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Baseball is designed to break your heart: Example 10,246,893

Aug 13, 2014, 9:17 AM EDT

Robbie Ray AP

Obviously there is still a lot of baseball left to play. And if I had to bet, I’d bet that the Detroit Tigers are going to be just fine. But the past two weeks has to convince Tigers fans that, yes, there are Baseball Gods. And that they are not benevolent. Indeed, they’re like the gods of Greek mythology who seem to enjoy toying with mortals.

Less than two weeks ago the Tigers traded for David Price, giving them a rotation consisting of the last three Cy Young Award winners, last year’s ERA champion and a kid in Rick Porcello who is having as good or better a season than all of them. The big question on everyone’s mind was how to fit all of those starters into the Tigers’ playoff rotation, with said playoffs being inevitable.

Flash forward: the Tigers started Robbie Ray last night. They are starting a guy named “Buck Farmer” today. If you had said “Buck Farmer” to me a couple of days ago I would have said it was either the name of a second tier porn star or the name Justin Verlander uses to check into hotels without being noticed. Meanwhile, two starters the Tigers considered superfluous — Doug Fister and Drew Smyly — spun gems for their new teams in the past 48 hours.

This isn’t an indictment of any move the Tigers have made. No one would choose Smyly over Price and not having Fister around did not hurt the Tigers until very recently. And obviously no one can predict injuries. It’s merely to note how damn fast everything can change in baseball and how things you thought were sure things one moment become something far less than sure the next.

It sucks to be reminded of this when it happens to your team. And no one wants injuries to happen. But in a cosmic sense, the quick turn of fortune that can happen in this game is one of baseball’s most exciting phenomenons.

  1. bobwheel - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    Buck Farmer…say that 3 times fast.

    • tfbuckfutter - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:30 AM

      I don’t get it.

      • jimmyt - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:43 AM


      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        Now pitching for the Sawks? Buck Futter!

  2. ptfu - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    Tigger’s now hanging out with Eeyore.

  3. tfbuckfutter - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Hey, at least Steve Lombardozzi Jr. is tearing it up for them.

    • karlkolchak - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      Lombo II is actually with the Orioles now.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      About like Stephen Drew is for you.

      • tfbuckfutter - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        You’ll have Daniel Nava soon enough.

        Don’t worry.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        You’re not getting your balls back.

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        Or your aunt’s balls, either.

  4. jfk69 - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    If he doesn’t work out I hear John Dear is up next.

    • downvotesforeveryone - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      It’s John DEERE you ignorant tramp.

      • jfk69 - Aug 13, 2014 at 8:34 PM

        Thanks for stating the obvious I just wanted to see what kind of clueless ignorant inbred board troll would pick up on it.
        Thanks again captain obvious.

    • bigmeechy74 - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      How on earth do you misspell “John Deere?” Haven’t you seen it written millions of times? wtf

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      Or Rob Deer?

  5. American of African Descent - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    His last name is Farmer and his parents named him Buck. Did they not like him or something?

    • jimmyt - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:42 AM

      I know I guy named Jack Gauff. How about his parents?

      • rollinghighwayblues - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:55 AM

        Reminds me to two semi-famous high school football coaches in Texas, Rusty Nail and Lucky Gamble. No, I am not kidding.

      • ezthinking - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        A guy in my high school was named Harold Boner, better known as Harry. Just awful.

      • RickyB - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        Knew of a college pitcher whose name was Jeff Loser and he went on to become a lawyer … and the rest of the story is he changed his last name to Lozer.

      • fathersworkandfamily - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        My favorite one of these-
        A Minnesota Vikings coach in the 80’s was Les Teckel. He married a woman names Tess, and back in those days, women always took that man’s last name.

      • kevinbnyc - Aug 13, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        What about Royals first base coach and former player Rusty Kuntz?

      • nworca - Aug 13, 2014 at 7:53 PM

        Randy Johnson

    • Steve A - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      To be fair, Buck is not his given name.

      • johnnysoda - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:07 AM

        Correct. His real name is George.

        I don’t know why he’d choose “Buck” as a nickname, however.

      • tfbuckfutter - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:15 AM

        Because T-Bone and Koko the Monkey were taken.

        So he had to go with Buck Naked.

      • rarson - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:05 PM

        He doesn’t really strike me as a T-Bone, anyway.

    • jfk69 - Aug 13, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      That is not his given name. He just likes Buck.

  6. shoehole - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    I went to school with Muddy Waters. I knew a friend named Willy Dooit.

  7. Old Gator - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    For anyone interested in who exactly they really are, I recommend H. P. Lovecraft’s The Baseball Gods.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      I would not have picked you for a Lovecraft aficionado.

      • Old Gator - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        H. P. Lovecraft belongs up there with George Will as one of the great contemporary baseball writers.

        Yes, dead Lovecraft yet lies sleeping.

      • Old Gator - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        Sigh. Dead Lovecraft lies dreaming. I really gotta brush up on my Necronomicaon. And the local santera is administering a quiz this weekend, which I need to pass if I want any more waif’s plasma for my wolfsbane.

      • stex52 - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        Oh yeah, philliac. I used to think I was the only baseball fan until OG started spouting it. It’s a family connection for him.

        This is a cool place for arcane knowledge. Firesign Theatre is big here, too.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        As I think about it, it does make sense. I just didn’t go there initially.

    • rje49 - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:02 PM

      Gator, you sure about HP Lovecraft? He’s got a long bibliography, but I see nothing about “The Baseball Gods”. The closest thing I noted was a mention of horror writings, which I figured was about the Cleveland Indians…

      • Old Gator - Aug 13, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        Heh heh, you need to be a fantasy-horror fan to catch the joke there. Lovecraft created a whole pantheon of evil gods, the “Old Ones” or the “Ancient Old Ones,” headed up by the horrendous Cthulhu, to whom you will periodically note references here – and not only by me. They created life on Earth as a joke – not difficult to believe, that – and routinely interfere in our destiny to amuse themselves or just when they’re hungry. After reading Lovecraft for a while, you will (a) recognize that the Baseball Gods is merely another name by which they go, and that (b) the baseball rule book is merely another guise of the Necronomicon, the secret book disclosing all the rules by which they may be summoned or by which you may apply to serve them (why not back a winner?).

  8. natstowngreg - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    I was thinking, Grand Ole Opry star, like Buck Owens.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      Gloom, despair, and agony on me…

      Yup, that sums up the Tigers of late.

  9. tigersfandan - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    I have seriously never heard of this guy and he’s starting for my team tonight. That’s kind of depressing.

  10. mybrunoblog - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Rusty Kuntz. I rest my case.

    • philliesblow - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      That could be the 2nd best name in sports history, behind only NASCAR legend Dick Trickle.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        Really? Randy Johnson and his nickname, The Big Unit!

  11. entitymn - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    What’s really telling? When Robbie Ray and Buck Farmer were mentioned, they did not get the auto-link thing that happens the first time a player gets mentioned in an article.

    Oh, and on the swim team in high school, we had a Michael Hunt. Yep, Mike Hunt.

  12. thomas844 - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    I’m a huge Reds fan. I was born in 1991, so I’ve never been alive for a Reds championship. After winning the first two NLDS games in San Fran in 2012, everyone thought they were destined to win it all with their powerful lineup and solid rotation. They proceeded to lose 3 straight games in their own park.

    Bottom line, I completely agree that baseball is destined to break your heart (unless you root for the Red Sox, Cardinals, Yankees, or Giants).

    • RickyB - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      I think Red Sox fans might disagree with that assessment …

    • larrytsg - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Yeah, but history shows that we Red Sox fans had a LOT of heartbreak before 2004. Since then… not so much.

  13. bigmeechy74 - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    Has anyone figured out what the point of that Fister trade was? Why did they do that?

  14. philliesblow - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    The Tigers have had pitchers with some interesting names. Buck Farmer, the immortal Charlie Furbush and even Beiker Graterol.

  15. ejheim62 - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    now watch him go out and throw a 3-hit shutout tonight, then you’ll have to apologize!

  16. shoehole - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Bigmeechie, I believe they were trying to cut payroll in order to save money for Scherzer. They got rid of salary last year with the likes of two closers, first base, second base, shortstop, left field and their number three starter. Also their mgr and coaches are gone.
    With the exception of second base, all the salaries were a little cheaper. Just my opinion.

    • westerly75 - Aug 16, 2014 at 9:01 AM

      yep. i think that’s it in a nutshell.
      and then max turned us down… 😦

      it’s amazing how last years team (a very successful team, btw) was so completely disbanded.
      dombrowski should have just tinkered w/ the team rather than overhauling.

  17. shoehole - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Sorry bigmeechy74. Your name was covered up with my iPad keyboard.

  18. historiophiliac - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    OMG, chill out! It’s a short term problem mostly due to a crazy 19-inning game (which does not happen all the time). Everyone sit down! Have you forgotten June already? Y’all drive me to drink.

  19. ud1951 - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Yep, the whole concept of having the best team on paper is flawed at the foundations. Trite but true, the games are played on the field. You can have a team that on opening day looks for all the world like it will win 100 games and the next thing you know it’s August and you’re losing two games in a row to Miami and looking up at the Brewers and Pirates in front of you, with your chances of making the postseason less than 50/50. Or you are in last place in the AL East.

    This is why I love baseball, BECAUSE it can break your heart.

  20. sparty0n - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    What does this say for the Tiger’s minor league depth when they don’t even use a pitcher from Triple-A Toledo??? Farmer has had 2 starts at double-A and now he’s in the bigs.

    • clydeserra - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      was this guy on the 40 person roster?

      are the pitchers on turn at AAA on the 40?

      Those are usually the reasons you reach deeper

    • historiophiliac - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      You need to do some homework before you say things like that. You obviously just don’t follow the team.

  21. jeff91121 - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    I didn’t think that the Fister trade could look any worse. I was wrong.

  22. mondogarage - Aug 13, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    Buck Swope’s warming up in the bullpen.

  23. Minoring In Baseball - Aug 14, 2014 at 12:57 AM

    Well, this should actually be spun as a positive story, as I was watching this kid at Single-A West Michigan earlier this season and at the MWL All-Star Game. This is probably the fastest I’ve seen a player promoted from the Whitecaps since I started watching them.
    So he didn’t earn the win last night, but wasn’t horrible in helping the Tigers break their losing streak. Too much upside for this to be a negative story. Yes the Tigers are under-performing, but give this kid a break.

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