Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Because Good Teams Form Voltron

And 137 million doesn't buy heart.

Following a 3-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals in the Heartland tonight, every radio show host in the country (or at least the six or seven following two teams struggling below .500 in markets ESPN couldn't give two shits about) came to the same sensible conclusion: The Detroit Tigers don't have any heart, and they don't know the meaning of the word team.

To paraphrase Hall of Fame broadcaster Denny Matthews, it looked like the Tigers were playing as nine individuals out there. Optimists point out this is a huge improvement over playing as say, eight individuals, without a left fielder (though the exhumed corpse of Gary Sheffield isn't exactly one complete one), kinda like the scenes in Necessary Roughness where that dumb slow linebacker who acts as the antagonist keeps sacking a 110 year old Scott Bakula because they insist on playing without a left guard. Also, playing as 10 individuals makes rule sticklers, such as the umpires and the opposing team, throw a tantrum.

I think what we all know is that good teams with good players form into one huge cohesive unit, and all insist on entering the batter's box and heading atop the pitching mound together. These statpadders have clearly not read the rule changes from 2003 that negate home runs that aren't done in the spirit of winning as a team. Fucking Tigers. I bet they'd like to score those runs for the other team if they weren't alienating the scoreboard guys in the clubhouse all the time.

Post game chatter mostly involved pining for one Brandon Inge, or as we like to call him, Mr. .304 Career OBP. Clearly putting a tubby Miguel Cabrera (career .385 OBP, .922 OPS) or a non-glue sticky Carlos Guillen (career .359, .808 OPS) taking these atbats is killing this team from the inside, as these players spend far too much time getting on base to look at pictures of their teammates' kids. The Tigers strategy could have been a good one, with Inge now no longer having to interrupt his stories and goodwill chemistry type gritty leadership making to say, step in the ondeck circle and then ground into quick outs.

Of course, the problem is that since Inge no longer touches the field, he needs to find ways to get closer to the people who really need to be exposed to his clutchiness. Maybe they should make him the bullpen catcher. Then, perhaps Verlander's hurt elbow will learn what it means to be part of a cohesive unit. Perhaps he and Kenny Rogers can take a stroll around the park after the game, and Kenny will forget that he is 75 years old and being watched closely by the boys in blue. Because this unit is lost without a mentor, and these wounded pitching ligaments don't know how to play the game the right way. This team is one Brandon Inge seminar away from having that 5.03 team ERA, 1.52 team WHIP plummet I tell you.

(Also: I just noticed that Miguel Cabrera's Baseball Reference page is sponsored by LeanBodyFitness.com. I love America.)


  1. Good stuff, Clutch.

    Let us also not forget how gutsy of a performance that was by the Royals, who showed a lot of courage by playing an entire game.

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  3. Edit:
    Corrected Detroit salary and other minor typos.

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