Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

The endless question: should it be "Thy" or "Thine"? The villains' strengths and weaknesses all lay here.

Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby Mets Guy in Michigan » Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:58 pm

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The Mets are limping into town to face a very hot Tigers team. And much has changed in Detroit and Michigan since the Mets last visited in June, 2011.

Now, you might have heard some stories about challenges Detroit and Michigan faced as the city and state emerged from a time we here call “The Lost Decade.” And it’s true that there is much more do to as we continue moving forward.

But, Detroit is the Comeback City in the Comeback State! And there is a good story to tell as we work our way through the Know They Friendly Rivals post.

Tigers fans had great expectations heading into the season. The team has been to the postseason five times in the last decade, including two World Series appearances – losing both. Last year was an injury-filled step backward, ending a run of four years in the playoffs. General Manager Dave Drombrowski was asked to leave or allowed to leave, depending on who you talk to.

But fans had reason to believe this would be a better year. Why? Because everything is better in Detroit now! Here’s a nice, short video about Detroit, a city with soul.



With the Twins not playing well and the Royals and White Sox slumping hard, the AL Central has become a two-team race. The Indians are on top, but with just a three-game lead. The Tigers are a half-game out of the wild card. The team did nothing at the trade deadline, which confused many people.

Manager

Brad Ausmus is in his second year. Many thought he’d lose his job after last year’s descent to last place. Jim Leyland is a tough act to follow. But here in Michigan, we appreciate leaders (and their staff members) who accept tough challenges and work collaboratively to solve them – especially at the state level!

Like Ausmus, many in in Michigan are holding on to their jobs. At one time, the unemployment rate topped 14 percent – ranked 51st in the nation. But nearly 470,000 private sector jobs have been created since the end of 2010 – and the unemployment rate is now 4.6 percent, lowest in 15 years. It’s good to be in Michigan.

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First base

Miguel Cabrera, at 33, isn’t quite the Triple Crown-winning, back-to-back MVP award-winner that he was, but he’s still a stud, with 24 homers, 69 RBI and a .306 average. He did win the batting title last season and is pretty much Mr. Tiger. He’d be a serious Hall of Fame candidate if he retired today, and is heading toward milestones – 423 homers, 2,453 hits – to go with a career .320 average that would cement first-ballot status.

People can be confident that Cabrera can get things done, which is probably how residents feel about the state budget process. After years of shutdowns, Michigan’s budget has been approved months ahead of schedule with bipartisan cooperation for six years in a row. And that process has included boosting school funding to its highest levels ever, reforming taxes to encourage economic growth, paying down debt and building savings.

Second base

Ian Kinsler, 34, was part of a trade that sent Prince Fielder and buckets of cash to the Rangers, a deal that Texas would like to reverse, I have no doubt. Kinsler can hit, with 20 homers, 59 RBI and a .289 average.

Kinsler went to the University of Missouri, so you know he’s smart. (Mizzou people with Mets connections include David Cone, Steve Bieser and a Michigan-based journalist-turned-communications director) But Michiganders know that education is a priority here, too! There are three world-class research universities – University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University – and 11 other public universities that make the state a destination for people looking to get in-demand skills as they head in the workforce.

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Shortstop

Jose Iglesias is one of the weaker links in the Tigers lineup. He’s hitting .257, with 27 RBI and 4 homers. An All-Star last year, he seems to be hurt a lot.

Like many newcomers, I suspect Jose had trouble finding a place to live in downtown Detroit, where the occupancy rate is above 95 percent. Many people are calling the Comeback City home, drawn by a vibrant downtown with trendy eateries, breweries and shops. The comeback won’t become complete until it spreads through the neighborhoods. But there has been dramatic improvement, and now that the painful but necessary bankruptcy process is complete, the city has a stronger financial base to build upon.

Third base

Nick Castellanos is a kid, at 24, already in his fourth season. He strikes out a lot, with more than 100 already. But he’s hitting .292 and 58 RBI and his 18 homers are already above is career-best 15. Came up as an outfielderer and was moved to third. He’s producing.

Speaking of producing, did you know that agriculture is one of Michigan’s “Big Three” industries, along with automotive and tourism? The state is the nation’s largest producers of blueberries. If you’ve baked a cherry pie, it was likely made with tart cherries grown in the Traverse City region. We grow a lot of asparagus and apples, too!



Catcher

James McCann and Jarrod Saltalamacchia share the duties behind the plate. Both are struggling to remain above the Mendoza line -- .202 and .201 – but both have some pop, with 8 and 10 homers. McCann’s a righty and Saltalamacchia switch hits.

Saltalamacchia’s nickname is “Salty,” with is funny because he’s in a state that boasts being surrounded by four of the five great lakes, famously “unsalted and shark-free!” according to the t-shirts. In fact, Michigan has 3,288 miles of freshwater coastline – most in the world. If you don’t care about salt content, Michigan has the second-greatest amount of coastline in the United States, trailing just Alaska.

Left field

Justin Upton was signed to a six-year, $132.75 million deal. Say what you want about the Tigers, but Owner Mike Illitch wants to win and is willing to invest in the team. Upton hasn’t quite worked out at this point, hitting .240 with 13 homers and 46 RBI. He might not even be the best-known Upton associated with the team at this point. (More on that later.)

You know what is associated with Michigan? The most beautiful place in America! That would be Sleeping Bear Dunes, located in Northwest Michigan. When you do the hand thing to show where you live – and we all do this – the dunes are located near the top of your pinky. [url] http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/best_place ... d=14319616
[/url]

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Center field

Cameron Maybin is the prodigal son of sorts. He was a first-round pick (10th overall) in 2005 and was a big piece of the deal to the Marlins that brought Cabrera. He’s been to the Padres and Braves since and a bit of a disappointment. Not much power. His .325 average so far this season is by far his best and might come back down to Earth. Pretty fast, with 40 steals in 2011 and 13 now.

If these numbers hold, Maybin’s made quite a comeback, kind of like the auto industry in Michigan. Did you know that 75 percent of the world’s automotive R&D takes place right here in Michigan? The state is working to make sure it remains the global leader in automotive by investing in connectivity and automation. The state has Mcity and is working in partnership to build the American Center for Mobility at the former site of the famed Willow Run bomber plant. The two facilities will be the leading places for research and testing for vehicle automation, setting the stage for the next generation of vehicles.

Right field

J.D. Martinez and Mike Aviles are sharing the spot. Martinez hit a big walk-off this week, and is hitting .289 with 13 homers and 40 RBI. Aviles is a better fielder than a hitter.

Julio Daniel Martinez goes by his initials, just like another famous Michigander – W.K. Kellogg. If you’ve had corn flakes – or better yet, Frosted Flakes – they were made in Battle Creek, Mich., better known as Cereal City, U.S.A. Other famous foods made in Michigan are Pop Tarts in Grand Rapids, Vlasic pickles in Imlay City, Grey Poupon mustard in Holland and Founders beer in Grand Rapids. Yum!

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It's a Pedro Martinez Mets All-Star jersey.

Designated hitter

Victor Martinez is 37, and gets banged up, but can still mash, hitting .300 with 18 homers and 62 RBI.

Victor's career has been quite a journey, but don't ask Journey for directions in Detroit. In "Don't Stop Believing," the person "born in raised in South Detroit" would be Canadian. Windsor, Ontario is directly south of Detroit, and is a nice place to visit. A new bridge named after Gordie Howe is in the works!

Rotation

Justin Verlander (11-6, 3.54) isn’t quite the lights out stud he used to be, but he’s also been deGromed a bunch this season – with the team failing to score runs when he’s pitching a gem. He just got engaged to Kate Upton, who sometimes appears in Sports Illustrated wearing paint.

Kate’s uncle is a famous politician in the state, but not the most famous. That would be President Gerald R. Ford of Grand Rapids. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum on the banks of the beautiful Grand River just reopened this summer after substantial renovations. The president’s children are very nice. https://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/

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Former Met Mike Pelfrey (4-9, 4.75) was not pitching all that well before landing on the disabled list. But former Mets prospect Michael Fulmer (9-2, 2.42) had a crazy scoreless inning streak and is in the running for rookie of the year. We gave him up for Yeonis Cespedes. Unlike Jon Niese, Fulmer’s not coming back.

Jordan Zimmermann (9-4, 3.95) was also on the disabled list. He’s a Tommy John guy with a big contract who everyone is watching to see if Tommy John guys are worth big contracts. http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/baseball-joe/blog/jordan-zimmermann-free-agency-tommy-john-surgery-adam-wainwright-liriano-wilson-sanchez-111915

Zimmerman is a former National. But did you know that the national Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Ishpeming in the Upper Peninsula? Ishpeming is the birthplace of organized skiing in the United States. I’ve been there! Well, I’ve been in the parking lot since it was closed when I drove by. http://skihall.com/

Anibel Sanchez (6-11, 6.26) is scuffling (Sorry, Edgy) and lost his spot in the rotation before the injuries set in. Matt Boyd (2-2, 4.71) and Shame Green (2-2, 4.45) have taken some of the starts. Daniel Norris (1-0, 4.35) is known for being somewhat eccentric and is injured.

We’ll be facing Verlander and two pitchers to be determined.

Closer

Closer has been a black hole for the Tigers in recent years. Former Met Francisco Rodriguez (1-1, 2.56, 30 saves) is the new addition and has been pretty effective.

Other ex-Mets: Bobby Parnell is pitching for the Toledo Mud Hens, trying to come back.

Mets all-time vs. Tigers: 8-10, 3-6 at Comerica.

The Mets tend to lose big when I see them in Detroit – 14-0 in 1997, 15-7 in 2007 – but won big last time, 14-3 in 2011 with Jason Bay (!!) and Carlos Beltran hitting grand slams – and Manny Acosta throwing me the game ball! Details here: http://metsguyinmichigan.blogspot.com/2011/07/motor-city-adventures-with-manny-acosta.html

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So, come on out and see Detroit and Michigan. We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Pure Michigan campaign. More details are here: http://www.michigan.org/
Last edited by Mets Guy in Michigan on Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:41 pm, edited 10 times in total.

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby TransMonk » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:17 pm

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4) Jerry Koosman, SP, RP, 1967-1978

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Great work by a fellow midwesterner!

Wait, who is Kate Upton's uncle?
I am a patient boy...I wait, I wait, I wait, I wait.

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby Mets Guy in Michigan » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:21 pm

Mets Guy in Michigan
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TransMonk wrote:Great work by a fellow midwesterner!

Wait, who is Kate Upton's uncle?


U.S. Rep Fred Upton.

http://www.heraldpalladium.com/news/local/fred-upton-gives-verlander-tour-of-washington/article_a25cce9d-e47d-53b5-97dd-394e3da3564e.html

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby John Cougar Lunchbucket » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:21 pm

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Eddie Yost, 3B Coach 1968-1975

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Quality work. Closest I've ever ben to Michigan, excluding airline layovers, is a boat in Lake Michigan off the Wisconsin coast.
Let me tell you something: I have a big set of balls.

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby Mets Guy in Michigan » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:23 pm

Mets Guy in Michigan
Mettle, the mascot mule

Posts: 11213
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:16 am
John Cougar Lunchbucket wrote:Quality work. Closest I've ever ben to Michigan, excluding airline layovers, is a boat in Lake Michigan off the Wisconsin coast.



Come on over!

hey, what's the secret to getting the YouTube links to work? I keep having trouble.

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby John Cougar Lunchbucket » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:26 pm

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Eddie Yost, 3B Coach 1968-1975

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Just copy the video code part then put in the Youtube tag.

so for this

https://youtu.be/xGS2Yt_59pg

Just copy this part:

xGS2Yt_59pg

Then YOUTUBE it like this

Let me tell you something: I have a big set of balls.

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby Mets Guy in Michigan » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:30 pm

Mets Guy in Michigan
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Thank you!

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby d'Kong76 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:34 pm

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Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby Mets Guy in Michigan » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:35 pm

Mets Guy in Michigan
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The Tigers take the field to "Detroit Rock City!"

I'm seeing them in Grand Rapids next weekend.
Last edited by Mets Guy in Michigan on Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby themetfairy » Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:01 pm

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Great work mgim!
In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, "I have finished." There is a lot of satisfaction in that - Fred Lebow

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby Chad Ochoseis » Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:20 pm

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I think this is obligatory.



Seriously, good knowledge. I was thinking about driving to Detroit for the game, but have other plans this weekend.


Detroit is also something of a Scrabble mecca; many of the top players lived in the area when I played in a few tournaments in the late '90s. My enduring memory of Michigan - other than Sleeping Bear Dunes - is being stuck for three hours on a train in Battle Creek en route from Ann Arbor to Chicago. There's a statue of Tony the Tiger in the train station, which I'd like to never see again.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby Zvon » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:00 pm

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Tommie Lee Agee. Mets Centerfielder, 1968-1972.

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--------------Excellent KTE!-----------------

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby cooby » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:21 pm

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John Milner, OF, 1971-1977 - The Hammer

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wearing paint? Classy!

Nice job! Love that tiger statue!


When you do the hand thing to show where you live – and we all do this

now that sounds cool :D

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby Frayed Knot » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:39 pm

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Jordan Zimmermannnnn actually came back off the DL today for his first start in more than a month but got rocked by the ChiSox (didn't survive the 2nd inning) as the Tigers eight-game winning streak was stopped in an afternoon game (at least they will be well rested for Friday's game).


Friday is the marquis matchup with Verlander - v - Syndergaard
Saturday / Sunday will be Verrett /deGrom for us, still listed as TBD for them but it obviously won't be Zimmermann, nor will it be Cespedes trade bait Michael Fulmer who went on Wednesday.

Both Friday & Saturday games are at night and I notice the Tiggers use the odd 7:08 starting time for their night games. 1:08 on Sunday
Would that i'twere so simple

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby duan » Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:10 pm

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best KTE ever.
I want to go to Detroit tomorrow!

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby Ashie62 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:35 pm

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Josh Lewin, Radio Broadcaster since 2012

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I stayed in Taylor Michigan to see the Tigers play in the old stadium. We had fun.

Great work MGIM.
George Harrison, " A man who never wasted a note."

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby Mets Guy in Michigan » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:57 am

Mets Guy in Michigan
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Thanks for the kind words, guys!

I'll always be a New Yorker, but I do love my adopted state. It's been an honor to be a part of the team working on the comeback and traveling around the state to meet people, see cool things and tell great stories.

Thor vs Verlander tonight! Should be a good one. Look for both Uptons.

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby seawolf17 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:03 am

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Great job! You should, like, work for the governor or something.
I believe that someday I will punch that arrogant foreman at the plant square on his fat nose; that I will get in the last word with my wife; that I will win the Irish sweepstakes; that the Mets will start a winning streak.

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby MFS62 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:55 am

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Great job, as usual.
Oh yeah, and ...
BEAT OHIO STATE!

Later
Somewhere, George Orwell is asking "Didn't you read my fucking book"?

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby Lefty Specialist » Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:39 pm

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I fear that this series is the trap door through which the Mets season will fall. Just a gloomy hunch.
Only in today's America can policy be based on the notion that the rich have too little and the poor have too much.

Resistance is not futile. https://www.indivisibleguide.com/indivisible-action

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby John Cougar Lunchbucket » Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:18 pm

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Eddie Yost, 3B Coach 1968-1975

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It's weird but I feel like we're gonna win.

More likely, we'll lose 1 (the trap through which the Mets season will fall); then win 1 (giving us irrational hope again) ad infinitum. THAT'S the kinda season this is turning out to be
Let me tell you something: I have a big set of balls.

Re: Know Thy Friendly Rival -- Mets vs Comeback City Tigers

Postby Frayed Knot » Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:32 pm

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Jeff Torborg. Mets Manager, 1992-93

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Yup ... haven't won two in a row since July 6 & 7, the final game of a series vs Miami followed by the only win in the four game series against the Nats
and they haven't gone back-to-back wins against the same team since the four game sweep of the Cubs at CitiField to end June/start July. Had a few losing streaks in that time though.
Would that i'twere so simple


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