Thursday, November 22, 2012

Catching Up On Lost Time



Well, in the few months I was off playing Father Teresa, a lot happened. Games were won, games were lost. Seasons changed. We all grew a bit older and wiser. Brennan Boesch continued to be terrible at playing baseball.

Today, we cover the stuff that happened from mid-August until, oh, noon today involving Tigers baseball. Only then can we move forward with clear minds. Or something.

-Anibal Sanchez turned out to be pretty good.

When DNR signed off, Sanchez was 1-3 as a Tiger with a 7.98 ERA in 20 1/3 innings pitched. As someone that was against the big trade with the Marlins, I was feeling pretty sure of my initial reaction. Then, Sanchez got hot. He went a misleading 3-3 after I disappeared with an outstanding 2.16 ERA. Lack of run support was the only thing from preventing him from going 7-1 in those last 8 starts. To top it off, Anibal put up a 1.77 ERA in his three playoff starts. Sadly, the Tigers continued to not score for the guy and he went 1-2, getting 3 total runs of support in those games.

So yeah, he pitched very well. But here’s where I again differ with the majority of Tiger fans. Unless the Tigers re-sign Sanchez this offseason, I still say the trade was a bad one. Why? The team went 5-7 in Sanchez’s 12 regular season starts. They went 1-2 in his two playoff starts. And they lost the World Series.

We gave up our top pitching and catching prospects for a guy that the Tigers went 6-9 in games he pitched. As I said, they didn’t score for the poor man and it’s hardly his fault. What I’m getting at is that I think the team could just as easily have gone 6-9 with some combination of Drew Smyly and Jacob Turner on the mound down the stretch. And we’d still have Turner and Rob Brantly in the organization.

What about Omar Infante, you might say? I agree that Omar was better than anything we had at second base all season. And I look forward to seeing him play a full year with the Tigers in 2013. But I feel Dave Dombrowski could have pulled off a trade for Infante for much less than he ended up paying to get Sanchez in the deal. It just wasn’t worth it.

Well, unless they get Sanchez back into a Tiger uniform moving forward. If that happens and Sanchez pitches like he did at the end of 2012, I’ll happily admit I was wrong.
-Don Kelly was DFA’d.

Air smelled fresher. The water tasted cleaner. Blue skies, Barfy burgers…GIRLS!
-Don Kelly was added back to the roster.

Headlines in Toledo read: “Local Drunk Man Found Standing in Own Filth Screaming ‘WHY?’ Over And Over Again In Streets”. Whether or not they meant me…I have no comment.
-SB Nation and Bless Your Boys Changed Their Look

Um…er…ugh.

Oh, I’m getting used to it. But I’m not going to lie to you and say I like the new, flashier look of BYB. I much preferred the previous design that we all knew and loved. But I’m getting older and hate most forms of change. I could be wrong. As long as Kurt, Al, Melissa, Rob, Alli, The Professor and Mary Ann are all still there, it’s still the best Tigers news source out there. Now if only they could get Big Al to use his spell check…

I kid because I love.
-The White Sox went to hell and the Tigers overtook them to win their second straight AL Central title.

That was hysterical. Robin Ventura still has relievers warming up in the pen, I think.
-Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown.

The hardcore saber-heads scoff at this, and I know batting averages and RBI are overrated, but people that shit on Miggy winning the first Triple Crown since 1969 can get fucked with an umbrella. It’s still an amazing feat and I’m proud and honored to have the big man playing in Detroit. I mean Nap Lojoie, Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson, Carl Yastrzemski, and now Cabrera are the only guys to EVER do it in the American League. Look at that list. You don’t need math to tell you that it’s something special.
-Detroit beat Oakland in the ALDS, 3 games to 2.

This was an exciting series and the A’s fans were outstanding, even though the majority of them resembled homeless cannibals. But the good guys prevailed and we all learned a very important lesson. Al Alburquerque a hellova kisser.
-The Tigers swept the Yankees in the ALCS.

This may actually be news to many of you. Because all I heard from Fox and ESPN was OMG DEREK JETER HAZ AN OWIE! GOD IS DEAD!

Oh I almost forgot we also had ZOMG A-ROD IS GETTING PHONE NUMBERS FROM GIRLS!

But the Tigers dominated the Yankees AGAIN in the playoffs. It never gets old. Only Derek Jeter does.

And I was there for Game 4 to send them to the World Series. Just like I was there in 2006 for the Magglio game. What I’m trying to say here is that the Tigers are 5-0 with me in the stadium during playoff games. Obviously, the team is dropping the ball by not comping playoff tickets to me for every game. Idiots.
-Jose Valverde went to shit.

Three seasons in Detroit. 206 games. 110 saves. An ERA of 3.00.  The perfect 2011. The dancing. The endless charity work. The “End of the Line” mound entrance. And so much more.

And all anyone’s going to remember or talk about are the final three games in the 2012 playoffs. One and two-thirds of an inning total. Nine earned runs.

All the good will was washed away to the majority of Tigers fans in three disastrous games. Baseball is a cruel game, sometimes.

Jose Valverde was the best closer the Tigers have had since I started watching baseball in 1985. I will choose to remember the good times. Thank you, Papa Grande. Give em hell in 2013, wherever you end up.

Unless it’s Chicago or Cleveland. In that case, eat shit.
-The World Series happened.

At some point where Justin Verlander was getting shelled in Game One, I blacked out in some combination of shock, panic, and depression. This lasted until Jim Leyland had the gall to insert Don Kelly as a pinch hitter in the 9th inning of the elimation game of Game Four. After that, I was in such a rage that I didn’t care anymore when the Giants completed their sweep.

Then I got depressed again. Again, baseball can be a cruel bitch.
-Miguel Cabrera won the AL MVP.

It could have gone either way and I wouldn’t have been upset over it. And I’m not going to rehash the Cabrera/Trout argument for the ten millionth time here. But obviously I was thrilled to see Big Mig win the MVP. Mike Trout’s got a long career ahead of him and he’ll probably win plenty of hardware along the way. It’s a shame that he’ll have to do it for the fucking Angels, though.
-Jose Valverde, Don Kelly, Delmon Young, Gerald Laird, and Ryan Raburn are now gone.

I’ve already touched on Valverde. I refuse to believe Kelly is gone until he signs with another organization. Dude is like a cockroach. The only thing I ever liked about Delmon was his brother, Dmitri. Laird’s 1-20 playoff performance was the most pathetic display since his dismal Game 163 performance against the Twins. Good riddance.

As for Raburn? I wish him nothing but success. He had a nightmare of a season in both his personal and professional life. The fans were ruthless during his struggles. I think he’s got the skills to be a decent player, as he showed the previous couple years before 2012. What remains to be seen is if he has the mental makeup to rebound. Godspeed, Ryno.
-Mitch Albom is beyond awful and an embarrassment to Detroit.

And that deserves its own column on another day. Glad we could catch up. Take care.

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