Category Archives: Jamie Walker

Roar of the Tigers at Spring Training

photo by Samara Pearlstein

Well, Orioles Spring Training. But there were a couple things that may be of mild interest to Tigers fans, and I thought I’d share with you lot. Totally not forcing this one at all. Nope. Not a bit of it.

(clicking these takes you to their respective Flickr pages, where you can see them more clearly)

Yes, it is our old chum Jamie Walker, representin’ in the spring with a pretty awful mustache. I still have a soft spot for Jamie, because he was mostly quite good with Detroit, and he was always armed with a glorious and occasionally hick-tastic quote or two, and he always seemed to genuinely want to play in Detroit, which is something you certainly cannot say about everyone.

Did you know that in 2006, his last season with the Tigers, Jamie Walker’s WHIP was 1.146? That is better than EVERY SINGLE TIGERS PITCHER in 2008, with the exception of Freddy Garcia, who only pitched in three games. Ah, memories.

Why, it’s 2002 Detroit Tigers first round pick Scott Moore! We ended up trading him to the Cubs in ’05 as part of the Farnsworth deal, and he’s bounced around in a desultory sort of way ever since, but, you know, there he is.

Pay no mind to that fellow in the front– the dude in the middle, fully facing the camera, is former Cub Rich Hill, or perhaps I should say: RICH HILL, MICHIGAN WOLVERINE. Is this related to the Tigers? Not really. Is this awesome? Yes.

Matt Wieters is a 6’5 switch-hitting catcher who will be 23 years old in May and hit .355/.454/.600 at a combination of high-A and double-A last season, after having kicked all kinds of butts at Georgia Tech. I have an insane baseball-fan-lust for his skill-set and hereby declare that he should be traded to the Tigers immediately. For Great Justice.

The rest of the photos from my (sadly all too brief) Spring Training excursion can be seen here. There is rather a lot of orange– which, as we all know, is a fine color for a baseball team to use.

It is also perhaps worth mentioning that Placido Polanco will not be playing in the World Baseball Classic after all. Of course this means that at least one of our worries has been somewhat alleviated.

Craig Monroe: 1, Incredibly Drawn-Out Boredom: 0


photo by Samara Pearlstein

Let’s summarize this game.

First inning: no score
Second inning: no score
Third inning: no score
Fourth inning: no score
Fifth inning: no score
Sixth inning: no score
Seventh inning: no score
Eighth inning: no score
Ninth inning: no score
Tenth inning: no score
Eleventh inning: no score

Twelfth inning: Craig Monroe grand slam results in four Tigers runs; Bobby Seay balks in an Oriole run

The sad bit is that while Verlander and Loewen both looked something along the lines of great, I feel like we were seeing terrible offense more than amazing pitching. Especially on Loewen’s part… not to take anything away from him, but he just didn’t look all that sharp out there. This isn’t just me being team-ist; Verlander stretched his start to 7 innings, while Loewen had a high enough pitch count to knock him out of the game after 5.

It was cool to see Jamie Walker again, and although he too was quite effective against us, I don’t hold it against him one bit. Rock on, Walker. I really hope he and Millar are perpetuating their own brand of crazy in that Oriole clubhouse, because those two together would probably be ridiculous enough to warrant a reality show.

Still having trouble processing the amazing end of this game correctly. It’s like if you were watching a race with two runners, and they were running in lockstep for miles and miles and miles and miles and eventually one dude just pulls out a gun and sprays the other one full of bullets. Craigger’s grand slam was just that in terms of violence and unexpectedness.

Off to the Skydome. It’ll be nice to not have to worry about the weather, I guess… hopefully the pitchers weren’t too tired out by today’s marathon and they’ll be able to hold back/herd the crowd of Jays bats.

I call DIBS on that Tiger!

Because one Tigers blogger is not nearly enough, we have joined terrifyingly awesome forces to bring you, the unsuspecting reader, a conglomeration of Detroit-ly themed writing goodness, otherwise known as

Fear our might!

DIBS sites include the following:

TigerBlog
Tigers Central
the Detroit Tiger Weblog
Motown Sports Revival
The Cheap Seats
Beyond Boxscores
Out of Bounds
Sports Pig (Northern Michigan Detroit Sports Blog)
Bless You Boys
Detroit Sports Squad

and of course your very own Roar of the Tigers. You should check out all those guys (and gals? I’m not sure who’s what), though, because you just can’t get enough Detroit sports blogging. Don’t deny, kids. You know you love it.

Anyways, as a mark of the PURE AWESOMENESS and TIGER LOVIN’ SOLIDARITY of DIBS, we (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘three of us‘) had the idea that everyone in DIBS ought to have a vote on the Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, and Breakout Player. The results were tabulated by the super magical scientific method of counting, and everyone nodded in agreement. I admit I was a bit surprised about the ultimate Player of the Year winner, but… well, you’ll see.

First, my votes. Plus commentary. Plus photos of the players in question, taken by me, at various games this season, just because. Click the photos for bigger.


TIGER PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Placido Polanco.

Shut up, I know he was only there for a relatively short period of time, but in that period of time… holy cats, was this dude hitting. He injected a little aura of respectability and hope into the team when it seemed like they needed it most (not that it did any good, but STILL), he seemed to get along with most everyone (more than can be said for many Tigers), and he was willing to sign on for future years, which shows either real belief in the team, or immense stupidity and greed. Either way: I LIKE IT. Also, the mystery of his marvellously misshapen cranium gave us something to think about when thinking about the actual team got too painful.


TIGER PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Jamie Walker.

I want to give this one to Bonderman so, so badly, but I just can’t work out what happened to him at the end of the year. All the starters were so horribly inconsistent. I feel stupid voting for a guy who is, basically, a LOOGy, but you know what, tough kittens. On the whole, Walker pitched well this year, and there were several games where I was *so sure* he was going to blow it, and then he didn’t, which is, again, more than can be said for many Tigers this season. Plus he switched to the high stirrup socks at the end of the year, which should be worth at least two votes all on its own.


TIGER BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Chris Shelton.

Duh. OK, so I kind of wanted to give this to Granderson (you know I heart Curtis Granderson), but when you get right down to it, Shelton was up for longer and made a greater impact on the team. 18 homers in 107 games? Yes, please. Nearly ending the year with a .300 average (.299, that’s just as good in my books)? Hot damn. Having an OBP markedly higher than his batting average, and still slugging well (unheard-of for a Tiger)? Indeed. Being pale and red-headed and with huge staring frog eyes and no chin? Yes plz!

I kid, I kid. Obviously the hottest Tiger is either Brandon Inge or Carlos Pena. But the point is that Big Red’s bat-handling glosses over many things, startling appearance among them.

So that was what I thought. The actual DIBS award winners were as follows.

Player of the Year: Placido Polanco.
Pitcher of the Year: Jeremy Bonderman.
Breakout Player: Chris Shelton.

See, I thought I was weird for picking Plonkers, but it turns out that we’re all just weird in the same way. And I feel even dumber for going with Walker, but… no, you know what? I stand by my hick LOOGy and his goofy ways. But Bondo can feel good…. THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN, BONDO! YOU ARE THE COMMON MAN’S CY YOUNG WINNER! As for Big Red, yeah, no surprises there. Our love for him transcends any piddling barriers of socially-accepted norms of beauty or gender.

So I would say that the first year of the DIBS Awards was a resounding internetful success. Bask in the glory of Detroit sports blogging, my friends. The future is now!

And it is tiger-striped.