Looking at the scene today at Comerica Park — brilliant blue skies, a sun-drenched field — I can’t help but think back to three years ago today when the Tigers choked on a golden opportunity to win a division title. History repeating itself?
- Dan Gladden made an interesting point on the pre-game interview with Jim Price Wednesday evening. The Twins don’t have a Latin coach on their big-league staff and Orlando Cabrera has helped calm some of the club’s Latin players. I wonder what impact the Tigers’ infield coach Rafael Belliard has had on Miguel Cabrera, Ramon Santiago, et al? We know he worked wonders with Cabrera’s defensive work at first base. How much did the language thing play into it?
- The last Tigers’ division champion relied on contributions from several rookies including Scott Lusader, Jim Walewander, Matt Nokes and Mike Henneman. This year’s club has Rick Porcello, Alex Avila and Ryan Perry. At this point, 1987 wins on contributors and championships. For now.
- From the moment I saw the Tigers’ 2009 schedule, I didn’t like them playing the White Sox to end the season under any circumstances. Now the Tigers have to win two of three if they want to guarantee a championship. The weekend starts by facing Jake Peavy on Friday night, and then the Tigers are counting on Alfredo Figaro on Saturday? Yeah, things are certainly aligning nicely for Detroit.
Finally, Happy 63rd Birthday, 1968 Tiger Jon Warden.
Remember in Spring Training last year when Jim Leyland was concerned about some Tigers “taking off” at bats knowing that someone else in the powerful lineup would likely back them up?
Maybe that’s what plagues the 2009 Tigers. Except for the powerful lineup thing.
Other thoughts on the game:
- Don Kelly did not lose this game for the Tigers. The offense, yet again, is to blame. But you knew that.
- My local Fox affiliate aired the Dodgers-Giants game today so I listened to the entire game on MLB.com. If you didn’t listen, you missed Dan Dickerson‘s call of the ball Kelly lost. I think Dickerson is terrific and the entire game he was warning listeners that games in the Metrodome tend to result in odd endings and comebacks.
So when Kelly’s miscue was unfolding, Dickerson’s call embodied the “oh-dear-lord-he’s-lost-it-in-the-roof-and-the-Tigers-are-going-to-get-screwed-again” feeling of everyone listening back in Detroit. And he reported that the Twins lead was 3-2, and said it as if it was actually 30-2 — which it essentially was.
- How about that Gerald Laird? I don’t care if he hits .200 forever, keep nailing those runners.
- Edwin Jackson probably sat there watching Justin Verlander dominate with only a pair of runs and thought, “Welcome to my world.”
- I know the announcers have ads and promos they’re required to read on air, but Jim Price‘s friendly reminder of Comerica Park suite availability for the Division Series is just asking for it. Need proof? Not long after he read the ad, it came: “(Orlando) Cabrera lifts a high fly ball to left…” Karma.
- I wonder if somewhere Gary Sheffield saw Kelly’s flub and said to anyone in earshot: “I’da caught that!” Here’s hoping.
Tomorrow’s game is the last one I ever have to watch the Tigers play in the Metrodome. Oh, sure, there might be a one-game playoff or something, but come on. Do you honestly think I’d subject myself to watching that game?