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
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.
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.
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: Philadelphia, Atlanta, Florida, New York, Washington
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).
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.
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.