The goaltending of East Lansing's Ryan Miller. The goal scoring by Dearborn's Brian Rafalski and Livonia's Ryan Kesler.
* Full credit to friend and Mining Gazette sports editor Brandon Veale for originating that line.
Wait, this isn't a hockey blog? I suppose we can talk about baseball, then.
Sunday, Magglio Ordonez reported to Lakeland in good shape. (The best of his life? We'll see!) Meanwhile we also learned Carlos Guillen will bat fifth in the lineup, and lefty reliever Bobby Seay was shut down for a couple of days with bursitis in his pitching shoulder.
And finally, Gerald Laird is excited because Johnny Damon "knows how to win." (So do I: score more runs than you allow. Where's my $8 million contract?)
The big news -- especially for some of our female readers -- was the shape Ordonez reported to camp in, which you can see in the photo above. Though "best shape of his life" stories are common and ripe for satire during spring training, you can't deny Ordonez is in the best shape in awhile, anyway.
I mean, just look at that photo. I actually believe him.
Manager Jim Leyland does, too. He took a look at Ordonez and got spring fever. MLB.com's Jason Beck picks up the story:
"I hate to get too excited," manager Jim Leyland said Sunday, "but I'd be shocked if he doesn't have a big year."
Leyland gave an idea how big last week.
"If Magglio hits .320 and knocks in 100 runs, that's great for me," Leyland said.
Jim is probably pushing it a bit. Well, more than a bit when you look his RBI expectations and look at the Tigers' lineup. But if you're going to dream, dream big, right? It's February, after all.
Ordonez told the press he's feeling faster and stronger and isn't about to give up on the game.
"I want to play at least four more years," Ordonez said. "Four good years."
Let's just take it one year at a time, OK? (Great, now they've got me spouting cliches!) If Ordonez has a good year for the Tigers in 2010, in all likelihood he'll be in Detroit in 2011. He requires 562 plate appearances this season for the $15 million option to kick in. Just for comparison, he had more than 600 during each of the previous three seasons. If he's healthy and he's hitting, it's hard to imagine Ordonez earn himself another year wearing the Old English D.
And if he's healthy and he's hitting, it would go a long way toward making the Tigers contenders in 2010. Seems like a win-win deal to me.
In other news:
- Seay complained of
shoulderpain after his bullpen session and will be shut down for three days. MLive's Steve Kornacki reports the Tigers are not concerned.
- Update: Beck tweets the pain is in Seay's forearm.
- 2009 second-round draftee and left-hander Andrew Oliver received a non-roster invitation to the Tigers' spring training.
- Laird's legal troubles are cleared up, Beck reports. During the offseason, he got into a scuffle at a Phoenix Suns basketball game. He pled no contest and took anger management classes. Case closed. Time to move onto baseball for Gerald.
- Leyland wanted to end any talk about Guillen losing at-bats before it could start, naming him the No. 5 batter in the lineup and saying Damon will not take away from Guillen's at-bats. This is not surprising. The 5-spot is a great place to put a switcher hitter.
- The players are obviously excited about adding Damon, though.
- Kornacki reported the thoughts from several. Laird capped it by saying, ""He's a professional, a nice guy who plays hard, and knows how to win. It's definitely a good situation for us."
- Freep.com: Verlander, Coke thrilled Damon is with the Tigers
- Speaking of, Damon isn't actually a Tiger yet. But an Associated Press report said he passed his physical, so it's all but a done deal.
- A few reactions from the press and bloggers:
- Bilfer took a closer look at Damon's home run locations
- Nick Underhill asks, How will the Damon signing effect the minors?
- FoxSports' Jon Paul Morosi wrote the Tigers are winners in the Damon signing
- Beck's Blog has a roundup of reactions from around the baseball world
- Site news: check the left sidebar for important dates to remember. Mostly I put that there so we would remember which games are on TV.
- And finally, the funniest photo of spring training so far comes from Roger DeWitt
Coming up later today at BYB: Mike Rogers analyzes Damon, Guillen and Ryan Raburn; I interview Tigers' blogger Lee Panas, and (hopefully) more!