Keeping Score #1: 8/6/09

I’m trying something new today that could either turn out fun, or it could be a total train wreck. Join me for a tongue-in-cheek look at the Orioles/Tigers game from 8/6. If you lack a sense of humor or you own a Brandon Inge jersey, you may want to go here instead. Let’s play ball.

-Before the game, they tell me that everything I know about fantasy football is about to change with Fox Fantasy Football. Does that mean I have to draft five defenses, touchdowns count against me, and the MVP of my team will be a kicker?

-Rod and Mario are sporting the blue shirts today. Sexy stuff, guys.

-Alex Avila gets the start today. The boys try to convince me that he has earned the call up and nepotism has nothing to do with it. No, sir. Nope. None here.

-Did I get Dusty Ryan demoted? It wasn’t him banging my buddy’s girl, Double D! I’m sorry! It’s not my fault my idiot friend wasn’t clear enough. Tigers backup catcher…first name begins with D. And I get blamed for thinking it was Dusty? Give the kid a chance, at least. Does Al Avila have pictures of you that you don’t want seen by the public, Dave?


-Dreamboat Rick gets the ball today. Ya know, I’m as straight as they come, but I haven’t seen a Tigers hurler this pretty since a young Matt Anderson first made his way to a pitcher’s mound. Or am I thinking of Mark-Paul Gosselaar from “Saved By The Bell: The College Years”?

-Avila’s wearing #13. Didn’t take long to piss on Josh Anderson’s grave, did it?

-Brian Roberts leads it off for the Loathsome Bird-O’s. He’s scrappy, hard-nosed, and hustles on every play, according to sportswriters. That means he’s small and white. He’s like David Eckstein, if Eckstein had any talent.

-Roberts flies out to left on the second pitch.

-Next up, Nolan Reimold…whoever he is. He pops out to Polonco. Well, this is starting out nicely. Think we’ll score more than two runs today?

-Nick Markakis is third.

-Rod’s talking about Porcello’s mound presence and how great it is. Like every other rookie pitcher breaks into tears whenever he gives up a hit. Like all other pitchers pout and cry when an error is made. Only Verlander does that, that I know of.

-Markakis grounds out to first. Porcello’s not dicking around today.


-Great. Clete’s batting third today again. Find me another team in the majors that Clete Thomas would have a chance at batting third for, and I’ll show you a team in last place whose stadium is near the Lincoln Memorial.

-David Hernandez starts for the O’s. Whenever we face a kid pitcher, they either seem to shut us down or get bombed. How about the latter for a change?

-Granderson immediately flies out. Sigh. Make him do pushups, Jim! Like Willie Mays Hayes in Major League!

-Polonco decides against making Hernandez work, too, and immediately grounds out to short.

-Clete’s on his way to the plate and spots a young girl in the crowd looking sad. He walks over and mutters a weak “What’s wrong?” to her. Her tearful mother explains that the girl has a severe stuttering problem and is afraid to talk. Clete smiles and places a hand on her head. He closes his eyes and breaks into a hundred facial ticks. A bright light shines over his hand and the girl’s face. Her eyes get big and she has a peaceful smile. Her stuttering has been cured! All hail Clete! The Cult is pleased! The girl yells at the top of her lungs, “I love you, Matt Wieters!” Clete frowns and sulks to home plate. The Cult doesn't notice.

-Clete walks.

-Cabrera swings at a pitch at his eyes and pops up to first. He’s no Pujols, just yet.


-Aubrey Huff is still alive and leads off. Why don’t the O’s bat Luke Scott cleanup every game against us? Huff proves my point by weakly grounding out back to Porcello.

-Ty Wigginton is next with his giant head. Even Polonco makes fun of Ty’s noggin. He looks lost and strikes out on three pitches.

-Rod’s talking about arm slots. He calls Mario’s mother a slot. Well, not really.

-Luke Scott is up. Ordonez climbs into the stands to play defense.

-Porcello proves that he’s the smartest pitcher on the staff by walking Scott.

-Matt Wieters and his .788 batting average comes least that's what I've been told. I was at the game on Tuesday and every time he came up, you could feel a warm glow coming from the field.

-Wieters takes pity on the Tigers and flies out to right. Thank you, Matt. You are kind.


-A tape of a talk with Leyland. He mumbles for a while and I don’t understand a word. Something about Cleveland being terrible.

-Guillen makes it up to the plate without hurting himself. His average is up to .220. Good thing we dropped Anderson for not hitting enough.

-Carlos pops out to right. His shoulder thankfully doesn’t explode.

-What’s left of Magglio Ordonez is up next. He swings late at a couple fastballs (sigh) before getting around on one and singling to left field. Is he quietly coming back a bit or am I experiencing some wishful thinking?

-Brandon’s up. First pitch, home run! Welcome back, Brandon. Now quit blaming the knee for everything.

-2-0 Detroit.

-Avila, the catching savior, makes his MLB debut. They show Papa Al and Mama Yamile in the stadium. No nepotism here. No sir-ree.

-Rod’s still babbling about how Avila has earned his call up despite going 3-33 in his last nine games or something.

-Avila strikes out. Dusty Ryan giggles like a schoolgirl from whatever dirty hotel in Toledo he’s shacked up in.

-Santiago steps in with his fancy-lad shades on. Ramon drills one to right-center for a stand up triple! I love Ramon Santiago. I can’t believe they haven’t released him yet since that’s what they do with guys that I enjoy watching play.

-Granderson’s up with two down, runner on third. Much like Rex Grossman, he’s probably thinking, screw it, I’m going deep.

-Well, no. Grandy laces one down the line for an RBI double. Wieters Bless America.

-3-0 Tigers.

-Mr. Potato Head steps in. He lines one…OFF THE BAG AT THIRD! Granderson never stops running and scores on the play! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a play quite like that one.

-4-0 Good Guys.

-Granderson took second on the throw home and Clete’s up. He’s all business as he performs no miracles before stepping in. Hernandez is up to 54 pitches, a good sign. Brian Bass is up in the O’s bullpen. No word on if he’s a large mouth or not. Sigh.

-Clete walks again. Baltimore fears Clete. Wieters isn’t comfortable having Hernandez throw strikes to another that can walk on water.

-Miguel can blow this one open here with a big hit. He drills it to deep center, but alas, we’re in Detroit, and it’s a 400+ foot flyout.


-Text Poll questions: Who has been the best minor league call up for the Tigers, Ryan Raburn or Clete Thomas? Geez…why don’t you just GIVE him the trophy? (Billy Madison reference)

-Felix Pie grounds out to short. And I thought the O’s only had white guys on the team.

-Andino(?) bounces out to third before I can figure out who he is.

-Brian Roberts is up again. He leads the AL with 38 doubles, Mario tells me. He hits a fly ball that Magglio and Curtis almost collide on, but the catch is made and we move on.

-If Porcello keeps this up and The Marlboro Man pulls him early again for the pen to blow it, I may burn down Comerica Park.


-Rod tries to convince me to buy tickets for the Mariners series. No thanks. I’ll watch Luke French no-hit us from home, thank you.

-Guillen leads off by grounding out to first. Josh Anderson shakes his head in disgust. Quit crying, Josh. You’ll probably be the cleanup hitter in KC.

-Maggs grounds out to third as Rod explains that they have the kinks in his swing worked out. Let’s hope so. Lloyd will certainly have earned the name “Legendary” if he can bring Magglio back.

-Brandon Inge is up again looking intense. It works as he singles up the middle. First time I do this and Inge is playing his first good game since the All Star Break. Coincidence? I think not.

-Avila steps in to the box. They compare him to Lance Parrish since “The Big Wheel” also wore #13. I throw up in my mouth a little bit.

-Rod and Mario talk about retired Tiger numbers. Why #1 and #3 aren’t retired yet is a mystery to me.

-Avila takes one down the line for an RBI double as Inge scores from first! Dusty Ryan, in a fit of anger, punches the hooker he picked up to watch this game with right in the face.

-5-0 Detroit leads.

-Rod just comes short of declaring Avila ready for the Hall of Fame.

-Al Kaline and Al Avila hug. Screw it, I’ll be nice. Congrats Al and Alex. That’s gotta be a good feeling. I can’t wait to ruin my son’s life by pressuring him into baseball when he’ll most likely want to do something else. “You’ll play baseball and you’ll like it, you ungrateful little bastard!” "But I want to be a doctor!" SLAP! "Quit crying and grab your mitt!" Sniffle...can't wait.

-Santiago flies out to end the inning.


-Reimold leads off. He grounds out to Santiago.

-AFLAC: Who is the only MLB pitcher to win a World Series game in 3 different decades? That’s easy. Matt Wieters.

-Markakis is up. He hits one to right that I was sure Magglio was going to screw up by the look on his face. But Ordonez puts it away for the second out.

-Huff huffs his way up. Hardy har. He immediately pops up to third. Holy no-hitter, Batman!


-Commercial Note: The Bernstein family scares me. I want a lawyer to protect me from them.

-Huh. Apparently the AFLAC answer was Jim Palmer. Wieters is acceptable, though, I’d imagine.

-Bass is the new pitcher facing Granderson. He walks Grandy to start things off. Well, we are about due for a double play.

-Potato Head steps in. Rod just “got confirmation” that Josh Anderson is back in the big leagues and just had a baby boy! Congrats, to you, Neo. Maybe Junior will be “The One”.

-Polanco goes the other way and singles to right. Granderson takes third. Why didn’t I go to THIS game? Dammit.

-Clete floats to home plate instead of walking. Just because he can. The Cult is pleased by his showing of his powers. He shatters his bat on a fielder’s choice and Granderson scores.

-6-0 Tigers.

-Miguel Cabrera puts down his sandwich long enough to come to the plate. Miguel swings at a LOT of bat pitches, I’ve been noticing. Is that because he’s not seeing good ones? He strikes out as I type that swinging at a pitch that isn’t even close. Hmmmm.

-Guillen comes up and laces one to left for a single. I watch to make sure he doesn’t turn an ankle rounding first, and all appears well.

-Crap. Miguel appears to be hurt in the dugout as a trainer looks at him. The entire Tigers organization holds their breath except for Jeff Larish who gets excited. You know it's true.

-Maggs is next at the dish and weakly pops out to first. Yeah…the swing is fixed, Rod.


-Did I mention how good Rod and Mario look in blue today?

-Rod says Avila has done a good job leading Porcello today. Do they get a $100 bonus every time they kiss this kid’s ass?

-Wigginton’s giant head leads off. He has three more chins than the O’s have hits. Dammit, make that two as Ty singles to center.

-Darth Vader is next up. I never realized it until now, but Scott has some Mauer-esque sideburns. Maybe that’s why he kills us every game. He taps out to Porcello as Wigginton moves to second.

-Wieters is up. Before Tuesday’s game, I stopped at Hockeytown Café. There was a chick there in an Orioles cap. I sneaked up behind her and whispered into her ear, “Matt Wieters”. On the spot, she had three orgasms and ran into the bathroom screaming in pleasure.

-Seriously, how many baseball rats do you think Wieters has given herpes to so far? I’m thinking in the hundreds by now.

-Polanco angers the gods by robbing Wieters of a single up the middle. Two outs and the runner advances to third.

-Felix Pie singles in the run. Prick.

-6-1 Tigers.

-The shortstop, Robert Andino, who I missed the first time around, is up. Robert Andino…not the same ring to it as Cal Ripken, I guess.

-Rod and Mario talk about Avila some more. They just keep kissing this kid’s ass. I haven’t seen this kind of rookie love since Sparky Anderson first set his eyes on Chris Pittaro. Dusty must be in tears by now. That or he’s hiding that hooker’s body.

-Andino walks on a 3-2 pitch. First and second, two out. Rick Knapp is out to try and break the curse that Matt Wieters no doubt placed on Porcello after getting robbed.

-Roberts is up again. Apparently, the doubles stat is the only one Mario has on Brian as he gives it to us again. Someone in the truck wakes up and puts up some more for Mario to read. Basically, Roberts is pretty good for a second baseman. He grounds into a fielder’s choice that Andino’s hustle makes much closer than it should be. Inning over.

-Holy hell...are we finally going to get Rick his 10th win?


-Inge leads off to the squeals of 13 year old girls everywhere. Wait, is Brandon growing a mustache to go with his stupid little soul patch thing? I don’t get a better look as he quickly grounds out to short before I can be sure.

-Avila’s up to highlights of his first hit. Trumpet players announce his arrival with a ten minute musical piece. Confetti and streamers fall from the upper deck. Al Avila shrugs and says, “What, too much? I do this for ALL rookies!”

-Avila singles up the middle as Gerarld Laird gets uncomfortable on the bench. Dusty Ryan begins to slice his thigh with a razor that he found in the hooker’s purse.

-The Little Tiger That Could, Ramon Santiago, steps in. Wieters mishandles a pitch and Avila takes second. Of course, they give Bass a wild pitch on that. Wieters does not make mistakes.

-Ramon grounds out, 4-3, and advances the runner to third. Great job, Ramon. I like him so much better than Everett.

-Curtis is up with two down. Infield single and an RBI! Nice try by Roberts, though. Why can’t we do this more often?

-7-1 Tigers.

-Polly grounds out to end the inning. Clete’s next miracle will have to wait a while.


-Reimold leads off for The Birds. Porcello hangs a breaking ball and Nolan singles to left. Think Reimold’s dad wanted him to be a pitcher when he named him? Or is "Nolan" the wife’s father’s name?

-Markakis is next. The Tribe has taken at 2-1 lead over Minnesota in the ninth. The White Sux are down 5-0 in their game. Good news everywhere! The Detroit bullpen is stirring…so does my stomach. It’s Perry and Ni. I can deal with them, I guess.

-Nick draws a walk. First and second, no outs. Rick looked great through four. Not so much since then.

-Huff steps in as the Indians have held on to win. Rick gets to 2-0 on him and Avila walks out to talk to him. He no doubt draws back on all of his big league experience to calm Rick down. That or they talk about the Jonas brothers for a while.

-Huff hits into a double play! Runner to third, two out. Good job, Alex. The Jonas brothers ALWAYS calm Rick Porcello down.

-Wigginton doubles a run in on a ball that Clete maybe should have caught. If only Thomas wasn’t hearing the prayers of everyone in attendance today all at once, he would have gotten a better jump on the ball. The Cult didn't notice, so it's okay.

-7-2 Tigers.

-That’s it for Dreamboat Rick. Get us another rookie in here.

-5 2/3 for Ricky. He just seemed to run out of gas. What a shame. At least we scored for him today.

-Made In Taiwan is in the ballgame to face Luke Scott. Scott’s amazing powers fail him once again as he pops out to Polanco.


-The Coors Light Freeze Cam is on, sigh, Alex Avila. The biggest “sure thing” since Ken Griffey Jr, the way Rod is talking. Kiss ass.

-Before coming to the plate, Thomas (as a joke) changes Porcello’s Gatorade into wine. Leyland notices as Young Dreamboat is about to take a sip and stops him. He orders Clete to change it back since Rick’s not 21 yet. Clete looks sad, twitches his nose, and the Gatorade returns. He sulks up to the batter’s box as Leyland glares at him. The Cult was amused, though, as they don't care about liquor laws.

-He grounds out to Brian Roberts. The Cult doesn’t notice.

-Cabrera, not hurting too bad, it seems (thank Wieters), draws a walk.

- Guillen swings at a pitch at his feet and singles to center. A “seed” according to Rod. Finally, a Rod-ism. It took six innings for one.

-Ordonez pops out to center field.

-Mr. Mustache is up. Brandon must have hit puberty, finally. His eye hasn’t matured, though, as he swings at a pitch a foot outside and strikes out.


-Raburn comes in to play left and Clete moves to right. By the way, Clete’s leading the text poll 85% to 15% over Ryan. No kidding.

-Why does Raburn always have his tongue hanging out?

-Wieters hits a sure double to right center, but Clete (or “Johnny on the Spot”, according to Rod) makes a FANTASTIC running catch to rob him. Our false prophet is better than your false prophet, Baltimore! Suck it.

-Pie grounds out hard to Cabrera at first.

-If Clete gets a Cult, I think Fu-Te should get some Knights that say “Ni”. I’m sorry.

-The O’s shortstop that isn’t worth remembering comes up and grounds out to Potato head.


-Rookie of the Year frontrunner, Alex Avila, leads off. Dusty Ryan stands on a chair with a noose wrapped around his neck waiting to see what happens in this at bat.

-Avila gets another highlight package. Mother of Satan…

-Alex grounds out on a great play by Roberts. Dusty steps down from the chair. He’ll give it a little longer.

-Rod’s in a giggle fit over something. I’m sure it was hysterical, but I wasn’t listening.

-Ramon flies out to right.

-Danys Baez apparently came into the game to start the inning. I didn’t notice. Apparently, the Tigers broadcast team didn’t, either.

-This is where we get into trouble. We get a five run lead and the guys start swinging at the first pitch. We don’t score anymore and the bullpen lets the opponents creep back into the game. I’m not trying to be negative, but I’ve seen this crap too many times.

-Curtis hears me and draws a walk. At least someone listens to me.

-Polanco flies out to right. A-hole.


-Bobby Seay is here to pitch the 8th. Roberts will start it off for Baltimore.

-He drops one in between Granderson, Thomas, and Polanco for a single.

-Judge Reinold is up as Rod and Mario talk about him as a Rookie of the Year candidate. Sure…until Avila gets enough at bats, that is.

-Seay is struggling with his control. He gets to 3-2 on Nolan before walking him. Leyland needs a smoke as Markakis steps in.

-Lyon’s up in the pen as Seay stalls. Knapp likes that idea and he runs out to the mound, too. They, no doubt, talk about what a wonderful job Avila is doing out there today.

-Markakis swings at some bad pitches before popping out to first. Thanks for the help, Nick.

-Aubrey Huff is next. Another double play would be nice out of Huff, here.

-Instead, he singles to left center. Roberts scores.


-First and third and Leyland’s seen enough of this crap. Lyon’s coming in.

-Seay has sucked lately. Can we give Jamie Walker a look since the O’s dumped him?

-Ty Wigginton steps in. Lyon continues to impress by striking him out on a nasty breaking ball. “X-Mo’s nice”, says Rod in a creepy voice.

-Flyout to center by Scott ends the inning. Wow…he must be hurt.


-Clete’s up first, but before stepping into the box, he walks over to the stands. A small boy is standing there holding an empty soda cup. Clete smiles at the boy, wiggles his ears, and a bunch of flowers grow out of the cup. The boy giggles with glee at the miracle. The Cult is pleased. Then, a large bumblebee lands on the largest flower. Before he knows what is happening, it stings the boy in the face sending him into hysterics. Clete gasps in horror as he runs up to take his turn at the plate. The Cult was too busy talking about the flowers to notice.

-Jim Johnson (if that IS your real name) is the new Orioles pitcher.

-Clete recovers from nearly killing the young boy to double to left field. That takes concentration.

-Horatio Sanz steps to the plate. Wait, that’s Cabrera.

-Miguel strikes out. He doesn’t seem to want to be at the ballpark today.

-Guillen stands in there, no doubt proud of the fact that he hasn’t pulled anything today. Clete takes off for third as Guillen grounds out to “not Mike Bordick” at short.

-Raburn’s up for his first at bat. His tongue is sticking out, of course. Sigh. He reminds me of Odie from the Garfield cartoons.

-Lambert and Rodney(?) are warming up in the pen. The quad-A long reliever and the closer are up with a 4 run lead. WTF?

-A breaking ball is hung, but Raburn can only weakly fly out to left. To the ninth we go! (Thank Wieters…I’m tired…and I’ve got to work soon.)


-Lyon faces Wieters to begin the inning. Wieters is done being merciful and laces a double down the right field line.

-Felix Pie hits one near the left field warning track that Raburn manages to not drop. Whew.

-Andino is up and Rod and Mario are very quiet for some reason.

-He strikes out. One more to go!

-The crowd gets to their feet as Brian Roberts comes up. One pitch and he grounds back to Lyon…GAME OVER!

-Tigers win, 7-3!

This was fun. All kidding aside, congrats to Alex Avila on a great debut. And to you, thanks for reading. Take care. I’m out of here…