Grand Cards: The Grand Scheme Can't Complain

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Grand Scheme Can't Complain

I'll Start This Off Without Any Words

Maybe because it was in the era of overproduction or because it's just not as totally blatant as some of the more offensive card mishaps in history, but I'd like to thank Joe at the Priceless Pursuit for reminding us (or showing for the first time, as was my case) this little beauty. Oh baseball cards. Is there anything that they don't do?

Somewhere I have heard this before How would you like to be Casey Fien? His spring road trip looks something like this. Waived by Tigers. Signed by Red Sox. Waived by Red Sox. Signed By Blue Jays. Released by Blue Jays. Signed by Tigers. So, I would like to welcome Detroit Tiger, Casey Fien. Fien's Fiends may now rejoice.

Fien's spring makes me think of electronic bank transactions, where money can move all over the place without any cash moving at all. Makes me wonder whether he could have just stayed in Lakeland and digitally become property of other teams. Heck, he hasn't even pitched to a batter this spring
"A liability? I haven't thrown to a hitter all spring. It's been like a twilight zone, a nightmare. Nobody gave me a chance. That's the first time I'd ever thought of quitting baseball."
And the best of luck to you, sir. May your perpetual nightmare be over.

It is now time to make it unclear Yeah. Roster decision time. The battle has boiled down to the three amigos. Nate Robertson had a nice game yesterday, and Dontrelle Willis has continued to exceed the lowest expectations in the history of life, which, good for him. Jeremy Bonderman has made his case as well, and it's looking more and more like two of those three will be your #4 and #5 on the Tigers roster. Lynn Henning thinks this is pretty much a done deal, and that Dontrelle's stuff just is not at a major league level at this point:

I believe today that Willis will be released and Bonine will make the team as a long reliever.

There is no indication from the Tigers that any such move is likely. But it appears from how the pitchers have performed during the past three weeks that Willis is not throwing with enough zip or command to be a serious factor in Leyland's 2010 rotation. In his three-inning stint Thursday against Houston, Willis' fastball never once exceeded 89 mph.

Henning has the uncanny ability of making things up and turning out to be 100% correct in hindsight, and this is not a particularly unreasonable claim so I will not trash him. FWIW though, Beck tweets some interesting tidbits including "D-Train's 1st pitch today hit 93 on the ballpark radar" and "Only one inning for Dontrelle Willis, apparently by design." Indicating that 1. Maybe he does still have the velocity in there and 2. That there may be a role in the bullpen for him, which given the injuries to Seay and Miner to start the season, could suit him fine.

For Willis' part he'll do whatever the Tigers need him to do. Can't fault him for that. Is there anybody that doesn't really really want to see him succeed?

It's safe to say, quote me on that
"It was going to be fun," Granderson said. "I only faced (Verlander) once, in a batting cage. It was in the first couple days of spring training when the guys are just getting their arms going and the catchers are telling you what pitches are coming
Hat tip to Bless You Boys for pointing out this MLive article that talks about how Granderson was looking forward to facing Justin Verlander in a game situation. The game got rained out. Lucky for him, that chance will probably come around again, and while I wish Grandy all the luck in the world in his new digs, I'd like Verlander to get him out.

I know it's wrong, so what should I do? I love Hank Greenberg, thanks in part to a thorough indoctrination from my Grandpa, who as a Jew growing up in Detroit, watched his career develop in the face of severe anti-semitism et al. So, I'm a Greenberg fan. The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg is tremendous movie that everyone should watch. However, they might need to make a sequel in light of this New York Times article:
Some members of Greenberg’s family and legions of his fans believed that anti-Semitic pitchers had walked Greenberg often to keep him from a fair shot at Ruth, who set the record in 1927. Greenberg, however, called such a view “pure baloney.” To shift responsibility for his falling short of the record onto others would have been out of character.

There is now statistically compelling evidence that Hank Greenberg was walked at a unusually high rate as he approached Babe Ruth's single-season Home Run record in 1938. Sadly, this doesn't surprise me in the least and it adds another fascinating dimension to the history of baseball and the unquantifiable greatness of some players. The vast majority of these were African-Americans who were denied the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues, but other players, like Greenberg, were allowed to play and still had to face obstacles from spectators, opposing managers and players alike. All the while, he was a total class act. Definitely read the Times article, and watch the movie, if you haven't seen it before.

I'm on a plain plane You know what's cool? Internet on an airplane. Like, the airplane that I'm on right now while writing this entire post [Ed. As this sentence was written, we started our descent and I had to store my electronics, making the whole novelty of this post, in which I use lyrics from Nirvana's "On A Plain," while cleverly changing the spelling, moot. Such is life. Nonetheless, internet on the airplane is the best thing ever. Wave of the future!]

Misc. Posting has been slow. I know this. With a full weekend and then a quick, unexpected business trip that I just got back from, the blog took a hit. I did see some nice yellow envelopes when I stopped home this afternoon though, so it appears as though blog life can continue.


  1. Ha, I just posted about this card yesterday. Funny how that happens from time to time. Every time I feel like I'm sitting on a really random (but interesting) post, someone else writes about it! Happened to me once with something about Ted Kluszewski.

  2. I know! That's why I wrote about it. Then I look back at the post and see that the html link to you didn't come through. It says "I'd like to thank _____ for reminding us." So, thank YOU for bringing it to my attention! I'll get the link fixed right away!

  3. Ha, gotcha. No worries whatsoever. Love the story about Casey Fien, it's hilarious... for us, anyway.