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Friday, April 08, 2005  
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So, I don't have a nickname for Nate Robertson. I'm all set for the rest of the Tigers' starting rotation. So far we've got the following.

1. Jeremy Bonderman: Bondy, or Bondo (the Dmitri version). Self explanatory. Also James Bond, pretty self explanatory, and amusing because Jeremy Bonderman is, in real life, very nearly the antithesis of James Bond.

2. Mike Maroth: Little Mikey Two-Seam. Because he's listed at a generous 6'0, 190, and that means he's just an ickle pitchin' fellow. And one of his best pitches is his two-seam fastball. Also Exceptional Mental Makeup Mike (EMMM or E-TripleM), because that's what the ESPN scouting report says about him. Y'hear that, Mike? You've got an exceptional mental makeup. Now pitch like it.

3. Jason Johnson: JJ, self explanatory. Also The Diabetic Pitching Wonder or Ol' Insulin Hip, depending on how mean I'm feeling that day. Again, self explanatory. Occasionally my friend Jenna calls him The Pedophile, because he kind of looks like one.

4. Nate Robertson: Gator. Not mine, though, just a general online Tigers community nickname, stemming from NateR. I actually had no idea why he was called this (picture me sitting here going, 'Wait, uh, he didn't go to Florida' for like a month), so I finally cracked today and asked. Oh the shame. Anyways, he needs a real nickname.

5. Wilfredo Ledezma: Widez, or Wily, or Fredo, or L'dezzie, for all the obvious reasons. Also Metropolis, because my friends are insane. It went a little something like this.

Me, watching Ledezma pitch during spring training: Fredo! FREDOOOOO!
German-major friend who only sort of knows baseball: Freder?
Me: Fredo!
German-major friend who only sort of knows baseball: Like, Freder from Metropolis?
Me: ......
Me: It's sad that I know what you're talking about, isn't it?

So, Wilfredo Ledezma, Metropolis.

But the point is that Nate Robertson is pitching right now, and pitching like a pro. A pro Tigah! We're in the third, and he's gone 1-2-3 in the first two innings, including a beautiful strikeout of Aaron Boone. He just had his third K right now to start the third inning.

For those of you who are not acquainted with Nate Robertson, I will describe him. He is 27 years old, 6'2, 220, although he sometimes looks a bit bigger-- he's kind of stocky. Well, maybe not stocky. He looks like if he retired tomorrow he could get really fat really fast, but since he's still playing he's just solidly built. His roster photo makes it look like he's got a football neck. He has a big, ruffainly goatee and shaggy reddish brown hair that sticks out the back of his hat. He's got big sideburns. He's wearing big goggle-y glasses on the mound today (although he hasn't got a patch on poor, astigmatic Jason Phillips). He's a lefty.

OH FUCK YOU CRAIG MONROE WAY TO NOT CATCH THE BALL IN CENTER YOU, YOU, YOU well at least it's not Alex Sanchez out there. I shouldn't complain. The runner was just stranded and we go to the bottom of the third, so it's OK. See, Alex Sanchez would have somehow found a way to make that a run. Don't ask me how, he just would have.

So, hem, ignore that outburst. Gator just isn't cutting it for me. What should I call Nate Robertson?

I will ponder this while the game progresses.

Top 5

No-nickname-Nate starts off the 5th with a walk to some Indian or other. Are the Indians the most anonymous, forgettable team in this division or what? I know the Royals and their team of toddlers better than I know the Indians. Except for Aaron Boone. God I hate that fucker. And Coco Crisp, because come on, everyone's heard of Coco Crisp.

Heh, Pudge just snapped the ball to first and very very nearly had the guy. We got to see a rueful Pudge grin before he put his mask back on.

Opposite Nomar just completely missed a ball that Nate scooped off the mound and it squirted into the outfield and there are men on the corners with no one out. Mario tells me that Jhonny Peralta is up to bat. I've no idea who that is. His face is a perfect globe.

2-1 Cleveland. Bugger.

Coco Crisp wears no batting gloves, Mario and Rod point out. I point out that Doug Mientkiewicz also does not wear batting gloves, but one-ups Coco because Mientkie also wears a pine tar helmet and smears that stuff everywhere. Doug Mientkiewicz is a Man.

Opposite Nomar just rolled over on himself and did mean, nasty, hurtful things to his own wrist. Out of the game. Jason Smith in. He gets a ball hit to him immediately, which he bobbled and sort of missed, then scooped and fired it home. Pudge reached back to tag the runner and that dude is out at home. Suh-weet.

Holy cats that was a long half-inning, though. I think we made it through the first 3 innings in the amount of time it took us to get that one half.

Bottom 5

Bingey base hit. Brandon Inge, oh goodness, please keep the camera on him FSN. The cute, it kills me. It kills me right dead.

Jason Smith sacrifice bunts Inge over to second. It was actually a close play at first, the crowd booed like anything when they called Smith out. He hustled, I will give him that.

Hee hee, someone on the Tigers message board just called the Indians the 'Inbreeds'. I like that one. I'm stealing it.

Ugh, we strand Inge. Thank, Higgy. Thanks bunches.

Top 6

1-2-3 inning. Good to get one of those back. Especially one in which Aaron Boone gets out. Did I mention that I hate Aaron Boone? Because, you know, for the record. Aaron Boone. Hate.

Anyways, way to bounce back and do your business, Nate. I still am no wiser as to nicknames.

Bottom 6

When Pudge does the little crossing-himself-thing before his at-bats? And then he looks out at the camera with that intense Pudge gaze? Is it wrong for a nice Jewish gal to get ridiculously fluttery of heart over that? Can we get a Talmudic ruling on this?

Oh my. Heck of an at-bat by Pudge. He fouled a couple, then hit an extremely long ball that looked gone but hooked foul right around the pole. The very next pitch Elarton sent a fastball screaming at Pudge's head (Pudge ducked back out of the way, thank cats). Pudge gave Elarton the sexiest Glare of Death I have ever seen in my relatively short life. Then he fouled off a few more before finally hitting one to the shortstop and making the out. It was worth it though, just to see that Glare of Death. 10 pitches in the at-bat.

DaMeat double! The ball looked gone again, but it kind of died at the wall. DaMeat had a nice little hustle going on there, which is only slightly less amusing than watching David Ortiz hustle. I wonder if there's a wind blowing in from centerfield tonight... that's the second ball that's looked out in that direction that ended up piddling into the wall.

Pitching change at exactly 100 pitches. Here comes... Scott Sauerbeck. With... a full beard. And... almost Johnny Damon hair. Only... graying blonde. Someone, please, kill my retinas now.

Sauerbeck's first pitch is so wild that the camera can't even find where it lands. DaMeat on third, Rondell on second, and I do believe they're walking Pena intentionally. 1 out, Monroe up. And there goes Sauerbeck, like a hint of hair spray on the air, barely perceived and then gone.

Matt Miller is in now. He's... kind of a submariner. Doesn't get low with his whole body like BHK, but his arm is definitely not coming from over the top. Bases loaded. Bases loaded. C'mon Craigger.

Sac fly! DaMeat scores, and we're tied at 2. 2 out. Bingey up. Excitement. Sentences becoming fragments. Dmitri slid into home even though he kind of didn't have to. Rod says, "I guess Dmitri just wanted to get dirty." Hee hee.

Inge walked. Bases loaded again. Jason Smith up. Matt Miller is also rocking the glasses tonight. Goofy but, again, nothing on Jason Phillips. Jason Phillips, you win the Goofy Glasses Contest for the week uncontested.

And Smith pops out. Oh well. At least we tied it up. No, no, we should have gotten at least another run in. But, well. Hell. That was another long inning. And at least we got one run.

Top 7


Sign in the crowd: DMITRI IS PHAT. Crappily made sign, but the sentiments are appropriate. He is. Both colloquially and phonetically.

Double for the moon-faced Peralta. Blech. 2 out. Come on no-nickname-Nate, you can do this thing.

And he does.

Bottom 7

Grady Sizemore in at, um, some fielding position for the Inbreeds. When I hear the name 'Grady' I still wince a little. I wonder if this will ever go away.

Omah swung out on what would have been ball four. Bollocks. Rhino bollocks.

Higgy out. Matt Miller's glasses are more like lab goggles than Nate Robertson's, which are more like retarded clear sunglasses. Pudge up. Pudge jams one into center that drops and SayNottheName Sizemore can't get to it.

DaMeat up. Another pitching change for the Inbreeds. We've seen The Farns and Ugie warming in our 'pen, but Nate made it through 7 on his own. I am proud of him. This guy is named... David Riske. Oh dear. DaMeat is 0-9 with 7 K against him. Riske indeed.

DaMeat sends one right to the second baseman, and Riske has him again. Who is this guy? And can we remove him from the league? With concrete overshoes if necessary.

Top 8

Ugie's on the mound. I have to say, I really hope his heart's not set on being a closer. I'd love him to stay here as a set-up man. C'mon Ugie, don't be proud. If Tom Gordon can do it, so can you.

Fucking Belliard is fouling him off time and time again. I know Ugie's probably out after this inning anyways, but dude. What the fuck. Anyways, Pudge giving signs to Ugie in a pressure situation, is there any more perfect thing in baseball? Well, yes. But it's still pretty good in a meant-to-be kind of way. Popped to right, Higgy's got it.

You notice how I've begun reporting almost everything that's happening? That's stress talking, that is. Look at us, tied in the 8th, every one hitting infinite foul balls off of Ugie. This is a situation in which I am going to start twitching spastically.

In 2002 Ugie saved 40 games for the Red Sox. I knew he played for us, didn't realize it was in one of his unhittable periods (the other being '99 with the Expos [RIP], I guess).

Fuck you, Aaron Boone. Fuck you. FUCK YOU AARON BOONE. IhateyouIhateyouIhateyou. Hatey hate hate.

4-2 Inbreeds.

Mario Impemba speaks. "This homerun by Aaron Boone was the first one he hit since that one against Tim Wakefield in the 2003 ALCS."

Just let that one sink in for a second.


Ugie hits Blake. Unintentional. Two out, man on first, ulcer in my tummy. Blake steals second and Pudge's throw is a bit high. 3 and 2 on SayNottheName Sizemore. Rondell catches a pop fly and we're out of it. Uh, with two runs in. So, not really out of it. Aaron Boone. Why won't you just stay dead?

Bottom 8

Wow, Rondell hit one to the third baseman, should've been a routine out, but Aaron Boone sent the ball into the dirt and the first baseman couldn't get it, so Rondell is safe. Maybe he felt bad. Maybe it is Karma.

Pena up. After fouling a few off he sends one quite long, but the Cereal Kid out there in right field catches it. Craigger up.

Peralta sends a silly ball to Belliard, who can't handle it, and we've got men on first and second with one out. Bingey up. They're handing us this one on their own palsied gloves, if we can't take advantage of it I'm going to be pissed.

Bingey base hit! Bases loaded! One out!



And he struck out. Fuck you David Riske. Fuck you and your fucking Aaron-Boone-populated team.

Full count to Omar Infante. Bases loaded. Two out.


4-3 Inbreeds.

2 and 0 to Bobby Higginson! Crowd chanting 'Bobby! Bobby!'

!!!!asf;lkjaf;lkj11 3 and 0 the excitement no more capitalization sadlfkhwelrjqlkj oh my godddddddd

Ungh. Pop fly out. Goddamn I haven't been that insane over an inning in a long time.

Top 9

The Farns is in! The Farns is in! I was so sure we'd see Percy. He starts out throwing a 93 mph strike.

The Tigers have left the bases loaded twice today. I don't really want to hear that.


The Farns throws Bard out so hard that he twirls all the way around and ends up on his bum in the dirt! And he gets Peralta to hit one right to Guillen, so it's two out in the 9th!

Rondell White runs over and picks a ball out of the air while sliding on the lawn. The Farns gives us a quick top of the 9th. What did I say about The Farns, eh? If he keeps the ol' noggin on straight, I will give him so much love.

Not literally, though. I know his rep. I'd have my doubts as to his, ah, cleanliness.

Bottom 9

Bob Wickman closing for the Inbreeds. He is fat. Pudge up. He is not.

Cripes, more intense Pudge gazing. FSN camera people, I thank you. God. Look at his face. Just. I'm not going to be able to be coherent about this.

Meh, grounder right to second. DaMeat up. DaMeat and Wickman are much closer in body type. Wicky throws a 95 mph fastball, Mario and Rod are astonished. "I didn't know he was throwing that hard anymore." DaMeat out, two outs on the inning. Rondell up.

I'm not hopeful here, but I'll lay it out there. Rondell. Baby, please.

Flyball to right, and that's that.

Great. Just bloody great.

And I still don't have a nickname for Nate Robertson.

10:11 PM

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