Tuesday Tananas: Greenberg, Anderson and Timo Time

With about a month to go before pitchers and catchers arrive in Lakeland, here are some various and sundry Tigers items to keep you warm as you wait:

  • On this date in 1947, the Tigers sold All-Star first baseman Hank Greenberg to the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1946, Greenberg led the American League with 44 home runs and 127 RBI, but slumped to 25 home runs and 74 RBI with the Pirates — though today that would be worth $12 million per year. Greenberg retired after the 1947 season.
  • A Matt Anderson comeback? Ian says it’s so.
  • Fresh off the Brad Penny signing — and before Armando Galarraga avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal of his own — we asked how Galarraga fits into the Tigers’ pitching staff. Here’s what the voters said:

    • Spot starter and long reliever in the bullpen (60%, 272 Votes)
    • Still in the Tigers’ rotation. (25%, 115 Votes)
    • Some other team. (15%, 68 Votes)

    UPDATE: Moments after I posted this, I saw that the Tigers designated Galarraga for assignment. Discuss.

  • Speaking of starting pitchers, am I the only one surprised that Jeremy Bonderman has generated so little interest this offseason? I thought he’d at least get a minor-league deal with someone — maybe his hometown Mariners. So far, though, no bites. In his Sunday notes column, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo identifies a couple possible suitors for Bondo.
  • How did I miss the news that Timo Perez is back in the Tigers organization? As the Toledo Blade’s terrific Mud Hens blog points out, the Tigers didn’t invite Perez to spring training which nixes his chances of playing time in Detroit.
  • Depending on how the Tigers’ Opening Day roster shapes up, Timo Time could end up in Toledo or perhaps Double-A Erie. At 37, why would he want to ride the buses in minor leagues? To paraphrase Joe Riggins, manager of the fictional Durham Bulls: “Because he can keep comin’ to the ballpark and keep gettin’ paid to do it.”

Speaking of Crash Davis, today’s the birthday of Kevin Costner. He’s 56.

Three for Thursday: A Timo Sighting, Maggs vs. Dye, and Cecil Cashes In

3 fingers.jpg

  1. If you were holding out hope that Timo Perez would be the answer to the Tigers’ left-handed hitting outfielder problem — I’m looking at you, Big Al — we have some disappointing news: Timo signed a minor-league deal with the Dodgers.

    Perez, 34, split the 2009 season between the independent Can-Am league’s New Jersey and Veracruz of the Mexican League.

    And here I thought he was still in Toledo.

  2. First, let’s tip our cap to birthday boy Magglio Ordonez. With that out of the way, let’s compare Maggs to someone else who was born on this date in 1974: the ulcer-generating-Tigers-bully Jermaine Dye. If you had to guess, who would you say hit more home runs?

    Continue reading Three for Thursday: A Timo Sighting, Maggs vs. Dye, and Cecil Cashes In

The PED-Free Non-Sequiturs

  • About three hours before the Mitchell Report was released today, I updated Twitter with this tongue-in-cheek ditty: Is today the day we find out Nook Logan was on steroids? Little did I know that his name would appear in the report (on page 277).

    Two bits of interest for me related to Logan: First, didn’t know his first name was Exavier. Second, he preferred to pay by money order. So old school.

    Now that Detroit Tigers fans have had two full seasons of Curtis Granderson in centerfield, can you even remember when Logan was thought to be a budding fixture in the Detroit outfield?

  • Big Al would disagree, but I’m hoping that Timo Perez comes north with the Tigers next spring. The guy has paid his dues and did everything he was asked as a surprising September call-up. (If you’re a Bob Seger fan, you must check out Al’s blend of Seger and the Detroit Lions.)
  • In the past, I used to write press releases that I liked to describe as “content-free.” In response to the Mitchell Report the Tigers today issued perhaps the shortest release (of any variety) I’ve ever seen. It’s really not worth your time to read it but here’s the second (and last) paragraph:

    The eradication of performance-enhancing substances in baseball and protecting the integrity of the game are the ultimate goals of the industry.

    Call me a cynic, but I thought winning baseball games and driving revenue growth, not in that order, were the ultimate goals of the industry.

  • Christmas came early at The Daily Fungo headquarters. In less than a week we had two mentions in Rob Neyer‘s blog on ESPN.com (you can find them here and here). Be sure to check out my interview with Rob on the podcast.
  • I don’t often read Drew Sharp‘s columns mainly because, well, more often than not I wonder what the hell he’s talking about. Take today’s column for example:

    It’s now officially the Steroids Era.

    It is?

    This statement — and the column’s headline, “Mitchell Report officially welcomes in Steroid Era”, which, in fairness, Sharp didn’t write — misses the point.

    I believe this report ushers out the Steroid Era. The Steroid Era started in the early 1990s — if not earlier — and ended quite recently.

    Perhaps today.

The Monday Report

My son woke me up at 5:45 this morning so I had some time to catchup on my reading and thinking…

  • Call me naive, but I thought the Kenny Rogers thing would be a slam dunk, even with The Scott Boras Factor. Now that Rogers, who turned 43 on Saturday, is testing the market — the market for a mid-40s pitcher coming off a season virtually lost to serious injury that is — one has to wonder if the Tigers have used up the patience they reserve for dealing with Boras. From everything I’ve read, most still expect a deal to get hammered out. And I tend to think so too if only because Dave Dombrowski doesn’t seem to be a cut-off-the-nose-to-spite-the-face kind of guy.Speaking of Rogers, I thought I’d stumbled upon major news over at Yahoo! Sports when I read in this Tigers rumor:

    According to the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit Tigers and free agent lefty Kenny Rogers have parted ways.  

    If you read to the story referenced in the piece you’ll see that nowhere does it say Rogers isn’t coming back. Perhaps a little fact checking would help.I’m intrigued by the Dontrelle Willis thing but can’t fathom what it would take to acquire him (for starters, Brandon Inge, perhaps?). Sure seems like a drastic change of course going from re-signing Rogers to dealing for Willis.Ah, but you gotta love the smell of hickory on the Hot Stove.

  • Our man Ian Casselberry notified me of the Omar Infante-for-Jacque Jones trade this afternoon. I think it’s safe to say Ian and I were both underwhelmed by the move. As Jon Paul Morosi suggests, this is likely a stop-gap solution until Cameron Maybin is ready for prime time, all the time. If that’s the case, I supposed I can live with it.

Still, you have to believe that somewhere in the Dominican Republic, Timo Perez is wondering what he has to do to become more than a September call up.But probably not in those words.

  • If you missed it, Joel Zumaya turned 23 on Friday. Here’s hoping his birthday wish was for health and wellness. And, while the Lions were stinking up University of Phoenix Stadium yesterday, Jason Grilli and Chuck Hernandez were celebrating birthdays. A belated #31 to Grilli and #47 to Hernandez. To help you plan your card and gift shopping, here are the upcoming Tigers birthdays of note: Nov. 18 – Gary Sheffield (39); Nov. 19 – Preston Larrison (27); Nov. 29 – Tony Giarratano (25); Nov. 30 – Ivan Rodriguez (36). 
  • Mr. Casselberry and I also wondered aloud who the Tigers backup catcher would be on Opening Day. Vance Wilson should be ready to come back and reclaim his job, but Mike Rabelo certainly made a case for himself in 2007. Too bad one of them can’t play another position — or that Ryan Raburn can’t catch. Ian thinks Rabelo comes North. I’m undecided but tend to think Wilson will rejoin the team if he has anything that resembles a decent spring.

So What Did I Miss?

When Greg Zaun‘s liner to left field deflected off the outstretched glove of Timo Perez, I turned off the TV.”Enough already,” I said, chasing my son around the couch. It was bed time and he wasn’t going down quietly.The Tigers, at least through eight innings certainly, appeared to be. You’ll have to win this one without me watching, boys. Click.I put both kids to bed and came out to my office. I was heading to the gym and grabbed my iPod and my phone. The latter had a text message from John Milton saying, That’s what I’m talking about!, or words to that effect. Naturally, I called him back and got the recap.As Ian says, it’s probably too late for this game to have any significance in the Tigers’ postseason hopes. But maybe not.And if it does go down in Tigers lore as the mother of all comebacks, I’ll see it over and over again on the championship DVD. 

Blogging a Thursday Matinee Game

The beauty of being self-employed: watching a Tigers matinee game on my office TV while working away. I don’t do this very often but he are my thoughts updated throughout the game.Jeremy Bonderman clearly has the slider going today.Wow, Timo Perez. As I’ve mentioned before, never in their history have the Tigers had a player named “Perez” on the roster. That streak ended last year when Neifi arrived. Chances are the Tigers are the first team in history to have a Timo and a Neifi on the 40-man.What’s with all the pop ups today?Timo Perez is wearing #19. It reminds me of the unfortunate Roger Cedeno years. Let’s hope Timo, if he’s in position to do so, shows up for the team photo.I’d like to see Mike Rabelo go yard. Today.I don’t think I’ve seen a major league game with as many key injuries as last night’s to Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer and Marcus Thames.Speaking of Cuddyer, he certainly doesn’t have quintessential clean-up hitter numbers: AVG .289 | HR 10 | RBI 56. I wonder why Justin Morneau doesn’t hit fourth…Timo looking too much like Craig Monroe.Uh-oh. Down a run. Better start hitting lest they want to face Joe Nathan.Good for Rabelo.Placido Polanco legs out a double. Guess his leg’s okay.Jeez, Sheff. You just cost the boys another run! > Bottom of the 7thHow big does that Sheffield blunder at second look now?Bonderman with his typical Metrodome implosion. Man, that’s getting old. > Top of 8thThey walk Curtis Granderson to face Polanco? Gutsy that Ron Gardenhire….freakin’ Neshek.> Bottom of 8thYou just knew that Morneau was overdue. Way overdue.Wow. Umpires always amaze me with their instant recall of the rule book.How in the world did they get out of that mess? Morneau will have to shoulder the blame for that one. > Top of 9thNo surprise Nathan is in this game. Gardenhire has to got to do whatever he can to prevent a Tigers sweep.Will the Tigers continue with Zach Miner in the bottom half or will they bring in Jose Capellan? Is it just me or is Capellan persona non grata in the Tigers’ bully?Think the Twins are eager to see Magglio Ordonez leave town?Sigh. > Bottom of 9thWhat can you say about that Zach Miner? > Top of 10thWho says the American League can’t play small-ball? Good for Brandon Inge. I think Nathan is the toughest closer out there so it’s about time the Tigers made some noise against him. Now, about that insurance run… Bottom of 10thHere comes that Todd Jones queasiness.Hey, Jones’s ERA is under five. When did that happen?Double pl— … d’oh!Nice and tidy by Todd Jones standards.Now I can eat lunch!