Friday, August 19, 2011

Catfight: Second Base Showdown

I’m trying to remember a Tiger non-relief pitcher that’s been more universally criticized by fans more than my boy, Ryan Raburn. The current top choice of Jim Leyland to hold down second base gets booed more than the Klan at the Apollo. Yet he’s still out there every day, our very own Charlie Brown, giving it his all and failing more often than not.

But it IS the second half. Raburn’s hitting again, even if his glove still appears to be made of titanium. I thought tonight might be a good time to put Ryno up to the ultimate test. In this edition of Catfight, Ryan Raburn will be matched up against one of the most iconic players in Tiger history, especially with my generation of fans.

Second baseman Ryan Raburn…meet legendary Tiger second baseman Lou Whitaker. On paper, it looks like a mismatch. But let’s take a closer look in ten separate catagories.

1. Nicknamed by Fans

Whitaker: “Sweet” Lou, Sweetness
Raburn: Rayburn, Fuckhead

Advantage: Whitaker. You guys are mean.

2. Career First/Second Half Averages

Whitaker: .279/.274
Raburn: .228/.293

Advantage: Whitaker. It’s called consistency, Ryan. But Raburn’s a second half BEAST!

3. Defensive Ability

Whitaker: Three Gold Gloves
Raburn: The reason the facepalm was invented.

Advantage: Whitaker

4. Players Most Similar to via

Whitaker: Ryan Sandberg, Alan Trammell, Roberto Alomar
Raburn: Benny Agbayani, Colby Rasmus, Armando Rios

Advantage: Safe to say Whitaker, here.

5. Florida Connection

Whitaker: Lives in Lakeland, FL
Raburn: From Plant City, FL

Advantage: Raburn. I don’t know anything about Plant City except that it’s about 11 miles away from Lakeland. But I’ve been to Lakeland. There are two things to do there. One, watch the Tigers in spring training. Two, kill yourself. Terrible, depressing city.

6. Fanbase

Whitaker: Millions of Tiger fans crossing generations.
Raburn: Suzanne Raburn. Me. That’s about it.

Advantage: Whitaker...though it's close. I count for a lot. Trouble is, I worship Lou. Sorry, Ryno.

7. Fans Yell at Him


Advantage: Whitaker

8. City of Detroit

Whitaker: Can’t get him to visit.
Raburn: Can’t get him to leave.

Advantage: Raburn. Be nicer to us, Lou.

9. Relationship with Press

Whitaker: Avoids them.
Raburn: Talks to them, but they can’t understand him. Sounds like Larry the Cable Guy with a mouth full of Novocain.

Advantage: Push.

10. Awards

Whitaker: 1978 AL Rookie of the Year, 5 time All-Star, 3 Gold Gloves, 4 Silver Sluggers
Raburn: 2 time Triple A All-Star, 2007 Tigers Rookie of the Year, winner of “Most Likely to Trip Over Own Tongue” award

Advantage: Lou.

And indeed, it’s a landslide. Whitaker kills Raburn.

It’s okay though, Ryno. I’ve still got your back. Help take us to the promised land, you magnificent, misunderstood bastard.


StretchTB said...

Someone at ESPN said something nice about us.... but he is from Detroit. He'll probably be fired for posting this.

StretchTB said...

 And by us.. I of course mean Verlander.

H2OPoloPunk said...

This was hilarious! Two of my favorite players (though Whitaker immensely more) going head to head. Thank you.