illustration by Samara Pearlstein
I know it’s been all bullet points all the time around here lately, but I am simply too freakin’ tired for Real Person Paragraphs that are, like, all connected and coherent and whatever. It’s not happening.
–Two in a row dropped to the A’s! Ugh. It’s not even as if the A’s are bad this year. I just still have this idea that we should always be able to take on AL West teams. I am aware of the fact that the Central is the Division of Overarching Patheticness now, not the West, but this is just a vestigial bias of my own and I find it annoying to see it trod upon so carelessly by everyone involved. The Tigers should play up and the A’s should oblige us and play down. What is Mark Ellis doing hitting those home runs? I mean, really. What does he think this is, 2007?
–Carlos Guillen has played a couple of games at second base now. So far it has not been completely disastrous. From what I’ve seen he has actually looked more comfortable there than he ever really did at the corners, or maybe I’m imagining things because I want him to be OK. In my mind he has looked like a mostly competent second baseman. Not Placido Polanco, mind you, but then again no one else is.
–Speaking of Placido, Roy Halladay threw a perfect game for the Phillies today in Florida. In the pile afterward I saw a happy Placido all jumping around in there and I got all sad and jealous and sadly jealous. I wish Placido was still on our team, and that Justin Verlander would throw a perfect game so Placido could do happy perfect game jumps with him. SIGH.
–Rick Porcello had a ton of fly ball outs tonight for whatever reason. He’s usually a big groundball pitcher, so this was strange and uncharacteristic. In truth he wasn’t horrific in this one, just sort of uninspiring and vaguely inefficient (as opposed to acutely, or Justin Verlanderly, inefficient). Brad Thomas and Eddie Bonine were the cats who provided the pitcher suffering. Please note that while Bonine’s line doesn’t look so bad on the face of it, he inherited three baserunners from Thomas and let them all score.
–I noticed that Miguel Cabrera is letting his horrifying chin fuzz grow out a bit. This doesn’t improve it, just makes its horrifying lack of cohesiveness, awkward fluffy fly-away texture, etc. even more obvious.
–Magglio Ordonez made a great catch in the 4th on a Kouz hit. He caught his cleat against the wall (in the space between the padding and the dirt, it looked like) and fell over, but he managed to make the catch as he was going down, and he held onto it for the out. I was honestly a bit terrified, because it looked like the kind of play where he tore every single bit of connective tissue in his foot and ankle, but he got up and stayed in the game, so I guess we should (?) assume that he’s OK.
–Forgot to mention this yesterday, but I saw The Farns pitch in Fenway for the Royals, and it was glorious. He has pitching goggles and a goatee now. I took about a million photos, which you lot will see eventually.
–Zach Miner had successful Tommy John surgery, ending his season. The hope is that he will be back by the time next season starts, maybe even by Spring Training if his rehab progresses very, very well. But you can definitely shelve any Miner-thoughts you were still having about 2010.
–Max Scherzer will be back from his Toledo interlude to start Sunday’s afternoon game in Detroit. He was very good in a couple of starts in triple A and now we shall see if his alleged mechanics adjustments actually apply up here, or if it was all smoke machines and clever use of mirrors.
But you can’t get something for nothing and somebody had to go to make room for Scherzer. There was some speculation that it would be Armando. But Armando is safe for now; instead it will be Dontrelle who is designated for assignment. Jason Beck seems to think this means that it’s all over with Detroit and Dontrelle:
…the Tigers technically will have 10 days to try to trade Willis or see if another team claims him on waivers. Neither option seems likely.
With Willis all but certain to decline a Minor League assignment, this essentially means the end of a pairing that went perplexingly bad from the start in 2008 and never saw Willis return to his Florida Marlins form.
For now, Willis will be in roster limbo but could well be headed for a release. Claiming Willis on waivers would involve taking on the rest of his contract. He is scheduled to make $12 million this season, the final year of the three-year, $29 million deal he signed with the Tigers after they acquired him from Florida in the Miguel Cabrera trade.
With Willis all but certain to decline a Minor League assignment, as is his right, he could become a free agent in a week and a half, which would allow him to sign with another team for the Major League minimum and have the Tigers pick up the rest of his salary. More importantly for him, he’ll get a fresh start in a new organization.
I don’t know why he’s so dead certain that Dontrelle would decline a minor league contract, but if so, this is sadface indeed. You all know that I love Dontrelle and want Dontrelle to work out so badly that I am rarely able to see reason where he is concerned. Does he have the worst numbers in the rotation right now? Yes? Well… I reject your numbers and substitute my own. So whatever.
Wherever he ends up, whatever he ends up doing, I just hope Dontrelle can find a way to be happy. Ever since I had to hear about his joy for the game of baseball being gone, that’s really all I’ve wished for him.