Archive for the ‘Detroit Tigers’ category

Inge-ured, ump suspended, and Chacon blows up

June 26, 2008

Detroit Tigers utility man Brandon Inge has been placed on the 15-day DL after straining his oblique adjusting his pillow. Not as bad as Joel Zumaya jamming on Guitar Hero, but pretty close.  Here’s a few other dumb sports injuries for you.

  • Tony Allen of the Boston Celtics proving he can dunk after the whistle and trashes his knee.
  • Rockies IF Clint Barmes broke his collarbone lugging meat up the stairs. Todd Helton’s fault since it was a gift from him.
  • Arena Football League’s Elton Patterson tears his quadriceps jumping up and down in celebration.

In more baseball news, umpire Brian Runge got a one-game suspension for being an asshole the other night. Runge went out of his way to egg Mets Carlos Beltran on after a disputed strike call and ejected him. Manager Jerry Manuel then came out to defend his player and was chest bumped by Runge and then ejected. This was some of the most overzealous umpiring I have ever seen. Another case of an ump thinking people paid to see him in action. A longer suspension would serve Runge right and he should pay Beltran and Manuel’s fines of $400 and $500, respectively. Well, maybe just Manuel’s. Beltran will make $18 million this season.

Pitcher Shawn Chacon probably ended his major league career when he threw Astros GM Ed Wade to the ground by his neck. The Astros cut him today after suspending him indefinitely. There are two sides to every story and Wade may have been at fault too, but you’re an adult and a major leaguer; handle things differently. Chacon should have done this in 2005 when he had a 3.44 ERA over 151.2 IP with the Rockies and Yankees. His 2008 ERA of 5.04 and his violent tendencies however, should earn him a spot on every teams’ blacklist. I wouldn’t recommend showng your boss your best Latrell Sprewell impression under any circumstances.

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Managerial hot seats

June 16, 2008

*UPDATE (6.17.08)* Willie Randolph was fired at 3:14 AM by a press release. Right after winning a game and being in bed. Bench coach Jerry Manuel is expected to take over.

New York Mets manager Willie Randolph is 33-35 this season and the aftertaste of their epic collapse is still triggering the gag reflex of many fans. But Sunday night, Randolph put his managerial future in the hands of a guy whose last hit came in 1999, Robinson Cancel. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning, Cancel pinch-hit for P Pedro Martinez and came up with a two-run single that gave the Mets the 4-2 lead and eventually, the victory. Now that’s having faith in your players. Trusting a guy who hasn’t gotten a hit in almost nine years when your professional career is on the line shows a good manager. He obviously knows Robinson Cancel a lot better than we do. A casual glance at Cancel’s stats would suggest he would be better suited in a men’s league softball game. Randolph seems to be ignoring the hoopla regarding his job security when he’s in the dugout and going with his instincts.

Randolph’s Mets have underachieved, but he did get them to the NLCS in 2006. With the second highest payroll however, they should not be below .500. RP Billy Wagner blowing three straight saves hasn’t helped much. The Mets would be over .500 if it weren’t for those outings. Also, OF Ryan Church is still out with concussion symptoms. Another problem for the Mets is Moises Alou going to the DL and their subsequent signing of Trot Nixon. That would qualify as a downgrade.

Speaking of high-cost, low-win teams, Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland’s seat on the bench may be cooling off following two straight series sweeps of the White Sox and Dodgers. Leyland has been tinkering with his roster configuration quite a bit these days and may have finally stumbled upon a good setting by alternating time behind the plate with a declining Ivan Rodriguez and Brandon Inge. On another note, OF Marcus Thames has 10 home runs in only 109 at bats this season. Thames has been getting more at bats these days and with his power, may be a decent bench outfielder on your fantasy team if you want supplemental homers (home run every 10.9 at bats).

On a non-baseball note, some guy named Rocco Mediate will be going up against Tiger Woods in a playoff to determine the U.S. Open. I don’t watch a lot of golf but the way Tiger rebounded the other day to stay in contention was quite memorable. It starts at 11:30 AM today.

Cruceta on the market

June 5, 2008

The Detroit Tigers designated reliever Francisco Cruceta for assignment after one disappointing month. Brought up from AAA Toledo following his visa approval and Jason Grilli’s ouster, Cruceta had a 5.40 ERA over 13 appearances. He struck out almost a batter per inning, but often lacked command over his fastball (10 BB over 11 and 2/3 IP). His numbers were real bad with Detroit, but he should get looks from other teams looking for bullpen projects. Cruceta has mid 90s velocity and one of the nastier splitters in baseball. But without command of a fastball, that splitter is useless. Cruceta needs to be around a pitching coach not named Chuck Hernandez who can’t get wins out of Justin Verlander or Jeremy Bonderman. He still hasn’t been traded or cut so he could remain a Tiger, but he is an intriguing pitcher who should garner some attention.

His replacement LHP Casey Fossum has been equally bad. He was good in AAA (3-0, 1.96 ERA). In two MLB appearances though, he has a 135.00 ERA (1/3 IP, 5 ER). In his defense, he struck out a guy with his ‘Fossum Flip’ 55-62 MPH curveball. That is a really fun pitch to watch.

Manager Jim Leyland on Fossum: “I always thought he’d make a good relief pitcher.”

Tigers designate Cruceta (Detroit News)

Joel Zumaya’s got competition

May 14, 2008

In an interview published in the Kansas City Star, Royals starter and former number one draft pick/Tennessee Vol Luke Hochevar is apparently the best Rock Band player in the league. Joel Zumaya better watch out.

I hear you’re the best Rock Band player in baseball.

(laughs) I wouldn’t argue with that. I’ll take it.

What’s the secret?

Lots of hours logged. Banny and Davies are pretty good, too. That’s our band, pretty much.

I see you as the drummer for some reason.

I can play them all. I’m not a very good singer though. Now Brian Bannister is the drummer. He’s taken over that role. And he’s really good.

Maybe Zumaya is all hype. I dare Zumaya to challenge Hochevar. It would be a battle of epic proportions. The best part is Hochevar mentioning that Brett Tomko is also pretty good at the game.. I thought his arms were broken and he was at a full body cast at one point in his career..?

Luke Hochevar: baseball’s best Rock Band player? (Sam Mellinger’s Royals blog)

April (and some of March) in review…(AL)

May 1, 2008

The first month of the season has come to a close, so let’s hand out some hardware.

Note: These are for the baseball played since the first series in Japan in late March, through the end of April. Some of these acknowledgments will be completely irrelevant in May (if they are even relevant now)…

Best Team: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Angels are tied with Oakland for the best record in the AL. However, I give the edge to the Angels because the A’s will fizzle. LA just has more star power. Their pitching staff, led by Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana, both have ERAs under 3 and Jered Weaver pitched like an ace the other day against the potent Detroit offense. Santana is stepping it up while Jon Garland is sucking and Kelvim Escobar’s career could be over. K-Rod is 11 for 12 in save opportunities.

The offense is really clicking this season for the Angels. They have scored 140 runs so far with their strong lineup. Casey Kotchman is off to a great start batting .344/.406/.594. Chone Figgins is having an all-star season so far batting .313 with 8 steals. Offseason acquistion Torii Hunter is fitting in very nicely with his new squad and Vladimir Guerrero is batting .271, which is good, but will most likely rise because he is very dangerous. SS Erick Aybar is a young guy to keep an eye on batting .318 so far. He also plays a good shortstop.

Los Angeles is doing just fine without stud pitchers John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar. Though Escobar won’t be back, Lackey should be around soon, and he will only help the Angels pull ahead of Oakland for what looks to be another championship season. (more…)

Grilli’s Gone Wild; lame factor through the roof

April 29, 2008

Detroit Tigers reliever Jason Grilli has a tee-shirt, and it is pretty lame, but a definite collectors’ item (if you’re a big Detroit middle relief fan). Being a Tiger fan, I am shocked that I had not stumbled upon this fashion gem until just now. I don’t know when this came about or why it was even developed to begin with, but he can’t be serious. Just a terrible play on words replacing the ‘Girls’ in ‘Girls Gone Wild’ with ‘Grilli’s.’ Also, his pitching arm is blurred out. So weak. But at least the Olde English D isn’t being disgraced as it was airbrushed from the design. Also available for purchase are the sunglasses with windshield wipers he wore during the 2006 ALCS celebration.

Pitifully cheesy merchandise aside, Jason Grilli has been rather good lately, following a terrible start to the 2008 season where he was booed every time he did something. His lowest point was giving up 3 ER on 3 pitches against the White Sox earlier on. However, he has gotten his ERA down to 3.29 and is working on a scoreless streak of 11.1 IP. The Tigers need him to continue pitching well because their starters have been one of the greatest disappointments in baseball this year. Tiger fans give him a lot of grief for some occasional catastrophic outings, but he’s still one of my favorites. I am a homer sometimes (but not as much as Phil) and I apologize.

UPDATE: Grilli has been traded to the Colorado Rockies. Just when he started pitching well.

Josh Hamilton pwns J.J. Putz so much that Putz goes on DL (and other happenings)

April 2, 2008

Josh Hamiltowned!

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After last night’s go-ahead two-run home run by Josh Hamilton that put the Rangers ahead of the Mariners 5-4, [va]J.J. Putz is headed to the disabled list with a ribcage injury (Yahoo). Putz, one of the best closers last year, is not having a good start to the 2008 season. Josh Hamilton meanwhile, has more strength than most Greek and Roman Gods.

Larry Bowa suspended

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Looks like Larry Bowa, the third base coach for the Dodgers, got suspended three games for coloring outside the lines being out of the coaching boundaries, and promptly arguing. You know it is baseball season when Bowa gets pissed at something.

Joel Zumaya still plays Guitar Hero well, does other things pretty good too

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A recent Deadspin article a couple hours ago shows a Facebook photo of everyone’s favorite Guitar-Hero playin’ Detroit Tiger Joel Zumaya still playing his axe, even if he injured himself in a dunebuggy wildfire accident. No comment.