A Detroit Tigers Blog with a Feminine Touch

Saturday, May 26, 2012

We Wish We Could Quit You

"Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
Well that's alright because I love the way it hurts.
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
Well that's alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie."
-Eminem feat. Rihanna, "Love the Way You Lie"

Rage. Torment. Despair. Humiliation. All of those emotions and adjectives applied to our Detroit Tigers' most recent series against the Cleveland Indians. That was one of the most brutal, demoralizing, and poorly-played series we've seen in a long time. A very long time. We were actually convinced Justin Verlander was going to blow up the clubhouse on Thursday.

Did you see the amount of tweets that said stuff like, "I'm done with the Tigers!" or "Never watching these idiots again!" or "FIRE LEYLAND" or "We want Brandon Inge back!" Yeah, there were a shitload of those flying around the past few days. Normally we scorn and scoff at the bandwagon fans who diss the Tigers every time they lose, but man did this team deserve some of the pure hate that came their way. That series was disgusting. Worse still, the offensive MVP of the season so far, Austin Jackson, just landed on the DL. The three of us mutually agreed watching a Tigers game was equivalent to eating glass, and our minds and bodies could not take much more of this abuse. Thank the Lord we aren't as attached this season!, we said.

And then.

And then we were back in front of the TV at 8 o clock, ready to watch the game. We were back to watch what we believed was another inevitable Tigers loss filled with shitty bullpen pitching and non-existent hitting. We were ready to turn to each other after the game, smile feebly and unconvincingly, and whisper "Who needs 'em anyway? Hahahahaha!"

And then!

And then our boys won today, in loud and sexy fashion, by piling on 10 runs off of 15 hits. Our boys again showed flashes of the team that they very easily could be, if they would just pull their heads out of their assholes and remember how to hit and field and pitch. Smiley Smyly showed us once again why we love him so. So did Alex Avila. So did Prince Fielder. So did Brennan Boesch. And while Quintin Berry is no Jackson, he is easy on the eyes. So that is an obvious plus.

However. We've been fooled before. We've been waiting for some mystical magical "spark" that would get this group going, and every time we thought we found one (anytime JV did anything, walk-off wins, etc.) our heart would just be broken the next day or the day after when the Tigers lost in some pathetic manner. Such abuse! Such torment! We know what our boy Em and our girl RiRi are talking about now.

While we might have just actually compared watching 2012 Tigers Baseball to domestic violence, we think it's time for everyone to put on their happy faces and adopt a new attitude, us included. It's still so freaking early. The division is still ours to lose, no matter what some dumbass Indians fan might say. So we have another song to represent our current state of mind:

"Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you."
-Rick Astley, "Never Gonna Give You Up"

That's right. We ain't NEVER gonna give up on this Tigers team. Though it will be trying at times, especially when our boys look like little leaguers (a.k.a what they look like right now) we are just incapable of abandoning this team right now, and we never ever will be.

That Cleveland series though? BLECH.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Bunch o' Bums

The three of us here at April in the D have an amusingly curmudgeon-like grandfather who seems to take no greater pleasure than dashing our hopes and dreams by being ridiculously pessimistic about the Tigers.  In a way, he is our classic literary foil. He plays devils advocate and forces us to realize all the good things about our boys in order to defend them against his vicious verbal attacks.

However, he said one thing recently that rang a little too true... "The only guys on this team that are pulling their weight are Verlander, Fielder, Jackson and Dirks. The rest of them are a bunch o' bums."

While we would tentatively expand that list to Smyly and Cabrera as well, we kind of have to agree.  All of the bumming around has done nothing to improve our win-loss ratio. It seems that these six dudes are the only ones standing between us plummeting down to last place behind the freaking-terrible Minnesota Twins.

Okay, that might be a little over dramatic, but everyone knows that the way we've been playing recently is below what this team can or should be doing.

Verlander, Fielder, Smyly, Dirks, Cabrera and Jackson, however, have been playing fabulously.  Jackson got off to a fast start this year, and hasn't really slowed down at all.  He may still strike out a lot, but he's fifth in the league in batting average, which is not too shabby at all. Also, Jackson may even be stepping up his defense this year.  This year, he's done something that we don't think we've ever really do before, which is dive for balls. He almost always just gets there in time, or let's it bounce, but apparently he's ready to starting diving for them, which means centerfield just got smaller for all those opposing hitters.

Dirks has fit into the number two spot seamlessly, and is hitting up a storm in the month of May. The one two punch of him and Jackson is probably the most comfortable we feel in the batting order, and, since we're always rooting for the under-dog, it's nice to see a guy who was a non-roster invitee a year or so ago have the number two spot in the starting rotation. Or that's a really bad thing...we're not sure which.

Prince hits long balls, which is no surprise, but he's also been doing a lot of hustling.... more hustling than I thought possible for a big superstar like Prince. He's really shown a desire to win, which should be true of all competitive professional athletes, but seems to be especially true for him.  He gets those "ribbies" for us so that's all that really matters.

Smyly has come a really long way from being a scared AA pitcher making his first start in the bigs. He's arguably the second best starter on the team, and definitely the third best in terms of performance this year.  He has the second best ERA, the second best WHIP, and the third most strikeout out of all the starters.  He's been doing a very good job of putting the Tigs in the position to win, which they frustratingly haven't been doing, which shows in Smyly's win loss record.  Don't let that fool you though, Smyly is talented, and more importantly, he's been consistent all year long.

Verlander is the bomb. What else needs to be said?  He just took a no-hitter into the ninth, and it wasn't even surprising... you're always expecting that kind of play with Verlander, which says enough in himself.

And Miguel Cabrera is Miguel Cabrera. Sure, he's not hitting .400, and he's had some rough patches, but he's always come roaring back with a vengeance. We're still holding out for him to win his first MVP of his already sparkling career. And that defense! Who out of all of you saw that coming??

So with these six great players on the team, why are we still losing to the Indians?  The answer is, the rest of our team are a bunch o' bums! We couldn't have said it better ourselves, Grandpa. Leyland needs to whip these guys in to shape soon if we have a hope of realizing the dream all us crazy Tiger fans saw at the beginning of the season.

Shape up Tigers, and soon! It's getting waaaaaaaaay too hard to be optimistic.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Defeat (and Vice Versa)

We love sports. Obviously, if you're reading this blog, you know that we do. We especially love baseball. Again, pretty obvious. But there are some annoying patterns that really drive us crazy. Perhaps the most annoying pattern of all is one that our Tigers currently experienced/are experiencing: just when we think they're about to gain momentum and go on some winning streak and everyone starts to click, we fall apart (read: Monday night's game). We lose. We fail.

At least, that's what the three of us thought yesterday as we watched our boys fall into an 0-6 hole. Oh great, we thought. Anemic offense and pathetic pitching. Thus is the story of our season so far. So soon had we forgotten the glory that was last year's comeback against the White Sox. And it happened again. In one inning, no less. Miguel Cabrera and Austin Jackson continued to be all kinds of awesome with their home runs, and Ryan Raburn decided to remember how to hit a ball and drove in for runs, including his first homer of the season. Not. Too. Shabby.

Is this finally the game that can get our boys, who we know to be capable of so much, on track? Four out of five (sorry Max) starting pitchers are looking good-if-not-great. Prince Fielder is waking up, Cabrera is alive, and Jackson is unstoppable. Hell, look at Andy Dirks. He's doing a better Boesch impersonation than Brennan himself, and Dirks has the defense to back himself up. Yes, it does look like our team is starting to put the pieces together, but to every silver lining there is a cloud.

It definitely speaks to the level of the AL Central when our boys are sitting pretty (?) at .500 in the middle of May and only 2 games out of first place. And granted, not everyone is playing poorly, as we've stated in earlier blog posts. But as everyone should realize by now, whenever you're doing something in a group you're only as good as your weakest link. The below-average fan or above-average MLive commenter would scream "RAYBURN! He's our weakest link! We shouldda never've released Brandon Inge! I always knew I loved that guy!! Screw Rayburn send him to Toledo!!!!" Guess what, idiots? Ryan Raburn is not our biggest problem. Look at what he did in yesterday's game! Obviously it isn't enough to overlook a pretty poor start to the season, but he is not what's keeping our team down. No, to even a casual Tigers viewer, it's no secret who the culprit is.


Ah, yes. Public Enemies #1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 (we're leaving out Duane Below). Over the past month these guys have really screwed us by blowing leads or giving up runs in tie game situations. It is a joke and proof of the irrelevance of the win statistic that Collin Balester is 2-0 right now, picking up the win in yesterday's game. Look at poor Drew "No Decision" Smyly. Boy is pitching like he's a veteran and is either a) getting no early run support, or b) getting shafted by his bullpen.

We've learned to view this season with a suspicious and wary eye. Just when we think our boys are on a roll, they disappoint us. Conversely, when we are so fed up we can barely watch, the Tigers surprise us by playing a great game. Sooner or later, they'll show their true colors, and with a homestand against the (shitty) Twins and the (shitty) Pirates, we hope our boys will get hot and stay that way.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Drowning in a Sea of Mediocrity

Silly title to a blog post, isn't it? Well, a) we're silly people over here, and b) that's exactly what watching the Tigers nowadays feels like. Actually, it feels startlingly similar to last year in terms of end results of games. Having our bullpen blow so many solid leads is truly alarming (an extremely, extremely aggravating) and watching our hitters struggle at the plate is pissing us off maybe even more. What will be the event that turns us around?

The one bright spot (besides Austin Jackson. God Bless Austin Jackson) is our starting pitching. Doug "Jesus" Fister descended from on high came off the Disabled List and pitched a gem last night. The Savior then got to watch his beautiful game be f***** up by Octavio Dotel who, like the rest of our bullpen right now, has struggled mightily lately. At least Dougie is back. We can't describe how much we love/have missed him.

Our other starters have also done well, only inevitably to see our offense and bullpen fail them. The offense is especially disappointing because…well…look at them. Look at what they have the ability to do.  As we keep saying over and over and freaking over again, the offense will eventually click. It's just getting annoying that we're finally through our murderous April (in the D!) and nothing really has changed yet.

We're not asking for 4 homers per superstar like Josh Hamilton did tonight (congrats to him, by the way). We're just asking for a little more breathing room for our hot-and-cold bullpen. Last year our first good-baseball catalyst was the Verlander no-hitter. We would love to see a great game like that to turn our losing ways around.

Despite all the bitching and moaning done by us above, we know that this isn't any time to freak out. If we're pulling this shit in late July, then fans are allowed to flip their lids a little. Now is not the time, and it's maddening to see some fans take to Facebook and Twitter and other baseball sites and completely blow our team, our manager, and our record out of proportion. We've said it before: Calm the eff down, people.

Though, even we're getting a little tired of saying it.

Friday, May 4, 2012


It's a funny thing about baseball...there are so many games throughout the season that teams can change their momentum multiple times in a year. Teams that start off terrible win the pennant, teams that win eight straight end up at the bottom of their division.  All it takes is a single event, series, or game to turn around a team.  Tonight's game could be that game!
Here at April in the D we've kind of refused to stop being optimistic, and after tonight's walk-off win against the hated Jake Peavy and the Chicago White Sox on a home run by slumping Jhonny Peralta, the team could be energized enough to pick up their bats and become the team we all thought they'd be at the beginning of the season.
Because the dynamic of a team can change so fast, it's no surprise that we've been slumping lately. After a couple of terrible series and The Denard Incident, the bats have been slow and the arms have been kind of lackluster.  That's why we needed this moment.
So, basically, thanks Jhonny! And we hope to see some more big bats in the next series!  EAT EM UP!