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

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://

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.