Friday Freehans, Link Style

The Tigers make their first visit of the year to Chicago which typically means nothing but anguish.

Not this weekend.

Detroit’s recent good fortune against the Sox continues. (Right?)

  • Here’s a terrific piece about Sparky Anderson from someone who knew him in his southern California community for 40 years.
  • Out here in Phoenix, there’s some noise about the Diamondbacks pursuing the Mets’ David Wright. All things being equal — and Brandon Inge’s mono notwithstanding — I’d sure rather see him in Detroit. What about you?
  • The Tigers’ all-time record against the White Sox heading into play tonight is 1,012-996-1. Why does it seem as if  half those losses have come since 2004?
  • Two tidbits about tonight’s starter Andy Oliver: 1. He was selected to participate in the Futures Game held prior to last year’s All-Star Game in Anaheim, but was unable to participate because he’d been called up to the Tigers. 2. Following last season, Baseball America named Oliver the third-best prospect in the Tigers organization, the 13th-best prospect in the EasternLeague and the 19th-best prospect in the International League.
  • On this date in 1952 the Tigers acquired lefty Bill Wight, infielders Johnny Pesky, Walt Dropo and Fred Hatfield and outfielder Don Lenhardt from the Red Sox for righthander Dizzy Trout, infielders George Kell and Johnny Lipon and outfielder Hoot Evers.
  • Have you been itching for a closer look at the Tigers’ platoon situations? ESPN.com’s Christina Kahrl has you covered:

The Tigers might be the team with the most potential variations, to the point that Jim Leyland could flirt with multi-positional solutions every bit as creative as [Rays skipper Joe] Maddon’s. After all, the Tigers broke in Ryan Raburn in a multi-positional utility role with a lean toward starting him against lefties in the past, and using youngsters Andy Dirks and Casper Wells as platoon outfielders now. Raburn and Brennan Boesch have struggled to stick in regular roles, opening up a host of possibilities for Leyland to try to hide some of his players from the sources of some of their struggles.

Finally, Happy 61st Birthday to singer Suzi Quatro, who played Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days. Did I just date myself?

Have a great weekend.

Monday Mankowskis: Optimism, Jackson’s Woes and Bonus Baseball Cards

PhilMankowski77This is one of those rare and delightful days of spring in which I get to flip back and forth between a Tigers West Coast game and a Wings playoff game. April in the D, indeed.

  • It’s always interesting to see how even a small winning streak can stir optimism among Tigers faithful. To wit: this past weekend’s series in Oakland. Buoyed by wins in the first two games, I was completely confident the Tigers could — would! — come back in Saturday night and Sunday games. A week prior (against the Royals at home) I had no such optimism. All in all I’m feeling good about their chances in Seattle, and not just because they’ll miss Felix Hernandez.

Continue reading “Monday Mankowskis: Optimism, Jackson’s Woes and Bonus Baseball Cards”

Sunday Snacks: April in the D Edition

ChipsA few overdue thoughts as I work the previous-channel button on my remote, switching between the Tigers and Wings games.

  • When a few specific things occur, I know for certain the baseball season is in full bloom — eight games in or not. Two of these things have already taken place in the past 24 hours: the Tigers lose to the Royals and Ryan Raburn makes at least one bone-headed play in the field.

  • Speaking of the Wings, if they end up playing the Coyotes in the first round, I’ll have to endure lame Detroit jokes in the media out here.

  • Did the Tigers really lose to Bruce Chen? Bruce Chen?

  • Slowly — very slowly — I’m gaining confidence in Alex Avila. He was miserable in the opening series in the New York but I suppose that can be chalked up to nerves, right? Since then he’s hitting .357 (entering today, that is).

  • I definitely love seeing Will Rhymes as the Tigers’ regular second baseman. You have to wonder if Scott Sizemore is following him and thinking, “what do I have to do to get back on the radar?”

  • Did you notice that Robbie Weinhardt is now wearing Jeremy Bonderman‘s old uniform number, 38? No matter the number on his back, I feel 100-percent more comfortable when Weinhardt enters a game than I do Brad Thomas or Ryan Perry.

  • Happy 47th Birthday to Eric King. In two stints with the Tigers (1986-88, ’92), he appeared in 128 games for the Tigers as a starter and bullpen guy, posting a 25-20 record, 16 saves and a 4.23 ERA.

  • Manny Ramirez. As the Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan once said on the old Tony Kornheiser radio show, “Ramirez will never be confused with a member of Mensa.”

  • I’ve heard from many of you about the next episode of the podcast. Hang with us. Ian and I have had trouble aligning calendars — the trouble coming from my end — but we’ll be back soon. Promise.

Finally, happy 82nd birthday to actress Liz Sheridan, who played Jerry’s mom on “Seinfeid.”

Season Series Recap: Tigers vs. White Sox

WhiteSoxLogo.jpgThis is the first in a series of Season Recaps in which we’ll look at how the Tigers fared against division opponents in 2010.

Since the 2000 season, the Tigers are 40 games under .500 against the White Sox. That’s beyond ugly. That’s hideous.

Since Ozzie Guillen arrived in 2004, the Tigers are 19 games under .500. But somehow the Tigers, in this season of uneven play and disappointment, Tigers fans (or, at least this Tigers fan) can rejoice in their winning the season series against the White Sox in 2010, 11 wins and 8 losses.

Detroit eked out a 10-8 record against the Sox — up from 9-9 last season — and were able to play the role of spoiler in the series at Chicago Sept. 17-19, essentially knocking Ozzie’s band of jolly outlaws from playoff contention. Huzzah!

Continue reading “Season Series Recap: Tigers vs. White Sox”

Monday Mankowskis: Playoff Odds, Rayburn’s D, Stephen Drew’s Luck

therapist.jpgThe horror of the weekend sweep in Cleveland hasn’t completely washed away here at Daily Fungo HQ.

Saturday night’s game was so disappointing that yesterday’s seemed more like a scrimmage … A scrimmage that counts.

But a new week is here and the Tigers are at home, where they excel. Instead of focusing on this homestand’s tough opponents, let’s walk on the sunny side of the street:

Tigers Today: June 25, 2010

Tigers’ Record:

39-32, 2nd place; 1/2-game behind Minnesota

Today’s Game

Tigers @ Braves | 7:35 p.m. ET – Turner Field | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Andy Oliver (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Kris Medlen (4-1, 3.33 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 6 – Mets 5 | Fungo Recap

Continue reading “Tigers Today: June 25, 2010”