June 14, 2006


2006 College Player Of The Year: Miller piles up stats while pitching Heels to Omaha (Will Kimmey, June 13, 2006, Baseball America)

Andrew Miller's 13-2, 2.11 season stands as a key reason for North Carolina's first College World Series berth since 1989. But the junior lefthander would rather be known as one of many Tar Heels piled atop one another after Chad Flack's game-ending home run to clinch a super-regional series win at Alabama.

"I think he kind of feels uncomfortable talking about himself," North Carolina coach Mike Fox said of his junior lefthander. "You know how kids can be, they don't want people to think they think they're better than anybody. His parents said he's always been like that. Even in high school he didn't really want the attention. He's a big kid at heart and a great teammate."

But Miller, all 6 feet and 6 inches of him, can't hide from the attention now. His dominant junior season, in which he posted a 119-36 strikeout-walk ratio and allowed seven extra-base hits (and only one home run) in 111 innings, not only helped him meet a personal goal of reaching Omaha, but also earned him Baseball America's College Player of the Year award.

"I appreciate all the awards and the accolades, but the biggest memory for me is going to be we went to Omaha and what we accomplished there," Miller said. "I certainly wouldn't want to have a good year on a team that's not as good. I've never really been a part of a team like this."

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 14, 2006 3:35 PM

Based upon Los Tigres showing against likely playoff teams -- 1-5 White Sox, 1-3 Yanks -- it seems unlikely that he'll be pitching in the WS this October.

Beating up on the Twins and Royals does not a pennant-winning team make.

(And pretty soon the rest of the league will notice, as the Yanks did, that the Tiger hitters have no patience and will swing at anything.)

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at June 14, 2006 4:06 PM

He and Wil Ledezma would be in the Yankee rotation today.

Posted by: oj at June 14, 2006 4:10 PM

Maybe so, but the Yanks still beat them, in Detroit, like a rented mule. The Tigers were red-hot, the Yanks were missing several key players, and the series was not even close. The Tigers were lucky not to be swept.

They may well have a good team in a few years, but unless they learn some plate discipline it'll be hard to make the playoffs this season, especially if the Real Sox put up a 15 -4 record against them, as seems likely given their first 6 games.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at June 14, 2006 4:18 PM

Houston's Brad Lincoln's statistics were better, AND he was also in the lineup almost every game as the team's DH, including the games he pitched.

Miller had better preseason hype, but Lincoln was the better all-around college baseball player this season.

Posted by: kevin whited at June 14, 2006 4:22 PM

The Yankees won't make the playoffs and in a playoff series the Tigers pitching matches up favorably with everyones.

Posted by: oj at June 14, 2006 4:25 PM

Their record against the good teams in the AL speaks for itself.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at June 14, 2006 6:48 PM


Posted by: oj at June 14, 2006 7:03 PM

Because they've been abysmal against the two teams most likely to make the playoffs. The Red Sox also took 2 of 3 from them tho the Sawx won't be in the playoffs -- especially if they keep batting Coco Chanel leadoff and Greek God of Walks 7th.

They're decent record comes from beating up on the Twins (7-2) and Royals (8-0).

They're vaunted pitching staff did not look very good against the Yanks and they're simply not a good offensive team, especially against team with decent pitching.

I suppose there's a chance that as the wild card team they'd face the AL West winner and make it past them -- tho I think that'll be a much improved Oakland team who'll beat them -- but there's no way they beat the Yanks or the White Sox.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at June 14, 2006 7:30 PM

They get to play the Twins, Royals and Indians a bunch more times. The White Sox have the best shot at the wildcard at the moment, though it seems likely their starters will keep breaking down. So the Yankees don't even make the playoffs.

Posted by: oj at June 14, 2006 7:39 PM

Kevin Youkilis - 1B - Red Sox

The Red Sox have Kevin Youkilis leading off and Coco Crisp hitting eighth Wednesday against the Twins.

Posted by: oj at June 14, 2006 7:43 PM

The Yanks win the East handily. Better pitching than the Sawx and Jays. (Better offense too, even wi/o Sheff and Matsui). Only in the dreamworld of New England are the Sawx a playoff squad this season.

And the White Sox are going to blow way the Tigers. The Tigers have only won 1 of 6 vs the Sox. That trend will continue. They play what 19 times. The Sox'll win at least 13 of those. That 7+ game difference will be too much to overcome.

The Tigers may well be the wild card based on their record agains KC and Minny (tho I think the Twins will end up much better than 7-2 vs them).

The problem is the Tigers can't win against decent competition. Therefore if they do make the playoffs they'll lose in the first round.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at June 14, 2006 7:48 PM

Were you really that impressed with the Detroit team that played the Sawx last week?

I thought they looked decidely mediocre agains both the Yanks and the White Sox, the only two team I've seen them play this year.

It wouldn't surprise me if the Tribe, who are playing 5 games below their pythagorean, went on a hot streak as they did in the 2nd 1/2 last season and reeled the Tigers in.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at June 14, 2006 7:54 PM

Yes. Granderson, Verlander, Rodney and Zumaya all look especially good. They need a real thirdbaseman and to use Inge as a super-utility guy and could use a Moneyball-type outfielder to offset the free swingers. The point though is that their needs are the most easily filled. The Yankees need to add two starting pitchers and a reliable eighth inning guy, which is hard, especially with their farm system.

Posted by: oj at June 14, 2006 8:09 PM

The Twins and Royals of yore are the perfect example of why the Tigers will win despite not being that great but having great pitching for the playoffs.

Posted by: oj at June 14, 2006 8:15 PM

The Yanks pitching is doing pretty darn well. Check the team era and ask the Indians who've scored 1 run thru 17 innings, w/o even facing Moose.

They're set starting wise, as long as Chacon is fully recovered from his leg injury. (The Sawx on the other hand are reduced to calling up Double A pitchers).

If Farnswacker doesn't sort himself they have about 3 minor leaguers who can take over.

(You don't really believe that stuff about the Yanks minor league system do you? They've brought up three quality players in the last year in Wang, Melky, and Cano. If Torre would just play Phillips, whose got 5 dingers in ltd action, he'd show himself to be a player as well.)

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at June 14, 2006 9:38 PM

Yes, if they trade Wang, Melky & Cano they can fill a couple holes.

Posted by: oj at June 14, 2006 10:24 PM

Unbelievably, I'm scheduled for surgery on Friday and I'll probably be bedridden for a few days, making it unlikely I'll get to go out to Rosenblatt to see Miller pitch (although UNC could assist me by sticking around). Timing is everything and mine is usually bad.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 15, 2006 1:03 AM

I should clarify: UNC can stick around by winning games. The more they win, the better my odds of seeing them.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 15, 2006 1:05 AM

Ahhh we'll find out how big a loser the guy is when he gets flamed by Clemson in the finals.

Posted by: Scott at June 15, 2006 9:08 AM

Hey Matt,

If Clemson makes it to the finals do you think I could score a couple of tickets? How hard are they to pick up out there?

Posted by: Scott at June 15, 2006 9:31 AM

The Tigers just went through a difficult stretch during which their closer effectively discovered his career to be over seeing his ERA go from 3.00 on May 30 to 7.5 on June 14, their star rookie starter Verlander developed a bad blister from his knuckle-curve, another key starter, Maroth, saw his season end with an inflamed elbow.

Yet they wake-up from another heartbreaking loss with the best record in all of baseball on June 15th. Meanwhile, their youngsters continue to get starts, at-bats, bullpen appearances. They are getting better. The Yanks and Chisox are plateaued or declining due to age.

The Tigers will have a ten-game lead by August 1st and will have three candidates for rookie of the year: Verlander, Zumaya -- who will be their closer soon, and Granderson in CF. They will have the best staff ERA in the game, one of the best bullpens once they rid themselves of Jones, and the best catcher to go with a top-ten offensive team THAT'S ONLY GETTING BETTER. Throw-in a top DPlay combination, and Magglio, and the best young DH in the game.

When the Tigers play anybody in October, they will dominate. Don't project a brilliant young team merely treading water four months from now. They will be even better.

Posted by: Palmcroft at June 15, 2006 12:09 PM


You could get in if you're willing to pay for it. My dad and I attended a game in the championship series last year (turned out to be the game where Texas won the title). As I recall, we bought those tickets off a scalper and the prices were high but not insanely so.

My dad has an absolutely uncanny ability to get scalpers to sell him tickets at reasonable prices: When he lived in California, somebody sold him tickets to the World Series at face value. Maybe I should get him to check out the situation?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 15, 2006 1:59 PM


That would be super, thanks. Of course, no telling who ends up in the finals at this point. I'm guessing if it's two teams who aren't local then there is less demand. Am I guessing correctly? Does the local population support the tournement regardless of who is in it?

Thanks in advance,


Posted by: Scott at June 15, 2006 4:43 PM


Why don't you just email me at tygurrATgmailDOTcom. We can quit cluttering up the comments with personal business!

Posted by: Scott at June 15, 2006 4:44 PM