This is so weird.
People are talking about the Tigers. And by ‘people’ I don’t mean ‘that guy selling the parking a block away from Comerica’, I mean people like ‘announcers on national TV’ and ‘baseball fans of other teams’ and presumably ‘other teams’. I say “Chris Shelton” and everyone nods knowingly. I say “Mike Maroth” and everyone frowns and says “hmm that sounds vaguely familiar” and then I point at them and scream, “Ha! You are terrible baseball fans! He is one of the league leaders in ERA!” and then they all hang their heads in Tiger-induced shame.
Weird things keep happening too, like Brandon Inge changing his locker on a superstitious whim and suddenly becoming a crazed power hitter and having all these home runs and things. It’s all very shocking, and it makes you wonder stuff like, what was in the old locker that made it so bad? Was there a dead squirrel stuck in the wall behind it and did the smell discomfit Inge? Was it damp, causing his batting gloves to shrink? Did, perhaps, Bobby Higginson live in it?
It’s nice to know that some things will never change, though. Todd Jones is just as nerve-wracking as he ever was.
About last night… I only saw the tail end of it, and I saw it on MLB.tv, which was getting the FSN North feed. The announcers seemed pretty sure that their radar gun was juiced, because it kept registering 102 mph for Zumaya’s fastball, and the stadium gun was sitting at around 99. Either way, dude was throwing wicked hard.
One thing I saw though was when Rodney was up. After I got over the sheer awesomeness of his pharaonic goatee and jauntily tilted hat, I watched him keep repeatedly shake off Pudge. Oh Fernando. No. It was Rondell White at the plate, and Pudge wanted a changeup. Rodney was having none of it, and threw a fastball. Fouled off. The next pitch, Pudge wants changeup, Rodney throws fastball. Fouled off. The third time Rodney finally agreed and threw the changeup, which was called for a strike and the end of the at-bat.
Now, the pitch was a bit high, and there was some consternation amongst the FSN North announcers about it being called a strike. And Rondell didn’t seem to like it much. But gosh darn it Fernando, did it ever occur to you that perhaps Pudge knew he could get that pitch called for a K? I understand that sometimes the pitcher knows his own stuff better than the catcher does, but it’s freakin’ Pudge Rodriguez, I should think he knows a thing or several about calling a game by now. I hope this was just an isolated incident and not something that’s going to continue.
Oh yes, and speaking of Rondell…
Photos from the Tigers/Twins game on April 28th can be finally found here. I’m afraid that most of the good shots are Twins photos from before the game, because they were the ones taking BP, and the photos from during the game are not that great because of a combination of the lighting (once the sun went down) and the fact that I had to shoot through the net. Of course the upside of having to shoot through the net was that it meant we had amazing seats and were practically on the field.
So, yeah, Twinkie BP was not that exciting, except because I’m a dork and enjoy when the guys are close enough that I can get good enough shots with my telephoto-less camera. A few Twins who were not in the game took BP (Mauer, Morneau), so I was pleased to get a chance to see them.
There were a few IDs that I wasn’t sure about, because I can ID Tigers, Red Sox, most of the University of Michigan baseball team, and most of the Yankees on sight without seeing their uniform numbers, but I’m not that sure on the Twins. So I sent the link to BatGirl, and she very kindly and promptly responded with the mystery Twins IDed. Major props to BatGirl for general human awesomeity.
There were a few shots of Tigers that came out tolerably well.
Inge chats with The River Thames in the on-deck circle while waiting out some variety of Twins mound conference. This one came out OK focus-wise because the door to the field was temporarily open and I shot through that, not the net.
And, well, of course it wouldn’t be Roar of the Tigers without some of this action:
Anyhow, check out the rest of ’em, as there are many more. Tonight we’ve got Bonderman going against Scott Baker, so I think it all depends on Bondo– can he keep the Twins down, or will tonight be one of his bomb nights?
Sunday is Maroth/Santana, a matchup that last year would have had me screaming like
Jeremy Affeldt when Farnsworth looks at him a tiny little girl, but this year… who the heck knows. Anything is possible from Mike Maroth right now. If he chose Sunday to break down, I could see it. If he chose Sunday to one-hit the Twins in 8 innings, I could see it. If he chose Sunday to rise up to Heaven in a column of light that descended from the clouds to the pitcher’s mound, well, I could see that too.