Enjoying Detroit's Agony (and other baseball notes)

Just to show that I don't only enjoy rooting for teams from Boston to lose, I wanted to comment on the current Detroit Tigers situation. As you may or may not know, they're now at 0-7 and have two more games in Boston to deal with, so they easily could leave Boston at an unthinkable 0-9 to kick off their once-promising season. And I have to ask... am I the only one who finds this kind of all-eyes-on-them skid to open the season kind of car-crash-like? I mean, I just can't stop checking out Tigers scores and I don't care about the Tigers at all. Don't like them, don't dislike them... frankly, I don't care about them at all.

But seeing them continue to lose, first to the Royals, then to the White Sox... and now to the Red Sox. Well, yeah, I'm not even rooting for them to beat Boston. I want to see how far this can go, mainly because I want to see what happens as this gets worse... is it possible that Jim Leyland could be fired? Nobody's saying that yet since he's been looked at as the savior of Tigers baseball, and probably rightfully so. But the last team that started a season 0-7? The 2003 Tigers, who wound up righting the ship to the tune of 43-112 the rest of the way. Yowsas.

No, of course the Tigs won't have a season like that. In fact, I think they'll still challenge for the playoffs, but it's already become an uphill climb. Sure, they're not real far out, but the mental block on starting 0-and-whatever is simply greater than if you had a decent start and lost seven in a row in June, you know? People would ask what was wrong with the team if that happened, but it wouldn't be the cresendo of panic Detroit is now feeling.

I just find it fascinating.


In New York, the Yankees are now dealing with Derek Jeter being slightly injured and the inevitable questions about A-Rod moving back to short, a position he hasn't played more than a few innings at since 2003.

Right now, they're going with Wilson Betemit at short, a guy who is far less mobile than Jeter, whom people are beginning to believe is a liability at short thanks to various fielding metrics that even the creators of admit are rough. Fielding prowess is simply hard to measure accurately and I think there's a bit of a backlash against Jeter and the Yankees and everyone is now piling on and saying he's a terrible defensive shortstop. He's not terrible, let's start there. Yet comments persist, and I saw in SI's baseball preview a suggestion that Jeter should consider moving to first base.

The whole obsession with A-Rod moving back to short perplexes me, though. ARod is now 225 lbs and not exactly as nimble as he once was, plus he's played four seasons exclusively at third. Why would it make sense to move him again, especially to put him in a spot where he's more likely to get injured? Seems dumb to me and simply another situation where the New York media wants to make a soapl opera issue out of the Yankees.

I admit, it's intriguing, especially since Jeter hasn't missed any significant time since ARod's been on the team... makes me wonder if he'd really fight a trip to the DL for fear of losing his job.


Let's all calm down about the Orioles, too. They're off to a 6-1 start but this is just as hollow as the Tigers 0-7 start. The team isn't this good. Beating the Rays and Rangers isn't exactly a difficult challenge. And besides, the O's have gotten off to good starts a number of times in recent years... let's see where they are at the All-Star Break.


And just to reward you for slogging through my baseball drivel for the week, here's a completely unrelated YouTube clip to brighten your day. There's nothing better than idiots in cars not understanding how the equoation {ice + braking + misplaced confidence} works out.... seriously, this is kind of incredible.

Boiler up, up, and away!

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