Oswalt Looking for a New Team, Tigers Need Starting Pitchers...What's the problem here?

None that I can see. Just stuff Astros owner Drayton McLain's pockets full of money and a few minor league prospects, and everybody's happy. (Yeah, yeah, more MLB teams want him than NBA teams want LeBron, small point that cash will solve.)

Tigers need Major League pitching help NOW.

Oswalt has a proven track record in the bigs. At the end of last season, he had a 3.23 ERA, with 1370-70 record for the mediocre Astros.

But wait...I see Drew Sharp said the same thing in the Free Press this morning. All of a sudden, I have new-found respect for Drew.

Win or lose, Jose Lima was a hero to my daughter

Since no one mentioned Jose Lima's death, and he was a real fan favorite in Detroit (and everywhere else he played), I thought I'd write a bit about him...

I knew Jose Lima about as well as a reporter can know a player because he was so unbelieveably sweet to my daughter, Taylor, when she was young. Actually, she met him before I did. I played in the Tigers Fantasy Camp in January of 1996 when Taylor was 3. While I was in Lakeland hanging out with the alumni players, some of the current Tigers were making their annual media tour throughout Michigan, and one of the stops was in my hometown of Traverse City. So Taylor's mom took her to meet the guys, and she immediately hit it off with Lima (she reminded him, "My name is Taylor. Don't forget me!"). She told him that her dad played for the Tigers too (I wish). After Taylor's mom explained I was at the Fantasy Camp, Lima said he was heading to Lakeland the next day to get a jump on spring training, and he would tell me hello. Long story short: He didn't make it over to Marchant Stadium before I flew home, so I searched him out on Opening Day and told him he was in big trouble with my daughter. He laughed, and we ended up talking for quite a bit. We became friends after that, and he was always extrememly gracious to my daughter -- he called her "baby," spoke to her on the phone, sent her notes and little gifts and treated her like a queen on those days when I wasn't working and we were just fans. Taylor, in turn, made him all sorts of stuff -- cards, drawings, pot holders, etc. I remember, too, that she liked the smell of his cologne.

Lima and I fell out of touch after his last go-around in the majors in 2006. My cell phone freaked out one day, wiping out all of my contacts (including his phone number), and I never connected with him after that. Sadly, just last week I looked through some old files, trying to find something with his number written on it, but I didn't have any luck. A few days later, we heard the horrible news.

Needless to say, we were stunned his death. The news was delivered via radio on our way home from church on Sunday, and it was so surreal -- sitting on the side of the road, crying and hugging my 17-year-old daughter, grieving for a man we hadn't spoken to in years but who had touched our hearts forever. Taylor asked, "Dad, do you think he forgot me?" I said, "No way. I don't know how he could."

For me and my daughter, it will always be Lima Time. Rest in peace, my friend. We miss you.

Rangers in Bankruptcy: Tettleton One of the Largest Creditors

Interesting to note that in the bankruptcy filing of the Texas Rangers, one of the largest unsecured creditors is ex-Detroit Tiger Mickey Tettleton, at $1.4 million. Of course, that's chump change to the $24 mill they owe A-Rod.

Do you think the bankruptcy judge would let them stiff A-Rod and pay off Mickey?

Damn Verlander

Dear Gregg,
It was a late night game last night, but the Tigers won 5-1 and thier starter that you were worrying about pitcxhed a complete game; so sorry to disappont you. I know that deep down you are a true Tiger fan, but you are very skeptical with their roster. I do believe Leyland and Domborwski will keep adjusting it until they get it right. It is 162 games and I will see you in October.
Go Tigers -

12 inning masterpiece - Saturday

Saturday's game against Boston was another come from behind victory. Willis did not have it. Walked 7 and before you know it we were down 6 - 1 . Then we got on our horses everyone participated. Boesch seems to be the real deal. Four hits. And to win the game on Santiago's walk off walk was fun. It is the longest game that I personally witnessed - almost 5 1/2 hours, but well worth it. They never gave/give up. And maangement is gonna find a way to win this thing (Gregg). After the game they demoted Sizemore and Scherzer - moves that are aggressive, but necessary - sends a message to everyone. See you in Ocotober!!

Billy Ray "Rojo" Johnson: Head hunter?

If you need a good laugh this morning, check out Will Ferrell's surprising debut with the Astros' Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express:


Game 1 on Wednesday

Tigers beat the Yanks by a score of 2-0. The main thing is that it was a shutout and all of the pitchers were awesome. Maybe Porcello is finally on track. And Valverde sure seems to be the real deal as our closer -- who misses Rodney or Todd Jones?? Not me! Speaking of the real deal -- Austin "Action Jackson" leads the Majors with 50 hits. and Brennan Boesch (BB) is beating the cover off the ball. Where does Guillen go when he comes back? I read in another post the Mariners may be looking for a DH.

Ken Griffey Jr.

Just heard a disturbing report on Ken Griffey Jr. He is on the verge of losing his DH job with the Mariners. He is only hitting a dismal 208 - pretty lousy for a DH. The other day his manager went to summon him for a pinch hitting role and he could not be found as he was sleeping in the clubhouse. I have always admired his talent, but to be sleeping during a game - he should be gone.

Harwell a class act in every respect

Hi, guys:

Thought you'd be interested in a column I was asked to write for my old newspaper, the Traverse City Record-Eagle. I sure don't miss that old deadline pressure, but it was a pleasure to write about a true gentleman who will be missed by millions.

Harwell a class act in every respect

Extraordinary. In a word, that was Ernie Harwell. In a me-first world where celebrities often play by a different set of rules, Harwell proved just how extraordinary he was simply by refusing to believe he was anything special.

Of course, we all knew better. In fact, I’m sure there were a few people who thought he just might live forever. And in a sense, he will.

Harwell, who died of cancer on Tuesday at the age of 92, was the voice of the Tigers for 42 years. Millions of baseball fans in Michigan, Ontario and northern Ohio would be hard pressed to separate Harwell’s rich, Southern voice from their fondest childhood memories.

That’s because Harwell was always there for us each summer. We invited him along for picnics and cookouts and road trips and games of catch. And if you were lucky – as I was – you didn’t even have to sneak a radio under your pillow for those late-night games on the West Coast. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Harwell had an effortless way of describing the action on the field. He always said the game came first. He was fair to both sides and often reminded himself that fans turned on the radio to hear the game, not Ernie Harwell. He was so wrong.

He created phrases that brought joy and comfort to us year after year – “Looong gone!” when a Tiger slugged a home run, “He stood there like the house by the side of the road” when a batter took a called third strike and “Two for the price of one!” when the Detroiters (as he often called the Tigers) turned a double play.

When a fan caught a foul ball, Harwell would tell us, “A man from Traverse City (or whatever city popped into his mind) will take that one home.” When I was a kid, I used to think, “Wow, Ernie Harwell knows EVERYBODY.” The truth is, everybody knew him.

I had an opportunity to interview him many times and loved every minute of it, but my favorite moments were those when I had no intention of putting pen to paper – when we chatted about family … mine and his.

He somehow managed to remember my first name and that I was from Traverse City, and he always greeted me like a friend. Of course, he made everyone feel that way, which is amazing, considering by his own estimation, he broadcast over 8,000 major league games. That’s a lot of names and faces to remember. But he had more than enough class to go around.

Commissioner Bud Selig said it best when he described Harwell as a “distinguished gentlemen.” I know I have never met a nicer person.

He once wrote me a note, thanking me for being so kind to him in the paper. “I have always appreciated your support,” he wrote, and I was both honored and dumbfounded. One of the greatest broadcasters of all time – the subject of hundreds of stories throughout his career – was thanking me. Extraordinary.

If you remember nothing else about Ernie Harwell, remember this:

He loved baseball; he loved his children; he loved Lulu, his wife of 68 years; and he loved God – in reverse order.

Sure, this is a time of mourning. But it’s also time to celebrate. There has never been anyone like Ernie Harwell, and certainly there never will be again.

How fortunate we are to have shared his life, day after day, season after season.


LINK: http://record-eagle.com/sports/x1829248099/Jeff-Peek-Harwell-a-true-class-act

Our Man Pio at Ernie's Memorial

Chuck went to the memorial, met Dumbrowski, and was noted and quoted in the Freep!

Chuck Piotrowski, 58, of Brownstown Township walked up to Dombrowski wearing his favorite Tigers cap, the one signed by Harwell.

"We are going to win the pennant for Ernie," Piotrowski said.

"That's a good idea," Dombrowski said, smiling


"And the voice of the turtle is heard throughout the land..."

For, lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the singing of birds is come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

- Song of Solomon, as quoted by Ernie Harwell every Opening Day

I'm sure you've all heard our beloved Ernie Harwell passed away last night.

Of course, Ernie and his voice were part of what made us Tiger fans. I hope you all had a chance to meet the great man at least once, even for a momentary exchange as I did. (and yes, this is the time and place to share your story.)

I was living in Cleveland when Ernie and Herb Score (former Cleveland pitcher, then broadcaster) were giving a talk. (You know I couldn't stay away.)

It was wonderful, full of great stories from both fellows. At the end, they came to the edge of the stage and guess who was waiting for them with his 1968 Tiger Yearbook?

I asked Ernie to autograph it, and he said (quite unassumingly) "You don't want to ruin that, do you? It's in great shape!"

When I said that I didn't think it would be be ruined at all, he shrugged his shoulders, and said, "O.K., where do you want me to sign it?"

When I suggested on Al Kaline's brilliant white home-team pant-leg pictured on the cover, he said "You sure?" I said I would be honored.

ESPN ran a beautiful tribute to Ernie last night, and you can see it at:

Good bye, Ernie.

I'll miss you.

Will Leyland Have to Go to the Mound to Catch a Smoke Break?

Tigers manager Jim Leyland says he will abide by statewide smoking ban
By Chris Iott (Grand Rapids Press/AP/heck this even made the Dallas Morning News)

DETROIT – Smoke 'em if you got 'em?

Not anymore.

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Friday night he will abide by the statewide smoking ban that goes into effect 6 a.m. Saturday. The new law bans smoking in various public places, including Comerica Park.

“I'm a law-abiding citizen, so it's just the way it is,” Leyland said. “We're not supposed to smoke here, and I won't do it. I'll try to find someplace outside somewhere, I guess, but I think you're not supposed to smoke at all in the park.”

Leyland finds some aspects of the law odd and used the Camacho Cigar Bar inside Tiger Club at Comerica Park as an example.

“It's legal to smoke a cigar up there, but you can't smoke a cigarette in a cigar bar,” he said. “I'm not into making the laws and everything. I'm into abiding by them. I'll just have to do what I can, and I'll be fine.

“I've got till 6 a.m. It might be two cartons. I don't know.”

Someone pointed out a big cigar he had sitting on his desk and asked him whether he planned to light that up before the ban takes effect.

“Cigars are legal in that cigar bar,” he said, “but it's hard to go down there in the sixth inning.”

Personal note - I'm no smoker, (I'll admit, living in West Virginia and Texas, I used to "dip" now and then in the old days) but does anybody else find it ironic that the law bans smoking, but allows players to chew and spit juice everywhere? Hey Mr. Peek, you've been on MLB fields: doesn't this stain synthetic turfs? What about in the clubhouse? Who's job is it to empty the spitoons?