Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday Morning Manager

(my weekly take on the Tigers)

Last Week: 4-2
This Week: (5/14-17: at Bos; 5/18-20: STL)

This may not be good timing, since the Tigers just got done playing two straight games on national TV, but do the wags at ESPN notice what's going on in baseball? They'll put the Red Sox and Yankees on their cable waves, ad nauseum -- especially when they play each other. But the Tigers are in Boston for a big four-game series -- the two top teams in the American League -- and not one of the games is being shown on, as Big Al calls them, the Worldwide Leader.

Now, I may have missed something; maybe there's a game on ESPN2, but I don't think so. This promises to be one of the most intriguing early-season matchups -- the Red Sox and Tigers have rarely played a series when both were in first place -- but it's getting the cold shoulder from the folks in Bristol.

A word about emergency starter Virgil Vasquez, the young righthander called up from Toledo to start in Jeremy Bonderman's place: these things seem to go one of two ways, with no in between. The kid either gets shellacked, or he befuddles the hitters and pitches a gem.

Vasquez got shellacked.

But that's OK. He didn't seem any the worse for wear afterward, and talked of cherishing the 2 2/3 innings he pitched in the Metrodome. Good attitude. I'm sure he'll be back up again, and will do better.

This is a very interesting week. There's the four games against the Red Sox -- which are always unpredictable in Boston -- and then another look at the St. Louis Cardinals, who come to town over the weekend.

Oh, what a horrible hangover the Cards are having after winning the World Series last year. There's been injuries and tragedy and off-the-field misconduct (by the manager, no less), and under-achieving players. It all adds up to a team well below .500 and who will not even come close to making the playoffs, I don't believe. Makes me kind of glad the Tigers didn't win the Series in 2006. Would this kind of luck have followed them into 2007?

As for last week, anytime you can take two of three in that Metrodome is a blessing. You take that and scoot out of town, pronto.



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