Looking for a groove

Pudge_4It’s very tough to sit around. The mental part of it is so difficult. Even all day today, not knowing, hearing the weather reports and saying, "Here we go again." I think it’s hurt our club more than anybody because we haven’t played. We played a game, then had a day off, which affects the timing for our hitters. There’s only so much hitting you can do inside.

It’s draining, even for me, the broadcaster. I’m drained. I’m thinking, "Should I start thinking, going through things in my head?" How long do we have tonight?" You gear it up, no matter what you do. So you think of a player that really has to be physically and mentally ready at the same time, it’s a tough deal. This is tough for both teams, but timing-wise, I think it really affects us.

I don’t think a day off can help the hitters. You have to be in action to play. You can take all the batting practice you want, look at video, work on things, but I think the problem with our team’s batting average is we haven’t played, starting with the week off before the Series started. We played two games at home, got a day off, played one game, day off and who knows what’s going to happen tonight? Game action is the thing. To me, it’s an advantage to the Cardinals more than us.

These guys, they don’t change their routine. There are some guys playing cards, some guys hanging out in the trainer’s room telling jokes and stories with the trainers — they all have their own different areas to go. Some guys are watching TV; they’ve probably done all the video-watching of the opposing pitcher and all that stuff. Once their meetings are over with, then they gear it down again. They have one indoor cage here at Busch Stadium, so they take turns having their swings, but for them, tonight, they have to say to themselves, "When do we turn it on?" Because it’s starting to rain again and the weather reports are horrible, so it makes it tough.

I think what happened in New York with the Game 2 rainout in the AL Division Series has something to do with why Major League Baseball waited so long last night. I don’t think anybody’s to blame for what happened in New York. It was just a little mixup. I think in a way it was used to our advantage: the big boys in New York, and here we are, the Tigers. Remember, all they heard when we got in Sunday was "Subway Series." Well, no Subway Series now!

I like what Jim Leyland said about keeping the rotation the same. These are the guys who got us here. Here’s our guys — they’ve earned the spot. I would think if he would change it, though, it would be done the right way. He would know the right way to do it, communicating and so forth.

In ’68, Mickey Lolich pitched the seventh game on two days’ rest and had nasty stuff. I asked Mike Shannon last night, "Mike, how was Lolich in the seventh game?" "Nasty," he said. But Mayo Smith didn’t change the lineup or give anybody a day off. There was no reason to do that. You have the guys who got you there, and nobody’s tired at this point. They’re hyped up.


  1. dan_byrne@mblogs.com

    Jim, at the risk of being patronizing–I really enjoy your broadcasts that I listened to on Gameday Audio. I haven’t been listenting to them lately as I have been watching and listenting to the FOX team. (No comment)
    I did try putting you and Dan on and the TV sound down but couldn’t handle the “delay”.

    I have said over at Beck’s Blog that you bleed real Tiger blood and know you must agonize when you see some of the self-destructive play we have had to endure from time to time with these relatively inexperienced guys. I can empathize with you.

    One question I have (and I’ve been around a long time going back to the Kuenn, Boone, Bertoia, Kaline, Foytack, etc etc days), and this may not be a fair question to ask and if you can’t I understand:

    When Freehan was struggling in the ’68 series as he did, both behind and at the plate, did you feel you should have been given a chance by Mayo?

    You guys of ’68 placed yourselves in in one of the “best memories slots” in my life. I got drafted into the army that year and before being shipped out to Nam I had the pleasure of watching the series at Ft. Hood Tx—and enjoying being the only Tiger fan in my barracks. It was a special time that also kept me “close to home” as a misplaced 18 year old. Thanks.

  2. firemedic838@aol.com

    I had a friend call me the other day and said, “I am a Cubs fan…should I hit the panic button for you?” My comment was quick and I still standby what I said. If the Tigers go down 3-1 I will worry, not until it is the top of the 9th and we are losing by more then 1 with 2 outs and nobody on will I hit the “Panic Button”. Jim you have been saying this all year,I take comfort in these comical words you have tossed out there I feel there is no better time then now to say it… “We got them right where we want them!” I keep telling myself this everyday.

    This has been the most memorible year for me as a Tiger fan I share the passion for this team as well as any diehard fan. Last year my wife and I went to the final home game of the season and sat in silence as we watched the Chicago White Sox jump up and down on the home field after beating us, later we met you and Dan heading out to your cars we got autographs and talked to you about Tigers and the foreseen future, all I can say is WOW we didn’t see that coming. My wife has recently became the Tiger fan that I am including taking us to spring training, this year we saw something special in the works and knew this was gonna be a fun year. No matter what happens to this series the point has been made that we are now back on the radar and will be hungry for the glory in future years as well as now. I look forward to the game tonight and the gutwrenching feeling of elimination because being eliminated in the World Series is far better then being eliminated from playoff contention May 15th. Thank You and Dan for another great year of Tigers baseball called on the radio, It brought back many fond memories of Paul and Ernie calling the games back in the 80s when I was younger then now, Hearing your reaction and Dan’s call in the final ALCS game still brings my eyes to watering and the hair on my neck to standing up. You 2 are the best! So tonight we should all be pulling for our Boys in the Old English D to settle the score from 34 so the Cards will suffer a repeat fate of 68! Thank You Mike and Cyndi Townsend of Paw Paw MI

  3. kkaraba@tds.net

    Just want to let you know how much I enjoy your pre-game show and radio broadcast. I love Mario and Rod but somedays I mute the TV and listen to you and Dan on the radio. When the game is not TV accessible, I always feel like I’m at the game when you broadcast. I was a teenager when the ’68 Tigers won and will never forget it. This 2006 team has made me a happy camper this summer. They were a joy to watch. Looking forward to Spring Training and listening to you next year, Jim. Go Tigers!!!

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