The AL and NL rosters have been announced, and this year's game will feature a bevy of current and former Tigers. I realize you could possibly say that about your favorite team, but this here is my blog, so this is what you're getting today.
dayf's bromance Brian McCann (who is, to be fair, awesome), and second to none in the AL. The next best choice would have been Carlos Santana (or, I guess, Matt Wieters, who's in as a reserve). Finally, this totally vindicates my vitriol toward the stubbornly stupid Jim Leyland, who remained loyal to out machine and all-around life force vacuum Gerald Laird the last couple years, proudly watching him lead the team to another .500 finish (barely) in 2010. Alex is the real deal and I'm happy that he's shutting up all the haters who assumed the Tigers took him because of his dad's connection to the team.
AL 1B (reserve) Miguel Cabrera: I won't say as much about this choice because it's so blindingly obvious (though I do feel bad about Paul Konerko, who I hope wins the extra man balloting). Nope, Cabby's numbers speak for themselves, and he's yet to get in alcohol-related trouble this season, which is a hopeful sign.
AL RP Jose Valverde: This ESPN jackass doesn't like Papa Grande's "mediocre numbers for a closer" (such as 35 Ks in 36 innings and zero blown saves) because he assumes Valverde is the reason CC Sabathia got left off (I bet they just didn't want to pay for three seats to fit his ass on the plane). ESPN's trademark Yankee homerism aside, Valverde is a great choice due to both his numbers and flamboyant attitude, which should play well on a big stage such as the All-Star game. Hell, the shot on the above card isn't even from a game--that's Jose walking home across a suburban baseball diamond.
AL SP Justin Verlander: JV won't get to pitch in the game due to the timing of Detroit's rotation, but if he did I'm sure he'd be the starter. He's put up better numbers than Cheeseburger Chaser Sabathia while on a much, much worse team. In fact, I might start referring to Verlander as "Ground Floor" because he's almost literally the only thing between the Tigers and the cellar right now the way the rest of the rotation has been pitching lately. Anyway, hopefully he shows up to the game to get a nice ovation for his no-no earlier this season.
NL SP Jair Jurrjens (Braves): John Smoltz Jr. (well, at least the guy we got swindled out of wasn't from the state of Michigan this time) is looking healthy and putting up some excellent numbers. Interesting stat: 104.2 is both the number of innings he's pitched this season and my body temperature whenever I ponder why we sent him to the Braves in a deal for the AL pitching-phobic Edgar Renteria. Still, he's a former Tiger that fortunately went to a team that appreciates his talent, and I wish him well.
NL 3B (STARTER) Placido Polanco (Phillies): Here's another guy the Tigers let go that I'm not very happy about. All Polanco (and his extremely enormous head) did during his stint with the Tigers was hit, especially in big spots. Considering the dearth of quality at the 2B position since, (not including the too-quickly-given-up-upon Scott Sizemore) giving him up was just inexcusable. In any event, Polano earned this selection, his second, and I'm happy for him (and his extremely enormous head).
SS Jhonny Peralta, as I mentioned, was a pretty obvious snub, but C Victor Martinez is on the short list for the last man in spot (which, again, I think should go to Paul Konerko). Not a bad group of current and former Tigers, eh?
I haven't done one of these in a while, but there were a few things I wanted to highlight, some for selfish reasons and others because I just thought they deserved it:
- dayf completed his recent vintage series and went out with a bang
- Johnny posted a bunch of trade bait, one of my favorite types of posts
- Community Gum is doing something about "Ginger Muffs", whatever that is
- The Diamond King won the 2009 UD Series I retail box from GSNHOF's trade bait draft and posted his results
- Drew got a ridiculously nice looking Triple Threads Verlander (and Jered Weaver, whatever)
- Charles @ Hoopography also posted some nice trade bait (great variety)
- Eric who likes Manupatches posted his fave fives of Helton and Tulo
- Kevin wrote a couple great pieces slanted more towards old school stuff, talking about his dad's Topps set collection and a neighbor's awesome vintage stuff
- No Relics Pulled posted a couple cards he acquired from the show we hit recently, including a sweet signed Kaline
- Plaschke also goes the vintage route in one of his latest posts (Koufax!)
- Play at the Plate caught up on some trade posts, which is always hard to do especially when you get behind on them (not that I'd know anything about that ::whistling innocently::)
- Sewingmachineguy got two awesome Kalines (roundup Kaline trifecta in play?) and I'm jealous
- Derek posting McCann today just seemed appropriate so here it is
I hope everybody has a great weekend and 4th of July! (Suck it, England)