photo by Samara Pearlstein’s dad
I do SO enjoy overloading the MVN title line.
As you may have gathered, I am back from London, having been most cruelly baseball-deprived during that time (‘tho it was a very good time otherwise). Our hotel was right on the River Thames, so I made sure to take what is probably the worst tourist photo in the entire universe, which you may view above (ignore the hat). Anything for you, readers.
Although it would have been nice to come home to any baseball at all, it was particularly nice to come back to a Tigers win. When they started winning a little in my absence I started being afraid that maybe I wouldn’t be allowed to watch any more games for the rest of the year. Most happily, the Yankees averted this potential disaster by very accommodatingly stinking for a bit. Please, sir, I’d like some more.
Nothing quite like that nice, back-breaking first inning, eh? This time it came courtesy of a Carlos Guillen grand slam. Although Maggs is (rightly) the headline-maker, Carlos has quietly been having himself an extraordinary little year. Then again, being underrated is nothing new to him. He’s got a better OPS than Jeter, but if you listen to a Yankee broadcast (or almost any other broadcast in the nation/Toronto, aside from the Detroit broadcast), you’d never know it.
Moose has had his struggles this season, and ARod has also had some defensive issues… seeing the both of them so neatly reproduced right at the start was really pleasant. I think you will all agree. That may not be GREAT baseball, but since it involves the suffering of Yankees it is at least FUN baseball.
Kyle Farnsworth got in the game, much to everyone’s delight. He actually threw a scoreless inning! Shock, amaze. He did plunk Inge though, probably in some gentle retaliation for Verlander having hit ARod. Poor Brandon. Having to stand in against The Farns, with his insane fastball and his control issues, knowing that he’s probably looking to bean you, and that he might be bitter about his failure to be traded off the Yanks and back to the Tigers… loads of fun, I’m sure.
In the Not Cool At All Camp: Todd Jones. At least he didn’t manage to rollercoaster away the win, but does he HAVE to always be putting guys on base and letting in runs? Does he HAVE to live up to his nickname so very well? We could handle it being a bit of a misnomer, really. The game was pretty secure when he came in, but two runs made it LESS secure, and increased our amount of ANGST, and no one needed that.
This was a big victory because we REALLY cannot afford to drop this series to the Yankees, not with the wildcard race being what it is and the division race being so terrifyingly close. Panic-mongering, panic-mongering, etc. None of this is a surprise to anyone. The casual fan might have assumed that a Verlander/Moose match-up was in our favor, but the truth is that Verlander’s suffering from the flu that’s been flying around the clubhouse, so that, in addition to the weak bat syndrome that’s intermittently struck the Tigs of late, made this one pretty doubtful, and thus an even more enjoyable win.
Speaking of that flu… last I heard it had hit Pudge, Polanco, Craig, Verlander, and Kenny. Possibly it has since struck more of them. This ALWAYS happens to ballplayers. One of them gets sick and then all of them get it. I spent 3 years in dorms, I know from personal experience that it is perfectly possible to live almost all the time with a whole lot of people in very close quarters and NOT catch whatever bug is going around. They’re like kindergarteners. WASH YOUR HANDS, GUYS. STOP SPITTING ALL THE TIME. BUY SOME ANTIBACTERIAL GEL. Whatever it takes. At the very least your wives will thank you.
Oh, of course I’ve got to mention Matt, who filled in while I was off frolicking through the London streets, nearly being run over by cars coming from the wrong direction and all that. He’s got his own blog to write and was under no obligation to cover my rear; if it wasn’t for him, this site would’ve just been silent from Saturday to Wednesday. So a tip of the paw to Mr. Wallace is very much in order. THANKS, MATT!