Detroit Tigers

The Tiger’s season is about to begin and they are about to break camp (or they already have depending on when I post this). Some things we know for certain. We know most of the starting players:

Outfielders:

Gose

Davis

Martinez

Cespedes

 

Infielders:

 

Cabrera

Avila

Kinsler

Iglesias

Castellanos

Martinez

 

Starting Rotation:

 

Price

Sanchez

Verlander

Greene

Simon

 

Bullpen:

 

Soria

Rondon

Nathan

Chamberlain

Alburquerque

Hardy

 

That’s 21 players, leaving open four spots for bench and bullpen

 

Tiger’s announced earlier this week that McCann will be the backup catcher… 22

 

Romine and Perez will both make the team because they are both out of options and too good to pass through waviers… 24

 

And the last spot probably goes to a left handed reliever, probably Ian Krol.

 

That makes a pretty damn good team, really.
Here are the questions from last year that still face this team:

Will Chamberlain and Kinsler be any good in the second half?

Will Verlander pitch better than a number 3?

Will Sanchez pitch a full season?

Will Iglesias play a full season?

How much will surgery recovery hamper Martinez and Cabrera?

Will J.D. Martinez perform like last year?

Will Castellanos continue to be the worst third baseman in the game?

What exactly is Nathan at this point in his career?

Will Soria bounce back?

Will Price be David Price all season?

Will the Tigers ever realize the value of Blaine Hardy?

Will Gose hit enough to justify a starting spot?

Will Cespedes turn into the superstar every figured he would be by now?

Will VMart put up numbers anywhere near what he did last year?

 

I could probably spend all day thinking of questions regarding this team but I think you get the point.

 

This team is facing a lot of question marks. A lot of things have to go right for this team to make a deep playoff run and while I wouldn’t classify it as crazy to assume, it is difficult to believe.

 

I believe this team will be good enough to make a playoff run. I think they sit inside one of the game’s tougher divisions that will be difficult to win but I am going to say here and now that they will make the post-season; either as the division champs or as a wild card.

 

I’m worried about the combo of Cabrera and Victor. Cabrera has become a bit injury prone the last few seasons and his production has dropped off considerably because of it. Victor had a career year at an advanced age and got paid like he is 28. I doubt he can come close to the numbers he put up last year and I’m hoping Cespedes can pick up the slack.

 

I would prefer this team be more On-base minded. They have a lot of guys that hit for high average and a lot of power but barely get on base. That isn’t how you win. The reason is simple: you eye never goes into the tank while your bat will several times throughout the season. However, I don’t think my wish will come true with the current regime presiding over this team.

 

My next post will be about my Opening Day experience and the first impression of the team.

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Blog

When my daughter was first born, I wouldn’t say that I fell instantly in love with her.

It was awhile before I began to have strong feelings for her, like several months. I cared about her, and for her. I treated her as if she was the most precious thing in my life. I think I mostly did this to fool other people into thinking I was head over heels for her.

I was really worried about my lack of feelings for her. I wondered if other parents, especially fathers, felt like this normally, or if this was some aspect of the ill mood I was in at the time. I did some serious research and found that it is fairly normal for men. It takes awhile for a baby to “imprint” on the father. This happens to be why it seems particularly easy for men to walk away from their family before the baby is born but much less so years into the situation.

I felt better knowing that I wasn’t odd in anyway, but I still wished it wasn’t the case. I talked to my wife and sister about it and both told me it would happen and not to worry. I decided to employ the ‘fake it till you make it’ methodology, and I have to say I had great success with it.

It wasn’t long before those actions I was doing because I had to became things I wanted to do. It wasn’t long before my work days started to fill with thoughts of my daughter, and my nights filled with playing with her and watching her sleep.

I would say that it took a solid four months for me to feel as deeply in love with her as I feel today. And while that seems like a long time to develop those things, I suppose it is a function of how little I was willing to open up to her.

It is something I regret now. I wish I had that time back with the emotions I have now. I guess it was all part of the process but I don’t like that I had to go through it. I am willing to bet I won’t feel that way with my second child. I’ll know the meaning of love and have a deeper understanding of fatherhood. And I’ll be glad I’m not wasting any time.

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Bipolar Thoughts

Anxiety came on late in life for me. A lot of people with Bipolar experience anxiety and depression before the onset of bipolar symptoms.

I suffered from depression, rage, and guilt most of my childhood, and I was probably suffering from bipolar symptoms for a couple years before I was diagnosed at 17. Outside of racing thoughts and sleepless nights I was barely manic back then. But depression always hit me hard. Moodiness was always a problem. Anger and rage were huge issues of mine that I received counseling for as a child.

But I never really experienced any kind of anxiety until I was 28, and prepping for my wedding.

I’ve told the story in this space before about my first panic attack and how I came to find out I had anxiety, so I won’t do that again. But I will tell you that it was my anxiety that sent me back to therapy after 6 years away, and back to a psychiatrist after 9 years away.

I could handle the depression, the mood swings, the agitation, the racing thoughts. I had been doing it for years, although it was all about to become much worse than it had been in years. What I couldn’t handle any longer were the panic attacks, the sleep paralysis, the restless legs. I felt like I was going crazy.

So I go back to a shrink and he immediately gives me a diagnosis of anxiety disorder, and starts me on klonopin. He also puts me on a sleeping pill to help with the sleep paralysis and hopes the restless leg syndrome will go away on its own.

Not a month later I had requested a medical leave from work. Not a week later I had a suicide attempt that ended with my father, wife and I in the emergency room. I was placed in a daycare program since it was ruled my anxiety might become unmanageable in an inpatient environment, but I had to be under 24 hour surveillance by my family. It was there that I was given my first Bipolar Type I diagnosis, something my shrink then was working towards but wouldn’t commit to, but my shrink now calls a “slam dunk diagnosis”. When I was a teen I was diagnosed Type II.

That lasted a little beyond a month before I was placed back in the care of my regular shrink who kept me out of work for the next 8 months, mostly due to my anxiety problems. I was getting anxiety doing or even just thinking about doing anything; everything from being at work, or in a large social setting, to cutting the grass and making the bed. This led him to increase my klonopin, as well as try other meds but we came back to klonopin, to where I was taking a new one every couple of hours every day.

At a certain point in late August with little improvement since March I decided to stop all of my medications and to stop seeing my doctor. This was a hellish couple of nights as everything I was on was habit forming. Cold sweats, shakes, vomiting, the works.

And as soon as I came off of my meds I felt a ton better, and my family noticed and told me I was doing much better. It didn’t last. I started doing poorly again by the end of September but now I refused to go back on medication. I white knuckled it through the rest of the year and once my baby came at the end of December I decided to go back to a doctor.

Now my meds work alright for me. I take my klonopin only as needed, which isn’t even daily anymore. The rest of my meds keep me from getting too far on one side or the other. They don’t stop the mania or depression, but the substantially lessen them.

I hated begin on medication my whole life, but now I take them for my daughter. I want to be a normal parent with normal behavior for her. And while I will never again be free of anxiety, I can attempt to control it, with my mood. But I know I need my medication for that.

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