Tag Archives: Justin Verlander

The Morning After ….. from a Fan’s Perspective.

I love the morning after.  My morning coffee and the sports page ~ one of the joys of my life. This morning I read the sports page with great intensity, devoured every word and then turned to my trusty PC, starting with the major sports media and ending up with the baseball blogs.  And here’s the one that really struck my fancy.  “Letter from a Disappointed Fan.”  It was a good read and I could relate.  I’ve been there.  But in 2010 my team won the World Series and my perspective changed.  I was ecstatic, in heaven, loved everything and everybody.  Life was good, no it was  great!   I’ll never forget that feeling because I still have it, it’s still there.  So this year to be perfectly honest when we made the playoffs it was really nice, but it wasn’t the same, especially when we were down 3-1 to the Cardinals and it was okay. I mean we’d already won the World Series so I was okay with that.  I really thought the Nats or Reds would take the Division this year anyhow and that was my mindset and it was okay, since they had the better records. 

Miguel Cabrera 2004 World Series

So we made it to the World Series again and, to tell you the truth, I really like the Detroit Tigers.  I like their players, their manager and their fans.  I’ve been a Miguel Cabrera fan since, as a rookie with the Florida Marlins, he helped whoop the Yankees into submission in the 2003 World Series, and now this year he’s won the Triple Crown.  How cool is that?  The same goes for Justin Verlander.  I think he’s a real asset to baseball.  He’s a great role model for our kids and his persona during the first game of this World Series says it all.  I wrote about him last week “Paper Tigers Tamed by a Panda and a Bear”.  And of course Prince Fielder.  Seems like he’s always been around, always has and always will be.  Just a lot of fun to watch.  And these Detroit fans are the same ones who gave  Umpire Jim Joyce a standing ovation the day after he blew a call that cost the Tiger pitcher, Armando Galarraga, a perfect game, because he was forthright and honest to immediately ‘fess up to his error.  Class.

So last night during the post game shows (sometimes they’re  more fun than the game) I heard Jim Leyland say this.     

“They were better than we were,” Leyland said, “and you can’t say anything different. I mean, if it goes seven games and you lose the seventh game on a freak play or something, you might say, well, we were as good as they were. But in this series, we were not as good as they were. The Giants beat us. They did a fantastic job. They’re the world champions and they deserve to be the world champions.”

Detroit’s Jim Leyland

And you can’t forget Jim Leyland.   How can you not love these Tigers?  Did you ever during one play, one at bat, during this World Series see or hear anything negative or unsportsmanlike out of any of these guys?  I sure didn’t (well, maybe after the game or in the dugout, but nothing for public display).    Here’s a team that beat the stuffing out of the New York Yankees in the ALCS chase for the pennant.  They beat them bad.  They beat them four games in a row in a best of 7 series.  So of course there was genuine disappointment on the Tigers team but they played with class and they lost with class.  

So this morning I was really super happy that my San Francisco Giants had won their second World Series in three years. It was great!  And, from this fan’s perspective, it was equally great (well, almost) witnessing the first class Detroit Tigers standing tall in their defeat, gentlemen to the end.  And,really, isn’t that what it’s all about?   It is from this fan’s perspective.

Game 1 Continued. “Will Bamboo Be Declared a PED?”

“Verlander Meets the Panda”

Whoa!  Sorry.  I just couldn’t resist this picture sent via Facebook by Dan Schlossberg with his caption “Wonder if bamboo will be declared a PED?”

Don’t worry though.  We know Justin Verlander is safe and sound in the Visitor’s Dugout at AT&T Park tonight.   But I thought I should post this for the benefit of tonight’s starting pitcher, Doug Fister.  You just can’t be too careful these days.

Game 1. Paper Tigers Tamed by a Panda and a Bear (Barry Zito that is)!

So today I’m making a huge batch of caramel corn getting ready to settle in for the first game of the World Series, and still pinching myself trying to figure out how the Giants ended up in the series.   It wasn’t supposed to be this way.   I had it all figured out a few months ago that either Washington or Cincinnati would be representing the NL this week and I was fine with that.  I mean spread it around.  I’m still reveling in our 2010 World Series victory and nothing will ever take that away.

But fate intervened and the San Francisco Giants survived the regular season and so it begins.  Tim McCarver was in usual form and talked non-stop for five minutes about the miraculous powers of the unbeatable, unstoppable Justin Verlander, pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, and the additional weapons in the form of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.  And I agreed.  I figured we’d lose the first game for sure, and probably the next two also, and then win the last four in a row.  I don’t know why, but that’s the way the Giants have been doing things in San Francisco lately.

“Barry Zito 1st Game 2012 World Series”

You all know I don’t write about the game per se, or the  scoreboard or statistics because they’re so readily available but there’s always some little thing that stands out, something that grabs my attention.  And there was a lot of that surrounding those wild and crazy Giants tonight;  Pablo Sandoval’s incredible first three at bats ending in three home runs, Barry Zito’s revival with one of the best curve balls in the game (what a performance!) and Gregor Blanco’s two incredible diving catches in right field and much more as they came together perfectly as a team.

“Verlander with pitching coach, Jeff Jones, in 3rd Inning”

But I’m still smiling when I think of Justin Verlander standing on the mound in the bottom of the 4th inning,  when Manager Jim Leyland walked out of the dugout, to the mound, and asked Verlander for the ball.  All the time Leyland was walking from the dugout towards Verlander, the cameras were on Verlander and all that time he had a smile on his face.  And it wasn’t a smirk.  It was a smile as if to say, “Wow, where the hell did these guys come from?”  because I think he was just as surprised as the rest of us were.  I’m a Giants fan and I’m sure I’m supposed to act like I knew they were going to do this, but I didn’t.  I don’t think anyone did, except maybe the Giants themselves.  I’ll bet the bookies in Vegas were sweating through the entire game because when I read the odds in the paper this morning it said “Tigers over Giants ~ Odds: -178, or something like that.  I don’t even know what that means?  Who’s ever seen odds like that anyway?  This is the same Tiger team who beat the New York Yankees in 4 straight games  in best of 7 this year to win the AL Pennant and get to this World Championship Series.

What I liked about Verlander’s attitude was his calm, cool and in-control demeanor.   Here’s a guy that’s a two-time Cy Young winner, had an incredible season and is probably used to everyone patronizing him and agreeing with everything he says and does.  But he didn’t appear angry or upset or anything, even though I’m sure he was disappointed.  He appeared to take it all in stride, like “It’s okay.  I’ll get them next time”.  And there’s a good chance he will.  And with a smile he walked to the dugout to watch the rest of the game.

I love my Giants and they played a fantastic game tonight, and I’ll watch it again, maybe twice, before I go to bed.   And tonight they beat the Detroit Tigers fair and square by a score of 8-3.   But I sure wasn’t expecting it.  It was a surprise.

And I sure hope I’m surprised three more times  just like this  in the remaining games of the  2012 World  Series.   Way to go and thank you Giants.  Whatta game it was!

“Tigers and Giants Going to the Ship”!

“Congratulations to the AL Champion Detroit Tigers and the NL Champion San Francisco Giants!”

The Ship means “Championship” at least that’s what Sergio Romo told us back in 2010.   This is going to be fun! 

The Tigers  posted a regular season record of 88 Wins and 74 Losses and ended up beating the socks off  the New York Yankees, a team with 95 Wins and 67 Losses,  for the American League Pennant.  Not only did they beat the Yankees, they beat them really, really bad.  Try 4-0 in a best out of 7 series.    Weapons ~ Justin Verlander, last year’s Cy Young award winner AND MVP;  Miguel Cabrera, first batter to win the AL Triple Crown since 1966 and Prince Fielder, who finished the 2012 Season with .313 Batting Average and 30 Home Runs.

Excuse me while I pinch myself.  I still can’t figure out how the Giants ended up in the World Series this year.   Spring training showed a recuperating Buster Posey, an out-for-the-year Brian Wilson and a pretty good, but not as-good-as-they-used-to-be pitching staff.  There were no individual stand-outs, with maybe the exception of Posey, until these past few months and things just started to happen.  That’s how they do it in San Francisco.  They got together in the clubhouse, put their heads together, posted a 94-68 record and “believed”.  

After one of the wildest Championship Division Series ever my prediction is the Detroit Tigers will win the first three games and the Giants will win the rest.  I don’t know why, that’s just the way they do it in San Francisco.

First Game:  Wednesday, October 24, 2012, Time TBA, at AT&T Park.

Giants Steal the Show at All-Star Game!

By Daniel Brown dbrown@mercurynews.com
San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   July 10, 2012   

All Photo’s Courtesy of San Jose Mercury News

“KANSAS CITY, Mo. — To repay the fans who stuffed the ballot box, the Giants stuffed the box score Tuesday night.”

Melky Cabrera, Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Matt Cain propelled the National League to an 8-0 victory in the 83rd All-Star game at Kauffman Stadium, silencing a weeklong uproar from a sour Big Apple.

Sandoval, who surpassed Mets third baseman David Wright in the controversial final balloting, hit a three-run triple to key a five-run first inning.

Cain, who got the starting nod over Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey, pitched two scoreless innings and became the first Giants pitcher to win an All-Star game since Vida Blue in 1981. Continue reading

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to David Wing from Three Rivers, Michigan.  Dave has won an  autographed copy of my book “Garlic Fries and Baseball: The Book” which is being mailed to him today.  This is our second contest in less than a year and both winners have been Detroit Tigers fans!  What are the odds?

Here’s the response I received from David this morning:

“I’m thrilled to have been selected as the recipient of your new book. My name is David Wing and am a big fan of the Detroit Tigers. My address is (……….) Three Rivers, Michigan 49093. Please feel free to use my name in any way needed.  Thanks again from an avid reader of your blog. Dave”

The contest was a drawing to celebrate this blog’s 50,000th view which occurred yesterday. The blog started only two years ago and we appreciate the response we’ve received.  Baseball fans are awesome and you Detroit Tigers fans are among the best.  Look back at our June 3, 2010, post “The Umpire ….. Toughest Job in Baseball” where I fell over backwards loving those Tiger fans.   And now with Justin Verlander the raves just keep coming.

So thanks again to all our subscribers and especially to David Wing.  We’ll do this again when we reach another milestone!

Baseball’s Top Ten News Items in 2011

2011 World Champions St Louis Cardinals

The media’s full of articles and videos of the most newsworthy items about baseball this past year.   You might think this would be those articles you and I found the most interesting and representative of baseball throughout the country, but not necessarily so.

I compiled a list from a survey today of the “top 10″ from USA Today, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN.

Here’s the results and below that I’ve listed my own personal “Top Ten”.  How does your list compare?

TOP TEN FROM SURVEY

  1. St. Louis Cardinals, World Series Champions
  2. Justin Verlander,  AL Cy Young and MVP Winner
  3. Game 162 collapse of the Red Sox and Braves.
  4. Game 6 World Series between the Cardinals and Rangers
  5. Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit
  6. Ryan Braun’s Drug Test
  7. Jim Thome’s 600th Home Run
  8. Shannon Stone Fatal Fall at Rangers Stadium
  9. Mariano Rivera all time saves leader
  10. Bryan Stow beating at Dodger Stadium Continue reading