I'll let the terms of the deal come out before I comment, but I'll say this. Johnny Damon is a good player who makes the Tigers a better team. As to whether it was a good move, that depends on some of the specifics. Cliff's notes: $8M=Bad, 1 Year=Good.
Alligators Credit Tom Gage for giving us the best quote in baseball so far in this very young spring training.
Outfield prospect Casper Wells reported, "There's a nine-foot alligator in the lake where I'm staying."Isn't this how awesome baseball nicknames get started? Boots. Ooh, yeah I like the sound of that. Or Gator? Gator Wells is a freaking sweet nickname. Oh wait, I forgot. Your name is already Casper. Come on man, you couldn't let Ryan Raburn or someone with a lame no-nickname name take credit for that quote?
Better stay away from it.
"Stay away?" Wells said. "I'm going to make boots out of it."
Gorillas In between claiming that he could save 74 games this season Jose Valverde spoke about his gentle demeanor on the mound.
On the mound, he's fierce -- his stare meant to intimidate.
"Like a gorilla," Valverde said. "I don't want the hitters thinking they can hit me. You have to look into their eyes. When I'm on the mound, everything changes."
I'm shaking in my boots.
Not Donkeys What does this even mean?
"We won't be donkeys," [Leyland] said. "I'll tell you that. We have pretty good talent."Yeah, not like those stupid talentless donkeys we had around last year. Hell no. This year we've got a Gorilla, an Alligator...
Animal Calls Tom Gage, again
What will Joel Zumaya miss about Fernando Rodney , one of the true characters in the Tigers' recent past.Of course, this is taken out of context, as the player's worst day was often Fernando Rodney's fault as well, but at least he's a net neutral for the rest of his teammates. Seriously though, I always liked Fernando Rodney because he looked like Thelonious Monk. Yes, that's enough for me.
"His many animal calls," Zumaya said. "You can be having the worst day and that guy could put a smile on your face."
Effusive Praise, Good Praise, Praise. He's Ok. Tom Gage unearthed a lot of good stuff in the one article it turns out. Please click and read the whole things so I don't feel bad for pulling so many little bits. Thanks. Anyway, doesn't this sound like one of those times where you're trying to relay a compliment but when it comes out of your mouth you realize that it doesn't really sound that great so you try to dress it up a bit and that doesn't work either so then you really go over the top? You know like, That dress looks nice. NICE? No, I mean it's a good looking outfit. Good? Outfit?!?! That is the hottest dress that anybody has ever worn. Am I right?:
... Leyland said he got a call from Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson on Wednesday praising Austin Jackson. The rookie is a former Yankees prospect.Oh Jim, you're so not getting any tonight.
"He called to say he thinks highly of the kid," said Leyland. "It was very positive, all positive, totally positive."
Focusing on focus That's the title of an article in the News about Scott Sizemore. If focus is something that somebody has trouble with, wouldn't focusing on focus be an unmitigated disaster? Wouldn't he lose focus in his attempt to focus, resulting in his already shoddy focusing skills to fall apart? Why would somebody even want to focus on focusing anyway? Should they just take all that effort and focus on, say, not doing this:
"I want to pick [Adam Everett's] brain on what his focus is. I want to cut down on those careless errors, say, where there's no play and you hold onto the ball, rather than throwing it away and costing your team a run. Those are errors I'm gonna try to avoid."Your projected starting 2nd baseman everybody! Throwing the ball away and costing your team a run, even when there's not a play. Please focus on not doing that.
Quick Hits Tom Gage is an animal. Read his quick hits and you'll learn things like, Jim Leyland cutting down on his swearing, Magglio looking like a kid, Jacob Turner being a kid (born in 1991!!!) etc. Read his stuff every day.
Tigers injury luck is so bad that it continues into the past Bonderman, Willis, Robertson, Zumaya, Guillen, Sheffield. These last couple of years have been chock full 'o injuries. Well we can add one more to the list: A devastating motorcycle crash to flamethrower and rising star Ryan Perry.
According to a Tucson Citizen report, Perry was traveling 82 mph on a Suzuki GSXR when he hit a pole on Jan. 8, 2007. He was not wearing a helmet, and suffered a fractured spine, lacerated liver and broken left elbow.1. I did not know this. 2. When I read this headline I almost died inside and said "another injury for the Tigers?!" while completely ignoring the severity of the accident. 3. This happened way back when, but it took him until this offseason to actually get back to where he was.
For the first time this offseason, I was able to do what I couldn't before the motorcycle accident," Perry said. "I could not do weight work with my lower body. I would squat 135 pounds and it would pinch. I just stopped lifting; I had to. But now, I'm squatting 225 pounds no problem. I can do so much more with my legs.Wow.
Just in the nick of time This week, the College Baseball Hall of Fame inducted their 2010 class. Remember, last year's class featured former Michigan great Barry Larkin, just as he comes eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time. This year, they made another timely pick.
Sisler, also a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, starred at the University of Michigan from 1913-15 before a 15-year major league career that was highlighted by winning the 1922 AL MVP awardThat's George Sisler. He of the HOF class of 1939. I officially give up complaining about the normal Hall of Fame induction procedures.
Misc. It's opening day for College Baseball, and good stories are shared from days of yore. Losing inspires Rick Porcello. I really hope that winning inspires him more. The Topps Million Card giveaway is so successful, that they're retroactively inventing cards to give away. Everything has to do with economics. Even scalped tickets at the Olympics. MLB Playoff Scheduling Hip Hip Hooray! Bless You Boys sifts through the tripe that is the Tigers' back end of the rotation. If any of you make the team, please stay on the bench.