Crazy talk from Pudge

PudgeThe talk of the game today was Ivan Rodriguez and his home-run total so far this spring, but the talk from Pudge was about patience at the plate. Yes, that Pudge.

Here’s a sampling of quotes from the man who drew just nine walks last season and averaged 3.51 pitches per plate appearance, 142nd out of 162 Major League hitters who had enough plate appearances to qualify for a batting title:

"I’m feeling good. I’m just feeling great at the plate. That’s the stroke that I want to keep all year, just have a good balance at the plate, just see the ball and don’t try to do too much."

"No, I don’t think I’ve had a Spring Training like that as far as home runs. But I don’t look for that. It’s good, yes. I have six home runs in Spring Training. The main thing about it is I’m just doing what I want to do and just be more selective at the plate, try to hit some strikes and take the balls. I’m just trying to see 4-5 pitches per at-bat. That’s what I’m trying to do. And so far, that’s what I’m doing. I’m feeling pretty good about that."

"Everybody knows that I’m not going to be in the middle of the lineup. I’m going to be in the bottom of the lineup, so it’s going to help me a lot to be more selective at the plate and get a good pitch to hit."

"The more years that you play, the better hitter you are. I’m still aggressive, but in the same way that I’m aggressive, I just want to wait for a good pitch to hit. It’s just sometimes you have to trust your ability in the game and sometimes you don’t think about it."

Much like Jeremy Bonderman and his changeup, we’ll see if this spring training project will carry into the regular season. Still, even hearing talk like this out of Pudge is something very different. This is somebody who had very little regard for walks in the not-too-distant past. Now he sounds like a hitter who is maturing, and I have to admit, I never thought that would happen.

Remember that game against the Twins at the Metrodome last September, when Rodriguez drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game and he raised his arms and yelled in triumph? Maybe Matt Garza created a monster.


There’s not much I can add to today’s game, folks. The boxscore tells the story this time. The Tiger hitters caught a struggling Woody Williams and did what a good hitting team does to struggling pitchers.

Just a few notes:

Sheffield looked like Sheff on his first inning double. He turned on it and ripped it down the line. Hard.

Rogers obviously had his good stuff. I was seated in the first row down the thirdbase line, not a good spot to judge pitches.

It was nice to see former Tigers Brian Moehler and Doug Brocail in there. Brocail did a nice job of escaping a bases loaded jam. Reminded me of the old Doug.

I began shouting “The Bambino!” at Pudge. 🙂

I thought Renteria started hitting yesterday and he continued today.

I got in a brief pregame visit with Jason. The traffic had nearly made me late so we just touched base for a moment. Jason, I’ll see if I can hook up with you again before we leave on Sunday.

My wife and I hung out for awhile after the game, just enjoying the beautiful weather and atmosphere. Jim Leyland emerged from the clubhouse and signed and posed for a handful of fans. I wasn’t close enough to hear what he was saying, but the people were laughing a lot. Quite a guy, JL.

Tomorrow we’re seated right behind homeplate, so perhaps I can get some looks at Bonderman’s changeups and report back on that.


Good old Pudge.

We’ll look for you tomorrow Rich. What row are you two in? Know what you’re wearing?
The game is on MLB TV.

Enjoy your time in the sun!

I have always loved Pudge, and it has been painful seeing him turn into an average hitter. Here’s hoping he has a great year. I sounds like he has the perfect attitude about it.

Ditto on that. Nice to hear him talking like that. Could be Pudge has something to prove this year.

He is going to help this club more by batting in the bottom 3rd than he would have batting in the middle 3. Still one of the top 5 catchers in the game.

Interesting and gutsy write-up Jason.

Thanks again Rich.

Pudge has been something this spring, lets just hope that he keeps up at least a bit of it during the regular season. I don’t think that with Pudge it was ever a lack of trying, probably just the opposite, he tried to hard.

Looks like Kenny had a pretty good outing, just a small blip in the second, but four easy looking innings.

Jason couple of questions, do you think that we will see Inge catch again anytime soon?? (I hate to bring it up but??)

Dan, we’re directly behind home, 12th row, so I don’t know if we can be seen from there. Monday would have been a good day for that.

If you see a Chris Shelton jersey, that’s my wife. I’m the ugly guy with her wearing a Lions T and a Tigers cap.

Time to go!


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