Most Detroit Tiger fans would likely begrudgingly admit their team has underachieved so far this year. After all, with their loaded batting line-up and supposedly stellar starting pitching rotation, they were supposed to win the American League Central division (considered by most to be the weakest in baseball) in a romp. With about 60 games remaining, they may do it yet. But last time I looked the Tigers were only a game and half ahead of the Cleveland Indians. This isn't supposed to be happening, quoth the pundits. On the other hand, maybe the Tigers were just flat-out overrated. Time will tell. Yet the Tigers have been very lucky in one way. For the most part, they've remained relatively healthy throughout the first four months of the season.
In that respect, the NY Yankees are quite the opposite. The Bronx Bombers have been riddled with injuries to many key players. But guess what? Even though they play in a much stronger division than the Tigers, the Yankees are only one game behind the Tigers in the overall AL standings. Looking at it that way, one could say the Yankees have over-achieved, given what they've had to work with.
Consider the casualty list in the Bronx: A-Rod is still rehabbing in the minors. Derek Jeter is on the DL -- again. Starting third baseman Kevin Youkalis has been out for quite a while. First baseman and switch-hitting slugger Mark Teixeira is done for the year. The return date of Curtis Granderson, their speedy center fielder and pretty fair hitter himself, is unknown. The Yankees have had to plug leaks faster than the Obama administration. They've been forced to play guys that would surely still be in the minors if the team had remained anywhere near as healthy as the Tigers have.
Idle thought: Duchess Kate just gave birth to a boy. So far, no name has been forthcoming. I'm not sure what title will be bestowed upon the royal infant. A duke? If so, I have a suggestion. Name him Earl. Earl the Duke. Perhaps he would come to be known as the The Duke of Earl. Hmm. That reminds me of an old classic song. Gene Chandler would be so proud, but I digress.
At any rate, if the Tigers and Yankees switched places, the Yanks would be leading the AL Central as well. The Tigers would be 5 games back of the Bosox in the AL East and also looking up at the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles, while mired in 4th place.
Speaking of switching places, Tiger fans might want to consider where their team would be if the injury bug had hit them as hard as it has the Yankees. Delete Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter, Victor Martinez, and Jhonny Peralta from the lineup for the majority of the season, and plug in whatever other players (scrubs) they could find. What, pray tell, do you think their record might be right about now? I dare say they wouldn't be leading even the weak Central Division. For that matter, they might well be 10-15 games behind and hopelessly out of contention. So yes, Austin Jackson notwithstanding, Lady Luck has smiled on the Tigers so far this year.
Duke, Duke, Duke. Sorry, I can't get that out of my head for some reason.
Wait a second. A sudden inspiration. Forget whatever title the newborn royal brat might inherit. Kate and Willie still haven't decided on a name, right?
They're likely considering the same old -- like James, George, Phillip, Andrew -- you know -- the usual royal suspects. I'm pretty sure we can rule out Leroy, Igor, or Osama. But there's a better way if they put their heads together and really think it through.
The kid has an uncle named Harry. His own father William is already rapidly showing signs of his hair follicles giving up the ghost.
So why not keep it in the immediate royal family while combining the circumstances of both?
Name the kid Harrybald.