My Tigers Off-Season and Projected 2013 Opening Day Roster

Free Agency Moves

1. The Tigers exercise Jhonny Peralta’s option. Considering that I’m not a big Jhonny fan, this does not leave me excited. Jhonny’s 2011 season was a career-year anomaly, and we saw a regression to the mean in 2012. I’m also ridiculously tired of people talking about his low error count; it’s a result of his brick-foot range, not some tremendous fielding capabilities. However, the free agent market at shortstop is super thin, and my dreams of trading for Elvis Andrus are unrealistic.

2. The Tigers re-sign Gerald Laird. I laugh every time I see the scoreboard flash “Be Scared of Laird” at Comerica Park, because he’s far from being an intimidating hitter. That being said, he’s a very serviceable backup to Avila and should demand a relatively cheap contract for what he provides.

3. The Tigers DO NOT re-sign Delmon Young. Ninja Turtle Yankee Killer is going to fetch a much higher contract now than he would have if the season ended in September. Regardless of price, I think the Tigers were planning on heading in another direction with the outfield anyway, and V-Mart is going to return to his role as the club’s designated hitter.

4. The Tigers DO NOT re-sign Anibal Sanchez. As much as it pains me to say it, I think the great late-season performance Sanchez put on display for Detroit pushed him out of their price range this offseason. Sanchez would be the fourth starter in the rotation for the Tigers, and I expect Sanchez to sign a big multi-year deal with a team that expects him to take over a role as their number 2 starter.

5. The Tigers exercise Octavio Dotel’s option. Dotel was reliable as the 7th-inning specialist for the Tigers for the majority of the 2012 season, and he brings experience and a wins-driven mentality to the table. Add the fact that his option is relatively affordable, and I think we see him return for another year as the organization’s 7th-inning hurler.

6. The Tigers DO NOT re-sign Jose Valverde. I’m pretty sure that Tigers fans would riot if Dombrowski offered Valverde a contract to stay in Detroit, considering the hell he put them through in the 2012 postseason. Adios, and good riddance, to the fat potato and his chicken bone arms and obscenely torpid delivery to home plate.

7. The Tigers sign Francisco Rodriguez. The man affectionately known as “K-Rod” struggled mightily this year in Milwaukee, logging the highest season ERA and WHIP of his career. This should allow the Tigers to get Rodriguez at a discounted price, and I’m of the belief that this poor showing was the exception in what has otherwise been a stellar career. He’s only 30 years old, he’d join fellow Venezuelans Miguel Cabrera, Brayan Villarreal, and Omar Infante in the clubhouse, and he could take on the role of closer (OR setup man, if Leyland and company believe Benoit would be more well-suited for the 9th inning).

8. The Tigers sign Josh Hamilton. I would much rather see the Tigers go after someone like San Francisco’s Angel Pagan, who could offer a .285 hit clip and 30 stolen bases. However, with fans clamoring for another major offseason signing to push the Tigers over the top, I expect Illitch to open up his pocketbook even further for a (maddeningly inconsistent) power hitter.

Hypothetical Lineup

1. Austin Jackson – CF
Victor Martinez – DH
Miguel Cabrera – 3B
Prince Fielder – 1B
Josh Hamilton – LF
Andy Dirks – RF
Jhonny Peralta – SS
Alex Avila – C
Omar Infante – 2B

Hypothetical Rotation

1. Justin Verlander
Doug Fister
Max Scherzer
Rick Porcello
Drew Smyly

Hypothetical Bullpen

1. Phil Coke, LHP
Brayan Villarreal, MRP – RHP
Al Alburquerque, MRP – RHP
Darin Downs, MRP – LHP
Octavio Dotel, Gap Pitcher/7th inning specialist
Joaquin Benoit, Setup Man
Francisco Rodriguez, Closer


1-3-1 Fantasy Baseball Draft Results

Miguel’s Tequila Bar (Zach Tanton)
1. (1) Miguel Cabrera(Det – 1B)
2. (20) Tim Lincecum(SF – SP)
3. (21) Ian Kinsler(Tex – 2B)
4. (40) Pablo Sandoval(SF – 1B,3B)
5. (41) Hunter Pence(Phi – OF)
6. (60) Asdrubal Cabrera(Cle – SS)
7. (61) Michael Cuddyer(Col – 1B,2B,OF)
8. (80) Jason Heyward(Atl – OF)
9. (81) C.J. Wilson(LAA – SP)
10. (100) Joe Mauer(Min – C,1B)
11. (101) Brian Wilson(SF – RP)
12. (120) Shaun Marcum(Mil – SP)
13. (121) Nick Swisher(NYY – 1B,OF)
14. (140) Ervin Santana(LAA – SP)
15. (141) Chris Young(Ari – OF)
16. (160) Doug Fister(Det – SP)
17. (161) Joe Nathan(Tex – RP)
18. (180) Carlos Peña(TB – 1B)
19. (181) Alfredo Aceves(Bos – SP,RP)
20. (200) Yadier Molina(StL – C)
21. (201) Matt Joyce(TB – OF)
The Parkman Shimmy (Joe Cook)
1. (2) Matt Kemp(LAD – OF)
2. (19) Cliff Lee(Phi – SP)
3. (22) Curtis Granderson(NYY – OF)
4. (39) Starlin Castro(ChC – SS)
5. (42) David Price(TB – SP)
6. (59) Michael Young(Tex – 1B,2B,3B)
7. (62) Brandon Phillips(Cin – 2B)
8. (79) Ian Kennedy(Ari – SP)
9. (82) Jonathan Papelbon(Phi – RP)
10. (99) Carlos Beltrán(StL – OF)
11. (102) Miguel Montero(Ari – C)
12. (119) Emilio Bonifacio(Mia – 3B,SS,OF)
13. (122) J.J. Putz(Ari – RP)
14. (139) Anibal Sánchez(Mia – SP)
15. (142) Carlos Mármol(ChC – RP)
16. (159) J.J. Hardy(Bal – SS)
17. (162) Hiroki Kuroda(NYY – SP)
18. (179) Jhonny Peralta(Det – SS)
19. (182) Torii Hunter(LAA – OF)
20. (199) Colby Lewis(Tex – SP)
21. (202) Neftali Feliz(Tex – RP)
Agamemnon (Codie Shovan)
1. (3) Albert Pujols(LAA – 1B)
2. (18) Dustin Pedroia(Bos – 2B)
3. (23) José Reyes(Mia – SS)
4. (38) Matt Holliday(StL – OF)
5. (43) Desmond Jennings(TB – OF)
6. (58) Jon Lester(Bos – SP)
7. (63) Kevin Youkilis(Bos – 1B,3B)
8. (78) Buster Posey(SF – C)
9. (83) Lance Berkman(StL – 1B,OF)
10. (98) Daniel Hudson(Ari – SP)
11. (103) Mat Latos(Cin – SP)
12. (118) Logan Morrison(Mia – OF)
13. (123) Michael Pineda(NYY – SP)
14. (138) Cory Luebke(SD – SP,RP)
15. (143) Rafael Betancourt(Col – RP)
16. (158) Ted Lilly(LAD – SP)
17. (163) Javy Guerra(LAD – RP)
18. (178) Peter Bourjos(LAA – OF)
19. (183) Jemile Weeks(Oak – 2B)
20. (198) Colby Rasmus(Tor – OF)
21. (203) Mike Moustakas(KC – 3B)
Harvey’s Wallbangers (Alex Freeman)
1. (4) Troy Tulowitzki(Col – SS)
2. (17) Roy Halladay(Phi – SP)
3. (24) Andrew McCutchen(Pit – OF)
4. (37) Zack Greinke(Mil – SP)
5. (44) Mike Napoli(Tex – C,1B)
6. (57) Yovani Gallardo(Mil – SP)
7. (64) Eric Hosmer(KC – 1B)
8. (77) Rickie Weeks(Mil – 2B)
9. (84) Adam Jones(Bal – OF)
10. (97) Carl Crawford(Bos – OF)
11. (104) Freddie Freeman(Atl – 1B)
12. (117) Brett Gardner(NYY – OF)
13. (124) David Freese(StL – 3B)
14. (137) Billy Butler(KC – 1B)
15. (144) Max Scherzer(Det – SP)
16. (157) Brandon League(Sea – RP)
17. (164) Jhoulys Chacin(Col – SP)
18. (177) Grant Balfour(Oak – RP)
19. (184) Delmon Young(Det – OF)
20. (197) Jim Johnson(Bal – RP)
21. (204) Ryan Roberts(Ari – 2B,3B)
myPujolsburns (Matt Kehoe)
1. (5) José Bautista(Tor – 3B,OF)
2. (16) Clayton Kershaw(LAD – SP)
3. (25) Hanley Ramírez(Mia – SS)
4. (36) Jered Weaver(LAA – SP)
5. (45) Álex Rodríguez(NYY – 3B)
6. (56) Matt Cain(SF – SP)
7. (65) Shin-Soo Choo(Cle – OF)
8. (76) Shane Victorino(Phi – OF)
9. (85) Yu Darvish(Tex – SP)
10. (96) Drew Stubbs(Cin – OF)
11. (105) Matt Wieters(Bal – C)
12. (116) Paul Goldschmidt(Ari – 1B)
13. (125) Joel Hanrahan(Pit – RP)
14. (136) Jason Kipnis(Cle – 2B)
15. (145) Chris Carpenter(StL – SP)
16. (156) Huston Street(SD – RP)
17. (165) Kyle Farnsworth(TB – RP)
18. (176) Adam Lind(Tor – 1B)
19. (185) Coco Crisp(Oak – OF)
20. (196) Kendrys Morales(LAA – 1B,OF)
21. (205) Ian Desmond(Was – SS)
Milwaukee Beers (Anthony Walker)
1. (6) Ryan Braun(Mil – OF)
2. (15) Jacoby Ellsbury(Bos – OF)
3. (26) Mark Teixeira(NYY – 1B)
4. (35) Nelson Cruz(Tex – OF)
5. (46) Carlos Santana(Cle – C,1B)
6. (55) Ben Zobrist(TB – 2B,OF)
7. (66) Alex Gordon(KC – OF)
8. (75) Mariano Rivera(NYY – RP)
9. (86) John Axford(Mil – RP)
10. (95) Matt Garza(ChC – SP)
11. (106) Derek Jeter(NYY – SS)
12. (115) Jordan Zimmermann(Was – SP)
13. (126) Ricky Romero(Tor – SP)
14. (135) Jordan Walden(LAA – RP)
15. (146) Martín Prado(Atl – 3B,OF)
16. (155) Johnny Cueto(Cin – SP)
17. (166) Wandy Rodríguez(Hou – SP)
18. (175) Jesus Montero(Sea – Util)
19. (186) Austin Jackson(Det – OF)
20. (195) Brennan Boesch(Det – OF)
21. (206) Derek Holland(Tex – SP)
Henry Rowengartner (Dan Stone)
1. (7) Joey Votto(Cin – 1B)
2. (14) Evan Longoria(TB – 3B)
3. (27) Giancarlo Stanton(Mia – OF)
4. (34) Cole Hamels(Phi – SP)
5. (47) Brett Lawrie(Tor – 3B)
6. (54) Jay Bruce(Cin – OF)
7. (67) Michael Morse(Was – 1B,OF)
8. (74) Madison Bumgarner(SF – SP)
9. (87) Matt Moore(TB – RP)
10. (94) Adam Wainwright(StL – SP)
11. (107) Tommy Hanson(Atl – SP)
12. (114) Brandon Beachy(Atl – SP)
13. (127) José Valverde(Det – RP)
14. (134) Alexei Ramírez(CWS – SS)
15. (147) Dustin Ackley(Sea – 2B)
16. (154) Jason Motte(StL – RP)
17. (167) J.P. Arencibia(Tor – C)
18. (174) Nick Markakis(Bal – OF)
19. (187) Neil Walker(Pit – 2B)
20. (194) Lucas Duda(NYM – 1B,OF)
21. (207) Álex Ríos(CWS – OF)
Oscar Meyer Weiters (Dan Etz)
1. (8) Robinson Canó(NYY – 2B)
2. (13) Carlos González(Col – OF)
3. (28) Adrián Béltre(Tex – 3B)
4. (33) Ryan Zimmerman(Was – 3B)
5. (48) Dan Haren(LAA – SP)
6. (53) Paul Konerko(CWS – 1B)
7. (68) B.J. Upton(TB – OF)
8. (73) Jimmy Rollins(Phi – SS)
9. (88) James Shields(TB – SP)
10. (93) Drew Storen(Was – RP)
11. (108) Jayson Werth(Was – OF)
12. (113) Heath Bell(Mia – RP)
13. (128) Andrew Bailey(Bos – RP)
14. (133) Brandon Morrow(Tor – SP)
15. (148) Jaime García(StL – SP)
16. (153) Ryan Dempster(ChC – SP)
17. (168) Geovany Soto(ChC – C)
18. (173) Ike Davis(NYM – 1B)
19. (188) Erick Aybar(LAA – SS)
20. (193) Dexter Fowler(Col – OF)
21. (208) Jose Tabata(Pit – OF)
Team Joan Baez (Pat McCallum)
1. (9) Prince Fielder(Det – 1B)
2. (12) Justin Verlander(Det – SP)
3. (29) CC Sabathia(NYY – SP)
4. (32) David Wright(NYM – 3B)
5. (49) Elvis Andrus(Tex – SS)
6. (52) Craig Kimbrel(Atl – RP)
7. (69) Michael Bourn(Atl – OF)
8. (72) Howie Kendrick(LAA – 1B,2B,OF)
9. (89) Ichiro Suzuki(Sea – OF)
10. (92) Alex Avila(Det – C)
11. (109) Josh Johnson(Mia – SP)
12. (112) Corey Hart(Mil – OF)
13. (129) Josh Beckett(Bos – SP)
14. (132) David Ortiz(Bos – Util)
15. (149) Ryan Madson(Cin – RP)
16. (152) Joakim Soria(KC – RP)
17. (169) Tim Hudson(Atl – SP)
18. (172) Mark Reynolds(Bal – 1B,3B)
19. (189) Jeff Francoeur(KC – OF)
20. (192) Yunel Escobar(Tor – SS)
21. (209) Chris Pérez(Cle – RP)
Shave Your Furbush (Wil Hunter)
1. (10) Adrián González(Bos – 1B)
2. (11) Justin Upton(Ari – OF)
3. (30) Félix Hernández(Sea – SP)
4. (31) Josh Hamilton(Tex – OF)
5. (50) Dan Uggla(Atl – 2B)
6. (51) Stephen Strasburg(Was – SP)
7. (70) Brian McCann(Atl – C)
8. (71) Aramis Ramírez(Mil – 3B)
9. (90) Yoenis Céspedes(Oak – OF)
10. (91) Dee Gordon(LAD – SS)
11. (110) Andre Ethier(LAD – OF)
12. (111) Gio González(Was – SP)
13. (130) Cameron Maybin(SD – OF)
14. (131) Ubaldo Jiménez(Cle – SP)
15. (150) Sergio Santos(Tor – RP)
16. (151) Jeremy Hellickson(TB – SP)
17. (170) Ryan Howard(Phi – 1B)
18. (171) Melky Cabrera(SF – OF)
19. (190) Frank Francisco(NYM – RP)
20. (191) Aroldis Chapman(Cin – RP)
21. (210) Chase Utley(Phi – 2B)

Detroit Tigers 2012 Season Preview – Part 3 (General Season Outlook)

The following is the third and final article in a three-part series that will offer a 2012 season preview for the Detroit Tigers.

March 31st – Projected Lineup and Bench
April 2nd – Projected Starting Rotation and Bullpen
April 3rd – General Season Outlook
April 5th –  Detroit Tigers’ Season Opener vs. Boston Red Sox

Projected Record

97-65, AL Central Champions. I don’t like to count my chickens before their hatched, but that’s exactly what I’m doing here. If the Tiger’s fail to win the AL Central this year, given the quality of the rest of the teams in the division, everyone will consider the season a devastating failure. Hell, anything short of a World Series appearance will be considered a failure given this payroll. Mike Illitch didn’t open up his wallet to pay for a team to win the easiest division in the MLB and bow out in the divisional series.

Projected Team MVP

Miguel Cabrera, 3B. I’m thinking out of the box and really stepping out on a limb on this one, eh? The majority of analysts are picking Miggy to win the AL MVP, so projecting him as the team MVP might seem easy. In the words of the fabled Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend!” I took a really long deciding between Miggy and Verlander here, but I think the addition of Prince Fielder and the insurance he offers in the lineup put Miggy over the top in my mind.

3 Players who need to improve on their 2011 results
1. Austin Jackson
2. Max Scherzer
Phil Coke

3 Players who can’t be expected to recreate their 2011 results
1. Justin Verlander
Jhonny Peralta
Doug Fister


Fantasy Baseball Action Blog!

Can't wait!

Hello there loyal readership, and welcome to the first-annual Fantasy Baseball Draft Live Blog, hosted exclusively by the President and CEO of the “Miguel Cabreras” who currently play in “CLEVE’S LEAGUE” on ESPN. As I have never participated in a fantasy baseball league before, nor do I have much desire to do so now, I thought it would be interesting (or irelevant) to write about the draft as it is happening. I will be updating this post every once-in-a-while over the next four days (which is the average length of a fantasy baseball draft according to multiple sources close to the situation) bringing you live updates about all the stuff that I know nothing about in the fantasy baseball world.

12:11 pm

We are currently 19 minutes from draft time, and I hold the 7th pick out of 10. I still have no idea who I will select (besides Adam Dunn), though I hope Miguel Cabrera falls to me since he stole my team name for his name name. Stay tuned for updates on this breaking news report! And if you have any helpful advice, I really need it.

12:27 pm

3 minutes to draft time! Are you as excited as I’m not? I have actually been working on my national championship viewing plans for tonight instead of doing any research – “research is for turds,” according to several unnamed sources close to the situation.

12:31 pm

The draft has begun! In a stunning turn of events (actually I have no idea if it is stunning or not), team “Lexington Swagg” has selected Adrian Gonzalez. I hate the red sox more than Rick Santorum, so this was quite disappointing.

12:31:30 pm

“And with the second pick in the 2012 CLEVE’S LEAUGE draft, the BX BLAZERS select Miguel Cabrera, first basemen from the Detroit Tigers.” This was my best Roger Goodell impression, and I thought it went pretty well. I also now realize that I have lost all hope of winning the league because my team – the Miguel Cabreras – does not own Miguel Cabrera. Looks like the new name will have to be … the Adam Dunns. That sounds better anyway.

12:37 pm

I’m officially on the clock! What a rush of pure adrenaline and emotion (or is that hunger?)! Who the heck should I take? Looks like it will be either Troy Tulowitzki or Robinson Cano. In case you didn’t know this, I’m a secret Yankees fan living in Michigan, so the pick will be … Cano! I have now decided to draft exclusively Yankees for the rest of time. My hope of winning the league is restored! It has also become apparent that only 2 other gentlemen are currently logged in and live-drafting with me (the rest of our dedicated and excited league members appear to have either forgotten about the draft or have been murdered). I now feel completely like a loser – though Lexington Swagg and Team Murphy (what creativity with that team name!) can keep me company.

12:43 pm

This live blog thing is wearing me out, I’ve already polished off peanut butter and jelly sandwich number 2. Here’s how the first round played out:

1. Adrian Gonzo 2. Miguel 3. Pujols 4. Matt Kemp 5. Ryan Braun 6. Jose Bautista 7. Robinson “I’m leading the Yankees to their 28th title” Cano 8. Troy Tulowitzki 9. Jacoby Ellsbury 10. Joey Votto

In the second round, I quickly snatched up Hanley Ramirez with the 13th pick, confirming that he will have an utterly disastrous season after Reyes grabs the headlines and Ozzie yells something at him in Spanish.

12:55 pm

This fantasy draft is kicking my (pardon my french) derrière. With everyone on autopick, the draft is cruising by and I barely know who has been selected. I already have 7 players on my team (make that 8), including (barf) Lance “I won’t be good now that Pujols bolted for LA” Berkman who I accidentally picked trying to switch between writing this and making a selection. My head is spinning right now, and my team looks worse than whatever the Mets are gonna trot out this season.

1:01 pm


1:04 pm

Quick update of my team so far:

Matt Wieters (yuck), Teixeira, Cano, Ramirez, Alexei Ramirez (new team name – “Ramirez Bros” whadya think?), Paul Konerko, Berkman, Carl Crawford (WHAT!?!), Cole Hamels, Zack “Who am I?” Greinke, and Matt Garza

Aaaaand, I’m back on the clock again. This is like p90X, only more of a workout.

1:09 pm

So here’s my justification for selecting Carl Crawford with the 74th pick in the draft – this really is a win-win (I hate that expression) situation for me: either Crawford has a monster bounce-back year and proves that he can, in fact, hit a baseball (his production was so stunningly low last year that something had to be amiss), or he actually is terrible now and I can make fun of Boston fans for the rest of my life for giving this guy a $132 billion contract. In fact, I think I’d rather have the later happen. Oh, and I just picked Joel “I’ve never heard of you because you play in Pittsburgh” Hanrahan with the 127th pick. I figured this would be a good selection because I went to school with a Tommy Hanrahan and he was a decent dude (and played baseball – another win-win!)

1:12 pm

I’m desperate for a 3B and there are none in sight. The next highest rated 3B according to whatever is appearing on my “Fantasy Dashboard” right now is … (searching) … Mark Reynolds. But he plays for Baltimore and that would give me two Orioles, much more than I wanted pre-draft. Looks like I’m going to take  … Cameron Maybin, who will also suck because I have the worst luck when it comes to fantasy teams (I took Brady in the 1st round when his leg exploded in the first game a few years ago) – sorry Padres fans, if there are any of you left.

1:17 pm

Mark Reynolds was only ranked 5 spots lower than my drafting spot when I came “up to bat” (a baseball expression) in the billionth round – but my boy Nick Swisher was starring me in the face (closet Yankees fan, remember). So I threw caution to the wind and took Swisher, hoping that Martin Prado would fall to me with the 167th pick (I’m sure I’ve heard that before)

1:18 pm

Prado and Reynolds taken 163 and 164, respectively. That worked out well. Now my 3B is … Brandon Inge?

1:22 pm

Edwin Encarnacion’s name keeps creeping towards me in the draft line (the 202nd ranked player according to whoever has time to rank 202 baseball players). That makes me want to puke, though not as much as selecting “Chris Sale,” RP for the Chicago White Sox. I’m putting together quite the rotation, complete with Carlos Marm … wait, I don’t want him! I’ll take Josh Willingham with the 194th pick! If you’re in Vegas loyal readership, make sure you put down $100 on Marmol to win the NL Cy Young.

1:29 pm

“Gavin Floyd held [somebody] scoreless in 5 innings yesterday” according to ESPN. Sign him up as pick 207. Next up, Auto pick suggests I take … gulp … Encarnacion. Well, at least I tried hard this season. Sign him up too (long sigh).

1:31 pm

You won’t believe it loyal readership, Adam Dunn is still available. The man I joked about roughly 18 hours ago at the top of this blog (it feels more like 18 days) is riding up the list towards my team at pick 227. It’s either him or Yoenis Cespedes (I wish my name was Yoenis). I’m now on the clock, so it’s gonna be … Dunn! What the heck, he’s gotta do better this year, right? I now have 3 white sox filling up the roster, woot woot!

1:34 pm

Two picks to go, folks! If you have been following every word of this live blog with me today, then you seriously need something better to do (join your own Fantasy Baseball League!). I’m going to go ahead and gobble up Ryan Raburn with the 234th pick. Sleeper alert!!!! One more pick to go …

1:38 pm

Whoever Kenley Jansen is, he is the last member of the 2012 Miguel Cabreras (I really need to change that). And after Mr. Irrelevant is selected (Aroldis Chapman, not too bad actually), our draft is complete. I now have carpal tunnel (I had to look up how to spell that) and I have read more baseball names (that I have never head before) in the last 68 minutes than in my entire 22 years of existence combined.

1:44 pm

Here’s my final notes for the draft: 1. Carl Crawford is out 2 weeks recovering from wrist surgery. I had no idea. I hate myself (I picked him 74th). 2. Kenley Jansen is only owned in 55% of ESPN fantasy leagues! Come on people, this is Kenley Jansen! 3. I’m sticking with the name “Miguel Cabreras,” hoping this will trick our league commissioner into moving him onto my roster. 4. Adam Dunn is my secret to success this year (I’m only 95% kidding about that).

Well that does it loyal readership. 1 hour and 16 minutes after it began, and I have a 9th place fantasy baseball league team (I can beat somebody, I know it). I already have 44.5 points somehow (I have no idea how), good enough for 7th in the league! I’ve offically run out of things to write for Put Away the Whistle for the next 3 months, so keep selecting us in your Google search and I’ll see you in August! Till next time loyal readership

Here's the final roster, come on Adam Dunn!


Dan “Fantasy Baseball Expert” Etz

NFL’s Decision on Sean Payton

Mr. Goodell in all his glory

In a breaking news bulletin exclusively obtained by the CEO of Put Away the Whistle Sports Blog and home-shopping website, our sources indicate that Roger Goodell has handed down a new ruling in the Sean Payton bounty-program scandal. Commissioner Goodell has decided to eliminate the year-long suspension of Payton if Sean agrees to allow the league to place a bounty of $1,000,000 for the first person to punch Payton in the face. Sources close to Goodell refused to confirm or deny this report, though Payton has reportedly said that his face is worth “well upwards of $2,000,000.”

Haha! Good morning sports fans! In order to get “with it,” as the kids are saying these days, and to boost site views (8 in the last 48 hours? Come on loyal readership!) I decided to engage in a little April Fool’s Day slight-of-hand. It turns out that the above paragraph is what we in the sports writing business refer to as “the ole switch-eroo.” I wrote something that was only 87% true in order to “joke” with the loyal readers of this sports blog. Man, did my editors love that idea!

The truth of the matter is, I received dozens of letters from adoring fans asking if I would engage in any April Fool’s Day hi-jinx. Take the following letter I received from alert reader Dave Goostofian from Kennebunkport, Maine:

“Dan, love the blog! Will you be giving the readers of Put Away the Whistle any sort of April 1st treat?” – Dave Goostofian

Great question Dave! I considered pulling some sort of hilarious prank on the unsuspecting blog-o-sphere, which would ultimately lead to millions of laughs and a television deal for me to produce a show with Ashton Kutcher. However, after giving it several seconds of intense thought, I realized that practical jokes are a way of life. I don’t need a specific day to fool everyone with a fake Sean Payton article to boost readership, I can do that every single day of the year. That is why I am writing this article not on April Fool’s Day, but the day after (not because I forgot yesterday was April Fool’s Day, panicked, and decided to write my column a day late). I live everyday like it is April Fool’s Day – as difficult and challenging as that may seem.

So in response to Dave and the millions of letters I received begging for an epic prank via Put Away the Whistle, I have to politely decline. Yet do not lose hope, for you never know when I might write something completely ridiculous.

In other, much more exciting news, Put Away the Whistle is currently the FIRST (that’s right – FIRST!!!) item that comes up when you Google “put away the whistle.” Take that Omar! In a close second is … Put Away the Whistle! That’s correct loyal readership, we currently own the top two spots in a Google Search! Please uncork your champagne and place the pigs-in-a-blanket in the oven (as we all have done here at PATW headquarters). Below you will see a snapshot of our triumph:








I realize that you are all extremely alert and dedicated readers of Put Away the Whistle, and the news that we own the top two spots in a Google search is likely old lunch meat as far as you’re concerned (I’m literally giddy! ESPN here we come!). I thought it may be worth congratulating the writer whose article appears in both of the Google items. Let’s find out who that is by taking a gander at the above snapshot. Take the aforementioned gander now …

Welcome back. It appears that the articles were written by a “Dan Etz,” who appears to be … me! Congratulations Dan! I don’t want to blow this out of proportion, but you appear to be following in the footsteps of Woody Paige (I can’t wait to stick it to Tony Reali)! Now I would never want to “toot” my own “horn” (at least not in public), but it appears that my quick wit and cutting-edge journalism have lifted Put Away the Whistle from the 18th item in a Google Search to the top two items combined. Don’t look now editors, but someone may be in line for a handsome raise (and a company car – I’m just sayin).

Anywho, since you loyal readers obviously cannot get enough of me, I have decided to quench your thirst by providing live updates from my Fantasy Baseball Draft that occurs today at 12:30 pm. That’s right, in roughly 45 minutes, you will be treated to the finest up-to-the-minute commentary on a fantasy draft that no one in America cares about except for the 10 losers who have time to hold a draft at 12:30 on a Monday. If you are wondering what the heck I am talking about, please see my first-ever emmy-nominated column on Put Away the Whistle: “Welcoming myself to the blog-o-sphere.”

My team, the “Miguel Cabreras,” currently owns the 7th pick in the draft and I have absolutely no idea who to take. All I have is a gut that is telling me Adam Dunn is gonna have a monster year! Read all about the draft in my next post – till then loyal readership.


Dan “I-own-the-top-two-spots-in-a-google-search” Etz

Detroit Tigers 2012 Season Preview – Part 1 (Projected Lineup Card and Bench)

The following is the first article in a three-part series that will offer a 2012 season preview for the Detroit Tigers.

March 31st – Projected Lineup and Bench
April 2nd – Projected Starting Rotation and Bullpen
April 3rd – General Season Outlook
April 5th –  Detroit Tigers’ Season Opener vs. Boston Red Sox

Projected Lineup Card

1. Austin Jackson, CF When Dave Dombrowski traded Curtis Granderson to the Yankees for Action Jackson, he knew he was making a commitment to keep him in the leadoff spot, barring a cataclysmic collapse. It is vital that he get on base and offer functional base-stealing services this year, so it’d be nice to see a reduced strikeout count this season. Having Jackson in centerfield is a no-brainer.

2. Brennan Boesch, LF
I think this is the start of the most dangerous two-hole through five-hole in all of major league baseball (although Curtis, Robinson, Mark, and Alex might have something to say about that). Boesch was having a great 2011 season, until a nagging thumb injury and ensuing surgery sidelined him for the Tigers playoff push. If his performance in Spring Training is any indication, the thumb is fully healed. He’s tied for the team lead at 6 HRs, with 15 RBIs to boot. Putting Boesch in left isn’t a matter of choice; rather, it is by default. I think he looks comfortable out there, and I think Dirks has a stronger arm and comparable footspeed.

3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
Do I really have to explain to anybody why Fat Cabby is batting third in this lineup? I didn’t think so. As far as positioning, we’ve already heard inadvertent Marlboro spokesman Jim Leyland commit to Miggy being his man at the hot corner.

4. Prince Fielder, 1B
This was generally accepted as the second-best offseason acquisition in all of baseball. I would argue that Fielder’s impact on the Tigers may will be more significant than the impact Pujols has with the Angels. Without going into too much detail, I think Pujols puts up better numbers, but Fielder’s presence augments the Tigers lineup down the board in a greater way. Fielder was acquired as our first baseman, so we have to embrace that positioning and Miggy being pushed over to third.

5. Delmon Young, DH
Before the Tigers acquired Young to become part of their playoff push, he was stuck in Minnesota having the worst season of his career; the change in scenery seemed to ignite his game. In 84 games with the Twins, he was batting .266, with 4 HRs and 32 RBIs. In his 40 games with the Tigers, he logged a .274 BA, with 8 HRs and 32 RBIs. He becomes a pitching nightmare if he can find a way to even come close to recreating his 2010 performance. The designated hitter spot makes sense for Young, especially if you’ve seen him play in the outfield.

6. Alex Avila, C
The breakout young gun from the 2011, Avila is coming off a season where he was voted into the starting lineup for the American League team at the MLB All-Star game. Although he has struggled at the dish a bit this spring, he seems to have improved at thwarting base-stealers from behind the plate. With this pitching staff, Avila’s ability to keep runners at first might should allow the Tigers to challenge other teams for the league lead in team ERA. Oh, and for the record – Alex Avila IS Jack Parkman.

7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
Jhonny doesn’t have the best range at short…okay, that’s an understatement; he makes Derek Jeter look like Troy Tulowitzki. However, fans saw last year that he is more than capable of making up for it with his ability at the plate. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t big me that Peralta is about the only shortstop in baseball that lacks the footspeed to steal bases on a regular basis; he and J.J. Hardy of Baltimore were the only qualifying starting shortstops that failed to log a single stolen base in the 2011 season. However, he was second in RBIs among AL shortstops, so I’m willing to take the good with the bad.

8. Ryan Raburn, 2B
Ask anybody I know and they’ll tell you that I’ve never been a huge fan of Raburn, and the first half of the 2011 season did nothing to change my mind. However, I really want to lead anybody that is willing to follow me onto this guy’s bandwagon now. Raburn hit .213 prior to the All-Star break in 2011, but he hit .341 after the break and has been one of the top hitters in all of baseball in Grapefruit League play this spring. I worry that he had 10 errors in only 55 starts at second base last season, but if he can get comfortable at the position instead of having to constantly adapt as a utility man, perhaps he can bring the error count down.

9. Andy Dirks, RF
Dirks has spent the last two seasons in the Dominican Winter League and has come out a winner both times. He won a title with the Toros del Este in 2010-11 and had the game-winning hit in the championship with the Leones del Escogido in 2011-2012. His passion and love for the game of baseball is unparalleled on this iteration of the Tigers roster (Considering I expect Brandon Inge to finally ride off into the sunset – good riddance). If his spring performance is any indication it looks like his time in the Dominican Republic has paid off. He’s batting average is at .422, and his on-base percentage is a whopping .481. I think it makes sense to put Dirks out in right with his arm strength.

Projected Bench

Gerald Laird, C I laugh every time I’m at Comerica and Laird comes to the plate, because the scoreboard animation reads, “Be Scared of Laird!” As an opposing pitcher, am I really supposed to be afraid of a lifetime .241 hitter, whose career homerun total was surpassed by Curtis Granderson’s single-season output in 2011? Who are we kidding, though? Laird’s on the squad to give Avila days off and lay one down to advance runners. I guess we can say he has a serviceable arm as well.

Don Kelly, Utility
 – A true utility guy, Kelly has played in at least 1 game at all nine positions in his career. Hell, the Tigers even threw him out to toe the rubber in 2011; he closed the season as the Tigers ERA leader, logging a 0.00 ERA with one-third of an inning pitched. I laugh reminiscing about that one out, as it came on a hanging breaking ball that Met’s temporary DH Scott Hairston got under and lifted out to Austin Jackson at the warning track in left center. That’s neither here nor there, though, as Kelly is really a coach’s ballplayer; he’s good for some clutch hits and you can put him where you need him on the field late in the game as a defensive substitute.

Ramon Santiago, 2B/SS If Jim Leyland plays Ramon at second more often than he plays Raburn there, I wouldn’t be surprised or unhappy. I would prefer Raburn starting there, but Ramon has paid his dues as a Tiger and is very reliable at the plate and in the field. If I had to guess, I’d say Santiago is the least polarizing Tiger on the entire roster – I don’t know anybody that hates him, and I don’t know anybody that loves him. He’s just there; he does his job as a backup, hitting at a .263 clip since the start of 2009 and minimizing mistakes in the field.

Danny Worth, 2B/SS/3B
Fellow PAW author Dan Stone wrote a fantastic article on Danny Worth earlier this week; I’d like to echo his sentiments. For that last positional spot on the bench, let’s compare Worth and Brandon Inge. Worth has demonstrated his ability to play 3 positions on the infield; Inge can definitely play third base, and he threw his token hat in the ring to try and play second – a hopefully futile attempt to keep his roster spot. Advantage: Worth. This spring, Worth is hitting .286 in 35 at-bats; he hit .270 in 37 at-bats in 2011. This spring, Inge is hitting .180 in 50 at-bats; he hit .197 in 269 at-bats in 2011. Advantage: Worth. In terms of age, Danny Worth is 26; Brandon Inge is 34. Advantage: Worth. You can see where this is headed, right? I have to end on a pun – putting Worth on the 25-man roster will prove Worthwhile. Boom.

Author: Joe Cook