Category Archives: Michigan Wolverines

Happy Zach Putnam Pitching in Detroit Day!

all photos by Samara Pearlstein

I know that Zach Putnam has been up with Cleveland for a bit now, but this was the first time I had been able to watch him pitch live. Zach Putnam! An Ann Arbor kid who went to U of M at the same time as me!

Zach Putnam! A pitcher who was always able to hit, at least at the college level!

Zach Putnam!! I have so many photos of him as a (relatively) wee collegiate ballplayer! I hung out at the field with Mr. Casselberry and we watched him generate so many Wolverine wins! He remains the only college player I have ever seen break his aluminum bat!

The circumstances were perfect. The Tigers were already winning, so nobody had any reason for concern if Putnam threw well. He pitched a perfect inning, striking out Brandon Inge, inducing a Delmon Young groundout, and getting himself a harmless Miguel Cabrera fly ball. The fact that he looked good was fine because of the whole aforementioned ‘already winning’ thing. And the whole ‘already in the playoffs’ thing. Let me tell you, it is weird to be feeling so good about baseball when the entire city of Boston is imploding in baseball-related agony.

Of course it is a little sad that such a Michigan person should have to play for an Ohio team. But Zach Putnam will make the best of it. For him, we can ignore the hat temporarily and applaud.

So excited to get to use all these photos. So excited to watch Zach Putnam get into a game and play some ball.

the trouble with September in Michigan

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

The trouble is simply that there is TOO MUCH GOING ON in Michigan in September. And that makes it hard for me to concentrate.

Normally I can manage to turn only a small portion of my brain over to football while baseball is still going strong, but I am having an unusual amount of difficulty this year. There are several reasons for this.

1) For the first time in a few years, I was actually present for the first Michigan game of the season. The RotT family all went up for the event, because every single one of us went to either Michigan or UConn. Basically they scheduled that game specially for us. We were clearly destined to be there.

The last game I had seen in the Big House was this horrible disaster of a loss, so the whole experience of the ‘new’ stadium, the pregame ceremonies, the bit with Brock Mealer, the bit with Denard Robinson being good at football, the winning, and so on– it was overwhelming. In a very good way.

It had been a long time since I last saw a good win in Ann Arbor, ok. I was at the Appalachian State game.

2) I was expecting to miss the entire Lions game, because this time of year I usually work weekends, but I ended up getting out of work a little earlier than anticipated. So I got on the road and raced home, from freaking Maine, which is where I had been working, and got in right around halftime. Yay! I get to see the Lions after all!

Of course you know how THAT worked out. Did we really need to get into a philosophical debate about the nature of the touchdown, or the profound state of touchdowniness? Couldn’t we all agree, using our eyes and our brains, that the Calvin Johnson catch was in fact a touchdown? It seems like this was pretty obvious to everyone on the planet except for the referees working the game, and the stupid Rules Expert the broadcast guys brought in to explain the metaphysics of touchdownery.

The NFL refs hate Detroit just the MLB umps do. FASCINATING. I don’t know about you, but I smell conspiracy.

Anyways, this made the Lions take up prime real estate in my brain.

3) The Tigers are barely playing for anything at this point, aside I guess from vague pretensions at pride and some general sense of The Integrity of the Game. And because everyone is just getting more and more injured (Miguel Cabrera) as the season wears on, the more we have to watch the Tigers play, the more it starts to feel like the only thing we’re seeing is a long string of pointless opportunities for next year’s team to ruin itself.


To be honest, I think that Lions game is still coloring my thinking.

the new litter of Tiger cubs

draft day cuddling by Samara Pearlstein

Ah yes, Draft Time. When ballplayers 99% of us have never heard of or seen before suddenly become relevant to our team-tied interests. None of the Tigers’ initial picks have been Big 10 or UConn players, so I will be totally honest with you, blog readers: I don’t know anything about these kids. I could run to go look at their college team pages (for the ones who are even old enough to HAVE college pages) and pretend that gives me fabulous insight into their upside even though all I’ve seen of their ability to play is MAYBE a compilation of poorly-filmed clips on Youtube.

Who needs that? Instead I’m just going to do what RotT does best anyways, which is make a bunch of stuff up.

Nick Castellanos
44th overall (1st compensation round), 3B, righty, 6’4, 18 yrs old, Archbishop McCarthy High School (Florida)

Edward McCarthy was the Archbishop of Miami from 1977 to 1994. In 1987 he had to plead with people to leave a speech the Pope was making (in Miami) due to the lightning rule, not unlike the regular proceedings at Florida Marlins games. He was a friend to and supporter of immigrant Cubans and Haitians in the Miami area. Unfortunately he got his start in Ohio, at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Nick Castellanos went to the high school named after Archbishop McCarthy, so we may expect him to be friendly with foreign-born players, calm under pressure, but untrustworthy in some fundamental, low-level, Ohioan way.

Chance Ruffin
48th overall (1st compensation round), RHP, 6’0, almost 22 yrs old, Texas

Ruffin rhymes with ‘puffin’. Actually it might be pronounced ‘Roofin’, not ‘ruff-in’, I have no idea, but I want it to rhyme with ‘puffin’ so I am making a declaration of puffin-rhymation here. Great. Just so we’re all on the same page.

Drew Smyly
68th overall (2nd round), LHP, 6’3, 21 yrs old, Arkansas

True to his name, Drew Smyly has an immaculate grin. His teeth are blindingly white, which will go nicely with a home Tigers uniform. Elementary school taunts stunted his smile growth as a youth, but at Arkansas he regained confidence in his chompers and began a rigorous training schedule of awkward photos, first meetings, and other situations where a big smile is important but may be hard to naturally obtain. In this way he hoped to retrain his smiling instincts, so that he would be ready by the time he had to face big league cameras (video and still).

Rob Brantly
100th pick overall (3rd round), C, bats lefty, 6’2, almost 21, University of California (San Diego)

catcher catcher catcher catcher catcher catcher catcher catcher catcher catcher

Cole Green
133rd pick overall (4th round), RHP, 6’1, 21 yrs old, Texas

A mix of collard and kale, Cole Green is the cabbagiest player to ever be drafted by the Detroit Tigers. In fact he may be the cabbagiest player to ever be drafted in the entire history of Major League Baseball.

Alexander Burgos
163rd overall (5th round), LHP, 5’11, 19 years old, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota

I’m sorry, there is a college in a place (or combination of places) called ‘Manatee-Sarasota’. How am I supposed to take this kid seriously? How can anyone? How did anyone going to school there keep from losing it every day? “Oh yeah, we can meet up after practice, we just have to swing by my house IN MANATEE first. Yes, that’s right, I’m living in manatee. What?”

John Holaday
193rd overall (6th round), C, 6’0, 23 yrs old, Texas Christian

catcher catcher catcher catcher catcher catcher catcher catcher catcher catcher

a few brief notes from the game


–Nice to see Brennan Boesch struggling early, but not losing his mind at the plate. He stuck with it and it paid off as soon as the Tigers got into the Wrong Sox bullpen. I’m, like, all kinds of encouraged.

–In the stands was a gentleman wearing a giant Tigers jersey, with ALLEN 12 written in duct tape on the back. Rod and Mario could not contain themselves, they were reduced to hysterical laughter and squeaky speech. After he had mostly gotten his laughter under control, Rod said, quietly, “It’s the thought that counts.”

–Ryan LaMarre (Michigan) was taken 62nd overall by the Reds. Matthew Miller (Michigan) was taken 159th overall by the Brewers. Jonathan Roof (MSU) was taken 256th overall by the Rangers. Alan Oaks (Michigan) was taken 257th overall by the Marlins. Tyler Burgoon (Michigan) was taken 312th overall by the Mariners. Chris Berset (Michigan) was taken 607th overall by the Reds. Matthew Skirving (Eastern Michigan) was taken 897th overall by the Pirates. I believe that’s all the Michigan college guys so far.

–In the late rounds, the Tigers drafted Jim Leyland’s kid. He’s a catcher. The Wrong Sox drafted Ozzie Guillen’s kid. Poor Rick Knapp had a kid waiting to hear whether or not he had been drafted. There’s one more day of draftapalooza, hang in there, kid-Knapp!

pug marks, Nov. 5

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

pug mark 1

Brandon Inge’s knee surgery is successful. Yay! I am throwing confetti in the air. Metaphorical confetti. Throwin’ metaphors. Anyways, this was not a particularly risky surgery, but it’s still good to hear that it all went well, they didn’t discover any teratoma monsters living in his joints, Inge still has both of his knees more or less attached to his legs in approximately the right places, etc.

Now Mrs. Inge will have six weeks of dealing with an increasingly bored Brandon, as he’s not supposed to put any weight on either knee for that long. I predict a great many video games in his immediate future. My official blogger’s recommendation is to stay away from the Guitar Hero, though. That way madness lies.

pug mark 2

FredFred is the Tigers’ Rookie of the Year. Not the big one, the team version.

I don’t know about you cats, but I am SHOCKED. Shocked, I tell you. I never would have expected FredFred to win this award… I was totally expecting it to be, um… uh… Alex Avila and his 61 at-bats! Obviously Porcello richly deserved some recognition for the season he just had– 14 wins and a sub-4 ERA while he’s still too young to legally get drunk off his rump– but it’s not like this was a tight race with a veritable horde of Tigers rookies getting tons of playing time and all contributing mightily.

How cool would that have been, though? SIGH. Maybe in the future.

pug mark 3

Chris Getz was probably traded to the Royals, in exchange for Mark Teahen and Josh Fields. I say ‘probably’ because neither team has confirmed it as of right now (6 pm on Thursday), but it seems likely to get done.

Why should you care? Because it is good to root for former Wolverines in the Majors. But while Getz was on the Wrong Sox, it was quite difficult to root for him, because, well, you know: Wrong Sox. Sure, he’d still be going to a division rival, but I can gloss over Royalty for a Wolverine. Wrong Soxness is a much more potent state of evil, and thus much harder to ignore.

pug mark 4

The Cubs have just become the first major league sports franchise to have an openly gay owner. That would be Laura Ricketts, a lawyer, out lesbian, and member of the billionaire Ricketts Family, who (as a group) recently purchased the Cubs.

This doesn’t have anything to do with the Tigers, I just think it’s pretty freakin’ awesome.

pug mark 5

Chad Durbin’s team lost a game to some bunch of dudes. I guess it was kind of a big deal? I don’t know, I was only paying attention to Chad Durbin.

Welcome back, Bondo! Er. Or not.

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Well, I guess we know one creature who will be pleased with Bondo’s return outing.

I don’t know what I expected. Fewer homeruns probably would have been a nice place to start. I’m not trying to put undue pressure on Bondo or anything, but, you know… three homers in four innings. Kind of a lot. I’m just saying.

Bondo was coming off of eight days’ rest, which probably wasn’t such a hot idea. His velocity was down, which was at least expected; his fastball tonight was sitting in the high 80s/very low 90s, when it normally hovers in the low-to-mid 90s. Before the game even started he had talked about throwing more changeups, partly because everyone and their pot-bellied pig knew that his velocity still wasn’t up to par. Great idea, I thought. He’s always needed to diversify his pitch armament in the worst way and maybe this whole injury thing will finally force him to do so. And it makes sense to rely less on a fastball when you know your usual fastball speed won’t be there. Maybe he’ll struggle with a pitch he’s less comfortable throwing on a regular basis, but in general I approve of this plan.

Then he went ahead and threw a ton of fastballs during the actual game. Cue horror, dismay, destruction, buildings exploding, cars running off the roads, goats being born with eight legs, etc. All three homers came off of fastballs, for whatever it’s worth.

Possibly the bit about the increased reliance on changeups was an attempt to feed false information to the Wrong Sox. Maybe the Spazzosaurus had got a taste for changeups and Bondo felt like he had to throw fastballs to try to starve the beast out (a strategy that clearly did not work). Bondo has always had a bit of a problem with homeruns and it stands to reason that a slower-than-usual Bondo fastball would be even more likely to leave the ballpark on the wrong end of someone’s big stick, but this is a logical conclusion that seems to have escaped Bondo and/or Gerald Laird at the time.

The most embarrassing bit was the Scott Podsednik homer. We’re talking about a guy who has not slugged above .380 since he came to the Wrong Sox in ’05. Scott Podsednik and Power Hitting are not buddies. Power Hitting goes out to all the happenin’ clubs with the cool kids every night, and Scott Podsednik is sitting at home by himself trading Pokemons over the internet. He almost looked embarrassed while he was rounding the bases, like he didn’t quite know what to do with himself.

I mean, I was embarrassed, for Bondo as a pitcher, and for myself as a fan of Not The Wrong Sox.

It was at this point that I realized Bondo was not merely experiencing run-of-the-mill return struggles, but was in fact under Spazzosaurus attack. It’s a shame. With Dontrelle firmly grasped in the tiny claws of our vaguely saurian orange friend, we could really use a starting pitcher who is not so tasty right now. But Bondo has a lot of meat on his bones and a lot of spazz-energy in his brains; he is prime Spazzosaurus fodder at the moment.

Of course he can’t be held accountable for the rest of the game, wherein the offense decided that they had used up all their hits in the first game and they should make no efforts to find more. I suppose you can credit some of that to Jose Contreras, but since he’s been mostly terrible this season, the bulk of the blame goes to the Tigs. Bad kitties, bad!

But speaking of that first game… how ’bout it, eh? Arrrrmando looked catawful early but managed to give the team nearly 7 innings while keeping them reasonably in the game, which was a) so incredibly key, at the start of five games in four days, and b) so much more than we expected from him after that first inning.

Zumaya got the always annoying blown save + win after giving up a homer to Paul Konerko in the 8th. This is truly a statistical Worst, because Zoom managed to screw up and nearly blow the game (by allowing Konerko to tie the game), AND screwed Armando out of a win that should, in a just world, have been his.

At least there were some friggin’ hits in this game, though. Not a whole lot of power (the only Tigers homerun of the entire day was that River Thames blast in the 9th inning of the night game), but thanks to Brandon Inge and a bunch of Wrong Sox errors and even an RBI for the Pineapple, it was enough to make some temporarily victorious Cats.

The game was a little bittersweet, as we were treated to the disagreeable spectacle of two former Wolverines, playing for the Wrongest of Sox. I am speaking, of course, of Clayton Richard, who was the afternoon’s starting pitcher, and Chris Getz, who started at second in both games. I love to see Wolverines playing in the Majors, but it is rather painful to see them tarted up in Wrong Sox uniforms. A form of cognitive dissonance that I do NOT enjoy.

Speaking of college players… Tuesday is the Draft! For some sick reason they’ve expanded it to three days, with the first day being televised on the MLBN, starting at 6 pm. Because that second day wasn’t boring enough, see. The Tigers pick 9th (first round), 58th (second), 89th (third), and 120th (fourth)– beyond that, who knows. In any event they definitely don’t currently have any compensation/supplemental round picks, so WYSIWYG.

As Tuesday night’s game is not until 8, we should all have a little time to follow the Draft, if only to see how stupid MLBN’s broadcast inevitably will be.

the more things change, the more they stay the same, by which I mean the Tigers lost again

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Much has happened since I last had occasion to write about a Tigers game (since I was out of town, then jet-lagged, and yesterday was an offday). The DL has claimed as victims Gary Sheffield (oblique strain), Ramon Santiago (separated shoulder, on a play that looked horrifyingly like the one that busted up Polanco), and Clete Thomas (retroactive, sprained ankle).

Brandon Inge tweaked his own oblique, but as he hit a home run tonight I’m hoping it wasn’t anything major (of course, this is a guy who temporarily hit BETTER with a broken toe than he had without one, so maybe he just hits well when his system’s flooded with pain-related adrenaline or something).

Aquilino Lopez is on the bereavement list. Bautista, Clevlen, Hollimon, Larish, and Casey ‘lol Curt Schilling trade’ Fossum are all up with the big league team.

Whew. Is that everything? Oh, of course: in my absence, the Tigers have mostly been lose-ity lose losing. Since this is also what they’d mostly been doing BEFORE I left (except against the Mariners, apparently the only team they can beat up on), I can’t even superstitiously joke that my blogulous absence had any impact. Sigh.

And there was a draft, but Matt handles that sort of thing. I’ll only note, since he didn’t, that a number of Wolverines got drafted, although, sadly, none by the Tigers. Jason Christian went to the A’s in the 5th round; Zach Putnam, Adam Abraham, and Nate Recknagel were all drafted by the evil Indians (who took Doug Pickens last summer); and Michael Powers went to the Mets.

Now that should, finally, have us mostly caught up to today, when the Tigers played the Indians and… ta dah! lost yet again. Plus Áa change and all that. The Tigs are now firmly under .500, in fact right at .400 and saved from pure bottomless ignominy by the presence of the Royals, who have been busy reminding everyone that they are in fact the Royals.

As for the Tigers, it was all too typical in the weird, should-not-be-typical-at-all way that they’ve got goin’ on this season. Verlander looked, at first glance, like he might be in line for a good start: he was throwing hard and striking guys out with a vengeance. Too bad he was also walking guys and throwing a bazillion pitches and grooving curveballs at the worst possible time. It looked, to be honest, like a very YOUNG outing, as though this was Verlander’s first year up once again and his offspeed stuff had disappeared, leaving him with hard but sadly predictable fastballs. Point being, we’ve seen it all before.

Really the only new thing in this game was Jeff Larish, who hit his very first home run and earned himself a spot at the top of a RotT post, having his Magglio-esque hair critiqued by the master. That one run shot and Brandon Inge’s similarly singular homer combined for the entirety of the Tigers’ scoring on the day. Weird. Weak. Inexcusable.

But, this season, sadly familiar.

what is this Tigers team we don't even know anymore so here is a run-on title sentence fragment

photo by Samara Pearlstein

O hai Detroit Tigers, you just made me make a LOLcat out of one of my own cats. I hope you’re collectively proud of yourselves.

Here is the thing: WE DON’T EVEN KNOW ANYMORE. What is up with this team? They are good enough to slaughter the likes of Andy Pettitte, but then they can’t manage to get a SINGLE RUN off of Kevin Slowey, who can’t even write an interesting blog? I mean catdamn you are a professional baseball player, all you have to do is write a list of the stupid things that your teammates say in the clubhouse and your blog will automatically be better than 99% of the fan blogs out there. It worked for Jim Bouton, it would work for you too, Kevin Slowey.

Yet in spite of his obvious blogging deficiencies the Tigers were still helpless when faced with Kevin Slowey. Tigers baseball is boggling my mind right now and I think you can probably tell that from this post. I feel that ‘yet in spite’ is some kind of awful middle school tautology and oh man baseball malaise I can’t even make myself go back to delete it. Requires too much energy. Better not make any typos in this post.

Boy I sure am glad that every single member of our bullpen gave up at least one run today. Yessirree, nothing stokes the fires of confidence more than that. Mmmmmmhm, delicious singed bullpen.

There were hints of greatness (goodness). Pudge tripled. Maggs continued to hit, although none of them were particularly useful hits. Sheffield homered, which made me seriously almost for a second there happy for him, it’s so good to see him maybe coming around, and then I remembered that this was Gary Sheffield and I am a Red Sox fan also. Leyland got thrown out of the game because the ump was, in Leyland’s esteemed opinion, horses**t, and was calling weak s**t, and Jim Leyland doesn’t want any weak s**t out of the umpires.

At least, I assume this is what happened. I didn’t see the actual ejection because I had flipped away to watch the Michigan/Purdue baseball game, which was a lot more rewarding (although it WAS weird as all heck for me to watch a game at the Fish on TV, instead of from one of my usual perches behind the dugouts).

At one point Chris Fetter, the Wolverine starter, thought the homeplate ump was squeezing him. He got a little wild with his pitches, and walked two guys. The coach came out to talk to him and tell him to settle down. Fetter took a couple deep breaths, got his business in order, and retired the rest of the batters he faced that day. He had 10 Ks in 7 innings pitched. THESE ARE THINGS THAT MAYBE TIGERS PITCHERS SHOULD LOOK INTO LEARNING.

Also, hey, you know that reliever for the Twins, the last guy in for this game? Bobby Korecky? Saline High School grad, who apparently still lives in Saline, MI and, more importantly, was a full 4-year Michigan Wolverine! So he pitched a scoreless inning against the Tigers and I can’t even hate him. I do not even know which side is up anymore.

Like seriously which side is up and how did that game even make sense? Is this team a hamster or just a collection of feedbags for Spazzosauri? That sentence will make no sense to 75% of the people who visit this website but the other quarter of you can feel warm and fuzzy on the inside because you have read enough of this stupid blog to understand nonsensical inside blog jokes.

Tomorrow Nate Robertson goes up against a man who legally changed his name to Boof in a game that I probably won’t see much of because I will be out living life or at least eating dinner. GO TEAM!

11-1 losses make Tigers bloggers :(

photo by Samara Pearlstein

That’s really all I have to say about this game. I watched the last half of it in a bar with Ian from Bless You Boys (aka blog enemy #1 [blenemy?]) and we made a variety of sad faces, as you can see. Distortion courtesy of my wide angle lens, frowns courtesy of the Minnesota Twins.

“This may be the most water-torture 10 runs I’ve ever seen,” Ian said, back when it was only 10 runs. And so it seemed. With a final score of 11-1 the game should have felt like a horrific blowout, but for most of the game it really didn’t. It was more like, ‘dum de dum, truckin’ along, a hit here, a hit there, a walk or two, holy freaking cats how did they get 10 runs?!’

We ended up playing a lot of the ‘You Know Who Would Have…?’ game, once it became clear that nothing good was going to come from watching the team on the field. I’m sure you’re familiar with it. “You know who would have caught that high pitch? Pudge would have.” “You know who would have made that play at first? Carlos Pena.” “You know that if it had been Granderson running there he would’ve been safe.”

(One thing we did NOT find ourselves saying was, “You know who would have gotten that guy out? Jason Grilli,” so I guess you can call that a good sign.)

Livan Hernandez’s 60mph pitches both terrified and amazed me. I can only assume that the Tigers batters had a similar reaction.

Anyways, I didn’t see the first half of this game because I was watching Michigan beat Ohio State 4-1 on a night that turned out to be warm and beautiful, so although the Tigers made me :( , there was other baseball last night that made me most emphatically :D .

Now, I’ve only barely started to process the photos from this game (and am going to get wicked backed up, ’cause there are, weather permitting, two more games today, another on Sunday, and then I have two Tigers/Red Sox games to try to get to), but just so you can see how really awesome the evening was:

Take notes, Tigers.

Florida Southern goes down; blogger gloats.

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Well, not really. OK, a little bit. C’mon! The Tigers beat Florida Southern (the Moccasins, hence the image up top) on Tuesday 17-4, which is a veritable THRASHING. Of course the exhibition games are always lose-lose for the pro teams. If you win, yippee, you beat a poor little college team; if you lose, you are completely and utterly embarrassed because you lost to a college team. So even a 17-4 victory shouldn’t seem like much to the Tigers.


The University of Michigan Wolverines TIED the New York Mets, 4-4. AND the Mets only tied it up at the very end of the game, on a controversial home run. The ball hit above the yellow line, and was called a homer, despite the fact that an over-the-line-but-not-outta-the-park ball hit by a Wolverine earlier in the same game was NOT called a homer, and resulted in a triple. I mean, yeah, OK, he came around to score, but it took another out to get him there. CONSPIRACY!

The point is obviously that college teams CAN compete against the third-stringers and minor leaguers invited to big league spring training, so Florida Southern gets no passes from Roar of the Tigers. Legit Tigers win! Legit Tigers win!

One little worrying snag: all 4 Moccasin runs came off of Jordan Tata. Now, it’s early, everyone is still warming up, nobody expects the pitchers to be in anything like top form just yet, etc. etc. Todd Jones, who started the game (bloody WEIRD, that), did just fine, but he’s also something like 243 years older than Tata and thus has 226 more years’ experience getting himself warmed up come spring.

I’m not concerned. I’m just saying that if Dontrelle doesn’t work out, and Bondo’s still convinced that first innings are hiding under his bed at night, and Kenny Rogers undergoes spontaneous decomposition, and Nate’s just not very good… well, we’re going to need a Rick Porcello/Virgil Vasquez/Jordan Tata-type kid to step up and save the rotation. The Tigers have shown time and time again that they’re willing to let young guys develop at the major league level if they think there’s the slightest chance it will help the team. The kittens must be ready.

On a related side note, can you imagine how insane/awesome it’d be if in a couple of seasons our veteran presences in the starting rotation, aside from Nate, will be Jeremy Bonderman and Justin Verlander? I’m getting anticipatory giggles just thinking about it.

pug marks, June 10-11

photo by Samara Pearlstein

Excellent game. Miller was shaky early, but it looks like Glavine was shakier overall. How many 22 year old kids get to say that they went up against Tom freakin’ Glavine, and outdueled him? Granted, 4 runs in 5.1 innings isn’t too great, but it’s loads better than 9 runs in 4.1 innings, which is what Glavine managed. Big pat on the back for Miller. He earned every swing of that offense explosion today.

Unfortunately, due to the fact that some TV station somewhere is a bunch of jerks (I think I need to blame FOX for this one, right?), I didn’t get to actually SEE the game. Since I therefore don’t have much more to say about it, today’s a good time for some more pug marks.

pug mark 1
Brandon Inge should break his toe more often.

Since his return from the injury (which he is playing through), Inge has been 6-for-17 with a home run, a double, and 5 RBI, all for a line of .353/.450/.588. For comparison, in the 5 games before his injury, he was 3-for-17 with 1 double, no home runs, and no RBI.

Either Brandon Inge is a secret masochist and the pain is helping him hit, or the pain meds are making him feel just fiiiine and groovy up there at the plate.

pug mark 2

It’s coming up on that time of the year again. Yes, All Star voting time. Now, the world is used to seeing the All Star game smothered in an excess of Yankee bile, but usually the Yankees involved have SOME claim to the position. This year, however, we are seeing a crime perpetrated right before our very eyes.

Placido Polanco, who is superior to Robinson Cano in pretty much every way, is trailing him in the All Star voting standings, due only to the fact that Cano is swaddled in pinstripes. Quo Vadimus, a Detroit blog, has a Campaign for Righteousness, telling people to go to the polls and vote for Polanco.

A vote for Placido Polanco is a vote for freedom!! JOIN US IN OUR GLORIOUS CRUSADE. Unlike religious crusades, you can happily engage in this one, secure in the knowledge that you are ACTUALLY, PROVABLY IN THE RIGHT.

pug mark 3
The plans to demolish Tiger Stadium have been OKed. Nominally OKed. This is Detroit, after all, and we all know how efficient Detroit is when it comes to getting things done. Especially when it comes to buildings.

Big Al wants the city to just get on with it already. I agree with him that I think the place is beyond ‘saving’ at this rather late date. I am a bit more nostalgic for it than him, though. This probably has something to do with my constant exposure to Fenway Park.

pug mark 4
Kenny Rogers had a promising rehab start. Woo. Miller’s start today may have worked out alright in the end, but I wouldn’t like to rely on the offense that heavily again, you know? I’d be happy to get Kenny back sooner rather than later. Uh. Obviously.

Curiously enough, one of the only triple-Aers to get any hits off of Rogers in 3.2 innings was former Pirate and briefly former Toledo Mudhen Tike Redman.

pug mark 5
Is there anything worse than losing a no-hitter with two outs in the 9th? And having that one hit account for the one run that means you lose the game? I would say no.

Alas for me and all Michigan fans, because that’s what happened to Zach Putnam and the Wolverines yesterday. The link is to my write-up of it over at my other blog; it was traumatizing enough that I’m not keen to get into it a second time over here. Sniffle, sob, etc. We knock off the #1 team in the country, Vanderbilt, and then get stuck with last year’s national champions. Someone up there really wants us to suffer.

Game 2, which is now a possible elimination game, is at 4 pm PST (7 EST) on, I think, ESPN2. So if you’re keen on watching it, there y’go.

pug mark 6
I was going to link one of the analytical pieces over at Tiger Tales here, but then I couldn’t decide which one to link. There’s the most recent Run Preventing Events post…. there’s a good post about Bondo (almost) leading the universe in Fielding Independent Pitching… there’s a nice little concise prospect report. Just go check Lee’s stuff out if you’re into baseball analysis and Deep Thought and all those things you’re less likely to get ’round here.

pug mark 7
If you have ever expended one tiny bit more thought on baseball mascots than they deserved, you should read my insane rant on the subject. I have very strong feelings about mascots, OK? And some of them are just… well, they deserve strong feelings. I’ll give Paws credit, though… he’s moved up some in my estimation with his new, less mothy suit this season.

pug mark 8
This is kind of hilariously recursive… I’m linking to Mack Ave. Tigers’ version of a pug marks post. LOL INTERNET. But it’s worth it, because Kurt goes into who he likes and dislikes in the bullpen before he gets to the links, and I mostly agree with him. Except I would say that instead of “sorta disliking” Fernando, I “hate and mistrust” Fernando, and I’m much higher on Ledezma than he is.