Category Archives: Dingman Watch

of arteries and clots

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

So. SO. Mr. Rogers has a blood clot in his shoulder.

There’s a good Q & A in the Freep about thoracic outlet syndrome, which is what they maybe possibly perhaps think this could be. As usual, the team does not see fit to release a ton of information on exactly what’s going on, but it seems like they’ve said more than usual this time ’round… in the official site article they say that:

Instead of a minor procedure, doctors had to do some artery replacement. The operation removed a clot and repaired both the axillary and brachial arteries. The brachial artery runs down the arm before splitting into two arteries. The axillary artery is located in the upper chest and runs blood to the head and arms.

MLB.com article

WOW! Actual information! We pretty much never get that. Usually it’s “Ballplayer A felt something in his arm. It felt like a kitten digging its tiny little needle claws into his muscle. Team doctors think it’s maybe a thing, you know, in his arm. Or with his arm. Not necessarily in. Just, you know, involving the arm in some way. Oh and he’ll be out for 12 weeks.”

I’m curious about the fact that they repaired both the axillary and brachial arteries, however. The passage up there doesn’t make it entirely clear, but the brachial artery is actually a continuation of the axillary artery, like so:

illustration exclusive to Roar of the Tigers

Artery repairs generally involve taking part of a bit of some other blood vessel (usually from the leg; I went into that in a lot more detail when I wrote about Dingman’s surgery). So Rogers needed to have this done in two separate stretches of the same artery, basically? What the heck kind of clot WAS this? UBERCLOT? CLOTZILLA??

Thoracic outlet syndrome occurs when muscles over- or mis-develop in the shoulder, or a mis-angled bone (or an extra one, I guess) is present– basically anything to compress the part of the shoulder called, durrr, the thoracic outlet, which is kinda like the space between your collarbone and ribs and bony shoulder. Like so:

Illustration exclusive to Roar of the Tigers

As you can see in the image there, the axillary artery feeds through the thoracic outlet. Compression of the outlet therefore compresses the artery. If it’s compressed a bit you have blood cells bumping up against the walls more often and are more likely to get a clot there (like how people with high cholesterol get plaque in their blood vessels, which makes them more narrow, and more likely to host a clot). If it’s compressed even more, the artery itself might be damaged by it, possibly torn.

(now that I think about it, is that what intially happened to ol’ Dinger?)

Apparently, Kenny’s PREVIOUS shoulder injury most definitely WAS thoracic outlet syndrome, and he had surgery to remove a (I guess extraneous, or at least non-essential) rib which was compressing the area. The MLB article previously linked says that there was “surgery to clear an artery,” but there’s no indication of whether this means the artery was ‘cleared’ just by having the rib-created pressure on it eased, or if they actually had to go in there and remove a clot.

I have a hard time believing that his only issue this time ’round is the same thoracic outlet syndrome, I guess because the brachial artery is outside of the thoracic outlet, and as I said before, it’s reported that he had repairs in that artery as well. I hope it wasn’t an embolism (a blood clot that breaks loose of its forming site and travels throughout the bloodstream, looking for more harmful places to lodge, like in the lungs or brain); those buggers are freakin’ scary.

In fact the whole concept of a blood clot in the shoulder is pretty scary for a pitcher, if only because it can probably go undiagnosed for quite some time. The symptoms include some things like numb or tingling sensations in the fingers and a general tired or heavy sensation in the arm that, well…. they sound an awful lot like regular ‘tired arm’ pitching symptoms. It’s a little worrying to think that a guy who doesn’t know his arm very well yet (think last year’s Verlander, asking Bondo and Kenny time and again if his arm fatigue was normal) might just assume that it’s regular pitching pain and not get it looked at until it’s become legitimately dangerous.

Eeeek.

Usual disclaimer on all that: me no surgun, me on’y dum lil’ art stoodent, no know big doctor wurdz.

In other When It Rains, It Pours, And Then You Realize You’re Wearing A White Tshirt news, Vance Wilson ALSO managed to get himself DLed with mysterious arm pain that (he claims) is not tendonitis and is more nerve-related. He describes the pain as a “pinching sensation”, and it’s distracting enough that he can’t throw, which is a rather important part of that whole catching job thing.

In his place we get…. Mike Rabelo.

So saith Jim Leyland, on the topic of Rabes:

“He’s got talent,” Leyland said. “and he’s wound up tighter than a clock. I think once he gets around our atmosphere and everything, I think he’ll relax and I think he’s got a lot of ability. I like him. He’s one of those guys, just watching him, that wants to do good so bad that sometimes it works against him.”

MLB.com article

Sounds like he’s an eager beaver, but the kind of eager beaver that gnaws on the tree too fast, so that the tree comes crashing down on his eager beaver skull. Woo.

Since we don’t have nearly the same amount of information about Vance’s injury as we do about Kenny’s, I can’t exactly whip up some psuedo-scientific illustrations for it. He did describe it as a pinching sensation in his nerves, though, so I offer you this appropriately pinched nerve.

in the spring, tiger cubs may begin to display playful aggressive behavior


Jordan Tata, both photos by Roger DeWitt

It still is far, far away from spring here in Michigan, but down in Lakeland the season has started to rear its wobbly little naked baby head. Some of the Tigers, eager little buggers that they are, have reported early.

*insert happy little “eeeee!” noise here*

And here we have PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE! Visual proof that while we shiver abjectly in our underheated studios (or maybe that is just me, thank you University of Michigan art school), there are big baseball men running around in shorts and sunshine. All is not lost in the deep freeze of February! See? SEE??!!

For this, we have Roger to thank. Many of you may know Roger, or “hueytaxi”, from the MotownSports messageboard. He’s a denizen of the Lakeland area and he is all kinds of ace for sharing these images, these HAPPY, TIGERFUL IMAGES with us.


Craig Dingman and Jeremy Bonderman, photo by Roger DeWitt

These photos, the ones I’ve got up here, are particularly interesting for a few reasons. The one right here is fun because it shows Bondo huffing and puffing and HOPEFULLY getting some sort of tan, because he’s translucently white, to the point where I’m slightly concerned he won’t survive a season of exposure to even weak sunlight without some kind of protective pigmentation. And running along next to him? CRAIG DINGMAN.

CRAIG DINGMAN IS ALIIIIIIIVE!

I really hope he kicks rear and makes the team, because, wow. A comeback from arterial bypass surgery in his shoulder? A surgery that involves taking part of another blood vessel (I’m not sure if they used an artery or a vein, although I’m inclined to say vein… and I can’t be the only one consistently annoyed by the lack of medical specificity available in sports news reports, right?) from his leg, and grafting it into the damaged part of his shoulder? HOLY FREAKING CATS. How WICKED would that be?
Of course, there’s the downside that involves every announcer spending the whole season mentioning this Amazing Comeback if/whenever Dinger comes in to pitch, but that’s a price I’m more or less willing to pay.

The photo up top there is just amusing because it’s Jordan Tata being a cheeky fellow. I am not at all down with the blatant and unnecessary use of different fonts for the front and the back, but the message is, I believe, one we can all get behind.

And isn’t it NICE to think that this is a statement that most teams, nowadays, won’t actually laugh out loud at? After 2003, someone wearing a shirt like this would be jeered out of existence, or else carefully ignored out of a sense of deep pity. Today, no, perfectly normal sentiments for a young whippet like Tata!

I think it’s about 7 days ’til pitchers and catchers officially report. The vast, pathetically excited anticipation continues.

edit: Also, good thoughts going out to Big Al of The Wayne Fontes Experience, a genuinely hilarious bloggin’ dude who’s got some unfortunate stuff going on right now.

Dingman Watch: surgery that makes the perfectly healthy wince

It looks like Craig Dingman is in fact going to have surgery on his shoulder, something that should surprise no one, given the fact that he tore a freaking artery up there. The Freep is saying that the surgery involves “transplanting a vein from his leg to his shoulder”. Eeek.

I assume that this is referring to a saphenous vein transplant, which is a complicated but not entirely uncommon procedure where part of the saphenous vein (in the patient’s own leg; it’s big, and relatively near the surface) is grafted into the target area in order to reconstruct the damaged artery. Arterial reconstruction via graft has been an established medical practice since at least the early 1900s, but the dangers are obviously still present. The graft can be rejected (although this is less likely to happen with your own vein than a donor vein, or an artificial graft) or could get infected, edema (fluid accumulation and swelling) might occur in the area of leg from which the vein is harvested, fistulae (leaks) can occur around the graft, there could be clotting, etc.

There’s quite a bit of information floating around out there on vein transplant for arterial reconstruction, but most of what I found involved arterial reconstruction for liver or kidney problems. There was some stuff about using the saphenous vein to reconstruct arteries also in the leg, in order to save a limb endangered by reduced blood flow. But I couldn’t find anything (in my admittedly very cursory overview– remember, me dumb art student, me no med student) on a procedure quite like Dinger’s, where the saphenous vein was harvested for use in reconstructing a torn artery in the shoulder.

I wish they’d tell us which artery exactly it is that he’s torn, and to be frank I’m still somewhat confused as to how he managed to tear the damn thing in the first place. The Freep says that “there’s no record of any North American pitchers having the surgery,” but even more than that it seems like there’s very little record of pretty much anyone having it. Maybe if we had more info I’d know where to look for more relevant related cases and we’d find that it’s not so rare as all that, but from just what we’ve been told so far it really does look like this is an extraordinary injury.

WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN TO THE TIGERS? Why? Why can’t we have someone have a nice straightforward deer meat-related injury over here?

Oh, and I’d like to thank Detroit News photographer Morris Richardson II. Thank you, Mr. Richardson. Thanks to you, I am now going to have screaming nightmares for at least a week. Good grief. Talk about a baby-eating grin.

However, Mr. Richardson, this sort of thing somewhat redeems you.

Dingman Watch takes a sad turn

I was so looking forward to continuing Dingman Watch this season, hoping to see the inexplicable return to pitching respectability by everyone’s second favorite Wichita-ian Tiger burn on ahead into a second year.

Now there’s a question as to whether or not he’ll ever throw again.

The Oakland Press’s Crystal Evolva is reporting that Dingman tore an artery in his shoulder playing catch around February 4. Obviously this injury falls firmly into the Holy Freaking Cats That’s Not Good category, although I’m not exactly sure what it entails. The injury is so rare (at least in baseball) that the Tigers don’t seem to know much either.

The Oakland Press says that Dingman “watched his fingers lose all color because there was no circulation from his elbow down,” and that he’s now on blood thinners, presumably to prevent clotting or something similar. Even typing that makes me wince.

I ran across this abstract of an article talking about the rupture of the axillary artery saying that it was the 11th such case reported in 25 years, which might give you an idea of the rarity of the injury. There’s a lot here that I, especially as a non-med-type, don’t know. The rupture here was the result of a shoulder dislocation; is that the case with Dingman? Was it his axillary artery that tore, or something else? Is there a difference between tearing and rupturing an artery?

Then there’s this promising little bit from a website on cerebral palsy, detailing the results of arterial injury in several patients (I’ve tried to define a few terms to make it a little easier to understand, but bear in mind, me stupid art student):

The main vessel was ruptured or occluded [blocked] in 13 patients, and the circumflex, humeral or subscapular branches were avulsed [torn away] in seven more. There was critical ischaemia [anemia in tissue due to obstruction of arterial blood] in seven limbs. Continuous bleeding was life-threatening in three patients. Among the secondary consequences of the arterial injury were six massive haematomas [localized swelling full of blood], six false aneurysms and three instances of massive secondary bleeding from a false aneurysm. Continuous insidious bleeding continued for six weeks in one patient and eight weeks in another before detection. Massive secondary haemorrhage occurred in one patient at eight weeks from the initial injury, and in two more after 16 weeks. Repair of the arterial injury ensured adequate peripheral flow in all cases, with restoration of the peripheral pulses and resolution of the oedema [excess accumulation of fluid].

Again, there’s no way to know right now, with the information we’ve been given, exactly what sort of tear/rupture Dingman has. This is just a way of saying, OK, look, this is not someone throwing out their back while sneezing. This injury can be really, really serious. Maybe it’s not so bad as all that in Dingman’s particular case, but again, no way to tell right now.

Most of the stuff I can find on arterial damage of this sort is in reference to arterial tears or ruptures that are associated with some sort of shoulder dislocation. I can’t see how Dingman would have managed to dislocate his shoulder just by playing catch, and I can’t see how he managed to tear an artery unless he threw some bony bits out of whack somehow. A shoulder artery doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that should just shear itself off without being interfered with by some other bodily agent, you know?

Anyways. I was both looking forward to and fully expecting to see Dingman’s time in the majors this season, and I tend to think the Tigs expected him to make the major league roster as well. Obviously this situation may take quite some time to resolve, if it ever is resolved, and I don’t think that Dingman’s going to be able to start the season on the mound.

It’ll be interesting to see how this falls out with the rest of the prospective relievers. I’m not sure how/if this will impact the speed with which Verlander or Zumaya or both make it up to the top.

Here’s hoping Dingman is ultimately going to be alright. And if someone can tell me why the Tigers seem to get the ‘amazingly bad but also really rare and bizarre’ injuries dogging their roster (Magglio Ordonez, anyone?), that would be cool too.

Best weekend ever.

Oh man, what a series that was to see live.

So, yeah, the Tigers played the Red Sox in three games at Fenway, and I went to see all three of them. All photos in this post can be clicked for a bigger version.

PHOTOS FROM GAME 1.

The first one was close. JJ melted down in the third (3 runs, 3 hits, two walks, two sac flies, nothing leaving the park), and all seemed lost, but Wake went right back out there and obligingly melted down in the fourth (4 runs, a walk, a hit, two home runs). For those who wondered, the controversial Curtis Granderson home run looked good to me. From my seats we could look right down the first baseline, and I thought it bent just fair at the pole. Everyone around me thought it was foul, though, and every subsequent foul ball was greeted by the sight of all of Fenway waving their hands in the air in the ’round the bases, it’s a homer’ sign. Hilarity.

Jeremi Gonzalez was terrible for the Sox, but they cut their losses before it got too bad. Chris Spurling was excellent for the Tigers, but by then the damage had already been done, thanks to JJ, and 8 runs wasn’t enough to overcome the Red Sox 9. It was a little galling that the Tigers hit 4 home runs and the Sox didn’t have one single round-tripper, but it was hard for me (as a fan of both teams) to be too upset about this game. It was played right down to the wire, and when my two teams meet, that’s really all I can ask for: a good, exciting game.

It was also my first baseball game with the new, exciting, high-zoom, relative anti-suck camera. I used it to take photos of Brandon Inge’s Magnificent Ass. Among other things.

PHOTOS FROM GAME 2.

The second one was just pure, utter insanity. Bronson Arroyo was dominant for the first three innings, and then in an eerie parallel of the previous night, melted down completely in the fourth (5 runs, 5 hits, a walk, a home run) after having seen Douglass melt down in the third (6 runs, 7 hits, two home runs). The Tigers were down 6-0! Usually that’s time to pack up your bags and go home, be you Tigers fan or Tigers player.

But nope, not tonight, and the Tigers batters just kept crushing Jeremi and Remlinger, the original Mr. Suck (he was cut from the team after this outing). DaMeat’s grand slam in the fourth was huge… with the bases loaded, I turned to my seatmate and said, “Hey, Dmitri’s up here, something good could happen,” which may sound prophetic, but really all I was expecting were maybe a couple of RBI. That ball, though, when it was crushed out of the park… things got really, really quiet in Fenway, sort of like the crowd couldn’t even believe it. Heck, the few Tigers fans on hand could barely believe it.

I really didn’t see many Tigers fans at all, maybe a total of 6 in the first two days. At the second game, though, I did see a little kid up by the Tigers dugout, wearing a Detroit hat and a Barry Sanders jersey, which I got a kick out of.

I was most impressed with Craig Dingman. Not just his outing (4 batters retired in a row), but his fastball. Now, I’m not all that great at calling pitches out of a pitcher’s glove, and I’m not that great at speeds either. But I do have some idea of what I’m looking at, and I can tell the difference between, you know, a Tim Wakefield fastball and a Kyle Farnsworth fastball.

Dingman’s fastball was, according to the park pitching board, clocking in at around 87 or 88 mph. To me, though, it looked a lot faster, like it was coming in around 94 or 95. It even kind of sounded like a scorcher, popping a little in Pudge’s glove. It must have looked the same to the batters, because there were some terrible, wildly confused cuts taken at it when he threw it in there.


Dingman and his confusing fastball.

PHOTOS FROM GAME 3.

And then Sunday.

Sunday was a mess for the Tigers. None of the pitchers had anything worth noting, and David Wells, well, did. Brandon Inge (Magnificent Ass in tow) had a great game, to complement his great series, but most Tigers didn’t. I’m still not altogether sure why John McDonald was starting over Omar, but I’m assuming there’s a good reason. Please. Let there be a good reason.

But, man, the game barely even mattered. It DID matter, of course, but… ah, we got to the game early, with the hopes of watching batting practice. It turns out that there was no BP, since the game the previous night had gone so late. But my dad and I decided to stand down at the Tiger dugout anyways, to see what there was to be seen.

There were Tigers. It was actually kind of funny, because none of them had their jerseys on, so if you didn’t know their faces you would have no way of knowing who was who. Me and my dad were the only two Tigers fans in the immediate area, so we had people all around us asking, “Hey, who’s that over there? Who’s that signing over there? Who’s that coming in from the bullpens?” I wasn’t at all surprised that my dad knew basically everyone on the team, but I was a bit surprised at how well I did just from faces. I had one unfortunate mix-up, but other than that I was able to pick out everyone just fine.


Jason Johnson popped out early, and started working his way up and down the dugout, signing everything anyone could shove across the dugout roof at him. He had little kids crawling over the roof, Sharpies clutched in their hands, he had baseballs rolling at him so fast they skipped off the edge of the roof and he had to duck down and dig them out of the dugout. He had a bunch of Red Sox fans nudging each other and whispering, “Who’s that?” and then once they were informed, shouting, “Mr. Johnson, sign this, please!” He had me and my dad knowing exactly who he was and telling him he’d done a good job this season.

He stayed for a long, long time, making sure that everyone who wanted something signed got it signed. He wasn’t terrifically personable, but he smiled and nodded and made sure everyone got their proper pens and baseballs back, and I was basically ambivalent to him before, but he rose a long way in my estimation for that.


Mick Kelleher trotted up to the dugout, and all the Sox fans along the dugout noted the gray hair, saw he wasn’t Alan Trammell, and turned to watch Nook and Craig work their way around the third baseline wall. The combination of my extreme dorkitude and my dad’s vast Tiger knowledge meant that I knew exactly who he was.

“Mick! Mick Kelleher! Hey, go Tigers!” Possibly it will help you to imagine the scene if you picture me screaming that, leaning on the dugout, surrounded by Red Sox fans, clutching a largish camera in one hand, wearing a violently neon yellow U of M football tshirt and a violently neon orange Tigers hat (clashing most horribly, I should think). I’m pretty sure I pointed at the D on the hat too. That is exactly how big a dork I am.

He got this enormous grin on his face, pointed back, and said, “Arright, go Tigers! Atta girl!” Then he sort of waved, grinned again, and continued on into the dugout. He looked so completely surprised and overjoyed to be recognized and acknowledged, especially in Fenway Park.

My dad reckons it might’ve made his weekend.


Vic Darensbourg had been warming up out by the Monster before wandering back to the dugout. No one, but no one had recognized him… we weren’t even sure who he was, and had to puzzle it out with the aid of the roster sheet that came with the program. But we got it in the end and as he came towards us my dad said, “Hey, I bet if you know who he is, he’ll sign just because of that.” So of course when he got close enough I yelled, “Vic! Vic Darensbourg!”, waved, smiled, and generally looked like a hugely moronic Tigers fan.

He, too, looked a little surprised at being recognized, but he smiled agreeably, signed my program and the baseball the kid next to me rolled at him, and that was it.


Chris Spurling spent a long time signing along the wall by third base, so long that it looked like he was going to just go right down into the dugout when he got there. Again, though, the fact that I knew his name and yelled it at him seemed to get his attention. I don’t think a lot of the Tiger relievers and backup guys are used to being recognized in foreign parks. He is a huge guy in person, even bigger than he’d seemed on TV. He also has this elaborate tattoo on the inside of one of his wrists that looks like it must’ve hurt something wicked.

An older guy standing near me held out his ticket and asked Spurling if he could give it to Kirk Gibson to sign. Spurling laughed and said, “Gibby? He don’t sign for nobody,” which I thought was just delightful. Earlier Gibby himself had walked by, and had turned a deaf ear to this guy’s pleas for an autograph, but had turned around and sort of laughingly snorted when the guy yelled, “Hey! Gibby! That home run for the Dodgers!”


CURTIS GRANDERSON.

I’m sorry, but you have to understand. Granderson signed. He signed even longer than JJ. He went up and down the dugout, he went back to get people he’d missed the first time, he did both the dugout corners and all down the third baseline. He smiled at the little kids, bantered with them about not having pens, he fielded balls and hats and tickets and programs and a lot of flying markers, smiling the whole time, joking around with the fans, 2/3rds of whom had only the vaguest idea of who he was anyways.

He took a bit right in front of us, signing a slew of things for people, so we leaned in on the dugout roof. My dad told him he was doing a great job up with the Tigers, and I told him I hoped he’d stick around in Detroit, to which he replied, “Ha ha, well, I don’t have control over that, but yeah.”

I dunno, I’m not sure I can describe it, but he gave off this palpable vibe of enjoying interacting with the fans, of caring about all the little kids who just wanted a baseball signed by a major leaguer, of having a really good time out there. And he has a nice smile. And I think I love him a little now, so shut up.

After all that, it almost didn’t matter that they lost the game.

Three games in three days. Tigers/Red Sox at Fenway. What a way to spend my last weeked in Boston before I head back to Michigan for the school year.

That whisking sound you hear is everything unravelling.

Shelton continued his hitless skid, although he did at least take a walk.

Inge still isn’t hitting.

Our backup catcher, at .143, is batting even worse than their backup catcher, Ken Huckaby, who’s hitting a cool .167.

They committed two errors and we couldn’t make them pay for it.

Their starter was chased an out sooner than ours and we couldn’t make them pay for it.

DINGMAN WATCH is at 2.25, and he gave up the game-winning hit. The allure of his career ERA may be proving too strong.

We don’t really have a closer, Pudge is allegedly sulking, the team is allegedly mad at Pudge. Tram has no control over the clubhouse, and no one is taking any walks.

The Wrong Sox keep on winning.

There are rumors of mass steroid test results lurking in the MLB offices, just waiting to be released, including some ‘big names’, which of course gets everyone buzzing about Pudge again.

I just want to watch baseball, OK? And I’d really like to hit .500. Is that so much to ask for?

edit: Oh fer….

OK, when I came over here as per Evan’s request, he only gave me one real guideline. He knows that my style of baseball writing often tends towards Completely Foulmouthed (remember, kids, born and bred in the Boston area. Baseball and violent swearing go hand in hand in my books), so he asked me to try to tone it down over here. On my other site I obviously continued as always, but over here, could I please, please, please not drop f-bombs all over the place. He knows how I write. He was practically begging. I think I’ve been reasonably (comparatively) good.

But this…

WHAT THE FUCK.

No, really. What the fuck am I supposed to do with that information? How does that even happen on a team? Is Foster (a regular Detroit-area sports journalist who happens to keep a blog, for those who are unfamiliar with the Detroit media [and don’t even get me started on the fact that his blog is ‘presented by the New Bloomfield Ford’]) completely offbase here? Is he blowing this out of proportion? Is he absolutely spot-on?

Seriously, what the fuck are you supposed to do if that’s happening to your team? Are things this bad in the Royals clubhouse? The Devil Rays? Pirates? Mariners?

44th Round brings the heavy bat, yo!

No he doesn’t. But he still got the game-winning hit last night, which is weird and awesome. It’s nice to see some (any) production out of the catcher’s spot with Pudge all suspended and whatnot.

Also heartening: Rondell hitting well despite his shoulder woes. Are we really all that fired up to get him back in the field? I realize we have a logjam (batjam?) at DH, but come on now, it’s not as though he’s the most powerful arm in the outfield even when he’s 100% healthy. Dmitri’s good night was also pleasant, because I think we’d all love to see him come out of that slump he’d mired himself in. It’s always helpful when the team leaders are, y’know, not just talking about helping the team, but are actually walking the walk (and hitting the ball).

Walker inheriting two runners and stranding them both is another plus. In an ideal world, he’d be a LOOGY. Sadly, this is a world in which Kyle Farnsworth is a Brave, Derek Jeter is beloved, and Aaron Boone is allowed to walk the earth without constantly being flogged by spiked-whip-bearing demons from the fiery pits of Hell– in other words, not an ideal world. The fact that, despite these nonideal usages, Walker has kept his ERA under 3.00 (for now) is a fine thing to contemplate.

Not heartening: Maggs striking out 3 times and not taking a single walk. He’s got to be able to see the ball to hit it, and it just doesn’t look like he was seeing it. Maybe the dome screwed him up. Also not heartening: Inge leaving 6 men on base. Yee-owch.

I utterly despise Scott Schoeneweis, so it was extra-pleasing to see him get the loss.

DINGMAN WATCH: 1.54 ERA. Floating upwards, but if it can hover right around here, I’ll be happy. Still, his career numbers cry out to him… “Craaaaiiiig…. it’s your over-6.00 ERA…. you want me baaaaackkk…..” Resist its siren call, Craig! Lash yourself to the ship’s mast and plug your ears with beeswax if you must, but resist!

I’m not calm, but I’m calmER.

Well, first off we signed Plonkers to a 4-year deal. I’m OK with it. Seems a reasonable length given his age (29), we just have to hope he can stay healthy for the duration which, with our luck, he won’t be able to do. But if he does buck the luck, we’ve got ourselves a second baseman with a quality glove and a bat that has the ability to be pretty damn solid. I say Omar as supersub on the tigerstriped bench. Everyone gets down on him, but he’s just a wee stripling. Not everyone is going to be Jeff Francoeur coming up, OK? I think if we hold onto Omar he’s got lots of upside.

Ha ha, I used the word ‘upside’. That means I don’t know nothin’ ’bout nothin’ and am throwing out the fuzzy old baseball cliches. YOU LOVE IT.

I’m marginally less bitter about the Farnsworth trade. Marginally. It sounds like most Braves fans are upset about losing Colon and they keep talking about how special and potential-ridden he is… well, maybe. I still say the dude is going to be 26 in a couple of weeks, if he’s got wicked awesome potential he should have something to show for it by now.

I do understand that The Farns was seemingly intent on testing free agency at the end of this year, since he hasn’t done so yet in his career and seems enamored with the idea of “having the ball in his own court” for once. It doesn’t sound like he was down on Detroit, though, so who knows, maybe he’ll be back once he realizes they probably won’t use him as a closer at all in Atlanta. I do understand the value of getting prospects for him now instead of not much of anything when he walked at the end of the year. This still smacks of giving up on the season to me.

Now rumors are flying rampant… The Farns and his agent weren’t on the same page and The Farns didn’t necessarily want to leave Detroit; The Farns was angling to go to Atlanta all year long; Pudge thinks management is giving up and wants off the team; Trammell’s done after this year; Bobby Higginson eats babies; the moon is made of cheese; Jason Johnson is having a sex change operation. Rumors are rumors, trust me kids. I’m from the Boston media market. I know all about an entire region getting hysterical over a rumor that turns out to be nothing more than the chatterings of a guy who sometimes works in the park and is bragging to his friends.

Except the bit about Higgy is totally true. I mean, duh.

Billfer has done a good thing for the internet. He has found and is sharing with us a clip of Trammaker making a cameo appearance on Magnum PI. Dead hilarous, and so cute. It’s kind of a big download, if you’re in the stone ages of dialup, but it should be OK for everyone else and everyone should try to see it, like, NOW.

Tram’s cute but, not to put too fine a point on it or anything…. Whitaker? Oh man. He was hot in his heyday.

I missed DINGMAN WATCH in my agony the other day… he’s no longer unhittable. His ERA is now a cool 1.00. It’ll be interesting to see if he can live comfortably around there or if this is the start of a sad slide back to his career level of 7.74.

In the department of things that make me a sad, sad blogger:

:(

0.00

And by ‘0.00’ I mean ‘Craig Dingman’s ERA after 7 games, 8.1 innings total pitched’.

DINGMAN WATCH is officially on. This isn’t an endless thing; he’ s got a career 6.59 ERA. So how long can he keep it up? Zero earned runs.

Just wait and see, now that I’ve started DINGMAN WATCH he’ll go 0.1 innings tomorrow and give up 6 runs.

Dancing with .500 again.

If it was possible for a baseball team to split your brain in half, it would be happenin’ Detroit. Diving right back into this “we love it, we love it not” dance with .500 is making me just a tiddly wee bit grumpy.

Still, there are bright spots. Magglio took three walks, which isn’t power hitting but is something that makes me Whee Yay Happy! to see. Both the fact that he was seeing the ball well and the fact that he’s perfectly willing to walk on base if he doesn’t get anything he wants to hit fill me with optimism.

Shelton, as usual, was unstoppable, going 2-for-3 with a run scored and two walks on the night. He is now batting .368 but he’s not just hitting for average; the kid is still showing willingness to take a walk (.410 OBP) and good power (.592 SLG). I don’t think there are really adjectives to describe him anymore. It can’t go on like this, but if it does, he could be the best Rule 5er in the history of history itself.

Oh yeah, and we had another Dingman sighting. He’s still got a 0.00 ERA.

Reader Em indicated in the comments of the last post that she took photos at the last couple of home Tigers games. I went to go see. I DIED OF AMAZEMENT AND JEALOUSY AND HOW AWESOME THEY ARE. Seriously, if you are any kind of baseball fan, you need to see these things immediately. So many of them are so good, but here are some of the highlights:

Big Red’s hair and DaMeat looking DIRECTLY AT THE CAMERA! Plus Bondo biting his lip and (I think) JJ looking like a stork in sunglasses. But the best bits are really the sun glinting off of Shelton’s head, and Dmitri’s little semi-smirk.

There are NO WORDS to describe what this photo does to me. Holy CATS girl, are you TRYING TO KILL ME?

Magglio and Infante… this is completely sweet. Compositionally perfect (placement in the frame, the triangle formed by the two players weighting the photo well and offset by the horizontal basepaths in the background, the way the D on Omar’s hat is almost perfectly in the center of the shot), Magglio’s adorable curly hair, and Omar’s expression, which just SLAYS me.

Craig Monroe has awesome eyes. And, again, he’s looking right at the camera. How do you DO that?

Omar Infante again. *whimper*

I’m an art student, I’m allowed to appreciate the artsy shots. Perfect focus.

And because I’m, well, me:
THE FARNS!

The Farns blatantly adjusting himself!

And then I open my MVN mail to see that Billfer has sent me a few photos from the All Star game red carpet thing, a couple of Sox and Pudge looking hot.

Damn, you guys. Even in the wake of an annoying loss to the M’s, and with the prospect of another Post-AS-Break-JJ start in our immediate future…. Still we can all take some time out to happily ask ourselves, Why are Tigers fans so freaking awesome?