I would have posted these items sooner today but I’ve been consumed by the game Word with Friends on my iPad and iPhone. Who knew a Scrabblesque game could be so darn addictive?
- I was going to write about how Michael Young‘s contract with the Rangers spurred the Tigers to sign Carlos Guillen — and fast — during the 2007 season. As often happens, Ian beat me to it and no doubt did a better job.
- Who would you rather have in the bullpen: Enrique Gonzalez or Chad Durbin? Me too. The good news? Durbin’s available. Bad news, the Tigers won’t go after him.
Wait, you chose Gonzalez? Never mind.
- Staying with the former Tigers pitchers theme for a moment, Mark Simon at ESPN’s Stats and Info Blog looked deeper into Armando Galarraga‘s struggles in 2010 and what he needs to do with the Dbacks in ’11 to get back to his ’08 — yes, ’08 — performance:
Our Inside Edge video review data shows that his 90-mile-per-hour fastball got swings and misses six percent of the time, among the lowest rates in baseball.
When he threw a sinking fastball, he actually had more balls hit in the air than on the ground (the opposite of the desired result)
When Galarraga threw his slider and an opponent made contact, he allowed a hit 35 percent of the time, well above the league norm (right-handed hitters in particular, had a lot of success against it). He also ranked among the major league leaders in home runs allowed by right-handers on breaking pitches, with 10, twice as many as he allowed two seasons earlier.
At least he won’t frustrate Tigers fans anymore.
- You might have heard that after a few years off, Maple Street Press will be publishing a Tigers annual, cleverly titled Tigers Annual 2011. You’ll see lots of familiar names in the table of contents including yours truly. Kurt from Bless You Boys edited the project. I contributed a piece on the 1961 Tigers, a club that won 101 games but didn’t win the pennant. The book won’t be published until next month but you can order a copy here.
- Six years ago today the Tigers picked up Kyle Farnsworth and cash considerations from the Cubs for RHP Roberto Novoa, infielder Scott Moore and outfielder Bo Flowers.
Finally, Happy Birthday to the biggest Tigers fan in my family, my Dad.