Friday, April 04, 2008

TWFE's 3rd annual "Rod Allen: A running diary"

As I've done this twice in the past, and the Tigers are a mighty 2-0 whenever I do a Rod Allen running diary, it seemed like the appropriate time to fire up the blog, and get the Tigers their first win of the 2008 season.

Thus, it's our 3rd "Rod Allen: a running diary."

As always, you never know what the Tigers' color analyst is going to spew, but much more often than not, it's hugely entertaining.

Pregame: The topic du jour is Gary Sheffield's finger injury. Rod is concerned, and lightly chides the "big and strong and physical Gary" for sliding head first into 2nd base.

Top of the 1st inning: Rod informs us Nick Swisher walked 100 times last season, but he will "swing and miss, too!" Good to know, as Swisher immediately strikes out swinging! Rod has ESP?

Nate Robertson is on the mound for Detroit, Rod tells us Nate is liked by the Tigers. Why else would they have given him a 3rd year deal, Rod?

Rod points out the Jim Thome shift with some nifty telestrator use, as Thome rips a double to right center. Rod: "Left field is somewhat foreign to Thome" and "It doesn't matter what defense you use!"

Rod tells us how he likes how Robertson is working the hitters, as Konerko takes Nate deep...but it stays in the park. 0-0 after 1/2 inning.

Bottom of the 1st: Rod talks about Jose Contreras' "arm angle." Rod LOVES talking about "arm angles!" also brings up the "tilt" in his pitches. "Tilt?"

Clete Thomas leads off with a single to center. Rod: "I don't know much about Thomas." Come on, Rod!

Rod uses a fancy ------> on the telestrator to show the infield hole Placido Polanco is aiming to hit the ball though. We may have a new "Czar of the Telelstrator," folks!

Ron on the Marlboro Man: "He doesn't mince words, does he?"

Juan Uribe throws Polanco's grounder into left field in an ill advised attempt at a force! Tigers on 1st and 2nd! Rod: "You got to get the OUT!"

Rod now going on "fastball counts, which this is" while Carlos Guillen is at the plate.

Rod thinks the Tigers may have too much going on in their personal lives at home, thus their struggles. Something goingon we need to know about, Rod?

3-2 count, Rod says they will not be running. "I'm gonna say no." Mario disagrees. BALL 4! Rod to Mario: "Good call, pardner!" We have out first "pardner" of the day!

First pitch swinging, Magglio Ordonez grounds into an easy double play, as Clete Thomas scores. Rod is unusually silent. 1-0 Tigers.

Miguel Cabrera at the plate. Rod: "Cabrera has never DH'ed before." Rod sounds surprised!

Full count on Cabrera, fouls off a breaking ball.Rod: "That had right center field written all over it." Instead, it had the backstop written all over it.

Uh oh, Rod sees something in Cabrera..."He's not 100% percent." "He's not healthy!" Rod says "He needs to do what he does..." OK...

Edgar Renteria at the plate, Rod brings up his BA with RISP: "That's clutch!"

Rod on the off season trades, as Renteria K's swinging: They gave up a lot of young players to obtain the player they obtained.." 1-0 Tigers after 1.

Top of 2: A swinging bunt! Guillen with the nice scoop on a throw from Robertson! Rod: "That's some of that shortstop ability there!" "Boy" "Nifty pick!" Pickin' and grinin"!"

AJ Cheaterynski doubles to right. A good throw would have nailed him, but Ordonez air mails the throw. Rod blames a wet ball...

Carlos Quniten goes yard to left, 2-1 Sox. Damn. Rod thinks Nate needs to use more breaking balls, as the HR was a belt high pitch. Rod knows these things...

Rod on Joe Crede: "He's a good player." Not last year, Rod. Though he usually is against the Tigers.

Crede K's swinging, Rod blames it on Crede's bad back. Whatever works!

Uribe grounds to short, 6-3. 2-1 Sox.

Bottom of 2: Pudge up, Rod says "everyone but Magglio" has been showing patience at the plate. "You need to take a step back, ans see some pitches, to do your job." Damn straight, Rod!

Pudge doubles! Rod: "that was a split fingered fastball that just tumbles!"

Jacque Jones up, after sitting on Thursday. Rod: Let's see if it was a GOOD day off."

Rod on Jones: "This park is tailored for Jones." Jones then K's swinging... It wasn't a good day off.

Rod on Inge: "Good thing he made the team." Uh, OK.

Inge out 6-3, Pudge to 3rd. Rod talks about the Tigers injuries. "It's part of the game."

Thomas up, 2 out. Thomas lines to center for a single! Rod: "I like his approach!" "That's about as good as it gets!" Rod is quite happy! 2-2 game.

Rod continues: "There's not a whole lot of film on Thomas." He's taken advantage of that fact today." It's a Thomas love-fest.

Rod before the pitch to Polanco: "He (Thomas) can run a little too." Guess what? Thomas steals 2nd! Rod has ESP again!

Polanco grounds out 6-3 Orlando Cabrera goes deep in the hole, gets him on a close play at 1st. Rod: "WHOOOOO!" End of 2, it's 2 up.

Top of 3: Swisher up for the Sox. Flies to center, 1 out.

Rod on Robertson: "He can win 15-18 games with the team we have." I hope you're right, Rod.

Cabrera up for the Sox. Rod going on about "scouts, and scouting directors."

Inge snags the liner, 2 out. Rod: "He's got quick feet!" we all know Rod loves him the footwork!

Thome HPB! Rod: "He not happy! Big fella is NOT happy!" I don't think Thome is happy.

Rod now going on about Thomes' money, Lambo's and Concords. I have no idea, folks.

Konerko up. Tells Robertson to "Go with the fastball in...Good choice!" "Might as well go back in there again!" But Konerko walks, 2 on, 2 out.

Dye at the plate, Rod compares the Sox 3-4-5 to the Tigers' 3-4-5. But the Sox in 2007 "couldn't manufacture runs." Personally, I don't like that cliche'. The Sox shouldn't HAVE to manufacture runs with their lineup.

Rod on the D: "One of the best sports towns in America! It was named that someone..." "It was Sports Illustrated or somebody." Close enough, Rod.

Dye goes deep in the left field gap, run scores, men on 2nd and 3rd. 3-2 Sox, Ros blames the Thomes HBP!

Cheateryinski off the left field fence, doubles over Jones' head, who was awful shallow. 5-2 Sox. Rod: "Nate has to get the ball dooown."

Miner up in the pen. You can hear a smattering of boos. Rod is a tad agitated.

Robertson ends the inning, strikes out Quintien. 5-2 Sox.

Bottom of the 3rd: Rod's talking about Verlander's no-hitter. "How many times you watch it?" Mario: "5 times!"

Guillen up, Rod says "Plenty of baseball left to play." Rod is no longer agitated, but I am.

They are still going on about the Verlander no-no, Mario says Rod was "So giddy!" Indeed.

Maggs at the plate, pops it to center. Rod: He see it?! I guess he does..." 1 out.

Rod corrects himself, "This is the 6th time Cabrera has been the designated hitter, the 6th time!" Some lackey is gonna get an earful from Rod!

Cabrera up. Rod likes how he's DEEP in the batter's box, as the count goes 3-0. Rod: He has fallen behind every hitter!"

Ball 4, 2 on, 1out. Ozzie Guillen to the mound, starts yelling! Rod: "He ain't happy, either" "That was one sided there!"

Renteria up, Rod and Mario still going on about the "New and gentler Ozzie." Renteria out 5-3, men on 2nd and 3rd, 2 out.

Pudge to the plate. Slaps a double down the 1st base line, 2 runs score, 5-4 game!

Rod: "Pudge took that out the glove of Cheaterynski" (OK, Cheaterynski is me, not Rod!) "That's the proper bat angle!"

Jones at bat. Pudge to 3rd on a pitch in the dirt! Rod: He had a good secondary lead!" Rod loves those as much as "footwork."

Jones singles to center, tie game! Rod: "He was so much under control!" Nothing on bat angles, though.

Rod again: "It's gonna be one of those games today!"

Rod chides the pitching: "The bats would come around, you need to limit the damage of what the other team does from an offensive standpoint." You tell 'em, Rod!

Inge out 5-3. 5-5 game after 3 innings.

Top of the 4th: The Aflac question is an easy one. "Which Tiger was traded to the White Sox for Chet Lemon?" Rod: "Hmmmm" I can imagine Rod rubbing his chin there...

Come on Rod, it was Steve Kemp, one of my all-time favorite Tigers!

A quick 2 outs, as Rod was still giggling about Ozzie Guillen's tirade. Swisher to the plate.

Rod on Swisher: "He's a good teammate! Plays the game hard, plays to win." OK, that's enough of the of cliches', Rod. Swisher walks. Still 2 out.

Orlando Cabrera batting. Rod still going on about Swisher! Rod: "Hey bro! Can you imagine someone saying "hey bro" to Dave Dombrowski?" Rod loves him some Swisher!

Ground out 5-4. 5-5 tie going into the bottom of 4.

Bottom of the 4th: Thomas leading off.

3 pitches in, no Rod? Where's Rod, dammit?! Thomas lines a single to right, he's 3 for 3! Rod: "He's a wonderful story!" Whew, I was worried! Rod finally speaks up!

Polanco up. Rod still talking about Thomas. Rod giggling about Thomas telling him he called his wife to tell her he made the team, and she didn't believe him! Rod loves him some Clete!

Mario: What happens when Granderson comes back?" Rod: "Don't know yet!" At least he's honest....

Polanco grounds to short, balls gets under Cabrera, called a base hit! Rod: "He overran that ball!" Or he just plain whiffed, but hey, the Tigers need to get a few breaks.

2 on, no one out, Guillen batting. Hell. Grounds into the 4-6-3 DP. Thomas to 3rd, 2 out, Maggs to the plate. Rod quiet.

Dammit! Again, Ordonez swings at the first pitch, flies to right! Rod still quiet. 5-5 after 4 innings.

Top of 5: Mario answers the trivia question, it is, of course, Steve Kemp. Rod says he sees Steve at the fantasy camps. Talks about how he would screw himself into the ground when swinging. Hell, yes he did!

Thome up, Robertson gets him swinging. 1 out.

Mario sets up Rod on a question saying the Sox seemed to have the Tigers' number in the past. Rod goes on saying something about having to outplay them on the field. Well, that would be the place to start, Rod.

Konerko up, singles in the hole at short. Christ.

Rod: "Could be Wings, could be Pistons, today it just happens to be Tigers!" Enough of the FSD crap, Rod! You're above it!

Dye up for the Sox. Lines a double to left, men on 2nd and 3rd.

Rod: "He's off to a pretty good start." Ugh. "It was that 84 miles per hour...It must have been his fastball." Then that's one slow ass fastball, Rod.

Big out, Cheaterynski pops up to Inge! 2 out. Rod: "Good, firm fastball!" Firm?

Qunitien up, but pops to short left! Robertson pitches out of the jam! Still 5-5 going into the bottom of the 5th.

Bottom of 5: Cabrera leads off. Rod is quiet. Almost too quiet.

Cabrera lines a single to right. Rod: "Cabrera will have a good year." "He's gonna have a lot of fun in the American League as a hitter!" Better than his having fun as a fielder....

Renteria up, fakes a bunt, Rod: That's part of his game." Not when you have a gimpy Cabrera on 1st base.

Renteria grounds into a 6-4 force. 1 on, 1 out.

Pudge up, lines a single to right. Rod: "Pretty good game!" Claims Pudge knew what pitch was coming, as "He's the catcher." Ok, sure.

Jones up, men on 1st and 2nd. Wild pitch! Renteria and Pudge move up!

Rod: "Infield in. Jacque needs a fly ball now." I hope Rod's ESP is working again.

2-2 count on Jones. Rod on Conteras: "Ya gotta have some big fingers to throw that ball. He's got some big mitts!" OK, that just sounds funny!

Jones ground to 2nd, runners hold, Jones out at 1st...Pudge wanders too far off of 2nd, he's out! Stupid play by Pudge. Just stupid.

Rod: Head's up play by the White Sox, not a good play by Rodriguez." That's the understatement of the day... Still 5 all after 5.

Top of the 6th: Rod has the telestrator out. Circles Pudge. Holy CRAP! Pudge was halfway to 3rd? What on...What the...Jesus!

Zach Miner in for Robertson. Gives up a single to the 1st batter he faces. Wonderful.

Rod says a bunt is coming...And it is. Man on 2nd, 1 out, Rod's ESP is working well.

Ugh. Miner walks Swisher. Rod is going on about small market teams trading players, which talking about Swisher..Again. Hey, if it helps the Tigers, screw 'em!

2 on, 1 out. Miner goes to 2-0 on Cabrera, Mario is talking about the Wings winning the President's Cup, and Leyand dropping the 1st puck. Cabrera flies to right, 2 out.

Rod: "I bet he (Leyland) got an ovation last night!" I think that's a safe assumption, Rod.

Thome up with ducks on the pond. Need the out here...

Miner gets a 2 quick strikes on Thome. Rod starts talking about Mario's past: "That's where you met your wife.." Mario: "Uh, no." The hilarity never ends with these two!

Miner K's Thome! Still tied at 5 going into the bottom of 6.

Bottom of the 6th: Inge singles on the 1st pitch!

Rod: "Tigers playing a different brand of baseball." I should hope so.

That's it for Conteras, as the Tigers' leading hitting hitter, Clete Thomas, is due up! Never thought T'd write that...

Lefty Boone Logan is one the mound. Rod compares his beard to Bobby Jenks. I don't know how this guy pitches, but I know he looks like Bobby Jenks! Thanks, Rod!

Thomas is going to bunt. Rod: "Keep it away from Crede!"

Whoa! An up and in fastball, but Thomas gets the bunt down! Rod: "In self defense!"

Polanco up with Inge at 2nd. Rod brings up the Polanco RISP batting average again, as he goes down a quick 2 strikes.

Polanco pop fly to center. 2 out. Rod quiet.

Rod on playing in Fenway Park, where the Tigers play next week: "It's ALWAYS a zoo!" Damn massholes.

Guillen up, 2 out. Rod: A whole lot of hitters got in some good counts to hit, I will say that..."

Guillen up 3-1 in the count. Rod brings up Guillen's L/R splits, as that's why Ozzie Guillen brought in the Jenks bearded lefty. He'd rather have Carlos bat from the right side. Rod just looks at BA, but doesn't check the power stats. That's why Guillen was turned around, he has a ton more power batting from the left.

3-2 count. Christ, nice play by Cabrera at short, Guillen out 6-3. Still tied at 5 going into the 7th.

Top of 7: Oh, shit. It's Grilli on the mound....

And Konerko takes Grilli into the left field gap, doubles. Urgh.

Rod: "That didn't sound right." It may not have sounded like a hard hit ball, but it was hit hard enough.

Dye up, and singles between 1st and 2nd. Rod: "That's just good baseball."

Cheaterynski up...And takes Grilli deep into the right field seats. 3 pitches, 3 runs. Sox up 8-5. I'm too pissed to listen to what Rod says, as I'm seeing red at the moment. God damn motherfucking Grilli.

Still no one out. Boo birds are out in full force. Grilli remains in the game, though.

And it's a single for Quinten. 4 batter, 4 hits, Grilli getting pounded. Boo birds are LOUD. Mario: "Fans are restless." Ya think?!

Crede up. Line drive to center. It fucking batting practice off of Grilli. Rod is quiet again. Fans want Grilli out. Now. No sign of Leyland.

Uribe is going to bunt, and Grilli throws the pitch over everyone's head! No one out, runners on 2nd and 3rd. Grilli is unraveling. Rod ultra quiet. I'm steamed!

Grilli with a called strike! Crowd give a derisive cheer. Rod not saying much.

Urine grounds to Inge, out at 1st, and there is 2 Sox caught in a rundown! Tigers get the out at 3rd, double play. About 4 batters too late.

Rod compares the baserunning blunder to Pudge's earlier misadventure.

Grilli goes down 3-0 to Swisher, ends up intentionally walking him. Runners on 1st and 2nw, 2 out, Cabrera up for the Sox. Looks like Leyland is leaving Grilli out there, no matter what.

Rod's quiet. Real quiet.

Grilli gets the K. Whatever. After 7 1/2, Sox lead 8-5.

Bottom of the 7th: Oactavio Dotel on the mound.

Ordonez loops a single to right. Rod: "This is a team capable of coming back, for sure!" Well, I'm not sure. Mario: "Tigers have gotten the leadoff man on in every inning." Not that it's helped.

Cabrera flies to center, 1 out.

Rest of the blog will have to wait, as I have to leave the house. Back later....

Epilogue - 4/5/08 - 9:30AM: During the 7th inning, my best friend called while on his way home from work, and I was informed we were going to watch the rest of the game at "Chief's Handle Inn," out favored corner watering hole. Which we did, consuming a few, as Mickey Redmond likes to call them, "pops."

The entire bar was watching the Tigers, and not very happy. Including Chief himself. Anyway, if you polled the fans at Chief's after the Tigers' 4th straight loss, 8-5 to the God damn White Sox, if given a choice between mild concern and EVERYBODY PANIC!!!, EVERYBODY PANIC!!! would have won quite easily.

I'm not sure if I'm there just yet, but a commenter thinks it may be time to break out the TWFE panic button. Let's see how the rest of the home stand goes before even I turn into Chicken Little.


  1. It may be time to get out the panic button.

  2. Chief's? Small world, my Fiancee is from Carleton, in fact our reception will be at Grafton.

  3. A REAL small world, R&R!

    I'm a born and bred Carleton-ite like your fiance. I moved away in the mid-80's, but came back often, as most of my family and friends never left. I finally moved back to the C, likely for good, a year ago. I'm literally a short hop, skip, and jump away from Grafton Hall.

    Hope those southerners are treating you well.