On this team, there is no Al Kaline. There is no Kirk Gibson. No Jack Morris, no Trammell, no Whitaker.
Heck, this ain’t even the ultimately disappointing club that was supposed to win the 2006 World Series. No, sir. That squad is now but a bitter memory… and after a series of motor city slips and gaffes including but not limited to Jurrens for Renteria, the brutal rape of their farm system by the merciless Florida Marlins, and a handful of awful contracts best represented by Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis, the 2010 Detroit Tigers seem to be more of the weak, purring variety than anything else.
And now that fan favorite Curtis Granderson has been kicked out of the cage, finding fault with this Dave Dombrowski mess is a lot easier than it used to be.
You have Jim Leyland? Yes, and you also have Jim Leyland cut off from nicotine.
You have athlete extraordinaire, Brandon Inge? Yes, and you also have his strikeouts.
You have Johnny Damon? Yes, but you overpaid… and did he come with his wheelchair?
I dunno. It’s not like I hate the Tigers or anything. I mean, I have nothing personal against Detroit save hearing about them ad nauseum via my cantankerous and oft negligent colleague Mr. Allen Krause; but that doesn’t affect my judgment. I simply report the facts, interpreted in my own special way.
And that special way offers this declaration: the Tigers are in for a world of hurt in 2010.
But shhhh. Don’t tell Al. Or Johnny Damon. Or Detroiters, all three or four of them.
And whatever you do, please don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
PS. If you think I offer something like this just to p!ss off RSBS‘ other half, then you are absolutely correct… and almost as diabolically undercutting as I.
Even as the economy begins its long climb towards recovery, problems threaten to dislodge any toehold it has made and send it hurtling back to the base like Sisyphus’ stone. And if there’s any one problem that lies on peoples’ minds extra heavily, it’s the continued lack of jobs. Of course the government is creating programs to try and help with this problem but my personal feeling is that this is not so much an issue of people not having jobs as it is the wrong people still having jobs.
For instance, in Detroit, one of the hardest hit areas as far as job loss goes in the country, how is it that thousands of autoworkers no longer have jobs but an incompetent imbecile like Matt Millen manages to land on his feet? After turning an already dilapidated franchise into a synonym for failure, he blows town and winds up in Bristol, CT analyzing football for ESPN. Here’s my analysis. Millen is a bum and should be on the street peddling pencils at a dime a pop. Although I’m pretty sure he could find a way to turn that into a shambles as well.
However, if you live in Detroit and you’re a fan of the Detroit Tigers, you’re probably just as worried about who is employed as who isn’t. Since my analytical skills are pretty much limited to the aforementioned summary of Matt Millen, I’ll leave the real analysis to someone who knows what they’re doing:
“The Tigers are in trouble.” (scroll down to 23 November to read the full entry)
Yeah, I guess Paul pretty much summed it up right there. Sometimes it’s more about who does have a job than who doesn’t.
The Tigers may not be in as bad of shape as the Lions but there isn’t a whole lot to smile about in Motown these days, no matter where you’re coming from. And even though Dombrowski is no Matt Millen, he definitely faces an uphill battle in making the Tigers competitive. Let’s just hope he has a little more luck than Sisyphus.
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.
I wish I was the kind of person who enjoyed aiming low blows at my friends. I’d like to be able to question why someone who will turn 30 thirteen
short days after me is counting down the days to my own birthday. I wish I could sit here and wonder out loud if my friend not having a girlfriend for the last several years somehow affected his cognitive skills. It would be great to openly wonder why he thinks that dousing himself in the smell of BK is effective for picking up women. But, I’m not that kind of person. I’m a real friend.
So, I’m not going to address the spurious accusations made at my expense yesterday. It would be demeaning to all of us and the work we do if I pointed out that most of the baseball intelligentsia thought the Tigers would win the World Series last year and concluded that Dave Dombrowski had hoodwinked the entire league with his off-season moves. I’d be doing no one a favor by saying that Detroit and the state of Michigan have been suffering since the 70’s (just watch The Crow, Gran Torino or Eight Mile to see what I’m talking about) and it’s only natural that its residents hopelessness would also be reflected in their view of sporting pursuits.
No, I refuse to debase myself in the same way as my friend. Instead, in the spirit of this new year full of hope and change, I’m going to say, “good luck, Jeffery.” I hope the Cardinals pick up some relief pitching so AP’s offense isn’t wasted. I hope that 30 treats you well and really is the new 21. And I hope that you go on a date. Seriously, though, you gotta rid of the BK cologne first.
Mr. Allen Krause may have a point when he defines me as the saddest man in America whilst the St. Louis Cardinals front office gives new meaning to the word “crapjob”; indeed, watching a team known for its unbridled winning tradition falter into a debilitated trance under the penny-pinching antics of John Mozeliak is not only gut-wrenching, it’s depressing as well. For unlike Mr. Krause and his coveted haphazard sports franchise affiliations (namely the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Lions), we Cardinal fans expect great things from our team every game, every day, every year.
We’re not poster children for the Buddha’s life is suffering mantra.
And we’re certainly not dumb enough to make statements like “we’ll both revel in the genius that is Dave Dombrowski” before the most expensively bad team ever took the field. That’s just plain irresponsibility in ten words or less.
If anyone should apologize to the dear readers of RSBS it should be Mr. Krause, who was so brazen in his blogging, so careless in his quips, so insensitive in his irrationality that he completely forgot about the 86 years of purely agonizing, flesh-eating hell that Red Sox fans went through before their ultimate redemption. In essence, he called them whiny crybabies who cling to their guns and religion.
Didn’t you learn anything in 2008, Al?
I learned that there is no substitution for retribution.
And you’re old.
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Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Well, it seems that Republican presidential nominee and good friend of RSBS John McCain has finally settled on a strategy in this year’s campaign: Total disengagement. That’s right. No access, no answers and now, no debates. Obviously something must be worrying the McCain campaign. Perhaps it’s that sinking feeling they’re getting from the polls. Maybe it’s the gorge rising in the voters’ throats as they find out the truth about his second in command. But perhaps it’s something a little more simple. Maybe he realizes he made a terrible mistake when he asked for advice from this man:
No matter the reason, you might think that this level of incompetence is completely unprecedented. Well, it’s not. For instance, Isiah Thomas and his impressive dismantlement of both the CBA and the Knicks made this type of woeful incompetence seem ordinary. And don’t even get me started on former (Thank you, Jeebus!) Detroit Lions President and GM Matt Millen. However, skills like these are not just the domain of sports involving big leathery balls (politics included). No, it’s quite present in America’s favorite pastime, too.
If you follow RSBS, you know that Jeff has made several mentions of the current Cardinals management and their inept handling of contracts this year. One could argue that Tiger’s GM Dave Dombrowski’s signing of Dontrelle Willis and Kyle Farnsworth also ensconces him firmly in that camp. And Bud Selig’s handling of the steroid problem definitely won’t win him the Jack Welch Award for Excellence in Management. But when it comes to managerial ineptitude, there is only one man in baseball, past or present, who can lay claim to the title of “Least Competent.” Unfortunately, he’s also the one holding the keys to the car.
Farnsworth for Pudge? You’ve got to be kidding me. Although maybe the Tigers know something I don’t. I mean, that Jeff Weaver trade didn’t turn out so bad considering he totally tanked with the Yankees. But Farnsworth? When I was living in Chicago I used to watch him throwing BP. The only problem was that it was during the 7th inning of close games and that’s not a good time to be giving up round-trippers. But, maybe Dombrowski is ahead of the curve. Maybe he wants to put together a stable of the hardest throwing guys in the Major Leagues. But Farnsworth? Farnsworth is to baseball what this kid is to basketball:
What is it about the trading deadline that makes people crazy? Griffey is probably heading to the White Sox, Texeira is now an Angel, Manny might be a Marlin and Pudge will be wearing pinstripes. Everyone is making deals. Well, except for the Cardinals, of course. Sorry about that one, buddy. Maybe they’ll do something in the offseason and have a chance next year.
But I’d still rather my team did nothing than have to support a team that trades away an All-Star for a bad punchline. Yeah, Pudge is getting old and yeah, Pudge doesn’t hit like he did when he was on the juice. But Farnsworth? I just can’t accept this. The only way it could be worse is if I find out that he’s also a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
Speaking of which, there is one other specter that haunts me that Mr. Lung forgot to mention. And no, I don’t mean Arlen Specter although he is old and old people generally scare me. I mean another former Fighting Irish who still runs through my dreams. And runs is definitely the correct word since I’m talking about “Rocket” Raghib Ismail. Man, that guy caused as much heartburn in Michigan as the Big Three’s ongoing inability to make a profit. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was glad to see him go.
Anyway, I guess I should let this all go and just accept that Farnsworth is on the team through the end of the season. Maybe he’ll be great. And maybe Fernando Rodney won’t blow any more saves. And maybe Hillary will still get the nomination. Thank god I’ll only have to live with two out of those three things. And I can still go to my happy place.