Hey, kids. Yes, I’m alive. Sorry to disappoint some of you.
I’ve been stuck in a strange place in between writer’s block and complete apathy for most of this year. You see, I don’t really care for the 2014 Detroit Tigers team and have found it hard to devote time to writing about them. Of course, I still root for them, but it's just not the same this year. Blame my job. Blame my growing disdain of the internet and the people that inhabit it. Blame the Fister trade. (Seriously, mostly blame that.)
So this is my first attempt at writing about the team in nearly two months. There’s a lot to cover. Let’s try something new and hit up 26ish topics from A-Z.
ALEX Avila should never start against left-handed pitching. I’m not one of the strange mutant sub-group of Tigers fans that scream “OMG NEPOTISM” every time Alex strikes out. I’m actually a big fan of him. He’s a great defensive catcher. He handles the pitching staff very well. He’s seemingly the only Tiger not afraid to take a walk. His OBP against righties is a healthy .343. He's tougher than a two dollar steak. But against lefties? Not so much. Avila has a .258 OBP with 35 strikeouts in 88 at bats. That’s beyond awful. No more. It’s embarrassing.
BRYAN Holaday is not the right-handed answer to the catcher problem. For starters, Bry sucks all the various private parts on defense. And his offense is even worse. He has 2 extra base hits in 116 plate appearances this season and 5 in 162 career ones. Against lefties, Holaday is hitting .169/.215/.203. Also, he looks like shit in a swimsuit.
Meanwhile, in AAA, James McCann is killing the ball. The kid’s hitting .310/.363/.437 with 32 doubles. Send Holaday off to the shitty ex-Tiger farm with Josh Anderson, Brent Clevlen, and the others and give McCann half the starts. Again, I like Alex, but it’s not like Avila is Pudge Rodriguez in his prime back there.
CAN you believe Don Kelly is still somehow on this team? He has zero home runs. He has only 4 extra base hits in his 133 plate appearances this year. He serves no purpose. Yet Ausmus feels the need to bat him sixth from time to time just to make my head explode. Why are Holaday, Kelly, and Romine continuing to take up space on the roster when better choices in McCann, Collins, and Perez exist at Toledo? Certainly there’s another shitty player that’s nice to the media that can get the useless Heart & Hustle award every year. Shake some things up. The team's output certainly can't get any worse lately.
DOUG Fister is 11-3 with a 2.49 ERA with the Washington Nationals this year. This is your constant reminder from me that Dave Dombrowski traded him for a Don Kelly clone that was gone before the season began, the walking abortion that is Ian Krol, and underwhelming prospect Robbie Ray. I’m still not over the stupidity of this trade and probably never will be. Never forget that Dave rushed into that idiotic trade so he could free up cash to sign Joe Nathan’s stumbling corpse.
EUGENIO Suarez is not the shortstop of the future. Jose Iglesias still is. But I think Suarez could be a hell of a utility guy for this team for years to come. Imagine Ramon Santiago if he wasn’t completely awful at the plate. Sort of like that. Utility players do not have to be terrible, despite what most Tigers fans have been conditioned to believe.
FUCK Phil Coke with a bowling pin wrapped in barbed wire. Why is he still a thing?
GOOGLE images for “Justin Verlander and Kate Upton” and try not to hate yourself for not being better at throwing a baseball hard.
HOW does the Tigers bullpen continue to destroy every previously great reliever that enters it? Valverde, Nathan, Soria, etc…it has to have been built on an Indian Burial Ground that itself was built upon another cursed gravesite.
IMAGINE being as bad at your job as Craig Monroe is at his. Would your employers put up with it for more than a day or two, let alone the years that FSD has put up with C-Mo? Holy shit. The next good point that Craig makes will be his first.
JUSTIN Verlander belongs in the bullpen if the Tigers make the playoffs. Price, Scherzer, Sanchez, and Porcello have all been superior to him this season. He could be the Lincecum of the Tigers staff this year. Do the Tigers brass have the balls to do it, though? Would JV’s massive ego allow it? I doubt it on both counts, sadly.
KEVIN Whelan is the latest shitty reliever to be called up to the Tigers pen. He was once traded by Detroit to New York for Gary Sheffield. Thanks to deferred payments, the Tigers are still paying Sheff, by the way. I love pointing that out to people.
LUKE Putkonen has spent the whole season on the DL. He still has yet to smile. Ever. I respect that about him.
That is his happy face.
MAX Scherzer will not be a Tiger next year. No chance in hell. Start getting used to the idea now, if you haven’t begun already.
NATHAN is an undercover Twin. I’ve said it all along. And he’s corrupted Torii, too. There’s no way Hunter’s defense could be this bad all of the sudden. Joe Nathan is the root of all evil. It’s science. It's also alarming that he's under contract for next year, too. For another $10 million. Doom, people. Doom.
OUT of everyone listed on the Tigers 40 man roster, catcher Ramon Cabrera is the one I was most surprised at. Who the shit is Ramon Cabrera? They know he’s not related to Miguel, right?
PAT McCoy was on the team for the past ten days and I didn’t even know it until the 34th inning in Toronto on Sunday.
QUIT showing the Kid Rock Chevy commercial, FSD. I’m eventually going to snap and kill Lindsey Hayes in protest. The blood will be on your hands. (She won’t be missed. Shannon 4-ever.)
RAJAI Davis isn’t nearly as bad as people on Twitter act like he is. So many Tigers fans bitch about Davis and yet cheer Don Kelly at every turn. But they’re not racist. Right. Some clown started talking to me in a bar the other day after noticing my Tigers hat. I humored him and may have mentioned how I wouldn’t mind seeing Don Kelly torn apart by sharks. He said that he rooted for Donnie and the other white players because he identified with them more. He said Kinsler was his favorite player by default since he doesn’t care about pitchers. I stared at him with my mouth hanging open for a while before mumbling “Fuck, I hate our fans” and wandering away from him. Anyway, I don't mind Rajai. There's plenty worse than him on the roster.
SIX players. There are only six healthy players left on this roster that I actually enjoy watching play. They are Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Kinsler, Avila (against righties), Price, and Chamberlain. The rest of them? I couldn’t care less anymore for various reasons that I may get into in the future. Sanchez and Soria can be added to the “yay” list when they come off the DL. Move this up to E for EIGHT at that point and move that down here starting the sentence with SUAREZ.
TORII Hunter somehow aged 15 years between the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Again, I blame Joe Nathan. That fucker is the worst. Also, he looks like a horse. A sweaty, sweaty horse.
UNTIL Dombrowski comes up with an explanation that makes sense for the haul he got in the Fister trade, I will never trust him again. Never.
VICTOR Martinez is a free agent after this season. Imagine the lineup without him and try not to jump out of a window screaming.
WAVE practicing fans should be shot. Survivors should be shot again.
X-RAYS will show that Miguel Cabrera is not healthy and hasn’t been this entire season. His batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentages are all the lowest they’ve been since 2008, his first year in the American League. The man is hurting. If the team had anything close to depth, we could build up a lead in the Central give him a week off. But no. We need to keep Kelly, Holaday, and Romine around so dickbags like the one I met at the bar have someone they can identify with or something.
YOU may have noticed that Huge hasn’t written a column on mLive in months. We won, everybody. We won. You’re welcome. *
[* I had nothing to do with it, of course. But it’s fun to pretend. Man, that guy was the worst. But he gave me something to make fun of.]
ZEKE Carrera needs to learn to clap. Once he does, Tigers fans will all adore him. Except the ones that don't identify with him.
See you in two months when I write about Doug Fister finishing in the top three in the NL Cy Young voting. Or maybe sooner. We’ll see.
Until then, don't blame me. I voted for