Thursday, June 16, 2011

Alex Avila Makes Me Eat Crow...and I Like It.

If you’ve been reading DesigNate Robertson for a while now, you may have noticed that this isn’t your normal Tigers blog/website. And I am not your normal blogger/columnist. Some of the differences between myself and the Hennings, Sharps, and others of the world include:

*They’re boring.
DNR is hysterical…at least to me.

*They often have agendas.
I do not, unless you count seeing, at first, Nate Robertson, and now Don Kelly shot out of a cannon, directly into a brick wall.

*They get paid, and paid well.
I do this for free because I enjoy it. (Somebody PLEASE pay me…)

*They have inside sources and unlimited access to the team.
I talked to Jamie Walker once.

*And most importantly, they never admit when they’re wrong.
I am happy to, though it RARELY happens.

And when it comes to Tigers catcher Alex Avila…boy was I wrong. Big time.

During the first week of the season, I wrote a piece talking about how I didn’t feel Avila was ready to be handed the starting catching job. Here’s a quote from that piece.

I’ve been against Avila being handed the starting catcher job before proving he can handle it since he came first came up and some started calling him the next Lance Parrish.

To be fair to myself, Alex’s career stats up to that point were awful. I was amazed that we didn’t even have a backup plan I place in case AA wasn’t ready to handle the load. I mean, if the kid was hitting what Raburn is right now, what would our options be? Omir Santos or Max St. Pierre? Yikes. We’d be begging Gerald Laird to come back.

Here’s another quote from that piece.

Alex Avila might be ready one day to be the Tigers’ main catcher. But that day isn’t today.

Rogo, you ignorant slut.

This season, after 57 games, Avila has hit .304 with 9 homers and 38 RBI. His OBP is .367, SLG is .550, and OPS is .917. His OPS+ is 155. His WAR is 2.9. 40% of runners trying to steal have been mowed down. He is currently second in the All-Star voting for catchers behind the idiot Yankee voters choice of Russell Martin. Quite simply, Alex Avila has been amazing.

And good for him. By all accounts, he’s a great and willing student of the game. He’s a super nice guy. He’s open to taking advice, as we’ve heard how Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez have had an unbelievable impact on Avila with the knowledge they’ve shared with him. And the kid has listened and done a great job.

So, I’m sorry, Alex. I was wrong. You are no longer Captain Nepotism. I hereby christen you as AAwesome. Long live AAwesome.

Back to that earlier piece that I wrote, here’s one final quote from it.

Alex Avila is a guy that needs to put it all together in a hurry if this team wants to contend.

He did. And the Tigers are. See? I was right about something after all.


Eric said...

Love your blog.  Absolutely hilarious.  Just started reading it.  How old are you?  I know thats a weird question but it puts into perspective your Tiger knowledge and experience.  For example, I was born in 1983.  Technically the tigers have a won a championship in my lifetime, but I have no recollection of it.  However, Tram and Whitaker should be hall of famers.  Thats not homerism.  Thats just fact based on their stats and impact on the game.

JacksTigers said...

I read this in the voice of a nerd asking the hottest girl in school out and it was awesome.

SRogo said...

I was born in '77.  Didn't see my first game until '85, so I missed it, too.  That's why I'm so bitter.  Well, part of the reason...thanks for reading.  ABOUT TIME!

StretchTB said...

I have to say, I absolutely love this blog as well, Rogo. I literally laugh out loud at just about every post. I was born in '87, so unfortunately I missed '84, but heard many-a great stories from my father about them. I've always been a die hard fan, but that meant that I had to sit through the AA teams they were putting on the field through the mid to late 90s. Luckily, I got to see Tram, Whitaker, Gibson and Fielder all playing together a few times at Tiger Stadium... and I'm with Eric on the fact that Tram and Whitaker should be in the HoF, especially since Tram has better overall offensive numbers and is an equal of the Wizard of Oz on D, minus the antics.

h2opolopunk said...

We're the same age, though my very earliest memories of MLB were of the Tigers' World Series run. I guess that's why I've remained so endeared to them.

Also, props for stepping up and calling yourself out. However, such a superlative demonstration of class will get you nowhere in the world of paid sports-writing, as I'm sure you've noticed.

Finally, Tram and Whit are my all-time favorite Tigers, and always will be. My opinions are exactly the same as Eric's. 

Ed_in_Muskegon said...

Your blog is honestly the only thing that makes me actually LOL!

I was born in Detroit in '68 (in the womb at the stadium for game 4), so the Tigers are in my blood.

Keep up the great work...I just have to try to stop quoting some of your stuff to my 14 year-old before I get myself in trouble!