Reds Alert

Saturday I made my first visit to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota to see the Lakeland Flying Tigers play the Sarasota Reds. It has served as spring training home of the Cincinnati Reds for several years (and the White Sox before them), but they have moved to Arizona starting spring 2010.
The Sarasota Reds are last in attendance in the Florida State League and in last place in their division.
Unless another MLB team moves spring training to Sarasota (Baltimore is rumored to be a possible replacement) Sarasota wil llikely have no team in the FSL next year.
Being here makes one appreciate Joker Marchant Stadium and the Tigers' long affiliation with Lakeland.

Do you recognize this guy?

Remember this kid? Tigers showcased him at the end of the '07 season as the next Al Kaline. The Tigers raved about his potential!
Obviously, just trade-bait. He was gone before '08, and I'm sure the Marlins are still wondering what the hell happened.....Gotta love the off-the-field part of the game in professional baseball....
That's right, it's Cameron Maybin. Today he's hitting .202 in limited action with the Marlins.

Who's Your Tiger? -- mine won the game today!

Ok Bloggers who is your Tiger? Mine is Brandon Inge. His home run won the game today. We finally beat a National League team. Of course, it is always a team effort - there is no "I" in team. Just wondering who else you guys admire individually

Is Leyland a Tough Boss?

Jim Leyland was ticked last night after Zumaya put three Astros on with walks in the eighth, leading to a blown save and the end of the seven-game winning-streak.

"You've got to throw strikes up here," he said (to the Detroit News.) "I'm tired of looking at walks, and that's everybody. Too many people are walking, too many people."

Ease up, Jim. We're on a streak. There were no walks the night before. Does excoriating them in the paper shame them into not making walks? 'Course, what do I know, I'm unemployed, and when my name was in the paper they were usually quoting me.
Is Leyland a tough boss? I think so, but he hasn't asked me to work for him.

Fun at the Ballpark

Joker Marchant Stadium. June 24, 2009.

Ready for Freddy

Freddy Dolsi, seen here during spring training 2008, has been called up from Toledo to take Ryan Perry's spot in the bullpen.

The Best Baseball Poem?

Certainly the best one I've read in years, maybe since I was amused and thrilled by "Casey at the Bat" as a 10 year-old.
Unfortunately, John Updike's lawyers would sue me for violating copyright if I reprinted the whole thing, but I can tease you with a few lines, and give you a link and one of Tom Hagerty's fantastic photos (which he, unlike Updike, graciously allows us to use.)
"It looks easy from a distance, easy and lazy, even,
until you stand up to the plate and see the fastball
sailing inside, an inch from your chin..."
--excerpted from Baseball by John Updike

Other favorite baseball literature?

Shouod he stay or should he go?

In today's Free Press Drew Sharp says Lelyland deserves a contract extension and does not deserve blame for the Tigers' struggles this season.

What say you?

Tweet the Tigs

The Tigers have joined the 21st Century. (Well, actually, the Free Press has.) They now have a Twitter account written by John Lowe. Just go to, register if you have not yet. Follow tigerslive.

(You can also follow me at prmagregg, and I promised to follow you if you sign up. )

Time to Give Dontrelle His Walking Papers

Everybody likes Dontrelle Willis as a person, and I'm sure I would too if I met him, but the Tigers just don't have room on their roster after another performance like Sunday's start. After walking in two runs during the first inning, and giving up eight walks in just 3 2/3 innings, even Dontrelle said that it was "just unacceptable."

At least he's taking it like a man. But he'll soon be an unemployed man.

Brother Chuck Heads South

My brother Chuck (too timid to blog, so I'll show him) loves to go down to Toledo to see the MudHens. I love minor league baseball, and I often go to our local AA team, the Frisco RoughRiders. but they are about 15 minutes away, not 90 miles!
Anyway, perhaps you will enjoy his pics.

(That's Chuck on the right, with his lovely bride Linda. How could such a lovely lady marry somebody who can't find the front of their cap, and can't figure out how to tuck in his shirt?)

The left field scoreboard at Fifth Third Field. So is it fifth or third? Where is Fifth Base, anyway?

Team work 2009

Hey all.
June 13th and all is well. The Bengals are in first place with a 4 game lead over the Twinkies. Despited the fact that the production from Maggs is down, Polanco is down, Guillen is injured, Thames was injured. Even Cabrera has hamstring problems. We only have three starters. And the majoirty of our RBIs last nights cam from a pitcher - I am glad we were in a National League park, we might still be playing. The bottom line is that we are winning because a team is playing together and different guys take charge on different days. Clete Thomas was hot and now he is in Toledo. I am enjoyng this season. You doomsayers will say that we are in the weakest division in baseball. NUts I say. We are a team of destiny -- save this blog and we'll see who is there at the end. And there will be many unsung heroes.

A Footnote to the Movie Post

I have been brought up short: my wife says her favorite baseball flick was "The Rookie" with one of the Quaid boys (she has crushes on both of them) and my daughter Erin says it was "61*" I can't go back and re-created the whole poll without destroying the results thus far, so let's just give those two a point. Any others?

Holy Cow!

So my wife and I go to the theater last night, and who's sitting just a few rows in front of us?

Texas Rangers' president and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan! I start warming up my line on my wife.

"I'm gonna introduce myself, congratulate him on a great career, and tell him what a great job he's done with the Rangers."

"You'll do no such thing. The poor man came here to enjoy a night out with his wife. Sit right there and leave him alone!"
Sure. I behaved. but the next time I see him, I'm telling him about my wife...
(and yes, as much as I miss the Tigers, I love living in Texas.)
OBTW, who holds the MLB record for best season strikeout ratio?
You got it! "My pal" Nolan Ryan. 11.48 K's per 9 innings in 1987, when he was 40 years old, and the second best was (surprise!) Nolan Ryan, 11.33 in 1989.

The Vulture

Remember Phil "The Vulture" Regan? The Otsego, Mich., native pitched for the Tigers from 1960-65 before joining the Dodgers and Cubs. He finished his career with a 96-81 record and an .384 ERA. He also managed the 1995 Baltimore Orioles. He now serves as pitching coach for the St. Lucie Mets in the Florida State League.

So the Tigers are in a Bit of a Slump; What's Your Favorite Baseball Movie?

Don't worry, we'll pull out of it.
Just think good thoughts.
What was your favorite all-time baseball movie(s)?
Gene Shallit and Baseball America come up with a pretty good list. Their rankings, along with a few comments of my own. (You can see their comments on the link.)
  1. Bull Durham - This is the best of the best? Not hardly. In my book, it hardly ranks in the top five.

  2. Field of Dreams - Now this is the real #1. Even non-baseball fans can get swept away here.

  3. Bang the Drum Slowly - It's been a long time (1973) but I think I remember being immensely bored during this flick. Maybe #10.

  4. Eight Men Out - I know it's supposed to be a classic, but I think I saw it when I was on a road trip in a hotel room, and I fell asleep.

  5. Pride of the Yankees- A real tear-jerker, even if they are Yankees, isn't this one reason you became a baseball fan?

  6. The Bad News Bears - They say, the best baseball comedy. Maybe it was, maybe Ball Four was.

  7. The Natural - Another very heavy flick. Do you guys get the feeling I don't care much for heavy flicks? You'd be right!

  8. A League of their Own - If it weren't for Rosie O'Donnell, this would be a cute movie. Enjoyable nonetheless.

  9. The Sandlot - I'm not sure I've seen that. Hey Debbie, where's the Netflix list?

  10. Major League - They poo-poo it as cliche, and predictable with two dimensional characters, I say "Hey, what's not to love about it?" Push it up to four or five.

    So, what do you say, gentlemen? Other nominations? I'll post a quiz on this in a few days, and let's hope our Tigers get things straight.

    Dejavu all over again!!

    Nice to see that Steve Kemp made the poll welcoming him to the Tigers. Unfortunately if memory serves me correct Steve was here in the late 70's -- wonder what he is doing now?
    My votye went to Rick Knapp. He has certainly been a major influence on Verlander and Rodney - two disappointments from last year. And then you have the addition of Jackson, Porcello, and Ryan Perry - not sure what any of the pitching would be like with a different pitching coach -- where is Chuck Hernandez?