Category: Dailies

Ernie and me, or I

Ernie Harwell to me is baseball. I grew up on Ernie. Ernie and I
spent a lot of nights together.  At
first it was listening to the games with my Dad in the car or on the radio in
the kitchen, but my true memories of Ernie are more personal, just me and
him.  Mostly on hot summer
nights.

You see, my room faced to
the south, and always was the hottest in the house, so often, when my parents
turned off the AC at night, I was forced to sleep on the floor.  Or at least that’s what I told my
parents.  What it really got me was
closer to my stereo.  I would turn
it down as low as I could and still hear it, and put my pillow right next to
the speaker.  Half the time I
wouldn’t make it to the 7th inning, and wake up for the post game or
even later to some greater Detroit car dealership commercial.  The other half it was up to the very end, Ernie and I late into the night.

Not since those summer nights by the speaker, or the perfect atmosphere conditions in Fargo, ND that somehow carried Ernie to me there, has it been the same.  Life happened; to me, to baseball, to the Tigers, and now Ernie.

Nothing or no one will ever replace
Ernie, not for me, not for the Tigers, not for Detroit.  I hope someday I can find Ernie again.
Not in a literal way, or life after death way, but what he meant to me; the
comfort, familiarity, the belonging.
Maybe it will be in baseball, maybe not.  Ernie and me, we will meet again.

 

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Robertson pops phills bubble

Nate Robertson, whose big league bubble gum antics in 06 will go down in Tigers history as one of the best team building stories I can remember, continued his success back with the Marlins by blanking the Philadelphia Phillies. He struck out 4, walked 4, and gave up 4 hits in 6 and 2/3. 

Just a note on Nate, in  my 12 team, NL only auction draft, Nate was my last “fill in” roster add for $1.  

I haven’t had that “bubble gum” feeling spring training 07, but then it was quickly shattered in the horrendous start to begin the regular season.  I thought maybe something was growing with the couple of come from behind victories to start this season, but after loosing 2/3 to the royals and mariners, well, I am a bit worried.  
We will see how this next 4 weeks goes, with series vs. Twins (2) Angles (2), Yankees and Red Sox, with a Ranger and Indians (Fausto Carmona anyone?) series mixed in there.  If we end up .500 or better on this 4 week stretch, maybe, just maybe I will pop in a wad of big league chew, for old time sake.

AL Predicts, Edicts, and just plain *****

A week behind on getting the junior circuit predictions out, and I do apologize.  I have some good excuses.  Last weekend was my fantasy draft for one of my leagues, which I am happy to report, for the first time in my 3 yr history in this league, (the league had been around for almost 20 yrs, yes I said 20) I am extremely happy with the results of the draft.  More on that later.

East: Yankees, Boston, Tampa, Baltimore, Toronto. As much as I hate the evil empire, man are they good.  Have to respect that. Grandy hits 40 HRs.
Central: Tigers, Twins, White Sox, KC, cleveland.  I have to pick my boys, but its gonna be tight with the Twins, but I am hoping for snow in April and September in the twin cities. KC doesn’t finish last.
West: Angles. As, Seattle, Texas. Who else is gonna win the west?
Wild Card: Boston. Duh.
MVP: Miguel Cabrera. This first week is just a glimpse, he’s gonna be a monster this year, sorry A-Roid. 
Cy Young: Grinke. He is just plain damn good.  
Tigers over Phillies in the Series.  And I get to see my first WS in person.  Boo-Ya.

2010 NL predictions- Phils deals Pills and Dodger Spills

East: Philadelphia, Atlanta, Florida, New York, Washington

Central: St Louis, Milwaukee, Houston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh
West: San Francisco, Arizona, Colorado, LA, San Diego
Philadelphia will win >=100 games.  Dodgers will have a 2nd half collapse, and the Giants will pitch their way to the west tittle. St Louis nips Brew crew for central but brew crew takes wild card. Ryan Howard wins MVP. Roy Haliday wins CY Young.
Phils win NL, again.

Opening day approaching

Not to lament too much, but I did hit the opening day rotation correctly, not that it was much of a surprise. The Tigers success, IMHO, hinges on 3 things (if you know me well I have this thing about 3s, rules of 3, top 3 anything, etc).

1. Success of 4-5 spot in rotation.
2. Success of the 2-3 spot in lineup
3. Fielding up the middle
#3 should actually be #1, #1 should be #2, and 3, well still 3rd, but good pitching always beats good hitting I always say, well so does everyone else. The bullpen almost made the list, but we where one bad call, or one hit, one out, one game, from making the playoffs, with the 2nd most blown saves in the league.  
Willis scares me the most.  He could have a breakdown, like real breakdown, tears and all, at any moment in my eyes. Bonderman is too injury prone, and likely to spend a couple of stints on DL in my opinion. IF Dontrelle can keep it together, and Bondo can well, keep the slapping the Bondo on, then maybe we can expect 15 wins between the two of them?
I am tepidly excited and optimistic this Friday before opening day.  
My season predictions will debut in the next few days, so stay tuned, or not, since not sure if anyone reads this, there is no hit counter. 
What happens if you blog, and nobody reads it? Does it make an impact?

Opening day rotation predictions? Anyone?

If there is anyone out there in cyberland reading me, please feel free to join me in my prediction crap-shoot.  I will start with my view on the rotation.  With 21 days left till opening day, I still reserve the right to change this at any time. Please comment with your predictions too, if you are actually reading this.

1. Justin Verlander
2. Rick Porcello
Ok, that was a no brainer.  
3. Scherzer
4. Bonderman
5. Willis
Not exactly a formidable 3,4,5, but Willis has looked like his old self, minus painful to watch leg kick and look to center field for inspiration windup, with good control, something he lacked wildly last year, pun REALLY intended. I am not happy with Scherzer’s mechanics, or so I have heard.  The couple of innings I watched of him vs the Mets on Saturday where impressive to say the least.
Robertson will be fine in the bullpen, and he may return to the rotation once Bonderman goes down hurt (I predict late April after having a 2-0 start, he will fumble through 2 blowouts then spend the rest of year on/off DL). So Nate, Galaraga, Perry, whose perfect spring was knocked over the fence 3 times on Saturday, although the message boards said he was working on a change-up, and Bonine to the bull pen? Seems to me someone is heading to Toledo.
Coke is a nice option, but I would rather have his solid arm in the bullpen to avenge our 24 blown saves opportunities of last year, 2nd worst only to Seattle, and 64% save percentage. Plus I foresee some 2nd half starts for him too to cover injuries.

AJ, A-Jax, what ever you call him….


Of course it is still too early to
anoint this kid our leadoff answer, but he is starting to impress, even me.  Yesterdays impressive
at bats withstanding, two triples in the win, this kid is showing up every at bat
at the plate, batting .429 thus far. 
What is most impressive to me thus far is, he is doing what a leadoff
man should do, GET ON BASE.  Not
that Gradnerson didn’t do that, but it seemed like he was rounding the base
paths more than he was burning them up. 
AJ, as I like to call him, or A-Jax as the media refers to him, is leading
the team with a .515 OBP, and more walks than SO (5/4). 

Even Leyland is impressed,

“The thing I’m most impressed with so far, knock on wood, is
he hasn’t swung at bad balls. He’s laid off some pretty tough pitches. That’s
pretty impressive for a youngster. That’s a good sign for him.”

And hopefully a good sign for the Tigers.