2009 MLB American League Central Notebook
Detroit’s journey to the top of the American League Central standings is because it has concentrated its efforts by going West.
The Tigers are pretty ordinary against their own division at 11-9 and the AL East at 2-5. But they have fattened up on the West by going 12-3 against Seattle, Texas, Los Angeles and Oakland.
Detroit is 6-0 against Texas, 3-0 against Oakland, 2-1 against Seattle and 1-2 against Los Angeles.
And you don’t want to schedule any weekend series against Detroit. This squad is 6-1 on Saturdays and 6-1 on Sundays going into the weekend series in Baltimore. The Tigers are also the only team in the division above .500 right now.
The wonderful world of Bob Watson continues. Baseball’s Sultan of Suspensions suspended Royals manager Trey Hillman for the May 27 game against Detroit because of an argument Hillman had with home plate umpire Paul Emmel.
Emmel accused Hillman of spitting at him during an argument on a called third strike. Hillman said he was offended and said that if he did, it was unintentional. Hillman also said the rain could have played a part in it. However, Watson called the actions inappropriate.
The rain angle is a bit wild, but unlike players, managers cannot appeal their suspensions. This was Hillman’s first ejection of the season and fourth of his career.
Meanwhile Zack Greinke’s 0.84 ERA through his first 10 starts is the first time a pitcher has done that since 1966 when Juan Marichal did it with San Francisco.
A couple of weeks ago, we told you about Milwaukee’s dominance over Pittsburgh. Well, the Indians are doing the same thing to Tampa Bay at Progressive Field. Following the Tribe’s four-game sweep of the Rays during the week, Cleveland has won 17 consecutive home games against this team.
That’s the longest winning streak since a 27-game winning streak against the St. Louis Browns from 1952-54.
"Maybe next time we come in, we'll have some candles and holy water," Rays manager Joe Maddon told reporters after the May 28 game. "I have no good explanation for this."
Reports out of the Dominican Republic surfaced this week that White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez is being sued for allegedly violating a contract he signed with area talent scouts.
The $20 million suit claims that Ramirez did this before he signed a major league contract. Documents are showing the rookie and his agent Jaime Torres owe Julio Martinez and Ramon Fermandez $450,000. The two scouts are also seeking a little more than $131,000 or about five percent of Ramirez’s income from two years of being with the big league ballclub. The bulk of the money is for damages. Ramirez is earning $1.225 million this year.
Ramirez has hit three home runs and collected 20 RBIs but hitting only .240 through his first 43 games this year.
It’s a little dated but still worth mentioning. When right fielder Michael Cuddyer hit for the cycle against Milwaukee on May 22, he joined teammate Jason Kubel. Kubel hit for the cycle on April 17.
This is the first time one team has had two players hit for the cycle since 2003 when Brad Wilkerson and Vladimir Guerrero did it.
In another note, the Twins have the most grand slams in the big leagues this year with four. Justin Morneau hit the latest one on May 24.
By Kevin Lonnquist
> View all of the 2008 MLB team previews from Pro Baseball Fans