Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Baseball Guys are Golf Guys?

I always kind of wondered why baseball guys are almost always golf guys too.  My dad is a baseball guy.  If you have read this blog in the past you know his resume.  When I was young I chalked it up to my dad being a Doctor and it is definitely a rarity to find a Doctor who isn't a golf guy.  But as I got older I learned that it may not have been his Doctor background behind his golf.  More and more ballplayers I saw also played golf.  Case in point: Roger Dorn.  In Major League, Dorn shows up to spring training wearing golf attire and carrying his golf bag not his bat bag.  I remember as a kid Mark McGwire playing golf in some pro-am tournaments.  When I got to college, almost every guy on my team played golf on off days.  And now after college all of the Baseball Alumni get-togethers invariably involve a golf outing.

As a youngster, I played Pony baseball but wasn't one of the all-star type players.  I was a soft-hitting first baseman with a decent glove.  But my dad was a member of Moraga Valley Country Club and I spent much of my summers hanging around the driving range, scrounging remnants of buckets, and looking for pickup games on the putting green.  When I was decent enough I joined the club Golf Team for kids my age.  I played a lot.  When the family went to SunRiver on vacation we spent most of our time playing golf during the day and then sneaking onto the hole behind the condo we rented after the last group and gone by and played the same hole over and over until it was too dark to find my ball.  But when I got to college I stopped playing.  My clubs didn't make the trip with me to Ann Arbor, and I got off my game.  I played a few rounds on the U of M course when my dad would come to visit but I haven't set foot on a course in probably 8 years.

I am moving.  I am buying a house and i realized tonight that less that a mile from new house is a public course that is on my way home from work.  I have my clubs, ill-fitting as they may be, and a new set of golf shoes.  The fact that I had to ditch my metal golf spikes because since the last time I played metal spikes have been all but banned on most courses.  So I am gonna start playing golf again this summer.  Who knows, maybe I will find that in my older age, I have more patience and my swing will have slowed down enough to keep me on the fairway.  Wish me luck.  My goal for this summer is to play enough to set a handicap and then maybe I can show up for next years Baseball Alumni Golf Outing and not make a total fool of myself.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mobile Bloggin

So I am laying in bed in Conneaut Ohio. Yes that's right. Conneaut Ohio. On vacation. Stopped at the "in-laws" on our way to Maine. I am listening to the Tigers v As game on MLB At-Bat on my blackberry and writing this post on said blackberry in the form of an email to my blog. Isn't technology wonderful? When I send this it will post right to School Boy Rowe and I can go to sleep.
So who is thinking that Rick Porcello my end up being the next Jeremy Bonderman? A young talent that was possibly rushed up too quickly? Did Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland fall victim to Verlander fever assuming they could catch lightning in a bottle twice. I am scared. Last season Porcello lost his sinker. This season he has yet to find it. What do you call a sinker-baller whose sinker doesn't sink? Minor Leaguer? Me too. If Porcello keeps this up I would give Andy Oliver a shot and see if Porcello could fetch anything on the trade market. I am willing to let the kid have another full season to see if he can work it out.
Also who is seeing Brennan Boesch repeating last season. He his going pretty well right now but look out come the all-star break. If he can put together a complete season I would be willing to set him out there in Right Field next season. Cheap alternative to oft injured Magglio Ordonez. Depending on the free agent class next year, the Tigers should get themselves a good hitting outfielder and let Raburn and Boesch battle for the other outfield spot.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, April 11, 2011

Please Don't Repeat

The last time the Tigers made a big off-season signing/trade it was the move to bring in Miguel Cabrera prior to the 2008 season.  It was the attempt to get back to the World Series after missing the playoffs in 07.  Instead of being the move that vaulted the Tigers to an American League Pennant, it sent the team straight to the bottom of Central.  The Tigers had a mediocre season last year as the Tigers planned to cut some dead weight and payroll and become a younger, leaner team depending on a strong starting rotation.  They brought in a pro bat to hit behind Cabrera in Victor Martinez.  Perhaps the move will lead to a play-off berth, or it could lead to a repeat of 2008.  The vaunted Tigers staff has yet to live up to the promise this season.  Justin Verlander today was the victim of a total lack of run support today.  Our young star lead-off hitter is waving and missing more times than he is getting on base.  There is a pretty steady rotation of guys in Left Field and they have yet to really run out their 7th, 8th, and 9th inning bullpen guys.

So far the team is not living up to the expectations that I have for this season.  Thank god we are only 10 games into the season.  Only a little change can get this team back on track.  Do any of us really believe that the Cleveland Indians are the best team in the Central?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The 7th Inning Stretch

It was, in no uncertain terms, a seventh inning stretch tonight for the Tigers.  An inning that went on and on and on.  The Tigers gave up 5 runs in the seventh inning tonight.  What was touted as a stout bullpen back end has become a something of a catastrophe.  Tonight Brad Thomas and Enrigue Gonzalez combined for .2 innings and 5 runs in the seventh inning.  That inning had been slated for Ryan Perry who went on the DL today with an eye infection.  In a perfect world, Perry would have come into the game in 7th with a lead, handed the ball to Benoit in the 8th, who would have passed the ball to Valverde in the 9th.  That was the story that was told to fans going into this season.  That situation has not happened yet this season.  The closest we got was during the win in the Yankees series when Phil Coke pitched the 7th and then Benoit setup Valverde.  So what is going on?  Bad luck for one.  The Tigers schedule didn't help.  The Yankees lineup is formidable and the Orioles have been one of the hottest teams in baseball since Buck Showalter took over last season..  Perry going to the DL, the Tigers not staking any of their starters to decent leads, you name it.

Robbie Weinhardt was called up to take Perry's spot and hopefully he can fill the gap between the Starters and closers.  Brian Villarreal has pitched well so far this season, in his role, but there haven't been many other bright spots from this pitching staff so far.  Hopefully they can get their act together and actually shut down some teams.  This vaunted pitching staff is not doing much in the way of putting the team in a position to win.

Other Notes:  The Tigers are getting production from a few guys that they likely weren't expecting production from.  Brandon Inge is hitting over .300 to start the season, Alex Avila is providing some nice pop from the left side at the bottom of the lineup.  And Brennan Boesch is showing flashes of his first half last season.  I wouldn't mind if he could put together a complete season, providing left handed power and hitting for a decent average.