Game 2010.032: Yankees at Tigers

For the second time in the last couple weeks Dontrelle Willis will miss his scheduled start due to flu like symptoms. Understudy Brad Thomas will once again fill in. Here’s hoping that he can give the Tigers 50-60 pitches and that those pitches span at least 3 innings.

Sergio Mitre goes for the Yankees. This is Mitre’s first start of the season, so at least Thomas has the edge in games started.

For those heading down to the game tonight, the team will be honoring Ernie Harwell. At 6:15 the Fox Sports Ernie Harwell special will air on the scoreboard. There will also be a flag raised with Harwell’s initials and long time broadcast partner Paul Carey will throw out the first pitch which will be delivered by Ray Lane. Finally, Jose Feliciano will sing the National Anthem.

On paper this doesn’t look like it will be a good game for Tigers fans. I think we all should approach it like Ernie would. The first time I interviewed Dan Dickerson I asked him about what it was like broadcasting for a really bad team, and he harkened back to advice Ernie gave him:

It really goes back to some advice Ernie gave me early in my career, when in 2001 the Tigers started 9-23, and that was supposed to be a pretty good team with the Juan Gonzalez trade and the deals they made. I said “How do you do this?” This was my team, they are 9-23 and I was down. He said “Remember, every game stands on its own.” That advice was very simple but it really stuck. You might see something you’ve never seen before, you might see a great individual performance, you might see a great game between two bad teams. And it’s true, it sounds so simple and I think all fans realize that, and that’s why you have fans at games. For some reason, just to hear him say that, it really stuck with me and I found it’s true.

Let’s just see what this game has in store for us tonight.

New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers – May 10, 2010


  1. ouchudied

    May 10, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Come on Dontrelle, you just can’t let this sort of stuff happen with semi-regularity…

  2. Steve

    May 10, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    I wonder How Dan felt in 2003…………….. Probably like the rest of us.

    Lets go TIGERS


  3. Keith (Mr. X)

    May 10, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Good move. If Willis isn’t feeling 100%, I don’t want him anywhere near the mound.

  4. stephen

    May 10, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    I am sorry to come across as completely heartless on this front, but enough already!

    Willis is stealing money. He’s got two wins in 2.25 seasons. He’s been paid, roughly, 23 million dollars already. He starts pitching adequately and now this. You can’t ask out of your second start in two weeks because of flu-like symptoms! Who does that? Jack Morris? Bob Gibson? Walt Terrell? I doubt it. Seriously, I’ve never heard of such a thing in 30 years of baseball watching.

    You’ve got the toughest team in the league and you ask out because of flu-like symptoms?? That is just a lame move. Could he have the flu twice? Possible! But after the Tigers claimed anxiety disorder while Willis said he never had it, frankly, I don’t believe a word that comes out of either of their mouths regarding his health. You’ve got to take some personal responsibility at some point, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Willis finally got into decent shape this year because it’s an option year. Maybe his problems are legitimate, who knows at this point, but he’s not a good member of a team sport.

    Do I think that Willis can consistently win games at the major league level? Possible, I guess. Rational people can disagree. But I don’t want him on my team any more just like I didn’t want Rasheed Wallace on the Pistons toward the end. I’m not making a moral judgement here, but there has got to be a modicum of professionalism and consistency, particularly when you have so many young players.

    Enough already. Dontrelle, your time is up. Go somewhere else.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      May 10, 2010 at 7:57 pm

      Willis had a 102-degree temperature.

      “He didn’t sleep very well last night,” Rand said. “He was burning up.”

      Willis was examined by Dr. Michael Workings, the Tigers’ physician, to make sure he had nothing worse than the flu. Once Willis was diagnosed, the club asked him to stay home to keep him away from his healthy teammates. So far, no other players have come down with a similar illness, and the team hopes to keep it that way.

      • stephen

        May 10, 2010 at 8:44 pm

        Could be true, or could be another shading of the truth a la Willis’s entire tenure here and the selective fact released regarding Cabrera’s drinking spree. The franchise hasn’t exactly covered itself as a paragon of truth in the past couple of years.

        • Keith (Mr. X)

          May 10, 2010 at 9:04 pm

          Sick people need to be quarantined. N1H1 is no joke.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      May 10, 2010 at 7:58 pm

      Good stuff Stephen. I’m down for giving him till the end of his year b/c frankly, starting lefty pitching is nearly impossible to find these days. But I definitely see where you are coming from.

      • Birdy

        May 11, 2010 at 4:46 am

        Stephen, the reason that others and now I chide you is that you imply Dontrelle is doing something on purpose and that his intentions are less than honorable. I think others would agree that something is not quite right when a guy goes down with the flu twice in a short period of time when it’s not happening to anyone else, but I doubt you’d find many that think that he’s faking it. If anything, I think these bouts with the flu reinforce the anxiety diagnosis. Anxiety builds as his start nears (especially a start against the Yankees) and it manifests itself in physical symptoms. That’s not at all hard to imagine. And of course it is not an ideal situation for any player on any sports team, and certainly grounds for a fan to want to tell him to take a hike.
        None of us want that situation for our team, but to say it’s a lame “move”, as if it is something he has carefully calculated, is going to turn off anyone who thinks they know anything about what kind of person Dontrelle is.

        • stephen

          May 11, 2010 at 9:22 am

          I don’t know if his intentions are honorable or not honorable, the point I’m trying to make is this as devolved into a scenario where the Tigers are enabling his behavior and choices. If he really has anxiety disorder, then maybe the only thing that is going to get him to face it–he still denies he has it– is getting released. Maybe it’s time for a little less coddling and a little more tough love. It might be better for Dontrelle in the long run. Was he sick or not sick? Only he knows. But he’s been a sideshow for far too long on this team.

          • kathy

            May 11, 2010 at 11:46 am

            Of course, he was sick!. The weather here in Michigan is awful, People coughing and hacking everywhere you go.

          • Birdy

            May 12, 2010 at 8:14 am

            A little too speculative and conspiratorial for me. Here are the possible scenarios I see:
            A) Dontrelle was sick. The reason he was sick can be debated to determine whether it was an acceptable contraction of the infirmity.
            B) Dontrelle wan’t sick.
            1) Dr. Workings went to the bar instead and made up his diagnosis
            2) Dontrelle paid off Dr. Workings to tell the team he was sick
            3) Management knows he wasn’t sick but they’ve decided to lie in concert with Dontrelle to all of Dontrelle’s teammates
            4) Management has told Dontrelle’s teammates that he wasn’t sick but that he couldn’t or wouldn’t pitch that day. They have asked his teammates to accept this, explaining that they think it will be good for the team’s win/loss record in the long run. The team accepts this because they unfailingly trust their manager and/or because they like Dontrelle the person so much that they don’t care if Dontrelle the player helps the team or not.
            I just don’t think the team functions this way. The skipper knows he would need EVERYONE’S buy-in to be able to play it this way and still have a cohesive clubhouse. The skipper also knows that he’d be allowing different treatment for different players. I just don’t think that’s possible.
            If it is as you say (the Tigers enabling his “choices”), he will be gone very soon. One of these choices you say is his denial that he has anxiety disorder. Is this something you can back up, or is it just Dontrelle doing what anyone would do, declining to disclose one’s state of mental health to strangers?

            • stephen

              May 12, 2010 at 11:48 am

              Birdy, when you’re getting paid $10 million a year and a team publicly puts you on the disabled listed with an anxiety disorder and then you deny it, that’s a little more than Joe Blow not wanting to discuss his mental health problems in public. He could have just said no comment. By his response, he is either lying, calling the GM a liar, or he is still in deep denial about the nature of his problem. I have all the sympathy in the world for him, I have friends who suffer with anxiety, but this is a team and his behavior has impact beyond his own situation. Plus, he still gets paid. Let him go and let him come to grips with his demons on his own. The Tigers will have paid him 30m by the end of the year, they have gone above and beyond their responsibility to be patient and get him help. Now that they need to do what’s best for the team. Right now, I’m sure they think keeping him on the team gives them the best chance to win. I just think that’s short-sighted and detrimental to the other 24 players on the roster.

              • Birdy

                May 13, 2010 at 6:29 am

                I think you’re taking the few facts that we actually have and assuming the worst case scenario. I suppose I’m doing a bit of the opposite.
                I trust the skipper not to do things that are detrimental to the other 24 players on the roster, and I don’t think he could get away with that without the media noticing.
                I think he was sick, and I don’t have any evidence to say it was anxiety induced. I don’t think he “asked out” of his start. He was told to stay home because he was sick.
                I think he’s regaining his confidence, in part because of how his teammates and manager have unfailingly supported him. I think he’s going to continue to get better, and I think he’s going to be one of the great stories in baseball this year. I hope he does because one of the things I appreciate the most about him is how he has taken personal responsibility for his poor play, rather than blaming someone or something else. I trust that if the Tigers thought he was not owning up to his “disorder” that they wouldn’t have stuck with him or continue to do so.

  5. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    May 10, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Now the REAL season begins…….when the Tigers have to start playing some REAL baseball teams.

  6. colin

    May 10, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    You could go root for the Indians, they don’t have Dontrelle on their roster. Actually, please do

    • stephen

      May 10, 2010 at 7:07 pm

      What a pithy response.

    • Tigers Fan in Toronto

      May 10, 2010 at 7:22 pm

      What’s got your shorts in a knot…..did your boy-friend tell you “Not tonite dear, I have a headache!”

      • stephen

        May 10, 2010 at 7:27 pm

        Another good one, going for the tried-and-true homophobic response. I have no earthly idea why you put a hyphen between boy and friend.

        • Tigers Fan in Toronto

          May 10, 2010 at 7:32 pm

          My error…..trying to watch the game and type at the same time.

      • billfer

        May 11, 2010 at 7:18 am

        Not cool.

    • billfer

      May 11, 2010 at 7:18 am

      @colin Not cool

  7. Keith (Mr. X)

    May 10, 2010 at 7:29 pm


  8. ouchudied

    May 10, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    I think Johnny Damon must have donated his right arm to Nick Swisher out there in right. What a shotput that was.

  9. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    May 10, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Carlos is going to have a tough time displacing BB when he get’s back.

  10. kathy

    May 10, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Just like Ernie said, “Remember, every game stands on its own.” That is something for all of us to inculcate for every game and to enjoy what we see – one game at a time.

  11. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    May 10, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Man is AA playing shallow.

    • Tigers Fan in Toronto

      May 10, 2010 at 7:44 pm

      My error again …..I meant AJ……got to slow down on the cold pops!

  12. Kevin in Dallas

    May 10, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Swisher – a bit of acting there?

  13. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    May 10, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Another walk comes back to bite the Tigers in the a$$.

  14. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    May 10, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    What was Inge fishing for there…..a Lake St Clair perch.

  15. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    May 10, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Will one of the current Tiger catchers end the season batting above .200……will it be Avila or Laird?

  16. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    I’m liking Eddie Boknuckle…he even fields his position.

    Actually now that I think of it, Leyland probably wasn’t gonna start Avila tonight knowing he had a knuckleballer coming in after a few innings…0

  17. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    May 10, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Here’s JOHNNY!

  18. stephen

    May 10, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Now Damon, he’d played with a 104 degree temperature.

  19. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Ha, Damon “yanks” one, that run is huge

  20. Keith (Mr. X)

    May 10, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Damon ! Home run!

  21. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Well, true Stephen…then again so would have Inge…

    I’m all for not infecting the rest of the team with what he has (even if it’s anxiety and not fever, actually)

  22. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    I wonder how many errors per season Texeira saves A-Rod

  23. stephen

    May 10, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    C’mon Inge, they just walked a rookie to get to you. Make them pay!

    • Tigers Fan in Toronto

      May 10, 2010 at 9:00 pm

      It looks like he’s still fishing for perch in Lake St Clair!

  24. stephen

    May 10, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Sigh. Serenity now, serenity now.

  25. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    I think it may be time for a day off for Mr. Inge

  26. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    On his day off he could go fishing and get it out of his system, and everyone wins

  27. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I’m liking the thought of Zumaya following Boknuckle–can you imagine how fast 100 looks after this?

  28. stephen

    May 10, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    The soothing thing about Inge is he so damn consistent.
    He’s about 4-7 days from perfectly intersecting his 2010 season numbers with his lifetime .237 306 oba.
    That will be followed in 8-11 days by me going on a Inge jihad.
    That will be followed in 11-14 days by Inge hitting 7 home runs in a week.
    That will be followed by everyone posting ‘Stephen, how you like Inge now!’
    I call it the Phases of Inge.

  29. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    May 10, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    It seems that when it rains it pours for the Tigers.

  30. Keith (Mr. X)

    May 10, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Zumaya walks his 1st hitter of the season. Nice 18 inning steak he had.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      May 10, 2010 at 9:16 pm

      streak. not steak.

  31. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    May 10, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Whewwww….thank God….or should I say Zoom Zoom…..we got out of the inning unscathed!

  32. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    An 18-inning steak would be pretty much an entire steer I’m thinking

  33. Kevin in Dallas

    May 10, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Attaboy Laird.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      May 10, 2010 at 9:22 pm

      (note, I wrote that for him talking back to the ump, not the flyout. but he is what he is.)

  34. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    May 10, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I like to see that the Tigers are starting to be more aggressive on the basepaths.

  35. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Wow Zumaya looks good…that was awesome: a 99 strike, a 101 strike, 102 inside, then an 85 strike 3

  36. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    May 10, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Seeing Zoom Zoom has thrown 18 pitches…..can/will he come back out for the 8th?

    • Tigers Fan in Toronto

      May 10, 2010 at 9:49 pm

      He has.

  37. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    May 10, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Alright BB!!!!!

    • Tigers Fan in Toronto

      May 10, 2010 at 9:47 pm

      The Tigers have two awesome looking rookies in AJ & BB!

  38. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Boesch Bash!

    (Take your time Carlos, take your time)

  39. Keith (Mr. X)

    May 10, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Boesch is country strong

  40. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    And then Boesch is pulled from the game…hmmm…

  41. Mike in CT

    May 10, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Any thought why Leyland is leaving Zumaya out there to face Cano (lefty) and Posada (switch)?

  42. Dr. Detroit

    May 10, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    What is Zoom still doing in there? He’s tiring, and staying righty with Posada puts Posada in his wheelhouse. Coke is made for this.

  43. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    The Cano AB was interesting–Zumaya shook off Laird twice and tried the slow curve after the inside heat combo again, and Cano was sitting on it

  44. stephen

    May 10, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    This is the domino effect of your starter calling in sick. You’ve got to pitch guys longer than they’re used to just to get by.

  45. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I’m not exactly sure why in the world Everett tried to go to third with that

    • stephen

      May 10, 2010 at 10:00 pm

      That was his only play. Inge should gone to the bag, at least in theory.

      • Mike in CT

        May 10, 2010 at 10:02 pm

        Look, be grateful it didn’t fly into the dugout.

  46. stephen

    May 10, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    This has been a pretty damn great game.

  47. Keith (Mr. X)

    May 10, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Magglio!!! What a catch!

    • kathy

      May 10, 2010 at 10:09 pm

      A patent Magglio move.

      • Mike in CT

        May 10, 2010 at 10:14 pm

        Definitely will be flashier plays tonight, but that was a game-saving WEB GEM. Hope ESPN recognizes it, should the Tigers win.

  48. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Nice catch Maggs (although you did give me a mild coronary incident)

  49. Coleman

    May 10, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I’m loving Mr. Potato Head, but he must bug the crap out of other teams

  50. Keith (Mr. X)

    May 10, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Papa Grande! Oh my!

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      May 10, 2010 at 10:29 pm

      K’s the side and the heart of the Yankees order. WOW. I’m so glad we got Valverde. He just seems so much better than Rodney ever was. Getting him didn’t come cheaply, but he’s definitely been worth his weight in potatoes.

  51. RoseTattoo

    May 10, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Thanks Ernie!!

  52. Tigers Fan in Toronto

    May 10, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Swing batter…..a great game ……a fantastic win.

  53. Mike in CT

    May 10, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Nice win… Porcello better go about seven tomorrow, though.

    Gotta love Big Papa.