Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Evans is still high on grass

Back when I was in junior high, I swiped a couple of pounds of grass.
This was not a medical marijuana situation and there weren’t a couple of dudes named Cheech and Chong on my tail.
Nope, this was bluegrass and it came from the edge of the infield at Tiger Stadium.
Just when does the statute of limitations run out on agricultural products?
I’m hoping it does not extend past 40 years.
It was during the Tigers’ magical ’68 season.
A couple of buddies, Art and Rick, and myself, hustled down onto the field with the adoring throngs and did some impromptu landscaping work.
That chunk of sod is still solidly laced into the back corner of Rick’s yard in Walled Lake. Even though Rick is long-since married to Sandy and living in Ohio, his father remains in the house.
That famous turf served as the cornerstone of plenty of Wiffle Ball games that erupted at Rick’s house over the years.
Now I do not condone either thievery or vandalism, but I certainly condone World Series championships. You wonder what the Tigers have in store for us this season?
They certainly have the talent to keep them in the hunt, despite 2010’s disappointing 81-81 third place finish in the American League Central.
Free agents Victor Martinez, a catcher/designated hitter, and relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit are quality acquisitions. Martinez is a dangerous hitter, and he will loiter in the vicinity of Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera in a dangerous batting order.
If Cabrera can keep his own priorities in order, he undoubtedly will once again be among the top players in the major leagues. Last year, he finished with an outstanding .328 average, 38 homers and 126 RBI.
Centerfielder Austin Jackson came in the Curtis Granderson trade with the Yankees, and he promptly made people forget about the popular ex-Tiger. He hit .293, scored 103 runs and swiped 27 bases. Most importantly, he showed plenty of signs of being the leadoff hitter this team has so sorely needed.
There are others who simply have to show up and play solid baseball; people like Jhonny Peralta, Ryan Rayburn, Brandon Inge and young catcher Alex Avila.
The starting pitching staff led by Justin Verlander can be much better than adequate. Max Scherzer won 12 games last year. Rick Porcello went 10-12 but suffered from an inflated ERA that hovered just south of 5.00. If veteran Brad Penny can stay healthy, he’ll be a welcome addition.
So what does a couple of pounds of grass cost these days? I’m talking bluegrass, not medical marijuana.


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