Tag Archives: Delmon Young

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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NOT HELPFUL, DELMON

Are you freaking kidding me with this??

Okay, look, Delmon.  Let’s talk about this for a minute.  New York City is an exciting place.  I know you were probably excited that the team got in early enough to enjoy a little time in the city.  But New York is a great place.  There are many, MANY things to do that do not involve drinking and staying out until after 2am.  And, hell, if you were going to drink?  Have a beer.  Maybe two.  Meet some locals.  Go to bed at a descent hour.  But you are on a team that is slumping.  Drinking to a degree that impares your judgement the day before a game against the NEW YORK YANKEES is a STUPID IDEA.  One of your OWN TEAM MATES can provide you with endless reasons as to why this is true.
Also?  Your team just lost 6 of 7 games at home, 3 of those against the Mariners.  Fans are angry.  Your manager is frustrated.  The longest employed player in the organization, whom some of your team mates have known for 10 years, was just fired.  For one second, did you think that MAYBE putting yourself in a situation that COULD lead to trouble was the absolute LAST THING any of your team mates or bosses needed right now?  They’ve been through this before.  Recently.  I have a feeling their patience for these kinds of shennanigans are wearing very, very thin.

And, if we’re being really honest?  You’re no Miguel Cabrera, and you’ve been in trouble before.  You’re a free agent at the end of this year, and you’ve seemed very concerned about that fact whenever anyone thinks that maybe your lack of range in left may mean you should be a full-time DH.  Do you really think this kind of behavior is going to help you get a job next year?  Really?

One of the reasons I love professional baseball is because this kind of crap doesn’t seem to happen with nearly the frequency it does in, say, the NBA or the NFL.  I want the athletes I root for to be good role models for my kids someday.  Good people make mistakes.  Good people make poor choices.  But the information coming forward that this may have a anti-semetic aspect to it makes it harder for me to write this whole situation off as “one of those things”.  Drinking lowers our inhibitions.  It doesn’t change who we are as people.

Jim Leyland stood up in front of a room full of people just days ago and praised your team for who they are as people.  Do you remember what he said?

“We just have a wonderful group of guys. In fact, to be honest with you, if we’re going to win this thing, we’ve got to find that little mean streak that’s in all of us. We need that, and we’re going to have to have that. We are going to need that little mean streak, I can assure you, that little swagger, because we’re the hunted. But I’ll take my chances with this group. We’ve got a lot of characters, a lot of wonderful guys with great, great personalities.”

“I’ve never really seen many good players or good teams that didn’t have a little mean streak, a little selfishness in them, to be honest with you. I mean that in a good way. … In our case, I think it’s particularly important because a lot of people have talked about our club, blah blah blah.  There’s time to be a real nice guy and a gentleman, but it’s not when the game starts. You have to have a little bit of [a-hole] in you, if you want to know the truth.”

This isn’t what he meant.  Not at all.  I’m sure he’s embarassed by what happened this morning, and I hope you appologize to him and the fans for representing the club in this way.

JV tries to kill us, Inge kills the internet, and this is only week 2

(This was written yesterday, FYI, so assume this was all yesterday morning after JV’s start.  I forgot to e-mail the post to myself from the work computer.  Oops.)

Why do I feel like this season has been at least a month long already? My heart should not be litterally pounding during the 10th game of the year. Insanity.

And speaking of insanity, this team (and the fans, actually) has rendered me incapable of coherent speech multiple times over already, so here’s a collection of disjointed thoughts for you.

– At some point during the third game against the White Sox, I had completely transformed into the “Y U No” guy and found myself screaming at the television:

TIGERS OFFENSE Y U NO HIT BASEBALLS?

BULLPEN Y U NO THROW STRIKES?

LEYLAND Y U NO KILL SCHLERETH?

PRINCE Y U INJURE OWN STARTER?

DELMON Y U NO LIKE RUNNING?

DUNN Y U HIT BASEBALL NOW?

FANS Y U NO LIKE OWN TEAM?

And so on. Thank God for Porcello and his rediscovered sinker. When you are reduced to meme-speak this early in the season, you know you’re in for a long summer.

– Boys, I know it is self-preservation, but you’re supposed to protect your pitcher. One of you couldn’t have stood still or knocked down that foul ball or something and kept it from hitting Wilk?

– I guess if you’re going to pass sinus infections and strep around the clubhouse, best to get it out of the way this early in the season. Maybe you don’t want to give it to your broadcaster who just went through chemo, though. Just a thought.

– The fan panic continues at a level that is so ridiculous that I can’t even read Twitter during games if things are going badly. Ryan Raburn should be burned at the stake! Miguel Cabrera is ruined! Jim Leyland should be fired because we lost a game/for leaving JV in/taking JV out/ever using his bullpen/using statistics to compose a line-up/breathing! After last night, it turns out I can’t even read Twitter during games when things are going WELL. I hopped on after Inge’s homerun of majesty last night to see if Samera was gloating (heh) and check the feeds of the few other Tigers fans I can stand to follow. According to a few of those folks, people have such a deep hatred for Brandon Inge that they were actually angry that he hit a home run. That broke a tie. And ended up being the difference in the game. And gave JV a chance at his first win.

… I don’t even know what to do with this information. If you hate a guy so much that you can’t tip your hat and say “huh, good job, I guess”, or even acknowledge that he might have changed the outcome of an entire game, I don’t want to know you. You might call yourself a fan of the team, but we have very different definitions of the word “fan”.

– Along that same line, should we really be upset that the bottom part of the order is stepping up to win games when the middle is so clearly slumping? I love you, Gerald Laird.

– I hate to get my hopes up, but I kind of want to marry this version of Austin Jackson. Never leave us Austin Jackson Who Hits Balls and Takes Walks!

– The MLB Tonight commentary during their live lookins during the 9th inning last night were hysterical. They were utterly convinced that Leyland had gone out to pull Justin during his mound visit and had been talked out of it. Having watched far many, many mound visits during Justin’s starts, my husband and I believed that, after his last start, Leyland was absolutely going to leave Justin in, even if he lost the lead. We never for a moment thought that mound visit was anything more than a “Look, you need one out, just get this done”. I even told my husband that it was all probably some sort of psychological thing for him after the last start and Leyland was letting him work through it. The reactions and expressions of pure relief and glee on Avila and Verlander’s faces after the final out confirmed this long before the quotes from MLB.com did. Do I agree with letting your star arm throw that many VERY FAST pitches in April? No, I do not. But I kind of get it, even if it almost KILLED ME DEAD.

– I hate the White Sox. I hate them in their stupid White Sox faces.

 

Spring training update- Tigers vs. Cardinals

It was St. Patrick’s day, and you know what that meant . . .

Green uniforms

Green for everyone!

Yes, it was that day every spring when both teams wear nearly identical green uniforms for no particular reason, thus confusing the heck out of the more casual fans in our section.  It also meant the bat boy was dressed as a leprechaun and other shenanigans.   I’m not even kidding about the bat boy.  I wish to God I was.

Miguel St. Patrick's

Miguel Cabrera as a leprechaun. You're welcome, folks.

Prince stealing

Prince Fielder stole second base! I can't even make that up, it is so ridiculous.

 

Grounds crew

The grounds crew always does the YMCA in the 5th. They do NOT always do it in green wigs, however.

Cabrera with grounds crew

Miguel Cabrera is amused by the grounds crew.

Somewhere in all this, a baseball game actually happened. Adam Wilk pitching.

Believe it or not, there was actually some pretty good baseball happening somewhere in all the Guiness-fueled insanity.  On top of stealing second, Prince went 3-for-3 and hit a triple.  A TRIPLE.  Quoth Leyland: “To see Prince Fielder leg one out, I got a kick out of it. I don’t expect to see many more of those. But in all seriousness, he’s much more athletic than I thought him to be”.  Awesome.

Adam Wilk struggled early and gave up a 2 run homer to Holliday, which, okay, that’s going to happen.  David Freese made it 3 and it was looking like we were in for a long day yet again.  That’s when the insanity started.  10 unanswered runs from our bats.  Cabrera, Fielder, and Young hit back-to-back-to-back twice in two separate innings and generally created havoc for the whole game.  Holaday caught the whole game and even got a hit!  We didn’t commit any errors (…until this afternoon. Seriously, boys?)!  Jackson didn’t strike out!  Again, standard spring training disclaimers apply, but we haven’t had a game with less than 7 hits all spring and are outscoring opponents nearly 2-to-1.  I think that’s cause for at least a bit of rejoicing.

It hasn’t just been the bats, though, which brings me to the pitching showdown we witnessed.  Wilk was definitely struggling a bit, but the story of the day was always going to be Oliver vs. Smyly, so that almost felt like an afterthought.  Oliver went two innings, gave up one hit, and walked none.  Smyly went out for the final four innings, didn’t give up a hit, but walked two.  Until yesterday, I was pretty heavily on Team Oliver, but now I’m buckling a bit.  He’s been around a bit longer but has a history of inconsistency with control.  Smyly is barely out of A ball but looks like he has a year with the big club already under his belt.  So . . .  I don’t know.  I think I’m still on Team Oliver because I’m wary of pulling him up too quickly, but I wouldn’t be upset if it goes to Smyly.  He’s clearly earning it.

Some other pretty cool, non-holiday related things were going on before the game, of which I have pictures:

Dirks with kids

Andy Dirks signing for kids.

We spotted Andy Dirks signing autographs for a little league team down on the field before the game started.

Martinez

Look who it is! Victor!

Then who should we spy by the clubhouse but Victor Martinez on crutches!

Al and Victor

Two of the wounded compare notes- Al Alburquerque and Victor Martinez.

Alburquerque was also hanging around and came over to chat with V-Mart, possibly comparing battle scars.  Victor was holding Alburquerque’s arm and squeezing it for some reason.

Little League

Baseball at its most adorable.

After  a few minutes, the little league players and their group came over to the clubhouse.  A few players came over to sign for them and I was trying to figure out if they were from Venezuela or the Dominican when one of the little players broke from the group and my husband and I immediately put two and two together.

Victor Jose

Yep. That's Victor Jose Martinez, greeting his friends.

Victor Jose started greeting the other adults with all the confidence in the world, like he owned the place and they were his personal friends.  Which they probably are.  I freaking love that kid.  He was working the crowd far before he made it over to his dad.  When V-Mart comes back for good and we still have Prince’s boys wandering around, the clubhouse is likely to implode from all the adorable.

Stay tuned for that second base post I keep promising but keep putting off writing.  My intention is to make it objective but that’s proving difficult.  It also becomes more difficult every time Ryan Raburn goes out there and drills one over the fence.  Sigh.

Spring training update 5- Tigers at Braves

Husband and I headed out to ESPN Wide World of Sports for the opening Tigers game of the Spring against the Braves.  Typically, this game is a night game and the weather is delightful.  This year, we were faced with an afternoon game during an unseasonable heat wave with 15+ mile per hour winds.  In case you were curious, 30 SPF sunscreen without reapplication is not sufficient.  My shoulders are spectacular.

Anyhow, if you’ve been following any of the media surrounding the Tigers this spring lately, you’ll know that a) the press is confused by Leyland’s raging man crush on Clete Thomas, b) Inge’s playing time this year is wholly dependent on his ability to hit, c) Leyland loved how Santiago played at second last season, and d) there is some kind of created battle between Worth and Inge for playing time (… I have no idea).  All of these points will be important as I give you some highlights.  Pictures will come after that.

– I hate to tie a team to their fans because they have no control over them, but I’ve been going to Braves vs. Tigers games every March for a few years now and there’s a definite pattern.  While most fans are great, the ones who are not are obnoxious, drunk, and rude.  We always sit in the grass seats along the third base line and there’s a beverage stand on the other side of the fence behind us.  As the games progress, the heckling gets more and more crass.  Today, there were some guys who started in from the first inning with stunningly tasteless comments about Cabrera’s drinking and Fielder’s weight.  Stay classy, Braves fans.

– Austin Jackson struck out to lead off the first inning.  You could feel the Tigers fans (and there were a LOT of us) groan inwardly.  Then Boesch and Cabrera proceed to strike out, as well, and things didn’t seem so terrible.

– Fister looked like his usual, awesomely efficient, self.  Worked through the first two innings cleanly with fairly quick outs.

– Speaking of awesome pitching, a combined 1 hit game?  Awesome.  Granted, starters started coming out in the 6th, but still.  Pauley was the only troubling one with back-to-back walks.  Guh.  Way too familiar.

– Clete Thomas started in left field and made me wonder why on earth we continue to play Delmon at that position.  He could have let that ball go foul, but no, he wanted a job and proceeded to chase it into foul territory, crash over the left field fence, fall into the bullpen, and come up with the ball still in his hand.  INSANITY.  Full confession- I’ve had a crush on Clete since his debut with us, so I don’t really blame Leyland.

– Inge walked in his first at-bat and didn’t do much else at the plate, though still, it wasn’t a strikeout!  HOWEVER.  It was like he told Leyland “I’ll see your Inge Can Play Second But Still Must Hit” and raise you two web gem plays at second.  It was RIDICULOUS and the fans ate it up.  (I realize the Inge haters are vocal, but every time I go to a game, he always gets crazy cheers when his name is announced.)  First play- stretched out fully horizontal and snagged a ball scorched up the middle, saving a run.  Second play- I missed while getting food, of course.  I came back to our spot and asked my husband what I missed, to which he replied, “Inge being a bad ass”.  Apparently he made some insane underhanded flip to the bag to get the last out of the inning.  Both plays also required different movement than any of the plays he’s made at third, meaning this was just a direct skill transfer.

– Keep your eye on Ryan Strieby.  He was impressive during batting practice today.  His swing is crazy smooth and has a ton of power behind it.  Four balls left the park off his bat during batting practice.  Head hit a lovely ball out during the actual game, earning him a second look in my book.  Keep your eye on Luis Marte on the pitching end of things, as well.

– Turner was great to see pitch in person.  He looks fantastic, and there’s not much more I can say there.

And now, pictures!

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