Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mike Ilitch Experiencing Burning Sensation...


Early this spring, everyone was wondering who the Tigers would give the #5 spot in the rotation to between overpaid pitching disappointments, Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson. A couple of months later, we have received our final answer.

Neither of them.

The D-Train has been sent packing just a couple months after Nate was traded to Florida for a bag of used baseballs. That’s $22 million down the drain for this season, with little to no return. It’s great that Mike Ilitch hasn’t choked to death on his terrible pizza over the years, but this still has to be very difficult for the man to swallow.

Numbers on each guy this year:

Nate: 10 games, 4-4, 4.05 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 53.1 IP (in Florida)
Willis: 9 games, 1-2, 4.98 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, 43.1 IP

My question to you is simple. Is anyone in the world, outside of perhaps Jim Leyland or Dave Dombrowski, surprised about this outcome?

I am reasonably confident in saying that there is no one on the planet that has given more grief to Nate Robertson over the past year and a half that I have. But with Nate, you knew what you were going to get. You were getting a #5 starter with potential to be decent a couple times a month. And likewise with Dontrelle, you know what was coming. Disaster. He had done nothing over the past couple years to predict any other outcome. Yet the Tigers chose him over Our Hero.

The season began with a lot of questions. Would Austin Jackson be ready for the major leagues? Likewise with Scott Sizemore? Could Magglio bounce back? How would Max Scherzer and Jose Valverde adjust to the American League? How will Zoom’s arm hold up? Would Rick Porcello have a sophomore slump?

But a couple things were a given. Miguel Cabrera was going to be very good at hitting a baseball. Brandon Inge was going to be very bad at hitting a baseball. Carlos Guillen was going to get hurt if the wind blew too hard. And Dontrelle Willis was going to walk a lot of hitters in between bouts of being batsh-t crazy.

Look, I’m just a fan. I’m just a blogger, and a bad one at that. Why is it that I knew this would happen, you knew this would happen, my six year old knew this would happen, but Double D and the Marlboro Man didn’t see this one coming with all of their years of baseball experience between them?

Willis served his purpose. He was thrown in on the deal to bring Miguel Cabrera to Detroit. That alone made him worth it. But it didn't justify the ridiculous contract extension that Dombrowski gave him before he ever threw a pitch for the Tigers. And it definitely didn’t justify him being handed the #5 spot in the rotation in 2010, 2 ½ years later, while sending Nate Robertson out of town with his tail between his legs. Odd to read on a blog called “DesigNate Robertson”, I know. But it’s the truth.

$22 million down the drain for 2010 with exactly 1 win to show for it. That’s one hell of an expensive win. Damian Easley and Gary Sheffield are even shaking their heads. I don’t know about you, but having that kind of cash around for a chance at acquiring Roy Oswalt would’ve been pretty sweet.

It would’ve at least tasted better than the bitterness now left in Mr. I’s mouth. And it would’ve felt better than the burning sensation he has in his wallet.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ozzie Guillen = Funniest Manager Ever


I make fun of Ozzie Guillen from time to time...I have to since he is the manager of the evil ChiSox. I may have even hinted at the idea of him selling his soul to the devil for the White Sox World Series win a few years ago. But I give Ozzie credit for one thing. He's probably the most entertaining manager in baseball history, for better or for worse.

Case in point: A fan in Cleveland asked Ozzie to sign his baseball. Here's what Ozzie wrote on the ball.

And on the other side?

That is just pure comedy gold. Well done, Ozzie.

Well done.

via Deadspin

Monday, May 24, 2010

Highs and Lows: One Ex-Tiger's Love of Baseball

What would professional sports be without good underdog stories? Just think about all the great movies they’ve made on the subject. From “Major League” to “Rocky” to “Rudy”, is there anything more uplifting than seeing a person or team with supposedly no chance at being a success do just that?

Well in real life, these stories happen every day. The thing is, they don’t usually have a happy ending. Ricky Vaughn doesn’t strike out the feared Yankee slugger with a 101 mph fastball. Rocky doesn’t go the distance with the champ and become an overnight sensation. Rudy doesn’t make the sack and get carried off the field on his teammates’ shoulders. The happy ending just isn’t there. In fact, these stories can become quite sad. It doesn’t make them less interesting, though.

Take this one, for example. Imagine a young man growing up in Bani, of the Dominican Republic. Bani is the capital town of the Peravia Province. It’s a town of only 169,865, with only 61,864 living in the actual metro area. It’s a region known for little more than producing bananas and coffee and is not exactly Beverly Hills when it comes to lifestyle.

But this young man isn’t interested in picking bananas or coffee beans. He wants something more. He wants to do what he loves. He wants to play baseball.

Much like teams in the Unites States, teams from Japan have worldwide scouting. And like many others, the Hiroshima Carp have a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. Now, this kid of all of 19 years ends up at the academy in pursuit of his dream. Out of the gate, he hits .340 for the Carp’s Dominican Summer League team raising some eyebrows. The eyebrows were raised enough for the Carp to offer the young man a spot on the big club in Japan. And he took it.

Our hero leaves the only home he has ever known and at the age of 19 and is now in Japan. The culture shock had to be amazing for him. Just imagine being in another country, not speaking the language, not having any friends or family, and having very little money. All this for the opportunity to follow your dream. Is that a leap of faith that you could take? This kid had guts. That, or he really didn’t want to pick bananas.

Anyway, he was thrown right into the fire and responded fairly well hitting .278 with a homer and 7 RBI in limited time for the Carp. He showed that he could hang with Japan’s big boys and was brought back the next year. He would get into 86 games in 1997 for Hiroshima and hit .245, with 3 homers and 15 RBI. 1998 brought better luck as his numbers improved to .296/.350/.404 with 5 homers and 35 RBI. He was settling in, finally, and his future appeared bright. Certainly, MLB scouts had been watching, right?

Right. In 2000, the New York Mets signed the young man to a deal. He was sent to the AAA Norfolk Tides for much of the year where he was determined to show that he wasn’t going to waste his opportunity in the States. He hit .357/.392/.512 as a Tide before the Mets called him up to the show. The kid, who only a couple years ago was living the quiet village life, was now playing baseball in the biggest city in the United States. New York City can make you a star or it can break you. There’s very little in between.

Baseball is a game full of epic highs and heartbreaking lows. You can be in the penthouse one day and into the outhouse the next. Hell, that can happen to a guy in a matter of innings or even seconds. Our young hero is no exception.

On September 1st, 2000, he made his major league debut pinch hitting against the St. Louis Cardinals. In his first ever at bat, he laced a single up the middle off of Cards reliever, Dave Veres. Finally, he had made it. From a place where 90% of the population couldn't find on a mat to being on top of the world in New York. What a feeling.

A couple minutes later, he was thrown out trying to steal second. Highs and lows. That’s baseball. Consider what happened next.

The Mets ended up making the playoffs and the young rookie would get 40 at bats in the NLDS and NCLS collecting 12 hits along the way and helping New York make it to the World Series against their cross town rivals, the Yankees. You can’t get much higher than that as a rookie that debuted in September.

And with the epic high comes the heartbreaking low. A low that would become the moment that our hero will be most remembered for by fans.

Our guy is standing on first base and teammate Todd Zeile launches one. It looks like a sure home run. He begins trotting around the bases before the screaming and yelling of the fans and coaches alert him that the ball never made it out of the yard. He tries to make up for time by breaking into a sprint, but by this time, the Yankees have a play at the plate and he is thrown out on what should have been an easy run for the Mets. A heartbreaking low.

How does anyone, let alone a kid from a Dominican village, get over letting down his teammates and fans one of the biggest cities in the world and on the largest stage there is for the game? I can’t imagine. He would play in five World Series games that year going 2-17 before having to sit and watch the Yankees celebrate their World Series title.

Maybe New York City was too much for him. Another new language, new teammates, big expectations, etc…it would be hell on anyone. But he didn’t give up. He started 2001 back in Norfolk. Before long, he was back in The Big Apple and would play in 372 games with the Mets up through 2003 hitting .276 with 18 homers and 114 RBI. But as he seemed to be adjusting, he would be traded in 2004 to the Chicago White Sox and a smaller bench role.

It would begin a new part of his life where you can imagine that when he woke up each day, it may have taken a while to figure out where he was. In 2004 and 2005, he played sparingly for the Sox, but was a part of their 2005 World Series championship team, despite only getting one at bat in the Series. In 2006, the Reds would offer him a minor league contract that he would take. Two months later, he would be traded to St. Louis and assigned to their minor league team. Finally, on June 2, 2006, he was given another chance and brought back to the big leagues. At 31 years old, this might be his last chance.

Stepping into the box, several things must have been going through his head. Sadly, what he should have been worried about was what was heading toward his head. In his first at bat back up in the show, he was hit in the head by a pitch. It didn’t keep him down and he would split time between the Cards and AAA Memphis Redbirds before being released in August.

Then the Tigers came calling. Our guy was sent to the Toledo Mud Hens and started hitting again. He would make the AAA All-Star team and be the MVP of the game going 3-4 with 2 RBI. The Tigers would call him up in July after he was leading the International League in hits, runs, doubles, and being second in batting average, while hitting 10 home runs in 91 games. In 29 games in Detroit, he would hit .389/.427/.533 and appeared to have found a home. The thing is, the Tigers weren’t interested in a part-time outfielder in his early 30’s. He would never play in the majors again.

He kept playing baseball, though. Our man was on the Caribbean Series winning team, the Licey Tigers in 2008. And when not playing at home in the Dominican Republic, he would stick around in Toledo before being released by the Tigers early in 2009. From there, he would head to the Mexican League and hit .323 in 77 games for Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz. Then, he would hit .338 in 21 games for the New Jersey Jackals of the independent Can-Am League in 2009.

And he is still playing. This year, he is with the AAA farm club of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Albuquerque Isotopes, where he is hitting .295 with 1 homer and 6 RBI in 16 games. At this point he could probably be hitting .400 and wouldn’t get called up. He is 35 years old. In baseball years, he might as well be 60. Why is he still playing?

It can’t be the money. It’s not the fame. It’s not the groupies. It’s not for any kind of legacy.

It’s because of the love of the game, the same love he had as a teenager back home. The sounds and smells of the park. The crack of the bat. The feeling of success when legging out a double off of some 20 year old prospect that thinks he owns the world. It’s for baseball, the only consistent thing in the man’s life.

Baseball is life to Timo Perez.

And that’s why Timo will always be one of my Tigers. He’s not a hired gun like Johnny Damon is or Gary Sheffield was. He’s not a prodigy that the game was made for like Justin Verlander or Miguel Cabrera. He’s just a guy that plays baseball because he loves it.

Thanks for playing, Timo. Thanks for the countless miles you’ve traveled by foot, bus, train, or airplane to play the game you love. I wish we would have had room for you on the ballclub.

But, no.

Don F-cking Kelly had to have a spot on the team. Weird game, this baseball. You have to be crazy to love it like Timo Perez does.

But he does. And guys like him are a big reason why I do, too.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Who's My Tiger?

So, the kids over at Bless You Boys had a poll up the other day asking the question, “Who’s your Tiger?” As of this writing, there were 979 votes cast. Here’s the top five.

1. Justin Verlander: 23%
2. Miguel Cabrera: 17%
3. Brandon Inge: 15%
4. Brennan Boesch: 11%
5. Magglio Ordonez: 9%

The only other guys above 2% were Austin Jackson with 6% of the vote and Joel Zumaya with 4%. That’s all fine and well, but what does this have to do with anything over here at DesigNate Robertson?

It pisses me off, that’s what. JV and Cabrera, I get. Inge has a popularity that I will never understand as long as I live. My beef is the lack of respect for the man I voted for, Magglio Ordonez.

I mean, what does he have to do to get some love? He’s in his sixth season as a Tiger and all he’s done over that time is hit .320/.383/.493 and an OPS+ of 128. He’s hit 95 homers, 167 doubles, and drove in 468 runs. Oh yeah, he also hit a little home run in the 2006 ALCS that you may remember (or may not) that sent the Tigers to their first World Series since 1984. He’s never been a problem in the locker room. He’s nice to fans and can often be spotted chatting with them in right field. And who could forget the hair?

But yeah, Boesch and his 85 career plate appearances is the more popular player. Is it because Magglio is Venezualan? Is it because he’s getting older? Is it because people are caught up in the Boesch-A-Mania that will most likely be non-existent two months from now? Does he make too much money?

I don’t know. But I still love you, Maggs. You had me at “Hola”.

You had me at “Hola”. (learn Spanish, jerks)

Okay, enough crying. For poops and giggles, I decided to rank the rest of the Tiger 40 man roster from my most favorite Tiger down to my least favorite. Keep in mind, #4-#35 on this list tends to change by the hour. Here we go.

1. Magglio Ordonez
See above.

2. Justin Verlander
JV is the master and the ruler of the world.

3. Miguel Cabrera
MVP.

4. Austin Jackson
Yes, the kid has grown on me very quickly. Curtis Granderson? Never heard of him.

5. Johnny Damon
Hate on him all you want. He is the most professional hitter on the team and was the perfect replacement for Polanco in the #2 slot.

6. Joel Zumaya
I’m so glad to see Zoom back in form this year. Chicks dig the heater; guess I do, too. Plus he jumped into me in the crowd celebrating after Magglio’s ’06 homer and we formed a bond.

7. Rick Porcello
Kid Rick is going to form one hell of a duo with JV over the years for us as soon as he can find himself an out pitch to compliment his sinker.

8. Ryan Perry
Coolest tattoos on the team. Granted, that’s not saying much.

9. Jose Valverde
Dance, fatty. Dance. And keep kicking ass.

10. Ramon Santiago
The little Tiger that could. Amazing since I hated him so much when he and Omar Infante first came up.

11. Ryan Raburn
I know. But he’s like the special needs kid on the team. I can’t help but root for him.

12. Brennan Boesch
Take a pitch, son. You remind me too much of Randall Simon. Like the early production, though.

13. Phil Coke
He’s like Nate Robertson, except with talent.

14. Fu-Te Ni
Made in Taiwan, but hopefully has found a home in the D.

15. Max Scherzer
The only guy I’ve been wrong about this year. Hopefully his time in Toledo helps him to figure things out. Still the coolest eyes ever on a human being.

16. Carlos Guillen
I’ve just never been much of a Guillen fan. Probably because of his ability to get hurt while checking his watch.

17. Adam Everett
Best hair on the list. At least until Jeff Larish finds his way back onto the 40 man roster.

18. Jeremy Bonderman
Would be ten spots higher if he was able to learn a changeup.

19. Alex Avila
Has potential and Daddy’s backing. Plus has amusing facial hair growing ability.

20. Bobby Seay
May never pitch for us again. Did a fine job, though.

21. Dontrelle Willis
Classy guy. Still rooting for him to overcome being nuts.

22. Eddie Bonine
Learned a knuckler and got himself out of my bottom five. Eddie’s growing on me.

23. Jacob Turner
Haven’t seen him pitch yet. But I’m enjoying what I hear.

24. Brandon Inge
Sigh. I do love his glove. Hate everything else.

25. Daniel Schlereth
Like Turner, I can’t wait to see what he’s got. Can’t stand his old man, though.

26. Ryan Strieby
Trade bait. The new Mike Hessman?

27. Scott Sizemore
Like Scherzer, I hope he can figure things out in T-Town. His glove is worse than I thought it would be, too.

28. Zach Miner
My feelings change on Zach every time I see him pitch. Probably because he looks like the dentist elf from “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”.

29. Armando Galarraga
Scary looking lesbians frighten me.

30. Gerald Laird
My patience is about to run out with G-Lard.

31. Wilkin Ramirez
Needs to cut down on the K’s.

32. Casper Wells
Need to see more of him to have a better opinion.

33. Jay Sborz
Who?

34. Brad Thomas
Sorry, Dave. Still don’t understand this one.

35. Danny Worth
Still Worth-less. Prove me wrong, kid.

36. Audy Ciriaco
Has done nothing to offend me. Yet.

37. Brent Dlugach
Our minor league infielders have annoying names.

38. Clete Thomas
Should be taken to the vet and put to sleep.

39. Alfredo Figaro
Fernando Rodney’s cousin. Enough said.

40. Don Kelly
Die.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Possible Explanation For Today's Loss

Time: Monday night/Tuesday morning, midnight-ish
Place: Unnamed club, downtown Detroit

OZZIE GUILLEN: Motherf*cker. I hate this f*cking team. We’re f*cking fifteen and twenty-f*cking-two! Twenty-two f*cking losses, AJ! Almost nine games outta first. I’m gonna lose my f*cking job, man! How the f*ck can we turn this bullsh*t around?

AJ PIERZYNSKI: It’s not gonna be easy, boss. I’m not sure.

OZZIE: No sh*t, mang. Now, we need to beat these f*ckers in Detroit. Did you call Cabrera? Can we get his ass loaded up with some f*cking shots?

AJ: I tried, dude. He ain’t going for it. Says the media ate him alive last time. Says he’s playing too well to mess things up again.

OZZIE: Did you tell him we had strippers?

AJ: Yeah. He seems pretty committed to his wife, dude.

OZZIE: Blow! Did you tell him we had blow?

AJ: He don't do drugs, boss.

OZZIE: F*ck that sh*t. Call him again! We need this game!

AJ: All right, dude.

/calls Cabrera

AJ: Hey, man. I know I keep callin’. We just miss you, man. Ozzie and I just want to catch up, you know? Maybe do a couple shots? Naw, no one will know. Tell your wife that my car broke down and you’re just helpin’ a brother out. Really, man? You’ve changed. Fine. See you at the park, dick.

OZZIE: You mother*cker. We can’t beat these assh*les with him being sober. What the f*ck are we gonna do?

BLUE LIGHT REFRESHMENT DUO: Perhaps we can help?

OZZIE: Ah, hell f*ckin’ yeah! AJ, give them ho’s the phone.

/16 hours later, Cabrera goes 0-4 with 6 LOB.

OZZIE: High five!

AJ: Ah hahahahaha! Stupid Venezuelans. Sh*t, sorry, Ozzie.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Keeping Score: Red Sox @ Tigers 5/16/10

So, Scotty Sizemore and Mad Max are off to Toledo and Armando and Danny Worth are on the big club? Armando, I get. Scherzer needs to figure himself out in the minors. He’s been an abortion so far in Detroit after a decent start to the year. And Sizemore is sucking more than people thought he would at the dish. But bringing up Danny Worth? Worth-less is more like it. (Zing.) That’s the best we have down there? We already have Little Ramon and my bff, Don Kelly, as infield backups. Why can’t my man, Jeff Larish, get some love? At least that way we’d have a power bat off the bench.

I swear, Double D must have some secret cloning device where he takes bland white guys that can’t hit and just keeps cloning them over and over. Clete, Kelly, Worth, Rhymes, Wells…where does it end?

And when Mr. Glass gets off the DL, he’s the new second baseman. Believe it or not, I like this idea. He can’t be any worse on D than Sizemore was. And we know Carlos will hit better than him. Best of all, The Mighty Boesch gets to keep his job.

On to today’s game. I’m kind of scared to do this one. Boston always seems to kill us. Last night was a miracle. And it’s mega-millionaire John Lackey on the mound for the Sawx against our returning bull lesbian-looking starter, Armando Galarraga. If Armando lasts three innings, I’m claiming moral victory.

Let’s play the Feud!

Friday, May 14, 2010

I Apologize in Advance for this Post...

Sorry there hasn’t been much content here lately. In the past 10 days, I have worked close to 100 hours. My only day off was spent in Detroit with the world’s biggest Brandon Inge fan, so it wasn’t much of a break. And I work another 9-10 hour shift tomorrow. Now, some of you may not think that 110 hours in 11 days is that big of a deal, but in the redneck bar I run, each hour I’m there seems like three. Every day is like Groundhog Day. Same ignorant people, same ignorant conversations. I’m currently wrecked, both physically and mentally. I need to vent. I need to take out frustration on somebody. I need…

...Don Kelly. The Donbot is currently hitting a robust .182 with 1 homer and 3 RBI in 34 plate appearances. His OBP is .206, his OPS is .479, and his OPS+ is 29. (100 is an average big league player) Yes, I don’t like Don Kelly being on my baseball team. And as I said, I’m in a poor mental state. So with a tip of the cap to the late, great George Carlin, here are 30 ways I would like to see Don Kelly die. Now would be a good time for Don’s friends and family to quit reading.

(Note: Idon’treallywantDonKellytodie. Heisaniceguy,justabadbaseballplayer. Getasenseofhumoryoustupidasshats.)

1. Grease fire.

2. Hanging.

3. Via firing squad.

4. Run over by a bus.

5. Beat to death with a mace.

6. Stabbed repeatedly with a pitchfork.

7. Stoned to death by angry mob.

8. Put poison and/or acid in his Gatorade.

9. Shoot him out of a cannon directly into a brick wall.

10. Tie him to train tracks and stand there twirling mustache in an evil way as the train approaches.

11. AIDS (and preferably found with his hand in Clete Thomas’ pants).

12. Buried up to his neck, pour honey on his head, dump fire ants on top.

13. Mauled by a lion (not a Detroit Lion…I want the job to get done).

14. Buried up to his neck and run over with a lawn mower. Back up lawn mower. Do it again.

15. Pushed into spinning helicopter blades.

16. Lock him in a closet with a wolverine on angeldust.

17. Drop an anvil on his head.

18. Drop a piano on his head.

19. Give him a stick of dynamite, tell him it’s a cigar. Run away laughing.

20. Paint a tunnel on the outfield wall at Comerica and convince him to run through it at full speed, breaking his neck.

21. Push him off a cliff. Imagine him holding up a “help” sign before he falls.
(Okay, that’s enough cartoon ones…)

22. Convince him to talk to Justin Verlander on a day that JV starts. Enjoy watching Justin beat him to death with a hammer.

23. Eaten by a T-Rex. (shut up, it’s my list)

24. Lung cancer. He’s had to have taken in enough second-hand smoke from
Leyland at this point.

25. Tie him to a conveyor belt with a spinning band saw at the end. Press the start button on the belt. Laugh maniacally.

26. Catapult into a wall of spikes.

27. Force him to watch a video of Brandon Inge swinging at curveballs. He’ll kill himself within 20 minutes.

28. Dress him as a rainbow colored donkey. Hang him from a rope. Hand baseball bats to Mexican children and tell them that there’s candy inside the donkey.

29. Infected anal warts.

30. Take to an abandoned building. Super glue his testicles to the floor. Set building on fire. Hand him a knife. Make him choose between his nuts or his life. Wait outside. If he chooses to remove his family jewels, shoot him in the face with a shotgun when he gets outside.

Sigh. I need a new job. Sorry for all of this. Stay in school, kids.

Seeya in a couple days when I make another attempt at Keeping Score.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Night at the Park


With today’s series opener against the dreaded Yanks of New York dedicated to the memory of the late Ernie Harwell, I really felt the need to be there to be a part of it. To take it all in. To say goodbye. Yes, even snarky, potty-mouthed, smart alecs like myself have heroes and feelings, and losing the legendary voice of the Tigers was as hard on Your Party Host as it was on many of you.

So, a group of us made the trek to D-Town to take it all in. Here’s a few notes and thoughts on the day’s happenings that stood out to me.

-Arriving at our seats, we found a group of Yankee fans sitting in our spots. Of course. It always feels good to tell a Yankee fan to screw off. They left without further incident. Too bad, as I was hoping to see one of them tased by Tiger security. (Are we doing this yet?)

-Today couldn’t have been easy on Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Ray Lane, Paul Carey, and the Harwell family in attendance, but they did fine jobs being there for the pregame ceremonies in Ernie’s honor. At first, I kind of expected more to be done to honor Ernie today, but the more I thought about it, I think a more low key thing was what he would have wanted, from what I have read of the man. Regardless, Ernie will never be forgotten.

-During the moment of silence as the “EH” flag was being raised, I kept hearing talking behind me in the otherwise silent section of right field where we were sitting. I turned around and saw the voices belonged to (of course) Yankee fans. Have some respect, people. I know Yankee fans in general are mindless, soulless piles of garbage, but come on…

-Jose Feliciano performed one of the more memorable versions of the national anthem that I have ever heard. He got a standing ovation afterwards and no one wanted to kill him, unlike in ’68 when he did it. Congrats, Jose!

-Dontrelle’s sick again, huh? Whatever. But is Brad Thomas really our #6 starter? Now, I’ve ridden Eddie Bonine pretty hard since starting this blog, but the kid has pitched his butt off so far in the young season and is doing the impossible in winning me over. Why hasn’t he been given the starting nod yet? He’s had to relieve Thomas in both outings and his ERA is down to 1.02 after today. Then again, we’re 2-0 when Brad starts. It’s a goofy game, this baseball.

-Does anyone want Carlos Guillen to ever come back? Brennan Boesch continued his hot hitting with two hits and three RBI today. Unless Carlos can play shortstop again, I am in no hurry to see him gimp around the field anytime soon. I just need to decide on the proper nickname for the Tiger rookie…

-Das WunderBoeschen is an inside joke that only two people will get.
-Osh Gosh Ba Boesch is…stupid.
-Oh My Boesch! Also dumb.
-Boesch Pit…not for him. Maybe for a group of fans, though.
-Boesch Spice? Too 1997, methinks…
-Boesch Brother? Has potential…I’ll think about it.

Brennan’s a stupid name, though.

-How good did it have to feel for Johnny D to hit that homer against his former team that didn’t want to pay him this offseason? I’m sure he and the wife will be enjoying reliving that moment over cocktails later. Perhaps cosmopolitans…

-Tiger fans HATE Nick Swisher! They rode him all game without remorse. Only A-Rod got more hate from the Tiger faithful. I enjoyed it.

-Zoom looked pretty good again. Then, in the top of the 8th, I see him coming back out to the mound. “What the f-ck is Jim doing”, I yelled aloud. “Why isn’t Perry coming in?” I wasn’t the only one asking the question in my section, either. Sure enough, the Yanks had gotten enough of a good look at Joel, started teeing off, and almost tied the game up. Luckily, Phil Coke and Ryan Perry put out the fire before the game could be blown. Nice try at screwing it up though, Jim. You moron.

-Brandon Inge sucks.

-Ran into Jen from Old English D at the game. Jen and I poke fun at each other in our blogs from time to time, but it was, as always, nice to see her again. That is, except for the fact that she insisted on hugging me. I know I’m sexy, kid, but you need to pay your fifty bucks like everyone else does to touch me, okay?

-Magglio made a diving catch in right to rob Derek Jeter late in the game that saved the ballgame. Remember last year when Jim yanked him in the 6th inning every game because he supposedly couldn’t play d anymore? Then, we would get screwed whenever that spot came back up in the lineup again? My point is, I hate Jim Leyland more and more lately…

-Back to Brandon, that worthless sh-t. My friend that got the tickets for us and also drove showed up wearing THIS outfit for the game.

He did it intentionally to piss me off, as he knows I loath the Special Little Guy while he is his favorite player for some stupid reason. Really? The Inge all-star jersey? Needless to say, he heard much from me after Brandon’s 0-4, 2 K performance today. Felt good. I wanted to taste his tears.

-Jose Valverde is awesome. He struck out the side in the 9th for his 9th save of the year. It is a much better feeling to see Papa Grande coming in for the 9th than it was when Jonesey or Captain Crookedhat stumbled out. And did I mention…

NONE OF YOU WANTED HIM! ONLY I DID! MEMEMEMEMEMEMEME! Argh…I hate you all!

But the guy is going to get one of our players hit in the head. The way he celebrates after each strikeout, well, someone’s going to take it the wrong way. It’s fun to watch since he’s on our side, but if I were an opposing team’s fan, I’d probably be upset with his antics.

Just don’t get Cabrera drilled, okay, big man? Gracias.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Attacking Lynn Henning Attacking Philly Cops


Rough week. But, we move forward.

The other day, some stupid kid ran onto the field at a Phillies game and ended up getting tased by a cop. Everyone I have spoken to about it agrees that the cop made the right move.

Lynn Henning disagrees. And here we go.

A guy gets a snoot full of beer at a ballgame.

Snoot?

/goes to dictionary.com

–noun
1. Slang, the nose.
2. Informal, a snob.

/scratches head

Um, okay. Sorry…I’m not 65 years old. I don’t get your “old white man” lingo.

His blood-alcohol level quickly exceeds the line at which basic judgment is made.

Trust me, it’s going to take more than a “snoot” full of beer to get the old BAC past the basic judgement line. Perhaps a “sneet”?

He runs onto a ballfield.

Shoot him in the face. I’m pretty sure that anyone in recorded history that has run onto a professional ball field will never grow up to be president. We have too many idiots in our society the way it is.

In Taiwan, they would cut his balls off, if my Taiwanese law knowledge is correct.

And he gets tackled -- or Tasered, as happened Monday night at Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia.

Except this wasn't some 25-year-old loaded with Miller Lite.


/CEO of Miller files a lawsuit

It was a 17-year-old.

Yup. But did he have a t-shirt on that said “I’m 17” at the time like all 17 year old juvenile delinquents do? Oh, that’s right. That doesn’t happen. Guess the cops should have known that it was a kid by counting the rings on his forehead. Sigh.

And, from at least initial evidence, this wasn't alcohol talking. It was all a product of a kid's stupid act.

If only there was a way that this kid would have learned a lesson for his stupidity. I know, they should have tased him. Wait…they did. Good job, Philly PD!

First reaction: You don't need Tasers (electroshock weapons) to subdue a person running onto a ballfield.

Not all the time. But did you watch the video, Lynn? The security was chasing the prick around for a while. He clearly wasn’t planning on stopping for anyone. So, the cop did what he thought was necessary to end the nonsense. He tased the kid.

They should have kicked him in the neck when he was on the ground, too.

You need good security, and a prudent judge who later on will make sure the offender pays the price and never again contemplates doing something so juvenile, or something so potentially dangerous to players on the field.

And if we all lived in the land of peppermints, lollipops, and chocolate bunnies, we would be a much happier race of citizens. But that isn’t going to happen, either.

How much security do you want at the park, man? Cops every five feet? Secret service? A better idea would be big signs at the ballpark saying:

“IF YOU PLAN ON RUNNING ONTO THE FIELD, PLAN ON GETTING TASED IN THE FACE”

That would scare me a bit more than being tackled by an out-of-shape 50 year old security guard and a night in the drunk tank.

That seems to be the formula for success elsewhere.

Yeah. Ask Monica Seles. Or Steffi Graf. Or poor Tom Gamboa.

These stunts happen a couple of times a year at most ballparks.

Exactly. Because no one is scared of the consequences of the action. Well, normal people are. But starved for attention morons trying to impress their buddies may think it’s worth a night in the slammer for a good laugh.

I’m willing to bet that this kid’s schoolmates won’t be imitating his actions anytime soon. Again, I say bravo, Philly PD.

Rarely, very rarely, do they lead to anything other than a drunk yahoo being tackled and escorted to the clink. And even in the case of the more serious incidents (Tom Gamboa, the former Kansas City Royals first base coach, got attacked by a lovely father-son tag team in 2002), it's not clear that Tasering accomplishes anything that a security person or two can't just as easily handle with their arms.

If the two idiots that attacked Mr. Gamboa would have been tasered, old Tom probably wouldn’t have been beaten the way he was. After the attack, a pocket knife from one of them was found on the field, too. Those two should have been sterilized after they were caught.

East Coast clubs tend to act more aggressively, as the enforcers proved Monday night at Philly. Yankee Stadium, likewise, shows no mercy, although the rough stuff there is more on the scale of a pro wrestling match. Fenway Park has a more genteel throng and isn't often invaded by crazies.

Really? You’re actually generalizing the ways that the security in each city act when they run onto the field? Are you serious?

“Dodger Stadium security prefers the patty-cake, patty-cake, baker’s man method of catching folks running on the field.”

“In Houston, fans running on the field will be brought down by flailing pillows from the local authorities.”

“In San Francisco, the cops will assault you with rolled up issues of the latest Vanity Fair.”

The critical problem with a Taser is that it can kill.

Yes. No one has ever been killed by another person’s hands in the history of the world.

/facepalms

The wrong person has the wrong reaction and it can be fatal, which is perhaps sound frontier justice, but it doesn't seem as if the crime warrants that brand of intervention.

This wasn’t another moron from the crowd that tased this survived abortion. It wasn’t Billy the Kid, either. It was a trained police officer. If Philadelphia cannot trust the judgment of one of their policemen, then they should just close the place down.

Well, hell, it’s only Philly. That might not be a bad idea. Michael Irvin would agree. So would Santa Claus. And Donovan McNabb, probably.

The Tigers prefer the tried-and-true method of cornering a miscreant and hauling him into a holding cell.

/1950’s Irish cop voice

“How many snoots of lager do you think THIS miscreant has had, Officer O’Riley? Heh, heh, you’re going up the river for a LONG time, pally!”

Ron Colangelo, the Tigers' vice president for communications, talked about the club's policy Tuesday.

“If they go after Don Kelly, we say it’s cool with us.”

Oh, nope. That’s just my policy.

"It's against the law to run onto the field at Comerica Park," Colangelo said,

Ya know what SHOULD be against the law at Comerica Park?

Eat ‘em up Tigers, eat ‘em up…

explaining that the holding cell is where "runners," as they're called, are kept until the arrest and paperwork is completed. "The person typically spends a night in jail, faces a court appearance, and is levied a fine."

Exactly. This is the problem. The consequences of disrupting a live sporting event are minimal. And in the world we live in nowadays, who knows what kind of person you are dealing with running around on the field. Again, I go back to the clown that stabbed Monica Seles. Or the psychos that cause riots at soccer matches in other countries. Harsher penalties would make people think twice…at least the ones that are just looking for attention.

A few years ago, I was managing in a bar when some prick started slapping his girlfriend around. He then pushed another patron and I ran after him and ended up tackling him into a pool table. I pulled him up and dragged him outside and told him to stay out or I was calling the cops. This is what Lynn Henning thinks should happen to everyone that runs onto a ball field.

Here’s the problem. What I didn’t know, was that when I tackled him, a gun fell out of his pocket. When I was outside, another worker grabbed the gun and put it behind the bar. The girl that was being hit? She ran behind the bar, took the gun, and left in her own car with the pistol. I hope she shot him.

The point? I didn’t know the dude had a gun. People are crazy. You never know what’s going to happen. The cops didn’t know this kid was 17 years old and they didn’t know that he didn’t have a gun. They tased him when he didn’t cooperate and they brought his ass down.

What if things were different? Imagine this scenario.

A guy gets a snoot full of beer at a ballgame. Or better yet, a 17 year old kid runs onto the field at a ballgame. He runs around for a minute as the security chases him Keystone Cops style and can’t catch him. They have tasers, but don’t use them, despite the kid not listening and them not being able to catch him. While they chase him around, the kid pulls out a gun and fires at an umpire, Ryan Howard, or anyone else on the field. Someone gets shot. What then, Lynn? Would you have criticized the officers for NOT tasing the guy in that situation, no matter how old he was?

Point is, in today’s society, you never know. I think the cop did the right thing.

Anyone who thinks this is kid-glove treatment wasn't on hand for Opening Day 15 years ago at Tiger Stadium when a few well-liquored patrons stormed the field and wound up getting chicken-winged (their arms stretched behind their backs after they were viewed as resisting) by security that had its hands full and chose not to mess around with some clowns who seemed to be egging on others.

Yes. The cops in Philly were all messing around while chasing this kid that wouldn’t stop. It’s all fun and games until someone gets tased.

Or is it Detroit cops > Philly cops? Well, I imagine the Detroit ones get more action…

But the line would appear to be clear. And going over that line is what happens when you Taser a 17-year-old whose crime was being teen-aged stupid.

That’s fine for you when you’re still living in a world when miscreants have one snoot too many and cause tomfoolery on the ball field. This isn’t 1955.

This is 2010. I’m living in a world where crazy motherf-ckers are running around hopped up on who-knows-what and might have a gun.

One last time, I say thank you, Philadelphia police officer.

And one final thought for anyone reading this. Have you ever met anyone that had been tased that wasn’t up to something stupid at the time? Odds are, they deserved it.

And so did this kid in Philly. Jackass.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ernie Harwell (1918-2010)


Sports announcers are a dime a dozen. With so much baseball, football, hockey, or whatever on television nowadays, it seems that any schmuck with a remedial understanding of the game can get put in the announcing booth. However, there are some that become pretty good at what they do. From that group, a select few may even become great. However, it is not every day that a man becomes so great at what he does that he becomes regarded as a legend.

Ernie Harwell was a legend.

Reports have just come out that the great Ernie Harwell, with his wife Lulu at his side, passed away in his home today from his nearly year-long battle with cancer. Words cannot be written to accurately explain how sad a day this is for those who enjoyed the unique way that Ernie explained and taught the game of baseball to us for 55 years, 42 of them with the Tigers.

I’m not going to list the amazing career highlights that made up the broadcasting career of Ernie Harwell. I’m sure you can find those anywhere else, especially in the coming days after his death. Instead, I would just like to share a few of my favorite Ernie quotes from over the years.

-“Baseball is a lot like life. It's a day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.”

-“God blessed me by putting me here for thirty-one years at Michigan and Trumbull.”

-“I love what I do. If I had my time over again, I'd probably do it for nothing.”

-“I love the game because it’s so simple, yet it can be so complex. There’s a lot of layers to it, but they aren’t hard to peel back.”

-“Baseball is the President tossing out the first ball of the season and a scrubby schoolboy playing catch with his dad on a Mississippi farm.”

-"I think I owe thanks to the people who have listened to me over the years, who tuned in on the radio. They have given me a warmth and loyalty that I've never been able to repay. The way they have reached out to me has certainly been the highlight of my life."

-“But most of all, I'm a part of you people out there who have listened to me, because especially you people in Michigan, you Tiger fans, you've given me so much warmth, so much affection and so much love.”


In closing, with a tear in my eye, here are a couple of fitting quotes about Ernie from a pair of Tiger greats.

-"Ernie is probably the most beloved person who has ever been in Detroit with the Detroit Tigers. He is loved by everybody and rightfully so. He's a great broadcaster but even a better person. That comes across on his broadcasts." – Al Kaline

-"Ernie Harwell stands, as much as anybody as I can think of, as a positive representative of what the game of baseball should and does stand for. His memory will be long lasting and the quality of man he is will never diminish." – Bill Freehan


Amen. Thank you, Ernie.

Goodbye.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tooting My Own Horn


Granted, it is only May (in the D). But, as Jim Leyland would say, I’m quite “tickled” that I have been right about so many things thus far, while most other people have been wrong. It’s not all doodie jokes and Don Kelly insults around here, boys and girls. I’m a friggin’ genius. Take a look.

The Grandy/AJax/EJax/Coke/etc Trade


MY REACTION: I liked the trade. See? Pretty sure I was alone there.

EVERYONE ELSE’S REACTION: Noooooooooo! Curtis was the bestest Tiger ever! Jackson isn’t ready for the majors! Phil Coke sucks! Edwin is awesome! Max who? Fire Dombrowski…no, DUMBrowski!

EARLY RETURNS:
Curtis Granderson: .225 Avg, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 89 OPS+, on DL for around a month with a groin ouchie.
Edwin Jackson: 1-2, 6.67 ERA, 70 ERA+, 1.59 WHIP
Austin Jackson: .356 Avg, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 140 OPS+, league leader in hits.
Max Scherzer: 1-1, 4.23 ERA, 102 ERA+, 1.37 WHIP
Phil Coke: 3-0, 1.93 ERA, 227 ERA+
Daniel Schlereth (AAA): 0-1, 1.46 ERA, 12.1 IP, 15 K

VERDICT: So far, we are the clear winner in this trade. So what if AJax strikes out a lot? He’s just a kid and if 20 of those K’s were pop outs, who cares? He’s beating the crap out of the ball. Coke's been solid. Schlereth's on his way. Too bad Max has inherited Edwin’s run support luck with us, though.

Magglio Ordonez Returns to Form

MY REACTION: Several times in the past few months, I have noted that Ordonez’s poor start last year had more to do with his personal issues with his wife’s health than his skills being eroded.

EVERYONE ELSE’S REACTION: He’s overpaid and he’s done. Don’t let him get the at bats to trigger the 2011 contract, Jim! Play Clete more!

EARLY RETURNS:
.293 Avg, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 137 OPS+

VERDICT: Magglio isn’t quite done yet, kids.

The Johnny Damon Signing


MY REACTION: Damon was my top choice for a free agent hitter on 1/29. On 2/12 I made my case for Damon to be a Tiger.

EVERYONE ELSE’S REACTION: He costs too much money! He sucks on defense! He only hit because of that Yankee lineup! He’s greedy and a traitor! Blah, blah, blah…

EARLY RETURNS:
.344 Avg, 1 HR, 13 RBI, .439 OBP, 155 OPS+

VERDICT: Johnny Damon has been all sorts of awesome as a Tiger so far. He even has two assists in the outfield already. Eat it.

The Jose Valverde Signing

MY REACTION: I was ecstatic. See here.

EVERYONE ELSE’S REACTION: What the hell? Fire Dombrowski! He’s a waste of money! He’s coming from the NL to the AL…he’s gonna suck! He blew a save…FERNANDO ONLY BLEW ONE! The sky is falling! Waaaaaaah…

EARLY RETURNS:
0-1, 0.75 ERA, 7 SV, 586 ERA+, 1 ER in 12 IP.

VERDICT: Jose Valverde is the best closer the Tigers have had since Willie Hernandez in 1984.

Justin Verlander’s 2010 Start

MY REACTION: From the other day, “Verlander struggled through April last year, too. He’s going to be fine.”

EVERYONE ELSE’S REACTION: What’s wrong with Verlander? Oh my gawd!

EARLY RETURNS:
May 1st: 8.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K

VERDICT: April’s over. He’s God again.

Miguel Cabrera’s Off Field Problems

MY REACTION: From 1/5/10, “Let it go, people. Miguel Cabrera is a once in a lifetime franchise player.”

EVERYONE ELSE’S REACTION: How could he do this to us? Trade him! He doesn’t care about baseball! That drunk!

EARLY RETURNS:
.343 Avg, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 176 OPS+, league leader in RBI, doubles, and intentional walks.

VERDICT: MVP.

I rest on your face. I’m always right. Learn to love it.

Yeah, it’s early. Bite me. I’m enjoying this season so far. And start paying attention, dammit! In between the bad jokes and run-on sentences, you might actually learn something around here. Ha...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Always A Tiger: April Outside the D

A quick look at how our Tiger heroes of yesteryear have fared so far this season. Hopefully I didn’t miss anyone. Stats are through April 30th via mlb.com.

PITCHERS

Edwin Jackson, Arz: 1-2, 6.67 ERA, 28.1 IP, 26 K
Nate Robertson, Fla: 2-2, 5.18, 24.1, 15
Colby Lewis, Tex: 3-0, 2.76, 32.2, 38
Jair Jurrjens, Atl: 0-3, 6.38, 25, 15
Freddy Garcia, ChW: 0-2, 5.87, 23, 14
Francisco Cordero, Cin: 1-1, 2.70, 9/10 SV, 13.1, 13
Fernando Rodney, LAA: 2-0, 2.84, 5/5, 12.2, 9
Brian Mohler, Hou: 0-0, 3.09, 11.2, 4
Chad Durbin, Phi: 0-0, 2.61, 10.1, 9
Tim Byrdak, Hou: 1-0, 3.72, 9.2, 6
Kyle Farnsworth, KC: 1-0, 4.82, 9.1, 8
Brandon Lyon, Hou: 1-1, 5.79, 9.1, 8
Jeff Weaver, LAD: 0-1, 5.06, 5.1, 1
Trevor Miller, StL: 0-0, 1.93, 4.2, 5
Roman Colon, KC: 0-0, 18.00, 2, 1
Juan Rincon, Col: 0-0, 9.00, 1, 0

POSITION PLAYERS

C-Ivan Rodriguez, Was: .413, 0, 9, .449, .524
C-Matt Treanor, Tex: .231, 1, 6, .333, .333
C-Brad Ausmus, LAD: .250, 0, 0, .250, .500
1B-Aubrey Huff, SF: .247, 2, 10, .344, .403
1B-Carlos Pena, TB: .247, 5, 22, .379, .481
2B-John McDonald, Tor: .194, 0, 0, .194, .290
3B-Placido Polanco, Phi: .299, 2, 13, .330, .425
3B-Omar Infante, Atl: .273, 0, 3, .314, .364
SS-Edgar Renteria, SF: .320, 1, 10, .386, .395
OF-Cameron Maybin, Fla: .247, 1, 4, .309, .326
OF-Curtis Granderson, NYY: .221, 2, 7, .310, .377
OF-Cody Ross, Fla: .262, 1, 11, .295, .357
OF-Marcus Thames, NYY: .588, 1, 2, .650, .941 (yikes)
OF-Gabe Kapler, TB: .222, 1, 4, .344, .370
OF-Frank Catalanotto, NYM: .150, 0, 1, .190, .200
OF-Matt Stairs, SD: .133, 0, 3, .176, .267
OF-Andres Torres, SF: .261, 0, 4, .358, .346