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.