photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
It’s been a while since we had a pug marks post over here, eh? Let us rectify this tragic oversight now!
pug mark 1
The Tigers signed everyone who was arbitration-eligible, except for Verlander. Bobby Seay will make $1.3 million, Zoom will make $735,000, Edwin Jackson will make $2.2 million, and Gerald Laird will make $2.8 million.
Apparently Verlander is asking for $4.15 million and the Tigers are offering $3.2 million. They have until Feb. 1 (that’s ten days from now) to work it out, otherwise it’ll go to arb. And we all know how much Mr. Dombrowski hates that arb…
pug mark 2
Nate Robertson is a soccer mom, uses Pilates to try and get back into shape.
Of course I somewhat obliquely mentioned this in the latest cartoon, but I figure it deserves linking just because of the Pilates-love in this article. Also, because Nate is saying things like this:
“I feel that flexibility. I really do,” Robertson said. “I think it’s worked out real good so far. Everything feels more loose.”
Feel that flexibility, Nate! Yeah, baby!
Chad Durbin will be forever beloved around here for his good sense of humor about the whole pimp thing, and it warms my fuzzy little heart to see him saying stuff like this:
BR: Aside from Philadelphia (for obvious reasons), where did you like playing the most (KC, Cleveland, Arizona or Detroit)?
Chad: Cleveland and Detroit stick out most because of the personal relationships I had with some great guys. Kansas City will always be memorable because it’s where I broke into the Big Leagues.
Nuts to you, Arizona!
pug mark 4
Pre-Spring Training photos! The early bird get the worm, the Floridian ballplayer gets photographed by the always-diligent HueyTaxi aka Roger DeWitt. I spy Cale Iorg, Ryan Raburn, Justin Verlander, and Alex Avila.
He also captured this highly disturbing image of a scruffy, bearded Jim Leyland from October. Um. Hopefully that will be gone by the time Spring Training proper rolls around.
pug mark 5
Lynn Henning has a bunch of quotes from new pitching coach Rick Knapp. The whole first section is about Knapp’s thoughts on Verlander, with whom he’s already been working in Lakeland.
“Watching him play catch, I noticed how after he finishes, he finishes way off-balance,” Knapp explained this week, by telephone from his home in Port Charlotte, Fla.
“He was maybe getting a bit too high. That can lead him to arch, and to fall off as opposed to stepping around after the ball crosses the plate… So, doing long-toss, we had him keeping his hands away from his head a bit more, which seems to free up his arm and his release a bit more out front.
“It was a small little adjustment. But he felt it almost immediately. I’m used to having to sell guys on things because they have a hard time feeling it. Justin picked up on it like that. He was in tune with it.”
Detroit News article
It’ll be interesting to see if this has much of an impact. I also find it curious that falling off weirdly was Verlander’s problem: he’s known for having very good defensive skills, and pitchers who fall crazily off the mound are generally rubbish defensively, as they end their pitching motion in no good condition to field the ball.
Also worth noting is this quote about Bonderman:
“But the thing that stands out to me,” Knapp said, “is how physical he is. I was talking to Gene Lamont (Tigers bench coach) the other day and I said to him, ‘Dang, that guy’s firm.’ He looks strong. I don’t know what else he could do to make his body right — he’s strong as an ox.”
Detroit News article
Who among us has not watched a guy pitch and said to ourselves, DANG, THAT DUDE IS FIRM! Right? Right.