All Star Tigers and pug marks, July 2


pug marks FROM SPACE, photo and photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Can I do two pug marks posts in a row? AH DO WHAT AH WANT. Truth is, I totally forgot that today was an offday, and didn’t see all of last night’s game due to travel, so today was supposed to be a normal gameday post and… you’ve all stopped caring. Funny how I can see that happen before the post is even up, isn’t it?

pug mark 1
Jeremy Bonderman = awesomesauce.

I caught the tail end of it yesterday, and I’m sure most of you saw the whole thing. Bondo had one of his “I’m Jeremy Bonderman, and I’m better than you” outings. He had a scoreless first inning, a near-impossibility for Bondo these days, and a sure sign that he’s bringing his top-tiger game to the mound. Follow that up with 8 innings of zero-run, seven-K ball, and you’ve got one heckuvan outing.

“He looked like he was mad at me for not picking him [for the All Star roster],” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said… “He got some votes tonight, I would think.”
MLB.com article

With pitchers contending for All Star slots, it seems like they either really slide in the outings leading to the break, or else they really step it up. Leyland wasn’t exaggerating when he said that Bondo could expect to earn himself some votes for that last man slot with this game (although I’m kind of hoping Okajima gets it, because he wasn’t supposed to be anything much, and he’s become great… sort of a better, Red Soxian version of our own resident pimp, Chad Durbin).

pug mark 2
Curtis Granderson is ridiculous.

Ridiculously GOOD AT BASEBALL.

He only had one hit last night, but given the way Scott Baker almost entirely shut down the Tigs, that’s nothing to sneeze at. And the one hit he did have was a TRIPLE, good for his 15TH OF THE SEASON. Holy freakin’ cats, you guys. I know everyone in the known universe, upon seeing that number, is immediately going to cry “Comerica’s outfield size!”, but the fact is that many of those triples (possibly even most) came on roadtrips. Wacky and amazing.

You all also, I am sure, saw Granderson’s AMAZING running, diving catch on a Cuddyer fly ball that drifted and drifted and drifted to right field, out of Granderson’s reach… or so it seemed. The ball appeared to have drifted out of anybody’s range, but Granderson kept running, left his feet, caught the ball, and skidded on his stomach almost right to Magglio’s feet.
If you didn’t squeal with astonishment and joy at that play, you aren’t a proper Tigers fan.

pug mark 3
Marcus Thames can hit some baseballs, you know, when he feels like it.

He provided all the offense in yesterday’s game, on a nice and big home run. You’ve got to give Scott Baker his due; kid pitched a great game, right up there with Bondo. A worthy opponent and all that. He made one bad mistake, and you can’t make a mistake to The River Thames and expect it to remain in the ballpark. He may not be the most regular of fellows, but Marcus, as the ESPN guys love to constantly and boring-ly remind us, has considerable power.

pug mark 4
Tigers in the All Star Game!

Five Tigers already (if Bondo doesn’t get in), tied for the most in the AL (with the Red Sox). We’re looking at Pudge, Polanco, Magglio, Guillen, and Verlander. Obviously, Polanco, Pudge, and Maggs all owe the fans (that’s you lot) a great big thank you. I would say that our voting campaigns were an enormous success and we have ensured that righteousness was served.

Best bit from this, of course, are the adorable responses of the lucky Tigers. All these quotes are from this MLB.com article.

“I didn’t know that [he’s the only catcher ever to have been voted into the ASG 12 times] ,” Rodriguez said. “That’s why you work hard, day in and day out. When you do that, then you can play the game hard. And sometimes, when you play hard, the fans like you.”

Oh, Pudge. Sometimes, when you play hard, the fans like you? So modest. We know you have a giant golden statue of yourself in your front yard, Pudge, you don’t have to pretend to be modest just for us! Although we do appreciate the effort.

“I have to thank my wife, who voted a million times for me,” Polanco said with a smile. When he was informed that he won by nearly one million votes, Polanco responded:
“Well, that’s my wife.”

“I’m going to get to see Manny being Manny,” Polanco also said.

AWWWWWWWWW. Awwwwwwwww! C’mon, is that not the most adorable thing you’ve heard in… forever? I think so. Nobody tell him about the blog campaign to vote him in. I much prefer the idea of him believing that his wife’s devoted and determined ballot-stuffing got him on the roster.

And I hate to break it to him, but Manny being Manny traditionally involves Manny coming up with some excuse to sit out the All Star Game at home. I hope he goes, though, if only to keep Polanco from being disappointed, because I firmly believe that Placido Polanco should never ever ever be disappointed in life, or indeed in anything at all.

Along with counting teammates, Carlos Guillen was also counting countrymen, calculating how many Venezuelans had made the All-Star teams. He came up with a preliminary count of five. “How about [Jorge] Posada?” he asked.

He’s on the team, but you can’t take credit for him, Guillen was told, because Posada was from Puerto Rico.

“No, he’s got big ears, he’s my brother,” Guillen said with a smile, displaying his own substantial ear lobes.

The scary thing is that this is true. They both have gigantic bat ears, and they ALSO both have no chin! The main difference is that Posada toils for a greasy machine of cold hard evil, while Carlos is a Detroit Tiger.

If you want to try to vote Bondo in as the final man, you can do so here. You’ve got ’til I think 5 pm Thursday.

pug mark 5
The toe bone is connected to the… back muscles?

Apparently Brandon Inge’s back spasms (omg concern!) were caused by his toe injury. The plate put in his shoe to keep his toe from getting re-busted made his feet set at differing heights, causing him to step wrong or something and wrench his back out.

I am curious about the fact that no one seemed to think this would be a problem. Surely making one foot higher than the other (the article says “a couple of inches”; I very much doubt that it’s actually THAT much, but even a small difference can be significant) is a well-known cause of similar injuries. Not the back spasms, necessarily, but injuries related to imbalance and stepping wrong… falling over… you know, things like that. Shouldn’t the trainers have been aware of that?

I’m also wondering about the kind of metal plate he had in his shoe. Was it to stabilize the toe? Or just to keep it from getting hit by a stray ball or stepped on? And if the latter, shouldn’t the plate be only in the top part of his shoe… and thus not on the bottom, causing height imbalance? Curious, very curious.

pug mark 6
Jose Capellan is ourrrssssss.

We got him for a low-to-mid-level prospect by the name of Chris Cody. Am I worried about giving up Cody? Matt isn’t particularly concerned, so I am not particularly concerned. Matt would know.

Am I thrilled about Capellan? Not especially. His stats haven’t been too horrendous, usually, but most of his time has been spent with various minor league teams, and at no point has he dominated. He’s just so… mediocre. Ever since Chad Durbin proved me more wrong than a cat wearing pants, I have been hesitant to call a pitcher “cannon fodder”, but that’s what Capellan looks like. I’m not really sure what the reasoning behind his acquisition is. Maybe it’s something like what I do when I see a really cheap book; I may not have any particular burning desire to read it, but it’s SO CHEAP and I can ALWAYS use more books, so I’ll probably buy it anyways.

pug mark 7
Related to the above, Eulogio De La Cruz was sent back to Toledo. His removal makes room for Capellan on the roster. It strikes me as trading one youthful and unproven experiment for a slightly older and more proven experiment with a greatly reduced ceiling. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

pug mark 8
I was in New York, I went to a Yankees/A’s game, Andy Pettitte got eaten alive by the A’s and it was a marvelous thing and o, how merrily we laughed.

The entire photo set is here if you’re a closet A’s fan (or, gasp gasp, a closet Yankees fan) and want to see it.

7 responses to “All Star Tigers and pug marks, July 2

  1. I already voted for Bondo. A few times.
    Yeah, I don’t understand how the docs missed that with Inge. I have an old injury that made one leg a teeny bit shorter than the other and my back is always a problem. Someone wasn’t using their noodle.

  2. Maybe Brandon should’ve gotten a metal protector plate for his opposite foot, just to even them out.
    By the way, I’ve been meaning to mention this… I saw an article that was talking about the bust that is Adrian Beltre out in Seattle, and it mentioned a scout that talked about how Beltre had a heel spur in his front foot, and how stepping gingerly on his front foot made him keep his weight back, yadda yadda yadda scout-speak, and that an injury to the front foot actually made Adrian Beltre’s break-out year (back when he was with the Dodgers) possible. Notice that Brandon went on an absolute tear once he had his toe owie, also on his front foot. Interesting.

  3. Oh, and by the way… I’m one of those strange people who, while I would love to see Bonderman get accolades of all kinds, would rather he had 3 days off. I’ll be off voting for whoever’s in 2nd place, thank you very much.

  4. Jack Sikma, Milwaukee Bucks great

    I voted for Bondo…
    647 times with different email addresses. I would have done more, but I sustained an elbow injury mid-vote. Maybe I should have a metal plate installed for next year’s voting.
    Also, I really don’t think Pudge has a giant golden statue in his front yard. It’s probably in his Boudoir. Or perhaps in his Salon.
    Finally, even though the growing pains of Eulogio proved too much for Jim, it’s comforting to know that, usually, someone in the lineup will NOT have an off-night, like Marcus Thames (who has considerable power).

  5. Over here in MKE, few tears have been shed over Mr. Capellan’s departure. “Diva” has been mentioned more than once. The Brewers needed to free a roster spot, so they put him on the remainders table by the door where Dombrowski picked him up.

  6. I’ve text-voted for Bondo 25 times, plus a few online. I figure he won’t play more than an inning and a half since there are like a million pitchers, and Leyland will probably give them all a shot.

  7. Alicia, yeah, I mean… I’m about as far from a medical professional as you can get, and even I would assume that. Weird.
    Jeff, crazy. Isn’t that what Rod said? I guess sometimes all it takes is that little break out of your usual routine… and I agree that I wouldn’t be sad to see Bondo get some rest (and, as I said, I’m kind of hoping Okajima gets it from a story standpoint). I’ll still vote for him quite a bit… I guess I’ll split my votes evenly between the two of ’em. :)
    Jack, I do not know whether to be concerned or impressed. :P And Pudge really DOES have a giant gold statue of himself. I don’t know if it’s in his front yard anymore (it definitely was when he was with the Marlins), but he definitely has it. I’ve got a photo floating around somewhere, I’ll see if I can dig it up.
    Paavo, seriously? Are you saying a decidedly mediocre-to-bad middle reliever was a diva? Cause… oy.
    tiff, that’s a point, though it would still be more restful for him to be home the whole time, as opposed to in the midst of the ASG festivities.

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