Series Preview: Mariners @ Tigers

mariners.jpgWhen I think back to all the Tigers games I went to as a kid, all I can see is the powder-blue uniform of the Seattle Mariners. If I had kept all of the ticket stubs I could verify my impression that I’ve seen them more than any other team.

Nevertheless, the Mariners are back in town. And these are not the powerhouse Mariners that opened Comerica Park on that ice-cold day in 2000. These are more like the Mariners clubs I watched as a kid: bad.

  • Current Record: 33-45, 4th place in A.L. West, 14 GB of Texas
  • Last 10: 6-4

Head to Head

  • 2010 Record: 1-4
  • 2010 at Home: 0-0
  • 2010 at Seattle: 1-4
  • All-Time Record: 191-160-1*
  • All-Time at Home: 107-67-1
  • All-Time at Comerica Park: 25-21
  • All-Time at Seattle: 84-93

*If you’re wondering about the one tie in their all-time series, read this Fungo Flashback.

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Three for Thursday: Verlander, Branyan and Birthdays

FireballXSmall.jpgWho needs a groundhog? Two weeks until pitchers and catchers arrive in Lakeland for Spring Training.

  1. I never doubted for a minute that the Tigers would sign Justin Verlander to a long-term contact, did you? Given the questionable extensions of recent years — Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson to name two — the Tigers were due for a wise contractual decision.
  2. Last year at the trading deadline I thought the Tigers might make a move for the Mariners’ Russell Branyan. Instead they went after Aubrey Huff. Bygones. Today, Branyan is still looking for work. Should the Tigers be interested? Not at the three years, $20 million he had in mind, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. ESPN Rumor Central spells out the risks of Branyan for any team:

    Branyan hit 22 homers and posted a .956 OPS before the All-Star break last season, but his OPS dipped to .688 after the break and he was forced to shut it down in late August with a herniated disc in his back.

    So, the question then is, “Is Branyan essentially Carlos Guillen?” Probably.

  3. Happy Birthday today to: Stan Papi (59), Rusty Kuntz (55), Chris Bando (54) and the late Joe Sparma. If you want to hear an interview I did with Rusty Kuntz, you can find it here.