Pudge's powerful spring and other such pleasantries

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

I freely admit that I was concerned about Pudge coming into this season. Very concerned. Up all night gnawing on my fingernails concerned. And I have to say right now that I’m still concerned, because catching is a position that wears a player’s body down to tiny bloody nubs of flesh and bone, and Pudge is at an age where that happens pretty quickly. So he might be basically incapacitated by the All Star break. That’s what my insane, incessantly worrying mind is saying.

HOWEVER.

Holy freaking cats, have you guys SEEN the spring he’s having?? The dude has 8 home runs so far. That’s more than anyone else in the majors at the moment. Yes, yes, Spring Training, doesn’t count, won’t happen in the regular season, etc. I honestly didn’t think he still had it in him. I was fully expecting that this would be the season where we saw Pudge remain serviceable, maybe learn to walk a little more (learn to walk AT ALL, because one walk is more than none, and Pudge should come to learn this fact) but fail to hit for much power as he ages.

Is he going to regain his power this season? I don’t know. Spring Training pitches are not the same as regular season pitches (at least, pitchers sure hope they aren’t) and Spring Training ballparks aren’t Comerica. Still, you need power to hit them out, and Pudge sure seems to be doing his damnedest to prove that he has that power.

We can also perhaps factor in the rest of the lineup. Even without Granderson to start the year, the Tigers’ lineup is wicked and is rapidly approaching the point where opposing pitchers can’t afford to pitch around ANYONE. This bodes well for Pudge; he should be getting lots of relatively hittable pitches. Pretty exciting stuff.

He’s also been making some laser throws from behind the plate. Yes, he had an error today, but every time I’ve seen him he’s been gunning down runners like… well, like the Pudge of old. Rod and Mario even said, at one point, that it looked like he’d been putting on a little more weight this season. What does it all mean?! Who knows, but if it means a vintage-type Pudge for us, I’m in favor. How could you not be?

The aforementioned other such pleasantries:

-Brennan Boesch got stuck in a dugout toilet. Everyone had to watch the groundscrew pry the door off. THIS, my friends, THIS is what Spring Training is all about. Jason Beck has the amazing report here and this heartfelt quote from Jim Leyland:

“That’s why I love the game,” Leyland said. “I’ve never seen that in my career. If it was me in there, that door would’ve been down. I would’ve figured out somehow to get out of there. I would’ve panicked. I’ve never seen that in my life.”

Beck’s Blog

Ever the sympathetic character, Leyland is. You just know that, so long as he’s in the Tigers organization, Boesch is never ever ever going to live this one down. Poor cat.

-Deaner, the very very VERY dedicated Curtis Granderson fan behind The Grandy Report, got an interview with that very same Granderson! I love this so hard, because holy cats, if ever there was a blogger who deserved to talk to Curtis Granderson, it’s Deaner. You can read the Q&A right here.

-That Miguel Cabrera deal has been finalized and given the stamp of officialness. It’s 8 years, $152.3 million. That’s the biggest contract ever for a Tiger (although I don’t know if it’s the biggest ever corrected for inflation or not; I guess it very well might be), so hopefully he’ll make it worth our while. I think he will. Yes. Definitely. What could go wrong? (*bites nails*)

5 responses to “Pudge's powerful spring and other such pleasantries

  1. ivantopumpyouup

    Oh God, that photo manip. That may be the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. Like– the scary baby eatin’ grin PLUS the body-builder muscles, it’s just too much for me to handle.
    Also I’m glad I’m not the only nut up at this time of day.

  2. that picture puts the fear of god in me.
    also they released Brydak. Bummer, I liked the dude with his wierd glasses and bow legged walk.

  3. It’s really Pudge’s scary grin that makes the image. It wouldn’t be nearly so terrifying otherwise. And hey, I hadda be up… there was baseball to watch!
    tiff, yeah, the whole Byrdak thing is just kind of weird.

  4. ivantopumpyouup

    I know! I got up to watch and I don’t even like either team! :O

  5. I applaud that kind of dedication. Of course this is coming from the kid who was up at 3 am during the World Baseball Classic to watch two teams with almost no one familiar on them duke it out, so maybe I just applaud that kind of shared insanity.

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