Thursday, August 9, 2007

Cheeer for Tigers Night

Cameron Maybin was promoted to the AA Erie SeaWolves today, so I guess getting his autograph on Cheer for Tigers Night worked out pretty well.

Maybin is currently ranked the top prospect in the Detroit Tigers organization according to Baseball America.

In 83 games with the Lakeland Flying Tigers, Maybin batted .304 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI. He was the eighth best hitter in the Florida State League. Maybin also collected 14 doubles and five triples to go along with 43 walks and 25 stolen bases. His .393 on-base percentage ranked third in the FSL.

Maybin was tabbed the Tigers Minor League Player of the Year following the 2006 season with the Midwest League champion West Michigan WhiteCaps. He finished fifth in the MWL with a .304 average and was named the league's "Prospect of the Year."

My major problem with Maybin is he hit a fly ball when the Tigs were in town, and didn't run it out. I'm sorry, but at the Single A level of baseball, that's totally inexcusable. I'm surprised Bradshaw let him get away with it. Didn't Smitty sit Parms for doing that?

Anyway, not getting into things about a certain Tiger pitcher I'm fond of (I'll talk about him in another post), here are some images from Cheer for Tigers Night:

Cameron Maybin
Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
Maybin gets plunked by a pitch

David Hernandez
Michael Hernandez

Justin Justice
Justin Justice

Some guy sitting behind thought that naming your kid Justin Justice was cruel and unusual punishment. Justice is from Winter Park, Florida, BTW, and as near as I can tell, no relationship whatsoever to David.

I finally got to see the Camo-batting practice Unis. They were hot!

I guess we shall find out tonight if any of the Miracle boys has anything to say to me for sitting over on the Tigers' side of the stadium last Saturday.

Don't leave until the bus pulls out

Tommy WatkinsIt was Spring Training 2004 and we were at the Red Sox Complex and Tommy came up and asked Anna to stay after the game. She made a face after he walked off.

"Don't go nowhere after the game," she tells me. "He wants to ask for money and he won't do that if someone's there. He'll be too ashamed." So...okay.

We get through the game. I think that was the one where the foul ball nearly hit Anna and she tried to bury herself into my shoulder for protection. "You're supposed to catch it," I tell her.

"I'm not breaking my nails!" She shows me her claws. Nice. We get done, we talk to some of the coaches. She sees Tommy come walking over.

"Don't leave until the bus pulls out," she tells me. So I hang. I guess it was a nice stratigy, but it didn't work. Tommy still got a 20 spot out of her. I guess I wasn't enough of a "stranger" for him to be embarrassed around.

In any case, Miracle Alumni and Fort Myers resident Tommy Watkins got the call to the Minnesota Twins yesterday after nearly 10 years of professional baseball. Watkins' promotion to the big leagues "was one of the most emotional call-ups I've ever been involved with," according to Red Wings manager Stan Cliburn. Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan made the announcement to the team Wednesday after arriving from Rochester, and Cliburn said Ryan's announcement about Watkins "set off a joyous celebration in the clubhouse, because of everyone's love, passion and respect for Tommy." Watkins was "overcome by emotion" when he heard the news, and Cliburn joked that the promotion "left Tommy speechless - the first time any of us could ever say that about him".

Probably the first time Anna could say that about him too.

Watkins is the 14th player to go from the Wings to the Twins this season, and the sixth to make his big league debut. He will wear number 61 with Minnesota.

A graduate of Riverdale High School in Fort Myers, Watkins was a 38th round pick in the 1998 draft and spent 2 years with the GCL Twins and appeared in 198 games for the Miracle in the 2002 and 2003 seasons. He was the only professional baseball player in history to be immortalized on a bobble-butt figurine, which was distributed by the Miracle in 2003.

I'm wondering, now that's he's drawing a major league salary, if he's planning on paying her back all the money he owes her.

It's only for a short time. He's replacing Brian Buscher in the Twins line up. Buscher was placed on the 15 day disabled list with a leg infection.

The News-Press ran a nice story on the call up, but they refer to his step-mom as his mother, which I'm sure made Anna livid.

Anyway, it's a nice feel good story, after the tragidy with Barry Bonds.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Liam Hendriks says "Dirty's in town. He's with the Fort Myers Miracle." I'd known this. In fact, I had talked to him the night before and tried to explain to him about Jarrad being nicknamed "Princess". Allen's response had been that Eacott has balls and that Liam can whine with the best of them.

If I put all the Aussie's together, they still could not out-whine Whiney Wally. But that's another story.

"He showed up in our room last night at 10:30."

"Yeah," I say. "He has a way of doing that."

"He has a mustache," Liam informs me. I'd known he'd had it before he got here so it wasn't a shock. Evidently Liam did not. "He looks stupid in it."

A bunch of the Beloit guys had grown mustaches after Rob Delany's bush became the talk of Wisconsin.

On the whole, I though de San looked pretty good in his, which sort of surprised me, then Dirty's generally pretty easy on the eyes to start with. I don't say much about the boys looks in front of the other boys because this always draws some type of comment, one way or the other.*

"I can't even grow one," says Danny Berlind says.

"He's part of the mustache brigade," I tell him. "There's several that have them."

"This is three days growth," Liam tells me, offering his less than scruffy looking cheek. Let's just say if he didn't in shave between starts, you'd probably never notice.

Danny looks at him ruefully. "That's more than I can manage."

"The mustaches are kind of silly," I tell them. "I wish they'd let you guys have goatees."

Berlind tries to picture himself in a goatee.

I'm wondering if this is not some strange practice in which the older guys are trying to distance themselves from the rookies, who can't quite manage facial hair yet.

"We need to have a Gillette promotion at the stadium," I tell them, which raises a chuckle or too.
I should note that of late, most of the mustache brigade has indeed become friends with Mr. Gillette again. "It's just too hot," David Shinskie said, but in his case, I think it's because his parents had come into town. If you notice in the above referenced article, even Delany says his is coming off before he goes home.

* (For example, TJ had give me some cards of Milt when he was with the Detroit Tigers. I told Milt and followed it up with "You used to be a little hotty!" "USED TO BE?????" he chokes. "That mean you don't have it any more," Ivan chips in. "What am I a now?" "A mature, handsome gentleman," I tell him with a mental roll of the eyes. Geez.)