Well it couldn’t have been a better week for Tigers fans. 7 games, 7 wins! Also closing the 3 game gap between us and the Indians to move into a first place tie with the Tribe. Things are starting to look up for some of the early slumping Tigers. Gary Sheffield hit 3 HR’s this week and raised his avg. from .119 to .227. (Not to mention Sheff is 3rd in the A.L. in runs scored with 24) Not a bad week! Brandon Inge is also shaking off his early season funk. And Magglio Ordonez continues to kill the baseball! Slugging Pct. near .700, and 28 RBI’s, Maggs is on a pace to have the best year of his carrer. The little bit of bad news is Joel Zumaya hasn’t looked like his ol self and now maybe we know why. Zumaya was placed on the 15-day DL today when he heard “someting pop” in his middle finger near the knuckle. Hopefully he will make a quick recovery.
After 3 games of what is a very long baseball season, why am I worried about my Detroit Tigers? I’ll tell you in 2 words. Relief Pitching. Well Middle Relief to be politically correct. Last night the Tigers looked like they were sleep walking in K.C. and handed the Royals a victory. Justin Verlander was good, even though he walked a few. The day before they almost blew a 9 run lead to Toronto and held on 10-9. Last night my all-time favorite pitcher (I’m being very sarcastic) Jose Mesa came in and did what he’s best at, blowing games. Verlander gives up only 2 hits in 6 innings, but Mesa gives up hits to the first 3 hitters he sees, and a 1-1 tie is a 3-1 loss. It’s early in the season, but this is a bad sign. I’ve watched Mesa blow many games for the Giants and Indians and I don’t want him doing that here! I wish the Tigers would try to package Jason Grilli and Jose Mesa for……….someone! Maybe Jamie Walker??? Oh yeah, it’s to late for that!
I wrote in 2004 when the Detroit Tigers were going to offer the moon for Carl Pavano it would be the biggest mistake since trading all our future prospects for Juan “I play when I feel like it” Gonzalez. Thank God he chose to go to New York. 39 Million for a guy that had one wining year and a career ERA over 4.50. WOW! Good luck New York, your going to have to score 10,000 runs to win the AL East this year with that pitching staff! 39 Million for Pavano, that makes my blood boil. No wonder why sports fans are getting turned off more and more each year. What would Mickey Mantle get in todays market? The first 100 million dollar player,….per year!
Another thing thats making me shake my head is the NCAA Tourney picks. How in the hell does Syracuse and Drexel get left out of the big dance, and Purdue and Arkansas make it? Who’s on the selection committee? Curious George? Those teams got screwed! Just like the BCS Selections in football it’s all BS!
And what’s with Chris Simon of the New York Isles? Rough day at home so you thought you’d try to kill a guy on the job? Twenty-five games is a joke. Take the rest of his salary for the year and give it to charity. If I did that to some one at a pick up game in the park or on a league I’d be in jail! F@#k this clown and send a message, hit him where it hurts and where most players will pay attention, in the wallet!!
Major League is one of my favorite baseball movies. Major League II is also up there. Of course “For Love of the Game”, “61”, and “Field of Dreams” are there to, but if you’re a die hard baseball fan you gotta love “The Natural”. What is scaring me is that I’m seeing a connection between the movie Major League and the Detroit Tigers. Last year we weren’t supposed to do anything but hold up the bottom of the sports section, like the team in Major League. But along comes “Rick Wild Thing Vaughn” , played by Joel Zumaya, (who really can hit 103m.p.h. on the gun), the veteran “Jake Taylor” played by Pudge Rodriguez, “Willie Mays Hayes” played by Curtis Granderson, and you can’t forget the crafty veteran pitcher “Eddie Harris” played by Kenny Rogers. Seeing the correlation? Last year they fell short, (like Major League) so maybe this year……….
Spring is near. Even though in Michigan it snows until late April, just seeing exhibition baseball in Florida is a sign that eventually it will get warmer, and baseball is back. And now is the time I like to make my predictions and see how they look in October. I think Toronto will give New York and Boston a run in the AL East, the Tigers and Cleveland will tussel for the Central, and if Texas could ever get some pitching with that line-up, they could make some noise in the West.
The favorite in Vegas in the NL East is the New York Mets. Personally, I like the Marlins or even Atlanta to make a run at the division. Las Vegas still makes me shake my head at the odds they posted for the NL Central. The Cubs and St. Louis are the favorites. St. Louis I see, but the Cubs? Not happenin’. I think Milwaukee could be a big surprise in that division. And for the NL West, San Diego and L.A. will probably battle it out, but I like Arizona. Finally, I hope the Arena football fans in Tampa got their money back after the first game of the season. What a stinker! I’m not sure what Arena ballers get paid a game, but whatever it is, Bill Gramatica, the Storm “kicker”, should give it back and then some. Gramatica missed all 4 extra points, and a few field goals on top of that. It wasn’t pretty at all! I hope Bobby Bowden wasn’t watching. Gamatica had so many wide rights it probably brought back some aweful memories. Any ex-kickers out there, I’m sure there is a job opening in Tampa.
My Detroit Tigers are 1-0 with a 14-0 shutout!! Well I guess I’m jumping the gun since it’s the first exibition game, and it was against Florida Southern. But I’m very excited for baseball this year. It’s been along time in Detroit since I can honestly say, I EXPECT Detroit to go to the ALCS if not the World Series. This team is loaded. Starting pitching looks good, Zumaya, Rodney, and even Jones out of the pen. Craig Monroe and Brandon Inge are coming of age, and my big prediction that Gary Sheffield will have a monster season. 20-30 homers and 100 RBI’S. I don’t see this team losing the World Series unless that ugly injury bug jumps up and gets them. If not, sorry Yanks, Sox, Twins,…..it’s the Tigers world and y’all just live in it! (But the Bluejays as a dark horse scare me!)