Category Archives: Duane Below

In search of a fifth starter.

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Who’s it going to be? If the Tigers decide to keep their wandering eyes at home, that coveted final spot in the rotation will have to go to one of the following:

Drew Smyly
Pro: The very thought of him should make everyone happy.
Con: Only one season of minor league service under his belt thus far.

Duane Below
Pro: Most pun-able name, a boon for headline-writers throughout the Tigersphere.
Con: Potential hellish pun onslaught.

Andy Oliver
Pro: Has some big league experience, won’t be freaked out by Comerica or naked postgame hugs from Papa Grande.
Con: Big league experience was not that confidence-inducing.

Pro: Really tall, great downward motion on the mound.
Con: Lack of flexibility, pretty poor pick-off move.

Don Kelly
Pro: Can catch for his own relievers if necessary.
Con: May not be sufficiently stretched out to start.

Let the final run up to Fifth Starter Decision 2012 commence!

Hello Below, and Verlander gets back on track.

Duane Below made his big league debut yesterday! I should have posted this then, but I was too busy being distraught over Brandon Inge. You understand how it is. In any event, we can say hello to Below now.

He is a Michigan native, so his appearance with the Tigers has already been extensively and lovingly covered by every media outlet and bloglet known to man- and cat-kind. He grew up in Britton, MI, a teeny tiny little town where I would guess there was nothing much to do but practice pitching. I’ve never been there but I think his hand map in the TC up there is at least in the right ballpark.

His parents were at the game. Various Britton locals were at the game. People had signs with every possible form of ‘Below’ pun on them. It would have been nice to see Below get the win. Alas, it was not meant to be as the bullpen could not stop giving up runs, and the offense couldn’t make up the deficit quickly enough. No win for the team, no win for Below. He didn’t get the loss, though. So there’s that.

The poor kid had Japanese reporters telling him after the game that he was famous in Japan for giving up Hideki Matsui’s 500th career home run. How, er, prestigious.


–Justin Verlander does not want anyone to be worrying after his last start. Therefore he will go out there and pitch 8 innings with 126 pitches and he’ll hold the Twinks to one run and he’ll stand around generally being awesome.

–Wilson Betemit got his first start in a Detroit uniform. At one point he fielded a ball at third (awkwardly), threw it across the mound towards first. He nearly beaned Phil Coke. I don’t want to say that Brandon Inge would have made that play, but Brandon Inge would have made that, ok.

–I will be in Minnesota for the Friday and Saturday games, so there will be radio silence over here until I get back. If you will be in MN too, come say hi!