Going Going Gone

Nate Robertson was traded to the Marlins today for a minor league releiver. And then Dontrelle went out and pitched and got hit hard in the 4th inning. I know this will save us some $$, but is it the right move? Can you ever have enough starters? How will Scherzer do in the AL? Are Bonderman and Willis ready for the 4 and 5 spots? Play Ball!!

Nothing Journalists Love More than to Run an Untouched Press Release

Makes an old PR man's heart warm.


DETROIT – Nobody impacted the game of Tigers baseball to the degree that the legendary Al Kaline did. “Mr. Tiger” established himself as the face of the franchise during his 22 seasons with the Tigers and in 1980, became just the 10th player ever to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame during his first year of eligibility.

Now Tigers fans can relive his outstanding career with the fourth book in Olympia Entertainment’s Legends series: “Six: A Salute to Al Kaline.” This unique collection of articles and never-before-seen photographs captures what Kaline has meant to the storied Tigers franchise, his teammates, a legion of loyal fans and the entire baseball world. Each book is individually numbered, making it a must-have Tigers collectible.

“Six: A Salute to Al Kaline” features more than 150-pages chronicling “Mr. Tiger’s” illustrious baseball career, including photos from Kaline’s personal collection. The book retails for $25 and is currently available at Joker Marchant Stadium and will be available at Comerica Park during the regular season.

Kaline’s 22 seasons with the Tigers is matched only in longevity by the legendary Ty Cobb. He was selected to 18 all-star games, the most in Tigers franchise history, including 13 consecutive seasons (1955-67). The outfielder won 10 Gold Gloves in 11 years from 1957-67 and led American League outfielders in fielding percentage in 1966 and 1971.

He came back from a broken arm suffered earlier in the season to bat .379 against the St. Louis Cardinals during the 1968 World Series, leading the Tigers to their third Series title.

On September 24, 1974, Kaline recorded his 3,000th career hit, becoming just the 12th major league player to reach the milestone. He finished his career with 3,007 hits and remains as the only other Tigers player aside from Cobb to have amassed more than 3,000 hits.

Kaline had his uniform No. 6 retired by the Tigers on August 17, 1980, the first Tigers player to receive this honor. Following his outstanding playing career, he spent 26 seasons providing color commentary for Tigers television broadcasts. Kaline is currently serving in his ninth year, 58th with the organization, as a special assistant and advisor to Tigers senior management.

· Softcover: 180 pages
· Author: Dan Ewald
· Publisher: Detroit Tigers and Olympia Entertainment
· Available: Joker Marchant Stadium and Comerica Park

(But I think the artist could have gotten a little more creative with the cover, don't you?-Gregg)

Gregg's Latest Poll

Well it's almost time for the real season to begin. I think Gregg's poll leaves lots of room for everyone's opinion. I voted for the Tigs to win their division. I am optimistic this Spring (usually am). Wonder if Willis and/or Robertson will fill the gaps in the starting rotation. Also hoping that our two new outfielders and second baseman will perform like we want them too. Hope Laird gets some offensive, his defense is fine. Hope Inge has a great season. And then there's the bullpen. I can hear Ernie reading his poem -- sure hope he is at peace, what a life he has lead. Not going to Opening Day unless I can find tickets, but I will be there the next day.

Sox Appeal

Tom Brookens (back to camera) talks to Johnny Damon and Carlos Guillen. So which do you prefer: long pants with no sock showing, high pants with sock but no white showing, or high pants with sock and white sock showing (far left)?

Rounding Third and Headed for Home...

So we face what might be the most preposterously difficult poll: what Tiger starting pitcher put together the absolute best single season. Did I saw difficult? Alright, impossible. What the heck, let's go for it.
The best Tiger hurler from the old times was "Wild Bill" Donovan. (I'm not sure why
he got the name "Wild" as his strike outs almost always totaled more than walks. He pitched 11 years of a 16-year career with the Tigers, but I'm nominating him for his 1907 season when he led the Tigers to the World Series. He won 25 games, turned in a 2.19 ERA. Wasn't a bad hitter, either, with a .266 average.

In 1944 "Prince Hal" Newhouser earned 29 wins in the war-ravaged American League. Maybe it was before the time of the relief pitcher, or maybe Hal didn't give up the ball easily, but he pitched an amazing 312 innings.

The infamous Denny McLain had many faults, (and I'm tipping my hand here) but for one glorious season (1968) he was without doubt the best pitcher I ever saw in a Tiger uniform. With that beautiful high leg kick, wonderful mix of fastball and off speed control, he always had the hitter guessing, except for the day he "grooved one" for the Mick. Who was with me that day, Marty? Before the season was over, Denny racked up 31 wins and an incredible 1.6 ERA in 336 innings. He was named MVP.

Mickey Lolich was a fine pitcher for many years in the '60's and '70's, and his high water mark was the 1971 season, with 25 wins, throwing 376 innings, enough to break a modern pitcher.
Jack Morris has a place on our list, it's just tough to pick which one of his 14 years as a Tiger was his best. Of course, '84 was the series, when he had 19 wins. But the year before was probably his best season with 20 a league leading 293.3 innings and 232 strikeouts.

There's your ballot. Pick'em boys.

Jeff Larish

March 6, 2010.

Smiling Faces

Ordonez and Damon laugh with a fan before Tuesday's game.

Action Jackson

Austin Jackson. March 2, 2010. Tigers v. Florida Southern College.

Let the games begin

The Tigers began their exhibition season yesterday at Joker Marchant Stadium with the annual game against Florida Southern College. Here Colin Kaline, Al's grandson, leads off first after getting on base with a single. The Tigers won 13-1.

The Pitchers, Starting with the pen

Relief pitchers are a relatively recent phenomena in baseball, and the set-up man is even more recent. Unless you guys give me a rash of grief, I'm not ready to do a ballot of set-up men, just starters and relievers. Remember, We're going to examine these players for their best single season, not a whole career.
Probably the age of the relief pitcher started in the 1960's, and our first Tiger nominee is John Hiller. Nobody illustrates the transformation of the role of the reliever better than Hiller: I thought his premier year as a reliever was 1968, but I was surprised to see that he started 12 games that year, and while he had a fine 2.39 ERA, he was credited with only two saves.
Instead, I think I would nominate Hiller for his role as a reliever in 1973, when he got 38 saves in 65 appearances, with a 1.44 ERA. (A footnote after these Canadian Olympics, Hiller, a native of Toronto, never played for another major league team in his 15-year major league career.)
Willie Hernandez came over from the Phillies in 1984, and marked his greatest number of saves right out of the box, 32 saves in 68 attempts, with an incredible 1.92 ERA.
Todd Jones posted an amazing 37 saves in 2006, but frankly it doesn't look so hot, when you compare his ERA (3.94) and 2-6 won-loss record. For those of you who lived in Detroit then, was he really that good, or did he just have a red-hot Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney to cover for him?
Similarly, Fernando Rodney posted an incredible 37 saves last year, but to do it, he gave up a run every other time out of the pen, for a 4.4 ERA.