We’ve all had those kind of relationships where we really like the person, we’re really comfortable with them and we have so many memories of the good times together that it’s nearly impossible to say goodbye. It’s not that you no longer like them, it’s just that it’s not there anymore. Well, that’s kind of what happened last week between the Tigers and Brandon Inge.
We’ve known that something was off with the relationship the last couple years. It just didn’t feel as fresh and fulfilling as it used to. Sure, we convinced ourselves that the old magic was still there, hiding someplace. And every once in awhile that spark would rekindle something and we’d see flashes of what used to be there. It’s like that magical vacation you take to try and find what used to be there and for a week or so, you rediscover it briefly. But, just like in real life, things soon return to normal and you slowly begin to accept what has to happen.
The thing is, it’s hard to leave a relationship like that, especially when you’ve had so many truly terrible relationships previously. Dontrelle Willis? Mike Maroth? Those two were like the alcoholic chick you picked up at the bar who decided to leave a toothbrush behind the first night and then just refused to leave. But Inge? He was more than a relationship. Even your parents liked him. He played multiple roles and he always seemed to step up and do what was asked of him. He was a metaphor for everything that had happened over the previous five seasons.
But whether the relationship is certifiably insane or has just run its course, the end result is the same. You gotta get out. I’m not saying that makes it any easier. Even though I know dropping Inge was the right choice, it’s not like I can just forget him. I’ll probably still check his facebook and occasionally look at the photos we took together. Luckily, it’s not like we’re left all alone. There’s a new crush who has caught my eye and he’s a real Prince.
April counts, yo! And here are some reasons why, after just one month into the season, I’m as jazzed as Mitt Romney during a temple garment clearance sale!
The Oriole Way
I am old enough to remember the Orioles being a staple of sound, fundamental baseball. And though those days seemed to disappear into Jeffrey Maier’s malicious mitt, it looks like they may be back! Let’s hope they are back to stay.
The AL Central
The Tigers are going to run away with the division you say? Not so fast. I know it’s only been one month, but the White Sox and Indians are right there with ’em, and unless the Tigers start putting a hurtin’ on the opposition instead of Jewish folks at a New York hotel, things could get interesting.
Love him or hate him, he makes things interesting. And oh how interesting things have been for the Boston Red Sox. I LOVE IT!!! The NBA may have all the drama, but when every day could be your last as a Red Sox, I start craving chicken, beer and video games.
The Pujols-less Cardinals
I’m not gonna bask in AP’s struggles, but I am gonna point out that the Cardinals have yet to lose a series (except that one against the Cubs where they were gifted a win by the umpiring crew). Onwards and upwards!
The AL West
Have you seen a Rangers game lately? I’ve been watching them almost every day! THAT’S how ya git’er done, folks. Meanwhile, the Halos are as nervous as Rick Santorum at a Santorum Party! As the Yankees and Red Sox learned before them, a bazillion dollars worth of free agent signings does NOT a champion make.
The Toronto Blue Jays
Not only do their uniforms look right again, but they’re also making the AL East insanely good! If only they could make Colby Rasmus less whiny.
The Youth Movement
I remember the excitement involved with Ken Griffey Jr. breaking into the league. Chipper Jones too. Now that Bryce Harper and Mike Trout have made their debuts, a similar buzz is in the baseball air. Throw in a slew of sophomores and third year players making headlines and baseball looks to be badass for a very long time.
The Year of the Pitcher enters its THIRD year and I couldn’t be more excited! As a self-confessed pitchers duel fiend, I live off serious heat, nasty breaking balls and backdoor sliders. We’ve already seen a perfect game and some no-hitter flirtations. But it’s the heroics of Joe Saunders, Kyle Lohse, Colby Lewis and the like that really get my gears greased.
And finally… the most titillating of them all so far…
ADAM. FREAKING. DUNN.
As a longtime resident of the south side of Chicago, the last thing I wanted to do was waste my summer days talking folks down off the ledge like I did last year. But since it appears Dunn sold his 2011 soul to Albert Pujols, I’m free to party my ass off at the fake B-Dubbs on 35th & Halsted. HOLLA!!! And buy me a drink!
Go ahead, hate me ‘cuz I’m easily titillated, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!
We learned many things from Jim Joyce, Armando Galarraga and the infamous Imperfect Game of June 2, 2010. We learned that throwing beer bottles at the wall may cause significant DAMAGE (to the beer bottle, possibly the wall too). We learned that styling one’s facial hair after the Pringles man cannot disguise MISTAKES. And we also learned that the best way to avoid controversy, is to AVOID controversy.
So when Philip Humber threw that wild 3-2 breaking ball two feet off the plate on Saturday and Brendan Ryan checked his swing, I felt all of the fury, all of the tension, all of the RAGE from the Imperfect Game ALL over again. Except homeplate umpire Brian Runge called it a swing, AJ Pierzynski threw the ball to first and the celebration began.
OH BUT THE CONTROVERSY!!!
In my house, I had a hard time celebrating Humber’s gem because I was already seeing the asterisk-calling headlines, I could already hear Mariners fans (all three of them) flooding the sports talk shows with vitriol. And as Brendan Ryan argued with Runge about the call, I knew it was time for me to go outside to get some fresh air before my phone started to blow up with imperfect texts.
Except… none of the above actually happened. Brendan Ryan dropped the subject. He tipped his cap and moved on. The networks — as if taken over by an Orwellian machine of greater good (a fantasy in itself) — didn’t even show the replays of Ryan’s checked swing. The Wizard said “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” and I — WE ALL — gleefully obliged, even though it sorta felt dirty doing so.
We owe that guilt-stained dirty feeling to Brendan Ryan. In fact, whether it is a good thing or not, Philip Humber’s perfect game will live on unscathed by controversy because Brendan Ryan simply let it go. He shut his mouth. He went about his business. And now we are to forget.
For a guy who was labeled as “a distraction” and a “clubhouse cancer” during his St. Louis Cardinal tenure, it’s nice to see Brendan being recognized for something else. Admittedly, I never would have bet it’d be for saying… nothing.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
I loved Cecil Fielder. He may have been a crappy father but during a period when the “Bless You Boys” had become more of a curse than a prayer, he was a bright spot in an otherwise dull lineup. When his boy came up and then became a star with the Brewers, it was fun to watch but I had a hard time really getting into it because, well, he was a Brewer, not a Tiger. But that has all changed.
I don’t know what Prince will do in a Tigers’ uniform. I hope he’s going to be a monster in the tradition of his father but after the watching the White Sox live the Adam Dunn experience, it’s obvious that these things are far from certain. What I do know, though, is having a Fielder in Detroit just feels right. Welcome back, Prince. I hope that Comerica is a palace to you like Tigers’ Stadium was to your father.
If you follow this blog, you know that I am not a fan of pink baseball caps. I pretty much feel the same way about them that Rick Santorum feels about anything that smacks of fun: it’s a sin. I can get behind pink bats for breast cancer awareness and maybe even pink bases for one day. But people who show up to baseball games wearing pink hats? Nope. That just isn’t appropriate.
I’m not sure what it is about pink hats that annoys me so much. Almost every club has alternate caps that they wear from time to time to switch things up. However, the alternates tend to reflect the official colors of the team. In reality, alternate caps and jerseys are just a way for teams to generate revenue and that’s a brand of capitalism I can get behind. With the pink hats, though, I honestly don’t see how they can be making enough money to make it worthwhile. I’m sorry but a pink Detroit Tigers’ hat is just wrong. Despite my feelings toward the New York Yankees, I still don’t feel right seeing one of their caps in pink either.
But as much as I dislike the unholy spectre of pink baseball hats, it pales in comparison to my feelings for the no-talent asshattery of Brittany Smooch:[youtube http://youtu.be/_n-Qa99CnsY]
Seriously, if I was forced to choose between watching either this video or Two Girls, One Cup on a loop for 24 hours, there’s a good chance I’d ask for rat poison instead.
I love it when the old timers show up at spring training. Decked out in jerseys that don’t fit and pants that would be better off… well, off (and hopefully replaced by something baggy), seeing them throwing BP and shagging flies always gets me to smile.
So when I heard Kenny Rogers was in Tigers camp I quickly browsed the internets for proof. Though I was surprised to see Kenny has taken on the Prince Fielder diet (good grief, don’t ex-baseballers know about portion control???), I was pleased to see that he still has that gruff go-EFF-yerself demeanor.
Too bad I couldn’t find any recent pictures of his left hand. The last time I saw it, it was pissing me off.
I even searched the YouTubes to see if said hand was still up to its dirty tricks and this is what I found:
Bummer. Couldn’t get a good look. Still, the Jack Daniels is a nice touch, especially for a spring training camp that includes Miguel Cabrera.
Hate me. It’s all good. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Image courtesy of Brad Galli)
The run up to summer blockbuster season is a lot like baseball’s offseason. Lots of rumors, lots of movement and everyone talking about who’s going to do what and who will be the winners and losers. Expectations mount as we get closer to the start of the season, as we start seeing all the previews that look great. With both baseball and movies, though, it’s hard to tell what you’re really going to get until opening day.
Not that this will stop me from drooling in anticipation. I mean, come on. The Tigers have Cabrera and Prince at the corners! Sure, that’s an exponentially compounded defensive liability but the prospects at the plate are simply mouthwatering. Kind of like the Alien prequel, Prometheus:[youtube http://youtu.be/NIBiimdaj3A]
And if that isn’t enough to whet your appetite, how about a little brilliance in advertising:[youtube http://youtu.be/S7YK2uKxil8]
Summer 2012. Was there a better time to be alive?