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Tigers Top Royals With Three Long Balls

Talk about some crazy weather.  This Saturday game was started in 29 degree weather.  I’ve played softball in weather that cold and it’s not fun and I feel for these guys.  Especially the first baseman who has to take those throws.

Anyway, the Tigers got the job earlier this afternoon.  Curtis Granderson, Ivan Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield all went yard and it was Shefs’ first homer in a Tiger uniform.  Curtis Granderson had a particularly good game.  He went two for three with the homerun, a walk, two RBIs and two runs.  Just as important, he didn’t strike out so he’s averaging one strikeout a game through the first four.  Could be better, but he’s also drawn two walks and he’s hitting .375.  Yeah, it’s a small sample size so we’ll see how he’s doing at the end of the month.

Mike Maroth picked up the win despite a so so start.  He gave up four runs on six hits and a walk with three strikouts.  Joel Zumaya pitched two shutout frames and Todd Jones pitched a perfect ninth and he picked up his second save of the season.

It’s Jeremy Bonderman in the rubber game tomorrow and he’ll face Brandon Duckworth.  Have a great Easter.

Jose Mesa Hit Hard, Takes Lose in Series Opener Against Royals

I knew the Jose Mesa signing would come back to haunt us.  And to answer Dan’s question, he was put out there because we signed him.  I know that’s going to appease you, but what I’m hoping is, he gets a couple more quick relief outings, he blows them all, and we just cut bait.  I never understood why we signed the guy and I don’t know why he’s here.

Take today as an example.  He gave up the go ahead run along with one more and he got just a single batter out.  Wil Ledezma picked him up and got out of the jam he started but the end result was a solid start by Justin Verlander just went to waste.

The lone Tiger run came in the second when Craig Monroe drove home Carlos Guillen with a sac. fly.  Monroe also doubled and he was probably the hitting star of the game.

Mike Maroth will get the start tomorrow against the Royals “ace” in Gil Meche.  It’s in the afternoon and hopefully it’ll be a little warmer for the guys.

Snow Out?

It’s snowing pretty good at least up where I’m at.  I wonder if they’re going to get today’s game in.


The game is postponed. Looks like they’ll play it September 10th.  So Justin Verlander will get his first start in Kansas City tomorrow.  Sounds like it’s going to be just as cold there.

Tigers Lose in Ten

The Tigers lost their home opener today in ten innings to the Blue Jays.  Jeremy Bonderman got into some major trouble in the first inning and gave up three runs before calming down.  He then went on to throw five shutout innings to get the Tigers back into the game.  Gary Sheffield hit two sac. flies and the other run scored on one of Placido Polanco’s three singles.

The game went into extra frames tied 3-3 until Fernando Rodney got into trouble.  He got Reed Johnson to ground out but then the trouble began.  He gave up a single then he walked Vernon Wells before he hit Frank Thomas to load the bases up.  A single and a squeeze play later and the Jays had a 5-3 lead, which would stand.

Curtis Granderson also had a decent day at the plate.  He went two for five with a run and only one strikeout.  Joel Zumaya walked two but he didn’t give up a hit in two scoreless frames while Todd Jones pitched a scoreless ninth.

It’ll be Nate Robertson on Wednesday.  I was thinking about trying to make it down on Thursday but it’s not going to happen.  On top of that, it’s supposed to really cool down and not even get up to 40.

Curtis Granderson Moves Blog to

Curtis Granderson has moved his blog over to ESPN.  Here’s his first post.

Game Time

It’s 1:01, the first pitch is coming up, and oh yeah, the Tigers are the defending AL Champs.  As a Tiger fan, have you ever been more excited about an upcoming season?

Ivan Rodriguez Hammers Blue Jays Pitching

I picked this up from the Tigers Press Pass, but Ivan Rodriguez is particularly good against the Blue Jays.  In his career, he’s 142 for 447 (.318) with 17 homeruns, 68 runs scored and 74 RBIs in 115.  He’s also doubled 33 times, which is more doubles then any other active player has against the Blue Jays.  He’s also ten of eighteen with two homeruns against Blue Jays’ ace Roy Halladay.  Unfortunately, Pudge is the only Tiger starter today who’s hit more then .250 against Halladay.

Tigers Top Prospect

Tigers Minors finished up his series on the top ten Tigers prospects yesterday.  No surprise as to number one.  It was interesting reading the profiles especially when I saw the players’ names pop this spring, like Gorkys Hernandez.  The Tigers minor league affiliates have their opening day on Thursday.

Kenny Rogers’ Injury

Here’s a pretty complete analysis of Kenny Rogers DL stint at the Baseball Injury Report.

Mike Rabelo Profile

Here’s a look at the Tigers new backup catcher, Mike Rabelo.  It’s another great column by Jason Beck.

2007 Season Predictions

Alright, here’s where I get to make a fool out of myself.  Predicting what will happen in a 162 game season and then three series of playoffs is just about impossible.  I’m up for the challenge though, so here are my thoughts on the upcoming season.

AL East – New York Yankees – I just think they’re better then the Red Sox.  They’re deeper and I think A-Rod is going to have one of those years.  I also think the Rocket ends up in New York, and that will give them the boost they need.

AL Central – Chicago White Sox – This is probably my most contrarian pick since a lot of people have the White Sox third or fourth.  I see the rotation bouncing back and I also don’t think the Indians are as good as people think they’ll be.  The Tigers will give them a run, but fall just short this year.

AL West – LA Angels of Anaheim – You have one of the best pitching staffs and they have some punch to go with it all.  The A’s and even the Rangers should make this an interesting race but the Angels come out on top in the end.

AL Wild Card – Boston Red Sox – You’ve got two of the best hitters in the game, some great support and a top notch pitching staff.  The pen is suspect but the offense will see them through more games then the bullpen will blow.

NL East – Philadelphia Phillies – This was a tough one.  The Phillies have the pitching though, so I give them the edge.  The Mets will be right there and should make this a fun division race.

NL Central – St. Louis Cardinals – You’ve got the best hitter and one of the best pitchers in the league playing with the Cardinals and they have some other guys who can more then hold their weight.  This is close and I like the Brewers, but I think they’re the team of the future in this division.  The Cardinals will take one more this year though.

NL West – LA Dodgers – The offense is suspect but they have one of the deepest pitching staffs.  Chad Billingsley, who would start for several teams in the majors right now, is coming out of the pen and you have Jason Schmidt ancoring a solid rotation.  They’ll score enough runs to win the division, but just enough.

NL Wild Card – New York Mets – If they come in second to the Phillies, they may still be the second best team in the NL.  I know that goes out the window come playoffs so just getting there will go a long way.

World Series – Yankees over the Dodgers – A classic matchup but the Yankees hitting is just too much even for the Dodgers pitching staff.  Yankees in six games.

American League MVP – Alex Rodriguez – I think he’ll come close to hitting 50 homeruns this year, with the RBIs that go with them.

American League Cy Young – Johan Santana – Duh

American League ROY – Alex Gordon, just because Dice K won’t get some votes from the people who don’t believe he’s a rookie despite the rules.

National League MVP – Albert Pujols – Duh

National League Cy Young – Jake Peavy – Comes close to 300 strikeouts this year in a season where he puts it all together.

National League ROY – Chris Young – The Diamondbacks centerfielder will have a tough time beating out a solid NL rookie class, but a 20/20 season will garner him the award.

As far as the Tigers, I’m saying 91 wins.  Jeremy Bonderman will be the best pitcher and Gary Sheffield the best hitter.  I know I don’t have them making the playoffs but they’ll be playing meaningful ball into September and they’ll be right back in there in 2008 as the favorites.

So there it is.  The Mets and Cardinals are close to starting up.  Baseball is here folks.  Enjoy.

Tigers Sign Roger Clemens to Replace Injured Kenny Rogers

Now this came out of nowhere and man is this huge.  With Kenny Rogers looking to miss at least three months of the season, the Tigers acted quickly to replace him in the rotation by signing sure thing Hall of Famer Roger Clemens to a one year, $22 million deal.  I guess Clemens figured, why play for the Yankees when you can play for the team that beat the Yankees in the playoffs.  On top of that, the Tigers threw a bunch of money at him and if the Tigers weren’t favorites before, they’re definitely at the top now.  I haven’t heard whether there’s any weird travel clauses in his deal like Clemens had in Houston but regardless, the Tigers rotation just got much more solid.

Last year, Clemens made three or four minor league starts so Chad Durbin will probably fill in for a couple of weeks until Clemens can get back into the swing of things.  Late April at the latest before we see him in a Tiger uniform.  And how cool is it that Clemens might be going for win number 350 in Comerica Park.

This is definitely a historic day in Tiger history.  Mark your calendar.  Better yet, check your calendar.  What day is it?

Tigers Tie Yankees in Final Spring Game

As far as the Tigers are concerned, the spring season is officially over.  They wrapped things up with a 3-3 tie in which most of the regulars were gone by the third inning and all of the scoring for both sides was done by the fourth.  Mike Maroth had a not so great outing in which he gave up three runs on seven hits in four innings.  The good news was, he walked none and struck out four, but that’s a lot of hits.

Wilking Ramirez provided most of the offense for the Tigers.  He singled and drove in two.  All six Tiger hits were single and nobody had more then one.

Next time the Tigers play, it’s for real.  The home opener is Monday at 1 pm.  I have my fantasy baseball draft tomorrow and that should get me fired up for ESPN’s opening night, which will be the Cardinals against the Mets.  And sometime tomorrow night I’ll work up some predictions for the upcoming season.  Real baseball is here, finally.

Vance Wilson Goes on the Disabled List

I completely missed this yesterday, but Vance Wilson joins Kenny Rogers on the disabled list with a sore right elbow.  Fortunately there’s no structural damage but it hasn’t healed like the backup catcher thought it would so he’ll miss the first couple of weeks of the season.  Mike Rabelo will take his place.  He had decent season in 2006, splitting time between Erie and Toledo and he had a left up on the competition because he was with the team last September.   He’s hardly a top prospect though and he didn’t even make John Sickels Top 30 list.

Tigers Extend Carlos Guillen’s Contract by Four Years, Kenny Rogers Out for Three Months

Man, we take our son to the mall for dinner and some play and all hell breaks loose.  While I was gone, the Tigers inked Carlos Guillen for four more years and for $48 million.  This is about what I expected as Guillen has turned himself into one of the top shortstops in baseball with some very solid seasons since joining the Tigers.  I think the first two years of this deal will be good but the last too might not.  Then again, I never thought Ivan Rodriguez would play out his four year deal, so we’ll wait and see.  And it wouldn’t surprise me if at least one or two of these years are played as a firstbaseman, which tempers the deal a bit.

That blood clot seemed pretty serious.   Kenny Rogers will miss three months but the good news is, it looks like Rogers is okay.  So it looks like the Tigers face one of their toughest challenges of the season before the first pitch is even thrown and it means, the other four guys will have to step up that much more.

In the meantime, the Tigers took it to the Yankees in their next to last game of the spring season.  Justin Verlander threw five shutout frames while Carlos Guillen had two hits and an RBI.  They wrap things up tomorrow against the Yankees in Tampa.

Will Carroll on Kenny Rogers

Will Carroll is reporting (based on a Free Press report) that the problem with Kenny Rogers arm is now a blood clot.  There’s still not a lot of details (like whether the clot is actually in his arm or not) so it’s hard to come to a guess as to how soon Rogers will be back.


I’m watching the game on ESPN and they said Kenny Rogers had surgery to repair the blood clot and he might not be back for three months.  Ouch.  They also mentioned Andrew Miller as a potential replacement.  My thought is they give Chad Durbin a few starts to see if he can fill in okay.  If not, then they have to cut bait pretty quickly and go with someone else, whether it’s a hot hand in Toledo or pushing Miller up.

The Tigers’ Chances

Baseball Prospectus recently updated their Postseason Odds report, which is a lot of fun, to reflect their PECOTA projections.  The Tigers come in at third place in the AL Central but they have a great then 31% chance of making the playoffs.  One in three doesn’t sound all that great but it’s better then the less then 5% we’re used to getting.  And then considering I think the Twins are set to take a fall, that should make out chances even better.

The project the Yankees as having the best chance of making the playoffs in the AL with a 54.2% chance.  Over in the National League, no team has a great then 43% chance of making the playoffs.

Chad Durbin Pitches Tigers to Spring Win Over Astros

Chad Durbin put up some nice numbers today in his final start of the spring.  He threw 5 2/3 shutout innings and gave up five hits and two walks with two strikeouts.  Of course he’ll be taking over for Kenny Rogers as we figure out what’s wrong with him.  Fernando Rodney gave up the only Astros run in the seventh and Todd Jones closed things out with a shutout ninth.

Brandon Inge had the big hit of the game.  His three run, bases loaded clearing double in the second inning was all the Tigers managed, but it was good enough for the win.

The Tigers close out their spring season with two straight against the Yankees.  Tomorrow’s game will be on ESPN.

I was checking out the Tigers schedule and I like their first two and a half weeks.  They open against what should be a tough Blue Jays team but then nine of their next thirteen games are against the Orioles and Royals.  They do have that quick ten game road trip right after their opening series but you have to like going up against some of those softer teams.  Of course the four games in between there is a road trip to Toronto so it looks like we’ll be done with one of our former rivals before the middle of the month.

Maxim St. Pierre on the Move Again

Not sure why I think this is newsworthy but he’s a former Tiger farmhand with one of the coolest names around.  Former Tiger minor league catcher Maxim St. Pierre was picked up by the Royals this past off season, and now they’ve shipped him to the Brewers for Ben Hendrickson.  Pierre is now 26 never hit much and there’s not a big surprise that he never caught on.  The last time he was even on the radar was prior to the 2004 season when he made it into John Sickels Prospect Book.  Even back then he had a C rating.

Ugueth Urbina Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison

Sometime, reality can be stranger then fiction.  Ugueth Urbina, who’s mom was kidnapped and ultimately released a couple of years back, is now going to serve 14 years in a Venezuelan prison for attempted murder.  This has been in the works for about a year and a half now.  At the time, I didn’t like the Polanco for Urbina trade.  Chalk it up as one more time I’m wrong.

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