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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

TV Ratings Up, But Teams Still Dependent on Cable Providers

Baseball is dead.

Before getting to baseball’s dependence on the health of major cable companies, here is a brief look at some early season numbers. The first month of the season has seen big increases in viewership for national games on Fox Sports 1 and MLB Network, including double the amount of viewers aged 18 to 34 watching game on Fox Sports 1. The Chicago Cubs have doubled their ratings after their increased commitment in the offseason as well as the arrival of Kris Bryant. The Kansas City Royals have done the same coming off their World Series appearance. The Houston Astros have seen an increase in viewership after finally resolving their local disputes, at least as far as getting their games on all the local cable packages. The Arizona Diamondbacks have seen their highest ratings in a decade while the games of the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, and San Diego Padres rank first in their broadcast territories among all shows. A recent article by Maury Brown at Forbes showed that baseball games beat playoff games from the NHL and NBA in many markets across the country.

The ratings so far this season are a great indicator of baseball’s popularity. Not only is baseball beating playoffs in other sports, it is also beating first-run shows on networks.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Olney: Laying out each team’s Mount Rushmore and ranking the quartets

The Mount Rushmore for BTF: Chris Truby, Mike Piazza, Madeline Albright, and Frank Tanana.

And Mike Crudale.

So I picked my own four for each club, and then ranked the 30 sets of four. Here they are, from the best to the fourth-best (in my opinion) for each franchise:

1. Giants: Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Christy Mathewson, Willie McCovey

2. Yankees: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mariano Rivera (see below)

3. Cardinals: Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Albert Pujols, Bob Gibson

4. Red Sox: Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Cy Young, Pedro Martinez

5. Tigers: Ty Cobb, Charlie Gehringer, Miguel Cabrera, Al Kaline

6. Reds: Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Frank Robinson

7. Twins: Walter Johnson, Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett

8. Athletics: Rickey Henderson, Lefty Grove, Jimmie Foxx, Reggie Jackson

9. Braves: Hank Aaron, Greg Maddux, Warren Spahn, Chipper Jones

10. Dodgers: Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Clayton Kershaw


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Kyle Farnsworth is a defensive lineman now, and he leads his team in sacks

Good news everyone!

Kyle Farnsworth is ... listen, there are a lot of descriptions that walk a fine line between libelous and accurate, so let’s just say that he’s different. He could take your nose off with one well-placed karate chop, and then he would probably do something weird with the nose.

So it’s completely bizarre and perfectly logical that 321 days after throwing his last major league pitch, the 39-year-old Farnsworth is leading his Florida Football Alliance team in sacks and tackles.

We’re talking real, minor league, tackle football with with big dudes. Of course Farnsworth is thriving. Of course he is.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 05, 2015 at 04:29 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, football, kyle farnsworth, royals, tigers, yankees

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Kirk Gibson diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease

Just awful news.

Detroit Tigers legend and former Michigan State two-sport star Kirk Gibson has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Gibson, in his first year back as an analyst with Fox Sports Detroit, has been absent from the FSD broadcast booth since the Opening Day telecast.

“I have faced many different obstacles in my life, and have always maintained a strong belief that no matter the circumstances, I could overcome those obstacles,” Gibson, 57, said in a released statement. “While this diagnosis poses a new kind of challenge for me, I intend to stay true to my beliefs. With the support of my family and friends, I will meet this challenge with the same determination and unwavering intensity that I have displayed in all of my endeavors in life. I look forward to being back at the ballpark as soon as possible.”

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects one’s movement. Well-known patients include Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tigers notes: Verlander can’t throw until he’s pain-free

“He can’t pick up a ball until he’s completely pain-free and no fluid in the area,” manager Brad Ausmus said.

And until the soreness in his strained right triceps subsides, Ausmus said, he will be sidelined. There is no timetable for him to throw a ball again.

The fluid in the area, Ausmus explained, is inflammation, which was found by an MRI last week.

“My understanding is that it wasn’t fully recovered which is why it became sore again,” Ausmus said. “We have to have him completely free of pain and inflammation because you don’t want to have a return to that scenario.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 26, 2015 at 09:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander, tigers

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Joe Nathan Out For Year With Torn UCL

I don’t know how you beat the Tigers now…

Tigers righty Joe Nathan has torn the ulnar collateral ligament as well as a tendon in his right elbow, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports on Twitter...

Nathan, 40, opened the year as Detroit’s closer despite a challenging 2014 season in which he posted a 4.81 ERA. He struck out just 8.4 batters per nine while walking 4.5 per nine, both of which were the worst marks of his career since he moved to the pen.

That was obviously not the output that the Tigers hoped for when they promised Nathan $20MM over two years through free agency. The club does hold a $10MM option for next season, but seems highly likely to instead pay a $1MM buyout at this juncture.

Nathan will undergo Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career, this time with the added complication of the tendon damage to account for.

The District Attorney Posted: April 23, 2015 at 10:44 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, joe nathan, tigers

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Robin Ventura makes controversial decision not to challenge key play in White Sox loss - Chicago Tribune

Everyone was in a tizzy!!!

There was no hypothetical man in the bleachers with binoculars causing controversy in the White Sox game against the Tigers on Friday at Comerica Park.

It was a hypothetical challenge that had everyone in a tizzy after a 2-1 Sox loss to the Tigers.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 18, 2015 at 10:07 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers, white sox


Thursday, April 09, 2015

Feisty Bert Blyleven Trashes Detroit

Circle the Fox Theater, Bert!

While today’s Twins-Tigers game was in a rain delay, former Twins pitcher and current analyst Bert Blyleven updated his Twitter followers with photos of the field, and took some cracks at Detroit’s expense in the process.

Guess I ruffled some feathers with my last tweet about download Detroit! Guess all you that responded haven’t seen how ugly your downtown is

— Bert Blyleven (@BertBlyleven28) April 9, 2015

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 09, 2015 at 09:41 PM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: announcing, apologies, bert blyleven, detroit, tigers, twins, twitter

Joe Nathan placed on DL with a strained right elbow

On Wednesday, general manager Dave Dombrowki announced that Nathan is headed to the disabled list with a right elbow flexor strain.

Nathan faced one batter in Monday’s 4-0 victory against the Minnesota Twins, striking out former teammate Torii Hunter to earn the save. But that might prove to be a costly save. On his final pitch, Nathan first felt discomfort, and according to manager Brad Ausmus it was determined on Wednesday that Nathan will require rest before being reevaluated later in the week.

“Actually on the very last pitch he threw, he kind of felt it grab on Monday,” Ausmus said. “Then he came in today, played catch and from what he said and how his face looked, you could tell it was bothering him quite a bit.

Veteran Joakim Soria, who has two 40-save seasons under his belt from his time with the Kansas City Royals, will step into the role immediately.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 09, 2015 at 03:49 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: joakim soria, joe nathan, tigers

Friday, April 03, 2015

Tigers put Justin Verlander on DL

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander will start the season on the disabled list but likely won’t be out of action for long, manager Brad Ausmus said Thursday. Verlander, who had been scheduled to make his first start of the season Wednesday, has been dealing with a sore triceps and has been throwing lightly in an attempt to work out the tightness.

The 32-year-old Verlander, a six-time All-Star selection, went 15-12 last season with a 4.54 ERA and 159 strikeouts. Verlander is 28-24 in two seasons since starting a $180 million, seven-year contract, and he was slowed by core muscle surgery before the 2014 season.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 03, 2015 at 07:38 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: busts, justin verlander, kate upton, tigers

Friday, March 27, 2015

Grantland (Keri): 2015 AL Central Preview

3. Chicago White Sox

...

Worst Offseason Move: None. Seriously, the Pale Hose didn’t put a foot wrong this winter. Although, when we spoke a few weeks ago, Hahn getting fired up about a minor league deal for 36-year-old Brad Penny might’ve been a bit much.

I think it would have been fair to place the David Robertson deal here.

Eddo Posted: March 27, 2015 at 11:30 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: al central, indians, royals, tigers, twins, white sox

Monday, March 09, 2015

BP liner hits Iglesias in shin, knocks him out of lineup | tigers.com

Why do the baseball gods hate Jose Iglesias’ shins?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2015 at 08:16 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: jose iglesias, tigers

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Robothal: Walk away from $144 million? No sweat, Scherzer had it covered

The policy, Scherzer said, would have provided him with $40 million tax-free if he suffered any type of injury that prevented him from receiving an offer below the Tigers’ original $144 million proposal. Scherzer was covered if he injured his shoulder. He was covered if he required Tommy John surgery on his elbow. He was covered for every possible injury under a policy that he said cost him $750,000.

“Don’t get me wrong. I know finance. I know deferral money. I get all that. But this was the best offer. If another team wanted to make a better offer without a deferment, we never received it. This was the best offer.”

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 03, 2015 at 12:13 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: max scherzer, nationals, tigers

Detroit Tigers’ Jose Iglesias ‘really happy’ to return to field

Is this supposed to be encouraging?

Iglesias played one inning in today’s exhibition season-opening 12-2 win over Florida Southern. He made one put-out – a pop-up to end the the first – and took one at-bat – a groundout in the bottom of the first.

“It was a great feeling to get back out there and just being in the uniform is amazing,” he said.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2015 at 06:32 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: jose iglesias, tigers

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Schoenfield: Ranking the teams: 18 through 13

I’m just the messenger: Just pointing out that Lester had a 4.82 ERA in 2012 and 3.75 in 2013. Yes, big 2014, new league, no DH and more cutters instead of four-seamers and he could be even better. But you never know. He may not be as good as he was last year. And then there’s Jake Arrieta, former faded prospect turned rotation anchor. He looks like the real deal but ... again ... you never know. Hey, I’m trying. I like the Cubs! I have them ranked 13th!

The final word: If I had more guts I’d predict them to win the division, but they have two strong clubs ahead of them and even the Brewers or Reds are capable of 90 wins. The Cubs are still sorting a few things out and waiting for some of the young guys to mature. Sometimes, teams do break through right away; if Bryant and Jorge Soler are 3-4 win players as rookies and Lester and Arrieta throw 400-plus innings of great baseball, the Cubs could be the big surprise of 2015.

Prediction: 84-78

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 12, 2015 at 10:21 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, athletics, cubs, david schoenfield, padres, royals, tigers

Monday, February 09, 2015

THE TOP 10 MLB LINEUPS FOR 2015

2. Blue Jays: Were Dalton Pompey more established, Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak more reliable and second base not such a worry, I’d strongly consider the Blue Jays for the top spot on this list. Alas, those are, of course, all big questions.

Still, there is a lot to like about a lineup that begins with Jose Reyes, Russell Martin, Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion. Those are five steady on-base presences and a middle of the order that can straight-up mash.

There are big questions to be answered in Toronto, but you’d be hard-pressed to find (on paper, at least) a lineup with a better top five.


Thursday, February 05, 2015

ESPN:Victor Martinez has torn meniscus

Detroit Tigers slugger Victor Martinez tore the medial meniscus in his left knee during workouts, the team announced Thursday.
Dr. James Andrews is scheduled to perform surgery Tuesday to repair the injury. Detroit has not announced a timetable for Martinez’s return…
This is the second time Martinez has suffered a serious offseason knee injury as a Tiger. In 2012, he tore his left ACL in offseason conditioning and missed that entire season. Besides having surgery to repair that injury, he also underwent a microfracture procedure on the same knee earlier that year.

Does this mean they’re going to sign Prince Fielder again?

Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 05, 2015 at 06:54 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers, v-mart

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Max Scherzer closing in on new multiyear contract - ESPN

According to the Washington Post, the Nationals are the favorite to land Scherzer and are “very close” to a deal.

A source told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that the Nationals won’t have the financial flexibility to sign Scherzer unless they have a trade in place to move starter Jordan Zimmermann and possibly shortstop Ian Desmond. As of Saturday, Stark reports, the Nationals did not have trades in place for either Zimmermann or Desmond.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2015 at 09:58 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, max scherzer, nationals, tigers

Friday, January 09, 2015

5 bold predictions for the rest of the MLB offseason. | SportsonEarth.com : Anthony Castrovince Article

Alas, nobody’s seriously expecting the 20-second pitch clock—the best of the pace-of-play procedures tested in the Arizona Fall League—to be instituted anytime soon, but one league source said the “one foot in the batter’s box” rule that was also tested does have some legs (pun intended).


Thursday, January 08, 2015

The Sporting News: Why we picked the Cubs to win the 2015 World Series

Here you go #Cubs fans. Suitable for framing ... @sportingnews pic.twitter.com/BEcuvJjoyJ

— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) January 8, 2015 ” cols=“100” rows=“20”>

But can they beat the Miami Gators?

It’s not just because of “Back to the Future 2,” when the Cubs were a 100-1 shot, and Marty McFly got the idea to go back in time and bet on sports results for which he already knew the outcome. In reality, the Cubs are much better than a 100-1 shot. At 12-1, they are tied with the Tigers as the bettors’ fifth choice behind the Dodgers, Red Sox, Angels and Nationals.

The addition of Jon Lester to the top of the rotation is huge for Chicago, as it means that Jake Arrieta slides into the No. 2 spot, followed by returning free agent Jason Hammel, and then some kind of mix of Kyle Hendricks, Travis Wood, Tsuyoshi Wada, Jacob Turner and Felix Doubront. The depth at the back end of the rotation should allow Chicago to put together a formidable starting five coming out of spring training. Competition is healthy, and you can never have too much pitching….

The real reason to be excited, though, is the Cubs’ bountiful farm system, coupled with savvy trades, is starting to bear fruit for the lineup. First baseman Anthony Rizzo (acquired from the Padres when he was 22) and home-grown shortstop Starlin Castro are the cornerstones of the lineup, both legitimate stars entering their age-25 seasons. The fact that the Cubs were able to get significant action in the major leagues last year for Arismendy Alcantara, Jorge Soler and Javier Baez will help those players settle into their first full big-league campaigns. Eventually, Kris Bryant will be along as well.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 08, 2015 at 09:11 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, the sporting news, tigers, world series predictions

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Tiger Tales: A Detroit Tigers Blog: Tigers Infield Worst in MLB in Preventing Hits On Ground Balls

Lee Panas looks at the Tigers infield defense.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 03, 2015 at 10:07 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Tigers look to keep window of contention open | tigers.com

A lot of good questions about the Tigers.

4. Is Scherzer going to return?
Tigers officials have said repeatedly that they haven’t spoken with Scherzer’s agent, Scott Boras, about a return, and that their best shot to re-sign him was last spring before he hit free agency. And yet, none of the parties involved have ruled out a reunion. They know better after all the deals Boras has done with owner Mike Ilitch and all the times Ilitch has rewarded players who win for him.

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski gives an update on Max Scherzer and how the club most likely won’t sign him at this point
It’s a mystery, right down to whether Ilitch will have the chance to match a final offer from another club (Boras says he won’t, but an industry source with knowledge of the Tigers’ plans suggests he will). If another team wants Scherzer bad enough, it’s hard to see the Tigers getting in the way. If, on the other hand, Scherzer lingers on the market without a clear direction, the suspense will only build.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 01, 2015 at 08:45 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Detroit Tigers’ Jose Iglesias makes progress toward return to field

“The only thing he hasn’t really done full bore is a sprint on a regular basis on hard ground,” Dombrowski said.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2014 at 09:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jose iglesias, tigers

Monday, December 29, 2014

Nine possible spots for Max Scherzer: Star FA without a team, or a rumor - CBSSports.com

Will Boras really be able to convince a team to go $200 million on Scherzer?

9. Yankees: Hal Steinbrenner has been weighing Scherzer for weeks, but in recent days indications are Steinbrenner still isn’t ready to dive in, and they’ve said as much. Many rotation question questions carry over from last season, and it appears that for now at least, talented youngster Nate Eovaldi is the answer to McCarthy’s departure. Their starting group could be very good, but there’s a lot of uncertainty, from Mashiro Tanaka’s elbow to CC Sabathia’s knee to Ivan Nova’s elbow to Michael Pineda’s ability to continue to perform. The issue is this: With a 50 percent tax for them, a $28 million salary for Scherzer would cost them $42 million, steep even by Yankees standards.


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