cats cats cats! bats bats bats!

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Last night we were embarrassed. We tried o so hard, and all for naught, because our pitching (NATE) had been beaten like a metal fan with an angry Kyle Farnsworth in the vicinity. Tonight we embarrassed the Rangers right back, to the tune of a 10-0 score, because you don’t dish it out on this playground unless you can take it.

This was more like the Tigers we know than those shady imposters we’ve been seeing of late. Verlander pitched a great game– 7 innings of 5-hit, 0-run ball. THAT is a Tigers pitcher. I’m not sure what Nate was last night. It’s possible that some rip in the space-time continuum caused him to temporarily morph into a Kansas City Royals pitcher.

That would explain a lot, actually. Nate has been DLed with the ubiquitous and ubiquitously mysterious “tired arm”, which most people take to mean “he feels more or less fine but he couldn’t hit Franklyn German with an underhand pitch at 20 paces right now, so we’re putting him on the DL until we figure out how to turn his weak little girl’s arm back into a Real Biological Implement of Pitching.” But here we have an actual answer! Morphing into a Royals pitcher was of course detrimental to his pitching, and the transition back through the rip in the space-time continuum obviously took its toll on his arm, ‘tiring’ it out. It’s all so clear now.

I don’t know the recovery rate for space-time continuum rip induced injuries, but hopefully Nate will soon triumph over the traumatic experience.

The point, insofar as I had one, was that Verlander did NOT get sucked into the aforementioned space-time continuum rip and therefore pitched like his own true awesome self, wholly free of influence from parallel universes and Kansas City Royals pitchers.

In the name of fairness I have to say that it’s possible, since the space-time continuum was clearly in the area, that Kevin Millwood was affected by it and that HE morphed into a Kansas City Royals pitcher tonight. I don’t think that this is the case, because he managed to actually, y’know, get some outs, which is a humble task that Nate was not able to complete the day before. I think it more likely the Millwood just caught a nasty case of the starter-stench that seems to be affecting the Rangers’ staff these days.

The offense… what can you even say about the offense? Right now they are what everyone feared when they looked at the potential lineups at the start of the season. The Tigers have a lineup to make a hardened pitcher wee themselves on the mound when they’re on form, and they were most certainly on form tonight.

Brandon Inge’s broken toe actually seems to have made him a better hitter. Possibly he’s so doped up on painkillers that he’s pressing less at the plate? Or maybe he just needed a little time to chill on the bench without the sense that he was being punished (actively benched) to jumpstart his bat again, because I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT THE BAT WAS/IS ALWAYS THERE. He’s batting .227 right now. The rise to respectability continues.

This last bit might seem a little odd, since it’s got nothing to do with the Tigers really, but I have to write about it, because… I just have to.

Over the summer I watch the games via Extra Innings, which means that I get whatever TV broadcast they choose to show (usually, but not always, the home team’s broadcast). So I watched tonight’s game on FSN Southwest or something. The announcers were surprisingly interesting and entertaining, even when it was obvious that they were struggling to remain upbeat in the face of a drubbing. They had a lot of nice things to say about the Tigers and had some useful insights into the game, which is sometimes shocking when it comes to baseball TV guys. I wish I remembered who the guys doing the broadcast were. I actually felt a little guilty that I was enjoying the broadcast so much (and not because of the score, although perhaps that helped some).

Anyways, as part of the broadcast they were interviewing CJ Wilson, one of the Rangers’ relievers. He was talking about some videos and charity work he was doing for the Boys and Girls Club or somesuch related organization, which was my cue to tune out. Nice guy, I’m sure, but nobody approaches Sean Casey when it comes to nice-itude, so I know it’s just going to be another run-of-the-mill ballplayer doing charity work kind of deal, ho hum, blah di dah, etc.

Then they asked him what the tenor of the bullpen was these days, what with all the losing and all (although it mostly, as near as I can tell, has not been the fault of the Texas bullpen). Wilson said that the general sense was that everyone knew “we can’t unlose the games that we’ve lost,” but that they would instead look forward and try to not dwell on the past, and win the games they COULD win; i.e., those yet to be played.

This was such a surprising statement that I actually wrote it down. We can’t unlose the games that we’ve lost. It’s a little philosophical and completely not what you would expect to hear in an off-the-cuff interview with a bored reliever standing out in the bullpen watching his team get clobbered. He then said that the team seemed to know that “we made some tragic mistakes,” which struck me and probably anyone who regularly reads this blog as highly awesome wording that requires closer attention.

The Rangers started putting forth a little rally-like effort while his interview was going on, and he was obviously watching the game, because he started reacting to it (“Run! He’s got it… safe!”) and even started doing play-by-play for a minute before the announcers yelled him down.

As Ranger losing continued, casting about for ways to remain UPBEAT AND CHEERFUL (is this a Southern thing?), they asked him about his hair. His hair, for those who were not getting the FSN Southwhatever broadcast, seems to be vaguely triangular and vaguely heinous in a scenester kind of way. Mr. Wilson described it as a kind of “spiked mullet” and declared that he couldn’t control what happened in baseball, but “I can control if I look like a doof or not… so I do.”

Do you understand why I’m telling you all about this kid? Do you see why we need to trade for him RIGHT NOW?

You definitely need to go read his blog right now. It is the only MLBlog I have ever read that I immediately believed was written entirely by the ballplayer and had not been edited/”helped along” by MLB intern-droids. You will learn that he is convinced he’s throwing the gyroball regularly (???!! Dice-K experts please weigh in!), he hates the bugs in Florida (speak the TRUTH, brotha!), Manny Ramirez is one of his favorite players, and he has a sense of humor (or a humorless but wonderfully bent mind) that translates enormously well to blogging.

More reasons we should trade for him right now: he has a sub-2.00 ERA and only one Tiger got a hit off of him tonight in an inning’s work, and that was a single by Neifi!!!, though I’m not really sure what that means. Maybe he’s allergic to sea slugs and was therefore powerless against the otherwise floppily ineffective Neifi!!!?

ALSO, he seems to be rooming with Kameron Loe, who I’m fairly certain used to have a pet snake (either a boa or a python, I forget). If he still has this beast, and the three of them are living in harmony in a condo somewhere in Texas, I declare them on the spot the most awesome household in Major League Baseball today, and I defy anyone to point out a more wondrous domestic arrangement (and no, the vaguely homoerotic fratboy dens of the Oakland A’s don’t count, because just imagine how filthy the kitchen and bathrooms are in those places. Eeesh).

No, I’m not going to talk about Sheffield, I mean PAWS, or the two home runs that PAWS hit today, because they are impressive and I applaud his bat, but right now I don’t want to encourage him. I just want him to fade away so I can go back to being surly and not rooting for him personally again in peace.


11 responses to “cats cats cats! bats bats bats!

  1. If I recall Josh Lewin (1998-2001) was the old Tiger broadcaster and is still with Texas. If it was him that would make a lot of sense why the broadcasters were talking with respect about the Tigers. He was awesome with the Tigers and better than our current crew if you ask me. As can be attested by his regular FOX national assignments.

  2. That is one awesome blog th

  3. I’m too quick for my own good today. The end of that phrase was:
    …at young Mr Wilson has over there! :-)

  4. ivantopumpyouup

    Check out CJ Wilson’s blog. It’s pretty … amazing.
    Also. Another pitcher to the DL. I think I’m gonna rip my hair out now.
    And the title of this entry was amusing to me for obvious reasons. :P

  5. ivantopumpyouup

    It would be nice if I knew how to read.
    And … only vaguely homoerotic?

  6. Seriously, what is this “vaguely” of which you speak?
    I had the same broadcast on MLBTV and now I’m almost sorry I ignored the interview. I always ignore in-game interviews, because I hate them, like, I’m here to watch the game, not hear Random Dude’s thoughts on yaoi or whatever the hell is going on while you jerks IGNORE THE GAME ENTIRELY, usually while my team is up or my favorite pitcher is on. I can’t win. I did think interviewing a player was a nice change of pace, but they did the same thing the previous night (I cannot get a Detroit feed to save my life lately), so I was kinda over it.

  7. I can’t stop reading his blog. It’s like a linguistic train wreck but it’s a linguistic train wreck that I love… almost Clockwork Orange-esque.
    ivan, I realized after I posted it that you might get a particular kick outta the title. :)
    Yeah yeah, OK, blatantly homoerotic. Oh Oakland. I blame Billy Beane for getting so many very young and relatively attractive guys all up in the majors at once.
    Cat, normally I ignore the interviews too… like I said, nobody’s gonna beat out Sean Casey for feel-goodness, so eh. But Wilson’s phraseology snagged my attention, and I am most pleased that it did.
    Paul, maybe so. I can’t for the life of me remember their names. And I admit I have a soft spot for our current crew. Rod Allen can be a little… crazy, at times, but he’s also entertaining, and every so often he busts out with a baseball explanation that is so timely, insightful, and true that I remember why he was hired.

  8. Funny, I remember another left-hander going by “C.J.” who was renowned for his own web site once upon a time…

  9. I also like the CJ blog. The part about going to Target to buy a sheet when his hair is cut into a mohawk is classic.
    oh,and I like the baseball stuff too.
    I do believe Cliff Floyd wrote his post-season blog. And I actually believe that david Wright wrote his blog last year, too. because I believe that david wright is, indeed, *that* bland and boring. cute as a button, but beige. totally beige.

  10. Oh, I’m sure most of them have some input into their own blogs, probably even submitting some kind of writing… but a lot of them are probably ‘ghost-written’ to some extent by irritable overworked interns… or else the ballplayer is just not the blogging sort (i.e. is boring as wet cardboard). You just don’t get that sense from Wilson.

  11. There was a piece on Kameron Loe and his roomie in SI a couple weeks (months? I have trouble keeping track of time when forced out of Michigan) ago and the delightfully gigantic snake was a prominent subject. Their house looked like SO much fun. But really, when you have a gigantic snake how can your house not be fun? I agree–let’s go get him!!!

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