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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Trust in Dave Dombrowski «

Bum Phillips famously said of Don Shula, “He can take his’n and beat your’n and take your’n and beat his’n.” Well, Dombrowski can trade his’n for your’n and win the trade, then take his’n back and win some more.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2014 at 07:50 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dave dombrowski, general managers, tigers

Monday, April 07, 2014

Tigers pitcher Evan Reed investigated for sexual assault in Detroit

My Fox Detroit reports that Detroit Tigers right-hander Evan Reed is being investigated by police for involvement in a sexual assault March 30, the day before the team opened the 2014 season at Comerica Park. Detroit police confirmed that a complaint has been made and they’re in the process of interviewing the alleged victim. A full investigation is expected to take perhaps two weeks.

The Tigers released a statement calling the allegation “very serious” and “concerning,” but would not add a further comment at this time.

Reed’s attorney, David Gorcyca, also released a statement that said in part:

  “We are very confident that once a thorough and full investigation is completed, Mr. Reed will have nothing to fear. During the infancy of this investigation, no one should formulate any conclusions that a crime has been committed.”

Repoz Posted: April 07, 2014 at 09:33 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Friday, March 28, 2014

Miguel Cabrera and Tigers agree on eight-year, $248 million extension

Miguel Cabrera, the best hitter in baseball, will also be the best-paid player in the game when the slugger and the Detroit Tigers finalize what multiple reports say would be the biggest contract extension in baseball history based on average annual value.

Cabrera and the Tigers have agreed on an extension that would keep an Olde English “D” on Cabrera’s chest through 2023. It’s worth $248 million over eight years and kicks in after Cabrera finishes his old deal, which still has two years and $44 million remaining.

The extension is worth $31 million per year, which would be the highest yearly salary for any deal in history, eclipsing Clayton Kershaw’s seven-year deal with the Dodgers that’s worth $215 million, or $30.71 million per year.

GregD Posted: March 28, 2014 at 12:05 AM | 138 comment(s)
  Beats: contract extension, miguel cabrera, tigers

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Report: Jose Iglesias could miss most of the 2014 season

Chvrches: The broken bones of what you believe.

Earlier, D.J. Short wondered if the Tigers would make a play for free agent Stephen Drew after it was reported that shortstop Jose Iglesias would begin the season on the disabled list with shin splints. It may be worse than the Tigers expected. ESPN’s Jim Bowden is reporting that Iglesias could miss most of the 2014 season. As a result, they indeed will be expected to pursue Drew.

Repoz Posted: March 15, 2014 at 07:05 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Tigers lose on walk-off balk

Among the first drills new Tigers manager Brad Ausmus worked on with his club in February was a rarely attempted pickoff move to third base.
...
Honestly, it felt like a disaster waiting to happen when Ausmus introduced the drill, and on Friday night a perfect example of just how disastrous it can be played out when a little bit of miscommunication led to a game-ending balk in Detroit’s 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees.

SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:31 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: rules, tigers

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Kornacki: Dirks expected to miss three months after back surgery

Time for some injury problems in Detroit.

Andy Dirks, a left-handed hitter who figured to get most of the at-bats in a platoon with right-handed Rajai Davis, is scheduled to have back surgery on Monday in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said Tuesday the microdiscectomy, which will be performed on the lumbar region in his lower back by Dr. Thomas Tolli, will require three weeks of “complete rest” followed by three weeks of therapy. He said Dirks would then require about six weeks of baseball activity to return to the Tigers.

Dombrowski said, “In 12 weeks, he’ll be ready to play.”

That means Dirks, who hit .256 with nine homers and 37 RBIs in 2013, won’t be available until about mid-June. That also brought plenty of questions for Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and Dombrowski about how they will shape up in left field.

“If Rajai plays well,” Ausmus said, “he might be the only guy we need.

“But I certainly feel for Andy. I’ve been in the same shoes with this surgery ... It can bring your spirits down.”

Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 06:05 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Ian Kinsler calls Jon Daniels ‘sleazeball,’ hopes Rangers go 0-162

Being Ian. Get a gripp.

Second baseman Ian Kinsler spent the first eight years of his big-league career with the Rangers, but he was traded to the Tigers this past offseason in a blockbuster deal that sent Prince Fielder to Texas. And now, in an article set to be in ESPN Magazine March 17, Kinsler has spoken his mind about his former ballclub. It’s juicy. It’s a quality read and long-form, so hop on over there to read the whole thing if interested.

Some of the highlights:

•“There was no remorse from the Rangers,” Kinsler says of the trade. “They did not care.” More: “The team had changed. It was not the same personalities, not the same players, not the same chemistry. To be traded, it was refreshing to start new.”

•Trading Michael Young before last season really hurt the club, in Kinsler’s view. “He held everything together,” Kinsler told ESPN.

•Kinsler and Adrian Beltre had a heated argument late in the season that spilled over into the tunnel between the dugout and the clubhouse.

•“Daniels is a sleazeball,” he says (ESPN). “He got in good with the owners and straight pushed [Nolan] Ryan out. He thought all the things he should get credit for, Ryan got credit for. It’s just ego. Once we went to the World Series, everybody’s ego got huge, except for Nolan’s.”

•“I’ll miss all my teammates,” he says (ESPN). “I’ll miss Elvis [Andrus] and Beltre, Mitch [Moreland], Matt Harrison and [manager Ron] Washington.” And the kill shot: “To be honest with you, I hope they go 0-162. I got friends, and I love my friends, but I hope they lose their ass.”

Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:21 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, tigers

Friday, February 28, 2014

Pitching in Korea an eye-opening experience for Tigers’ Duane Below

Below the 38th Parallel I imagine.

Several thousand miles and an extremely long day spent in airports and airplanes separates Gwangju, Korea, from Duane Below’s hometown of Britton, Mich.

Last August, a season after last pitching for the Tigers and a handful of months after two forgettable appearances with the Marlins, Below signed with the Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization.

Now he has brought the perspective of his two months playing overseas back to the Tigers’ camp in Florida, where he is a non-roster invitee just trying to break camp with the big league team.

“I wanted to be open minded,” Below said of the experience on Friday. “I didn’t want to be closed off. I tried to take as much in as possible.

“The language barrier was tough for me. Being at the field, the other foreigner was from the Dominican Republic, but he spoke very good English. So I was able to talk to him and my translator. You can communicate with your teammates here, but it helped open up my eyes how difficult it is coming from a different country, for the guys coming from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, or even Japan and Korea.

“So it was something that I’ll always have and I’ll always remember.”

...Below took some on-field lessons from his time in Korea, too. He described the level of play as about the same as a good Triple-A team and saw a few players at the MLB-caliber there.

Opposing hitters like to make a pitcher work hard for everything, and the strike zone is a little smaller. And if those hitters make their way on base, they’re going to remind the battery they’re there.

“They hustle, non-stop,” Below said. “It was good to see, good to learn. I feel like that will help me here in America. It was an experience that I’ll always have.”

Repoz Posted: February 28, 2014 at 08:03 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Heyman:  Maxing out: Scherzer is Tigers’ greatest contractual challenge yet

Long before he was named in the article, I knew who Scherzer’s agent is.  As long as he continues to write articles like this, or this one about Stephen Drew, people will continue to think Heyman’s a shill for Scott Boras.

TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 28, 2014 at 06:28 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: boras, tigers

Reiter: With one move, Tigers reinvent themselves on offense and defense

So Ausmus’ first Tigers team will be different than Leyland’s last—more athletic, more dynamic, more versatile. Will they be better? Well, no, not definitely. It is not easy to replace the production of a player like Fielder, even a down-year Fielder. “You take Prince Fielder’s bat out of the lineup, that’s 100 RBI, that’s nothing to scoff at,” Ausmus said.

The fact is that Detroit didn’t need to get better. It is de rigueur for teams that don’t win the World Series to focus publicly on their shortcomings and explain how they’ve addressed them so that the result will be different next time. But in the case of last year’s Tigers, it was probably just bad luck, played out in the small-sample-size environment of the playoffs. “They were built to win it all,” one rival GM said. “They just didn’t.”

One of the harmless lies we tell ourselves about sports with playoff structures is that the ultimate winner was the best team all along. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. Change a few unfortunate bounces in very tight games, subtract a celebrating Boston cop, and the slow-pitch Tigers could easily have been last year’s champions.

Dombrowski might have retained Fielder, and the overall style that resulted from his presence, and he could have been confident that he would again have a legitimate shot at a World Series. A lesser GM might have gone that route, but Dombrowski didn’t for one reason: Money. Even counting the $30 million they sent to Texas along with Fielder, the Tigers all at once lopped $76 million in future commitments off their unwieldy books, funds that they might redirect to Cy Young winner Max Scherzer (who is due to become a free agent after this season) or Miguel Cabrera (who can hit free agency after 2015).

The idea is to get your team to the playoff tournament as many times as you can, where the odds say you might eventually hoist a trophy. Dombrowski knew that he needed to trim his payroll in order to fund those shots not just in 2014, but in the years to follow. The Kinsler-for-Fielder trade allowed him to do that in the best way possible: By fielding a team that will still win, just differently. It would be no surprise at all if the trading partners meet again in late October, with a World Series on the line.

Thanks to Tiger Barnald.

Repoz Posted: February 28, 2014 at 07:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ex-Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain: I’ve lost over 150 pounds

That’s only about $250…times must be tough!

Denny McLain, the ex-Tigers ace and felon, told WWJ Newsradio 950 he has lost 156 pounds.

“I am down 24 pants sizes,” he said. “I’m down a whole shoe sizes. I had the fattest feet in Michigan. ... I’m seeing things now I forgot I had!”

McLain said he had bariatric surgery to lose the weight so he could help take care of his wife, Sharon, who has Parkinson’s disease.

“I’m trying to get to my playing weight,” said McLain, 69. “I would just love one more time to go out to Tigers Stadium and throw one pitch and kick my leg up … and see what would happen.”

Repoz Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:18 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: history, tigers

Friday, February 21, 2014

Detroit News: Venezuelan Tigers show support for protesters in home country

Magglio Ordonez and Joe Kennedy were unavailable for comment.

In a rare, but unified display of national politics in a major-league clubhouse, the Tigers who are native Venezuelans demonstrated their support for the protesters in their country on Friday by posing together with banners, flags and slogans.

The group of 12 included Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers’ two-time most valuable player; Victor Martinez, coach Omar Vizquel and pitcher Anibal Sanchez.

Some of the players held flags on which they printed “SOS Venezuela” and “Pray for Venezuela,” but there were also slogans in Spanish that conveyed the players’ support.

 

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:37 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: socialism, tigers, venezuela

Ferkovich: Cobb almost lost his third .400 season due to a scorekeeping controversy

“Eureka! Who ####### cares?”

Only three players have hit over .400 in a season three times: Rogers Hornsby, Ed Delahanty, and Ty Cobb. The Georgia Peach hit .420 in 1911, .409 in 1912, and .401 in 1922.

That last one, however, almost didn’t happen, and was the subject of controversy at the time.

Rewind back to May 15, 1922, at a rainy Polo Grounds in New York. The Detroit Tigers were playing the New York Yankees. Cobb hit a ground ball to shortstop Everett Scott. According to one newspaper account, Scott “fumbled and kicked the ball into center field.” Official scorer John Kieran of the New York Tribune ruled it an error. Also in attendance that day was sportswriter Fred Lieb, who put it down in his scorecard as a hit. Unaware of the discrepancy between his scoring and Kieran’s, Lieb sent his box score, giving Cobb two hits on the day, to the Associated Press. Kieran’s box score, showing Cobb as getting only one hit, was delivered to the Tribune.

At season’s end, the official batting averages showed Cobb finishing with a mark of .401 (19 points behind batting champion George Sisler). However, American League statistician Irwin Howe admitted that in figuring Cobb’s average he had used Lieb’s unofficial box score, rather than Kieran’s official one.

...Ironically, Lieb himself deplored Johnson’s decision. “(Nobody) begrudges Cobb a .400 batting average, but the use of baseball records will be undermined when records are deliberately tampered with in order to favor any batsman, whether he be a star or a mediocre player.”

Still protesting the decision, the BBWAA put the matter to a vote of the writers. Lieb, as president, had to preside over the vote, putting him in the awkward position of having to argue against his own box score. In a close vote, the BBWAA chose not to accept the additional hit. Nevertheless, Cobb’s .401 average remained in the record books. Later, Lieb pointed out that the whole brouhaha never would have happened if Howe “hadn’t been so darn honest” in admitting he used the unofficial box score. Ironically, years earlier, there had been controversy surrounding Cobb and the 1910 batting title, resulting in rulings from the league office that awarded the crown to The Peach.

In the end, Cobb had his 211 hits for 1922, but a statistician’s honesty nearly cost him his third .400 season.

Repoz Posted: February 21, 2014 at 08:04 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: history, tigers

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ausmus: If he plays well, (Dirks) can grow (his hair) to his feet

Cousin Hit.

uee

Even though he originally came through the New York Yankees’ system, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus isn’t too concerned with his players’ appearance.

Someone asked about outfielder Andy Dirks, whose hair has grown rather long.

“I don’t care. If he plays well, he can grow it to his feet as far as I’m concerned,” Ausmus said.
Tigers’ Ausmus played at shortstop once

Ausmus recalled the Yankees’ persnickety ways.

“I came up in the Yankee organization, which is very strict compared to most organizations,” Ausmus said. “Blousing in the pants, no facial hair, hair had to be cut, collared shirts all the time, even in the minor leagues. So they did have strict policies.”

Repoz Posted: February 15, 2014 at 04:24 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ronny Paulino suspended 100 games for second PED-related offense

Catcher Ronny Paulino hasn’t played in the majors since 2012 and is currently with the Tigers as a minor-leaguer. Wednesday, Major League Baseball announced that he has been suspended for 100 games as a result of testing positive for exogenous Testosterone.

This is Paulino’s second offense, hence the 100-game ban instead of 50.

Repoz Posted: February 12, 2014 at 06:22 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Friday, February 07, 2014

Newhouser is best Tigers’ pitcher ever, but several right-handers are bunched together after that

Only dust and a no plaque
That reads, “Here Lies Poor Old Jack”

The history of Tiger pitching is so multifaceted that you see a different name atop almost every career leaderboard, depending on the stat. Today, though, most analysts would agree that two new metrics are by far the most meaningful for pitchers: ERA+ and WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

ERA+ adjusts for the disparities among different baseball milieus over time by calculating how a pitcher’s earned run average compares to his peers. Preventing runs is clearly the key job of any pitcher, and ERA does a pretty good job of measuring that skill, particularly when adjusted for the era. An ERA+ of 100 is league average. This handy measuring stick yields this interesting leaderboard: Newhouser 130, Verlander 127, Bridges 126, Trout 125 (stats with Detroit only) — a ranking that conforms pretty closely both to the well-informed and intuitive judgments of longtime Tiger fans. (FYI — Jim Bunning and Frank Lary come in at 116, McLain at 110, Morris at 108, Lolich at 105, and Dauss and Mullin are just above league average at 102)

If you then employ career WAR to add in the missing key factor of longevity, here’s the fascinating result, according to Baseball Reference.com’s WAR figures: Newhouser 59.0, Bridges 52.5, Lolich 47.5, Trout 45.2, Verlander 40.7, Morris 39.7, Dauss 35.2, Mullin 35.1. These rankings seem just about right to me: I’ve already pegged Prince Hal as the best Tiger hurler ever and Lolich as clearly the second-best lefty. Among other starters, Bridges and Trout are usually considered neck-and-neck behind Newhouser, and our two most best metrics bear that out. But they also say that Verlander is on pace, barring injury, to catch and surpass each of them.

...Measuring by ERA+, Verlander is already at least the equal of Bridges and Trout. In his eight full seasons, Verlander has been about a three-win player on average. If he continues to have roughly that kind of value, by the end of 2015 he’ll pass Trout in career WAR, in 2016 he’ll surpass Lolich, and by the time the 2017 season is done, he’ll be right there with Bridges.

At that point, if his health holds up and his skills don’t significantly erode, you could put Verlander’s name in ink as the all-time No. 1 Tiger right-handed starter, and he might then start an exciting stretch drive to challenge Newhouser as the best Detroit pitcher ever. That’s all a bit premature, however. Today, Bridges still edges out Trout and JV. But Tommy and Dizzy have a thoroughbred breathing down their necks.

Repoz Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:02 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: history, tigers

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Henning:  Despite warning, expect Tigers to extend Miguel Cabrera’s deal at a premium

This is a great article by a writer that I think is open to admitting what he doesn’t know, and finding the answers.

And a Szym sighting!

TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:52 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Sunday, January 26, 2014

CAPUTO: Pieces to the Tigers’ puzzle should fit together better in ‘14

The Tigers have picked up three players – second baseman Ian Kinsler (in the Fielder trade with Texas), utility infielder Steve Lombardozzi (in the Fister trade with Washington) and outfield Raji Davis (as a free agent), who don’t clog the bases.

Rookie third baseman Nick Castellanos has average speed, which means he is more athletic than Fielder (two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera has been moved back to first base from third). Jose Iglesias, acquired late last season to replace Peralta, who was suspended for 50 games by MLB for violating its performance enhancing drugs policy, has excellent speed and range defensively.

Infante was a solid defender, but his range and base-running were hindered by a badly sprained ankle last season. Kinsler has better range – regardless. Kinsler’s WAR, 5.2 (the Baseball-Reference.com version), was 15th-best in the American League last year. There is a big emphasis in the statistic on base running and fielding range measures. Infante’s WAR in 2013 was less than half Kinsler’s – 2.4.

...“I’m more concerned with players who can drive in runs,” Dombrowski said. “We have a lot of players who can drive the ball into the gaps. I’m a big doubles guy.”

Li Na might be looking for a new partner…

 

Repoz Posted: January 26, 2014 at 11:44 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Calcaterra: Dontrelle “Rasputin” Willis to sign minor league deal with Giants

Some guys never get a shot at the big leagues. Or if they do, it’s far too short a shot and they are overlooked for the rest of their careers, exiled to Triple-A or worse. You gotta make the best of that shot. You may never get another one.

Unless you’re Dontrelle Willis, of course, in which case you seemingly get a couple dozen shots and will until you just don’t fell like trying anymore:

I heard Dontrelle Willis will be signing a minor-league contract with the #sfgiants

— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) January 10, 2014

... Since [Willis] left Florida following the 2007 season he’s 4-15 with a 6.15 ERA while walking 7.1 hitters per nine and allowing 9.3 hits per nine. And… he hasn’t even gotten a significant MINOR league look since 2011.

I know he’s a lefty and lefties are supposed to live forever, and by all accounts he’s a great guy to have around (at least if you don’t ask the Orioles). But there has been nothing — literally nothing — positive to be seen in his pitching in a decade. No indication whatsoever that he can help a ball club. How does he still get chances when so many other pitchers don’t?

Probably like this:

Dontrelle Willis turns 32 Sunday. In prime years. If he’s in good shape and figured out control issues, he could be great story. #sfgiants

— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) January 10, 2014

A nice thought. But people have been having that same thought for years. It never pans out.


Monday, January 06, 2014

Brad Ausmus on TigerTalk: ‘I’m not a sabermetrician’

. ‘I have earned everything I have got.’

The return of baseball must be near, because the first episode of “TigerTalk” in 2014 aired Monday night on WXYT. Host Pat Caputo talked Tigers baseball with radio play-by-play man, Dan Dickerson, as well as new manager, Brad Ausmus.

...Dickerson asked Ausmus about the value of having an official closer in the bullpen, and the response left little doubt as to where he stood: “I have yet to come across a manager who says ‘I don’t care who pitches the 9th.’ ... The rest of the bullpen knows where they slot [when you have a closer],” and in that situation, “It’s beneficial if guys kind of know their roles [in the bullpen] ... it creates a bit more of a comfort level.”

Is Ausmus concerned at all, coming in as a young manager with no real managerial experience of which to speak? No, he says, “I think the players know that I haven’t forgotten how difficult this game is ... I know what it’s like to go 0-for-40 ... The fact that I’m not that far removed [from the game] will help me relate to [the players] a little bit better.”

Caputo asked Ausmus a rather pointed question about his opinion on sabermetrics, to which Ausmus replied that advanced statistical data is more for analysis “after-the-fact ... it doesn’t blend too close into game action.” While he acknowledged that “There’s data that I will look at, that we will use during the course of a game,” he noted that “it’s the players who win or lose the games.” Ausmus referred directly to the fact that “People got the thought that, because of my age and my background, I’m a sabermetrician,” but dispelled this idea by adding, “I’m really not.”

Repoz Posted: January 06, 2014 at 09:46 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, tigers

Friday, January 03, 2014

MiLB.com: Whitecaps’ ballpark damaged in fire

A large fire caused extensive damage to the West Michigan Whitecaps’ Fifth Third Ballpark on Friday morning as firefighters from five departments battled the blaze for more than three hours in Comstock Park, Mich.
...
The fire appeared to have destroyed close to 40 percent of the stadium, including the clubhouse on the first-base side and approximately 11 suites. Firefighters were able to stop the flames from spreading into the center of the stadium, which likely saved the press box and front offices from further damage. Baxter said those areas may have sustained water damage.

The Whitecaps are the Midwest League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.

Boileryard Posted: January 03, 2014 at 07:18 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, tigers, west michigan whitecaps

Friday, December 20, 2013

Richard Bak: As a movie, “Cobb” struck out

Ken Wuhl/Wahl would stink as Newbomb Turk!

Casual fans, then and now, might consider Cobb entertaining. It has all the old standbys: sex, violence, even the obligatory car chase. However, anyone hoping to catch an insight into Cobb’s genius as a player will be disappointed. For a baseball movie, there is precious little playing action. During his playing days, Cobb’s off-field altercations regularly put him in the news, but it was his on-field brilliance that made him so fascinating to watch and made him the first man named to the Hall of Fame.

The audacious base running, the offensive cunning, the raw physical courage – Shelton chose to overlook all that. Instead of seeing Cobb gracefully perform one of his patented fadeaway or hook slides, grabbing a corner of the base as the infielder swipes at thin air, he had Jones clumsily bowling over opponents. If Cobb had motored around the bases as Jones portrayed him, he would have broken an ankle or been shipped back to the minors. The viewer is left wondering exactly what it was that made Cobb a genuine hero during the game’s silver age.

Having spent a good deal of time researching and writing about Cobb’s life over the years, I’m convinced most people don’t know, or care to know, the whole story. Anecdotes about Cobb quietly taking care of the affairs of some down-on-his-luck player don’t advance the popular image. No one wants to hear about Cobb avoiding a collision on the base paths. The hospital he built and the educational fund he established, both still going strong, don’t stir the blood.

I’m no apologist for Cobb, whose warts are well-documented. But in the rush by Shelton and Jones to present a portrait of what is generally considered an unbalanced personality (I’m convinced Cobb suffered from bipolar disorder), the view itself became unbalanced. While director and actor both nobly proclaimed their intention to attack America’s propensity for hero worship, they chose to make their case by presenting a litany of myths, distortions, exaggerations, and outright lies. Tearing down heroes is one thing. Building a wholly irredeemable cretin out of a troubled genius is quite another.

In the final scene of the movie, Ken Wuhl, the actor who portrays Al Stump, is asked by his barfly friends: “What was Cobb like?”

“You want the truth?” Wuhl/Stump responds.

“Yes!” I wanted to yell. “Please!” But in Cobb, as in most biopics, the truth has been obliterated by pyrotechnics.

I did that.

 

 

Repoz Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:36 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: history, tigers

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Juan Gonzalez MVP Trophy, other memorabilia, on the auction block

Gonzalez has put a number of items up for auction through Lelands.com, an auction house that specializes in sports and entertainment memorabilia. The “Juan Gonzalez Collection” includes seven items and is highlighted by Gonzalez’s 1996 AL MVP Trophy.

The catalog also notes that Gonzalez has signed the trophy and states it is his original MVP trophy.  The bidding for the MVP trophy started at $10,000 on Wednesday. It had received two bids and was up to $11,000 by Wednesday evening. The auction runs through January 10.

Among other items from Gonzalez’s collection that are up for auction:

• The “Babe Ruth Crown” he received from the Maryland Professional Baseball Players Association in 1992 (starting bid was $3,000)

• Silver Slugger bats he received in 1996 and 2001. The bats are being sold separately. (starting bid was $1,000)

• A trophy presented to him for being the Rangers nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award in 1997 (starting bid was $1,000)

• An AL Player of the Month trophy for September, 1997 (starting bid was $300)

• The “Ultimate Juan Gonzalez Game Equipment Collection,” which features game-used gloves, bats, jerseys and hats, along with some signed baseball cards (starting bid was $600)

Gonzalez is not the only player offering memorabilia for auction. Former St. Louis manager Red Schoendienst, 90, has put up a number of items including his miniature Hall of Fame induction plaque and a number of World Series rings.

Egad, Igor!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Report: Detroit Tigers to sign reliever Joba Chamberlain for one year, $2.5 million

Joba rules Detroit.

Joba Chamberlain was once for the Yankees what Bruce Rondon now is for the Tigers: the young hard-throwing right-hander who is seemingly capable of long-term dominance out of the bullpen.

As in his first full season in 2008, Chamberlain struck out 118 hitters in 100 1⁄3 innings.

Now, for 2014, the Tigers hope Rondon can be an eighth-inning fireballer like that to set up closer Joe Nathan.

But Rondon must prove he has the health, ability and savvy to do so over a full season. The Tigers wanted to find a veteran reliever to step into Rondon’s role if he couldn’t do it.

They evidently have selected Chamberlain for that assignment. On Thursday, according to reports from reliable media outlets, the Tigers signed Chamberlain to a one-year contract. As reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney, the contract is for $2.5 million, plus performance bonuses. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal also confirmed the deal.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 12, 2013 at 08:30 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, joba chamberlain, tigers, yankees

Tigers agree to two-year deal with Rajai Davis

The Tigers and free agent outfielder Rajai Davis have agreed to a two-year contract. CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the deal will pay Davis a total of $10 million.

Davis, 33, hit .260/.312/.375 (88 OPS+) while going 45-for-51 in stolen base attempts in 108 games for the Blue Jays in 2013. Over the last three seasons with Toronto, he’s hit .252/.299/.369 (81 OPS+) with 125 steals in 155 attempts.

Detroit is likely to platoon the right-handed hitting Davis with the left-handed hitting Andy Dirks in left field. Davis hit .319/.383/.474 (132 OPS+) against lefties in 2013 while Dirks is a career .278/.333/.418 (101 OPS+) hitter against righties. Rajai also gives the team a speed element they simply have not had in recent years.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, rajai davis, tigers

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