Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Please Stand By...


If the Tigers lineup isn't going to show up, why should I?

No. That's not it. If you've been following the blog for a while, you may recall a couple months ago some personal issues coming up that made me think I was going to have to say goodbye to my little poop joke blog for a while. Things calmed down very quickly and I was able to resume my duties of making fun of Don Kelly and writing posts with entirely too many commas.

Well, it was fun while it lasted. I'm going to have to take approximately two weeks off from calling Jim Leyland an idiot and tearing apart Lynn Henning's hard work. I hope that you'll all stop back around August 10th when I come back with guns 'a' blazin'. Or something.

As always, thanks for reading, commenting, and supporting the DNR. Hopefully we have something nice to talk about when I return.

Seeya.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Am Jack's Raging Bile Duct


“Only after disaster can we be resurrected.” -Tyler Durden in “Fight Club”

-Game 163
-Goodbye, Polly
-Seeya, Grandy
-Down goes Seay
-Down goes Miner
-Armando’s Imperfect Game
-Down goes Zumaya
-Down goes Inge
-Down goes Guillen
-Down goes Ordonez

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” -Durden

Potentially, around a week after being in first place in the AL Central, we could be sending out a lineup featuring seven rookies.

1. Austin Jackson, CF, Rookie
2. Scott Sizemore, 3B, Rookie
3. Johnny Damon, LF, Veteran
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B, MVP
5. Brennan Boesch, RF, Rookie
6. Jeff Larish, DH, Rookie
7. Alex Avila, C, Rookie
8. Danny Worth, SS, Rookie
9. Will Rhymes, 2B, Rookie

And in case you forgot…

Bench: Gerald Laird (terrible), Ramon Santiago (career backup), Don Kelly (career 25th man), Ryan Raburn (nightmare season)

This is amazing. Heartbreaking. Unbelievable. Gut wrenching. Other similar words and phrases that mean that it really sucks.

“I (feel) like destroying something beautiful.” –Narrator in “Fight Club”

With Magglio and Carlos hitting the DL, my man Larish finally gets a call up…probably his last chance in Detroit. I’m thrilled about that, as he was the man I wanted a look at to replace Inge.

But the call up of Rhymes just has me shaking my head at how thin our minor league system (at least at AAA) really is. He’s David Eckstein if Eckstein were somehow smaller and more terrible.

If Rhymes gets put out there at short or third and a ball is hit deep in the hole, by the time he backhands it and his throw reaches first, the guy’s going to be safe, scratching his nuts, and there’ll already be a 2-0 count on the next hitter. Rhymes is worse than Don Kelly, for Higgy's sake.

I really miss Mike Hessman right about now.

“I am Jack’s cold sweat” –Narrator

I’ve tried to be optimistic this season when nearly every other person out there that writes about the Tigers has said that this is not a playoff team. From Lynn Henning of the Detroit News down to IngeFan6969 commenting at tigers.com, 95% of folks have always seen the 2010 Tigers as a .500 ballclub playing over their heads thus far. That very well could, and probably has, been true. And these final blows to the team may be the nails in the coffin for this season before then end of July. Can you believe that we’re still only 2 ½ games back?

Reality tells you, though, that unless Dave Dombrowski goes nuts this week in trades, the Tigers are done. You know the White Sox and Twins are going to better themselves. And the brutal schedule isn't getting any easier.

Dombrowski has to take a long, serious look at this team and figure out if it’s really worth going after an unrealistic goal anymore, or just let the rookies do their best and prepare for the greener pastures of 2011. It looks like he might even have another $15 million to play with next year with Maggs going bye-bye for quite a while.

One final thing, though. A bloody miracle could happen. Dave might say “screw it” and still go after Dan Haren and a hitter. These kids might start playing over their heads (see Boesch, Brennan and Jackson, Austin) and bond in some sort of “us against the world” type manner until Team Venezuala and Special Little Guy come back. It is still the mediocre AL Central, after all.

Wouldn’t it be sweet to see this team overcome so many odds to make it into the playoffs? Yogi Berra might be senile and a filthy Yankee, but he was right when he said “it’s not over until it’s over”.

We can still hope, right? And then?

“I am Jack’s smirking revenge.” -Narrator

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Twelve Baseball Fans That Annoy Me


No...not her. Not this time.

I was lucky enough to attend Thursday’s 5-2 Tiger victory over the Blue Jays of Toronto. This brought the Detroit win-loss record with me in attendance this year to a flawless 3-0 so far, by the way. I rule. Anyway, it was a beautiful day, perfect weather, and I got to see in person, once again, why Justin Verlander is all sorts of awesome. Miguel Cabrera and Johnny Damon, too.

But of course, no silver lining in Your Party Host’s world comes without several clouds. In this case, it was the people I was surrounded by. I love attending games at Comerica Park. Love it. But the idiots that insist on joining me in watching my baseball team run around the field never fail to get on my nerves to the point where I want to see several of them torn apart by wild dogs. Am I overreacting? You be the judge.

The following are a dozen fans that I always seem to come into contact with at baseball games that irritate me. And yes, I swear, there were examples of each of these survived abortions at Thursday’s game. See if you recognize anyone.

1. The seat jumper. There was this heavily tattooed bald guy and his girlfriend (that looked like she had more miles on her than Al Bundy’s Dodge) that I personally saw get kicked out of three different sets of seats by the rightful ticket holders…all before the fourth inning. I mean, if it’s late in the game and you move closer to that action where no one’s been sitting…I can understand that. But these pricks just kept sitting wherever and were actually getting upset at being asked to move. Unlike most Tiger games I’ve been to, the ushers were non-existent at this game. Luckily, no one was shot, as I’m almost positive this guy had to be carrying a gun.

2. The bad parent. In the row in front of me, there was a father and his three sons, all heavily clad in Blue Jays gear. They were from Canada and were very quiet and polite, like most Canadians I’ve met. But the prick father, at two different times, got up and left his kids (the oldest of which couldn’t have been more than 12) by themselves for at least twenty minutes at a time. Maybe I’m overprotective of my own kid, but I’m not leaving my demon seed unattended at the playground, let alone in the city of Detroit. I watch too much CSI, Unsolved Mysteries, and the scariest show of all: The Evening News, I guess. Luckily for them, my buddy that went to the game with me was also a Jays fan and took it upon himself to look out for the little maple syrup drinking bastards.

3. Old people. I admit, I’m a bit biased against our country’s senior citizens. Working in the service industry, old folks are known to be rude, they run you ragged, they complain about everything, and they’re horrible tippers. Terrible people, in most cases. And maybe it’s because I haven’t attended that many 1pm games, but I’ve never seen so many people that resembled walking corpses at Comerica Park. Normally, the fat girls in Brandon Inge jerseys outnumber the blue-haired fossils 10 to 1, but this time the numbers were reversed.

There was this one confused, lost old lady that stood in the aisle with her mouth hanging open for a good ten minutes, staring at her ticket and then at the seats. She had no idea where she was. I considered helping her myself, but that would be breaking my iron clad rule of minding my own business in public, as well as my other rule of being nice to old people without being paid for it. So, instead, I was actually looking around for one of the missing ushers after a while (who I assumed were ignoring her because she happened to be black) when one of the young Canadian children (bless him) finally got up, looked at her ticket, and told her where she was supposed to sit (only three more rows up). She still took another ten minutes to find her seat. Five minutes later, I saw her wandering off once again, to God knows where.

After the game, we had to stand in the aisle for ten minutes, not moving. Apparently, some ancient codger had fallen or something at the top of the stairs and we had to wait for someone to stand him up without breaking his hip. I’m too busy for this stuff. Call me heartless, but people over 75 should be put to sleep unless a panel of experts can agree that they can still be of use to society in some way. I know I would want someone to smother me with a pillow if I was being such a bother to others.

(Note to sensitive/new readers to the blog: I'm kidding. Maybe.)

4. Fat people. I bet I saw at least six guys at the game that had to be pushing 400 lbs. I couldn’t help but see the uncomfortable looks on the faces of the poor folks that were unlucky enough to be sitting scrunched up next to these piles of lard that were no doubt cooking in the July sunshine. Look, I’m not a skinny person. But I’m not a walking condominium, either. Stay home and eat your own weight in pork rinks, Lunchbox. Okay? You know you want to.

5. Jerkoffs that wear Tiger jerseys with their own last name on the back. One of my favorite pastimes at the ballpark is checking out what jerseys people are wearing. Justin Verlander was the most popular choice at this particular game. It made sense since he was pitching. There were also their fair share of Cabreras, Inges, and Boesches scattered around the stadium. I saw the obligatory Higginson jersey that made me smile that someone else still remembers my hero. My personal favorite at this game was the rare Tettleton jersey. But I have never seen so many jerseys with a familiar number, but an unfamiliar name above it. Why do people do this? Do they feel like they’re on the team this way? Is this helping them live out some unfulfilled childhood fantasy in some way? People should not be allowed into the ballpark wearing such faulty gaming attire.

One last thing on these folks. It was a self-named jersey guy that after the game was finished did another thing that I detest at sporting events. As we’re exiting the stadium, some guy with an unpronounceable Polish last name over his #7 started screaming “Blue Jays suck” at the top of his lungs in the faces of several people in Jays attire that walked past him. I hate this. Show a bit of class, dude, especially since your team just had a seven-game losing streak. It takes guts to wear your team’s colors in another city. I respect that in people. In fact, a friend of mine wore a Tigers jersey to Cleveland once. After the game, he happened to see Jim Thome (still with the Tribe at the time) at a bar in the Flats. He approached Thome, complimented him on his play, and asked for an autograph. Thome looked him up and down and said, “You’ve got a lot of balls wearing that in here.” He signed a ticket stub, shook my friend’s hand, and wished him well. That’s class. I’m always respectful of out-of-towners.

Well, unless we lose. Then I tell them to get raped by a grizzly bear.

More whining after the jump. Join me.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Don Kelly's Tears Can Cure Cancer?

It’s not easy doing a blog like this, you know. To constantly try and find something humorous to write about while dealing with just one team in one sport…oftentimes I have no idea what to write about. (It shows…I know. Shut up.) It would be much easier if I were to do this on all MLB teams or make fun of every sport like Deadspin. But lately, The Detroit News is making this easier and easier for me to keep focus on my beloved Tigers. I about ruined my underpants this evening when I saw this headline:

Don Kelly fills Inge’s shoes well

Now no one makes fun of Brandon Inge more than I do. It’s his fault for being born. But to say that Don Kelly, an abortion of a baseball player, fills Brandon’s shoes well? That’s just a horrible insult and a ridiculous statement that would only be made by a clueless putz of a human being.

(by) Josh Katzenstein

Oh.

Mr. Katzenstein strikes again. Sigh…

BORAT: In Katzenstein, we have many hobbies: disco dancing, archery, rape, and table tennis.

If the Tigers were looking for an immediate replacement for injured third baseman Brandon Inge,

They could call up Jeff Larish to play third? Call up Scott Sizemore to play second and move Carlos Guillen back to third? Have Sizemore play third for some dumb reason and keep the struggling Guillen at second? (Ha.) Send a bag of baseballs to the Mets to get Crash Davis, er, Mike Hessman back? Inquire with the Orioles on what it would take to get Ty Wigginton in Detroit? See if Miguel Cabrera would be willing to play his old position for 4-6 weeks and call up Ryan Strieby to play first?

Anything but give Don Kelly regular playing time?

Don Kelly clearly stated Tuesday that he wants the utmost consideration.

That’s sweet. Let me clearly state that I would like $100,000,000 to continue writing this blog. I would also like pictures of AJ Pierzynski and Joe Mauer making out to surface in the tabloids. I would like Jennie Finch to dump her loser minor league pitching husband and become my bang maid. I also want to wake up tomorrow with Adam Everett’s hair.

I want a lot of things that never would, or never should, happen. Just like Don Kelly.

Kelly displayed strong defense at the hot corner during the Tigers' 8-0 loss to the Rangers and made two stellar plays, one of which could be called Inge-esque.

Did he make a great diving stop and follow it up the next inning by flubbing a routine grounder? That would be Inge-esque. That or not being able to hit a curveball. Or whining whenever he doesn’t get his way.

In the top of the eighth, Kelly made a clean diving grab of a hard grounder by Bengie Molina and fired a bullet to first to rob Molina of a hit.

Impressive. Here’s a small list of things that are faster than Bengie Molina:

-A three-toed sloth on quaaludes

-Paris Hilton doing long division

-The NBA Playoffs

-Ben Stein reading War & Peace outloud

-The NASCAR season.

He also dove for an Elvis Andrus grounder in the third inning and hopped to his feet to gun down the speedy shortstop.

Well, now. Why did we ever have this Inge fellow on the team in the first place? This Kelly guy sounds swell. Can he hit?

"We don't expect Donny Kelly to go out and play third base like Brandon Inge,

With declining range and an erratic throwing arm?

that's not going to happen, but Donny Kelly's going to give you everything he's got wherever he plays," manager Jim Leyland said.

That and about $9.00 will get you a watered down beer at Comerica Park, Jimbo.

"When you start trying to find guys that play third base like Brandon Inge, there aren't many."

Indeed. Most third basemen can hit.

By every definition, Kelly is a utility player.

And a bad one, at that. The Pirates released him for crissakes…

The 30-year-old has played five positions for the Tigers this season (all three outfield positions, plus first base and third base). He has also played shortstop and second base in past seasons.

Big deal. So have Carlos Guillen and Ryan Raburn. And they’re both better than Kelly, overall.

While Kelly is hoping to become an everyday player,

/spit take

What?

he said he's not trying to make people forget about Inge during his four to six week absence.

I wouldn't worry about that. I’m leaving the house in seven or so hours for the Tigers/Blue Jays game and am expecting to see a candlelit vigil outside Comerica Park consisting of dozens of fat girls with tattoos on their lower backs, all wearing Inge jerseys. Well, them and this guy.

"Whether you're filling in for Miguel (Cabrera) or Inge or Austin (Jackson) in center field, I have to stay within myself, do what I can do and not try to fill their shoes because they're some pretty big shoes to fill," Kelly said.

Little known fact: Austin Jackson wears size 15 Nikes.

"Just go out there and play the game that I play

.221 career batting average

.224 batting average this year

Career OPS+ of 47

OPS+ of 43 this year

.258 OBP this year

Jim Leyland repeatedly has this man leading off, people. And Lynn Henning defends him. You think this crap would fly in New York?

and try to be as consistent as I can,

OBP in three years in MLB: .281, .311, .258.

Yes…consistently awful.

help the team win

Actually, he’s right. Here’s a stat I guarantee you did not know. The Tigers are 4-19 in games where Don Kelly does NOT play in this season. Amazing, I know.

The thing is, Don Kelly is valuable only as a late inning defensive replacement. When Kelly gets 1 or less at bat, the Tigers are 30-15. If he gets more than 1 at bat? 15-10.

Yes…I actually just spent time looking all of that up.

/needs a girlfriend

and eventually -- hopefully -- that would lead into an everyday role."

Look, Donnie…if I may call you that. You are not an everyday major league baseball player. It’s nice to dream, though. But don’t go talking to the newspaper about wanting to play every day when you make Brandon Inge look like Wade Boggs at the plate.

In a lackluster game by the Tigers, Kelly impressed on offense, going 1-for-2 and tallying one of the Tigers' four hits.

Holy thunder! 1 for 2? That’s .500!

His sixth-inning single to center field gave Kelly a .224 average on the season.

.224. Wow. That’s even three points over his career batting average.

Kelly made just his eighth start at third for the Tigers this season and said he didn't begin playing the position much until 2005. Since then, Kelly said, his confidence has grown at third.

And with every game that Kelly starts at third, my confidence in Jim Leyland’s sanity and this team’s chances at contending in September go down the toilet more and more.

"The more you get over there the more confident you're going to get," Kelly said. "I try to be ready, get into a good position to field early because you never know when somebody's going to hit a shot at you."

“If I dive a lot, hopefully some rube from Minnesota will write an article about me. Did I mention that I’d like to play every day? I’m like the Nick Punto of Detroit.”

Kelly, at 6-foot-4, brings a completely different look than 5-foot-11 Inge.

He looks like a big pile of horse manure instead of a small one.

He has Inge's reach and range, but in just his third major league stint (2007 with Pittsburgh, '09 and '10 with the Tigers) Kelly does not match Inge's experience level.

Bloody hell. He has Inge’s range? My head hurts.

Look. It’s nice that not everyone at the News has given up on this season like Mr. Henning has. But this Katzenstein guy has shown about as much ability in covering Tiger baseball as my six year old has shown in hitting one.

They’re both trying, but I think they’d both be better off watching Spongebob and laughing at their own farts.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Florida Marlins DesigNate Robertson


As many of you have pointed out to me already, Nate Robertson has finally been released by the Marlins.  Our Hero was thought to have an easier road ahead of him in the NL this year, but still was rocked around by the senior circut, going 6-8 with a 5.47 ERA, and 1.50 WHIP in 100.1 innings.

The final straw came against the Rockies yesterday as Nate was lit up for 8 runs (7 earned), 6 hits, and 2 walks in 5 innings pitched.  No word on who will be dumb enough to give him a shot next.

Um...you know...we ARE already paying his salary.  And...well, we COULD use another starting pitcher.  Wouldn't it be fun...

Naaaaa...good luck, Nate.  You'll always have a home here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lynn Henning Wants to Wave the White Flag Already

Was anyone in the world happier to see the Tigers swept by Cleveland than Mr. “Sky is Falling” himself, Lynn Henning? The man hates Tiger baseball...I'm convinced of it.

Let's play general manager,

Okay, sweet.

Leyland’s fired. Welcome back, Tram. Here’s a major league roster this time around. Sorry about before.

Don Kelly, don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. DFA. Say hi to Ashlee for me. Jeff Larish, welcome to Detroit. Missed you.

Andy Oliver…buh-bye. Thanks for trying. See you in two years if you don’t get traded.

Brad Thomas is put on a plane back to Australia. Bring Schlereth back up.

Galarraga goes on the trading block. See if anyone thinks that perfect game still meant anything in the long run. Joining him is Ryan Strieby, Wilkin Ramirez, Fu-Te Ni…hell everyone not named Verlander, Cabrera, or Turner.

I want Stephen Drew, unless the price is outrageous. Otherwise, I’ll take Theriot from Chicago. He shouldn’t be that expensive. I also want a catcher that can hit at least .240 since we don’t have one. One bullpen arm and one starter. Again, look to the Cubbies. No need to empty the minors, no need to try and bring in a #1 guy. A #3 will suffice with JV, Max, and (hopefully) Rick looking okay.

Wait. You didn’t really want to do this, did you Lynn?

which is always fun unless you're faced with the choices Dave Dombrowski is staring at 12 days before the trade deadline.

Do I wear the ugly argyle sweater or the ugly striped sweater today?

Do you buy, and hope you can steal the American League Central Division when it's sitting there like a bank vault with the door swung open?

As long as it’s reasonable, yes. And remember this. He just said that the division is “sitting there like a bank vault with the door swung open”. It is there for the taking, this Central Division.

Do you sell, knowing that what you feared all along is likely to be realized, day by agonizing day as July and August make plain what your roster all along suggested would be true:

/checks calendar

It’s not August yet. Just saying.

That your team isn't yet ready to contend,

As of this writing, we’re 1 ½ back after the All Star break. That’s contending.

but could be pretty good in the ensuing seasons.

Wait ‘til next year, gang!

Go write for the Cubs, Lynn.

The answer's clear on this end:

I love you, Joel!

You sell.


Can you imagine the reaction on ESPN and among the Tiger faithful? If we’re even three games back near the trade deadline and Double D starts selling everyone off and throwing in the towel? If you thought the backlash when Granderson was traded was bad, just wait.

That is, if you can.

Good point, actually. Who you gonna sell off? JD? Bondo? Inge? Good luck. What’s the point? Add, don’t subtract. Just be smart about it. And if you can’t, stay put. Let’s see how this turns out.

That the Tigers got swept by Cleveland during the weekend is inexcusable, and yet not a total shock.

It was unbelievable, yet completely believable. Okay, Peter King.

The team's starting pitching is bipolar.

Sonofabitch…Dontrelle was contagious.

Two of spring camp's starters have been traded,

Irrelevant. It’s a good thing that Nate and D-Train are gone.

two have spent time in the minor leagues,

Which did wonders for Max and seemed to help Rick, too, if you saw his start against Cleveland. My theory is this. Toledo is such a God forsaken hellhole, that it can inspire anyone to play above their ability just to avoid being sent back there again. I should know. I’ve lived here all my life.

and the other two -- Justin Verlander and Jeremy Bonderman -- have won 16 games, 11 of them by Verlander.

JV rules. Bondo sucks balls. A rotation of Verlander, Scherzer, Porcello, Bondo, and a yet to be determined guy is not bad. If you can get Ted Lilly or Tom Gorzelanny from the Cubs or Ben Sheets from Oakland without gutting the minor league system, I’d put that rotation up against any in the AL Central, at least. Easier said than done, I know, but work with me.

The bullpen is on fumes,

The bullpen has been very good this year. Quit sulking because your boyfriend’s arm exploded like it does every year.

there's no RBI bat at shortstop,

AL teams with an “RBI bat” at shortstop: Yankees…oh, that’s it.

I’m serious. With Alex Gonzalez being shipped to Atlanta, Jeter is it.

the starting catcher who pretty much has replaced the incumbent catcher (batting .185) is two years out of college.

Don’t pick on Avila because he’s young. Pick on him because he’s the boss’ kid. Or because he looks like he’s a shaved ape. Or because he sucks.

There are rookies in center field and in left field.

Who have played, and continue to play, outstanding.

“Hello, I’m Debbie Downer of the Detroit News. Join me for my chat this Friday where I complain about everything in Detroit except for Joel Zumaya and Jim Leyland.”

This is a long column, kids. Please follow me after the jump.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Debating the DH Rule With a Moron

As you may know, from time to time I like to take an article written elsewhere that I happen to disagree with and dissect it in a way made famous by the brilliant Fire Joe Morgan site.

Now, for the most part, I mean no ill will toward the writers of these original pieces. A guy like Lynn Henning is writing at least one article a day it seems on the Tigers and they’re not all going to be award winning pieces. I respect what the man does and if I take jabs at him, it’s usually meant as harmless fun.

I’ve had some issues in the past with Jamie Samuelsen of the Freep’s writing, but he’s actually been very good in the past couple months. Again, all meant in harmless fun, despite any death threats I may have made in jest.

Drew Sharp…is Drew Sharp. There’s no defending him.

But this guy, Josh Katzenstein from Minnesota writing for the Detroit News, I’m not so sure about. I’ve only read one other piece by him which was total garbage. This one is just as bad.

Is it a gimmick? I'd get that. Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, and Jim Rome have turned their cocky sportswriter gigs into characters that they kind of play. I even do a bastardized version of that here at my blog. I’m really not like this most of the time (debatable).

But this drivel…judge for yourself. I may have found myself a new enemy.

Dumb designated hitter rule diminishes integrity of baseball

(by) Josh Katzenstein

BORAT: My sister is number four prostitute in all of Katzenstein.

After watching Monday's Home Run Derby, won by DH David Ortiz, and Tuesday's All-Star Game, in which DHs were used, I remembered that the designated hitter is quite possibly the worst thing to ever happen to baseball.

Let me see.

Black Sox scandal

Not allowing blacks into the league until 1947

Ray Chapman hit and killed by a pitch

Pete Rose betting on baseball

Steroids

Repeated Marlins fire sales

Armando Galarraga getting screwed out of a perfect game

AJ Pierzynski’s birth

Don Kelly batting leadoff

Yes. I can see how the DH is worse than all of these things. Carry on.

Despite Tuesday's loss, the American League is 20-17-1 in the All-Star game since the inception of the DH in 1973.

Holy crap, that’s three more wins than the NL. That’s ridiculous! How does the Senior Circuit stand for this? Stupid Selig…this is all his fault!

The AL has a 21-15 record in the World Series since '73 and has won 10 of the 14 interleague seasons, including the last seven.

I’m already bored. I’m gonna go kick my roommate’s cat. Give me a sec.



Okay. Continue.

Not only does the added hitter give the AL a noticeable advantage

Is there a new rule where the NL is not allowed to use a DH against the AL in these games?

-- it helps AL teams that they're continually grooming nine hitters –

Oh. Because the NL doesn’t constantly use pinch hitters? You’d think these pinch hitters would be good at, I don’t know, hitting? Do these NL teams you speak of just pull fans out of the stands to fill the roster spots not taken up by the eight position starters? I mean, I knew the Pirates did, but all of them?

but it takes away from what continues to be the purest American sport.

Aww, geez. Look, Clown Shoes, baseball is by far my favorite sport. But calling any professional sport “pure” is like calling Tiger Woods “faithful”. Stick to little league if you’re looking for “pure” sports.

And really? Arguing the DH rule? It’s been around since 1973. There are no new arguments on this topic. What are you going to discuss next? Richard Nixon’s presidency? Betamax vs. VHS? Perhaps this Atari 2600 I’ve heard so much about…

Sue me for being against instant replays and steroids.

Um…what?

Baseball is the purest sport because they don’t have instant replay or steroids? Am I reading this wrong? Give me a second. Talk amongst yourselves.



You went from the DH rule to replay and steroids. I’m just going to move on. I have what feels like “ice cream headache” coming on.

DH supporters are quick to say pitchers should pitch and hitters should hit.

Indeed. Firefighters should fight fires. Crime scene investigators should investigate crime scenes. Band leaders should lead bands. Rapists should rape. It makes things easier this way, Josh.

This statement is outrageous for two reasons, the first being that pitchers grow up hitting.

I grew up picking my nose in public and thinking Jose Canseco was the greatest baseball player of all time. I’m happy with the fact that both of these things have changed with time.

Even if pitchers are nearly automatic outs in the bigs, youth baseball leagues teach kids how to pitch andhit. Why stop now?

Because pitchers suck at hitting. It’s boring to have an automatic out every nine batters. I would much rather see someone qualified to hit a baseball step up to the plate at a game that I've paid money to see. It’s the same reason you never saw Edgar Martinez pitching. He sucked at it. But the guy could hit the hell out of a baseball.

And if a guy is particularly good at hitting a baseball, chances are a team is going to want him in the lineup every day instead of just every fifth day. It makes sense to normal people.

The other primary objection to pitchers hitting is injuries. But unless a pitcher is determined to battle in an at-bat, the most swings he is looking at taking at the plate is about nine in a game.

So you admit that pitchers trying to hit is pointless. Why not just give a team an automatic out after every eight hitters?

Nine swings leave a far slimmer chance of injury than throwing 100 pitches.

I’d only like to take one swing at you.

There have been instances of pitchers injuring themselves at the plate, such as Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, who tweaked his back in batting practice before a game against the Blue Jays (one he wasn't starting) a month before interleague play this year.

I am willing to admit that injuries to any members of the Red Sox is nothing but good for the game. I once had a dream that Kevin Youkilis got hit by a train and woke up with an erection.

Beckett hasn't pitched since May 18, but the only thing his injury proves is that AL pitchers might just be lazier than NL pitchers.

Mother of Satan, you’re an idiot. Holy f-ck. Tell Justin Verlander that just might be lazy compared to Brian Moehler of the Astros. He’ll gut you like a fish.

Beckett managed more than four seasons hitting for the Marlins without hurting himself at the plate, but it sounds like he stopped working those muscles when he moved to the AL in 2006.

Yup. It couldn’t have been dumb luck for Mr. Beckett, right? Lazy bastard. By the way, Beckett’s lifetime batting stats? .148 Avg, 3 HR, 16 RBI, OPS+ of 10 in 216 at bats. Yes, I’d much rather see that than David Ortiz, Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, or Johnny Damon. What baseball fan wouldn’t? That sh-t's pure.

If there's a place to actually worry about pitchers it's on the mound, where Joel Zumaya and Chicago's Jake Peavy recently went down from simply throwing a pitch.

Good point. They should pitch from second base. Or maybe the dugout.

Or maybe pitching machines are the answer. Hmmm...

The other issue with the "hitters hit" statement is that hitters should do a heck of a lot more than hit. The overweight, slow Ortiz is not a good defensive player, but his insertion into the lineup as a DH gives the Red Sox the offense of two first basemen.

Only fourteen first basemen in baseball have a VORP over 15.0. Sixteen, if you include Ortiz and Jim Thome. There are thirty MLB teams, which means more than half of them are lacking the “offense of a first baseman”. And nine of the fourteen above mentioned fist basemen play in the NL. Thus, your statement is irrelevant.

(Note: Ortiz is batting .188 this season in 16 at-bats when he plays first base. That's enough to tell me he can't handle the strain of playing in the field.)

Indeed. Sixteen at bats seems more than enough time for you to make this well informed decision.

This is why after reading just two of your articles, I would pay to see you torn apart by wolverines high on angeldust. (The animals, not the football players…though that would be interesting, too.)

In the first half, Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis each had 18 homers and 57 RBIs. Manager Terry Francona should be forced to choose between the two every game.

Is Joe Girardi writing this?

I'm all for players having long careers, but the DH position allows hitters to essentially rest while contributing to the offense.

Sigh. Have you ever played the game in your life? Wait…forget that. Have you ever even watched a baseball game, dude? Let’s take the right fielder, for example. Look, Magglio Ordonez is my favorite Tiger. But during the average nine inning ballgame, Magglio is involved in maybe three or four plays on defense. He might have to run once or twice out there. The rest of the time, he’s scratching his balls, yawning, and thinking about his next at bat.

I was a catcher when I was a kid. That takes a lot out of you, especially on a hot day. Shortstop, center field, and maybe second base are active postions, too. But everyone else is just standing around staring at the drunk broad in the front row waiting to see if she lifts her top at Derek Jeter. It’s not like running a marathon out there.

If they came up with a designated runner for guys like Ortiz, I’d have your back. But your arguments are just ridiculous. So go fist yourself.

A number of veteran players have stepped in at DH and presumably have a lot more energy for the World Series if inserted in the field. Ortiz (34), Johnny Damon (36), Vladimir Guerrero (35) and Mark Kotsay (34) all play for contenders, but only go through the strains of defense in half the games, or less.

Hey, Captain Minnesota. I notice you didn’t mention Jim Thome. Any reason there?

And if you can’t get pumped up and find energy for the World Series, you shouldn’t be playing the game of baseball for millions of dollars.

Finally,

Finally.

the DH position takes much of the game's strategy away from managers. If a pitcher is due up in the sixth or seventh inning, the manager often has to decide if the offensive boost a pinch hitter might provide is worth the added strain on the bullpen. But in the AL, all the managers have to worry about is inserting a hitter for a more favorable matchup.

This is all you have? I've seen better arguments on a topic made by my son when he wants to eat nothing but cookies all day. If it weren’t for this stupid blog and my utter lack of material most of the time, I’d really be pissed for having spent the time reading this article. No wonder the trolls at the Detroit News site are crankier than at other sites.

They may not be remembered for specific moves, but Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa will go down as two of the greatest managers of all time.

Both managed in the AL.

They earn extra points for doing their best work in the NL.

/checks rule book

No they don’t. And La Russa’s best work was in the AL with Oakland…where they used a DH. And every drug they could get their hands on.

Wherever you stand on the DH issue, I think we can all agree that both leagues need to adopt the same rule.

No we don’t. But if we need to, let’s have the NL start using the DH. Otherwise, good luck convincing the union on taking away a bunch of high paying jobs from the AL teams. I notice you never even brought that up. Idiot.

The AL has a clear advantage because the teams play with nine hitters all season, and when the NL team slots a DH in the World Series, its best option is generally a glorified pinch hitter.

In 37 years, you’d think the NL GM's would catch on to this and perhaps add another hitter to their teams for such a situation.

I say the AL should go back to playing true baseball.

When was it “true” again? When all the players were white? When the baseball mitts were basically glorified batting gloves? Before lights and electronic scoreboards?

The move might cost some top offensive players some cash since they would become bench players, but general managers could divert some of that money to managers who would finally have to put some thought into their daily duties.

F-ck and you, you colossal prick. I would love…LOVE to hear Jim Leyland’s reaction to this piece in the Detroit News. Now it's true that I have argued in the past that it is entirely possible that The Marlboro Man is part brain dead at times, but to say that there is no thought put into AL baseball on a daily basis? Come on.

I’m thinking that the News should start hiring writers that finally have to put some thought into their nationally read articles.

Or at least pay me to offer my response a day or two later.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

DNR Detroit Tigers First Half Report Card


Here it is, your DNR Detroit Tigers Report Card for everyone that’s taken the field for the D in 2010 so far. Lots to get to here, so no unfunny monologue this time. I’ve got some stats, a grade, and an explanation. Simple enough for everyone? Sweet.

Infield

Miguel Cabrera, First Base
.346 Avg, 22 HR, 77 RBI
47.4 VORP, 182 OPS+

Grade: A+

Analysis: What more can be said about the near Triple Crown first half of Big Mig? The man has been unstoppable at the plate this year and it has been awesome to watch him play on a daily basis. If you really want to nitpick, you can look at his defense, but I’m not in the mood to nitpick. Thank you, Mr. Cabrera. You deserve a drink. Or not.

Carlos Guillen, Second Base
.289 Avg, 5 HR, 28 RBI
10.6 VORP, 109 OPS+

Grade: C

Analysis: Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see Carlos back in the lineup again. But you cannot overlook his inability to stay healthy and his shaky defense at second. Seriously, Los, quit throwing sidearm. But Carlos is a welcome presence in the sixth spot which was a nightmare spot in the order before his return from the DL. Hopefully the second half will see him stay healthy and get more comfortable at his fifth defensive position since joining the Tigers.

Brandon Inge, Third Base
.264 Avg, 6 HR, 29 RBI
9.1 VORP, 109 OPS+

Grade: C+

Analysis: A couple weeks ago, I was ready to take my usual stance of calling Brandon names and making fun of the fat girls that cheer for him like he’s the second coming of Kaline. But a funny thing happened. The little bastard quit trying to hit every ball into the left field stands and started spraying the ball around. And his batting average has slowly crept up to respectable levels. This is a Brandon Inge that I can support and get behind. Sadly, I have little confidence that he’ll stay the course. Why would I? In the field, he hasn’t been as dynamic as he’s shown in the past, yet he’s been more efficient, making only five errors. You may make it out of the DNR doghouse yet, Special Little Guy.

More after el jumpo...


A Few Things That Made Me Smile

I had a rough day in the real world today, but should have the DNR Tigers Report Card up in 24-48 hours. Have no fear, my friends! I know this is important to all (both) of you. But before I get that up, there's a couple things that I recommend you checking out if you can take a break from porn for a little while.

Over at Roar of the Tigers, Samara made my day with this cartoon of some of the Tigers as members of the Star Trek crew. The Don Kelly part is nothing short of brilliant.

Blake may be in hibernation at The Spotstarters, but he's still taking the occasional break from trying to find a minority in Connecticut to do work at Fans of Mediocrity. In his latest, he finally gets around to doing a bit on Nate Robertson that left me jealous that I never did a piece this good on Our Hero. Bravo, Blake, and Happy Birthday.

Last, but not least, stop by Motor City Bengals and hear friend of the blog John Parent out on the work he's done helping to put together THE ultimate Major League Baseball Trade Primer for 2010. JP and multiple writers have gotten together and written over 165 pages that cover every team in baseball recapping the first half, team needs, potential targets, and a lot more. John handled the parts on the Tigers and was kind enough to pass along an advance copy for me to read. If I thought it wasn't worth it, I wouldn't recommend it, but I was blown away at the amount of material in there overall. There were even some interesting potential Tiger trade options that I hadn't even considered that have me intrigued.

If you're a baseball junkie, this is an easy buy for under $10 and I hope you enjoy it. Also, ESPN's Rob Neyer is penning the forward to it which is quite the coup for these guys. Neyer is one of the few at the WWL that I still respect. So check it out.

Or not. Pricks. Your loss.

Ha. Seeya soon...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

AL All-Star Voting: The Fans vs. Your Party Host


Behold! My useless American League All-Star picks vs. those of the fans. Why not the National League? Because the NL is boring and only watched by old people…and Tim Kurkjian (bless him).

Catcher

Fans Pick: Joe Mauer

My Pick: Joe Mauer…who else? It’s been a down year for Mauer, but he’s still the best in the AL this year.

Feel Good Pick: John Buck has been quite the surprise in Toronto this year. Sadly, Toronto is in Canada where ESPN refuses to cover baseball, so no one will know about it.

Fans Are Stupid: Taylor Teagarden finished fourth. He has played most of the year in Double A. I can only assume that people voted for him due to his silly name. Also, Gerald Laird finished fifth despite not being able to hit Don Kelly’s weight.

First Base

Fans Pick: Justin Morneau

My Pick: Miguel Cabrera. Venezuela > Canada, therefore I took Big Mig over Canadian Bacon. Plus, Cabrera’s got the edge in VORP right now over Morneau, 47.4 to 46.1. So there. I’d throw a newborn puppy into a microwave to see Cabrera win the Triple Crown this year just so ESPN would be forced to talk about him for more than ten seconds. I blame Berman, Morgan, and Valentine completely ignoring Miguel while he hit in the Home Run Derby for his subpar performance.

Feel Good Pick: No one is ever going to know who Billy Butler is while he’s stuck in Kansas City. But he’s been outperforming Mark Teixiera for the entire season so far.

Fans Are Stupid: Teixeira finished second despite being sixth among AL first basemen in VORP and only hitting .254.

Second Base

Fans Pick: Robinson Cano

My Pick: Robinson Cano by a wide margin. No one else is really close this year.

Feel Good Pick: Ian Kinsler? Again, no one is really near Cano’s numbers, but seeing someone other than a Yank or a Sawk getting voted in is always nice…unless they’re from Chicago or Minnesota.

Fans Are Stupid: Nothing bad at second. Congrats, morons!

Third Base

Fans Pick: Evan Longoria

My Pick: Evan Longoria…barely over Adrian Beltre. It still feels weird that I saw Longoria play for Durham at the Toledo Mud Hens home opener in 2008. They played the “Desperate Housewives” theme every time he came up to the plate. Silly rabbits.

Feel Good Pick: Michael Young, again because I hate the AL East.

Fans Are Stupid: Brandon Inge finished fifth. That’s adorable.

Shortstop

Fans Pick: Derek Jeter (duh)

My Pick: Alex Gonzalez of the Blue Jays. He leads all shortstops in homers and VORP. However, the world will end if Derek Jeter doesn’t start the All-Star game at short, much like Cal Ripken before him.

Feel Good Pick: Gonzalez.

Fans Are Stupid: Gonzalez finished fifth behind Jeter (which I can understand), Elvis Andrus, JJ Hardy (who sucks), and Jason Bartlett.

Designated Hitter

Fans Pick: Vladimir Guerrero

My Pick: Vladimir Guerrero…Vlad’s a beast.

Feel Good Pick: Hideki Matsui, only because the game was in the Angels' stadium.

Fans Are Stupid: Ken Griffey Jr. finished fourth despite retiring weeks ago and being an abortion at the plate this year. Let it go, kids. Let it go.

Outfield

Fans Pick: Ichiro Suzuki, Josh Hamilton, Carl Crawford

My Pick: Josh Hamilton, Carl Crawford, Brennan Boesch. Hamilton and Crawford are #1 and #2 among AL outfielders in VORP. I can’t argue with those choices. But Ichiro is the most overrated player in modern baseball history. And Mr. Boesch happens to be #3 in VORP among AL outfielders and he gets my third pick.

Feel Good Pick: Boesch for coming out of nowhere is one. The other two would be Alex Rios and Vernon Wells for both coming back from the dead to play damn good baseball this year for Chicago and Toronto.

Fans Are Stupid: As much as I still love Curtis Granderson, being hurt all year and sucking when he has played does not deserve finishing sixth in the voting.

Overall, the fans and I agreed on six out of nine positions. Not bad, I guess. But it wasn’t good enough as the NL won the game 3-1.

I blame the fans and Girardi for not taking Brennan Boesch.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Always A Tiger: All Star Break Edition

I’m running a bit late here this week on what I had planned because I’m, A: lazy, and B: um…lazy, but I still think I can fit everything in before the Tigers resume their regular season later this week. By Friday, I hope to have a complete report card on every player to take the field for Detroit this year. Before that, I’ll have my double top secret insider All-Star selections vs. those chosen by the fans. And today, I’ll give a look at those ex-Tigers that you may have forgotten about since they’re now wearing a new shirt. Boo! New shirt!

I’ll start with position players in order of at bats this year followed by pitchers in order of innings pitched. If I missed anyone…I don’t care. So…very…lazy. Here we go.

Position Player, Team, Avg, HR, RBI, OPS

Cody Ross, Fla, .282, 7, 46, .748

Aubrey Huff, SF, .295, 17, 54, .929

Carlos Pena, TB, .203, 18, 54, .737

Andres Torres, SF, .281, 7, 29, .861

Placido Polanco, Phi, .318, 5, 27, .782

Curtis Granderson, NYY, .240, 7, 24, .718

Ivan Rodriguez, Was, .296, 1, 27, .713

Omar Infante, Atl, .332, 2, 24, .762

Camryn Maybin, Fla, .225, 5, 19, .631

Matt Treanor, Tex, .228, 5, 23, .670

Edgar Renteria, SF, .299, 1, 13, .711

Gabe Kapler, TB, .221, 1, 12, .596

Marcus Thames, NYY, .294, 3, 13, .845

John McDonald, Tor, .231, 2, 6, .685

Matt Stairs, SD, .200, 2, 8, .661

Matt Joyce, TB, .175, 1, 5, .690

Dane Sardinha, Phi, .205, 2, 8, .712

Frank Catalanotto, NYM, .160, 0, 1, .392

Brad Ausmus, LAD, .250, 0, 0, .750

Brent Clevlen, Atl, .250, 0, 0, .750

Notes: Huff’s been a beast this year…about 7 months too late. I’m still holding out hope to see Pena hit under .200 with 30 jacks. That would rule. Torres is quite the late bloomer. Grander-who? Sounds familiar. Maybin appears to be a bust. Sardinha’s a prick. And Frank the Cat is probably retired. Godspeed, Frank.

Pitcher, Team, W-L, ERA

Edwin Jackson, Arz, 6-7, 4.92

Colby Lewis, Tex, 8-5, 3.33

Freddy Garcia, CWS, 9-3, 4.36

Nate Robertson, Fla, 6-7, 5.10

Brian Moehler, Hou, 1-4, 4.92

Francisco Cordero, Cin, 3-3, 4.20, 24 SV

Brandon Lyon, Hou, 5-3, 3.66, 1 SV

Kyle Farnsworth, KC, 2-0, 2.41

Chad Durbin, Phi, 0-1, 3.31

Fernando Rodney, LAA, 4-0, 3.57, 6 SV

Jair Jurrjens, Atl, 1-3, 5.40

Denny Bautista, SF, 2-0, 2.89

Jeff Weaver, LAD, 5-1, 3.54

Dontrelle Willis, Arz, 1-1, 6.85

Tim Byrdak, Hou, 1-0, 4.50

Luke French, Sea, 0-1, 6.39

Roman Colon, KC, 0-0, 18.00

Juan Rincon, Col, 0-0, 4.50

Notes: Congrats to EJax on the ugliest no-hitter of all time. Hey, Nate. I see you still suck. Keep up the good work. Lyon, we could really use about now. Farns, not so much. Willis is probably on suicide watch.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I Refuse to Bow Down to Our Overlords in Minnesota

More drivel from The Detroit News…

Here’s why Twins will top Tigers in AL Central

Sigh. You ever notice this? In Detroit and Cleveland, you have two cities that have been ravaged economically the past few years. They are both cities that are viewed by the majority of the country as depressing places to live. And in such times, people will often look to sports as a distraction. The difference is, in Cleveland the sports figures tend to be more depressing than said economy. See Art Modell, the Indians constantly letting their stars walk, LeBron James being a jackoff, etc. In Detroit, (other than the Lions) most of the doom and gloom seems to come from the legit media and their constant “sky is falling” journalism. But at least it’s not Lynn Henning this time.

(by) Josh Katzenstein

Katzenstein? Isn’t that where Borat’s from?

Living in Minnesota for the past 14 years,

/story loses all credibility

I've had a close look at the how the Twins play baseball

A. Rely on bad umpiring.
B. Slap ball onto concrete playing surface…wait for dumb luck to happen.
C. Rub catcher’s sideburns for luck.

and how their fans react to the only franchise in town with a championship.

BrettFavreBrettFavreBrettFavreBrettFavre…

Before embarking for a summer in Detroit,

Worst summer vacation spot ever.

I saw fans go crazy for a team that returned two recent MVPs

Not relevant to 2010.

as well as the majority of the same roster that won the 2009 American League Central Division title.

Ditto. Much changes in baseball in a year’s time.

Unfortunately Tigers fans, I've seen enough to think the Twins have a squad strong enough to retain the title in 2010. Here's why:

I’m a douche that is writing this article at least a month too early. The trade deadline and injuries could make everything I say here pointless.

Home field:

Detroit: 30-12 at home.
Minnesota: 26-17 at home.

You’re not off to a good start.

Recently, good teams have shown they can improve in the first year of a new ballpark. Last year's World Series champion Yankees are the first team to come to mind.

Good gawd. No. Good teams play well because they are good teams, not because they are in a new ballpark. You really think the Yankees won because they had a new yard and not because they are constructed like a fantasy team is?

I don't think the Twins are good enough to win the World Series, but the 2006 Cardinals also won it in Busch Stadium's first year,

Yep. It was the new stadium that pushed the Cards over the top. If it were old Busch, Detroit pitchers would have remembered how to play defense and every hitter not named Sean Casey would have remembered how to hit. Didn’t the Tigers also have like two weeks off waiting for a NL winner? Nah…it was the new ballpark.

which most Tigers fans probably already know.

Die in a church fire.

Twins fans have gone absolutely crazy for Target Field, claiming it's the best park of all time.

Well, hell, if Twins fans say it, sh-t. It must be true. Oddly enough, most people that have visited Pittsburgh’s recently new stadium tell me that it’s the nicest they’ve ever seen. HOW DO THE PIRATES LOSE IN SUCH A NICE BALLPARK?

While this probably is not true, they stand behind it as well as their team, which currently sits 1 ½ games behind the Tigers.

How is this possible? Comerica Park’s like ten years old. Detroit should be ten games back.

The Twins drew 40,328 fans for their July 4 game at Target Field, a 7-4 loss to the Rays. On the same day, only 24,899 showed up a Comerica Park.

One park’s been open three months. The other for ten years. One city is doing well financially. The other has been ravaged and unemployment is at ludicrous levels.

I've heard attendance was down because people celebrate the Fourth by going up north. Guess what? Minnesotans do the same thing.

I’ve heard that businesses get a tax write-off by hiring the mentally handicapped. Guess what? The Detroit News does the same thing.

Bullpens even:

When Joe Nathan went down for the season with a torn ligament in his throwing arm, the Twins' division title defense hopes took a big hit.

Not in the AL Central. We made the World Series with Todd Jones closing.

Jon Rauch doesn't approach Nathan's level among elite MLB closers, but he has been a formidable replacement, posting a 2.45 ERA and 19 saves to this point.

Jose Valverde: 0.97 ERA and 18 saves. Blow me.

Also, Jon Rauch looks like he drives a white, windowless van and hangs out outside of junior high schools. He is the creepiest mamma jamma I have ever seen.

The Tigers had a bullpen edge for most of the first half. But now with Joel Zumaya out, it's an even matchup.

Unless The Farns comes home! You can forget about it then.

Miguel Cabrera matches Justin Morneau but ...

Mig: .347 Avg, 21 HR, 73 RBI, 1.070 OPS
Justin: .345 Avg, 18 HR, 56 RBI, 1.055 OPS

I think Mr. Cabrera has more than matched your Canadian hero. Dick.

The Twins' second-best player is the reigning AL MVP.

Again, 2009 does not impact 2010. Quit living in the past. Remember your new stadium? Live in the now, brother!

A .301 average for Joe Mauer is a slump,

A three month slump? You sound like a Tiger fan defending Brandon Inge. Can you explain why he only has four homers this year? Methinks Mr. Mauer might not be Superman after all…

but I can guarantee no team wants to face him in the waning weeks of a playoff race.

Personally, I’m more scared of Thome, Morneau, and Span.

Both lineups are impressive, but down the stretch, Morneau and Mauer are just too strong a force for most teams to deal with.

Miguel Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez, and Brennan Boesch do not fear your M&M pricks.

A growing year for Young:

I miss Dmitri.

When I heard Delmon Young

Oh. That Young.

was among five players vying for the AL's 2010 All-Star Final Vote, I laughed.

Me, too. It's complete bullsh-t.

Delmon Young: .306, 10, 57, .846 OPS
Brennan Boesch: .341, 12, 47, .991 OPS
Magglio Ordonez: .308, 10, 52, .858 OPS

Our boys got hosed. But you don’t mention that.

I truly enjoyed giving my friends a hard time about effectively trading an ace in Matt Garza to the Rays for someone who had not proven his talent in Young.

You did? But I thought you were a Twins guy? Color me confused.

Also, let’s not forget that the Twins also foolishly included Jason Bartlett in that deal. Wait. You did forget.

Since I left, though, Young has been on fire, hitting .320 in June. He already has 57 RBIs, too, just three shy of his 2009 total of 60.

Boesch kills Young in most catagories. But if you truly want to keep living the past, how about Magglio? He has already surpassed his 2009 home run total and is just TWO RBI short of last year’s mark. So there.

Cliff Lee would seal it:

Cliff Lee would play once every five days. He wouldn’t seal sh-t.

I would be surprised to see the Twins land Cliff Lee,

The thought does give me nightmares, though.

but the only place the Tigers currently have an unquestioned edge is at the top of the rotation.

JV is the only Tiger you’re willing to give props to. Well, Justin is quite intimidating.

If the Twins had to identify an ace today, it would have to be Francisco Liriano. And although he has 116 strikeouts and a 3.32 ERA, he's just 6-6.

Motherf-cker…again with this bull. Let’s do a simple comparison.

Fictional Pitcher A is 6-6 with a 3.32 ERA.
Fictional Pitcher B is 11-4 with a 5.13 ERA.

Pitcher A is not a worse pitcher because of his W-L record. Maybe he’s had some bad defense behind him. Maybe the team can’t score runs. Maybe I shouldn’t have to explain this to anyone over the age of six.

Dammit, you just made me defend Francisco Liriano. I feel dirty.

Give me Justin Verlander's experience, 99-mph fastball and 10-5 record to this point every day of the week.

Ditto, except for the experience part. He's not Andy Pettitte, you nimrod. But I also like Cabrera over Morneau, Boesch/Ordonez, over Young, and Valverde over any closer in the game right now.

I am willing to give you Mauer over Laird, though. You're welcome.

Lee, though, would give the Twins a true ace (8-3, 2.34 ERA) and move everyone in their rotation down. In a heated division race, a three-game matchup of Lee-Verlander, Liriano-Jeremy Bonderman and Scott Baker-Max Scherzer looks like at least two wins for the Twins.

Lee/JV would be a toss-up depending on the day. Scherzer is pitching better than anyone on the Twins right now. But Bondo, I’ll give you that one. He sucks. So, it looks 1-1 with a toss-up. Plus don’t count Detroit out of adding another starter. Dave Dombrowski is a crafty bastard.

I hear Jarrod Washburn is available.

And if the Tigers can't beat the Twins down the stretch, it could be a disappointing 2010 season for Tigers fans.

And if the Twins can’t beat the Tigers down the stretch…Brett Favre!

I hate Minnesota.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Catfight: Brennan Boesch vs. David Ortiz


Really quick, before I get to the long awaited (?) return of “Catfight”, let me start off with a quick note that has nothing to do with the rest of this post. The MLB Trade Rumors site noted that the Tigers are interested in relief pitching in the wake of Joel Zumaya’s season ending injury. That’s no surprise. But wait…who is one of the guys that they say the Tigers might be interested in?

Wait for it.

The Farns. Kyle Farnsworth. Again. Fool me three times…

Dombrowski’s got one hell of a sense of humor if this were to happen. You have to admit that.

Oh, and while I’m off topic, Miguel Cabrera f’n rules. And Johnny Damon, to a lesser degree, rules, too. Another walkoff homer for JD. And who wanted Damon? Me, me, me! No one at your “serious” blogs wanted him! Ha. Remember, kids, Your Party Host is always right.

Anyhoo, on with this session in Tiger stupidity. I hate the All Star game. Every year someone gets screwed over and it seems obvious to the entire planet, except for the idiot managers that pick the rosters. This year’s worst example is poor Joey Votto of the Reds. All he’s doing is hitting .318 with 21 homers and an OPS of 1.017. But Omar Infante gets a spot.

Well, screw Votto. I’m here to talk about Brennan Boesch and how not only was he unjustly left off the AL roster, he didn’t even make it into the fan vote for the last spot. Bull, says I. Meanwhile, David Ortiz somehow gets on the team. Who is more justified of a spot on the team? Can you really just go on stats?

Nuh uh. It’s time to break this down into ten categories and have ourselves a Catfight.

1. 2010 Stats
Boesch: .344, 12, 46, 1.001 OPS in 224 AB
Ortiz: .261, 17, 54, .927 OPS in 234 AB
Advantage: Boesch. Papi’s got him in dingers, but the kid is blowing him away overall. BS pick by Girardi done for political reasons…oh, I’m getting ahead of myself. Ha.

2. Career Stats
Boesch: See 2010 stats.
Ortiz: .281, 334 HR, 1122 RBI, .377 OBP, .922 OPS, four-time Silver Slugger winner, 2004 ALCS MVP, five straight seasons of 30 homers and 100 RBI from 2003-2007, 12 career walk off homers, five-time All Star, blah, blah, BLAH!
Advantage: Ortiz. I guess.

3. World Series Rings
Boesch: Hopefully one after this year? :P
Ortiz: Two. You may have heard about them.
Advantage: Ortiz

4. Nickname Recognition
Boesch: Killer B (known only by me)
Ortiz: Big Papi (known by everyone in the world except remote African children…maybe)
Advantage: Ortiz

5. Feet
Boesch: Much quicker on them than you’d expect.
Ortiz: Hasn’t seen them since 2001.
Advantage: Boesch. Papi’s fat. LOLZ

6. Hatred Level and Production Against Loathsome Twins of Minnesota
Boesch: Division rival. Career: .333, 1, 6, .922 OPS
Ortiz: Was released by them back in the day. Career: .326, 10, 28, 1.092 OPS (highest vs. any AL team)
Advantage: Ortiz. But it’s early.

7. Hometown
Boesch: North Hollywood, CA
Ortiz: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Advantage: Boesch. He’s from Hollywood, people! He’s made for the spotlight! And the game is there! You’ve gotta let him in!

8. Linked to PED’s?
Boesch: Nope.
Ortiz: Yup.
Advantage: Boesch. Say no to drugs, kids. Unless a hot broad is willing to put out for them.

9. Defense
Boesch: Not great, but improving with experience.
Ortiz: What the hell is defense?
Advantage: Boesch. Papi is a statue when forced to take the field. Kinda like Magglio in right.

10. Has he used the word “brah” in a sentence? Such as, “Seriously, brah, you gotta hit up this party.”
Boesch: Sigh. Probably.
Ortiz: Doubtful.
Advantage: Ortiz. I’m scared that being from Cali makes Brennan a douchebag at heart. I hope that I’m wrong.

Survey Says: A tie? We must have a tie breaker! Um…I know!

11. Team
Boesch: Detroit Tigers, a team with a rich history with hard working, loyal fans.
Ortiz: Boston Red Sox, a team with a richer history, however whose fanbase is overloaded with racists, bandwagoners, and colossal pieces of human waste.
Advantage and winner: Brennan Boesch.

Papi, you’ve provided baseball with some nice moments, but you’ve already been to four All-Star Games. Boesch has had the better year and should be representing the Old English D in Anaheim. Sadly, Joe Girardi is a twit and he chose the man he’s more familiar with.

But if Boesch plays the rest of his career the way he has started it, he’ll be starting several of them before his time is done.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Henning + Zumaya 4-Ever!


Joel Zumaya has had some really bad luck the past couple years. We’re definitely going to miss him the rest of the season and I sincerely wish him well in his recovery. But Lynn Henning may not make it through all of this. I think the man is having a nervous breakdown.

What hurt as much as learning about -- and seeing replays of -- Joel Zumaya's elbow fracture Monday night was the sheer calamity an injury brings to his life.

Sigh. Joel Zumaya is going to go home. He is going to be attended to by doctors and not have to worry about how he’s going to pay for it. In a few months, he’s going to start rehab on the arm. Then, he’ll attempt to come back next year. He will continue to be paid $915,000 this year to do nothing. I know lots of people in worse situations.

Lynn, you write for a newspaper in Detroit, Michigan. Don’t you dare write some sappy, pandering b.s. article about how sad you are that Joel Zumaya is going to get paid to not do his job when many of your readers are unemployed and in serious debt. I’m pretty sure yours are going to be the only tears that are shed.

This is a different man, folks. Endearingly different.

Yeah, I hear the third or fourth time you end up out for the year with an arm injury, suddenly you have a halo appear over your head and Nickelback songs start making sense to you.

Most fans perceive him to be a wild, reckless guy with not much discipline and fast-lane tendencies that probably contribute to his long, frightful history of season-wrecking breakdowns.

Can’t imagine why.

There's an ounce of reality there.

A 40 ounce. Harf.

He's not staid. He is not reserved. He has as much energy as any guy in baseball, and that energy can be channeled in lots of ways.

Mostly into hookers and blow, I assume. Well, and Guitar Hero.

But know this about Zumaya:

I love him. He completes me. He makes me, Lynn Henning, want to be a better man. (sniffle)

No player in the Tigers clubhouse cares more about his craft.

You hear that, Justin Verlander, you overpaid goofball? Why can’t you care about your craft as much as Zoom does? Jerk!

You hear that, Carlos Guillen? You know how you’ve changed postions four times and came back from several injuries just to help the team win? You’re Zoom’s bitch in the caring department!

And YOU, Magglio Ordonez! When your wife was sick and you still were in the U.S. playing baseball? Try walking a mile in Joel's shoes.

/facepalm

Nobody on the roster is more devoted to the game or to his team.

So devoted that the past four seasons have seen him pitch in 28, 21, 29, and 31 games. If only we could get him devoted to preparing for the game.

Nobody beats him at being a husband and a father.

You got those tattoos for nothing, Brandon! Sucker.

And nobody -- nobody -- is a better brother.

Hear that, Ashlee? Don Kelly isn’t the great brother you think he is. He’s no Glass Joel.

Seriously, though…f-ck you, Lynn. It sucks that Zoom’s hurt again. But this article is embarrassing.

It's difficult to believe any person in baseball has so committed himself to helping his family escape tough times and nail down financial security that, in such heartbreaking fashion, eluded the Zumayas for too many years.

Difficult to believe? For the love of Cobb, are you serious, man? EVERY young player helps his family as soon as they get paid! Get Mama a house. Get Daddy out of debt so he can retire. Get brother Ray-Ray that expensive hooker he always wanted…the one without the peg leg and the V.D.

And the only story more familiar in sports than that is the one of the guy that can’t stay healthy and his career fizzles away. Joel Zumaya is not a unique snowflake.

But he has made around $3 million in salary alone in his brief career. And that doesn’t include endorsements, personal appearances, or any investments he may have made. Plus, he’s going to be back and paid well again next year. Yes this injury sucks, but put the f-cking violin away.

Those tears flowing as he was carried from the field Monday?

Rick Knapp when he realized what he had left in the bullpen?

Pain explained most of it.

Never eat Chipotle before a game.

The enormous responsibility he feels toward his family was one more emotion -- and reality that came crashing down on him in the split second it took to deliver a pitch and fracture his elbow.

Joel Zumaya is not a racehorse! They aren’t going to shoot him, Lynn. HE’S GOING TO KEEP GETTING PAID! Unlike me or millions of others out there if we were unable to do our jobs anymore. (Shoulda listened to that Aflac duck.)

This is all separate from his indispensable role in the Tigers bullpen.

Joel works the grill when they get together for burger Wednesdays.

Along with Jose Valverde, he is the most important relief pitcher on the Tigers staff.

No. Jose Valverde is the three most important parts of the Tiger bullpen. Number one, how awesome he is. Number two, his leadership. Number three, his dancing. Number four, however, I will put Joel as a setup man…even though Ryan Perry did it most of the season before getting hurt. I didn’t see you trying to get Perry elected Pope when he got an owie.

And now he is gone. For this year, at least.

You watched Titanic today, didn’t you, Lynn? You’re way too emotional to be writing right now.

People who say Zumaya is simply destined to be injured and re-injured have history on their side. They know, also, that his almost alien power at throwing a baseball places spectacular stress on his body.

Everyone knows that aliens make the best pitchers. Cy Young? He was from Mars. Nolan Ryan? Jupiter. Roger Clemens? Well, he was just a prick from Texas. But Bob Gibson, little known fact, he was from one of Neptune’s moons.

But I wouldn't rule him out, and not only because the doctors -- and we should remember they're the experts here -- say he should recover.

Oh. The doctors say he’ll be fine. Then what the hell are you doing writing this like it’s Ernie Harwell’s obituary, then?

Zumaya's will is beyond measure.

Lynn tried measuring with his patented will-ometer. He couldn’t get an accurate reading. That’s how amazingly abundant Joel’s will is.

He remains, personally speaking, one of the most fascinating, most authentic, men and pitchers one could experience in a lifetime of following this game.

I’ll never let go, Jack…I mean Joel. I’ll never let go.

Yes, the Mark Fidrych comparisons have long been made, and with plenty of parallels.

Joel, do NOT go working under any motor vehicles, okay?

But the nature of Zumaya's injuries, while ominous, are vastly different from the ruined arm Fidrych had to confront 30 years ago.

They at least offer hope Zumaya can make it back. And for no other reason than the sheer goodness that drives this man, anyone who cares about people -- let alone a super-talented baseball player -- should root for his recovery.

What…the…f-ck?

Does Lynn Henning have a bit of a schoolgirl crush on Mr. Zumaya? This article would have broken my heart…if I had one.

Get well soon, Zoom. We’ll all miss you.

But not like Lynn Henning will, that’s for sure. Yikes.