Grand Cards: The Grand Scheme's Issue Is, I'm Terrible

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Grand Scheme's Issue Is, I'm Terrible

The Truth, It Hurts  Should a news article about the complete disappearance of Dontrelle Willis' skills even be newsworthy?  Here's a guy, who in two years with the Tigers has put up the following stat line: 1-6 record, with ERAs of 9.38 in 2008 and 7.49 in 2009.  Last year he walked 28 batters in 33 2/3 innings.  In fact, he was so bad that based on the numbers alone, it is an indisputable fact that the Tigers would have made the playoffs had he never touched a ball at all last season.  Still, his sudden onset of horribleness is just not news anymore.  Except that it is.  And thank goodness, because it gives us things like this:
"People see me smiling, but I think they're confused about what the issue is with Dontrelle Willis," said a pitcher who has spent most of the past two seasons on the disabled list, with one victory since joining the Tigers. "To me, the issue is, I'm terrible.
And we are again forced to remember 1. How awesome Dontrelle Willis used to be, 2. How the sudden *poof* of any semblance baseball skill left him as baffled as the rest of us, and 3. How sad all of this really is.

If there is anybody in the world that isn't pulling for Dontrelle Willis then they don't have a soul. It's that simple. Also, that whole article is a good read and for some reason gets me what if-ing again. Which, of course, is a dangerous thing to do. But man, what if? Can you imagine? How unbelievable would that be?

Speaking of a pitcher who's roster spot should be "Out of Baseball" were it not for the blessing of guaranteed contracts, apparently Nate Robertson, in addition to having those bone chips in his arm, also had some sort of undisclosed, undiagnosed groin injury that he had to have surgery on after the season. Now, I always liked Nate Robertson too. I liked his bulldogish ways. I liked his crazy facial hair. I liked gum time. So when it appeared that his inability to throw a baseball may have been injury related, I was pleased. Now that it may be injury related more than we initially thought, I'm even more pleased. I'm going to play the what if game again. Willis, Robertson and Bonderman--the three of whom have made effectively zero positive impact for the last two years--what if just one of them can overcome their maladies and return to form?

And there's more Zumaya! WOTS is that Zumaya is doing fine and is approaching his 100 mph self again. Like the aforementioned holy trinity, Zumaya is yet another person that I will put zero stock in ever being a valuable contributor again. I'm sorry, but fool me twice...

I think the theme here is simple. Spring Training is upon us, and once that happens Hope Springs Eternal and we can all the what ifs right up until sad realities start to set in.

Damon Segue? Am I implying that Johnny Damon somehow represents a sad reality for the Tigers? No. I'm not saying anything about Damon because nothing has happened. Except that apparently the Tigers are sick of being played the fool, which, fine, then stop acting like a bunch of pansy-assed morons and either make a deal or don't. Also, Damon's wife doesn't want him to go to Detroit, preferring instead a more "cosmopolitan" environment. To which I say, maybe you should have made your preferences known before your husband turned down a deal from the Yankees which is in, um, New York City. Also, Detroit is plenty cosmopolitan so give it a shot! It's not like you're moving back to Kansas City or something.

News from Around the Globe! Is it me, or has there been a lot of Detroit Tigers related news coming from the national outlets? In particular, NBC's (and Craig Calcaterra's) Circling the Bases has picked up on a ton of stuff that would normally go the way of local sports section back pages. Por ejemplo,

The effect of Michigan's new smoking ban on Jim Leyland, Umpire Randy Marsh apologizing to the Tigers for blowing the Brandon Inge hit by pitch in game 163. (Don't worry about it man. It really wasn't your fault). And pointing out CC Sabathia's very nice, but factually flawed, compliment of Curtis Granderson. They even dive into the depths of the Tigers potential roster for the season. But nothing they mentioned this week was as awesome as this:
When you think 1980s baseball, what do you think of first? Um, OK, fine, cocaine. How about after that? Well, yeah, tight pants are right up there, aren't they? After that. That's right, mustaches! At least longtime reader and frequent commenter The Common Man, does, and to that end he has put together The All-Time All-Mustache team, with photographic evidence of course.

And what happens when you click on The Common Man's wonderful Mustache rundown?

Of A Million Cards This Topps thing is big. It's on freakin' CNBC and is being pushed by none other than Cal Ripken Jr. But seriously, CNBC, for a financial site there are some things that you might want to look into a little harder.
Ripken's own rookie card, which is valued at around $200, said Warren Friss, vice president and general manager of Topps.
Aha. ha. ha. No it's not.

Hey, remember that time that Grand Cards was a Granderson site? It still is. And, it will continue to be as long as the New York Times is writing articles like this. But did we Tigers fans really feel like this?
Celia Bobrowsky, the director of community affairs for Major League Baseball, held the same position with the Tigers during Granderson’s first season, 2004. Her first impression of Granderson was that “the baseball god had arrived for the community of Detroit.”
Yeah, we really did. The whole article is just a reminder of how much the Tigers are going to miss Curtis. Also a reminder? Asking why the Tigers traded him in the first place and concluding with what we all, sadly, know to be true.
Whatever the Tigers were thinking, they will regret trading him.
Note to Yankees fans. I know that you are good baseball fans. I know this. You must give Curtis Granderson the undying fanbase love and support that we Detroiters did. Please do this.

Misc. Is a Misc. really necessary this time? Wasn't this whole thing kind of a hodgepodge misc.? Ooh, I know. Sneak peaks of 2010 Allen & Ginter are out and they are, as expected, lovely looking. Is this the year I buy a box or to I just stick with the team set? Is there any chance that I would get anything remotely close to this if I bought some 2009 Ultimate Collection? No way. The Winners of the Decade Gummies have been announced. 2007 UD Masterpieces is your set of the Decade. 2008, apparently, was full of a bunch of crap. I can't say I disagree, but I'm guessing that this may be tinged by those of us (myself included) that returned to collecting 'round about 2007 or so and missed out on what appear to be some mighty fine start-of-the-decade sets. But maybe I'm wrong.