photo by Samara Pearlstein
Bullet points because the blogger should have been asleep hours ago.
–Our little FredFred has been sent to Toledo to work out his Issues. Now… we can’t really deny that he HAS been struggling. And he’s just a kitten still. This is only his second season in the big leagues, he’s only 21 years old, and he only spent one year at single-A before coming up. He’s actually never played for the ‘Hens before. The idea is that he can work through the Issues in Toledo, taking as much time as he needs, and it won’t be as big a deal because his mistakes and angst won’t impact the big league record directly.
I know this did just work out quite well for Max Scherzer recently, but Scherzer is older in both baseball and number-of-years-alive terms and is thus a little better suited to handle it. I have to admit that when I first heard that Porcello had been sent down, my initial reaction was one of panic. Not so much WAT ARE THE TIGERS GONNA DO FOR A STARTER, more THIS IS GONNA MESS WITH HIS HEAD AND DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA FREDFRED SADFACE.
Then I realized… wait. Ryan Perry is coming off the DL very soon. He will need rehab work in the minors. Maybe (probably?) Toledo. And if FredFred has his BFF there with him, I think he’ll be much more able to handle the perceived indignity of being sent down in the way that he was. I feel very certain about this. I believe in the bromance.
–Max Scherzer’s start against Arizona was crazycats. He threw so many pitches in the first inning, I was convinced he was going to have to be pulled in the 4th, and the score would be a million to one and all would be sadness, all would be woe.
Instead he somehow got himself under control, stayed in the game for 7 innings, struck out 8 and allowed only one run. He ‘only’ threw 118 pitches. Yes, that is a number that would get me foaming at the mouth if we were talking about Justin Verlander, but given the fact that Scherzer used, like, three innings-worth of pitches just to get through the first, I am instead impressed that he managed to get through 7 with that total.
Thank cats the offense picked him up. For that sort of effort, he SO deserved a win.
–Austin Jackson came on defensively in the 9th. This is a good sign. All other things being equal, he should (should) be back starting on Tuesday, or very shortly thereafter.
–Jose Valverde and Miguel Montero are feuding and I love it. I LOVE IT.
On Friday, The Big Potato got the save. It only took him a few pitches to set down the final three batters. He got demonstrative, as he does. There was some hopping around, some fist-pumping, you know, nothing out of the ordinary for him. But Miguel Montero (who was struck out in that inning) did not appreciate the enthusiasm.
“He’s a (bleeping) (bleep),” Montero told the Arizona Republic. “The way he acts, it’s not right, you know” You’ve got to be professional. I’ve always felt that way. And I’ve always told him. That’s the way he is. I guess he thinks it’s right. But I don’t care.”
Montero was hoping Valverde saw his comments.
“You can write it down,” Montero said. “I hope he reads it. It’s all right. We’ll face him down the road at some point, and I guess I’m going to pimp it.”
Montero added he was surprised Valverde threw three consecutive splitters to get Montero out.
“I never suspected that,” said Montero, who hit a homer in Saturday’s 6-5 victory over the Tigers. “I didn’t think he had that kind of brain to throw three splits in a row. It surprised me.”
Ted Kulfan/Detroit News
Miguel Montero, buddy, don’t take it so personal. He has done this every time he’s gotten a save, or someone makes a good catch for him, or every time he gets a nice K. IT’S WHAT HE DOES. He’s an open, expressive guy whose emotions run hot on the mound. He’s a closer. He’s a little bit eccentric and a little bit flamboyant and we love him for it, OK, we love him wicked hard, so step off.
The weird thing is that their time in Arizona overlapped (Montero came up in ’06, Valverde didn’t shift over to Houston until ’08), so Montero should totally know this already. Anyways, Papa Grande had some thoughts in response to Montero’s fightin’ words.
“I never liked Montero,” Valverde said Sunday morning. “He’s a (bleeping) piece of (bleep).
“If he wants to do something, tell him to come to my locker and let me know.”
“If you don’t want to strike out, don’t play baseball,” Valverde said. “Sit down on the bench. He was looking for a fastball? No. Go to the cage.
“Tell Montero he’s a freaking rookie and I can do whatever I want to . . . Tell Montero he has two years (in the majors) and I have eight.”
Nick Piecoro/Arizona Republic
Goodness GRACIOUS! I am clutching my pearls right now. What a bleeping piece of bleep, indeed! But how did Montero respond to this, um, strongly worded statement?
Montero laughed after having the comments relayed to him.
“I don’t think he’s got eight years because he got sent down seven or eight times,” Montero said.
“Yeah,” Montero said, “because he’s dumb. What do you want me to say? He’s smart. No. He’s just dumb.”
Nick Piecoro/Arizona Republic
So much anger, so much dislike. So fiesty, though! I probably should take some sort of hypothetical high road and talk about how petty and stupid this is, such an Insult to the Game, etc, but that would be a lie, I love this stuff. Although the idea of someone taking Papa Grande’s antics so personally, especially someone he played with, is still baffling.
–To New York! Weather and travel permitting, I WILL BE AT THE TUESDAY NIGHT GAME AT CITI FIELD. If you’re also planning to be there and you see me around, feel free to come on over and say hi! I’ll be carrying a big ol’ camera, I have short hair, and I will be wearing a 2009 All Star Game Brandon Inge jersey. There probably won’t be too many other people wearing that, so I should be relatively easy to spot.
Justin needs to win for me. Or no, not for me. WIN IT FOR THE SWEET MEMORY OF FREDFRED, JUSTIN. Do it for the wee kittens.