Just as we were beginning to worry about Verlander...

Our boy comes through big time with a gem. Tigers are beginning to stretch it out. This is getting fun.
But now the constant worrier in me hears another rumor. Nobody expected Cabrera to keep his torrid pace from the beginning of the season. But according to another Tiger blog (http://www.detroittigersweblog.com/) Cabrera could be nursing some kind of wrist injury. With Guillen and Granderson also ailing, he's just toughing it out to help out where he can.
I don't get to watch the Tigers on TV much. And I hate this blogger's ridiculous over use of statistical analysis, but what do you guys think?

Dontrelle does well

Dontrelle Willis (talking to former Tiger Joe Coleman in top photo) started last night's Flying Tigers-Clearwater Threshers game in Lakeland. He had a no hiter through the first three innings and left after seven trailing 4-0. He yielded 8 hits but perhaps most important he walked none. He had 2 Ks and got several ground ball outs.
Willis seemed to be in good spirits. Doing pregame stretches and running he was singing, "if loving you is wrong I don't wanna be right." I stood 10 feet from him taking photos at the end of the Tiger dugout during the first inning and he was animatedly cheering his teammates.
This morning's paper says he'll make his next start at Erie (AA). I wish him well.

Forbes Rates Comerica #15

No doubt, challenged by our recent poll, Forbes rated the 30 MLB parks, and Comerica hit #15, with a B for fan participation.

Old Wrigley (our #1 pick) and Fenway were highly rated, as were both new NY parks.

Lakeland Flying Tigers

Well boys, the Lakeland Flying Tigers are 5-5 so far. I've attended all five home games as I have a media pass to cover the Flying Tigers for lakelandlocal.com. So far we've seen Joel Zumaya make a start at Joker Marchant Stadium (good velocity, poor command of the strike zone) and our old friend Dontrelle Willis makes a start tomorrow night. You can see phots throughout the season at http://picasaweb.google.com/Thomas.hagerty/2009LakelandFlyingTigers#
And congrats to former Flying Tiger (and Florida State League ERA leader) Rick Porcello, who beat Seattle yesterday for the first of what we hope will be many major-league victories.

Big Wheel Keeps on Rolling...

Tigers keep on going...

Several little thoughts yesterday as I watched our boyz pummel the Sox (God bless WGN.)
  • Galarraga just seems to get better and better, doesn't he? And where did we get that bullpen? Are these the same guys from last year?

  • While watching the game against the Rangers recently, they brought up the fact that over the last three or four years Polanco has had one of the best averages in the majors. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but as I watch him in the last few series, I can see how valuable he is.

  • Interesting to listen to hometown broadcasters when it's not your hometown. Hawk Harrelson and his side kick Steve Something (sorry Steve) really do a pretty good job of analysis, giving credit when it's due, criticism when deserved. In closing out yesterday's blow out, they said, "Well, it was a pitchers' duel for the first four or five innings, and then only one pitcher kept dueling..." They even called a balk on the White Sox pitcher when the ump didn't. Harrelson is so full of baseball wisdom and knowledge, it's almost frustrating that he so often says, "remind me to tell you about (fill in the topic) after our next break." Well, of course after the break they have more good stuff for you. Contrast them to the Rangers goofball, Josh Lewin (who they picked up from the Tigers in 2001.) I'm not sure the guy knows anything about baseball, and is constantly doing thinly veiled ticket promotions for the club, selling stuff and not adding much real depth to the broadcast, other than asking partner Tom Grieve what it's like to wear a major league uniform. The other day he asked Grieve the piercing question, "So, did you ever hit your head on the dug out roof at Tiger Stadium?" Wow, I needed to know that. Finally, and this is an admittedly cheap shot, the guy looks bug-eyed half the time, like he's downed a gallon of Red Bull. I know it's your job to be "peppy", but calm down, guy.
  • I hope it's just a little, short early-season slump, but what's going on with Maggs? No HR's, only four RBI's and a .273 average would be OK for somebody lower in the lineup, but not our star. Bring it on, dude.

So long Bird, We Loved Ya

So many great memories our youth(s) we share with you.

He was such a sweet innocent in every way. (every good way.) Couldn't help but root for him.

I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but he seemed so genuine.

Don't look now but Tigers in first place in Central!

I know it's only been seven games. But lets go back to last year and what the Tiger's record was through seven games, it was 0-7. I will take 4-3 and be extatic about that. I like the way this team is playing more than the actual record. Even when the Tigers have lost they fight and claw the whole game. It reminds me a lot of 2006 when every player to a man would talk about playing a full 27 outs. I love that mentality. I think the Tigers have way better chemistry this season than the last two combined. There was no better example of this than when Brandon Lyon blew the game in Toronto after Edwin Jackson had pitched an absolute gem and the first person to console Lyon was Jackson. Team chemistry is very underrated. And todays win against Texas clawing back with 6 runs in the eighth showed a lot of charachter. And how about that bullpen, pitching 21 straight scoreless innings. Fernando Rodney looks great he is 2 for 2 in save situations and he actually looks focussed. Well lets see how they do against the Sox this week. Go Tigers!

Down on the Farm

Joel Zumaya started last night's game for the Lakeland Flying Tigers. Facing the Tampa Yankees, he worked one inning, walking one, strking out one, giving up one hit and two runs (one unearned).

Tigers roll in home opener, 15-2

Just attended my 23rd consecutive home opener, and I haven't seen the Tigers' bats this hot on Opening Day since they pounded Oakland 20-4 at Tiger Stadium in 1993 (geez, has it been 16 years?!?). They scored nine runs with two outs today -- a great sign. Cabrera is an absolute machine; he is so locked in. And Galarraga gave the pitching staff a great lift. All is well in Tigertown -- for today, at least!

Good luck, Rick

Rookie Rick Porcello takes the mound this afternoon in Toronto for his first major league start.
Jays lefty Ricky Romero is also scheduled to make his MLB debut. According to the Free Press, "Since 1901, there have been 18 games in which both starting pitchers were pitching in the majors for the first time. One of those 18 games involved the Tigers' Denny McLain. Not only did he go all the way to win his debut in 1963, but he homered off his fellow debuting starter, the White Sox's Fritz Ackley."
For what it's worth, Porcello attended Seton Hall Prep in New Jersey and I attended Seton Hall University. He's from Morristown, NJ, and I lived in nearby Mendham, NJ, for for years.

"Look out Cabby"

"Look out Cabby" was Tiger color commentator Rod Allen's response to Miguel Cabrera's second home run last night. My girl friend said I should use that line as the title to my new post on the blog. I have to admit I thought it was a cool idea. I don't know if you guys could tell but Cabrera is my favorite player and he has come out of the shoot this year like a man possessed. He is seven for ten in the first three games. He looks a lot more relaxed at the plate and at first base. I think I am going to start campaigning early for Cabreara for MVP. Although I would trade that trophy for the pennant.

Secret Guilty Pleasures

I'm too broke to subscribe to MLB TV.

I miss watching Tiger games so much, sometimes I sit by my computer, "watching" the box score, pitch by pitch. Reminds me of the stories of the old days when broadcasters would get teletypes from out of town, start the broadcast of the game and hour after the real start, and recreate it, complete with sound effects of the crowd and the crack of the bat.

I could do that for a living. But I was born too late.

"...smash hit to the left field line...." better be careful how I say that one.

It's that time guys, make your predictions, and make them large!

Don't just tag a comment on to me, make your own bold posting and prognostication! Use Pictures, statistics, whatever.
I think the Tigers will do only slightly better than last year. It was a fluke for them to come in dead last, they just weren't that bad.
But when they hit, their pitching failed, and vice versa. The key players slid in performance, and they really did not help themselves.
This year I predict that some key players, Verlander, Cabrera, will be better than ever. A few guys will get seriously hurt, as always happens, unless they are incredibly lucky.
They just have not markedly improved the bullpen or the bottom of the rotation, and that will spell their doom.
I put them at four games below .500 in fourth place.

Tigers Used to Have a "Fireman"

Well, maybe today's version of the Tigers lacks a true "fireman", but a century ago Tiger ace "Wild Bill" Donovan barnstormed into Fort Worth, and found half the city ablaze.
Donovan led the Tigers and the Fort Worth Cats manning the hoses and putting out the blaze.
The Tigers were barnstorming their way across Texas for spring training, playing in Dallas the day before, but the Fort Worth game had to be cancelled due to the fire.
(BTW-The Tigers went on to a 96-56 record, winning the American League pennant that year.
Donovan went on to be one of the premier pitchers in baseball, starting 323 games as a Tiger, and pitching a total of 3,000 innings with a 2.84 ERA. He was also a great manager in his own right, tutoring a young prospect inthe Providence, R.I. pitching staff: Babe Ruth.)

The Greatest April Fool's Joke ever!!

Yesterday's Detroit Free Press played the greatest April Fool's joke ever on all of its readers:
The Free Press stated that Jim Leyland has named Fernando Rodney the closer for Opening Day. I feel that is unconscienable - they should be ashamed of themselves a nasty joke for such a nasty joke. Shame shame.

City of Detroit needs Tigers more than ever!

The smell of spring is in the air and that means opening day is almost here, and I can't wait. In case you haven't noticed things in the Motor City have been a little rough. The Auto industry is in shambles, and people are losing there jobs and homes. There has been a negative vibe in the whole Metro Detroit area as of late. That negative vibe has carried over to the perception of your Detroit Tigers. After last seasons debacle it is hard for me to argue with this mentality. I am an optimist though and I have defended all of the off season moves. I think I may be one of the few people that believes this team can win the division, but four days away from the start of the season I am going to stick by that predicition.

A pennant race won't save peoples jobs or make mortgage payments, but for three hours a night maybe it can help them forget the wolrd around them. A great season could help unite a divided city. People are really down on the Tigers going into the season. The Tigers shouled rally around the underdog role and suprise people like they did 2006. Lord knows the city could use some unexpected joy.

Adios, Gary

Adios, Gary. I would have liked to see you hit your 500th HR in a Tiger uniform. but I hope you get it soon with another team. Too bad injuries kept you from showing your potential in Detroit. You seem like a good guy, and I know the fans in Lakeland appreciate the way you always made time to sign autographs and pose for photos last summer.