Results tagged ‘ Dontrelle Willis ’

Flexing the Omnipotent Pipes

devils_night_detroit.jpgGod hates Detroit. As if there were any doubts about this fact after watching last year’s Detroit Lions, Michigan Wolverines and Detroit Tigers, all you have to do is check the Detroit skyline every October 30 or read the newspapers today. Yes, god hates Detroit but it appears there is a good reason. Detroit hates god right back

And now it also appears that god has decided to flex those omnipotent muscles a little more in smiting Detroit. In the past five days, not only did Dontrelle Willis and Joel Zumaya land on the injured reserve, Gary Sheffield is also looking for a new home. Granted, Sheff has often been a cancer in the clubhouse and both Willis and Zumaya had less than impressive stuff last season. But these are not the kinds of things that Detroit and the state of Michigan need right now

However, I have a couple solutions. Perhaps we just need to butter the big guy up a little. How about a little of this to help out:

Or maybe we just have to really hope that Nietzsche had it right. What I do know is that things can always be worse. At least I’m not a homeless guy in Detroit.

detroit_frozen.jpg-A

The Filibuster

On Thursday, the initial sale of the San Diego Padres to new owner Jeff
Moorad was completed.  Knowing that it only took Sandy Alderson and his
equally ignorant chum, Kevin Towers, a few years to extensively
decimate the Padres franchise like Chris Brown did Rihanna’s face, how
long will it take Moorad to get the Padres competitive again?

– Jeff

__________________________________________

padres.jpgHave you already forgotten about that epic tie-breaker two short seasons ago when the Rockies edged the Padres on their way to a World Series appearance? The fact that San Diego was so close to the playoffs kind of puts the lie to your question and its entire premise. Yes, the Padres should have been more competitive recently and poor decisions were made (which are explained much more eloquently by the Prince of New York over at PaulLebowitz.com) but we’re not talking about the Knicks under Isiah Thomas here. This is not a team that’s lost for a generation.

It does kind of make you wonder what baseball executives get paid to do, though. Prince’s hatred of Alderson and Towers and your open contempt for Mozeliak in St. Louis remind me of some of Bill Simmons’ old columns where he rants about the management of the Celtics. However, once they won a championship the volume became a little muted. So, are sports executives really that incompetent or are other forces at work here?

I suppose that like any story, there are two sides to this one. I’m sure most GMs would argue that it’s tough to judge their success on winning alone since a large part of that depends on the human element, the players. And meanwhile the fans wonder why their team is going out and signing a guy like Dontrelle Willis to an extension while letting Cameron Maybin get away. And both sides are probably right. For all the statistics and sabrmetrics that exist today, this, like economics, is not an exact science:

http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:southparkstudios.com:222638

But, to get back to your question, I don’t know when the Padres will be competitive again. It depends on a lot of factors in addition to just the current management team. It depends on resolving the Peavy situation and like a lot of things nowadays, it probably depends in part on the economy. What I do know, though, is that at least the Padres haven’t yet p!ssed off god. Seriously, what is the deal in Detroit?

-A

Credits:
-Video from Comedy Central via The Daily Dish.

Words, Words, Words

shakespeare.jpg“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
                              — Everyone’s Mother

How very un-American our mothers are!

Indeed, freedom of speech — speaking one’s mind — venereal verbosity — is just but one of the many great attributes of being an US American.  Believe me, after living in China for four years, it is both comforting and refreshing to know that I can publicly endorse the extreme social and mental benefits of playing the Harold Reynolds drinking game on a semi-regular basis.  (*In China, drinking games are not allowed unless they are a) a way to dupe silly Americans into sending jobs overseas b) a way to dupe silly Americans into eating Fido and liking it or c) a means to getting drunk.)

Yet sometimes, our mothers seem to actually know what they are talking about.  And such advice would really come in handy if your name was Alex Rodriguez or Ann Coulter or any one of these individuals: 

Curt Schilling
He says publicly that he would like to make a comeback and play for either the Chicago Cubs or the Tampa Bay Rays.  Okay.  Fair enough, Curt.  You are a gamer.  You probably still have it in you to pitch at the Major League level.  Yet, considering your less-than-admirable reputation among others in the league, would it not be more beneficial to just go about your business and get in the game rather than release a statement of who you would like to pitch for?  And why the ultimatum for those two teams?  Could you not pitch for the Pirates just as easily as you could the Cubs?  This ploy is eerily similar to me drunk texting women from my past at three in the morning when I would be much better off going to bed or more successful by getting in a cab and just showing up at someone’s doorstep.

jabba the hut.jpgRush Limbaugh
As an US American, it is one thing to say “I hope my party [the Republican Party] gains momentum and succeeds in the next presidential race.”  I do not think anyone would have a problem with that.  The problem is, the GOP’s own Jabba the Hutt did not say that.  He said: “I hope he [President Obama] fails.”

Go eat yourself to death, Rush.

steve phillips.jpgSteve Phillips
Personally, I like Steve Phillips and the general manager perspective he brings to ESPN’s broadcasts.  In general, I find Phillips to be a decent guy who always calculates what he is going to say before he says it.  But to publicly lambast Lou Piniella on his handling of Japanese imports (Kosuke Fukudome) is something even I find astonishing.  He said:

“My view is Lou doesn’t have a great deal of patience of assimilation
into culture, assimilation in the team. He is just not the most patient
guy around and he tends to verbalize his frustrations in an angry way.
I think that may have affected Fukudome a little bit.”

Hmm.  Well, Steve-O, I think you may have ticked Lou off just a tiny bit with that one.  Ordinarily, I would attempt to defend you in some way, but then I saw how crazy you really are when you said: Dontrelle Willis will be the comeback player of the year in 2009.

Coo-koo!

Rod Blagojevich
Yes, the democrat who just won’t go away is still… around… and this time he is writing a book!  Don’t feel bad, folks; I didn’t think he could read either, but apparently he can (or someone can for him) and when it is all said and done there will be a big, fat, juicy tell-all telling all about… er… eh… what we already know.  Blago’s foray into Jose Canseco-ism may be a success only if he can convince anyone to care about what he has to say.  From my vantage point, that ain’t happening.  We are talking about corrupt politicians here, not homerun happy ‘roiders.  Big difference.

Ryan Dempster
I know, I know.  Dempster has not said anything extraordinarily stupid… yet.  But he will.  That is what he does.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

**In lieu of THIS BREAKING NEWS, we at RSBS would like to congratulate Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras on successfully hijacking the Dodgers for the entire off-season.  That is classy.  No, that is Roberto Alomar I’ll-spit-AIDS-in-your-eye kind of classy.  Believe that.  

RSBS TV: 2009 AL Central Preview

Produced, shot and edited by Atonal Studios.

Special thanks to Theo Roll.

Very special thanks to Dontrelle Willis for still giving it the old college try.  At least you’ll have 2005, D-Train.  You will always have 2005.

(For best playback results, watch in High Quality)

A Little Ash Wednesday Voodoo

Tiger_Stadium_demolition.jpgLast year about this time I was already discussing the Tigers’ World Series victory parade and trying to figure out how I would attend. Turns out I may have been a little premature in my expectations. Luckily, I learned my lesson and will never again have expectations about the Tigers.

Or at least that’s what I thought until this article popped in my Yahoo today. What am I supposed to think when I read this:

Rick Knapp, the new pitching coach in Detroit, held up his hands. “We’re only 10 days into camp,” he protested. But his eyes shone. And the corners of his mouth couldn’t beat back the grin.

The last thing that anyone who roots for Detroit (the city or any of its teams) needs is hope. And that’s exactly what stories like this provide.

I prefer the “What strange disease did Joel Zumaya contract this offseason” type of story. That rings true. Even the “Fernando Rodney wrestled an alligator” story is acceptable because then you just kind of expect the worst. But all of these Miguel Cabrera looking relaxed and Dontrelle Willis actually hitting the strike zone stories have the opposite effect. They make you re-evaluate the lineup and wonder if maybe we do have a chance in an admittedly weak AL Central.  

It’s kind of like the lead up to Obama’s inauguration. You keep telling yourself that he’s just a man and there’s no way he can right all the wrongs of the past eight years overnight. But you can’t help it. You hear the news. You see what’s happening. And you start to think, well, maybe it could happen.

No, not for me that kind of optimism. I’ll take my seat over here, firmly ensconced in the misanthrope camp. Rick Porcello looks good? So did Dontrelle. Cabrera is finally coming into his own? We thought the same of Renteria. With both Rodney and Zumaya healthy, the most heated battle is for the closer position? I’m sure Zumaya has a travel version of Guitar Hero with him.

See, I’ve been a fan of the Lions and Tigers for long enough to know better. So, how about you check in with me at the All-Star break and then we can chat about Porcello, Cabrera and Zumaya, ok? Until then, I’ll just be sitting here with my Ozzie Guillen voodoo doll, trying to figure out what crazy thing I can make him say next.

-A

The Filibuster

74-88. That was the Tigers’ record for the 2008 season. After 130 million dollars were wasted on an AL Central last place finish in which the Kansas City Royals had a better squad (for a mere $57 million), realistically, where do the Tigers go from here?

–Jeff

___________________________________________________

obama_bump.jpgIt goes without saying that the Tigers face some pretty serious questions going into this offseason. For better of for worse, this is a team that was built to win this year. Not only did they trade away some fine young talent (Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller) in order to obtain the underwhelming Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, they also got rid of veteran leadership during the season when they sent Pudge to New York in return for Kyle Farnsworth. The former was a gamble that didn’t pay off and we all know how I feel about the latter.

But, to answer your question, I’m not sure where the Tigers go from here. Despite his poor season, Justin Verlander is still one of the most exciting young pitchers in the game. Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya have the entire (hopefully Guitar Hero free) offseason to get healthy. And Maggs’ resurgence over the past couple years makes him an attractive bargaining chip to other teams looking for an offensive bump that will put them over the top. I’m sure the Cubs or Cardinals have already placed an offer.

I’m not sure where we stand, though. This was supposed to be our year, the year when we finally put it all together and no almost .500 Cardinal team would be able to stand in the way. But, like John McCain on November 5, we’re staring at the wreckage and wondering how it all went so wrong.

Personally, I don’t think the Tigers will challenge for the AL Central next year. The Division isn’t all that strong but the Tigers are missing a lot of necessary pieces. The pitching is questionable, the offense never showed up and most of these guys weren’t really brought in because of their defensive skills. We don’t have a catcher, shortstop is a big question mark and I have no idea who is going to fill out the rotation.

You know what, though? At the end of the day, you never know what’s going to happen. Barack Obama was a footnote when he started his run for the Senate in 2004. And no one gave him a chance against Hillary in 2008 either. I don’t think anyone imagined the Rays would emerge from the AL East as Division champs and then slug their way into the World Series. So, I’m going to do what I always do and hope that Dombrowski and team are making the right moves to ensure that 2009 looks more like 2006 and a lot less like 2008. But I expect to be disappointed.

-A

Managing Expectations

Well, it seems that Republican presidential nominee and good friend of RSBS John McCain has finally settled on a strategy in this year’s campaign: Total disengagement. That’s right. No access, no answers and now, no debates. Obviously something must be worrying the McCain campaign. Perhaps it’s that sinking feeling they’re getting from the polls. Maybe it’s the gorge rising in the voters’ throats as they find out the truth about his second in command. But perhaps it’s something a little more simple. Maybe he realizes he made a terrible mistake when he asked for advice from this man:

http://embed.break.com/MjYwNTEz
(An RSBS hat-tip to BeatsandBombs.com)

No matter the reason, you might think that this level of incompetence is completely unprecedented. Well, it’s not. For instance, Isiah Thomas and his impressive dismantlement of both the CBA and the Knicks made this type of woeful incompetence seem ordinary. And don’t even get me started on former (Thank you, Jeebus!) Detroit Lions President and GM Matt Millen. However, skills like these are not just the domain of sports involving big leathery balls (politics included). No, it’s quite present in America’s favorite pastime, too.

If you follow RSBS, you know that Jeff has made several mentions of the current Cardinals management and their inept handling of contracts this year. One could argue that Tiger’s GM Dave Dombrowski’s signing of Dontrelle Willis and Kyle Farnsworth also ensconces him firmly in that camp. And Bud Selig’s handling of the steroid problem definitely won’t win him the Jack Welch Award for Excellence in Management. But when it comes to managerial ineptitude, there is only one man in baseball, past or present, who can lay claim to the title of “Least Competent.” Unfortunately, he’s also the one holding the keys to the car.

-A

Keep Ya’ Head Up

There comes a point in every season where you realize that it’s time to throw in the towel. For Oakland A’s fans, that point comes in the first round or so of the playoffs. For Royals fans, it’s opening day. And for Cubs fans, well, they never seem to realize that it’s time. But, even though there’s still a lot of games to be played in the season, I’m going to go ahead and say it. I’m throwing in the towel on the Tigers.

Now, normally I wouldn’t be saying something so blasphemous at this point, especially since my friend Mr. Lung will have no small amount of fun with this. But, the fact of the matter is that for all the money the Tigers spent on hitting and pitching during the offseason (12 million on Dontrelle and he can’t even throw strikes in single-A ball???!), they can’t seem to score any runs and the addition of Farnsworth to the bullpen did not help an already woeful pitching staff. So, I’ll admit it. You were right. The Tigers will not make the playoffs and I’m going to be stuck watching the same six teams battle it out in the AL. Sounds great.

But, at least you’ll be joining me while the Cardinals become another also ran and the Brewers and Cubbies run away with the division.

tupac.jpgHowever, let me break the Tigers and Cards down for you in terms that are germane to this blog. The Tigers are Hillary Clinton, spending lots of money, going into debt and the whole world is sure they’re going to represent them come the end of the season. But when it comes down to it, a couple really bad moves end up killing them. And the Cardinals are Ron Paul, a great story with a lot of the right elements but, in the end, they just don’t have all the pieces you need to make it to the payoff round.

So, at this point I’m guessing this is making you feel about as good as it makes me feel and that ain’t good. So, I’ll just let it go and pour out a little for my fallen friends, the Detroit Tigers. Maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll come back some day like I’m still sure Tupac is going to do.

-A

The Filibuster

At the midway point in the season, it seems like every week we hear
about another marquee name that has landed on the DL. Which of these
injuries will turn out to be most significant to their team and who do
you think will go down next?

– Allen

                                                                                       

Okay, Al.  I see what you’re doing.  You’re trying to sound smart again — like you actually know what you’re talking about.  That’s fine.  Let me remind you that Red State Blue State is read by many an intelligent person (and some not so intelligent – see urinal diving at Wrigley).  This means that every once in a while you have to try a little harder, go the extra proverbial mile or dare I say: write something.

Now that that is off my chest, I will indulge you with an answer…

People get hurt.  It’s part of the game.  You know this.  The better teams rise above injuries and continue to play well despite the setbacks.  The Red Sox have been doing this without David Ortiz.  The Cardinals have been doing this without Chris Carpenter.  The Cubs have been doing this without Alfonso Soriano.  Obviously, having a star player out with an injury cannot help any team; but I think it’s safe to say that all the teams that are in contention will not be devastated by an injury of one person alone, at least, not yet as we’re only halfway there. 

Will the Mariners suffer without J.J. Putz?  Maybe.  But guess what, they’ve been suffering all season long, so life without Putz can’t be much worse than life with him.  Will the Indians have difficulties without Victor Martinez in the lineup?  Perhaps.  But once again, the Indians have been su<king with Martinez, so losing him won’t make them much worse.  In some cases, an injured player is better than a healthy one.  Take the Tigers’ Dontrelle Willis for example.  The guy is worth much more to his team hurt (and out of the lineup) since when healthy he wasn’t able to find the strike zone with Google Maps and a Smart Bomb.  Willis was hurting the Tigers every fifth day by walking 5, 6, 7, 8 guys a game!

dontrelle_willis.jpgMy question is this: at this point, who really cares if the Mariners, Indians, Tigers, Pirates ad nauseum do suffer “key” injuries?  None of these teams have a shot at contention in the first place, so it shouldn’t be that big of an issue.

The better teams are good with their stars.  The best teams survive without them. 

…who do you think will go down next?

In this particular case, Al, it’s not just one person who is “going down” next; it’s an entire people and their dreams.  I realize that the suburbanites of Detroit are just now waking up from their Hockeytown heroics — hung over and cotton-mouthed — realizing that their baseball team is still an absolute joke.  Sure, they had a good stretch there a couple weeks ago, but the standings don’t lie and they have so far to go now that it just seems too daunting a task.  And all those injuries… whoo wee.  How on earth could they ever come back from that?

They won’t.

I’m here to tell you that they won’t, folks.

Make plans for October, Tiger fans, ‘cuz you’re going to have a lot of free time.

In fact, why don’t you just settle down for another painful football season full of Matt Millen, Matt Millen and Matt Millen.

Of course, humble MLBlogger that I am, I must admit that I’m writing this drunk with sorrow from the ill-fated weekend had by Cardinal fans worldwide.  I’m sitting here watching my inbox blow up with what I’m sure are rampant evil expletives from the equally drunk (with alcohol) Cub fan base that can’t seem to leave me alone.  As I attempt to mend my feelings and my dopamine levels, I promise more will follow soon.  I lost a bet or two that will surely embarrass me tomorrow and I’m sure you’ll all want to revel in that.

In the meantime, do me a favor and don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Is that a Bus on top of me?

After a long week of working for the man, trying to keep democracy safe and available to billions of people around the world, I hoped to come back to my safe place, my happy place. That would be the warm cocoon of Tigers baseball and the blog I maintain with my good friend, Mr. Jeffrey Lung. But, you can imagine my horror when instead I found that my “good friend” had thrown me under the bus while the Tigers managed to open the season getting swept at the hands of the mighty Kansas City Royals. I mean, c’mon, really? Is this what’s waiting for me?

But, it’s all good because Dontrelle Willis, after his godawful spring training, is throwing a no-no through five……..and now the bullpen has given it away. There’s only one answer. God hates me.

However, apparently not as much as Nat’s fans hate GW Bush. I mean, that’s gotta hurt. Perhaps not as much as your friend saying:

“Allen has enough time to watch American Idol but he can’t write a post and respond to the fact that he’s not a real Tigers fan or that his MLB/NFL manager/coach comparison was blasphemous or that he’s just simply retarded?”

But, it’s still gotta hurt.

detroit_tigers_logo.jpgAnyway, despite the apparent loss of love, I’d like to point out for the record that I am still here and when I’m not advancing US foreign policy (as opposed to shilling for the Chinese), I will be advancing Red State Blue State baseball policy. The revolution is coming and it will be wearing the old English “D”.

A

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