Friday, October 22, 2010

The Best of the Best for 2010

Otay, here it is, the final vote for me... this one is for the best of the best, the most valuable man on the field. There are 10 slots on this vote, and in the interest of time and scores of stats,I'm only going to give ya an explanation on my top two. Keep in mind this is REGULAR season stats and statistics...

So without further adieu... here are my top picks for the BBA Stan Musial Award

1) WINNER - Miguel Cabrera (DET): Cabrera was the most consistent player in the American league this season. He lead the league with 126 RBI's and a .420OBP in 648 plate appearances, 38 HR and crossing the plate 111 times. Cabrera is the core of the Tigers, the man who drives the car. Miguel proved in a season where his veteran teammates were getting injured all around him, he had the ability to set an example for the slew of upcoming rookies while carrying the team on his back preventing them from slipping to the bottom of the AL Central all while batting a respectable .328.

2) Josh Hamilton (TX) - Hamilton is well deserving of the ALMVP but in the regular season, he didn't play in enough games for me to qualify him as consistent. Hamilton clocks in with 571 plate appearances, 32 home runs, an even 100 RBI's and a batting champ worthy .359. This was a close one, but in the end, he didn't have the numbers in the categories that are most important to me consistently thru the season to garner this award. His team played well as a unit and he was a great piece to the puzzle but in no way did he carry the team to their final destination. Best of luck to him in the World Series - it is well deserved and I'll be rooting for the Rangers this year to take it all.

3) Jose Bautista (TOR)
4) Robinson Cano (NYY)
5) Paul Konerko (CWS)
6) CC Sabathia (NYY)
7) Joe Mauer (MIN)
8) Evan Longoria (TB)
9) Ichiro (SEA)
10)A. Rodriguez (NYY)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Round 2 - Willie Mays and His Rookies!

On we go to the Best new player of the season - yes it's time to rank the Top Rookies the American League for the BBA's Willie Mays Rookie Award. Here are my picks...

#1 - WINNER - Austin Jackson (Detroit Tigers) Austin, in my opinion, mastered the one thing that is crucial for a rookie who wants to take top prize - consistency. Austin played in nearly every game this season and finished up with 578 AB, 173 hits, 36 RBI and scored 96 Runs on a .299 BA. While most rookies hit a hot spot then fizzle, or slow to start and bring it home in the end, Austin was consitent all season. When faced with a slump at the plate he had the dedication and concentration to pull himself out before his struggle turned into a tailspin. Austin Jackson took home the Rookie of the Month award in April.

#2 - Neftali Feliz (Texas Rangers) this selection goes against all I believe when handing out awards, pitchers have their own award so I dont think they should be eligible for this one. But the season Feliz had is not to be overlooked. Feliz finished the regular season with 49 saves, 97 innings pitched, 25 balls and only 27 runs given up while holding a 2.50 ERA. The only reason I cannot give him the top billing for this award is that although he was consistently good, he did not appear in as many games as Jackson. There is a drastic difference between playing 9 innings batting and fielding vs throwing for 3 outs. I just don't think he had enough on field time to take the top spot. Neftali Feliz took home the Rookie of the Month award in September.

#3 Brennan Boesch (Detroit Tigers) ok, its a coincidence that I picked two Tigers. Favorite team aside, the Tigers paraded a pethora of rookies around the diamond all season long. Brennan came on like a shot hitting anything that was thrown in his general direction. But post all star break, Boesch couldnt hit his way out of a paper bag for over two months. Brennan finished the season with 443 AB, 114 hits, 35 RBI's and scored 45 runs on a .257 BA. If Boesch would have held out with half the power and dominance he showed in the first half he would have been top candidate for this award; however, the consistency just wasn't there. Boesch was the Rookie of the Month in May and June.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Connie Mack in the Haus...

Ok, So as a member of the BBA, I get to cast a vote for the Connie Mack Award, which is my opinion on which Manager was the best of they year in the American League. This isn't a scientific, stat laden decision (as many of mine rarely are). This is a shoot from the hip, who I think deserves it most decision.

So without further adieu, my top three nominees are...

#1 - MY WINNER - Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers (90-72). Rangers went through a lot the last couple of seasons... from old owners to new owners to Nolan Ryan and bankruptcy. Ron Washington managed to keep the team focused and on target while overcoming a dirty little test which he admitted to some unfortunate substance abuse. Big props for Mr. Washington leading his Rangers to their first playoff appearance in this millennium.

#2 - Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays (96-66). I don't watch a whole lot of the Rays (due mostly in part to the fact that they are not in my television market) but I have seen the documentaries and such, I like to think that Joe Maddon is an all round good guy - Sans the Brayzers craze (yeah, sorry, they are ugly and need to go away) On the outside it looks as if all Tampa Bay needed was a uniform change and a name change to make them perennial contenders. But I like to think that Joe Maddon had something to do with it as well.

#3 - Ron Gardenhire - Minnesota Twinkies(94-68). This pains me being a Tigers fan and the Twinkies are repeatedly raining on our playoff parade. Ron Gardenhire is constantly overlooked for this award. I think that it is because they have a tendency to choke in the playoffs year after year but lest we not forget that it takes an incredible amount of managing, baseball knowledge and people skills to get there year after year. Consistency is not an easy feat, but Ron makes it look like it is simple as cake.

Comming soon to this blog near you... the Willie Mays Rookie award and the Stan Musial most awesomest player of the year award... stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm Waving the White Flag...

OK, so even though the Tigers won over the ChiSox today, for the second day in a row, I'm waving the white flag on the season. I tried to stay optimistic about this season, even during the post all star break break-down, but at this point, it's a lost cause. My Tigers are not going to make it to the playoffs. A few points of recap as to why -

1) Miggy and the Mud Hens - how many players on this team had their first major league hit this season? A ridiculous amount. So many in fact that the September expansion was no real expansion at all.

2) Starting pitching inconsistency - they are good, they are bad, they are great, they are terrible... all at once...

3) Bull pen - same as above - they started the season as a force to be reckoned with - Zumaya was hottttt, Valverde could strike out anything holding a bat, Perry was sharp, then Zumaya went down with his freak elbow explosion (I was there, it was UGLY) and the collapse began... which leads us to...

4) Injuries - woah... too many, so many, so bad. Zumaya's elbow explosion, Inge's broken magic healing hand, Magglio's ankle (this one pains me beyond belief... more to come on this situation later... I luv you Maggs!!!) and Carlos "Man o Glass" Guillen's weekly trips to the DL put the Tigers in a position to get young - and get young in a hurry (see #1)

I will continue to watch my Motor City Kitties till the last pitch of the last game of the season (mostly out of habit) but I'm going to have to send some of my sweet lovin' to my backup team - San Diego Padres... Go Padres Go!!! Get into the playoffs so I have a reason to watch post season baseball... well other than to root for the yankees to loose :-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

All Star Selections

Sweet! The All Star game voting is nearing the end... get your votes in now! Here are My picks for the ASG!

American League -
1st base - Miguel Cabrera (DET)
2nd base - Chone Figgins (SEA)
3rd base - Evan Longoria (TB)
Catcher - A.J. Pierzynski (CWS)
Short Stop - Derek Jeter (NYY)
Pitcher - Justin Verlander (DET)
Outfielder - Magglio Ordonez (DET)
Outfielder - Bobby Abreu (LAA)
Outfielder - Curtis Granderson (NYY)
Designated Hitter - Carlos Guillen (DET)
Write In - Brennan Boesch (DET)

National League -
1st base - Adrian Gonzalez (SD)
2nd base - Dan Uggla (FLA)
3rd base - Placido Polanco (PHI)
Catcher - Pudge Rodriguez (WAS)
Short Stop - Jimmy Rollins (PHI)
Pitcher - Roy Holliday (PHI)
Outfielder - Ryan Braun (MIL)
Outfielder - Andre Ethier (LAD)
Outfielder - Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

So Get out and VOTE folks!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I just have one word of advice for Jim Joyce, the first base up during tonight’s Tigers/Indians game – RUN! Run fast and don’t stop till you are over the state line. Dearest Jim, longtime and respected MLB umpire, you have been to Detroit on numerous occasions… you know that they shoot people for less in this town!
What Mr. Joyce did tonight was tantamount to highway robbery for everyone. Apparently to have a perfect game the defense has to be on point and perfect, the pitcher has to be masterful and perfect, and the umpire crew has to be dead on accurate and perfect – well, we got 2 out of 3 tonight. Bottom of the 9th, 26 up and 26 down – Indian Jason Donald hits a snubber between first and second, 1st baseman Cabrerra goes over to snag the ball, he flips to pitcher Armando Galarraga standing on first for the final out, the first perfect game in Detroit history, the first season in history of recorded baseball to have 3 perfect games…

Safe… you have got to be kidding me… Armando was ROBBED!!!! Jim Joyce opened a can of worms that I think now, in retrospect, he wishes he never would have opened. The backlash has started and I’m sure the electronic hate mail has begun. Mr. Joyce should seek a police escort out of the park tonight – he will need it. Donald was out, Armando was jobbed and the Tigers got to savor one of the most disappointing victories in team history.

I have never been on “team instant replay”. I always held steadfast to the fact that baseball is a human game. Humans hit the ball, humans catch the ball and humans make the calls. When MLB sanctioned that they would be using replay for home run calls I admit, I was peeved. But seeing the benefits that it has proved beneficial over the last few seasons, I looked it as a lost issue. It wasn’t used frequently enough to make a difference in my obsessive fandom world.

Then came the rash of terrible umpire calls durring the world series in 2009 and I started to wonder, do we need replay more than just for home runs? I decided against it as I was steadfast in my thinking about baseball being traditional and a human game. However – in light of tonights terrible umping performance and career altering call, this Tiger has changed her stripes. Instant replay should be used for homerun calls and controversial game changing calls – regular season and playoff season alike. This out was not one out in the middle of the 6th inning in a tied game. This was the bottom of the 9th with two outs in a PERFECT GAME! This was a career and franchise changing game. This was a historical moment for not only Tigers fans but for all fans of baseball around the world. This would have been the first perfect game in the Tigers 109 year history. This would have been the first season in recorded history (not MLB history) to have 3 perfect games. Armando was not the only one who was robbed; as baseball fans we all were robbed and we should be fighting mad about it!

Less than one hour after the game, Mr. Joyce admitted that he blew the call and and Donald was indeed out at first. “I just cost that kid a perfect game. It was the biggest call of my career and I kicked the (expletive) out of it. I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay.” We are all human, we all make mistakes. But unlike real life, in baseball we have no recourse to right the wrongs from our mistakes. The correct and fair thing to do is for MLB to overturn the call and grant Armando the perfect game that he had labored all evening to achieve. But this will never happen. Because of baseballs strict “leave it on the field” mentality they will never right this wrong. Armando will have many more chances to throw a perfect game, and as fans we will have many more opportunities to view them, but this is a bite that will sting forever.

If there is conclusive video evidence and admission of wrongdoing in our court system, sentences are overturned and freedom is granted. The same should be done in baseball. If one of those two ingredients is missing the call should stand as is. But in Armando’s case, all the ingredients are there – the indisputable evidence and the apology, but the sentence he was handed by Joyce will not be overturned. In the court of baseball the jury should grant justice and give Armando his perfect game.

Send me your requests to join your facebook petitions to give Armando his due - I’ll sign em’ all. It worked for Betty White, It could work for Armando too…

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I was wrong... so, so wrong...

***This also appears on the other site I write for***

I have had almost 3 weeks to process the content of this post. I hesitated writing it on this format as it doesn’t really pertain to baseball. But being that Detroit is Baseball and Tigers baseball is what I love, I decided this may be the perfect format.
For years, I have sang the praises of Detroit. When my out of town friends put Detroit down I corrected them adamantly. Detroit to me was a city on the come back trail. Detroit had potential. Detroit had history. Detroit had grit and determination. Mass media articles and TV shows about the slow death of Detroit angered me to the point of screams. Friends and family not in the area didn’t get it. I was sick of them getting second hand, trumped up media news that was only partially factual. Detroit had love and passion and I had love and passion for Detroit. I was Detroit’s own personal cheerleader singing her praises from the outskirts of the city limits. Suburbanite friends and coworkers constantly stressing about me going downtown to ball games alone – day or night. ”Something is going to happen to you and then you will regret it” and variations of that phrase were heard regularly from my friends and family. I had no worries though, Detroit was my city and I knew how to handle it.

Unfortunately, my love fest for Detroit has ended, and it ended abruptly. Having grown up listening to Ernie Harwell, attending his final game speech last September at Comerica Park and saying my goodbyes at his internment earlier this month, it was only fitting that I attend the Ernie celebration game on Monday May 10th. How could I not – complete the cycle of mourning and watch the Tigers play the Yankees at home in the only series that the evil empire would be here all year. It was a no brainer. Or as my mother told me via text as I looked for justification to buy a $30 ticket - “I don’t know why your asking me, you know your going to go.” She was right, I was going to go (she’s always right…).

I was so excited when I parked my Jeep along my usual stretch of busy Woodward Ave about 3 blocks from the park. I had parked at these metered spaces hundreds of times before (I’m not paying $20 to park in a vacant lot so the so-called “attendant” can watch his friends help themselves to the contents of my Jeep). I grabbed my baseball bag, locked up and bounded off to the park. It was a beautiful clear spring night. The flag dedication ceremony was touching, the video tribute was amazing and the Tigers managed to beat the yankees that night and I saw it all from my favorite seats in the house. Yes, I had 9 innings staring at my favorite right fielder of all time – Mr. Magglio Ordonez . Things couldn’t have been more perfect. It was one of those nights you were happy to be where you were and you would never forget it.

Unfortunately I would never forget it for another reason. As I walked back down Woodward Ave. to retrieve my Jeep only to realize at 11:30 at night that it was no longer where I left it. Yes – someone stole a 13 yr old Jeep Cherokee from a parking meeter on a busy stretch of main road in downtown Detroit during a Baseball game. Police reports were filed, phone calls were made, insurance claims and paperwork filed, affidavits processed and once again I was rescued from a police station at 1am by the best friends a person can have.

This experience has been a nightmare. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. Being single and having no significant other, it makes the process all the harder. Borrowing cars from friends, taking time off of work, filling out paperwork, then more paper work, remembering all the non Jeep items that were also taken (like my favorite baseball hat), insurance companies jacking you around with paperwork, saying one thing, then another, than yet another - the waiting is the hardest part… 30 days till settlement and I don’t even know what I can afford to look at so there is no use in looking just yet. I loved my Jeep like a child – I had a deep personal attachment to my Jeep. In my world its just me, the cat and the Jeep – and part of me wishes they would have taken the cat instead of the Jeep!

In the days that followed, I ran the gamete of emotions. I was sad, then frustrated, then stressed, then depressed and finally I settled on anger and that is where I have stayed. I am so furious that someone would do that to me. I am confused as to why they had to take my Jeep. I am so sad that something of such importance is gone from my life. But above all – I am pissed off. I am pissed at myself because for the first time in my mind - my friends and family were right. All those years that I dismissed their opinions and worries about Detroit finally came back to bite me. They were right and I was wrong. That’s a tough pill to swallow when you have believed in something as wholeheartedly as I believed in the re-birth of Detroit.

So I have taken off my rose colored glasses and I have done some deep soul searching and reflecting over the last 3 weeks or so. And as a recovering Detroit cheerleader – let me be the first to tell you straight from the bandwagon exit – yes it is that bad. Detroit has become a cesspool of crime, theft, decay and desperation. I used to look around and see beautiful old architecture with endless potential for repair and beautification. I saw empty store fronts and thought to myself “wouldn’t my flower shop go great in that store front?”. I saw the small things that were starting to turn down town into the type of down town you wanted to hang out in. New restaurants, bars, shopping, stadiums and theaters. Boy was I jaded. Now, I don’t really care – tear the crumbling crap down. One of the headlines this week on the local paper was that “violent crime was down 2% but murder is up 11%.” Cops are being shot by suspects, cops are “accidentally” shooting suspects being sought for other murders. Drive by shooting are as common on the nightly news as the weather and traffic update. Students are failing standardized tests at record rates (like the worst in the nation). The family structure has gone straight out the window (why is your 14 yr old daughter working at a strip club? Don’t you know where your 14 yr old daughter is at midnight on a Tuesday?!). Don’t even get me started on the corruption of city leaders and payouts and scandals. That’s another blog post for another day.

I think the hardest part for me to accept is that something that I look forward to so much for half the year is now taken from me. I enjoy going to the ball game more than some people enjoy going to the beach or the pool. It is a part of who I am and what I do. A little 4 hour vacation from my life. The ballpark for me was always a place of rest and relaxation. It was like home – no place I would rather be. It was a tradition and a reflection of my future. I have many children (none are mine thank the good Lord) in my life that I have been dying to take to their first Tigers game. Now, I’m afraid that isn’t going to happen any time soon. Maybe we will make their first game the Mud Hens or the White Caps or the Oakland County Cruisers instead. Someone didn’t just steal my Jeep. They stole my way of life, they stole my security and a true source happiness from me. No insurance policy can replace that.

Unless there is a dramatic and rapid turn around for the entire city of Detroit, I’m going to cancel my future plans of not only owning a house and property in the city, but a business as well. It’s too risky. For now, I’m going to just sit here in the comfort of my couch and watch Tigers games on TV. When I do get around to buying a new used Jeep in the next few weeks, I am not going to risk parking it anywhere near the city of Detroit for a long, long time. For someone who attends on average of 25-30 home baseball games at Comerica Park per year – that’s a lot of revenue lost for not only the team but for the city of Detroit itself. Its really hard to fill a stadium that holds 42,000 people if those people are afraid to park their cars to attend the game not knowing what they will return to when its over. If any of the Brass of the Tigers organization is reading – that’s something to think about for the future of your franchise and it’s fans.

So long Detroit – I didn’t want it to end this way but you have left me no other options…

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"Listen to that voice, man, That's baseball." - Joe Buck

As you may have heard, beloved long time Tigers radio announcer Ernie Harwell passed away today at the age of 92. Although I never met him in person, I feel he was just as much a part of my family and childhood as my immediate family. His passing today was like loosing my Grandfather all over again.

I wrote this piece last fall after attending the Ernie Harwell farewell game at Comerica Park. It was the first time I wept openly at a ball park... The tears are back today...

We will miss you Ernie... our lives and histories are a much better place because the memories you made are in them. Bill Freehan said it best, "Ernie Harwell stands, as much as anybody as I can think of, as a positive representative of what the game of baseball should and does stand for. His memory will be long lasting and the quality of man he is will never diminish."

“He’s out for excessive window shopping – looked at one too many”
Should I stay or should I go? I had a rough day at work on Wednesday. My entire morning and half the afternoon was spent debating in my head whether I should go down to Comerica Park that night to see my Tigers take on the Royals, and see Ernie Harwell’s Thank You speech in person or, should I go home and watch it on TV? On one hand, like most Americans, I have bills to pay and my need for frivolous spending on baseball tickets tends to get me in a bit of trouble at times. But on the other hand, Ernie was an old friend who I thought would have enjoyed seeing me there at the park. I had things to do at home, but I would probably end up regretting the fact that I didn’t go later on in life. How many times do you get the opportunity in life to say Thank You to an old friend? The decision was made, responsibilities aside – I had to go see Ernie. Besides, if you are gong to be out and celebrate, cry, smile and cheer for the voice of many generations – you might as well do it amongst your kind of people – not at home with your cat.

“It’s two for the price of one for the Tigers”
Wednesday night was a beautiful night, 66 degrees at game time 7:05 pm. There was a slight breeze and the sun was starting to set on the right field side of the park. The Tigers were paying tribute at the park that night to all the local WWII vets as well as Mr. Ernie Harwell. Pregame show would have made any red blooded American tear up a little bit – there was a small bugle corp. that played echo taps, the color guard for each branch of our armed forces and then there was the traditional National Anthem – complete with a WWII B-17 bomber fly over at the finale. Sitting in the stands, you knew that it was going to be a perfect night. You knew that all was right with the world at that point in time. You were sure that the future was bright, and Ernie hadn’t even spoken to the crowd yet. Ernie’s voice had the knack of making you feel comfortable regardless of what you were doing. As long as his southern Georgia drawl was coming thru the airwaves, every listener had a common calmness to them as they listened to Ernie replay the game magic that was unfolding in front of him. Ernie’s voice always had a way of making you feel safe regardless of where you were and what you were doing, but today was possibly the last time we would hear the comforting voice of our old friend Ernie publically.

“The Tigers are looking for instant runs”
Ernie and I have never met in person, but in a way, he was like family. My childhood was spent listening to Ernie on the radio in my mom’s kitchen in the summer while we made cinnamon rolls for Sunday morning breakfast. Or we were getting summer fruits ready to go into the freezer to have later in the winter (Traverse City cherries were a messy and tedious to prepare for freezing but oh so worth it in January). Ernie was right there in the kitchen along with me and my mom and numerous other siblings. His voice told us the story each night of Trammell, Sweet Sweet Lou, Gibson, Fryman, Fielder and Tettleton. My younger sister had a thing for Tettleton…

My mother and I always thought that my late grandfather looked a lot like Ernie. We told him this… but unlike Ernie, my grandfather was not a talker. He would just simply shrug and smile. My grandmother on the other hand, would deny there was any resemblance. She would adamantly deny the resemblance… but in a way, I think she was proud that her husband bore a resemblance to such a genuine, honest and comforting man. I liked to hear grandpa talk, it was rare that he did, but when he did it was profound. Ernie was the same way. He had his euphemisms that everyone knew. He had his catch phrases, his syllable exaggerations that were unmistakably his. No one could say “Ti-guhs” quite like Ernie…

“He took his cut, now he takes his seat”
I stood there listening to Ernie talk in the middle of the 3rd inning, wiping away tears with the Comerica park patterned napkin I swiped from the concession stand (I was prepared for this), I realized something that I had though of but it hadn’t quite hit me till then. Ernie’s goodbye speech was not only a goodbye and thank you to us his fans; it was a goodbye to my youth. I reflected a bit sitting in the lower front of the 3rd deck (great overhead view) and realized that pretty much everything that I had tangible memories of from my youth were gone. Building and places in my home town had changed, friends had changed, family had changed, living arrangements had changed, jobs had changed, traditions had changed and now Ernie Harwell was prompting change as well. Ernie Harwell had been a constant , reliable source of entertainment thru my youth and now he was officially leaving. Of course Ernie had been gone from broadcasting since 2002 but in my head I always thought that he would come back, and occasionally he did. But this was the curtain call, the last hurrah. And just like my childhood and youth – Wednesday was the final bow. Or perhaps this was Ernie’s delicate way of telling me to grow up and deal with it. We all get older; some of us do it more gracefully than others…

“They are having a confab on the mound”
You Tiger fans are the greatest fans of them all,” he finished. “Thank you for your support, your loyalty and your love.” Ernie said to us on Wednesday night. But we really should have been thanking him. Thanking him for the love he showed by coming to the park every day to give us our baseball fix. Thanking him for the loyalty of being with one team, our team, for 42 years. Thanking him for his love of the game and community that he passed on to everyone who he came in contact with. Thanking him for being our audible rock. Life may have been tough, things might not have been going according to plan, but Ernie Harwell would be there for you every day during the baseball season at 1:05 or 7:05 to let you in on his view to the game. He was constant, predictable and inviting.

“So come on down to the Corner of Michigan and Trumbull”
Earlier this year, Detroit Tigers fans across the world lost one of their most treasured landmarks with the demolition of Tiger Stadium at the Corner of Michigan and Trumbull. Being that Ernie coined the term “The Corner at Michigan and Trumbull” so it seemed dually depressing that now they would both be leaving me. At first, I reflected on Ernie’s desire to come down to Comerica Park as another form of goodbye. I have already said enough goodbyes this year with the final hopes for the preservation of Tiger Stadium being shot down by the corrupt talking heads in Detroit. I couldn’t stand to say goodbye to another part of my past, another part of my future not to be, another memory. But unlike Tiger Stadium, it was Ernie’s wish to say Thank You to his fans and community, Tiger Stadium didn’t get that opportunity. Ernie wasn’t saying goodbye, in a way; he was just proving to us that we all would do just fine without him. He gave us what we needed when we needed it. He taught and demonstrated to us his humanity, his class, dignity and style. He made us realize that good people do exist and they do good things… and good things do happen to good people. But Ernie has taught us all he could and now it was our turn to carry on the message.

“That ball is loooooooong gone…”
Ernie isn’t gone yet. I think that is why Wednesday night was so special. How often have you heard the story of the person who didn’t say something to a loved one, then they were gone and it was too late. Ernie wasn’t going to let that happen. Ernie wanted to come back and tell all his friends one more time that he appreciates us as much as we appreciate and love him. Ernie got to say his peace, but on a larger scale, he let us say ours. Ernie gave us a chance to say what we needed to say, to gather as a community of Tigers fans and cheer, weep and above all remember our happy times, remember our childhoods, the happy time, the sad times together as a community. This camaraderie was necessary and although we all hate to think what our lives would be like without Ernie. We knew that we could make it without him, as long as we Tigers fans stuck together. Ernie Harwell gave us our common bond and a source of conversation for years to come. As Ernie walked off the field, waving to all of us enthusiastically, the organ at Comerica Park played “put on a happy face”. Why? Because that is what Ernie would have wanted – a crowd full of happy, appreciative faces.

“There’s a souvenir for the little girl from…Charlevoix”
No Ernie, you are our souvenir, a souvenir of a city, a souvenir of a state. But Ernie was not just a man of Detroit and Michigan, he was a man for all people and he represented the good in humanity. With deepest gratitude – I thank you, for being a friend, companion and role model. And as you started off every home opener you broadcast to us masses, I leave you with this:
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Worthy Cause - Support your Baseball Blogger Family

I read this article today on the other site that I write for (www. I though it was only fitting and appropritate that I share the link here on my site to help spread the word and story of such a difficult situation. Baseball is a game, but life isn't always so... Take time to tell the ones you love that you love them - Then read this article.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

For the Love of Magglio...

Oh how wonderful he is... My boy Magglio Ordonez got his career 2,000 hit today. That makes him the 260th major league player to do so and the 6th Venezuelan player to hit that mark - Congrats to him - I hope he stays a Tiger for years to come so I can see career hit 2,500 (I was at the game in Sept '08 when he had his 1,000 RBI). I would also like to mention that my boy Magglio only need 19 more home runs to hit the 300 plateau - another highly regarded milestone for a major league player. I'm taking bets that it happens in the 2010 season.

OK, so this will lead nicely into my rant of the moment. To all you nay sayers and Magglio haters who felt the need to overly express your dislike of the man last season, to those of you who called for his head on a platter at the all star break, and those who cursed his name when he hit the benchmark to extend his contract for this season - Shame on you! Granted when you are making $18 million a season there is not a lot of room for error and judgements fly quickly from the mouths of those who view. It's only human nature to be more critical of others than we are of ourselves.. He heard these criticisms, he heard these doubts. He knew what was wrong and he worked harder than ever in the off season to correct these things. Ah, dedication and love of the game at it's finest.

To all you naysayers and bashers who had the gall to snicker behind me at the park while I was proudly wearing the jersey of my favorite player (#30). Shame on you too. To all the friends, acquaintances, coworkers and family members who told me to give up on him - move on and find yourself a new favorite player - never. Sorry, not gonna happen. I kept the faith in my boy and look how he's repaying me now.

So Maggs, you keep bashing that ball around the field and I will be there to watch you and cheer you on - hitting or not, night after night till you decide to retire (hopefully as a Tiger).

Friday, April 16, 2010

Seriously? So this is the way you are going to be?

Ok, game #1 against the Mariners isn't over yet and I'm already starting to rethink this "strong starting pitching"opinion that I had during Grapefruit League play. Bonderman got LIT UP for 9 hits, 10 runs and only 4 innings pitched... yes, I said 4! Than this Thomas pitcher guy (yeah, I can see the look on your face... its the "Who?" look...) comes in and just blows goats for a few more innings... its the top of the 6th and the mariners are up 11 - 2... Lord, help us all...

But let me backtrack a bit... This was not a good week in Tigerland - First home series vs the Indians ROCKED - action, drama, great fielding, bats were burning, come from behind victories, pitching was good (not great but good) and we swept them right back to the mistake on the lake known as Cleveland. Then the Royals roll into town and then our pitching goes from good to, um, not so good - not terrible but definitely not so good. Royals managed to hit a fat ton of balls and get a slew of walks in 3 games and took 2 of 3 from us at home (yes, the Royals... the stinky nasty Royals).

That brings us to tonight - after a get away day on the real Jackie Robinson day, one would think that they boys would be rested and ready to play - oh no, this apparently is not the case. They are out there on the field looking like there are cement slabs tied to their feet, sticks of butter in their slippery hands and their eyes are crossed. The batters look like they are running scared from King Felix and our pitchers - well, they look the worst - I've seen sleeping dogs that are more entertaining and productive. In short, while in the field - they are just a bunch of sluggish error making machines (top of the 7th, the Tigs already have 3, yes I said 3 errors).

All this is compounded by the fact that Rod Allen and Mario Impemba started the show on a rant about how the Mariners aren't hitting for squat and they were averaging only 2.8 runs thru their first 10 games, they were the worst in the AL for run production, all their batters had dismal batting averages, Ken Griffey Jr is old and in the "Twilight" of his career, etc... etc... etc... Basically, not a nice word said about the Mariners offense. How quickly things change in 2 hours of really crappy play. Rod and Mario dining on a big dinner of crow tonight.

Bold prediction for this west coast road trip is this : the Tiger's catch phrase heard over and over again will be "Tiger's threaten, do not score" We will hear that at least 35 times or more out of Mario Impemba's mouth.

Oh woah, bottom of the 7th and the Tigers are down by 11, Skip Leyland decides to pull Inge, Laird, and my love Magglio and put in Raburn, Avila and Kelly - yeah, he's waving the white surrender flag. I don't say this very often, but I really see no need to finish watching this game...

On a happy note - It has started to rain Octopus and hats in Phoenix - it's weird seeing them on ice other than the Joe... Wings won 7-4 and my boy Zetterberg had himself his second hat trick of the season... all tied up 1-1 and the boys are coming home to the Joe...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Screams and Heart Attacks abound on a Lazy Sunday Afternoon...

I was looking forward to doing nothing today, a great way to cap off my 3 day weekend. I had planned on watching some TV (aka baseball or MLB Network), reading a little bit of my book and just lounging on my couch. To keep from getting too lazy I would get up occasionally to go to the bathroom, yell at the cat or look out the window. I was planning on sipping iced tea and eating Klondike bars while watching the afternoon matinee Tigers game vs the Indians - a sweep was on the line. A nice lazy Sunday in my world

What I didn't plan on was Justin Verlander giving up 5 runs (and a grand salami courtesy of Valbuena) in the first inning and sending my afternoon into utter turmoil. WHAAAAATTT just happened here? Is this our ace? Is this what aces do? WHAAAATTT is going on??? OK, so much for lounging on the couch and watching a lazy Sunday game. This had quickly turned into a "screw it, they already lost so I think I'm gonna take a nap instead" afternoon.

But my conscience got the better of me. Besides, my boy Magglio had a 5 game hit streak going on and I just couldn't turn the channel till I knew he kept the streak alive to see the next game. I know it's shallow and not a good reason for continuing to watch the game but, hair or no hair (and I do miss the hair dearly), that boy can swing a bat like no other... anyway, by the middle of the 6th with the Tigers down 7-1 I had all but given up hope - Verlander was out, Bonine was in and nothing was going on offensively so... again, I contemplated putting in a movie.

But again, the conscience got the better of me so I just laid back down on the couch and continued to watch my Tigers get pounded into submission by a team that for all intensive purposes, had no reason to win this game... they are the Indians for crying out loud!!!

By the bottom of the 7th the boys had somehow managed to battle back with the Indians still leading 8-4. At least if they were going to loose it wouldn't be a blowout. At this point, the remote was placed upon the coffee table - I had made it this far into the game I might as well watch it out now... I had gone from laying on the couch to at least sitting upright.

By the bottom of the 8th things had gotten way interesting... Indians were still on top 8-6 but my blood was starting to circulate. No longer sitting on the couch, I had now positioned myself to the attentive position of sitting on the coffee table (yes I know you aren't supposed to sit on coffee tables but it's mine dammit and I'll sit on it if I want to!) in front of the TV. They were only down by 2 - they have come back to win games like this before - they have also blown bigger games by smaller margins before... my head was trying to be honest by my heart, which was starting to work a little faster than "laying on couch mode" was telling me that they could do it - they would win it.

Middle of the 9th, Tigers held the Indians to 8 runs - no more for them. we had the heart of our lineup due in the bottom of the 9th. Kelly grounds out, Maggs (Oh Venezuelan God of Baseball you are) crushes another single to get on base (FIRE, the man is on FIRE - don't you dare put him out - .462 BA) Miggy walks, Guillen doubles in Maggs to bring the score to 8-7. Inge hits a broken bat infield grounder for the 2nd out. Leyland decides to bring in Johnny Damon to pinch hit for Laird and he walks on 4 straight balls - bringing in the tying run. By this time - I am pacing in circles in front of my TV, fists clenches and I have started to yell at my TV (don't worry, this is normal) Scott Sizemore comes up to the plate and a wild pitch/passed ball gets away from Marson, the Indians catcher and rolls to the backstop, allowing Guillen to score the winning run.

HOOORRRRAAAAYYYYY!!!! My cat is in full on "hide from screaming mommy" mode, neighbors are starting to stir outside my door and I am thankful no one lives below me as I was jumping up and down cheering and screaming - Holy Crap Batman! They actually pulled it off, they won the game!!!

If this is any precursor to how the season is going to go, than I am psyched. For all intensive purposes, they should have lost this game - they left 18 men on base throughout the game - a record that has not been seen by the Tigers since 1920. Fortunately for the Tigers, they took advantage of the like 200 walks the Indians pitchers issued us...

So much for my lazy Sunday - I avoided the coronary, but that is a baseball game that Detroit Tigers fans wont soon forget.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

MotorCityKitty does Opening Day 2010

Woo hoo hoo! My first opening day ever! I work in the green industry, so spring is crazy busy and no one gets time off ever. But this year, I managed to use a vacation day so I could partake in the local holiday in Detroit known as Opening Day. I must say, from here on out, I'm never working another Opening Day as long as I live - my boss can pencil it in now. I wont be at my desk.

The camaraderie and love fest for my Kitties in Detroit was breathtaking. Everyone was in good spirits and the party was rockin'. Pregame festivities were based in Grand Circus Park and there was food, food, food, live bands, vendors and just cool people to talk to. It was great! Everyone was social, helpful and all talk was baseball - my own personal heaven. Ain't no party like a Detroit party...

The Tigers didn't disappoint either, due to a wonderful throwing error by Jhonny Peralta at 3rd the tigers went on to beat the Tribe 5-2. My seats were fabulous (ah extra foot room and little table go a long way to helping you manage your items while keeping score on a scorecard - its the little luxuries I guess). Porcello was OK, not stellar, Zumaya was good, Maggs was FABULOUS! 2-4 with an RBI but it was his hit that caused the error so I think he should have gotten a hit for it and be 3-5 with 4 RBI but I digress... It was the largest Tigers home opener ever and second largest attendance record to date.

There was one thing that I couldn't help but notice, and I know many others did too. The party atmosphere was warm (despite the freezing windchill) before and during the game. But after the game it was a whole different story. Alcohol seemed to be the name of the game post game. Now I'm all for drinking and having a good time (yes I went to MSU - I know how to party) and I have done some pretty stupid things when being intoxicated, but post game the town went from happy buzzed social drunk to crazy stupid dangerous drunk. I'm not a fan of dangerous drunk. I actually saw a man running across the street in front of the stadium at full speed, he missed the curb and slid across the sidewalk on his face - skin on cement road rash grossness... it sounded like he broke his arm. He just laid there for a sec and got up and hobbled away... that was my cue to go home. I, as many others, love to laugh and point at the drunk people doing funny things. But when funny turns into possible bodily harm to themselves and others - I'm not laughing anymore.

Which leads me to the question - is opening day about baseball or is it about drinking? I don't want to turn this into a PSA statement but as I walked back to my car (which had acquired $40 worth of parking tickets during the game) I saw more than 5 fights, 3 people puking in trash cans, multiple bush wizzers, 3 people almost hit by cars and more people being propped up by friends than I can remember. I only parked 2 blocks from the stadium! It's not like I hiked out to Highland Park to get my car!

Somehow I managed to go down to Opening Day and have a good time without getting myself totally obliterated (yes I did have a beer at the game = 1 beer, at $8 that was more than enough thank you). How many others did -I think I was in the minority. I'm all for having a few beers, BBQ, chatting with fans and having a good time... but when has the party gone too far and who's responsibility is it to stop it when it turns dangerous?

My only regret to Opening Day is that I didn't get down town earlier in the morning when the party was fun. I only had about an hour and a half to take it all in before I went into the park. Mental note for next season - go down early, and leave right after the game before the fun drunks turn into dangerous drunks.

So, party on Detroit - I'll continue to make a grand appearance and rock the pre-party but don't expect me to stay for the after party... I'm out...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rod and Mario Teach us how to hit a Zumaya fastball...and other insights from game #2

~Mario Impemba: how do you hit a Joel Zumaya fastball?
~Rod Allen: you swing as soon as you see the pitcher let go of the ball and pray the bat and ball are in the same spot at the same time.
~Mario: I 'spose that's about all you can do

I found this announcer banter cute and entertaining; however, I don't think I have to remind anyone who is slightly familiar with baseball that in general, the whole offensive aspect of the game is to put bat on ball. Pitcher throws ball, batter hits ball... Lather, rinse, repeat for 9+ innings...

Zzzzzzzz, Zzzzzzzzzz.... I understand that it's only the second game of the season, but what a borring game. Being that FSN didn't cover it till the 8th inning due to the Wings game (yeay Wings victory!) it still was a snooze fest till the 9th inning. Call it a pitchers duel, call it an offensive slumpfest on both teams but the bulk of that game was boring as hell...

I'm also questioning the home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth's strike zone of choice... apparently high and inside is now the new strike zone... Doesn't matter who's batting, if it breezes your cheek it's a strike. Take note of this Tigers, I'm sure you will see him again soon.

It appears as if we almost had a Kenny Rogers smudge mark rehashing tonight when the umpires called out Mr. Zumaya's band-aid on his throwing hand. For a moment my heart raced and I had flashbacks of ripped and torn finger tendons. I'm happy it's just a band-aid - but when did it become a crime to wear a skin tone bandage? It's not like it was neon green or anything...

Miggy, you rock! 10 pitch at bat for a squeaker homer to right with two outs in the 9th... nice! Thanks for killing the looming shutout. And that attempt at the splits you did while turning the double play in the bottom of the 9th was nothing to scoff at... ah, please keep up the greatness for the WHOLE season please :-) and please, just crush the ball... no more of this attempting to steal bases stuff... leave that to Jackson and Sizemore and Santiago. That was one of the worst attempts at stealing 3rd I have ever seen.

10,574 in attendance at Kauffman Park - way to go Royals fans... a nice multi-million dollar, multi year renovation to your park and you cant even fill it 1/4 full? Look at all those empty blue seats! Win or loose, I know Detroit can definitely fill a stadium better than Kansas City can!

Kyle Farnsworth = still sucks. Not sucks like Jason Grilli sucks but he has his own level of suck. Can't say I'm sad that he's gone.

Good Job Valverde... give up 2 runs in the bottom of the 11th to blow the game 2-3

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Press is good!

Ah it's that time of year again... season predictions!

This year I was asked to give my opinion to Real Detroit Weekly for their annual Tiger's edition... you can check it out at :

yahoo!!! My words in places other than blogs... feels good, real good...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Yahoooo - It's Finally Here!!!

Opening Day 2010 is finally here, the game has been played and we were victorious! Then again, it was the Royals so... but then again it was the Royals with Zack Greinke so... it was more of a challenge than normal.

Some highlights...

- My boy Magglio Ordonez had the first hit, first double and first run of the season (a good sign!) I bout jumped out of my skin at my desk listening to to my radio ipod...

- Austin Jackson flashed some leather (along with some lumber) with a throw from the outfield to Laird at the plate to prevent a run - Nice! Double that with his first Major League hit, run and RBI - I have high hopes for this guy.

-Johnny Damon came through going 2-5 with 2 rbi's, Brandon Inge joined in the party with 2 rbi's of his own.

Grienke was wonderful, giving up only one run in 6 innings but his efforts all fell to the wayside when the Tigers posted a 6 run 7th blowing up the Royals bullpen. Former Tiger Roman Colon gave up 2 runs without posting an out in the 7th. Verlander was decent in his first outing of the season giving up 6 hits and 4 runs in 5 innings. His pitch count wasn't exactly economical and he struggled to finish the fifth inning. If you had to pick a winner in the pitching duel of the year (09' strike out leader vs Cy Young winner) the obvious winner was Greinke.

Jose Valverde proved to be a bit of a roller coaster ride - it looked as if he forgot how many outs there were in the inning (after flashing the 2-2 sign to the umpire previously) and he half ran, half lobbed a ball at Cabrera on 1st to get the second out - sad thing is it was a tailor made, game ending double play if he would have just thrown the ball to Cabrera when he caught it instead of adding his dramatic trot half way to the bag.

Let's hope the Tigers keep it up - bats were a little quiet today but when the pressure was on they came up with the hits they needed.

On a side note, one more reason for me to miss my Polly Polanco - he hit a grand salami for the Phillies today... apparently he adapted well to his new/old team... we miss you Polly!!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ready, Set.... GO (already)!!!

The roster is finalized, the 25 men who will represent our fair city have been chosen and it is time to get this season underway... almost... not quite... few more days...

As the Tigers pack it up in Lakeland and head north, a few interesting tidbits of information that I found exceptionally amusing...

Don Kelly, the perennial minor leaguer, has made the 2010 Tigers opening day roster over Jeff Larish and Clete Thomas... hmmmmm... interesting

OK, given his versatility around the diamond (the boy can play just about every position besides pitcher and catcher) I still don't know if I like this decision the Tiger's brass has made. I know it's all business, but from an emotional standpoint, I'm a big fan of Clete... he's my boy (well, runner up to the man Maggs) and he worked hard all spring... so throwing all rationale aside, I think Clete should have gotten the call.

I also understand that Clete is nursing a shoulder injury suffered last week by a rogue pitch. It was in his best interest to stay in Toledo a few more weeks to "rehab" and heal that shoulder. True, true... but it OPENING DAY ROSTER we are talking about here. And anyone who is familiar with early spring call ups knows that they aren't, shall we say, prevalent in baseball society.

Cheer up Clete - I still love ya, and I'm rooting for ya to come up and finally stay up in the majors this year. Lets put this ping pong trip between Detroit and Toledo behind you for good.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Gum Time" is officially over...

What a great Tigers news day to start this blog off on...

In case you hadn't heard - Nate Robertson has been traded to the Florida Fish. Cant say I'm sad to see him go. Nate was never hated in my book, but he was never a favorite either... he just, well... he was just there...

I don't find this to be a bad deal, nor a good one. If the guy was going to be unhappy being a relief pitcher (which rumor has it where he was going to end up this season) than maybe it was in the best interest of everyone involved.

The most amazing part of the story is that in return for Mr. Robertson, the Tigers are getting (yet another) situational left handed pitcher who has spent most of his baseball life in the single A and AA leagues - uh... what? Mr Voss, we may not know you, but we are very familiar with your type here in the D...

Financially this is a slide rule in the accounting ledger - Nate was under contract for $10 million (yeah, insert gasp here) and the Marlins are only picking up roughly $400,000 of that (league minimum - what they would have paid this Voss kid if he wound up playing in the big dance). That means the Tigers are anting up $9.6 million to the Marlins so they can pay Nate's salary... what!!! Well - I guess we were going to pay him anyway so we might as well get something out of the deal, regardless if we see this Voss guy pitch or not...

I'm at a baseball game, but which one?

Welcome to my inaugural post!

I'm no rookie to the world of blogging, I write over at and I'm a member of the BBA (Baseball Bloggers Alliance) but this is the first time that I have decided to take the plunge and start a blog of my own. My own little corner of the world, my own little place to share my thoughts... blah blah blah...

OK, the mission of this blog is simple... I'm going to inundate you readers with my ample rants and musings about the #1 love in my life - Tigers baseball (sorry mom... but you understand). My freinds are sick of hearing me talk baseball, so I'm bringing my words to the masses.

So if you ever feel the need to rant at me, go ahead, I like people who talk back. If you ever need to contact me in any way, drop me a line at

Let the blogging begin - consider this opening day!