If I were a Tiger fan (ahem, Allen Krause) I would go the airport, buy a ticket to the most remote war-torn nation, find a spot of uninhabited land, dig a hole, get in it, and light myself on fire. Okay, maybe I wouldn’t take the time to dig a hole, but I would certainly light myself on fire. At the very least I would kick down Dave Dombrowski’s door and demand he give me a refund for my hard-earned money, hopes, dreams. Because as much as the Tigers stole the headlines away from the evils of New York, Boston and L.A. during this past offseason, they sure are reneging on every dime invested. Yeah, yeah, I know. There are still 155 games remaining in the season but their lackluster performance and the sheer absence of urgency in their play proves to me that their season is pretty much in the can. I suppose they’ll get hot at some point and make a little noise but by then it will be too little too late. In essence, the 2008 Tigers are the baseball equivalent of the Clinton campaign — great resume, great talent, would probably do a decent job, but so far behind there is no possible way they can win it all. So do us all a favor and get out of the race so we can concentrate on the important stuff, like the teams that are winning.
Bench Magglio. Sit Cabrera. Weld Granderson’s hand back together. I know it’s not the popular thing to do. I know you didn’t spend 140 million dollars to sit your franchise players — but you sure didn’t spend 140 million to be the only team in the Majors without a win thus far. Tick people off. Light some fires under some tooshies. Get ’em motivated for crying out loud.
The Royals are motivated. They beat the Evil Empire today to go to 5-2 on the young season, even with the White Sox, who (ahem), destroyed the Tigers on national television Sunday night. Heck, even Baltimore’s fired up. At 6-1 they probably feel like they’re cheating their fans by actually being worth the price of admission. Allen could’ve been one of those fans, but he said he would eschew the whole Oriole scene because they were “terrible”.
Terrible is what the Tigers will be thought of when this season is over. After Boston they have to come to the Southside. Then they face the Twins, Indians and Blue Jays next week before they get somewhat of a breather with the Rangers (though I’m pretty sure they’ll find a way to lose that series too). But then it’s on to play the Angels and Yankees and by the beginning of May they could possibly be worse than the 1988 Baltimore Orioles who forever live in infamy for losing their first 21 games of the season. Don’t feel bad, at least you and all your Hockeytown brethren have four months of NHL playoffs to look forward to, eh?
But who really cares about the Tigers anyway? Why am I spending so much time talking about these overpaid losers? How ’bout a proven winner, how ’bout those Cardinals! The old adage you’re only as good as your pitching still rings true (just ask the Yankees) and the Cards have been getting brilliant outing after brilliant outing to start the year. With Carp and Mulder on the DL and Matt Clement still rehabbing, it has been a pleasant surprise to see Kyle Lohse (who didn’t even have a job in the Big Leagues at the beginning of March) come through and pitch the hell out of the number two spot. Wainwright has been stellar. Wellemeyer, Thompson and Looper have all added to that super-impressive team ERA. In their win tonight, Anthony Reyes (a bonafide Tiger killer, see ’06 WS, Game 1) gave them three scoreless innings in relief, which gave Glaus enough time to drive in two big runs.
I’ve been watching these guys every day and I’ve noticed something you’ll never see in any box score: they really believe in themselves. Even if no one else does, they do. They just do. And they don’t care what anyone else says or thinks in regards to their less-than-stellar-on-paper rotation. They have spark, they have guts, and they’re having a ton of fun.
And isn’t that what it’s all about?
I feel alive again. Al, you better check to see if you still have a pulse.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Once again, Mr. Krause, you have managed to blasphemy the greatest game on earth, prove your idiocy with your prose and wholly embarrass me in public. It’s one thing to like one league over the other. But gay porn? Al, are you completely lost? Have they been waterboarding you down there? I’m concerned about your mental health.
Look, I know it’s not entirely your fault. It must’ve been hard growing up in a state where hockey is king, where the only car you are allowed to drive is a Ford and your greatest baseball icon was a gin shootin’, cleats-up-slidin’, wh0re mongering racist. I’m sure that all had an influence on your childhood and blinded you from seeing how baseball is supposed to be played. The pitcher is supposed to bat, Al. In fact, some pitchers are really good hitters. Have you ever heard of Rick Ankiel? Carlos Zambrano? Dontrelle Willis? How about Babe Ruth?
The American League’s adoption of the designated hitter is a classic case of how easily greed can destroy the purities in life. What was wrong with pitchers hitting? Nothing. Sure, the weakest hitting position overall is the pitcher’s spot — because they don’t hit every day. But that’s exactly what makes the NL so much more exciting, more pure, more of a thinking man’s game. You actually have to use strategy to accomplish your goal (*take note, Mr. President). As a man in such a high political position as yourself, Al, I thought you would’ve had the basic knowledge to discern that. In fact, the next time you hold a peace summit in some war-stricken African country, I’d like to see you replaced by a Designated Diplomat, someone who has a higher success average than you, because you don’t have the bells and whistles to make it theatric enough. Actually, I’d be amused (if only momentarily) to see you be a little more one dimensional.
Unfortunately, the AL didn’t end the DH experiment after its 1973 induction and now we never will. Since it has translated into a major career-extender and equated bigger paychecks for aging vets who wouldn’t make a squad otherwise, the DH is now like that drunk uncle who is a complete mess at family functions. We all do our very best to ignore him and not let him ruin the party because we know there will be less harm done to the group as a whole if we just let him destroy himself.
So eat a big fat one on that one, Al.
Oh, and I want to thank you for making my job easier today. Your Filibuster is full of big, dark, gaping holes of contradiction. I believe I said a long time ago that the AL Central would indeed be interesting due to the Indians and White Sox. In all honesty, I said the Tigers would miss the postseason completely. As a matter of fact, a recent comment on your last post from mobaseball reiterates this bold (and most probably true) prediction:
“First of all, you do know that no team has ever lost 4 straight and
made the playoffs right? And the Tigers have now lost 6 straight.”
Actually, Al, looking back on your past heresies, you made myriad bogus claims on February 21, 2008:
“The Royals will be their same old selves…”
“I can understand why you have playoff envy since the Cardinals will be
lucky to finish the season 5 games under .500 with their offseason
“moves” and a much tougher NL Central. But don’t be a hater. The
Tigers, along with the Red Sox and the Tribe, are clearly the class of
“The proud state of Missouri will host not just one but two teams who
not only set new records for divisional futility but who also manage to
lead their leagues in losses. That’s right, the Cardinals and Royals
will end the season with identical losing records and in a tie for last
place in baseball. You heard it here first.”
Like I have had to say before, Wrong, Wrong, and WRONG. Going into this evening, the Cardinals team ERA was second in MLB at 1.83 while the Royals’ were fourth overall at 2.67. Do you know what Jason Grilli’s ERA is, Mr. Krause? I’ll tell ya: 20.25! Get this guy in the game, Jimmy! My lord, hitters have to take washrags with them to the plate to clean up all the drool. Oh, and did you see that game last night where the Sox destroyed Verlander and scored 13 runs? I guess pointing out that the Kitty-Cats haven’t won a game yet this season (even the Giants have won a game!) would be pouring salt in your wounds. Look, I know it’s early, and on paper they should be awesome, but right now, they’re awful. And it can be quite challenging to crawl out from a ditch as big as the Tigers have dug. I’m just sayin’…
As to what division is the strongest, most competitive, must-watch division… I meant it as a trick question. I know you so well that I knew you would respond with some dumb denunciation of all things NOT the AL Central. Come on, Al. Do you honestly believe what you said? The Padres/Dodgers/Dbacks/Rockies aren’t interesting to you? The Mets/Braves/Phillies aren’t dramatic enough for you? The Cards/Cubs/Brewers/Reds/Astros aren’t competitive enough for you? Sure sounds a lot better than gay porn to me. What about the M’s/Angels/A’s race? Quintessential Yankees/Red Sox? Get a grip, pal! Look at all these great divisions! I can’t find even one that won’t be interesting… and if your unabashed abhorrence for the AL East is so strong that it prevents you from recognizing the inherent drama, tension, beauty of this glorious game, then you are too far gone to be saved — even by me.
You might as well be a Cub fan.
And though I know this is going to be very difficult for you, please don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.