pug marks, Jan. 21

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.”
MLB.com article

Feel that flexibility, Nate! Yeah, baby!

pug mark 3
Chad Durbin interview!! Hat tip to Kurt, who sent me the link.

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.
BaseballReflections.com article

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.

6 responses to “pug marks, Jan. 21

  1. We should have kept Chad Durbin. He was a valuable pitcher, who we certainly could have used last season. I was happy to see him win a ring with the Phillies.

  2. Heads-up to Queen of All She Surveys, Samara: Whenever the Phillies have their ring ceremonies, I fully expect a blog post titled “Pimp Gets Some More Bling”. Use your imagination from there. Just sayin’.
    And the Bonderman story reminds me of the Mark Grace story about when Greg Maddux called him over to the mound to shield him from the TV cameras, because he needed to adjust his cup due to… arousal. To which Gracie apparently said something along the lines of “Jeez, Mad Dog, I know you love to pitch, but I didn’t know you loved it that much.” Now, there was a dude that was FIRM in every sense of the word.

  3. When pitchers are firm it means they’re just about to ripen!

  4. Samara Pearlstein

    Leshnock, thoroughly seconded.
    Jeff, we shall have to address it somehow. I was kinda hoping the Red Sox would play them at Fenway this coming season so I would have a shot at seeing him, but it looks like they only play in Philly.
    Also, um… awkward for Maddux. All those tight pants around him, I guess. :P
    David, A+

  5. ivantopumpyouup

    in re. the Maddux story: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.
    . . . my poor brain. :(

  6. Samara Pearlstein

    I know it’s something that sometimes just happens to guys, but… yeah. Srs awkward.

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