Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fifty Games In: We Have Problems


Raise your hand if you thought this is where the Tigers would be after 50 games? Yeah. Me neither.
I’m abandoning the Every Ten Games review idea. At least for now. Finding stuff to write about, especially when I normally try to keep a humorous view of the game at DNR, just isn’t very easy right now.

Instead, I thought I’d make a list of what has gone wrong this year off the top of my head. I came up with 25 much quicker than I should have.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Know Thy Enemy: 2012 Boston Red Sox

How is it possible that twice now, I’ve forgotten to do a Know Thy Enemy on the Sawx this year? They’re my favorite team to make fun of. How shameful of me.

Anyway, the Tigers dropped Game One of this series due to the OBVIOUS EVIL UMPIRE CONSPIRACY against Detroit. Jim Leyland is right. I blame Lynn Henning for umpires being terrible. Drew Sharp, too. Those jerks.

But Verlander pitches tonight so all is right in the world. And while all is right, we shall make jokes about Boston and their ridiculous fanbase.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Quintin Berry: Can We Keep Him, Dave? Can We?

I don’t like Juan Pierre. Never have. I would enjoy watching him be mauled by a pack of lions. And I never thought I’d enjoy having a Pierre-type player on the Tigers. But after five games of Quintin Berry, I find myself pleasantly surprised. Like Brad Eldred’s story, I’m a sucker for a long-term minor leaguer finally getting a shot at the show. And I guess I’m not used to seeing actual speed in a Tigers ballplayer.

When Austin Jackson comes back from the DL, the team is going to have to make a decision on Berry. Do they say “thanks” and send the 27 year old career minor leaguer back to the Mud Hens? Or do they reward the guy and keep him around?

If he stays, who goes? That’s what I thought I’d take a look at today.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

It's Arts & Crafts Day at DNR!

Hey, kids! Looking for a fun way to pass the time? Trying to come up with a fun activity for you and your significant other/kids/sibling/prostitute tied up in the basement? Lucky you, because it's ARTS & CRAFTS DAY at DesigNate Robertson!

Well, head on over to the Free Press site and scroll down a bit. There, you can download your very own Paper Detroit Tiger to make! So much fun! And they have ALL your favorite Tigers. And Collin Balester, too! Think of all the fun adventures you can have. I know I couldn't wait to get started.

But I'm not about to make a Justin Verlander, as seen above in the illustration from the freep. Everyone's going to be making a JV or a Cabrera. No, I decided that my son and I were going to go in a different direction...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Time To Call People Out

I had something fun in mind for a post today involving the Free Press, my son, fire, and Don Kelly. But I’m not in a fun mood. So that’s going to have to wait. Stay tuned.

Yes, that is Michael Jordan’s picture on a Detroit Tigers blog. Why? Because not only is he the greatest player to ever step onto a basketball court, but he was its most fierce competitor. He gave his all in every performance, whether he was sick, hurt, or whatever. Just like Justin Verlander. But unlike Verlander, he was well known for driving his teammates to succeed, too. If he felt they were underperforming, he wasn’t afraid to call them out on it. And more often than not, they responded.

Kobe Byrant is the same way. In baseball, Derek Jeter and David Ortiz are known for it. I’m not usually big on things like “team chemistry” or whatnot, but I do believe that team leaders can and should call out those that are underperforming. With Verlander not an everyday player and the longest tenured Tiger being utility player Ramon Santiago, they probably aren’t the best guys for the job. Ideally, it should be Miguel Cabrera. That’s up to him if he’s ever going to be that man.

But someone needs to pull a Big Papi on this team. JV says there’s no point because they’re already angry. But it doesn’t seem like it. By their performance, they’re not angry enough. Because in my experience, you always play your best when properly pissed. Increased focus, a will to shut people up, and raw determination tend to come out through anger in sports.

Here’s what I personally would say to each person on the team.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How To Vastly Improve "Tigers Weekly"

I may have a serious obsession with Tigers baseball. I’m not sure if it’s healthy or not.

For a couple years now, I’ve written on this silly blog 3-7 times per week about Detroit baseball. I spend way more time than is probably normal thinking about the stupid team throughout the day (What’s wrong with the lineup, who can contribute from Toledo, can I get away with murdering Boesch, etc). Even today, when my boss used the words “mute point”, I immediately decided this is how it must feel to work for Rod Allen.

So you’d think that a show called “Tigers Weekly” would appeal to me. I mean, it’s a weekly show about the Tigers on FSD. But you’d be wrong. I can’t stomach five minutes of it without wanting to stab out my eyes with a steak knife. It’s boring, it’s unwatchable, and it’s usually an insult to the viewer’s intelligence.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Know Thy Enemy: 2012 Cleveland Indians

It seems as long as the Tigers can count on the starting pitchers to throw a one-hitter or a 15 strikeout game, they have a good chance at winning. That shouldn’t be too hard to keep up.

In reality, for all the DOOM and GLOOM surrounding the team thus far, they remain only 3 games out of first place in the AL Central. And wouldn’t you know it, Tuesday they start a 3 game series with the division leading Indians.

If you were going to give the United States an enema, you would stick the hose into Cleveland. So let’s take a look at the Tribe very, very carefully, okay?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Every Ten Games: 40 Down, Not Quite 35-5

40 games down, 122 to go.

Things are still a mess. The team hasn’t won back-to-back games in over a month. Guys are still struggling, guys are getting hurt, and people are panicking.

How fun! Today’s 10 game report follows.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Know Thy Enemy: 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates

The Tigers suck right now. Thank Cobb that Verlander pitches tonight.

How’s that for an introduction? Up next is interleague play and the Pittsburgh Pirates. I’m not much of an expert on NL teams, but I’ll give this a shot.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Showing Concern...Not Panic

With still over three-quarters of the season remaining, it would be foolish to start banging on the panic button like a deranged Red Sox fan after a three game losing streak. But after getting swept by the Twins in a two game series and the overall record falling to 18-20, one can’t help but start being concerned about what’s going on with the ballclub right now.

Unlike some of the usual suspects than many of us read, I want to calmly, rationally take a look at the serious problems with the Tigers thus far and examine the likelihood of these problems fixing themselves. And in an unprecedented step, I want to examine possible solutions to the problems instead of simply trying to identify a scapegoat for them. Crazy, I know.

Now on my way home from work today, the local sports talk radio host suggested that Miguel Cabrera should be taking more blame for the team’s slow start due to him not walking enough. I thought I was going to have a stroke at the stupidity of that statement. Cabrera is not the problem. But there are issues that need to be addressed.

Personally, I feel the three biggest problem areas with the team right now, in no particular order, are second base, the bullpen, and Delmon Young. Let’s examine each of them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Know Thy Enemy: 2012 Minnesota Twins

The Tigers have finally finished their long 342 game road trip with an amazing comeback victory over the White Sox. And exactly who drove in 4 of the Tigers 10 runs and hit a home run along the way? Ryan Raburn, that’s who! I want each and every one of you to silently thank Ryno for being a part of this team, even for just one day. Do it…no one’s looking.

With that out of the way, the team is back at .500 and looking at a stretch where 8 of the next 11 games are against the lowly Twins and Pirates. Today’s 8 run 6th inning might be what it takes to finally get this team playing the way we all expected them to.

But first, we take a look at those small-ball loving, funny-talking, Metrodomeless Twinkies of Minnesota.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Old Dogs Fear New Tricks

Hall of Fame sportswriter Jerry Green is (for now) through yelling at you, YES YOU, for running Brandon Inge out of town and this week is instead shaking his cane and spitting out his Ensure in disgust over the silly “new” phenomenon called sabermetrics. Perhaps next week he’ll share his disdain of America’s fascination with that darned MySpace.

Read the entire column if you like. Or just read me cutting up the majority of it here.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Your South Park Tigers

TIGER FANS: Rabble, rabble, rabble!

FAN #1: This team is awful!

FAN #2: Yeah! We were supposed to run away with the division this year!

FAN #3: Ryan Raaaayburn sucks!

FAN #1: Yeah! But CRIIIINGE is even worse!

FAN #3: Yeah! DFA Inge!

FAN #2: Release Inge!

TIGER FANS: Release Inge! Release Inge! Rabble, rabble, rabble!
BRANDON INGE: Oh, hamburgers.

(A short time later…)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Oh, Brandon...

Just ACT NOW and you, YES YOU, can get all of Brandon Inge's greatest hits wrapped up in one neat ballgame! You'll get...

*Weak Pop Out

*Ground Into Double Play

*Check Swing Strikeout

*Nice Stab But a Bad Throw

*Dramatic Home Run Outta Nowhere

This is a limited time offer and the Tigers will foot the $5 million bill! Wait, we have a caller? Hello, Billy Beane!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Know Thy Enemy: 2012 Oakland Athletics

When I was a kid in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I didn’t have much to cheer for when it came to my Detroit Facepalms. But out in Oakland, something special was happening and I couldn’t help but get swept up in it. The A’s of back then became my second team as I was captivated by Dave Stewart, Dennis Eckersley, Rickey and Dave Henderson, Carney Lansford, Mark McGwire, Terry Steinbach, and my favorite, Jose Canseco.

Twenty plus years later and Canseco and the A’s themselves are punchlines. They were eager to sign Brandon Inge for crissakes. With the Tigers struggling, hopefully the Athletics are just what the doctor ordered in getting Detroit back on track.

Every Ten Games: 30 Down, 132 To Go

That’s not a misprint. There are 132 games to go this season. Strange, by the level of panic I suspected we were in mid-September somehow.

It doesn’t change the fact that it’s been a rough couple weeks for the team. Let’s take a look at what we’ve seen so far.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Catfight: Ryno vs. Ramon

With Daniel Schlereth being hurt/in the minors/whatever his situation is, and Brandon Inge reinventing himself as a .190 hitting homer run hero in Oakland, Ryan Raburn has been left as the biggest scapegoat on the current Detroit Tigers team. Jose Valverde, Octavio Dotel, and Delmon Young have kindly taken up some of Schlereth and Inge’s slack, but poor Ryno continues to feel the brunt of the fans' wrath.

As one of the two Raburn supporters left on the planet (with Alexandra Simon of Cats With Bats being the other) I feel the need to try and justify Ryan’s place in the lineup. And Ramon Santiago seems to be the choice of the fanbase to replace him since any backup is the usually the most popular player on a struggling team. See pro football.

This calls for a Catfight.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Whine of the Ancient Sportswriter

Jerry Green covered sports for The Detroit News from 1963-2004 and still contributes to their website today. He has been inducted into both the Pro Football and Michigan Sports Hall of Fames. And he is one of only four sports writers to cover every Super Bowl to date. You’ve got to respect that.

But it doesn’t mean you have to enjoy his work. Because I don’t. And his latest bit of yelling at kids to get off his lawn, “Brandon Inge Deserved Better Than the Boos” is no exception.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Birthday Wish

Today is my 35th birthday.

So it occurred to me this morning, my life is halfway over, or close to it barring any unforeseen lightning strikes or semi-truck collisions. And it dawned on me that in the couple years I’ve been writing this site, sure I’ve hopefully provided some laughs. Maybe I’ve (gasp) even occasionally offered some insight into the Tigers and the game of baseball. But I haven’t done any real good for our National Pastime. I’d like to attempt to change that today.

I’ve been watching baseball and the Tigers for around 27 years now. In that time, I’ve seen our game survive atrocities such as performance enhancing drugs, gambling controversies, and Don Kelly batting leadoff. But one stain on the sport has not been addressed by the media and/or Bud Selig and I think it continues to tarnish the game of baseball on a daily basis. It must be stopped.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Rod Allen Commercial Idea

I can’t get enough of Rod Allen’s Ace commercial. It’s hypnotic. I could watch it all day.

But after seeing it a dozen times, I have two questions. One, why doesn’t Rod just go to Heather Nabozny if he wants his lawn to look like a ballpark’s?  And two, why doesn’t Rod appear in EVERY commercial? I know I’d be much more likely to eat those stupid Dorito tacos if Rod was begging me to.

If you were around on Twitter the other day when this idea first sprung up, you know where this first one is going. If not, well, you’ll see. What if Rod did a commercial for…

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Regarding Delmon Young

Let’s review.

Delmon Young allegedly got drunk late last week, made an anti-Jewish slur, and got into a physical altercation with someone over it all. He claims that some of this is false, yet we do not know exactly what.

Justin Verlander said the following about it. "I got his back. I wasn't there, so I can't hold judgment on the other stuff. Until I have some facts, of course I'm taking my teammate's side."

Many fans and media members, however, are not sharing Verlander’s views. In today’s short-attention span world of gotcha journalism, you’re guilty until proven innocent…and oftentimes just guilty because we’ve already moved on to the next story before getting the facts. I’ve seen several people calling for Delmon’s release. Many talk about him needing to seek help and get his life together. Others are insinuating the Tigers breed this kind of environment due to Miguel Cabrera’s past problems.

Personally, I just don’t support any of those reactions.