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Monday, May 02, 2005  

Five minutes until the first pitch. Oh my god. I am going to DIE during this series. I’ve been defending the Tigers to my Red Sox fan friends all week, and defending the Red Sox to my Tigers fan friends. Whoever wins I’ll be happy, but then I’ll feel horribly guilty about being happy because someone will lose, and then I'll feel guilty about feeling guilty when I should be happy, and oy. I can’t decide if this is a win-win or lose-lose situation. I think it’s win-lose-win-lose, if that makes any sense.

Last night I was talking to Mike (who was attempting to convince me to root for the Tigers), and at one point we were discussing getting together so he could throw me some knuckleballs when we got back to Ann Arbor in the fall (not a euphemism, actual knuckleballs). As I assured him that I would probably be completely inept as a catcher, the following conversation ensued (screen names changed as per usual):

TigersFan (12:17:54 AM): if you can catch, next year i will show you a few knuckleballs
TigersFan (12:17:58 AM): if i am not too rusty
BostonFaninMichigan (12:18:36 AM): that would be ace. i'm not sure i can catch all that well, but i sure can stand there with a glove and go chase the balls after i miss them.
TigersFan (12:19:00 AM): lol
TigersFan (12:19:07 AM): i dont want to hurt you
BostonFaninMichigan (12:22:53 AM): i'll live. i think a bruise from getting whacked with a baseball would be less evil than a second-degree burn from mig welding
TigersFan (12:23:05 AM): agreed
TigersFan (12:23:19 AM): plus, baseball bruises are hot
BostonFaninMichigan (12:23:28 AM): ah ha ha ha
BostonFaninMichigan (12:23:50 AM): bet knuckleball-specific catchers are pretty damn hot, then
TigersFan (12:24:03 AM): ohh yeah
TigersFan (12:24:08 AM): have u seen mirabelli
TigersFan (12:24:13 AM): hhhhhoooooottttttt
BostonFaninMichigan (12:24:20): :D

Ladies, it doesn’t get much better than that, now does it?

Top 1

Bondy starts out with a K of Johnny Damon. I notice that Comerica looks a little, well, empty. I know it’s supposed to be cold and rainy there, but still, Detroit, for shame. Bondy’s blowing on his hands quite a bit already, and Remy’s saying that there were a few snowflakes around the hotel this morning. Oy.

1-2-3 inning for Bondy. Since he tends to have those rocky first innings, this bodes well. For the Tigers. Not necessarily for the Sox. Aargh. Already with the guilt.

Bottom 1

So I notice we’re DHing Rondell today. No DaMeat. I know the guys over at Surviving Grady will be upset. I confess to some disappointment, but we’ll see him eventually. Just hopefully not at first base. I hate when Tram sticks him at first base. Well, maybe ‘hate’ isn’t the right word to describe my reaction to it. ‘Utter terror’ might be more appropriate.

Bingey works a walk to start off the inning. Man, he is taking to that leadoff slot like a Michigan State student to alcoholism. What’s that they say about innings where the leadoff man gets on base? Yeah.

Don and Remy having the obligatory ‘Man Pudge sure looks slimmer’ conversation. OLD HAT guys, it’s been done to death already. So passé. Ooo, he just fouled one off and sort of jabbed the bat down. He’s mad at himself for spoiling Bingey’s attempt at a stolen base. It’s OK, Pudge! You’re still da Tigah!

OK, Pudge strikes out. Sigh. HUGS, Pudge. It’s cool! You’ve got all game to make up for it.

Bill Mueller makes a great sliding, diving catch to get a little grounder of Guillen’s, but both the runners are safe. Billy versus Bingey, my loyalties are utterly split on that one. *whimper*

Hey, apparently McCarty is one of the ‘most popular players among the Red Sox players’. Neat. Although apparently he’s been placed on waivers or something. His loss ‘hit a lot of guys hard’. Now I want to hug McCarty and all the Sox who’ll be missing him. I still want to get into that Tigers dugout and hug Pudge. The love, it will kill me for sure.

I sure hope Craigger’s wearing a cup today.

His manbits must be feeling better, because he hits a nasty little double along the left field foul line, which Trotter can’t field any more cleanly than he did, but Inge and Guillen are in to score. 2-0, Tigs.

Haverhill’s own Carlos Pena strikes out to end the inning. He’s having a slow start to the year. To date, it has not affected my intense desire to molest him.

Top 2

Blech, Nook catches a pop fly from Ortiz but then bobbles a ball hit by KFK (that’s Kentucky Fried Kevin, for the Detroit fans in the audience), so Millar’s got himself a double. He did show some hustle there, even if it was KFK-type hustle (i.e. a portly sort). Bondy is displeased. As he should be.

There’s a ‘Daaaarrryyylll’ type chant going on for Edgah. ‘Eeeeeeddddgaaaaarrrr. Eeedddddggaaarrrr.’ Huh. You know, I didn’t think Tigers fans had it in ‘em to heckle. I’m impressed. Bondy walks Edgah. Oh boy. That doesn’t happen too often. Hard to tell if Bondy’s going to kill himself, or the ump.

Bill Mueller is hot. OK, hot. Like, really hot. He lines out to Guillen so Bondy gets out of the inning entirely unscathed, but dear lord, the man just gets hotter every time I see him. Everything he does is hot. He can make striking out look hot. He can make blinking look hot.

Oh shit, and here’s the ad with him in it. Reclining on the couch. Emoting poorly. THE HOT. Over-dramatic eyeroll. I’ve melted. I have perished. Utterly perished. He is so hot it should be illegal.

I just made every single male reader of this blog incredibly uncomfortable, didn’t I? I’m not sorry at all.

Bottom 2

Oh, apparently Dmitri was supposed to play tonight, but he’s been battling the flu, which is why The River Thames is in the game. I could make a joke about Bellhorn and Dmitri, but it would be in poor taste.

Easy inning for JeremI. This Foxwoods commercial, by the by, is in no way, shape, or form better than the old version. We lose the actual words of that heinously catchy song, but we get an animated poker chip nestling into a woman’s cleavage. ‘Disturbing’ doesn’t really capture it.

Top 3

Bondy’s suddenly struggling and getting behind guys. I mean, I know Youks is the Greek Jewish God of Walks but, actually walking him? That’s so not like you, Bondy. Two walks by the third inning?

Johnny triples hard, and Youks hustles his little behind off. 2-1, Tigs.


Manny’s still wearing David Ortiz’s armbands. Hee hee. Is there anything cuter than that in the whole of the major leagues? Probably not. Is there any other team out there where the number 3 and 4 hitters are best friends like that? No. No, there is not.

Big hit for Manny, Johnny scores. Game’s tied at 2. Men on second and third, NO ONE OUT. UNCOOL, Bondy.

Jesus, Bondy goes full count on the big Papi. He busts one into the gap, neither Omah nor Craigger can get it, 3-2 Sox. STILL NO ONE OUT. Some insight into what’s going on with Bondy here would be nice. I never ever thought I’d be saying this, but I wish I had Rod and Mario for a minute. OK, now I feel dirty.

Oy, already action in the Tigers bullpen. Franklyn German. “He made Ortiz look small.” 6’7, 270. Ladies and gents, the fattest Tiger. Behold the mass of humanity that is Franklyn German. That said, I hope to hell Bondy gets his act together and we don’t have to see German (that’s pronounced Her-mahn, in case you haven’t heard it before) for quite some time now.


Strike-out number, uh, 2? 3? Whatever, for Bondy. He gets Tek swinging. Finally.

Edgah hits the ball to Bingey, who send it along to Omah for the out. I can’t believe the Tigs got out of that only one run behind. Edgah retains his rally-killing prowess.

Bottom 3 (fucking finally)

Goddamn, Brandon Inge. Goddamn. More close-ups, NESN. Triple for Bingey! Oh he turned that motor ON. Yay, a triple means more close-ups! *shamelessly ogles* He just reached down and adjusted himself vigorously. Thank you, NESN, thank you so much.

You know, I’ve never liked calling Pudge ‘I-Rod’. It just sounds wrong. Try saying it out loud: I-Rod. Ugh. And he strikes out again. 5 Ks for JeremI. Something unnatural is happening to the fabric of the universe. Bondy is struggling. JeremI is tossing the Ks. Up is down! Black is white! War is peace! Yankees is love!

Guillen lines one into centerfield, it’s not too powerful but it’s plenty to score Bingey from third. Game’s tied at 3. Look, enough talk about how underrated Guillen is. He’s underrated by everyone outside of Detroit. Everyone inside of Detroit loves him to death and recognizes the fact that he is more awesome than you. Yes, you.

Ortiz is wearing a great big jacket and one of those team-specific ‘do-rag things in the dugout. I WANT TO HUG.

Top 4


Heh, apparently MLB has yet to acknowledge that Youks is back up in the majors. As he has done his entire career, he sneaks through the cracks again. Much love for the Youks, but Bondy sure could use a K here. Or, you know, he could walk again. Whatever, Bondy, go for it. WALK ANOTHER ONE. YES, JUST LIKE THAT. THANKS BUNCHES. Now I feel bad for being upset about Youks walking, usually an event that causes me to crow with glee.

Bob Cluck goes out to chat. He’s wearing enormous gloves. Aw. But I’d be much happier if we never got to see them, that is, if Bondy was pitching well enough that good ol’ Cluck could stay in the dugout. Le sigh.

Bases loaded with no one out. *stares determinedly at the ceiling for a while*

Wow, Trotter flied out to The River Thames, who threw the ball home but very nearly sent it into the stratosphere. Pudge is short, but thankfully was able to leap up and snatch it down, so no one scores. The River Thames shakes his head at himself, he knows he very nearly did a bad thing there. So long as you know, TRT, so long as you know.

Bondy Ks Manny (3rd K). I’ve been in a bit of denial about this, but it can no longer be ignored. Manny Ramirez is growing a pharaoh goatee. It’s pointy. And protruding. And… well. There’s only one way to deal with this development. Everyone say it with me: “It’s just Manny being Manny.”

Dear holy lord, and Bondy gets out of a bases loaded, no outs jam COMPLETELY UNSCATHED. I think I’ll start gibbering freely sometime soon if that’s OK with everyone. The game is still, somehow, incredibly, against all reason, tied at 3.

I was rooting pretty much entirely for the Tigers that inning, I’ll admit it. *ducks the inevitable tomatoes and suchlike*

Bottom 4

“Higginson has not done very much for this club recently.” Ha ha ha, understatement of the week right there.

Wow, 6 Ks for JeremI. I honestly don’t know what to think anymore. Are the Tigers’ bats making him look competent, or is he actually competent? Crazy. Absolutely crazy.

Triple for Omah! Regard him well, readers. This is the very same Omar Infante about whom we had that scintillating HOT or NOT discussion. Now that you get to see him live perhaps you can render more informed opinions.

Top 5

Kevin Millar wants the people of Boston to pray for him. To pray that he gets a homerun. Bets on whether or not Schilling whalloped him upside the head for being a dirty infidel when he heard that one?

4th K for Bondy, although a bit of a suspect one. KFK doesn’t like it, and upon replay, nor do I. Oh well. I do want Bondy to do well.

5th K! He knocks out Tek again. That was a sexy strikeout. Even Tek admits it.

Bill Mueller is, in point of fact, getting hotter as this game progresses. It does not seem possible. It defies all laws of biology and physics. And yet, it happens. And he grounds out to end the inning, and NESN gives us a shot of his delightful posterior. Everyone wins.

Except for Bondy, who has thrown I think 98 pitches. And we all know what Tram’s like when it comes to Bondy and pitch counts.

Bottom 5

Oh, interview with Millar about the C3POlerud signing. He’s all, “You can’t be so negative in this game,” and “I got my ring, we’re the same team, etc. etc.” and “If I’d listened every time they told me I wouldn’t make it or I wouldn’t play first or I was gonna be traded, I’d never be here,” and all that. I miss Mientkie, but it’s terribly hard to root against Millar.

7th K for JeremI. More inexplicable than Bill Mueller’s increasing levels of Hot.

Pudge, it seems, is having some issues with the bat tonight.

LOOGY and Sign of Surrender up in the ‘pen for the Red Sox, as JeremI’s thrown 91 pitches right now. Not a great outing by either pitcher, which is blatantly wrong. Bondy should have had this game. The only reason the scoring is so low is because the Tigs have been pathetic in general at the plate and the Sox have stranded everyone and their mom on the bases.

Guillen hits a triple. That’s triples for Inge, Infante, and Guillen. Yes, Comerica is a pitcher’s park. One of the few, etc. etc. JeremI comes back to Rondell high and inside and the crowd is not particularly happy about it.

Another jam gotten out of. There have been so many jams in this game you could cover the biggest English muffin in the world with them. And then you could eat it.

Top 6

6th K for Bondy, and Youks finally fails to get on base. Look, I know Bondy’s thrown quite a bit (and dear holy lord Jamie Walker is up in the ‘pen, no no no no no) but look at him! He’s settling down now! Maybe he works better as he goes deeper into the game! Tram, please be seeing what I’m seeing.

Nook trips over his own self, which is bad enough, and then misthrows the ball, and Trotter’s at third with two outs. Two errors for Nook tonight. EXAVIER PRENTE LOGAN, BEHAVE YOURSELF OUT THERE.

I don’t want to question the ump here, but OK, I’m questioning the ump here. Was that not a strike? It had the general appearance of a strike. To me. I’m just sayin’.

Bondy walks Manny. *wince wince wince* *feels bad for wincing* *feels bad about feeling bad* *head asplodey!*

“He’s off the backside of the mound in the midst of a meeting with himself.” Oh, Remy.

And another jam gotten out of. In almost any other park these balls would have been gone. Comerica is more cavernous than the yawning empty space inside of Alex Rodriguez's skull. Oh no I di'int!

Bottom 6

Sign of Surrender Neal is in the game for the Sox. This could be the game in which he sheds his perhaps unfortunate nickname. We shall see. Aaand he walks Craigger immediately. Guess not.

Nate Robertson is saying something to Bondy in the dugout. Bondy looks pretty unhappy about the whole thing. I do wonder what Nate’s saying to him. What everyone keeps on forgetting is that he’s only 22 years old! OK? Do you see how he pitched today? How he swallowed those bad innings and grabbed his nuts and got himself out of his own messes? Do you see that? That is not 22 year old kid behavior. Jeremy Bonderman is da Tigah.

“Were you in class with Pena, or was he behind you?” “Oh no, he was waaaay behind me.” Heh, seems that both Carlos Pena and Don Orsillo went to Northeastern. Now Don and Remy are making fun of Joe Castiglione’s broadcasting class there, they’re calling it a guaranteed A. Apparently all you have to do is show up and stay awake. Man, why the hell didn’t I go to Northeastern?

Carlos Pena has one of the single most booming homeruns I’ve ever seen out of him, ever. Ever. Allow me to say 'ever' again just to drive the point home. Oh my god. Immense. Aw, he’s getting hugs from everyone in the dugout. Nate hugs him. Bondy gives him a hug. Guillen hugs Bondy, I guess just because everyone’s feeling good in a general sense. That was a two-run homer, by the by. 5-3, Tigs.

Mantei’s up in the ‘pen. Sign of Surrender Neal. Sign of Surrender Neal. Screw the pitch count, I feel insane for saying this, but JeremI could’ve probably battled his way through another inning. At least he probably could have done so better than SOS Neal here is doing. To further prove my point, The River Thames singles.

Tito decides that he’s not quite ready to surrender, so Neal is gone and Matt Mantei, everyone’s Bullpen Boyfriend, is in. Tigers fans who are unacquainted with him: he is an attractive pitcher. And a very clever signing by Theo in the offseason, but we’re starting to get used to that sort of thing.

Don and Remy trying to figure out if Nook is Nook’s real name or a nickname. It’s a nickname, guys. At least they’re pronouncing it correctly. I heard a radio interview with him when I was in Michigan, it drives him nuts when people pronounce it like ‘fluke’ instead of like ‘book’.

Wild pitch gets by Tek, and The River Thames is on third. Matt, you’re not doing spectacularly here. I am disappointed in you. You are not allowed to be that hot and that ineffective. Oh, and he Ks Bingey. Well, that’s alright then.

Top 7

The Farns is on! The Farns! The Farns! The Farns! The Farns! His pants actually look a little less tight than usual today.

His first pitch is 99 mph. He strikes out Millar on 3 pitches. You know all that ‘chicks dig the long ball’ business? Lies. Utter lies. 99 mph fastball is much hotter.

Tek doubles off of him. The Farns grabs his crotch in uncomfortable distaste. It’s drizzling finely in Detroit, and looks disgusting out there. I take a moment to feel bad for Mike, who has to work in these conditions.

99 mph again. Then 98. Break 100, Farnsy. You know you want to.

Wow. Wow. Inge sort of haphazardly tags out Tek on the third baseline. It should’ve been a double play, but the ball skipped in the dirt right in front of Pena’s glove, and Edgah is safe on first. That was a weird play. Nothing more to say.

Yes, Bill Mueller looks hot in the rain. I want to wrap him up in a blanket and stash him away. He was just sick! Don’t let him stand out there in the rain! He’ll catch cold again!

Edgah steals second. The jump was good. Remy is going on about the poor throw, but I think the throw was fine, Guillen was set a little too far back. I am beginning to wonder if Remy has some personal reason to dislike Pudge. Moot point anyways, because The Farns just struck out Mueller. Every time I’ve seen him this year he’s been lights-out.

The Farns!

Bottom 7

Pudge strikes out AGAIN. Excellent K by Mantei, he placed it very well, but I don’t know what Pudge’s problem is tonight. Maybe one of his kids is sick or something. Maybe he has a touch of the Bill Mueller/Dmitri Young flu. I’m at a loss here.

Carlos Guillen is leading the league with a .407 batting average right now. Underappreciate that, national media.

(Third K by Mantei, by the by. Boy is smokin’.)

Edgah throws from his knees to get Rondell at first, a fine defensive play. He’s been doing that all season so far. Kill rallies at the plate, do something in the field to barely keep Red Sox bloggers everywhere from wanting to forcibly separate his extremities from his body core.

Top 8

Ugie in to pitch. Oh well. I wish Tram would use The Farns for more than one inning, but he sure is set on that Farns/Ugie/Percy thing. The Farns was on, Tram. You can be creative and deviate slightly from your plan on occasion if one of your bullpen guys is having a solid outing. I know it sounds crrrazy and wild, but this stuff might work sometimes.

Small but distinctly audible ‘Johnny, Johnny!’ chant going on. There aren’t many people at Comerica today, but at least some of them are Red Sox fans. Although, unlike in Tampa, I’d say that the clear majority is still made up of hometown team fans.

Inge knocks down Damon’s ball, but can’t do anything with it. Another 3-5 night for the flowing locks of Johnny Damon. The Tigers should’ve let The Farns go at least part of another inning. Ugie has done some very, very bad things in relatively close games this season. See: Keith Foulke.

Trotter airs one out after an interminable at-bat. Oh, he’s pissed. He says something like ‘God damn it!’ right away. Maybe without the ‘god’. I think we established that he is indeed one of the more religious members of the Sox.

Pudge goes out to talk to Ugie. Always a delight. There’s always the hope that Pudge will grope him when he’s out there. He settles this time for slinging his arm companionably over his shoulders. I’ll take it.

Called strike on Manny. Manny’s been hacking quite a bit tonight. He does have games like this every so often, though. He usually makes up for it in other games by hitting the shit out of the ball, but I guess we have to expect this every now and then.

What I don’t like is how he walked out of the box almost before that was called, like he knew he was out and didn’t even care. Watch it, Manny. Watch it. Don’t go getting all sullen about this.

Bottom 8

The Chipmunk on the mound for the Sox. What was it that Kyle said? “Embree’s a known, shitty quantity”? Something along those lines.

The NESN camera guys are getting their money’s worth out of the statues out in centerfield tonight. We’ve had lengthy close-ups of both Ty Cobb and Al Kaline. Yes, the Tigers have an illustrious past. Yes, the park has statues out there. We get it.

OH MY GOD SECOND HOMERUN OF THE NIGHT FOR CARLOS PENA. Oh wow. High fives from everyone in the dugout except for Nate Robertson, who gives him a hug. You know, if I had to pick anyone on the Tigers as the hugging-everyone sort, it wouldn’t be Nate, and yet apparently it is. Pena does some kind of crazy, elaborate, Red-Sox-esque handshake thing with Rondell White. 6-3, Tigs.

Gross, why does Omah always make a big show of deeply wiping his nose on his jersey during his at-bats? I know it’s cold out, Omah. Just dab at it, OK, don’t dig around in there.

Omah doubles. Chipmunk, you suck. You suck like we all expected you would suck. Beth’s right, you never should’ve given up the chaw. It gave you all your powers.

A double for Nook. Omah trots home easily. 7-3 Tigs. Perhaps he did not hear me the first time. ALAN EMBREE YOU SUCK.

A nasty single from Bingey, they’ve got no shot at all against the speed of Nook. 8-3 Tigs. That’s Inge’s 14th RBI. EMBREE, YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK.

That’ll bring in Lenny DiNardo, another highly attractive relief pitcher for the Sox. Mantei did well, The Farns did well, so maybe this is a night for hot guys to do well out of the ‘pen. Lenny can prove or disprove this theory with his performance here.

Just a quick note: I do not like the fact that the Sox have used 5 pitchers tonight. Halama is not expected to go very deeply into tomorrow’s game, a rested bullpen is sort of a necessity. This is almost exactly what they did not want to see happen, I should think.

My brother comes into the room and accuses my cat Izzy (who is of a hefty stature) of using steroids. “You shootin’ up, juicer? You shootin’ up?” Izzy is not impressed. Nor is Pudge, who once again fails to get a hit. DiNardo proves the ‘aesthetically hot relievers are hot on the mound’ theory.

Top 9

Ugie stays in the game, since it’s not a save situation and Percy’s fed up with pitching in nonsave situations. I mean, because Tram independently decides to not use him in a nonsave situation. *cough*

Izzy comes back into the room. “I don’t think you’re juicing, Izzy,” I say. He rubs up against my arm. I win.

Nook catches a long fly ball from Tek, which sends Millar, who reached second on a ground-rule double, to third. Edgah’s up with two outs. Red Sox fans everywhere shake their heads. We know what's going to happen here.

And he flies out. SHOCKER! Edgah makes the last out! He has a knack for doing that, doesn’t he?

And that, mes amis, is the game. 8-3, Tigers.

I think I have developed a mild form of schizophrenia. See you all tomorrow night!

*passes out*

edit: OK, a point to clear up for the Sox crew. YES THERE WERE A LOT OF TRIPLES TONIGHT. Yes, the Tigers are leading the lead in triples. Gee, I wonder why this could be? Let us speculate! Could it... could it be because COMERICA PARK IS FUCKING ENORMOUS IN CENTERFIELD? Perchance. It's a quirk of the field, guys. And balls weren't going over the wall because it was so damn cold out, so there were a lot of triples. OMG SCIENCE.

11:21 PM

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