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The prodigal editor returns! The ever curmudgeonly Kurt joins Al and HookSlide to discuss a miserable week of Tigers baseball, including the odd use of Phil Coke, Danny Worth as a shutdown reliever and look through the remains in bullpen and at shortstop.
Bless You Boys Podcast 113 was recorded May 24, 2014, has a running time of 43 minutes, and features Al Beaton, HookSlide, and of course, Kurt Mensching.
Swept in Cleveland. But there's no reason for DOOM.
Don't blame the plane or Zubaz for the losing streak, blame the starting pitching.
The odd use of Phil Coke: Was it do to the team "trying to get him going" or "The Tigers' bullpen was so worn out, who else would you have used?"
The latest bullpen savior, Corey Knebel, is called up.
The Robbie Ray experiment was a success, but it was time for it to end.
Danny Worth, shutdown reliever.
Any solution at shortstop won't include Stephen Drew. But don't expect Hernan Perez or Eugenio Suarez to be the solution, either.
Prince Fielder to undergo season ending neck surgery, Ian Kinsler continues to impress. The Tigers will be winning the trade for some time to come.
Rumors of Dave Dombrowski becoming the next baseball commissioner won't go away.
A bleary-eyed Big Al and HookSlide spend another show talking about the Tigers' bullpen, ponder the pros and cons of the Joakim Soria deal along with the Joe Nathan and prospect fallout, ask how Detroit can 'win' the trade, debunk jinxes and revel in the glory that is Ryan Raburn's throwing arm.
Bless You Boys Podcast 121 was recorded July 25, 2014, has a running time of 73 minutes, and features Al Beaton and HookSlide.
Tigers acquire closer Joakim Soria from Rangers for prospects Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel.
Did the Tigers overpay for Soria?
Trading prospects is the equivalent of buying lottery tickets. You could hit big, but the odds are heavily slanted against you.
Are the Tigers scrapping their future with prospect heavy trades? Was the Soria trade a "screw the future" deal thanks to an octogenarian owner who wants a World Series win NOW?
Should the bullpen have been better addressed during this past off season?
Joe Nathan is still the closer. But for how long? Would Soria be best used in higher leverage situations earlier during a game?
How do we define "winning the trade?"
Fangraphs: Joakim Soria and the value of a postseason relief ace.
When Dave Dombrowski says it's 'highly unlikely" Joel Hanrahan pitches for Tigers, he's actually saying "Hanarahan will not pitch for Detroit in 2014."
Some things will never change, such as the Tigers' connection with Lakeland.
Debunking baseball voodoo: There are no such things as jinxes.
Ryan Raburn is gonna Ryan Raburn. Just ask Corey Kluber.
All that, plus tangents galore!
One week after another BYB podcast full of talk of what's wrong with the Tigers, Al and HookSlide revel in their undefeated week, ask what has changed, are impressed by Rick Porcello and J.D. Martinez, appreciate Torii Hunter's honestly, and wave back at Ian Kinsler.
Bless You Boys Podcast 117 was recorded June 27, 2014, has a running time of 56 minutes, and features Al Beaton and HookSlide.
Things were looking dire last week. The Tigers had lost 3 straight to the Royals, dropping 1 ½ games back and appeared well on their way to 3rd place. Seven days later, the Tigers have 7 wins in a row, and are back to 4 1/2 games up in the Central. But what's changed in one week?
Rick Porcello is off to the best start of his career. Thursday night he tossed his first career shutout and second complete game, raising his record to 10-4 and lowering his ERA to 3.41.
Dave Dombrowski tells MLB Network Radio the team is confident Joe Nathan has turned the corner, and that if the Tigers do add bullpen help ahead of the trade deadline, it'll likely be for a seventh- or eighth-inning guy.
J.D. Martinez is named AL Player of the Week, and continues to bash the living Hell out of the ball.
The Tigers' corner outfield positions are getting crowded. Torii Hunter sees the writing on the wall and tells the media he is willing to take a part-time role if that's best for the team.
Ian Kinsler homered in his first at-bat in his return to Arlington, then waved to the Texas bench when running to first (with a huge smile on his face).Flying under the radar is Kinsler's bat, which has been just as hot as the Tigers named Martinez.
Tigers have reacquired Daniel Schlereth, assigning him to Toledo.
All that, and more!
In an episode all about the Benjamins, Al and Hookslide cover the fallout from the Tigers' historic contract extension with Miguel Cabrera, Max Scherzer's contract negotiations ending in futility, the acquisition of ancient shortstop Alex Gonzalez and Forbes estimating the team's worth at $680 million.
Bless You Boys Podcast 105 has a running time of 1:03 and features Al Beaton and HookSlide. Kurt Mensching will be back next week.
Tigers, Cabrera formally announce 8-year extension, commit to 10-years and $292 million overall.
MLB execs disgusted over Miguel Cabrera extension.
Fans of advanced metrics are calling the Cabrera extension the worst contract ever. What a surprise!
But is it really that crazy of a contract in retrospect? $30 million may look like chump change in ten years.
Tigers were between a rock and a hard place. Let Cabrera walk in free agency, the fans get upset. Sign the best hiotter in the game to a contract locking him up for the remainder of his career, the fans get upset.
Tigers' GM Dave Dombrowski contended it's better to extend a pending free agent early on the process, believing a player is more likely to leave the longer you wait.
The Tigers may not be all that worried about the long-term ramifications of a contract extension thanks to the ridiculous amount of TV money MLB teams earn.
Max Scherzer and the Tigers cease contract negotiations.
Scherzer's agent Scott Boras claims it was the Tigers who rejected a deal.
Tyler Collins makes the team as a left fielder.
Tigers obtain shortstop Alex Gonzalez from the Orioles for utility man Steve Lombardozzi.
Forbes values Tigers at $680 million, 15th overall in MLB. Anyone else think that figure sounds low?
Doug Fister will start the season on the DL. The Tigers win the trade!
The gang is back together, recapping the first week of Detroit Tigers baseball. Al, Kurt and HookSlide talk TOOTBLANs, Brad Ausmus' strategy, Miguel Cabrera's 2000th hit, hiccups with instant replay, and sports talk radio hosts upset over paternity leave. Kurt also learns about the Dave Clark Five.
Bless You Boys Podcast 106 has a running time of 58 minutes and features Al Beaton, HookSlide, and of course, Kurt Mensching.
Undefeated! Walk off wins! Small sample sizes!
Brad Ausmus' strategy is compared to Jim Leyland's.
TOOTBLANs for everyone, especially Nick Castellanos.
Relief pitching starts to shake out.
Defense isn't great, but it's better than 2013.
Starting pitching remains dominant.
Offense doing enough to win, but it's no coincidence the Tigers start scoring runs in bunches when Miguel Cabrera's bat wakes up.
Working the kinks out of MLB instant replay. Then again, the NFL has had it for years and is still trying to get it right.
Sports talk radio hosts like Mike Francesa and Boomer Esiason make asses of themselves over the Mets' Daniel Murphy missing two games for paternity leave.
This week Neil Weinberg joins us to talk Tigers, Rick Porcello, Brad Ausmus, and all things stats and advanced metrics. In the second half of the show, HookSlide and Big Al ponder where the Tigers' offense has gone, why it's disappeared and if it can be fixed.
Bless You Boys Podcast 123 was recorded August 8, 2014, has a running time of 1:23 and features Al Beaton and HookSlide.
Special guest: Neil Weinberg of New English D and Fangraphs. Neil can be found on Twitter at @neilweinberg44.
What happened to the offense? Tigers scored just 6 runs during the 4 game series in New York, and just 2 runs in the 3 losses combined.
How to fix it? Who is to blame and is there a quick fix?
Austin Jackson: Has the trade of Jackson, who was big part of Detroit's offense, hurt more than anticipated?
It it far to criticize Miguel Cabrera?
Alex Avila: Hhas the criticism over his bat gotten to the point where it's beyond over-the-top?
David Price: Thoughts on his first start? Was Price the pitcher you expected?
Jim Johnson: Thoughts on the the Tigers taking a flier on the former All-Star closer?
Royals creeping closer: The second place Royals are hot again and have crept within 3 games of Detroit. Time to PANIC?
Dave Dombrowski: Out of the running for MLB commissioner. Feel free to breathe a sigh of relief.
TV Ratings: The team with the highest local TV ratings (with some of the lowest rights fees) is the Detroit Tigers. Their 8.38 household rating is almost a point higher than the second place team, the Cardinals.
All that, plus tangents galore!
On Bless You Boys Podcast 122 Big Al and HookSlide break from the usual format both a live episode and welcome a special guest. Joining us in the first half of the podcast is Ben Chiswick, play-by-play man for the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Single-A affiliate for the Detroit Tigers.
Ben will fill us in on life as a play-by-play man and give us an in-depth look at the Whitecaps' current prospects and the outlook on the players the Tigers traded away in the deals for Joakim Soria and David Price.
David Price is a Detroit Tiger!
Reactions are mixed in Detroit, happy in Seattle and beyond angry in Tampa Bay.
Is Price Max Scherzer insurance?
Is Justin Verlander bullpen bound for the playoffs?
Tigers and A's in a Cold War style arms race.
Outfield is full of question marks with the trade of Austin Jackson
Curtis Granderson all over again.
Drew Smyly is frowning.
Has Dave Dombrowski gone all-in?
Worries over Joakim Soria.
All that, plus tangents galore!
Big Al and HookSlide discuss another winning week of Detroit Tigers baseball, ask where the team stands at the season midpoint and what may happen at the trade deadline, have the weekly bullpen discussion, realize the Tigers are cornering the Martinez market, and introduce the "Porcello."
Bless You Boys Podcast 118 was recorded July 4, 2014, has a running time of 58 minutes, and features Al Beaton and HookSlide.
Tigers reach the season midpoint with their best record since 2007.
What area do the Tigers most need to improve at the trade deadline?
Weekly bullpen discussion - The Tigers are rumored to have interest in re-acquiring Joaquin Benoit.
Earl Weaver was Billy Beane before it was cool.
Funny how the Tigers started winning games in bunches again when the starting rotation snapped out of their funk.
Rick Porcello pitched a "Porcello."
Realinzing you can't have enough Martinez's, the Tigers made a splash with one of their international signings, giving 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Julio Martinez a $600K contract.
All that, and more!
This week Big Al and HookSlide talk far too much about Joe Nathan and the bullpen in general, wonder how Jim Leyland would handle the closer situation, complain about All-Star Game coverage and the Home Run Derby, and learn Phil Coke is a really nice guy.
Bless You Boys Podcast 120 was recorded July 20, 2014, has a running time of 60 minutes, and features Al Beaton and HookSlide.
Bad start to the second half: For better or worse, the Detroit Tigers remain streaky as all Hell. They start the second half by losing three straight to the Indians.
Time to replace Joe Nathan? Another bad outing for Nathan in Saturday night's 5-2 loss, giving up three runs in the top of the ninth.
Ausmus not ready for a closer change: When asked about the possibility of demoting Nathan, Ausmus admitted it was a possibility.
"I'm sure there's a possibility I could reach a point sometime. I'm not near that point. I'll let you know when I am."
Bullpen struggles: The bullpen's combined numbers in the first two games of the Cleveland series: Seven innings, eight earned runs, 15 hits, five walks.
Miguel Cabrera's admission: He tried to backtrack after admitting in a Spanish language interview his lower body was still affected by last season's groin injury and resulting surgery.
The Derek Jeter Invitational, aka MLB's All-Star Game: On FOX, it was ALL DEREK JETER, ALL THE DAMN TIME.
The Home Run Derby: It's broken. The derby is too damn long, there's too much Chris Berman, and few true home run hitters take part.
Adventures with Phil Coke: Hookslide and Hookslide Jr. have nothing but good things to say about the Tigers' left-hander.
Big Al and HookSlide commiserate over what has been an awful two weeks of Detroit Tigers baseball, including throwing players under buses, brutal slumps, assigning blame, more shortstop and bullpen talk and remembering that this too, shall pass.
Bless You Boys Podcast 114 was recorded June 6, 2014, has a running time of 64 minutes, and features Al Beaton and HookSlide.
We missed last week due to Al's medical issues and re-scheduling just not working out. Plus, we remembered how bad the podcast went the last time we tried to record the morning after a west coast night game.
The slump from HELL.
Which are the real Tigers - the team which played like the best MLB, or the worst?
A key to the slump is there has been no offensive production from the outfield over the past three weeks. Going into Friday's action, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter have a lower OPS than Andrew Romine over the [past 3 weeks
Brad Ausmus has said the Tigers must get better play from the 5-through-9 spots in the batting order. If Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera and/or Victor Martinez don't hit, the offense has been dead in the water.
Eugenio Suarez was called up from Triple-A Toledo and is expected to get most of the playing time at short over Romine. Is the Suarez experiment a panic move?
Joe Nathan has blown more saves and given up more home runs in 2014 than he did over the entire 2014 season as a member of the Rangers.
Did Nathan throw Nick Castellanos under the bus? Did Brad Ausmus handle the situation correctly?
Dave Dombrowski actually broke out from his comfort zone of drafting big, hard throwing right-handed pitchers in the first round of the MLB Amateur Draft by selecting a toolsy high-school outfielder, Derek Hill out of California. There have been comparisons made to a young Torii Hunter, as Hill projects out as a center fielder.
Al and HookSlide sum up a great of week of Tigers baseball, keep expectations for Robbie Ray under control, wonder how much it would cost to keep Victor Martinez versus signing Country Breakfast, MOAR ZUBAZ, and realize the NFL can be embarrassingly over-the-top.
Bless You Boys Podcast 111 was recorded May 9, 2014, has a running time of 1:03, and features Al Beaton and HookSlide.
That was one Hell of a good week of Detroit Tigers baseball ... though it was was due to their thumping mediocre to bad competition.
Is the division all but in the Tigers' back pocket less than six weeks into the season?
Robbie Ray impresses in debut.
Before we get too excited over Ray, remember Andy Van Hekken and Andrew Miller?
Victor Martinez is not slowing down and is making a case for a contract extension. Should the Tigers consider it?
Joba Chamberlain spreads the Zubaz virus. But bad taste in clothes = good clubhouse.
The Tigers accommodate the Detroit Lions by moving the start time of their game on Monday September 8 to 4 PM, giving the 7 PM start to the Detroit Lions. Considering where the two teams stand in their respective sports (title contender vs. laughingstock), the better team backed down for the sake of the fans.
NFL vs. MLB.
More bullpen talk, because the podcast would not be complete otherwise.
This week the gang discusses Torii Hunter, Joe Nathan, Justin Verlander, the differences between Brad Ausmus and Jim Leyland, the lack of outfield production and HookSlide's visit to U.S. Cellular Field.
Bless You Boys Podcast 114 was recorded June 13, 2014, has a running time of 60 minutes, and features Al Beaton, HookSlide, and Kurt Mensching.
The losing continues.
Are the Tigers a highly flawed team playing to it's true level?
Grading out Brad Ausmus.
Would Jim Leyland have done anything differently?
Justin Verlander is struggling, but should we be worried?
Joe Nathan is no longer JOE NATHAN.
Torii Hunter has stopped hitting. How long can you wait before making any changes?
The 9th inning is the Tigers' Waterloo.
HookSlide's adventures at The Cell.
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