It's a casual, boring Monday night. You have work or school or SOMEthing in the morning, and it has been a stressful and exhausting day. There aren't even any good games on tonight. Yet, something feels different. Something magical is in the air…
BASEBALL. BASEBALL STARTED TODAY.
No, it's not the regular season. It's not even the start of Spring Training games. It's just pitchers and catchers reporting. But there's nothing "just" about it. Baseball is baseball is baseball and will always be baseball, and right now Tigers Baseball is starting and our boys are finally reuniting under the Lakeland Sun!!!!!!!!!!
They'll be in Comerica before we know it, folks, but for now they're stationed on the hallowed grounds of Joker Marchant. After the jump are a few lingering thoughts from me as the first baseballs are thrown...
Brandon Inge, Second Baseman
Let's tackle this much discussed topic first. Does Brandon Inge have what it takes to be the everyday second baseman? It sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn't it? Inge has always been associated in my mind at third base, even after he was a catcher for a while. Granted, second is one of the few positions he hasn't played, so one might think he would be a pretty risky choice over Raburn or Santiago.
But defensively, could he really be that bad? Not at all. There's no way he could be worse than Raburn, even with his mobility decreasing substantially in recent years. He might now be as all-around-solid as Santiago, but he's played this Tigers infield for a while and could probably do fairly well at second.
Offense, however, is a completely different matter. Santiago has never been bad for us on offense, and Raburn has obviously shown that he can be very, very good. Brandon Inge, not so much. The problem with Inge is his offense, and if he can't increase his productivity significantly, then there really is no point in having him start over Raburn and Santiago. Of course, Inge has been known to make a few comebacks, so we guess only time will tell…
Unless you don't receive his tweets or read his articles or generally just don't know who he is, it should come as no surprise to you that one Mr. Lynn G. Henning, sports journalist for the Detroit News, has A Thing about weight.
Now, Lynn himself is not a small man, but he will not let Cabrera and (especially) Fielder be mentioned without also saying something about their large physiques. This morning he tweeted about how "graceful" yet "obese", "hefty", and "thick" Fielder was. And if you remember correctly, Lynn was the man who, at Fielder's press conference, called him "husky." Husky. Because of course there is no better way to welcome a superstar to a new team!!!
Okay, dude, cool it. I understand that Prince is not waif-like, and he never will be. Whatever. But Lynn comes off as a bigger douche than he actually is with all these freaking weight comments. More importantly, Miguel Cabrera has, by all reports, slimmed down some, which should help him a lot at third. Which brings up the point that I don't even know why Lynn is even talking about Prince's weight. It's Cabrera's weight that should be being discussed, and he seems to be going in the right direction. Plus, the two of them need all that weight for the mammoth home-runs that are soon to be blasting out of Joker Marchant.
Get on board, Lynn. Stop being so negative or GTFO!
We're Not The Only Ones Excited
On a related note, the Detroit Free Press had a very fun article that shared the other Tigers' reactions to Prince Fielder arriving in Lakeland. And it thrills me to read that the players are just as excited as I! Don Kelly, Gerald Laird, Justin Verlander and more have expressed their high level of enthusiasm for The Prince, but the person who seems to be the most pumped (which makes US even more pumped) is Miguel Cabrera.
Miggy could have been a diva. He could have felt threatened that this other superstar would come to Detroit and steal his thunder. But no! Miggy has been talking with Prince and taking batting practice with Prince and Chris Iott tweeted that whilst the pair were walking past the swarming masses, Miggy pointed to Prince and said, "Look what we got!!!"
I smell a bromance, and what a high powered bromance it will be!
The Man. The Legend. And apparently not the The Myth, as Tony LaRussa is slated to arrive in Lakeland tomorrow to give our boys some pointers--and, as much as it grieves me to write this, only pointers.
I have to admit, when it was announced that LaRussa was coming in to help our boys out, wild visions of a Jim Leyland/Tony LaRussa managing bonanza flashed through my head, but he is taking on no official role. A shame, really. But I guess us Tigers fans can't have everything we want...
Finally, for some incredibly uplifting Monday photos…check out this. And this. And this and this and this! In my mind, there couldn't be a more welcoming sight than seeing our boys at Spring Training.
Oh, and one more thing: be sure to check out Max Scherzer's twitter page!
Now all we need is Rick Porcello to get one! Should I start the campaign??
Till next time!