Soundtrack to a season

One of my many Walter Mittyesque fantasies growing up involved the movies. I loved and still do get a huge kick about the little things in a movie, particularly the right song setting the mood for a scene. Combine that with a youth where all available money was spent on compact discs, and you got a teenage weirdo who made a lot of mixtapes

Some of the things I love about baseball are the little quirks that set it apart from other sports. One of those quirks is players having their own music whether for coming to bat, or entering the game to pitch. So I thought I’d take a trip back to my mixtape days and give some Tigers (except for Victor Martinez, as he will always have #VMartatBatMusic) a song to call their own. So here we go:

Ryan Raburn – “Y Control” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs  This is for all those MLivers that just can’t seem to get the name right.

Austin Jackson – “Jump, Jive, and Wail” by Bryan Setzer Orchestra. I figure some swing music would be best for A-Jax

Alex Avila – “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath. Alex already has one of the best at-bat songs, but I felt he needed a song to fit his spark inducing properties

Justin Verlander – “Search and Destroy” by The Stooges. Because he’s a no-walking Tiger with an arm full of napalm.

Jim Leyland – “Cigarettes and Alcohol” by Oasis. Only because they don’t have a song called Cigarettes and Twinkies

Miguel Cabrera – “My Hero” by Foo Fighters. Hits balls faster than speeding bullets, more powerful than a locomotive, able to hit over tall buildings, Miguel is the closest thing to Superman in an Old English D

Doug Fister – “Complete Control” by The Clash. If he has it, we’ll have a full season of last year’s late season run

Brandon Inge – “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”  by The Smiths. For the guy that’s been replaced by Pudge Rodriguez, Miguel Cabrera (twice) and the hall of fame combo of Don Kelly and Wilson Betemit, his plea to be given yet another opportunity has been granted

Phil Coke  – “Cult Of Personality” by Living Colour. While his current Nickelback song is totally Phil Coke, I think we can all agree Nickelback is terrible, and this song is a perfect match Coke.

Jose Valverde – “Dance Commander” by Electic Six. He will close out games, he will dance, deal with it.

Prince Fielder – “Father Of Mine” by Everclear. He’s going to have to deal with for the next 8 years, might as well embrace it

David Pauley – “Who Are You” by The Who. I figure this is the question Jim Leyland asks every time he sees him in the clubhouse

Danny Worth – anything by the band Jawbreaker

Octavio Dotel – “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash. This song reads like Octavio’s resume

Rick Porcello – “Just A Little Heat” by the Black Keys. If that sinker drops, just a little heat is all Kid Rick will need

Duane Below, Andy Oliver, Drew Smyly, Jacob Turner, Adam Wilk – “Last Man Standing” by People In Planes. The battle for the 5th spot in the rotation has begun.

So there you go, I’m sure there’s more (like a David Bowie song for Max Scherzer), but that’s for another time



Prince Fielder Related Thoughts

Prince Fielder is a Tiger. That is a fact. How it will work…well that’s up for debate.

As far as the contract goes, if Mike Ilitch is OK with handing out the money then there is no issue. 9 years for arguable one of the best hitters in baseball who is only 27 years old, I don’t have a problem with it. Well I don’t have a problem with it if it gets a World Series title for the Tigers. The last years of Magglio Ordonez’s contract were brutal if you look at the last two years. But his 2006, 2007 and 2009 seasons more than made it worthwhile for me. That’s the position Ilitch is taking, he wants a World Series. If they win this year and Fielder is an albatross by 2016, it would be worth it to him.

As far as the line-up, it is pretty much a given that from the offensive side this is an upgrade. This isn’t a clean swap of VMart for Fielder. It’s replacing a platoon of Brandon Inge and Don Kelly for Miguel Cabrera. As for the defensive side, there aren’t many people outside of Detroit fans (and at least half of us have our doubts) that thinks Cabrera will last at third base. Most of this is due to his size, and the fact that the Tigers moved him off of third after only 14 games. Here’s why that the Tigers might be all right.

Pablo Sandoval. If you believe the stats Sandoval is the same weight as Cabrera, yet 5 inches shorter. Despite his size, Sandoval was one of the best defensive players at 3rd base based on old (fielding percentage and errors) and new (range factor, UZR). All this less than a year after he was being pulled for late inning defense. How did he do it? Here’s a quote from Grant Brisbee at McCovey Chronicles:

He worked hard in the offseason. The exact pound count doesn’t really matter, nor does the fact that he put a little of the weight back on by the end of the season. What did matter was that he was clearly more agile all season. He had better range, he had quicker hands, and his arm remained a huge asset.

What did we hear compliments about in regards to Cabrera at the Fielder press conference? Jim Leyland thinks he has one of the best arms, and some of the best hands in baseball (cue the Rod Allen quote). You make take that quote for what it’s worth as Jim Leyland also thinks Delmon Young can play left field. As for the range, as long as he can stay near the league average like he did at first they should be alright. He may not be Inge, but if pictures on twitter are to be believed he should be pretty mobile. Is Miguel going to win Gold Gloves at third? No. Is he going to be the worst fielding 3rd baseman in the AL? Not as long as Mark Reynolds has a job. Bottom line is, we really won’t know what to expect until he takes the field. As long as he puts up another MVP-like stat line, that can help sugar coat the potential 20+ errors at the hot corner.

Getting back on the horse

(Quick Note: In between me starting this, and finally posting it Prince Fielder happened…so yeah I know what my 2nd post will be about)

OK, not quite sure where I’m going with this, but here we go. I used to blog about the Tigers here quite regularly, but real life and lack of ideas drove me away. Lately I been getting the urge to start something back up again, but didn’t know what or where. So I decided to start over from scratch and see what happens. Not quite sure if this is going to be Tiger-centric, or talk about more of the teams I like. Not sure of the frequency of posting, or whether there will be more than one. So lets see where this goes.

What to talk about? Well I guess I’ll start it off with a little bit about myself. I was born and spent the first 27 years of my life in and around southeast Michigan. Moved down to Georgia little over 4 years ago with my, then girlfriend now, wife. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to survive as an unrepentant Yankee in the Appalachian foothills. Thanks to the internet and MLB.TV keeping track of my favorite teams is easier that I ever imagined it could be. But life and work kind of put a wrinkle into writing about them.

As for my sporting interests, I was born into hockey fandom. My father, and most of my uncles played hockey, so I was on the ice as soon as I could walk. Become aware of sports on TV in the late 80s in Detroit was the perfect time. I recall the Bruise Brothers and falling at the hands of Edmonton in the conference finals. I also remember the last time the Wings missed the playoff and how it brought them Keith Primeau. I graduated high school the same day the Wings won the Cup in 97, had a large man fall off the Hart Plaza fountain onto me at the 98 parade, and singing “We Are The Champions” on karaoke at a BW3’s in Ypsilanti in 02. I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to convince the SEC crowd that hockey is awesome for the last 4 years down here.

For reasons I can’t quite recall I was drawn to baseball as well. It might have been the baseball cards and Panini sticker books, or it might have been the voices of Ernie Harwell and George Kell that reminded me of my grandfathers, but I fell in love with baseball. I remember watching the last game of the 87 season and running outside in the front yard in celebration. Then Cecil Fielder’s magical 51 home run season happened. It was baseball all the time from thereon out. Following the Tigers at that time, though, I had no clue what I was getting myself into

I have to confess, I wasn’t the most devout Tiger fan in the late 90s and early 2000s. I’d go to games occasionally, and watch on a summer weeknight if there was nothing else on. To be fair, those teams didn’t really do much to grab the attention of someone just getting into the college experience. In 2006 that all changed. I was working at a job I hated, and was looking for a something to get me through the afternoon. I came across the a Tiger game. This particular game was a 13-9 loss at the hands of the White Sox, and it was 4 loss in a row after they had opened the season winning 5 straight. I don’t know why, but after the game was over I called up the ticket office and ordered a partial season ticket plan.  The Tigers went on a West Coast trip and my first game with my seats 2 rows behind the bullpen in left field was a 18-1 stomping of the Twins. That began my shift past causal fandom and into back into borderline obsession.

So there you go, we’ll see where this goes from here. Not sure how frequent I will post, or even if I’ll post again. Guess you have to start again somewhere