Time: 7:10 Central. Vegas Line: -205 MIN / +190 DET
Weather: No rain, start temp 75°
Opponent’s excellent SB site: Bless You Boys
TV: FSN. Radio: Not in stereo for Gardy’s cusswords, alas
On Monday, Ron Gardenhire was ejected for the eighth time this season. That puts him close to Bobby Cox’s single-season record of 11, set in 2001. The four more Gardy needs to top that record would also leapfrog him into sole possession of fifth place all-time with 87. Count on at least one this weekend, just for old times’ sake. Gardy’s under contract for one more year in Detroit, so he’ll probably manage to hit #5. But I want to see him break a record this year, dangit.
What else is going on with the Tigers these days?
Not much. They’re pretty bad, sitting at 38-87, which is the worstestmost in baseball, and will probably mean a third straight season of sub-.400 winning percentages. Although, on Wednesday, they did defeat the heaviest betting odds in 15 years, beating Justin Verlander and Houston’s -518 / +451 line.
Who do we know on their roster? Well, there’s Niko Goodrum, who in 422 ABs is slashing .249/.321/.422 for this season. For his career, Jake Cave has 403 ABs and a .263/.325/.442 list of numerals. So Goodrum is not, as yet, the next David Ortiz / Danny Santana. He’s a better defender than Cave, but doesn’t have a Cave for Jakes, so I consider this a wash. (And no, we don’t know Austin Adams, that was a trick question. 2.2 IP doesn’t count as an official Member Of The Band.)
All MLB teams will be participating in the second “MLB Foodfest,” to be held in New York this September. Each team provides one signature item from their concessions menu, and it’s all-you-can-eat-in-two-hours for $35 smackaroos. The Tigers are going with a Coney dog, the Twins with Tony O’s Cuban sandwich. Some teams have more unusual fare, heartburn-y enough to rival state fair food.
|Victor Reyes - LF||Max Kepler - CF|
|Harold Castro - CF||Jorge Polanco - SS|
|Miguel Cabrera - DH||Nelson Cruz - DH|
|Niko Goodrum - 2B||Marwin Gonzalez - RF|
|Brandon Dixon - 1B||Luis Arraez - 2B|
|Travis Demeritte - RF||Miguel Sano - 3B|
|Ronny Rodriguez - 3B||Ehire Adrianza - 1B|
|Jordy Mercer - SS||Jason Castro - C|
|Jake Rogers - C||Jake Cave - LF|
In three starts this year, Detroit reliever Drew VerHagen has amassed 13.2 innings, so if he isn’t gone before the sixth, you should stop following the game and cry. Meanwhile, José Berríos has an August ERA of 8.44 (which would be higher without three unearned runs), so if he’s gone by the sixth, you should head outside to throw rocks at random birds.
Finally, and this you’ve probably already seen:
Last Friday the White Sox had an... let’s say “unusual” TV broadcast. (Yes, wrong team, but the Twins play them six hundred times this month.) They were having a Grateful Dead promotion, and so they invited longtime basketball announcer Bill Walton to guest-host the broadcast. Walton is a huge Dead fan. (A hippie tactic he used to intimidate opponents during his NBA career involved not bathing; it made him stinky to guard.)
Right away, it was clear that while Walton clearly loves baseball, he doesn’t know the first thing about it. At times, play-by-play regular Jason Benetti was absolutely flummoxed. Even Ozzie Guillen, back in the NBC Sports Chicago studio, was cracking up. Check out this call of an easy fly ball:
Bill Walton commentating on a routine pop out to left is a delight. pic.twitter.com/1hGygPDZHt— Subscribe to Cut4 on YouTube!!!! (@Cut4) August 17, 2019
Wonderfully, it seems that the electronic tweet machine liked Walton’s enthusiasm a lot. Which is nice; Walton’s over-the-top speaking style is something he used to help overcome a stutter that lasted into adulthood. Not everybody online is, apparently mean! Yay!