Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tigers All-Stars and a quick round-up

2011 All-Star game, now with 100% more Tigers!
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.

AL C (STARTER), Alex Avila:  This is the selection I'm happiest about for many reasons.  The first is that I love that he was voted in as a starter, which really says something about how special his season has been.  Second is that, as young as he is, you know he'll enjoy the experience, hopefully the first of many appearances.  Thirdly, he actually makes the most sense here--while voters predictably went full retard for Derek Jeter over the more-deserving Jhonny Peralta, they at least realized Alex was putting up numbers second only to object of 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 OF (STARTER), Curtis Granderson (Yankees):  Yep, Curtis is gone, but his production sure isn't.  While I hate hate HATE that it's for the evil incarnate Yankees, I'm genuinely happy for him that his enjoying such a stellar season.  He may be a Yankee, but he's easily deserving of the honor of starting that game, and the way this year's gone for him, I wouldn't be surprised if he made a big impact in the game. 

AL OF (reserve) Matt Joyce (Rays):  At the time he was traded to Tampa for Edwin Jackson, the reviews were mixed.  Then they were almost universally positive for Detroit because Jackson had a decent season and then turned into Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer et al.  Now things are looking a little more even thanks to the fact that this guy is putting up some nice numbers for the Rays.  Generally I wouldn't say that the Tigers are missing his production in the outfield relative to what we ended up with after the two trades, so I'm happy he ended up in a situation where he could thrive--oddly enough, as a partial replacement for Carl Crawford.

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?

Quick roundup:
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:

I hope everybody has a great weekend and 4th of July!  (Suck it, England)


  1. Strange, I always considered ESPN to be Red Sox "homers". Oh well, I guess that is more fuel to my theory that the Red Sox and Yankees are indeed becoming the same team.

    And (with apologies to Greg Z.) I am so glad Avila got it instead of Russell Martin.

  2. Two things:
    1) Yes, yes I do like Manupatches.
    2) Jessica Simpson used to have a ROCKIN' bod! (unless that's one of those photoshop pics, like the one of Rachael Ray in sexy undies, in which case, that model with Jessica Simpson's superimpossed face has a ROCKIN' bod!)