Monday, April 23, 2012

Know Thy Enemy: 2012 Seattle Mariners


Over the weekend, the Tigers lost three of four to the invincible cyborg army that is the Texas Rangers to drop last place in the AL Central and the worst record in baseball.

Um…wait.  That’s just how people are reacting.  Actually, despite many players struggling, the Tigers are 10-6, still in first place, and have the second best record in the American League.  Normally, this would be encouraging to a fanbase, but for some reason, the Tiger fans I’ve been in contact with this year have the rationality of mental patients.

I’m not sure if it’s the immediate emotional reactions we’re now exposed to with the explosion of social media or it is just people dealing with the humungous expectations this Tiger team has since the Prince signing, but every at bat, ever pitch is being scrutinized like Obama by Fox News in an election year.

My advice?  Calm down.  The Tigers are playing the most difficult part of their schedule now and are doing just fine.  Look at May’s schedule.  KC, Chicago, Seattle, Oakland, Chicago again, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Minnesota again, and Boston.  Better days are ahead.

Speaking of Seattle, they’re next up for the Tigers.  After dealing with the lethal Ranger hitters, the M’s are going to seem like a Double A team.  But they can’t overlook them, either.  If they struggle against Seattle and don’t win at least two of three, the fanbase is liable to sacrifice Brandon Inge to the baseball gods in the most painful ways they can think of.  Not a bad idea, actually…

FACE OF THE FRANCHISE
Ichiro Suzuki
-10 time All-Star

-10 time Gold Glove winner

-3 time Silver Slugger winner

-2 time AL batting champ

-2001 AL MVP

-2001 AL Rookie of the Year

-Holds record for most hits in a season with 262 in 2004

-Has 7 hitting streaks of at least 20 games

-Only Mariner starter currently hitting over .256

-His name in Japan translates to “brightest, most cheerful”

TEAM STRENGTH

Um…er…uh…they’re good at throwing fish in markets?

OLD FRIENDS

-Charlie Furbush

-Chance Ruffin (minors)

-Casper Wells

-Carl Willis (pitching coach who played on ’84 Tigers)

You know, I really miss Wells.  Not because he was any good at baseball.  Just because Upstate Balla was becoming my favorite stupid non-Inge DNR character.

WORST ENEMY
Felix Hernandez

“King” Felix gets lost in the shuffle when talking about the best pitchers in baseball due to playing on the woeful Mariners.  But with five above average pitches (four seamer, two seamer, split finger, curve, and slider…the guy is just amazing.

-2 time All-Star.

-2010 AL Cy Young award winner.

-Always wears a long sleeved undershirt, even when it’s hot outside.  He does this to keep perspiration from running down his arm and affecting his grip on the ball.

-Discovered by Seattle scouts at the age of 14.  Signed with M’s at 16.

-The Yankees, Astros, and Braves were also interested, but Hernandez signed with Seattle because his idol, Freddy Garcia, was with the Mariners at the time.

-Spokesman for the Seattle King County Humane Society and owns two puppies named King and Oreo.

-Is 8-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 11 career starts vs Detroit.  His 8 wins are his most against any non-AL West team.

-The only active Tiger with a HR against Felix is Jhonny Peralta, who is just 1-7 against him.

-Miguel Cabrera has had the best success against him, going 9-18 with 2 doubles.

FANBASE
 -Half of their fans live in Japan (may not be true)

-Hippies

-Starbucks employees

-Homeless guitarists

OVERALL

Seattle is not a good team.  This is the type of series the Tigers need to dominate in and is just what the doctor ordered after a rough weekend with Texas.  And it can’t hurt to put a few wins on the board with a tough series looming next weekend in New York.

4 comments:

Gas Man said...

The Rangers are the best team I have ever seen. Starting pitching could be their only downfall, they look great. Tigers will be fine, hopefully they'll look like the Rangers if the top of the lineup gets warmed up. This team will start to look a lot better with a healthy Fister and bats begin to come into midseason form. Can't wait until next meeting with Texas again.

EightMileCats said...

I really don't get the doom and gloom from the Texas losses.  Don't get me wrong, Texas is the only team that really... scares me, but not in April.  If this were September... or the playoffs, I'd be worried seeing them in town. 
In any case, the Tigers should beat up on Seattle...  I just wish Fister were back already...  nothing could amuse my juvenile mind more than if we were to see a Fister vs Furbush match up

Jimmy Bell said...

I think the doom and gloom goes for the way they lost to the Rangers. They got beat in many ways. Outslugged, out pitched, out defensed, and in our home park. The biggest issue is that we scored a whole 12 runs in the 4 game set. That and the whole 10 runs given up 2 games in a row puts a sour taste in your mouth. Then the last game, with a chance to come away with a split, we lose on a combination of bad defense, rookie jitters, and our inevitable BS umpire calls. Of course if Coke and Avila do their job the game ends in 9 and we're all ecstatic right now, so that's the way it goes.

Quietadah said...

I don't get the doom and gloom, either, and I really don't think it has anything do do with the Rangers losses.  That just made it worse.  This kind if irrational fan behavior has been brewing since we the middle of last season and I think the bats being hot, then suddenly quiet, this year just helped it reach a fever pitch.  Way, way too early to be acting like this.  Strike that.  JUst don't act like this at all, honestly.  Having to listen to the boos coming through the audio while watching games, or watching fans flee from the stands, is just getting tiring.