Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tiger Droppings: Hot as Hell Edition

“How about this weather, huh? It’s incredibly hot outside, but the bats of the Tigers lately have been even hotter!”

I just know someone has written this in the past couple days. I know it. And if I find someone using this lame, awful, clichéd attempt at “creativite writing”, I’m going to track them down and beat them to death with a crowbar in front of their family. Be original, people.

Sorry. I’m fussy today.

Lots of stuff going on. I haven’t done a “Tiger Droppings” thing in a while, so let’s touch a few bases today, so to speak. Today we’ll be discussing Ryan Raburn, Scott Sizemore, stupid Inge fans, Yahoo being terrible, the passing of yet another Tiger legend, the draft, and more.

Scattered thoughts of an unstable mind after the jump…

Line for the Raburn Bandwagon Begins Here

I’ve never been a fan of Ryan Raburn. But I’ve never hated him, either. The guy is perhaps the streakiest player I’ve ever seen play. He’ll go a month without a hit and then hit six home runs in a week. He’ll make an outstanding circus catch that leaves you in awe, and one inning later drop a pop up that an 8 year old would catch with ease.

Now, Tiger fans have been all over the .200 hitting Raburn this year. I haven’t seen a fanbase turn on a guy like this since Gary Sheffield was around. What I can’t understand, is why? This isn’t new. The guy always sucks at the beginning of the year. Then, at some point, something clicks in his tiny hillbilly brain and he carries the team for a month. I don’t know why everyone didn’t see it coming.

But he’s currently in a five or six game hitting streak. He had a grand slam in Chicago. If he hits a couple more homers, I fully expect dozens of mouth-breathers to come out saying they’ve had Raburn’s back all along. My personal hope is that Ryan goes 1 for 5 for 57 straight games. That way, he breaks Joe DiMaggio’s record and is still hitting .200. That would be glorious.

Anyway, bottom line, Ryan Raburn isn’t a great baseball player. But he’s not awful, either. The guy is just inconsistent and not someone you can count on. His fielding glove is made of cement, too. That’s how he’s always been. Deal with it. He’s better than Don Kelly…who just homered as I was typing this. I’ll be damned.

NOTE: Half hour later, Kelly air mails a throw over the catcher’s head and runs score. Yup…he’s awful. I’m sure Lynn Henning will say Martinez should’ve caught it or something.

I’m Still Bitter

I still haven’t completely calmed down over the whole Scott Sizemore/David Purcey deal. I think Size is going to be a pretty good player in the big leagues. He’s patient, he has some power, and he’s not bad on defense, either. I know others like Emo Kurt at BYB (harf) didn’t like Sizemore or don’t really see much of an impact here, but I just can’t help thinking Billy Beane pulled a fast one on Detroit. To be fair, I also thought that Josh Anderson and Jeff Larish were going to be awesome, too. I am an idiot, you know.

But after the trade, Sizemore reported to the A’s Triple-A team and went on another tear. Plus, they’ve decided to convert him to third base, something that we should have been experimenting with, in hindsight. In 43 plate appearances with Sacramento, he had an OBP of .465. Oakland called him up on Monday and he’s 2 for 5 with the A’s in two games. Time will tell. Pray that Sizemore flops in Oakland, though. Because I’m going to be one annoying, crybaby S.O.B. if he turns into a good major leaguer. Even more than I am now.

To be fair, David Purcey has been good for the Tigers so far, pitching four scoreless innings. His career ERA of over 5 still has me concerned, especially since my friend who’s a Blue Jay fan is still mocking me for Detroit trading for him. He hates Purcey like I hate Don Kelly, it seems.

A Moment in the Life of Your Party Host

So I’m doing something behind the bar at my work when some dude sitting there drinking says to me what all the original ones say, “Tiger fan, huh?” No fooling people in Southeast Michigan when I’m sporting the Old English D, I guess. I reply in the affirmative and the guy comments on the team playing better, the Indians falling apart, and the usual bar chatter about baseball you have with strangers.

Then, he perks up my interest. “But you know what, I think Leyland’s nuts. I can’t stand that Don Kelly. Why does Jim keep batting him so high? It makes no sense.”

I almost cried. It’s so rare that I hear sane voices talking about Tiger baseball. I actually considered coming around the bar and hugging the man. Then, he opened his fucking mouth again.

“Yeah, it’s a shame that Inge is out. That guy is amazing. Best defender in the game, you know. I don’t care if he ever gets another hit because people just don’t get what he brings to the team with his attitude. Nice guy, that Inge.”

I almost cried again. I informed my kitchen staff that if they saw me break a beer bottle and head for the gentleman drinking the Michelob Light, they should probably try and restrain me.

I hate people. Really…I fucking hate them.

Worst Headline Ever

Speaking of Inge, in covering him coming down with mono, the headline over at Yahoo was this:

Inge’s absence creates offensive void at third base

Um…wasn’t Inge himself the offensive void at third base? And if you click on this, you’ll see that at no point in the little article did they mention Inge’s offense or ANYONE’S offense other than Ryan Raburn, the second baseman.

No one should be allowed to talk about the Tigers on the internet, but me.

RIP to the “Gray Fox”

There’s some sad news, as ex-Tiger great Jim Northrup passed away at the age of 71 on Wednesday. Northrup played in the Detroit outfield from 1964-1974 and was a key member of the ’68 World Series championship team. In fact, during the ’68 season, Northrup led the team in hits and RBIs, hit five grand slams, broke up three no-hitters, and had the game-winning triple off Bob Gibson in Game 7 of the World Series. Now THAT is good hustle.

But it was after his playing career where Northrup entered Your Party Host’s life as the color analyst for the Tigers on PASS sports from 1985-1994. PASS was a pay cable channel that one had to order to see Tiger games back then as they weren’t all televised back in the day like they are now. And as I first started watching Tiger baseball in ’85 and begged my parents to get PASS, Jim was an important part of my learning the game as a child, along with George Kell and Al Kaline on the network games.

Northrup was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. He will be missed.

Upcoming Public Appearances of Your Party Host

Jason Beck says Magglio Ordonez is going to stay with the Mud Hens through the weekend to get some more at bats before returning on Monday. So, I’m going to try and make it to Thursday’s game and squeal like an Inge fan whenever he comes up. I watched him play in last night’s Hens game on TV and the batting helmet they gave him is like two sizes too big. He looks ridiculous. But I haven’t made it to a Mud Hen game yet this year despite Fifth Third Field being like ten minutes from my apartment. Now’s as good a time as any. Plus, I’ll get to see my boy TIMO!

Also, Saturday my boss got us tickets for the Tigers/Mariners game. So if you’re planning on visiting the CoPa on Saturday, look for the 6’4 angry looking bastard in a Higginson jersey and say hi. Also, notify Comerica Park security that they should be on high alert if Kelly is starting in that game.

Fuck This Team, Volume 734,311
They just showed on the Tigers telecast that we wasted draft picks to select Rod and Mario’s kids. This is why our farm system is a joke, people. They also apparently drafted Al Kaline’s grandson, Alex Avila’s cousin, Bill Freehan’s grandson, and Scouting Director David Chadd’s nephew. I hate this team sometimes. If the Tigers aren’t going to treat the draft seriously, then neither am I. This is why I don’t pay attention to most of it and rarely do any coverage of it here.

But, Plugs

-Did ya read my sort of professional-style Nate article yet? If I had to write like that every day, I’d quit watching baseball. Was I serious? Was I just being silly? I prefer to leave that up to your imaginations. But thanks for the positive feedback, nonetheless.

-If you insist on me caring about the draft, I am intrigued by the pick of Vanderbilt's Aaron Westlake.  David Tokarz at BYB gives a quick profile of him here.

-If you missed the Tigers awesome victory over the White Sox on the 4th, check out the recap by the lovely ladies at April in the D here.  I find them charming, for some reason.  I'm sure it'll pass.  Ha...

-Finally, if you think anything I do here is remotely funny, check out the work of the master.  Drew from Kissing Suzy Kober imagines Jets coach Rex Ryan coaching kids for a swim meet.  He is the funniest man alive.

Seeya around...


David Tokarz said...

1) Thanks for the linkage.
2) Generally speaking, the relative picks are on the third day of the MLB draft. Sure, they never amount to anything, but it's nice for the kids and for the adults. And who expects value out of a 31st rounder? It's taking Patrick Leyland in the 6th that boils my blood.

SRogo said...

Yeah, I know.  But those really late rounders sometimes turn into stars.  I just hate seeing ANY picks wasted for something trivial.  What's the point of it all, then?  Why not only have 10 rounds?

David Tokarz said...

System filler guys, really. And to be honest, the late rounders that turn into stars are often top prospects that slip due to signability concerns and then find the parent club willing to throw hundreds of thousands of bucks their way. Plus, most of the third day guys won't even sign.

Blake VandeBunte said...

A few things....
-I am certain that Nate article was a joke.  A very long, elaborate joke.  I dig your style.

-I sometimes cannot believe the stuff people say to you at the bar.  It almost seems too good to be true.

-I too, do not understand why the Tigers waste draft picks every year on the Kaline's, Leyland's, Impemba's and Allen's of the baseball underworld.  It makes zero sense.  I also saw they drafted a "Chadd" is that another relation pick?

Kurt Mensching said...

Emo? I think emo is for those depressed why-does-everyone-dislike-me? people. My only emotions are anger, hate, smugness and nonchalance.

JacksTigers said...

They didn't draft Mario or Rod's kids. Rod has kids with the Yankees and D-backs and Mario's son is 15 (friend of a friend)

JacksTigers said...

Many scouts have said that Pat Leyland was worth the 6th round pick. Hes not a bad player at all. I say it was worth it.

h2opolopunk said...

"My personal hope is that Ryan goes 1 for 5 for 57 straight games. That way, he breaks Joe DiMaggio’s record and is still hitting .200. That would be glorious."

You just made my day, good sir.

Mapgeek75 said...

Remember, the Dodgers took Mike Piazza in the 62nd round of the draft, as a favor from Lasorda to a childhood friend of his.

Laura said...

Thanks for the plug! BTW, I'm not sure if the Don-Kelly-air-mail throw was hilarious or just really sad. Probably both, but I laughed my head off.

Kurt Mensching said...

Are you really that out of the loop? Yes, they did draft both Mario's and Rod's kids.