Sitting in a Cave Creek, Ariz., coffee shop waiting for an oil change, enduring the Valley’s slowest Internet connection and delighting in the Tigers’ off-day today.
The break will give me plenty of time to stew about the White Sox series. Is it just me or did you also think that the Tigers had at last vanquished the Sox in 2006? I still have the pale hose’s division-clinching celebration in ’05 seared into my memory.
Of course, a decent showing this weekend would help a lot of things, among them: the Tigers’ record against the Central, their spot in the standings, incite a meltdown from Ozzie Guillen.
- Remember this one? On this date in 2001, the Tigers lost to the Yankees 6-5 in the Bronx. No biggie there. The real story was the eighth-inning rocket by Juan Encarnacion off Ramiro Mendoza that landed in the second row of the empty blue bleacher seats in left center. It is believed to be the first ball hit into that area since Yankee Stadium was remodeled in 1976.
- I’ve been contributing to a new writing project produced by the folks at Baseball-Reference.com and 24-7 Baseball. It’s a daily newsletter called The Baseball Early Bird. I think you’ll enjoy it. Each morning it includes a brief recap of the previous night’s games, some trivia and some historical stuff.
For now, it’s only available at the Web site but soon you’ll be able to have it delivered to your in box every morning. I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s available through email. I’ll be writing Saturday’s issue this week and then every Thursday edition through August. Give it a look-see.
- Joel Zumaya‘s getting lots of ink these days, of the print, digital and tattoo variety. ESPN The Magazine‘s Eric Adelson focuses on Zumaya’s triple-digit heat. In Jeff Passan’s piece on Yahoo! Sports we get some explanation about Zumaya’s tattoo passion (though for me, there can never be enough to explain tattoos; sorry).
And finally, Happy 31st Birthday to former Tiger/current Royal Jason Smith. Smith has seven years in the bigs. I don’t know for sure if he’s pension eligible, though he likely is. One thing we do know for sure: He’s not eligible to invoke the 10/5 rule (in the majors for 10 years, five with the same team) to reject a trade.