I know it doesn't count, but…

Felix Heredia being chewed upon by Samara Pearlstein

Oh Felix. I’m afraid we’re going to have to have The Talk.

In a way, I guess it is good to have The Talk now, while it is still spring and these games don’t count for anything. After all, spring is for getting the kinks out, and I suppose you could and would call giving up a walkoff home run to a wee Yankee a big ol’ kink. There are some who will smile knowingly and move on, content in the general spring-ness of the game, but I’m sorry, Felix, over here you’re getting The Talk. We do it because we want you to succeed and have a happy Tiger experience, you see. We want a happy Tiger experience for all of us.

The Talk is about what we do to players who “give away the game”. It could probably be couched in nicer terms, but I prefer the elegant bluntness of the thing itself and so, Felix, if you give away the game during the real season, I’m afraid that we’re going to have to

feed you to the Roar of the Tigers Mauling Tiger of Righteous Fan Indignation.

If you doubt the veracity of this, just ask Fernando. He knows.

In fact, Felix, do you see that image up there? That’s what we IMAGINE it will look like if, somewhere down the line this year, you do this again.

Now now. There is no need to be upset. That’s why we’re having this Talk now, just to make sure we’re all on the same page and you’re aware of the consequences of your actions. Don’t say it wasn’t your action, Felix. There’s getting beaten by a hitter, and there’s letting a hitter beat you, and you let BRONSON SARDINHA get a homerun in the bottom of the ninth. Bronson Sardinha is a really good prospect who is neither Bronson Arroyo nor a sardine, and this makes him special, but not special enough to be feasting off your pitching, Felix. Have a little self respect, please. I’m just sayin’.

Of course, calm yourself, nobody’s mauling anybody else right now; it’s March! That would be foolish and wacky and counterintuitive! And of course we are never any of those thing here at Roar of the Tigers.

This is all just to inform you. I am just GIVING YOU SOME INFORMATION.

I hope that we can all understand each other now, Felix. You never again pitch like you’re still on the Yankees, and nobody gets eaten. It’s what we all want.

Now that that’s out of the way!

I had initially thought that this was a night game, and was infuriated when I realized it was at 1. Woe! For I have class at 1:30, and it cannot be skipped for a spring training game, because even I cannot rationalize that away. But wait! MLB.tv claimed that there would be NO BLACKOUTS during spring training. Could it be true?

It was. And that is how I spent three hours staring in turns at my computer screen, my canvas, and a naked reclining gentleman by the name of Peter. Definitely one of the odder environments in which I’ve watched Tigers baseball.

In the bustle of getting set up and all that I managed to miss the first three innings and thus most of the interesting pitching but eh, I can’t complain. Felix warning notwithstanding, I do understand that this was just a spring game and thus of little import, but there were a few items of note:

–Couple of scary moments, first when Andrew Miller took a ball off the glove (it looked like?) and then when Brent Clevlen took a ball off the head. Miller was fine, continued to pitch, and the only thing that suffered were the hearts of many Tigers fans, all of which momentarily froze. Clevlen, however, went down like a ton of bricks. In a real “only in the art school” moment, my professor was talking to me on his rounds about the room when this happened, and we both ended up riveted to the screen while Clevlen rolled around a bit and then was helped into a sitting position and eventually off the field. Then we went right back to talking about my painting, as though watching baseball in the middle of class was TOTALLY NORMAL. Love it.

Anyways, it looked to me like the ball caught the back of Clevlen’s helmet, which is a nasty sort of place to get hit… right at the base of his skull, almost. I’m sure you can imagine how that would smart. He was in obvious pain but was up pretty quickly, so I’m hoping it’ll be at worst a mild concussion.

–Zoom looked great. Good speed, pretty good control, nice mixing of his pitches. The Yankee announcers (MLB.tv was getting the YES Network broadcast) did talk about his arm injury, but seemed to think it was wholly related to pitching and did not bring up Guitar Hero. Someone should have informed them.

–Saw some fairly solid defense at first out of Sean Casey, which was a pleasant surprise. Either he was reading the pitches well enough to position himself perfectly, or the catchers were tipping him somehow, because he was taking REALLY good first steps. And for Sean Casey, there is no defense if there are no good first steps, because he is not exactly going to be Carlos Pena with the fleetness of foot and flexibility of leg out there. Anyways, it was nice to see.

–The YES announcers were very praising of Vance Wilson when he came up to bat, which amused me to no end. Perhaps they are fond of him because they recall his Mets days. It did remind me that he had a shockingly good season (for Vance Wilson) last year. I know it would be foolish to expect the same this time around, but what a fun thought, eh?

–Walks good, strikeouts bad. The fact that there were any walks is a point of interest all by itself. It’ll be something to see if two of the big issues from last season are addressed this year. I am of course talking about walks (lack thereof) and errors on the pitcher (oh postseason you wound me so).

So, yeah, we lost, but hopefully Felix will have profited from this little chat and it won’t happen again. I’ve got my eye on you, Felix. The Mauling Tiger of Righteous Fan Indignation is not to be trifled with. Have a good spring!


2 responses to “I know it doesn't count, but…

  1. And that is how I spent three hours staring in turns at my computer screen, my canvas, and a naked reclining gentleman by the name of Peter.
    Isn’t this how everyone watches baseball?
    As far as the game itself goes, I enjoyed seeing Zumaya again. The ESPN had a sympathetic chuckle at the expense of Mientkiewicz, who had to face three or four 100+mph fastballs before striking out on a ridiculous 83mph change-up. Welcome to Spring Training, Dougie! ;-)

  2. Ha, see, that’s where the YES feed difference becomes evident. They were praising Mientkie to the heavens for being able to foul off one of those fastballs, because, according to them, “the important part during the spring is just contact, knowing that your hands are fast enough to hit it.”

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