Sunday, June 15, 2014

Catfight: Delmon Young vs Torii Hunter

One of 2014’s most frustrating players to watch for Tigers fans has been right fielder Torii Hunter. Torii’s a five-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glover in his career. And he’s always been one of baseball’s more likable players. But this year, he has looked nothing like the old Torii. Instead, he looks like Old Torii. It’s like he has somehow aged a decade since the end of the 2013 season.

His defense is atrocious. I mean, it’s laughably bad. Magglio Ordonez was a statue at the end of his career in right. Ryan Raburn was a comedy of errors out there. And Brennan Boesch was a sick, bizarre combination of both. Torii is managing to outdo those three in the two and a half months we’ve seen this year. It’s sad.

And at the plate? Ugh. When Hunter arrived from the Angels last year, he seemed to be trying to hit every ball to right field. And he had success, lacing base hit after base hit the opposite way while putting up a .304/.334/.465 slash line. This year? He seems to be trying to pull everything. He does that goofy bat chuck after every swing, as if he thinks every ball is leaving the yard. And he takes walks about as often as Phil Coke throws clean innings. It hasn’t been a good combination.

It’s not surprising that Torii has been compared a lot to a former Tigers punching bag, Delmon Young, by several fans online. Bad defense? Check. No patience at the plate? Check. Embarrassingly low on-base percentage? Oh yeah.

But is the comparison fair? Has Hunter’s stock really fallen that far? Luckily, TigerSnark is here to solve this mystery with the exact science I like to call “Catfight”. Ten categories, Delmon vs Torii, and we’ll see who the better man is.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Losing My Love For the Game

The Tigers are still in first place. They have the best hitter in baseball. Detroit also arguably has the best starting rotation in the game. They’ve won their division the last couple years and are the favorites to do so again this season. They’ve had two World Series appearances in the past decade. Etc.

I’ve sat through the down years of the late 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s. I’ve seen many of my favorite players get injured, get older, and retire. I rooted for them throughout the nightmare that was 2003. I survived Game 163 without murdering anyone. (Barely.) I didn’t kill any hookers when they melted down against Texas or Boston in recent ALCS matchups. Etc.

And in my thirtieth year as a fan, I’m finding myself not into Detroit Tigers baseball anymore. Well, at least not like I used to be. Not even close. And no, it’s not the recent skid by the team. I’m not THAT fan. I wasn’t enjoying baseball like I’m used to when they came out of the gate winning to start the season, either. No, it started before that.

I’ve been trying to figure out why over the past few weeks. And what I’ve come up with is a combination of many factors. Here are the big three.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Huge Finally Returns to Say Dumb Things About Jim Leyland

It was fun while it lasted.

It’s been since October since possible mental patient/terrible radio personality, Bill “Huge” Simonson, has graced mLive with his unique brand of being wrong about everything concerning baseball. But like all good things, our well-deserved break has come to an end. Bill filed an article this week on why Jim Leyland was the root of all evil in Detroit baseball, while Brad Ausmus is obviously the best. It comes in at a WHOPPING 328 words so you know Bill spent a lot of time thinking about it and backing his statements up with facts.

/never-ending wanking motion

As long time readers know, I’m no Leyland lover. His in-game decisions often left me scratching my head and kicking my wall, especially when they involved Don Kelly. I’m still bitter about aspects of Game 163, Alfredo Figaro, and all the bunts with Miguel Cabrera in the on-deck circle. I certainly don’t miss his awful postgame interviews.

But I also remember the quality of baseball in Detroit pre-2006, how it changed under Leyland, and how much his players loved and respected the guy. Major Leaguers don’t act that way about a manager that’s some sort of dunce. That’s why no one in the history of the game has ever said anything nice about Bobby Valentine.

It’s been a while, kids. Put on your b.s. detectors (or Bill Simsonson detectors, if you will) and once again join me in the world of Huge.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Tigers Fan's Guide to Hating the 2014 Boston Red Sox

Before Detroit plays a team for the first time this season (or in some cases, one game into the first series), TigerSnark will be your source for all the IMPORTANT information you’ll need on their opponents. 

I’ve had some people yapping at me about the lack of posts lately. I apologize that the monkey hasn’t been available to dance for your amusement as much this season. There are multiple reasons for this.

1. I’m trying to suck less at my real life job.

2. I’m trying to suck less at being a parent.

3. The Tigers have been playing well and I have little to poke fun at. But here’s one minor annoyance. Ausmus has been using Leyland Logic and using Don Kelly as a pinch hitter on occasion because LOL. From the start of 2012 to, oh, right now, Kelly is 2 for 22 as a pinch hitter. That’s a .087 batting average. He’s 11 for 62 in his career (.177/.250/.274). Stop doing that, Brad. You’re supposed to be smart.

4. The well ran dry a while ago and I should have ended this blog at the end of 2013 (if not sooner).

5. That idiot Simonson hasn’t written about the team in months.

So I’ll post when I can. Try to enjoy my last laps before this thing finally sputters out.

The Tigers entered the weekend at 24-12, good enough for a 6 game lead over Jon Heyman and Jon Paul Morosi’s Royals. They’ll spend this weekend on the road in Satan’s taint, otherwise known as Boston, for a series with the Red Sox. How nice. And after winning Game 1 of the series by the improbable score of 1-0, the Tigers are now 25-12 and have won 9 straight on the road. I’m almost certain that one of Leyland’s Tigers clubs didn’t win 9 road games all season. (I am probably just making this up.)

If any of you need a reason to hate Boston, you are a lost cause. Boston is America’s easiest sports city to hate. But that won’t stop us from this refresher course.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Tigers Fan's Guide to Hating the 2014 Houston Astros

Before Detroit plays a team for the first time this season, TigerSnark will be your source for all the IMPORTANT information you’ll need on their opponents. 

After the recent road trip, the Tigers return home with the best record in the American League at 17-9 and a 4.5 game lead in the AL Central. This is the team’s best start since 2006. And considering that Sanchez is hurt, shortstop is still an offensive black hole, the bullpen is a freak show, and Cabrera hasn’t gotten hot yet, we should be overjoyed.

I still won’t be happy until Phil Coke is unemployed and Don Kelly is duct taped to a rocket and shot into the sun.

Up next for the Tigers is the worst team in baseball, the Houston Astros. In the Killer B Days, the Astros were my favorite National League team. Today, they’re the crappy team I always forget moved to the AL West.

Robbie Ray makes his MLB debut for the Tigers tomorrow. Remember all the complaining I did about the Fister trade for Ray and friends? Tomorrow is my birthday. Well played, Tigers. Well played. Jerks.

Here’s a look at the Quad A team known as the 2014 Houston Astros.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Triumphant Return of Rogo-nac the Tremendous

I’m getting old, and many of you aren't, so let me explain the following bit. Many moons ago, a brilliant man named Johnny Carson was the host of “The Tonight Show” and one of his most famous reoccurring skits was “Carnac the Magnificent”. In it, Johnny would play Carnac, a mystic from the east that would predict answers to questions written on unseen cards in a sealed envelope. He would then open the envelope and read the question to the audience as his sidekick Ed McMahon hooted along next to him.

For example, Carnac would close his eyes, put an envelope to his forehead, and say “Touchback”. He would then rip open the envelope, pull out the card, and read “What’s the smart thing to do if a Cowboys cheerleader touches you”. He would also periodically insult Ed and the audience.  Go on Youtube and type in “Carnac” if this is still confusing to you.

It was funnier than I have made it sound and I used to do a ripoff of it at my old site entitled “Rogo-nac the Tremendous” and applied the Carnac gag to baseball and the Tigers. Only myself and maybe three other people ever understood them because most of my readers are fifteen years old.

Today, due to having nothing else worth talking about…Rogo-nac returns! And as his sidekick, he will now be joined by Rod Allen as his Ed McMahon.

Let the hilarity ensue.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Tigers Fan's Guide to Hating the 2014 Minnesota Twins

Before Detroit plays a team for the first time this season, TigerSnark will be your source for all the IMPORTANT information you’ll need on their opponents. 

Yes, eventually I'm going to post something other than these Fan Guide things. I've been busy and Huge hasn't written about the Tigers in months. So BACK OFF.

I got a call at 5am yesterday morning that one of the bars I’m district manager of was on fire. Upon arriving, I immediately voiced my suspicions that only Ian Krol, Phil Coke, or Evan Reed could start a fire that quickly. The fireman was not amused. (If you care, the damage was minimal due to the amazing job done by the Toledo Fire Department. Thanks, TFD.)

After splitting a four game set with the White Sox, our beloved 11-8 Tigers head to the frozen tundra of Minnesota for a series with the Twins. The Metrodome may be a horrid memory of the past, but hatred for the Twinkies never dies.

Here’s a look at what we’re dealing with this weekend.