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?
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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.”
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).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.