Friday, April 30, 2010

This Just In: Justin Verlander Thows a Lot of Pitches


I haven’t messed with a Lynn Henning article in a while. Here’s one on Justin Verlander’s high pitch counts. Let’s give it a go.

Arms are not the most interesting of a big-league pitcher's weapons.

Don’t believe him? Ask the folks that worked for Ugueth Urbina.

More absorbing are their brains, which is why it seemed important to visit Justin Verlander's locker in the Tigers clubhouse Wednesday.

“Justin! Lynn Henning from the News. I have important things to discuss. I notice your brain seems f-cked up on the mound. Care to comment?”

VERLANDER: (begins sharpening knives)

Just what word would he use to describe his feelings about pitch counts, which has become a thorny issue for the Tigers ace, given that too many pitches have led to too few innings for a 27-year-old strikeout machine?

I’m pretty sure that he would have liked to give you TWO words, Lynn.

What word would he use to summarize Verlander and the matter of pitch counts? Irked? Irritated? Fatigued?

Angry? Irate? Mad? Outraged? Cross? Incensed? Livid? Fuming? Annoyed? Infuriated? Aggravated? Weary? Exhausted? Pooped?

I don’t know about you, kids. But I’m on the edge of my seat for this one. If only I were allowed in THE CLUBHOUSE!

Or, in the case of a sports writer asking him about it for one too many times, maybe Verlander would prefer to use a different self-description: "homicidal."

Oh, in a perfect world, Mr. Henning. In a perfect world.

Happily, he said no to the last choice.

Damn.

"If I could put one word to it," he said, thinking for a few long moments, "maybe overrated."

/counts words

That’s two.

I love you, Justin. As much as a heterosexual smartass can possibly love a baseball player. But methinks you might be right. You are a tad overrated.

Oh, you meant pitch counts are overrated? Please don’t kill me, good sir. Kill Henning! He started this!

The view isn't shared by Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

A few of Jim Leyland’s views:

-Smoking is good for you.
-Leaving your exhausted closer in a ballgame for several innings in the most important game of the season is a good idea.
-Clete Thomas should bat third in a major league baseball game.
-Don Kelly? He likes the cut of his jib.
-He’s often tickled by things.
-Hmmm…Brandon can’t take three steps without falling down and doing the Peter Griffin “ahhh, sssss, ahhh” thing. Let’s start him again.
-Ryan Raburn makes a good defensive substitution in the outfield.
-Need a starter…Brad Thomas. Bingo.

What I’m trying to say here is that Jim Leyland is batsh-t crazy and I’m getting sick of his views on things. Except for when he’s talking about Jason Grilli.

He's in charge of pitchers and their work loads.

Rick Knapp is only around to buy cigarettes and make sure Gerald Laird’s grandpa stays out of the player wives’ section at Comerica Park.

And because the Tigers have $80 million invested in their staff ace, and because the evidence is so persuasive too many pitches over too many innings is asking for arm trouble, Leyland is getting tough, even if he's a bit of a skeptic.

What’s to be skeptical about? Being at 130 pitches in the 5th inning in every outing is not a good idea. No one does this every start. Except Verlander. Eventually that arm is going to explode like it is Carlos Guillen’s leg when he moves faster than a jog.

He will hold Verlander to a strict count, a number he won't publicly discuss, but one you can bet is south of 125.

Crap. Introducing your new closer: Justin Verlander!

"That's just the way it is," Leyland said, saying the undisclosed number is firm "whether it's the seventh, eighth, or fourth inning.

If JV could ever make it to the 7th or 8th inning in 2010, I don’t think we would be having this conversation.

"I'm not a big pitch-count guy," he added, "but it's not gonna happen on my watch."

Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Henning? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Verlander, and you curse the coaching staff. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Verlander being pulled, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me in that dugout, you need me in that dugout. We use words like honor, code, loyalty…and yes, pitch count. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of professional baseball that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a baseball, and try to teach Bonderman a changeup. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

Verlander getting hurt, that is.

You can’t handle the truth, Henning! Okay, I’m done.

The Tigers are sticking by an organizational discipline when it comes to pitch counts, whether in the minors or in the majors, and in this view it's the only way to operate. For every Mickey Lolich, who's everyone's gold standard for pitching long innings on little rest, there are countless others whose names you don't know, or didn't get to know well, because they blew out their arms.

In a seedy hotel, somewhere in the Midwest, the homely prostitute long gone at this point, Matt Anderson sits in a bathtub rocking and sobbing quietly to himself.

Leyland acknowledges Verlander probably is a good candidate to do just that, if he's not watched carefully, "because when you throw the way he does, it takes a toll."

Joel Zumaya in a Gary Coleman voice: Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout, Mr. Leyland?

Verlander's not having an ace-like start to the season, which is hardly news. His record is 1-2 and his ERA is 5.53. More critically, he's started five games, averaging just more than five innings per outing.

Dombrowski facepalm. Willis, Bonderman, and Robertson taught you nothing. (I kid, I approved of the JV deal.)

This is where the tension surfaces.

Catfight?

Leyland's bullpen has been worn down in April.

…in the D. Dammit. I can’t stop now. And it’s still the Good Luck Joe’s in my head. They won't go away. I can’t sleep at night…

Relievers have been throwing almost as many innings as starters. That's disaster waiting to happen, and not only in the win-loss column. Bullpen arms aren't as durable as starters.

Jesse Orosco pitched until he was 75 years old. I think he was durable. And he pitched every day. Countless relievers have had careers of over a decade. Where are we going here?

They don't have the drive-train to pitch long and often.

What? Many pitch multiple days in a row. I’m confused.

The only way to keep the bullpen from exploding is for Leyland's starters to stay in games. But when pitch counts rise, starters are against the ropes. Consequently, relievers can unravel and end up on the disabled list -- or worse.

Traded to Pittsburgh?

After that, it’s basically a bunch of quotes from JV about throwing better pitches. I’m not too concerned about him…yet. Verlander struggled through April last year, too. He’s going to be fine.

It’s the Porcello kid that has me worried. But that’s a smart-ass hack job on another person’s work for another day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brandon Inge: Special Little Guy


Good God, I love that picture. Dork.

Before I get into my usual snarky mode, let me wish baseball legend Bob Ueker the best as he is facing heart surgery. I love me some Uek.

Okay, nice guy mode off. Jerkface mode on. Here’s a little fluff piece from last week’s Oakland Press. I only wish I would have seen it earlier and before the little bastard hit two homers yesterday and forced me to cheer for him.

Before Jim Leyland, before Dave Dombrowski, before Pudge Rodriguez, before Magglio Ordonez, before Justin Verlander, before Miguel Cabrera, before Johnny Damon, Brandon Inge was here.

You’re right. He has been here WAY too long. Thank Hades his contract is up this year.

He’s been around since 2001, longer than any other Tiger. Remember Mitch Meluskey? There’s no reason why you should. But he was the catcher Brandon unexpectedly replaced.

In 2000, Meluskey hit .300 with 14 homers, 69 RBI, and an OPS+ of 117 for the Astros. He finished fifth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. Yes, I remember him. I was excited to get him. It didn’t work out. I blame Inge.

When I look at Inge now, I can’t help but remember the scared but smiling kid who suddenly found himself not only in the big leagues but in the Opening Day lineup that spring.

I’d have been scared, too. The immortal Billy McMillon was the opening day DH that year and batted 5th. I’m amazed we didn’t lose 150 games in 2001.

And doesn’t that seem like a lifetime ago?

It’s only been nine years. I haven’t done THAT many drugs over the years. Have you?

Inge has heard the boos.

Ha! He heard me! Awesome.

He has seen the empty seats. He has felt the anguish and despair.

Little known fact: Brandon was one of the founding members of My Chemical Romance. Can anyone with Photoshop make me an Emo Brandon pic?

He was here when the Tigers hit rock bottom in 2003. And he experienced the joy and the standing ovations when the Tigers went to the World Series three years later.

Indeed. That was all Brandon. Kenny Rogers? Never heard of him. Placido Polanco? Funny shaped head. Magglio Ordonez? Is that a soccer player?

Now that Curtis Granderson is gone, Inge is, without a doubt, the Tigers’ most popular player.

Only with fat girls with tattoos on their lower backs. And bald guys named Keith. Harf. I’m pretty sure Justin Verlander and Magglio Ordonez still have Brandon beat with most other folks.

And this season has been like a new beginning, a rebirth, for him.

Up until yesterday’s big game, he was hovering at the .250 mark with no homers in 19 games. I’d have to say it’s been pretty much the same old, same old.

You know how, sometimes, when you are really sick, you don’t truly appreciate how rotten you felt until after you get well.

I agree. I had food poisoning once and was on the toilet 30 times in 12 hours. That’s the first time I ever bargained with God over poop. Probably won’t be the last, though…

Inge knows that feeling.

“Having legs under me is a whole different ballgame,” said Inge. “It’s like night and day — throwing and hitting and running.”


This just in: Being able to walk helps you play baseball better. No wonder everyone loves Inge. He’s a bloody genius.

And it shows.

On two sound legs again, Inge led the Tigers in doubles with eight going into the weekend. He was tied for third in RBI. He was batting .268, and he was fielding a flawless 1.000.


It’s April. April in the D. Even Chris Shelton isn’t reading too much into the numbers at this point. Calm down.

What a difference a couple of big scars on your knees can make.

Yes. It takes the focus off of those ridiculous looking tattoos on his arms.

During the second half of last season, hobbled by painful tendinitis in both knees, the acrobatic, athletic Inge was slowed to a crawl.

Poor guy couldn’t do cartwheels and round offs to impress the teammates. That had to suck.

After a first half performance that, thanks to reconfigured swing, included 21 homers, 58 RBI, and a .515 slugging percentage, and put him in the All-Star Game for the first time in his career, Inge batted an anemic .186 with six HRs and 26 RBI during the second half.

Yup. That’s why we went to Game 163 and eventually lost. Tell me we wouldn’t have won at least one more game last year with Jeff Larish, Ramon Santiago, or Placido Polanco at third instead of Brandon. The stubborn little prick cost us the season.

For real. It still upsets me. Another little wrinkle here. If Brandon had gone to the DL and Polly shifted to third, we could have called Scott Sizemore up in July last year and actually have seen if he had what it takes to be a MLB second baseman. He certainly would have done better than .185, 5, 26. And if he did well, we would have known what to expect in 2010, making it easier to let Polly go. If Sizemore failed, perhaps Placido would still be at second for the Tigers this year. Food for thought.

At the plate, he had no pop in his bat. It’s hard to swing hard when it hurts. In the field, his highlight-reel range was greatly reduced. It was tough to watch — and even tougher to live through.

“Toward the end of last season, it was a joke,” Inge admitted.


Then why didn’t you be a man and admit that you were hurting the team? Huh, Face of the Franchise? Your selfishness cost us the AL Central and possibly more. I would have loved our chances in a short series with the Yanks, Sawx, Angels or whoever with JV, EJax, and Porcello taking the mound last year.

Every time he made a sudden move — “hitting, or running, on bending over to catch a ground ball” — he felt a “stabbing pain.”

Someone should have stabbed him in the face with a butcher knife.

“You try to pump yourself up, you tell yourself to suck it up,” Inge recalled. “We were in a pennant race, and that’s not a situation where you want to give up. That’s not how I work.”

No, you work by hurting the team when your body was clearly telling you to shut it down. I respect that you played through the pain and wanted to help, but sometimes you have to admit when you can’t do something and take a seat for the greater good of the other 24 guys in the clubhouse. Dick.

So Inge continued to grit his teeth and play. And Jim Leyland, sometimes against his better judgment, continued to write Inge’s name on the lineup card night after night.


Fire Leyland!

But no amount of determination or positive thinking could wipe out the pain.

Inge, who underwent surgery on both knees in early November to repair the damaged tissue, still isn’t 100 percent — especially when he is running and the situation calls for an extra burst of speed.

“My first two gears are pretty good, but third and fourth gear are still a little rusty,” he said.


Which is why the Detroit auto industry is so screwed. Nothing in Detroit runs properly.

“It’s not like it hurts anymore, it’s more that the tendons and muscles are getting used to the new knees,” Inge explained, as he adjusted the sleeves that now protect and support his knees.

You would never know it watching him play third base. But if, in an emergency, Leyland ordered Inge to get back behind home plate, Brandon admits he would have to ask for a stool.


But catching always gave him such a good excuse for hitting .210! That was his bread and butter.

Diving for line drives or chasing down foul pop-ups is one thing. But crouching or squatting are still out of the question.

Not that Inge is complaining.


There’s a change.

He turns 33 next month. His contract expires at the end of this season.

Yay!

He would love to stick around and finish his career in Detroit.

Boo!

In fact, he plans to make his home here, probably in the Ann Arbor area, year-around — whether he is still playing third base for the Tigers next season or not.

“We love the school system,” he explained. Inge’s sons are 5 and 2.

Inge and his wife, Shani, lived in Ann Arbor when he was in the minor leagues. And he is actively involved with the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan. “I love kids,” he said.

And they love you, Brandon. Kids, you see, are stupid.

My guess is, Inge isn’t going anywhere. At $6.6 million a year, he remains a bargain.

I just threw up in my mouth. $6.6 million is a bargain for a guy with a career OPS+ of 85 in 4376 plate appearances? I think not, my fluff writing friend. Here’s a real list of bargains in baseball right now for 2010.

Rick Porcello: $1.025 million

Kendry Morales: $400,000

Ryan Braun: $1 million

Ehh, you get the point. It’s not worth the effort. I’m tired.

Besides, who could the Tigers possibly get who could play third base like Inge?

Sadly, no one, barring a trade. I’d like to give you a smart ass answer here, but next year’s free agent class for third basemen, other than Brandon, looks like this:

Garrett Atkins
Jorge Cantu
Eric Chavez
Pedro Feliz
Bill Hall
Maicer Izturis
Mike Lowell
Melvin Mora
Nick Punto
Ty Wigginton

Sigh. Seeya again in 2011, Brandon.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)


I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, Rogo. You’ve got a fun little blog here that must be read by ZILLIONS of people all over the country! I bet you’re beating the women off with a stick, receive thousands of emails a day praising your hard work that you do, and have cash falling out of your ass every time you fart.” Well, sure. Of course I do.

But there is a drawback to this. I have to deal with people like you. No, not you. You either. You’re cool. THAT guy! And THAT chick! Yeah, you people and those of your ilk. You assclowns that take EVERY F-CKING THING I WRITE SO SERIOUSLY! My God, you people are trying to give me a stroke, aren’t you?

What more, please tell me, what more do I have to do around here to let you people know that I am screwing around and do not necessarily believe it when I wish some sort of penis cancer on a player for striking out? What do I have to do to make you understand that baseball is a game played by millionaires and should not be taken as seriously as you psychotic bastards take it?

For example, I wrote a bit recently listing 25 reasons why I hate Don Kelly. It’s right here. I thought it was a cute way to vent after Kelly struck out, yet again, to help lose a ballgame. But, no. Kelly’s Angels are so angry…they could spit! Spit, I tell you! Here’s just one of the responses I got.

Wow! Seriously? Too bad Don, or "Donnie", is the nicest guy in the whole world. Not only can he teach your kids how to play the game of baseball, he can teach them how to be the kind of person anyone would feel privledged to have in their lives. Since you managed to insult my high school, my college and one of my best friends all in one article, needless to say I could come up with 25 reasons why I hate you. Too bad I'm way classier than you and won't waste my time!

No, not seriously. That is the whole point of this blog. F-cking pay attention, jackass.

And I’m sure Don, Donnie, D-Money, D-Bag, whatever…I’m sure he’s a nice guy. Great for him. You know who else is nice? The Dalai Lama is nice. George Clooney seems nice. My mom is nice. Jessica Alba has a nice ass. Ernie Harwell might be the nicest person to ever live on our planet. But you know what? I don’t want any of them playing on the Detroit Tigers, either. Odds are, they all suck at baseball almost as bad as Don Kelly does.

Please keep Don Kelly away from my kid. The boy already throws like Johnny Damon if he had a broken arm. I don’t need Kelly bringing him down any more.

You went to Kelly’s hippie college with him? Is that why you are unable to spell “privileged”? Apparently, these “liberal arts” colleges do not have time to teach proper spelling. Perhaps they did not cover “satire” there, either. Or baseball skills.

And I encourage you to come up with 25 reasons why you hate me. No one hates me more than I do, kid. I can give you around 500 good ones to start. But one of them is not this blog. Asshat.

Finally, as for being classy and not wasting time, well you already did. Congrats. Die in a grease fire.

Ah, hell. Here’s another one.

This article is so absurd. It's truly sad that anyone agrees with this mess in any capacity and/or thinks you're funny, Scott. As someone who has spent time in the clubhouse, let me say that your 'hatred' is misplaced. It's clear that you've never met Don Kelly. Don is a GREAT human being. Not just a great baseball guy, but a great human being. Period. Launching a personal character attack on him and his family is out of line. And I get it, you're just being funny! I hope no one ever writes something like this about you or your son. Don't you have anyone else to hate on? Perhaps someone who deserves it?

Your face is absurd. Ha! Zing! Rogo scores again. Sigh. Anyway...

As someone that has spent time in a clubhouse, I would expect a better argument. I mean, you have been INSIDE the clubhouse. I’m willing to bet that Jim Leyland has you on speed dial when he’s considering making a pitching change. I’ll bet that Dave Dombrowski consults you before he signs free agents. I mean, wow. You’ve been IN THE CLUBHOUSE! Tell me, is Gerald Laird as unimpressive naked as he is at the plate? Do you thank the players when you are done sniffing their jockstraps? In the clubhouse…Christ, you’re practically Peter Gammons.

I do not give two tugs of a dead dog’s dick how nice of a guy Don Kelly is. He sucks at baseball, not just at hitting, but fielding, too. Period. That is all I care about. There’s at least a half dozen guys on the Mud Hens that would be better choices to be on the big club. He can spend all his free time reading to the blind and helping kitty cats out of trees, but it doesn’t change the fact that he makes an out almost every time I see him bat. His urine might cure cancer (has anyone checked?!?!), but it doesn’t change the fact that he is mediocre at best no matter where you put him in the field.

And no. You do not get it. You are a f-cking idiot that should be sterilized. Anyone can write a straight baseball blog that covers each game and gives their useless opinion. And don’t get me wrong, some do it very well. But, I find it much more entertaining, interesting, and personally challenging to try to write something different, off the beaten path, and hopefully funny 2-3 times a week instead. If you don’t like it, f-ck off. Some people don’t like and/or understand my humor. I can respect that. But don’t cry to me about it. Makes me want to stab you in the temple with a screwdriver.

And finally, yes. There are many others to hate on, other than your Sweet Donnie Boy. Jim Leyland, Brandon Inge, Clete Thomas, Gerald Laird, Ozzie Guillen, AJ Pierzinski, Joe Mauer, Luke Scott, Jason Grilli, Matt Treanor, Fernando Rodney, Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, Joe Morgan, Larry The Cable Guy, Dane Cook, Steeler fans, Glenn Beck, Peter King, Tony Romo, Jen Cosey (ha)…the list goes on and on. But I like hating on Don Kelly. So does my son. When Kelly struck out the other day (again), the boy called him a “doodiehead”. Priceless.

Thanks for asking about him, by the way. He turns six next week. Help me out and buy the little jerk a new DS. He already broke his.

People, look. I met Don Kelly back in 2004. You know what? He was a nice guy. He even offered up an autograph, even though I had no idea who he was. That’s great. I wish him nothing but the best in his personal life. I even wish his sister well, even though she does spell her name “Ashlee”. Yikes.

That’s enough. I’ve wasted enough time here feeding trolls. It won’t happen again, I promise you. I just wanted to vent a bit and share this with the five of you that get me and are IN ON THE F-CKING JOKE. To the rest of you, please stay away. Go read Rick Reilly. Read Lynn Henning. My God, go read Jamie Samuelsen. He says he enjoys receiving hate mail. But, I would rather have fun and be read by a dozen intelligent readers that can take a joke than be read by ten thousand frigging morons with the collective IQ of a houseplant.

If I end up hearing from Don Kelly’s mom, everybody dies.

Have a nice day!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Your Rod Allen-To-English Dictionary


Many love him, many hate him, but Rod Allen is one of a kind. I think we can all agree on that. For a long time, I wasn’t the biggest fan in the world of the Tiger color commentator. I always preferred the old FSN duo of Josh and Gibby over the team of Mario and Rod. But over time, I’ve come to appreciate Rod and what he adds to a game. He can be insightful, as well as entertaining. Of course, at times he can just be goofy, too. I’m sure by now, you’ve encountered the “Rod Allen Drinking Game” somewhere. Check it out, if you haven’t. But as a companion piece to that, I would like to attempt to put together a Rod Allen-To-English Dictionary. Keep in mind, I understand that Rod isn’t the only one to use some of these phrases. But I’ve included everything that I could come up with that the man is fond of saying. Let me know if I missed anything.

-A-Game: Any player that is playing well. “Ryan Perry brought his A-Game today.”

-Absolute Bullet: A hard-hit ball. “Magglio hit an absolute bullet to the third baseman.”

-Badd Boy: A compliment, usually for Miguel Cabrera. “He’s a bad boy, B-A-D-D!”

-Beauty: A nice pitch. “Ni threw a beauty of a curve to get the strikeout.”

-Big Fella: Any large player, usually Cabrera. “The Big Fella is seeing the ball well.”

-Big League: A non-routine play. “That was a big league catch by Everett.”

-Big ‘ol Contract: Rod likes to joke with Mario about how much money Mario supposedly makes. “You can buy us both dinner with that big ‘ol contract you have.”

-Cabby: Annoying nickname for Miguel Cabrera. “Cabby is capable of putting up MVP numbers every season.”

-Cheddar: A fastball over the plate. “Willis gave him a big piece of cheddar to hit.”

-Cheese: See “Cheddar”.

-Climb The Ladder: A high pitch. “I’d like to see Perry climb the ladder with a nice piece of cheese.”

-Country Mile: A ball hit a long way. “Guillen hit that ball a country mile.”

-Country Strong: Any power hitter can be called “country strong”. It was most commonly used for Marcus Thames when he was a Tiger. “That boy is just country strong.”

-Crime: When something unbelievable happens. “Cabrera hit that ball so far, it should be a crime.”

-Crooked Numbers: Multiple runs scored in the same inning. “We need to put some crooked numbers on the board.”

-Easy Gas: A fastball that looks like it’s thrown with minimal effort, usually referring to Joel Zumaya. “Joel is throwing some easy gas at a hundred miles an hour out there.”

-Elevate: Any high pitch. “Porcello needs to quit elevating the fastball today.”

-Featuring: Whatever pitches a hurler is throwing. “Jeremy Bonderman is featuring a good fastball today.”

-Filthy: A pitch that is working. “Verlander’s curveball is just filthy.”

-From Time To Time: Common phrase for Rod. “Kelly struggles to hit the breaking pitch from time to time.”

-Fun To Watch: Rod’s usual compliment for any retired player. “Cal Ripken was sure fun to watch.”

-I See Ya: Shouted when Rod is excited, usually after a home run. “I see ya, Big Fella!”

-Johnny On The Spot: A player that’s in the right place at the right time. “Sizemore was Johnny on the spot on that play.”

-King Felix: Felix Hernandez’s nickname and the only way I’ve ever heard Rod refer to him. “We gotta face King Felix next week in Seattle.”

-Mr. T Starter Kit: What Rod calls any excessive jewelry on a player. “Sheffield has his Mr. T starter kit on display today.”

-Nasty: See “Filthy”.

-Not A Bad Idea: What Rod says any time someone tries to bunt. “Laird bunts it foul…not a bad idea in this situation.”

-Not Fair: Used to describe when a pitcher is dominating. “The way Greinke is throwing out there today is just not fair.”

-Oh No He Didn’t: A common saying used whenever someone on the Tigers makes a big play. Mario: “Diving catch by Inge!” Rod: “Oh no he didn’t!”

-Pahdnuh: “Partner”, a term of endearment he uses for Mario. “You’re looking sharp today, Pahdnuh.”

-Piece: Rod almost always says “change piece” or “slide piece” instead of changeup or slider. “Bonderman’s been looking to add a change piece for a couple of years now.”

-Professional Hitter: A hitter that makes a lot of contact, used commonly for Placido Polanco in the past. “Derek Jeter is just a professional hitter up there.”

-Rake: Hitting well. “This Red Sox lineup can just flat out rake.”

-Rally The Troops: Referring to someone, usually Jim Leyland, giving a speech to fire up the team. “It’s still early and Jim’s trying to rally the troops even through they’re down 5-0.”

-Rib Eye: RBI. “Magglio is looking to get a couple of rib eyes right here.”

-Seed: Any hardly hit or thrown ball. “Santiago threw a seed to home play to nail him.”

-Skipper: The manager of any team. “The skipper’s got his work cut out for him.”

-Some Kinda Smooth: A compliment. “Austin Jackson is some kinda smooth out there.”

-Special: Rod is always referring to any players with above average ability as “special”. “Jose Valverde is a special kind of player.”

-Steady Diet: When a pitcher keeps throwing the same pitch to a hitter. “Brandon Inge has seen a steady diet of breaking pitches from Lester today.”

-The Game Within The Game: The mental part of baseball. “Leyland is a master of the game within the game.”

-Unhittable: Any pitch that a batter swings and misses. “That fastball by Verlander was unhittable.”

Love ya, Rod. You’re a special kind of announcer.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

THE (new) TEAM: Taking Out The Captain's Trash

THE (new) TEAM follows Curtis Granderson and his trusty sidekick, Marcus Thames, as they adjust to lives as New York Yankees. Warning: strong language and stupidity follows.

(Yankee press conference)

REPORTER: Derek, is there anything in particular you can point to in explaining the Yankees’ hot 9-3 start to this season?

DEREK JETER: Well, it’s a team thing. We’ve got twenty-five guys in here giving it their all every day and we’re just taking it one game at a time. It’s a long way until 162 games have been played and we’re just going to do our best every day for the great fans out there. I’m sorry guys, but I have a charity event to get to. I can only take one more question.

REPORTER: How are the new faces fitting in so far with the team?

JETER: I couldn’t ask for better teammates than the guys we have on this club. Curtis Granderson, especially, has been a delight to play with thus far and I look forward to coming to the ballpark every day and playing ball with these guys. Thanks, gentlemen. If you’ll excuse me…

(retreats into clubhouse)

JOE GIRARDI: Great Q & A, Captain. As always.

JETER: F-ck you, Joe. These pricks don’t realize how much I want to stab each and every one of them in the f-cking eyeballs with a fork. A fork, Joe!

GIRARDI: I understand. Now, I hate to remind you, but we still have that problem from earlier to take care of…

JETER: Motherf-cker! Are you serious? Where are those two c-ckwallets from Detroit? I thought I told them to take care of this sh-t!

GIRARDI: I’ll be right back, Captain!

(Girardi returns with Curtis Granderson and Marcus Thames.)

JETER: Where the f-ck have you two pillow biting, wastes of space been hiding? I sure as f-ck know you’re not working on your pathetic games.

MARCUS THAMES: C’mon, dude. We’re playing our butts off.

CURTIS GRANDERSON: Yeah, Derek. I’m hitting over .300 so far. And Marcus is hitting .500 for crying out loud.

JETER: What the f-ck did you call me, you worthless twat? Joe…

/Girardi backhands Granderson

GRANDERSON: Geez…I’m sorry…sigh, Captain. What can we do for you this time?

JETER: Are you serious? Joe?

GIRARDI: Guys, come on. Does The Captain look like a bitch to you?

THAMES: Um, what?

JETER: You heard him! Do I look like a bitch?

GRANDERSON: Um, no…

GIRARDI: They why are you trying to f-ck him like one?

GRANDERSON: Isn’t that a line from “Pulp Fiction”?

GIRARDI: No. The Captain came up with it on his own.

JETER: F-ckin’ A, I did. And don’t bring up stats to The Captain. I’m hitting almost .400 and have 3 home runs. Maybe if you two weren’t so f-cking lazy, you’d have some stats to brag about. Now anyway, this is about that “business” that I told you boys to take care of while that f-ggot was singing “God Bless South America” or whatever in the 7th inning.

THAMES: My God…you were serious about that?

JETER: Well, that dead f-cking hooker isn’t going to dispose of herself, is she? I swear, you two f-cksticks are NEVER going to be True Yankees! I mean, Scott Brosius would have those bitches gone before their f-cking hearts stopped!

GRANDERSON: Come on, Der…I mean Captain. This is insane.

THAMES: Yeah. Why don’t any of the other new or younger guys have to do this stuff?

JETER: Are you questioning my f-cking leadership, big boy? Joe?

/Girardi slaps Thames in the face

THAMES: Oww! What the…

JETER: Next time you’ll get a tire iron, you jackoff! If you must know, Gardner is a champion, unlike you two pussy farts. He’s a True Yankee. Randy Winn looks like Bernie Williams to me, and he was a True Yankee! And the other kid…what the f-ck is his name, Joe?

GIRARDI: Francisco Cervelli?

JETER: I don’t speak Mexican, so he’s out. That leaves you two d-cklickers. Toss that bitch in the East River. She’s starting to stink worse that Joe Torre’s beer farts. I’m gonna take a dump, wipe my ass with the American flag, and when I get out, you AND the bitch had better be gone!

/leaves

GIRARDI: I’m really sorry about this guys. Good luck. There’s some Hefty bags in the back of the clubhouse.

(Two hours later.)

GRANDERSON: Whew. I’m glad that’s done. Can you believe this, Marcus?

THAMES: No, man. This sh-t’s off the charts.

/homeless man stirs in an alley

GRANDERSON: Oh no! You think that guys saw us?

THAMES: Yup. Damn…here he comes.

HOMELESS MAN: Change? Can you guys spare some…oh man, you gotta be kidding me.

GRANDERSON: No. God, no. It can’t be.

THAMES: F-ck.

GARY SHEFFIELD: Motherf-ckas! My boys! Charles and Martin, right? Sheff’s missed you sonsabitches!

GRANDERSON: Sure, Gary. Look, we gotta go…

SHEFFIELD: Bullsh-t! You boys out here dumpin’ Jeter’s hookers, aren’t you? Sheff didn’t play that sh-t. But these racist muthaf-ckas won’t give Sheff a job anymore…I tell you what. How ‘bout Sheff comes with you! Sheff can dump some hookers for you! Get Cashman on the phone? Sucka won’t answer Sheff’s calls, but you boys can get me to him! How about…$15 million a year? Sheff will play the game for a while. And as soon as Martin over here…

THAMES: Marcus. Assh-le.

SHEFFIELD: Yeah. As soon as you need a break, Sheff can pinch hit. Sheff can hit .400 if he wants to. I’m healthy! Just give Sheff a chance. And a sandwich. And fifty dollas. What do you say?

GRANDERSON: I hate it here.

THAMES: Yep. New York sucks.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Praying To The God of Baseball


Oh, Mighty God of Baseball:

‘Sup? Your humble servant, Rogo, here. I heard the calling a couple weeks ago and returned to this blog as I thought You wished me to do. I’ve been doing Your work to the best of my ability. I did not do so willingly, but did it anyway. Yet though I have behaved, I don’t understand why my beloved Tigers of Detroit look so friggin’ terrible this season. I thought we had a deal, Man. Please, God of Baseball, hear my prayer.

After the mighty schlong-tease of 2006, big things have been expected from Your loyal congregation in Detroit. Many are without jobs, many cannot stand to be around each other, but still, we have all clung to the hope that You would see fit to grant the Tigers their first World Championship since 1984. Have we not repented enough for the past sins of Randy Smith, Juan Gonzalez, and Gary Sheffield? Did we smite Thee in some way?

Has the Dark Lord of Baseball, Ozzie Guillen, gained in power so much that we are to go without hope? I am hoping that this is false. So, please, God of Baseball, hear this prayer and grant upon me the following:

Please remove the dark curse that surrounds the bats of Gerald Laird and Adam Everett. Though G-Money’s grandfather covets the asses of other men’s wives and Everett appears to be vain with his luscious hair, they are good people and do not deserve this suffering.

Although Thou hast seen to it that Jim Leyland doesn’t get lung cancer despite smoking four packs of Reds per day, could You see to it that the apparent brain cancer he has during games be delayed for another couple years?

Please see it upon Yourself to send a plague of locusts to the city of Minneapolis to descend upon the sideburns of the head of Joe Mauer. He has caused enough suffering to the people of Detroit and many other less important baseball cities. Do not be fooled by the new church they have built in Minnesota. They are all a bunch of bloody savages up there.

Whatever sins Dontrelle Willis committed in the lustful city of Miami years ago, please see fit to forgive him. Hasn't he suffered enough? He has been a model citizen in Detroit and deserves a year of success. If he continues to blow up, the Tiger faithful may see to it to crucify him and no one wants that. Um…right?

And finally, please remove whatever curse it is that has troubled your only son, Justin Verlander, early in the season. Let the world see the wonder that is his right arm in all of its glory. Quit f-cking with us here. We would be happy to sacrifice the body of Don Kelly, who no doubt sold his soul years ago to Dark Lord Guillen to remain in professional baseball despite not having any apparent skills.

I know it is only April in the D (enough of that, too, Lord), but Your followers are frightened. We offer up you this prayer:

Our Baseball Father in Heaven
Higgy be Thy name
In D-Town pin
At least 97 wins
And lead the Twins in September by eleven

I remain your humble servant. For now.

Amen.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

25 Reasons Why I Hate Don Kelly


Today, late in the ballgame, Adam Everett was due up in a key RBI situation for the Tigers. Since offense isn’t exactly Adam’s specialty, Jim Leyland looked to his bench for a pinch hitter. Who did he turn to? Was it young Alex Avila, who with one swing of the bat could have potentially turned the tide for the Tigers? Was it the experienced Ramon Santiago, who while will never be confused with Barry Bonds, has put together his share of key hits over the years?

No. He turned to Don Kelly. And Kelly struck out on three pitches, the third looking on a fastball right down the middle.

Don Kelly should not be allowed anywhere near a major league baseball game again. And to help myself with my anger over today’s game, I’ve put together this list of 25 reasons why I hate Don Kelly. Enjoy.

1. Striking out on three pitches looking today.

2. He has three first names as his full name. Donald Thomas Kelly. Never, and I mean never, trust anyone with three first names.

3. Seriously, do you expect a baseball player named “Don Kelly” to ever be good at anything in sports?

4. He is already 30 years old. He’s not going to get any better.

5. The whole missing the fly ball in the Metrodome thing last year. Duh.

6. His career “Joe Morgan friendly” numbers are .222, 0, 3 in 101 plate appearances.

7. His career OPS+ is 53. An average ballplayer is 100.

8. He is not particularly good anywhere on the field. Raburn and Santiago can play anywhere, too. He is not necessary to the team.

9. He was taken in the 8th round of the 2001 Draft by the Tigers. Six picks later, Kevin Youkilis was selected. Sigh.

10. Also selected after Kelly in the ’01 Draft were Luke Scott, Stephen Drew, Geovano Soto, Dan Uggla, Jason Bartlett, Chris Young, Jonny Gomes, Zach Duke, Ian Kinsler, Nick Blackburn, Chad Gaudin, Nick Markakis, and Andre Ethier. Depressing.

11. Even the Pirates released Don Kelly.

12. He went to Mt. Lebanon High School. He is probably a terrorist.

13. His sister spells her name “Ashlee”. Any girl that spells her name with two e’s on the end probably has STD’s, a tattoo on her lower back, and/or owns a Brandon Inge jersey.

14. His sister is a better athlete than he is. This is only acceptable if your name is Reggie Miller.

15. He is currently taking up a roster spot that could go to players that could actually contribute off the bench like Jeff Larish, Casper Wells, and Ryan Strieby. Again, Raburn or Santiago can play the utility role.

16. When he comes into the game, it usually means one of our few decent hitters like Damon or Ordonez are leaving the game.

17. He went to Point Park University, a liberal arts college in Pittsburgh. Really? And he’s a baseball player?

18. He is probably a Steelers fan. If so, he should not be allowed to breed.

19. He is not Marcus Thames.

20. He is not Timo Perez.

21. He will make $405,000 this year. Can you imagine making $400K to be terrible at your job?

22. He killed Corey Haim. (this may not be true)

23. Jim Leyland loves him. That automatically means he is terrible.

24. Sometimes, he is referred to as “Donnie”. This gives me flashbacks to New Kids on the Block and makes my eyes bleed.

25. The worst offense of all: He is making me start to miss Clete Thomas.

Dump him, Mr. Dombrowski. If Don Kelly continues to take up space on my baseball team, there will be dozens of hooker deaths on your conscience. That’s the only way I know of to relieve stress. I hope you can live with that, Dave.

I hope you can live with that.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Keeping Score: Royals @ Tigers 4/12/10

The Detroit Tigers have started their season at 5-1. Not bad, huh? With all the crazy ranting and raving in the offseason over the trades of Granderson, Jackson, and Robertson mixed in with the departures of Rodney, Polanco, and Lyon, you would think that someone out there would have seen a silver lining in it all. You would think that someone would have kept a level head and saw the bigger picture of what GM David Dombrowski was doing. You would think that someone saw the merits of signing Johnny Damon and Jose Valverde. You would think.

Oh, wait. There was someone out there. Me! Me, you ungrateful slobs! Me, me, me!

I hate you all.

What’s that, you say? It’s only six games? We’ve been playing the Royals and Indians? Jerks. Can’t let me enjoy my moment for a minute, can you?

Welcome to the first edition of “Keeping Score” for the 2010 season. If you’re new to this, it is basically what is going through my head throughout the ballgame along with a recap of the action. Hopefully it will turn out fun. Most likely, however, it will be a bunch of pointless babbling mixed in with screams of horror if Don Kelly makes it into the game.

Today, the Tigers have spooky-eyed pitcher Max Scherzer making his second start of the season against the Royals and their guy, Luke Hochevar. Perhaps if we’re lucky, we’ll score off this kid today. If not, the KC bullpen is always good for some fun.

/crosses fingers for a Farnsworth appearance today

TOP OF THE FIRST

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Opening Day in Detroit with Your Party Host


You can go anywhere and read a detailed account of Friday’s Detroit Tiger home opener against the Indians. But here at DesigNate Robertson, I feel the need to give you a different account of the day’s action. You see, the plan was to arrive in Detroit early and take in the sights, sounds, and whatnot of Opening Day. But plans, they have a way of unraveling, as you may have experienced yourself at times.

So, join me on a day full of nonsense, as only Your Party Host can bring it to you. Perhaps you can relate to some of what I experienced. Along with me on this journey were my friends whose names will be changed to protect their “innocence”. With me was “Curtis” and his girlfriend “Polly”. Also along for the ride was the man with the tickets. We will call him “Fernando”. Ha.

6:45- Alarm goes off. Curse a lot for not going to bed sooner.

6:51- Text from Curtis asking if I am awake. I respond with expletives and question his sexuality, as most insecure heterosexual males are prone to do. This continues for several minutes.

7:00- Curtis texts me that he and Polly are making breakfast for us all once Fernando picks me up at 7:30. Bacon is promised. Your Party Host is pleased.

7:20- According to Yahoo, weather in Detroit is supposed to be in the 50’s. I opt out of my normal ballpark attire of a Bobby Higginson jersey to wear a Tigers t-shirt and a Tigers hoodie, hoping that I won’t be too warm during the game. Remember that part.

7:35- No word from Fernando. Curtis and I have both texted and called him. We planned on being in Detroit by 9:30. Urge to kill: rising.

7:38- Call Fernando again. Leave angry voicemail.

7:39- Kick my roommate’s cat.

7:55- I text Fernando’s roommate. No response. Urge to kill: nearing maximum levels.

8:10- Still no word from Fernando. Curtis and I start planning his murder. Polly is a nurse and may have ways that cannot be detected easily. I am intrigued by this idea.

8:25- Fernando lives on the top floor of a duplex-type place down the street from me. I consider taking a boom box and stand outside his window, “Say Anything” style, and playing the stupid “April in the D” song until he wakes up.

8:42- Call Fernando again. No answer. Begin sharpening knives.

9:10- Curtis and Polly are pissed and on their way. Since Fernando has the tickets, we agree that if he doesn’t contact us by 10:00, we’ll just find a bar in town to watch the game at. More plans for his murder are discussed, as well.

9:17- Fernando finally calls me. He slept through his alarm. This excuse does not work for me. Curtis got loaded at the Mud Hens home opener the night before and was able to wake up. I worked until 2am and watched Lady Gaga Youtube videos until 5am and was able to wake up. I tell him to hurry the fudge up and get over.

9:30- I am suddenly happy again as my television is showing the replay of the first ever game at Comerica Park. Bobby just hit a two-run triple. I cheer until remembering my current situation.

9:34- Curtis texts me the idea of killing Fernando anyway, once we get the tickets. For the first time in recorded history, I am the voice of reason. I am pretty upset that I am going to miss out on my bacon-filled breakfast, though.

9:36- Fernando arrives. Then, he realizes that he left his phone at home and has to go back for it. I facepalm until Curtis and Polly arrive.

9:39- Curtis and Polly pull up. I hop in and inform them about the forgotten phone. The “f” word is said a lot.

9:41- Fernando returns and is subjected to the amount of cursing that would make a sailor blush. We finally leave. It seems colder than expected, I remember thinking.

9:46- I see snowflakes and begin cursing God.

10:40- We begin to smell Detroit. Seriously.

11:07- We have arrived and after fifteen minutes of driving though alleyways and apparent crack dens, we reach our parking spot. We again yell at Fernando about missing out on the pregame partying that we planned on doing. He seems to not understand why we are angry.

11:30- We have our first drinks at what I believe was the “Sportstown Grill”. I was hoping to stop by the State Bar or Hockeytown, but both are insanely busy. And we arrived quite late, did I mention that?

11:40- A hot broad in a Bacardi referee shirt gives Polly and I Detroit Tiger Bacardi shirts. This is the greatest moment of my life as it includes my three favorite things in the world: Bacardi rum, the Tigers, and a hot blonde. I inform Fernando that he is forgiven.

11:45- I spot a guy wearing a Brandon Inge hat. I consider smothering him with my new shirt. “It’s not worth it”, I keep telling myself.

12:00- At this point, let me explain something that we in the bar business refer to as “Amateur Night”. Days like St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and the night before Thanksgiving are called “Amateur Night” by us because everyone and their brother thinks they are supposed to drink that day and they end up infesting bars like the filthy rodents they are. They are loud, obnoxious, and cannot handle their booze. They also seem to multiply like rabbits. Opening Day anywhere is the “Amateur Night” of baseball, no matter where you go. The bar we are in has become shoulder-to-shoulder and I decide I have seen enough and go outside while my friends finish their drinks.

12:11- A guy in a Dontrelle Willis jersey trips and falls in the street. I speculate that we may have been better off keeping Nate Robertson on the team.

12:15- I invent a new game. People keep coming up to me asking for directions. So, I start pretending to know what I am talking about and tell them how to get places that I’ve never heard of. The less people around, the happier I am.

12:21- I get a call from work. They want me to come in. I begin laughing.

12:24- I stop laughing and explain that I cannot come in.

12:27- We arrive at Comerica Park. A guy in a Brandon Inge jersey keeps bothering everyone asking where he can buy cigars. Somehow, I blame Inge for this guy being born.

12:33- I see a fat chick in an Inge jersey for the first time in 2010. The first of many, I’m afraid.

12:40- Our seats suck. And it is very cold. At least they were free tickets.

12:42- My seat happens to be next to what appears to be Larry the Cable Guy and his twin brother. They are quite drunk already. Great.

12:47- Tiger players are being introduced. Verlander, Cabrera, Ordonez, and Inge get the loudest cheers from the crowd. You could hear a pin drop when Phil Coke was brought out. Jose Valverde gets booed. I am annoyed with my fellow Tiger fans on that one. No one deserves to be booed on Opening Day. Well, except for Don Kelly.

12:48- Larry and his twin are loudly talking about how they have never heard of Max Scherzer and that he must be a rookie. Sigh.

12:58- Some clown from American Idol sings the National Anthem. Tim Allen is out to assist several military servicemen with the first pitch ceremonies. I am reminded of an old Chris Rock bit during Allen’s involvement. “Even in our finest moment, we got a crackhead up on stage.”

1:03- Game time. The temperature is announced as 38 degrees. The wind is insane in the third deck. I start hating life again.

1:05- A ballgame was played. I can’t tell you what happened because my eyes froze like Audrey’s did in “Christmas Vacation”. Go to a real website if you want that info.

The Tigers won and I was happy. We ended up back at Polly’s house for food and drinks. I went home, took a nap, and ended up out on the town once again for booze, illegal activities, and nonsense.

Finally, Fernando is still alive, if you were wondering. But next time, Polly will have a syringe ready.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

THE (new) TEAM: The Captain Strikes Back

THE TEAM takes a look into the lives of the Detroit Tigers baseball players. My favorite episode can be found here. THE (new) TEAM follows our hero, Curtis Granderson, as he adjusts to life as a New York Yankee. The previous episode can be found here. This is the newest installment. Warning, strong language and stupidity follows.

(In the visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park, three hours after the Yankees’ 6-4 victory over the Red Sox.)

CURTIS GRANDERSON: Boy, Marcus, I don’t know about you, but it feels great to get our first Yankee victory under our belts! And in Boston of all places!

MARCUS THAMES: Yup.

GRANDERSON: I mean, we are playing for the World Champion Yankees! Can you believe how intense it is against the Sox? I can’t imagine what it must be like toward the end of the season in a pennant race. I can’t wait!

THAMES: Yup. Pretty cool.

GRANDERSON: You said it. Plus, the Tigers won their first game. Polly had a grand slam and 6 Ribbies in his Philly debut, Pudge started well for the Nats…everything’s looking up for us and our guys.

THAMES: Word. But why do you think Skip asked us to stick around tonight?

GRANDERSON: Yeah, that is kind of weird. Hey, we won, right? It can’t be too bad.

/door opens quietly

JOE GIRARDI: (whispering) Hey, guys. Thanks for sticking around. I just wanted to go over a couple things with you both.

GRANDERSON: Why are you whispering, Skip? I mean…

GIRARDI: Quiet, you fool! He’ll hear you, if he’s still around.

GRANDERSON: Who?

GIRARDI: Don’t worry. We don’t have much time. Just listen to me. There’s still a few things you guys need to know about being “True Yankees”. The Captain likes things to go a certain way…

GRANDERSON: You mean Derek?

GIRARDI: Are you mad? Always refer to him as “The Cap…”

/door flies open

DEREK JETER: Are there any media members here?

GIRARDI: No, Captain. They all left.

JETER: Well, that’s fan-f-cking-tastic! Listen up, you two dipsh-ts. We’re two games in and I’m already sick and f-cking tired of you guys trying to f-ck up my team!

GRANDERSON: What do you mean, Derek? We just beat the Red Sox! What did we do?

JETER: It’s more like what DIDN’T you do, you stupid, ignorant f-ck! Joe?

/Girardi slaps Granderson

GRANDERSON: Oww! Dude!

JETER: Shut up! We are one and one this year! .500! Do you believe that? The New York f-cking Yankees playing .500 ball. You two f-ggots aren’t going to last another week on this team if you don’t pay the f-ck attention to what I’m telling you! First off, you…what’s your name?

THAMES: Marcus. Marcus Thames.

JETER: Whatever. You’re "Ruben Sierra #2" until I tell you different. You look as clumsy as you do stupid. Do you even have a f-cking hit this year?

THAMES: Um, I’ve only had two at bats, man. I walked in one of them.

JETER: So, that’s a no, isn’t it? You worthless sh-t. Two games in and you don’t have a hit. That’s not how you become a “True Yankee” you lazy c-cksucker. I should have Cash release your ass, Ruben #2. And you, who are you?

GRANDERSON: Come on, Derek. This is silly. We did an interview together just…

JETER: You don’t understand sh-t, do you, boy? The media gets the man they want to see. But that man doesn’t win championships. “The Captain” does! Now I’m gonna call you “Melky Cabrera #2” until you smarten up a bit, okay Melky #2?

GRANDERSON: Man…

JETER: Shut up, Melky #2! Perhaps you think you are being treated unfairly? What the f-ck have YOU done to help the Yankees win so far?

GRANDERSON: C’mon, Derek. I homered in my first Yankee at bat. I had another hit today and scored a run. I’ve done my best in the outfi…

JETER: I, I, I…it’s all about YOU, isn’t it, Melky #2? I’m already sick of you and your selfish bullsh-t! Yeah, you homered. But we lost. A solo homerun, you worthless assh-le. Why didn’t you get on base for “The Captain” to drive you in, huh? That is team play! That is rallying around your captain! That wins championships! That is being a “True Yankee”, right, Joe?

GIRARDI: You are correct, Captain.

JETER: You bet your hairy ass, Joe. Now look, boys. (holds up hand) You see that? Those are five World Championship rings. How many do you guys have?

GRANDERSON: Dude…

JETER: How many, you disrespectful f-ck? None! That’s how many! Look, if you don’t want to win a championship, you can go back to Chicago, Cincinnati, or wherever the f-ck you two clowns came from.

THAMES: Detroit, man.

JETER: Sh-t. That figures. The team with all the Dominicans on it.

GRANDERSON: Actually…

JETER: Do you EVER shut up, Melky #2? We win championships in New York, son. And to do that, you are going to have to become “True Yankees”. Guys like Scott Brosius, Aaron Boone, Luis Sojo, and Bernie Williams. Those are “True Yankees”! Don’t you want to be a winner like them?

GRANDERSON: Well, Bernie was okay…

JETER: They ALL are winners, and you are nothing but a f-cking showoff! You follow “The Captain” and his foot soldiers: Rivera, Pettitte, Posada, Matsui…

GRANDERSON: Isn’t he in LA now?

JETER: Silence! He’s a spy. I have people everywhere in LA. There are no limits to “The Captain’s” resources. I endorse Gatorade, Nike, Discover, Visa, Ford, and MLB 2K video games. I have personally f-cked Mariah Carey, Scarlett Johansson, Gabrielle Union, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, and six Miss Universes. You can smell under the rings if you don’t believe me. I could bang Miley Cyrus tomorrow and the media wouldn’t blink an eye. You know why? Because I am the f-cking “Captain” and I do what I want wherever I want because I am a winner! Right, Joe?

GIRARDI: Hail, Jeter!

JETER: F-cking A. Now are you two f-cksticks on board with me, or do I have to have you killed like I did Shelley Duncan, Shane Spencer, and Johnny Damon?

GRANDERSON: Wait a minute…

GIRARDI: Shhhh…

THAMES: We just want to win, man.

JETER: Then quit pissing me off and follow my lead. I even turned that no-talent, son of a whore, A-Rod into a winner, though it damn near killed me. I’ll make you a deal. You become my foot soldiers, you do what I say when I say it, and you become “True Yankees”, and I will lead you to a championship. Deal?

GRANDERSON: What are you…

THAMES: Deal, Captain. We got your back.

(Jeter puts on helmet.)

JETER: Good. Pray that I don’t alter the deal further. You gentlemen are dismissed. Joe, let’s go. The hookers of Boston will make a fine sacrifice to “The Captain” tonight.

GIRARDI: Yes, Lord Jeter. Seeya, guys. I hope you learned something today.

(Jeter and Girardi exit.)

GRANDERSON: Marcus, what the hell did you just agree to?

THAMES: I dunno. But that dude is messed up. Just had to get him outta here. I miss Detroit, man.

GRANDERSON: Me, too. I hate this place…

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Know Your 2010 Detroit Tigers


Well, it is official. The season is ready to start and the 25 man roster is set. So just leave it to Your Party Host to give you the lowdown on what you need to know about each player.

POSITION PLAYERS

Catcher: Gerald Laird
What I Call Him: G-Money of the Fighting Laird Brothers, Mr. Basketball.
The Good: Above average defensively, calls a good game, doesn’t take crap from pitchers.
The Bad: Always looks like he’s taking a dump, hits worse than you do, disrupts public sporting events, has embarrassing grandfather.

First Base: Miguel Cabrera
What I Call Him: Miggy Smalls, Seňor Ding Dong, Cabby (though I don’t like it).
The Good: Perennial MVP candidate, still young, improving defensively at first.
The Bad: Violent wife, is a lush, has friends on the White Sox, prone to hangovers during big games.

Second Base: Scott Sizemore
What I Call Him: Not Placido, Sizematters.
The Good: Young, decent pop in bat, sweet first name.
The Bad: Will strike out a lot, sucks on defense, not Placido Polanco, stupid last name compared to his first.

Third Base: Brandon Inge
What I Call Him: Binge, Special Little Guy, Oh Sh-t It’s Brandon.
The Good: Makes awesome defensive stops, above average home run power, sells tickets for some reason.
The Bad: Sucks at hitting a baseball, screws up simple plays too often, stupid tattoos, fills stadium with fat girls squealing for him, cannot grow facial hair properly.

Shortstop: Adam Everett
What I Call Him: Not Bobby.
The Good: A vacuum cleaner at short, glorious hair.
The Bad: Hits like Chris Evert (too easy), frequently injured, wears #4 which should have been retired for Bobby F’n Higginson. (bite me)

Left Field: Johnny Damon
What I Call Him: Captain Caveman, Matt Damon (in the “Team America” voice).
The Good: Professional hitter, uses the entire field, gets on base, lots of post-season experience, can grow a sweet beard.
The Bad: Wife is a bitch (ha), only cares about money, Scott Boras is his puppet master, throws like a four-year old girl with a broken arm.

Center Field: Austin Jackson
What I Call Him: Ajax, Action Jackson.
The Good: Young, fast, solid defense, better hitting than expected in the spring, seems to be handling the pressure of replacing The Messiah pretty well, Dombowski has yet to notice that he let an African-American position player make the team this year.
The Bad: Lack of power, will strike out a bit, every time he screws up some fat, drunk guy (not me) is going to be screaming Granderson’s name at him.

Right Field: Magglio Ordoňez
What I Call Him: Maggs, The Savior of Tiger Baseball.
The Good: Not afraid to hit to right field, seems to be in best physical condition in years, clutch hitter.
The Bad: Short hair, getting old, option for next year is scary, declining power, plays defense like Frankenstein’s monster.

Designated Hitter/Outfield: Carlos Guillen
What I Call Him: Mr. Glass, Carlito.
The Good: Switch hitter, can play multiple positions in a pinch, ability to hit .300 if healthy.
The Bad: Gets injured getting out of bed, sucks on defense, may have too much pride to DH every day.

Backup Catcher: Alex Avila
What I Call Him: The Boss’ Kid, Double A.
The Good: Lefty, has power, can grow a full beard by the 7th inning stretch.
The Bad: Still weak on defense, looks like a wuss because his dad is in the front office, unrealistic expectations from crazy Tiger fans that got overexcited by his hot start last year.

Infield: Ramon Santiago
What I Call Him: The Little Tiger That Could, Little Ramon.
The Good: Solid defense, can play all over the infield, switch hitter, looks like he’s twelve.
The Bad: Not much of a hitter, starts to suck if he is played too often.

Utility: Ryan Raburn
What I Call Him: Raburn. They can’t all be gems, you know.
The Good: Showed decent potential with the bat last year, can play anywhere on the field, sticks tongue out a lot making me laugh, my best female friend is in love with him and I can make fun of her when he strikes out.
The Bad: Not particularly great anywhere on defense, won’t get a fair shot until Guillen or Ordonez hurt themselves (mid-April).

Utility: Don Kelly
What I Call Him: Piece of Sh-t.
The Good: Can play lots of positions.
The Bad: Terrible at baseball, even Pittsburgh released him, 30 years old and basically a rookie, did I mention he sucks at baseball?

PITCHERS


Ace: Justin Verlander
What I Call Him: JV, God.
The Good: Cy Young quality hurler, can dial up heater late in games, awesome death stare on mound, multiple nasty pitches.
The Bad: Cannot seem to get through 6th inning at under 100 pitches, usually has a “blow up” inning where he loses focus, may be certifiably insane.

#2 Starter: Rick Porcello
What I Call Him: Dreamboat Rick, Kid Rick.
The Good: Gets lots of ground balls, very mature for his age, will be able to buy beer soon, got valuable experience last year.
The Bad: Can’t strike anyone out, Comerica security still doesn’t believe he’s on the team, possible sophomore slump looming.

#3 Starter: Max Scherzer
What I Call Him: Mad Max, Crazy Eyes.
The Good: Strikes out a ton of guys, has two different colored eyes which is f-cking sweet.
The Bad: Coming to American League may be rough on him, will be compared to Edwin Jackson for a while.

#4 Starter: Jeremy Bonderman
What I Call Him: Bondo, Captain Changeup.
The Good: Awesome slider, still pretty young.
The Bad: Can’t stay healthy, inability to learn a third pitch, looks like Humpty Dumpty, stupid tattoos like Brandon Inge’s.

#5 Starter: Dontrelle Willis
What I Call Him: D-Train, Batsh-t Crazy.
The Good: Wonderful attitude, extremely fan friendly, decent hitter for a pitcher.
The Bad: Is nuts, wild, may be finished after his next meltdown.

Relief Pitcher: Phil Coke
What I Call Him: Cokehead, Dirtball.
The Good: Used to pressure playing with the Yankees.
The Bad: Played for the Yankees, looks homeless.

Relief Pitcher: Eddie Bonine
What I Call Him: Fast Eddie, Terrible.
The Good: Um…can eat innings?
The Bad: Should be in the minors, should be working at 7-11, only on the team because Zach Miner hurt himself.

Relief Pitcher: Fu-Te Ni
What I Call Him: Made in Taiwan, Knight That Says Ni.
The Good: Impressive rookie season, fun to turn him into an Asian stereotype character on my blog, young and left handed (like Dombrowski likes ‘em).
The Bad: Inexperienced. That’s about it. I love this kid, despite having fun with him sometimes on the site.

Relief Pitcher: Brad Thomas
What I Call Him: Who?
The Good: Only known player to have won a World Series championship ring (’04 Red Sox) and a Japan Series championship ring (’06 Nippon Ham Fighters). That is all I know about him other than him being another lefty. Oh, he was born in Australia. That’s kinda cool.
The Bad: Still couldn’t pick him out of a lineup if my life depended on it, only on the team because Bobby Seay is hurt, makes too much money.

Relief Pitcher: Ryan Perry
What I Call Him: Sleeves.
The Good: Only cool tattoos on the team, young, only going to get better.
The Bad: Can’t be counted on in the clutch quite yet, only 14 years old.

Relief Pitcher: Joel Zumaya
What I Call Him: Zoom, Guitar Hero, Glass Joel.
The Good: 100 mph heater, nice guy.
The Bad: Doesn’t know where the ball is going, can’t stay healthy, likes to party too much, sucks at video games and helping people move.

Closer: Jose Valverde
What I Call Him: Papa Grande, Thank God He’s Not Rodney or Jones.
The Good: Proven track record as a closer, varies pitching style from appearance to appearance, is not Fernando Rodney or Todd Jones.
The Bad: Getting older, the switching leagues thing.

That’s your team, kids. Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.