Well, Miguel Cabrera is back. And since he doesn’t have the thrill of a pennant race to entertain him, he’ll need to finds other means of amusement. Like untucking Jose Altuve’s jersey on first base. Look at how pissed that little Altuve gets at him, complaining to the ump like it’s his mother! Miggy always gets away with this!
It’s been such a frustrating season. But last night, the Reds had the magic going. As I watched them and the innings wore on and they squandered opportunities with bang-bang plays at the plate to win the game; I knew in my heart they were going to win the game.
They overcame two big home runs from Miguel Cabrera and Tyler Collins that looked like the dagger.
The Reds got three scoreless innings from some guy named Donovan Hand – a guy who hasn’t thrown in the big leagues in a number of years. And look at the names the Reds are running out of the pen out of nowhere: Hand, Carlos Contreras, Ryan Mattheus, Burke Badenhop. It’s not like these are guys who have came up through the Reds system. If you think back to when the Reds were a good team, they had the same bullpen arms the whole year pretty much. They had dependable guys and you knew the names and there were several guys who had came up through the system together. That has faded away.
But on this night the Reds were just meant to win. Frazier hits home runs 21 and 22, including a dramatic blast that won them the game.
After the rain delay, it was hard to remember it was Johnny Cueto and David Price who started this game. But the story was more about Frazier, Bruce and the unlikely late-night magic of the Reds.
One of our favorite warriors across baseball has reached a milestone, a night after Adrian Beltre reached the same. He’s 32 years old, and he’s at 400 career big flies.
We’ve always loved the way he’s seemingly quietly gone about his business, overcame the same issues that we all as humans face, played hurt, and just generally went out and mashed.
We’ve all heard the stories of 17-year old Miguel Cabrera down in Venezuela, hitting bombs off big leaguers who were throwing inside on him to intimidate the young man, only to offer him something soft and away that he yanked out of the park.
He’s cut from a different cloth, you see. Miguel Cabrera’s come along once every 30 or 40 years. Or maybe once in a lifetime.
Sometimes a guy like Cabrera gets overlooked because of the Harper’s, or Trout’s, or Bryant’s. It shouldn’t be that way.
When it comes to yoking a baseball – the one he hit today was a blast to dead center in the heart of baseball country, St. Louis; in the rain – there isn’t a man alive who has a more sound fundamental stroke.
And good for the Tigers on beating those rotten, luck-box Redbirds 4-3 in ten innings for the second straight day.
The melody line – the take home message in this wonderful All Star Game of 2014 – was that Derek Jeter is passing the torch to the new face of baseball. It is absolutely fitting that Mike Trout won the MVP of this game and despite a great night from Jeter, and a home run from the man who has kept Trout from two MVP awards at a college age; it was Trout who shined the brightest in the game of stars and had the biggest hand in the American League’s victory.
I thought this was one of the best Midsummer Classics in recent memory from an entertainment standpoint. The hitters really did their job, putting a lot of hard balls in play and it seemed that the game featured about five or six well struck balls off the wall.
The game had a little bit of everything. It is absolutely amazing the kind of arms that each side was able to trot out to the mound one after the other. It’s also a credit to the great hitters in the game today that there were eight runs scored. The game also featured some great defensive plays, second to no one was Dee Gordon’s grab and throw to rob Michael Brantley of a hit.
People will say what they will – that Cabrera won’t be able to live out this deal at the top of his game, or they’ll point towards the Pujols contract and it’s impending doom ending. But Cabrera is his own case study. In the past two years he’s basically won two Triple Crowns. He’s dominated the game of baseball for almost the last decade like some of the legends our grandfathers tell stories about.
Wake up and smell the coffee, Miguel Cabrera is a timeless, generational talent. A rare pearl that is found once every few decades in the deep seas. Due to the Hall of Fame numbers he’s putting up year over year (he’s averaged 6.7 bWAR over the past five seasons), this deal is going to end up paying for itself because I believe that Cabrera is one of those rare gate attractions that people will pay to see. Like the Siberian Tiger at the local zoo, he’s the one thing you just have to see when you visit Motown. I know I want to get up north this summer just to see the guy take some hacks live.
And after he retires, he’ll be remembered as a Detroit Tiger. Don’t tell me that it would have been good for baseball for Cabrera to end up on the Mets, or the Phillies, or any other team in his final years. If the Tigers don’t ink this type of deal, someone else would have when the time came. It’s best for the game if he remains in Detroit and continues to chase records wearing that pseudo-Black.
The deal could reach 12 years and $352 million total. The biggest winners in all of this are the fans of the Detroit Tigers franchise. Baseball’s king remains in Camelot for another decade plus. The Tigers just need to find the resources to surround him with the missing link and get a World Series ring on his finger.
This is the type of contract that only the class organizations have earned the right to ink a player to. The Detroit Tigers fit that description right now – they’re one of the few. You can’t argue with what they’ve done to this point in building the machine. That’s a competitive and respected team year after year. This move is no different: except it’s a winning move in more ways than just the wins it will yield on the field.
Here’s what we learned (actually, we’ll highlight the graphic above since you know exactly what we learned):
24% of polled MLB players feel Bryce Harper is the most overrated player in the game. He’s followed up closely by Yasiel Puig at 21%. I guess that means we have an affinity for overrated guys.
81% of those polled feel baseball is ready for an openly gay player.
Best estimate at the percentage of players still taking PED’s is 9.4%.
Mike Trout was voted an overwhelming 56% as the best player in the game. Agree wholeheartedly there.
It’s about a split on if the polled players want Alex Rodriguez kicked out of the players union.
Clayton Kershaw has mad, league-wide respect.
In all, 143 players were polled. Any time we can get a look inside the mind of what those inside the game feel and believe, it’s worth reading. This would include takes from professional scouts, and it would certainly include players themselves like this poll did.
And as for the most important takeaway take from the whole bit – Bryce Harper has been a bit overrated so far – even if he’s been pretty good. If his career has one feel to it, that’s the word you might use to describe it. It’s not a bad thing because the best is yet to come.
For the 2014 Detroit Tigers Team Preview, we enlisted the services of one of the most devoted baseball fans we know; a huge Tigers fan named Corey. We also know him as ‘Detroit Stars’, one of the most feared Fantasy Baseball managers on the planet. You can follow him on twitter here.
I thought the 2013 Tigers were about to go up 2-0 against the Red Sox in the ALCS. I thought Game 2 was over they’d take it back to Detroit to clinch the pennant. I thought Detroit was heading back to the World Series to win their first championship since 1984. Then David Ortiz put a first pitch 86 mph splitter from Joaquin Benoit over the outstretched glove of Torii Hunter and this iconic image was born.
Almost immediately after this grand slam tied up the game in the 8th inning I knew the season was over. You could just tell the Red Sox were going to feed off this moment and take control of the series. I blame it on the fact I was already talking 2-0 with a chance to win the series in Detroit of course, but I’m superstitious like that. I really liked this Tigers team but their bullpen let them down one too many times and Koji Uehara was lights out. Anyways, Boston closed the curtain on Detroit in Game 6 and here I am wondering if I will ever see a Tigers World Series championship (they last won the year before I was born, I am the curse).
Enough dwelling on the past though, here is a look ahead at the 2014 Tigers club. Click through the jump for your full Tigers fix.
In this thrilling edition of The Baseball Show Podcast, M.J. Lloyd and I were joined by Mike Hllywa (@mike_hllywa on twitter) of Halo Hangout and Gammons Daily. Here’s how the flow went – and if you missed it make sure you catch up here because it was a very good show:
-Trying to predict the Mike Trout contract (Mike introduces us to the Mike Trout Sign-o-meter).
-Reaction to Shin-Soo Choo’s signing with the Texas Rangers
-We handicap the field for the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes
-Yasiel Puig’s value to the Dodgers as a potential trading chip
-How we voted for the Hall of Fame
-More reaction to the Fielder/Cabrera/Avasail Garcia rumor
The show went over an hour and a half, so there’s a lot of great tidbits that we talk about that aren’t listed there. If you’ve got some time this Saturday to listen to three guys talk baseball, this is the podcast you want to listen to them do it on.
I led with this item on the last podcast, but after enough inquiring Google searches landing on this site in regards to the rumor; it’s time to bring into the open what I know (what I heard).
So at my real job – the one that has kept me barely blogging this winter – I am approached by a friend who played sports professionally. He’s got roots in the Detroit area and knows a lot of guys who know a lot of guys. He also knows I’m big into baseball and knows I run this site. He asks me if know how Miguel Cabrera really got re-injured last season. I tell him no. He tells me that he didn’t believe this rumor when he first heard it, but it was so interesting he decided to check it with a second person who would definitely know. He did, and they confirmed this. He then hits me with it:
Avasail Garcia was sleeping with Prince Fielder’s wife this past season.
When Miguel Cabrera and the team caught wind of what was going on, there was a clubhouse fight. Miggy was sticking up for Fielder and approached Avasail about it in the clubhouse. In this scuffle, Cabrera re-injures himself.
Team quickly trades Garcia in order to cut out the cyst in the clubhouse. And to separate him from Fielder’s wife of course.
Fielder was traded this offseason partially to go in a different direction and make sure that the chemistry wasn’t offset again this coming season. Translation: Fielder’s wife can screw whoever she wants. She’s the Rangers’ problem now.
I don’t care enough to look into it, but apparently Fielder said there was still sour grapes at least on his end for him being traded from the Tigers. He wasn’t completely over it and was bothered by it because he thinks it was for the wrong reasons. Here’s his introductory presser with the Tigers that I don’t care enough to read body language in right now.
If all this is true, it definitely adds up and possible sheds light on why Fielder was so lousy last season. I owned him in fantasy baseball, and he was albatross until the day I sold him for ten cents on the normal Fielder currency in fantasy.
And I guarantee this rumor is true. It’s out there in the Michigan area somehow. People don’t spread things this weird, at least not the people who spread it to me.
And this also makes us love and respect Miguel Cabrera even more. That guy really is a consummate leader. An every man’s man.
A few evenings ago on The Baseball Show Podcast, M.J. Lloyd (Off Base Percentage) and myself discussed the full rundown of off-season activity. M.J. is also a great follow on twitter (@MnkysThrwngDrts).
Of the high points:
*Clint kicks off the show with a huge rumor involving Miguel Cabrera’s injury, Prince Fielder’s wife, Avasail Garcia, and why Prince might have been traded from Detroit.
*We recap many of the moves that happened on Trademageddon Tuesday.
*We talk Robinson Cano free agency.
*We discuss sabermetrics, and how many million dollars each win in WAR is worth.
*We weigh in on Brandon Phillips hot stove chatter.
*We make dick jokes.
If you have some time to kill on the weekend when you’re supposed to be doing chores, give us a listen. We’ll be sure to entertain if you love baseball.
Wow! Now Jayson Werth’s facial hair is going to look even better! I’m kidding. This game was already insanely detailed and it can only continue to look like a great sports game next to the turds that the Madden team churns out yearly. The difference is this year it’s moving over to the Playstation 4 – where you can now play games in a matter of a few minutes thanks to ‘simulated pitch counts’ and you can push a button to upload your insane highlight plays into the video game wizard cloud forever (if there is a way, more than a few of those plays are going to end up on this site).
Also, there was no cover vote this season involving cheesy twitter hash-tags and bribes from candidates that you didn’t win. The cover player was deserving and it’s the best hitter on the planet, Miguel Cabrera. It also looks as if the series has unveiled a new logo.
Can it just be March so I can have a Playstation 4 and own this game and spend likely my last year outside of fatherhood being a damn baseball video game wizard? Please?
I feel like we don’t talk enough about the monster manbeast residing in Detroit. And he came thisclose to not being named the HHMWMPOW due to a couple of other strong efforts. I went back and forth the past few days on who would win this week’s award, and up until tonight I wasn’t sure. Let’s look at the men who made themselves nominees.
Adam Jones: .343, 4 HR, 5 RBI, 1.086 OPS, 3 steals, BUT no walks
Mike Trout: .462 (12 for 28), 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1.385 OPS, 4 steals, 2 BB.
Trout also went ahead and hit for the cycle since you all wanted to see it done the organic way by a 21 year old.
And then there was the winner. Miguel Cabrera. The stud of all studs in fantasy baseball and real baseball and all things in between. This monster went crazy to the tune of 12 for 26 (.462 batting average), six home runs, six walks (three of which were intentional), 15 RBI, 11 runs, and a berserk 1.755 OPS. If that’s not as Mark Whiten of a week that there is, then I want to be done playing this Mark Whiten game.
Here’s Miguel Cabrera’s week in homers. Keep in mind he had six other hits that weren’t homers. This is just the week in homers. If he did nothing else in a week except pick his nose and eat bacon and eggs, but he had these six homers, he’s still the Whiten Memorial Player of the Week.
Cabrera is probably on his way to another Triple Crown. That doesn’t get talked about enough in any baseball circles. It just kind of got glossed over. I mean sure, he won the MVP award. That’s great and all but the guy WON A TRIPLE CROWN! If Jay Bruce or Joey Votto or someone that mattered in my life more won a TRIPLE FREAKING CROWN I would probably just quit everything else in life because it would have rewarded me with such completeness.
If someone told a Tigers fan that this would be the closing picture to the 2012 Detroit season, they would have been ecstatic. The only problem is that this picture is from the ALCS victory, not the World Series. For the second time in six years, The Tigers were the runner up to a National League club. For Detroit fans in general, I’m sure it seems like you city has been short on luck the past several years with little hockey, the Pistons and Lions being horrible, and general economic problems. (Side note: sometimes it feels like Detroit and Cleveland are in a race to the bottom.) The Tigers have been a bright spot. Spending plenty of money, signing big free agents, and winning. But coming up short hurts bad – no one denies this.
So what did Detroit do in the off season do avoid this fate again.
Major Off-Season Moves:
Resigned SP Anibal Sanchez
Resigned SP Rick Porcello
Signed OF Torii Hunter
A lot of people thought the deal that the Tigers gave Sanchez, $80M over 5 years, a steep price to pay for a 4th starter. But that’s the free market. The Tigers valued a 4th starter more than other teams valued a number two – because I think that’s what Sanchez can be. Meanwhile, they filled out the fifth spot by keeping Porcello around. Then the signed Torii Hunter, who is seemingly ageless. He’ll be a upgrade over having to play Delmon Young in the OF.
Voting has gone the way of the All-Star game, and if you have a twitter account it’s fairly simple. You just have to release a tweet into the cyberworld stating “#MLB13HARPER” to cast a vote for Harper.
It’s already the greatest video game on the planet, let alone baseball game ever made. Producers of The Show have again pulled out all the stops in not only aligning themselves with MLB.com but ensuring that whoever ends up on the cover will assuredly be one of the game’s most rising stars.
And although we wouldn’t mind seeing Cutch, Miggy, Posey, or even Braun on the cover; no one makes more sense from a marketability standpoint than that of Harper.