- Did anyone else notice last night that Dontrelle “Hyperextended Knee” Willis was doing the jump-and-bump on the field after the game? What is he — wait. He’s not thinking. It may be too early to make this call, but I’m going to make it anyway: the D-Train will be the biggest Detroit bust since Darko Milicic.
- Happy 39th Birthday today to Fernando Vina. I’d rather have Placido Polanco than Vina, but it would’ve been nice to see Vina and fellow post-2003 Tigers risk taker Rondell White taste some of the 2006 goodness. Also celebrating today is late-’70s-era reliever Bruce Taylor (pictured). He’s 54.
- Another notable Tigers player born on this day was Hubert Benjamin “Dutch” Leonard. He pitched for the Tigers from 1919 to 1925.
In The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, we discover that Leonard alleged that Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker “conspired to fix the final game of the 1919 season. [Cobb a]cknowledged writing of seemingly incriminating letter.” The Peach was acquitted.
As for Leonard, James writes:
Incriminated self in the process of bringing charges against Cobb and Speaker, 1927. Never officially banned; persona non grata after career was over.
And now you know.
- Fungo HQ receives some odd requests via email but recently we got one that piqued our interest. Hasbro offered to send us a review model of its new Bulls Eye Baseball tabletop game. They left it up to me whether or not I wanted to write about it.
Let’s put it this way: I just spent 30 minutes playing the game and had to force myself to quit. It’s a blast.
You can play it with one or two players and essentially you bounce small steel balls of a tiny trampoline-type deal and the ball bounces into one of the six holes: out, strike, single, double, triple and home run. It took me awhile to get the right touch on the bounce but once I did, I was hooked.
- Now that Curtis Granderson has taken BP and feels he’s close to coming back, albeit with some pain, the question is: who goes down when Granderson returns?
- Looking for reasons to feel good about the Cleveland series starting tonight? Check out Bob Nightengale’s roundup in the USA Today.