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…