Line of the day: Justin Verlander

It isn’t really a line so much as a proclamation, or a challenge, or just Verlander being competitive. But Verlander is calling it: He’s going to be perfect in PFP for the rest of camp, or at least when Jim Leyland is hitting PFP to him.

I can’t make this up.

“He won’t get me anymore this spring,” Verlander said, for quotation, Saturday afternoon. “He will not get another one past me.”

This came after Leyland got his second ground ball past him in as many days, and made no secret about it.

On Friday, the Tigers’ first workout, Leyland was crowing after putting some spin on a ball or two to get past Verlander. On Saturday, Verlander’s 27th birthday, Verlander called Leyland over to the PFP field to hit him some grounders.

Not only was Verlander bragging about being perfect himself, he pointed out that his entire group was perfect, including Zach Miner and Ryan Perry. Then Leyland put a sharp ground ball through the 5-hole on Verlander.

Seconds later, Leyland got one past Miner. But it was Verlander’s miscue that was the big deal.

“I got him two days in a row,” Leyland said. “We’ve only been here two days. I got him both days.”

Verlander is competitive, all right. But so is Leyland.

“He’s smart, though,” Leyland said of his ace. “There won’t be anything at stake until he goes perfect.”

3 Comments

Well Damon is in. Now the dynamics change for a lot of last year’s good ol’ boys.
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Not sure what this means for Thomas. If they over commit to AJ then he is probably gone back to Toledo. (Leyland will have to go with 12 pitchers.) I hope they conduct an impartial training camp.
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The hope and dream mentality still pervades. They look like they bypassed Lopez and dream that a minor league player with no MLB experieince whatsoever can perform at a key position in the infield. Plus, they hope his ankle is OK. Tall odds.
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I would have gone for Lopez for double insurance–at 2nd or at short. Everett is not going to hit more than .230 and he is slightly over-rated defensively. Lopez plays a slick 2B.
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I see a lot of different DH’s for Leyland this year. He could realistically have the job rotating between Damon, Guillen and Ordonez. MCab is not likely to get much time there unless he is hurt. As unexcited as I am about Damon (and not Lopez), this arrangement could work. You have 3 (count ‘em) aging OF’rs and a regular blow for any of them does not seriously impact the defense by using the others.
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This Sizemore thing is a huge gamble, one that you don’t often see pennant contenders take. He will have a lot of pressure on him. If he can’t cut it then you take a major hit by having to put Ramon (we all love him, but he is a light hitter) over there–and with Inge, Laird, Everett, and Jackson, that’s a a lot of low impact offense to compensate for. JL was dead right about the importance of middle of the lineup this year.
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Guillen at 3rd is an idea. I don’t like him there much but in truth I don’t like him anywhere on the field anymore. At least he is an infielder and has an infielder’s instincts.
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I guess we shouldn’t forget that Raburn used to be a 2B.
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I think this is gonna indeed be a Hope & Dream year for everybody.

i really like the Damon signing, as he is a kid at heart when it comes to the game of baseball, something i though MC Hammer would bring to the team, and the first year it seemed he did, to a degree, but like like Sean Casey. Damon loves the game, and he’s a professional.

people say he has a noodle arm or whatever, but he has a great track record in comerica park, and he hit .280something last year.

i think he will be an absolute benefit to the tigers, as it keeps guillen out off the field and almost surely relegates him to DH, where the chances of him getting hurt are only slightly less than if he fell into a gopher hole in left and breaks both his legs in some kind of miraculous epic fail.

good sign, detroit, i look forward to seeing Mr. Damon actually producing at the top of the lineup for Miggs, and maggs.

also hope rookie AJ adjusts well, and sizemore. if these two rooks can click and have work out well, just getting on base, it could be a hell of a year. i don’t care if they bloop singles in every at bat, thats more runs for the run producers to knock in.

GO TIGERS 2010!!!!!!!

-mike

Lynn Henning saved me a lot of typing. For probably the first time in history, I agree with everything he wrote. If anyone cares what my opinion of the Damon signing is, just check out Henning’s “smart move” column today.
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Short version: I’m all for it. One year. Perfect. Shameful performance by Boras. Just business. Play ball.
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So what do we call him? Johnny D? Johnny B Good? (I hate that one) The Damonator? Cosmopolitan’s Husband of the Year?
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One memory I have of Damon involves that raucus champagne-soaked onfield celebration after the Tigers knocked off the Yanks in the 2006 ALDS. Damon left the clubhouse, came back up the tunnel and into the dugout to watch the fun. I think everyone will like him if they give him half a chance.
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–Rich

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