Posted on: April 29, 2009 4:40 pm
I read an article the other day about Mark McGuire and it really got me thinking about him and the Hall of Fame. I mean here is a guy that "probably" cheated and then sat in front of Congress and gave the "I'm not here to talk about the past" quote, but where would baseball be without him? It was almost 15 years ago that we were robbed of a World Series because of the player's strike, and in 1995 baseball was pretty much dead. Cal Ripken Jr. breaking Lou Gerhig's record was a great thing, but it wasn't enough to bring everyone back to the game. Then came the summer of 1997 and the race between McGuire and Sammy Sosa for Maris' HR record. Everyone was captivated, checking every night to see if either or both had hit another one that night. The hype started early in the season, so everyone followed along through May, June, July, August, and finally September. We all know how the race turned out, McGuire reaching 70. But late in that summer, news had broken that a bottle of andro was seen in McGuire's locker. The rumors had already been swirling, even before the strike, about players and steroids and this just seem to confirm everything. Now we all know how rampant it was, but this was all no surprise. There was talk before '97, everyone had there suspicions during that race, but most everyone turned their backs and ignored the issue. Baseball needed that race, a "shot in the arm" as you will, to lure fans back. After that summer, more players got huge, and still no one wanted to do anything about it. We all watched, we all cheered, and unless you were really out of touch, we all knew.
Now we are holding this era of baseball up as a travesty and an example of player's greed. It's being held over McGuire's, Sammy Sosa's, Barry Bonds', and Roger Clemens' heads. We all knew what was happening while they did it, but we all still watched. These players all disgraced the game by cheating. Theirs may have been more blatant, but baseball is full of players doing just about anything they could to get an edge. Cutting baseballs, corking bats, stealing signs. All things that are against the rules, but all things done, admittedly, by players in the Hall of Fame. Ty Cobb was even accused of fixing at least one baseball game. But we aren't in a hurry to have plaques taken down for Cobb, Gaylord Perry, "Dizzy" Dean, or any of the other confirmed cheaters. These things aren't look down at as much as performance enhancing drugs, but are none the less illegal. These players, along with Pete Rose and Joe Jackson, should all be put in the Hall and it should be noted that they committed or are suspected of their discretion. Baseball has a rich history with a ton of colorful characters, but it wasn't played by a bunch of saints. Anyone who thinks that Babe Ruth, or Joe DiMaggio, or Bob Gibson were the kind of people that we hope their kids become(outside of baseball ability) probably shouldn't be having kids. We all knew what was going on while it happened, we all condoned it, and now we shouldn't ignore it!
Posted on: April 21, 2009 6:02 pm
We are now 2 weeks into the season and some teams are off to great starts, like the Marlins, and others not so well. What do we make of all this? Almost nothing! You can't discard everything, Washington is horrid now and that don't look to change while my kids are still young, but a 2 week stretch is too small a sample to draw any conclusions. Florida is likely to come back to the pack, the Padres as well. This brings me to fantasy baseball. I am a huge player. I love to collect stats, trade players, and it gives me a reason to watch the Rockies and Astros on a Tuesday night during the summer. I play in some leagues with advanced players, and those are very competetive. But I have been looking through player profiles looking for hidden gems and reading other player's comments on various players, and I am noticing people dropping players like Curtis Granderson, Jhonny Perralta, Corey Hart, and other players with proven track records based on the first 2 weeks of the season. 2 weeks isn't a good sample for fantasy football, and that makes up 12.5% of the season. 2 weeks of the baseball season amounts to around 5-6% of that season! Come on people, show a little patience out there. You can't get antsy over a players having a poor couple weeks, just as you can't get too excited over a player mashing for a couple weeks. Does anyone think that Miguel Cabrera is going to hit around .500 for the season? Of course not, but why do they seem to expect Curtis Granderson to hit .200 for the season? You draft players based on what they've done over their career and where they appear headed before a season, but 2 weeks in people are forgetting what a player has done before, and making knee jerk decisions based what's happened so far this season. Show a little patience, and remember that this is the marathon to football's sprint. The players you had on top before the season will be the same one's that are there at the end of the season, with a few subtractions and additions, those usually being older players past their prime and younger ones coming into theirs.The Granderson's, Perralta's, and Hart's are closer to the latter and they will be near the top of their positions by season's end. Don't be the guy watching your league's playoffs with teams made up of players you dropped because they had a bad couple weeks!!
Posted on: April 10, 2009 12:58 pm
The first pitch is right around the corner, a new year is set to begin. The Tigers may have already played 4 games, but the season doesn't start until you see those gleaming white uniforms with the olde english D on the left side of the players as they take the field for the first time. Hopefully they're shining in the spring sun, though I've seen plenty of times when you could hardly see them because of the snow coming down. Even on those days, the cold is bareable because you know that summer is on the way. The new players, rookies and veteran, are the biggest draw. Seeing those players on the field hitting or pitching for the 1st time in a Tiger uniform is something I anticipate from the final pitch of the previous season. A blank slate, a new beginning, everyone has a chance and the end of the season seems the furthest place in the world for a few hours. The game starts in 10 minutes. 2009 starts for real! Go Tigers!!
Posted on: April 9, 2009 3:51 pm
Last night the Tigers got a strong performance from their pitching staff all around. This is more of what we need to see! Miner always seems to step up when the team needs him, and he stayed true to form last night. Ryan Perry looked great in a perfect inning. He should get used to that 8th inning, he may pitch a lot of them this season. Rodney was strong in the 9th, and I like that he dropped the slider. He is a good pitcher when he throws strikes, and hopefully last night becomes a habit. Miguel Cabrera is on a mission. He went deep twice and is sitting red every at bat. Even his outs are line drives to the outfield. Great game all the way around.
Today was a bit different story. Rick Porcello looked good, and he is definitely here to stay. I would liked to see Leyland leave him out there to finish the 6th, but with the game still close, I know he has to go to the lefty there. Am I alone, or did Porcello remind anyone else of Greg Maddux? I'm not trying to compare them, cause Porcello has a long way to go to be in any discussion with Maddux. But that swing back fast ball on the outside edge was Maddux's bread and butter, and Porcello seems to have that pitch down pretty well. I hope Zumaya gets back soon so Juan Rincon can go somewhere else. Not a strong finish to a well started game for the Tigers, but I don't feel the dread after this one. The bullpen was to blame, but this seems like the type of game the Tigers win if they were hitting better, and I'm not concerned with their hitting.
Tomorrow is opening day here, and its going to be great! Can't wait to see what they do here at home, and we have a strong trio starting to weekend. I'm anxious to see how Verlander comes back, and see Gallaraga for the first time this year.
Posted on: April 8, 2009 2:50 pm
Different story, but same ending. After a dominating performance by Edwin Jackson , the Tigers still found a way to lose. Brandon Lyon came on to promptly give up a 3 run homerun to put the Blue Jays ahead. And after Brandon Inge came back to hit a monsterous homerun in the 9th inning to tie the game, Lyon came back to load the bases in the bottom of the 9th with 1 out and give up a walk off sacrafice fly to lose 5-4. Jackson pitched a great game. If he continues to pitch like this, Dave Dombrowski swindled the Rays . After 4 innings, Jackson had thrown 40 pitches, of which 33 were strikes. Giving up just 2 hits, he lasted 7 1/3, leaving with 1 on and 1 out in the 8th. He pitched from ahead to almost every hitter and retired 11 hitters in a row at one point. But the story is the bullpen that gave up the late lead, continuing right where the left the year off last season, and we haven't even seen Fernando Rodney yet. I still want to say that they still have 160 left, but that reminds me of last year as well. Today the Tigers go for win number 1 with Zack Miner on the hill against the Jays and Jesse Litsch .
Posted on: April 7, 2009 1:57 pm
After one game, the Tigers picked up where they left off. Bad pitching and defense contributed to the 1st loss of the year. Justin Verlander lasted only 3 1/3 innings, giving up 8 earned runs. Really the numbers don't tell the story. He came out throwing 97-98 MPH in the 1st inning and the Jays were ready, scoring 4. Verlander came out in the 2nd and 3rd innings much more relaxed and looked he was settling in, with his fastball in the 92-94 range. When things started to get hairy in the 4th, Verlander again started throwin 96-97, and the Jays touched him up for 4 more in the the 4th, knocking him out with only one out in the inning. I think that Verlander needs only to look at his opponent yesterday to see where to improve. It's my opinion that if Verlander were to takes a little off his fastball, he would have the kind of movement that Roy Halladay does. Halladay goes after every hitter, I couldn't count how many time the Tigers hitters had 0-2 counts. The Jays hitters, conversely, were constantly hitiing in 3-1 and 3-2 counts. Predictably, the Jays trounced the Tigers, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why. Rod Allen pointed out that since 2002, Roy Halladay has AVERAGED more than 7 innings per start. 7 INNINGS! Verlander needs to be more aggresive towards hitters and stop with the 30 pitch innings. As for the defense, I hope Adam Everett was just nervous. He cost the Tigers a couple runs with a couple horrible plays at short. He is supposed to be an improvement over Renteria defensively, but he played like Renteria yesterday. Well, there are 161 left. Let's hope that yesterday was just a bad day against a great pitcher and not a sign of things to come!