Remember the good.
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illustration by Samara Pearlstein
It is truly a remarkable thing. First Delmon Young strained his oblique. Then Magglio Ordonez rebroke his ankle. The Tigers found themselves suddenly lacking in outfielders, since Brennan Boesch is out with his thumb thing. Ryan Raburn was already going to get playing time because of Delmon. Don Kelly was already on the roster, and needed to be free to sub in all over the place. Andy Dirks should not get regular postseason at-bats at this point in his career. So who would step in for Magglio?
DUH. Just reactivate Delmon! He can swing but not throw, so it’s basically business as usual! That totally makes sense! It’s not like he was injured wicked recently or anything! He’s had plenty of time to heal up! We all know how quickly and thoroughly oblique injuries heal, especially when you start playing on them again as soon as possible!
I don’t blame this for Game 2. Many things factored in, and the game did go to extras, so the Tigers were playing things close. In the ALDS, they were winning very close games. Now they are losing very close games. Nobody can count on always getting the win when the win depends on a single run; that leaves far too much room for luck to come into it, and in short (non-162 game) series, you want to eliminate the element of luck as much as you possibly can. The Tigers have not really done that. The absence of Delmon and Magglio was felt, but not intrinsic to the gut-wrenching walkoff loss.
Ugh. Magglio may be done. Like, maybe forever this time. He thought his ankle was healed, but clearly that was not the case. Then again, if his ankle felt fine, and all his tests came back clean, how long was he supposed to wait before playing on it again? His body apparently wants him to wait FOREVER. His bones have become brittle and unreliable. I find it hard to believe he can come back when his ankles are literally snapping beneath him on the field. Behold as he limps off into the sunset.
Please do not let this become a metaphor for the season, Tigers. Please.
illustration by Samara Pearlstein
So excited to be done with the Royals for now. Sure, it’s the Wrong Sox up next and they’re a slightly bigger deal, but I think we all need a break from Eric Hosmer. He’s just not right. One might even call him baseball evil.
Did you know that every single time he came up to the plate on Thursday, Hosmer reached base? He was 3-for-3, and he also had two walks. He homered, AGAIN. He is a Royal Pain in the Posterior. A couple weeks off from him can only be a good thing.
Jacob Turner was back for this start, and was victimized by Hosmer, among others. He gave up 6 runs in 4.1 innings, but the pattern of the offense meant that Phil Coke was the one who got tagged with the loss (and the blown save). A simple tale of pitching woe, except for the fact that it came against the Royals. I don’t care what Jim Leyland says about how dangerous the Royals have become, it’s the principle of the thing. They are still the ROYALS.
But of course Jacob Turner is a mere kitten. As Jason Beck pointed out, there is less difference in age between Turner and the Kids Take the Field urchins (max age 14– 6 years younger than Turner) than there is between Turner and Magglio Ordonez (age 37– 17 years older than Turner).
Maybe this Sunday they should let Turner run the bases.
Speaking of elderly right fielders, Magglio actually had a very good game. Like, almost Hosmer-good! He was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a home run AND a stolen base and a pleasant little boost to his self esteem. He will undoubtedly be icing his entire body right up until gametime tomorrow, but it’s nice to see the old cat has some play left in him.
illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Magglio Ordonez has gone on the DL with ‘a hurty ankle’ (medical term). Surprise! Wait, no. The opposite of surprise.
It is, of course, his SURGICALLY REPAIRED ANKLE and it’s been bothering him to greater and lesser degrees basically all season; the Tigers were hoping he could work through it and play the soreness out of it, or something. He just couldn’t get it right. Rather than continue to watch him hobble around the stadium, and fail to get hits because he can’t push off in the batter’s box, they decided to stick him on the DL, get his limbs looked at, and see if some rest does him any good.
He’s hitting .172 so, you know… probably for the best.
Andy Dirks was called up to take his place, although he didn’t play in the Friday night game. He’s a left-handed outfielder, he’s 25, he was hitting pretty well in Toledo, and he went to Wichita State, which makes him a Shocker. He is not going to be Magglio-at-100%, but it would be difficult for him to be much worse than current-Magglio, so his presence will most likely be a positive thing.
Anyways, I had to make an ‘Andy Dirks’ category in case he sticks sooner rather than later and I need to start making posts about things that he’s doing. I have so many Andy categories now. Andrew Miller, Andy Oliver, Andy Van Hekken, Andy Van Slyke, plus Dirks. Andrew Miller isn’t an Andy but he could have been, so I’m including him.
About that Friday game: JUSTIN VERLANDER. It’s not enough for him to throw a no-hitter, oh my goodness no, he has to go out in his next start and no-hit those poor fools too for almost 6 innings. He had more strikeouts this time (7) but he was still relatively efficient, throwing 105 pitches to get through 8 innings. This is firmly within the realm of the acceptable.
Is there anything more splendid than Justin Verlander’s pitching when Justin Verlander is ON the way that he’s been ON lately? I think not. We are not worthy enough to gaze upon his pitching.
illustrations by Samara Pearlstein
Apparently Daniel Schlereth, who was born in Anchorage, wishes to be known as The Alaskan Assassin. True fact (thank you, Mr. Beck). Who am I to deny Daniel Schlereth? So here he is, attired for Alaskan climes, with his sidekick seal and a knife for assassinatin’ folks.
Of course everyone already knows about Papa Grande/the Big Potato. Brayan Villarreal says that he has been calling Al Alburquerque ‘Avatar’; Jason Beck says like the movie, but I don’t really get what he has to do with the movie… it doesn’t matter anyways since I’m just going to keep calling him AlAl. Brad Thomas does not get a nickname because everyone has been content to simply make fun of his accent, which is stupid because his accent is awesome. Still! There are other worthy nicknames in the bullpen!
Villarreal is Zorro. The explanation given for this was “the hair”, even though I thought Zorro didn’t have particularly long hair, he just had that pencilly mustache thing. But… I mean… whatever.
Ryan Perry is Cyclops, because of his recent eyeball-related DL stint. Before that he was apparently called Agent P, and also the Platypus, for reasons completely unknown to me until I googled it and discovered Perry the Platypus. This is sort of amazing and as soon as the eyeball thing has faded from the forefront of our collective memory a little bit I am going to start drawing Ryan Perry as a platypus at all times.
Magglio Ordonez’s bat has been waking up a little. Thank cats.
Joel Zumaya is having exploratory surgery. He is probably done for the season (as if anyone expected otherwise?), he is possibly done forever. At least with the Tigers. Everything is very dire and sad and filled with wistful what-ifs and coulda-beens. If you own Guitar Hero, take your controller outside and burn it as a fitting memorial.
You may notice that Zoom is in civvies here. I just can’t reasonably draw him in a Tigers uniform anymore.
Paws had a birthday! He turned 16 years old, and is now legally able to drive, but he still cannot partake of celebratory champagne (if the Tigers ever start playing consistently and skillfully enough to deserve such things).
There is no real reason for this last, but Brandon Inge has been playing some cruddy baseball lately and I am angry with him, so he gets tattoonsulted. Also, have the rest of you noticed that we’re over a month into the season, and the goatee is still absent? I’m going to keep drawing him with it, though, so as to not upset the balance of the world.
photo by Samara Pearlstein
Another year of hoping he’ll grow the hair back out! It seems that Magglio Ordonez will be returning to the Tigers for 2011. If he can stay healthy (if! If! IF! IF!!), I think this will make us all into some very happy cats and kittens. Sure, it’s a $10 million contract, and Magglio will be 37 next season. But it’s only for one year, and if healthy (if! iiiiiiifffffffffffff) he can still hit the heck out of a baseball. Warm happy feelings of goodness!
Now, we kind of knew this was coming. As with all Boras-sitized baseball players, there was the chance that things would go expensively haywire and he would sign elsewhere, but it seemed most likely that he would be back in Detroit. The fact that he re-upped is, in and of itself, not surprising. But there IS something weird going on here.
Looking at two-year deals from other clubs, Ordonez chose to return to the Tigers with a one-year, $10 million contract out of loyalty to owner Michael Ilitch. Ordonez is a Scott Boras client.
Player loyalty to an owner? Does not compute. BORAS CLIENT loyalty to an owner?? Does not compute does not compute does n– BOOM COMPUTER FREAKIN EXPLODES INTO A MILLION FLAMING PIECES
Is Mr. Ilitch so glorious, so wonderful– so inspiring as a physically embodied concentration of business acumen, affability, generosity, determination, and love for the city and people of Detroit– that he has overcome the entire ‘Every Man for Himself and the Most Years/Dollars, Hometown Discounts Are For Scabs’ attitude of the modern day baseball player? Are his powers strong enough to turn a player away from the shrillest proponent of that attitude, the ultimate owners’ enemy that is Scott Boras? Is Mr. Ilitch made of magic??
Or were the Tigers just the only team willing to offer Magglio the equivalent of $10 million over the course of ANY contract? Because if the best he could do elsewhere was 2 years for, say, $7 million total… well. This is a lot less heartwarming.
Actually… wait, no it isn’t. I don’t care. Because Magglio! Magglio is back! I refuse to think too hard about this, or worry too much about the fact that he will probably suffer some sort of horrific injury before the season is half over. Magglio is back, yaaaaay.
Totally unrelated but in case anyone still cares: Adam Everett signed a minor league deal with the Racist Logos.
illustration by Samara Pearlstein
This made sense when I first thought of it, but then I started thinking about it more, and the mohawk has to stand up with hair gel, right? It’s not going to stand up all that well on its own. And I’m pretty sure most hair gels are highly flammable. So don’t do this at home, kids and kittens. Phil Coke is a trained professional.
In other Tigers news, there are some ‘early signs’ indicating that the Tigers are close to bringing Magglio Ordonez back. That would be cool with me– provided we all remember the eternal health caveat.