Three-ish for Thursday: Festivus, Feller and My New Job

Here we are one week before Festivus and the Tigers have given fans mere stocking stuffers compared to the gifts White Sox, Nationals, Red Sox and, most recently, Phillies fans received.

Then again, only in this offseason could a guy of Victor Martinez’s caliber be considered value-bin material. Now that the big names are off the board, the Tigers are left to browse the remainder table for their missing pieces — unless a trade goes down.

  • In March 2009, my friends John and Steve came to town for some Cactus League action. The first game we attended was at the Indians and Reds shared facility in Goodyear, Ariz. (Though the Reds wouldn’t move to the Phoenix region until this past Spring.) We all agreed that the game between the Tribe and the Brewers might have been the longest Spring Training game in history, which made Bob Feller’s performance that day all the more remarkable. He sat in the shade down the leftfield line and signed autographs for the entire game — and it was a steady stream of fans, despite it being far from a sellout. Impressive indeed.
  • I was never a fan of Feller because he played the Crabby-Old-Man role for so long and his comments about Jackie Robinson in Ken Burns’ “Baseball” series seemed inappropriate.

    Nevertheless, baseball lost a legend yesterday. A legend that posted a 41-29 record and a 3.44 ERA against the Tigers in his 18-year career — his record at Briggs Stadium was 21-14 in 38 starts — only the White Sox and Athletics lost to him more. In fact, the Yankees were the only club to have beaten Feller more than they lost: 37-30.

  • The response to our most recent Flash Poll was astounding — more than 2,100 votes. Thanks for weighing in. We asked Should the Tigers pursue Curtis Granderson to play left field? The context in which we were asking — but didn’t articulate in the question — was pure speculation that if the Yankees landed Carl Crawford, then Granderson might be available.As you can see, 86 percent of respondents would like to see him back in a Tigers uniform — though most weren’t willing to do it at any cost:
    • Yes, depending on the cost. (45%, 987 Votes)
    • Absolutely. (41%, 891 Votes)
    • Bygones. (14%, 302 Votes)
    • Total Voters: 2,180
  • Thanks again for participating, and watch for our next poll soon.

  • Random items: On this date in 1996, the Tigers traded second baseman Mark Lewis to the Giants for first baseman Jesse Ibarra. Lewis came to the Tigers from the Reds in a trade for David Wells … Today’s the 46th birthday of Bill Ripken … Shouldn’t the Tigers make an offer to Jim Thome, if for no other reason than to see what he can do at Comerica Park? … I’m intrigued by what the future holds for Jeremy Bonderman. Where does he sign? Does he come back at all? It’s been awfully quiet on the Bondo front … And this is funny, if not childish. When the Diamondbacks were pursuing (and eventually signing) reliever J.J. Putz, the D-backs’ outstanding beat writer, Nick Piecoro, had to deal with an interesting technological problem. Whenever he wrote “Putz”, the Arizona Republic‘s publishing system would replace it with “(inappropriate term)”, leaving each Web article on the subject with a few instances of “former White Sox reliever J.J. (inappropriate term)”. Putz’s name appeared uncensored, as it were, in the print editions of the Piecoro’s articles but not without the writer needing to produce a tedious workaround. Last week Piecoro reported on Twitter that the tech guys finally got it figured out.

Finally, you probably noticed that posting here has been lighter than normal over the past couple of weeks. Here’s why: after more than seven years as a self-employed freelance writer, I’ve gone back to work in the corporate world.

(If you’re interested in where I’m working, here’s a hint: it’s the parent company of the school Jim Leyland‘s son is attending (he mentions it in this piece by Lynn Henning), though Leyland doesn’t get the name exactly right.) As a result, I’m trying to get a feel for my new schedule — and a wardrobe based on more than t-shirts. Hang with me while I find the groove.

Saturday the 14th

Do any of you remember the movie Saturday the 14th?  The 1981 film starring Richard Benjamin is:

Primarily a spoof of the Friday the 13th series, but also takes shots at several other horror films. After his family moves to a new house, a young boy discovers a mysterious book describing the curse hanging over the date of Saturday the 14th.

It’s a hoot for the 13-year-old set but otherwise a forgettable experience. Much like tonight’s Tigers game.Yes, I was fuming at Sean Casey‘s excuse-me swinglet on J.J. Putz‘s first pitch in the eighth.But it was the Tigers’ lack of timely hitting throughout the game — guys, that was Miguel Batista out there — that really ticked me off. In that regard, it was too much like Thursday’s 3-2 loss.Three things that stood out for me:

  1. Kenny Rogers was due for a dud.
  2. Magglio Ordonez suddenly looks lost at the plate. He’s 1 for 11 in the series.
  3. Chad Durbin was excellent coming in to relieve Rogers.

Now we have to hope for Jeff Weaver to pitch like Jeff Weaver for the Tigers to salvage a split.Oh, and Justin Verlander needs to do his thing too.I think he shall.