Results tagged ‘ Tigers ’

RSBS Presents: How to Know When You’re in Detroit

After a smoking start to the second half, the Tigers have seen their fortunes wane.  Ok, they’ve sucked.  Sure, they’re only a couple games behind the White Sox but when you’re playing in a division as bad as the AL Central, that’s not really saying a whole lot.  Detroit could still make the playoffs and even if they don’t, it’s probably still safe to say that they’re the best team in the Central.  That being said, Detroit has become known for quite a few things as of late but they don’t tend to be baseball related.

If the Tigers do make the postseason, you may find yourself in the position of visiting Windsor’s American cousin sometime this fall.  And although Detroit does have a few well-known monuments like the giant tire and the River Rouge plant, it’s easy to find yourself wondering where you are.  Since we here at RSBS would hate for you to be unaware of where you are, today we provide you with guide to identifying that you have arrived to Detroit.

ZOMBIES

Well, not yet.  But if Mark Siwak gets his way, Detroit may soon be known for its roaming zombie hoards.  This isn’t all bad as the plan could provide a boost to the city’s GDP.  It could also increase the city’s DNA with all those body parts strewn about.

WILD DOGS

The most successful cities develop clusters that support and develop the culture and economy of an urban area.  London and New York are known for their clusters of financial whizzes while the area around San Francisco has developed a reputation for tech know-how and venture capital.  Detroit?  Well, it has clusters, too.  Clusters of feral dogs.  Chances are that if you are attacked by a pack of wild dogs in a major US city, it’s pretty safe to assume that you’re in Detroit.

HOPE

Despite everything else, Detroit has become somewhat unrecognizable as of late due to the arrival of something more foreign than zombies or wild dogs.  Hope.  The auto industry received a bail-out just when it seemed that Detroit’s last economic life-line was being cut.  The University of Michigan not only had a winning football season but also managed to beat Ohio State for the first time in seven years.  And the Detroit Lions, the holders of the only 0-16 record in NFL history, actually made the playoffs last year.  That’s even more hope-y and change-y than Barack Obama.

Hopefully we’ll see you in Detroit this fall for some postseason baseball.  If so, you’ll now be able to come prepared to identify where you are.

-A

The Filibuster

Do you believe in the A’s?

Rick T. 
Springfield, MO

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Do I believe in the A’s?  Do I believe that a team called the A’s plays in Oakland, CA?  Yes, I believe that.  Do I believe that despite a limited budget and a small market, a team called the A’s not only contended in the early 2000′s but also outperformed most of the American League?  Yes, I believe that, too.  Do I believe that the 2012 Oakland Athletics, a team currently in 3rd place in its division behind a much improved Angels franchise and a Rangers club that when hitting on all cylinders can torch the rest of baseball, will make the playoffs?  Unfortunately I’m going to have go another direction with that one, Rick.

No, in that case I don’t believe in the A’s.

Let’s look at the facts.  The A’s pitching staff is 4th overall in ERA, 5th in WHIP and 5th in opponent batting average.  Those are all pretty good.  But, to win baseball games, you also have to score runs.  On that side, the A’s are 28th in runs, 27th in on-base percentage and 25th in slugging.  Pitching may win you championships but if you can’t back up that pitching, you’re never going to make it to the championship.  Add in that half of the rest of the A’s schedule is made up of the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Angels, the Rangers and the Tigers, well, that doesn’t bode so well.  Even the easier part of the schedule involves the Rays, the Orioles and the White Sox.  About the only break the A’s get are series against the Mariners, Twins and Royals.  That’s not exactly promising.

I like the A’s.  I always have.  One of the fondest memories of my childhood was seeing the Tony LaRussa managed A’s at Tiger stadium.  But this team is light years away from being at the same level as the team that featured Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco and Dennis Eckersley.

So, do I believe in the A’s?  I guess on that one, you’d have to consider me an atheist.  If they keep winning games, though, check back in and maybe I’ll have gone agnostic.

-A

Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Ba$eball $tar$

Sports Illustrated‘s annual Fortune 50 list of the 50 highest-earning American athletes list is out and Major League Baseball is heavily represented.  In fact, 36% of the athletes are baseballers — some better than others (looking at you, Barry Zito).  And while I’m sad to see an star like Floyd Mayweather, Jr at the top, one who eschews real glory at the highest level for a comfortable place atop boxing mediocrity, I am glad that baseball players are makin’ that pay-puh.  It makes me feel less suicidal when I pay $8 for a 16 oz beer.

Here’s a quick rundown of the highest paid American baseball players and their overall ranking among American athletes in parenthesis.

1.  Alex Rodriguez (6)
Too bad for the Yankees A-Rod can’t be young and steroided like the good old days.  His health is just going downhill from here.

2.  Derek Jeter (9)
He can do no wrong.  I would pay this man a bazillion dollars a year if I could.  And since Albert left me, I have no problems admitting my 17-year Jeet man-crush.

3.  Joe Mauer (12)
Really?  12th highest paid American athlete overall and third highest Major Leaguer?  I would feel better about this if he could hit it over the Target Field fence once in a while.

4.  Vernon Wells (17)
PSSSHH!!!!  I just ruined my keyboard with a mouthful of coffee.

5.  C.C. Sabathia (20)
Mo’ money, mo’ foooooooooooooooooood!

6.  Mark Teixeira (21)
Nothing says $23 million a year like a YEEE-HAW JAW!

7.  Prince Fielder (22)
I have a feeling if I make one more Prince Fielder fat joke then I’m going to be… eaten…

8.  Adrian Gonzalez (25)
He may have lost his power stroke, but with $21 million a year I’m sure he’s strokin’ plenty of power.

9.  Justin Verlander (28)
A man’s man, I would prefer to see Verlander at the very top of this list, or at the very least, have the opportunity to rifle a fastball at Mayweather’s head.

10.  Cliff Lee (29)
Way to go, Phillies.  You’re making Clifton Phifer look bad.

11.  Ryan Howard (32)
While many of my Cardinal fan brethren choose to hate on Albert, I prefer to hate on Howard, the man who made signing Albert impossible.

12.  Roy Halladay (35)
Way to go, Phillies.  You bring in the best pitcher in baseball to get you over the hump then s*** the bed three years in a row.

13, 14, 15.  Barry Zito, Carl Crawford, Albert Pujols (Tied for 36 overall)
One of these things is not like the other…

16.  Josh Beckett (44)
Is it me or has he gained like 40 pounds since he was traded to the Red Sox?

17.  Jake Peavy (45)
Up until this year, I thought dude was done.  Yes, the crow I’ve been eating tastes bad.

18.  A.J. Burnett (49)
Huh?  How did A.J. get on this list?  I’d like to know the same.  He should’ve signed two contracts, one for each of his personalities.  At least he’s been living up to it ever since his worst day ever.

Hate me ‘cuz I didn’t make the list, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!

Peace,

Jeff

Is There a Harper and Trout Remix?

I want to hate Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.  Maybe if they played for the Tigers I’d love them but two guys that young, that talented and that successful who aren’t on my team?  Honestly, I really want to dislike them.

With Trout it’s a little harder because somehow he comes across as a good guy and great teammate despite only being 20 years old.  Harper, it’s a little easier because he’s even younger, bro’ed out and he knows he’s good.  That kind of self-assuredness often comes off as cockiness and that makes it easier to hate someone.

Yeah, I really want to hate these guys, especially Harper, and I feel like I made an honest effort at it.  Sadly, it kind of went like this:

I can’t help it.  I’m hooked.

-A

The Filibuster

Any predictions for the All-Star Game?

Alice
Highland, IN

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I was all set to write a response about “King Bud” and how he had perverted the fun of the All-Star game.  But then I realized something.  The All-Star game still is fun and especially for the guys getting picked to go for the first time, it has to be an amazing experience.  Sure, the game counts now and in a way that doesn’t really make sense.  But that’s secondary.  These are arguably the best players in baseball split up into two squads going head to head.  That’s pretty awesome.

But even though this event is about leagues as opposed to teams, I can’t help being biased toward my own guys.  That’s why my predictions revolve around the Tigers.  (Please note that I’m writing this on Friday evening so anything that happens between now and Sunday, when it goes up, well, it can be held against me but not in an ignorant kind of fashion.)

Prediction #1: Justin Verlander starts the game for the AL

Sure, even Verlander himself has said that the start in this year’s game should be based on this year’s events.  Maybe he hasn’t been as dominant this year as he was in his 2011 campaign but I’m pretty sure there’s still no hitter in either league that enjoys the thought of going up against JV.  More than that, Verlander has been practically unhittable for NL opponents with the best outings of his career coming against the NL.  If you want to start the game out on the right foot, put JV on the mound.

Prediction #2: Prince Fielder wins the home run derby

The guy is a monster talent and a monster plain and simple.  He’s also starting to rediscover the form he had starting off the season as he settles in behind Cabrera.  Put it all together with the start at first base for the AL squad and you have a Fielder ready to explode.  He won’t set a new record but he’s going to win.

Prediction #3: Miguel Cabrera wins MVP

There’s a lot of amazing talent on this year’s rosters and no shortage of candidates for MVP.  But something inside of me says that this is Miggy’s year and he comes up huge.  I’m thinking a three-run home run to bring the AL back from a 2-1 deficit to a 4-2 lead.

Prediction #4: Mr. Lung disagrees with everything I just predicted

There are optimists.  There are pessimists.  And there’s Mr. Lung.  Mr. Lung’s goal in life is to take the opposite view on everything I say.  It’s a noble objective even if it does mean that Mr. Lung is wrong a good percentage of the time.  Seriously, woolen stirrup pants on Houston Astros?  I don’t like the Astros either but let’s just admit that breathable synthetics have been good for the game.  To be fair, I don’t think it’s so much about being right or wrong for Mr. Lung as it is about the act of disagreeing.  It’s rebellious.  You know, like listening to Marilyn Manson.

So, enjoy the All-Star break and pay attention to see how many of these predictions come true.  And if you catch one of Prince’s derby balls, feel free to send it my way.

-A
Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.

“I thought he was a weird wuss anyway…”

That’s right.  Davey Johnson speaks for me.

In this case, we (Davey and I) are talkin’ about my surly and oft dour colleague, Mr. Allen Krause.  Surely these words sting, almost as much as watching Mr. Krause’s beloved Tigers defeat my WORLD CHAMPION ST. LOUIS CARDINALS in their recent 3-game series.

Indeed, Verlander is a beast.  But the following inequality is true:

Westbrook + Lohse > Verlander

Unfortunately, the following is also true:

Santiago + Peralta + Jackson + Berry > Marte

Ugh.

I’m sending my representation to handle the press conference:

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

A Rewarding Venture

Apparently, we’ve been going at the problem all wrong.  No, I’m not talking about the Tigers’ inability to hit baseballs to the spaces where opposing teams’ fielders are not.  I’m talking about the quag… quagmi…. quagmi…. really bad situation that is Afghanistan.

See, while we’ve been pushing education for women, community policing and other counter-insurgency tactics, the guys we’re trying to turn them against do stuff like this.  Sure, we do attack with drones and stuff like that but we don’t poison little girls…which would make you think that the rest of the people would run straight into the wide-open arms of Uncle Sam.  But, not so much.

However, there may be another option.  It turns out that maybe we just need to offer more reward money.  I just wish we would have known earlier.  We could have stopped up bin Laden’s finances and then just waited until he turned himself in to collect the award.

-A

Just a Bit Inside

A few weeks ago, umpire Greg Gibson found himself on the wrong end of the following headline:

Umpire Greg Gibson Took A Stephen Strasburg Fastball To The Crotch

Which obviously begs the question, should Gibson now change his name, perhaps considering the following as an option?:

All kidding aside, umpires have a crappy job.  Pretty much the only time anyone notices you is when you blow a perfect game or get nailed in the ‘nads by a Strasburg steamer.  With the advent of the home run review system, the job got even crappier.  As radar guns and pitch monitors get ever better, it’s probably only a matter of time before people start making noise about taking that responsibility away from the umps as well.

Today, though, on the day after Memorial Day, I just want to take a minute to salute the men in blue who put life, limb and the ability to procreate out there on the line everyday.  Now, get yourself a pair of glasses, get back out there and try not to give this game away, too.

-A

End of the Road (B-Inge Remix)

We’ve all had those kind of relationships where we really like the person, we’re really comfortable with them and we have so many memories of the good times together that it’s nearly impossible to say goodbye.  It’s not that you no longer like them, it’s just that it’s not there anymore.  Well, that’s kind of what happened last week between the Tigers and Brandon Inge.

We’ve known that something was off with the relationship the last couple years.  It just didn’t feel as fresh and fulfilling as it used to.  Sure, we convinced ourselves that the old magic was still there, hiding someplace.  And every once in awhile that spark would rekindle something and we’d see flashes of what used to be there.  It’s like that magical vacation you take to try and find what used to be there and for a week or so, you rediscover it briefly.  But, just like in real life, things soon return to normal and you slowly begin to accept what has to happen.

The thing is, it’s hard to leave a relationship like that, especially when you’ve had so many truly terrible relationships previously.  Dontrelle Willis?  Mike Maroth?  Those two were like the alcoholic chick you picked up at the bar who decided to leave a toothbrush behind the first night and then just refused to leave.  But Inge?  He was more than a relationship.  Even your parents liked him.  He played multiple roles and he always seemed to step up and do what was asked of him.  He was a metaphor for everything that had happened over the previous five seasons.

But whether the relationship is certifiably insane or has just run its course, the end result is the same.  You gotta get out.  I’m not saying that makes it any easier.  Even though I know dropping Inge was the right choice, it’s not like I can just forget him.  I’ll probably still check his facebook and occasionally look at the photos we took together.  Luckily, it’s not like we’re left all alone.  There’s a new crush who has caught my eye and he’s a real Prince.

-A

Ten Titillations!

April counts, yo!  And here are some reasons why, after just one month into the season, I’m as jazzed as Mitt Romney during a temple garment clearance sale!

The Oriole Way
I am old enough to remember the Orioles being a staple of sound, fundamental baseball.  And though those days seemed to disappear into Jeffrey Maier’s malicious mitt, it looks like they may be back!  Let’s hope they are back to stay.

The AL Central
The Tigers are going to run away with the division you say?  Not so fast.  I know it’s only been one month, but the White Sox and Indians are right there with ‘em, and unless the Tigers start putting a hurtin’ on the opposition instead of Jewish folks at a New York hotel, things could get interesting.

Bobby V
Love him or hate him, he makes things interesting.  And oh how interesting things have been for the Boston Red Sox.  I LOVE IT!!!  The NBA may have all the drama, but when every day could be your last as a Red Sox, I start craving chicken, beer and video games.

The Not-So-Natinals
Best starting rotation in baseball.  Bryce Harper.  Strasburgers.  Um, throw in a presidential race worth watching and I’m ready for Mr. Krause to buy season tickets.

The Pujols-less Cardinals
I’m not gonna bask in AP’s struggles, but I am gonna point out that the Cardinals have yet to lose a series (except that one against the Cubs where they were gifted a win by the umpiring crew).  Onwards and upwards!

The AL West
Have you seen a Rangers game lately?  I’ve been watching them almost every day!  THAT’S how ya git’er done, folks.  Meanwhile, the Halos are as nervous as Rick Santorum at a Santorum Party!  As the Yankees and Red Sox learned before them, a bazillion dollars worth of free agent signings does NOT a champion make.

The Toronto Blue Jays
Not only do their uniforms look right again, but they’re also making the AL East insanely good!  If only they could make Colby Rasmus less whiny.

The Youth Movement
I remember the excitement involved with Ken Griffey Jr. breaking into the league.  Chipper Jones too.  Now that Bryce Harper and Mike Trout have made their debuts, a similar buzz is in the baseball air.  Throw in a slew of sophomores and third year players making headlines and baseball looks to be badass for a very long time.

Pitching!!!
The Year of the Pitcher enters its THIRD year and I couldn’t be more excited!  As a self-confessed pitchers duel fiend, I live off serious heat, nasty breaking balls and backdoor sliders.  We’ve already seen a perfect game and some no-hitter flirtations.  But it’s the heroics of Joe Saunders, Kyle Lohse, Colby Lewis and the like that really get my gears greased.

And finally… the most titillating of them all so far…

ADAM. FREAKING. DUNN.
As a longtime resident of the south side of Chicago, the last thing I wanted to do was waste my summer days talking folks down off the ledge like I did last year.  But since it appears Dunn sold his 2011 soul to Albert Pujols, I’m free to party my ass off at the fake B-Dubbs on 35th & Halsted.  HOLLA!!!  And buy me a drink!

Go ahead, hate me ‘cuz I’m easily titillated, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!

Peace,

Jeff

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