Monday, April 30, 2012


Last week I eulogized the 12-year career of Brandon Inge.
Well, after being released by the Detroit Tigers, Inge has agreed to sign with the Oakland Athletics.
This will be a good fit. Inge has the ability to help-out at third base, second base, outfield and catcher.
The A's will likely place Inge at his favourite position - third base.
Former Tiger, Scott Sizemore was slated to be Oakland's go-to-guy at third but, unfortunately, he suffered a season-ending knee injury. The Athletics have experimented with Josh Donaldson, Eric Sogard and Luke Hughes at the hot corner - the result has been 8 errors and a combined batting average of .111.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Bryce Harper made his Big League debut on Saturday.
Harper went 1 for 3, cranking a frozen-rope double and an RBI sac fly in the ninth.
Stephen Strasburg pitched 7 innings, allowed 5 hits, 1 run, no walks and fired
9 Ks.
The Nats still lost 4-3 after red-hot Matt Kemp hit a 10th inning dinger to give the Dodgers the win.
Kemp hit his MLB-leading 11th homer and 24th RBI. He's hitting .442.

Tigers' rookie Drew Smyly got his first Major League win...and he did it in Yankee Stadium.
Smyly pitched 6 innings, allowed 2 hits, 1 run, 2 walks and 7 Ks.
Andy Dirks filled-in for drunken-hate-crime guy Delmon Young and cranked a
3-run homer and Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in three runs.

Jon Lester and the Boston bullpen shutout the White Sox 1-0.
Lester pitched 7 innings, allowed 5 hits, 1 walk and notched 7 Ks.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Moose Skowron died yesterday.
Skowron was the first baseman for the 1950's Yankees dynasty that included Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, Phil Rizzuto and Yogi Berra.
He and Yogi are the only players to hit 3 Game 7 homers in the World Series.
Skowron won 5 World Series Championships.
He was an 8-time All-Star.
Skowron played for the Yankees from 1954-62 where he won 4 World Series. 
He was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers (1963) where he won a 5th Series.
He finished his career with the Washington Senators (1964), the White Sox (1964-67) and the California Angels (1967).
He hit .282 in 14 major league seasons with 211 home runs and 888 RBIs.
Moose Skowron passed away from congestive heart failure after a long battle with lung cancer.

Friday, April 27, 2012


The whipping-boy of the Detroit media and Tigers' fans is gone.
The derision will now have to be placed elsewhere.
Brandon Inge has left the building.
The Detroit Tigers released Inge on Thursday.
Brad Eldred, a 6' 6" 270 lb. 1st baseman/outfielder/DH from Triple-A Toledo, will take Inge's spot on the roster. Eldred has been tearing up the International League with 13 home runs, 35 RBIs and a .388 average in 80 at-bats.
Brandon Inge is the kind of player every manager adores. A utility player who's capable of performing at any position to help his club.
Inge toiled for the Tigers for 12 seasons - the longest-serving current Tiger.
He started with Detroit as a catcher. The Tigers signed Pudge Rodriguez.
Inge moved to the outfield. The Tigers signed Magglio Ordonez. Inge moved to third base. The Tigers signed Miguel Cabrera. Inge tried his hand at DH.
The Tigers signed Victor Martinez...and, ultimately, Prince Fielder. Inge became obsolete.
Brandon Inge was recognized by his teammates as the best all-around athlete on the team.
He was a gifted defensive third baseman with a gun for an arm.
The problem was - he couldn't hit.
In 2006 Inge hit 27 homers and 83 RBIs to help the Tigers to the World Series.
In 2009 he had an almost identical season hitting 27 homers and 84 RBIs.
The guy had power...but his batting average always hovered around .200.
In the end, his poor performance at the plate turned the fans and media against him and led to his demise.

"Brandon Inge has done a tremendous job for this organization for a long time. I realize he had been, for some people, a very controversial player. But from our perspective, I personally want to thank him for everything he has done for us. He's been a true soldier throughout the years.
He will always be a Tiger, not only for what he's done on the field -- and I understand at times there's been some ups and downs -- but how this guy's worked and how he's represented us in various things on and off the field. You couldn't find a finer individual. We'll be forever thankful for what he has done for us."
 - Dave Dombrowski

So long, Brandon. Happy Trails to You.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Unbelievably, this guy is going to try a comeback...

Jeremy Bonderman had elbow-ligament replacement surgery Tuesday and, after a two year absence, has decided he wants to take another shot at the Big Leagues.
I've been at the ballpark to witness Bonderman, firsthand, several times. Everytime he was on the mound he was brutal the first 3 innings...then he'd settle down and throw a decent game. The problem was, the Tigers would be down 5-0 by the time Bonderman got into some kind of rhythm.
Jeremy Bonderman spent 8 seasons in Detroit and compiled a 67-77 record with a 4.89 ERA.
He was drafted as a junior in high school.
Good luck to Bonderman...

Bonderman is the 2nd biggest bust I can recall over the past 25 years - the other is Brien Taylor.

I remember baseball fans clamouring for this card.
Brien Taylor was selected 1st overall in the 1991 MLB draft by the Yankees.
The dude never made it to The Bigs.
On March 1, 2012 Taylor was arrested after selling a large quantity of crack cocaine to undercover narcotics agents over a period of several months.

Do you know why you shouldn't draft high school pitchers?
Because they're in high school...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


On Tuesday night, the Texas Rangers shutout the Yankees 2-0.
Yu Darvish pitched 8.1 innings, allowed 7 hits, 2 walks and fired 10 Ks.
Thus far, this season, Darvish has allowed 2 earned runs over 20 1/3 innings.
The cat can hurl...


Since Kelly Brook won by a landslide in last week's RACK-OFF! (like usual), we'll bring her back for an encore.
We're switching things up. This week's RACK-OFF! is a liitle different.
Vote for the best motorboat.
You know the drill. Place your votes in the box in the upper, right-hand corner.

Kelly Brook & Riley Steele

Sara Jean Underwood


Last week's Rackage with Pigtails champion was...surprise - Kelly Brook.
Kelly Brook has wiped-out the competition everytime she's been featured in RACK-OFF!
Ms. Brook received 75% of the vote.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


The cat who brought repectability back to the 'D' retired on Monday.
In 2003 the Detroit Tigers finished the season with 43 wins and 119 losses.
Motown was 'No Man's Land.' It wasn't exactly a coveted destination for free agents.
That all changed in 2004 when Pudge Rodriguez signed a 4-year, $40 million contract with the Detroit Tigers.
Suddenly, Detroit was a cool place to play ball. Make no mistake about it - Pudge paved the path for Magglio Ordonez, Kenny Rogers, Miguel Cabrera, Johnny Damon and Prince Fielder.

Pudge will soon be in the Hall of Fame.
A 21 year career in MLB.
Surpassed Carlton Fisk's record of 2,226 games caught - Pudge caught 2,427 games.
A career batting average of .296 with 311 home runs and 1,332 RBIs in 2,543 games overall with Texas (1991-2002, 2009), Florida (2003), Detroit (2004-08), the Yankees (2008), Houston (2009), and Washington (2010-11).
His 13 Gold Gloves were the most for a catcher.
Selected to 14 All-Star games.
Won 7 Silver Slugger Awards.
Most pickoffs by a catcher - 81.
Most doubles by a catcher in a season - 44.
Caught Kenny Rogers' perfect game (1994)
Caught Justin Verlander's no-hitter (2007)
American League MVP Award (1999)
National League Championship Series MVP (2003)
World Series Championship with Florida Marlins (2003)

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Before the season, when everyone went ga-ga over the Prince Fielder signing,
I wondered how people forgot about the Texas Rangers.
Remember last years's ALCS?
I think the current edition of the Texas Rangers is reminiscent of the Atlanta Braves of the 1990's - they'll get their World Series Championship...
The Rangers have the complete package for success...

That having been said, good pitching always beats good hitting - and Justin Verlander proved that on Saturday night against the Rangers.
After defeating Detroit by scores of 10-3 on Thursday and 10-4 on Satuday afternoon, Verlander, finally, stopped the bleeding.
JV pitched a solid 6 innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 run, 3 walks and 8 Ks.
Verlander left the mound with a 3-1 lead.
Octavio Dotel, Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde came out of the bullpen to preserve a 3-2 win.
Today: Drew Smyly vs Colby Lewis at 1:10 PM.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Holy Smokes! What a crazy Saturday.
Phil Humber threw a perfect game, helping the Chicago White Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 4-0.
Humber had 9 Ks.

The Tigers-Rangers game was rained-out on Friday night. So, today, Comerica Park is hosting a doubleheader.
In Game 1, Rick Porcello got BOMBED in the 1st inning and allowed 9 runs -
8 earned - and 10 hits before being pulled with nobody out and two on in the 2nd.
Texas beat Detroit 10-4.
Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli went DEEP.
Justin Verlander vs Neftali Feliz in Game 2.

I'm watching the game at Fenway right now.
The Red Sox had a 9-0 lead. It is currently 15-9 going into the bottom of the 8th inning.
Terry Francona must have a perma-grin!

Friday, April 20, 2012


On Thursday night, Curtis Granderson's first three at-bats resulted in three
home runs.
Grandy finished the night 5-for-5 with 3 dingers and 4 RBIs.
The Yankees beat the Twins 7-6.

The Yankees kept the party going today by spoiling Fenway Park's 100th Anniversary Celebration. New York batters lit-up Clay Buchholz for 5 homers and the Yankees beat the Red Sox 6-2.
Over 200 former Red Sox players returned for the festivities...
Even Tito...Class Act

Luis 'El Tiante' Tiant & Dennis 'Oil Can' Boyd back on the mound...

Carlton Fisk...

Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice and Bernie Carbo back in left field...

Kevin Millar and Pedro Martinez lead the fans in a toast from the top of the dugout...

Nomar Garciaparra gives the fist-bump to Jason Varitek...

V-Tek, Big Papi & Wake with Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky...

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Ya, this guy stole second base...

Unbelievably, Prince Fielder has 17 career stolen bases.
The Tigers completed a 3-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals.
Tonight, Detroit begins a 4-game series against the Texas Rangers.
They begin by facing Texas rookie Yu Darvish...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Do you kids remember when Rick Ankiel pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals?
He started-out with such promise.
A highly decorated minor league pitcher, Ankiel hit the Big Club in 1999 and finished 2nd in National League Rookie of the Year voting. He was given the Rookie Pitcher of the Year Award by The Sporting News.
In the 2000 NL playoffs Ankiel completely lost his ability to locate pitches.
His pitching became so erratic that he toiled in the minors for a few years before undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2003.
In 2004 he returned to the Big Leagues as a relief pitcher with moderate success.
In 2005 Ankiel decided to try the outfield.
He remained in the minors until August 2007 when he returned to the Cards as a right fielder and, promptly hit a 3-run dinger!
He has since played the outfield for the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves - and is currently playing for the Washington Nationals.
Get this - Rick Ankiel is the first player since Babe Ruth to have won at least 10 games as a pitcher and also hit at least 50 home runs! He's also the only player other than Babe Ruth to both start a postseason game as a pitcher and hit a home run in the postseason as a position player!
Since switching to the outfield, Ankiel's arm has become the stuff of legend.
The dude's got a cannon.
Or - more precisely - a laser cannon.
Check-out this video of Ankiel throwing home in Monday's 6-3 win over the Astros. Houston's Jordan Schafer fears the arm so much that he never even leaves 3rd base!!!
Complete with laser enhancement...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


This week we're voting on the ever-popular Rackage with pigtails.
You know the drill. Place your votes in the box in the upper, right-hand corner...
Contestant #1(Kelly Brook)

Contestant #2(Enjoys the hula hoop)


The winner of the first official RACK-OFF! of 2012 was Rack-in-the-Mirror #2...
Good choice, ladies and gentlemen.


Justin Verlander, finally, got his 1st win of the season.
JV pitched a complete game. His line: 9 innings, 7 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks and 9 Ks.
Austin Jackson hit a leadoff homer and Brandon Inge added a 2-run shot in the 5th to help the Tigers defeat the Kansas City Royals 3-2.
After everybody and their uncle bitched about Jim Leyland inserting Brandon Inge back into the lineup...Inge went

It makes me happy to see Brandon Inge silence his critics.
I hope he continues to hit.
This makes me happy too - Johnny Damon signed a $1.2 million contract with the Cleveland Indians.
JD will spend the next few weeks at the team's complex in Goodyear, Arizona getting into game shape. Then he'll probably get in a few games with Triple-A Columbus before joining the Big Club.
Damon can earn another $1.4 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances.
This makes me happy because Johnny Damon is ONLY 277 hits away from 3,000...which will help him punch his ticket into the Hall of Fame.
He deserves it...

Monday, April 16, 2012


Bobby Valentine is gonna make Red Sox Nation beg for the return of Tito...

The people of New England were going ballistic after Valentine questioned the commitment of Kevin Youkilis.

"I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason..."

- new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine

This morning Youk marched into Valentine's office and demanded an explanation.
Valentine apologized.
But, for some reason, I think he touched a nerve:

"I know he plays as hard as anybody I've ever seen in my life. I have his back and his teammates have his back. I really don't know what Bobby's trying to do, but that's not the way we go about our stuff around here. He'll figure that out. The whole team is behind Youk."

- Dustin Pedroia

Sunday, April 15, 2012


65 years ago, today, Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball's colour barrier.
Everybody will be rockin' #42 to honour Jackie.


I guess the Red Sox just needed to get back to Fenway.
On Saturday, Boston beat Tampa Bay 13-5.
This was a 15 hit effort that included 5 Boston homers.
David Ortiz went 4-for-5 with a dinger and 5 RBIs.
Cody Ross had a homer and 4 RBIs.
Clay Buchholz pitched 7 innings for the 'W'.
A little good news on the horizon - Carl Crawford , recovering from wrist and elbow injuries, took batting practice.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


The Minnesota Twins claimed outfielder Clete Thomas off waivers from the Detroit Tigers today.
Clete's Cougars will be awfully disappointed...