“A healthy Granderson, from jump street, is essential. The Tigers cannot pretend that they have anyone who can come close to duplicating all that Granderson does on the baseball diamond. Because they don’t. No one in MLB does.”


Curtis Granderson doesn’t have my permission to play in the World Baseball Classic. I hereby order him to stay in Lakeland, with his REAL teammates, and get ready for the 2009 season in the traditional way. Further, I order him to not hurt himself, as he did last year late in spring training.

Oh, how I wish Grandy wouldn’t play for Team USA in the WBC. I wish even more that my demand means more than the space it takes up on this blog.

Granderson, of course, just happens to be the one player in all of baseball who you’d want to represent the United States of America. If that sounds like I’m laying a lot on Grandy, then so be it. It happens to be fact.

So I get why Granderson, the Tigers’ four-tool center fielder (he just needs to work on that arm a bit), was asked to be on Team USA. Who wouldn’t want a young man who can triple to left, homer to right, beat out an infield hit, and steal other teams’ fun by covering more real estate than Century 21? All that, and an award-winning smile and a personality that makes Dale Carnegie look positively cranky.

So go if you must, Curtis — but you’d better not hurt yourself, or else I’m gunning for you, my friend.


Yeah, he caught it.


In case you’re still bamboozled about what in the heck happened to the high-priced, over-hyped Tigers of 2008, look no further than Granderson, who injured his hand late in spring training and missed most of April. The Tigers were 8-13 when Granderson finally made his debut, on April 23. In his first game back, Grandy went 2-for-4 and the Tigers drilled the Texas Rangers, 19-6.

One player does not and should not a team make, but I submit that if Curtis Granderson had been healthy from Day One in 2008, the Tigers would not have gotten off to the start that they did. He simply does too much. You don’t just slice someone like that out from the top of your batting order, from your center field position, and not feel the absence.

A healthy Granderson, from jump street, is essential. The Tigers cannot pretend that they have anyone who can come close to duplicating all that Granderson does on the baseball diamond. Because they don’t. No one in MLB does.

Never mind wondering how many All-Star games Granderson will perform in when all is said and done. Better start contemplating how many MVP Awards will end up on Grandy’s mantel. It’s not being a homer to say this. Just ask around the league.

Granderson is gone now, off to be with Team USA. But not before slamming a home run for the Tigers on his way out the door. Just a nice reminder of what the Tigers will be missing in camp for up to possibly three weeks.

Just as long as they’re not missing it when the curtain rises for real. We’ve already seen how lethal that can be.

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