photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
I’m not trying to pick on poor Casey here– he was only a pinch hitter in the game– but I didn’t want to harass Gary Sheffield photoshoppically now that he hasn’t said anything crazy for like a week (a streak I wish to encourage, although not if it stops him from hitting) (plus his shoulder’s been bugging him again, despite the thousand reassurances about cortisone and it’s magical powers we got earlier), and I refuse to be mean to Brandon Inge on the strength of that defensive play he made (see further down in the post).
Man, I think that’s the first time I’ve felt like I really need to justify my header image. But the Mayor is so darn nice that I just don’t want to be unduly mean to him. Unless he really deserves it.
This game was infuriating. It was obvious that the team was at least trying, and I do mean really trying their little socks off. The staggering along with the little limping singles and the walks and the distinct lack of extra bases was not exactly cool, not by RotT standards, but it seemed, today, to be more a sign of a team that ran into… OK, it doesn’t seem fair to call Dallas Braden a force of pitching might, but SOMEthing was going on there to make the Tigers batters come up empty. Maybe we’ve just run into a streak of really cruddy luck. Maybe it really is entirely the fault of the Tigers and I’m being too charitable. But they SO looked like they were trying… maybe they were trying too hard?
Gary Sheffield’s shoulder is exactly the kind of thing that made his signing initially freak me out (aside from the lingering stench of Yankeedom). He’s had this pain for a long time (witness the cortisone shots), but is now saying that it’s changed, and he’s experiencing some numbness in his hand. Uh. Bad? Yes. However, it’s the kind of bad that I would rather Sheffield get looked at RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND, and not after he’s tried to bull through the pain for a week, which is what he seems to have done.
Brandon Inge’s defensive play was pretty spectacular. If you didn’t see it, the ball skipped down the third base line and Inge had to fling himself at it. He came up with it (of course) and threw a bullet home for a force-out that… OK, it didn’t win the game for the Tigers, but it made it POSSIBLE for them to win it, if they had been so inclined. It was a pretty awesome play that most people will have forgotten about in a couple weeks because most of us will just remember the fact that we lost in an entirely infuriating and somewhat dispiriting fashion.
It didn’t make Web Gems (at least not the version I saw), but this is merely additional proof that ESPN is run by filthy marmots.
Maybe the bats were eaten by filthy marmots. Maybe the Spazzosaurus is being aided and abetted by filthy marmots. I don’t know. First the bullpen was acting like a rotting carcass, then the starters, and now the bats. Does that make sense?
The answer, of course, is yes. Baseball has a long season for a reason: to allow for these sorts of (un)lucky and infuriating streaks. Most people still believe that the Tigers have a great team, maybe even the best in baseball. It is just, these people say, a matter of time before they return to their more normal, winning behavior.
That doesn’t make it fun to watch, though. Someone needs to figure out how to connect the logical part of our brains to the rest of them, so we can watch the Tigers lose day after day and still enjoy the team on a more basic level.