Friday, December 30, 2011

Tiger "Letdowns" of the Past Decade

Someone forwarded me a link to an article at Bleacher Report on the ten biggest Tiger letdowns of the past decade. Normally, I avoid BR like Don Kelly avoids productive offense, since it tends to make my head hurt and the voices inside start telling me to burn things. I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences there. But it’s a decent enough topic, even though I disagree with the majority of the author, Sean Rinehart’s choices.

For those of you expecting me to do my usual poor-man’s Ken Tremendous FJM hack job on it, I’m sorry. There’s no need. It’s written decently enough, in my opinion, but I just think there were better choices to be made. We all have our different versions of what a letdown is, I guess.

If you aren’t in the mood to sort through the annoying slideshow that they like to do there for some reason, here’s the author’s list of letdowns.

10. Neifi Perez
9. Alex Sanchez
8. 2006 Detroit Tigers
7. Fernando Vina
6. Joel Zumaya
5. 2008 Detroit Tigers
4. Edgar Renteria
3. Jarrod Washburn
2. 2009 Detroit Tigers
1. 2003 Detroit Tigers

Personally, I find the majority of these to not be considered “letdowns”. After the jump, I’ll get into why and what I would have chosen in their places.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Blast From the Past

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching an episode of “Hoarders” on TV and it got me thinking about the several boxes of old baseball cards I’ve been lugging around since I was a kid. It finally clicked in my pea-sized brain that the thousands of 1989 Topps Gary Ward cards were never really going to be worth anything and pay for my retirement, the way I imagined back in the day. So, I began sorting through them and pitching 90% of what I found.

In one of the boxes today, I found some old Sports Illustrated magazines. As I was tossing them, I noticed along with them, an old Detroit Tigers Magazine. This was a program that I apparently bought at a game in the late 90’s. As I began to leaf through it, I couldn’t help laughing at what I was reading.

Today, I’d like to share some of that with you. Prepare to facepalm.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tiger Droppings: After-Holiday Hangover Edition

Oh, hello there. Nice of you to stop by. Did you have a good Christmas or whatever other late-December holiday you may celebrate? I hope so. Mine? Thanks for asking. It was okay. I still didn’t get that chainsaw I’ve been asking for.

There’s not a whole lot going on right now as far as Detroit Tigers news is concerned. But I’ll try to cover what stuff is out there. Today we’ll get into free agency, random nonsense, and other things.

Vague? You betcha. Interesting? Probably not. But let’s see what we can come up with.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Obligatory Christmas Post

Happy Christmas, boys and girls. It’s that magical time of year when, in theory, we’re all supposed to be nice to each other, appreciate our families, and spread cheer to our fellow men and women.

In reality, everyone is stressed out over traffic, money, and buying presents. People are ruder than Barry Bonds talking to a reporter. And we all just want this nonsense to be over with.

And in my case, I’m sick again. This marks four of the last five Christmases that I’ve had the flu. I currently have the luxury of knowing what Jim Leyland’s lungs feel like on a daily basis. It’s a conspiracy concocted by Jesus and Santa, I tell you. Bah…humbug.

But, being the GIVER that I am, I thought I’d spread a little holiday cheer with a list of presents that I would give to those in Tigertown if I had the magical powers of Mr. Claus, Tim Tebow, or whatever.

So allow me to empty my sack (hohoho) and let’s get this sleigh on the road.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Five Favorite Tiger Teams

Is every MLB offseason this boring? I’ve been racking my brain for something interesting to talk about for a couple days now. But I just have no interest in further free agent speculation or what trades Double D could POSSIBLY pull off. If it happens, hooray. We’ve got something to discuss. But the B.S. rumors are growing tiresome as Spring Training just cannot seem to get here quick enough.

Of course, this being the site where sports journalism goes to die, I had considered doing “A Christmas Carol” with Scrooge Ilitch being visited by the spirits of Ty Cobb, Brandon Inge, and Jacob Turner. But as adorable as Ty’s charming racism was coming out, I just didn’t think it was very funny overall, and scrapped the whole idea.

But I did finally come up with a topic I don’t remember getting into on here before. I’ve covered my favorite players and moments multiple times. But I don’t think I’ve ever gotten into my favorite Tiger teams since I started watching baseball in 1985. So that’s what I’d like to do tonight and take a look at my favorite five Tiger ballclubs of the past 27 years. Ugh…I’m getting old.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Tigers Version

Well, it’s been a slow week in Tiger news. And with holiday parties and assorted nonsense at work, I’ve been busier than Rick Porcello in an unsupervised sorority house this week. But in the holiday spirit, I composed a Christmas Carol listing the recent Tigers activities for you. It took about 15 minutes.

And it shows. Sorry…

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Detroit Tigers Holiday Shopping Guide

Well, boys and girls, the holidays are upon us and that means it’s time once again for Your Party Host to sort through all the Tigers merchandise that’s out there and bring you the BEST OF THE BEST for that special someone on your list. Tis the season to be merry
"That’s my name."

Can’t see the line, can you Russ?

Anyway, here we go, straight from the official Tigers shop on mlb.com.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Will Rhymes' Tiger Career Comes Up...Short. Hohohoho...

Via the official twitter of the Tigers, Will Rhymes has been non-tendered by the team, making him a free agent.  Expect to read many a "boo hoo" from the odd section of Tiger fans that worship the undersized, untalented, white, Quad-A players the farm system keeps churning out.  As for me, I couldn't be happier unless I found out Don Kelly fell off a cliff while chasing a road runner.  Didn't even have to use my AK...today was a good day.

I offer the following as a small (snicker) parting gift to 'Lil Will...

Poor Rhymes.  He always got the short end of the stick.

St Patty's day in Detroit will never be the same again.

I'm sure he can still get his old job back working for Mr. Wonka.

Okay, that's enough.  Don't want Will to track me down and kick my...ankles.

Godspeed, Tinkerbell.  I'll be toasting your contributions into the wee hours of the night.

Friday, December 9, 2011

What Albert Pujols Has Taught Us

"People from other teams want to play in St. Louis and they're jealous that we're in St. Louis because the fans are unbelievable. So why would you want to leave a place like St. Louis to go somewhere else and make $3 or $4 more million a year? It's not about the money. I already got my money. It's about winning and that's it. It's about accomplishing my goal and my goal is to try to win."

-Albert Pujols, 2009

The deal with the Angels will pay Pujols around $3 million or $4 million more per year than the offer from the Cardinals.  Ouch.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gr8: #1 Miguel Cabrera, Man of Redemption

The “Great Eight of 2011” will be a look at the eight Tigers that impressed me the most in 2011. The order I am choosing these players in is not necessarily who the best overall player was. No, these guys are simply the ones that made me say “wow” more than anyone for whatever reason. 

In March, Fox’s Jon Paul Morosi speculated that Miguel Cabrera was headed for his worst season as a pro, due to his DUI arrest and a slow start in Spring Training.

Yahoo’s resident jackass Jeff Passan mocked the Tigers organization and Cabrera for how they chose to handle Miguel’s off field incident.

The Freep’s Drew Sharp called for the Tigers to suspend Cabrera indefinitely to start the season.

Michael Rosenberg of the Freep wrote that Cabrera could turn up in more mugshots.

Lynn Henning of the Detroit News speculated that Big Mig’s career may be near an end.

And my least favorite writer in the history of writers, Mitch Album, referred to Cabrera as “a public menace”.

I was beyond annoyed with these clowns at the time and nine months later, I still haven’t forgiven any of them for the ignorant, ill-informed reaction pieces these “professionals” presented at the time. If you weren’t around this normally goofy blog then, it took a serious tone for a week as I defended Cabrera from these thoughtless attacks. If you wish to review them and read the full articles, click on the “Miguel Cabrera” tag and you can go back and check them out.

The point is, all of these “experts” were wrong. The Tigers and Miguel Cabrera were right in how they chose to handle his admittedly poor decision to drink and drive on his way to Spring Training. He somehow managed get his life together and focus on doing his job, putting together one of the finest seasons anyone has seen of a player in a Tiger uniform.

And for that, and the other reasons I’m about to get into, is why Miguel Cabrera is #1 on my list of Tigers that impressed me the most on the field in 2011. The man was simply outstanding.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Brandon Inge Sucks at Driving a Car, Too. Not Just Baseball.

(On a slightly snowy road, west of Ann Arbor…)

SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST: The Tigers are rumored to be interested in acquiring Daniel Murphy from the New York Mets to play third base in 2012…
BRANDON INGE: Hmm. Well, that’s a bunch of hooey. Let’s see what else is on.

/changes radio station

INGE: There we go! Baby, baby, baby ooh. Like baby, baby, baby ooh…I thought you’d always be mine! Man, that voice is just pure honey. Who DOESN’T have Bieber Fever?

/hits tiny ice patch

INGE: Golly! This isn’t gonna be good!

/crashes into four more morons too stupid to drive in 1/8 inch of snow

INGE: Jumpin’ gee willikers! I hope no one is hurt!

/rushes to closest car

INGE: Hey! You okay in there, pal?

/car door shoots open

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tiger Droppings: Let's Be Friends Again Edition

Hello, boys and girls. For those of you that don’t live in the Detroit area…I hate/envy you. It’s cold every day now. It never seems to stop raining. The other day, I got up for work and had to clear SNOW off my car. Sorry, I just wasn’t mentally ready for that crap yet. I swear, I almost just walked in front of a bus instead of doing it. Good gawd, I envy you people that live in areas of the country where the weather isn’t unbearable 10 months of the year.

Anyway, I’ve got a few topics to get through today. But first off, I want to thank everyone that took part in the Trammel Hall of Fame topic last week. I know I seemed to upset a lot of you with my take, but it turned into some good discussion and that was the whole point of it. The one idea of letting Tram in the HOF that I can’t get behind, though, is that of “Well, there’s a lot of shortstops with questionable numbers in the Hall, therefore Tram should get in”. If it were up to me, they’d toss out a quarter of the guys in there. I just view Cooperstown as a place for the elite, not the “very good”.

Also, I sense the Edgar Renteria comparison annoyed several of you. I did that for two reasons. One, because baseball-reference.com has him as the top player comparison to Trammell. And two, I’m kind of a jerk sometimes. If any of you really think that I consider Tram and Renteria anywhere close to being the same kind of player, you’re wrong and/or silly. I love Trammell. Renteria can fall into a pit of crocodiles for all I care.

Whatever. Many of you had good points and I enjoyed reading them. I hope I didn’t piss off too many of you. I promise I’ll try to make up for it later this post with a little surprise that ALL Trammell fans should love. I’ll also be tackling the rest of the Hall candidates, free agency, ex-Tigers, and more.

We can still be friends, right? Take me back, baby…

Friday, December 2, 2011

DIBS Voting 2011

So there’s this double top secret club called DIBS (Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes) made up of us Tiger blogging nerds. We meet once a year in a random, seedy, downtown Detroit location that I’m sworn to secrecy not to reveal. We all vote on some predetermined categories on the recent season. After, drinks are served, ecstasy and glow sticks are handed out, and bad decisions are made by everyone.

You haven’t lived until you’ve seen BYB’s David Tokarz drugged out of his mind, wearing nothing but a golden tutu, trying to convince Jen from Old English D that aliens are trying to communicate with us through Kurt Mensching’s penis. Meanwhile, Phil Coke’s Brain (wearing a gimp mask to conceal his identity) is in a corner playing Russian Roulette with John Parent and Austin Drake while RotT’s Sam is giggling like a lunatic drawing the whole thing in her sketchbook. Allison Hagen and Big Al sitting in a corner taking turns cutting themselves with a razor blade while she mutters “Casper” and he’s babbling “Millen”…crazy stuff.

I’m still pissed that the April in the D girls ended up leaving with the mLive guys. What a crock…hope they all got herpes now.

Obviously, none of that is true (or is it?). But we all did vote on some Tiger awards and I thought I’d share my votes, along with who the herd went with.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Does Alan Trammell Belong in the Hall of Fame?

If it weren’t for my irrational love for a guy named Bobby Higginson, Alan Trammell would be my favorite baseball player of all time. Like many others that started watching Tigers baseball in the 80’s, Trammell became my childhood hero. He was good with the bat, arguably better with the glove, and was a class act in the D for 20 seasons. When I was a kid in Little League, I wanted to BE Alan Trammell. Sadly, I was too fat and untalented. I had to settle for being Barbaro Garbey.

Point is, Trammell was THE MAN to Young Rogo and other Tiger fans back then. In many fans’ eyes, he still is the symbol of excellence in Tiger history, the way fans of the ‘60’s Tigers look at Al Kaline, and the way chubby dumb girls of today look at Brandon Inge. I mean, what Tiger fan of that era doesn’t have fond memories of Tram and his double play partner, Lou Whitaker?

And now, once again, tis the season for the yearly Hall of Fame voting. Already, I’m seeing cries for Trammell to be inducted into Cooperstown in his 11th year of eligibility and it makes me feel like a bad fan. Why?

Because I’m one of the few (if any) Tigers fans that just doesn’t believe Alan Trammell belongs in the Hall.

Why is that? Let me count the ways.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Aborted DNR Post Ideas

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve written a lot of brilliant questionable/silly/stupid material the past couple years on this site. But it’s not like I’ve gone with EVERY idiotic idea that’s entered my peanut-sized brain. No, many an idea has been tossed into the scrap heap for the better of mankind, no matter how bad my writer’s block gets at times.

The following is a list of such ideas that are probably better off not being fully realized.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gr8: #2 Alex Avila, Titanium Catcher

The “Great Eight of 2011” will be a look at the eight Tigers that impressed me the most in 2011. The order I am choosing these players in is not necessarily who the best overall player was. No, these guys are simply the ones that made me say “wow” more than anyone for whatever reason.

If before the 2011 season you would have told me that the Tigers’ catcher would hit .295/.389/.506 with 19 homers and 82 RBI, I would have responded, “Wow, V-Mart’s not going to hit .300? That sucks.”

But no, we’re not talking about Victor Martinez. We’re talking about Alex Avila who surprised everyone with his breakout season as the Detroit starting catcher this year. I thought it was foolish to hand the starting job to a guy that hadn’t earned it and/or proved he could handle the job. But Your Party Host (and I wasn’t alone, dammit) was thankfully wrong as Avila showed that he has the stuff to be one of the top catchers in all of baseball for years to come.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Thanksgiving Feast at the Inges'

BRANDON INGE: Golly, kids! Look at this spread your mom whipped up for us! It’s a shame she was so determined to get out there for the Black Friday sales, huh? Haha, oh well, she loves her shopping! That’s why Daddy’s gotta keep playing ball on his wrecked up knees, right?
CHASE INGE: Daddy, is Mommy a gold digger?

TYLER INGE: Do you secretly hate Mommy?

BRANDON: Gosh, no, kids! Wow, your imaginations are out there! Haha…sigh. Well, boys, don’t fret. We’re not gonna be alone this Thanksgiving because some of Dad’s best buddies said they’d be stopping by! Heck, we’re gonna have a grand old time! Not like we can eat all this super grub ourselves!

CHASE: Uncle Sheff’s not coming, is he?

TYLER: He always asks us for money.

CHASE: And calls Mommy a stank ass ho.

TYLER: What’s a stank ass ho, Daddy?

BRANDON: Um, don’t worry about it. And no, Uncle Sheff won’t be coming. He hates Daddy because Daddy is still employed. No, some of our less fortunate friends that didn’t have anywhere else to go will be coming over. In fact, I think I hear a car door now! Be on your best behavior, kids!

/door shoots open

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ingraham Defends Self Poorly Over Non-JV Vote; I Respond

After the announcement yesterday of Justin Verlander winning the MVP, I wrote about my disgust over one voter, Jim Ingraham from Cleveland, completely leaving JV off of his ballot. I remarked that I anxiously waited for him to write a piece defending himself, which to his credit, he spent little time in getting online.

Was I too hasty? Did Jim say anything worthwhile to defend himself in naming ten other AL players over Verlander as most valuable?

No. He didn’t. Read on.

Monday, November 21, 2011

JV Wins MVP, But That's Not What Makes News

Progressive Field, home of the Indians, is an amazing ballpark. In fact, it is my favorite stadium that I’ve had the pleasure of watching a Major League ballgame at, beating out Comerica Park, Tiger Stadium, The Great America Ballpark in Cincinnati, Miller Park in Milwaukee, and The Rogers Center in Toronto (in no particular order).

So there. Don’t say that I never said anything nice about Cleveland. Because I’m not going to for the rest of this piece.

Justin Verlander won the AL MVP today, picking up 13 of the 28 first place votes, overall. Good for him, as he was amazing this year and I’m proud and honored that he plays for the Detroit Tigers. Personally, I had him third after Jose Bautista and Miguel Cabrera. So I wasn’t going to throw a fit if he didn’t win.

But what amazes and pisses me off is that one guy, Jim Ingraham of Cleveland’s News-Herald, left him off of his ballot completely. How is it that a guy with the honor/responsibility of casting something as important as an MVP vote could leave the eventual winner off of his ballot? Are there really ten more valuable players in the American League than Justin Verlander to Ingraham?

No. Of course not, unless he’s a complete moron. But Ingraham is making this about himself and his opinion that a pitcher shouldn’t be eligible for the MVP. Never mind that pitchers ARE eligible for the award. Jim just thinks they shouldn’t be, so he decided to be the guy to try and screw Verlander out of the award in case the other voters disagreed with him. How mature.

Let’s hear from the man himself.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Think You're Smarter Than Me, Jerk?

Well, you probably are. I am what the Ancient Greek philospher Fred Sanfordfoles referred to as a "big dummy".

But I found this quiz over at sporcle.com where you are challenged to name the players that made up the Opening Day starting lineups for the Tigers from 1991-2010 within 15 minutes. It's quite fun if you're a Tiger nerd such as myself. So click that link, give it a try, and see how you do. No cheating, jerks! Then come back and compare to how Your Party Host did after the jump.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Tigers Get Their Money Back

(Detroit Tigers headquarters, Detroit, MI)
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Um, you wanted to see me, sir?
MIKE ILITCH: Indeed I did, Donald.

DOMBROWSKI: It’s David, sir.

ILITCH: Right. I think you have some explaining to do.

DOMBROWSKI: I do? I’m sorry, sir, I don’t understand. I thoroughly inspected the trunk of your car like you requested. No vampires were found. Again.

ILITCH: Not that, you buffoon. I’m talking about the man in my office. I can’t believe you let him back into our organization.

DOMBROWSKI: The man in your office? You haven’t been speaking to the ghost of Billy Martin again, have you, sir?

ILITCH: Don’t talk to me like I’m a moron, Douglas. Take a look for yourself.

/opens office door

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Realistically Projecting the 2012 Tigers Roster

I touched on this recently in regards to my opinion that Jose Reyes is not an option for the Tigers, but I thought I’d expand on it and throw my two cents in on the 2012 roster. Everyone else is doing it…why not Your Party Host? Let the rosterbation (TM Kurt Mensching) begin!

So let’s explore who’s in place, who is needed, and whether or not there’s any money out there to pay for them. We have a 25 man roster to fill. Let’s begin.

I Love Being Right

Yesterday, I said the following about Don Kelly receiving the first EVER Tigers' Tenth Man Award from the mysterious Detroit Baseball Society:

"I can only assume that the DBS is a fictional group concocted by the Detroit media to give their best friend Kelly even more unneeded press."

I received an anonymous tip that led me to this page.  No, the DBS is not fictional.  But how did they originally form?  Let me save you the trouble of reading though it all.


The Detroit Baseball Dinner gave birth in 2003 to The Detroit Baseball Society, which is devoted to year-round activities and conviviality among those who love baseball in Detroit.

Detroit Baseball Dinner?

Conceived in 2001 by Detroit News sports writer Lynn Henning, The Detroit Baseball Dinner brings together local baseball fans – men and women alike -- team figures, media, and those with a deep appreciation for the game in an atmosphere heavy on festiveness and friendship.

You see?!?  This is all that rat bastard Henning's fault!  Of COURSE he started all this and now his best buddy Don Kelly is getting an award they CREATED JUST FOR HIM!

/pulls remaining six hairs out

I pray every night that I wake up a fan of a different team.  It never happens.  Dammit.  Stupid Tigers fanbase making me want to kill everyone...

Oh, for the ten of you Tiger fans out there that aren't a nutjob, a real post will be up in the next 24 hours about the roster.  I promise.  Thanks...

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Am Surrounded By Crazy People

I haven’t gotten angry in a while. My bad. This changes today.

The more time I spend reading other people’s opinions on the Detroit Tigers online, the more I realize that I (like Jack on “Lost”) am among you, yet I am not one of you.

Because I’m becoming more and more convinced that the majority of Tiger fans are escaped mental patients.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gr8: #3 Justin Verlander, Human Cyborg

The “Great Eight of 2011” will be a look at the eight Tigers that impressed me the most in 2011. The order I am choosing these players in is not necessarily who the best overall player was. No, these guys are simply the ones that made me say “wow” more than anyone for whatever reason.

Whoa, whoa, whoa…Miss Lippy. Number three? How in the name of Norm Cash’s nutsack can Justin Verlander be only #3 on a list of 2011’s most impressive Tigers? Rogo, have you gone cukoo? Nutso? Bonkers? Another 1940’s slang word for f’n crazy?

No. JV was excellent. I was just personally more impressed by two other guys on the team this year when I looked at the big picture. But we’ll get to those guys later. Because nothing can and/or should take away from the amazing year put together by the greatest pitcher I’ve even seen in a Tigers uniform, Justin Brooks Verlander.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gr8: #4 Jose Valverde, Perfecto

The “Great Eight of 2011” will be a look at the eight Tigers that impressed me the most in 2011. The order I am choosing these players in is not necessarily who the best overall player was. No, these guys are simply the ones that made me say “wow” more than anyone for whatever reason.

You can call him overrated, if you want. Many people feel that closers are. While you’re at it, you can probably call him overpaid, too. Go ahead. You can also call him lucky, I guess. Feel free. But you can also eat a poison-tipped dildo.

Because in regards to the 2011 season, I’m just going to call Jose Valverde perfect.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gr8: #5 Doug Fister, The Steal From Seattle

The “Great Eight of 2011” will be a look at the eight Tigers that impressed me the most in 2011. The order I am choosing these players in is not necessarily who the best overall player was. No, these guys are simply the ones that made me say “wow” more than anyone for whatever reason.

When your team goes looking for an impact starter to add to their rotation at the trade deadline for the stretch run, you might initially think that getting a guy with a 3-12 record wouldn’t be the best of strategies.

But the acquisition of Doug Fister in 2011 by the Detroit Tigers is the greatest example ever that a win-loss record is the last thing you should be paying attention to when evaluating a pitcher. Somewhere Joe Morgan weeps.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gonzalez Beats Cabrera for Silver Slugger. What? What?

SILVER SLUGGER VOTER: No, no…I just want you to know…I just want you to know how sorry we are that things got so messed up with us and Mr. Cabrera. We got into this thing with the best intentions and I never…

/man on couch gets shot
JULES: I'm sorry, did I break your concentration? I didn't mean to do that. Please, continue, you were saying something about best intentions. What's the matter? Oh, you were finished! Well, allow me to retort. What does Miguel Cabrera look like?

SS VOTER: What?

Monday, October 31, 2011

On the Next American Pickers...

VOICEOVER: I'm Mike Wolfe. And I'm Frank Fritz, and we're pickers. We travel the back roads of America looking for rusty gold. We're looking for amazing things buried in people's garages and barns. What most people see as junk, we see as dollar signs. We'll buy anything we think we can make a buck on. Each item we pick has a history all its own and the people we meet are a breed all their own. We make a living telling the history of America...one piece at a time.
MIKE: Beautiful day, isn’t it Frankie? Nothing I’d rather be doing today than driving around doing some freestyling. No telling what we’ll come up with today!

FRANK: You said it.

/phone rings

FRANK: It’s Danielle. Hope she has a lead for us.

MIKE: I’m amazed she’s awake. Hahaha…

FRANK: Yello!
DANIELLE: Hey, guys. I just got a call from a guy named Scott that’s right around where you guys are driving today. He says he’s got a whole barn full of junk that you guys might be interested in. I just sent you directions to his place. Thank me later.

FRANK: You’re the best, Danni!

MIKE: Sweet. Let’s go!

/ten minutes later
FRANK: Wow! There’s GOTTA be something in there that’s up our alley. Hope this “Scott” guy is willing to sell.

/knocks on front door

MIKE: Hello! Scott? I think you talked to Danielle today? She said you might have some things for sale. Can we take a look around?

Gr8: #6 Victor Martinez, Professional Hitter

The “Great Eight of 2011” will be a look at the eight Tigers that impressed me the most in 2011. The order I am choosing these players in is not necessarily who the best overall player was. No, these guys are simply the ones that made me say “wow” more than anyone for whatever reason.

.159/.292/.277, 11 HR, 42 RBI, 177 K, $12 million
.330/.380/.470, 12 HR, 103 RBI, 51 K, $12 million

The top stat line is that of Adam Dunn in 2011. The bottom is Victor Martinez. In the 2010 offseason, these men were the two that Dave Dombrowski was reportedly considering signing to be the DH of the 2011 Tigers. Chicago went with Dunn. Detroit went with V-Mart.

I think it’s safe to say that the Tigers came out on top there. Kind of like Alabama would if they played a random junior high football team.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Jose Reyes to Detroit? Get Real.

With the holiday season approaching, I keep reading and hearing from Tiger fans with visions of Jose Reyes-to-Detroit dancing in their heads.

I hate to break it to you, but this is ridiculous and would cripple the Tigers ballclub in upcoming seasons, in my opinion.

“But Magglio and Carlos are coming off payroll”, they say. Sure, the Venezuelan ER unit will be gone, but people are forgetting that a sizable portion of the team is due raises this year and in upcoming seasons. And with Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera already in the $20 million range, there is NO WAY a team in a market like Detroit’s can afford another guy with that price tag.

Keep in mind, I’m no financial expert when it comes to running a baseball team, by any means. But I think I’m pretty close to being on the mark with the following.

Take a look.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gr8: #7 Joaquin Benoit, Set Up Man-Beast

The “Great Eight of 2011” will be a look at the eight Tigers that impressed me the most in 2011. The order I am choosing these players in is not necessarily who the best overall player was. No, these guys are simply the ones that made me say “wow” more than anyone for whatever reason.

Here’s what I said immediately after the free agent signing of Joaquin Benoit in last year’s offseason:

It’s a gutsy move by Dombrowski, but if Benoit pitches close to like he did for the Rays, it’s one that we’re all going to be thrilled about. It also gives Joel Zumaya more leeway in making his comeback as he won’t be counted on to immediately be the bridge to Jose Valverde in 2011.

Zoom who? Good gawd, I love being right.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Gr8: #8 Jhonny Peralta, Career Reborn

The “Great Eight of 2011” will be a look at the eight Tigers that impressed me the most in 2011. The order I am choosing these players in is not necessarily who the best overall player was. No, these guys are simply the ones that made me say “wow” more than anyone for whatever reason.

For 12 straight years (1981-1992), an icon to anyone reading this site, Alan Trammell, was the Tigers’ Opening Day starting shortstop. He would do so later, as well, in 1994 and 1996. Since then, the position has been in a constant state of flux, it seems. Travis Fryman, Chris Gomez, Deivi Cruz, Billy Ripken, Shane Halter, Omar Infante, Carlos Guillen, Edgar Renteria, and Adam Everett would all be Opening Day starters since Tram’s streak at short. Only Guillen would truly be effective, despite being a constant injury risk. (Fryman would fare much better as a third baseman in Detroit.)

So call me a pessimist, but I wasn’t THAT excited when Dave Dombrowski traded minor league pitcher Giovanni Soto to Cleveland for a struggling, .246 hitting, apparently already past his prime Jhonny Peralta in July of 2010. Great, I thought. Another crappy stopgap until we call up yet another mediocre Quad-A player “ready” to play shortstop (Cale Iorg, I presumed).

Peralta hit .253 with 8 homers in 57 games in Detroit, enough to convince Dombrowski that Jhonny was worth signing to a 2 year, $11.25 million deal, with an option on a third. I didn’t really expect much out of him, myself. Why in the blue hell would I?

I am glad to have been proved very wrong.

Friday, October 21, 2011

ALCS Loss Causes Freep Writer to Go Insane

John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press has lost his mind.

I know that with the Tigers eliminated and their season over, article topics may be hard to come by for these men that are used to covering the team every day. No more upcoming games, no more quotes to dissect, and no more lineup speculation. Your Party Host, too, has had little to say or write about the past few days since the team was eliminated and our World Series dreams were crushed by a superior Rangers team.

But Lowe’s latest piece suggests that the ALCS might have turned out differently if Texas had more right-handed starters, which would have let Don Kelly play more.
I’ve let all of the Kelly articles slide for a while now, everyone. I’ve tried my best. But this is beyond stupid. Look, Detroit reporters. I understand that Don Kelly is a nice man and is endless with his time and politeness with you. But enough is enough. Quit trying to make a guy that is an average utility option into Alan Trammell with your words. It is an insult to your readers and it’s really starting to piss me off.

The article after the jump…with my responses.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Season's Over. What Else Is On?

So baseball season is over. Sure, there’s a silly World Series going on, but do you really expect me to watch a matchup between the guys that just eliminated the Tigers and the team that beat Detroit in the ’06 World Series? I’d rather watch my cat get euthanized.

So what do we do now? Spring Training is a long time away. Four months is like…a year from now, you know? Sure, there’s the Winter Meetings, free agency, arbitration, etc, etc, zzzzz…but out of all that, you get like three newsworthy days and a bunch of B.S. speculation in between. Speaking of which, those of you that think the Tigers are going to sign Jose Reyes are crazier than Jim Leyland bringing in Schlereth with the bases loaded. If they do, I’ll start a Don Kelly Fan Club.

Yes, it’s this time of the year that we are forced to seek other forms of sports as entertainment while baseball is away. And today, I thought I’d take a look at our other options available until pitchers and catchers report…and why none of them are decent enough alternatives to my favorite sport of baseball.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Always a Tiger: End of 2011 Edition

Booooooo! New shirt!

Yeah, that's really never been my style. I try to keep tabs on ex-Tigers in their new surroundings and see how they're doing. Guess I really bought into the whole "Always a Tiger" thing...well, except for Jason Grilli. Eff him.

So, if you're interested, here's the final stats of all the ex-Tigers I could think of that played this year. First will be major league stats, followed by Triple-A stats. Take a look...you'll probably come across some guys you forgot all about. In one case, I found a guy that I thought retired YEARS ago.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Scapegoat We Can All Hate Together

Good news, everyone! Thanks to a tip from my friend, Keith, I have found someone to blame for the Tigers loss to the Rangers in the ALCS. Someone that we can ALL get behind in our blind hatred.

Much like 99% of things that have gone wrong in my life, I can now easily blame this season's postseason woes on one man...Randy Smith. Yes, THAT Randy Smith. Rat commie bastard...

How so?  Remember 1999's big trade that brought Juan Gonzalez to Detroit? Who could forget? Well, one of the young players Randy Smith dealt to Texas to get his prized slugger JuanGone was Francisco Cordero. In 2006, Cordero was then dealt to Milwaukee with two other players for Carlos Lee and...NELSON CRUZ! The same shaved gorilla man that just slaughtered us in the playoffs!

The Ghost of Randy Smith continues to HAUNT US ALL years later! Someone kill him with fire...

Tip 'o' the cap to the article Keith pointed out to me by Evan Grant.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Game Over. Season Over.

So yeah…it’s over.

You can blame bad weather, if you want. Maybe crap all over the poor umpiring that always seemed to go against the Tigers…there was plenty of that. Perhaps you want to blame the dreaded injury bug. And many will turn their least favorite Tiger into a scapegoat. Go right ahead.

But don’t do it here. Please take that to other blogs.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Brain Farts from @PhilCokesBrain, Vol 4: Playoff Edition

How can last night's victory over Texas get better? Easy...a submission from everyone's favorite Twitter portal into the mind of last night's closing pitcher, @PhilCokesBrain.

Be sure to follow @Phil, but don't ask him for autographs. He's a very busy brain.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Still Alive: Tired Notes from ALCS Game Five

Just breathe. We're not dead yet.

I safely returned from tonight's Game Five between Detroit and Texas without harming anyone or myself. It was a slow-arriving crowd that seemed ready for the worst. Luckily, the Tigers had other plans.

One thing I'll always remember about the 2011 Tigers, no matter what happens, is how tough these bastards are. Delmon Young hit two more homers today, even though he probably shouldn't even be playing. Victor Martinez is busted up even worse, yet he hit a key TRIPLE in today's ballgame. Justin Verlander threw, I believe, 482 pitches today to take one for the team and save the tired/crappy bullpen. Miguel Cabrera is still a monster. And poor Alex Avila, who some might say is clinically dead, muscled out a homer off of CJ Wilson. Amazing day.

Quote of the day belonged to the 50+ year old woman next to me at the game. After hearing the loud ovation that Brandon Inge received from the CoPa crowd today, she muttered, "I must be the only person in this place that doesn't think this guy's very good." I laughed and asked her to adopt me.

The season is now in the hands of Mr. Max Scherzer. If Good Max shows up on Saturday and we get it to Fister on Sunday, I think this bad boy is ours. Our walking wounded pack of Tigers can still pull this off, kids. Step one...complete. Keep the faith.

Oh my...almost forgot. Mega props to the ULEASHED BEAST in the form of #PlayoffHeroRyanRaburn.
The Ryno hit a single and homer today and upped his postseason average to .316. Who was it that never lost faith in him again?  Um...oh yeah. ME, ME, AND ONLY ME! The Ryno's my boy.

Well deserved day off on Friday for the Tigers and their fans. One more time, everyone, we can still do this. It's not over until the Brandon Inge fan fat lady sings.

Note: The Tigers are now 3-0 in playoff games where I am in attendance including 2-0 this year. Someone buy me airfare and tickets to Texas, NOW.

Photos via The Freep.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Down 3-1, Is There Hope?

No jokes tonight, kids. No silliness. Just...yeah.

This one was hard to swallow. Lamont will take blame for sending Cabrera. (He made the right call.) Leyland will take heat for walking Beltre. (I would have pitched to him.) Porcello will take heat for repeating his pickoff mistake of Game 163. (Moron.) But finding a scapegoat doesn't change a damn thing. The Tigers are out of mulligans and must win the next three, the final two in Texas, if they're to make the World Series.

They're injured. The pen is gassed. They're facing a team that is much more talented than they are. But they've amazed us before and still might have some fight left. Verlander goes tomorrow at home. You know he'll be amped. Scherzer has been great in the postseason. He can do so again in Game Six. And if it gets to a Game Seven? There's no one I would rather see on the mound than Doug Fister right now.

If only they could score some f'n runs.

Do or die, Game Five is tomorrow. I'll be there, Section 116, Row 35. Waving my stupid white towel. But not a white flag.

Yeah, I still have hope. Whatever. See you on the other side.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Art of the Pre-Game Speech

DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Jim, we’re two hours from Game Three. Don’t you think it’s time you gave these guys some kind of wake-up speech? Something to get them going? Anything?
JIM LEYLAND: (lights cigarette) No. They’llbefineIthink. (hack) Notlikethey’re abunchofLittleLeaguers.

DOMBROWSKI: I thought you’d say that. But I’m sorry, Jim. I disagree. These guys need a reality check. So I placed a phone call. He should be here any minute now.

LEYLAND: (cough) Ohno, youdidn’tcall…

DOMBROWSKI: Yup.

/loud crash heard in hallway

LEYLAND: Ihateyou.

DOMBROWSKI: Deal with it.

/door shoots open