Tagged: Detroit Tigers

First half AL MVP: Magglio Ordonez

Sure, we’re not to the All Star Break quite yet, but we’re halfway through. Over the next couple of days, we’re going to take a look at the best
players in each league thus far.

Magglio Ordonez: 13 HR, 68 RBI, .377 BA, .452 OBP

This was a tough pick. In the end, it came down to Magglio Ordonez
and Alex Rodriguez. And here’s where we start splitting hairs a bit. First off,
it is the Most Valuable Player award. So you have to ask yourself, who
does more for their team, Ordonez or Rodriguez? Rodriguez had more than twice as
many HR (28 to 13,) but Ordonez has 34 doubles to Alex’s 18. In the end, they
have about the same extra base hits, and Alex has 77 RBI’s to Ordonez’s 68. The
main difference, and what gave Ordonez the prize, was the average and OBP.
Ordonez has struck out 33 times to Alex’s 60. His batting average is 46 points
higher, and his OBP is plus 23 points. There isn’t a lot of difference there,
but it’s all we have to go on. Ordonez puts the ball in play more often, and he
rarely strikes out.

In general, Alex is probably the better hitter, and the stats are barely in
Magglio’s favor. Both of them are above-average fielders at their position.
However, Alex is not considered the leader of his team, and when his team is
slumping, there’s talk that he’s going to leave next year. It will always be
Jeter’s team, and if Babe Ruth started tomorrow’s game, it would still be
Jeter’s team. So we can’t hold that against him. But you get the feeling that
he’s just not the most important player on the team. He’ll never make a Jeterian
dive into the stands. I’m not going to hold the muscled-up ladies against Alex,
but it is a slight off-field distraction. And you get the feeling that Magglio
seems to have more of a team motivation in him. Of course, that could all be
****. I live in Michigan, not New York, so there might be some favoritism. But
the bottom line is that, when Magglio comes up to the plate, he’s more likely to
get on base or move the runners along than Alex is.

BHGM has officially moved to http://ballhouse.blogspot.com. You can also go to www.bihgm.com and be redirected to the site.

Way to go Justin!

Well, it happened again. A no hitter than I had absolutely nothing to do with. It wasn’t until I checked the current matchup against my brother Dave last night that I saw Verlander’s line. First I saw 41 points, then, CG, 4 BB, 12 K’s (wow), and no hits. So, of course, I went off to MLB.com to see than, once again, I had missed an entire no-hitter. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – never, ever, will I witness any part of a no-hitter. My most recent breakup was when I tuned in UM – Oregon State game this weekend. Michigan’s Zach Putnam had gone 8 innings with a no hitter. After two outs,he was one strike away from a no-hitter when he gave up an RBI, game losing single. I’m a no-hitter curse.

Anyway, Justin. I was wrong about you. I saw him pitch in person in 2005, and when he was called up to the rotation for 2006 I said, "He’s better than former #5 starter Wil Ledezma… I guess." But I was pretty sure this was a case of premature call up, and I didn’t want to see the guy lose his confidence because he wasn’t ready and we had no one else to throw out there. Oops. Way to go, man. And 12 K’s with only 112 pitches? Considering he faced 30 batters, that’s impressive. Thats less than 4 pitches a man. That’s the only way to do it – you have to be economical with your pitches. And a lot of time, strike out pitchers use up so many pitches they have trouble with that.

"The Hit Streak v. the Perfect Game: Superstitions" – April 3rd, 2006
"Tigers dump Pena and re-tool for 2006" – March 26th, 2006

A little follow-up on Nate…

At the end of our last Cardinals post, I mentioned in passing that Nate Robertson:

…got bounced around the yard this evening. Actually, theproblem was more that the balls he was throwing were bouncing… in the
seats. Nate went exactly 0 innings before he was ‘yanked.’ He allowed 6
runs, all earned, on 4 hits and 2 walks. Sammy
Sosa hit a bases-loaded single, followed by a Victor Diaz grand slam,
followed by a Marlon Byrd (of course,) triple. Game over, Nathan. He
saw his ERA rise from a decent 4.25 to a frightening 5.07. There’s that
Texas offense for you.

Well, sadly, the bad news didn’t stop there. Against his wishes, the Tigers placed him on the DL with a "tired arm". There are not many times when you have to force a guy to go on the disabled list. He’s basically DL’ed with a case of s*cking, so lets call it what it is. And Robertson acknowledges as much. "There are no red flags. I’m not hurt." But Robertson hasn’t had a quality start in his last 6 outings. His velocity is down. He threw 30 pitches in that last start of his, and not a single pitch was a swinging strike. So something is wrong. But I’ll bet it’s more a confidence issue. He’s not broken. He’s just down.

That’s a tough break. Rogers is already gone, as is Zumaya. Luckily, Dombroski has been hording starting pitching for about 5 years now. So whenever a starter goes down, just call up First Round Draft Pick X. The lucky winner this time is Andrew Miller. I shouldn’t say lucky, because the guy is really lights out. In his major league debut he held the Cardinals scoreless, (as we’ve seen, not a tremendous accomplish, but not a shabby first start either.) He’ll be better off for the team right now than Robertson has been, and there’s some talk he may be here to stay. Which, quite frankly, is a little bit less plausible than it sounds. Only because the guy was drafted about a year ago. But we’ll see.

On the note of drafts; a guy I know from back in the High School days was drafted by the Tigers in the 25th round. His name is Colin Kaline, and he’s Al’s grandson. He’s already playing ball at Florida Southern, but it’s still pretty good. Good job.

Well, look at this

Been gone for awhile, no doubt. But, I’m back now because I’m waiting for the library to open – 11am – and don’t have much else to do until that time. Just because I know everyone wants to know, it’s been a busy semester. Right now I’m completing a research study on the differences between male and female study group formation, its relationship to the choice of studying alone, and hopefully the consequences of this behavior as it can be applied to different learning strategies. Meanwhile, my Organic Chemistry exam was moved up by a week because, "I wanted the exam to be before the drop date." Both research report and exam are now due on the same day; Tuesday. I just got back from a Writing Competence Exam that I’m required to take in order to graduate college. You pick one of 10 questions presented to you. I chose the question asking if, since the two teams with the best record in the AL were eliminated in the first round, should we increase the series to a seven-game format from the current five-game format? Let’s get something straight – these ten questions were all current event questions to be answered in typical, five-page, persuasive format. There were questions asking about the college’s upcoming ‘Coming Out’ week. There was a question asking about Congressman Foley’s "deplorable" behavior. Questions of great and worldly importance. And a question about baseball. Well, I think I passed.

Now, look where we are? The Tigers are up 3-0 on an Oakland team that I berated SI for rating as the "2nd best" in all of baseball. Looks like they weren’t that far off the mark. Actually, Oakland beat the Twins because, in the all-important Game 3, the Twins sent out tough guy Brad Radke. When your very existence in the post season is on the line, you don’t send out a guy with so many physical problems that, less than halfway through the season, he says "screw it, I’m retiring after this." If he’s you’re Game 3 stopper, you have no business in the post season anyway. Taking one step back, the A’s made it into the playoffs because, heck, they’re in the AL West. If you can take out the pitching-deprived Rangers, the talent-deprived Mariners, and the offensively-deprived Angels, you win. And I know the A’s finished with 93 wins, and the Angels with 89. Toronto had 87 wins in a heck of a lot tougher division. If Toronto had played say, eight games, against the Mariners instead of the Yankees, they might have 95 wins. But good job Oakland, I’m sure it means a lot to you guys, even after you get your brains beat in by a very good Tigers team.

This Detroit team is, quite simply, a team that is not going to be beaten right now. This is the kind of team that I play in MVP Baseball 2004, and they make every play. The pitcher will spot every pitch on the corner. The outfielders catch up to every ball. It’s like the team is playing on god mode. Now, I’m not saying that the Tigers aren’t a good team. They’re great. But they’re also hot right now, and the postseason is the right time to get hot.

Now, who saw last night’s Game 2 of the NLCS? First, let it be known that, in every conceivable way, the NL is a wreck of a league. I simply cannot find the entertainment in any NL Game. There’s something about it that just is not exciting. I know it’s crazy, but I feel like the parks are darker, the players are more formal, and the excitement level just isn’t there. I feel like I’m watching a golf match. I don’t expect anything exciting to happen. But when I watch an AL game, I never know what to expect. It’s like getting together the 2004-2005 Pacers team; some idiot is going to throw a punch, or fire a gun, or scream at Rick, or freak out at the media. You don’t know what will happen, but you know it will be big. In the AL, we have all the drama of Kenny Rogers and the Tiger’s bullpen limiting the A’s to two hits to go up 3-0 on them and on the brink of a World Series. Meanwhile, in the NL, we have Chris Carpenter pitching as well as John Maine; actually, worse, but only because he was in for one more inning. And then we have a tie game, broken up when the great So Taguchi – who didn’t even start – hits a home run. The Cardinals score twice more, and the Mets respond – as their own stadium empties – by striking out, and then grounding out twice more to end the game. Fabulous. Did you actually listen to So’s Home Run? It was morbid. Shea was silent. The announcers were mildly excited. Now the series is tied 1-1, while the Tigers are about to enter the World Series. It’s just boring. However, I won’t deny the fact that, since the only NL team I even come close to caring about is the Cardinals, maybe I just don’t like it because I don’t follow it. Oh yeah, and because every team is awful.

So where do we go from here? Is a well-rested Tiger team better off than a down-trodden, pitching deprived Cardinals or Mets team? The writing is on the wall, people. I just have one question – when is the parade?

Tigers Thoughts

Well, now that the Tiger’s have gotten their one big losing streak out of the way for the season, we should be ready for the stretch run. Or, you can take another view. Enter Salgat, a peripheral associate in the world of BHGM. Salgat is another of the few bastions of baseball love at Albion College; another member of the ‘Living Through the Void’ group. Salgat’s thoughts after Saturday’s loss were, "Don’t worry about the Tigers losing four in a row, it’s just God clearing out all the bandwagon fans." Like I said, another way to look at it. But, in all seriousness, this whole season is hitting us diehard fans pretty hard. Before this year, the only sellouts at Comerica were for Opening Days and the first couple (literally) games after the park first opened. Now they’re commonplace. It used to be that Kevin and I could buy upper level seats and head down to the outfield box seats around the 3rd inning, where the ushers that we know would seat us in far better seats. There we would watch the game, talk about how if the Tigers ever got good it just wouldn’t be the same, listen to all the Pistons bandwagon fans cheering as they watched the Pistons game in the suites, and enjoy a cool night in the beautiful city of Detroit. Anyway, those times have obviously passed. The Tigers are suddenly the Pistons of the summer. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy having a good hometown team. It just feels a little bit weird. Especially when you’re the one who supported them through all the bad times, only to have yourself supplanted by bandwagon fans who claim they love the Tigers. I’m not denying that they love a good team, I’m just denying their true commitment to the game. Something about it bothers me, does anyone else feel the same way?

In any case, the Tigers do have another difficult run ahead of them. Two more games against the Red Sox, four against the Rangers and four more against the White Sox, followed by a three-game gimme against the Indians and a three game set against the Yankees, which brings us to the end of August. Let’s leave this issue for a second. We’ll be right back.

Let’s take a quick look at the AL West. And, for once, I have something good to say about SI’s infamous pick for the 2nd best team in the league. If you’ve read a post here before you probably know that SI did pick the A’s as the 2nd best team in their preseason baseball review. I’m not sure why they thought this; perhaps they were trying to stir something up. I really have no idea. Either way, when I look at the standings today I see that the Athletics have finally chased down that .500; they’re now a ******** 14 games above. And this leaves the Angels and Rangers both 5.5 games back. Of course, the Mariners have been surprising the most people, only 10 games back of the leader. Spectacular. I would’ve put them at least 22 games back by now. In any case, the A’s have exploded recently – winning 17 of their last 20 – and it’s that rocket which has earned them first place, for now. But, 5.5 games up is not exactly running away with the division, which is a perfect transition.

Back to the AL Central. While the Tigers wade through the aforementioned schedule, the White Sox play the Royals three more times, the Twins six times, and the Devil Rays three times, in addition to the four games against the Tigers. If there’s a time to make up those 5.5 games, it’s now. Hopefully, it’s not my imagination thinking that the White Sox have had an awful time with the Twins this season. In fact, the Twins and White Sox have played 10 games against each other so far this season, with each team taking five. That sounds fair to me. But back to the original question – was the Tigers five-game losing streak really just "god clearing out the bandwagon fans," or was it something more?

People have been thinking it all year, and I think they still might be. They think the Tigers are a fluke; the beneficiaries of an easy schedule. Or of a shot in the arm via a new manager, a la 2005 Washington Nationals, (in that case, it was a new city.) In any case, few accepted that the Tigers were a legitimate team earlier in the year, and I’m sure there are still quite a few holdouts. However, they’re wrong. First off, this team wasn’t as bad as its record showed last year; I said this before the season even started. I noted that, even if the Tigers only did as good as they were last year, and not as they actually performed, they would be a significantly better team this year. With the minor additions they’ve made, as well as the one major one in Jim Leyland, I predicted that they would surprise everyone by staying in playoff contention through most of the year. I didn’t think they would do this good, but many people who had been paying attention to the team had the same feeling that I did. And this year, guys that were notorious for being the third out in a 2-out pressure scenario last year, (Craig Monroe, Vance Wilson,) suddenly started to come up big for the team. And that’s how it went – a team that had been under-achieving finally began to believe in themselves and perform at the level they should have been. That’s the nice version, anyway. But you get the point.

However, there are a few problems coming up. First is the pitching. Kenny Rogers has always been a first-half man, despite what anybody on WDFN (Stoney and Wojo…) may claim. And, the numbers for this season have shown this. In fact, in the six games since the All-Star game, Kenny Rogers has gone 0-3. Granted, in his last game – a loss against Chicago – he gave up 4 hits and 4 unearned runs in 7 innings for the loss. But in those six games, his ERA has gone up a half point, from 3.85 to 4.36. Like I said, first-half guy. Since he’s almost 50, I can’t blame him. He’s actually 41 though, right? Next is Verlander. This guy surprised me. Having seen him pitch in person last year, I didn’t expect great things from him this year. I knew he would be good, but I thought the Tigers were making a mistake by bringing him up as early as they were into the rotation. Either way, I commented at the time that even if he was successful, there would come a time when his starts would either have to be skipped over or limited to about 6 innings a piece. And that’s starting to happen. On the other hand, Mike Maroth (remember him?) should be coming back soon. A playoff rotation would include Bonderman, Robertson, and Rogers, with Maroth probably added as the fourth man when the need arose, if he stays on track and returns in good shape. Verlander will likely come out of the pen. However, if you’re going to look at pitching problems, look at Chicago. Their starters have pitched more innings than any other team since some time last year. It was some neat graphic I saw on Sportscenter a few days ago. Either way, look at Buehrle. Garland remembered that he’s Jon Garland, and he’s fallen back to Earth. Contreras lost a game. They couldn’t keep up the miracle work forever.

Meanwhile, a quick update on my man Roy Halladay. A couple minutes ago, Halladay got win number 15, which puts him in the MLB lead. You’ll remember that he was my call for the Cy Young Award winner before the season. He hasn’t been on like he was last year, however. His 3.20 ERA is a bit higher than the 2.41 he finished with last season, when he only pitched 142 innings before being struck down by a line drive to the leg, (he has 177 innings down so far this season.) Another thing – am I the only person that thinks Toronto has been 7 games back in the AL East for the entire year? Just a thought.

The Tigers beat the Red Sox tonight, and the Royals beat the White Sox. Make that a 6.5 game lead again, guys.

Also, thanks for the comments from Charles and Jason. I appreciate you guys coming back after the long absence – and that goes for everyone else who’s reading now too. I move up to school on the 19th, and I’ve got a lot to take care of before then, but we should see a post or two before then. I would like to talk about Mark Buehrle, who had previously been the model of consistency before, well, whatever happened to him. Suggest some other topics, and we’ll see what comes up.

Tigers, Braves, and Sox

We’re going to do things in reverse order today, starting with comments first. Kevin actually came in and surprised me by leaving some legitimate baseball opinions. Regular readers know that Kevin is Part II of this whole baseball thing I have. He’s the guy I go to the ballpark with, and occasionally he’ll pipe in with his own comments. They’re usually something like, "Roy Halladay is not that good," or, "You know you didn’t think the Tigers would do as good as they are." And at least once a week he’ll send me an IM that goes something like this:

Kevin: Dude
Reid: What’s up man?
Kevin: I was on this message board, and some dude just said that (insert stupid comment here, "the Yankees are the worst team in the league," or, "Barry Bonds is the best player ever," or, "Kenny Rogers will win us the World Series,") and I tore him up. He kept saying these stupid things like, "dude no you’re wrong."
Reid
: Stupid idiots.
Kevin: Haha yeah.

I think that was an accurate representation. In any case, he also has his own blog when he wants to, and he does other stuff like that. According to him, the Tigers will deal for Bobby Abreu, just because Leyland says it won’t happen. Like I said, he is strong in his beliefs. Tell him that the Tigers won’t be getting Abreu, and you’re wrong. Why do we want Abreu now? The Tigers have been building up one of the best farm systems in the league for the past few years. Eventually, it will be time to trade away some of those prospects for a championship run. I don’t think that now is that time. Maybe, come July, the Tigers are 5 games up of the White Sox – then, maybe, you make a deal. But if the Tigers are 5 games back of the Sox, that move doesn’t happen. But to deviate for a second to what Yuhsing said, the Tigers do have some hidden problems this year. What he says is that we strike out a lot, don’t walk a bunch, and have an experienced rotation. However, the team is winning. But the Tiger’s weak schedule has also helped them to their record. However – and this is important – like I’ve always said, bad teams don’t beat average teams. What I mean by this is that, oftentimes, someone will say, "Hey, Roy Halladay (or take your pick,) had a 2-hitter against the Angels. But they have a terrible offense, so it doesn’t count." My point is that, while it may be easier to 2-hit the Angels than the Yankees, that doesn’t make it and easy thing to do. You still need to be a good pitcher to do it. Same thing goes with the Tigers – they have to be good to do as well as they’re doing. So maybe the Tigers are a little worse than their record shows us, but they’re not bad. Maybe they should have 45 wins instead of 52, for example. Next, Brandon Inge. He’s not  the All-Star that some people think he is, (I keep hearing that people think this. Why?) But he just broke up Clemen’s potential perfect game in the bottom of the 3rd. Not a big deal for most, except that Kevin invited me to tonight’s game (2 hours before gametime,) and I declined. If Clemens had thrown a perfect game or even no-hitter, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. In any case, I was happily watching this game, but then someone at MLB found out and the feed stopped. Of course, when I tried to start it up again, I received the black out message. Alright, I accept that I can’t watch any Tigers games… but please, don’t tease me about it, alright?

So now we’re going to shift gears to the Yankees – Braves game. As I mentioned in last night’s post, the Braves have gone, in the month that I’ve been in Chicago and Cincinnati, from 5 games back of the Mets to 16 games back. Uh, alright. Why? Perhaps it’s because the Mets can’t be counted on to choke two seasons in a row. They’re not drastically different from last year, yet they have 10 more wins now than they did exactly one year ago – and the Braves have 10 fewer wins. Last year, at this time, Atlanta had 42 wins and New York had 37. This year, New York has 47 and Atlanta has 32. In other words, Atlanta is worse, and New York is better. So maybe the previous theory is incorrect – the Mets are better, but that’s not why the Braves are in last, (however, if the Mets had the same record this year as they had last year, the Braves would only be 6 games back, not 16.) Maybe it was the not-so-good start they got off to this year, which they never really recovered from. Throw in a losing streak like this, and look where you end up. But, remember this. The Braves are baseball’s version of a vampire. Remember that. Just when you start to throw some dirt on them, they come back and take the division again. All the evidence points to this not happening this year, but you never know with these guys. And they just showed a ‘highlight’ clip of Jaret Wright getting hit by comebackers. Are you kidding me? I think they showed four, and once he was even hit with a bat. And, I also believe he was wearing a Yankee uniform each time. Considering he’s only pitched about three games as a Yankee, I can’t imagine how many times the guy has been drilled in his career.

Well, it looked like Buehrle was kicking around the Pirates, surprise. So I jumped to that game, because I like Mark Buehrle. From the moment I turned the game on, here is what happened: Craig Wilson got an infield single, Jose Castillo hit a double, advancing Wilson to third, and then Ronny Paulino walked on four pitches. Then Joe Randa comes to the plate and came about two feet away from the Grand Slam. Mark Buehrle is on my pay league Fantasy Team, and suffice it to say that there must have been some sort of black magic at work there. You know it’s time for one of our favorite BHGM references… Black Magic in Baseball? And they just showed a very distraught-looking Jim Tracy explain why Oliver Perez has been moved out to the bullpen. He said that you never know which Perez is going to show up every fifth day. You just never know, he continued, and that’s just really hard to deal with. You know what else is hard to deal with? A guy that, in the last four years, has only had an ERA below 5.38 one time. Once. That one time was his unforgettable – at least for the Pirates – 2004, when he had his breakout year. He went 12-10, with a 2.98 ERA, and 239 K’s in 198 innings. Remarkable. That was the good Oliver Perez. Now, let me make things simple for you, Jim. In 2004, the Good Oliver Perez showed up. In 2003, 2005, and 2006, the Bad Oliver Perez showed up. This isn’t a matter of specific games, it’s a matter of being good, and that’s something Perez hasn’t been since 2004. Here’s something else that’s hard to deal with. You’re team has lost 11 games in a row. They have three games with the Defending World Champs, and then they have three games with the team that has the best record in baseball. That’s what’s really hard to deal with. Which brings us to something that BPS has asked repeatedly… "Do these games with the NL still count?"

It’s like a turkey-shoot here. I wrote, much earlier, about some possible reasons why the AL is so much better than the NL. The crux of my theory was that a player needs to field in the NL, but not in the AL. Therefore, when a good bat rises through an AL organization, he can continue even if he can only hit, and not field. In the NL, this player would be dealt for another guy. You could say that this makes for a more potent 8-man lineup than the AL, but that’s obviously not the case for two reasons. If it was true, the NL would be evenly matched when they played at home. The second reason, which is more likely the ultimate cause, is that the game is so balanced right now that’s its impossible to have 8 men that are more potent than 9 men.

That may be all for tonight. I’ve got more work to do, (I still have to unpack from school, which I ended on May 10th,) but I’ll be back later if something comes up in one of these games.

Tigers, Bears, and… Fish?

A few things on the agenda tonight. I actually caught a game, from the third inning on, for one of the first times all season. Meaning, I sat in front of the TV and focused on only the game. That game being the Tigers v. Cubs, which is one of those games where… well, you can kind of tell how its going to end before it actually ends. Or a few weeks before it begins. In this case, you’re dealing with a Cubs team that has been so unbelievably bad this year, (in case you’ve missed any of the BHGM-bashing,) that they’ve found themselves 15.0 games back of the division lead… and one game up of the Pittsburg Pirates. To be one game up of the Pittsburg Pirates, who are themselves having an awful year even by their standards, is a lot like… it’s a lot like being in the middle of the ocean, on a raft that is quickly sinking. Ironically enough, in this analogy, the Pirates are in this situation and unable to swim. The Cubs are able to swim, but they’re still in the middle of the ocean, so it doesn’t really matter. To take it one step further, the Cardinals are cruising around in the Queen Mary 2. In any case, the Tigers and the Cubs played at Wrigley Field today. And the Tigers still have the best record in the major leagues, a full 69 games into the season. That is unbelievable. For months I’ve been saying that I was sure the Tigers would have a good, surprising, .500 season, but I don’t think that’s any more accurate than if I had predicted another 80-loss season. In any case, on to the game, right?

There aren’t many ways to take a game 12-3, as the Tigers did today. I mean, you’re looking at a couple huge innings, right? The Tigers hit eight home runs, and that’s really where all the offense came from. Here’s the thing about this year’s team – everybody is hitting home runs. Six Tigers have 10 or more home runs on the year, which isn’t bad. If I had the time, I would go into Marcus Thames and how he’s hit 14 HR in only 150 AB’s, while most of the team has between 230-260 at bats. Meanwhile, the Cubs plodded along with three home runs or something. Oh yeah, and Mark Prior made his debut. It seems that the information circus is finally drawing to a close on him. But then, there is always Kerry Wood, who will never let you down there. Is he injured? Is he alive? Where is he? Is it his shoulder? Is it his knee? Or is he ok, and throwing ‘more than bullpen sessions?’ Who knows.

Finally, we have a story about the venerable Florida Marlins, a man named Roy Halladay, and a boy named Hanley Ramirez. First, with Roy. As many of you know, Roy has been my pick for the Cy Young since, well, since early 2005. Somehow – I didn’t watch the game – he gave up 3 or 4 runs to the Marlins, one of the worst teams in the game. Because the Jays only threw in one run to back him up, he got the loss. Not good. But, even more exciting is the fact that Hanley Ramirez – who was on an 8-game hitless streak, going 0 for his last 27 – got a hit. Now, that’s when you’re struggling. If you go up to the plate 27 times and each time come away with an out, (with the exception of two walks that he received in that time period,) you’re gripping it pretty hard. You have to thing that, for the last 10 at bats of that ‘streak,’ Hanley was sweating bullets every time he stepped out of the dugout. "Man, I’m gonna make a fool out of myself again. Great. I don’t need it today…" That’s a tough spot to be in, because the longer you go without a hit, the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But then, you go up there so many times, you’re going to have to turn it around at some point. And then you’re loose, you hope, and you can go on a streak – the other, good, way.

That’s all I’ve got time for tonight. I leave for Chicago again in seven hours, but this week I will have my computer with me. And I’ll try to pay closer attention to baseball. Now, I know it’s been a shaky three weeks here. Visitors have dropped – plummeted in fact. We’re at about a quarter of the hits per week compared to three weeks ago. Quite frankly, it makes sense, because there has been nothing to see here lately. But, this won’t be a regular occurrence. When I come back from Chicago, be it Friday night or earlier (I hope,) things will be back to normal for good. We’ll be back to the nightly post routine, and hopefully will get the podcast up and running. As for Tiffany’s invitation to another live-blog – I’m not sure yet. I know that’s a bad answer, but as of now, I’m going minute to minute. I’ve been home for about four days in the last month, and I’ve got a ton of things to do. I would like to do another live-blog, especially with the Tigers, but I can’t commit to the time right now. However, the Sunday, June 25th matchup (1.05pm) looks good. I think I can do that, but I can’t tell you for certain. Oh and… when we get back into the ‘nightly routine,’ we’ll be getting back into the ‘good, logical writing routine’ at the same time as well. Thanks for hanging in there guys.