Category Archives: The Farns

If you retain one scene from this stupid Royals game, let it be this one.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Brennan Boesch hit his 5th home run of the season… off of Kyle Farnsworth. The new, improved (?), goatee’d, additionally tattooed, and be-goggled Kyle Farnsworth! It was precisely as fun as it sounds!

I know the Tigers lost and there’s no reason to celebrate a shaky Max outing and all that. I just really wanted to use that cartoon.

Opening Day is awesome when you win. Today was awesome.


Yeah. That’s a win. You’re catdamned right it is. Photo by Samara Pearlstein, emphasis by Miguel Cabrera.

I took notes. I know these posts are your favorites.

Opening Day 2010. Justin Verlander vs. Zack Greinke. The game and what happened in it.

–The Royals are wearing their powder blues. I am a big fan of the actual royal blue, but these are kinda nice. They should’ve gone with the full royal blue hats, though, not powder blue with royal brims. Kansas City boos Johnny Damon lustily. You’re not so bad, KC. I could grow to like you a little bit.

–Carlos Guillen pops one up over the infield, nobody calls it, Greinke throws his hands out as if to say I DON’T KNOW GUYS WHERE IS IT I JUST DON’T KNOW. Bloomquist makes a last-ditch dive for it, but misses. Magglio scores from second I think, making it 1-0 Tigers. These are the Royals I remember.

–The FSND Verlander scouting report: Workhorse. Repeat delivery. The Butler did it.
Mario: I can’t believe you used that.
Rod: I said it!
Mario: Especially to a Spartan…
Shortly thereafter Mario calls Billy Butler “one of Verlander’s nemeses”.

–Here comes Scott Sizemore with his yellow body armor batting gloves. Rod calls Greinke “The Truth”, caps verbally implied.

–Verlander is riding at 97-99 mph so far today. In the second inning, Jose Guillen singles up the middle. A couple guys later, Yuniesky Betancourt survives a long at-bat to blast a two-run homer. 2-1 Royals. Whhhyyyyyyy

–Damon booed again in his second at-bat. Mmmhm. In the bottom of the third, David DeJesus strikes out on a 98 mph fastball way outside, then hops around several times because he can’t believe he let himself be beaten so badly. Mmmmhmm.

–Rod Allen describes Willie Bloomquist’s knee surgeries as ‘orthoscopic’. He means ‘arthroscopic’, unless Bloomquist has eyes in his knees. Although, really, what do I know about the physical mutations of the Royals?

–Scott Sizemore has an excellent HURR DURR batting face. He kind of lets one side of his mouth hang open when he’s concentrating really hard up there. Pretty great. He breaks his bat; the barrel flies all the way out to third, skipping just past Bloomquist’s feet as he goes to field the ball. Bats these days, why I tellya, they oughta take action, action I tellsya.

–Saturday at Comerica will be a Year of the Tiger celebration! Oh man, if you are going to that game, you better live it the hell up. That sounds amazing. In other important promotions news: the only bobblehead giveaway so far seems to be the Justin Verlander K-counter bobbleheads on April 30, which somehow manage to look nothing like him. There is a ‘Paws foam tail’ giveaway on July 11 that sounds intriguing, but it’s only for kids. I’m a kid at heart, shouldn’t that count? I think so.

–Fifth inning, two outs. Chris Getz singles up the middle. DeJesus, up next, shows bunt but pulls it back. Laird catches the ball cleanly, but while trying to transfer it to his hand somehow throws the ball straight up into the air (??). While he’s waiting for it to come back down, Getz steals second base. Not kidding. I’m still not entirely sure what happened here.

–DeJesus singles. A few pitches later he steals second, making a TERRIBLE slide. He faceplants about a foot and a half away from the bag, losing his helmet and somehow bollocksing up the front of his belt. He lies there for a few seconds in shame, then picks his head up and starts laughing at himself. We would laugh with him, but Verlander walks Scott Podsednik to load the bases, and Billy Butler follows that up with a two-run single to make it 4-1 Royals. Verlander threw Butler only fastballs, including the last two pitches in the at-bat, which were both clocked at 100 mph by FSND’s gun.

CLICK THE LINK FOR MOAR OPENING DAY!
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Hey, Tigers batters: you're playing the Royals. ACT LIKE IT.

digillustration by Samara Pearlstein

Kyle Farnsworth pitched two perfect innings against the Tigers’ bats. That’s really all you need to know about this game.

Really. That’s it. That sums it all up, right there.

Oh, fine. A few more disjointed, irritated thoughts:

–Justin Verlander ultimately pitched 6 innings, allowing one run and striking out 8. But he hit the 100 pitch mark in the 5th. He had moments where he looked dominant, but 100 pitches in the 5th inning, you guys, 100 pitches in the 5th. This is A Problem.

–Where have the bats been these last two games? The Royals do not have a fearsome pitching staff, at least not when it comes to their bullpen. So what– WHAT?!?– are the Tigers doing? How is it possible for them to be so utterly flummoxed by the sight of Royals on the mound? The Tigers only had five hits in THIS ENTIRE GAME.

–The embattled Fernando Rodney pitched in this one after some time off, and got knocked around hard: 0.2 innings, 3 runs on 2 hits and a walk. Nonsave situation, blah blah, the usual.

–At one point Farnsworth threw a pitch to Placido Polanco. It was a fastball, but it was only 93 mph and it had CRAZY lateral

movement. It was also a strike. What the hell kinda pitch was that and since when can The Farns throw it? Since when does The Farns have the kind of discipline (dare I say it…? self control) necessary to throw that pitch?

Did it really take sliding all the way down the MLB food chain to the Royals to overcome The Farns’ 100mph Hurrr I’m a Dude I Gotta Throw Hard pride?

–G-Money stole a base. I don’t really understand how a pitching battery can be so confused as to allow G-Money to steal, but at the same time have its business together well enough to shut the Tigers down.

–Billy Butler doubled three times in this one single game. Clete Thomas struck out three times. I’m just sayin’.

–Casey Fien got into this one. He didn’t get charged with any runs himself, but he did allow an inherited runner to score. He was only in for the last out of the 8th and gave up a hit (one of Butler’s doubles).

–Seriously, where are the bats?

–Awwwww Josh Anderson.

–Carlos Guillen doubled off of Robinson Tejeda in the middle of the game. Big deal? Not really. HOWEVER, Wednesday was 09/09/09, Guillen wears #9, and he doubled at, get this, 9:00 pm Central. So 9 got a hit at 9 on 09/09/09. Sadly (?) he wasn’t batting 9th, that would have made it CREEPY PERFECTION. Pretty neat as it stands, though, eh?

Dontrelle Willis comes back from the dead and other such pleasantries


photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Defying expectations: Dontrelle Willis

Kind of? He went 5 innings, giving up 3 runs on 2 hits and 5 walks, with 4 Ks. All that was on 89 pitches. So, obviously, the control is still something of a problem for him, and you HATE to see a guy allow more runs than hits. But to be quite honest I was expecting/fearing something much, MUCH worse from him. Three runs in five innings was enough to keep the Tigers in it, and at times Dontrelle looked pretty good out there, like maybe he could actually contribute at some point next season (maybe), so we’ll count it as a positive. Consider my expectations defied.

Meeting expectations: Kyle Farnsworth

There’s nothing quite like giving up a grand slam and a two-run triple in two consecutive outings to make people question your ability to throw a baseball, eh? After last night I fully expected Rally Killer Kyle to be an emotional wreck on the mound, and so he was! He shook Inge off a number of times, although I’m not sure if that was a contributing cause of his struggles, or if it was just a symptom.

I was not really expecting another bullpen meltdown after a semi-inspiring offensive showing: that would have been TOO CRAZY. Surely it couldn’t happen TWICE, right? Shows what I know. This time it was Gary Glover who gave up the grand slam, but The Farns did his fair bit. Consider my expectations met, and perhaps exceeded.

I have to be up in less than five hours, so I’m just bulleting the rest of this thing.

Mario: And here comes Fabulous Freddy Dolsi!
Rod: You dropped a ‘fabulous’ on him, huh?

– Gary Sheffield hit his 497th home run. It was a screaming line drive to left field, as is typical for Sheff. Of course 500 is an arbitrary number that is no more or less inherently notable than 498, or 503, but whatever, we like zeroes, he’s shooting for it.

– Jim Leyland was ejected in the bottom of the 6th for arguing a hit-by-pitch call. He made it all the way back to the dugout before he got tossed, and he came CHARGING back out onto the field, prompting Rod and Mario to start cracking up and saying that they had never seen him move that fast before. He was all up in the face of homeplate ump Eric Cooper, and at one point Cooper (suppressing laughter, it looked like) made a gesture all up and down his own front as if to say, ‘Dude, you’re spitting ALL OVER me.’ Leyland was certainly close enough and, uh, vehement enough for that to be the case.

– The grand slam off of Glover was hit by Taylor Teagarden. It was his first ever at-bat with the bases loaded. Also his name is TEAGARDEN.

The Race to .500!

With this loss, the Tigers still need those 11 wins to reach the promised land, and only have 2 losses left to spare. Our prospects are grim.

Tuesday. 8:05 pm EDT. Zach Miner vs. Kevin Millwood. Miner’s ERA and WHIP are actually both better than Millwood’s, but Millwood’s middle name is ‘Austin’ and he pitches in Texas, so he may have mojo-rific powers on his side. We shall see what we shall see. Go Tigers!

this should have been the 'Marcus Thames is a hero and a man among boys' post


photo by Samara Pearlstein

Instead it is the ‘Ugh Kyle Farnsworth I want to punch you in the face’ post.

Uggggh. Kyle Farnsworth, I want to punch you in the face:

– with my fists
– with the Joe Louis fist sculpture
– with Marcus Thames’ fists

For those of you who didn’t see the game or didn’t see all of it because it got late and was boring, let me sum up what happened.

1. The game is boring for 6 innings. Kenny melts down late (and by late I mean… in the middle of the 5th inning), nobody is hitting the Dank Danks, Jim Thome hits his 539th home run. 7-0, Wrong Sox. Blah blah, the Tigers are who we thought they were, etc.

2. Mike Hessman hits a 7th inning two-run homer off of Linebrink. 7-2, Wrong Sox. Whatever.

3. Granderson starts off the 8th by homering off of Daniel Boone Logan. 7-3, Wrong Sox. Ennui still reigns supreme.

4. Polanco singles, Magglio singles, Miggy walks. 7-3, Wrong Sox.

5. The River Thames hits a GRAND BLEEPING SLAM off of Octavio Dotel. Improbably, 7-7, tie! Suddenly, dude, there’s a baseball game? I’m awake, I’m awake, honest! Marcus Thames is our savior. He is a protector of kittens and small, vulnerable rookies and all things fuzzy and wonderful. He is a large and important waterway in England. He has tied a game that the other team had already written off as a win.

6. Bobby Seay enters the game in the bottom of the 8th only to let a guy single, allow him to advance on a sac hit, and issue an intentional walk. 7-7. He manages to get two outs.

7. Kyle Farnsworth comes in and allows a single, thus loading the bases. 7-7, only one out needed.

8. Dewayne Wise hits a grand slam. 11-7, Wrong Sox.

9. I have a disturbingly vivid waking dream that involves fists, Kyle Farnsworth’s face, and the intersection of these elements.

Man, that sucked. I know that a lot of these games have sucked lately, but that sucked even more than usual, didn’t it?

The rain this weekend screwed up the Tigers’ scheduling something awful. Even with the double header on Sunday they have a spare game that needs to be made up at some point, and the two teams do not have any mutual off-days left. Can they make it up after the season officially ends? I thought they should have tried to play a triple-header on Sunday. Just start ’em off at 8 am and make ’em play until they’re all caught up. It would’ve been worth it just to see Edgar Renteria spontaneously bursting into tears of exhaustion, sobbing uncontrollably into his glove and having to be led gently off the field by a trainer sometime in the middle of the third game.

The Race to .500!

With the TWO losses this weekend, the Tigers still need 11 wins to reach the promised land, and only have 3 losses left to spare. Can we make it through the entire rest of the season with three or fewer losses? I say ‘no’, so I fear that the Race to .500 has already been lost.

*uncontrollable sobbing*

We’re off to Texas on Monday for an 8:05 pm game. Dontrelle Willis takes on Brandon McCarthy the Former Wrong Sock. Yes, you read that correctly. Dontrelle Willis is starting a game. HOLD ME. Go Tigers!

Tigers bid a fond farewell to the Gopher Dome for the season


photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Later, Gopher Dome! We hate you and are not at all sorry to leave you.

On a more sincere note: wins! Two wins in a row, even. It seems unbelievable but it is Real Actual Fact!

Saturday was a stressful win, although it only really got stressful at the very end. Verlander’s day was just about the definition of ‘eh’: 5.2 innings, 4 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks with 4 Ks. Not up to his former standards and not a quality start, but decidedly better than his last outing, so we’ll call it a wash. It was enough to keep the Tigers in the game, anyways.

Magglio went absolutely bat-guano crazy, falling just a single short of the cycle, with his double and triple coming off of Baker and his homer off of Guerrier. It’s so weird to think that Magglio has not been able to help the team more than he has this season… he is batting .319, after all. But his OPS is only .874. Compare that to last season, where his OPS was (an admittedly astronomical) 1.029…

The stress came in the form of Fernando Rodney, of course, who pitched the 9th inning and shaved at least half a year off of all our lives. Cats forbid we have a nice, easily-closed-out game. No, first we have to LOAD THE FREAKING BASES, and only then can we close the game. Is Fernando Rodney the new Todd Jones? Rollercoaster Rodney? He handled Sunday’s final inning just fine, so maybe he’s learning.

Sunday! Yes, that second win! Chris Lambert’s VERY FIRST EVER Major League win! Awwwwww yay. It is basically meaningless, but I’m happy we were able to get at least one for the poor kid. He may as well get something positive out of the horrible situations we keep forcing him to experience. I didn’t actually see most of his day, because I was watching the Lions game. Why? Because I am an idiot and a masochist, apparently. Let’s not talk about it. More baseball.

Howzabout our title image dude up there, Dusty Ryan? This was his first ever Major League start (awww, yay) and he hit his first ever Major League home run (awww, extra yay!). It was particularly fun watching him play opposite Joe Mauer – it was like The Oversized Catcher Extravaganza out there. There were a couple of stolen bases against him, but Lambert is not exactly Justin Verlander when it comes to his move, so, whatever.

The Farns was throwing up around 99-100 today. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen him topping out his velocity since he’s been back with us. Not sure what that’s all about.

The Race to .500!

With these two wins, the Tigers now need 12 wins to reach the promised land, and we still have 7 losses left to spare. The joys of .500 still seem so very far away.

We’re back home in Detroit for Monday’s game, takin’ on the A’s at 7:05 pm EDT. Zach Miner vs. Gio Gonzalez. This is a rare instance where the opposing pitcher is actually much worse (on paper) than the Tigers starter for the day, so it would be nice to take full advantage of that… but Gio’s got the dread Small Sample Size hanging over his head, so who knows, he could surprise and torment us, as has happened so many times this season. Ho hum. Go Tigers!

Tigers score late, Farnsworth nearly erases all, blogger suffers greatly


photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

A win is a win. A win is a win. I must repeat that, over and over, before I can even begin to think about this game.

Scott Feldman held the Tigers scoreless for 6 innings. That’s the first point of disgust and horror, right there. This is the very same Scott Feldman who gave up 10 runs in under an inning against the Red Sox in his last start. I get that the Red Sox in Fenway can be, you know, a bit MUCH, but it’s not like the Tigers can’t hit (theoretically). Six innings of tearing my hair out. Props to Feldman, I guess? I’m really more inclined to blame our logic-defying Bats of Absurdity.

Feldman and later Frank Francisco (a clubhouse chess force to be reckoned with, according to CJ Wilson) eventually remembered that they were Rangers pitchers, and pitched accordingly. The Tigers woke up from their jet lag or whatever the heck was going on with them, and started hitting accordingly. Sheff homered, Granderson tripled, many cats stood upon the bases, all seemed well.

THEN CAME KYLE FARNSWORTH. Kyle Farnsworth, who was basically unable to get outs in anything even remotely resembling an efficient fashion.

This is the thing: I like The Farns. I liked him as a Cub (probably because his pitching had no bearing on me as a fan and I could just enjoy his antics), I liked him as a Tiger the first time around, and I liked him just fine in Atlanta, and I disliked him less than most of the other Yankees. But he is making it very, VERY hard to like him right now.

And please tell me that I’m not the only one who noticed that he has a new tattoo? He’s had the (overplayed) barbed wire thing around his bicep for a while, but this is… I’m not sure how to describe it, it’s kind of like he extended the barbed wire down past the inside of his elbow, and has it morph into some weird vaguely tribal-tattoo-esque thing on the inside of his forearm. Which, whatever: I don’t necessarily expect ballplayers to have good taste in tattoos. But I am PRETTY DAMN SURE that he did NOT have this tattoo when he first came over from New York – this photo is from August 2 of this year.

Did he SERIOUSLY get a new tattoo, ON HIS PITCHING ARM, DURING THE REGULAR SEASON?

I really, REALLY hope that it was just the result of Miggy drawing on him with a Sharpie before the game or something. Because otherwise… oboy.

Anyways. We did win! I know it’s not at all clear from the blog post up to this point, but although we did try very hard to not win, in a variety of ways, we pulled it out in the end. Extra special props for this have to go out to Granderson, who hit TWO TRIPLES in the late innings. He only had two hits on the day, in fact, and both were triples. This is because Curtis Granderson is really really fast, and also because Curtis Granderson is a perfect human being and the rest of us can only hope to bask in his glorious presence.

Fernando continued to not be terrible at pitching, so the tentative, quivering hopefulness on that front has not yet been cruelly snuffed out.

On Tuesday Arrrrrrmando goes up against Vicente Padilla at 8:05 pm EDT. Every single other Tigers announcer/writer has already made the ‘ooooooooo bet Texas wishes they still had Galarraga, eh? EH??!!?’ comments/jokes, so I’ll spare you that. But you know they wish they still had him, EH??!!! *wink wink, nudge nudge etc.* Go Tigers!

I HATE NICK SWISHER


photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Hey Tigers fans, here are some words to make your blood run cold: Here comes Kyle Farnsworth in a one-run game.

Veins not frozen yet? Have some more: Nick Swisher wins the game in the 14th.

I hate Nick Swisher. I hate him so much. I hate his hair and I hate his swing. I hate his beard, in all its incarnations. I hate his homerun total. I hate his STUPID BUCKEYE FACE.

How do I hate Nick Swisher?

– Wicked bad.
– So hard.
– With the fire of a thousand suns.

How do I hate Nick Swisher? O let me count the ways: a million. Times pi. SQUARED, THEN RAISED TO THE POWER OF HOW MUCH NICK SWISHER IS EVIL I.E. UNTO INFINITY.

We needed this win. We NEEDED this win. Not because of the divisional matchup, not because of blah blah blah X number of games back: whatever! I don’t even care about that right now! We needed this game because it went 14 CATDAMNED INNINGS and Placido Polanco was LEAVING HIS ENTIRE SOUL OUT THERE AT THE PLATE and he was SNUGGLING WITH MIGUEL CABRERA IN THE DUGOUT (Miguel! Snuggling! Looking up at the camera, then RETURNING to snuggling, proving that he learned from his earlier, shy snuggling!) after he hit HIS SECOND HOMERUN OF THE GAME to put the Tigers ahead in the top of the 14th and ARRRRRGGGGH.

SCREW THE STANDINGS, SCREW THEM RIGHT IN NICK SWISHER’S LEFT NOSTRIL. We needed this game FOR THE TIGERS, AS A TEAM.

But no. No, we could not have this game. Why? Because Nate couldn’t go more than 5 frigging innings; because Kyle Farnsworth can’t be trusted with the dessicated corpse of a sewer rat right now, let alone a single catdamned run lead in the 8th catdamned inning; because E6gar Renteria EXISTS; because Jim Leyland puts WAY TOO MUCH FRELLING WEIGHT ON SAVE SITUATIONS and removed Freddy Dolsi from the game even though he’d only thrown 12 DONKEY-BITING PITCHES in favor of Joel Zumaya i.e. the nominal closer; because of NICK SWISHER AND HIS STUPID BUCKEYE FACE.

You know who I’m NOT mad at? FERNANDO RODNEY. Fernando threw 3 scoreless innings with 5 Ks on only 38 pitches for what may have been the longest outing of his Major League life and you know what? You know what? Fernando did great. Fernando Rodney THREW SOME GREAT STOAT-HUMPING BASEBALL. CHEW ON THAT, universe.

ETA: That bloody “This little light of mine,” song from the horrific Cornerstone Schools ad is RUNNING ON REPEAT in my head right now, ON TOP OF ALL THIS, so I am probably going to LOSE MY ENTIRE MIND. Seriously: does that ad make anyone else want to claw their own eyes out of their own faces, or is it just me? At the very end, where the little girl looks up from her candle and the sound is synched improperly… I go out of my freaking gourd, every single time. It’s like nails on the chalkboard of my soul. I want to throw money at them just so they’ll STOP RUNNING THOSE UNPRINTABLY AWFUL COMMERCIALS.

Wednesday’s game is at 8:11 pm EDT, Justin Verlander vs. who the hell cares. HEY, JUSTIN! I sure hope you feel like you’ve got 9 innings of baseball in that right arm of yours, because we used THE ENTIRE CATDAMNED BULLPEN TONIGHT. You think I’m joking, you think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not, we used EVERY SINGLE UNPRINTABLE ARM IN THE THOROUGHLY UNPRINTABLE BULLPEN in this game. Seriously: good luck, Justin. Good frelling luck. You’re going to need it.

Go Tigers!

pug marks, 8/4/08


photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Offday, offday, hooray. THE BULLPEN CAN’T HURT US WHEN THEY AREN’T PLAYING.

We haven’t had a pug marks post in a while, have we? I guess things have just been THAT EXCITING in the world of the Detroit Tigers.

pug mark 1
Leyland ripped into the team before Sunday’s game.

He is “ashamed,” “[taking] it personally,” “more than disappointed– probably shocked,” and “embarrassed,” by the team’s performance of late. Surprise! so are we. Maybe a little less with the ‘taking it personally,’ but everything else, spot on for the fans as well.

It remains highly puzzling to me that the Tigers can have the players they have, can have the alleged talent they have, and play like this. I know a lot of it’s down to injuries and a lot of it’s down to the bullpen and some of it’s down to (perhaps under)performance from the starting pitchers. I was worried about the season before it began, for a variety of reasons, but I still didn’t expect THIS. We may safely assume that it’s much the same for Leyland.

pug mark 2
Why wasn’t Farnsworth with the Tigers the game after the trade was made? Because cats forbid he fly down to join the team and deal with moving his stuff and family and such later, like every other suddenly traded ballplayer in the history of modern baseball.

Two hours after Farnsworth got home, he and his wife and their 5-year-old son had packed their belongings, closed up their apartment, and were headed down the Interstate for Florida in the family truck.

The right-handed reliever drove until 1 a.m. Then the family stopped at a motel in Virginia. Or was it North Carolina? “It was so late, and we were so tired, I’m not really sure,” the 32-year-old journeyman said.

Less than seven hours later, they were on the road again, driving nearly 13 hours, straight through to Orlando, where Farnsworth resides during the offseason.

“Driving down, I kept thinking, ‘Did it really happen?’ ” Farnsworth admitted.
Jim Hawkins/Oakland Press article

He really couldn’t get a flight out of New York? Not to be all ‘oh, Kyle‘ about this, but really: oh, Kyle. Seriously?

In the same article we learn that he’s going to be renting Jamie Walker’s house in Livonia. I love that a) Jamie Walker still HAS a house in Livonia and b) The Farns at some point thought to get in touch with him. Also:

“I told (Jim Leyland) I’ll pitch whenever he needs me to pitch,” Farnsworth said after meeting with the Tigers’ manager on Friday. “I’ll even go back to being a starting pitcher, if that’s what he wants me to do.”
Jim Hawkins/Oakland Press article

Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha NO.

I’m starting to think that the best thing about the Farnsworth trade is the fact that I already had a tag for him and didn’t have to bother making a new one.

pug mark 3
Curtis Granderson is excited about how popular the Rays have become. He also still had mad crazy respect for Pudge:

He is one of the best to ever play his position and was a great teammate. Now, years down the road, I can say I played with possibly the best catcher ever.
Curtis Granderson/ESPN.com

This pug mark really has no substance, I just like Curtis Granderson.

pug mark 4
The Onion has been on a Tigerlicious roll lately.

Placido Polanco chokes up all the way.

Angry Jim Leyland’s mustache keeps falling off while yelling at team.

This Brewers article has nothing to do with the Tigers (unless you count anything about Prince Fielder as vaguely Tigers-related), but it delighted me nonetheless.

pug mark 5
Joel Zumaya: still broken.

Leyland noticed something in Zumaya’s mechanics on Friday night and although the Tigers’ medical staff did not find anything serious after the game, the club will continue to err on the cautious side.

“Seems like he gets to a certain point where he doesn’t finish pitches,” Leyland said.

The hard-throwing Zumaya left the game on July 27 with tightness in his right triceps, and cited throwing too many curveballs as part of the problem.

Zumaya worked through the initial tightness and was slotted back into the ‘pen on Tuesday, as the Tigers didn’t expect the minor condition to linger.

Unfortunately, Friday’s outing brought back the same familiar tightness, although it is now slightly above Zumaya’s triceps. The right-hander reported no problems throwing any breaking balls and only felt tightness on a portion of the fastballs he threw to six Rays batters.
Brittany Ghiroli/MLB.com article

“Slightly above the triceps” is an exceedingly diplomatic way of saying “shoulder”.

It is also my understanding that breaking pitches are more immediately dangerous for a pitcher’s elbow (at least partly due to arm rotation) while power stuff is more immediately shoulder-related (of course a pitcher can bollocks up any part of his arm with pretty much any pitch: pitching ain’t good for human arms, period). So that last sentence, where Zoom “reported no problems throwing any breaking balls and only felt tightness on a portion of fastballs,” is not in the least tiniest way reassuring, because if he IS having shoulder problems again, I would EXPECT him to feel it on his fastballs and maybe not necessarily on his softer stuff.

At least it’s not his oblique?

pug mark 6
Have you heard the new Lions slogan?

I’m pug marking myself… can I do that? Of course I can, it’s my friggin’ blog.

The beginning of the post is about Manny Ramirez, because I had to write SOMETHING about that trade, but the rest of it is a philosophical examination of the possible meanings and ramifications of the Detroit Lions new slogan, as heard in ads on FSND. They really make you THINK, those Lions do.

…………..

Tomorrow’s game is at 8:11 pm EDT (not 8 pm, not 8:10 pm… 8:11), in Chicago. Nate Robertson takes on Gavin Floyd. It’s a very important series, so I fully expect to see Tiger relievers vomiting copiously onto the pitching rubber before each and every batter they face. Failing that, I expect to learn that at least two of our players have injured their obliques. Go Tigers!

relearning The Farns


photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

I watched a little bit of tonight’s Yankee game, just to see what Pudge in pinstripes looked like. Why did I do that? Why did I think that was in any way a good idea? It was ugly and wrong and I would advise you all to avoid it as much as you can.

I don’t really want to talk about today’s game. It was stupid and made me angry and I wanted to punch Justin Verlander’s pitch count in the face. He threw 114 pitches in 5.2 innings, like a reversion to his pre-All Star break form. My blood pressure is rising just thinking about it. Moving on.

I got an email earlier today from one of the MVN Yankee writers, Tom Gaffney, containing a modern-day Kyle Farnsworth scouting report. It was awfully nice of him to offer up the goods, unsolicited, and if there was a faint air of gloating about the gesture…. well, Yankee fans deserve that right now, the lucky stink-badgers. I sent him back a scouting report on Pudge entitled Pudge Rodriguez: the man, the myth, the legend, which you can go read if you want to remember good times, man, good times.

Mr. Gaffney’s FarnsReport is reprinted herein for YOU, the reader. Things in bold are his words but my emphasis. Things in [brackets] are my snide little asides.

//KYLE FARNSWORTH: SCOUTING REPORT

Kyle Farnsworth, aka Krazy Kyle [this was the best you guys could come up with? Really? C’mon now], is a player of great extremes that [sic, unless we assume he’s actually a robot], paradoxically, winds up giving fairly average results. He came over to the Yankees from the Braves with the billing of a guy who is a legitimate closer and a perfect setup man. His years with the team from the Bronx have been riddled with complaints, diva tantrums, resurrections, and heartbreaks. Despite all this, when you look at his numbers, they’re pretty much league average across the board. [As opposed to Yankees who are divas and throw temper tantrums and make up for it by actually being awesome at baseball.]

The bottom line is that he’s been a decent arm out of the bullpen for the Yankees who has become expendable by virtue of a host of young arms flooding organization [rat bastards]. The thing you need to worry about, as a Tiger fan, is his emotional makeup and tendency to slip into funks. This is a very real danger as he was extremely close to Yankee manager, Joe Girardi and broke down into tears when told of the trade. Leyland will have to handle him with kid gloves. [Insert vast LOL here at the idea of Leyland handling anyone with kid gloves.]

Extreme #1: He throws extremely hard. His fastball lives at 95 and he pumps it up to 97-98 every once in a while. [He’s not hitting 100 mph anymore? Also, Joel Zumaya is unimpressed.] His slider is extremely volatile: one moment it’s dropping nicely down and away from righties, the next it’s hanging up in the zone for David Ortiz to clout to the moon. His command is a little below average as he is unable to hit corners. He typically lives about 2-3 inches in on the corner or 3-4 inches outside the corner. You don’t see him squeezed a lot by the umpires as his pitches are usually either clear strikes or balls. This, when paired with the fact that his heater is pretty straight, also leads to his fair share of homers. When batters guess fastball and location, they can hit it a long way. That’s pretty much it for his repertoire. He’s basically a fastball/slider pitcher. [Which is part of the reason why he never cut it as a starter for the Cubs.]

Extreme #2: Kyle is extremely emotional. [We know.] This is not always a bad thing, as he has been lauded all this year for his work ethic and passion for the game. He is consistently cited as the hardest worker in the weight room by the Yankee trainers. This bodes well for his ability to continue to be a power pitcher into his mid-thirties. [I’m not so sure about this. He has occasional tendonitis in his arms and a wonky back, neither of which is going to be helped much by the kind of obsessive weight training The Farns favors.] On the flip-side, his emotions have gotten him into many spates of trouble in the past. He has had a lot of trouble handling pitching consecutive days, pitching more than one inning, and has complained loudly at times about how he is used by his manager. [Fabulous, he’ll love it here now!]

His emotions also have led to prolonged slumps and shakiness in big spots. He’s been better this year, but his nerves really tend to fray in pressure situations where he loses command and his fastball flattens out. Current manager Joe Girardi was masterful at juggling Kyle’s schedule and his emotions, but the diva act could wear very thin with another skipper. He’s a lot of headache for an average to slightly above-average relief pitcher. Kyle’s career era+ is exactly 99 (100 is average) so you can see what I mean when I call him average. There’s no question that he’s been better this year (era+ of 114) but I question how he will react to new surroundings. [Or, y’know, old surroundings.]//

So, how long do we think it’s gonna be before Leyland feels the need to fungo The Farns in the nuts in front of the entire clubhouse? Two weeks? A month?

Tomorrow the Tigers head into glorious St. Pete to take on the Devil Rays at 7:10 pm EDT. Zach Miner goes up against Scott ‘E but not Scotty’ Kazmir. He’s having a very good season, and his WHIP is the same as Galarraga’s right now. Just think about that. Go Tigers!