Beyond Frustration: The White Sox Have the Tigers’ Number

IMG00003-20100518-1351.jpgAdding insult to the injury of the Tigers’ loss yesterday to the White Sox, I attended an event at my son’s school and saw this new plaque next to the pre-school playground.

Paul Konerko is a Scottsdale native so it’s nice to see him giving back — and you should see this playground: awesome. It didn’t sting as much because for once Konerko didn’t homer in the game.

And so the Tigers lost again to the White Sox, the 54th time at Comerica Park since it opened 10 years ago, and, according to Baseball-Reference.com’s Play Index, since 2005 the Tigers are 34-59 against the White Sox … 25 games under .500. (FYI: Over that same span they’re 47-52 against the Twins.)

What is going on here? Why do the White Sox have the Tigers’ number? I wish I had an answer. I wish Jim Leyland had an answer. You just know Ozzie Guillen does.

Let’s face it: The Tigers cannot beat the White Sox when it counts (i.e., the final weekend of the 2009 season when they lost three of four in the most moribund series in memory) or when it doesn’t — like yesterday when the Tigers left nine men on base and Rick Porcello looked, at times, more like Rickety Porcello. Other points of utter frustration include:

  • The Tigers always seem to make pitchers like Freddy Garcia look 10 years younger.
  • On cold, damp days the Tigers’ offense stays in the cozy clubhouse while the Sox come out swinging as if it were 80 and sunny.
  • A single bone-headed move — like Brennan Boesch‘s failure to score on a ground ball to first — can turn the game in Chicago’s favor…and usually does.
  • The mere presence of Ozzie, A.J. Pierzynski and Bobby Jenks. Thankfully there’s now Jermaine Dye to torment us this year.

This year’s Tigers team is hanging around the top of the Central division through a savory mix of ingredients, not the least of which is luck. If they want to stay in the race into September they better figure out a way to gin up some of that luck against the lousy teams in their division — and right now that includes everyone except the Twins.

Or the White Sox, at least when they’re playing the Tigers.

Monday Mankowskis: Magglio’s Durability, Leyland’s Tightrope and a Glass Half-Full

PhilMankowski77.jpgThe Tigers must be enjoying their last day off this season, albeit in Cleveland. While they rest up for the final two weeks, we’re left to root for the White Sox to wear down the Twins over the next three days. But even under these circumstances I cannot support an Ozzie Guillen/A.J. Pierzynski-led team.

Just can’t.

  • In all the blather about Magglio Ordoñez‘s $18-million option trigger, one thing people failed to note has been his remarkable durability over the life of the contract.

    Other than the first year of the deal, 2005, when his knee was still recovering and a sports hernia limited him to 82 games, Ordoñez has played in an average of 153 games — 94 percent. Fact is, the Tigers didn’t expect much of him in ’05.

    This season he’s played in 120 of 149 games (81 percent) and if he plays in the remaining 13 games he’ll play in 82 percent.

    In all, not bad for a guy who the Tigers and their fans feared might not play more than one season — at best — in Detroit.

    Continue reading “Monday Mankowskis: Magglio’s Durability, Leyland’s Tightrope and a Glass Half-Full”

Friday Freehans

Catcher.jpgWell, so much for Matt Holliday joining the Tigers. I’m sure Carlos Guillen will be a suitable Plan B.

  • Jeremy Bonderman to the bullpen, eh? Whatever works.

  • I’ve decided to go old school today and listen to the Tigers on MLB.com rather than watch on DirecTV. Call it The Guillen Factor. I can’t stand to see Ozzie again and can’t bear to watch Carlos’s return without wincing on every cut.

  • In case you hadn’t heard, From noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the Tigers will host a “Going, Going, GREEN!” Trade Show outside Comerica Park. According to the Tigers’ press release, the event:

    “…is designed for Tigers fans and the public to learn more about green initiatives while viewing products and services related to environmental causes and practices of green businesses.”

    Yes, I’m a skeptic, but isn’t the industrial Midwest the least green-thinking region in the U.S.? Okay, maybe Houston then the Midwest…

  • On this date in 2001, five-tool phenom/bust Juan Encarnacion, hit a home run off Ramiro Mendoza, that landed in the second row of the empty blue bleacher seats in left centerfield at Yankee Stadium. According to Baseball-Reference.com, it’s believed to be the first ball hit into that area since The Stadium was remodeled in 1976.

Finally, if you need more proof that we’re not getting younger: 26 years ago today was the George Brett Pine Tar Game at Yankee Stadium. Awesome.