December 4, 2009

Friday Freehans: Trades, Memories and Salt for Your Game 163 Wound

This, that and the other after a long blogging layoff:

  • So where were you two years ago today? You were probably glued to ESPN or the Web reading all you could about the eight-player deal that brought Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit. Time flies. (And just a year ago today Edgar Renteria spared Tigers fans a second season of his mediocrity by signing with the Giants.)
  • I’ll miss Placido Polanco more than I’ll potentially miss Curtis Granderson but I still don’t want the Tigers to deal him – or Edwin Jackson. (For what it’s worth, I own the bobblehead shown here. Guess I’ll have to store it alongside my Pudge bobblehead.)

  • On Dec. 4, 1952 the Tigers traded Virgil Trucks, who tossed two no-hitters during the year, along with P Hal White and outfielder Johnny Groth, to the Browns in exchange for second baseman Owen Friend, outfielder Bob Nieman, and outfielder/ catcher J.W. Porter. How could they trade a pitcher good enough to throw a pair of no-no’s? Easily it turns out. Apart from his no-hitters, Trucks won only three other games that year — against 19 defeats. Somehow he kept his ERA below four (3.97).
  • On this date in 1976, Aurelio Rodriguez became the first American League third baseman since 1959 to beat out Brooks Robinson for the Gold Glove Award.
  • Yesterday you might have seen him on C-SPAN railing on Fed chief Ben Bernanke, but on this date in 1963 you would’ve seen Jim Bunning pack his bags as the Tigers traded him to the Phillies for catcher Gus Triandos, pitcher Jack Hamilton and outfielder Don Demeter.
  • About a year late, MLB Network will be broadcasting from the Winter Meetings next week in Indianapolis. (Why they didn’t launch the network at last year’s meetings is still a mystery. No, go ahead and launch on January 1. Nothing else is on TV that day…) Anyway, here’s a preview of the network’s “Hot Stove at the Winter Meetings” program. And be sure to weigh in on the latest Fungo Pulse Check poll in the sidebar –>
  • Here’s a question: When are we going to find out which member of the White Sox was in the bar with Cabrera during that dreadful last weekend of the year?
  • Speaking of a year too late, I’m glad that Chip Caray will no longer be allowed to butcher baseball games for TBS. However, if you are a glutton for punishment you can relive Game 163 from the Metrodome by purchasing it for $1.99 on iTunes.

We’ll be back with more on the Winter Meetings next week. In the meantime, have a great weekend.

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