illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Because Tigers are dropping like flies. Again. Obviously this has been going on in fits and starts all season, but let’s just look at the recent damage, shall we?
The River Thames missed several games last week with a sore shoulder, then came back and didn’t hit for much power until tonight, when he cranked a solo shot. He pulled up lame while rounding the bases on an unrelated play later in the game with what we were told was a ‘left calf cramp’. Hopefully it is actually a cramp and not some variety of strain.
Carlos Guillen, who has been having back problems for quite a while now, had to leave the game today with back spasms. He missed a few games before because there was inflammation in his back, which pinched a nerve. Who knows if he’ll have to miss more than one game with these spasms? I would guess it would depend on whether or not the inflammation had also returned, and whether or not the spasms subside overnight.
Dontrelle Willis has been trying to rehab/regain his mental equilibrium/whatever at Toledo recently. He started today’s game and had to leave after only one inning due to the always charmingly unspecific and uninformative ‘forearm tightness’. Not that I was counting on Dontrelle coming back any time soon, but still. Salt in the wound, man, salt in the wound.
Nate Robertson has some tendonitis in his knees, but doesn’t believe that this is related to the complete disappearance of his slider. To be fair, probably 95% of ballplayers have some degree of tendonitis in their major joints by this point in the season.
Rollercoaster Jones has a bonked-up shoulder. It has been variously described as suffering from ‘tendonitis’, ‘looseness’, ‘old age’, ‘clicking’, and ‘colonization by mutant, osteophagous micro-termites’. As with many baseball injuries, the true, precise cause is unknown and is indeed possibly unknowable, but I’m putting my money on the termites.
Bondo is still dead, obviously, but I could not pass up the opportunity to mention this Freep article about the fact that he’s not physically ready to start rehabbing just yet. They asked Jim Leyland if it was OK that he’s not rehabbing yet. Ask Jim Leyland a pathetically obvious question, get an amazing answer:
“He puts on his bib overalls — no shoes and socks — got a straw hat, got a case of beer next to him, got the hat slightly over his eyes with a fishing pole in his hand and taking a nap,” Leyland said. “That’s what he’s been doing … I’m not being funny. That’s what he’s doing. He’s sitting by a pond with a fishing pole and a case of beer and a straw hat and having a good time, and he should. Why shouldn’t he? He can’t do anything. He’ll be fine. … He’ll be raring to go (in spring training).”
John Lowe/Detroit Free Press article
The mental images summoned up by this quote just about killed me. Why isn’t he wearing shoes?? BECAUSE IT WOULD NOT BE AS POETIC AN IMAGE WITH SHOES. Jim Leyland is a veritable painter, but with words as his paint, and with Jeremy Bonderman as the elegantly reclining muse/model (I just grossed myself out for a second there, to be honest – in art school, you’re usually working with nude models, and… yeah, no). Tip of the paw to Ian, who mentioned it like five days ago.
I don’t have much else to say about Monday night’s game, except that at one point Kyle Farnsworth dusted Ryan Garko high and inside, right up around his chin. It was an offspeed pitch, in the high-to-mid 80s, not his heater, but Garko went down like a sack of potatoes and stayed down, like he could not in any way believe that he had not actually been hit by the ball. I guess any time The Farns comes high and inside on you, it’s gonna make you pee your pants a little bit.
Tuesday’s game is at 7:05 pm EDT and features one of the best matchups you will see all season. Cliff Lee (18-2 record, 2.43 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, AL Cy Young contender) goes up against Chris Lambert (25 year-old kid out of BC, fresh up from Triple-A and making his first ever major league appearance). I smell a pitching duel! Go Tigers!