Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
J.D. Martinez, the Tigers’ steal of the offseason – Kurt Mensching, SBNation
“Batting cleanup for the Tigers, J.D. Martinez.” The first question you ask yourself is, wait, don’t they mean Victor Martinez? American League All-Star. Twenty-one home runs before the break. OPS of nearly 1000. One of the best batters in the AL this year.Victor Martinez. His name is Victor. How do you mess that up?
But no, they mean J.D. You may remember him as an Astro, but let’s face it: you probably don’t. In Houston he was forgettable even on a team of placeholders. Once touted for his power and ranked the organization’s sixth-best prospect by Baseball America, Martinez lived up to little of his potential. Low average, doesn’t walk, can’t run, and questionable in the field doesn’t make for a must-have in an organization still a few years from dominance, and Martinez became a didn’t-keep at the end of this year’s spring training season. As AstrosGM Jeff Luhnow put it, Martinez was a victim of the Astros’ success. But, no, “victim” isn’t the right word now. Beneficiary. That’s that’s the word.
Look, there’s no easy way around this, the Tigers’ have been as lucky to have J.D. Martinez as Martinez was being picked up by the Tigers after being released by the Astros. He’s been an MLB Player of the Week, and the hottest hitter on the team, and he’s stepped up when the team has needed him the most. Yes, Martinez was certainly the lucky one, and probably will be again soon when he slows down his amazing production, but let’s face it. The chance that the Tigers would be where they are right now, sitting 6.5 up on Kansas City, without J.D. Martinez are slim.
Top 10 Tigers moments from the first half, called by Dan Dickerson – HookSlide, BlessYouBoys
Watching Tigers games on television is fun and all, but for high energy and raw excitement during those big game moments, it’s tough to beat Dan Dickerson and his radio play-by-play. Here are ten fantastic moments from the first half of the 2014 season, as relayed by this generation’s Ernie Harwell.
Compiled by HookSlide, who is kind and awesome enough to provide the audio of phenomenal Dan Dickerson calls after every game, picked his Top 10 moments from the first half, and brought them to us through Dickerson’s emotional calls.
Lynn Henning’s MLB midseason awards – Lynn Henning, The Detroit News
It is past midseason in the big leagues. But tradition triumphs, as the All-Star Game for nearly 80 years has been regarded as the halfway mark. So with the game concluded at Target Field in Minneapolis on Tuesday night, we take a look at the 2014 schedule’s top performers to date.
Three months from now, ballots will have been forwarded for each league’s most valuable player, Cy Young Award winner, rookie of the year, and manager of the year. And while some of these races could shape up much differently as October dawns, this is one person’s view for how each category stacks up thus far.
Veteran Tigers’ reporter Lynn Henning gives out the annual BBWAA Awards to the most deserving players at the mid-season break.