Porcello and Jackson

Check out this article on Rick Porcello and Edwin Jackson http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-tigerspitchers052709&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

and this one on Porcello http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090527&content_id=4989138&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Andrew Hess blogs about Lakeland Flying Tigers

Check out this article from today's Free Press about Flying Tigers hurler and blogger Andrew Hess:
May 29, 2009
Former Wolverine making his mark on the field and in the blogosphereBY KRISTA JAHNKEFREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER
There are many reasons Michiganders may know the name Andrew Hess. He played baseball at the University of Michigan and comes from a family of coaches. His mother, Jeanne Hess, coaches volleyball at Kalamazoo College, and his father, Jim Hess, was the women's basketball coach at Western Michigan.
But the best reason to know Hess these days is because he blogs about his experience as a minor leaguer playing for the Tigers with the Class-A Advanced Lakeland Flying Tigers.
Hess, who is 2-2 with a 2.50 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 36 innings, answered a few questions for The Buzz. You can read his blog at http://www.tigersminors.com/category/andrew-hess/.
Q:How did you get started with the blog?
A:It's something I started in the spring of last season, working with the editor of the site. He said, "Hey, want to write sort of a daily journal about what life is like in the minors?" He didn't give me any specifics. But it's been a lot of fun. I enjoy it.
Q:What do you like about it?
A:It gives me an outlet to share what my experience is like and let people know what I'm up to and what the life of a minor league baseball player is like. There's a lot of speculation of what goes on. So I set the record straight.
Q:Do your teammates know or mind?
A:My teammates like it. A lot of the time, they're my inspiration; they're shooting me ideas.
Q:One recent entry says you have seven kinds of milk in your fridge. How many of your teammates do you live with?
A:Right now, it's seven. ... It's a very good-sized house. ... It's great. Most of us are only a few years removed from college, so it's like a throwback to those days. You're surrounded by guys doing same thing as you are. ... Surprisingly, we have a lot of amateur chefs here. We have some guys who can whip together some good meals.
Q:Does that include you?
A:I do whatever can go on the grill.
Q:You talk on the blog about managing yourself during games. What have you learned about that?
A:Well, this is my first season in pro baseball where I'm starting. So it's just learning your approach, how you go out there from pitch one in the first inning. It's a lot different than coming in in the six and seventh innings to face the heart of the lineup. As a starter, you have to know how to build a game how you want it. It's a nice little adjustment period.
Q:You also talk about how you eventually want to find a job in Detroit. I assume you mean one day pitching for the Tigers. You're 24 now. Is that still your goal?
A:It's a goal for everyone who plays. But there are goals, and then you have your realistic goals -- you have to know the difference between what's what. But I look at it like, you have to keep going until they say stop. The only thing I can control is me, and everything else will fall as it will.
Contact KRISTA JAHNKE: 313-223-4493 or kjahnke@freepress.com.

Hot Dog! Quote of the Day

"Using utensils to eat is like using a translator to make love."

- Raghavan Iyer

Manny Ramirez - Safe or Out for the All Star Game

MLB announced today that currently Manny is ranked 4th in the fans voting for outfielders for the All Star game. Manny gets off his suspension just days before the game on July 4th. I think this stinks. Any player who is suspended should not be eligible for votes. I understand that he was on the ballot long before his suspension was announced. The solution is simple -- any suspended playeer should not be allowed to receive any votes while under suspension. If he is ineligible to play he is ineligible to receive votes. What do others think?

Our own "Burger King" and Willie on Opening Day

Willie Horton (on the left, in case you needed help) says Hi to ATC blogger, Cardinal Mooney Latin School Graduate and Burger King proprietor Chuck Piotrowski on Opening Day, 2009.

That picture of MC Hammer just got to ya, didn't it Chuck?

BTW, Chuck can also lay claim to being the best bartender from his days at the East side establishment, O'Grady's. It was such a nice, cozy bar, I would take my wife there for a burger and onion rings, and Chuck kept the cold ones coming. (But I don't recall any freebies!)

When the Stars Hang Out, the Flag is in Bag

Ever notice when certain teams and players attract the attention of celebrities, they seem to gravitate toward the championship?

When MC Hammer visited Comerica and Curtis Granderson this week, it was another sure sign we're going to the series, if not all the way.

This is taken from a MLB blog, "Big League Stew" which is not always regarding the Tigers, but I'll try to post the link to the lower right.

Another day: another win. This is getting boring.


Although I do think Leyland took a little nap there in the seventh and eighth, and let Jackson stay too long at the dance. He pitched a good game, and deserved a win.
Funny what announcers go through in a tight pitching battle like today. The Rangers' announcers Tom Grieve (previously a utility Ranger) and Bug-Eyed Josh were even more irritating than ever:
  • repeatedly discussing the finer points of last night's triple play. "It all happened so fast," said Josh, quoting the snail who was hit by the speeding turtle. (Seriously. That was his "favorite joke."
  • an obviously pre-rehearsed story about the only time mild-mannered Grieve was ejected from a professional game. (For "cursing.") You knew it was pre-rehearsed, when Grieve produced the letter from the commissioner and president of the NY-Penn League fining him $5.
  • Milt Wilcox's new "Ultimate Air Dog" business venture
  • Could shortstop Ian Kinsler have made that an unassisted triple play? "It all happened so fast."

Dontrelle: Awesome

Well, guess I'm on the hook. The Tigers will sweep this series. Dontrelle was simply awesome, and we can all sleep well tonight.

Even that bug-eyed Josh what-his face who comments for the Rangers couldn't bother me tonight. World Series here we come.

Say, somebody update me: what happened to Mags? DL?

Here come the Rangers, and their guns are loaded

Coming into town with Josh Hamilton relatively healthy, and a six-game winning streak.

The good news (from my perspective) is:

  • All three games in Detroit will be telecast in Dallas

  • The Rangers aren't really all that good. They've been playing West Coast weak sisters like Seattle and LA. They don't know from "hardball." Even last year, they didn't win a single game at Comerica.

  • The Tigers swept these guys earlier this year.

My advice to the Bengals is that the key to scoring against the Rangers is like political success in Chicago. "Vote early, vote often." The Ranger bullpen, not their strength, lacks their closer, Frankie Francisco. If we get to the starting pitcher early in tonight's game, we could be in for buckets of runs for the rest of the series any time we push the starter around.

My prediction: Tigers take two of three. If Dontrelle gives us a good outing tonight, it's a sweep.

Rick Porcello

Perhaps those spring training injuries to veteran starters that allowed Rick Porcello to make the Tigers' roster have turned out to be a blessing in disguse.
So far in May he is 3-0 w/ a 1.00 ERA. Overall this season he has started 7 games and has a 4-3 record w/ a 3.86 ERA. In 39 innings he has walked 13 and struck out 25.
Does anyone still think he should've started the season in the minors?

Mickey Lolich

May 19, 2009
Verlander has been phenomenal, but Lolich's records are likely safe
With all of his recent strikeouts, Justin Verlander makes us examine anew left-hander Mickey Lolich's amazing 1971 season.
In his last three starts, Verlander has become the first Tigers pitcher since Lolich in '71 to strike out at least 10 batters in three straight games. Lolich had two such streaks in '71 -- but they were far from the most stunning thing he did that year.
In '71, Lolich threw 376 innings. That is the most innings thrown by a non-knuckleball pitcher since the pre-1920 dead-ball era.
In '72, White Sox knuckleballer Wilbur Wood threw two-thirds more of an inning than Lolich in '71. But Wood didn't put the strain on his arm with the knuckleball that Lolich did with his power pitching.
While throwing those 376 innings in '71, Lolich fanned 308 -- a club record.
Verlander isn't going to approach Lolich's innings total from '71. Due in part to the advent of pitch-count monitoring, no big-league pitcher has thrown 300 innings in a season since the Phillies' Steve Carlton in 1980.
Nor will Verlander likely approach Lolich's 308 strikeouts in '71. No AL pitcher in this decade has fanned 300 in a season.
But on Wednesday night against Texas at Comerica Park, Verlander can do something that Lolich never did. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Verlander can become the first Tigers pitcher since at least 1954 to have four straight games with at least 10 strikeouts.

Power Ranking?

On the Foxsports.com website there's a "Power Ranking" category. Tigers are in the middle of the pack with a ranking of -8. Some teams rankings show an arrow either up or down, red or green. Today there was no direction up or down for the Tigers. I don't understand what all of this is supposed to mean. Those of you who may know what all of this is about, please educate me.


OK so the Twins just swept the Tigers, but somehow losing to Minnesota bothers me less than losing to any other AL team. For some reason I always kind of liked the Twins, ever since they had guys like Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva and Rod Carew. They always seem to play sound fundamental baseball and stay competitive with one of the lowest payrolls in MLB.
How about it: do you have a favorite non-Tigers team?

Miggy's Back on Track, and All's Well

Cabrera seems to have smashed his slump (if he was ever in one) the Tigers are getting pitching galore and life is good in the middle of the pennant race, if you can call it that in early May.

Those on the DL should be coming back before long and we'll be even better, healthier, and hopefully break off a nice long winning streak.
Is this really the team that came in last in '08. I guess not.

But Ordonez continues in a funk, as Leyland moved him down in the lineup. Anybody else concerned? (I know, Tom, "Don't worry, it will get worse."

(Bengals in Dallas Aug. 27-29. Anybody want me to buy tickets for them? That includes an offer for free B&B at Casa de Shields and a ride to the ballpark.)