Tag Archive | "Detroit Tigers"

B&B Big Story Banter: The Race for the American League Crown

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B&B Big Story Banter: The Race for the American League Crown

Posted on 01 August 2014 by Brett Dickinson

By: Brett Dickinson and Barry Kamen

The 2014 trade deadline will likely go down as one of the most exciting days of all time.  Two aces changed addresses, World Series champions were shipped out and All-Stars were sent to other sides of pennant races.  So after the dust has settled, the standings have not changed but the strongest teams in the AL have just gotten that much stronger. In the end, if the Orioles do keep up the pace and make the playoffs, they will see one of these stacked rosters come October at some point. So which team made the moves that might push ahead of the likes of Baltimore and into a World Series? Which team should the Orioles fear the most in the AL now?

 

Detroit Tigers (Brett)

David PriceWell it may have been one of the final trades of the day, but the Tigers made the biggest splash for the biggest commodity. Finishing off the day by acquiring former Cy Young Award winner David Price certainly fills the mantra “saving the best for last.” As a team that already has two other Cy Young winners in Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, and a legit front of the line starter in Anibal Sanchez, Price may be better than all of them.

Could the Orioles have made an comparable offer to get an ace from the Tampa Bay Rays? The likes of Chris Davis and a combination of a young pitcher (Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy or Hunter Harvey) may have been enough for a deal. But Baltimore obviously was not willing to part ways with key pieces of their future. And the Rays likely did not want to deal within the division either.

Though the Tigers had to give up their everyday centerfielder in Austin Jackson (along with young starting pitcher Drew Smyly and shortstop prospect Willy Adames), they have plenty of fire power left in their lineup with All-World hitter (and two time MVP) first baseman Miguel Cabrera, along with  All-Stars designated hitter Victor Martinez and second baseman Ian Kinsler. Oh by the way, almost half their roster has World Series experience to help guide them through a tough series in October. And if they can bank on their starters to keep them in the game through 7th,8th or even 9th inning, anyone would pick Cabrera (and company) to come through with enough runs to handle their playoff competition.

The biggest question with this team is the back end of their bullpen, which they addressed by acquiring closer Joakim Soria from the Texas Rangers a couple weeks ago.  Detroit is certainly a complete team, that made the extra effort on July 31st to get over the hump. With the most decorated starting rotation in league history, any team should have some fears heading into a seven game series.

Oakland Athletics (Barry) 

It is often said that in the playoffs, good pitching beats good hitting. After acquiring Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel in a mid-July deal, as well as former Red Sox ace Jon Lester at the trade deadline, the Oakland Athletics firmly believe in this philosophy. The trade involving Lester and OF Jonny Gomes for OF Yoenis Cesepedes on the morning of July 31st may not have been the BEST trade of the day, but it was the most important. The Athletics are in position to win their third straight American League West title, but their lack of playoff success over the past two seasons frustrated the front office and the fanbase. In Lester, the Athletics get a pitcher who has won two World Series rings with Boston and was vital to the Red Sox run in the 2013 playoffs, finishing with a 4-1 record (2-0 in the World Series) and an ERA of just 1.56.

Trading away Cespedes, a fan favorite who wows the masses with his arm and home run power, will be difficult to replace. However, the combination of Gomes and another new acquisition, Sam Fuld, will do a fine job as platoon players. A healthy Josh Reddick will help substitute the home run numbers of Cespedes, while Gomes (career .335 OBP) and Fuld (.370 OBP with Minnesota) each have something to offer to manager Bob Melvin. For a team that relies heavily on their farm system and savvy free agent signings, it is refreshing to see Billy Beane and co. make trades with an eye on late October baseball. The Athletics are no longer going to settle for winning the division; acquiring Lester, Gomes, and Fuld at the trade deadline keeps them at the top of the American League food chain.

I expect the Athletics to finish with the best record in the American League, which means that if the standings held, the Orioles would avoid Oakland until the championship series should both teams make it that far. For a team that will throw Samardzija, Lester, Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir in a seven game series, there isn’t a single pitching matchup that would favor the Orioles. All four of Oakland’s starters would be Baltimore’s number one starter, and having two dominant right-handed and left-handed starters will pose problems for any team in a playoff series.

There is still plenty of baseball left to be played, and there is no guarantee that the Orioles can hold off the surging Blue Jays or the stubborn Yankees for the American League East crown. After the trade deadline, the East division became much weaker as a whole, which makes the Orioles and their acquisition of relief pitcher Andrew Miller look that much better. With the difficult West coast trip over and done with, time will tell if the Orioles can play their way into an ALCS series with either of the big trade deadline winners.

For more on the MLB Trade Deadline, listen to the Brett & Barry Show with Brett Dickinson and Barry Kamen this Saturday from 9a-12p on AM 1570 and WNST.net!

 

 

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Tigers TV Network’s Allen believes there is no perfect team in AL East

Posted on 12 May 2014 by WNST Audio

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red-sox-beards 2013

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Baseball Post Season – Unfavorable

Posted on 18 October 2013 by Tom Federline

Detroit, please stop the “Bearded Boys of Summer.” The Boston Red Sox and the beards need to go. I can dig the “team unity/bonding” deal. It can be cool. I did it and I’m sure some of you developed some quirk during your playing days to build that camaraderie among your teammates. If I want to watch bearded ones, I’ll put in a ZZ Top DVD or I’ll replay a Duck Dynasty episode from the DVR. But because it is Boston – it just turns my stomach. When it comes to baseball, no scruffy facial hair and no jewelry. Especially the pretty hemp necklaces and the metal medalions hanging off pitchers necks. I am not a Boston fan. In fact the Red Sux, Spankees and Duke basketball are inter-changeable among my most disliked sports teams.

The baseball postseason is unfavorable due to the #1 fact that the Orioles are not there. So since October 1, it has been “Anybody but the Red Sox.” Not that I really care who wins, just as long as it’s not the Red Sux. Definately a fan of the lesser budgeted teams like the A’s (and they’re out. I was also having a tough time with the Pirates – glad they made it back – just still have a bad taste from 1971 and 1979. “We are Family” – Sister Sledge, to this day is immediately turned off when heard over the radio. The Cardinals – tired of seeing them in post season. Dodgers – cool stadium and I like Don Mattinglys approach to baseball and interviews. He is probably the only Yankee I ever liked. Detroit – not a big fan of them either, they just need to stop the bearded ones.

Other post season pet peeves:
1. Cal Ripken – yes, you heard me right, Cal Ripken. He knows baseball – I do not care. Do you all remember this gem from last years O’s vs. Rangers game – “Adrian Beltre is the best defensive third baseman I have ever seen – even better than Brooks Robinson – sorry Brooksie.” That comment right there has put Cal Ripkens voice in the “not worth my time zone.” Cal is now in that elite Club along with Gary “Thorne in our side.”
2. Get the hand-held TV video cameras …..off the field! Remove the clutter from the field. No cameras, no camera crew running next to these steroid boys. The field should be off limits during the game to anyone not directly invloved with the game. It is an athletic event, not a made for tv movie. Speaking of clutter on the field……ever notice an NFL sideline? Besides the 50 assistant coaches and then the 50 assistant coaches assistants, the entourage of the 100 tv camera crew memebers, the 100 still photographers, the 200 family members and then the 200 friends of the family members, you have to wonder where do they find room for the players and EMT’s.
3. Camera angles – I am sick of the “Pitch Trax”. Is it where the ball crooses the plate or where the catcher cathes the ball? It misrepresents the actual pitch. Put the camera behind the plate and guess what? Most baseball fans are smart enough to tell wether the pitch it is outside, inside, low or high. Remember that camera angle – “back in the day”? Occasionally you may see it, but it is a rarity. You can catch real baseball coverage on MASN airings of Orioles Classics from the 60′s and 70′s.
4. No interpreters for the illegal alien pitchers. If you can’t speak English – learn. All they have to know – keep ball down, 1-fastball, 2- curveball, 3-slider, 4-change-up, get batter out, you did not earn money today – you stunk it up – leave mound, good, bad, yes, no. When you are getting paid around $50-100,000 per outing and throw a ball a couple of days a week for a few minutes or hours, you have the time to learn basic communication of the English language.
5. Mark McGwire – just go away. He is still around and involved with baseball. When they first showed the Cardinal dugout and announced the players; I was like cool – no lieing steroid boy. Then they switch over to the Dodgers dugout and AUGH, there was the deflated cheater. The numbnut Doger organization went and hired him after he got fired from the Cardinals. I guess they needed a “pass-thru” for that Puig juicer guy.

Beards, Cal Ripken, hand-held cameras/camera crews on the field, interpreters and Mark McGwire – all unfavorable and should be gone! Anything from the baseball coverage bugging you?
And to end on a positive note:
1. I dig the 5 – 8pm late afternoon games coming home from work.
2. Unrelated – check out ESPN’s “No Mas”, another good production.

Reminder – It has been thirty (30) years and counting. 30 years – that’s just wrong, man. Definately – unfavorable.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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10 Sports Limericks

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10 Sports Limericks

Posted on 25 October 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

This week the Ravens are stammering,

The Texans just gave them a hammering.

You knew they were done,

When they threw out the run.

And now fans want to fire Cam Cameron

 

The Tigers had visions of grandeur,

And threw out an ace in Verlander.

But for being the best,

Maybe had too much rest.

And in Game 1 got beat by a Panda

 

There once was a QB named Cam,

Who wanted to be Superman.

But when things don’t work out,

He always starts to pout.

So now people are calling him Sham.

 

 

The Bounty-Gate thing was malicious,

Inspiring hits that were vicious.

But the players suspended,

Had their punishments ended.

And now have beef with two commishes.

 

 

There once was a Jag named Maurice,

Who called the Bears quarterback weak.

He should laugh at himself,

Because he’s now on the shelf.

With a little foot that he just tweaked.

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Chen

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Chee’s POD’s & O’s Preview for July 24th, 2012

Posted on 24 July 2012 by Big Chee

In an attempt to preface my Baseball Plays of the Day, let me begin by saying I have placed bets on baseball games only a handful of times in my life. Most of the instances occured at the Hard Rock Cafe Sports Book last year in Punta Cana, which was an awesome time, by the way. I hung out with John Rocker, who, at the time, informed me of his belief that he could be an effective asset to the Orioles bullpen.  While I am sure it was the Budweiser talking, he came across like an okay guy to me.   As tempting as it was, I fought hard to stay away from the only relevant topic anyone wants to talk to him about; his racist/homophobic/sexist comments in regards to playing in NYC. After all, the guy, being on vacation like myself, was there to enjoy himself.

Anyway, here are my Inaugural MLB Plays of the Day for Tuesday:

Cleveland Indians/Detroit Tigers OVER  9  (BEST BET)

To say that the Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez has been a disappointment in 2012 would be an understatement. Acquired at last year’s trade deadline from from the Colorado Rockies, the 28-year-old is rarely clocked at over 95 mph on the radar gun these days. In addition to his loss in velocity, he leads the AL in walks and sports a hideous 5.48 walks per nine innings. Jimenez’s July has been more atrocious as he boasts an ugly 7.48 ERA, surrendering 18 earned runs in just four starts.

Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera will be licking their lips when the Tigers roll into town Tuesday and should have no problem teeing off on Jimenez.  However, their teammate and Detroit starter tonight Doug Fister has also been up and down this season. Fister has won his last three starts after losing his previous three starts. Cleveland, winners against Baltimore last night to avoid a sweep, is batting .311 (84-for-270) against fastballs from pitchers like Fister since last season. The lone bright spot in the lineup is Shin-Soo Choo, who homered in two of the last three games.

I expect Detroit to put up roughly 7-8 runs in this contest.   Cleveland should manage at least three.

New York Mets to win ML (-108)

The Mets have certainly been free-falling as of late.  Losers of their last 10 of 11, their starting pitching has compiled a 6.41 ERA during that span.  Not to mention the devastating news that pitchers Johan Santana and Dillon Gee have hit the DL. Their sole victory during those 11 games was last Thursday when R.A. Dickey got the best of the Nats’ Gio Gonzalez. Dickey will go for his 12th consecutive winning decision in the rematch tonight.

Gonzalez hasn’t looked anything like an All-Star over his last five starts. The southpaw surrendered six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings pitched during last week’s matchup against the Mets, ballooning his ERA to 5.75 in July. To make matters worse, Dickey is a perfect 6-0 at home and should make scoring runs very difficult for the Nationals offense.

Dickey certainly has not been lights out either, but expect him to get enough support led by David Wright and a red hot Daniel Murphy to even this three game series at 1-1.

ORIOLES vs RAYS PREVIEW: July 24th, 2012

Wei-Yin Chen takes the mound for the Orioles tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays as the O’s try to rebound after failing to sweep Cleveland last night. The last time the Rays faced the Orioles with Chen on the mound, Rays’ starter David Price overshadowed him with a complete game shutout. Tonight, the Rays are not as fortunate to match Price against Chen once again, as they send Jeremy Hellickson to the mound. The Rays have lost all of Hellickson’s last five starts and his road ERA stands at 4.08. Chen, on the other hand, has an ERA a full point lower at home.  Taking three of four in Cleveland and winning their last five of six overall has given the O’s some much needed swagger after a slow start post All Star Break. The travel from Cleveland to Baltimore will not fatigue them very much either, so jet lag will not be a problem.   All signs point to Baltimore starting this three game set successfully with a win, thus further distancing themselves from the bottom three in the AL East.

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Justin Verlander’s Comments Show Players Still Do Not View the MLB All-Star Game as Important

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Justin Verlander’s Comments Show Players Still Do Not View the MLB All-Star Game as Important

Posted on 11 July 2012 by andrewtomlinson

Justin Verlander clearly has a set opinion about what he thinks the MLB All-Star Game is about, and it isn’t about galavanting off with Kate Upton, instead to him it is nothing but a glorified exhibition.

Ever since baseball established the idea the All-Star game should determine home-field advantage in the World Series, the two leagues have played some pretty fascinating games. Tuesday’s game was anything but interesting and was a snooze-fest almost as soon as it started. Of course, the major guy to blame for it was Verlander himself.

In the first inning, Verlander gave up five runs to the National League, was wild and, despite not getting much help from Jose Bautista in right field, could not keep the ball even remotely close to the infield. His performance was out of character and made many wonder what was up with last year’s Cy Young and MVP winner. Later in the evening, Verlander would explain the rough outing and poor command with a quietly alarming opinion.

“I know nobody wants to see me throw 90 mph” Verlander said, via MLive.com. “They like to see the 100 mph fastball. So, hey, I gave them that.”

Clearly to Verlander then, the game isn’t about winning and getting home-field advantage, it is instead about trying to put on a show. It is no secret, casual fans may like to see the high-heat and silly curves he throws, but not the hardcore ones. And what if his preseason favorite Detroit Tigers find themselves in the World Series? Suddenly I imagine he might wish he had painted those corners a little more.

Although, if you know Verlander, he might just want more opportunities to get his first career major league hit this year.

Verlander’s comments may not earn him another All-Star Game start, nor should it, but it does begin to beg the question about how much the players really care about the game. Sure, there was the video of Chipper Jones telling the NL he didn’t want to go out with a loss. If other players are like Verlander though, I doubt his speech stuck in any of their hearts.

In one slip of the tongue, Verlander seems to have unraveled baseball’s marketing line from the last few years of “this time it counts.” Since, if it doesn’t count to the players, who ultimately might have to play in the World Series, who does it really matter to then? If the opinion Verlander offered up is wildly held by baseball players, chances are the whole making it count idea is nothing but a marketing ruse by Bud Selig and the MLB to sell ads and seats.

Sure, people will always tune into the game. It isn’t hard to imagine though, that a few more fans have watched the last few years after seeing the return of close games after 2006 and the NL’s now three-game winning streak. It will be interesting to see if people will think of the game the same way next year, knowing what they know now.

If Verlander’s comments stick around, you have to think many are going to think of the game as just a way to watch players they don’t normally see demonstrate what are essentially the equivalent of cheap baseball tricks. The game should be known for fun competitive baseball, but if it isn’t anymore, then we are back to square-one, with it being meaningless.

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