doomed from the start(er)

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Six batters faced, six runs, four hits, two walks, one home run, and no outs. That was Nate Robertson’s work for the day.

Six runs aren’t something the Tigers are incapable of making up. We’re talking about a lineup whose worst current member is hitting .225 and had 2 hits today, one of them an RBI single and the other a home run– WITH a broken toe. We’re talking about a lineup with 4 guys batting over .300 (since Omar was leading off today) and one guy nearly there (Pudge, at .295). Six runs, pshaw. We spit upon your six runs.

Alas, six runs against us BEFORE A SINGLE OUT IS EVEN RECORDED in our half of the inning, to start the game off… well. That’s not a lead that needs to be made up or a deficit that needs to be overcome. That’s a freakin’ handicap. And this ain’t no golf tournament.

I don’t know what’s wrong with Nate. Jim Leyland doesn’t know what’s wrong with Nate. Nate doesn’t know what’s wrong with Nate. But there has to be SOMEthing wrong, because Nate CAN pitch. We’ve seen it in the past. This kind of outing was what you would expect from a Little League pitcher confronted by Major League hitters. It was not the kind of outing you expect to see from a pretty seasoned veteran, which is what Nate, you know, technically is.

Robertson said he’s fine physically, but is at a loss to explain why he’s struggling.

“This is easily my worst stretch in the majors,” he said, “and what happened tonight has never happened to me.”
Detroit News article

No kiddin’, Nate. I would venture to say that most Major League starters don’t have something like this happen to them very often, probably because a pitcher is not going to have more than a couple chances to LET something like this happen before he’s labeled a liability and gotten the hell off the team.

The bullpen-minus-Fernando, to its vast credit, did step it up. Grilli, Miner, and Byrdak combined to go 7 scoreless innings before Fernando came in to give up an ultimately meaningless but still soul-sucking final run. Like the game hadn’t been enough of an indignity, we had to have that “Hey look Fernando’s off the DL but he still blows chunks” moment to complete the picture of defeat. Thank goodness it’s all back to normal on his end.

Oh, and in an attempt to dig himself a deeper hole, Gary Sheffield has elaborated on his statements about those easily-controlled Latin ballplayers.

Tigers right fielder Gary Sheffield says he loves Latinos, he’s never had a problem with them and they love him back.
official site article


“They found [Tampa Bay’s] Elijah Dukes. Here’s a kid, like I said before, ‘If you don’t show the love as an organization toward a kid and show that you care about him as a person, he’s not going to listen to the authority figure because he ain’t going to be disrespected,’ and I know exactly where he is coming.”
official site article

Of course, Sheff. Elijah Dukes threatens to kill his wife and children because the Tampa Bay Devil Ray organization didn’t show him enough respect. I’m sure Elijah Dukes impregnated that many different women (what was it, four? five?) because Joe Maddon doesn’t treat him like a Man in the clubhouse. Good call, Sheff. Glad to see you’ve penetrated the depths of this sadly maligned character and set us all to rights.

If you read the rest of the article you can see that once again Sheffield makes a couple potentially valid points, but these points get dragged down in the flaming bag of dog excrement that is his apparent worldview. AS USUAL.

Ugh. NOT THINKING ABOUT HIM. Let’s end the post on an upbeat note.

comedic moment of the game

Placido Polanco had a most curious and excellent hit-by-pitch today. Rheinecker threw a ball that buzzed his waist and caught some of his jersey. Instead of just brushing past his jersey, though, the ball somehow managed to blow Polanco’s ENTIRE jersey out of his pants.

I have no idea how this happened, even after seeing it in slow motion. One minute: pants tucked neatly in. Next minute: nightshirt. He had to head to first with his jersey flopping around dangerously close to his knees, and the camera showed a very brief shot of him with his belt undone, attempting to hastily cram it all back into his pants before play continued.

That, along with Brandon Inge’s home run, provided a smile in an otherwise mostly smile-free game.


4 responses to “doomed from the start(er)

  1. Christine Byrd

    Hello Darling. Is Ingey not just the coolest thing since…since…Wackey-Packeys? You never know what he might do, but you can be sure it’s gonna be good. Listen. I read Shhshhhffff you-know-who’s bbbbok and I actually started to develop respect (yespleasesamaradonotslayorflambemeyet) for the deluded, bat-waving, AlanTrammell #- wearing, former Yankee ‘ho member #3 in our line-up of Respectable Latino (rrawwwr!!) and other-colored players. Yes, I, The Byrd, was sucked into the Sheffield Powersurge, admiring his talent and fortitude (I did not say moral). Plus, his cuz is Dwight Gooden!!! Oopsey-daisey. I am such a sucker. I even told my KIDS that I changed my mind, that even though he was a former Yunkee ‘ho (I didn’t say ‘ho, tho), I was gaining a certain respect for him. Ach! NONONO!!! Go Maggs, Carlos, go Placido of the Teeth & Skull! Go Pudgie & Omar!! And my favorite Brothers Three: Marcus, C-Mo, and of course, CURTIS******my love. And Sheff?? Go Back To School!!! You are lucky that our Latino connection will still allow you in the dugout, hermano. Vamonos mi Tigres, ganamos sin Sheffield el Traidor traicianaro.
    Can you read that, Gary? Your Latino teammates can–and English, too! Love, The Byrd

  2. ivantopumpyouup

    Tigers right fielder Gary Sheffield says he loves Latinos, he

  3. I myself was reminded of the old, old line of Tom Lehrer (interesting guy, Wikipedia the name): “I feel that if a person can’t communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up.”
    Look, Gary, whether you blame it on the media or blame it on yourself, it should be obvious by now that there is a failure to communicate. Once the fact of that failure is fully established, for the love of God… LET IT GO! You generally don’t win or get your version of the message out by saying MORE. You’ve been in the public spotlight for a lot of years by now. You really should already know this.

  4. Christine, ten bucks says that book was ghostwritten.
    ivan, I KNOW. I actually DID laugh out loud when I first read that. Then I took a moment to be silent and horrified, but it’s definitely hilarious first and foremost.
    Jeff, that’s the thing. I could understand a rookie being all butt-hurt and confused when his words are taken out of context or misconstrued or whatever, but surely Sheff should know how to talk to the media by now? Since he’s been playing professional baseball for NEARLY LONGER THAN I HAVE BEEN ALIVE (especially if you count his time in the minors)??

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