Oct 24, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT
Obviously most of us are neither Tigers nor Giants fans, so how do we choose a rooting interest for the next eight days? Just some out loud thinking:
- If you’re a Dodgers fan or a fan of whatever team has decided that the Tigers are their big rival lately — White Sox maybe? — your path is clear: you root for the other guy because eff those Giants/Tigers.
- The Tigers have a pretty high payroll: $132 million, which is fifth in baseball this year. The Giants are eighth at $117 million. Not a big difference, but if you like to root against a team that spends more, the Giants are your huckleberries.
- That said, San Francisco has a larger media market than Detroit — 2.5 million TV households to 1.8 million — so they are presumably the richer, better-supported team overall, which kind of blurs the finances and changes the Tigers story from “rich team with bigger payroll” to “generous owner spending what it takes to win.” If you’re into that whole game, maybe the Tigers should be your horse.
- I have always liked the Giants standard uniforms a lot (though I hate the orange alternates), but the Tigers are far and away the best-dressed team in the game, especially at home. If you’re a uniform junkie this is a great series, really, but you probably need to root for the Tigers.
- The Giants big star is Buster Posey. It’s hard to find anything to dislike about him. The Tigers big star is Miguel Cabrera. He has had his past issues. If you follow the star power and if that sort of thing bothers you, go for the Giants.
- If you’re looking beyond the biggest names, you have a bit of a mixed bag. And almost too-quirky-by-half thing with the Giants (Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum, Brian Wilson) that can be a bit annoying. Some Tigers who are either execrable (Delmon Young) or at the very least kinda douchey (Jose Valverde and, to some degree, Justin Verlander, even if he is a freaking pitching machine). Call that a tossup.
- The Giants play in what I consider to be the best ballpark currently in use in all of baseball. The Tigers, however, used to play in the best park to ever exist in baseball and in a current park that is definitely top five. If you care about home park optics, the Giants probably get the edge.
- Fan bases are an interesting way to determine a rooting interest. The Giants definitely have a wild-and-crazy vibe in the park and, as I mentioned this morning, the city is currently bonkers for the team. Detroit, however, has what I consider to be one of the most knowledgeable and sophisticated fan bases around, even if they haven’t drawn as consistently as the Giants have over the past 10-15 years. I’d caution you against going with stereotypes here — not all Detroit fans riot and burn things when the team wins and not all Giants fans are latte-drinking liberal weenies who just discovered the team in October 2010 — but I do think you have a clear choice between a lower-intensity but sophisticated fan base with Detroit and a higher energy but maybe a bit more touristy fan base in San Francisco. Pick whichever floats your boat.
- Playing styles: The Giants get good pitching and a are an opportunistic balls-in-play kind of offense. The Tigers get good starting pitching — and have the best pitcher on either team in Verlander — but on offense they’re a slower, more power-oriented team. The Giants may be a bit more aesthetically pleasing in doing what they do if that kind of thing matters to you.
- What’s your take on history? The Giants have had more overall success and have won more World titles, but a ton of that came a looong time ago. They certainly have the more recent title — 2010 — but since 1945 both teams have exactly two championships, with the Giants winning seven pennants and the Tigers five. Just an insane amount of overall history here regardless. Cobb, Mays, Greenberg, Matthewson, McCovey, Kaline, Bonds, Trammell and on and on. This is a traditionalists dream.
Personally: I’m not rooting for anyone. This is less a fancy media “I must remain objective since I’m here on the scene” kind of thing than it is me really being at a loss as to how to choose. When my team is out of it I tend to go for the team that has had the longest championship drought, but it’s not like the Tigers are plucky underdogs or something. There are players on each club I like and players on each I do not like, but no serious man-crush that would tip the scales one way or another.
I want good baseball. I wouldn’t mind it going seven games. Short of that, one of these guys is gonna have to win me over on the fly.
May 18, 2013, 11:50 AM EDT
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees have acquired infielder Reid Brignac from the Rockies. Colorado will receive cash considerations in return. Brignac was designated for assignment by the Rockies on Thursday after he batted .250/.294/.375 with one home run, six RBI and a .669 OPS in 53 plate appearances this season. Originally drafted…
May 18, 2013, 11:27 AM EDT
Curtis Granderson was moved to left field when he returned from the disabled list this week, but he’ll make his first career start in right field this afternoon against the Blue Jays. According to Chad Jennings of the Journal News, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Granderson was “fine” with the latest move when they discussed…
May 18, 2013, 10:59 AM EDT
It turns out that Diamondbacks reliever Heath Bell made his return to Marlins Park on Thursday night, not for last night’s series opener. According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Bell said that he took in Thursday’s Reds-Marlins game from the stands. The D-backs arrived in Miami in the wee hours Thursday morning and Bell took…
May 18, 2013, 10:35 AM EDT
The Marlins signed veteran reliever Jon Rauch to a one-year, $1 million contract over the winter, but he has been designated for assignment after making just 15 appearances with the club. Duane Below has been called up from Triple-A New Orleans to replace him on the active roster. Rauch has really struggled in the early…
May 18, 2013, 10:09 AM EDT
Ike Davis finally broke his 0-for-24 hitless streak yesterday with a single to center field in the sixth inning, but he’s still at risk for being sent to the minors. In fact, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York hears that discussion of a demotion has “only intensified” and that he might not be given much…
May 18, 2013, 9:32 AM EDT
The Astros aren’t just losing a ton of ballgames, they are losing ugly. After Edgar Gonzalez pitched himself into a bases-loaded jam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth last night against the Pirates, he induced a fairly innocent looking pop-up to shallow right field which would have sent the game into extra…
May 18, 2013, 8:58 AM EDT
After tossing a one-hit shutout against the Angels in his last start on Sunday, Chris Sale got the best of them again last night. Sale struck out a season-high 12 over 7 2/3 scoreless innings as the White Sox topped the Angels 3-0 at Angel Stadium. The 24-year-old southpaw gave up just three hits and…
May 17, 2013, 11:55 PM EDT
MLB.com Twins beat writer Rhett Bollinger spoke to Twins assistant GM Rob Antony, asking how Rich Harden’s rehab was going. Antony replied, ”Slow. Not very well to be honest with you.” The Twins signed Harden to a one-year Minor League contract in December, agreeing to pay him $1 million if he made it to the Majors.…
May 17, 2013, 11:25 PM EDT
Jose Reyes is making progress on an ankle injury suffered on April 12 against the Royals. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports the shortstop had a walking boot removed and talk part in stretching prior to tonight’s game against the Yankees. Another surprising piece of news: Reyes was expected to be out until the All-Star break, but…
May 17, 2013, 11:00 PM EDT
You’re probably not going to see a prettier grand slam this season, folks. With his team down 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning against Dodgers reliever Paco Rodriguez, Braves left fielder Justin Upton crushed a 1-1 fastball deep to left field to give the Braves a 6-4 lead. ESPN Stats & Info reported…
May 17, 2013, 10:25 PM EDT
Phillies third base coach Ryne Sandberg is expected to be the next Phillies manager if and when the Charlie Manuel era ends. Sandberg started his playing career with the Phillies but went to the Cubs in the infamous Ivan de Jesus trade in 1982, arguably one of the worst trades in baseball history. With the…
May 17, 2013, 9:55 PM EDT
Recently, Padres third baseman Chase Headley said he won’t negotiate a contract extension with the team during the season. Headley is eligible for his fourth year of arbitration going into 2014, after which he would become eligible for free agency. Headley has, for a while, been one of the most bandied-about names in trade rumors,…
May 17, 2013, 9:20 PM EDT
At the end of March, the Diamondbacks unceremoniously signed first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to a five-year, $32 million contract extension. Just seven weeks later, that contract is looking like a steal. The 25-year-old entered tonight’s game with ten home runs and a 1.013 OPS, marks that not only put him near the top among first…
May 17, 2013, 8:55 PM EDT
Derek Albin at Pinstriped Bible looked at the numbers and concluded that Yankees right fielder Ichiro Suzuki isn’t likely to be much more productive than he has been thus far in 2013. The 39-year-old has a .239/.280/.328 line in 145 trips to the plate, putting him on pace for the worst season of his career…
May 17, 2013, 8:15 PM EDT
The Pirates aren’t known as one of the more Sabermetrically-savvy teams like the Rays and Athletics, but they do have Dan Fox (formerly of Baseball Prospectus) as the director of baseball systems development. Thanks to Fox and others, the Pirates are able to use stat reports to prepare lineups and pitching match-ups with greater specificity. SB…
May 17, 2013, 7:45 PM EDT
Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times says that although the Rays haven’t announced anything officially, prospect Jake Odorizzi is likely to replace the injured David Price in the starting rotation. The Rays placed their defending AL Cy Young award winner on the disabled list yesterday with a strained left triceps muscle, an injury they…
May 17, 2013, 7:05 PM EDT
Athletics starter Brett Anderson has not pitched in a game since his April 29 start against the Angels due to ongoing problems with his right foot. In the time since, the A’s have had the lefty run and throw side sessions, and they even had him make a rehab start, but the injury never seemed…
May 17, 2013, 5:32 PM EDT
Matt Harvey held the Cubs to two runs in 7.1 innings this afternoon and delivered the game-winning RBI single in a 3-2 Mets victory. Harvey is now 5-0 with a 1.55 ERA in nine starts this season, posting an awesome 68/14 K/BB ratio in 64 innings. And he’s a career .243 hitter. Harvey walked zero…
May 17, 2013, 4:40 PM EDT
This doesn’t narrow it down too much. Maybe it eliminates the idea of “skip a start and wait and see,” but it’s still unclear if Pettitte will take his next turn: The team hasn’t decided what to do with Andy Pettitte. Girardi said he would likely either make his next start or hit DL. —…
May 17, 2013, 4:12 PM EDT
Hail to the chief: Reid Ryan’s tenure as president of the Astros began Friday, when Houston announced that the son of Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan would take over the role vacated by George Postolos … Ryan, previously the president and CEO of Ryan-Sanders Baseball, had been running the Triple-A Round Rock Express (Rangers) and…
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