Monday, April 6, 2009

I Just Can't Quit You

God help me, I still love baseball. I love the game. I love the history. I love the nostalgia. Steroids hasn't killed that love. Bud Selig hasn't killed that love. The Yankees and Red Sox trying to out spend each other hasn't killed that love. Which makes me part of the problem, but damn, I just can't quit baseball.

Today is the day gentle blog readers. Opening Day. Start of the season. Which means y'all are going to have to suffer through the occasional baseball post for the next seven months. Oh wait, I'm a Detroit Tigers fan. Six months.

Hardy har har.

It's a rumble in the Bat Cave this evening as my Tigers open up the season against My Man's Toronto Blue Jays. OK, not really "his" Blue Jays - since other than Roy "Doc" Halladay, he claims no one else on the team. And certainly today is going to be a fight to the death, with Doc getting the opening day pitching nod for the Jays - and, in all likelihood, turning my Tigers into a pack of whimpering kittens.

So, what do I think of my team this year? Well, I think we'll score runs and we certainly can't get any worse on defense than we did last year. But our pitching? The question isn't if our pitching will lose us games, it's how many games. I'm hoping our starters will do better this year (again, they couldn't get much worse!), but our bullpen is a nightmare waiting to happen. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I miss Todd Jones. And no, I'm not coming down with anything. I feel perfectly fine! But our whole pitching staff is put together on a wing and a prayer this year - and I'm just not all that convinced that they'll pull their heads out of their asses long enough to not suck as hard as they did in 2008. We've got three pitchers on the DL (including Zumaya - who I'm beginning to believe is finished. Literally, done). Bonderman's shoulder is dicey (not good - cuz the guy is a work horse) and Willis is...well...Willis. I knew it was a terrible idea to give that guy a $20+ million dollar contract, but unfortunately the Tigers GM didn't see fit to call the Bat Cave and ask my opinion.

Seriously Dave. I would have taken your call.

But I've been wrong before and I could be wrong again. At least Brandon Inge is back playing third base (where God intended) and Sheffield has been axed (even if we're still paying his salary). Hopefully Thames will get more at-bats, and there's always my crush on Curtis Granderson to keep me warm at night.

But regardless of what I think my team's chances are this year (I'm not convinced they'll finish in last place in the division (which is the popular opinion) - but they're going to have to claw their way to third), that doesn't dim the fact that this is Opening Day. And hope always springs eternal for Tigers fans on Opening Day. Boys, I might be disowning you by the All-Star break, but for now, I love you more than ever.

17 comments:

Shari Anton said...

You aren't the only one. I foresee too many hours spent in front of the TV, my mood hanging on the outcome of each game. Sigh. Go Brewers :)!!

Kati said...

I feel your pain, Wendy. You've just described how I feel about football. Particularly Redskins football, which is an ongoing heartache.

I hope your team shows up this year. Isn't the beginning of the season the best? All things are possible and fan optimism is at its highest!

Phyl said...

As far as I'm concerned, the spring equinox is just a day on the calendar. Today is the REAL first day of spring. And for today, instead of Phyl, I'm Phyllis the Phillies Phanatic. Even if we did loose last night to the hated Braves, we're still World Series Champions. Sweet.

Lynn said...

I will be listening to the Twins game on the radio while on patrol tonight. I'm also a Detroit fan but not when they play my twins.

Liza said...

I still love baseball too! I don't get to watch as many games as I did in the past, but I still love my Atlanta Braves. They were my mom's favorite team(early 80's when they were horrible) and I'm pretty sure we watched every game in the season for many years(TBS doesn't show as many anymore). They still hold a special place in my heart to this day.

Kate Diamond said...

I love baseball history... the games in real time don't really thrill me, but if I could get a PhD in 20th century history, I might specialize in the history of baseball.

Good times!

Ooh, and on another note, our website just reopened for business. You should drop by! http://dscribwomen.blogspot.com

Kristie said...

Who knows... they may surprise us! With all of the hype surrounding last year I know they certainly surprised me. I think Bonderman is done... which is fine by me. I know a lot of people don't agree with me (especially my DH) but I think he is soooooo overrated.

Thank God Opening Day isn't here today... where we have snow and 30 mph winds. Friday it is supposed to be warmed up a bit, so it should make for a fun game. Please I have work off, like a lot of people, so downtown Detroit should keep hopping from this past weekend.God knows Michigan needs all the good distractions we can get! Go Tigers!!!!

Wendy said...

Shari: I love it when small-market teams "do good" - so it's been great to see the Brewers making a comeback. Plus, y'all have Bob Uecker. How I love me some Bob Uecker.

Kati: The salary cap means there's much more parity in football than in baseball - but still, it can happen in baseball. Tampa Bay Rays anyone?

Phyl: That's it exactly. Baseball announces S-P-R-I-N-G better than April showers and May flowers.

Lynn: I'm convinced Gardenhire could take a random group of guys off the street and turn them into a competitive ball club. I think the Indians are going to be better this year and then there's the *shudder* White Sox - but the Twins are my favorite to win the division.

Oh, and I'm stating it publicly. I really think the Royals can finish at .500 this year.

Liza: I remember when we first got cable it seemed like the Braves were always on TBS. LOL I subscribe to the MLB package on DirecTV, so I watch an obscene amount of games.

Kate: When it comes history, no other sport comes close to baseball (I think). And welcome back!

Kristie: I really believe the season is just way too long. Baseball is not meant to be played in snow (April) or in 40 degree temps (October). I love the game, but do we really need a 162 game regular season?

The minute I found out Bondo had to have that shoulder surgery I just knew he wouldn't be ready for the start of the season. Remember how terrible Kenny Rogers was early on last year? He had the exact same surgery! I think it just takes longer for guys to recover from it than conventional wisdom thinks.

I do think Zumaya is done though. And I'm glad Shef is gone - because frankly that deal never made a lick of sense to me when we have Thames sitting on the bench!

Tonight will be rough against Roy - but Toronto's pitching is a mess thanks to injuries. I think we have a real shot at games two and three.

Kristie (J) said...

Wendy: You know I love you - but in this I'm totally with Your Man. Go Jays Go!
And surely he also claims Cito too! I guess there is a recent biography that claims Roger Clemens was the one behind getting rid of Cito last time. You know that expression - he who laughs last....

Wendy said...

KristieJ: He'd be happy to claim Rios and Vernon too - they just have to start playing up to their potential. It just hasn't been the same for him since Delgado left.

He's thinking this is the year the Jays blow up the team. That great pitching you guys had last year? Yeah, pretty much all on the DL this year, except for Roy. My Man's running theory is that Roy gets fed up and asks for a trade before the deadline. The good news is that if the Jays do trade Roy - they certainly won't trade him to another AL East team....which means no Yankees or Red Sox until Roy's eligible for free agency.

And let's not think about that. It's too depressing.

Kate R said...

So who's throwing crud onto the field? The Bluejays or the Tigers fans????

Wendy said...

Kate: LOL - that's the million dollar question! My money is on disgruntled, drunken Tigers fans. Toronto is a do-able drive for an away game - and they serve better beer there ;-)

Sigh. Gah, what a hideous game. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come, otherwise I might have to beat the Christmas rush and start drinking more now.....

Rosie said...

Beanie, the beleaguered fan of the Cincinnati Reds texted his Dad, "Today is the day. The slate is clean anything is possible. Go Reds!"

B-B-I-L said...

I think we're looking at a five way tie in the A.L. Central. Any one of the teams could win it, any one could wind up in last place. It all comes down to pitching and they all have huge question marks. I think the Tigers will struggle a little early-not as bad as last year-but put it together a bit later on. Weather it's enough is the question.

Wendy said...

Rosie: It's a magical time of year. The time of year where any team can win the World Series - LOL. Yes, even the Reds. Bless Beanie's heart.

BBIL: Lord, did you watch or listen to the game last night? Verlander needs to get his sh*t together or else this is going to be one long season. On the bright side, Robertson actually looked good coming in from the bullpen. Maybe he'll get it together and get back in 2006 form.

Turns out it was Blue Jays fans throwing stuff out on the field. Which I gotta admit, kind of shocks the hell out of me since Jays fans don't exactly have a reputation for being raucous. Of course Opening Day always seems to bring out a few bad apples....

Big Sis said...

The video made me cry. Bless you boys.*sniff*

Wendy said...

Big Sis: I know, me too! We're such saps. And is it wrong of me that I think Hank Greenberg was one handsome son of a gun? Never mind that when he was alive he was old enough to our grandfather.