Results tagged ‘ Justin Verlander ’

The Filibuster

Looks like the Tigers made a deal.  Will Washburn be our savior now or is Jake Peavy the nail in the coffin for the White Sox?

Mandy
Farmington Hills, MI

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piniella_angry.jpgGreat
question Mandy. And it’s pretty amusing that Peavy ended up on the
White Sox after all those rumors about him going to the Cubs. Man,
Piniella must be spittin’ mad right about now. But I digress. You asked
about Washburn and to Washburn we will go. And the simple answer is, I
don’t know.

See, starting pitching really hasn’t been the
Tigers’ problem this year. They have Verlander and Jackson in the
rotation and both of them are All-Stars.
Washburn does improve the rotation but that isn’t going to matter much
if the Tigers’ hitters continue coming up short and if the bullpen
can’t hold a lead. Zumaya is out for the rest of the season, Lyon has
been a bust and Rodney may be converting most of his save opportunities but
he’s shaky enough that you almost wish Todd Jones was still there.
Almost.

The main problem with your question, Mandy, is that it’s
irrelevant. I don’t say that to be mean, it’s just that the American League central, and, by extension, your question, is
irrelevant. Whether the Twins, Tigers or White Sox take the crown, they
can’t possibly measure up against a loaded Angels club or the Red Sox and
Yankees. The talent, like the rivers, flows from the continental divide to the coasts and,
despite occasional flukes, there’s a reason that the same teams from
the same cities tend to be in the hunt every year.

Does Peavy
make the White Sox better? Sure. Does Washburn make Detroit better? Of course.
But does it matter when the Red Sox already have a stacked pitching
staff and then added Victor Martinez behind the plate? Or how about
the Phillies with the addition of Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez?

Now Mandy, don’t get me wrong. I think the rest of the season in the AL Central should be a dogfight and it will probably go right down to the wire. The couple of wins that a Peavy or a Washburn can get you might make all the difference. But that difference doesn’t amount to a hill of beans when you get to the playoffs and face these other teams.

There is good news, though. Although it sometimes seems like everything is going wrong and the Tigers’ chances are as barren as nonagenarian cloistered sister, I always have someplace I can turn. And that, Mandy, is worth it’s weight in gold.

-A

Defeat

I’m still recovering from the Tigers’ shocking defeat at the hands of the Cardinals this past week. The upside is that we saw a little consistency from Detroit. Yep, just like in the 2006 World Series, fielding by the pitchers was once again atrocious. And when Verlander gets knocked around the way he did despite the season he’s been having, you know it’s going to be a rough week. However, it’s even worse knowing what the price of that defeat will be.

But, it can always be worse. At least I’m not in Jason Jones’ shoes:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2009 – Ahmadinejad Rally in Iran
thedailyshow.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:230089
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Jason Jones in Iran

Iran: now that’s defeat. Happy Friday!

-A

Identity Crisis

question_mark.jpgListen up, Major League Baseball.  I love you.  I really do; and sometimes being in love means having to bring you back down to earth, to be horribly blunt and to shower you with lots of smack (the slang, not the drug, though sometimes the drug seems like a better option in extreme cases, like when you overflow my inbox with crap I don’t want and never asked for).

MLB, you are not the NFL.  You are not the NBA.  You are MLB.

So while I commend you for trying to drum up interest in something — the first year player draft — that is, on the surface, boring and otherwise three to four years removed (if that) from the current game, I must ask you to please snap out of it

For the record, I do not care about the NFL and NBA drafts either, but I can certainly see why people do.  If you are a basketball and/or football fan, you have seen the potential draftees come up through the highly competitive elite forces of the NCAA.  Bowl games are slammed down your throat.  March Madness is so mad that it doesn’t end until April.  You know the players.  You’ve seen their talents.  You hope your pro team gets a shot at their services.

In contrast, the potential baseball draftees are as familiar to us fans as is a logical, amicable, non-infuriating Ann Coulter.  In the NFL and NBA, if you get drafted, your chances of seeing playing time at the top are almost a given, while most of the guys drafted in the MLB draft will never put on a big league uniform.  Sure, your Griffeys, A-Rods and Verlanders — guys who go in the first round or two — will most likely make it; but the majority of the rest will wallow away in the minor leagues, battle disillusionment, come to grips with not being good enough and before you know it they’re faxing TPS reports behind a desk while reading RSBS for giggles.

So as MLB pats itself on its self-aggrandizing back about televising this overblown shindig so they can sell lots of advertising to companies gullible enough to think that it will actually rival that of its football and basketball brethren, you can be sure that I will be spending my time wisely.  Dear readers, I advise you to do the same; and just in case you can’t think of anything better to do, here are some suggestions:

  • Remember, question and lament the hype of Pete Incaviglia
  • Write hate-mail to Rush Limbaugh and sign it “Jesus”
  • Clone Chris Carpenter
  • Come up with clever gimmicks to sell your new religion start-up (worked for me!)
  • Or, God forbid, watch an actual Major League Baseball game with real-life Major Leaguers

pete incaviglia.jpgIndeed, that is but a short list of things I will be doing instead of watching your draft, MLB.  I will not be listening to Harold Reynolds start every sentence with “Now, here’s a guy…” nor will I sing praises of your precious college phenom Stephen Strasburg when he is — as you already told me he would be — drafted in the first round.  I’ll wait until he collects the league minimum $400K for that.

I know a poser when I see one and it is because I love you, MLB, that I have to call you one to your face.  Go ahead and hate me ‘cuz I’m critical of your identity crisis, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

A New All-Star Team

There comes a point in the season where we sit back, take a deep breath and wonder why baseball doesn’t have cheerleaders. I mean, the WNBA has cheerleaders, why not MLB? But never fear, faithful readers. After much deliberation and some top of the line work by the interns, we have a special gift for you: the RSBS all-star cheerleading team.

milano_zito.jpgAlyssa Milano
Since the squad is created to further our love for and appreciation of baseball, it seems only natural that Ms. Milano, the black widow herself, would lead this team. Just keep her far, far away from Justin Verlander. We don’t need him to go Barry Zito on us.

stokke_cal.jpgAllison Stokke
Despite Ms. Stokke’s tangential at best relation to baseball, we give her a position on our team because, well, because she’s pretty and we like looking at her. Do I really need more of a reason than that?

erin_andrews_cinco_de_mayo2.jpgErin Andrews
Although not a choice that I would normally make, Ms. Andrews makes the team out of respect to my friend, Mr. Lung. And at least we can point out that her relationship to baseball is well-documented and ongoing. Welcome to the team.

jane_heller.jpgJane Heller
Although a bit of a dark-horse contender, Ms. Heller routinely establishes her bona fides, especially after the Yankee Stadium program dust-up earlier this year. As if that weren’t enough, she’s also the top ranked MLBlogs fan blogger and that counts for something in our book. We’ll just have to ignore the fact that she’s a Yankee lover.

Anyway, although it’s a small squad, we think you’ll agree that it’s also a very impressive group. And we really hope that our honorees take it in good fun because honestly, we’re really just jealous of them. I mean, who wouldn’t want to date Barry Zito? Well, as long as he didn’t Tweet about it.

-A

The Filibuster

Obviously this week’s headlines have been dominated by the Manny Ramirez saga.  It now appears that his people are trying to persuade the public that his positive test was rooted in medication he was taking for “personal health issues” (translation: erectile dysfunction), even though science tells us HCG is a drug predominantly used by men coming off steroid cycles.  My question to you is this: if a man makes $25 million a year, what difference does it make if the plumbing works or not?

–Jeff
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jeff lung.jpgOnly a few things in life are more emasculating than needing “performance enhancing drugs” in the bedroom. For instance, wearing a pinky ring and owning a Microsoft Zune. Seriously man, all you need is a Zima in your other hand and you’d have the trifecta. Getting back to the point, though, if Manny is telling the truth and he was prescribed HCG for that reason, it makes sense that he would have tried to keep it on the DL. I mean, if you’re watching baseball one day and decide that Cialis is right for you, you probably aren’t going to keep that bottle of prescription pills in the medicine cabinet next to the Benadryl and Preparation H.

The problem with this new Manny saga is that it’s hard to know what he is thinking. Or if he is thinking. The man is an enigma, a mystery wrapped in a riddle. Could he be telling the truth? Of course. Could he have been knowingly juicing and covering it up? Of course. It’s not like A-Rod where momentary disbelief gave way to “Yeah, he’s kind of a d!ck and that doesn’t really surprise me.”

manny_being_manny.jpgBut, to go back to your original question, does an immodest amount of money make up for impotence, I think the answer is pretty clear when you consider that the treatment of ED has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Clearly there’s a need, manufactured or not, and clearly corporations are doing all they can to market to that need. When Mike Ditka schills for you on national television, you have obviously filled a very specific niche.

However, I think the more important question is, what does this new revelation do to the game of baseball? And at this point, I think it’s difficult to know. For me, it doesn’t really have much of an affect. Manny’s enigmatic personality allows me to put off making hard decisions like that. Obviously he shouldn’t have been taking a banned substance but, like he said, he’s also passed 15 drug tests over the past few years. Is it really possible that every single one of them could have missed something this big?

Baseball has been suffering since the A-Rod story broke. And Manny’s suspension and positive drug test are not going to help. But there are also so many positive story lines in baseball and so much to enjoy that I find it hard to concentrate on the negatives. I mean, I know you saw Verlander’s 2-hit gem and Granderson’s catch the other night. That’s what baseball is all about. And if Manny has to sit 50 games in order for us to refocus on that, well, that’s life. Hopefully that’s enough time for him to go see a real doctor and get some Viagra.

-A

Coming Clean

lidge_celebrate.jpgLast night, as Philly fans celebrated like Sarah Palin look-alikes, I settled back in my easy chair and fervently prayed that I had not just used up all my prediction mojo. See, back when this thing started I picked the Phillies to win the Series, comparing them to a certain junior senator from Illinois. And several weeks later, here we are. The Phillies dominated the Rays in just about every category, much like Obama has been doing to John McCain. But, I think it’s safe to say that no Philadelphia fan felt safe until after the ump called strike three on Eric Hinske last night.

Obama fans should feel the same way. Andrew Sullivan posted this the other day and it pretty much sums up the way things stand right now:

But despite all the concerns, I’m going to go ahead and say it. Obama is the new Brad Lidge and he’s going to close this thing down.

Now, I’d like to take the high road and leave things where they are but I can’t help but gloat a little bit in realizing that I’ve gotten the last word on my good friend, Mr. Lung. See, he doubted my pick from the beginning and even picked the Rays last week while extolling the virtues of his new man-crush. But, the Phillies came through which doesn’t mean much since I am now zero dollars richer as a result.

To be honest, this victory feels a little empty. It’s not that I have anything against the Phillies or regret their win. But, after the money the Tigers spent in the offseason, I was ready to see my team holding up their trophy while Justin Verlander carried off his first World Series MVP Award. It all looked so good in my mind.

I guess that in the end the only option I have is to borrow a refrain heard most often coming from Cubs fans. Next year is our year! Man, I can’t believe I just compared myself to a Cubs fan. Time to go take a shower and wash off the filfth.

-A

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