Why I like the Futures Game

No, I didn’t have the weekend off. I’m covering the all-star festivities the next few days in NY, but I didn’t want it to take away from what was a key series for the Tigers, so I didn’t blog about it until the Tigers were done.

I didn’t get a chance to write about Wilkin Ramirez and what he did Sunday because I had to write the game story for the national site, and frankly, all the good pitching on the World Team ensured that Wilkin was going to be overlooked.

He had a single and a walk. He was on the back end of back-to-back runners picked off by A’s prospect Brett Anderson, but he said afterwards that the base coach at the time (they were rotating by inning, so I’m not sure who) kept suggesting he take a bigger and bigger lead until Wilkin decided he was going.

What really surprised me about this game is how much players on the World team were looking forward to playing in Yankee Stadium. Ramirez said afterwards that it was a huge dream of his. In the Dominican, he said, the Yankees and Red Sox get so much of a following (big surprise, I know) that Yankee Stadium is a hallowed ground. Some of the pitchers had similar feelings, including Carlos Carrasco.

This is the fourth time in five years that I’ve covered the Futures Game, and I have to admit, it might be my favorite part of the festivities. It’s the one on-field event that’s really kind of low-key — not a packed ballpark for fans or media, not many egos to deal with. It’s really a nice, well-run event, and it’s something you put in the memory banks for a few years down the road, when some of these guys emerge in the big leagues. That could be sooner for a lot of players this year, because there was a ton of talent from Double-A.

The real scrum comes Monday with the player press conferences, or what I like to consider as baseball’s equivalent of Super Bowl Media Day — all the players gathered at tables, and way too much media to get anything in edgewise. We’ll see how it goes.

11 Comments

Jason, Have you heard any talk in the organization about what Robbie Weinhardt (tigers 10th rd pick) is doing at Lakeland?
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9 IP – 1 H – 0 ER – 0 BB – .036 BAA – 2.75GO/FO
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Pretty impressive don’t you think..

Hey Tiger Girl,You sure know when to come out.A 1-2-3 9th. I dont know how were gonna convince you that Zu is the guy,now.

Just havin’ some fun here–nothing too serious!!
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The Dodgers are still looking for ****. Renteria might be a decent fit there and they could be interested knowing he does hit NL pitching.
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How about Renteria for Hong-Chih Kuo?

Bruce – I sure hope Zum is the guy, Jones is probably done this year so I need a backup plan!!

Come on, Dan, no team would be crazy enough to give up a good young pitcher for Renteria…………wait a minute, I take that back…….. :-)
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That guy has good numbers, and his lifetime .227 BA means he could also be our DH.
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Seriously, Edgar is just the kind of guy a team could use down the stretch. I’d want some good prospects in return, though. I’d play the same kind of hardball Atlanta did when dealing him.
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–Rich

Funny that Zumaya is the guy who put all kinds of runners on base the past two days, while Jones had the 1-2-3 inning. I’m just sayin’…………………..
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–Rich

Rich,I notice Zu still has trouble gettin that curve in the right places.Sometimes he is off in the strikezone with that pitch.A couple of those and the hitters know its gonna be a fastball night.I still like the bullpen by committee idea best.Who ever has the hot hand,or, who is suited for a particular hitter,put him in and roll.The other way is Russian Roulette

Tiger Girl,Always good to have a backup;I still think that TJ can be a very valuble assett to the bullpen.I think that continually putting him in power pitcher situations could prove to be disastrous.But,Using him on the front or back end of a lefty vs. lefty matchup with no one on base,or starting innings on the 6,7,8,9 hitters with no one on would(in my opinion) utilize his skills,while optimizing his chance for success.He`d still get saves,but based on how the lineup falls in the late innings of that particular day,rather than automatically sending him out in the 9th…….Regardless of what they decide,I do hope that the Tiger organization would consider keeping him on as a coach,or something to do with the younger players.He has a good reputation amongst baseball players,and he might not be a bad guy to have around.Not saying he`s going to retire soon,just saying he might be a good addition to our organization in a coaching capacity, when he does.

Bruce, I completely agree with the thought of keeping Jones with the club in some capacity. I think of him in a similar sense to Kenny Rogers when they brought him on a few years back. Their knowledge and experience of the game and approach to hitters is something that is very valuable to the organization and the young pitchers in the organization. They may not always have the best stuff anymore (although Rogers has been pretty sharp lately), but knowledge and experience is something extra they bring to the table. I think that both of them could (and have been) huge assets to the organization and players on how things should be done.

Oh yeah, by “with the club” I mean after he retires, whenever that may be.

I know that I’ve been just blatantly abusing Jones for several years and probably threw valuables out my window when he returned to the team, while thinking and hoping he was finally gone….But….

I do think he could serve a purpose in a 5th- 6th-7th inning spot. But in NO WAY as a closer. NEVER. A “closer” is exactly what he is not!!! And just please finally forget the “save” numbers, which are one of the most rediculous overrated misunderstoon stats in MLB. Todd Jones is NOT a closer, but more like an “opener,” like I’ve stated a billion times.

Nonetheless, it wouldn’t bother me to see him go into the game during middle innings once Robertson or a Bonine are thru being hammered on. Jones could represent a good change of pace. Leyland’s gotta get real though…. !!!!

Maybe not a bad guy to keep around for the younger pitchers, too. As long as it’s a “do as I say, and not as I do,” approach.

Thank God for Gallaraga, eh??

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