The High Flying Tigers And Other Things Happening In The World Of Baseball

The High Flying Tigers And Other Things Happening In The World Of Baseball

If there’s a common consensus at present it could well be that Justin Verlander could very well the runaway winner for the AL Cy Young winner . The player has been on a tear as of late winning six consecutive games ,placing the Detroit Tigers in contention for the AL Central and to viewed seriously as a contender for the AL Pennant . If anything from what I’ve seen of the Tigers as a team this season they are on a mission and for the fans at Comerica Park as well both team owner Michael Ilitch and GM Dave Dombrowski this has to be have been a long time coming . So much was expected of the team last season and their free fall certainly didn’t help when it mattered most .


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Slideshow for your perusal .

I don’t know if at present there’s a pitcher in the league that is as dominant and foreboding as we’re now seeing from Justin Verlander. Now many may well feel that the Detroit Tigers simply haven’t shown where they’re capable of winning the AL Central and the mere fact that we’ve seen a resurgent Cleveland Indians may well have suggest that the division wouldn’t at all be up for grabs . But at present that has been the case with the top three teams simply not being able to truly separate themselves from the rest of those within the division . The Cleveland Indians leads the division with a 40-35 with the Chicago White Sox 3 1/2 games behind the second placed Tigers . Jim Leyland and his coaching staff know that they will have to lean heavily on their All Star pitching ace as well as the offense led by Miguel Cabrera , Magglio Ordonez , Victor Martinez , Jhonny Peralta and Brandon Inge .

With the All Star Game slowly approaching where it will be hosted by the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Ballpark in Arizona , Phoenix . That event should be very interesting given the ensuing political climate within the state at present after the state’s legislature’s passing of their immigration bill ( SB 1070 ). And as contentious as the bill’s passing may well have been the opposition from a number of civil liberties unions as well as the Hispanic community and Latino players within the MLB fraternity promises that this upcoming All Star Game could very well be remembered for the events off the field , as the opposition protesters look to making their voices heard .

I’m not about to suggest that the Houston Astros are having a bad season but the NL ball club seems to be on the cusp of having quite possibly having one of their worst seasons ever . With Drayton McClane having sold the team to Houston businessman Jim Crane , the feeling is that the entrepreneur will assess the whole organization from top to bottom before making a decision whether or not he will retain or bring in his own staff to run the Astros .

In the Astros most recent game against the Tampa Bay Rays it was clear for all to see the numerous problems that the Houston Astros as a team faces . The offense is simply dormant and the pitching simply lacks any real confidence . The Rays offense simpled teed off on Astros coming away with an emphatic 7-2 victory in an intra league game at the Astros ballpark in Houston , Texas.

It is strange to see players such as Hunter Pence , Carlos Lee and Jeff Keppinger are viewed as the present basis for the team but in reality the future of this organization lies in its prospects , draft picks and farm system if the truth be known . A great deal is now being asked of manager Brad Mills and his coaching staff in leading this team to some semblance of respectability within the National League .

The Houston Astros have struggled to make their presence felt within the NL Central in recent years and one it’s hard to view this organization being competitive given the financial difficulties of this organization during the tenure of Drayton McClane and the mere fact that the former owner has simply shown that he has never shown the propensity for winning. It has simply been about garnering the monies afforded it by the rather asinine tax sharing revenue scheme that the league hierarchy has simply sought to dispense to the small market teams around baseball with little thought for actually seeing that the teams in question bolster their rosters as they’re meant to . And one wonders why the game is in such mess from a financial standpoint ? The team owners , general managers around the league are simply far too stupid for their own good with the sports agents simply being way too beguiling for the team owners .

I’m still trying to comprehend how it is that Alex Rodriguez while a player with the Texas Rangers having left that organization in a multi player trade to join the New York Yankees and still some three years after that trade his salary was still being paid for by the Texas Rangers . And as we know Rodriguez at the time had signed what was then the largest contract not only baseball history but also in sports in general , a ten year $250 million contract. Tell me how this all equates with a sound business practice that will actually equate with anything that happens in the real world unless the idiots within the game view themselves as high priced corporate Wall St executives and somehow that’s not how I view the players within MLB , much less the owners whose business acumen we’re suppose to believe in ! I guess that the likes of Frank McCourt , his subordinates within the Dodgers front office along with Fred Wilpon and the ingrates with the New York Mets are to be seen as beacons of corporate affability and sound business judgment ? Cry me a river those of you out there who still believe that the game is still in a healthy financial position !

At some point Bud Selig and his union counterpart MLPBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner seem so intent on merely seeing the status quo remain the same for whatever it’s meant to be worth with regard to the game . And at this juncture what does that actually mean to you ? Some fans are pointing to the fact that there’s said to be competitive parity within the game but let’s get real here , attendances are steadily declining for the vast majority of the teams , with more than half struggling to eke out a financial profit without an assist from the league hierarchy . How is it that the more adept fan out there never really wants to address that specific issue but would rather look at the game through rose colored glasses ?

Much of this season I’ve simply been impressed with the pitching I’ve seen this season and the Cy Young within both leagues is by no means a certainty at this juncture . ERA and wins asides I know that the choice for the adjudicators will be an extremely tough one ! CC Sabathia , Jered Weaver , Josh Beckett and James Shields all appear to be viable candidates within the AL . On the senior circuit there it would appear that Cole Hamels , Jair Jurrjens , Roy Halladay and Tommy Hanson could all be in with a shot if they are able to keep apace with their rivals within the NL .



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What have been your impressions as to the first half of the MLB season and which teams do you believe will in the thick of things at season’s end competing not merely for the divisional titles but also for the wildcard berths ? Also as to the points raised within this piece what thoughts if any do you have ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal …….

Picture and slide show details below .


(1) DETROIT – JUNE 25: Justin Verlander (35) of the Detroit Tigers strikes out 14 for a career-high during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Comerica Park on June 25, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Diamondbacks 6-0 . Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images …..

(2) Justin Verlander (35) of the Detroit Tigers is congratulated by Manager Jim Leyland #10 after striking out 14 for a career-high during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Comerica Park on June 25, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Diamondbacks 6-0. Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images ….

(3) Don Kelly (32) of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with his teammates after scoring on a Miguel Cabrera(24) single in the eight inning during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Comerica Park on June 26, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Diamondbacks 8-3 . Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images …

(4) Detroit Tigers’ owner Michael Ilitch (left) and team GM Dave Dombrowski are seen here taking questions from the press at Comerica Park , Detroit , Michigan , courtesy of Detroit Free Press ….

(5) Wade Davis (40) of the Tampa Bay Rays is called out by home plate umpire Tony Randazzo as catcher Carlos Corporan (22) of the Houston Astros looks up after the play at Minute Maid Park on June 26, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images ….

(6) Houston Astros’ Hunter Pence reacts after being called out on strikes to end an interleague baseball game in the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sunday, June 26, 2011, in Houston. The Rays defeated the Astros 14-10 . AP Photo/David J. Phillip ……

(7) HOUSTON – JUNE 26: Carlos Lee (45) of the Houston Astros catches his breath after hitting a triple in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Minute Maid Park on June 26, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images ….

(8) ST. LOUIS – OCTOBER 19: Houston Astros Drayton McLane is seen during Game Six of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals October 19, 2005 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Astros won 5-1 to win the series 4-2 to advance to the World Series. Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images ………..

(9) Jim Crane the Houston business tycoon and new owner of the Houston Astros . courtesy of AP Photo ….

MLB News

MLB Standings

MLB Wildcard standings

MLB Scoreboard
& results 26th June

MLB Schedule 3 days at a glance

MLB Probable starting pitchers Monday 27th June 2011

MLB Pitching stats AL

MLB Pitching stats NL

MLB Single season records

Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

15 thoughts on “The High Flying Tigers And Other Things Happening In The World Of Baseball”

  1. A week or so ago, I asked Kevin, J-Dub and Kristine whether they would take Cleveland, after their hot start, to win the AL Central, or the field.

    I opted to take the field, as were most.

    I’m not surprised Detroit made a charge.


    1. Chris Humpherys

      The AL Central is up for grabs and there’s no clear cut team there amongst the top three teams that lead me to actually believe they can win the division much less be considered to be legitimate contenders for the World Series !

      The Nationals are a mess from top to bottom ! You simply know how stupid the front office were when they offered Jayson Werth a 7yr $126 million deal. GM Mike Rizzo is a dumb ass to begin with and now they’ve got to deal with ingrates such as Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg who in either case once their arbitration clock is up neither of the duo will remain with that team . It’s as simple as this their agent Scott Boras will not have them playing for an organization that stands no chance of winning . He’s going to have them getting paid and be in with a big market team . It’s been his mantra as the biggest sports agent in baseball .


  2. Where’s the love for the Pirates, they actually might make .500 for once. Not to mention, they are actually relevant in the Wild Card race right now (even tho it’s early).

    Also, why the heck did the Nationals’ manager resign when they are having a pretty good campaign.

    I guess we can kiss the LA Dodgers goodbye now too.

    All I know if that I’m going to have trouble surviving this summer with the lack of sports.

    Women’s World Cup watching party neone??????


    1. jgome

      I love the Pirates about as much as I love my ex wife …. which is to say not ! Until they rid themselves of that lame ass owner Bob Nutting that team and organization will continue to be a friggin’ mess ! There are idiots within this medium of blogging who claim to know something about the game and why there’s said to be parity within the game . From a competitive standpoint that may well be true up to a point but in reality the game is a complete mess from a financial standpoint with there being little if any transparency by the teams or the league hierarchy for that matter under the tenure of Bud Selig .

      The Nationals simply wanted to offer Riggleman a year to year contract and that as such didn’t guarantee the manager long term security . But yet these assholes give Jayson Werth a 7r $126 million deal ?

      Kiss McCourt goodbye yes ! But the Dodgers will be back in some form one way or another ! Now that they’ve filed for Chapter 11 …. bankruptcy protection it paints a bad picture not just of the Dodgers but baseball as a whole . It’s a sad indictment of the game from an economic standpoint because of the lax attitude of the league hierarchy and the owners who are essentially a bunch of frigging idiots !

      There’s enough sports over the course of the Summer apart from the Women’s World Cup in soccer as you also have the IAAF Track & Field Championships in Daegu , South Korea .

      But if you’re more inclined I hear that there’s about to be the inaugural World Porn Championships ? Anyone interested as a viewer ? A number of events are on tap for the discerning viewer .

      And competing in the oral sex category of best simultaneous blo#jobs we’ll have famed porn star Tera Patrick

      tophatal …………….. 🙂


    1. Chris Ross

      Considering that when McCourt was allowed to buy the Dodgers by the league hierarchy after the owners voted unanimously in approving the deal merely because he’s wealthy . But there was little if any due diligence used by Selig investigating the purchaser’s business background . The guy had been involved in multiple legal issues where he had either been the plaintiff or defendant in those cases . And even then that should been enough of a warning sign but low and behold because it was Fox and its parent company NewsCorp selling the team and the mere fact that the broadcaster is one of the league’s biggest corporate sponsors . It leads me to believe that they (MLB ) simply didn’t give a shit to begin with !

      tophatal ……………….


  3. I’d like to see the Tribe win the central, but Leyland and the Tigers will be there until the end. If Leyland doesn’t take them to the playoffs he’s more than likely history.


    1. aero

      Leyland will only become history if either GM Dave Dombrowski or owner Michael Illitch chose to have a retread assume the role as manager of the Tigers in the same way that the Nationals have chosen to do with Davey Johnson . Now don’t get me wrong as progressive as Johnson is said to be as a manager I think it was a regressive step for the Nationals’ organization as a whole ! Instead of signing Riggleman to a extended contract these assholes simply proved that there’s not much by the way of common sense in their entire front office ! They wanted the manager simply to be on a year to year contract but somehow they signed Jayson Werth to a 7 year $126 million deal ? WTF ?

      The Nationals had won I believe 13 of their last 15 games but somehow the front office thought to accept his resignation was the appropriate thing to do merely because they couldn’t come to a meeting of the minds over their incumbent manager’s signing of an extended contract . Once again showing the complete and widespread stupidity that there is amongst the owners and general managers in the game of baseball !


  4. The Pirates used to be one of the top clubs in the 1960’s, 1970’s and early 1980’s. Now they are not. It looks liek the Buckos are on the way back. This is good for Baseball.


    1. Bobby Gee

      Hold your horses when I last looked being slightly above .500 in the NL Central meant absolutely nothing in the game of baseball ! You’ve got put up or simply shut the fu#k up and as of now the Pirates have done neither . Neal Huntington as GM seems to have assembled a team that has the fans interested once again but I seriously doubt that team owner Bob Nutting has the balls to spend money to acquire free agents much less sign players long term ! It’s never been his mantra since he acquired the ballclub from the McClatchy’s .

      Pretty much sums things up don’t you think ?

      tophatal …………….


  5. Verlander would hands down get my Cy Young vote. I wonder if the Tigers are going to come out of the Central? They’ve been pretty up and down, but seem to be playing better since they know they will win 1 out of every 5 games…


    1. chappy 81

      It’s been the inconsistency of this team allround that have many doubting that they can even be in with a chance of winning the AL Central much attaining a wildcard berth . Their schedule for the upcoming months of July and August should tell us a great deal about the Tigers and the direction they’ll be heading in .

      Justin Verlander

      Verlander by far has been the best pitcher in the AL as of late and his stats simply prove it . If he doesn’t win the Cy Young then it will be because another pitcher in the AL has a far more productive year . It’s as plain and simple as that .

      tophatal …………….


  6. I really hope Verlander can pull the Cy Young. Last year he finished 18-9 with a 3.3 era and came in 11th place. He only had 7 wins past the All-Star break, so to win he will need to stick to his current form. J.V. has certainly looked impressive so far though.


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