In which your author had a mini-stroke
Boy, that was awesome. Clean sheets at the half in Group D keep the US's Saturday opponent a mystery for a little longer. (Update: It's Ghana))
The analysts know best I mean, they're analysts. We're talking about professionals, right? So why am I bothered by an ESPN article that heaps praise on Miguel Cabrera? This sort of national exposure is exactly what I complain the Tigers (and Cabrera) don't get enough of. So what gives?
I had a chance to play with Cabrera when we were both with the Florida Marlins in 2007, and what really blew me away about him was how smart he was at the plate. We would talk over the course of a game and you could just tell that he had a great understanding of how a pitcher was going to attack a certain hitter. He knew what they were going to throw, how to make contact, and where to hit it. He also gave me a lot of advice on my own approach at the plate, often predicting where a particular pitcher would throw to me.
I can't quote enough of this article to really do it justice, so perhaps I'll summarize.
Step 1: Say that Cabrera has conquered his Demons
Step 2: Talk about how intelligent of a hitter he is
Step 3: Also credit his supporting cast in the lineup
Step 4: Cabrera is really great!
Uh huh. So what makes this article different from the first three random pieces of Bleacher Report garbage that comes up in a google search for "Bleacher Report Miguel Cabrera?" I mean seriously, please tell me the difference between this:
I started calling him "Albert Einstein" because that genius light went on when he was in the batter's box. The first time I used his nickname he had no idea who Einstein was. But after friend and teammate Alfredo Amezaga explained the moniker, Cabrera thought it was pretty funny.and this:
He’s 6'2", with arms the size of Paul Bunyan’s and thighs that look like folded over sandbags. He doesn’t have a chest, he has Rhode Island, and maybe a little of Vermont.
He doesn’t walk, he advances.
One is written by and "expert," ESPN analyst Aaron Boone. Now, I have no particular problem with Boone, per se, but when I read something coming from a former major leaguer, I'm hoping for something a little more substantive than information that everybody knows and a tiny clubhouse anecdote. I want some real Todd Jones or Doug Glanville shit, ok ESPN?
One Million Dollars The Strasburggery has gotten out of hand. $100,000 for his 1/1 Red Autograph card? That's insanity. And the guy who bought his superfractor is already selling it again and has made a profit, which I guess means that he's not quite the fool that I took him for. Oh, and Topps is now selling $350 per pop autographs on Strasburg's Topps #661, of which only 300 will be offered, and only 119 have even been unlocked at this point. And the Finest redemptions and Red Hot Rookie redemptions are just adding fuel to the fire, likely withholding Strasburg's card until the bitter end.
It's all quite crazy, and to be honest I'm not sure how I feel about all of it. I'm wondering though...would anyone like to go all profit-share on a case of Bowman Chrome?
A Wolf, a Fox and an Oriole... This will be a future "M in the MLB" post if I ever get around to it, but it's worth mentioning at least that former Michigan catcher Jake Fox, after being designated for assignment last week was acquired by the Orioles yesteraday, leading to a Baltimore Sun comment section explosion of frustration, including my favorite
Would rather they picked up Edwin Encarnacion but he's not white and incompetent so he wouldn't fit into the O's plans.
It also spawned an article exploring the connection between the O's and the Cubs, which is unsurprisingly robust given Andy MacPhail's history in the Cubs organization. This is not dissimilar to Dave Dombrowski's penchant for dealing with the Marlins and former Marlins (Robertson, Willis/Cabrera, Sheffield, Pudge, etc.) and I imagine that you could uncover a similar pattern of relationships with every team in baseball.
For what it's worth, Fox flied out to the wall in his O's debut last night, but will most likely provide more power to the Orioles than their entire first base platoon has all season.
Misc. A Cardboard Problem has a great interview with the new President of Upper Deck. Well done Sooz! Stale Gum is as disappointed as I am with Topps' Red Hot Rookie #2 selection. .225 1HR 2RBI is not "Red Hot." I kind of totally want these World Cup Cards. They are fantastic.