Hall of Fame voting

Voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America have until Dec. 31 to mail their Hall of Fame ballots, so I stopped by the post office and sent mine earlier today.

Among the newcomers are Roberto Alomar, Edgar Martinez and Barry Larkin. Still on the ballot are Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell, among others.

Last year at this time I read some of your opinions, and you've heard the reasoning behind each of my votes, as well. So it should come as no surprise that only four players received my vote: Blyleven, Dawson, Morris and Trammell. I've voted for all four of these guys consistently, which is my policy. Unlike some writers, I do not vote for different players depending on the strength of the ballot. Either I believe they're Hall of Famers or I don't. I've only changed my mind once since I began voting six years ago. I did not vote for Blyleven in year one, but I was convinced by several sources to take a closer look, and I've been voting for him ever since.

So I'm willing to listen. Make your argument... for next year's ballot, anyway.

What are your thoughts about Martinez and Baines, who were one-dimentional designated hitters for much of their careers? What about McGwire and all of the suspected steroid users that will follow? And let's be honest... do you think I'm being a total homer by voting for Morris and Trammell? I have answers for all of these questions, but I thought you'd like to throw out your opinions first.

I look forward to your comments.

Adios Fernando, as the Tigers dump more payroll

Is Dumbrowski just dumping as much talent as he can overboard? Sure, Fernando Rodney, who signed with the Angels yesterday, wasn't a lock on next year's pennant, but he sure was one part of the machine that usually seemed to deliver: saves in 37 of 38 chances, and they let him walk for $11 million over two years. All the Tigers got in exchange was a draft pick. Who's next?

So, who was the Greatest Tiger "Behind the Mask?"

Through the years our boys have been gifted with some outstanding catchers, some who are in the Hall of Fame, some who might be elected there some day.

Remember, we're not voting on an entire career, just one year with the Tigers.

None of us remember Mickey Cochrane but he had a tremendous influence on the game in the 1930's, not just with the Tigers, but with the feared Philadelphia Athletics, one of the greatest teams of all time.

He hit .354 with the A's in 1930. But he led the Tigers to a pennant as player/manager in 1934, with a .320 average, a slugging average of .412, and tremendous fielding skills, tied him for the American league fewest errors for a backstop, with seven for the entire year. He was known for his leadership and his fiery temper, earning him the nickname "Black Mike." (A close personal friend of Ty Cobb.)

Just like "Black Mike" not many of us recall Rudy York, but in in 1937 he had a fine season, hitting .307. He must have been a great asset to the team with 35 HR's, and more than 100 RBI's, but in this league of all-stars, it's tough to stand out.

Bill Freehan turned in a fine .300 average in 1964, one of the hit-starved early 1960's years. He dropped in 18 HRs, and was an outstanding fielder, leading the league in put-outs by a catcher.

A few guys who were fine ball players, but just not of the caliber of some of these others are Matt Nokes (1987)Lance Parrish (1983) and Mickey Tettleton (1991.) I leave it to you to make the argument for them if you'd like.

Without doubt, one of the finest seasons behind the plate Tiger fans have ever seen was Pudge Rodriguez in 2004. Even the casual Tiger fan smiles when we think about that cannon that hangs off his right shoulder. He can throw out any runner, any day, anytime, no matter if the pitch is in the dirt, off speed or hard to handle. Second factor Pudge has going for him is the amazing ability to calm a pitcher and focus him. But just as awesome as his fielding skills is Pudge's work at the plate. In 2004 he hit .334, 19 HR's, 86 RBI's,

In my book, it's a close call; Black Mike in 1934 and Pudge, 70 years later: now you make the call.

How about a New "All Time Great" Poll series?

A few months ago, Brother Peek had an excellent suggestion: let's take a poll of the greatest Tigers by individual seasons rather than careers. (Hence, we'd probably find that fine ball players like Kaline and Freehan, who won our All-time Tiger Team elections, might fade a bit, since they were consistently good, not usually great.) This was initiated by a discussion at http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/fan_forum/all_time_nine/index.jsp?c_id=det

Of course, being the commissioner, I had to tinker with the ground rules. I think we should consider more than just offensive stats. What about his other contributions to the team, like fielding, leadership, etc. In this way, I think you would find Pudge Rodriguez even more valuable than his fine BA.

Also, I challenge you to consider the era these gents played in. Once again, how does Freehan's .300 BA in a "dead ball environment of 1964 compare to Pudge's .334 season four decades later?

In other words, I'm challenging you to defend your position! Go beyond SABRE stats, and think like a manager of the era.

Unlike the groupings at the above site, I'm going to nail down outfielders to the position they are historically known for, although they may have "played around" a bit. Eg. Kaline will be in rightfield, Cobb will be in centerfield, etc. I know some of the old records are a little dicey in this regard, but let's wing it.

Give me some comments on other "ground rules," and let's start the poll in a few days with catchers.

This is gonna be fun, and if anybody would like to take on the duty of writing up a position or two, just let me know. Glad to share the fun. All you need is the above-noted web site, maybe a Baseball Encyclopedia and a good memory.

And now a break in the Trade Talk action...

Hey, Tom. Maybe your Yankees should sign this kid up for your club.

(For those of you who are a little video challenged, just put your cursor over the arrow pointing to the right above, and left click it.)

Who is our New closer?

Well Brandon Lyon is gone -- $15 mill for 3 years from Houston -- are they that desperate? Rodney is good as gone - Orioles are looking at him. Today's Free Press speculated that the job could (stress the could) to Ryan Perry. He is awfully young (23), but it will be interesting to see if the Tigs acquire somebody or see if there is a Closer Derby during Spring Training. And we can't forget Zumaya - geesh I hope nobody gives him the latest version of Guitar Hero for Christmas. Who gets the job??

Adios, Curtis

The guys the Tigers got for Curtis Granderson might make significant contributions on the field, but Tiger fans will miss Granderson off the fields. At spring training he often stayed long after workouts to sign autographs, pose for photos, kiss babies and chat with fans, who he genuinely seemed to like.

The Tiger Trade

Well, Curtis and Edwin are gone, and I actually like this deal. Granderson's defense is going to be tough to replace, but despite 30 home runs, none of them seem to take place in a big spot. I like Curtis a lot for what he means to the Detroit community and he will be missed in that reagrd, but I will not miss the three pitch strikeout in the eighth inning with the tying run on third and one out.

I love the pitching that they got and Daniel Schlereth actually started his pitching career here in Reston VA in my T-Ball League. He played ball with our kids until he moved with his Dad to Denver when he got traded to the Broncos. A great family!!!!!

I love Scherzer as a starter. He averaged over a strikeout per inning. The Tigers top 3 starters are going to be tough to beat. If Bonderman has any kind of year at all, it could still be a different, but special year.

What do you think?

What do you think about the trade?

One of the Best Weeks of the Year!!!!!

For baseball lovers, this week is a baseball junkies dream. The Hot Stove League is simmering this evening in Indianapolis and ready to get started full bore tomorrow morning. All of the rumors will be found to be just that, but it is in the first couple of days when Dave Dombrowski makes his move. I don't think that the Tigers will be major players, but who knows. I don't think that they are looking to trade either Curtis Granderson or Miggy. Edwin Jackson is definitely on the block and will get traded for a nice package of prospects. There is always room for a surprise.

If you read some of the other blogs today, Tiger Weblog, the Tiger's financial condition is not nearly as bad as it has been painted. It's amazing that the Tigers have so few position prospects in the minors and they are a serious step behind athletically. It will be interesting to see how quickly Daniel Fields moves up the ladder. He has great blood lines, but so does Cale Iorg for that matter, but I get the feeling that Fields will find himself in the outfield and will be the next center fielder in a few years. The Tigers have too many outfielders that look the same and have the same skill set. Clete Thomas, Brent Clevelen, Matt Joyce, Jeff Larrish, are they all the same guy? Going back a few years, Cody Ross also. We need some STUDS!!!!! I am sick of watching guys that have spunk and are "real baseball" players. Let's get some athletes that hit the ball a mile and run like the wind.

Spring Training is less than 80 days away. Can't wait.

A few surprises will take place this spring. This is going out on the limb, but Joel Zumaya is going to have a great year. If he does, look for the Tigers to contend into September again, regardless of what happens with Rodney and Lyon.


Placido Polanco back with Phils, ‘never wanted to leave’

By TONY PAUL, The Detroit News, Dec. 3, 2009

Placido Polanco is back with the team he never wanted to leave.

The Gold Glove winner wasted little time in signing a multiyear contract with the 2008 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. He’ll move from second base, where he starred for four-plus seasons with the Tigers, to third base with the Phillies, who are all set at second with Chase Utley.

It was Utley who made Polanco expendable by Philly when he was dealt to Detroit in 2005.

“I always wanted to be here, I never wanted to leave,” Polanco said in an afternoon press conference, sporting a Phillies-red cap and a No. 27 jersey. “It’s obvious this team is committed to win.”

Polanco arrived in Philadelphia on Thursday morning, passed his physical and signed a three-year deal, reportedly worth $18 million, with a mutual option for a fourth year. It’s a decent raise for Polanco, who averaged a modest $4.6 million a year from 2005 to ‘09 -- a span in which he batted .311 as a Tiger, with a high .341 in ‘07, good for third in the AL behind Magglio Ordonez and Ichiro Suzuki.

Polanco’s departure means Scott Sizemore, he of zero major league experience, will be the Tigers’ starting second baseman in 2010, assuming he has no setback recovering from a broken left ankle.

Apparently, interest in Polanco escalated quickly once the Tigers declined to offer him salary arbitration by Tuesday’s deadline. Had he been offered, the signing team would have had to fork over to the Tigers a first-round draft pick, the compensation MLB deems fair for teams losing a Type A free agent. That, it’s a good bet, would’ve made Polanco’s venture into free agency a bit more rocky.

The Phillies, though, have been interested for some time. Polanco first met with general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. about three weeks ago in South Florida.

In Philly, he will replace Pedro Feliz, known for slick fielding but a low batting average. He will be their No. 2 hitter, moving Shane Victorino down into a run-producing spot in the order.

There are a number of solid third basemen available this winter, including Chone Figgins and Mark DeRosa, but Amaro said Polanco was targeted as the No. 1 choice for a variety of reasons. Among them, his defense and his ability to put the ball in play.

“Pedro Feliz, defensively, we got kind of spoiled. We felt, our scouts and others felt, that we weren’t going to have much of a dropoff with Polly a third base,” Amaro said. “Additionally, it was important for us to change the structure of our lineup.”

Polanco won Gold Gloves in 2007 and ‘09 in Detroit, and is one of the toughest hitters in the majors to strikeout. During his Tigers tenure, he whiffed just 146 times in four-plus seasons – 24 fewer times than Brandon Inge K’d just last season alone.

The Phillies have a lot of free swingers, too, with the likes of Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez and Utley, so adding a contact hitter was a priority as the offseason began.

As for the switch to third? No problem, said Polanco, who noted he played third base collegiately, and with the Cardinals and Phillies – 322 major league games in all, but none of the past four seasons.

“I feel pretty confident about it,” Polanco said. “It’s gonna be easier, the fact you have to move less. But you still have to catch the groundball and throw it. I’ll get used to it pretty quick. Should be easy.”

Polanco, 34, began his major league career with the Cardinals in 1998 and was traded in July 2002 to the Phillies in a deal that sent Scott Rolen to St. Louis. He then was dealt in July 2005 to the Tigers for reliever Ugueth Urbina, who made 56 relief appearances for Philly that year before his career was cut short by an attempted murder rap in Venezuela.

Urbinia is early in a 14-year prison sentence, while Polanco became a semi-star. It remains, by a comfortable margin, the greatest heist in Dave Dombrowski’s Tigers tenure.

“We loved Polly when he was here. We didn’t want to move him,” Amaro said. “But we were in a situation where, at the time, it was the best thing for our organization. “And it worked out pretty well for him, as well.”

As the No. 2 hitter in Detroit, Polanco made one All-Star team and had a 200-hit season.

Polanco also was a key cog in the Tigers’ 2006 playoff run, batting .412 in the first-round victory over the Yankees and .529 in earning MVP honors in the AL championship series sweep of the A’s. That series was capped by one of the most memorable moments in franchise history – a hoodie-wearing Polanco exuberantly leaped his way around the bases as Magglio Ordonez’s three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning sent the Tigers to their first World Series since 1984.

But it was his defense that made him a rock for the Tigers. Polanco didn’t commit a single error in ‘07 (141 games) and made just two this past season (151 games). During his Tigers tenure, he put together a 186-game errorless streak that remains a record for major league second baseman.

The Red Sox and Astros were among the other teams reportedly interested in Polanco, who didn’t find it necessary to continue shopping himself at next week’s winter meetings in Indianapolis.

“The Phillies were always my first choice,” said Polanco, who made no comments about the Tigers during his 20-minute introductory press conference in Philadelphia.

As for developments on the Tigers’ other notable free agents:

 Closer Fernando Rodney hasn’t generated a ton of buzz, it seems, but the Braves apparently were considering him as a possible setup option for their new closer, Billy Wagner. It’s unclear if they still have interest after signing reliever Takashi Saito to a one-year deal Thursday.

 Reliever Brandon Lyon is reportedly drawing some interest from the Yankees, while the Red Sox have contacted the agent of shortstop Adam Everett.

Rodney and Lyon were offered arbitration, so, as Type B free agents, if they sign elsewhere, the Tigers will receive a sandwich pick, between the first and second round of next year’s draft.

LINK: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20091204/SPORTS0104/912040382/1004/SPORTS/Placido-Polanco-back-with-Phils---never-wanted-to-leave-

Polanco's Future?

Well the Tigs did not offer arbitration to Polanco. Is he as good as gone? Is this Sizemore kid ready to play in the majors every day? Is there something going on behind the scenes with Polanco that never hit the papers. I will never understand why he did not play that Thursday afternoon game against the Twins at the end of the season. He didn't even pinch hit and he always was Mr. Clutch. You don't rest one of your better players in one of the most important games of the season. So is this all part of the plan???
Do they really want Rodney and Lyon back? They offered both of them arbitration.

MOre about Cabrera

Did you know that Miggy just received a $200,000 bonus per his contract because he finished fourth in the voting for MVP. Yet another example of his individualism as oppossed to being a team player. I do admit that one of my biases is I have a hard time separating the individual from the ball player. Yes, he is a potential Hall of Famer, but I have a ard time getting excited because of his personal decisions at the end of the season.

A baseball fan's briefcase

If your spouse is looking for a Christmas gift idea, how 'bout dropping four bills (and change) on this sweet one:

Cabrera to Boston?

Some of the local sports shows this morning had the latest rumor that Miguel Cabrera could be headed to the Red Sox, and that Boston is interested. Makes you wonder how many other problems dear Miggy caused in the club house that never hit the press. If this happens who plays first? Bouie are you still in shape?

So how do we rebuild the Tigers?

The first question, I guess is, do they need rebuilding, or just a little tweaking? They were close this year, just kind of went into a slumber in the last month.

Is Ordonez hot streak the last week or two at the end of the season a reason to keep him? It would be expensive to dump him, but might be more expensive to keep him. (I, for one, am a lousy manager. I had my staff come to me once and tell me I had to fire one of their coworkers. "She has really goofed anything up," was my defense of her. "She takes up oxygen." they said. If the situation with Mags is that his negativity is polluting the team, he's got to go. (My little bundle of joy was gone the next day, BTW.)

We might get something good for Cabrera. He's young, very talented. He just has a very bad work ethic if partying down with his pals the night before a big game, and beating up his wife that morning are his ideas of game prep.

I think talk of trading Granderson is foolish. You don't sell when your stock is down. He just had a bad year. He's a fine man, by all means keep him. The same with Verlander and Porcello.

So what's the strategy boys? Build a pitching staff? Go out and buy more bats? Just hunker down and hope things improve in 2010?

Our MVP Most Valuable Poster 2009 - Piotrowski

Not only is he one of our few actual remaining residents of the Detroit area, and a season ticket holder, Chuck is always ready to provide a thoughtful comment, start a discussion or provoke a thought.

Chuck was one of the finest barkeeps I've ever had the pleasure of chilling my mug (I mean that in only the best way) and I just wish I could patronize his Burger establishment. I mean hey, if it's good enough for Denny McLain...

(That's Chuck on the right, Willie Horton on the left.)

Tigers to Trade Jackson, Granderson?

Today's Free Press says the Tigers contemplate trading Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson.
Sounds bad to me but I suppose it would depend on who we could get for them.
What say you?

Tigers announce 2010 Spring Training schedule

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers today announced the club’s exhibition game schedule for 2010 Spring Training in Lakeland, Fla.

Next spring will mark the Tigers 74th season at “TigerTown” in Lakeland, extending the longest-standing relationship between a major league team and a current Spring Training host city. The 2010 spring season marks the club’s 45th consecutive season of exhibition play at Joker Marchant Stadium.

The Tigers will begin the exhibition schedule on Tuesday, March 2 as the club battles Florida Southern College in the annual matchup against the Moccasins. The club opens the home portion of the Grapefruit League schedule against the Toronto Blue Jays at Joker Marchant Stadium on Thursday, March 4.

The schedule is highlighted by visits from the World Series Champion New York Yankees on March 10, March 13 and March 27. The schedule also features two visits from the National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies on March 12 and March 20.

Tickets for the 2010 spring exhibition season will be priced at two separate levels. The first set is for premium games, which include all games against the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees and all Friday, Saturday and Sunday games. The second price level is for the remainder of the schedule. Premium game ticket prices range from $11-22, while the ticket prices for the remainder of games range from $8-19.

Full season ticket packages for the 2010 Tigers Spring Training exhibition season are on sale now at the Joker Marchant Stadium ticket office, via phone at (863) 686-8075 or by visiting www.tigers.com. Fans may also now purchase partial season ticket plans of five-or-more games by calling (863) 686-8075. Individual game tickets go on sale beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9, and can be ordered by visiting the ticket office at Joker Marchant Stadium, calling 866-66-TIGER or visiting www.tigers.com. For additional ticket information and special group pricing, call the Lakeland office at 863-686-8075.


Day, Date/Opponent (Site)/Time
Tues. March 2 Florida Southern College @ Lakeland 1:05
Wed. March 3 Toronto @ Dunedin 1:05
Thur. March 4 Toronto @ Lakeland 1:05
Fri. March 5 Houston @ Lakeland 1:05
Sat. March 6 Baltimore @ Lakeland 1:05
Sun. March 7 Toronto @ Dunedin 1:05
Mon. March 8 Atlanta @ Lakeland 1:05
Tues. March 9 Washington @ Viera 1:05
Wed. March 10 New York Yankees @ Lakeland 1:05
Thur. March 11 Philadelphia @ Clearwater 1:05
Fri. March 12 Philadelphia (SS) @ Lakeland 1:05
Sat. March 13 New York Yankees (SS) @ Lakeland 1:05
New York Mets (SS) @ Port St. Lucie 1:10
Sun. March 14 Tampa Bay @ Lakeland 1:05*
Mon. March 15 Toronto @ Lakeland 1:05
Tues. March 16 Philadelphia @ Clearwater 1:05
Wed. March 17 Pittsburgh @ Bradenton 1:05
Thur. March 18 Houston @ Lakeland 1:05
Fri. March 19 New York Yankees (SS) @ Tampa TBD
Fri. March 19 Atlanta (SS) @ Disney World 6:05
Sat. March 20 Philadelphia @ Lakeland 1:05
Sun. March 21 New York Yankees @ Tampa TBD
Mon. March 22 Toronto @ Dunedin 1:05
Tue. March 23 Washington @ Lakeland 6:05
Wed. March 24 - - - Open Date - - -
Thur. March 25 Toronto (SS) @ Lakeland 1:05
Thur. March 25 Washington (SS) @ Viera 7:05
Fri. March 26 Atlanta @ Disney World 1:05
Sat. March 27 New York Yankees @ Lakeland 1:05
Sun. March 28 New York Yankees @ Tampa TBD
Mon. March 29 Toronto @ Dunedin 1:05
Tue. March 30 Baltimore @ Sarasota 1:05
Wed. March 31 Pittsburgh @ Lakeland 1:05
Thur. April 1 Atlanta (SS) @ Lakeland 1:05
Houston (SS) @ Kissimmee 1:05
Fri. April 2 Milwaukee @ Milwaukee 8:10
Sat. April 3 Milwaukee @ Milwaukee 2:10

All time is Eastern (Detroit) Time
*Daylight Savings Time begins

Hot Stove League Begins

Ok the World Series is over so let's start desigining next year's team. One thing the announcers talked about on the broadcast last night was that they don't think Matsui (even though he won MVP) will be back next year. Do we look at someone like him or are we happy with Rayburn? What about DH? Where does Thames fit in? HIs production sure tapered off. What will our starting rotation look like?

Yeah, I'm back.

I'll admit it, I was ticked off. (As I'm sure you guys were.) But I like chatting with you guys. I might not post as often as I did last summer, and I don't have any ideas for polls or long-term discussions like the All Time Greatest Tigers, like we did last season, but you'll see me here now and then. (If you have any ideas, just shoot them to me. I think Doctor Peek has a brilliant idea for a "Greatest Season." We'll get that up before Opening Day.

Why don't the Tigers Fire Leyland?

"If the bus won't start, shoot the bus driver," said Joe Falls in one of his great columns that made me want to be a newspaper guy years ago. I think that's one simple answer.

Did Leyland have to make sure Cabrera went to bed on time instead of going out drinking without Garcia on Friday night after the game? Did he fail to get the big hits? I'm not even sure it's a big league manager's job to motivate; these are millionaires before they ever swing a bat.

Here's a thought: maybe the Tigers' current administration actually believes in honoring their employees for longstanding service (something rare in business today.) The other day I bought my 30 year-old daughter (who is a big Tiger fan) a birthday present. (No, a night with Rick Porcello wasn't available.) I bought her a 1979 Tiger Yearbook.
I was stunned by how many of the guys on that team or involved in the organization are still with them.
  • Leyland was manager of the Evansville Tripletts (boy does he look funny with "long" hair and no cigarette.)
  • Gates Brown was the hitting instructor: today I understand he still works for the Tigers as a kind of guest relations guy. My brother's company has a suite, and he said he is always at the games, signing autographs and telling kids stories. Willie Horton is still involved as well, isn't he?
  • Jim Campbell was congratulating Al Kaline for his induction in the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, and Kaline was broadcasting with old Tiger third baseman George Kell.
  • Of course, it's not a perfect world. Alan Trammel had his shot at managing the Tigers, but now he's a bench coach in Chicago. Would it be impossible for him to come back to Detroit someday?

Trivia question - Who was "Boots Day?"

Interesting note: Kirk Gibson didn't even rate a color picture or a write-up, but Sheldon Burnside and Mark Wagner did.

So Many Memories and Flashbacks

Yesterday, a little bit of all of us that grew up in Detroit, died. Soupy Sales had nothing to do with baseball, and he left town in 1959, but I had lunch with Soupy a lot of days when I was growing up. 1959 was the year that I moved to 1st Grade at Our Lady of Victory, and there I was a noon, eating the same thing as Soupy, which most days was a hot dog.

Going thru YouTube last night and today, I laughed at all of the craziness and skits put on by Soupy. He was right there with Johnny Ginger, Poop Deck Paul, Captain Jolly, Jingles, Bwana Don, Sagebrush Shorty, Jerry Booth, and Milky the Clown, who scared the hell out of me.

I did have a softball connection with Soupy. In 1979, while playing for Uniroyal, in the Detroit Metro League, we played a charity game in East Detroit (at the time) against some local players and celebrities. The two celebrities of that day were Soupy Sales and Scatman Crothers from Chico and the Man. They were in our dugout and we roared the entire time. They were hilarious. Soupy never stopped smiling and joking and had no pretensions about him at all. What a day, and I will always remember. Part of my youth died yesterday, but it was great being a youth in Detroit. At the end of the game, I asked Soupy for one bit of advice, A Soupy Sez that would carry me forward. Soupy looked at me and said, "Bill, be true to your teeth and they won't be false to you". Rest in Peace Soupy. You had a great life!!!

Why is Leyland stiil the manager?

Just wondering if anyone else is wondering why Leyland is still managing the Tigs. I realize that they extended his contract earlier in the season. However, why didn't he have our team ready for post season play. Their collapse is his responsibility. True enough he doesn't play in the field or stand in the batter's box -- but he has to have the best team possible ready.; Some of his decisions mystify me. Never understood why Polanco had that day off and Santiago played in that last week. Well Polanco is getting lots of rest and so is Leyland and Dumbrowski.
Will next year be better?

Detroit Tigers All-Time 9

A cool twist on the polls that we held At The Corner earlier in the year. This one takes a player's best season and stacks it against others at the same position. If you vote strictly on the impact of that one season -- and do not consider a player's entire career -- it isn't as clear cut as you think. For instance: Is it possible that Al Kaline doesn't get a spot in the Tigers' outfield? Check it out for yourself:


That's all folks!

Yes, the season is over. I don't think any of us expected the Tigers to win the series, but we were all wrong in the poll. They never took the division flag.
Just like you all must be, I'm disappointed in Miguel's first half the season, Cabrerra's weekend fling, and tonight leaving the bases loaded. You just can't do that and win.
So I'm going to take a break from baseball. A break from ATC. Concentrate on real life. Finding a job.
Boy, that sounds adult. Not at all like the real me.
You guys all have my e-mail address if you want to reach me. I just won't be checking in here.

Maybe we'll get it going again next spring. I won't kill this site, you can post here for as long as blogspot will allow us to hang out free.

Merry Christmas.

Cabrera mess

Well what a mess. Instead of focusing on the biggest game of the year we are focusing on MIggy getting drunk with Freddy Garcia and then fighting with his wife. Alcohol levell.26 - wow. Why didn't Cabrera and the Tigers own up to it right away? The truth always comes out - now they are scrambling... WDIV says he also got drunk a month ago at the Townsend Hotel and police were called. Even though he is a helluva ball player what his his future now in Detroit? Are star athletes role models? Should he have played this weekend? he sure was non-productive.

Still, all things considered I am postive for tomorrow. GO TIGERS.

Chuck was right all along, it comes down to this...

This afternoon Chuck will be at Comerica to witness part of the decision maker.
Of course, we all want the Tigers to win, but it seems they have squandered so many chances, played so badly lately and at other points during the year.
Keith and I were talking on the phone last night while our boys were getting pummelled. It is very easy to like the Twins, their grit, their attitude and talent.
I think a fitting end would be for both teams to lose today, force a play-off, and the Tigers lose Tuesday. That would just put us through more agony.

Finally, a Good argument "At the Corner"

I think ya'll know that I have been longing for a good friendly argument here. Well, here we go. Let's not dwell on the Tigers shellacking Friday night, let's talk about the media coverage of Detroit and the Tigers.

With the permission of my dear friend and classmate Marty Budner, sports editor of the Birmingham Observer-Eccentric, here are his thoughts on the recent articles in Sports Illustrated and Time Magazine, and I'll take first shot at him in the comment section. Let the debate (or doneybrook" begin, and may the Tigers have a better day tommorrow. All they have to do is win two games.
"Hope all of you are well…
I recently came across two articles which will be of great interest to all my former Motor City mates…maybe you’ve ready them already seen them… if not, they are must reads for all of us with deep roots and sentimental ties to this tremendous, albiet floundering, city we call Detroit…The first article is from the Sept. 28 issue of Sports Illustrated…it is entitled ‘The Righteous Franchise: Detroit…The Tigers’ Bold Stand with Their Fans.” The second is from the Oct. 5 issue – the latest one – of Time magazine. It is entitled: “The Tragedy of Detroit.”
Now, I must get your opinions on these pieces…please take a few minutes to read them and let me know…

The SI article I find highly fallacious….Certainly the city has always had a deep love affair with our beloved Bengals…however, to claim the Tigers brought the city together this summer is simply not true. It is a misleading read to those of you who are watching them from a distance and learning about them only from the printed word…Sure they have piqued our interest with their surprising play and nearly year-long stay in first place…but to infer they were the glue that kept this city from going insane this summer during our economic illness is a misnomer…they have hardly sold out every game…in fact, at the recent Ernie Harwell night, Comerica was not two-thirds full….You would have thought it would have been a sellout (now, I must admit my guilt that I did not attend…wanted to, but was not able)…Ernie’s mortality is a completely different subject – what a great human being…

Now, for the TIME article…it was right on…you will all read it and not your heads in agreement as the author – a Detroit native like ourselves – outlines the reasons for Detroit’s decline over the years…to me, that one was right on the money….I will resist further comment so as not to influence your judgements as you digest the article…I will say it is amazing, and sad, how out birthplace slid from the 5th largest metropolis in the states to No. 11…

I felt the need to alert all of you to these most intriguing words and II offer these comments knowing how all of you love this beleaguered city like I do…

Can’t wait to hear your reactions…

Marty b.

cy young predictor

guys tell me how Verlander ends up 6th on AL cy young candidates?
here is the espn list-


i understand Greinke has a great era but Verlander and Sabathia both have more wins, strikeouts and impressive starts down the stretch. Although im not sure it does, but it has to count for something-pitching for a contender and winning huge games down the stretch. One more big game from our guy (if needed) on the last game of regular season and and it would have to put him in a great spot to win the cy young

And so with the loss this afternoon...

looks like the sucker, er, fan who voted for the Tigers clinching Thursday afternoon is eliminated. I fear it won't be long until the Tigers are eliminated too.

Which Day will the Tigers Clinch?

OK folks -- we are down to the last week and the magic number is a lot higher than it should be. OUr boys are scaring me way too much. This series with Minn. will be HUGE. So what day do we clinch? I am saying Thursday after the day game -- what say ye?

'Tis the Season

As the Tigers try to hold off the Twins, the latest crop of Tiger hopefuls started the Fall Instructional League this week. They played their first home game yesterday against the Braves at Joker Marchant Stadium. The pride of University of Detroit Jesuit High School, Daniel Fields (above), watches the action from the dugout. For the schedule and roster visit http://tigers.scout.com/2/892300.html.

You guys see this yet?

Sure, they show us warts and all, but at least they show some of the good stuff too.

Stuff like the bonds between the Tiger front office and the other businesses in town. p://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/lee_jenkins/09/22/hope.in.detroit/index.html

Thanks to my buddy and former Detroiter, Wayne Mielke, VP PR for Comerica for bringing this to my attention. Yeah, that Comerica.

A bit of explanation about the current poll

You might ask "Where's Inge? Where's Verlander? Where's Cabrera?"

This poll started out in Chuck's brain as "Unsung Heroes." Not bad, but I would say if they are unsung, we wouldn't know about them, would we?

IMHO, Inge, Verlander and Cabrera have all done more than their share. I'm looking for the guy who really has not shown us as much as we had hoped for to date.

So let's call them "unexpected." Am I missing anybody?

Magic Number is now 11

Well sports fans, a little reliefe after today's win. 11 is the big number. Is it doable? YES Is it doable without giving me stress? NO! Nate Robertson pitched well today - a sigh of releif. Glad to be off tomorrow and then on to Clevelnad - need to pick up some ground this week. And then it is Chicago, minnesota, Chicago. Did you read where Ozzie Guillen was trying to motivate his team by saying they gave uo on him? That certainly is not Leyland's style. Go get "em Tigers!

Where Have all the Hitters Gone?

Porcello pitched well enough to get the win last night. There was no offense once again. Is it time to start panicking? Maybe Leyland needs to manage this afternoon's game like Billy Martin once did. Put everyone's name in a hat and play whoever he pulls out. Only kidding, Leyland is not a drunk like Martin, but something needs to shake up our boys. This will be an exciting last two weeks, excitement that I was hoping to avoid.
Since my last prediction was more accurate than I dreamed of. We wil win today 7-5 and Cabrera will rip the hide off the baseball.

Can we ever beat the damn Royals

Last night's loss was an embarassment. The lowly Royals own us. Will we ever see Yashburn pitch again for the Bengals? That being said, I am still thirlled at what we have accomplished this year. This next two weeks will be thrilling and we will survive - it might not be pretty though.
Eddie Bonine is going tonight - maybe he will be the unsung hero to start to pull it out for us, with a little hitting help from Polanco tonight. Tigs win 4-2

Do you have pennant fever?

Last night's game had it all - a lead off homer by Rayburn. A horrible 6th inning by our ace. Great relief pitching by NI, Bonderman, Perry, and one pitch from Seay for the win. Does it get any better than Aubrey Huff's home run? I wanted to run the bases with him -- well maybe not run. And then the fluky play that should have been an inning ending double play, when Scutaro booted the ball and heads up running saw Inge cross home plate without a throw. So exciting. Leyland making complete use of his bench -- thought I saw Larry Parrish swinging a bat.
Anyhow, the boys won and the magic number is down to 14. I can't wait
Tigers are honoring Ernie Wednesday night and the Lions are doing it on Sunday. Hope Ernie can throw out the first pitch at one of the World Series games!!
Ready or not, here we come!!

What will be the biggest surprise going into Spring Training

This is a bit early, but there will be a lot of changes next year for the Tigers, regardless of what they do in the playoffs. One to look out for is looking for Joel Zumaya to be converted back to a starter. This is a little crazy, but it would keep him under control and it was Zumaya that had a bead on the starting job in 2006 before Verlander and he was a great starting pitcher. It would take some strain off of his shoulder. What do you think?

Does Today's win make you worry warts feel better?

Granted, I wasn't feeling so good myself. (Remember, at the outset of the season, I said the Tigers would end up four games under .500. I was close.) But I think the Sox and the Twins don't have much going for them either.
But I have changed my vote in this week's poll. Boston (not California as posted) will kill us in the first series.

It's just not as much fun these days...

Getting up early to look for baseball scores on-line or in the paper, checking TV listings to see if our guys are on tonight, or holding my breath over scores from Chicago or Minnesota. It just doesn't seem like as much fun now that we've virtually locked up a division flag.

Maybe Yankee fans haven't had it as good as it seems.

Maybe I'm just in a funk over Ernie.

Heartbreaking news: Ernie Harwell, 91, has incurable cancer

From the Detroit News, Sept. 4, 2009

DETROIT – He’d been waiting for test results.

His voice last week sounded strong – as strong as always. By the end of the conversation, however, it didn’t.

Ernie Harwell, the treasured voice of the Tigers for all those years, has incurable bile duct cancer. In comments to the Detroit Free Press on Thursday, he said he won’t undergo surgery.

But in those same comments, he said he’s ready for the next adventure.

It’s been no secret lately that Ernie – as nearly everyone knows him – hadn’t been feeling well. He was in the hospital, then out. There’d been speculation about pneumonia. But most of all there’d been speculation something was wrong.

“Just feeling a little weak at times,” he said when called by The Detroit News recently. “We’ll see where this takes us. I know I’ll be in good hands.”
Now he also knows what was wrong.

“We don’t know how long this lasts,” Harwell, 91, told the Free Press. “It could be a year. It could be much less than a year, much less than a half year. Who knows? Whatever is in store, I’m ready for a new adventure.”

That’s Ernie for you.

Life always has been an adventure for him. From his boyhood days in Georgia, to serving in the Marines, to broadcasting Bobby Thomson’s famous home run for the New York Giants – to becoming a Hall of Fame broadcaster with the Tigers.

Life’s challenge will be an adventure as well.

“I’m ready to face what comes,” he told the Free Press, “whether it’s a long time or short time. It’s up to my Lord and savior.”

Magic Number is 23

to beat the Twins as of Monday, Sept. 5. But remember, we have seven games left against the Twinkies, so every victory in those series gives us "two." Sweep all seven (unlikely, granted, but allow me a fantasy) and the Magic Number tumbles.

Former Cub signs with Tigers

Daniel Fields, who starred for the University of Detroit Jesuit High School Cubs, watches a Flying Tigers game last nite at Joker Marchant Stadium. Fields signed with the Tigers and will play in the Fall Instructional League, which starts later this month. My cousin, who teached at UD High, had Fields in class and says he's a great kid.

Rod Allen right again

Rod Allen was amazing during today's broadcast. We were down 3-1, bottom of the 8th. Runner on third. Granderson up to bat. Granderson walked. Rod said that those walks hurt ya. Next batter up is Polanco. Polanco hits a three run homer. As Polance begins his home run trot Rod says, "what did I tell you!!" Tigers win 4-3 a great win and we extend our lead.

Who was the Tigers Worst GM?

Chuck suggests we continuing polling on the "best of times/worst of times" theme with the worst GM.

Some of his candidates:

  • Bo Shembechler for firing Ernie Harwell - (Correct my spelling if I goofed.)
  • Jim Campbell - Why Chuck, for bringing us the 1968 Tiger team?
  • Dave Dumbrowski - He's traded away a lot of talent, but you must agree, we have a competitive team today.
  • Randy Smith - Faded from my memory, but hey, what was our second kid named, Debbie?
  • Bill DeWitt - Could be the best or the worst. Took the second division Tigers of the late '50's, brought in Frank Larry, Rocky Colovito (and maybe Norm Cash) to be competitive with the Yanks in the early '60's.
  • John McHale - Didn't he bring us a flag, too?

Before I officially post the ballots, any other candidates? (Of course, heated discussions are always welcome.)

When was the last game-ending unassisted triple play?

Pretty amazing when a team gets an unassisted triple play, as did the Phils earlier this week. But when they end the game doing it, it's even rarer. (Second time in history!)

The first (and last) last time was Tiger Johnny Neunn in 1927! But Neunn was a first baseman, which must have been a real trick! (Enough exclamation points. Anybody notice the Texas Rangers got an unassisted triple play the other night?)

Best Deals in Tiger History?

Well, now that we've looked at the worst, let's get to the best (and thanks to Tom Hagerty for doing most of the research on this.)

Maybe the most spectacular was sending Denny McClain (who had racked up a lot of victories and a lot of innings for the Tigs) along with Don Wert and Elliot Maddox to the Senators for Aurelio Rodriguez, Eddie Brinkman, Joe Coleman and Him Hannan.
Tom contends that sending the very young John Smolz to Atlanta for the experienced Doyle Alexander was one of the best deals, not one of the worst, like we suggested last week. We got a steady hand in the playoffs that year, and for many years to come.
Some other significant acquisitions include:
  • Sean Casey for Brian Rogers

  • Frank Tanana for Duane James

  • Todd Jones and Nate Robertson for Mark Redman

  • Milt Wilcox for cash

  • Damian Easley for Greg Gohr

Tom found a list of many of these deals at http://bleacherreport.com/articles/222770-10-most-pivotal-deadline-deals-in-tigers-history#page/9 that will give you more detail.

They include what they claim to be the most "significant" trades. I don't think all of them were all that good. Like, sending Cecil Fielder packing for Rueben Sierra and Matt Drews, Jason Thompson for Al Cowers, and who the heck dealt away a young guy named David Wells? Yeah, that David Wells.

So cast your vote at right. One vote to a customer, and if the players' names seem cut off, just run your cursor over the name and total bar.

Dreams of Fields

The Free Press reports that the Tigers on Monday night signed their sixth-round pick, shortstop Daniel Fields, the University of Detroit Jesuit High School star and son of former Tiger Bruce Fields. Fields had committed to play at the University of Michigan if he hadn’t signed with the Tigers.

Fore more about the -09 draft picks see http://freep.com/article/20090817/SPORTS02/90817103/1320/Tigers-agree-to-deals-with-top-7-draft-picks

Rain Delay

Lakeland Flying Tigers Max Leon (left) and Luis Grullon amuse themselves in teh dugout during yesterday's rain delay at Joker Marchant Stadium. (Leon's father, Maximino Leon, pitched for the braves in the 1970s.)

Just to Clarify the poll...

the last option listed to the right in our poll this week included 9 players (not all easily visible on the poll.) The Tigers received Juan Gonzales, Danny Patterson and Gregg Zaun in exchange for Gabe (The Babe according to my daughters) Kapler, Frank Catalanatto, Francisco Cordero, Bill Hasselman, Alan Webbas (?) and Justin Thompson.

The Tigers hoped to re-sign Juan to a long term contract, he said no way unless they moved the fences in the new Comerica Park in. They didn't, and after just a year, he signed with the Indians. (Of course, they eventually did bring in the fences.)

Pound for pound, it was a pretty bad deal.

(For future reference, if you haven't notice yet, when my answer runs into the totals so that you can't read the answer, you have the option of sliding your cursor over the copy, and the rest of the answer pops up. As they used to teach us in Catholic grade school "it's one of the mysteries."

Keith and the Commish at the Ballpark

We had a great time Saturday at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas, to see the Frisco Rough Riders (Texas League AA affiliate of the Rangers) squeak out a 2-1 victory over the San Antonio Missions. (Keith on the left, me on the right. Yeah, I know, he looks like he doesn't want to be there. Chalk it up to the 100 degree heat, and the fact that I stuffed him full of bad Tex-Mex food before the game.)
Typical of minor league baseball, it was cheap ($10 per ticket) and our seats were fantastic, third row from the field, just down the left field line from the Rough Riders dugout. The bullpen is so close to the dugout, the players can just about throw a baseball back and forth. Unfortunately (for the bullpen) there is no phone system, so the manager just stands on the top step of the dugout, to signal who he wants warming up.

Being at a minor league game gives you a whole new perspective on the game. These kids look so young! (That's because they are young, dummy.) And yet they face major leaguers now and then coming into a rehab assignment. Second, It's amazing how hard it is to follow a fly ball in the pale blue evening sky, like you see in the picture of Keith and I.
The Rough Riders' left fielder quickly became a fan favorite by throwing balls to the kids. Near the end of the game, he caught a fly ball to end the inning, and he brought the ball to a five year-old girl in front of us.
Keith and I did talk a little baseball though, and talk about ATC. I've wondered why the poll on your favorite broadcaster has only gotten three votes, and Keith gave me a few things to think about. First, many of the guys I mentioned, he had never heard of. Second, he noted that I left out Joe Morgan, and Mel Allen: good points. During the ESPN game last night, it occurred to me that I like Orel Hershisher an awful lot as a color guy, but probably not "the best."

Your thoughts, as always, are welcome.

Bad Trade Part II: Harvey Kueen for Rocky Colavito

I was crushed. (Seriously, I remember this.)
The Tigers traded the AL batting champ Harvey Kueen in 1959 for some strikeout artist name Rocky Colavito. Frank "Trader" Lane Cleveland GM said something like "All I did was trade hamburger for steak."
Kueen was one of the finest true hitters of the 50's and 60's, gracing the AL as Rookie of the Year, eight time All Star, compiling a .303 lifetime average, with a league leading .353 the year before the Tigers dealt him.
I call the Rock a strikeout artist; I thought I heard he led the league in 1959, but can't confirm that. Let's just say that in 1958 and '59 he struck out 175 times, compared with Kueen's 62.
But alas, the Tigers seemed to have had the wisdom to sell high and buy low. Kueen was an All Star only once again after leaving Motown. Although he played until 1966, his best years were probably behind him. Lane seems to have gotten bored with singles and doubles, and traded him a year later.
The Rock was a serious contributor for the Tigers and the other teams he played for, and although our guys didn't win a flag with him, they gave the Yanks a run for their money in 1961.
In Detroit or Cleveland, he was always a fan favorite; the girls loved him for his Italian good looks, and everybody appreciated the fact that he signed every autograph with a smile.
Today he's 66 on the all-time home run list.

I don't know if it was the Tigers' "worst" trade.
Does anybody remember "Harvey's Wallbangers?

Red Barber: the Finest Baseball Broadcaster

In a clear play of grandstanding, I nominate Red Barber as the finest baseball broadcaster. He came up with southern colloquialisms like "tearing up the pea patch" and "sitting in the catbird seat." He had retired from working with the Reds and Dodgers long before I had heard of him. I got to know him on NPR every Friday morning. You can listen to a few of his NPR broadcasts at http://www.npr.org/about/specials/bedwards/red_barber.html (I particularly like the one entitled "Well, I'' Be a Suck- Egg Mule.")

You might also want to check out a video of Barber and Ernie Harwell talk about their respective broadcasts of the "Shot Heard 'round the World" in 1951 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiZuVXYa43E

Avila joins Tigers

Alex Avila (above left with in the 2008 fall instructional league) made his MLB debut this afternoon at Comerica Park. He started behind the plate and went 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI in a 7-3 victory over the Orioles. Fellow rookie Rick Porcello got the win.
(Avila's cousin, Amanda Avila, is an intern for the Lakeland Flying Tigers, and she flew to Detroit for today's game.)

Baseball Statistics, part 2

While I was watching the Tiger game last night, courtesy of the Baltimore feed, they kept flashing a graphic about the odds of scoring four or more runs in the ninth inning with one out. The stated odds of such a feat is 6.88%. I am thinking that they must have compiled this stat before Rodney became our closer, because he certainly makes the last inning very interesting (although he must be doing something right, since he has but one blown save.)

In your opinion, what closer is/was most likely to induce cardiac arrest? The shock can be incurred by either the loyal fan or the grumpy manager.

Rod Allen - a true diamond in the rough

Last night as I watched the Tiger victory, I realized how much I do enjoy Rod Allen. He really knows the game inside out and, more importantly, he is able to communicate the intricacies of baseball to someone of much lesser knowledge, ME. In my 57 years I have listened to countless broadcasters. Of course, Ernie was the best. But I have to admit that Rod really is enjoyable to listen to and learn from. As a player, Kaline was the best. However, as a broadcater, I found Al very dry and unable to convey the message. Many times Rod describes the play before it happens. So I just wanted to say cudos to Rod and to get your take on it.

How many other broadcasters have we heard, both in baseball and other sports, local and national. How many ex-jocks? Perhaps Gregg could do one of his infamous polls. Harry Carey, Tony Kubek, Curt Gowdy, George Kell, Paul Carey (no relations to Harry - lol), Van Patrick, remember how lousy risz and fizz were when they replaced Ernie, Jim Price, Dan Dickerson, can't remember the insurance agent's name who did U of M football and how partial he was, Frank Beckman, John Madden, Al Michaels, Howard Cosell - I could type for an hour, just trying to stimluate some thoughts from all of you.

Future Tiger?

Shane Rowland of Tampa Catholic High School hopes to play major league baseball. He and dozens of other high school players from around teh country had the chance to display their talent for major league scouts and college coaches this weekend at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. Here's a link to my article and mmore photos :


Worst Tiger Trade: Renteria for Jurrjens?

You guys know me as a lovable curmudgeon. A pessimist. So let's ask the question: what was the worst trade the Tigers ever made? I'll propose a few, you guys pile on with comments, and when we get a collection we'll put it to a vote.

The most recent stinker: sending an outstanding young pitcher like Jair Jurrjens to Atlanta for the overpriced and under talented Edgar Renteria.

Tigers knew Jurrjens has all the hallmarks of an outstanding pitcher. He rose quickly from rookie league to the bigs, and collected three wins in seven starts with the Tigers in 2007. Granted, the Tigers had some very good starting pitchers that year, and good quality youngsters like Miller at that time. But really Mr. Dumb-browski, when does a team ever have too much good pitching? Pitchers wear out their arms, get hurt, get tired. Just look at the roster right now, you've got Zumaya and Willis out for the season. (OBTW, anybody notice we picked up Jarrod Washburn today cause we don't have enough pitchers?)

Ready for a little salt in the wound? Since he's left us, J.J. has notched 21 wins with limited run support, posting a total E.R.A. of 3.39 (he hasn't gone over four since arriving in Atlanta.) This year he has 93 strikeouts, and 48 walks. The heck with going for Halladay, I'd be trading for Jargens if I could.

And then you have Edgar Renteria. Oh, we'd all like to forget the stone glove of Edgar. He stunk out Fenway so bad the Boston local sports talk shows called him and his $40 million contract "Rente-Error" and "Rent-A-Wreck." He got booed out of town when he blamed the Fenway groundskeepers for "substandard" infield.

Granted, he showed some promise in his return to the NL and the Braves, and through his career he was a five time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner (incredibly).

Granted, Santiago couldn't hit well enough to be a front-liner in 2006, but we also had Guillen, Inge, and Polanco to give us some versatility at short. As a last resort, we should have just gone out and bought or traded for a better shortstop at a lower cost than Jurrjens.

Well, we all know the end of this sorry tale. Tigers didn't sign him for his option year (even though he said he'd take a pay cut to $9 mill) and Eddie is hitting a whopping .266 with the Giants.

Now that was a bad deal.

Navin Field seats

Here's a look at the Navin Field seats I'm auctioning off. Thought you might like to see them before they go...

Yankee Stadiums seats

Thought you might like to take a look.
Yankee seats are at:

Out of town, not out of touch

If you're not in Detroit, or a market that carries the Tigers on T.V., you're either reduced to wait for news reports in the paper or on ESPN, or go on line to something like http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/boxscore?gid=290725106 to follow the game. Thought I was going to rip my fingernails off one by one as I wated for the updates on the game this afternoon as the Tigers tied it in the 9th.
It's extra innings now, and I must pull myself away. If you are without television coverage, what do you do? (Tom, I know you just don't watch TV anyway, do you just read it in the Lakeland Ledger Sunday?)

happy 45th birthay

just thought i would wish the best statistical player of my generation a happy birthday. And thank him for ruining the greatest game in the world

top 100 list

S.I. came out with this baseball top 100 player-


Althouh i love a good list im not crazy about this one. Miguel Cabrera at #18???? and a note to Cecil's kid- just because you won the home run derby doesn't make you the 11th best player in the league

Navin Field, Yankee Stadium seats for sale

Hi, baseball fans:

Just an FYI that I'm selling two pairs of wooden stadium seats -- two from Navin Field/Briggs Stadium and two from old Yankee Stadium -- to help pay for my wedding (it's coming up fast -- Aug. 9). I'm planning to place them on eBay tonight or Thursday, so I'd be happy to include the link and photos if anyone is interested. Or if you REALLY want them for yourself, give me a shout at jpeek1@hotmail.com and I can give you the details.

While it will be tough to let these go, don't shed a tear for me -- my honeymoon includes the Tigers-Red Sox game at Fenway on Aug. 11! Did I score the right woman or what?


Statistics is just another facet of my genius

Baseball is a game of numbers. Statistics. Cold and calculating.

Here’s the facts, boys, just the facts:

Our Tigers are pretty much a .500 ball club. According to their record to date in 2009, they should win a game, then lose a game. Here and there, now and then, they win two in a row.

But our boys are different. They are what we fans call “streaky.” Hot as Dallas in August, cold as Traverse City in February (not including global warming.) Allow me to prove it.

The Tigs have played 90 games as of Monday: 48 wins, 42 losses. But incredibly, of those 90 games 50, or far more than half were part of a streak where they were winning or losing three or more in a row! Part of the reason they are in first is that they have twice peeled off seven game winning streaks (May and June) and have only hit the skids with a four game slump twice (both in June.)

They are so streaky, there was one period in May they went 13 consecutive games on streaks, three wins, three losses, then seven wins!

So what can we predict from here on out?

More streaks, what else? I predict the Bengals will lose tonight. They might even lose again come Wednesday night, making a five game losing streak something they have not done in '09.

According to my calculations, they will then waffle a bit, win one, lose one or so, and then get red hot, putting distance between themselves and the ChiSox.

More statistical comment tomorrow.

new guy

hi guys
im keith johnson, the commissoners nephew
huge life long tiger fan and look foreward to talkin baseball
with you guys

Home Run Derby: Legitimate, or Athletic Freak Show?

OK, maybe that's a little too strong of a comparison. But I loved every second of it, even if it's not really baseball.
But it really was some kind of sport, and who couldn't love the end with the little kids mobbing Prince Fielder like a Roman hero?
And who couldn't love the Rangers' Josh Hamilton last year for asking his legion coach to throw to him? And really, who couldn't love it when the media made idiots of themselves making it sound like Josh was giving up his chance at winning the contest, and he starts parking them in the parking lots? (Even when he quit hitting in later rounds, it was just because Josh tired, not "old" Clay. (I wanna be old like Clay.)

So was it just a freak show?

Remember, when the All Star Game first started they called it a freak, til they "Repackaged it" as "The Mid-Summer Classic."

Hey, they my wife and daughters even stayed to watch the softball game with me! That's fun.