#TBT — Magnificent Magglio

It’s Thursday, so let’s do like we do when the other team hits a home run. THROW IT BACK.

To Magglio Ordoñez, one of my favorite Tigers of all time.

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Not long ago, I lamented the fact that Magglio is no longer a Tiger. I know he’s been retired for a minute, but I don’t think I will ever stop missing him. I hated the way fans treated him at the end of his time in Detroit. They betrayed him worse than his aging body had, despite the fact he gave Detroit great memories and helped make the Tigers relevant again.

In seven years with the Tigers, Magglio put together an .312/.373/.476 triple slash line. His best year in Detroit was 2007, when he hit a career-high (and completely ridiculous) .363/.434/.595 with 28 HR and 139 RBI while finishing second in MVP voting to a performance-enhanced A-ROID. Now that I’m thinking about it, someone needs to strip that douche-nozzle of his award and give it to Magglio. I know just the guy.

The image above will always be the most iconic of Magglio, but it’s not often the first thing that comes to mind when I remember his time with the Tigers. When I think of Maggs, I think of the guy who seemed to be able to hit singles at will, staying inside the ball and swatting it between first and second base with ease. Whenever the Tigers needed a hit or an RBI single, ol’ Maggs seemed to deliver. Which isn’t to take away from his dingers, of which he hit plenty. Do you guys remember the time he hit two in the same inning?

Man, that was dope. The A’s must have hated that guy.

Long live Magglio Ordoñez.

Go Tigers!

 

 

Top Plays of the 2014 MLB Season: Number 3

Hi, how are ya? Welcome back to the countdown. We’ve seen some pretty monumental shit so far on this list, but now we’re in that top three territory. There’s a certain distinction that comes with being in the top three, I would say. I mean, there’s a reason they don’t hand out medals for fourth place at the Olympics. So here we are, ready to give away the metaphorical bronze. This play, you guys. It was a good one.

Rajai Davis Hits a Walk-Off Grand Slam

Look, we love Rajai Davis over here at Musings. He’s even made an appearance on the countdown already in the Honorable Mentions. He was a nice pickup last offseason for the Tigers, and helped solidify Detroit’s transition from a team that looked to beat its opponents with metal and brawn to one that could use its speed on the basepaths to wear down the enemy. And while Davis definitely swiped his fair share of bags, he also went deep a time or eight. No longball was more bodacious than this one, which he unleashed on June 30th against the Oakland Athletics.

The Tigers were down 4-1 entering the 9th inning before putting a couple men aboard. An Austin Jackson walk loaded the bases for Rajai, who delivered an ULTIMATE SLAM that was just an absolute no-doubt, mic-drop, bad-ass dinger. I love that. It thrills me that Rajai Davis made such solid contact on such an important pitch that he — a guy who doesn’t hit a ton of long balls — knew it was gone the moment it left his bat. The only way to improve that shit would have been to add an epic Yasiel Puig bat flip before trotting around the bags.

I don’t know this for sure, because I don’t watch a lot of other teams during the regular season, but I feel like the Tigers’ announcers are special. They are just so. freaking. excited. every time the Tigers do something dope. Listen to Mario. Listen to Rod. There are moments during the season where I get the distinct impression that those two have forgotten that they’re working a game, transforming briefly into giddy fans like the rest of us. I love that about these two.

(I may as well take this opportunity to say that I am incredibly sad about the fact Rod Allen will only be working every third game this season. FSD is fuckin’ up.)

On the radio broadcast, Dan and Jim lost their minds as Rajai received the appropriate greeting from his teammates at home plate… all of them, that is, except Miguel Cabrera, who got his airborne-double-high-five while Davis was still only half way home from third. Fist pump.

*****

By now you’re familiar with how countdowns work, so I probably don’t need to tell you that next we’ll be taking a look at number two. All I’ll say is that I hope you stick around. Until next time.

Go Tigers!

Top Plays of the 2014 MLB Season: Number 4

We meet again. Normally I like to start things off with some unnecessarily elaborate introduction before digging into the latest item on the countdown, but I just don’t have it in me today. As I write this, it’s Tuesday morning and the week already feels longer than a blue whale’s dick. I want a giant pile of chicken wings to appear in front of me, and I want to wash those fuckers down with the coldest glass of cheap beer on the planet. Is that so wrong? If it is, I don’t want to be right. To top it all off, Number 4 on our countdown is actually a pretty bittersweet moment. It combines one of the most exciting happenings of the season with one of the most depressingly surreal. It was a moment of new beginnings and unexpected endings. If even just reading about it here doesn’t make you feel sort of mixed up inside, then I don’t know how I can help you. Let’s get on with it.

David Price Arrives at the Trade Deadline

Question: What do you get when you put the last three American League Cy Young Award winners, a groundball pitcher having a career season, and the previous season’s ERA champ on the same team? Answer: You get the Tigers’ pitching staff. On July 31, Dave Dombrowski made a big move at the deadline to acquire David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays, bolstering an already potent rotation. Price was absolutely filthy for the Tigers, racking up 82 strikeouts in just 11 starts and notching a complete game along the way. In his lone postseason appearance, Price threw eight strong innings and struck out six Orioles while allowing only 2 runs. He even picked off that pesky bitch Nelson Cruz at first base. I have to believe that if the Tigers could have mustered some offense and somehow kept their bullpen from imploding, Price and the rest of the rotation would have been a force to be reckoned with in last year’s playoffs.

Although it was nice to have David Price in the rotation, he certainly came at a cost. The Tigers sent Drew Smyly to Tampa Bay, and he was outstanding for the Rays down the stretch. Many experts (and amateurs like me) believe that Smyly will develop into a pretty dynamite pitcher, and the Tigers let him go before the prime of his career. But Smyly wasn’t the only player to take a hike. Price’s arrival also led to this strangely sad scene at Comerica Park.

Austin Jackson Departs in the Middle of the Inning

In the seventh inning with the bases loaded, two outs, and a 2-2 count, Brad Ausmus trotted out from the dugout to have a talk with the home plate umpire. He was making a lineup change in the middle of an AB. Rajai Davis ran out onto the field and got Jackson, and at that point the fans in attendance started to piece together what was happening. See, many sources reported that Price was heading to Detroit in a three-team swap, but nobody had confirmed who Detroit was dealing to get him. But when Austin Jackson came off the field, the fans realized they had seen Jackson’s last moment in a Tigers uniform. Then they gave him the farewell that he deserved.

Rod and Mario seem genuinely sad as they call the action in this video. Jackson, who came over to Detroit in another controversial three-way deal that sent fan-favorite Curtis Granderson to the Yankees, developed into a fine big-league player during his time with the Tigers. Sure, he was inconsistent at the plate, but he was a marvelous defender in center field — something the Tigers sorely lacked after he left for Seattle. He covered a lot of ground out there in the spacious Comerica Park, and routinely made great plays like this. And this. And this.

*****

Well, friends, you’ve made it this far into our countdown, so you may as well make sure to come back next time when we crack the top three. Until then, you stay classy.

Go Tigers!

#TBT — Tony the Tiger

It’s Thursday, so let’s do like we do when the other team hits a home run. THROW IT BACK.

To Tony Phillips and his weird-ass batting stance.

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Phillips played second base, third base, and outfield in his career. He played the 1988-1994 seasons with the Tigers, which were really my earliest memories of watching Tiger baseball. Those who remember Phillips will recall his squatted-down, crouched-over batting stance, which I probably imitated in my back yard just about as much as I did Mickey Tettleton’s. As funny looking as it was, it was pretty effective. His strike-zone-shrinking posture helped him to a career .374 OBP. In the 1993 season, Phillips walked 132 times on his way to a .443 OBP. Can’t ask for much more than that from your leadoff hitter.

Go Tigers!

Top Plays of the 2014 MLB Season: Number 5

Welcome back. We’ve reached the mid-way point of our best-of countdown for 2014, and boy is it getting good. It is getting good, right? Isn’t it? Well, I think it is. Especially now. It’s the top 5, people. Get ready.

Ian Kinsler Trolls the Rangers

No one was more conflicted than we were following last offseason’s trade of Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler. Musings was a very pro-Prince blog and to this day we remain supportive of that big fella and his time in the Motor City.

Much was made about Kinsler and his move to Detroit. Was he in decline? Could he produce anymore? Prior to even donning the Old English D, he said all the right things – he was BSOHL, he was driven to succeed, he was happy to be a Tiger, and — most importantly–that he wanted his old team to lose all the games. Once the season got underway he did his best to fit in ‘round these parts. Not so much with his glove or his bat (though, he certainly did his part). No. Around here you get under our good graces by hating on the Texas Rangers.

And boy did he ever make those idiots look like shitheads.

Claps forever.

What a tremendous troll job. This should be studied by scholars and trolls in training. First, do something rad. Second, rub their nose in it. But just enough. It’s not a Puig, or Gomez, or hell even a Cody Ross level troll job. But that’s the beauty of it. It’s perfect in its subtlety. And, to us, it put the final nail in the coffin on Ian Kinsler: Texas Ranger and fully kicked off Ian Kinsler: Detroit Tiger. I for one, am in. Especially if he keeps doing stuff like this. And this.

Troll on, Ian. Troll on.

Top Plays of the 2014 MLB Season: Number 6

We’re nearing the midway point of our countdown. So far we’ve seen everything from walk off wins to Brad Ausmus giving Jim Joyce the whatfor. Now it’s time to play some big boy baseball – as Rod Allen would say.

Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez Get Nasty

On May 13, our Tigers were in Baltimore and on the receiving end of a 3-hit shutout through 8 innings. Things looked bleak, for sure, until the top of the 9th when the Tigers decided – as a collective – that they were sick of that shit. With Orioles’ closer Tommy Hunter on the mound, Alex Avila led off the inning. Singling against the shift before being replaced by Rajai Davis – who promptly stole second. Davis was originally called out on the play, but dreamboat manager™ Brad Ausmus challenged the ruling and won because of course he did.

After the steal, though, Tommy Hunter recovered nicely – retiring Don Kelly and Ian Kinsler. With Davis at second and two away, Torii Hunter stepped to the plate amidst a crowd of boos for having threatened to whoop the ass of Bud Norris the night before. Proving that this was a magical night of destiny and amazementude, Torii – who had like -4 walks on the year – worked himself a 2-out free pass to extend the inning for Miguel Cabrera.

Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit. Even watching it now I get totally psyched and want to do cool karate moves. How badass was this? It was the most badass. It was so badass, in fact, that Cabrera actually broke Austin Jackson’s brain. Because even though we’re all like, “well yeah, of course he went yard – it’s Miguel Cabrera”, it’s still nuts. These are not reasonable expectations we have, people, but Cabby regularly exceeds them anyway.

Not to be outdone, Victor Martinez decided he was going to party, too – sending the VERY NEXT PITCH onto Eutaw Street.

Hot damn, you guys. What an incredible series of events. Capped off by two of the greatest hitters of all-time getting their swerve on all over Tommy Hunter’s declining skillset. These were the times, you guys. Just some top notch baseballing going on here.

*****

How the hell do we top that? How do the Tigers top that? Guess you’ll just have to wait and see. Until next time, Go Tigers.

#TBT — Jim Leyland, Ejection Extraordinaire

It’s Thursday, so let’s do like we do when the other team hits a home run. THROW IT BACK.

To Jim Leyland in all of his cranky glory, getting tossed in style.

In June of 2011, Jim Leyland gave us perhaps the most animated of his many ejections, imitating the buffoonery of the umpire before getting the ol’ heave-ho. Here’s the full video.

I miss you, Jimbo. Please never change.