September 8, 2009

Tuesday Tananas: Feeling the Moment, Power Poll Respect and Steve Kemp’s Pain

bananas.jpgJust saw the news that Fernando Rodney has been suspended for three games for his inexplicable heave-ho of the ball after Friday night’s win. Well, it was inexplicable to me; Rodney says he was only “feeling the moment.” Still, a three-game suspension? Please.

Anyway, enjoy him, folks. He’ll be frustrating another team’s fans next year.

And now this:

  • How well are things going for the Tigers? They at last moved into the top eight of The Sporting Newspower poll (last week they were #10). Breaking through that barrier means the Tigers, at least for this week, aren’t a division-leader sitting behind better-rated, non-playoff teams. And maybe — maybe — Detroit is starting to gain some respect out there. TSN’s take:
    8. Tigers. The Tigers are finally starting to play like a team grabbing control of the division title instead of backing into the division title.

    Other polls: ESPN #7, last week #11; Fox Sports #9 (#10); SI #10 (#10); CBS SportsLine #11 (#13).

    On this morning’s ESPN Baseball Today podcast Peter Pascarelli gives the Tigers big props (he rates them #5 on his list) and he says he’d take Justin Verlander over Cliff Lee in a World Series matchup. On both points Eric Karabell disagrees — big time. Oh, and Karabell thinks the Rockies are a better club than Detroit. Pascarelli doesn’t buy that. Neither do I.

  • Here are some notable Tigers historical nuggets from Baseball-Reference.com:
    • On this date in 1967, the Tigers moved into a first-place tie with the Twins. Eddie Mathews and Jim Northrup hit home runs and Mickey Lolich out dueled the White Sox’ Tommy John 4-1 at Chicago.

    • On Sept. 8, 1983, Yankees (and former Tigers) outfielder Steve Kemp was struck in the face by an Omar Moreno line drive during batting practice in Milwaukee; Kemp misses the rest of the season with a fractured cheekbone. Kemp hit just .242 with 12 home run and 49 RBI in the first year of his five-year, $5.45 million contract.

    • In 1995, the Tigers traded Juan Samuel to the Royals in exchange for a player to be named. A week later, the Royals sent Phil Hiatt to Detroit to complete the deal.

    • And on this date a year ago, Gary Sheffield hit a grand slam for the official 250,000th homer in MLB history. The blast is Sheffield’s second of the day and his 13th career grand slam. Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera and Mike Hessman also homer as the Tigers outslug the A’s 14-8. I was there for that game and, man, was it wet, cold and blustery.

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1 Comment(s)

  1. Mark | Sep 9, 2009 | Reply

    Speaking of Rodney not being back next year, some news about Jose Valverde’s aging acceleration today might have him go slightly cheaper on the market. He could be a good fit in Detroit.

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