Tag Archives: Alex Avila

Tigers @ Rays 6-29-12: David Price is Really Good

If it feels like Tigers starters have given up an inordinate number of home runs this season, believe me, it feels much worse when you’re watching the Rays hit solo homer after solo homer off your ace.  But let’s not dwell on the outcome, because I have pictures!  I’ll post the whole set somewhere and have a link at some point, but for now, I’ll give you the highlights.  Please feel free to share with a credit back to this blog.  Enjoy!

Coke pitches in the bullpen

Action Coke!  Tampa’s bullpen is on the field, so photo ops are easy.

Avila and Yong during BP

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Random baseball happenings, some of it Tigers related

We’re not talking about last night, so here’s a delightfully random collection of linkage:

Apparently, we have re-acquired Zach Miner.  I have no interpretation for that.  Just thought you all might want to know.

Pudge finally makes it official.  How much do you love that Avila got his first catcher mitt from Pudge?  Aw.

Phil Coke’s Brain gives you a rundown of Tigers Twitter insanity, both official and not.   There’s some great stuff here and definitely worth a look.  I haven’t been able to handle Twitter during games lately, but if you’re brave, I recommend @RodAllen12, @mario_impemba, @philcokesbrain, @blessyouboys, @spacemnkymafia, @catswithbats, and @RoarTigers for information and laughs.

Have you guys seen the Chevy spots featuring the Tigers?  Check out “On Deck”, “Wind Up”, and “Rear View”.  The first two are my favorites, particularly “Wind Up”.  Simple and effective.  Love.

Apparently, Mike Rizzo has said that Strasburg will be shut down after between 160-180 innings, regardless of the Nationals’ playoff situation.  This makes my brain explode.  Nationals fans, you have my sincerest apologies in advance for how your season could potentially end.

Joe Posnanski is my favorite baseball writer and has just left Sports Illustrated for a new project.  You can check out his revamped blog here, though!

I don’t need to tell any of you that Curtis Granderson hit three home runs last night in consecutive plate appearances, right?  Because you all heard that already and wept quietly into your pillow.  Favorite reaction- last night, during the Tigers broadcast, Mario said “So, it looks like Curtis is having himself a day”, to which Rod replied, with a knowing, weary tone “What has he done?”.  Because everyone misses Curtis.

Take heed, American League teams

Oh, you all know we have this guy . . .

. . .  and this guy . . .

. . . and you may have heard we had this guy.

But, with all of that going on, you may have forgotten that we still have this guy . . .

. . . and this guy . . .

. . . and, of course, this guy.

So, you know, good luck with that!

Final spring training update- Tigers vs. Braves, again

With nothing planned on the day and the Tigers playing at Disney, husband and I decided to take in one last game before the team heads north.  And, because y’all seem to love pictures (hi, Google Image search hits!) and the suspense of whether or not Inge will be on the roster is giving me tics, this is going to be mainly a picture post.  I’m figuring you guys are okay with that.  Also, honestly, there’s not a whole lot to say at this point in the spring, especially after Verlander goes out and pitches exactly like Verlander and the game gets called in the 7th due to torrential downpour and thunder.  A few quick bullets:

– Verlander did, indeed, pitch like Verlander, and I don’t think he’d hit his pitch count yet when the game ended in the 7th.  With the exception of a ball that was hit to the center field wall, none of the Braves hit anything particularly hard off him.  Hooray!

– Every game I catch, Avila looks like he’s having so much fun.  I’m glad he’s adjusted so smoothly to being a daily, All-Star catcher.  Prince seems like he’s having an equally good time.  When I got to the park, the two of them were cracking each other up and chattering away while stretching.

– Jackson got on base, stole second immediately, and came into score later.  It was nice to see this work out exactly as we want it to on paper before my very eyes.  Please keep doing this, Austin!

–  Thomas absolutely killed a ball over the deep right field wall.  It was a thing of beauty, and probably didn’t hurt his chances of making the roster.  This whole Dirks/Worth/Thomas/Inge madness is going right down to the wire, folks.

–  Balester came up to sign autographs and people started yelling “Mister Fister!” trying to get his attention.  “I’m not Fister” he sighed diplomatically.  And, really, now that I look at them, Balester is pretty much a scruffy Fister.

Jackson, Avila, Fielder

Jackson, Fielder, and Avila joke around while stretching.

Brennan Boesch

Brennan Boesch looks imposing.

Dave Dombrowski observes batting practice.

Cabrera

Miguel and friend both jump for a ball.

Benoit, Coke, and Balester

Benoit, Coke, and Balester half-heartedly stretch during batting practice.

Avila, Raburn, Worth, and Peralta

Peralta, Raburn, Worth, and Avila watch Cabrera during batting practice.

Avila, Peralta, Raburn, Worth

Peralta, Raburn, Worth, and Avila admire a Cabrera practice home run.

Verlander

Ladies and gentlemen, The Man.

Cabrera and Fielder

Cabrera and Fielder, a blossoming bromance.

Jackson, Fielder, and Cabrera

Fielder hangs out with Jackson and Boesch. He seems to be fitting right in.

Cabrera and Fielder mess around between innings.

Cabrera and Fielder. Run, Fielder, run!

Cabrera and Uggla were very touchy and friendly over at second. Right here, Cabrera was giving him crap about something.

Spring training update- Tigers vs. Mets

I have Spring Break this week, which means bonus baseball!  I headed down to Lakeland this afternoon to catch the Mets against the Tigers.  After yesterday’s cancelled game, this proved to be a parade of pitching prospects and did not disappoint in that regard.  It DID disappoint in that it was the third tie game in a row, but, Spring Training, doesn’t count, whatever.  A few notes from today:

– Smyly’s line looked good and people seemed pleased with his start, but I need to point out that watching him pitch felt like watching Penny.  His pace was so. so. slow.  I don’t know if this is normal for him or if he was being extra careful because he knows he’s competing for a spot, but it was tiring to watch.

– Jackson had good contact, for which my section cheered heartily.  Inge also had good contact, also earning cheers from us.  Cabrera was Cabrera.  I don’t get to see him hit in person often but am always so impressed with his swing.  Everything people say it is and more.  Avila had two beautiful hits and Laird, LAIRD, hitting a double!  Amazement!  Really, overall, the hitting was what it has been all spring.  Nice stuff.

– Turner needs time, which I think all of us know and saying so is kind of beating a dead horse.  He got beat up pretty badly.  I don’t worry about them rushing him through the system after seeing what else we have out there, but I still feel the need to plead with people to give him time to develop.

– Avila had two beautiful throws to Inge at second but didn’t get the call on either of them.

– I feel like Balester has kind of been lost since we’re so focused on who our fifth starter will be, but I’ve been impressed with him so far.

– Speaking of fifth starters, I think I’m officially casting my vote for Oliver.  Yes, he was pitching against mostly second string today, but he looked great doing it and his control has improved significantly.  No walks in four innings!  Two broken bats!  Hooray!

This has nothing to do with the game, but I’m sure you’ve all heard that Pauley was released.  I could hear the Tigers faithfully collectively saying “No, really?” in a sarcastic tone at hearing this.

You all want pictures, right?  Here you go:

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Spring training update 4- MOAR PICTURES!

Really, just a continuation of the last update.  Apologies for taking so long.  The laptop went in for a hard drive transplant and is now back and running.  Also, there was a birthday and a Flogging Molly concert in there, somewhere.  Anyway!  To the pictures!

When we left off, the infielders were doing drills with some assistance from a few pitchers.  The rest of the pictures were with Kenny Rogers learning how not to commit errors.  A few of the starting pitchers started throwing from the mound without the screen but the hitters weren’t really taking swings (though I did see a few balls fly…).  Fister and Scherzer were throwing on the front to fields so I could actually watch them.  We weren’t watching what everyone important- and I’m talking Leyland, Verlander, Al Avila, La Russa, Kaline- went to the back to watch.  Wunderkind Turner was throwing his session from the mound.  Early reports are pretty impressive, but I have no first-hand information on this.

Fister pitching

Doug Fister pitches while being incredibly lanky.

Max Scherzer pitching

Scherzer pitches from the mound while being Scherzer.

Of course, the outfielders had very little do to while waiting for actual batting practice to start.  Prince Fielder took some time chatting with our corner outfielders while not shagging balls.

fielder boesch and young

I'm 99% certain that Delmon Young is the one with his back to the camera as he talks with Fielder and Boesch.

HALL OF FAMER ALERT!

Willie Horton

Husband and I were standing out by the road when a golf cart rolled past (not unusual during spring).  After a beat, we were both like “Holy crap, Willie Horton!”.  We had pretty much the same encounter with Al Kaline, who was warmly greeted by everyone he passed.  His cart also drove within inches of us, which was just awesome.

Everyone broke into rotations at this point between the four fields.  On the near fields, where we were, they were working on base running and batting practice.  The base running was actually fun to watch.  I got a good luck and the guys taking leads from first and taking off.  This, of course, will be important this year because we have possibly the slowest line-up in all of baseball.  I have no data to prove it, but I’m fairly certain this is a fact.

 

base running

You can see out entertaining they found this. Don Kelly takes a lead while Laird laughs at him.

 

Jackson running

Help us, Action Jackson, you're our only hope!

first base

Brandon Inge and friends wait for first base to move or something.

Batting practice was fairly exciting.  Fielder, Young, Boesch, Cabrera, and Avila were all in the same hitting group and it was delightfully terrifying.  And by typing that, I may have just jinxed our entire season, of course.  Boesch whiffed at probably 4 or 5 pitches in a row off the pitching machine which had Cabrera practically doubled over laughing.  After that, he looked crazy good.  As many, many have already said, Austin Jackson looks great with his new stance.  His swing looked quick and he was the only one who cleared the fence while I was watching.  I watched one group of prospects that looked surprisingly good.  If we don’t trade them all away, we have some nice hitting on the farm right now.  Inge looked much better than last year- nice bat speed, good eye, hitting multiple parts of the field- but no one will even talk about that until he starts seeing real pitching this week.

Jackson hitting

Austin Jackson pops one over the fence while everyone watches.

Inge and Thomas

Inge and Thomas watch the ball fly.

And now for some bonus “Awwwwwww” shots:

Leyland and Leyland

The Skipper checks in with his son.

Awwww.

Leyland and Leyland. I'm cynical as all get out and this makes me warm and fuzzy.

Kaline's scooter

We were on our way out for the day, saw this, and nearly lost our minds. How incredibly COOL is this?! Kaline forever, dude.

Just a few blog notes for those of you who seem to have stumbled in lately (Thank you!):  I do plan to link to photo galleries.  I’ve taken a load of pictures and I seriously had a hard time picking which ones to put in these updates.  I’ll share, I promise.  Also, the blog and Husband will be at the Braves game on Saturday afternoon, so you can expect some pictures and an update later!

On a final note, is anyone at all surprised that Grady Sizemore is injured?  Anyone?  Not a good time to have the last name Sizemore right now, I tell ya’.