Jarrod Washburn is the reason for this blog. He played in Seattle. I live in Seattle. Seattle is where Mariners fans live. I have friends who are Mariners fans. Washburn got traded to Detroit. I used to live in Detroit. I don’t live there anymore. But I’m still a Tigers fan. As I have friends who are Mariners fans and me being a Tigers fan, I knew there would be some interesting discussions.
Trades are a funny thing. As fans, we speculate and speculate some more about what could happen, who could go where, what would it mean, how will he look in his new jersey, and will it really help the team out. Then, like an eye of a hurricane, everything slows down. Days go by with barely a peep of excitement. You start to wonder whether or not something is going to happen. You climb into bed at night starting to believe that the winds of change have died down and the trade storm is over. And then, BOOM. It happens.
My Washburn trade story is probably quite different than yours. About two weeks ago, I was chatting with KeiferNandez over at General Disdain and said to him “Hey, I’ve been hearing Washburn to Detroit rumors now. Wonder if it will happen…” I thought about it quite a bit, waited for the big move to happen, and…nothing. Meanwhile, the M’s were busy making trades for Ian Snell and Jack Wilson, thusly diminishing my hopes for anything to get done with Washburn. (In case you are scoring at home, I suggested to keifer that the trade would be Washburn for Jeff Larish and a pitching prospect.)
Anyways, my Friday started pretty much like any other Friday doesn’t start. I got out of bed late, took a shower, got dressed and jumped in my truck, on my way to meet up with the convoy headed to keifer’s bachelor party. My phone goes off with a text from keifer: “Washburn to Tigers a done deal.” Whoa. Honestly, I was too tired to get excited, plus I thought I was running late. But as I was driving the excitement set in. “A quality starter for the rotation.” “A lefthander.” “Playoff run?” Yes, I got way ahead of myself. But I was excited. It was a trade for something other than cash (I’m looking at you Josh Anderson. I won’t ever live down proclaiming how awesome you were earlier this season at Safeco Field.) Anyways, I was super pumped about the deal and began the mad scramble to figure out who we gave up. Needless to say, my excitement grew when I found out it was Luke French and Mauricio Robles. Yea, I was a little bummed to lose a quality rookie like French, but to get Washburn? Absolutely.
It only took about 15 minutes in the car to get going on Washburn. I was pumped. But to my surprise, there wasn’t a whole lot of discussion about it. Keifer was pretty “meh” about the whole thing, and granted, I probably should have been too. Washburn has been great this season. But not spectacular. His record at the time was a not-too-shabby 8-6 (more on this later.) Top five ERA in the AL. But despite all of that, talking to keifer made me less confident about the whole thing. Now, I’m not saying that’s what he was trying to do, but facts are facts: I was less pumped about the whole thing as I started thinking about it more. It could have been because I’m pretty sure Washburn is a half-season rental. It also could have been because of the fact that, only recently, had Washburn been pitching REALLY well. In the end, I don’t really know what it was, but the convo died and moved on to the Snell acquisition, and I was completely fine with that.
As the weekend wore on, I felt like I was a little bit hard on Washburn. Heck, I hadn’t even given him a shot on the mound yet to start getting skeptical. So, by the end of the bachelor weekend, I was back to being pumped up, and ready to start moving towards the inevitable playoff run that Washburn would drive us towards. Three guys in the rotation with some of the best ERA’s in the AL will do that to you.
And then tonight happened. Washburn got blowed up to the tune of six runs and six hits over 5 1/3 innings, giving up two homers in the process. I found myself staring at the banner of this site throughout most of, harkening back to when I loudly proclaimed that the D-Train was taking us all the way. Whoops. Look, I’m not saying Washburn is heading down the same road as Dontrelle. Far from it, actually. But this start didn’t fill me with confidence, and I guarantee you I’m not the only one in Motown feeling that way. But I still believe everything will be OK. After the game, Jarrod said he” really wanted to make a good impression and get off on the right foot.” Yes, that was a big FAIL. But I’m willing to give the guy another chance. It’s tough enough to get traded over halfway through the season. It’s even tougher to get traded to a division leading team that’s in the thick of a division race and you are expected to be the push that gets them over the hill. JW had alot on his plate tonight, and he gacked it up. It happens. I’m confident he’ll bounce back and do the right thing on his next trip to the mound.
If he doesn’t? Well, it’ll be more sleepless nights for this Tigers fan out here in Seattle.