That’s right. Davey Johnson speaks for me.
In this case, we (Davey and I) are talkin’ about my surly and oft dour colleague, Mr. Allen Krause. Surely these words sting, almost as much as watching Mr. Krause’s beloved Tigers defeat my WORLD CHAMPION ST. LOUIS CARDINALS in their recent 3-game series.
Indeed, Verlander is a beast. But the following inequality is true:
Westbrook + Lohse > Verlander
Unfortunately, the following is also true:
Santiago + Peralta + Jackson + Berry > Marte
I’m sending my representation to handle the press conference:
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
RSBS Special Correspondent and Wikipiebenga Creator, Mark “Pie” Piebenga reports:
As soon as Victor Martinez went down, I thought, “well, season’s over.”  But then the Tigers won the Fielder sweepstakes (at a cost that boggles the mind: apparently Little Caesar’s is a pretty lucrative organization. Everybody reading this please buy a five dollar Hot N Ready so they can pay the Prince. And here is my obligatory admission that the back end of that contract is going to be a total nightmare). A season that looked suddenly suspect just as suddenly became the most exciting spring I can remember.
If they can keep healthy, and get production anywhere close to last year from Delmon Young, Alex Avila, and Brennan Boesch’s first half, and get consistent quality from Messrs. Verlander, Fister, Scherzer, and Porcello (not to mention the newly Dotel-ified bullpen), it augers Another Very Interesting Year To Be A Tigers Fan.
There are still some big question marks. It’s looking like a platoon of Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago at second, which doesn’t do us a ton of favors at the plate. With the diminished defensive range and crInge worthy batting of the once-exceptional Brandon Inge, the Miguel Cabrera return-to-third experiment will be interesting and hopefully not embarrassing. Danny Worth and Don Kelly will probably spot start there as well. Finally, can Austin Jackson achieve leadoff effectiveness even approaching two years ago?
For the last seven years or so I’ve approached the start of the season with same kind of a nervous ambivalence. The most positive outlook I’ve had could be described as ‘cautious optimism,’ which I feel now. It’s a very strange feeling to see the Tigers as the projected favorite to win the A.L. Central (hell, until last year, we hadn’t done it since 1987. Didn’t even do it in ’84.) The Tigers have been good lately, but as a typically suspicious and superstitious fan, I’m always nervous. In ’06 they got in the playoffs as a wildcard. When they forced the 163rd game with the Twinkies in ’09, I never had the feeling that we were a legit contending team. Last year they didn’t really seem to have any implicit dominance until rifling off that twelve game winning streak in September. (My father and I credit ourselves for that, having seen live their last loss before the streak started at a blinding hot day game Sept 1st, when the Royals came to Detroit.)
Speaking of which, I am very nervous about the Kansas City Royals. They were rated the 11th best team in the league in the ESPN prospects power rankings (I don’t know if this is a remotely useful metric, but Buster Olney seems like a smart guy). At the game with my dad September First we were sitting along the third base line, and during a lull in the game Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was shooting the bull with the umpire and throwing the ball around. He was basically standing in the coache’s box, well behind third and in foul territory, and dude scooped up lazy grounder that came his way. Barely breaking eye-contact with the ump, he made a throw off his back foot that looked casual as hell, but judging by the angry snap of the leather Eric Hosmer’s glove at first, it could’ve been shot from a rifle. The lineup is getting spooky over there.
It’s foolish to make predictions about what’s going to happen, and we’re still forty four days till opening. Naturally when things don’t go your way for a couple of decades, you begin to doubt that anything good is going to happen. But the Tigs lately have provided all one can demand of any team, and that’s meaningful baseball in August and September. It will be really interesting to see what this team does in the face of injuries, statistical regression, and the rigors of the season.
 I can be a little dramatic.
 Verlander’s remarkable season was well documented. While he was hardly under the radar, I think a brief digression on Alex Avila is in order here. He had a .389 OBP (10th highest in baseball), an .895 OPS (8th in the AL), and hit .295. All while catching 133 games, and ranking top five among AL catchers in most defensive categories (e.g., tied for 1st with 40 runners caught stealing). And one of my least/most favorite things was the sheer number of times he got hit by deflections. I know catchers get hit all the time, but honestly I can’t remember seeing anything like his 2011 season behind the plate. (for example, check out sparks flying off his mask, and him getting hit in the neck.)
So, it looks like we’ll watch the playoffs from the sidelines this year
since both of our teams decided to nosedive in the second half. Which
teams’ failure is the most discouraging, though, the Tigers or the
A clever move from my sinister and oft pejorative colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, inserting himself into the Filibuster box by stuffing it with this one question, over and over and over again. I guess some part of Mr. Krause is looking for sympathy in the wake of yet another disappointing season in Detroit; because anyone with any sort of baseball awareness knows that the greater discouragement between these two teams most assuredly belongs to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Hell, up to a few weeks ago we were all buzzing about how the Cards could just mail it in for the NL Central title. How could they not?!? A team anchored by two of the best pitchers in the game (Wainwright, Carpenter), flanked by serious ROY candidate Jaime Garcia, a solid Jake Westbrook… and I haven’t even gotten to the offense centered around Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday… a team like this… it screams playoffs.
So how is it that they are dead?
Lack of motivation. Sense of entitlement. Clubhouse squabbling. Streakiness. The absence of a clear, dominating, team leader.
Really, that’s what it comes down to.
Meanwhile, the 2010 edition of the Tigers never had a chance to begin with. Outside of Justin Verlander (who struggled early on), their pitching was a complete mess (Dontrelle Willis anyone?). They started two rookies in Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore… and at the very last minute they signed a less-than-stellar Johnny Damon to… well, to do what, I don’t really know. His non-impact did the talking. Or not. Depending on how you look at it.
So, Mr. Krause, of course the Cardinals’ 2010 fail remains more epic (as the kids iz sayin’) than your disastrous Detroit Tigers, who are apt to see Jimmy Leyland walk away after the season, so that he can spend more quality time smoking… and… smoking.
But not all hope is lost for the RSBS universe. The Rays and Rangers look like fun teams to root for in the postseason, and let us not forget… Mr. Krause still has a horse in this race:
Hate me ‘cuz I got people who can extract sensitive information, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****
Something on your mind? Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not together, eww)? Think you got a real stumper? Send us your Filibuster question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at email@example.com.
***Pics of Mr. Krause declaring his love for Albert Pujols & Co. also welcome. I have a hunch…
Hi Jeff. You are always saying mean things about the Tigers and making
fun of Allen. They seem to be doing pretty well with all these young
guys, though. Do you think you might have been wrong, even though you
always tell us not to hate you ‘cuz you’re right?
While I certainly detest the notion that my impervious and oft-uppity colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, and his infectious worldview have now tainted the minds of my dear family and friends back home in Quincy, IL, please remember that I have no problem telling you the truth:
The Tigers still suck.
Off to a good start…
Yet destined to fail.
Of course, I have been wrong once or twice in my life; but I still co-write a hit blog so I’m not sweatin’ it. And neither should you. It’s May. Sure, the Tigers are holding their own… for now. Austin Jackson, Scott Sizemore, Rick Porcello, Brennan Boesch… indeed, the future is bright in Detroit.
But not this year.
Sizemore just got sent down. Porcello is overrated. Austin Jackson is more Mark Reynolds than Ichiro Suzuki… and I haven’t even mentioned the impending doom of Dontrelle Willis (it will happen eventually). I just don’t think the Tigers have what it takes to play this well the entire season.
By August their youngsters will have petered out… the old timers (Damon) will be thinking about fishing in Cabo with Joe Mauer and that MLB The Show guy… and once again the murder rate in the Motor City will be the most talked about thing in Michigan.
Not the Tigers.
And for all you river-rat Q-towners, like Leslie above, who are considering siding with Mr. Krause and his lacking baseball acumen, just remember who buys the beers when he’s back home. Yeah. That’s what I thought.
So go ahead and hate me ‘cuz I spitz it straight. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Image courtesy of 9GAG)
***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****
Something on your mind? Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not
together, eww)? Think you got a real stumper? Send us your Filibuster
question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at
***Tiger Woods’ little black book also welcome. It’s been a while for Al and I’m tryin’ to help a brother out.
Pop quiz. What do Smokey Robinson, Curtis Granderson and The Jackson Five have in common? If you guessed that they all got their start with Motown, you’d be right. But if you guessed that they all got out of Motown as soon as possible, you’d also be right. I mentioned the other day that life had gotten a little bit more sucky when Pla-Po left for Philadelphia. Well, it’s going to get a lot more sucky when Granderson leaves for the Yankees. Thelma Houston had it right when she sang “Don’t leave me this way.”
There is an upside, though, even if it’s just my imagination. As much as I like Granderson and enjoyed watching him play, he sure struck out a lot and seemed to do it at inopportune moments. Not only that but they say this Austin Jackson fellow can play some ball so maybe it will turn out to be a good thing. But even if this is all true, as another Motown discovery put it, ‘It’s so hard to say good-bye to yesterday.”
The thing is, and this may come as a surprise to some of you, but I don’t have a whole lot of control over what happens in the Tigers’ front office. You’d think that Dombrowski would be monitoring this blog to see what I think but it just doesn’t work that way. Apparently he makes his decisions completely independently of me. And even though he may know what he’s doing, he has definitely left myself and other Tigers fans channeling Marvin Gaye when we ask “What’s going on?” I’m pretty sure I’ll be asking that question again the first time I see Granderson in pinstripes.