Tag Archives: Twins

Meltdown for the Ages.

meltdown:

1. Severe overheating of a nuclear reactor core, resulting in melting of the core and escape of radiation.

2. Informal A disastrous or rapidly developing situation likened to the melting of a nuclear reactor core

3. Informal An emotional breakdown

Chernobyl_Disaster

Chernobyl

Carter_leaving_Three_Mile_Island

Three Mile Island

tigerslose

2009 Detroit Tigers

Heartbroken.

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Get it Done.

There’s nothing more to say. It’s been a crazy weekend, with all kinds of drama, but none of that matters now. All that matters is a win. So get it done Tigers!

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LET’S GO TIGERS!

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Filed under Let the Freak Out Begin

One More Time

sparky_anderson

“You’re out on the town, safe in the crowd
Ready to go for the ride
Searching the eyes, looking for clues
Theres no way you can hide
The fire inside”

-Bob Seger, “The Fire Inside”

It’s fitting that Nate Robertson gets the start for the Tigers today. With the the Tigers’ first division title in 22 years hanging in the balance, we hand the ball to a guy who, at the beginning of this season, pretty much said if he wasn’t starting, didn’t want to be here. Yet, here we are, four games to go, and Robertson is getting the nod. Shows what happens when you buy into something, eh Nate?

This Tiger team may be the greatest metaphor that the city of Detroit has ever seen. A down-and-out group during the preseason who hardly anyone gave a chance to do much of anything. A division title? Forget it. It won’t happen. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Detroit as a city rebounding? No way. It’s over.

Is it?

This city has long held the Tigers close, despite being treated to a number of terrible seasons where hope seemed to run out on Day One of the season. Sure, attendance dropped and money was lost, but the one thing that always stayed constant was the love of a team that most closely resembles the state of the city as a whole. Some will argue that the Lions are a more fitting metaphor: a bunch of losers with no way out and no hope of ever bouncing back. Yet, the Lions did get that first win last week, and although I don’t follow the team that closely, it was a great moment and a step in the right direction. Some will argue that the Red Wings are the face of the city. I disagree. The Red Wings are kings of the city, expected to succeed, and when they don’t, everyone is surprised. They are the gold standard that the city itself hopes to one day achieve. They are the success story that every true Detroiter wishes its city would become.

No, the city itself most closely aligns itself to the Tigers, a group who are constantly up and down and who you are never quite sure will actually pull it off or hang on to do something great. But it’s their character that connects us to them. Their love of what they do, the support that they give the city, the hope that they provide for the downtrodden. They are the great success story of Detroit, and they can put their seal of authenticity on their great tale today.

No, a win today is not a World Series victory, but it doesn’t need to be right now. The World Series experience in 2006 was a glorious and golden moment for this organization, but if you asked any Tigers fan about it, nine times out of ten you heard “This is great, but it sure would have been nice to win the Division.” I was one of those fans. In true “assembly line” fashion, the road to a championship needs all of the parts, and one of those is the satisfaction of grinding out 162 games and finishing what you started. All of those spring and summer matchups against “fill in the blank” that “didn’t mean anything”, well, those now mean a whole lot. Every game this team played this year means something now. Every hit, every run. It was all for the chance this team has today.

It’s fitting that in the year the Tigers are one step short of the division mountaintop, they also lost one of the great symbols of Tiger baseball. In 1987, the old stadium would have been rocking and rolling as the boys of summer put on the long sleeves and brought home the division. Today, it’s a new stadium that holds the opportunity, one that is yearning for a legacy of it’s own. It’s already been host to a pennant win and a World Series appearance, but now it’s time for the new park to wear a division crown. Since Tiger history never seems to fade away, it would be a fitting tribute to the ol’ ball park that used to live at Michigan and Trumbull if the Tigers win the division in the year that it died.

There are so many ways in which a win today would impact this city and this organization. I could sit here and list them for days. The truth is that for each of us, this means something unique. For me, it’s the vindication of growing up a diehard Tigers fan and thinking that I would never ever see this team win the division and make the playoffs. Sure, I’ve seen them in the playoffs. But that division win has been oh so elusive.

It’s in their grasp today. Pardon the pun, but can they finally “grab the Tiger by the tail?” I sure hope so.

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Counter-Punch

maggshit

(Photo courtesy of Julian H. Gonzalez/DFP)

Well, after the Game 1 tirade, things turned around on the nightcap and the Tigers held on to a 6-5 win with a kung-fu grip. In true Tiger fashion, this one wasn’t in the bag until the last fly ball landed in Raburn’s glove, but a win is a motherf****n win and I don’t care how we get them at this point.

Hat tip to Miggy (solo homer), Maggs (2 RBI), Inge (2 RBI), Grandy (Solo homer, even though he gave the run back on a badly played fly to center) and Fernando (clutch save).

A BIG “We’re not worthy” to Verlander, who ended up pitching eight innings deep to the tune of something like 398,271 pitches.

The only number that matters now is FOUR.

Hunker down, Tigers. Stay hungry.

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An Overreaction to the Game 1 Loss

Tigstwinsgame1

(Photo courtesy of Julian H. Gonzalez/DFP)

This morning at the gym I couldn’t help but be captivated by the sight of the jubilant Los Angeles Orange County Angels of Anaheim and Surrounding Neighborhoods and Communities celebrate their AL West championship last night. The champagne, the beer, the jumping around. It looked like alot of fun.

Of course, the next clip just HAD to be a preview for the Tigers-Twins series that got cranked up this morning following a rain delay last night. My excitement quickly turned to nervousness and then to jealousy, as I wanted to watch MY team jump around and pour booze all over each other and watch as Leyland smokes 16 packs of Marbs in celebration.

That’s when the sinking feeling started crawling in. That’s where this blog gets its name. It’s that feeling that keeps you awake at night and you spend the rest of the day trying to shake it off and pretend like it’s not there. It gets in your ear and tells you to stop pretending, you won’t be good enough to win this series. You try to flick it away with a shrug, but it’s always right there. Telling you that those pinstriped jackasses from Minneapolis are about to swipe another division from right under your nose. Now you’re getting frustrated, and you just want the game to start so you can prove that feeling wrong. So you yell and cheer and get pumped up for your team and the belief starts to get stronger and that nagging in your ear gets quieter.

And then you jump out to an early lead and now you are ready to start telling that whisper in your ear to “shove it” because we came to play today and we are taking this division tomorrow night. And the feeling is quiet. And the innings drag on. And you are still confident because, guess what, you are playing just as good (if not better) than the other guys, and it’s YOUR team’s time to win a division, and nothing will stop them.

Then the game is tied. But that’s OK, we’ll get through it. And we do. On defense.

The offense is a nightmare though, and you can swear that you hear the entire Twins nation laughing at how incompetent your team’s batters are, as their pitcher sits down hitter after hitter. Meanwhile, your team is dodging bullets just to stay alive and it feels like they are losing control of the situation. but just when it looks like it’s all going to come crashing down, Nick Punto “puntos” a sac bunt and the DP is turned and now, NOW it’s time for us to step up and fulfill our season of destiny.

We get a runner on. now the excitement builds. That voice of negativity is awful quiet at this point.

And then, of course, the rest of the lineup lets you down. From cloud nine back to earth, but that’s OK, because we are still in this and wrestling control back.

And then Brandon Lyon happens.

BRANDON F**KING LYON HAPPENS.

Two, not one, TWO wild pitches that put the go-ahead run on third and a single later put the Twinkies up 2-1. A sac fly later and it’s now 3-1 and all of a sudden that feeling is back, telling you that it’s your team’s destiny to fail down the stretch, just like they did in 2006 and just like they will do this year. And you IM your friend and say how much this sucks and “watch, Grandy will probably homer just to give me a sense of false hope here” and sure enough, Grandy pops one out of the park, but all you can do is curse under your breath because you know that it was just a flash in the pan and nothing more.

One.

Two.

Three.

And just like that it’s now ONE with SIX to go.

Get it together Tigers. We’ve already done this once with you in the last five years, so why don’t you just man up and win the damn division already? Because I’m sick of hearing about the “CHOKE” and the “CHOKE” that’s about to happen this year. Prove ‘em all wrong, eh? Whaddya say boys? How bad do you want it?

************

Game 2 is in 3 hours and 10 minutes. Let’s hope the post following the game is a little “happier” than this one.

LET’S GO TIGERS!!!

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Filed under Argh!, This is a rant

Mail Time! (Sorta.)

mailcat

In an effort to become more “in touch” with the community that follow along here at SIM, I have decided to go ahead and start up the ol’ mailbag feature, where you, the readers, send in questions about anything at all, and I answer them in a slightly amusing, yet informative way. There will be no set timeframe for when I will answer these questions, but if it’s important to me, then it will get answered more quickly than someone who wants to know “Why is the sky blue?” or “Is Greg Robinson’s hair real?” (The answer is yes…for both.)

For today’s inaugural edition, it’ll be all questions that I have been asked in person or via twitter (@chollis), as opposed to the e-mail stuff. However, if YOU have a question you want me to ponder and subsequently address, shoot me an e-mail at sleeplessinmichigan@gmail.com. Now then, on to your questions.

Chris,

What do you think about Hossa/Kopecky/Samuelsson/Conklin/Hudler all leaving the Red Wings this off season? Who’s the biggest surprise in your mind?

-Steve

Seattle, WA

If you’re surprised about this being the first question, you obviously don’t A) read the blog enough or B) follow Detroit sports. The Red Wings off season has been dissected more carefully than a frog in a freshman biology class. Opinions range from “extreme anger” to “they deserve this” to “they could lose everyone except Zetterberg and Franzen and STILL win the Cup.”

I’d say I am somewhere in the middle. I never had any doubt that Tomas Kopecky  and Mikael Samuelsson were out the door. Initially, I really thought we would keep Ty Conklin, but as the numbers situation kept developing, it quickly became obvious that we had nowhere to stash both him and Jimmy Howard, so losing Conks isn’t a huge surprise in the end. Which leaves us with the two head-cases: Marian Hossa and Jiri Hudler.

marian-hossa jiri-hudler-26

Quite frankly, we should have seen this coming with Hossa. He’s been a mercenary pretty much his whole career, and with the Wings inking Zetterberg and Franzen to long term deals, the writing was pretty much on the wall for Hossa. Except he started talking about wanting to stay. And we got greedy. Then, like a bad one night stand, Hossa rolled to our division rival, and the media claimed we were taking the “walk of shame.” Spare me.

Look, I can admit guilt and say I wanted Hossa to stay around. But as this mess dragged on, I quickly lost respect for him and realized that he wasn’t sticking around. Ken Holland and the Wings organ-i-zation did everything they could to keep him, and he just wasn’t willing to take the hometown discount. So be it. Happy trails.

Now, about Hudler…

MC,

Hudler? WTF?

David P.

Westland, MI

Look, WTF is right. Yes, I said I thought he was gone when the season ended, but that was under the assumption that we would get Hossa to stay. When Hossa jumped ship, Hudler seemed to be a pretty sure bet to stick around. Then Sammy bolted, and Hudler looked even better. Next thing ya know, we have arbitration on our hands. OK, it could be worse. Then, BOOM! Here comes the KHL throwing around boatloads of tax free money to a kid like Hudler, and he is outtie 5000. But before Wings fans can even be pissed, the NHL and USA Hockey are claiming foul and a hearing is in the works with the IIHF. Meanwhile, the Wings can’t sign any free agents because we still have to go to arbitration with Huds to determine his future contract, since he is still our property, plus the stink the NHL and USA Hockey are raising could wind up bringing “Happy” back this season. A bonafide “Hockey Cold War” is underway and the Wings are stuck watching the free agent market deplete.

To get to the point: let Hudler go. He wants the jingle, so let him make his jingle. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If a guy doesn’t want to be here, show him the door. We have so much talent waiting in line, and I guarantee you those guys will work for every friggin’ inch on the ice. Get Hudler out of town, sign a free agent like Mike Grier or P.J. Axelsson and get back to work.

Chris,

Are the Tigers the real deal this season? Is this the year we finally win the division? And what do you think our chances are of doing some damage in the playoffs (if we make it)?

Ace

Toledo, OH

So we are at the All Star break and are hanging on to a 3.5 game lead in the division right now. 75 games to play. I’m not convinced we win the division.

The Tigers have the talent to do it this year, and they very well may take the Central, but they have been plagued by inconsistency this entire season. Some nights, this team looks like world beaters. Other nights, they couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag. I think the starting pitching gives them a shot to win on any given night (except Armando Galarraga, who is so up and down that I am getting whiplash), but the bats still aren’t instilling alot of confidence in me. Here’s the good thing, though: Leyland has had plenty of time to get a good look at some of the younger guys, and he knows he has options as we head into the division race.

As far as the division goes, it’s all about who gets hot at the right time. The White Sox made a steady push heading into the break and we know the Twins will be lurking the entire rest of the season. But is it ours to take? Absolutely. Solid pitching and some consistent hitting should give us as good a chance as anyone else at winning the Central.

As far as the playoffs go, I think it’s too early to tell. If they started today, I don’t know that we make it out of the ALDS. The Red Sox, Yankees and Angels could all easily take us down, and the aforementioned inconsistent play would do us no favors. That said, there are 75 games to go and alot could happen. Let’s see how the division shakes out first.

Let’s wrap it up on a fun note…

Dude,

Worse GM: Glen Sather or Dale Tallon?

J

Scoreless tie.

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Series Wrap-Up: A’s – Get it out of your system, boys.

43-35, 1st in AL Central (3.0 GU on MIN, CHI)

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(Photo courtesy of Anda Chu/MCT)

Well, the struggles on the road continued for the boys from Motown, dropping 2 of 3 to the AL West bottom-dwelling Oakland A’s this week. The Tigers struggled to find their offense, just like they have on the road much of this season, and subsequently lost yet another series away from Comerica Park.

However, the boys have had an off day to clear their heads and find their focus, as a HUGE matchup with the Minnesota Twins starts tonight. Currently, the Tigers hold a three game lead over the Twins and the surging White Sox, so it’s needless to say that this series holds some importance. This will be a great test for the Tigers, though. Even though they are in first place, there are many fans and experts alike that are questioning whether this team has what it takes to be relevant in the playoffs. And while we are still half a season away from the playoffs, tonight should give us a good look at how the Tigers will handle the pressure of a meaningful road series. It will surely be an uphill battle for Detroit, especially in tonight’s game, where rookie Luke French will make his first career start against Twins ace Kevin Slowey. How the boys handle the pressure of protecting a division lead on the heels of a rough road trip will be must watch TV, and you can bet I will be tuned in.

Honestly, I could sit here and go on and on about where the Tigers are struggling and what it’s going to take to win this series against Minnesota, but what’s the point? We know the deck we are playing with and we know what we have to do to get it done. Now it’s all about the execution.

I hope you got all of the road woes out of your system, boys. It’s time to bring it.

On Deck: Minnesota Twins

  • Record: 41-39 (3rd in AL Central, 3.0 GB of Detroit)

littlebigleague

Friday, July 3

  • Tigers – Luke French (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 SO)
  • Twins – Kevin Slowey (10-3, 4.41 ERA, 71 SO)

Saturday, July 4

  • Tigers – Edwin Jackson (6-4, 2.49 ERA, 84 SO)
  • Twins – Francisco Liriano (4-8, 5.62 ERA, 80 SO)

Sunday, July 5

  • Tigers – Rick Porcello (8-5, 3.90 ERA, 44 SO)
  • Twins – Nick Blackburn (6-4, 3.10 ERA, 45 SO)

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