It’s here. We made it. Baseball is back.
Opening Day is the first day of the rest of your life. We can finally stop staring out the window in anticipation of spring. It’s here.
Take the day off, put up your feet, grab a hotdog and enjoy. This is a holiday unlike any other. Umps will scream “play ball” and fighter jets will buzz stadiums full of elated fans. Gloves will pop. Bats will crack. That singing hotdog guy will annoy us.
In most cities the sun will shine brightly, in others, like Detroit, it will be cold and rainy. But it doesn’t matter. Our long, collective nightmare is over.
Baseball is back.
Mascots will race around the track and we’ll all wait for that first, get-out-of-your-seat moment when we all hold our breath. It’s coming.
On this day, everything is possible and no one is in last place. Everyone can have a career year and there is no yesterday about which to complain.
No more contract speculation or trade talk. No more rankings and previews or roster competitions. Just nine innings of baseball that counts.
Your team’s best pitcher against the other team’s leadoff guy is just hours away, maybe even minutes if you’re reading this late enough in the day.
You’ve made it, congratulations. Another awful, terrible, too long winter with nothing to care about.
But it’s all over now. Seven months of baseball begins today.
I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s about time.
Happy Opening Day, friends. I’ve missed you.
Hello and welcome to the pages of SABR Toothed Tigers, the Tigers themed, stat-friendly website that brings you coverage of major league baseball that is both sophisticated and humorous. I, the editor, have given the entire staff the day off to celebrate my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary. Click on the About tab above to see why that last sentence was humorous!
While we take today off, why don’t you check out some of the things STT has to offer. We have tons of 2012 Recaps, 2013 Predictions, and other fun series like The Book on… and The Nine. We also do ballpark reviews, baseball and culture posts, a growing library of Stats of the Week (which are updated weekly during the season), and Goofy Leaderboards.
And we, of course, have tons of baseball analysis. We have many posts on the Tigers and MLB at large to peak your interest, including our most read article ever about the cancellation of ESPN’s Baseball Today podcast.
If you’re into that kind of thing, we also write comedic posts that border on satire and intersect with other words that mean satire. These include an essay on Justin Verlander being baseball’s worst hitter and a request for Jim Leyland to join Twitter.
Please peruse the site and see what we have to offer. We hope you like what you see and would love feedback about the types of posts you’d like to see in the future. Share the site with a friend, or an enemy, we don’t mind.
This site, as you can read about in this inaugural essay, is a place to communicate about something we love. The Tigers. Baseball. Information. Lightheartedness. Optimism.
It’s also a place to come when the rest of the world is annoying the crap out of you. That’s what I do at least. When my other life bores or frustrates me, I write about baseball and it makes me feel better.
I hope it makes you feel better too.
I’ve been in Florida on my honeymoon for the last few days, so we haven’t been running any fresh content, just review pieces for the NL East. If you’re looking for coverage of the big moves, especially the Dickey trade, fear not! Fresh content will be coming in the next few days and throughout the holiday season.
Thanks for visiting SABR Toothed Tigers, the sabermetrically informed website about the Detroit Tigers and all things baseball. We run a pretty small operation here, so it’s hard to find people to work over the holiday weekend. We can’t promise any new content until Monday 11/26, but we hope you take this opportunity to look around at some of the features we’ve run so far.
We have series explaining sabermetrics, goofy 2012 leaderboards, 2012 awards, lots of Free Agent coverage, and along with lighter fare like baseball and culture posts and memorable baseball moments.
We hope you enjoy it and we’re always looking for feedback about features and topics you’d like to see on the site.
One piece of advice before we go, try to come up with a few things you are thankful for ahead of baseball if you’re asked this weekend. While everyone here at STT is most thankful for baseball, family and friends like to feel like they matter in your lives too, so throw them a bone.
It’s important to remember that even on horrible days like today, life is still worth living. I am, of course, referring to the fact that there is no baseball today. None. The ALCS is over, and the NLCS is traveling from St. Louis to San Francisco.
I’m reminded today of what it’s like during the offseason when you can’t watch live baseball. You have to do household chores, pay attention to work, spend time with your family, or even (GASP!) go outside. The humanity.
There are a couple of days like today during the season too. The day after the All-Star Game is a black hole of sports, not just baseball. Usually the day after the regular season is empty barring a real one game playoff as well. Then we have these rare off days during the postseason when a series has wrapped up and another is traveling. Or when the World Series is traveling.
These few days sprinkled across the calendar prepare us for the dark Winter of No Baseball ©. I don’t like it. My wife diagnosed me with Offseasonal Affective Disorder last year. (Read that again, she’s really clever.)
So this site is going to help me through the offseason by allowing me a place to write about baseball even when I can’t watch it. Some of the things to look forward to are 2012 Awards, 2012 recaps, 2013 predictions/previews, leaderboards, stat introductions, fun lists, Free Agency coverage, and probably a lot more.
Since we have some time today, I thought I’d post my 2012 Preseason Predictions, so we’re all on the same page come early November when we revisit them.
Division Winners and Wild Cards:
AL: Rays, Tigers, Rangers, Angels (WC), Yankees (WC)
NL: Nationals, Reds, Diamondbacks, Phillies (WC), Cardinals (WS)
World Series: Rays over Nationals
AL MVP, Cy Young, ROY: Longoria, Verlander, Moore
NL MVP, Cy Young, ROY: Upton, Hamels, Mesoraco
As you can see, I hit on 3/5 of the AL teams and 3/5 of the NL teams and likely one award. Not great, but not bad. I’ll run a full piece on all of these once the series is over.
Writing this only took me about twenty minutes, so by that logic, I’ll be turning out nine to fifteen posts a day during the offseason. So, I might have to get a hobby for November through March. Suggestions welcome, but I really hate anything that isn’t baseball.
I have no illusions about what this is. I don’t expect someone to stumble around the internet onto this site, recognize my brilliance, and start paying me for my opinions on a topic that everyone has opinions about. That’s not what I’m after.
But I love baseball. I love the Detroit Tigers. I like writing, analyzing, and debating. For four years I wrote a weekly newspaper column for my college newspaper, The Eastern Echo, and spent two hours a week as the voice of reason on Eagleradio’s famed The Guy Show. Honestly, I miss it. I miss writing about something of my own choosing and I miss talking about baseball to someone other than my wife (Not because it isn’t wonderful, but because there are only so many times we can make fun of bullpen usage and Robinson Cano!).
I’m 22 and in the first year of a PhD program in Political Science at UNC Chapel Hill. About 700 miles from Comerica Park. I haven’t been to a game there since April after averaging more than 20 a year most years. There’s playoff baseball in Detroit without me for the first time since 1987. To be fair, I wasn’t even born then and they’ve only been twice since. So I guess this is my way of staying connected. Sure, MLB.TV blares Rod and Mario every night in my living room, but I can’t help but feel a little too far away when I see the white towels waving and “’Til I Collapse” playing as Verlander takes the hill on a cool October night.
So in the posts that follow, you’ll see a lot about the Tigers. They’re my baseball wife. But I’m a lover of all things baseball, so I’ll have a lot to say about the sport at large. I never made it higher than high school backup and I never worked in the industry, but I’m a fan and very devoted one. And an educated one.
This isn’t going to be a place for RBIs and pitcher Wins. While I’m not going to go over the top with new age-y stuff that will scare you, this is going to be a site heavily informed by sabermetrics. Hence the name, SABR-Toothed Tigers.
It’s not because I want to boil such a beautiful game down to a spreadsheet. Not at all. I’m just someone who always wants to know more. I want more information than batting average, homeruns, runs batted in, stolen bases, etc. There’s more going on. Fear not, I’m always going to keep it accessible. What good is a great new metric if most people don’t understand it? I’ll draw heavily from the great work done at Fangraphs.com because I think they do it best.
I hope you appreciate the contrast in the name. Sabermetrics are new school, but saber-toothed Tigers are old school. It can be a happy marriage if you’re willing to give it a chance.
So come back and see what this is all about and share it with people who love baseball. Not because I think I’m brilliant and you have to see my opinion. Come back because baseball is fun and I’m going to write about interesting things. If things go well, maybe I’ll “employ” some others who love the game and you won’t be stuck with just me.
I mentioned earlier that I’m getting a PhD in Political Science. My focus is the American Presidency, so let me close by connecting the two and summing up why I’m here.
One of my all-time favorite quotations belongs to Richard Nixon.
“I like the job I have now, but if I had my life to live over again, I’d like to have ended up a sports writer.”
Yeah, me too.