Monday, December 31, 2012

Why Torii Hunter's Alleged Comments Don't Matter To Me

Happy New Year, everyone. I hope all of you had a wonderful (insert holiday you celebrate in late December). Myself, I’ve had a rough couple weeks. I strained or ripped a muscle in my lower back causing some extreme discomfort and pain for almost a month. Getting older sucks, my twenty-something year old friends out there. You’ll see in your thirties. Then, a week before Christmas, one of my closest friends went into cardiac arrest and we’re still not sure she’s going to survive. That’s been really hard to deal with. I had to spend hundreds of dollars that I shouldn’t have been spending on my ungrateful son in the yearly holiday tradition of trying to buy his love. And Christmas morning, I woke up to find myself being attacked by what I believe to be SARS or bird flu that lasted until late yesterday. December is the worst.

So yes, the launching of TigerSnark hit an unexpected snag the past couple weeks. But before we get back into the groove, I wanted to touch on this Torii Hunter thing. If you missed it, Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times quoted Hunter on the subject of how he would feel to have a gay teammate. Torii’s alleged response was, “For me, as a Christian … I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it’s not right. It will be difficult and uncomfortable.”

Hunter has since released the predictable follow up statement that he was misquoted. “I’m very disappointed in Kevin Baxter’s article in which my quotes and feelings have been misrepresented. He took two completely separate quotes and made them into one quote that does not express how I feel as a Christian or a human being. I have love and respect for all human beings regardless of race, color or sexual orientation. I am not perfect and try hard to live the best life I can and treat all people with respect. If you know me you know that I am not anti-anything and to be portrayed as anti-gay in this article is hurtful and just not true.”

Whatever. I couldn’t possibly care less what Torii Hunter thinks about gays, race, the TV show “Mad Men”, Britney Spears, or anything else. I just don’t think it’s important. All I care about is his performance on the baseball field. Is that wrong? Craig Calcaterra, a writer at NBC Hardball Talk who I greatly respect, thinks that Hunter’s quotes are quite important and Craig makes some good points in his article on it. But I still don’t think it matters for one simple reason.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays

Once again, pesky real life problems are making things difficult to contribute horrible jokes about baseball. My apologies. But I wanted to take time to thank you all for your enthusiasm and support for TigerSnark since I started writing again. As always, you guys rule.

I'm hoping things will calm down again after the holidays. In the mean time, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and all that good stuff.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Stupid Bracketology: Best MLB Team Name

I’ve always been a sucker for anything if you put it into tournament form. And I think I’m far from alone in my silly bracketology-love. Each March, every idiot and their brother suddenly becomes a college basketball expert despite not watching a game all year and filling out their March Madness brackets. Last March at the old home, I even did a 64-person bracket to decide the best Tiger player of all time. Fun was had by all.

So what else can we decide in brackets? How about the best team name in Major League Baseball? Trouble is, there are thirty teams and we need thirty-two to get a full bracket. My simple solution is to bring back the last two teams I can think of that were moved to a new city, the Senators and Expos. That’ll get us to thirty-two and supply a talking point for those of us that are sick of “Do We Trade Rick Porcello For Anything With A Pulse For Some Reason” talk.

I’ll separate by league and go in alphabetical order by city.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Translating Tuesday's #AskDave Chat

Tigers General Manager David Dombrowski participated in a Q & A via the team’s Twitter account Tuesday afternoon. He answered several softball questions from fans and the answers didn’t reveal much that we didn’t already know.

Unless you read between the lines.

The following is the transcript of the Q & A, but I’ve added in the unspoken words behind his answers in case you couldn’t understand them yourself. You’re welcome.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Why Does Lynn Henning Hate Jhonny Peralta?

Jhonny Peralta is not a perfect baseball player. And last year was a down season for him, as he hit .239/.305/.384 with only 13 homers and 63 RBI. He still managed to put up a 0.8 WAR after 2011’s better than expected 3.5. And he still has some pop in his bat, catches everything hit near him despite somewhat limited range, and is a good teammate. He is reasonably priced and there’s nothing obviously better on the free agent market.

So why does Detroit News writer Lynn Henning seem to hate the guy so much? I tend to like Henning more than most Tiger fans and find his 15 year old emo girl Twitter rants entertaining, most of the time. But he can’t seem to resist crapping on Jhonny Peralta on a near daily basis. Meanwhile, he talks about Danny Worth like he’s Sparky Anderson gushing about Chris Pittaro.

There has to be a reason for this. I’ve racked my thimble-sized brain for what the motive could be and have come up with several possible answers.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Top Five: Tiger Starting Pitchers

Last week, I listed off my five least liked Tiger starting pitchers since I was introduced to the game. Today, I’m going to the opposite side of the coin and list off my five personal favorites.

As always with these lists, it’s a matter of personal taste with no rhyme or reason to it. These just happen to be the guys I have rooted for the most and look most fondly upon when I think about the team. And considering the long stretch between Morris and Verlander before we had a decent starter in the D, the choices were quite limited.

It’s sad that we were forced to be excited to have a washed up Hideo Nomo for a while. Anyhoo…

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Super Agent Makes His Pitch

JACK ZDURIENCIK: Yes, bartender, I’ll take another Irish coffee. Dave, what can I get for you?
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Appletini, please. And save the jokes before I have to start on the obvious Seattle/coffee ones, okay?

ZDURIENCIK: Sure, pal. Let’s get down to business. As you know, we’re looking to add some pop to our outfield.

DOMBROWSKI: Obviously. That Jason Bay deal you made was a real…hahahaha…

ZDURIENCIK: Shut up. Damn whiskey. Anyway, we’re considering offering you a deal for Brennan Bo…

DOMBROWSKI: Done. We’ll take it.

ZDURIENCIK: But I haven’t told you the deal yet.

DOMBROWSKI: That’s okay. Crippled Single-A prospect, one of Ichiro’s old uniforms, a grande expresso from Starbucks…whatever you think is fair.

ZDURIENCIK: Well, I’m not so sure now.

DOMBROWSKI: No takesy backsies! We have a deal!

ZDURIENCIK: We didn’t shake on it.

DOMBROWSKI: Nuh uh! Doesn’t matter! We…

/door to bar explodes open

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bottom Five: Tiger Starting Pitchers

The winter months now have us staring into the abyss that is the MLB offseason. Not a lot happens, unless you enjoy the constant rumors that swirl around the ballclub that seem to be made up by bored sportswriters half the time. And rather than address every idiotic gossip story that may or may not have actual legitimacy, I thought I’d spend the next few weeks exploring the past a bit.

I’ll be going position by position across the baseball diamond and giving you my five favorite and five least favorite Tigers that I’ve seen play the game of baseball at each spot. Feel free to share yours, if you want. When it comes to listing personal favorites, rhyme or reason often tends to go out the window. Many times it doesn’t make a lot of sense who you enjoy or detest watching play the game. That’s why I think it’s a fun topic to discuss.

We’ll start this science experiment off with my five least favorite starting pitchers since I became a fan in 1985.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mitch Albom is the Worst

I have a confession to make.

I didn’t plan on coming back to making doodie jokes about the Tigers until around Spring Training. The offseason, with the exception of a few random days (OMG TORII HUNTER!!!), is boring. There’s not a lot to talk about and it’s rough to come up with material. So I was going to wait.

Plus, the team got swept in the World Series. After Miguel Cabrera’s strikeout to end it, the last thing I wanted to do was think or write about baseball for a while.

But one man and his ridiculous column about why the Tigers lost the Series changed all that. His work annoyed me so much that I started making plans to return much earlier. And this site is the result.

His name is Mitch Albom and he is the worst. No, it’s not the embarrassing bit he wrote about the MVP debate that got him mocked by countless sites around the internet. But it’s almost as bad. I’ve held on to this one for a while to see if it still annoyed me as much weeks later as when I first read it. It does. Even more so.

You see, the Tigers lost because they didn’t jump around before games like Hunter Pence did. So sez Albom.

I sez he is a thoughtless hack.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Meanwhile...Last Month in New York

During Game One of the ALCS, The New York Post reported that Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez wrote a note on a baseball to be given to some women in the stands asking for their phone numbers. One of them was said to be Australian model, Kyna Treacy.

This is their story.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Don't Get the Point of Booing

Writing about Ryan Raburn the other day got me thinking about something. Looking back at the twenty years or so (yikes) that I’ve been going to games, I tried to remember if I’ve ever booed anyone. The only time I can come up with was two years ago on Opening Day. I was with a group of people and they were doing the player introductions. When they announced Don Kelly, everyone I was with looked at me because they’re horrible people. So I jokingly began booing. That’s it. I just find the whole idea of booing your own team’s players ridiculous and detestable. I could never be a Philadelphia sports fan, I guess.

Go look in the mirror real quick, make a poo-poo face, and yell “BOOOOOO”. Looks stupid, doesn’t it? Where did it even come from? According to the communists at Wikipedia:

Booing performers has a very long history, The first written record comes from ancient Greece. At the annual Festival of Dionysia in Athens, playwrights competed to determine whose tragedy was the best. When the democratic reformer Cleisthenes came to power in the 6th century B.C., audience participation came to be regarded as a civic duty. The audience applauded to show its approval and shouted and whistled to show displeasure. In ancient Rome, jeering was common at the gladiatorial games, where audience participation often determined whether a competitor lived or died.

While people have expressed displeasure publicly since ancient times, the English word boo was first used in the early 19th century to describe the lowing sound that cattle make. Later in the 19th century, the word came to be used to describe the disapproving cry of crowds.

You people that boo are making cow noises. Congratulations. It’s a shame you don’t voice your displeasure by saying “hee-haw”. Because you are a bunch of jackasses.

Baseball players, like most other people, are just trying to do their jobs. They don’t want to fail any more than you want to see them fail. What if other professions in this country were subject to the viewing of the stereotypical idiot sports fan?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

In Defense of Detroit's Most Hated Hillbilly

In 2009, the Tigers had a guy that hit .291/.359/.533 with 16 homers and an OPS+ of 130 in 113 games. In 2010, he hit .280/.340/.474 with 15 homers and a 118 OPS+ in, again, 113 games. In 2011, he got off to an awful start, but still hit 14 homers and finished with an OPS+ of 96 with some big hits down the stretch. In the playoffs that year, he hit .286/.375/.536 with 2 home runs in 32 plate appearances. In that time, he played six different defensive positions, despite only really being suited for the outfield. But he did what his manager told him. And he put up a 3.7 WAR combined over that time.

Does this sound like the worst player in baseball history? Well, it is if you listen to many Tigers fans.

Ryan Raburn had a terrible 2012. In 66 games and 222 plate appearances, he hit .171/.226/.254 with 1 home run. He battled injuries, the death of his grandmother, and a crowd that booed his every move as if he was named Casey Anthony rather than Ryan Raburn.

The Tigers released Raburn (spelled Rayburn if you’re a mouth-breathing idiot) this past week. Personally, I would have liked to have seen him given one more year in a bench role. A healthy Raburn has value. That has been proven. But I understand the move based off his poor 2012, the salary raise he was due, and that I think he needs a change of scenery from the CoPa boo-birds.

But I cannot agree with the glee that so many folks take in his departure. Raburn was an important part of the 2009-2011 Tigers and all the good he did is constantly ignored while his mistakes are magnified like he was A-Rod in the unforgiving New York spotlight.

Do Tigers fans really have that short or selective of a memory? Do they hate all people with a Southern accent? Or are there really just that many idiots among us? You be the judge.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Catching Up On Lost Time

Well, in the few months I was off playing Father Teresa, a lot happened. Games were won, games were lost. Seasons changed. We all grew a bit older and wiser. Brennan Boesch continued to be terrible at playing baseball.

Today, we cover the stuff that happened from mid-August until, oh, noon today involving Tigers baseball. Only then can we move forward with clear minds. Or something.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Torii Hunter: Impact Player

via The Detroit News
I want to play a little catch-up on what’s happened in Detroit baseball since I’ve been gone, but I feel the need to tackle this subject first.

The Tigers signed Torii Hunter last week. I was and remain ecstatic. The Tigers finally signed a free agent that I, personally, really wanted on the ballclub. This never happens. They always seem to sign some clown like Adam Everett that makes my ears bleed. This is different.

There are Tiger killers that suck, yet somehow beat up on Detroit like Luke Scott, Joe Crede, and Nick Punto. Then, there are the guys that always seem to kill us, yet I still admire their skills from afar because they’re great ballplayers. Those are the folks like Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, and Mr. Torii Hunter.

And we got him. Finally, Austin Jackson has some help directly behind him in the lineup and next to him in the outfield, too. Hooray!

And everyone else seemed elated, too. Well, except for noted buzzkill Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press. Drew thinks this is a mistake. Drew is an idiot.

Okay. Let’s discuss. It’s been a while, kids. Bear with me if I’m rusty.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

TigerSnark FAQ

So where was I? Oh, yeah. Don Kelly sucks.

Welcome to TigerSnark, boys and girls. Baseball is a sport that many of us take way too seriously, yours truly included at times. It’s my goal to try and lighten the mood, from time to time, and hopefully add some fun to watching the Detroit Tigers play baseball. This is all an attempt at entertainment and is nothing more than that. If you’ve come here looking for serious, no nonsense, gripping baseball analysis…well, you’re in the wrong place. I make doodie jokes about Brennan Boesch.

Many of you know me and it’s great to have you reading my stuff again. Some of you may be new. I welcome you, as well. This first entry to TigerSnark is an introduction to my world and what this site will be about. Hopefully any questions you may have will be answered here in this FAQ. (How can there be Frequently Asked Questions on a blog that hasn’t started yet? Shut up.)

Let’s begin.