2017 Detroit Baseball Dinner

So I’m a little late in writing about this, but with the season fast approaching, I figured better late than never.

Since 2001, The Detroit Baseball Society has been holding an annual dinner. This is the fifth year that I have attended.  Previous dinners were held a the Bloomfield Hills Country Club. This year’s dinner, however, was held at the Amnesia Room on the 16th floor of the MotorCity Casino.

In addition to dinner, drinks and appetizer’s there as a silent, sports memorabilia , auction and a slate of guest speakers.  The guest speakers included Andrew Romine, Brad Ausmus and Steve Chilton.

Romine was awarded the Bill MacAdam Tenth Man Award and gave a very nice speech. He seemed personable and genuinely excited about receiving the award, which I wondered about, given that the award and presenting organization are not widely known.

Brad Ausmus spoke for about 20 minutes and then took questions for the audience. If you weren’t a fan of BA before the dinner, you probably were after. He was smart, articulate, and seemed like a good guy, he was pretty funny too.

Worth the price of admission was Steve Chilton.  The first time I heard of Steve was when I saw him at the 2014 dinner. He is a genuine baseball / Tigers fanatic and a fabulous speaker.  In 2014, he spoke about his heartbreak at the Tigers’ playoff loss to the Red Sox.  This year he spoke about a shift in trends in MLB in how teams evaluate and value players.  Apparently, some teams are using advanced, video analysis of players that allows them to better evaluate their defense and runs they are able to save by making the proper defensive play.  He said the these advanced metrics are going to show up in the contracts free agents are offered.  I guess we got a little taste this past off season where Bautista and Encarnacion didn’t find the demand they were expecting.  (Incidentally, Chilton informed us that the advanced metrics  valued Kevin Kiermaier higher than Jose Batista.)

The price of the dinner was $150 and in my opinion, worth every penny.

I picked up a sweet autographed Gordie Howe picture in a baseball uniform.

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BIG WIN! Tigers 3 Blue Jays 2

I haven’t seen a comeback win like this in a long time.

For eight innings the Tigers could do nothing with Aaron Sanchez.  He struck out 10 and allowed one hard hit ball, a double off of the bat of Justin Upton. That all changed in the ninth.

Iggy led off the ninth with a single. Kinlser doubled him in. Romine, playing in place of Maybin, IMHO a questionable move, bunted Kinsler to third. Then Jose Miguel Cabrera stepped to the plate.  Miggy didn’t look good in his first three at-bats but when Jays reliever Osuna came up and in on the Big Man, I had a feeling the deal was done.  Two pitches after the brushback, Miggy launched a one hop double off of the center field wall to drive in Kinsler and tie the game.

Hat Tips go to Ian Kinsler for driving in the first and winning runs, Tigers starter Matt Boyd and relievers Shane Greene, Blaine Hardy and Bobby Parnell for keeping the game close.  Also, a huge Hat Tip to Nick “The Quick” Castellanos for flashin’ leather at third.  I dare say, Nick has improved considerably in the field.

Five in a row!

Sweep tomorrow?

Tigers 6 Royals 5

I never thought I’d be typing this but more good news from Comerica Park.  For the second straight night, the Tigers beat the Royals in extra innings, making it four wins in a row.  This is the first four game winning streak since starting the season 6-0.

The good news keeps on coming.

Ian Kinsler had the walk off solo shot in the bottom of the 11th.  After a rough start Kinsler is staying hot. He’s hitting .348 since the all-star break and leads baseball in multi-hit games.

Miggy had two more hits and drove in two more runs and all of the sudden Victor’s bat has heated up. Vmart was 2-2 with two walks and a two run-homer.

There is even good news out of the pen. No not Bruce Rondon, who struggled again tonight, but Neftali Feliz and Tom Gorzelanny got the job done in extra innings and held the Royals down until the offense could win it in the 11th.

If you missed the game, the Tigers thought they won in the bottom of the ninth, but for the first time in MLB history, in the re-play era, a walk-off win was reversed.  Kinsler was originally called safe at home on a sac-fly by Andrew Romine but was called out after re-play.

I guess that’s why we continue to tune in, you never know what you’re going to see.

Twins 7 Tigers 1

J.D. continues to hit the ball hard and Kyle Ryan looked good in out of the bullpen.  I was really happy with Ryan’s performance because Ausmus had to make another early call to the pen and Ryan delivered 4.2 solid innings.  Ryan and VerHagen just might be long relief options for 2016.

Andrew Romine is a solid utility player that can flash leather at any position and can swing the bat just enough.  I haven’t said enough about him this year.

I’m not sure if anybody else noticed but Nick Castellanos has similar offensive numbers to Minnesota’s All-Star second baseman Brian Dozier.  Nick “The Quick” is hitting, .250, with 15 hrs and 68 rbis.  Dozier is hitting .239, with 27 hrs and 70 rbis.  The homer are way higher for Dozier but he only has two more runs batted in. I know you expect more power from third base but I I couldn’t help it, the numbers just struck me as interesting.

White Sox 7 Tigers 6

Perhaps Brad Ausmus is trying to unseat Robin Ventura as the dumbest manager in baseball.  I can think of no other reason for leaving Joba in the game to give up the go-ahead run in the 8th. I can’t fault him for the bomb off the bat of Melky Cabrera.  He should have been out of the inning.  I’m not sure how the official scorer gave Eaton a hit on the ball that went through Castellanos’ glove but he bottom line is Chamberlain should have been in the dugout with a three run lead.

Speaking of Castellanos, what happened to late inning defensive replacements? Andrew Romine?

This was another sub par performance from Alfedo Simon.  Like Shane Greene yesterday, he had little control. It looks like the three and four spots in the rotation are going to be problems.

There is more blame to go around.  Although the offense scored six runs they left 12 men on base,  Miggy looks horrible and they ran themselves out of the ninth.

Hmmm, has anybody noticed the runs the Twins are scoring.

On the bright side, the bullpen has looked good lately with the exception of The Amazing, Everyday Al and Joba.  Also, Victor drove in four runs and hit his first homer today.

Lober tomorrow to salvage one.

Tigers 10 Indians 7

I’m not sure how many times I’ll write this in 2015 but the Tigers’ won a battle of bullpens this afternoon in Minnesota.  Everyone they called on, Hardy, Nesbitt, Gorzelanny, Soria got the job done.

Starter Shane Greene was cruising until he wasn’t.  He starting leaking fuel in the third then exploded in the fourth.

The Tigers could have blown this game by running themselves out of a rally in the fifth. I’m not sure sure but isn’t it taboo to make an out at third?  Well, with runners at first and second, one out, and Kinsler at the plate, Andrew “Wheels” Romine decided it was a good idea to steal third.  Like Miggy in game in one, he got nailed, rally over. Fortunately, the bats came alive and beat the Twins’ bullpen into a conniption after falling behind 7-4.

For all of my complaining, the Tigers got another series win.

Of note:

  • Miggy hit two balls into a a conniption.
  • McCann had his first career HR, an inside the parker.
  • Victor was 0-5 and doesn’t look good from either side of the plate.
  • Wheels Romine was 4-4 but 1-3 in steal attempts (WTF).
  • Kinsler flashed some leather in the 8th to turn a nice double play.

Off to KC.  I hope this series doesn’t turn into basebrawl.

Tigers 3 Royals 2

The Tiger survived terrible fielding by Ian Kinsler and Eugenio Suarez, and terrible relief from Joba and the turd, and squeezed out a narrow victory in KC.

The win increased the Tigers lead to 2.5 games in the AL Central.

A few things to note:

  1. I think this is the first time I’ve seen a starting pitcher, who wasn’t injured, ask to come out of a game. Is Scherzer just playing for his contract as it has been suggested on this site? It appears so,. For as horrible as JV has been I have never seen him ask to come out of a game. In fact, JV reminds me of Jack Morris, who had a conniption anytime he was removed.
  2. I’m starting to like Tyler Collins.
  3. I’m beginning to question the value of replay. Baseball headquarters said that the play where Perez didn’t tag up was not reviewable. Really? Why?
  4. Romine has to be the regular shortstop. Neither he nor Suarez is much of a hitter, but Suarez looks like an asshat in the field.

Joba and Nathan were not good. That’s why the Tigers need the starters to go as deep into games as humanly possible. Any started that would willingly give way to this bullpen deserves his fate.

How long is this team going to sick with Nathan? Does he have cost the Tigers a Pennant or World Series for BA and DD to admit they made a mistake?

WTF?