The first half of the baseball season has been anything but predictable. So here’s a few things that have surprised me this year, and my thoughts on whether or not they’ll continue.
After 77 games, the Tigers find themselves three games under .500, and five games back of the White Sox. Almost every single person who works for the media expected the Tigers to run away with their division. Well, that’s still not the case. Will the Tigers be able to turn it around in time to make the playoffs? Yes, I believe they’ll win the division, but it’ll be a lot closer than everyone expected.
R.A. Dickey is leading Major League Baseball with 12 wins, and even though he’s the feel good story, nobody expecting the New York Mets knuckleballer to be this dominant in 2012. Dickey recorded his 12th win of the year yesterday, and aside from one bad start against the Yankees, he’s been nearly unhittable. I think he’s pitched enough this year to prove it’s not a fluke. He should be in talks for the NL Cy Young Award, and he absolutely deserves it.
The Baltimore Orioles are in second place in the AL East, the toughest division in all of baseball. Equally impressive is the fact that no team in the AL East is currently below .500, making the Orioles looking more like contenders than pretenders. The thing that scares me most, is the fact that the Orioles have allowed 16 more runs than they have scored, whereas the third place Boston Red Sox have scored 56 more runs than they have allowed. Unfortunately, I think the Orioles will be lucky to find themselves playing for anything besides the final Wild Card spot this year.
Mike Trout was expected to be a star player for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but I don’t think anyone expected him to come out as strong as he has. Trout is hitting an astonishing .342 while stealing 22 bases. If he continues to put up numbers like that, he’ll not only find himself with the AL Rookie of the Year Award, but possibly the Most Valuable Player, too. At this point, it’s hard to root against the guy, although I imagine his batting average will drop at least 20-30 points before is all said and done. Oh yeah, he can play defense, too.
Today I will be celebrating the second wedding in less than a week. It’s always nice to be able to celebrate the good, instead of mourning over the bad. With all of the weddings I get to attend this year, I can’t help but wonder when my turn will be.
Don’t get me wrong, that isn’t meant to be interpreted as something depressing, in fact, it’s far from it. I’m eager and anxiously waiting for the day when I get married and get a chance to hopefully start a family.
I’ve often wondered what my future bride would be like. Will she be short with brown hair, or tall with blonde hair and blue eyes? I’ve never been one to search out a certain type of woman, so the possibilities really are endless.
If you would’ve asked me ten years ago where I’d be now, I would have imagined that by time I turned 26, I would be working a great job, be married and have a child. Looks like that’s three strikes for me.
But I’m still optimistic, and far from worrying about specifics about my future. I know my one day will come, and I greatly look forward to it. So until then, I’ll join in the celebration of those around me, as we rejoice not only in the love they have found, but the love they will continue to share.
When you ask people who is the best right-handed hitter in Major League Baseball, most of them will tell you Miguel Cabrera. So why is it that he has never been voted to start an All-Star Game?
It’s a puzzling thing to figure out, and Cabrera has even said before how big of an honor it would be if he was voted to start an All-Star Game. Yes, Cabrera did start at first base in the 2010 All-Star Game, but that was only because of an injury.
Moving to third base, I figured it would be Cabrera’s spot to lose. Unfortunately, Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers had other thoughts. Beltre’s numbers have been very comparable to those of Cabrera. Let’s take a closer look.
Miguel Cabrera: .304/.363/.525 (BA/OBP/SLG), 44 runs, 15 home runs, 60 RBIs and 3 SB.
Adrian Beltre: .333/.365/.538, 44 runs, 13 home runs, 49 RBIs, 1 SB.
I was surprised to see just how similar their numbers are. Although Beltre does have a higher batting average, he does have a few less home runs. I really don’t think the stolen base stat means anything, but it’s not often where I get the chance to say Miguel Cabrera and stolen base in the same sentence.
Today marks the final day of fan voting for the 2012 All-Star Game, so who should you vote for? For me, it’s Miguel Cabrera.
Fans can vote up to 25 times by clicking HERE.
Last night while watching the Tigers game, I found myself upset and frustrated with their sloppy defense and ineffective pitching. Almost immediately after the game ended, our home phone started to ring.
It’s very unusual for someone to call our house after 10:30 PM, so needless to say, I was immediately on high alert. Even worse, the caller ID showed that the call was from my the house of my dad’s parents.
You didn’t have to be very observent to notice that something wasn’t right. After a brief conversation, my father informed me that my uncle was rushed to the hospital with a severe head ache, and his arm had gone numb.
Since I was still awake, my father asked if I wanted to go with him to pick up my grandparents. Without any hesitation, I agreed.
While we were en route, I was informed that my uncle’s two children were spending the night at my grandparents house, as their parents were going to have a night out. I offered to stay at the house with the kids, that way my grandfather wouldn’t have to stay at the house. I figured that if things were bad, I could always wake up the kids and drive them to the hospital.
So off they went, and I opened my first can of Mountain Dew. I didn’t know how long of a night it would be, but I figured it was best to make sure I stay awake. It’s such an uneasy feeling when you aren’t sure what to expect.
About an hour and a half later, my father called to informed me that there was no immediate diagnosis, but the doctors didn’t think it was a stroke or a heart attack. He’s still at the hospital, and they’re running more tests, hopefully they’ll be able to diagnose it soon.
The whole night really served as a reminder, that it’s always best to keep things in perspective. While I’m sitting on the couch complaining about the Tigers giving up another run or making an error, there’s a lot more important things going on.
So the next time you find yourself getting worked up over something that doesn’t really mean anything, do your best to keep it in perspective.
I was having a conversation with a friend today, when an interesting question came up. What would it take for you to leave everything behind?
When I say leave everything behind, I don’t mean moving an hour away. I’m talking about leaving to go to a different state or even a different country.
For some people, it’s the prospect of love, a new job or just simply the desire to have a new change of scenery. I’m not necessarily sure it’s just one thing or another that would give me the urge to do so, but I wouldn’t rule any of them out.
When it comes to finding love, I’m certainly willing to do a lot of things. Is one of them leaving the state? My instincts tell me no, but deep down, I know that’s probably a lie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not something I’d be eager to do, but I don’t think I could ever completely rule it out. Of course it would take a very special person to even make me consider it, but I could see the possibility of it happening.
I’ve gone back and forth about my willingness to move to a different state for a new job, but if nothing else, my experience with the MLB Fan Cave has certainly made me much more open to the idea. No, I wouldn’t move to a different state to work my current job, but I would do it for the right job.
I can’t see me ever wanting to leave Michigan just for the sake of needing a change of scenery. For all of the negative publicity we seem to attract, it’s really a beautiful state. It’s always nice to experience the changing of the seasons (although you won’t find me getting too excited about winter), and I’d hate to leave my family behind. Although I might not always be able to say it, I do like it here.
So what is it that makes someone want to trade it all away for the unknown? Is it a case of being a hopeless romantic or perhaps being overly optimistic? I don’t have the answer, but if I find myself leaving this state anytime soon, I’ll be sure to let you know.
As the Tigers look forward to the trade deadline, I often find myself thinking about potential trades they could make. I’ll admit, some of them are more far fetched than others, but some seem to be pretty realistic. So I present to you a trade the Tigers should consider making, even though there’s a very minimal chance that it will actually happen.
There’s no denying that the Tigers are lacking offensive production from their corner outfielders, so it would make sense to trade for one, especially if he happens to be on one of the worst teams in baseball, right?
Entering today, the Colorado Rockies are sitting at 28-44, in a tight race with the San Diego Padres for the worst record in the NL West. If that doesn’t make them sellers at the trade deadline, I’m not sure what it would take.
They have a star player in Carlos Gonzalez, who would certainly attract plenty of teams come the middle or end of July. Any deal for Gonzalez would likely include a slew of prospects, as well as a couple major-league ready players. The Tigers have just enough depth to do just that.
I propose offering our best pitching prospect, Jacob Turner, along with outfield Brennan Boesch and relief pitcher Luis Marte. If that’s still not enough, I’d even be willing to add Quintin Berry to sweeten the deal.
I’m not necessarily sure that the Rockies will even consider trading Gonzalez, who is due only 71 million dollars over the next five seasons. I say only 71 million dollars, because if he continues at his current pace, he’ll likely have a true market value that is high above that.
Sure, there’s some reason for concern. When you look at the numbers, Gonzalez has always done significantly better at home than on the road. Is this just a coincidence? Coors Field has always been considered a hitter-friendly ballpark, so I don’t think it’s completely worth dismissing.
From 2009-2011, Gonzalez has a line of .347/.404/.653 at home, compared to .271/.325/.452 during road games. That certainly should cause some alarms to go off, but I don’t think that should prevent you from wanting him on your team.
Again, I don’t think there’s any sort of realistic chance that the Tigers would make this move, and there hasn’t been any reports that the Rockies are willing to even trade Gonzalez. But if they are, the Tigers should definitely consider giving them a call.
The Detroit Tigers struck early and often against Justin Grimm, who started for the Texas Rangers. It was only the second major league appearance of his career, and one he’d probably like to forget.
Grimm was unable to make it through the second inning before Tigers tagged him for eight hits and six runs. That was more than enough run support for the Tigers, who got plenty of run support for Rick Porcello.
Porcello looked good for his second straight outing, pitching six innings and allowing just one run. The win for Porcello is only the 5th of the year, who is looking to find more consistency from his outings. He did an excellent job of keeping the Rangers off balance and preventing them from putting runs on the board.
It’s got to be a good feeling for Porcello. The last time he faced the Rangers, he allowed nine runs in just one inning.
The Tigers will look to continue their winning ways, as Drew Smyly (2-2 3.96 ERA) will face Yu Darvish (9-4 3.45 ERA). Who will win game two of the 2011 ALCS rematch? Tune in to Fox Sports Detroit tomorrow at 8:05 to find out.
My first game back for the SCS Pirates, turned out to be a nail biter, as the Pirates beat the Blue Jays by a final score of 1-0.
Erik Ogden was dominate for the Pirates, tossing a complete-game shutout. Offensively, the Pirates were led by Kevin Warner, who went 3-3 at the plate. Even though the Pirates won the game, it wasn’t a pretty victory.
Ogden was able to thwart numerous scoring opportunities, many of which were caused by sloppy defensive play. You can’t expect your team to always play a perfect game defensively, but today, there was much room for improvement.
On a personal note, I went 0-1 with a ground out. It was nothing spectacular, but for my first game back, it felt good to put the ball in play. Not only that, but there were no setbacks or flareups with my ankle, so that’s a plus.
The Pirates are off until Sunday, when they will host the Red Sox. In a match up of two good teams, it should be quite a matchup.
It’s been over two weeks now, and tonight I can finally get back to doing what I love most, and that’s playing baseball.
15 days ago, I managed to sprain my ankle for the second time in just over two months. The worst part of the recovery process wasn’t the pain, but the fact that it was slowing me down. It’s still not exactly 100 percent, but it’s good enough to still be able to help my team.
The problem with sprained ankles, is the fact that they often linger for quite a while. I’m still a little tentative when exerting force or pressure on it, but it shouldn’t have too big of an impact on me while I pitch.
My return is long overdue, and even though my teammates may not have necessarily missed my friendly chatter, I’d like to imagine that they’ll be glad to have me back.
There’s an expression in poker, that when you’re accusing someone of cheating, they’ll ask if they have an ace up their sleeve. Simply put, it means they’re hiding something good from you, or are up to some shenanigans. The Detroit Tigers don’t have an ace up their sleeve. With Justin Verlander, we have the whole deck up there.
2011 was a magical year for Justin Verlander, as he won both the American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award (the first being incredibly rare accomplishment for a pitcher). Many people wondered if he could repeat his 2011 season, and so far, it’s hard to argue.
If you’re looking for a more consistently dominant pitcher in the American League, you won’t find one that’s better than Verlander. So when the Tigers looked to end their two-game losing streak against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and salvage their three-game series, it seemed appropriate to have Verlander on the mound.
He certainly did not disappoint fans, allowing only two runs (both earned), while pitching a complete game en route to getting his eight win of the year. That’s one of the things you want the ace of your pitching staff to do, stop losing streaks.
At this point, Verlander is well on pace to put up numbers similar to those of 2011, where he could once again be part of conversations to determine if he will be worthy of a second MVP trophy. For me, I’m not worried about the accolades and awards. As long as he keeps pitching like he is, I’ll be thankful that he’s on my team.