The Non Sequiturs: Final Four Edition

basketball hoop.jpgWatching countless commercial breaks and a little Final Four hoops, I thought I’d finger-roll some non sequiturs:

  • There’s no place to put him, unfortunately, but I wish the Tigers could right and old wrong and bring back the now-available Frank Catalanotto.

  • In case you were wondering, with the Opening Day roster set, the Tigers have assigned official uniform numbers to: Ryan Perry, 74; Rick Porcello, 48; Juan Rincon, 59; and Josh Anderson, 13.

  • Speaking of Rincon, talk about a guy who flew under the radar all spring. I’ve got a feeling he could be the most important reliever leading up to late innings.

  • And while we’re talking numbers, my post-Sheff release commentary the other day had a misleading headline. I intended to go off on his wearing of Alan Trammell’s number 3 but got, as you saw, sidetracked. I was never happy about him wearing Tram’s number and I think the Tigers need to be more protective of stars’ numbers.

    No one should be able to wear #3 again, or Lou Whitaker‘s #1, Jack Morris‘s #47, or (sorry, Josh Anderson), Lance Parrish‘s #13. Years ago I read somewhere that clubhouse guy Jim Schmakel is very protective of those 1984 stars’ numbers. I think they should make it a policy, plain and simple. What do you think?

Finally, it wouldn’t be Opening Day — or the baseball season for that matter — without more doggerel from the guys at Bardball.com. Chances are you’ve never seen baseball predictions in haiku, so you’re in for a treat.

Go State.

Blogging Angry

DudeScreaming.jpgMy blogging rule #1 is “Don’t Blog Angry”, but today I can’t help it. Long-time readers of this site know that I’m a big Nate Robertson fan (much to the dismay of my pal Ian). This week, though, my bromance with Nater is on the rocks — if not over, period. He’s not happy to be in the bullpen on Opening Day.

Excuse me? Um, Nate? Do you think the Tigers are happy to have a $7 million long reliever in the pen?

I honestly don’t believe Nate believes things should be handed to him. Still, you have to wonder why — particularly throughout this Spring Training when the Tigers were starving for pitchers — Nate didn’t go Jack Donaghy, act like a lion and take what’s his.

You aren’t one of the Tigers top-five starters, Nate. And right now, you’re probably not even among the top-five relievers. I’m sure Clay Rapada would happily trade places with you in Toronto.

Tigers Eyeing Free-Agent Lefty Beimel

So says Jon Paul Morosi by way of Jason Beck:

Beimel, 31, went 5-1 with a 2.02 ERA in 71 appearances with the Los Angeles Dodgers this year. Left-handers batted .278 against him but had only three extra-base hits, all doubles. Beimel has allowed only one home run over the past two seasons.

If the Tigers sign a lefty, Beimel or whomever, I wonder if it means Bobby Seay or Clay Rapada are shown the door. Would Jim Leyland keep three lefties – not counting wild card Macay McBride – in the bully?

A Look Back at April

WeeklyPlannerPenXSmall.jpgTigers April Record: 13-15

Individual Batting Leaders (minimum 20 games, my totally subjective criteria)

  • Average: Carlos Guillen, .321
  • Home Runs: Miguel Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez, 5
  • RBI: Cabrera/Ordonez, 19
  • OBP: Guillen, .414
  • OPS: Guillen, .938
  • SLG: Guillen, .524
  • SB: Guillen, Pudge Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, 3

Individual Pitching Leaders

  • Wins: Five pitchers tied with two each – Jeremy Bonderman, Armando Galarraga, Aquilino Lopez, Clay Rapada, Kenny Rogers
  • ERA
    • Starter: Galarraga, 1.50
    • Reliever: Rapada, 0.00
  • Saves: Todd Jones, 5
  • Strikeouts
    • Starter: Nate Robertson, 24
    • Reliever: Lopez, 14

Team Rankings

  • Team Batting: .267, fourth in American League (ninth in majors)
  • Team Pitching: 4.88 ERA, 13th in A.L. (28th in majors)
  • Team Fielding: .984, seventh in A.L. (tied for 13th in majors)

And now the random stuff: Tigers Day-by-Day Record

  • Monday: 2-1
  • Tuesday: 3-1
  • Wednesday: 4-1
  • Thursday: 1-3
  • Friday: 2-2
  • Saturday: 1-3
  • Sunday: 0-4

Game 22: Hey Nineteen

ESPN highlights available here.

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The Gist: One night after Tigers’ TV analyst Rod Allen predicted that Detroit would put 20 runs on the board in a game this year, the Tigers got darned close in crushing the Rangers, 19-6. Kenny Rogers was nothing short of dreadful in his 3.1 innings pitched: nine hits, six runs (all earned), three walks and a wild pitch. On the opposite end of the spectrum was winning pitcher Clay Rapada: 1.2 scoreless innings of work, no hits, no walks and two strikeouts. Soon-to-be-erstwhile-first baseman Carlos Guillen went 3 for 4 plus a walk and five RBI. And how about Curtis Granderson? In his season debut he went 2 for 4 with a pair of RBI, three runs scored and two walks.

The Quote: “Our pitchers took a serious beating tonight.” — Rangers manager Ron Washington.

The Stat: 223. The number of pitches thrown by six Rangers pitchers (just slightly more than half of which were strikes) and 77 more than Tigers pitchers. Runner Up Stat: 10. The number of walks allowed by Texas.

Up Next: Rangers at Tigers

Jeremy Bonderman (1-2, 4.37) vs. Scott Feldman* (0-0, 4.50)

*Jason Jennings was scheduled to start on Thursday but, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Rangers blog, it’ll be Feldman.

Game 14: Tigers Borrow Rally Monkey Again

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ESPN highlights available here.

The Gist: Powered by four home runs — solo shots from Gary Sheffield, Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez and a two-run dinger from Miguel Cabrera — the Tigers defeated the Twins 6-5 and swept the mini-series. Nate Robertson appears to be working his way back into form with 6.1 innings pitched, four runs (all earned), five strike outs and a walk. Clay Rapada earned his first major-league win. And, in another sign the offense is thawing, the Tigers’ 3-5 hitters went a combine four for 12 with five RBI.

The Quote: “I saw the ball coming out and said ‘Stop,’ but it didn’t.” — Ryan Raburn on his near-catch of Delmon Young‘s near-home run/near-flyout turned triple in the top of the ninth.

The Stat: 0. The number of times the Tigers had to face Joe Nathan in this series. Wonder how this all would have worked out for the Twins if Nathan were brought in during the eighth inning on either or both nights?

Up Next: Tigers at Indians

Armando Galarraga (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. C.C. Sabathia (0-2, 11.57)

The Non Sequiturs: Weekender Edition

Tigers fans expected the team to be the talk of baseball in 2008. Little did they know it would be in the form of fodder for the late-night talkshow set.
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Alas, here we are, watching a team sleepwalking its way to a 1-8 record and heading to Chicago for a series that doesn’t bode well, given the Tigers’ record against the White Sox.

Luckily, we have the non sequiturs to keep us loose:

  • ESPN.com released its Power Rankings for the week and the Tigers sit in the bottom half: #18. The good news is the folks in Bristol believe a 1-8 Detroit team is still better than the 4-6 Giants.
  • Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One Dept.:

    Court officers from Wayne County and Livingston County were at Denny McLain’s Hamburg Township residence this afternoon seizing property under a search warrant issued in Wayne County, police said.

    It’s true what the song says, “There’s never been any like Denny McLain.”

  • Yes, yes, I take back what I said about the bullpen in general and Zach Miner specifically. Let’s see if Clay Rapada can avoid the gopher ball this time around.
  • I was going to recap what Jayson Stark had to say about the Tigers this morning but Ian, as usual, does it much better. Warning: The Dontrelle Willis rumblings aren’t good.
  • Speaking of national correspondents, Ken Rosenthal says the Tigers have “issues, not problems.”

    They remain a good bet to reach the postseason despite their 0-6 start. Yet, their weaknesses are not easily dismissed.

    — snip —

    Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya, the executive says, was a candidate for a breakdown because he has a violent delivery and lands on his heel. Verlander also lands on his heel, the exec says, with his front toe turned toward first base. His delivery increases the stress on his shoulder and makes it difficult for him to keep the ball down.

  • I’m trying to figure out what Brandon Inge‘s half-decent start means in the big scheme o’ things. Does it improve his trade value an iota? Does it mean he’s happier in Detroit with all these unforeseen at bats? Does it mean anything? Discuss.

Finally, be sure to send along birthday wishes today to the following former Tigers: Sean Bergman, John Martin, Sid Monge and Mike Kilkenny.