Saturday, March 30, 2013

An Introduction to Tigerology

At long last, Tigerology is up and running just in time for the 2013 season! Hopefully it's a sign pointing to that ever-elusive World Series championship.

I'm sure many of you are already familiar with me, but for any newcomers, I'll tell you a little bit about myself. My name's Erin, I'm a pharmacist, and I live in Toledo, Ohio, not far from the Mud Hens (which I have varying degrees of interest in, depending on the roster). I have a Bachelor's degree in Media Technology and Arts from Denison University and I just received my PharmD from the University of Toledo (yes, the same school that you keep hearing about in commercials during Tigers games on the radio). I've called myself a Tigers fan my entire life, but I didn't really get intensely into baseball until very late 2006 (It was always something that I meant to do, but never got around to doing). 2007 was my first full season and I have lived and died with the team ever since. My current favorites are Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera and I have a major soft spot for Brayan Villarreal (It's a long story, but suffice it to say I really hope he can take advantage of this "closer by committee" arrangement). Tiger alums that I'm fond of include Pudge Rodriguez (my all-time favorite), Magglio OrdoƱez, and Armando Galarraga. I also consider myself a fan of Ohio State (deal with it), the Steelers, and the Red Wings, but it's exceptionally casual and baseball is really my only sports love. I went to my first Tigers game in 2007 (my 8th grade field trip had been to Tiger Stadium, but the game that day got rained out, so I can say I was at Tiger Stadium, but I never saw a game there). I've finally reached the point where listing off all the games I've been to would be way too cumbersome, but the two most noteworthy games I've attended were the game in Oakland where the Tigers clinched the Central Division title in 2011, and the game at Comerica Park last year where Doug Fister struck out nine batters in a row. On most days, you can find me driving Kurt, Al, and Rob crazy in the Bless You Boys gamethreads.

I've had a Tigers blog in some form or another since 2007, first on my (now defunct) personal blog before giving it its own dedicated site in 2009. For most of that time it was called Tigers Amateur Analysis (at first to reflect the fact that I was learning the game as I went along, and believe me, some of those early entries in 2007 are painful), and I kept the name probably longer than I should have. That blog came to an end in 2011 and I spent last year writing for Walkoff Woodward. I will be writing for them once again this year, along with running this site. As a result, I probably won't cover every single game here like I used to. Besides, there are some nights where I really don't have anything to say about the game (on the flipside, there are some games where I could go on for three pages about one at-bat). I tend not to be very stat-heavy in my posts, mostly by personal preference. I feel like I'm a better writer when I use a more narrative format. I do believe that all stats (both traditional and sabremetric) offer some sort of insight, but no stat can tell the whole story all by itself or is all-encompassing, mostly because it's a team sport and each player's performance is going to be affected by the other players (as well as the weather, the ballpark, and various other factors). I also feel that there are always going to be some elements of performance which can't be quantified (along those lines, I believe that results and performances have a deeper meaning than just "random variation"). I try to be the voice of reason during bad times, or at least a calming voice, though there have been times of heartbreak for me as well (usually involving individual players). But make no mistake, I can be as passionate as every other diehard fan out there. And I am just as eager for that World Series ring.

Bring on 2013!

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