We forget about Matt Boyd a little bit sometimes. Am I wrong? Is Boyd somewhat underappreciated? He’s certainly a bit frustrating in that for three straight seasons he’s gone on some nice tears, but also goes wrong for months at a time. But he was never supposed to be the key piece of the David Price trade. Yet he’s been durable and effective now for parts of four seasons, and still won’t reach free agency until after the 2022 season. He’s only 27 years old now, and probably right at the beginning of his prime.
The fun thing about Boyd, is that his “nice guy Matt” appearance belies a really hard-nosed competitor when he’s on the mound. Boyd is bigger than he looks, and played a lot of hockey growing up in the Pacific Northwest. He seems quite affable off the field of play, with just a hint of goofiness.
I like this...I'm not capable of an angry text... Haha https://t.co/NiGyY2jxKl— Matthew Boyd (@mattboyd48) August 22, 2018
But we’ve seen hints of something else from Boyd when it’s his day. Think back to April 22 of 2017, when Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sano took umbrage to being hit during a heated contest featuring multiple hit batters. Boyd looked entirely willing, and possibly even to relish the idea of mixing it up. There’s some intensity there that may not always show to the paying customers, but is well known in the Tigers’ clubhouse.
And so Boyd’s manager, Ron Gardenhire, decided to have some fun with a few choice Boyd quotes.
Evan Woodberry at MLive has the story of a set of T-shirts the Tigers’ skipper had made up to immortalize a few particular Boydisms. The shirt has a picture of Boyd’s smiling mug on one side, and on the other, these unforgettable words of focus and commitment...
“This is what I trained for. I am programmed to do this.”
Apparently Boyd said these words in an attempt to stay in his August 12 start against the Minnesota Twins. Which is awesome. It was also Jack Morris Day, which only makes it better. In fact, it wouldn’t be shocking if Jack Morris literally told him to say exactly that when his manager came to the mound to get him. Either way, Gardy was having some fun, making up the shirts and distributing them, and their inspirational message, around the clubhouse. Boyd apparently purchased some extras for friends and family.
This is all well timed, as the Tigers prepare to put an actual tank on the field to represent their goals this season. Alright it’s not a tank, it’s a monster ROXOR all-terrain looking, Jeepy-type thing, with a big t-shirt cannon mounted on the back. Keep your heads down while they work out the kinks.
Players weekend is nigh
Nicknames and fancy shoes will be the order of the weekend, as the league celebrates their second Players’ Weekend. Familiarize yourselves with the Tigers gear here or be left in confusion during their weekend set with the Chicago White Sox. The four-game set at Comerica Park will conclude with Alan Trammell’s jersey retirement ceremony on Sunday. Also, Tony Paul of the Detroit News reported a few weeks ago that it was undecided whether of not Jack Morris and Alan Trammell would get statues in Comerica Park. Uh, you better, Tigers. But it’s ok to wait for Sweet Lou. We the people demand a double play statue starring the legendary Tigers duo.
The World Cup is getting underway
It’s not the World Cup you’re thinking of, but the Women’s Baseball World Cup got underway in Florida on Wednesday night. Team Japan has five straight gold medals in the bi-annual tournament, and Team USA hasn’t won gold since 2006. Whitney McIntosh of SB Nation had a fun interview with Ashton Landell, Meggie Meidlinger and Marti Sementelli of Team USA. Team USA takes on the Netherlands in their first round matchup on Thursday.
Around the horn
The Ringer did a roundtable on the bizarre run of the St. Louis Cardinals since Mike Metheny was fired as manager. The Cardinals added emphasis Wednesday night when Paul DeJong launched a walkoff home run to lead St. Louis to a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. If you missed Sam Miller’s expose on the legendary “skunk play” you must now read this. Jeremy Fuchs over at SI.com has a great feature on the incredible resurgence of Clay Buchholz in the desert. Friend of the site, and past guest of the Bless You Boys podcast, R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports was a guest on the Jonah Keri podcast if you’re looking for an interesting listen. His most recent column is on the poetry of the baseball scout.