The first in a two part farewell series about my about my time at Michigan and The Michigan Daily.
In my time at Michigan I’ve been bombarded with two kinds of people: jersey chasers and Jersey fakers – the latter being SUV-driving transplants who are here against their own will trying, unsuccessfully, to emulate the New York chic and making total asses out of themselves and their homeland in the process. You can watch these two demographics refusing to interact next time you’re at Rick’s. (By the way, front-lawn-loitering-residents of 1120-24 Hill St., the jerk store just called and they’re running out of you.)
The only group that gets my goat more than these pack rats is the Detroit Tigers.
A New York Post survey was recently taken asking who are the best and worst managers and general managers in baseball. Detroit Tigers manager Phil Garner and general manager Randy Smith were revealed as the worst manager and amongst the worst GMs in the game.
Garner responded to a metro-Detroit newspaper by saying, “Well, that’s certainly not nice to hear.”
No, Phil, it’s not.
After an offseason of promises – promises to compete, get along with one another in the clubhouse, and to get better players – the season has opened with six-straight losses and a feeling amongst the Tigers are going to renege on these promises.
It has already been established that Detroit can’t compete, as evident not only by the six-game losing streak, but also by the fact that most of these games were not competitive. The Tigers lineup has three legitimate batters (Bobby Higginson, Dmitiri Young and Rob Fick, who has since changed his handle to “Robert” since being brought up from single-A West Michigan.) Believe it or not, the rotation is worse than this lineup.
Now there are signs that the good vibrations coming from the clubhouse is turning sour, as evident by yesterday’s Jeff Weaver and Higginson, when the Tigers were no hit for seven innings. Weaver said something to Higgison that led to him pointing and yelling at him. Chances are Weaver said something about Detroit’s lack of an offense.
And as for Detroit’s promise to get better players, well, Mark Redman started for the Tigers Opening Day at Comerica Park.
While the news of managerial incompetence and the perception of a team in disarray are “not nice to hear,” let me tell you something else that’s not nice to hear.
It was Limatime about four days too soon yesterday. While fans were heckling the Tigers for their lack of wins, quality players, or presentable shortstops, pitcher Jose Lima called a Detroit Police Department officer to silence them.
The incident was started when a fan asked Lima if he’d “make it to 20 games” this year, in reference to his record in 2000, when he almost lost 20 games.
Lima took offense to the heckling and rolled up his sleeves and pointed to the top of the dugout, motioning, presumably, for a physical confrontation atop of the dugout, much to the chagrin of Paws, the Tigers longtime mascot.
While the security guards checked ticket stubs, the fan responded, “I’ll be here all year, Lima,” while other fans commented that Lima is a bigger problem for the organization than they are.
The reality is that the Tigers are lucky that they have fans who are loyal enough to follow in detail their quest for mediocrity.
Raphael Goodstein wants to thank Dave Den Herder, Pat Schmidt and his editors for extending his deadline. He can be reached at email@example.com.