After taking three of four games from the Twins, the Tigers sit in first place in the AL Central at 28-20. By comparison, last season’s squad was 23-25 after 28 games. The 2011 team that won 95 games was 25-23.
And ten years ago, the depressing 2003 Tigers were 12-36.
The point is, these Tigers are off to a pretty good start. I’ll feel even better once Austin Jackson is healthy and/or Garcia stats getting more playing time than Kelly. Remember when they said Avi wouldn’t be brought up to platoon? And now he’s the lesser played platoon partner of Donnie (Suxat) Baseball. LOLeyland.
But all is going well thanks to lots of games with Houston and Minnesota. Up next is another historically bad franchise of late, the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have actually played well this season.
Home City: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
City Known For: It is known as “The Steel City” and also “The City of Bridges”. In the past decade or two, it has also been known for its mouth-breathing, foul-mouthed, front-running Yinzer football fans. I’m told that the actual city of Pittsburgh is a nice place and that their “representatives” outside the city are what is bad. Maybe someone from the area can chime in and let us know. Jim Leyland and Don Kelly live there in the offseason, so I’m sure it’s a “no brainer” to live there.
Home Park: PNC Park
Field Known For: It stands along the Allegheny River with a view of downtown Pittsburgh. The park also features a riverside concourse, steel truss work, an extensive out-of-town scoreboard, and many local eateries. It really is a beautiful stadium and probably the only decent reason anyone could have for visiting Pittsburgh. Well, other than egging Don Kelly’s house.
Fanbase: I’ve never actually met a Pirates fan. But I’ve worked in sports bars for over a decade and if they’re anything like the hundreds of Steelers fans I’ve seen, they should all be euthanized for the good of mankind.
Formerly: Pittsburgh Alleghenys, Pittsburgh Innocents
Hall of Famers (as Pirates/Alleghenys): Jake Beckley, Max Carey, Fred Clarke, Roberto Clemente, Barney Dreyfuss, Ralph Kiner, Bill Mazeroski, Willie Stargell, Pie Traynor, Arky Vaughan, Honus Wagner, Lloyd Waner, Paul Waner.
Five Reasons to Hate the Pirates:
1. If you hate Leyland, without his success in Pittsburgh, he’d likely never be the Tigers manager.
2. Unleashed Barry Bonds upon the world.
3. They have allowed Brandon Inge to continue his career. We can’t miss him if he never goes away.
4. Jason Grilli is their closer. And is successful at it.
5. The Steelers are evil enough that the Pirates can’t escape their association.
Best Players: Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, AJ Burnett
Glad They’re Gone: Kevin Correia, a terrible starter that the Tigers suck against for some reason, is now a Twin.
Funniest Offseason Signing: Few signings can be as laughable as signing Brandon Inge.
America’s newest Penguins fan is hitting .246/.281/.279 with 0 HR and 4 RBI in 25 games at first, second, third, short, and right field. When he somehow homers against us in the next four days, I'm going to kill everyone in the tri-state area.
Former Tigers: Inge, Grilli, John McDonald
Most Annoying Pirate in History: Gotta go with Grilli.
If you don’t remember him as a gascan in the Detroit bullpen from 2005-2008, maybe you remember him for running his mouth about the team on his way out. Jim Leyland remarked that he didn’t want to hear “any weak shit from Jason Grilli” after Grilli’s comments became public. Fuck him.
Also, he’s suddenly good at baseball this year with a 1.25 ERA in 21.2 innings and a perfect 19 of 19 in saves, despite now looking like an unwashed hobo. I credit his hiring of Gary Sheffield as his SUPERAGENT.
Team Strength: Outstanding bullpen so far.
Team Weakness: Burnett is the only proven quality starting pitcher. I can’t see their early success lasting all year.
Stupidest Name on Roster: Brandon Inge
TigerSnark Dictionary Definition for “Inge”: An annoying cut that never seems to heal.
Used in a Sentence: If the doctor can’t help get rid of this INGE, I’m going to hang myself.
Say Something Nice, Jerk: McCutchen is my favorite non-Tiger in MLB.
2013 Probable Outlook: The NL Central is a three team race with the Pirates, Reds, and Cardinals all enjoying hot starts. Pittsburgh is currently third in the race. I expect them to stay there and have to fight off the Brewers from overtaking them in the standings.