The Non-Sequiturs: The Peralta, Sardinha and Pirates Edition

We’re now so far into the Post-Jhonny Peralta Era that we’re starting to talk about his possible, potential and highly unlikely and not improbable return to the Tigers for the last weekend of the season – and presumably the postseason. This whole saga calls to mind a couple of things. First, it’s how fleeting these controversies can be. In the course of five days, the Tigers trade for José Iglesias, keep him warm at third base for a couple of games, watch Peralta get suspended and then … crickets. Or what seemed like crickets.

I’ll admit there have been several game situations in which I wished Peralta was in the lineup, but for the most part it’s bygones. What about you?

The second thing is that when you think about all the things we Detroit fans have endured over the years, we haven’t witnessed a key player at the center of huge MLB-wide story. Think about the occasions when the national spotlight shone on a Tigers player it was,by and large, for positive reasons. Here are the stories that come to mind:

Am I missing anything? I don’t think so.

The last baseball scandal I can remember which remotely approaches Biogenesis is the mid-’80s Pittsburgh cocaine trials, but no Tigers were implicated in that one. But this time, man, the Tigers were in the thick of it. (Unlike when fringy player Exavier Prente “Nook” Logan was named in The Mitchell Report back in 2007, but he was hardly a household name or an essential part of the Tigers future – or present for that matter.)

Even though he’s working out with the Tigers now, I still can’t imagine we’ll see Peralta again in a Tigers uniform. Stranger things have happened, I suppose, but I can’t see the Dombrowski/Leyland Administration brining that level of distraction to the club during a playoff run.

Apropos of nothing:

  • Now, can we talk about Rick Porcello? Actually, I’d rather not; it’s too frustrating. Some other time.
  • I can’t believe I’m writing these words: I wish the Mets were better than they are. This is quite a statement given my deep-seated hatred of those mid-‘80s teams led by Davey Johnson. The only redeeming quality from those clubs was my favorite undervalued Tigers player: Howard Johnson. I always felt like he was the solution to Sparky’s third-base problem but instead, the skipper saw the future at third with Tom BrookensChris PittaroDarnell Coles, Jim Morrison and whomever else they could plug into that spot. And more often than not, it was Brookens. Where was I going with this? Oh, yeah, the Mets. Never mind.
  • If the Tigers’ current situation leaves you unsettled, contrast it with last year’s Sept. 10 dilemma: they were three games back of the White Sox. A 5.5-game lead over a flawed Indians club works better for me.
  • I was glad to see Tony Paul’s article last week on how this team is not the 2009 Tigers – and it’s not simply because there’s no Dane Sardinha, no Zach Miner, no Fu-Te Ni. This team just doesn’t have the feel of a club that will cool along with the September temperatures. Am I wrong? (Just for fun, look back on some of the names on that ’09 roster. Oy.)
  • Don’t look now but thanks to his four-hit night on Tuesday Alex Avila is hitting .221.

Finally, speaking of Pittsburgh: congratulations to the Pirates and their fans on a long-deserved winning season. Pittsburgh officially might have suffered more years of losing baseball than Detroit fans, but we’ll always have this on them and any other awful team: 2003.

Today’s Tiger: Morris Madden

Morris Madden

  • Born: Aug. 31, 1960 in Laurens, S.C.
  • Bats: Left Throws: Left
  • Height: 6′ 0″ Weight: 155 lb.
  • Acquired: Signed as a free agent on Nov. 23, 1985.
  • Seasons in Detroit: 1 (1987)
  • Uniform Number: 42
  • Stats: 0-0, 16.20 ERA, 1.2 IP

MorrisMadden.jpg

Don’t feel bad if you don’t remember Morris Madden‘s mini-career with the Tigers. He pitched just twice for Detroit during the 1987 season and one look at his stats tells you why.

On June 11 versus Milwaukee at Tiger Stadium, he came in during the sixth inning to relieve Eric King (who had relieved starter Jeff Robinson) with the bases loaded and promptly walked Brewers second baseman Jim Gantner. In his one inning of work, he allowed two earned runs and three walks. The Tigers lost the game 8-5.

Robinson’s next start, five days later at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium, the lefty Madden came in to start the fifth inning. The first hitter he faced, Fred McGriff doubled to center, then Garth Iorg grounded out to Alan Trammell, advancing McGriff to third. Tony Fernandez singled, Lloyd Moseby flied out to center, then Jesse Barfield got an infield single. And that was the end of Morris Madden’s Tigers career.

Less than a month later, on Aug. 12, 1987, Madden was sent by the Tigers to the Pirates to complete the Aug. 7, 1987 trade of Darnell Coles for Jim Morrison.

If you’re wondering how he fared with Jim Leyland‘s Pirates, well it depends on the year. In 1988, he appeared in five games, allowed five hits and seven walks in five innings (!) but didn’t allow a run. In ’89, Madden pitched 14 innings across nine games — including three starts — he allowed a stunning 13 walks, 17 hits, 14 runs, 11 earned. Final ERA: 7.07.

On Nov. 21, 1989, he was released by the Pirates and while he pitched for the AAA Albuquerque Dukes in 1990, his major-league career was over.

Happy Birthday, Morris Madden

MorrisMadden.jpg

Don’t feel bad if you don’t remember Morris Madden‘s mini-career with the Tigers. He pitched just twice for Detroit during the 1987 season and one look at his stats tells you why.

On June 11 versus Milwaukee at Tiger Stadium, he came in during the sixth inning to relieve Eric King (who had relieved starter Jeff Robinson) with the bases loaded and promptly walked Brewers second baseman Jim Gantner. In his one inning of work, he allowed two earned runs and three walks. The Tigers lost the game 8-5.

Robinson’s next start, five days later at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium, the lefty Madden came in to start the fifth inning. The first hitter he faced, Fred McGriff doubled to center, then Garth Iorg grounded out to Alan Trammell, advancing McGriff to third. Tony Fernandez singled, Lloyd Moseby flied out to center, then Jesse Barfield got an infield single. And that was the end of Morris Madden’s Tigers career.

Less than a month later, on Aug. 12, 1987, Madden was sent by the Tigers to the Pirates to complete the Aug. 7, 1987 trade of Darnell Coles for Jim Morrison.

If you’re wondering how he fared with Jim Leyland‘s Pirates, well it depends on the year. In 1988, he appeared in five games, allowed five hits and seven walks in five innings (!) but didn’t allow a run. In ’89, Madden pitched 14 innings across nine games — including three starts — he allowed a stunning 13 walks, 17 hits, 14 runs, 11 earned. Final ERA: 7.07.

On Nov. 21, 1989, he was released by the Pirates and his career was over. But today we celebrate his 48th birthday. Three cheers for Morris Madden.