Bay of Cigs: Jet Set (Sigh?)

papa jetAirships are away in the Detroit Tigers empire as I write. After a crash landing at the final destination of the team’s only West Coast trip, the Tigers limped back to the Motor City, and promptly (indeed, retroactively) placed Octavio Dotel, who has been pitching without a functioning elbow since Oakland, on the disabled list. In immediate need of bullpen reinforcements, GM Dave Dombrowski & Co., air traffic controller furloughs be damned, revved up the sky fleet. The first move was to bring the franchise’s top relief prospect, Bruce Rondon, in from Toledo, something that admittedly is unlikely to require the services of a jet airliner. But then! Wheels up! Jose Valverde is on a flight to Detroit RIGHT NOW! The town and team turned on the once-perfect (49-0!) reliever after a down year last season, but now, in their need, redemption? The front office is mum for now, but the implication from Valverde’s comments this evening is that, at the end of his short-term minor league contract, he will sign a one-year contract with the club in Detroit.

What does all of this mean for a should-be frontrunner floundering in third place in the weak AL Central with a .500 record? Even though it’s early, and fans of baseball teams that struggle early love to rail against “small sample sizes,” we can set aside results and other numbers and acknowledge that the bullpen was working way too hard this month, and two fresh, if unsteady, arms are sure to provide at least temporary relief for a staff that seems like it could use a collective deep breath. For Rondon, my hope is that he’s ready for the big leagues. For Valverde, I just hope he has enough left to allow the coaches to use him in a way that helps the team. That may be ending this jet-set flourish with something of a sigh, but let it be, in part, a sigh of relief as you remind yourself that at least it wasn’t Brennan Boesch’s birthday flight that landed at DTW this evening.

Keep reading to find out who else will be on a flight to Detroit this week…


We Almost Lost This Jam

What’s that you want? Some new music in this spot with a sports connection and a socially conscious tilt? Fine. Here’s a brand-new video from a current act named after a NASCAR driver that’s hip to sports and modern rock.

Bdoyk turned me onto these guys, and I’m becoming a fan of their personality as much as their music. Their new video, which features scenes from the city they call home, actually is a reworking of a 1977 Gil Scott-Heron bit described as follows:

The most popular cut on the album, “We Almost Lost Detroit,” which shares its title with the John G. Fuller book published in 1975, recounts the story of the nuclear meltdown at the Fermi Atomic Power Plant near Monroe, MI, in 1966. This song was also contributed to the No Nukes concert and album in 1980.

The Tigers almost lost their season opener against Bdoyk’s Bosox yesterday when the perfect-in-2011 Jose Valverde blew his first save opportunity of the 2012 season and ensured that reigning MVP-Cy-Young-winner Justin Verlander didn’t get his first opening-day win in his fifth consecutive attempt, but the home team pulled out the victory in a Gamecast-hindered bottom of the ninth by scoring on the much-touted (be real: what in Boston sports isn’t “much-touted”?) Alfredo Aceves.

Paragraph-long sentences. Hyphens. The Jam: