I honestly could not think of which Tiger to use for the graphics in this post.
Chad Durbin pimps again, by Samara Pearlstein
Obviously, for the Wednesday game, I needed to put Chad Durbin in another pimp outfit, because when Chad Durbin outduels Bartolo Colon, I think that’s more than enough to put Chad Durbin into another pimp outfit. Durbin dumps Colon. Durbin blows Colon away. Colon busted by Tiger bats. So many terrible, terrible headlines that can be generated. But mostly we just need to put Chad Durbin in a tigerlicious pimp uniform and people will understand that he’s exceeded expectations once again, right? Right.
I mean, OK, 3 runs and 8 hits over 5 innings isn’t exactly the stuff of aces, but when the opposing starter gives up 6 runs on 10 hits over 4.1 innings, it sure looks like it. I also still maintain that ANY quality or semi-quality start out of Chad Durbin can be considered pimp-worthy. It wouldn’t for Bonderman, if we were doing Bondo up as a pimp ’round these bloggin’ parts, but it is enough for Durbin. It’s all relative in the land of pitchers and bad pimp suits.
I also had to briefly consider Granderson for a photoshop, though. Curtis Granderson homered off of a lefty. That’s pretty ridiculous, especially since Granderson has such trouble against lefties that he usually doesn’t even get a crack against them… he’s hitting .071 versus lefties this year, as opposed to .324 versus righties. Granted, he has a much smaller sample size against lefties, but still.
(As a side note, I’m not really sure this is the best policy, pretty much always sitting him against lefties. I understand, of course, that he drags down the team a lot when he’s a guaranteed hole in the lineup if the other team is throwing a left-hander at us, but on the other hand, he has to learn SOMEhow, and he isn’t going to learn it sitting on the bench. Bleh.)
The point is that his home run, against a left-hander, is quite remarkable and would be worthy of some deranged photoshopped image or other, if only it had come in a game that did not also include Chad Durbin pimpage.
Now for today (Thursday’s) game, it was even harder. So many people to consider! So much unrelenting Tiger awesome! Placido Polanco had a triple! Jeremy Bonderman showed that bleeping blister who the bleeping boss is! Jose Mesa didn’t get into the game and therefore improved it simply through his absence!
Carlos and Maggs are too awesome for mere mortals, yo. photos by Samara Pearlstein
In the end I settled on Guillen and Maggs, because they have both been consistently awesome this season, and both were even more awesome in this particular game. Carlos hit TWO home runs (one each off of Ervin Santana and Chris Bootcheck), going 2-for-3 with 5 RBI. Magglio hit TWO doubles (both off of Santana), going 4-for-4 (!!!) with 3 RBI.
The problem with their awesome is that the combined awesome mass of it was too much for my small blogger’s brain to comprehend. My cortex bends before the might of their awesome. I could not even think of a good photoshop. (That could also be the big special feature I just finished today, which I will of course point you folks to when it goes up.)
In the end I just found two of my own shots of them, where they’re both wearing “I’m a ballplayer, I’m hot stuff” sunglasses, extended Carlos’ background so I could stick Maggs in there with him, and announced that they are way cooler than any of us, in baseball and in life. Can’t touch this, my friends.
Anyways. Talk about making a guy feel welcome back. If Bondo was nervous about coming back off the DL, the offense sure helped to soothe his fears soon enough. Bondo mostly helped his own cause, though. Bondo loading the bases with no outs in the first inning was a TERRIFYING thing to watch him do, especially because we are all so used to his first inning struggles. At that point it seemed almost inevitable that disaster would strike.
A sexy 1-2-3 double play and a fly out later, and Bondo had gotten himself out of a drunk-bases-empty-Ks mess more swiftly than I’d ever seen. Either the kid had luck with him today that would make a pair of dice wee themselves in delight, or he was making absolutely perfect pitches, but only when he absolutely needed them most. He probably should’ve gone to rob a bank after the game; he was on that kind of stressfully perfect roll.
Even more awesome: Todd Jones on the fan who ran onto the field and towards the mound during Wednesday’s game.
“He was heading toward the infield, and you never know, so I dropped my glove and tried to get him to just stop. Let me get this last out and let’s get out of here,” Jones said. “I was waiting for a Kyle Farnsworth moment because that would have gotten me on SportsCenter and helped my macho points, for sure.”
official MLB game recap
Sometimes Todd Jones is amazing.
Even more amazing than that: Ernie Harwell was in the booth for the entire game!
Apparently Rod Allen’s kid, or one of his kids, if he has more than one, I do not know, regardless, AN OFFSPRING BELONGING TO ROD ALLEN was graduating high school (congrats to Rod Allen and his offspring!), so he wasn’t in the booth today. I know there are some people out there who are not Rod Allen fans. I am not one of those people. I like Rod Allen; I like the inane things he says, I find them amusing more often than not, and he does actually have useful insight about the game, more often than you would perhaps expect after hearing him refer to ‘feet’ as ‘puppies’ for the 1000th time.
I am a Rod Allen fan, but nothing really compares to getting to listen to Ernie Harwell for an entire game. It doesn’t matter if he’s rambling on about the DH, the weather, the state of catchers today, or the umpires… that last being what he did for a good chunk of this game. Ernie Harwell makes you DEEPLY CARE ABOUT THE UMPIRES. Ernie Harwell makes you realize that there are stories, GOOD stories about the umpires, and that these stories are an integral part of the game. Once Ernie Harwell makes you realize that, Ernie Harwell tells you those stories.
Ernie Harwell also has a sense of humor.
Mario tells Ernie that the fact that he remembers all these stories, about everyone and everything, is absolutely amazing, and he’s got to teach Mario some of those memory skills. Ernie replies, “Well, they just happen to you, and they gather in your so-called brain, I guess.”
Ernie Harwell on the statue of him at Comerica:
“I weigh 350 pounds, did you know that? And I’m hollow. But they got the creases in my pants real good.”
Mario, laughing: “Better in your pants than in your forehead.”
Ernie Harwell: “Oh I got ’em in my forehead. I got ’em everywhere.”
Ernie Harwell on something that Norm Cash had signed specially for him:
“It said on it, ‘To Ernie Harwell, the second-best announcer in the league…. all the other 26 [or whatever number it was] tied for first.'”
Ernie Harwell about his name on the wall with the other Tiger greats, as seen here:
“Oh yes, they got my back up against the wall.”
And finally, Ernie Harwell as the game ends:
“I just wanted to say thank you, Mario, for saying all those nice things about me today. The entire crew was so nice and friendly. It got so sweet in here I thought I had diabetes.”
(And somewhere out in the wide, wide world, Jason Johnson shakes a rageful fist.)