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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.
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.
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 Al and HookSlide talk more about the worst first place team ever, including Miguel Cabrera being written off by sports talk radio, the bullpen "situation," Torii Hunter refusing to age, Dan Dickerson schooling ESPN and Alex Avila swinging on 3-0.
Bless You Boys Podcast 109 was recorded April 25, 2014, has a running time of 1:09, and features Al Beaton and HookSlide.
If you plan on attending the BYB Meetup August 2, please pay up!
Tigers are still in first place without their best players being at their best.
Miguel Cabrera isn't washed up just yet.
The bullpen isn't so bad ... until it is.
There are no obvious replacements for Phil Coke at Triple-A Toledo.
J.D. Martinez will be just fine as a fourth or fifth outfielder.
Torii Hunter thinks he still has a few years left to play, but will it be as a Tiger?
Dan Dickerson schools ESPN's Jim Bowden.
Thanks to NFL schedule makers, Monday, September 8 at 7 PM will be a cluster in downtown Detroit.
Michael Pineda is awful at hiding things. Pine tar is the most obvious example.
Alex Avila swinging on 3-0 is and will remain, the proper call.
Tigers fans sure can get irrationally angry!
On this week's BYB Podcast, Big Al and HookSlide welcome pitchers and catchers, quote Shakespeare, compare the Olympics to baseball, say goodbye to Joel Zumaya, delve into the ugly politics of baseball and learn Derek Jeter.may be Jesus Christ.
BYB Podcast 102 has a running time of 43 minutes and features Al Beaton and HookSlide. Mysteriously, Kurt Mensching took the Valentine's Day recording session off. He'll be back next week.
Pitchers and catchers report!
Spring training and Shakesspeare.
Comparing judged Olympic sports with baseball. Or more correctly, judged Olympic athletic exhibitions to an actual sport.
Victor Martinez will catch and play first base in NL parks.
Bruce Rondon shows up to camp in the best shape of his life, having lost 20-30 pounds. Prince Fielder tells Texas media he's in the best shape of his life. Thus begs the question - why aren't highly paid athletes ALWAYS in the best shape of their life? (John Kruk and Bartolo Colon excepted)
The Tigers and Sportservice remodel the Pepsi Porch, adding a bar and replacing bleacher seats with stadium style seats. (Al immediately goes into Abe Simpson mode)
After announcing 2014 would be his final season, the deification of Derek Jeter has already begun. According to Albert Pujols, Jeter is the next closest thing to Jesus Christ.
Saying goodby to Joel Zumaya.
The Angels want to buy off several of Mike Trout's free agency years. It's going to take a $300 million contract to do so.
Major League Baseball owners, despite earning more than $8 billion in revenue in 2013, ddcide to cut costs by nickel and dimin employees. They quietly voted in January to allow individual teams to slash or eliminate pension-plan offerings to their non-uniformed personnel.
This week Al and HookSlide talk the state of the team with the third best record in the AL, robbing Peter (the bench) to pay Paul (the bullpen) in calling up Justin Miller, second guessing Brad Ausmus, Ian Kinsler being a better fit than Prince Fielder, Justin Verlander's first hit and baseball opinions, because everyone has one.
Bless You Boys Podcast 108 has a running time of 60 minutes and features Al Beaton and HookSlide. Kurt Mensching has the week off.
The state of the Detroit Tigers is actually pretty damn good. People tend to forget the Tigers have the third best record in the AL and are 5-2 at home.
Bullpen help arrives in the right arm of Justin Miller.
With an eight man bullpen, do the Tigers even have a bench at this point?
How the Tigers use Alex Gonzales and Andrew Romine continues to confuse the fan base. Shortstop is an issue and will remain an issue until the Tigers make a definitive decision at the position.
Brad Ausmus was seriously second guessed for the first time in his managerial career when history repeated itself thanks to a late inning bunt attempt involving Torii Hunter,
Ian Kinsler versus Prince Fielder.
Justin Verlander gets his first hit, somehow the world does not spin off its axis.
Everyone has an opinion on baseball. But it doesn't necessarily mean their opinion has merit.
The morning after the Tigers are one-hit in the middle of the night, Al, Kurt and HookSlide struggle their way though discussing the worst 5-3 team ever, dead arms, not-so-imaginary relief pitchers, Andrew Romine, jinxed ballplayers and the umpires not telling anyone about new rule interpretation.
Bless You Boys Podcast 107 has a running time of 54 minutes and features Al Beaton, HookSlide, and of course, Kurt Mensching.
If you believe a certain vocal segment of the Detroit fan base, the Tigers are (voice of Comic Book Guy) the worst 5-3 team ever. EVER.
The bullpen finally didn't give up a ninth inning run Friday night. Let's not mention the bottom of the ninth wasn't played...
Same pitcher, different season. Phil Coke is getting rocked. The Tigers have seven lefties in Toledo, but not one of them would be an upgrade to the Detroit bullpen?
Joe Nathan: "I have a dead arm." Brad Ausmus: "Joe is still the closer."
Numbers support Nathan's annual 'dead arm' period.
Grantland: Trust in Dombrowski.
The Detroit News' Tony Paul writes the Tigers may (and should) keep Drew Smyly in a relief role. Isn't Smyly more valuable to the team pitching 160 innings instead of 80?
Anyone else prefer to see the Tigers play Andrew Romine over Alex Gonzalez at short?
Both Avisail Garcia and Jose Iglesias are out for the season with injuries, while Brayan Villarreal is buried at Triple-A. Every young player involved in last year's three-team trade is jinxed!
West coast baseball is a PITA ... especially for Rick Porcello.
Seems the umpires have changed their interpretation of the "transfer rule" and didn't tell anyone.
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Bless You Boys Podcast 104 has a running time of 48 minutes and features Al Beaton and Kurt Mensching.
Kurt and Al cover the past injury filled week of Tigers baseball, giving HOT SPORTS TAKES on the loss of Jose Iglesias and Bruce Rondon for the season and new shortstop Andrew Romine, wonder if Stephen Drew worth a one-year deal, advise everyone not to PANIC and get in a little NCAA Tournament talk!
Jose Iglesias will likely miss the 2014 season.
Tigers acquire Angels infielder Andrew Romine.
Stephen Drew willing to sign one-year deal with Tigers.
Bruce Rondon to undergo Tommy John surgery.
Time to PANIC?
Tigers injury woes more nuisance than disaster.
Justin Verlander named Tigers' Opening Day starter.
MLB starts the regular season in Australia at 4 A.M. eastern time on the same weekend the USA is obsessing over the NCAA Tournament.
Aroldis Chapman is the latest pitcher to be hit in the head by a line drive, and was lucky not to be killed. Is there anything baseball can do to protect pitchers?
Bless You Boys Podcast 95 has a running time of 61 minutes and features Al Beaton, HookSlide, and of course, Kurt Mensching. The gang covers the past week of Detroit Tigers baseball, dominated by the controversial trade of Doug Fister and the signing of Joe Nathan. Fister was traded to the Washington Nationals for either spare parts and a prospect or spare parts and Robbie Ray. Taken in a vacuum, was the Fister deal a good trade or bad trade? But when looked at in a larger context, does the tr
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