“It’s not how fast you skate, it’s how fast you think.”

Here is a fascinating article from former Red Wing Igor Larionov from The Players’ Tribune:

I roll my eyes whenever I hear people talk about how fast the game is now and how sophisticated the systems have become. Watching the game, does it really seem much faster? Does it really seem more advanced? We had a saying in the Soviet days that I wish more coaches and scouts would adopt today: It’s not how fast you skate, it’s how fast you think.

For those not familiar with Igor and his early years, before he came to the NHL he centered one of the best lines in the history of hockey, the KLM line. The KLM line was the top line of the Soviet Red Army team that dominated international hockey in the the eighties, their only blemish being “The Miracle on Ice. The KLM line featured Igor Larionov centering Vladimir “The Tank” Krutov and Sergei Makarov.  They were truly a joy to watch a moving concerto; everything working in perfect harmony.  I liken them to a fine Swiss watch with all the parts moving but each performing their function flawlessly.

(Note: Igor Larionov didn’t join the Red Army until 1981. Additionally, the Soviets liked to keep five man units together.  Joining the KLM line were defenseman Slava Fetisov, Red Wings fans will remember him, and Alexei Kasatonov.  This five man unit was known as the Green Unit, named for the green jerseys they wore in practice.  An interesting aside, all five members of the Green Unit were left handed.)

Green Unit

Check out Igor’s article as he shares a little insight on what it was like to play for the Soviet Red Army.  It wasn’t fun but it was beautifully to watch.

Tigers 9 Orioles 8

With the Tigers leading the O’s 9-2 I said to sometimes contributor inlovewithbaseball, ‘what if the Tigers make a run? What if all these moves change the chemistry?  What if JV keeps pitching they way he has in three out if his last four starts and Sanchez pitches well, and Lobstein comes back? That gives the Tigers three quality starters and hey, the offense is showing signs of life’.

What an idiot!!

All it took was a nine run outburst for me to lose my head and forget what I’ve watched for 100 games.  I forgot how many times the offense has tricked me with one game explosions.  And how could I forget what was lurking in the bullpen.  I think the Shane Greene bullpen experiment needs to be over although I’m not sure there are anymore options.

Where would the 2015 Tigers be without Alex Wilson, 20 games under .500?  He has to be the team.

The ball hit in the seventh or eighth inning that ate up Nick The Quick, does anyone think that should have been an error? Would an average third basemen have made he play?  I’m not sure?  It was a shot.

Oh well, I’ll take a W anyway they can get them.  Wins are hard to come by.

Tigers Lose Another Series..To Rays

The bright side of this series is that JV had is second excellent start in a row. Other than that, there was nothing to like. Look back at the first two games. Even if the Tigers had gotten good pitching, did they hit enough to win?

The first few months they pitched but didn’t hit. The last month they hit but didn’t pitch. The last week, they haven’t done either.

I just received a phone updated that said the Tigers have informed other clubs that they are looking to the future. I hope I so. I can’t see the salvaging much from this season.

Tigers Drop Two Out of Three in Boston

The only pitching staff in the American League worse than the Tigers’ is Boston’s and the Tigers still couldn’t win a series.  Yet, I’m listening to MLB Radio and the hosts are still expecting the Tigers to acquire a pitcher and make a playoff run.  Here’s the problem; on the statistical anomalous occasion when they do get good pitching their offense decides not to score runs. There is an almost perfect discordant balance with this team that is hard to explain if you don’t watch them every game.

Rod Allen was on MLB Radio last week and he was asked if he thought the Tigers had a run in them.  He said he didn’t see it.  I agree.

I’ll be interested in seeing how Castellanos, Iglesias, and Verlander finish the season.

Mariners 3 Tigers 2

It’s just very difficult for this team to win games. The are one game under the .500 mark. They haven’t won three in a row since May. Whatever chemistry they have is not working. They usually don’t get pitching. Yesterday afternoon they got and the offense was embarrassing.

Nothing works in concert.

Speaking of concert. Watching this team play is like listening to my 7th grade band class; notes flying in every direction but rarely flying in harmony, a conglomeration of nonsense.

Mariners 11 Tigers 9

If there was any hope for the Tigers left in the 2015 season Franklin Gutierrez ended it in the eighth inning last night.  His pinch hit grand slam off of Neftali Feliz should make it clear to the Tigers brass that 2016 is what they need to start concentrating on.  For all intents and purposes, 2015 is over.

Lost is this debacle was a mammoth home run by J.D. Martinez. J.D. continued his impressive season with an absolute CONNIPTION shot to straight away center field to give the Tigers signs of life in the third inning.  If Miggy can’t come back it should be fun watching J.D. the rest of the way.

STAR WARS NIGHT-Episode V: The Umpire Strikes Out

Star Wars Night down on the farm.

Minoring In Baseball

West Michigan Whitecaps vs Bowling Green Hot Rods (Midwest League)

19636694776_938fcb7f23_zFifth Third Ballpark-Comstock Park, MI: Oh, it’s that time of the year, again, when my little Nerf-Herders and I head down to Fifth Third Ballpark for Star Wars Night. We got to meet old favorites like the Stormtroopers and Darth Vader, as well as a newbie like Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebels. The one thing I was disappointed with was that there was no Boba Fett!! How could the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy not make an appearance?


19655636012_36586a9ed9_z19476090359_cafc8931ab_zAfter we mingled with members of the Galactic Empire and Rebellion, we were able to take a stroll around the warning track of Fifth Third Ballpark. Personally, I never turn down an opportunity to walk around on a professional baseball field. Jedi Franky welcomed us onto the field, and was able to get a few good pics of the…

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