Granted, against the stupid Cardinals, Polanco would go 0-17, a level of suck that not even Brandon Inge could pull off. But considering what he did to get the Tigers to that point, it’s something that I, and I think most Tiger fans, easily forgave him for.

While not one of the biggest, best, or charismatic Tigers of the last 25 years, Placido Polanco was a guy that you couldn’t help rooting for.

What Happened To Him?
Sigh. Mr. Potato Head signed himself a deal with the NL Champion Phillies and looks to be their third baseman the next two years. This upsets me not because the man has moved on, but for the fact that we had a cripple playing third for months last year when Polly could have been there. Also, the Tigers could have seen what they have in unproven rookie Scott Sizemore a year sooner. Oh, well.

At least he didn’t end up with the Twins, an early rumor of the offseason. That would have been difficult to swallow.

Good luck in Philly, Polly. With those fans, you’re going to need it.

Info ripped off of baseball-reference.com and Wikipedia.
Pics via Google.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Know Thy Enemy: Scott Boras


Scott Boras (pictured above) has been at the center of all the Johnny Damon/Detroit Tiger talks lately. The uber-agent, famous for sucking every cent out of baseball owners for his clients, refuses to get anything but top dollar for Damon's services. And really, why shouldn't he? That's his job.

But everyone hates Scott Boras. Owners, general managers, sportswriters, fans, even many players can't stand the guy. I'll bet his own mother wrinkles her nose when she hears his name. Many folks say he is bad for the game. So, this all got me interested in something. Exactly who (or what) is Scott Boras?

Boras was born (or hatched?) in Sacramento, CA in November, 1952. For those of you who think Brandon Inge is good and don't understand mathematics, that makes him 57 years old. He attended the University of Pacific on a baseball scholarship and even led the team with a .312 batting average in 1972. To this day, the team’s most improved player award is named after him.

Following his college career, he would go on to play four years in the minor league systems of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. However, knee problems would end his baseball dreams and he would return to school and graduate with his law degree in 1982. After law school, Boras worked as an associate in the pharmaceutical defense department of the Chicago firm Rooks, Pitts & Poust, defending drug companies against class-action lawsuits. I guess you can trace his first bits of evil to that time.

Boras's start as an agent came representing Mike Fischlin, a former high school teammate and major league shortstop for the Cleveland Indians, and Bill Caudill, a former minor league teammate and closer for the Seattle Mariners, both of whom now work for Boras. Caudill would be the guy that put Scott on the map when Boras later negotiated a $7.5 million deal with the Blue Jays for him in the mid-80’s. That made Caudill the second highest paid reliever in the game. Shortly after, Boras left his job at the law firm and made being an agent his full-time job.

Close to thirty years later, Boras has had a big part in changing how baseball players are paid, for better or worse. He negotiated baseball’s first $50 million contract for Greg Maddux in 1997 (5 years/$57.5 million). In 1998, he delivered the first $100 million deal for Kevin Brown (7 years/$105 million). And in 2000, he would trump himself with Alex Rodriguez’s 10 year/$252 million deal, the biggest in history.

Like him or not, the man does his job. He gets every dollar he can for his players, whether they deserve it or not. Many of baseball’s biggest bust contracts have been to Boras clients. Todd Van Poppel got a then record of $1.2 million after the 1990 draft. The next year, Yankee legend Brien Taylor would beat that with $1.55 million thanks to Boras. The Kevin Brown deal mentioned above is among the worst in history for the Dodgers. Well, it was until Boras got LA to pay Darren Dreifort $55 million over 5 years in 2000.

Moving on to 2004, Boras got one-year-wonder, Adrian Beltre a 5 year/$64 million deal with Seattle. The next year, he struck Magglio Ordonez’s deal with Detroit and Kevin Millwood’s 5 year/$60 million deal in Texas. I don’t want to crap on my boy Maggs here, but many think that is one of the deals haunting the Tigers today.

And perhaps the worst deal a team has ever signed (sorry, Mike Hampton) was to a Boras client in 2006. Barry Zito, who has an arm that Johnny Damon laughs at, signed a 7 year/$126 million deal to pitch for the San Francisco Giants. How Boras pulled this one off is unbelievable to me. It’s probably more unbelievable to Giants fans.

Oh, and to show that some teams never learn, Boras got the Dodgers again in 2007 when they gave Andruw Jones a 2 year/$36.2 million deal to strike out a lot and get fatter every day. Luckily for us, he is going to be the White Sox DH this season. Thanks, Scott!

Tiger fans know Scott Boras well. Rick Porcello’s deal out of the draft was done by Boras. Boras just got Jacob Turner $4.7 a million signing bonus from Detroit, the biggest ever for a high school pitcher. Current Tigers Gerald Laird, Zach Miner, Max Scherzer, Bobby Seay, and Ordonez are all represented by him. Some ex-Tigers still playing that are clients of him include Edwin Jackson, Jair Jurrjens, Carlos Pena, Pudge Rodriguez, Dane Sardinha, Jarrod Washburn, and Jeff Weaver.

And now we come to Johnny Damon. People are upset that the guy hasn’t signed. They think he’s crazy to just not jump on the Tigers’ deal, whatever it may be. But why should he? It’s not spring training yet. He has Scott Boras, evil genius, on his side. You never know what the man will end up getting for you. Like him or not, more often than not, the guy gets what he wants.

He’d be my agent if I could hit a baseball out of the infield.

And finally, just for fun, here’s a quick list of other famous people that may or may not be represented by Scott Boras.*

-Satan
-Brett Favre
-The Jonas Brothers
-Adolph Hitler’s grandchildren
-OJ Simpson
-Sean Hannity
-The shark in Jaws
-Michael Vick
-Latrell Sprewell
-Freddy Krueger
-Peter King
-Rick Reilly
-Jigsaw
-Joe Buck
-Ozzie Guillen
-Joe Mauer’s right sideburn
-Bono
-Michael Irvin
-Claude Lemieux
-Luke Scott (only when playing Detroit)
-Bill Simmons
-That chick that wrote the Twilight books
-Darth Vader (Jeter?)
-Lynn Henning
-Drew Sharp

*They’re not…that I know of.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tiger Droppings: 2/12/10


Top Story: Looks Like Jesus, Throws Like Mary…But He Isn’t Grandy!

This week’s Tiger news was dominated by the growing rumors that Johnny Damon will be the newest guy wearing the Old English D in 2010. Sure, the Braves, Rays, and White Sox all have offered close to the same one year/$4 million deal, but the Tigers continue to flash money like Pacman Jones in a strip club this offseason.

The latest reports from guys like Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal have the Tigers offering Damon 1 year/$7 million or 2 years/$14 million. We may have even agreed on a deal with him by the time you are reading this. That's how close it seems to be. How does evil agent (and baby seal clubber) Scott Boras keep getting Mike Ilitch and Dave Dombrowski to seemingly overpay for his guys every year?

Boras: hey. workin?
Dombrowski: yup =[
Boras: sux i wanted another snow day :P
Dombrowski: me too =[[[
Boras: sooo u think im fat?
Dombrowski: nooooo! whatev!!!
Boras: lol thanx. btw jd still likes u. and hockey lolz
Dombrowski: omg that’s crazzzzy
Boras: no he said red wings rulz
Dombrowski: k. well mr i sez maybe $14 mil
Boras: wowww
Boras: how bout $18 mil
Dombrowski: dude yer gay
Boras: not kewl
Dombrowski: sorry
Boras: ill talk to jd again
Dombrowski: k hurry up
Boras: ummm how bout Sheff too????
Dombrowski: f u!!!!!!
Boras: lol k. team edward rulzzzzzzz!!!
Dombrowski: ugh…jacob is hawterrr.
Dombrowski: ttyl
Boras: seeya

I apologize. It worked last week.

Anyway, the biggest complaint I’ve seen and heard from Tiger writers, bloggers, and fans is quite simply: Johnny Damon is not Curtis Granderson. Everyone has yet to get over Grandy being shipped off to the Yanks in the offseason’s biggest trade. And as I’ve said before, I was and will remain a big Granderson fan. Much like Tony Romo in the NFL, Granderson consistently leads the league in smiles every year. But smiles don’t win ballgames. Just look at the 2009 numbers, kids.

Granderson: .249 Avg, 30 HR, 71 RBI, .327 OBP, .780 OPS, 100 OPS+
Damon: .282 Avg, 24 HR, 82 RBI, .365 OBP, .854 OPS, 126 OPS+

Damon is the type of leadoff hitter that Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski wanted the stubborn Granderson to be last year. And I know, you want to blame the bandbox stadium that Johnny played in for his better numbers, but keep in mind that he was facing the Red Sox, Rays, and Blue Jays pitching staffs most of the time. Granderson was facing the Royals, Indians, and White Sox. That’s quite a difference in quality and pressure. Damon also hit .269 with a .776 OPS against left handed pitchers in 171 at bats. Granderson hit .183 with a .484 OPS in 180 at bats against lefties.

He might be older, but Johnny Damon is a better hitter than Curtis Granderson. And as for defense? Sure, Damon’s not what he used to be. But Granderson isn’t the guy that robbed Grady Sizemore on every single play, either. I’ll live with the trade off. It’s not like Carlos Guillen, Ryan Raburn, Clete Thomas, or Don Kelly are going to win a Gold Glove in left for us.

And by the way, Damon had six assists from the outfield last year. Granderson only had four.

Live with it. Granderson’s gone. Embrace your new hero, Johnny Damon. He just might lead us to the AL Central title this year, or more.

Oh, just one more thing on this. If he ends up signing with Atlanta or elsewhere, forget everything I just said. He sucks.

In Other News

-I Want My FSD

Fox Sports Detroit released their baseball schedule for the season. Overall, FSD will be showing 157 games, with another four being shown on Fox’s Saturday Baseball broadcasts. That leaves one game out, which is the April 7th game against the Royals. Really? The second game of the year, preempted for the crappy Red Wings or the crappier Pistons? Eat a dead dog’s ass, Fox Detroit!

More than likely, that means we can’t watch either Dreamboat Rick’s first start of the year, or even worse, the Tiger debut of Max Scherzer. It’s bad enough that we have to start the year getting shut out by Zach Greinke, but now we’re in the dark for Game 2? This is another reason why I’m an Avalanche and Bulls fan. It keeps things simple for my baseball watching.

On the bright side, FSD will be showing four spring games this year. Last year, I think we only got two. I know a lot of people get bored watching the preseason games, but not me. Remember, I live in Toledo. I like getting a peek at who I’m going to have to suffer through watching on my hometown Hens.

As far as I know, the FSD team will remain the same for this season. They are as follows.

Mario Impemba: Play by play, bad jokes, and awkward silences.
Rod Allen: Analysis, silliness, and the Rod Allen Drinking Game.
John Keating: Studio host, bad puns, matching tie and hanky.
Mickey York: Studio host, pompous attitude, Oscar nomination for “The Wrestler”.
Trevor Thompson: Postgame interviews, goofy smiles, only black guy from Canada references.
Ryan Field: Postgame activities, knowing winks, hair care tips.

Seriously, Ryan Field has the best hair on television. And did you know that he has won five Michigan Emmys? How is that possible? He’s only 19 years old! But that hair…I bet he spends five hours getting it to look like that.

-Classy Man Gets Classy Award

No jokes on this one, as always with The Great One. Ernie Harwell is being honored with the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting by Fordham University on May 5th in New York. Ernie is the third man to win the award after Mr. Scully himself and CBS Sports’ Dick Enberg last year. No one deserves it more. Congrats, Ernie!

-Always A Tiger Updates via MLB Trade Rumors

Edwin Jackson and the Arizona Diamondbacks cannot agree on a deal and will be heading to arbitration. You see? Don’t ever question Double D! Jackson needed to go! He’s greedy and out for himself! Keep these selfish a-holes out of Detroit! Now back to that Johnny Damon fellow…

The Twins reached a deal with ex-Tiger failure, Jacque Jones on a minor league deal. Really? Another lefty for the Twins? And a terrible one at that? Bout time. Then again, Jones has only played well in his career as a Twin. He might rub his bat on Joe Mauer’s sideburns and hit .400 this year. Why didn’t Bud Selig contract the Twins when he had a chance?

The New York Yankees (sigh) signed Marcus Thames to a minor league deal that will pay the big man $900K if he makes the team. Do any of you ever feel like you’re just trying to go to school and the big bully Yankees keep stealing your lunch money? No? I hate you people…

There’s word that the Royals are going to give Kyle Farnsworth a chance at being a starter this year. Talklasda;ghqewuioc.cgal;lkfagfiof;sdvmmaiv



Sorry. I had so many jokes come into my head at the same time that I think I may have had a stroke. Let’s take this puppy home.

But, Plugs

-Roar of the Tigers talks about Jeremy Bonderman’s new ugly tattoos. Now, dammit, this is all that idiot Brandon Inge’s fault. Bondo’s a moron and copied off of Inge. This is exactly why I liked having a prick like Gary Sheffield on the team. He wouldn’t have let this kind of crap go on. He would have ridiculed them and possibly have beaten them to death with a baseball bat for getting ugly tattoos like that. Lame. And exactly who is the team leader now? Guillen? Ordonez? No one’s going to listen to them! I may hate Derek Jeter, but he wouldn’t have let Robinson Cano show up one day looking like a brain damaged four-year-old scribbled all over him. Geez…

-John hasn’t quit on Motor City Bengals yet and gives a look at some other ex-Tigers and where they’ll be sucking in 2010. The Astros really gave Chris Shelton a deal? I thought he was retired and filming a part as Sloth in “The Goonies 2”.

-Ian Casselberry is a jerk sometimes. Just when I was getting over Game 163, he decides to help me go through it all over again. I used to like you, Ian. So, to answer your question: No. I haven't gotten over Game 163 yet. Thanks for asking.

-The Spotstarters put together a list of the Tigers All-Bum squad of the past 20 years. Inge at catcher? Check. Deivi Cruz at short? Oh, yeah. Nate at pitcher? Wait...no pitchers? Blake, I think your work is not done yet, my friend.

-Hotstove.com emailed Your Party Host and a few other bloggers for our thoughts on the Verlander contract. Check out our responses here. Also, please note that I didn’t make any dumb jokes, curse, or embarrass myself in any way, unless you count my trademark run-on sentences and unnecessary commas.

Don’t worry, that changes this week as they have asked us our thoughts on if we think we’ve seen the best of Brandon Inge yet. Everyone’s thoughts should be up over there sometime after 5:00 Friday evening.

Pop quiz for you, kids. Which word did I use in my rambling answer to the Inge question?

A) Pathetic
B) Ridiculous
C) Overrated
D) All of the above

Here’s a hint: It’s D. If you didn’t know that, you haven’t been paying attention.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The DNR 25: #14 Frank Tanana


Full Name
Frank Daryl Tanana

DOB
7/3/53

College
None (Catholic Central, Detroit, MI)

Drafted
1971, 1st Round, 13th pick, California Angels

MLB Seasons
1973-1993

Tiger Seasons
1985-1992

Career Stats
240-236, 3.66 ERA, 106 ERA+, 2773 K’s

Career Leaderboard
3 time All Star (’76, ’77, ‘78)
1975: 4th in Cy Young voting
1975: 1st in Strikeouts (269)
1976: 3rd in Cy Young voting
1976: 1st in WHIP (.988)
1977: 1st in ERA (2.54)
1977: 1st in Shutouts (7)

Best Tiger Season
This is a tough call for Frank, as he was pretty solid and consistent for all of his years in a Tiger uniform. But 1987 was the most important year in Tanana’s time with the team and his 1-0 complete game shutout pitched on the last game of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays gave the Tigers their last AL East title.

Overall in ’87, Frank went 15-10, with a 3.91 ERA, a 109 ERA+, and 3 shutouts.

Little Known Fact
Tanana is one of only two pitchers (the other being Rick Reuschel) to surrender homers to both Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds.

Reason For Being On The List
Tanana started his career with the Angels as a guy that could hit 100 mph on the gun with regularity. He and Nolan Ryan combined to be one of the best one-two punches in baseball. There was a saying back then of “Tanana and Ryan and two days of cryin’” to describe the 1973-1979 pitching combination. But that’s not the Frank Tanana that I remember.

The Tanana I know was like Eddie Harris, the aging Indians pitcher in “Major League”. After Frank suffered an arm injury in the middle of his career, he had to reinvent himself as a finesse pitcher. He threw every piece of junk he could think of to get guys out. His slow curve was something that amazed me as a kid. I loved the guy.

Tanana was the first pitcher to show me that it wasn’t always the guy that threw the hardest that could get batters out, but a guy with smarts could do just as well, if not better. I wish Joel Zumaya could learn that lesson…or just stay healthy.

What Happened To Him?
Tanana signed as a free agent with the New York Mets in the winter of 1992. In September of the next year, Tanana was traded to the New York Yankees where he finished his career going 0-2 with a 3.20 ERA in three games for the Bombers.

Frank’s been married to his wife, Cathy, since 1978. They have four children. Both Frank and Cathy serve on the Pro Athletes Outreach board of directors. They’re also involved in Home Plate and Career Impact ministries. They live in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

In 2006, Tanana was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

Info ripped off of baseball-reference.com and Wikipedia.
Pics via Google.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tiger Droppings: 2/5/10


Top Story: Everybody’s Got a Price!

Hey. Did you hear about the big signing? Yes, after weeks of speculation, the deal is done. Finally, we can put all the questions to rest. Will the Tigers give him a long term deal? Does he want to be in Detroit? How will the deal affect the rest of the guys on the team? How much will he get out of Dombrowski?

Yes, Adam Kennedy has officially signed a deal with the Washington Nationals instead of Detroit!

Harf.

Of course, I’m referring to the 5 year, $80 million extension signed by Justin Verlander with the Tigers. Everyone’s favorite death-stare giving fireball pitcher will be wearing the D for quite a while, it seems. Or he will at least until the Yankees come calling, but that’s a story for another time.

JV’s big deal breaks down like this. In 2010, he’ll be underpaid at $6.75 million. In 2011, it jumps to $12.75 million. From 2012-2014, Justin’s going to be banking at $20 million per year. Overall, he’ll get $2 million more than the younger, possibly better Felix Hernandez will receive from the Mariners in his five year extension. Not bad for a guy who two years ago had a 4.84 ERA and led the league in losses.

But make no mistake, I’m not going to crap all over this deal. It had to be done. Something had to be done to pacify a fanbase that has been growing more paranoid every day this offseason. I mean, first, the most popular player on the Tigers, Curtis Granderson, gets traded. The team’s best player, Miguel Cabrera, is viewed as a drunk that no one can count on. The second most popular player (for whatever reason), Brandon Inge, has a contract up after this year. Nate Robertson is still alive. And we still haven’t seen anything done to help boost what looks to be a terrible offense.

Enter Verlander’s deal. Of course, locking up the best pitcher Detroit has seen in decades was going to eventually be a top priority for the ugly sweater wearing general manager in Tigertown. But after the events of the past few months, it needed to be done before the torches and pitchforks were marched up to the doors of Comerica Park on Opening Day. Tiger fans are happy again, the Free Press and Detroit News writers are celebrating, and I’m sure JV is smiling for once.

But if he ends up pulling a Jeremy Bonderman, Dave Dombrowski is screwed. And so are all of us.

In Other News

-Take My Aging Outfielder, Please

Noted hater of puppies, kittens, and anything most humans find nice, agent Scott Boras keeps on trying to sell the Tigers on noodle-armed, overrated outfielder, Johnny Damon. Yes, I’ve said here before that I’d like to see the former Captain Caveman as a Tiger this year, but that’s only because the other free agent options are so terrible. If Damon can be had at under $5 million, I say give it a shot. Anything to keep Clete Thomas’ involvement with the offense to a minimum.

Boras is still set on getting a two year deal for his client, but the Tigers are only rumored to be considering a one year deal. No one really knows how much contact has been made between the two sides, but I like to imagine it as Boras and Dombrowski texting like they’re 15 year old girls.

BORAS: i think johnny likes u. lol
DOMBROWSKI: omg rilly???
BORAS: yup. can help tigers be winners.
DOMBROWSKI: wow…wuts he want?
BORAS: 2 yrs. 15 mil.
DOMBROWSKI: LOLZ
BORAS: NO!!! im sooooooo for realz!!!
DOMBROWSKI: ummmmmmmmm
BORAS: plz?
DOMBROWSKI: damon sux lol. u r crazzzzzzzyyyyyy!
BORAS: omg yer mean. :P
DOMBROWSKI: 1 year maybe. he iz cuteeee
BORAS: i know!!! so hawt!!! lemmie know asap. k?
DOMBROWSKI: k…ttyl. jersey shores comin on. L8RS!

It was either that bit or going with the image of Damon being at a dog show with Dave as one of the judges…peering into his mouth, cupping his testicles, etc. I think I went with the classy approach for once.

-Minnesota Sucks For Reasons Other Than Brett Favre

Those pricks did it again. This time, the Minnesota Twins have signed Orlando Hudson to a one year, $5 million deal for 2010. Dammit. That’s quite the upgrade over Nick Punto, who makes Adam Everett look like Derek Jeter at the plate. The Twinkies apparently were outbid by the Racist Logos of Cleveland, but Hudson rightfully realized that his chances of being on a winner were better in the Land ‘o’ Lakes. If the Twins maintain consistent pitching this year, they could win this division by a dozen games.

The odd thing about their team, though, is how many left-handed hitters they’re going to be trotting out there. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jim Thome, Jason Kubel, Denard Span, and now Hudson are all coming from the left side. So THAT’S why Dave’s been stockpiling all the lefty relievers! And you all doubted him.

Sigh.

Add in Delmon Young, Michael Cuddyer, and the other new guy in the infield, JJ Hardy, and the Twins are looking mighty tough, even without their abortion of a Metrodome. Just pray for horrible, painful injuries for the M & M boys. I know I will be. If Morneau can hurt himself playing hockey or ice fishing, and Mauer gets a sprained sideburn or two while staring in the mirror, we’ll have a fighting chance.

Keep your fingers crossed, kids.

-Always A Tiger Updates via MLB Trade Rumors

Jeff Weaver re-signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a minor league deal that’ll pay him $800K plus another possible $100K in bonuses. Remember when he was our ace of the future? Glad we didn’t give that clown $80 million.

Gary Sheffield is reported to be considering two unidentified teams and waiting on offers from each of them. Yeah, me too, Sheff. Retire, dude. What are you trying to prove?

Frank Catalanotto signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets. The Brewers and Marlins had been interested in him, too. After all these years, I am still not capable of spelling “Catalanotto” without reading it off of a piece of paper as I type it.

Jon Paul Morosi tweeted that Craig Monroe is not ready to retire and is looking for a team to play for. Craig has spent the past three seasons trying to find out what happened to the limited ability that he actually once had. But I wish him good luck…Craig’s always seemed like a nice guy.

But, Plugs

-The only guy I know that moves around more than Gary Sheffield, John Parent, has switched blogs once again! John is taking over the main posting duties at Motor City Bengals, while Joe Dexter will still be around for his weekly podcasts. Stop by there if you haven't had a chance. Good luck with your new position, John. I look forward to seeing you at The Spotstarters in three months. Ha.

-Speaking of The Spotstarters, Blake’s inability to post more than once a week has led him to, of course, start a new site called Fans of Mediocrity. It’s actually a fun concept as they’ll be profiling athletes that have kind of faded into history that you probably haven’t thought about in years. Definitely some fun reads over there so far.

-It’s almost a week old now, but The Freep has a piece up that is by far the best thing I’ve read over there. Of course, it was written by a reader and not them. Warning, though, if you’re a Brandon Inge fan, you won’t want to read it. Then again, if you’re an Inge fan, why the hell are you reading me?

-Drew Sharp annoys me. Yes, we're happy about the deal. But don't try and convince me that Justin Verlander is the face of the city of Detroit, all of the sudden. What is a "Detroit Man" anyway? When I think of the men of Detroit, I sure as hell don't think of guys walking around with $80 million coming to them. Die in a fire, Drew. Sorry, it's past 5am and I'm tired and fussy.

-Lynn Henning’s reaction to the Verlander deal was, of course, to start talking crap about Curtis Granderson again. Come the frick on, Lynn. Look, I, for the most part, agree with you about Grandy, okay? But for crissakes, let it go. Does the man owe you money or something?

-Kurt at Bless You Boys offers his opinion on Johnny Damon’s status after Double D made some comments on adding to the offense. I tend to agree with him, here. It feels a lot like the week or so before Pudge Rodriguez signed with the Tigers. You constantly heard about the rumors, you just wanted it to end, and he ended up signing. Just get the deal done if you’re going to do it, guys.

-Interested in how several Yankee bloggers feel about the Granderson trade? Yeah, I don't really care about Yankee fans, either. But hotstove.com has several of their reactions right here.

That’s it for me, kids. Email me at rogoisgod@yahoo.com if there’s anything you think I should comment on in these Tiger Dropping things or something you think should be linked. I’m not the most organized person in the world, if you couldn’t tell. Stay warm, stay safe, and don’t eat the yellow snow.

L8RS…lol

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The DNR 25: #15 Lance Parrish

The DNR 25 is a list of my personal favorite Detroit Tigers players of the past 25 years. If you’ve missed any so far and care to catch up, here’s the previous five.

#16: Kenny Rogers
#17: Travis Fryman
#18: Tom Brookens
#19: Ivan Rodriguez
#20: Jack Morris

And on with the list…

Full Name
Lance Michael Parrish

DOB
6/15/56

College
None (Walnut High School, Diamond Bar, CA)

Drafted
1974, 1st Round, 16th pick, Detroit Tigers

MLB Seasons
1977-1995

Tiger Seasons
1977-1986

Career Stats
.252 Avg, 324 HR, 1070 RBI, .753 OPS, 106 OPS+

Career Leaderboard
8-time All Star
3-time Gold Glover Winner
6-time Silver Slugger
1983: 3rd in Doubles (42)
1984: 3rd in Home Runs (33)

Best Tiger Season
”The Big Wheel” turned in many good seasons in Detroit. That’s why he his still so fondly remembered today by those of us that started watching Tiger baseball before 2006...jerks. However, my choice as his best season was 1982. That season, he hit a career high .284 in 486 at bats. He also belted 32 homers, had 87 RBI, an OPS of .867, and his OPS+ was 135, again the highest of his career.

Parrish would have double digits in homers from 1978-1992, which is quite remarkable for a catcher, especially in that era.

Little Known Fact
Lance’s son David was drafted in 2000 by the New York Yankees ahead of such current stars as Adam Wainwright, Cliff Lee, Jason Bay, and Grady Sizemore. He is currently in the Texas Rangers organization.


Reason For Being On The List
This isn’t a tough one. When I started playing baseball in '85 or ’86, I was the starting catcher. I was the team’s cleanup hitter. I was also the biggest guy on the team.

That’s what she said!

Um, anyway, so was Lance with the Tigers. Naturally, I was immediately drawn to Parrish and tried to imitate him, like all kids do with their heroes, I guess. Over time, I would end up liking many of the mid-80’s Tiger players more, but Lance was the first.

Oh yeah, he was a hell of a player, too. But he wasn’t an all-time great, if you believe baseball writers, as he only received 1.7% of the votes for the Hall of Fame in 2001. He remains 5th all time in homers as a catcher, though, with 299.

What Happened To Him?
Try to stick with me here. Lance moved around a lot more than I remembered before looking all this stuff up.

In March of 1987, Parrish signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies. They even made their slogan that year “Lance Us A Pennant”. He didn’t deliver as the Phillie fans expected, and it didn’t take long for him to fall out of favor with them. Imagine that, Philadelphia fans booing their players. They should burn that stupid city down. Then bomb it to make sure there are no survivors.

In October of 1988, Lance was traded to the then California Angels for a guy named David Heldridge. After a few mediocre years in La-La Land, he was released in June of 1992. Five days later, Parrish signed with the Seattle Mariners, where he never actually played in a big league game.

The next season, Lance signed in January with the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, that was the year that Mike Piazza exploded out of nowhere and LA decided to break Spring Training with him instead of Parrish. In May, he was released and quickly signed by the Cleveland Indians, where he played a grand total of ten games.

His next stop, sort of, was back in Detroit, as the Tigers re-signed him in February of 1994. Any chances for nostalgia didn’t last long as the Pittsburgh Pirates purchased him from Detroit on April 30th. He played 40 games that year for the Pirates.

In February of 1995, he signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals. However, two months later, Parrish was sent to the Toronto Blue Jays as part of a conditional deal. He spent the final 70 games of his career as a Blue Jay hitting .202 with 4 homers and 22 RBI. Although he would sign as a free agent in January of 1996 with the Pirates again, Lance would never end up playing for them.

Okay. Take a deep breath for a second. His moving around isn’t done yet.

In 1996, Lance ended up being the roving catching instructor for the Royals. From 1997 to 1998, he was a coach for the Dodgers AA team, the San Antonio Missions. He returned to Detroit from 1999-2001 spending time as third base coach, bullpen coach, and bench coach. 2002 saw him as the color analyst for the Tiger broadcasts on WKBD TV.

When Alan Trammell was made the Tiger manager, Parrish returned as a coach from 2003-2005. After being dismissed there, Lance moved on to being the manager of the Ogden Raptors, the rookie ball team of the Dodgers. After that, he was made the first manager of the A Ball Great Lakes Loons in November of 2006. His contract wasn’t renewed after that season.

Where he stops next…nobody knows. Thanks for the memories, big guy.

Info ripped off of baseball-reference.com and Wikipedia.
Pics via Google.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The DNR 25: #16 Kenny Rogers


Full Name
Kenneth Scott Rogers

DOB
11/10/64

College
None (Plant City High School, Plant City, FL)

Drafted
1982, 39th round, Texas Rangers

MLB Seasons
1989-2008

Tiger Seasons
2006-2008

Career Stats
219-156, 4.27 ERA, 108 ERA+, 1.403 WHIP

Career Leaderboard
4 time All Star (’95, ’04, ’05, ’06)
5 time Gold Glove (’00, ’02, ’04, ’05, ’06)
2nd All Time in Pickoffs (93)
2006: 5th in Cy Young voting

Best Tiger Season
2006 was Kenny’s best year, obviously. 2007 was ruined by injury. 2008 was ruined by being terrible. But in ’06, he went 17-8, with a 3.84 ERA, and a 119 ERA+ in 204 innings pitched in the regular season.

Better yet, in the playoffs, he threw 23 scoreless innings for the Tigers as the leader of the surprising pitching staff.

Little Known Fact
Kenny’s original goal was to try and play in the majors for three years. That way, he’d be able to qualify for a pension. If baseball didn’t work out, he wanted to be a farmer. He ended up pitching for 20 years in the big leagues after 7 years in the minors.

Reason For Being On The List
The performance of Rogers in the 2006 playoffs was nothing short of amazing, especially when you consider his previous failures in the playoffs for other teams. Not only did he shut down New York, Oakland, and St. Louis for us, but he mentored and helped the young gun pitchers of the future all season long.

Despite whatever smudges on his hand that the media used as excuses to try and cheapen his performance, the man was unreal in the Fall of 2006 and it’s something I’ll never forget. The only other time I have been that pumped up watching someone pitch was in Justin Verlander's no-hitter. And Kenny had all Tiger fans energized for every start towards the end.

Magglio Ordonez, Pudge Rodriguez, and Placido Polanco get most of the credit for the Tigers run, but none of it would have happened without Rogers.

Plus, dumping the champagne on the cops was awesome, too.

What Happened To Him?
Age caught up to “The Gambler” in 2008 and he realized that his time as an effective pitcher was up. He is retired, but I think he would make a tremendous pitching coach someday.

Info ripped off of baseball-reference.com and Wikipedia.
Pics via Google.