The Free Press is Trying to Give Me Brain Cancer


Exactly what is it that the Free Press looks for when publishing a writer’s work? Do they encourage prospective authors to have the ramblings of a mental patient? Is it now required that the writers of each piece know jack and squat about professional baseball? Is it top priority that the people writing pieces for the Freep have opinions that are the complete opposite of sane logic?

Apparently so. It’s a reader submitted column from a guy named Aaron Traugh. Keep in mind that the Detroit Free Press has apparently felt that this article was good enough for them to feature on their website.  If anyone has access to the editor, please do us all a favor and beat him/her to death with a tire iron.

Here we go again, kids, after the jump.




Is there any common sense in baseball anymore?

Since I began doing these things, I’ve been wondering the same thing. By the way, I’ve already skimmed through your piece here. You are not helping the case for common sense, my friend.

Or do the owners and general managers still believe fans will only stream through their gates to witness hulking figures attempting to launch pitches in the direction of the International Space Station?

Chicks dig the long ball, dude. So do owners and managers. So do I. Here’s a little secret. Teams that hit a lot of home runs tend to score a lot of runs. Teams that score a lot of runs tend to win ballgames. In baseball, the team that scores more runs than the other team wins. Look it up.

This seems to be the Tigers' philosophy since the opening of Comerica Park in 2000.

Really? How many “hulking figures” has the team brought in since 2000? Let me see.

Tony Clark and Dean Palmer were already here by then. And yeah, Randy Smith did make the trade to bring Juan Gonzalez to Detroit. But Dave Dombrowski joined the Tigers in 2001, so I think it’s only fair to start there since you seem to be criticizing the current administration. Fair enough?

2001: Traded Juan Encarnacion and Luis Pineda for Dmitri Young. Now while DY’s a big dude, he was always more of a gap hitter than a power guy.

2002: Traded Jeff Weaver to acquire Carlos Pena, Jeremy Bonderman, and Franklyn German. No one knew what Pena would become at that point. And Bondo and German are (allegedly) pitchers. So nope.

2002: Drafted Curtis Granderson. At the time, he was a speedy line drive hitting guy. It would be seven years later when he got homer happy. And he’s not much of a hulking figure, I guess.

2003: Marcus Thames was signed in October as a free agent. He’s big! Kinda hulking! We finally found one!

2003: Rondell White was signed in December. Another line drive guy. Not a big dude. Dammit.

2004: Traded Juan Gonzalez (no, not THAT one) and Ramon Santiago for Carlos Guillen. Carlos isn’t a hulking figure…more of a tragic figure.

2004: Signed Ivan Rodriguez as a free agent. Gold glove winning catcher that hits line drives. Nope.

2005: Signed Magglio Ordonez as a free agent. .300+ hitting line drive hitter. This isn’t going well.

2005: Signed Todd Jones as a free agent. I know he was a pitcher, but he was fat. Should we count him? No…

2005: Traded a future murderer for Placido Polanco. Another whiff…he’s a singles hitter with a hulking head.

2007: Traded a bunch of garbage for Gary Sheffield. Are you counting him? The guy was looked at as a future Hall of Famer and might still be. He hit a lot of homers, but was known as a guy that got on base and hit line drives everywhere, too. Sorry, but I can’t count him.

2007: Traded a bunch of prospects for Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera. I think this one has worked out well for us. You want to give Mig back?

Really, that’s it. Every other acquisition I can find or remember weren’t for any Adam Dunn-type guys that you seem to be against. Did you perhaps dream all of this? Or make it all up?

Oh. You’re a f-cking moron. My bad.

The park features one of Major League Baseball's most expansive outfields. This green pasture is doubles and triples territory, and yet, how many Tigers not named Curtis Granderson or Austin Jackson have been able to take advantage of the Comerica Park outfield in the past 10 years?

2000: Deivi Cruz hit 46 doubles. 3rd in the AL.

2000: Bobby Higginson hit 44 doubles. 5th in the AL.

2001: Roger Cedeno hit 11 triples. 4th in the AL.

2003: Alex Sanches had 8 triples between Milwaukee and Detroit. 10th in all of MLB.

2004: Carlos Guillen hit 10 triples. 3rd in the AL.

2005: Brandon Inge hit 9 triples. 5th in the AL

2007: Magglio Ordonez hit 54 doubles. 1st in all of MLB.

2007: Carlos Guillen hit 9 triples. 4th in the AL. Granderson was 1st.

2010: Miguel Cabrera has hit 45 doubles. Currently 4th in the AL.

You see, there’s this thing called the internet nowadays. You can look up things like stats and have them in front of you in a moment’s notice. It’s much more effective than just making up nonsense to prove your off-the-wall point that you’re trying to make seem true. Instead, you look like the ignorant f-cking moron that you are.

And by the way, guys like Sean Casey, Johnny Damon, Magglio Ordonez, Aubrey Huff, Miguel Cabrera, and others were on these double and triple leaderboards quite a bit before being acquired by Dave Dombrowski later on. It seems that he was actually doing the exact opposite of what you claim he was doing.

Now why are you complaining again? Oh. Because you’re delusional.

Holes continue to develop throughout the lineup, and yet viable players like Omar Vizquel, Scott Podsednik, Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo are continually passed over in favor of lead-footed options.

My God.



I think I just had a stroke.

Vizquel: 43 years old. Career OPS+ of 83. Great glove back in the day, though.

Podsednik: Career OPS+ of 89.

Pierre: Career OPS+ of 84.

Castillo: Career OPS+ of 92. Hey! It’s your cleanup man! His OPS+ this year is 68, though.

What? Are David Eckstein or Darin Erstad too flashy for you?

Think back to Comerica Park's infancy when Dean Palmer complained about the fences being too far from the plate.

It was 395 feet to left center alone. It WAS ridiculous.

That should have been the organizations first hint that they played in a park that demanded speed and defensive prowess in lieu of the "bash 'till you crash" tactic birthed by the wretched steroid era. Instead, the Tigers caved, moved the fences in, and began stockpiling players big on meals, but short on wheels.

Who? I already went through everyone. Thames and Cabrera? How about f-ck and you?

Your dream team of pinch runners and slap hitters might have been ideal for baseball in 1908. But it’s 2010, ace. Wake up.

Shamefully, the team eventually sat back and allowed even Curtis Granderson, an absolute prototype for this park, to adjust his offensive approach in favor of becoming just another power hitter. Although his home runs increased, the strikeouts began piling up, as well. In addition, both his batting average on base percentage went south quicker than a retiree on Labor Day.

Actually, I recall Jim Leyland and company trying to get Curtis to knock his Willie Mays Hayes in “Major League 2” act off. He didn’t. And what happened? They traded him for a kid that they hoped would be the guy that Granderson used to be. And they were right.

Shamefully, your revisionist history is not fooling anyone except for perhaps the trolls that frequent the comments section of the Freep site. If you were in front of me right now, I would stab you in the genitals with a machete.

The puzzling transformation at the plate even appeared to affect his status as one of the leagues premier defensive talents toward the end of his Tigers tenure. Austin Jackson: Beware!

Sigh. Yes, in your world Grandy became Ryan Raburn defensively in the outfield because he started hitting home runs. Also, AJax is the next Tiger to hit 30 dingers. What’s next? Will Danny Worth be the next man to hit .400?  Stay tuned.

Comerica Park's dimensions call for intelligent, swift hitters and nifty, fundamentally-sound fielders, not the lumberjacks and iron gloves Tigers fans have been continually subjected to recently.

Seriously, WHO THE F-CK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

Do you wear glasses that act like Fun House mirrors and make Ramon Santiago, Will Rhymes, Danny Worth, Clete Thomas, Don Kelly, Ryan Raburn, Brandon Inge, and Scott Sizemore look like Mark McGwire?

Sure, there's been a Granderson here and a Placido Polanco there, but Detroit lets them walk away in favor of sub-par replacements.

Granderson gone. AJax, Scherzer, Coke, and Schlereth in. Win.

Polanco gone. He turns 35 in a month. OPS+ of 95 this year (90 in his final year in Detroit). Will Rhymes in. 98 OPS+. And come on! From the way you’re talking, Rhymes should be your ideal player! Geez.

Some would argue that so called "small ball" isn't exciting,

Like watching flies f-ck.  (RIP, George Carlin.)

but is strategic composition and a better brand of the game exciting?

No. You don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

If you're still unconvinced, go ask the Yankees fans how they felt about smooth-fielding teams that were a bit short on the long ball during the Joe Torre era.

First off, Yankee fans are retarded. They think Scott Brosius belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Second, you picked the Yankees, of ALL baseball teams, to prove your point about small ball? Jesus Tap Dancing Christ...have you ever even seen a Major League baseball game?

Do you think that Tino Martinez, Ruben Sierra, Cecil Fielder, Darryl Strawberry, Chili Davis, David Justice, Glenallen Hill, and Jose Canseco were acquired during those Torre World Series years to lay down bunts and move runners over? If you could stop masturbating to your memories of Derek Jeter’s dreamy eyes, you’d realize that the Torre Yankees are the very type of team that you are rallying against!

Good gawd, the ’98 Yankees had ten guys on the team with at least 10 home runs! In ’99 they had seven guys with at least 17 homers! In 2000 they had nine guys with at least 15!

You lose! Good day, sir!

The Tigers achieved some success during the Jim Leyland/Dave Dombrowski regime, but a serious student of the game

If we are all “students” of the game, you are most definitely the dunce of the class that's been eating too much paste.

can't help but revert to the realization that this team -- for the most part -- can't hit, run, field or even think.

That or they suffered an unreal amount of injuries when they were a game back of first place and before the starting pitching started clicking.  Then a bunch of rookies manned the field.  But, whatever.

And I'm pretty sure that Bonderman's the only guy on the team that's incapable of thinking, you condescending prick.

And most glaringly, they haven't hoisted the golden pennant in 26 years.

And we're finally done.  They just get worse and worse, don't they?

Look, if you want to crap on Dave Dombrowski, do it for the silly guaranteed contracts that he gave to guys like Dontrelle Willis, Nate Robertson, and Jeremy Bonderman. Cry some more about trading Jair Jurrjens for Edgar Renteria, or maybe the Jarrod Washburn deal. Whatever.

But your entire article and position is just ridiculous.

Do me a favor…

A Few 'Feel good' Stories ...

~~~
Believe it or not these are ' real un-dyed natural ' roses...




Hi Folks,


The Nebraska Farmer.


There was a Nebraska farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon... One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

"How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked. "Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn."

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor's corn also improves. So it is in other dimensions. Those who choose to be at peace must help their neighbors to be at peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn.

Author Unknown .


~~~ ~~~ ~~~


This is a story of Two little boys, aged 8 and 10, who are extremely mischievous.

They are always getting into trouble and their parents know if any mischief occurs in their town, the two boys are probably involved. The boys' mother heard that a preacher in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The preacher agreed, but he asked to see them individually. The mother sent the 8 year old in the morning, with the older boy to see the preacher in the afternoon.

The preacher, a huge man with a deep booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, "Do you know where God is, son?" The boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there wide-eyed with his mouth hanging open. So the preacher repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God?! Again, the boy made no attempt to answer. The preacher raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed, "WHERE is GOD?!"

The boy screamed & bolted from the room, ran directly home & dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, "What happened?" The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied, "We are in BIG trouble this time!" "GOD is missing, and they think WE did it!"

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

The Lion and the Mouse

It was a hot summer day. The sun was shining bright up in the sky. A lion was sitting under the shade of a big tree and in some time got asleep. Nearby that tree, there was a hole, in which there lived a mouse. When the lion was sleeping, the mouse came out of its hole and saw him asleep. Unaware of the lions strength, it got tickled by an idea. It thought of waking up the lion by running over his body just for fun.

Unfortunately, the lion seized it in his strong paw. He was going to kill it when it begged, Spare me, sir; some day I may repay your mercy. The lion was amused hearing its words and let it go with a smile thinking that how can such a small mouse be of any help to me.

But a day came, when the lion got into trouble. He got caught in a hunter’s net under that very tree. As a result, he started roaring loudly. On hearing his roar, the mouse came out of its hole. This was the time to pay back the lion’s mercy. So, immediately it nibbled the cords of the net and set the lion free... which just shows you, mercy doesn't go unrewarded.





Cheers from the land of the Tartan, Love Kate xxx.

Prepare for the Worst in the MVP and ROY Voting


Prepare yourself. I know I am. Miguel Cabrera and Austin Jackson are probably going to get dicked over in the end-of-year award voting this year.

Much like most umpire crews we’ve run into this year, the BBWAA voters for MVP and Rookie of the Year are going to end up screwing the Tiger players over. Why, you ask? Because the Tigers aren’t going to the playoffs. USA Today and ESPN both have recent annoying bits up on it.

It’s the most idiotic argument that the voters put out there every year. Many say that they won’t give an award to a guy that’s not on a winning team. It’s ridiculous, preposterous, absurd, ludicrous, nonsensical, and f-cking retarded stupid. Dumber than batting Don Kelly in one of the top five places in the batting order.

I mean, really? You have a guy that’s the most dominating offensive player in the league, a guy that came close to setting the AL record for intentional walks because no one wants to pitch to him, and you won’t vote him the MVP because he’s surrounded by a bunch of Mud Hens due to injuries to his teammates? Or you won’t vote for a guy because the team he plays for has a poor pitching staff, perhaps? It’s mind-boggling to me.

I’m not saying that the MVP race is not close and I admit that I may be a bit biased toward the guys I’ve watched play every day this season. So let’s narrow down the MVP candidates to the three guys I’ve seen named most often: Josh Hamilton, Miguel Cabrera, and Robinson Cano. Let’s see where each of them stack up in some of the major AL stat catagories.



Batting Average
Hamilton: .361 (1st)
Cabrera: .328 (3rd)
Cano: .316 (6th)

Home Runs
Hamilton: 31 (6th)
Cabrera: 38 (2nd)
Cano: 28 (10th)

RBI
Hamilton: 97 (12th)
Cabrera: 126 (1st)
Cano: 106 (8th)

OBP
Hamilton: .414 (2nd)
Cabrera: .420 (1st)
Cano: .396 (10th)

Slugging Percentage
Hamilton: .635 (1st)
Cabrera: .622 (2nd)
Cano: .528 (8th)

OPS
Hamilton: 1.049 (1st)
Cabrera: 1.042 (2nd)
Cano: .904 (7th)

VORP (Value Over Replacement Player)
Hamilton: 80.3 (1st)
Cabrera: 78.5 (2nd)
Cano: 64.3 (4th)

wRC (Runs Created based wOBA)
Hamilton: 121.9 (3rd)
Cabrera: 130.5 (2nd)
Cano: 112.2 (5th)

And so on. Apologies to Jose Bautista, Paul Konerko, and Evan Longoria for not including them, but even Cano shouldn’t be in the discussion. It should be a two man race. And I can honestly see the arguments either way. Hamilton plays a tougher defensive position, so he should get extra credit. Cabrera has had little talent around him in the lineup, so he should get extra credit. Josh hasn’t even played in a couple weeks. Cabrera’s going to miss the last few games of the year. Hamilton’s a crackhead. Cabrera’s a drunk. Whatever.

What I can’t deal with is giving Hamilton the MVP because his team is in first place. As I just said, he hasn’t even played since September 4th…Texas won it without him. Cano gets his voter support for the same reason…because the Yankees are going to the playoffs. Whoop dee doo. F-cking Cano is third on HIS OWN TEAM in homers and RBI. MVP my ass.

Is it Mig’s fault that Magglio Ordonez got hurt? Is it his fault that Jeremy Bonderman is horrible at pitching a baseball every fifth day or because a reliever blows a lead? Should we blame Cabrera for Brennan Boesch dropping off of the face of the earth in the second half?

The only voice of reason I’ve seen from the non-local media on this has been Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star:

"I know this is a minority view among BBWAA folks, but I've always thought the best player is the MVP. Period. I think the most valuable player is … the player you'd want to have more than another. Put another way, I don't think it's right to penalize a player because he has lousy teammates."

Amen, Bob. I wish you were the head of the BBWAA and could throw out the rest of the idiots.

Now while I won’t be happy if Hamilton beats out Cabrera for the MVP, I can live with it. But the thought never even crossed my mind that Austin Jackson wouldn’t win the AL Rookie of the Year. I mean, I don’t even consider it close. But both the USA Today and ESPN articles I linked to earlier have Ranger closer Neftali Feliz as the favorite for the award. Are you kidding me?

Look, Feliz is a good pitcher. He throws 100 mph, has 38 saves for the first place Rangers, a 0.905 WHIP, and has struck out 9.4 batters per 9 innings. Good for him.

He also pitched in 20 games in 2009. He has an ERA of almost 3.00. He’s given up five home runs and has blown a few saves. The guy is not Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan, or even Jose Valverde in my book.

He’s also appeared in only 67 games, for 66.1 innings pitched. Austin Jackson, on the other hand, has played in 146 games as a true rookie and had the pressure of replacing the most popular player in Detroit since Alan Trammell. He’s hit .300 all year, played Gold Glove defense in cavernous Comerica Park, is 6th in the AL in runs, 8th in hits, and 2nd in triples. The kid is amazing and the every day player should beat out the part time pitcher any day of the week.

But no. Some are arguing that again, Jackson isn’t on a winning team, like this should matter somehow. Also, I keep reading about Jackson’s league lead in strikeouts. This one slays me. If Jackson would have popped out to second base instead of striking out sixty of those times, would that have made a difference? He’d still be hitting .300, you f-cking c-ckwallets!

I’m sorry. It just irritates me to no end that my favorite sport is, for the most part, covered and lorded over by idiots that are so set in their 1950’s way of thinking that they can’t see what should be obvious to even the dumbest of people. To Rod Allen, even.

Miguel Cabrera should probably be the American League’s Most Valuable Player.

And Austin Jackson should definitely be the AL’s Rookie of the Year…by a landslide.

Funnies ......



Rarely photographed South Florida squirrels ...







Hi there Folks,

There were five houses of religion in a small Florida town:

The Presbyterian Church,
The Baptist Church,
The Methodist Church,
The Catholic Church and
The Jewish Synagogue...

Each church and synagogue was overrun with pesky squirrels. One day, the Presbyterian Church called a meeting to decide what to do about the squirrels. After much prayer and consideration they determined that the squirrels were pre-destined to be there and they shouldn't interfere with God's divine will.


In the BAPTIST CHURCH the squirrels had taken up habitation in the baptistry. The deacons met and decided to put a cover on the baptistery and drown the squirrels in it. The squirrels escaped somehow and there were twice as many there the next week.

The Methodist Church
got together and decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God's creation. So, they humanely trapped the squirrels and set them free a few miles outside of town. Two days later the squirrels were back.

But......The Catholic Church came up with the best and most effective solution..They baptized the squirrels and registered them as members of the church. Now they only see them on Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Easter ......

Not much was heard about
the Jewish Synagogue, but they took one squirrel and had a short service with him called circumcision and they haven't seen a squirrel on the property since.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Noah Today ......

In the year 2010, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in Scotland and said:

"Once again, the earth has become wicked and over populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me. Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans."He gave Noah the blueprints, saying:

"You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights."six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard - but no Ark."Noah!," He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?"

"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed." "I needed a Building Permit.""I've been arguing with the Boat Inspector about the need for a sprinkler system." "My neighbours claim that I've violated the Neighbourhood Bye-Laws by building the Ark in my back garden and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Local Planning Committee for a decision." "Then the Local Council and the Electricity Company demanded a shed load of money for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it." "Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the Greater Spotted Barn Owl.""I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go!"

"When I started gathering the animals the SSPCA took me to court. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodations were too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space." "Then the Scottish Environmental Agency ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood." "I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building gang.""Immigration are checking the Visa status of most of the people who want to work." "The trades unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience."

"To make matters worse, the Inland Revenue seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species." "So, forgive me, Lord, but it will take at least 10
years for me to finish this Ark." "Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky." Noah looked up in wonder and asked,

"You mean you're not going to destroy the world?" "No," said the Lord.
"The Government beat me to it."


~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Something for Web addicted folk ...
1)  I will have a cup of coffee in the morning and read my
newspaper like I used to, before the Web.
2) I will eat breakfast with a knife and fork and not with one hand typing.
3) I will get dressed before noon.
4) I will make an attempt to clean the house, wash clothes,
and plan dinner before even thinking of the Web.
5) I will sit down and write a letter to those unfortunate
few friends and family that are Web-deprived.
6) I will call someone on the phone who I cannot contact
via the Web.
7) I will read a book...if I still remember how.
8) I will listen to those around me and their needs and stop
telling them to turn the TV down so I can hear the music
on the Web.
9) I will not be tempted during TV commercials to check for email.
10) I will try and get out of the house at least once a week,
if it is necessary or not.
11) I will remember that my bank is not forgiving if I forget
to balance my checkbook because I was too busy on the Web.
12) Last, but not least, I will remember that I must go to bed
sometime ... and the Web will always be there tomorrow!
Signed ...... Kate Barr .

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

The Banana Test ...


There is a very, very tall coconut tree and there are 4 animals,
A Lion
, A Chimp , A Giraffe ,
......AND...
A Squirrel

They decide to compete to see who is the fastest to get a banana off the tree.
Who do you guess will win?

Your answer will reflect your personality.

So think carefully . . .
Try and answer within 30 seconds.
Got your answer?

Now scroll down to see the analysis.


If your answer is:

Lion = you're dull.

Chimpanzee = you're dense.

Giraffe = you're a complete moron.

Squirrel = you're hopeless.

A COCONUT TREE DOESN'T HAVE BANANAS !!


Obviously you're stressed and overworked.
You should take some time off and relax






Cheers from the land of the Tartan, Love Kate x.

Your Party Host vs. Bad Tiger Articles: The Never Ending Battle Continues


By now, I’m pretty sure that any of you that come here to read about the Tigers aren’t expecting a serious in-depth analysis of the team. I usually try to keep things light, make a few jokes, and provide some entertainment on our favorite baseball team.

But sometimes, I do try to offer what limited insight that I might have into the Detroit baseball club. When I do, I try to remain consistent and actually provide some reasoning, whether it be stats or whatever, behind whatever I say. It only seems fair to do so. Simple, right?

When I offered my thoughts on the upcoming offseason, I suggested that we focus on getting Adrian Beltre to play third base next year, among other things. If not, I said I would reluctantly accept Brandon Inge as my second choice if Jhonny Peralta were kept at short. Then later, I offered my possible goodbye piece to Inge where I said something like “anyone but Inge” for third in a joking way. I don’t consider that a flip-flop…I think you all can judge when I’m being sarcastic by now.

But what I can’t stand are writers that don’t offer logical backup to their statements, or even worse, constantly flip-flop their positions on certain ideas…especially those that write for the big sites like the Detroit News or Free Press. No one is going there for a silly poop joke about Don Kelly like they do here. They want facts and serious journalism, in my opinion.

Jamie Samuelsen’s latest bit at the freep site is the kind of nonsense I’m talking about. Look, when Jamie wants to be, he can be okay. But when he’s bad…well, take a look after the jump.




By almost any measure, this season was a failure.

Why? Why does everyone keep calling 2010 a failure for the Tigers? When did we become Yankee fans and anything short of a World Series championship is a failure?

With seven games to go as of this writing, these guys have gone 80-75, including a Comerica Park record 52-29 at home, with a group of players that has seen eleven(!) rookies get playing time, by my count. (Avila, AJax, Boesch, Rhymes, Sizemore, Worth, Wells, Frazier, St. Pierre, Oliver, and Sborz, right?) This team was decimated by injuries to Bobby Seay, Zach Miner, Joel Zumaya, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, and Brandon Inge throughout the year. Most people picked them to finish .500 at best, even before the injuries. Even you, Jamie.

Read Jamie’s blog from March 3rd titled “Tigers Don’t Look Like a Playoff Team To Me”.

So how are they a failure when there were little to no expectations?

The Tigers won’t go to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. They plummeted in the second half for the fifth straight year -- all under Jim Leyland.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Miss Lippy. You’re blaming Leyland now? You didn’t before.

Read Jamie’s blog from August 6th titled “Can’t Fault Jim Leyland for Tigers’ Fall”.

Or perhaps read his blog from July 19th titled “Jim Leyland Has to Get Tigers Going, Even Though It’s Not His Fault”.

And even Your Party Host, who has been very critical of the Marlboro Man for quite some time, has to admit that Leyland has done a phenomenal job managing this club in 2010. Sure, guys named Verlander, Scherzer, and Cabrera deserve most of the credit for the team’s success, but Leyland has been masterful at handling the injuries and inexperienced players he’s been handed this year.

His lineups, bullpen usage, and his ongoing campaign to make JV’s arm explode drive me mad, but I can’t argue with his results this year.

They showed little organizational depth to account for huge injuries to Joel Zumaya and Magglio Ordonez.

Phil Coke and Ryan Perry have done a pretty good job filling in at setup this year. And Zoom’s almost impossible to replace when he’s pitching to his potential.

But what a minute. Aren’t you the guy that wrote on January 27th a piece called “Tigers Simply Can’t Rely on Joel Zumaya at This Point”?

Yes…you are.

As for Ordonez, they had enough depth with Ryan Raburn’s second half production to pick up the slack somewhat for Maggs. Casper Wells has impressed since his call-up. What more do you want?  How many teams can just call up a Triple A player to easily replace their #3 hitter if he gets hurt?

None of them.  That's how many.

In fact, only one player (Justin Verlander) who was drafted and developed by Dave Dombrowski had a season that could be defined as above-average. That doesn’t say much for the strength of the franchise.

What is your definition of above average? Rick Porcello started poorly, but his second half has been well above average, in my opinion.

Want stats to show who’s above average? Brennan Boesch was red hot, then horrible. But overall, he’s been arguably the second-best position rookie in the AL this year, behind Austin Jackson, and has an above average OPS+ of 104 for the season. Ryan Perry (ERA+ of 110), Joel Zumaya (ERA+ of 162), Ryan Raburn (OPS+ of 120), and Casper Wells (OPS+ of 164) were all drafted by Dombrowski, too, if I’m not mistaken. Even human leprechaun, Will Rhymes, (despite his slightly below average OPS+ of 96) has been seen by seemingly every Tiger fan as a moderate success. He’s one of Dave’s guys.

But it wasn’t a complete loss. 2010 was a season to make determinations on guys -- either positive or negative. There were a lot of question marks heading into the year, and those questions have been answered. Austin Jackson can play. Max Scherzer can pitch. Adam Everett can’t play.

Read Jamie’s blog from April 14th titled “Don’t Expect Adam Everett to Lose His Job at Shortstop Anytime Soon”.  Adam was released less than two months later.

Ha. I’m a dick.

Dontrelle Willis can’t pitch. The whole season was built on a house of cards, and that house collapsed rather quickly. And the hope (stress: HOPE!) is that Dombrowski and his staff learned enough about enough guys that mistakes won’t be repeated.

We were what, a game back of first at the All Star break before the injury bug went on a biting spree? House of cards, my ass.

Learn your lesson, Double D! Don’t let your players get hurt next year!

The first order of business is to draft better -- each and every year.

Verlander, Perry, Oliver, Turner, etc…we’re doing much better than we were.

The teams that are contending right now (other than the Yankees) are there largely because they are able to count on guys from their own system who don’t cost the team as much earlier in their careers.

The Texas Rangers are in first place…that’s contending, right? Their best position players are Josh Hamilton (drafted by the Rays), Elvis Andrus (Braves), Vladimir Guerrero (Expos), Michael Young (Blue Jays), Nelson Cruz (Mets), and David Murphy (Red Sox). In fact, Ian Kinsler is the only position player to play in more than 80 games (97) that was drafted by the Rangers.

I will give you the fact that they did draft and keep three of their six main starters this year in Tommy Hunter, CJ Wilson, and Scott Feldman. But they wouldn’t be where they are now without making deals with/for Colby Lewis, Cliff Lee, and Rich Harden. (Yes I know that Lewis was originally drafted by Texas, but since then he went to Detroit, Oakland, and Japan. He doesn’t count in this context.)

Point is, you’re stupid.

The Reds are getting an MVP season from Joey Votto and solid support from Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto -- all home-grown guys.

It has nothing to do with catcher Ramon Hernandez (Athletics), second baseman Brandon Phillips and shortstop Orlando Cabrera (Montreal), third baseman Scott Rolen (Phillies), left fielder Jonny Gomes (Rays), ace Bronson Arroyo (Pirates), closer Francisco Cordero (Tigers), etc, etc, etc, OHMYGODYOU’REARETARD!

The Giants are contending in the West because four-fifths of their sterling starting rotation is guys they drafted and developed, and their catcher (Buster Posey) is the favorite for Rookie of the Year.

Impressive. You forgot their awesome closer Brian Wilson, too. He’s probably been their most impressive pitcher of all this year.  They drafted him.

But again, it’s not like the Giants are all home grown stars. You have to hit and play defense, too.

Their best hitter this year is Aubrey Huff, he of Tiger failure last year, who was originally drafted by Tampa. I think he’s had something to do with the Giants’ success. So has Pat Burrell (Phillies), Freddy Sanchez (Red Sox), Andres Torres (Tigers), Aaron Rowand (White Sox), Juan Uribe (Rockies), Edgar Renteria (Marlins), and Bengie Molina (Angels).

You’re always going to need to add pieces through trades and free agency, but the Tigers' base has been really poor this decade.

Verlander, Porcello, Turner, Oliver, Perry, Granderson…

Hell, even Maybin and Miller led to the trade for Miguel Cabrera. Bonus.

That has to change. But the draft isn’t until next spring, so there are other orders of business first.

Can’t wait.

Will the Tigers be buyers or will they stand pat?

Buyers. They can’t field a team if they stand pat. You’re silly.

Is the salary where they want it to be (it better not be, with all the money coming off after this season) or do they plan to build it up?

$70 million-ish coming off the books? Pretty sure they’re going to spend.

Last winter was pretty good, thanks to the additions of Jackson, Scherzer and Jose Valverde.

You didn’t think so on December 16th with your piece called “Tigers’ Off Season Deserves an “F” or Worse”. How about December 9th when you wrote “Tigers Violeted Pact With Fans By Giving Up on 2010” after trading your hero, Granderson.

Asshat.

But it was disjointed from the start. At first, they seemed to be in the cost-saving mode by dumping Placido Polanco and trading Curtis Granderson. (The Granderson move proved to be a good one. The Polanco move, not a good one).

Read Jamie’s blog from December 4th titled “Tigers Were Wise to Let Go of Aging Polanco”.

This is fun.

Also, Polanco missed a lot of time to injury this year and has played in only 129 games. In those 129 games, he has put up an OPS+ of 93…Rhymes has out Polanco’d even Polanco in his time in Detroit.

God help me, I just made a positive statement about Tinkerbell.

DAMN YOU, SAMUELSEN!

Then they got aggressive and greedy in going after Valverde and Damon.

Greedy? Read Jamie’s blog from February 22nd titled “Damon Signing is a Good One, but What is the Plan for the Tigers”.

Or maybe the one before that on February 12th titled “Hey, Tigers Might as Well Get Johnny Damon”.

Before that was January 15th’s one titled “Jose Valverde is Nice (And Johnny Damon Would Be), But Tigers Still Aren’t Contenders”.

And Valverde and Damon were two of the positive spots of 2010. What are you even talking about?

When they have a clear plan in place that all parties promise to follow, they need to go down the list of current guys and make some calls.

“Hey, Bondo. It’s Dave. We’re going to sign a pitcher this offseason that’s not fricking terrible. Die in a church fire. Seeya.”

“Hey, G-Money! How ya doin’? It’s Dave. We found a catcher that can hit better than an eight year old. Go to hell.”

“Brandon! My man! It’s Double D! Hey, Beltre signed with us. Good luck with the Orioles.”

There is a strong emotion out there to simply ditch all the current guys and start over. But that’s hasty and unrealistic. If you dump Ordonez, Bonderman, Peralta, Gerald Laird and Inge, you’re left with gaping holes on your roster that will be impossible to fill with better talent.

Impossible? Really? Not that hard. Dave has been known to pull trades out of nowhere before. But I assume that you mean the free agent market. Okay…

For the record, I want to re-sign Ordonez.  But though I love Magglio more than I love beer and possibly my son, he is not irreplaceable. Carl Crawford, Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Jason Kubel, and Jayson Werth are probably better than Maggs at this point in his career. If you include DH’s, toss in Vladimir Guerrero, David Ortiz, Hideki Matsui, and possibly Jim Thome, too.

Jeremy Bonderman is garbage. I would rather see Bronson Arroyo, Jorge De La Rosa, Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland, Rich Harden, Aaron Harang, Cliff Lee, and about two dozen other free agent starters before Bondo in the D next year. Even Andy Oliver, ready or not.

Peralta? I want him to return, so I’m not going to argue with you there, though I could if I wanted to with shortstops Orlando Cabrera, Alex Gonzalez, Omar Infante, and Miguel Tejada.

Laird should have been taken out and shot in the face in June. Rod Barajas, Josh Bard, John Buck, Ramon Hernandez, Victor Martinez, AJ Pierzynski, Yorvit Torrealba, and Jason Varitek are all free agents better than G-Money.

As for Inge, as I said, I’m a Beltre guy. If he goes elsewhere and Peralta’s going to play short, I can see bringing Inge back for another year.

The Tigers have the makings of a very good rotation.

Makings? I think most teams would kill for JV, Max, and Porcello in the rotation in 2011.

They'll have a decent bullpen, with a little help. They have the best hitter in the AL in Miguel Cabrera. And they have a suitable leadoff man in Jackson. They need to get better. But taking two steps back to take one step forward is counterproductive.

How is not re-signing free agents that were ineffective or getting older, when there are better options out there, counterproductive or your little step analogy?

You’re talking nonsense.

Damon should go. He’ll demand too much money for the player he is now.

Maybe.

But “the player he is now”? Damon is second to Cabrera on the team in on base percentage of guys that have played in at least 85 games. That’s his job…to get on base. Plus, he has been invaluable as a mentor to the young guys and a team leader. I think he’s been a lot like Kenny Rogers was to the young 2006 Tiger pitching staff. Damon’s been a success.

But yeah, you’re right. He should go. But not for your reasoning. He should go because our lineup needs another power bat, preferably in the DH spot. We don’t need any more table setters. We’ve got AJax and Rhymes/Sizemore for that. Sorry, Johnny. Take $2 million to come off the bench and you can stay forever, though.

Laird should go, too. He offers nothing offensively nor defensively, at this point.

I am not a Laird fan. But to say he offers nothing defensively is like saying that cigarettes offer nothing to the chances of Jim Leyland dying sooner rather than later.

But I’d take a good look at Inge at third.

You’ve had eleven years to look at Inge. He sucks out loud.

And I’d take a good look at Bonderman as well.

Good gawd, how much more do you need to see? Bondo’s a dumpster fire.

He’ll never be the ace we envisioned in the early 2000s. But he still has ability

He does?  Richard Bernstein can see that Bonderman's beyond pathetic nowadays.

and could round out the rotation.

In Pittsburgh, maybe.

And I’d make Inge an offer and essentially call his bluff on how badly he wants to play in Detroit.

So sick of defending guys that I hate. Inge is not bluffing. The man loves Detroit and has done more for than the community than any Tiger I have ever seen. He just sucks at hitting a baseball and is never going to get better at it.

I don’t believe in Santa Claus. I don’t believe in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, or the concept of marriage. But I do believe that Brandon Inge would truly like to end his career as a Tiger. It’s a shame that he’s so terrible. Otherwise, I’d be all about re-signing him for life.

He’s a star here. I’ve spent years trying to understand it, but it’s true. He’d be a star in no other market in the majors.

Bull. With his glove and America’s love for goofy little white guys, Inge would win over any non-New York team within a week.

They’d probably name a street after him in Boston.

“I-ah live at the cornah of Inge and WELKAH!”

There’s something to be said for that, and he might want to talk to Ben Wallace before he thinks of taking his glove somewhere else.

It’s not his choice, dickhead. It’s up to the Tigers.

And Ben Wallace got rich, ripping the Bulls off for $60 million over four years when he left Detroit. I’m sure he’s fine with the decision he made.

Tiger fans will not tolerate a long rebuilding plan.

They’ve technically been rebuilding since 1987. Haven’t won a World Series since 1984. Attendance averaged well over 30,000 this year. The fans don’t care.

And with studs such as Verlander and Cabrera in the fold, they shouldn’t.

And how did you go from talking about keeping crappy players versus going after new free agents and end up with rebuilding? Who said they were in rebuilding mode?

Well, other than me being a wiseass a second ago…

That said, I’d be more inclined to take my lumps for a year or so as opposed to just going out and throwing money at a guy like Adrian Beltre, whose numbers seem awfully inflated in a contract year.

Beltre’s OPS+ the past five years: 105, 112, 108, 83, 141. That “83” season, he was hurt much of the year. Healthy again, he’s killed the ball this year. Add in the fact that he’s probably the best defensive third baseman in the AL and I’m prepared to throw money at him rather than Inge or any of the other clowns available.

Dombrowski had a glorious year in 2006, and he has had some tough years since. But he pulled off a gem in the Granderson trade because it subtracted salary and added depth.

A trade that you hated at the time. Everyone did. Except me…and Lynn Henning.

The only time we’ve ever agreed on anything, in fact.

The salary is irrelevant. The depth isn’t. It may not be possible, but he should look to make a similar move this winter.

And your suggestion is? Oh…you don’t have one. No one ever does. This is why I continue to mock you guys.

One bat won’t change the Tigers for 2011. But add a bat, an arm or two and a glove, and we might have something.

Flip-flop! Again! What the frick?

Earlier in THIS VERY ARTICLE you said:

There is a strong emotion out there to simply ditch all the current guys and start over. But that’s hasty and unrealistic.

And now you want to add a bat, an arm or two, and a glove?

Go. Away.

Please quit writing about the Tigers. I’m sure you’re a nice guy and all, but you’re terrible at this.

Now, I don’t always agree with Kurt at Bless You Boys. The same is true with John at Motor City Bengals, Bill at the Detroit Tigers Weblog when he was writing, Ian wherever he’s writing this week, or Lee at Tiger Tales. But all of them remain consistent with their thoughts and provide logical backup to their opinions that I can at least respect and understand.

Is it too much to ask that the “big boys” of Tiger journalism at the Freep or News do the same?

If small-time bloggers are stereotyped as idiots living in their mothers’ basements, why aren’t the writers at the major sites looked at as hacks writing from an outhouse?

It would make sense since a great deal of what they continue to produce is nothing but sh-t.

Bye Bye to Brandon Inge?


The Brandon Inge era may be entering its final week in Detroit.

He is the longest current tenured Tiger, first appearing in the Old English D back in 2001. Over that time, he has played in nearly 1300 games hitting .237 with 134 homers and 561 RBI. He has a career OPS+ of 85, a stat where the MLB average is 100. He just set the all-time Detroit Tigers record for strikeouts with 1100, breaking Lou Whitaker’s record of 1099. He stands at 1101 now, in only 4311 at bats, as Whitaker’s number came in 8570 at bats, almost double Brandon’s. “The Special Little Guy”, as I have sarcastically nicknamed him, has made me utter the “f” word so many times over the years that truckers and porn stars alike would be left feeling uncomfortable around me.

Exactly how in the blue hell has Brandon Inge not only lasted in Detroit for so many years, but in that time become one of the most popular players in Tiger history?

Honestly…I don’t know.

His first three years on the team, he hit .180, .202, and .203. The Tigers responded by acquiring a future Hall-of-Famer, Pudge Rodriguez, to become the team’s catcher. Brandon would still catch a bit, but also spend time in the outfield and third base, a position that he would come to love. The move from away from catching seemed to help his bat, too, as he would hit a career high .287 in 131 games, with another career high 109 OPS+ in ’04. His first full year at third, though, was a rough transition for him. He would lead the league in errors in 2005 with 23 and see his average fall to .261. (He’d lead in errors again in 2007 and 2009.) He would never see his batting average finish that high again.

The World Series year of 2006 saw my personal frustration with Inge grow as he fell in love with going for the long ball. He would hit a career high 27 homers (equaled in 2009) that year, but would see his OPS+ drop to 98 as he became an all-or-nothing hitter at the plate. Defensively, though, his acrobatic diving catches became the norm for the Tigers and were making many fans forget about his shortcomings at the dish. 2007 would see his offensive numbers regress further, as he would hit .236 with only 14 homers in 577 plate appearances.

In 2008, the Tigers would acquire NL All-Star third baseman Miguel Cabrera from the Florida Marlins. Inge seemed to take this as a slap in the face and requested a trade. Sadly, no matter how remarkable his defensive abilities could be at times, there weren’t any teams willing to trade for a .230 hitting guy that was making over $6 million. So, the Tigers kept him as a utility player that would see him open the year in center field while Curtis Granderson recovered from injury. He would also see time at third and catching. He sulked through 113 games in ’08 hitting a miserable .205 and an OPS+ of 76.

Amazingly, the Tigers decided in 2009 to move Cabrera to first base and make Inge the full-time third baseman again. Brandon would respond be being named to his first ever All-Star team, despite finishing the season hitting only .230 with an OPS+ of 87. 2010 has seen his power numbers be more than cut in half from ’09 as knee injuries may be having more of an effect on Inge’s abilities than he is willing to let on.

But here we are now. Eight games to go in the 2010 season and the light-hitting Inge remains, at the very least, one of the three most popular Tigers with Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander. In 26 years of watching baseball, I have never seen a guy get more out of a career with so little hitting ability. And he is a free agent. What do the Tigers do?

Do they let him walk and risk the ire of the fans a year after letting fan favorites Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco walk away? Do the hand the job to ex-Indian and Tiger-for- two-months Jhonny Peralta? Do they explore free agency and offer the big bucks (as I have suggested) to current Red Sox third sacker Adrian Beltre?

Or do they stick with the face of the franchise, the face of futility in my opinion, Mr. Charles Brandon Inge?

No. You let him walk. And you don’t look back.  We need something better if we're going to be a real playoff contender in 2011.

Thanks for the great diving plays, Brandon. Thanks for trying to play when hurt (even though it cost us the AL Central in ’09). Thanks for all the kind words about Detroit and all the time you spent with sick kids. Thanks for all the goofy grins that made me want to steal your lunch money at recess. Hell, thanks for all of the silly material you’ve managed to supply me for this ridiculous blog. Thanks. Seriously.

But it’s time for a change. Adrian Beltre. Jhonny Peralta. Chris Pittaro. Anyone.

A quote from Jim Leyland after Saturday’s win over the Twins, where Brandon actually got the game-winning hit, sums it up for me:

"You worry that he might try to pull a lefty like that. We were yelling at him, 'Don't try to pull him. Stay on him'.”

After ten seasons in the majors, Brandon Inge still does not have the confidence of his manager to do the right thing with the game on the line.

It’s time to say goodbye. It’s been time for a long while now.

Happy Holidays ...

~~
Did you say ... "Good in Bed " ??




Hi Folks,


Well, we survived our week's holiday in among the 'auld enemy' ... Although we enjoyed the visit it was great to get home to our own ' wee hoose,' mainly because the weather had been pretty dull, wet and windy - 'Thank the Lord' I had packed clothes to cover all weathers.

Although a couple of the usual were missing - I enjoyed my trudge through the markets, though I did feel that Blackpool seems to have hit the dolldrums - there are several shops and even some of the guest houses which have been boarded up and were showing off 'to let' signs... It's difficult to watch these signs which show that some folk are 'having it hard' during this period of economic depression which has certainly hit this normally 'happy go lucky' holiday place.

Since we returned home on Friday there has been a big yellow ball in the sky and it has shone constantly which is kind of unusual in the land of the tartan - but I'm certainly not complaining - Long may it continue!

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

This is an email I received from my brother in law who tells me that it is a genuine complaint to Greenock Police from an angry member of the public ... Like him, I think it is brilliantly written and I would love to ask this guy's help when I have to write to ' the powers that be' to make any complaints'...

Dear Sir/Madam/Automated telephone answering service,

Having spent the past twenty minutes waiting for someone at Greenock police station to pick up a telephone I have decided to abandon the idea and try e-mailing you instead.

Perhaps you would be so kind as to pass this message on to your colleagues in Greenock , by means of smoke signal, carrier pigeon or Ouija board.

As I'm writing this e-mail there are eleven failed medical experiments (I think you call them youths) in Mathie Crescent, which is just off Mathie Road in Gourock.

Six of them seem happy enough to play a game which involves kicking a football against an iron gate with the force of a meteorite. This causes an earth shattering CLANG! which rings throughout the entire building. This game is now in its third week and as I am unsure how the scoring system works, I have no idea if it will end any time soon.

The remaining five failed-abortions are happily rummaging through several bags of rubbish and items of furniture that someone has so thoughtfully dumped beside the wheelie bins. One of them has found a saw and is setting about a discarded chair like a beaver on ecstasy pills.

I fear that it's only a matter of time before they turn their limited attention to the caravan gas bottle that is lying on its side between the two bins. If they could be relied on to only blow their own arms and legs off then I would happily leave them to it. I would even go so far as to lend them the matches. Unfortunately they are far more likely to blow up half the street with them and I've just finished decorating the kitchen.

What I suggest is this - after replying to this e-mail with worthless assurances that the matter is being looked into and will be dealt with, why not leave it until the one night of the year (probably bath night) when there are no mutants around then drive up the street in a Panda car before doing a three point turn and disappearing again. This will of course serve no other purpose than to remind us what policemen actually look like.

I trust that when I take a claw hammer to the skull of one of these throwbacks you'll do me the same courtesy of giving me a four month head start before coming to arrest me.

I remain your obedient servant
???????

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Mr ??????,

I have read your e-mail and understand your frustration at the problems caused by youths playing in the area and the problems you have encountered in trying to contact the police.

As the Community Beat Officer for your street I would like to extend an offer of discussing the matter fully with you. Should you wish to discuss the matter, please provide contact details (address / telephone number) and when may be suitable.

Regards
PC ???????
Community Beat Officer

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Dear PC ???????
First of all I would like to thank you for the speedy response to my original e-mail.

16 hours and 38 minutes must be a personal record for Greenock Police Station, and rest assured that I will forward these details to Norris McWhirter for inclusion in his next Guinness book.

Secondly I was delighted to hear that our street has its own Community Beat Officer.

May I be the first to congratulate you on your covert skills? In the five or so years I have lived in Mathie Crescent , I have never seen you. Do you hide up a tree or have you gone deep undercover and infiltrated the gang itself? Are you the one with the acne and the moustache on his forehead or the one with a chin like a wash hand basin? It's surely only a matter of time before you are head-hunted by MI5 to look for Osama.

Whilst I realise that there may be far more serious crimes taking place in Gourock, such as smoking in a public place or being Christian without due care and attention, is it too much to ask for a policeman to explain (using words of no more than two syllables at a time) to these twats that they might want to play their strange football game elsewhere?

The pitch on Larkfield Road or the one at Battery Park are both within spitting distance, as is the bottom of the Gourock Dock, the latter being the preferred option especially if the tide is in.

Should you wish to discuss these matters further you should feel free to contact me on . If after 25 minutes I have still failed to answer, I'll buy you a large one in Monty's Pub.

Regards
?????????

P.S If you think that this is sarcasm, think yourself lucky that you don't work for the sewerage department with whom I am also in contact !!!


I certainly wouldn't like to get on ' his' wrong side ......

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

God's Boxes ...

After we returned from our jaunt I found the following poem in among my emails ... Enjoy!

I have in my hands two boxes,
Which God gave me to hold. He said,
"Put all your sorrows in the black box,
And all your joys in the gold."
I heeded His words, and in the two boxes,

Both my joys and sorrows I stored
But though the gold became heavier each day,
The black was as light as before.

With curiosity, I opened the black,
I wanted to find out why, And I saw,

In the base of the box, a hole,

Which my sorrows had fallen out by.

I showed the hole to God, and mused,
"I wonder where my sorrows could be!"

He smiled a gentle smile and said,


"My child, they're all here with me.."

I asked God, why He gave me the boxes,

Why the gold and the black with the hole?

"My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings,

The black is for you to let go."


We should consider all of our friends a blessing.
Send this to a friend today -
just to let them know you
are thinking of them
and that they are a joy in your life.

A ball is a circle, no beginning, no end.

It keeps us together like our Circle of Friends.

But the treasure inside for you to see,

Is the treasure of friendship you've granted to me.

Today I pass the friendship ball to you.
Pass it on to someone who is a friend to you...




Cheers from the land of the Tartan, Love Kate xxx.

Your Party Host Gives His Thoughts on the Upcoming Offseason


So, in my last post I made fun of some hack and what he thought the Tigers should do in preparation for the 2011 season. It’s only fair now that I lay out what I’d like to see the team do.  My dumb ideas can't be any worse than his, right?  Anyone?  Sigh...

Let me preface things by laying out what should be obvious with the club. There are some guys that will definitely begin next year in the D unless Dave Dombrowski has a few too many at a kegger and drunk dials another GM like he did in the Jurrjens/Renteria deal a while back.  So hopefully, these guys should be safe.  They would be:

Catcher: Alex Avila
First Base: Miguel Cabrera
Center Field: Austin Jackson
Infield: Ramon Santiago
Starters: Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello
Bullpen: Jose Valverde, Phil Coke, Joel Zumaya, Ryan Perry
DH/Second Base/Bench/Disabled List: Carlos Guillen

That leaves question marks at the other catcher, second base, third base, shortstop, the corner outfield spots, DH, two starters, and maybe the bullpen. Good thing there’s money to spend…yikes.

So, let’s take a look at each of these areas, one by one. Keep in mind, though:

1. I’m a moron.
2. I’m not sure exactly how much cash Mr. I is willing to part with next year.
3. Double D and The Marlboro Man share different tastes in players than I do.
4. I’m very unorganized.
5. I’m a moron.

Cool? Let us proceed then.




CATCHER

Alex Avila sucks. There. I said it. But he’s going to be on the team because his Daddy is in upper management and the coaches appear to see something in him. Now Alex may not always be terrible. He’s improved behind the plate from a defensive standpoint. But his line of .228/.323/.661 is an embarrassment. He cannot be our starting catcher…at least not yet.

Gerald Laird is a free agent. Goodbye, G. His line of .207/.265/.566 makes Avila look like Johnny Bench. Plus, his defense wasn’t as solid this year.  Oh, and he is nuts. Ask any Phoenix Suns fan.

The minors won’t be giving us any hope at catcher for a couple years, at least, so we must look elsewhere. How’s the free agent pool look, you ask?

Rod Barajas, Josh Bard, John Buck, Ramon Hernandez, Victor Martinez, Bengie Molina, Miguel Olivo (club option), AJ Pierzynski, Yorvit Torrealba (mutual option), and Jason Varitek are out there. Obvously, VMart is the dream choice from an offensive standpoint. Buck is going to be trying to cash in on his career year this season in Toronto. But I have a better idea.

My Plan: Make a trade with the Angels for Mike Napoli. There are several reports that they are willing to move him. He made $3.6 million this year and isn’t a free agent until 2013. Mike has a career OPS+ of 120 and would be a major improvement over the black hole of suck Detroit has gotten from the catcher position since Pudge Rodriguez was shipped out of town. Napoli’s no wizard on defense, but his offense would make up for it in my opinion. Trades are easy to ask for, but I’d at least see what LA of A would be asking for to get Napoli off the books.  Let him start 70% of the time and have Alex do the other 30% and some late inning defensive replacement work.  Hopefully, he'll learn how to hit without the pressure of being the starter.

Reality: They really seem to want Avila to be the starter. I think they’ll sign a veteran backup to play 25% of the time behind Alex and hope that Avila greatly improves on his 2010 offensive numbers. Hopefully, it’s not Matt Treanor again, though.

SECOND BASE

Carlos Guillen is probably going to miss much of the beginning of 2011 due to the owie on his kneespot. When he returns, you can probably expect a .270 average, moderate power, and another 2-3 DL stints.  Whatever...he's already under contract and could be valuable off the bench.  Scott Sizemore was supposed to be the man this year, but being not completely recovered from a Winter League injury contributed to him having a horrible start to his rookie year. Will Rhymes has since won the hearts of the Inge-crowd in Detroit and is a candidate for the job, too.

The free agent crop at second is weak. Ronnie Belliard, Willie Bloomquist, David Eckstein, Cristian Guzman, Orlando Hudson, Omar Infante (club option), Adam Kennedy (club option), Kaz Matsui, Aaron Miles, Nick Punto, and Juan Uribe are all out there.

My Plan: Give Sizemore the job. If healthy, the guy is going to hit. He’s showed that a bit since his September re-call. His glove is Raburn-horrible, but at second base, it’s not going to hurt you as bad as at third or short. As for Rhymes, I can’t get behind him. He just doesn’t have the upside that Sizemore does and has showed me no signs of that changing. I don’t like the idea of keeping Will as a backup, either, because he doesn’t have the arm to play third or short in the majors. My apologies to those of you, though, that just can’t get enough of watching him run around center field in a diaper before games, hopping through the sprinklers. (Yes, I stole that joke from the FJM reunion at Deadspin when they were talking about Eckstein. Hilarious visual, though.)

Reality: Scotty and ‘Lil Will fight it out in Spring Training and they give the job to Rhymes just to piss me off.

SHORTSTOP

Adam Everett’s gone. Ramon Santiago will be a career backup. Cale Iorg has yet to turn into Cal Ripken to Dave Dombrowski’s disbelief. But Jhonny Peralta’s been surprising everyone by playing some decent shortstop since being rescued from Hell/Cleveland. He’s even hitting the ball again. He has a $7 million club option for 2011 that could be a short-term solution for the Tiger shortstop problem that we’ve had ever since Carlos Guillen started breaking down.

Free agent options include Alex Gonzalez (club option), Omar Infante (club option), Cesar Izturis, Derek Jeter (hahaha), Edgar Renteria (HAHAHAHA)…and that’s about it. Yuck.

My Plan: You have to pick up Peralta’s option. The cupboard is bare in the minors and the free agent crop is weak. Jeter and Jose Reyes aren’t leaving New York. Jhonny has played well enough to get a look next year. 2012’s crop of free agent shortstops is a bit better with Jason Bartlett, Yuniesky Betancourt, Rafeal Furcal, JJ Hardy, Jimmy Rollins, Jack Wilson, and Marco Scutaro available. Of course, we could always try to trade for Stephen Drew…

Reality: They pick up Jhonny’s option. If he falters, Danny Worth is your man!

THIRD BASE

Brandon Inge is a free agent. Finally. His OPS+ of 95 in his contract year is probably his ceiling at this point in his career. While he still more than holds his own defensively at third base, I think it’s about time for the Inge Era to finally end in Detroit. The prick has made enough of my hair fall out at this point.

Free agent options are Adrian Beltre, Pedro Feliz, Omar Infante (he’s everywhere!), Aramis Ramirez (ridiculous player option that he’ll cash in), Miguel Tejada, Ty Wigginton.

My Plan: See if Beltre will take a 3 year deal in the $12 million/year range. That will bridge the gap until Nick Castellanso is ready to become the next Travis Fryman. Beltre’s a scary guy to get behind for too long, but he’s amazing on defense and showed that he can still hit this year with a line of .325/.371/.564 and 28 homers. No risk, no reward, right? If it can’t be worked out, re-sign Brandon for $5 or $6 million. He’s better than the other free agent options. I just threw up in my mouth typing that.

Reality: Inge returns on a one or two year deal. Fat girls with lower back tattoos squeal in delight.

CORNER OUTFIELD SPOTS

Brennan Boesch is going to turn out somewhere between his first half Babe Ruth numbers and the abortion that he’s been for the second half. But that’s a big gap…who knows? Magglio Ordonez and Johnny Damon are free agents, and are probably better candidates to DH at this point in their careers. Casper Wells, Clete Thomas, and Ryan Raburn are still around. Don Kelly is terrible at baseball. What do we do?

Other than Maggs and JD, free agent options include Carl Crawford (not gonna happen, kids), Pat Burrell, Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, Jason Kubel (club option), Scott Podsednik, Manny Ramirez, Marcus Thames, David DeJesus (club option), Brad Hawpe, Jose Guillen, Andruw Jones, Xavier Nady, and Jayson Werth.

My Plan: First, throw Don Kelly into a pit of cobras. I think that goes without saying.

This is tough. I’d love to sign Dunn, but he’ll be expensive and I’d rather give the big money to Beltre and a pitcher. If Beltre says no, though, offer a three year deal to Dunn. Adam’s a dumpster fire on defense and doesn’t want to be a DH, but his automatic 40 homers a year would be the protection that Big Mig has been lacking his entire stay in Detroit.

Magglio has said that he wants to return to Detroit and as long as Scott Boras doesn’t ask for the the world, I say bring him back on a two year deal, club option on a third. Magglio played decent defense this year and at worst, could be the DH in 2011.

Werth is, like Crawford, a desirable choice, but , again like Crawford, is going to be very expensive. He just hired Boras as his agent and Scotty’s already declaring that Werth deserves to be paid top dollar. Trouble is, his numbers aren’t THAT great and are impacted a big deal by his home park in Philly. So, he’s out. Manny’s about done and I think Jim Leyland would want to strangle him within a week. DeJesus could be interesting if the Royals don’t pick up his option. And with me, Marcus is always welcome back in Detroit…as long as it’s part time.

But if Adam Dunn isn’t the answer, I can live with the idea of a Boesch/Wells combination at one of the outfield spots. Brennan’s going to be fine, in my stupid option, and Wells has showed enough to me to deserve a backup spot on the team.

Long story short…Boesch in left, Magglio in right. If we don’t get Beltre, try to sign Dunn to play left. Wells is the backup with Raburn possibly being used as part of the Napoli deal.  Oh, and slow, painful death to Don Kelly.  Of course.

Reality: Dombrowski will flirt with Crawford and Werth, but will get scared off by their killer price tags and, more likely, the Yanks/Sawx bigger offers. Magglio will be brought back on a one year deal. Boesch will get the other spot with Ryan Raburn, Clete Thomas and/or Casper Wells coming off the bench.  A veteran such as DeJesus or Guillen may be added if they aren't confident enough in Boesch/Raburn.

DH

Johnny Damon is a good player, a great leader, and a fun player to watch. But he won’t be back next year and isn’t what we need from a DH. We need power out of the spot and protection for Cabrera. Who’s available?

Pat Burrell, Jason Giambi, Vladimir Guerrero (mutual option), Hideki Matsui, David Ortiz (club option), Manny Ramirez, and Jim Thome are all free agent candidates.

My Idea: Sign Jim Thome. Please. I wanted him for the 2010 season and the Twins reaped the benefits instead. Thome can still draw a walk and hit the ball as far as any guy in the game. Plus, this way Justin Verlander won’t have to give up homers to him constantly anymore.

Reality: Magglio and the returning Guillen split time at DH. Ugh. That means the outfield will be more of the same of Raburn’s inconsistency, Wells’ uncertainty, and Thomas’ being terrible.

So my unlikely lineup vs. the probable lineup looks like this:

CF: Austin Jackson        CF: Austin Jackson
SS: Jhonny Peralta         2B: Will Rhymes
RF: Magglio Ordonez     DH: Magglio Ordonez
1B: Miguel Cabrera       1B: Miguel Cabrera
DH: Jim Thome             SS: Jhonny Peralta
3B: Adrian Beltre           RF: Brennan Boesch
C: Mike Napoli              LF: Ryan Raburn
LF: Brennan Boesch       3B: Brandon Inge
2B: Scott Sizemore         C: Alex Avila

I can dream, can’t I?

Now, obviously, the Tigers are going to spend SOME money this offseason. If they do, I think it’s more likely that it’ll be on the pitching staff. We’re looking for two starters and the rest of the bullpen.

STARTERS

Armando Galarraga and Jeremy Bonderman have been the main #4 and #5 guys this year. Bondo’s a free agent, bad at pitching, and a colossal idiot. Galarraga is one of the most inconsistent starters in recent memory. Andy Oliver, Jacob Turner, and the other kids are still probably at least another year away. If we look at the free agent market, we can only probably afford one top starter.

The free agent class includes Bronson Arroyo (club option), Erik Bedard (mutual option), Justin Duchscherer, Jeff Francis (club option), Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland (mutual option), Rich Harden (mutual option), Aaron Harang (club option), Cliff Lee, Ted Lilly, Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Carl Pavano, Brad Penny, Nate Robertson (ha!), Jeff Suppan, Javier Vazquez, Brandon Webb, Jake Westbrook, Dontrelle Willis (who?), and Chris Young (club option). Whew. Lots of options, here.

My Idea: Offer the world to Cliff Lee. Overpay if you have to. Cash, hookers, blow, his own Little Caesars franchise…whatever it takes. Look, with the money coming off the books, we can afford two big contracts, I assume. Thus, plan on using one on Beltre/Dunn and then make Cliff Lee a Verlander-type deal. Scherzer and Porcello are costing you nothing for another couple seasons, after all. If you add Cliff Lee to those three guys, the Tigers are immediate favorites in the Central and Top Three in the American League, no matter what lineup you throw out there. Cliff Lee knows the Central like the back of his hand and would be an amazing addition. Forget his numbers in Texas…that park’s a joke. In Comerica he’d be amazing.

If he ends up a Yankee (sigh), try to make a reasonable deal with a Garland, Pavano, or Westbrook. They’re not all-world, but they’d all be good options as a #3 or #4 starter.  Spend the money you save on the offense.

Give Galarraga the #5 spot. Why not? He tries hard.

Reality: Much like Crawford and Werth, DD will kick the tires on Lee, but I can’t see them signing him with the Yankees out there. Bondo goes bye-bye and Armando gets brought back with Ted Lilly being added through free agency. God help us.

BULLPEN

Valverde, Perry, and Coke are a good start. Zumaya should be back, but for how long until his arm explodes and Lynn Henning starts writing emo poetry on the News site again? The kids are still there: Weinhardt, Schlereth, Ni, etc. Hopefully Brad Thomas has some sort of bizarre kangaroo accident Down Under. I believe that Zach Miner and Bobby Seay are dead. Also, Eddie Bonine sucks. Free agency has about a billion guys out there, too. Lots ‘o’ options!

My Idea: We need three guys. Weinhardt and Schlereth get two of them. Through free agency, we add Grant Belfour or Jesse Crain. Maybe JJ Putz, if we have to. Is a long reliever necessary if we have JV, Mad Max, Rick, and Cliff Lee?

Reality: No new major faces. Unless you count Zoom.

So there you have it…my ignorant, uneducated thoughts as we head to the offseason. One thing’s for certain: it’s going to be an interesting winter in the D.

I can’t wait.

Worst...Tiger Article...Ever


Apologies to those of you that enjoy what I do here at DNR. I recently started a new position in my company and it’s been taking up a lot more of my time…thus the lack of updates around here. In addition, there really hasn’t been much for me to say lately. I can only make fun of Don Kelly’s lack of ability or Will Rhymes’ inability to get onto roller coasters due to his height so many times.

In addition, my favorite thing to do here at the blog is to find an article that I disagree with and make fun of it, Fire Joe Morgan style. Sadly for me, the usual suspects haven’t been writing anything too terrible lately and that leaves me a sad panda.

/nods to Jamie Samuelsen

/salutes Lynn Henning

/flips off Drew Sharp

Then came today. The freep site has a link to this piece written the other day by Chris Stevens of the Midland Daily News. Chris is the sports editor of the Daily News and he has written what is quite possibly the worst article I have ever seen on the Tigers. Quite a bold statement, I know. But read along with me and you’ll see what I’m getting at.




What started out as a promising year for the Detroit Tigers is going to end with a thud.

I disagree. For a team that lost their setup men (and now their closer, too), #3 hitter, and #5/#6 hitter, this Tiger club has done quite well to be above .500 right now. Plus, they’ve been able to play spoiler and end the first place hopes of the evil White Sox. That’s been fun. Add in the fact that they’ve been able to take a good, long look at several of their prospects, I’d say that this wasn’t a lost season. And it certainly isn’t ending with a thud.

And the discouraging part is this: It probably won't get any better next year unless the Tigers make some big changes on their roster.

Well, duh. You have a .500 club. If you do nothing to it, it’s probably going to remain a .500 club. This is not something that one needs a PHD to understand.

Right now, seven teams in the American League have better records than the Tigers: the Twins, White Sox, Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, Rangers and Blue Jays.

Considering that we’ve played half the year with a bunch of rookies, including an ooompa-loompa at second base and a #5 hitter whose batting average has dropped from .342 to .265 since the all-star break, I’d say we should be happy that we’re still better than the Orioles, Indians, Royals, A’s, Mariners, and Angels.

The Tigers, who were 73-74 entering Saturday's game, are really settling into what they truly are -- a .500 ballclub. They're not as good as those seven other teams.

Again…groundbreaking journalism there. We’re not as good as the teams with better records. Thanks for clarifying that for us, numb nuts.

The Tigers are playing to their talent level. They've got one superstar, Miguel Cabrera; a very good, but not great, pitcher in Justin Verlander; and a bunch of other guys who are either expendable or sticking with the club based on potential.

Max Scherzer. Austin Jackson. Jose Valverde. Phil Coke. Hell, even Johnny Damon. I’d love to see the reactions of those guys if they were told that they were expendable this year or yet to live up to their potential.

Let's take a look at their lineup and play a game of "cut or keep." In other words, who would you cut and who would you keep for next year.

I get it, chief. We all get it. Bring it on.

First base/Miguel Cabrera -- A no-brainer. A keeper for years to come. One of the best hitters in all of baseball, and probably would be a shoo-in as the league's MVP if he played on a team that were going to the playoffs.

Miguel Cabrera, 1B: .325 Avg, 34 HR, 119 RBI, 1.025 OPS, 174 OPS+
Josh Hamilton, CF: .361 Avg, 31 HR, 97 RBI, 1.049 OPS, 177 OPS+
Robinson Cano 2B: .323 Avg, 28 HR, 102 RBI, .928 OPS, 144 OPS+

Shoo-in? I love Big Mig as much as anyone, but there’s a good case to be made for any of these guys. Hamilton’s probably going to win it, though.

Second base/Carlos Guillen -- Cut. Should have been cut last year. Past his prime years. His only role if he stuck around would be as a pinch-hitter.

Really? Just cut him? He’s hurt and will miss possibly much of next year. Also, he is still owed $13 million and can still hit when healthy. Sure, after next year you bid Carlos a big “adios”, but for now, having a bat like his coming off the bench might not be a bad thing. Keep that in mind for when we get to this clown’s thoughts on Johnny Damon…

Second base/Scott Sizemore -- Cut. There must be better players than him roaming around the majors or in the minors. Weak hitter.

You have got to be fist f-cking me. Let’s take this one bit at a time.

There must be better players than him roaming around the majors or in the minors.

We have dick left in the minors. As for major league second base free agents next year, they include such luxurious names as Ronnie Belliard, Willie Bloomquist, Aaron Miles, Nick Punto, and (sigh) David Eckstein. The only two guys that aren’t worthless would possibly be former Tiger, Omar Infante, and Orlando Hudson, who would cost a fortune and probably disappoint.

Personally, I’d like to see what Sizemore has, rather than go with any of those guys.

Which brings me to your second little statement:

Weak hitter.

Based on what? His slow start while still hurt from his leg injury? The kid’s done nothing BUT hit in the minors and now healthy, he’s gone 4 for 7 with 2 home runs since being re-called.

Weak hitter? Weak writer.  If you want to crap on Sizemore, make fun of his shaky defense, not his bat.

Infield/Will Rhymes -- Keep. Intriguing player.

Scrappy player.

I'm basing this one on potential.

Rhymes will be 28 at the beginning of next season. When does a guy officially not have “potential” anymore? When he’s 35?

Looks like he could get better.

Based on what? How he continues to muff game ending double play balls?

Hitting .286 on the year.

In 156 at bats, as of your writing. Not exactly a big sample size.

/ignores easy Rhymes size joke

But I imagine Rhymes will hit .280-.290, like he’s done in the minors. Just like there’s reason to believe that Scott Sizemore will hit .270, with power, like the minors. Yet you want to cut him.

Zip for power, though. No home runs.

Well he got one yesterday. Maybe he’ll get another in a year or two. Just hopefully for someone else.

Shortstop/Ramon Santiago -- Keep. This may surprise you, since a lot of Tigers' fans don't particularly care for him.

Really? Is there some anti-Ramon campaign that I don’t know about? All I read about last year is how everyone wanted Santiago to get a crack at the everyday job at short instead of Adam Everett.

But I like his game. It'd be nice to have someone better,

As a utility infielder? Ramon has a good glove, occasional pop in his bat, and a good attitude by all accounts. Who do you want as a backup infielder? Derek Jeter?

with more pop in his bat, but go find someone like that who can also play shortstop. You probably can't. Therefore, I say keep him.

It’d be nice to have someone better, but there isn’t anyone. Okay. Then what are you complaining about?

Infield/Jhonny Peralta -- Keep. I like this guy's game.

.250 batting average? Shaky defense? Declining power? What’s not to like!

I think he'll be even better next year in his first full season with the team.

Why? Based on what?  That he'll be facing Indians pitching now?

He should take over third base for Brandon Inge.

Both will hit .250. Both will hit 15 homers and strike out a lot. Inge will play much, much better defense at third and will probably be cheaper. Yet you want Peralta.

If this were suggesting that Jhonny play shortstop due to a weak free agent crop, I might get where you’re coming from. But instead of Inge at third? I hate Brandon Inge and I still think you’re nuts.

Third base/Brandon Inge -- Cut. Likable guy.

Indeed. His likeability index is .749. Compare that to Peralta’s likeability index of .562, and it’s a no-brainer. Oh wait…you said cut. And likeability index doesn’t really exist. Continue.

One of the team's most popular players, but his time is over. Just isn't consistent. Strikes out too much. Hitting .250 and probably will hit that or lower for the rest of his career.

No mention of his defense and what that means to the club? Again, Brandon Inge makes me want to strangle orphaned babies out of frustration with his hitting, but even I can’t deny that the man saves runs with his defense at third.

Outfield/Austin Jackson -- Keep. I'm hoping he'll become a dominant base stealer with his blazing speed. With speed like that, he should hit .300 for years to come.

Hear that? Speed = .300 batting average.

Josh Anderson, Brian Hunter, Kimera Bartee, Alex Sanchez, Hiram Bocachica, Gene Kingsale, Roger Cedeno, Curtis Granderson, and countless others have proven that this is a ridiculous statement.

If AJax is going to hit .300 for years to come, it’s because he’s a good hitter, not a fast runner.

Outfielder/Brennan Boesch -- Cut. I'd use him as trade bait.

You’re about 2-3 months too late on that one, buddy. Who are you going to get for him now? Dontrelle Willis?

A very disappointing second half of the season after tearing up the league in the first half. Tigers need to upgrade their outfield with more power-hitting players, and I'd use Boesch in a package deal to trade for a proven star.

/phone rings

OTHER GM: Hello?

DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Hey. Dave here. You know that proven star hitter you have in your outfield? I’d like to trade you a 26 year old outfielder who plays crappy defense and has more holes in his swing than Jim Leyland has holes in his lungs. Perhaps in a package deal with three dozen Hot ‘n’ Ready pizzas. Deal?

OTHER GM: Hahahahaahahahaha…

/hangs up

Moron. You sound like a 13 year old writing on a message board. “We should trade Boesch for someone good cuz he sucks now.” Never mind things like reality, sanity, or common sense.

I don’t want to give up on Mr. Boesch quite yet. I say you put him in Toledo next year and see what happens. It isn’t going to cost you anything. Hope that he finds his swing again and go from there. But trade him when his stock’s at an all-time low? That’s dumber than the average girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

Outfielder/Johnny Damon -- Keep.

/spit take

What?

He'd only be used as a part-time player.

Scott Boras just sh-t his pants.

He can hit and run even though he's getting to be in his late 30s. Could be a valuable piece as a pinch-hitter on a team making a run at the playoffs.

Johnny’s gone, dude. Be serious.

He’s not going to come back to play part-time. He’s going to play somewhere where he gets to start most of the time and make at least $6 million. I really like Johnny Damon, but we need a DH with some power.

And remember when I asked you to keep Guillen in mind once we reached Damon? Carlos is already getting paid by us next year. He still has pop (not just in his knee) and is a switch hitter. Carlos is your pinch hitter for next year, assuming he recovers reasonably soon from his knee surgery. Otherwise, just sign Marcus Thames again. Dave never should’ve let him walk in the first place.

Outfielder/Casper Wells -- Keep. Again, this is based on potential. He's hitting .368 through 23 games.

23 games? Holy hell, that’s like 1/8 of a season! I’m sold.

Still, if you can send him to a club for a quality catcher, I'd do it.

Casper looks like a rapist,

but I like what I’ve seen of his game so far. Exactly what kind of quality catcher you expect to get for a pretty unproven minor prospect like Wells, though, I have no clue.

Outfielder/Ryan Raburn -- Keep.

Jeebus…if there’s anyone on this team that we should be trying to trade, it’s Raburn. The guy’s stock is higher right now than ever. THIS is the guy you want to be sending out feelers about! You might even, gasp, be able to get something useful in return!

To me, this is someone on the bubble. Can he hit 20-plus HRs a year? I just don't know.

Can he learn to catch four out of every five fly balls hit to him? I don’t know.

Will he ever show the ability to quit his streaks where he goes a month without getting a ball out of the infield? I’m not sure.

Will Raburn ever be able to stand on the field for more than 10 seconds without sticking out his tongue looking like Michael Jordan with Down’s Syndrome? I can’t be certain.

Does anyone know how I got to be sports editor of the Midland Daily News? No one knows.

That's what the Tigers need -- more power in the outfield. I'd keep him for a year and then deal him if he doesn't produce 20 HRs or a .280 average.

Yes. That’s your answer to everything. Wait until a player shows that he has no value whatsoever, and then expect some team to trade you an all-star for your failure of a player. What the f-ck are smoking in Midland?

Outfielder/Magglio Ordonez -- Cut. Another guy I'd trade.

/record scratch

Wait a minute. You’re writing about/covering the Tigers and don’t know that Magglio’s deal is over with? You want to trade him? Does that mean you want to pick up his $15 million option just to trade him?

Holy crap. Are you really Isiah Thomas in disguise?

Assuming that Maggs was under contract (for $15 million) next year, exactly WHO and for WHAT do you expect to get for a guy that would be making twice his value and coming off of a broken leg? And all this one year after he disappeared at the plate for the first half? Who are you trading with? Not every trade in sports is as silly as when the Lakers got Pau Gasol. Usually, they’re supposed to make sense for both teams.

Time to move on. Yes, I know he can hit around .300 or better, but it's time for some new blood. Maybe he can be part of a package deal with Boesch.

Maybe your father shouldn’t have been startled by the phone ringing and pulled out in time to prevent your conception from taking place.

Sorry…that was wrong. But you’re still an idiot. You’re going to trade Magglio and Boesch somewhere together. Right. And I’m going to wake up with Jessica Alba cooking me breakfast and begging to rub my…feet.

Catcher/Gerald Laird -- Cut. Good defensive catcher, but can't hit. This is a position that needs major upgrading.


Catcher/Alex Avila -- Keep. Only as a back-up. Not the starter. Need a better catcher. Period. This is a hole in the lineup.

Mother of Satan, it took this long into your babbling nonsense for us to finally agree on something. Period.  Laird and Avila are garbage.

But wait a second…you’re moving on to pitchers now? No Don Kelly? How can you have ANY discussion of the 2011 Tigers without mentioning releasing Don Kelly? I’m of the opinion that mere seconds after the final out is recorded in Game 162 this season, Dave Dombrowski should run onto the field, douse Kelly in kerosene, and toss a lit match on his head.

The kids will love it!

Pitcher/Justin Verlander -- Keep. Although I wish the Tigers had pursued Cliff Lee when he was available earlier this season.

Yeah. When half the team went down to injury, the Tigers should have traded the farm to add a guy for maybe a couple pointless months that only plays once per five days. That would have made sense.

He'd make Verlander a better pitcher and the Tigers a better team.

It’s a little known fact that Cliff Lee’s presence can add 5 mph to the fastballs of the other pitchers on the staff, thus making them better. Ask Colby Lewis. He was only hitting 86 mph on the gun until Lee showed up in Texas and wiggled his ears. Now he’s in the low 90’s again. Amazing.

Anyway, Chris, did you know that Cliff Lee becomes a free agent in a month or so? Now the Tigers can sign him without giving up five players in return! And get a full season or more out of him!  What an idea!

Pitcher/Jeremy Bonderman -- Cut. Time to move on.


Pitcher/Max Scherzer -- Keep. A power pitcher who should continue to get better.

You’re making sense again. I’m proud of you…

Pitcher/Rick Porcello -- Cut. Make that, trade. He's another inconsistent pitcher on the roster.

Oh…my…gawd.

How does your bullsh-t get promoted on the Free Press site while no mention is ever made of the quality work done at sites like Bless You Boys on a daily basis?

I have to read that again…

Pitcher/Rick Porcello -- Cut. Make that, trade. He's another inconsistent pitcher on the roster.

Rick Porcello turns only 22 years old in December. In his rookie year last season, he won 14 games with an ERA+ of 114. He pitched his ass off in the national spotlight of Game 163 against Minnesota. This year, he started off rough as he struggled with his secondary pitches. Since a trip to Toledo, he’s rebounded to go at least 7 innings in 7 out of 12 starts, including 4 of his last 5. The sky’s the limit on this kid and you want to cut, make that, trade him?

You only trade him if you’re getting a proven top-of-the-line guy like Dan Haren, Roy Oswalt, or Roy Halladay in return. Oh, that’s right. You think we should be able to easily trade our below average players for other teams’ all-stars. Silly me.

Pitcher/Armando Galarraga -- Cut. Trade bait. Will be a .500 pitcher for years to come.

We should’ve traded him the day after the imperfect game. His stock will never be higher than it was that day. But still, you can do worse at the #5 starter spot than Armando. Give the guy an offense behind him and I can see him winning 12-14 games next year.

Closer/Jose Valverde -- Cut. Sorry, no confidence in him.

Did you even watch baseball this year? Do the names Todd Jones or Fernando Rodney mean anything to you?

If the Tigers want to be the best team in the Central, they need a better closer than Valverde.

Who? Please tell me.

In the first half, there was no better closer in baseball. In the second half, he has battled injuries and not been himself. Plus, he’s under contract for $7 million already next year. Add into all that the fact that Valverde’s been one of the best and most consistent closers in baseball the past few years. Who do you want? Mariano Rivera? Joe Nathan?

For poops and giggles, let’s take a look at this year’s free agents that have previous experience as closers. There’s Octovio Dotel, Frank Francisco, Brian Fuentes, Kevin Gregg, the corpse of Trevor Hoffman, Chad Qualls, Jon Rauch, the retiring Billy Wagner, Kerry Wood, Rivera (who’s not leaving New York), and Rafeal Soriano. Forgetting the fact that Valverde’s already under contract (like you seem to have), Soriano’s the only guy the team would have a chance at signing that would even be HALF the pitcher that Valverde is.

You, sir, are an idiot. You make even Joe Morgan himself seem insightful.

So what does this all mean?

That you didn't mention anyone in the bullpen other than Valverde, again proving that you are a simpleton?

That maybe I'm the moron for wasting three hours breaking down this lousy article?

That you’re a mental patient that should never be allowed to write about the Tigers again?

The Tigers should pursue a better catcher, at least one power-hitting outfielder (how would the Rays' Carl Crawford look in a Tigers' uniform?),

Holy sh-t! Never thought of that one!

Sigh.

a solid-hitting second baseman and at least two better pitchers and a closer. This could give them a shot a winning the Central next year.

The Tigers should trade every player they have except for Cabrera and Verlander for a bunch of all-stars in the primes of their careers! And this would give them “a shot” at winning one of the easiest divisions to win in baseball. Why hasn’t Dombrowski already done this?

Thank you, Chris Stevens. Every time I start to think to myself that it’s time to hang it all up here at DNR, I come across an article such as yours to make me change my mind. Except I have never, EVER, seen anything quite as awful as this drivel you managed to produce.

I am in awe, sir. In awe.