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Todd Jones Impersonates Magglio Ordonez in Rain Delay

Rain delays are always good for fun times in baseball. Over the weekend, it was Jonathan Papelbon and Manny Delcarmen doing a Milli Villi music video that brought entertainment to Fenway Park. Before that, it was the Texas Rangers using the tarp at Shea Stadium as a slip and slide. But of all the fun had during rain delays, this might be my favorite. Check out Todd Jones doing his Magglio Ordonez impersonation for the ’06 ALCS home run that sent the Tigers to the World Series. It’s awesome:

The quality on that vid is pretty poor, but there’s another video from a fan in the stands if you want to get a feeling for the atmosphere. There’s no question about what makes it funny: it’s all in the hair. Plus, Jones does a really good job mimicking Magglio’s mannerisms and stance at the plate. That was a quality effort by Mr. Jones, quality.

Karma Comes Around for Bonderman

Yeah, I guess you can count me as a believer in Karma. Not completely to the point where I’m a Pedro Cerrano voodoo nut, but to the point where I believe in the notion that things can go around and come around. With that in mind, I present the case of Jeremy Bonderman. Bonderman’s a 24-year-old stud pitcher with the Tigers, now in his fifth full season with Detroit. Presently, Bonderman is 8-0, standing alone as an undefeated starter in baseball. But he really hasn’t been that dominant this year. So what’s my point? Bonderman’s benefiting from karma.

The fact that Bonderman is 24 and pitching his fifth full season for the Tigers means he was a member of the 43-119 squad back in 2003. At the time, Bonderman was a 20-year-old rookie who failed to receive any semblance of run support. As a result, he wound up going 6-19. Such a horrendous season could’ve scarred him for life (see Greinke, Zach). Not the case. Talent and confidence prevailed, and Bonderman has rallied to the point where his career record is now an even .500 at 53-53. So while Bonderman hasn’t earned an 8-0 record through strong starts (he’s given up five runs on four occasions this year), he certainly deserves it.

Bonderman’s career is an excellent lesson for young players stuck on bad teams to not get discouraged. Giving it some time, you never know how things might change.

Baseball Preview: Detroit Tigers

Last year’s record and finish are in parenthesis with projected improvement/decline indicated by plus or minus.

Detroit Tigers (95-67, 1st in the NL Central) -3 games

Get Crunked: This lineup is as solid as it gets — I dare you to name me an easy out. Every single guy in the lineup is either a .300 hitter or 30 home guy, that’s impressive. Plus, they added Gary Sheffield, who will no doubt be the best hitter on the team. The bullpen is also spectacular with Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney setting up Todd Jones, and Jose Mesa too! Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman, and Nate Robertson make a strong trio at the top of the rotation.

Party Foul: Kenny Rogers’ blood clot is the only thing that can hold this team back. It leaves a big hole in the rotation, coupled with Mike Maroth trying to return to form following an elbow injury last year. Other than that, I challenge you to find a weakness on this team.

Carlos Guillen, possibly the most underrated SS in the game

What’d my GM do: He brought in Gary Sheffield, enough said. The Tigers already had a solid lineup, but with the addition of Sean Casey at last year’s trade deadline, and Gary Sheffield in the off-season, they’re set. Dombrowski extended Carlos Guillen for four years at $48 million, and he’s well worth it. He also brought in Jose Mesa to help the bullpen, but the Sheffield addition was the key.

Lay it on me Straight: What the team may lack in it’s 4th and 5th starters with Rogers out, they’ll make up for in the solid performance of the pen, and the lineup improvement with Sheffield. It’s truly a well-oiled machine.

So where my boys gonna finish right now: They’ll win the division once again, coming out on top of baseball’s best division. They won’t win as many games as last year, nor will they have it locked up as early as they did, but they’ll still win the division.

Can we be better than that: It’ll be hard, 93 wins or so is a lot, especially considering Rogers is out, and how well he did last year. But man, if they did it last year without Sheffield and Casey, they can do it again this year.