SportsNation Blog Archives Detroit Tigers
Both teams lead their respective divisions. Both have issues at the end of games. Yes, the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers -- two of the American League's foremost contenders in 2013 -- are undergoing a closer shuffle, with Andrew Bailey on Thursday blowing his second straight save (in a 4-3 loss to Detroit) and Detroit's Jose Valverde struggling to keep hold of manager Jim Leyland's confidence.
Andrew Bailey has eight saves, with a 4.03 ERA and four HR allowed in his past five appearances.
Movement in Motor City?
He's a longtime closer, but Jose Valverde's numbers don't inspire confidence. So Jim Leyland is moving to Joaquin Benoit.
There's little more stressful than a struggling closer -- except, perhaps, a shaky kicker.
Postseason in peril?
Boston is one game up in a tougher division, but sports a 44-31 record. Detroit, meanwhile, is four games up with its 40-31 mark.
Miguel Cabrera's stellar season
Miguel Cabrera has been having an OK week -- if by "OK," you mean he's hit six home runs, including one that shouldn't have been a home run but was helped along by an unwitting Michael Bourn. He has homered in four straight games, including one last night that helped the Tigers to a 7-6 win over the Twins. Forget the Triple Crown -- Cabrera's on pace (and yeah, we know that "on pace" is an iffy term this early) to break at least one long-standing record, and might achieve another feat that hasn't happened since the 1940s.
Remember when perfect games were a rarity? It used to be that years would pass between them -- now, it seems like several happen per season. Baseball's Triple Crown might be going in the same direction. Miguel Cabrera, who won the first Triple Crown in 45 years last season, is leading in two of the three major categories, and he's only one behind the lead in home runs after bashing three against the Rangers on Sunday night. It's not easy to keep up the required level of excellence necessary to lead in three major offensive categories, but considering how well he's been hitting over the past year, it's difficult to see who could prevent Cabrera from winning again.
What do you think? Leave your comments below.
The best again?
Triple Crown stats are nice and all, but we're more concerned with the fact that Cabrera is leading all of baseball in OPS -- he's ahead of Baltimore's Chris Davis by fifty points.
Yu Darvish may be a bit of a workhorse, but the number of pitches he threw in Thursday's win over the Tigers seems a bit excessive. The Rangers were leading 9-4 in the sixth inning, with Darvish sitting at 106 pitches -- he proceeded to throw 24 more, coming out only after finishing the eighth inning. Darvish threw 127 pitches against the Red Sox just recently, and though he seems to not be suffering any ill effects, the last thing the Rangers would want to do is to blow out their expensive ace's arm on games that are already 90 percent won.
As fans of the comedy series "Portlandia'' know, the secret to merchandising is to slap a bird on it. And apparently, the same holds true for baseball uniforms.
After four rounds of voting, tigers, fish, elephants, snakes, astronauts, seafarers, gun-toting officers of the law, buccaneers, heavenly bodies, Native Americans, pinstriped Northeners and even two pairs of colored socks are all gone. Our Battle of the Uniforms will finish with the Battle of the Birds.
The No. 1-seeded Cardinals, who have as iconic a St. Louis design as the Gateway Arch or a bottle of Bud, beat their longtime rival, the Chicago Cubs, in the final round of the National League voting, 54 percent to 46 percent.
Meanwhile, the Cinderella team of the American League bracket upset yet another higher-seeded team in the AL championship. By a margin of 3,103 votes, fans declared they prefer the orange and black Baltimore Orioles over the traditional uniform worn by everyone from Babe Ruth to Derek Jeter. Or perhaps fans just hate the Yankees' pinstripes.
Whatever the reason, it's the Cardinals versus the Orioles for the title of baseball's best uniform. Bird watchers should get their binoculars out for this ornithological fight, though Toronto fans are probably wondering why their colorful Jay was found wanting.
This is serious business, so to make sure that everyone gets a chance to take a long, careful look at these two uniforms and judge the colors, logos, caps and overall style of both home and road uniforms, our polls will be open throughout the weekend. You can cast your vote up until noon ET Monday, when we will declare the winner.
So good luck Cardinals and Orioles. May the better uniform win. And remember voters, this isn't about who actually wears the uniforms but the uniforms themselves.
Note: Championship-round poll closes at noon ET Monday.
Mobile users: To vote, click here.
Battle of the Uniforms: Championship
(1) Cardinals vs. (13) Orioles
Audubon would have loved this championship.
Battle of the Uniforms seedings