Rays do their damage
Good thing the Rays are leaving town. The saying goes “that it doesn’t matter who you play it matters when you play them”. That is exactly what just happened. They came to town and dominated the Tigers. The thing is that if they played two weeks ago the results most likely would have been just the opposite. The Rays were in dead last place. Yes worse than the Astros, the Twins and the Red Sox. They were thinking about blowing this thing up and trading stars such as David Price. Since then they have caught fire and have gone 9-2 over their last 11 to pull out of last place. Probably a good thing because David Price could have been traded to a contender of the Tigers such as the A’s. Not a guy you want to face multiple times in a playoff series since he dominates the Tigers seemingly every time out. While it wasn’t a good weekend there wasn’t much lost. The Tigers still lead the Central by 4 games over Kansas City.
The Rays had their way with Tigers’ pitching. In three straight games they had their way with Smyly, Sanchez and Porcello. All three had one of their worst starts of the season. The one hurt the most might have been Porcello who is up for a final vote for the All-star team and a good start yesterday on national TV would have been big for him. Instead he turned in a start where he allowed seven runs on 11 hits. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. They are built around pitching and if they don’t pitch well they won’t win.
The All-star teams were also announced yesterday and the Tigers had three guys get named. The only starter is Miguel Cabrera. Victor Martinez will be the reserve DH and Max Scherzer will be one of the pitchers. The only other Tiger who could get named would be Rick Porcello who is on the fan ballot for the final roster spot. To be honest it wouldn’t be a great travesty if he doesn’t get on the team. He is having a very good season but there are other better pitchers on that ballot. One of which is Chris Sale who just might be the best pitcher in the American League. How he’s on the final vote ballot I have no idea. The only other surprise to me is seeing Anibal Sanchez not on there. He did get hurt for a stretch but he has been by far the most consistent starting pitcher for Detroit this season. All in all there’s not a lot to be too upset about with the Tigers All-stars.
Trade season has started
The trade season has begun in the Major Leagues as well. This past weekend saw several trades go down and one that will have an impact on the Tigers. The A’s made a blockbuster trade which saw Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel go from the Cubs to Oakland. The A’s gave up some of their top prospects to the Cubs which included top prospect SS Addison Russell. The Cubs are doing this thing where they are collecting shortstops now like they are QB’s in the NFL (you know…you can’t have enough good ones which is still strange because most teams don’t have more than one good one). They have Starlin Castro at the major league level, Jorge Soler at AAA and now Russell at AA. Soler and Russell are two of their top three prospects now. Along with that the Cubs also got Oakland’s #1 pick from last year Billy McKinney, MLB starter Dan Strailey and a player to be named later. Smaradzija and Hammel both will bolster the Oakland rotation and make them even more dangerous to the Tigers in the playoffs. Justin Verlander made headlines saying that the Tigers are the reason the trade was made. It was written off as Verlander saying something crazy but what he said is true. The Tigers have taken out the A’s in the last two post seasons because of their starting pitching advantage. To think this had nothing to do with the Tigers is a crazier thought.
One trade I’m not a fan of is the Yankees trading for Brandon McCarthy. We will hear him called good veteran help but I’m far from sold on him being good. I really have no idea what the Yankees are doing. I guess because they are the Yankees they are required to make a trade, even in a year when they are terrible. That team isn’t going anywhere and if they were McCarthy isn’t going to help them. He was not good in Arizona. He was far from the best pitcher on a bad pitching staff. So to give up a young lefty who might have a future is a little baffling to me.
Sports world centers around Cleveland
Cleveland is the sports capital of the world today. LeBron is possibly going back to Cleveland now, Josh Gordon is in trouble again and Johnny Manziel is still being a clown. LeBron is being rumored to be going back to Cleveland, so Cavs fans who have said they’d never root for him ever again…ummm…yeah about that. I think it’s interesting and also possible he goes back to Cleveland. They have some good young players to play with. With him, Irving, Wiaters, Thompson and Wiggins it could be a nice thing and possibly better than the last time he was there. Still I think this might be his agent using Cleveland to get Miami to play ball. It just could be the old ploy that there is someone else out there that he could go to. There’s certainly interest out there but if you can get Cleveland in the discussions Miami will be forced to pay LeBron. But if LeBron is looking to win championships right now I’m not sure that will happen right away in Cleveland. They will be a threat if he’s there, but I still think they’d be too young to win right away.
With Manziel, I just don’t get this guy. He had a picture taken off what looks like him rolling up cash money to snort cocaine. I don’t think there’s a much better explanation for what he’s doing. It appears he’s more interested in ruining his life than he is getting his head on straight. I understand what he says that it’s not his fault if people are taking pictures. But it isn’t like he’s putting himself in good situations either. He is setting himself up to get into trouble with picture taking, and the thing is that I don’t think he cares one bit. Oh and most of those pictures are of him posing, so it’s not exactly like people are just taking random pictures that he has no control over.
For the most part I don’t care about him that much. He’s not the future QB of any team I care about. He’s a punk that’s for sure, but that’s a choice he’s making, and that could lead to some harsh lessons down the road. But he certainly needs something to wake him up to the realities of life. He’s bigger than the team right now and he knows it. There isn’t a lot the team can do about what he does in his spare time, because they owe him a lot of money and that seems like the only thing he cares about right now. The team needs to do something to show him he’s not bigger and maybe that’s not letting him play for the entire season or until he gets it in his head how he needs to act. Although for Manziel, the biggest thing he needs to do is stop hanging out with Justin Bieber.
On Tap for Tonight
Growlers vs. Madison