photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
First off, congratulations to Placido Polanco, who became an American citizen in a ceremony with a bunch of other cats at the ballpark before the game. Yay! Of course, he apparently passed the citizenship test THREE YEARS AGO, but had to wait for a security check. His wife and kids were already citizens, he’s lived here for 16 years, he’s a professional baseball player with the relatively public life that comes with such a job, but hey, sometimes those are the sneakiest ones!!
Oh, I know the whole system’s woefully inefficient and whatever, but three years, seriously? Ugh. OK. YAY FOR PLACIDO!
“It means a lot, because I’ve been here [in Detroit] for what, four years, and now the Tigers feel like part of my family,” Polanco said. “I feel like I’ve been here forever, and this is the organization that has given me the chance to play every day finally. To become a citizen here, it’s a very important thing for me to do this in front of all these fans that I really appreciate.”
“I’ve lived half of my life here [in the US],” Polanco said. “I went to college here. My kids were born here. My wife is a citizen, so now, I [was] the only one missing. I’ll be part of the family now.”
Scott McNeish/MLB.com article
Awww, Placido, you already were.
After the ceremony there was, of course, a game, and the Tigers did manage to win. Unfortunately so did the Wrong Sox (thanks for nothing, ROYALS), but the Red (Correct) Sox beat the double out of the Twins this afternoon, hopefully tenderizing them a little for us. So we’re still 7 back from the top of the division, but we’re only 3.5 games behind Minnesota and we’re a couple games over .500. I know I keep harping and such, but all of this seemed nearly impossible at the end of the first two months of the season, so thank cats for small favors.
I’ll be honest: I did not really think we were gonna win this one. Byrd was ON and Bonine was… well, pretty much the opposite of whatever kind of ON Byrd was. Casey Fossum came in and tried his hardest to save our stripey bums– 6 Ks in 3.1 innings! From CASEY FOSSUM! It was unexpected and amazing. But it looked for all the world like this was going to be another game where whatever hole the Tigs had dug for themselves early on would prove too steep to climb out of, because the offense could get NOTHING going for most of the game. Then a magical thing happened.
Rafael Betancourt came into the game.
I don’t want to take anything away from the Tigers bats who finally came around. Matt Joyce’s home run was a thing of glory and happiness and OBVIOUSLY GOOD LUCK AND KARMA BECAUSE OF THE WHOLE THING WITH THE KITTEN FROM YESTERDAY (moral of the story: kittens lead to home runs, therefore we must have more kittens, and most especially more ballplayers interacting with kittens). But Betancourt was breathtakingly bad.
Even with his terribleness, we very nearly let this one get away. I was not keen to see it possibly go to extras, not with a day game tomorrow. Miguel Cabrera also did not want it to go to extras, so he hit a walkoff home run. You know, as he does. So far this month he has been slugging .958 (not a typo!!), and I don’t think that’s counting this game. Obviously that’s a small sample size kind of number– his slugging percentage is, in a good year, generally around .560 when all is said and done– but it’s still so pretty. Mmmm, power.
In other Tigers news:
–Edgah finally batted a run in, and promptly did something to himself on the basepaths and had to come out of the game. Figures. Last I heard he was day-to-day. It looked like he maybe just tweaked a hamstring or somesuch.
–They’re demolishing Tiger Stadium. I don’t want to talk about it.
–Inge should be back on Thursday. I realize that these are big divisional games, right before the break, but honestly? I would let him rest up until after the All Star shenanigans were over. If it was an injury with a clear timetable like a bone break or surgery healing I’d say sure, bring him back, but I think the longer he’s on a light workload with that oblique, the better it’s going to heal (and the less likely it is that he’ll reinjure it straight off). I’m probably being crazy and neurotic, but it’s not like baseball in general or the Tigers specifically have a great track record dealing with guys with strained obliques, so I feel justified in my neuroses.
Sardinha was DFA’d to make room. With the anemic nature of his bat I reckon the chances of him ending up back in the Tigers system are quite high, but who knows, it’s a crazy world out there for catchers.
–We also brought Jeff Larish back up and sent the Bovine kid back to AA. Ouch. Too bad it would be COMPLETELY BATGUANO CRAZY for us to just go with a 4-man rotation, because that’s functionally what we’ve been doing for (what feels like) most of the season now.
–Dontrelle has tendonitis in his knee. As with the injuries of everyone else on this team, that means it is not going to go away easily and is only going to get worse if he keeps using it. Aweeeeesome. Lingering, likely-to-recur injuries are our specialty this year!
Thursday’s game is Kenny Rogers vs. Kevin Slowey, at 1 pm EDT. Kenny is 21 years older than me. Slowey is one year older than me. Strange and pointless facts of the day! Go Tigers!