Category Archives: Sparky Anderson

Armando is gone, as expected, plus some other things.


image by Samara Pearlstein

No shock here, but Armando Galarraga has been traded to the Diamondbacks, where he will definitely get more of a chance to start than he would have gotten in Detroit (barring immediate Tiger injury/disaster, of course). The Snakes will pick up his entire salary, and the Tigers get pitchers Kevin Eichhorn and Ryan Robowski.

Eichhorn will be 21 this year. He spent most of ’10 in rookie ball, with brief appearances at low and high single-A. Robowski will be 23 and spent all of 2010 in high-A. Both of them had some Issues last year. They will be low minors fodder; this was mostly a Move Armando kind of deal. The Dbacks get a pitcher they need to make some starts, the Tigers get a pitcher they weren’t going to use off the books. Everyone wins, at least until Brad Penny’s shoulder falls off and Armando throws a no-hitter against the Rockies and the Tigers are left looking stupid.

The nice thing is that if Ryan Robowski makes it back up at a time when Ryan Raburn is still on the roster, we can start to recoup the loss of Rs that we suffered when Arrrrrrmando Galarrrrrrraga departed.

Other News That I Am Too Lazy to Make a New Post for

–The Tigers are retiring Sparky Anderson’s number. There has been a fair amount of chatter on the internet about this being a too-little-too-late kind of thing. I think most people agree that it’s the right thing to do, on its own, and I think most people would have liked to see it done while Sparky was still around, ideally while he was still mobile enough to make it out to the ballpark.

Obviously it’s way too late for that now, at least until the zombie apocalypse. So do you keep on being annoyed that they didn’t give him this honor in a timely fashion, or do you look past that and just try to be happy that it’s finally happening? I don’t know. Life sucks and then you die. But if you were awesome, they retire your number.

–Apparently the team is going to wear a patch with the word SPARKY and the number 11 on it this season. So are they retiring the EH patch? I think they should wear both. I’m aware that’s creeping up on Patch Overload, but quite frankly I don’t think that part of one season was enough to patch-honor Ernie Harwell. I’d give it at least another full season.

–TigerFest and the Winter Caravan happened, and obviously I could not attend any of the festivities. I guess TigerFest was streamed online in some capacity? but I wasn’t home at all that day, so I really missed it. WOE. Under the link are a whole bunch of linked photos from the internet, in case you too missed it.

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Sparky Anderson, Feb 22, 1934 – Nov 4, 2010


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

RIP, Mr. Anderson.

World freakin’ Series Game 2: addendum

OK. Between football, baseball, and the art school, I’ve had about 8 hours of sleep over the last 3 nights combined. Hence that last post. I’ll let its incoherence stand.

Photos from the game are up and you can find them all right here. Best I could manage from way up in the 300 level but man, a World Series game! I was gonna take the photos whether they were at all likely to come out or not.

You can see the problem here. This wass the view from our seats with no zoom whatsoever:


Pretty far off, ya?

So it’s to be expected that something like this shot of Sparky on the mound didn’t come out too splendidly.

Ah well.

Here’s the thing about that game.

I know for some people, going to a World Series game is not that big of a deal. I assume everyone gets at least a little psyched up by it, but some people go to a bunch of divisional games, and a couple World Series games, and it’s just another really exciting game to attend. I had never been to a postseason game of any description– I was, of course, stuck out in Michigan during the World Series in 2004.

I had never sat as high up in a ballpark as I did for Game 2. I’ve sat in the proverbial boonies at Fenway, but the proverbial boonies at Fenway are just not as high up or as far away as you can get at Comerica. We weren’t in the outfield or anything, and we actually had a pretty good view of the plate, but man, the upper bits of the 300s are waaaay up there. And when everyone’s on their feet jumping around, the floor shakes like the entire stadium is going to come crashing down, which is HIGHLY disconcerting.

The good bit is that, if you’re sufficiently high up, you’re actually under cover. That’s not to say we stayed dry, of course, because rain blows in, but at least we weren’t sitting right at the edge of the little roof where all the water came pouring down in sheets onto the unfortunate fans in those seats. If they stayed put, those people must have had incredible dedication, because that looked like about the most miserable thing imaginable.

So we were sitting all the way up there next to, I might add, a woman who had gone beyond drunk and into some mystical realm of inebriation. Friendly, but still. She kept calling Sean Casey “Shelton”, and, when corrected, announced that he was a jerk and took first base away from Big Red. Kenny Rogers was “the broaster” (?), and the first time Inge came up to bat she nudged me and said, “He’s got a tickler, huh?”, which caused me no end of horror.

I was so chilled that by the end of the game I couldn’t feel my feet anymore. I’ve had a cold for a week that I think I probably recaught. I was frustrated all game by trying to handle a camera and a scorecard and a pencil with frozen fingers made clumsy by gloves. I had beer spilled on my feet. I had to crane to see home plate around the people sitting in front of us sometimes. We lost our parking lot after the game and had to wander around searching aimlessly for it. And it was the best time I’ve had at a baseball game all year.

Throughout the entire game I just kept sitting there saying, “I can’t believe I’m at a World Series game. I can’t believe I’m at a World Series game. I have a huge critique tomorrow morning and I can’t believe I’m at a World Series game.” It’s been two days and I have the scorecard and the photos and the scratchy throat to prove it, and I STILL can’t believe I was at a World Series game. I know it’s not such a huge deal for some people, but for me, man.

Basically my dad is a hero for getting the tickets.

Anyways.

Jeff Weaver and Juan Encarnacion were both booed heartily by the crowd. Weaver got the worst of it, I think because the crowd remembered his rattle-ability from his Tiger days. I’d only ever heard ARod get that kind of long, drawn-out, Darryl-Strawberry-taunting call from a ballpark before. “Weeeeeaaaaaaavvvveeeeerrrrrrrrrr.” Molina’s repeated trips to the mound only encouraged the crowd to believe that they were having an effect. “WEEEEEEAAAAAVVVVVEEEERRRRR.” Encarnacion just got straight-up booed. Both were ridden much harder than Pujols was, for whatever that’s worth.

And I really have to say that the Kenny Rogers “incident” was a total non-issue at the time. I realize that it’s all that anyone’s been talking about since, but during the actual game there was no announcement, no indication that anything at all was amiss. I’ve seen the closeup photos, and I guess it could be pine tar, but it was also REALLY wet out there and, you know, the rosin bag gets tossed into the dirt; I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Kenny picked up some mud that way.

In any event, two things here strike me as important. One, whatever it was on his hand, it couldn’t have been all that vital, because Kenny masterfully shut down the Cards AFTER he had cleaned it off. Two, if it WAS pine tar… well, you can be bloody well sure that he wouldn’t be the only one in baseball doing that. I suppose it’s possible that The Russa didn’t make a stink about it because some of HIS pitchers are doing the same things. I don’t know. I just have a hard time believing that the Cardinals would let Kenny Rogers off the hook on this if they sincerely believed he was doctoring the ball and/or knew that their own pitchers weren’t.

Oh, and Todd Jones? That needs to never, ever happen again. The whole stadium was on its collective feet, screaming, towels a-waving for those final outs. And then… Todd Jones happened. I know that this is what Jonesy does, I know that we should be used to it by now, but SWEET FANCY KITTENS that was NOT something that I needed to ever experience. Can you even imagine if Kenny had pitched that amazing game and then Jones pissed it away in the 9th like he so very nearly did? I can’t even. Oh man. The attitude in the ballpark was one of shock; it was happening before our eyes but no one really believed what they were seeing. If they HAD lost, I don’t even know what would have happened. Death and destruction, probably.

But he held on. I am calm. I am over it. Whatever. What a win. What a win.

Game 3 tonight. Time to laugh hysterically at Nate batting and hope against logic that we can pull this one off.