Florida Southern goes down; blogger gloats.

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Well, not really. OK, a little bit. C’mon! The Tigers beat Florida Southern (the Moccasins, hence the image up top) on Tuesday 17-4, which is a veritable THRASHING. Of course the exhibition games are always lose-lose for the pro teams. If you win, yippee, you beat a poor little college team; if you lose, you are completely and utterly embarrassed because you lost to a college team. So even a 17-4 victory shouldn’t seem like much to the Tigers.

But!

The University of Michigan Wolverines TIED the New York Mets, 4-4. AND the Mets only tied it up at the very end of the game, on a controversial home run. The ball hit above the yellow line, and was called a homer, despite the fact that an over-the-line-but-not-outta-the-park ball hit by a Wolverine earlier in the same game was NOT called a homer, and resulted in a triple. I mean, yeah, OK, he came around to score, but it took another out to get him there. CONSPIRACY!

The point is obviously that college teams CAN compete against the third-stringers and minor leaguers invited to big league spring training, so Florida Southern gets no passes from Roar of the Tigers. Legit Tigers win! Legit Tigers win!

One little worrying snag: all 4 Moccasin runs came off of Jordan Tata. Now, it’s early, everyone is still warming up, nobody expects the pitchers to be in anything like top form just yet, etc. etc. Todd Jones, who started the game (bloody WEIRD, that), did just fine, but he’s also something like 243 years older than Tata and thus has 226 more years’ experience getting himself warmed up come spring.

I’m not concerned. I’m just saying that if Dontrelle doesn’t work out, and Bondo’s still convinced that first innings are hiding under his bed at night, and Kenny Rogers undergoes spontaneous decomposition, and Nate’s just not very good… well, we’re going to need a Rick Porcello/Virgil Vasquez/Jordan Tata-type kid to step up and save the rotation. The Tigers have shown time and time again that they’re willing to let young guys develop at the major league level if they think there’s the slightest chance it will help the team. The kittens must be ready.

On a related side note, can you imagine how insane/awesome it’d be if in a couple of seasons our veteran presences in the starting rotation, aside from Nate, will be Jeremy Bonderman and Justin Verlander? I’m getting anticipatory giggles just thinking about it.

4 responses to “Florida Southern goes down; blogger gloats.

  1. Tata confuses me. Why isn’t he better than he is? I need to justify my fannishness of him somehow, and the baseball-side isn’t doing it for me. :P

  2. I’m going to chuckle about the Mets tying a college baseball team all the way til September. Is this the beginning of their undoing? heeheehee.

  3. ivan, I don’t know. I keep thinking he’s younger than he is and that he has lots of time left to put it together, but he’s already on the wrong side of 25, so I’m not sure how much longer he can coast at his current level. Maybe this’ll be the year?
    tiff, I think so far the Mets are the only team that didn’t beat their college exhibition opponent. This may say more about U of M than it does about the Mets, but still, LOLMets.

  4. I really don’t know at this point. I think he’s lost velocity on his fastball? For some reason I remember him being a harder thrower than what he was in his call-up appearances last year.

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