What do I do with my $40 Brennan Boesch baseball?

Not sure if this counts as a review.  It appears that Boesch's time with the Tigers is extremely limited.  He has had flashes of brilliance, but the quality of his performance has definately slipped and his batting average - ouch.  He is a nice guy and a fan favorite, but with the acquisition of Hunter - there is simply not enough room for him - hopefully he works hard and gets a fresh start with another team.  Bye Bye Brennan!  sad to see you go, he did control his own destiny.

The Chubby Reliever: Phil Coke

Phil Coke is striking, but not particularly for the right reasons.If you believe he's only 210, like the Tiger roster claims, you still believe in Santa Claus.

The way he runs in from the bullpen like he's being chased by Usain Bolt is hilarious. It's a wonder he's not totally winded by the time he takes his warm-up tosses.

Granted, he looked better near the end of last season, but I just don't see him as a critical player in the Tiger pen, especially as a closer, as has been rumored in the last few weeks.

Maybe it's just a matter of bad impressions, but he's made a few on me. In 2011 I saw him get blown up by the Rangers, and last season I had a great seat to watch him relieve a Verlander masterpiece, and then give it away in the tenth.

I honestly laughed when I saw him run in, I thought it was some kind of out-of-place comedy routine, or the ball boy running in to tell Leyland they need more chew in the pen.

His career ERA hangs around 4.00. He barely belongs on a major league roster, but not on ours. 

(We've reviewed Sanchez, Berry, Verlander, Porcello and Peralta, and kind of side-swiped Hunter.  Take your pick of anybody else to praise, slam or trade!)

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Gentlemen, Merry Christmas to all of you Bengal fans. While we have seen snow storms throughout the country on this Christmas Day, take heed in knowing that Pitchers and Catchers report in seven weeks.  What will be the question of the spring, or who will be the Spring Training surprise?

I can't wait for the end of the Hot Stove League, although this year I think that it is going to last into Spring Training.  I am looking for the Tigers to make one more BIG trade before they break camp.  Also look for them to announce an extension for Justin Verlander before the All Star break.

Merry Christmas and Bless You Boys!!!!

Torii Hunter: He's No Josh Hamilton-Thank Goodness

Torii Hunter really embarrased himself by whining that the Angles told him they had no more money to re-sign him, yet they went out and signed Josh Hamilton for $125 million.

Torii, you're no Josh Hamilton.  Thank goodness.

No, you probably don't have the raw talent of Hamilton. Josh is a big bundle of plusses and minuses, he's a talented, streaky hitter and potentially fantastic outfielder. He was a pricey acquisition, but he's battling alcohol and drugs, and as the Dallas News pointed out this week, those years of self-abuse will hasten the end of his career. He's only 32, but the way he goes on the DL frequently, signing him to a five year contract is questionable.

But Torii seemed to quickly regret his tweets, so we can forgive that.

For the Tigers to get Hunter was good, but let's not get too enthralled; he will be 38 next year, and he's coming off a career season in 2012, with a .313 average. Getting him violates my philosophy of "buy low, sell high" but hey, when you have millions of pizza money laying around, what's $26 million?   

With only a 2-year contract, Hunter looks like stop-gap insurance until we're sure Garcia is ready.

Sanchez Signs!!!!!!

Anibel Sanchez Signs!!!!!!

Sanchez signs for 5 years, $80M.  Great deal for the Tigers.  I can't wait to get to Spring Training.  I feel that swagger!!!

So what do we do with Sanchez?

We got him at a reasonable (?) price because we knew his contract would be expiring at the end of the season and he would move into free Agency.  He is young.  At times he was awesome and at other times, I wondered why he was ours.  Gregg already has Porcello gone, so does that make Sanchez more valuable?  Of course, at what price?  How important is he to bringing Mr. I a world series title?  I have mixed feelings. 

And while we are at it -- what does the acquisition of Josh Hamilton do for the Angels?.  Their two acquisitions last year did not help them, especially with the slow start of Pujols.  They are serious - that's for sure.

Thank God for unanswered prayers

I saw in the Freep that the Tigers offered Avasail Garcia for James Shields. As much as I like good pitching, that could have been another Smolz for Alexander trade. Shields has a lot of miles on that arm, would be a great addition for next year, maybe two. But From what I've seen of Garcia, he has a long, fruitfull career ahead of him, and I'd like it to be with the Tigers. 

Verducci on Morris in the HOF

I always like SI's Tom Verducci. The way he is able to cut through some of the falsities of statistics is heart-warming. Fact is, Morris was great.

Weighing the Hall of Fame chances of Morris, Biggio and Schilling

Story Highlights

Most attention about the Hall ballot is focused on Bonds, Clemens and Sosa

Jack Morris' ability to pitch deep into games is a great reason to vote for him

Craig Biggio finished with 3,000 hits and Curt Schilling was a postseason legend

Jack Morris completed one-third of the starts he made in his 18-year career.

Those who keep arguing the Hall of Fame is in danger of becoming irrelevant (translation: unless their guys get in) have helped make the Hall more topical than ever. The Hall chatter has become so noisy that it's a shame that Marvin Miller, after a life's work as a pioneer, was in death widely reduced in most media outlets to being famous for not being in the Hall. He deserved better.

The noise grows more chaotic with this week's release of the latest Hall of Fame ballot, which has caused much debate and nearly as much convenient forgetfulness about what steroids are and what they did to the game. Take a timeout, folks. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa will be around for more ballots to get people worked up into a lather. So take a calm moment to cut through the cacophony to consider three less controversial guys who actually have a chance of getting elected this ballot:

1. Jack Morris

He has been miscast as benefiting too much from one overrated distinction (most wins in the 1980s) and the game of his life (1991 World Series Game 7). This is the greatest Hall of Fame case for Morris: He is the most reliable workhorse ace since the American League adopted the DH four decades ago.
I always considered Morris on the wrong side of borderline because of his high ERA (3.90) and lack of elite seasons at keeping runners off base (never in the top four in ERA and only once in WHIP). His peripherals are uninspiring.

But having covered Morris through his prime, I knew the way baseball people (especially managers and opposing players) valued him while he was pitching and not in the autopsy of numbers: as a prototypical ace and one of the best pitchers in baseball -- not just as a good pitcher. It made me think, why had people in uniform valued Morris more while he was playing than I did after he was done?
As I crunched more numbers, I realized I underestimated the value of having an ace who takes the ball deep into games not just start after start but also year after year -- and not just as any "innings-eater" pitcher, but as the guy who wants the responsibilities of starting Opening Day, starting Game 1 of a postseason series, saving a bullpen, stopping a losing streak, setting an example for an entire pitching staff and all those reasons why a No. 1 is a No. 1.

I was surprised how much better Morris looked when viewed through that prism. Think about the AL since the DH was instituted (1973) -- and as the five-man rotation became conventional wisdom. In those 40 seasons, here are the pitchers with the most starts of eight innings or more:

1. Jack Morris: 248

2. Bert Blyleven: 242

3. Roger Clemens: 227

Wow. Nobody has pitched deep into AL games in the history of the DH more often than Morris. Now consider all games, including the NL, from 1973-2012:

1. (tie) Nolan Ryan: 272

1. (tie) Bert Blyleven: 272

3. Jack Morris: 248

4. Steve Carlton: 237

What if we take the timeline back even further, to the days before the DH, to introduce even more pitchers into the sample? Go back all the way to 1961 and the advent of the 162-game schedule and long before Tony La Russa began dreaming about the specialized bullpen. Look at this:

1. Jim Palmer: 289

2. Bert Blyleven: 287

3. Jack Morris: 248

4. Catfish Hunter: 237

There's Morris again in the elite company of Hall of Famers. In more than half a century of the 162-game schedule, Morris pitched deep into AL games more than anybody except two pitchers, Palmer and Blyleven.

What happens if you include all MLB games, not just AL? From 1961-2012, Morris ranks 12th in most games pitching eight or more innings. Every one of the 11 pitchers ahead of him is in the Hall of Fame.

Mind you, I haven't even compared Morris to his contemporaries. When you measure Morris against the aces of his prime, nobody is close to him for such reliability. From 1979-92, Morris logged 18 percent more innings than anybody else in baseball, earned 20 percent more wins than anybody else and pitched eight innings or more an astounding 45 percent more often than anybody else (241 starts to the 166 of Charlie Hough).

Over 14 seasons Morris went at least eight innings in more than half his starts (52 percent). Think about that stat again, but this time as if you were the manager: when you gave the ball to Morris you were more likely to get eight innings from him than not -- for almost a decade and a half.

It started to come into focus: what made Morris Morris was that three different teams made him the definitive ace of the staff and he filled that role unlike anybody else in his era and in the company of the best workhorses of the past half century. His value is in the reliability he gave the manager and the responsibility he carried well and willingly.

Maybe, I wondered, Morris simply benefited from an era, the 1980s, in which few starting pitchers held up well. (Charlie Hough?) So I picked four unquestioned workhorses from across eras -- Bert Blyleven, Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens and Justin Verlander -- and wondered how Morris' reliability measured against theirs. Take a look: here are the percentage of starts in which each pitcher threw a complete game, at least eight innings and at least seven innings:

Pitcher           CG             8+ IP                 7+ IP

Morris            33%          47%                    68%

Blyleven          35%         46%                    66%

Ryan                29%          41%                   59%

Clemens           17%          33%                   63%

Verlander          9%           25%                   55%

Morris measures up very well. In fact, the enshrinement of Blyleven, a similar workhorse, becomes a boost for Morris. In the history of the AL with the DH, only three pitchers have thrown 250 innings in a season six times: Blyleven (seven times) and Morris and Clemens (six times). Blyleven (189) and Morris (175) rank 1-2 in complete games in the DH era.

Perhaps the most astounding element to Morris' iconic Game 7 in 1991 was not that he threw 10 shutout innings for the Twins with the World Series in the balance on every pitch, but that he did so at the end of throwing 283 innings that year at age 36. From ages 35-37, including the postseason, he averaged 265 innings per year -- essentially giving whatever was left in his right arm.

What about "most wins in the 1980s"? Overrated, yes. But how about this: most AL wins in the DH era:

1. Clemens: 316

2. Mike Mussina: 270

3. Morris: 254

I get the skepticism. The high ERA. The Dennis Martinez-like career numbers. I don't buy into the idea that Morris "pitched to the score." I do buy into the idea that Morris prided himself on a hard-headed determination to stay in the game as long as he could, fatigue and score be damned. There have been 123 pitchers who pitched at least eight innings 100 times or more since 1961. Morris has the highest ERA in those games among those 123 pitchers (2.38).

He didn't dominate with stuff. Appropriately enough in that 1991 game, he seemed to pitch out of the stretch all night. His value comes mostly from reliability and length -- and not as just another "innings eater" but as an undisputed ace. It's not an easy call on Morris, who has one more year on the ballot if he does not get in this year. If you want the impressive peripherals, he's not your guy. But if you manage a major league team, in any era, yes, he is a Hall of Famer.

2. Craig Biggio

He has 3,000 hits so he must be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, right? He does compare closely to Robin Yount:

Robin Yount vs. Craig Biggio


Yount 2,856 3,142 .285 .342 .430 115

Biggio 2,850 3,060 .281 .363 .433 112

Not so fast. Yount did get elected on the first ballot -- but barely so. He needed 373 votes for election and received 385. Biggio is a slightly worse candidate than Yount if only because his on-base skill was inflated by his creative use of an elbow pad (he was hit by pitches only 36 times in his first seven years, and then 205 in the next nine) and because his career numbers were themselves padded as a below average player. More than a third of his career hit total occurred in the eight years after he turned 33, when he batted .266 and posted a 95 OPS+. Criticized for hanging on too long, Biggio, to his credit, kept himself fit enough to play such a long time.

Biggio's value resides not so much in his 3,000 hits as much as it does a seven-year prime that began soon after he moved to second base and his power suddenly spiked (.303/.397/.473). He also was an exceptional baserunner and adept fielder. Like Yount, Biggio figures to fall right around the 75 percent threshold. (Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin were better players, and neither made it on first ballot.) It's a close call, but if he does have to wait, it won't be for long.

3. Curt Schilling

Say what you will about Schilling, but these facts are not in dispute:

• He is one of the best postseason pitchers of all time (11-2, 2.23 ERA in 19 starts).
• He took the ball five times in postseason elimination games. His team went 5-0 in those games while Schilling was 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA.
• He owns the greatest strikeout-to-walk rate since the mound was set at 60 feet, six inches in 1889 (4.4 punchouts for every walk).
• He is one of only four pitchers to strike out 300 batters three times (Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax are the others).
• He is one of only two pitchers to win more than 20 games with seven or fewer losses three times (Roger Clemens is the other).
• In 2002, while striking out more than 300 batters, he had fewer walks (33) than starts (35) -- one of three times in four years he finished as the Cy Young Award runnerup.

Does all of that offset "only" 216 career wins? Yes. Schilling basically is Don Drysdale (209 wins) with a better postseason career. That means Hall of Fame -- eventually. Drysdale debuted at just 21 percent on the Hall of Fame ballot and needed 10 tries to get in. Schilling won't have to wait that long, but a first-ballot election would be an upset.

Roster Move #4; What are we gonna do with Quintin Berry?

Ya gotta root for a guy like Berry, an itinerant minor leaguer, who finally makes the bigs, and does OK.  He had his day at the show. Does he have a tomorrow? I'm not sure.

His speed makes him fun to watch, and a decent leadoff hitter.

But he's no kid (28 next year) and with the addition of Hunter, Jackson a rock star (finally) in centerfield and Garcia virtually demanding playing time by virtue of his accomplishments, is QB doomed to ride the bench and wait for somebody to get hurt? There's plenty of competition for that job, and bench seats area at a premium when the roster skinnies down to 25.

That means the bench has an extra catcher, an extra infielder an extra outfielder, and maybe one or generalists, depending on how many pitchers we carry. The fact that Berry is a lefty is in his favor.

What would you do? If you were going to carry one extra outfielder, is he the man?

Gene Lamont

He is gone from third base - even though Lweyland said he is the best third base coach EVER?? What will he do as "bench coach"?  Leyland is just being kind to him - he doesn't need a bench coach,  Glad to see Brookens going to third - I have confidence in his baseball knowledge.

Roster Move #3: Clone Verlander

The guy is incredible.

Watching his dugout interviews in the postseason, I'd say he has a career in broadcasting if he wants it when he's done playing

He even picks the All-Star Game for one of his worst outings.

It'll be a sad day when he hangs up his cleats.

Anybody concerned about the number of innings he's pitching?

Let's face it: Mom's the Reason We're Tiger Fans!

(Friends - Although this is being posted by Gregg, the following is co-written by Gregg and Jim Domzal, frequent contributor who has as yet had challenges logging on to At the Corner. Gregg's in Tiger blue, Jim's in Tiger Orange.)

My Dad came to Detroit about 1937 from Northern Michigan. He really didn't know many people in Detroit, so he looked in the Detroit Times for a room to rent, and when he went to the boarding house, a lovely girl anwered the door - my Mom. He found a job at Chevy Forge, and with a few bucks in his pocket, he frequented the movie show, and Detroit Tiger games, although at first he really didn't know much about baseball.

I'm sure there were a few dates at Briggs Stadium, and Mom either was a baseball fan, or became one to hang around Dad. (She told me when she answered the door it was love at first sight.

in my case, it was not unlike Greg’s in many ways. mom met dad at a dance at 8 mile and Gratiot, 1930.

Eastwood Park! Right around the corner from where I grew up!

she was the oldest of 11, from Standish Michigan, he the oldest of 4. Hamtramck. they were teenagers. Got married in the depression, mom worked at Packard, dad at a place called ternstedts,, (later renamed fisher body), on fort just south of the bridge. those days were incredibly bleak for so many Detroiters, the depression took a tremendous toll on finance, on spirit. the one common thread, the one enjoyment I believe in those early 30’s were those great tiger teams. I still recall my mom calling me ‘dizzy’ jim when I was acting out, or schoolboy jimmy. rogell, gheringer, Greenberg, and my all time favorite name, goose goslin. heck, I heard these names in my house all the time as a kid. if you look at the rosters from these days, these were the fielders, the cabreras, the verlanders of the day. that baseball mystique, the ability to take one above their immediate woes, an out of mind experience if you will, was clearly present during my parents early years of marriage. and they carried these joy filled moments throughout their years together. (41 to be exact).

so, it seemed natural for my mom to always listen, complain, laugh and enjoy listening to the boys from Michigan and trumbull so many evenings. my very first time ever even coming close to the tigers was when mom took me alone, upto Eastland shopping center as a boy of maybe 8. just the Saturday before, she bought me a tigers t shirt at Hudson’s. how this stuff sticks in your head is beyond defining, but they do.

Fast forward many years and six kids later. (I'm the fifth out of six.) When I was growing up, Dad was working hard, crazy hours at Chevy and two or three other jobs just to make ends meet. But while I was playing around the house, day or evening, Ernie and George were the background music for my childhood. Mom was an addicted fan.

Anyway, I had only heard these names, possibly saw them on a Sunday televised game, but had not ever attended a game. so, mom said, let’s go. it was an off day, weekday. and there, in the center concourse was a stage, all set up. then, like mystical heroes, they arrived. 6 of them. boros, kaline, lumpe, colavito lary and cash. I can still to this day, recall practically being crushed by the people trying to get closer to the stage. naturally, we were there so early I had the first row seats. anyway, mom bought me a ball to get signed, I got knocked over by some girl, the ball rolled under the stage, I ended up crawling under it trying to find the thing, and then, it was over. I recovered the ball, never got it signed, the tigers left as fast as they got there, and there I stood. crying. crushed physically and emotionally I guess. who covered for me? you guessed it. my very own in house tiger fan, mom. she took me to sanders, got one of those incredible Sundaes, and well, life was good all over again. ha.

she had to restore my belief in these guys and in a hurry. it worked. those moms.

Dad would take us to the games now and then, but we never got very good seats, because Dad couldn't buy tickets in advance for fear that he'd be called in to work. Nevertheless, I certainly enjoyed the company of Dad and my two brothers.

But I particularly remember a couple times Mom loaded my little brother Chuck and me on the Gratiot streetcar or bus to go to Ladies' Day! We'd pack a little lunch (Dad would never be caught dead packing a lunch) and get a transfer downtown on the Michigan Avenue line. Mom pointed out the stops where they used to live in the city, and the downtown offices she used to work in, or the J.L. Hudson she used to work at as a clerk.

Mom would tell us stories about how Charlie Gehringer used to sell suits at Hughes, Hatcher, Sufferin (or was it Hudsons?) and how he lived with his mother for years, and he went to Mass every day. (That was before a day game following a night game.)

68 of course was our coming together, as fans, as a city. we were torn apart by the year before and the riots. tens of thousands were vacating the city. king, kennedy, Vietnam, protests. Detroit received an incredible gift by this team. much more than a world series I believe. in my household, I still didn’t drive, but, I remember my brother, who had 3 kids of his own, driving over to our house from his home, and taking me, just me, for drive around Detroit the night the tigers won it all. to see the incredible pandemonium, to see the happiness in all of Detroit, this love of this team and that city was displayed everywhere. my brother knew how much this meant to me as a fan. great memories
later in years, mom would still listen. I would go often to see our boys of summer. and, guess who would end up going with me, now in her 70’s? mom. I knew the guy at the ticket booth on the corner. a few bucks, and, voila, we sat right behind home, first row, upper deck. heck, we could talk to Ernie one on one for chrissake if we actually wanted to. A guy named fidrych got not only Detroit, but my moms undivided attention. the team wasn’t going anywhere, but, for those few nights he’d pitch, me and mom had incredible moments of fun. stop at buddy’s for a pizza and a boomba on the way home, and all is good. yes, my mom and the tigers. what a powerful recipe for lifetime loyalty to our boys from the corner.

Wow, Mom, baseball, Buddy's and a beer! Could life be any sweeter! Maybe, 'cause that summer of The Bird was the year I married Debbie.

I have a couple theories. You know those teenie bopper girls that scream wildly at baseball games? Now this might be a bit far-fetched, but Jim, I think our Moms were those girls back in the 20's or 30's! They had crushes on Greenburg or Schoolboy Rowe. And they never stopped being fans, just became a little more lady-like.

When we came along, it was just their ticket to encourage our Tiger fandom, and see a game now and then.

I remember Mom had favorites. She didn't like Rocky Colovito. "I'll bet he's just a ladies man," she said with disgust. Where the hell did she get that idea? It's not like the Yankees having Kate Hudson hang around the locker room.

But hey, that's the fun of being a baseball fan; you can have your favorites, and "not like" a guy for no good reason.

So history repeats itself. I took my girlfriend (eventually my wife) to many a tiger game. She sat with me in the stands and pretended she didn't mind when it snowed on us.

Of course, I dragged our daughters to Tiger games, and one of the three actually likes baseball! I remember when they swooned over Gabe "the Babe" Kaplar. "His butt looks cute in those tight pants." Gee, I never noticed. The last year Tiger Stadium was open, we took a family pilgrimage. We walked around the outside and the inside. I pointed out the unique features and places where important things happened in my life.

"Dad," said daughter Kate. "Your'e taking this worse than when Grandma died."

I think Grandma was with us that day... with us in spirit...Tiger spirit.

Roster move #2: Peddle Porcello

I know this ain't gonna be popular. He's a nice guy.

He had so much promise in 2009, he looked a bit like a mini-Verlander.

But alas, he has gone from our #2 starter to #5.

Granted, he just didn't get a lot of run support sometimes last season. But there were a lot of times he just didn't look very good. His ERA was 4.59. Not much for a starter with a World Series team.

The change would do him good. He's still very young, and he might have a long wonderful career somewhere, but I don't think it's gonna happen in Detroit.

Package him with Peralta, and get either a really good starter, or shortstop like I mentioned, Jurickson Profar from Texas.

Of course, losing Porcello would create another hole in the starting rotation, but ya gotta have faith that either a rookie comes along, or we trade or sign for one.

Roster move #1 - dump Peralta

We just can't afford ($6 mill) an aging shortstop (31 next year) with no range and no stick, but good hands.

Time to move him on.

Clearly, 2011, his one All-Star year was an aberration. For his other nine years, he was closer to last year's .239 average.

Just about the only redeeming feature (beyond his steady hands) is the pop in his stick, 13 HRs last year and 21 in 2011, which makes him good enough to trade for a pitcher or a prospect.

Here's a deal!! Cook up a three way deal, we put in Peralta and a right-hand pitcher to be named later (tomorrow.) The Rangers give us their phenom shortstop Profar (who they clearly love, but don't have a place for with Elvis Andrus at short and Kinsler at second. A third team who needs a shortstop like Peralta and maybe some pitching throws in a few talented prospects, maybe a pitcher.
You make the deal, Dumbrowski, just get him out of our infield letting so many grounders roll through the holes.

Let's work over the roster!

So, let's officially begin the "Hot Stove" League. Let's pick over the Tiger's 40-man roster one by one.

In no particular order. If you would like to join in the fun, pick any player who hasn't been "done up" already.

(and there's no way Coke is 6'1" and weights 210.)

Detroit Tigers Active Roster

#    Pitchers                 B/T     Ht      Wt   DOB

62 Al Alburquerque    R-R     6'0"   195   Jun 10, 1986

64 Duane Below          L-L     6'3"    220   Nov 15, 1985

53 Joaquin Benoit        R-R     6'3"    220   Jul 26, 1977

40 Phil Coke                 L-L      6'1"    210   Jul 19, 1982

45 Casey Crosby          R-L        6'5"   225   Sep 17, 1988

20 Octavio Dotel          R-R        6'0"   230   Nov 25, 1973

38 Darin Downs            R-L        6'3"    210   Dec 26, 1984

58 Doug Fister               L-R       6'8"     210    Feb 4, 1984

44 Matt Hoffman           L-L         6'2"     225    Nov 8, 1988

49 Luis Marte               R-R         5'11"   200    Aug 26, 1986

     Melvin Mercedes     R-R        6'3"      190   Nov 2, 1990

43 Andrew Oliver        L-L          6'3"      210   Dec 3, 1987

56 Jose Ortega              R-R         5'11"    185   Oct 12, 1988

21 Rick Porcello          R-R         6'5"       200   Dec 27, 1988

36 Luke Putkonen         R-R         6'6"       210   May 10, 1986

22 Bruce Rondon         R-R         6'3"       265   Dec 9, 1990

37 Max Scherzer          R-R         6'3"       220   Jul 27, 1984

55 Daniel Schlereth     L-L          6'0"       200   May 9, 1986

33 Drew Smyly            L-L         6'3"        190   Jun 13, 1989

35 Justin Verlander      R-R         6'5"       225   Feb 20, 1983

60 Brayan Villarreal    R-R         6'0"       170   May 10, 1987

57 Adam Wilk              L-L          6'2"      180   Dec 9, 1987

# Catchers
13 Alex Avila               L-R         5'11"     210  Jan 29, 1987

50 Bryan Holaday         R-R       6'0"        205  Nov 19, 1987

41 Victor Martinez        S-R        6'2"       210  Dec 23, 1978

# Infielders
24 Miguel Cabrera        R-R         6'4"      240   Apr 18, 1983

28 Prince Fielder          L-R         5'11"     275  May 9, 1984

4 Omar Infante              R-R         5'11"     195  Dec 26, 1981

29 Dixon Machado       R-R        6'1"        170  Feb 22, 1992

27 Jhonny Peralta         R-R        6'2"        215  May 28, 1982

Hernan Perez                R-R        6'1"        185  Mar 26, 1991

39 Ramon Santiago       S-R        5'11"      175  Aug 31, 1979

29 Danny Worth            R-R       6'1"        185  Sep 30, 1985

# Outfielders
52 Quintin Berry           L-L        6'0"        175  Nov 21, 1984

26 Brennan Boesch       L-L         6'4"       235   Apr 12, 1985

12 Andy Dirks              L-L          6'0"      195  Jan 24, 1986

34 Avisail Garcia        R-R          6'4"      240  Jun 12, 1991

48 Torii Hunter            R-R          6'2"      225  Jul 18, 1975

14 Austin Jackson        R-R          6'1"      185  Feb 1, 1987


Hall of Famers, or Hall of Shamers?

It's a sad choice, because all three of these guys (Clemens, Sosa, and Bonds) might have been shoo-ins for the Hall without their drugs.

As I heard this afternoon on the radio, there are druggers in the Hall right now, and there will be in the future...

Did they cheat? Sure they did. Might they have made it anyway? Maybe.

I'm just put off by their "grossness."

I say no. Let them stand in the cold outside Cooperstown. Warmed by their millions.

Let's ask Brother Peek, the only one among us who can actually vote. What sayest thou?

(When asked what was his biggest mistake, President George W. Bush said "Trading Sammy Sosa." Wonder how he would vote?)

Rafael Soriano

The Freep reported today that the Tigersare talking with Scott Boras (the famed agent) about signing Soriano. With the return of Mariano Riviera, Soriano is not needed by the Yanks.  They ARE ASKING IN THE RANGE OF 60 MILLION DOLLARS over a four year period.  A lot of money for a 33 year old pitcher.  Thoughts???

Stephen Drew

The Free Press had an article yesterday specualting the Tigers would acquire Drew from Oakland.  His average his OK, but he is a better all around ballplayer, according to the Freep.  Even though they signed Perralta they would then be able to trade Jhonny to a couple of clubs that appear to be interested.  Mr. I appears to be going all out; it is his money!  Comments?

The future of Ryan Rayburn

One of the stations I listened to today said that Ryan Raybrun will not be offered a place on the 40 man roster, which should be announced shortly.  Is that Leyland's decision?  What say ye?

Should the Tigers sign Sanchez?

I guess there are two ways of answering this question:
1.  With an unlimited payroll - the answer would probably be yes.
2.  With the recent signing of Hunter, plus with the money already owed to several superstars - it gives you pause to wonder.  I say is you can get him for a resasonable (wht is that?) amount - sign him -- if not let him go and settle with Verlander, Porcello, Fister, Scherzer, and Smyly (unless there is an amazing spring training phenomenon.)
Ilitich wants and deserves a World Series winner.  Most thought Fielder was the missing piece (even with v Mart out for season), but that was not the case.
What say ye??

Miggy - MVP

Congrats to our transplanted third baseman.  He deserves it!!  I hate listening to sportstalk.  One of the guys said that if Miggy didn't win, it was because of racism because Miggy is not an American and speaks poor English.  Aye yi yi!!  Oh well he won the Triple Crown and the coveted award.
Nothing to watch on TV, when does Spring Training start?

Done Deal

My son just got home from school... turned on Sportscenter (what else)  Tigers sgined Tori Huntr for 2 years fro $25,000,000 - lot of money for a 37 year old.  Whatcha think??

Tori Hunter

Latest rumors revolve around us signing Tori.  In an interview, he said he would prefer to sign with the Angels,but that is not gonna happen.  He was in Detroit yesterday, but signed nothing.  One of the sports guys on 97.1, added Hunter to his twitter account and saw that just last night Hunter added Cabrera and Velander to his twitter.  Hot Stove at its best!

A few geeky notes

By very definition, as a “blogger” I guess I’m something of a geek.

But I really only started “At the Corner” as a way to converse with you guys about our Tigers. While ATC isn’t nearly as popular as the “BIG BLOGS” it is kind of interesting when we look at some stats.

I know sometimes, it feels like we’re just two or three guys talking to ourselves, but the stats show otherwise. For example, did you know that:

• Yesterday, 62 times somebody looked at our blog (AKA pageviews)

• Last month, we had 1,673 pageviews

• We’ve had 21,800 pageviews since we started

• My own pageviews don’t count in that total, so I’m not running up the numbers

  • We had 705 posts since we started in July of 2008.

• Most of us are from the U.S., but we also people looking in from (in descending order) France, Latvia, Australia, Russia, Germany, U.K., Canada, Malaysia, Bosnia and Herzgovinia.

Australia I can kind of understand, since my pal John has been looking in and contributing of late, and I guess some fool in Latvia was looking for information about Bengal Tigers, and stumbled in, but 17 times? Who’s watching us in France? (24 times)

Most of us (80) are Windows users, but surprising to me, Mac come in third behind Linux users. (Looking in from the office are we?)

Most (39%) look in through Firefox, or Explorer (24%).

Before I get too carried away with the “success” of ATC, I must admit, I think we’re tiny compared to some blogs. Just the other day I asked our blog host (blogspot) if somebody might want to advertise here; thanks but no thanks was the response. I have a hunch it was because we’re just too tiny and narrow, but it might have something to do with the fact that we regularly “pirate” photos and articles from other copyrighted sources. I always try to give them credit, but it is without their permission.

As I’ve said before, I’d like to take this to a place that is much easier to use. Jim Domzal and John Holland can’t figure out how to contribute, and we don’t have a clue how many others have the same issues. Chuck can’t figure out how to post pics. We tried WordPress during spring training, but we agreed it was no easier.

Personally, I’ve gotten used to posting both articles and pictures, but when I try to make format changes or start a new blog, I’m lost.

So, I might be a geek, but not much of a geek.

The Race that Stops a Nation

(John Holland is having the same problem as Jim Domzal, can't figure out how to post. If anybody has a suggestion where to move this blog so as to be more "user-friendly" I'm open to suggestions-The Commissioner)

Today for approx. 4 minutes at around 3.00 p.m. Australian eastern daylight saving time an entire nation comes to a standstill. People driving pull over to the edge of the road and turn on the radio. Those shopping or walking along the street, stop and watch a TV in a shop. In the city of Melbourne it is a public holiday.

In every office, a sweep is run (set up in advance if the office is in Victoria ; done on the day if in other states). In offices and factories in states other than Melbourne , people stop work and gather in the conference room, canteen or wherever else there is a TV. In every city, town and village the local totalisator agency (TAB; government run betting shop) opens four hours earlier than normal and has a queue outside the door. Every pub has its TV turned to one channel.

Tens of thousands of women have gone out and spent a small fortune purchasing a special frock just for this day.

In every suburban Melbourne rail station, there will be the incongruous site of men and women dressed to the nines as if going to the opera and boarding trains on the one day of the year they would deem to leave their cars behind and take public transport. On this day they are “off to the races”.

Throughout suburbia, the smell of onion frying on the barbie will permeate neighbourhoods and cause heads to pop up over fences. Many of those heads will say to themselves: “that’s a bloody good idea, I’ll go and grab a few snags from the fridge and fire up my own barbie.” They will then call out to their wives: “Hey, darling, I’m going to get the barbie going, can you make some coleslaw?” In countless homes throughout Victoria , those barbies will be held with the TV set up outside and going all day. Unusual for a barbie, the normal stubbies of beer will be replaced by tall stems of champagne. The first question everyone will ask each other as they arrive will be: “What horse have you backed?” And no matter which horse it is, everyone will hope that you will win, even though they may have put their wager on another horse.

Today is the first Tuesday in November: Melbourne Cup day. Horses from around the world have come to Melbourne for the Spring Carnival, two weeks of horse racing and socialising which culminates in the running of the Melbourne Cup, or just the “Cup” as any Aussie says. With a purse of AUS$6 million (US$6.4 million), it is the country’s richest race. But it is also the richest in tradition; in past years legend recalls how country nags have been walked hundreds of kilometres to Melbourne to compete and win against the city thoroughbreds.

Now, in the year, 2012, it is a race with a global audience of some 700 million people in 120 countries.

In Melbourne , approx. 120,000 people will cram into Flemington Racecourse, one of four courses in the city - yes, racing is that big in Australia. Many of the men will come in top hat and tails with the women in gorgeous, delicate, flimsy, often revealing, always fashionable, frocks which often leave them freezing cold when the weather turns as it can do four times in a few hours in a city which often experiences every season in one day. They will gather in the Members Car Park around cars with the boot open, a portable TV set up and a picnic hamper featuring chicken sandwiches - no vegemite today! - and champagne measured by the esky full, not the bottle.

A few fortunate ones will relax in the corporate marquees, graciously sipping Mumm champagne or cointreau-on-ice while grazing on foie gras and assorted canap├ęs as their hosts and hostesses ensure that the client is well looked after so that contracts are renewed next year.

Other men and women, the plebs of a multi-strata society, will congregate on the lawn as close as they can get to the Winning Post. They will have come by train and tram - there is train stop right at the gate to the racecourse - with dozens of special trains running the 5 or 6 km distance from the city centre to the course.

If room can be found, rugs will be laid on the ground, picnic hampers dumped on the corners and a bottle opened and some sangers (chicken again) distributed. If room can’t be found, you just drop onto a patch of grass a few square centimetres in size in between a couple of strangers and say “don’t mind if we squeeze in here do you?” without expecting an answer. But always an answer will come back “no worries mate, getting a bit crowded isn’t it?”. And after 15 minutes of shuffling and wriggling they will somehow have moved over a bit (more likely, reduced the size of their area), your rug will be overlaying theirs and their neighbours and there will be room. Some will have to stand; not everyone will be able to sit down, no one will be able to lie down. That is, until late in the afternoon after the champers (champagne) has taken hold and some of the younger bucks and a few of the fillies are simply no longer capable of standing up.

Their outfits vary. From standard skirts and dresses, slacks and shirts, to dinner suit jackets and bow ties worn with shorts and rubber boots. One year, one wag turned up in a frogman’s outfit. Appropriately, it rained.

At around 2.45 p.m. a murmur will rise as the horses are led out to the mounting paddock. Then, at 3.00 p.m. as the gates open, with a cry of “They’re off and running” coming from every TV screen and radio, at the course itself a roar will go up which can be heard for miles around.

Momentarily, as the riders do their initial jockeying for position, that roar will drop before rising again as the horses come past the finishing post and members' grandstand for the first time around the course. As the 3200 metres (approx. 2 miles) is raced, the crowd steadily increases the volume of its calls. “Go Dunaden.” “C’mon Lights of Heaven”. “C’mon, C’MON, C’MON”.

At the final turn as they enter the home straight, it is a bedlam of shouting, jumping, waving people. And then the horses flash past with a cheer going up for the winner. A champion has won and the crowd always acknowledges that the best horse won, no matter which horse they had bet on.

Postscript: Horse racing is a great celebration in Australia. Every city and tiny country town which boasts a racecourse has a public holiday when its local"Cup" day is held. There is one "town" (Birdsville) at the end of a very long dirt track in outback Queensland which has a population of less than 100. But each year thousands of people drive for days to get there - or fly in on their own light planes and land in the scrub - for the Birdsville Races.

(editor's note- The Melbourne Cup 2012 was won by Green Moon, a 20-1 underdog. Second was taken by a 30-1 horse, and an 80-1 nag took show. Wish I had a trifecta card n that one!)

The view from down under...

(This note from my pal John Holland in Melbourne, Australia.)

G'day Gregg,

First of all commiserations on the Tigers' loss. You email of a few days ago not only reminded me that the world series was on, it also motivated me to get out of bed at ungodly hours to watch the last two games.

For game three I got up at 1.00 a.m. For game 4 I got up at 3.25 a.m. That is because I was watching delayed telecasts on free-to-air TV because Janette and I are not prepared to pay $75 per month x 12 months cable so that we can see live baseball for one month of the year. And both our boys - mad baseball fans and players as you know - agree.

I enjoyed watching both games even if game 3 was fairly boring while game 4 was more interesting but neither were exactly rivetting baseball.

So, Gregg, thanks for the reminder. It got me back into baseball even if only for two days.

Not sure what you thought, but I was very disappointed at the Tigers' approach. There was zero team spirit, zero enthusiasm, zero excitement, zero pride. How can players simply sit on the bench (not even at the rails) and just chat as if they were at a sunday school picnic? They owed their supporters and themselves more than that. Leyland needed to give them a good kick up the backside. He owed himself, themselves and their surpporters that.

As for Prince Fielder - well that bloke has always been a flop when the play-offs come. When it gets to game 4 and you are three games down, you bench him - as was done to A-Rod. Performance and a big name during the home-and-away season is irrelevant when it comes to the crunch. Truly great players are great when it counts.

While I wanted the Tigers to win I think the Giants did deserve the victory - they played the better baseball and were a team looking to win rather than being a few individuals on a diamond.

So here is to next year - for either the Tigers or the Rangers. Surely one of them must break through.



Hot Stove

Well what are your hearing out there?
Somebody from ESPN wrote that he feels Melky Cabrera would be a perfect #2 hitter.  Is he all right?  Would we be baby sitters?  Without steroids would he be effective/ (look at A-Rod?)
For a closer - some minor leaguer - Rondon has been suggested.
They say the Tigers will not be able to afford Sanchez, given the other 3 starters, and he will be gone to Toronto.
Ichiro has been bandied about for us as well.  How many good years does he have left?
What are you guys hearing?

One week ago

It's hard to believe that one week ago we were in the thick of chasing the World Series crown.  We were down 2 games to 0.  We had no tickets for Saturday's game, but we went down there to party.  It was fun.  Lots of positive spirit.  We were in the Filmore theater because they allowed minors in.  We wore matching "Fear the Beard shirts" - 7 of us.  A few people even took our pics.  beer was expensive, but not as bad as the ball park.  *It was fun.  We walked all around Comerica.  Bought souveniors.  Tried to get into Chelis, but there was a $20 cover.  The biggest negative was that the lines to get in were extremely long.  I have been at many sold out games, but there were people who could not get into their seats until the 3rd inning.  We ended up at Nemos  for dinner and watched the game on TV.
Sunday was game day.  Joe had bought me a ticket for my birthday - WOW.  We started in the gift shop.  It was wall to wall people - everybody wanted their peice of hiistory.  Those gift shops had to make millions (serious) just on that one day.  T shirts were $50 and then the prices took off.  We had fun window shopping.  Typical ball park food.  Joe said the pizza slices were smaller.  Our seats were upperdeck 13 rows behind the plate.  They were awesome.  Game disappointing, but what a bonding this proud dad had with his son.
Miss the Tigers -- nothing to watch on TV.
Bless you Boys for a fine season!!

Busy, busy, busy ... Tigers pick up options on Dotel, Peralta

From the Tigers ...


DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers today announced the club has exercised its options for the 2013 season on righthanded pitcher Octavio Dotel and shortstop Jhonny Peralta.

Dotel appeared in 57 games for the Tigers during the 2012 season, posting a 5-3 record, 3.57 ERA (58.0IP/23ER) and 62 strikeouts. He limited opponents to a .230 batting average (50x217) during the season. Dotel did not allow a run in five innings of work during his six outings for Detroit during the playoffs.

Peralta batted .239 (127x531) with 32 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 150 games for the Tigers during the 2012 season. He finished second among all American League shortstops with a .988 fielding percentage during the season. Peralta hit .260 (13x50) with a double, three home runs and five RBI in 13 games for Detroit during the playoffs.

Additionally, the Tigers reinstated infielder/outfielder Ryan Raburn from the 15-day disabled list and lefthanded pitcher Daniel Schlereth and designated hitter Victor Martinez from the 60-day disabled list on Monday.

Delmon Young ... duh

When asked after Game 4 if he'd like to be back with the Tigers, Delmon Young said, "It would be cool, but I'd like to see what's out there. I'm not going to marry my first girlfriend."

Excuse me, Delmon, I'd like to point out that you CAN'T marry your first girlfriend if she dumps your butt without giving you the chance to ask. Happy trails.

Tigers extend Leyland's contract through 2013


Leyland Will Return for Eighth Season as Detroit’s Manager

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers today announced the club has extended the contract of Jim Leyland through the 2013 season.

The 2013 season will mark Leyland’s 22nd season as a manager at the major league level, his eighth as the manager of the Tigers. He has compiled a 1,676-1,659 record during his managerial career. Leyland’s 1,676 wins are tops among all active major league managers and 15th-most all-time in major league history.

“Jim is as fine a manager as there is in baseball, he has done a fantastic job for the organization and we are thrilled to have him back managing the Tigers in 2013,” Tigers President, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David Dombrowski said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jim and his ability to lead our club on the field. I am confident that you will not find a harder working or better prepared manager in the game.”

Leyland, 67, has guided the Tigers to a 607-528 record during his seven seasons as the club’s manager. He is one of only three managers in Tigers history to register at least 600 victories with the club. Sparky Anderson (1,331 wins) and Hughie Jennings (1,131 wins) are the two other managers in Tigers history with at least 600 wins with the club.

“Detroit is a tremendous baseball town and I couldn’t dream of a better place to manage,” Leyland said. “The support of Mr. Ilitch and Dave is second to none and gives this club an opportunity to win every year. Tigers fans and the people of Michigan have supported us so well during my time here, I can’t even begin to express how much that means to me.”

The Tigers have advanced to the post-season three times during Leyland’s managerial career with the club, including winning the American League Central Division in each of the last two seasons. Leyland joins Jennings as the only two managers in Tigers history to lead the club to post-season play in three seasons.

Detroit advanced to the World Series this season for the second time during Leyland’s managerial tenure. He is the third manager in franchise history to guide a Tigers club to the World Series multiple times, joining Jennings and Mickey Cochrane. Jennings led Detroit to three straight World Series (1907-09), while Cochrane led the Tigers to the World Series in back-to-back seasons (1934-35).

Additionally, the Tigers have invited all six members of Leyland’s coaching staff to return for the 2013 season. Toby Harrah has also been invited back to serve as the club’s assistant hitting coach, a role he performed over the last half of the 2012 season.

Great news!

The Tigers announced today that Jim Leyland will be back to manage the team for the 2013 season.

Justin Verlander tweets:

"you guys deserved better from us & our pledge is to get right to work to make sure we're back again in '13.  Thank you."
Tweeted Monday.
sounds good to me

Verlander's future

Although he choked in the All Star game and in the first game of the World Series - JV is a keeper and a gamer.  Why not have Ilitich rip up his contract now and set up a 10 year deal?  or is there such a thing as a life long contract?


Whiel enjoying the festivities down town, I stopped in the Detroit Atletic Co. (look at their catalog onlne).  Their owner told me that the Rangers are letting Josh Hamilton test the free aganet waters and that Mike Ilitch is VERY interested.  Cabrera, Fielder, V Mart, and Hamilton - WOW

You guys are brilliant!

Way back in spring training, I polled you characters, and asked, "Where will the Tigers end up at the end of the season."
The unanimous answer?
AL Champs, but losers in the Series. Wow, did you call that one!

Disappointing, fer sure. But there's always next year. 28 years since the "Bless you boys" campaign. When we were kids, it seemed like the Tigers had never won a pennant or a series.

Do you realize that when the Tigers won the Series in 1968 it had been "only" 23 years since the previous victory?

Yes, we're in a slump.

But there's always next year. The good, the bad and the ugly, as I see it:


We'll have Martinez back, and it seems as though Garcia was a gift from on high. May he have a long, productive career as a Tiger. Also, it looks as though our pitching rotation has settled into place. If we re-sign Sanchez, I think we're ready for 2013.


We really have two needs in the off-season trading/signing market:

A relief pitcher and a shortstop.

Yes, it's time to say adios to the heart-attack under a cap (a.k.a. Malverde) and Peralta. We can do better.


Two folks that we must kiss goodbye: Quentin Berry and Jim Leyland.

Berry seemed too good to be true, and he was. A long-term veteran of the minor leagues, he was the find nobody expected. But as the season wore on, we found out why so many other organizations passed him up. He's really fast, but all his other talents don't make him a legitimate talent. With young talent like Garcia, and veteran experience like Martinez returning, there's no room on the roster.

Finally, Leyland must go. He brought the Tigers into the playoffs with the worst record of any playoff team, and they performed well above that in the post-season. But in the end, the team failed.

If the bus won't start, shoot the bus driver.

Many plaudits will be posted for Leyland over the next few weeks. He's not a bad guy. He's just a guy who's time has passed. He's been given many opportunities, and has not delivered the big enchilada. This is not Catholic Charities job program. Fire the man.

Give him a graceful out. Let him take a few weeks off, and then tell him to retire. 

What a roller coaster!

Our boys aren't really playing bad baseball. They've been pitching well, and had some good pitching thrown against them. Se la guerre.

I can't fault Fielder's running; sure, he could have slid wide and reached back. But that's pretty picky. IMHO, it was aggressive baseball, a good decision to come home, and it took a great play to catch him.  


I believe that Leyland gave Papa Grande a last chance, no pressure, no lead to protect, on the rpoad away from boo-birds and he failed.  Good Luck in the future.  Thanks for the memories.

Don't Stop Believin!!

We will win, just not in four games.
Looking forward to taking it all in this weekend.

"World Series bound and picking up steam"

Here's a photo I took of a Lakeland, Fla., barber shop on March 14, 2012. Someone there certainly had faith in the Tigers.

The GRRREAT Delmon Young!

I'll be honest. I started out writing this post to say that comparing post season totals (home runs, RBI's) between Delmon Young and Hank Greenberg is preposterous.

In Greenberg's day, only two teams out of 16 got as far as the postseason. Hence, (and my math is terrible, so I'll stand for criticisms) your team only had .125 percent chance to even get that far. Today, 10 out of 30 teams make it to the playoffs, or a .330 chance.

So there is a great deal of luck in being on a winning team, and even getting the chance to be in the postseason.

For example, our hero Al Kaline only appeared in one World Series and one playoff. Total post-season production: three homers and nine RBI's. He had a great series in 1968, hitting .379 but his totals are less than either Greenberg or Young. 

But when I got back to comparing the records of Greenberg and Young, Delmon's stats hold up.

Fact is, their opportunities post-season have been pretty similar, and fact is, Delmon has more cred!

Delmon played in 18 games for the last two years for the Tigers. (Let's ignore his post-season appearances with Minnesota.) He has racked up seven homers and 14 RBI's.

Greenberg played in 23 games in four World Series. (Once again, some luck in playing for a winner.) He "only" hit five HR's and 22 RBI's.

It's not always going to be fair to compare modern players' post-seasons with the old boys. Already this season we've had a record 36 post-season games, and there could be seven more. In olden times there we only seven post-season games* per year.

But in this case, Young has played in fewer games, and accomplished more. Tip of the cap to him.

(I thought you guys would appreciate a Maris-style asterisk to my records. From 1919-1923 the series was the best of nine!)  

Classic Blazer on Sale at e-bay

You'll be the hit of your Tiger party with this antique usher blazer on sale at e-bay.


Starting bid is only $19.99, but my guess some fool will pay a lot more.  Personally, I think Captain Kangaroo wore it first.

Who would have thunk?

Half of Michigna want to have Leyland run for govenor.  I do not, but you have to admit he was successful.
Delmon Young MVP of the playoffs.  Until he grew his moustache, I wanted him gone too.
Speaking of wanting him gone -- how about Phil Coke, closing out three games against his former team.  Who would have thunk.
The heroics of Don Kelly.
Brennan Boesch not even making the team.
Will Valverde ever pitch in a Tiger uniform again?  He did save 110 games the last two years - but when we really needed him he was too busy spitting.
What a valuable role Laird played this year.
If leyland leaves, Lamont will carry his bags - will he stop or go at third base?
Glad to have Amazing Al back!! - closer of the future??
Fielder's bat was dead in the playoffs, look for him to explode in the Series.  MVP here we come.
Speaking of exploding - Jhonny two home runs in Game 4 -- all is forgiven.
Nuff for now................
Go Tigers


What a game.  I posted a pic on Facebook of myself wearing a T-shirt that says Yankees suck and holding a broom.  I told Gregg it was his job to post it here.

Great season frustrating at times, but ya gotta believe.

My son lives in Vegas and is also a huge Tigers fan.  He is going to Chicago for business on the 29th for meetings.  he did a lot of calculating.  He switched his ticket to come to Detroit first on the 26th.  His calculations say that Sunday is Game 4 and we could be in line to sweep St. Louis.  He also thinks the Tigers will be pitching Verlander and HE IS TAKING HIS DAD TO THE GAME FOR A BIRTHDAY PRESENT. WOW!!!!! 

Quick, Fed Ex Me a Stroh's!!!

Me & Kaline the Kat ready for the big game. (Being a feline, he's a big Tiger fan, doncha know.)

Thanks to Brother Chuck for the Playoff Package, including championship T and Detroit Tiger peanuts. Ready last night, and we'll be ready this afternoon.

Get out Your brooms

was exciting being there last night.  Our seat could not have been further from Home Plate, but was it fun!!  Hope I did not jinx us with the title of this email.  CC has been hot, but Sherzer is no slouch.
Go Get 'Em

Are You Getting Sick and Tired of TBS' Pro-Yankee Bias?

Johnson, Darling and Smoltz, droning on and one about how cool and collected the Yankees are. How much pressure their hitters face. What a trajedy it is about Jeter. And Girardi losing his father.

Lions, and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

The Ultimate was when that jerk, Craig Sager decided to show up for work at Yankee Stadium Sunday in a white suite with blue pinstripes! Hey, buddy, why don't you just wear a Yankee cap?

Fister looked pretty collected when the bases were loaded...three times.

Tiger hitters looked pretty collected in getting nine runs in the first two games in Yankee Stadium.

Then Smolz strikes genius when they were talking about Valverde's record last year.

"Gee, 49 out of 49.  That's 100 percent!"

That was so dumb, one of his broadcast partners even commented on it.

Ernie and George were homers, but I don't think they were this bad. 

What do you do with Valverde

He has been our work horse for two years.  Nowhere near as dependable this year as last and then there are his Playoff antics.  On the broadcast last night, Ron Darling said that there would have to be serious conversation today about Valverde.  One of the other announcers said that Leyland is always loyal -- but to what extent.  Even Girardi benched A-rod.  Smyly looked good.  Wouldn't want to be in Jim's shoes.


(sing along with me)


I think even Mal-verde Could handle this...

or maybe not. Hey, coach, gimme the ball!

Well, they didn't promise us a rose garden...

So if they come down to the ninth tonight, do we call on Valverde tonight,or leave Albequerquqe in?

Anybody wanna meet here tonight during the game? Do some live posting to keep awake?

Happy Birthday (sort of) to Us!

We reached a milestone the other day, folks!

We hit 20,000 page views. Now granted, that's probably 10,000 hits by yours truly, 4,000 by Chuck, 2,000 each by Jeff, Jim, and Bill, and a couple hundred folks aimlessy wandering the internet, but it's certainly an accomplishment of some kind.

Other odds and ends:

My brother Chuck (one of those occassional visitors) points us to an interesting site for trivia


OBTW: here's an idea: next season, would you like to go to Comerica together for a game? Chuck, I know you'd be up for it. Bill, would you come from Reston? Jeff would you come from Traverse City? Jim, would you come from Chicago? What would be the best time of year? I vote for August, easily the best time of year to be in Michigan, and the worst time to be in Dallas. Whaddya think?

Kissing that ball

Amazing Al kissed the final out and ticked off the Oakland A's - might not have been real professional, but it sure was good.
Two sloppy wins, but we accept them both.
Sure is fun to be in the post season and weonly have to win one of the next three to advance.

"We're all behind our baseball team .. Go Get 'Em Tigers

Fasinating SI Issue

Pick up the Oct. 1 issue of SI.

It will make you laugh, it wil make you cry, it will make you mad.

David Simon (creator of TV shows The Wire and Treme) writes a hilarious, sarcastic, nasty piece of being an unwilling Orioles fan and an unlikely commentator on the team.

"Fact is, you asked the wrong guy for this little essay.

"For one thing, I'm not generally known as a glass-half-full kind of guy. I'm the fellow who writes all those dystopian sociopolitical dramas from whatever dark corner of the American experience offers the best chance for grievious tragedy. I'm not even a glass-half-empty kind of guy. I'm more the glass-is-broken-over-theend-of-the-bar-and-used-to-splay-the-jugular-of-whichever-character-stood-up-and-dared-assert-for-human-dignity-two-scenes-earlier-guy. I'm that kind of guy....

"For Sports Illustrated to call the bullpen of Baltimore writers and ask for Simon to get loose is a twisted little joke."

He goes on, and I cracked up at every crafted sentence, Cherrios and milk coming out my nose at the breakfast table.

Then they make you cry, with the story of Nationals' manager Davey Johnson, his grievious personal losses, and yet his undefeatable spirit and good humor.

"I like working with smart people" he said about the Mets. "And if they were dumb enought to fire me, I guess they weren't very smart." Tom Verducci at his finest.

And then they make your blood boil by saying Miggy doesn't deserve MVP, cause his WAR ain't high enough! Sure, Trout's a good outfielder, he's fast, and has a nice average, but hey, can you win a game by cracking a single, and stealing second? Alright, maybe once in a while, but I'd rather have Cabrera.

We don't wish this on our worst enemy

and while the A's are certainly estimable and honorable opponents, they aren't our enemy.

As he asks, please pray for the Neshek family.

Pat Neshek’s baby boy dies 23 hours after birth

Total sorrow. Unimaginable and seemingly implacable sorrow. Nobody ever should be made to feel how Oakland Athletics pitcher Pat Neshek and his wife Stephanee Neshek must feel right now.

In a series of tweets that are simply devastating, Neshek and his wife communicated how they anticipated and celebrated the birth of their first child. They also reflected on the rebirth of Neshek's career and the A's incredible season. And they plainly described the stunning horror of losing a newborn son. The tweets include a family photo, obviously taken shortly after Stephanee Neshek gave birth.

Gehrig John Neshek — weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces — was born Tuesday. He didn't make it to Thursday, and the Nesheks don't know why. Warning: The following Tweets — listed with the most recent message on top — is hard to read:

Neshek had been granted leave from the A's in order to attend the birth in Florida. So he missed the team clinching the AL West in Oakland, completing a 13-game climb to overtake the Texas Rangers. But what does baseball mean when compared to the birth of your first child?

The Nesheks probably have been told that the time they got to spend with their son before he died will ease the burden of having to live inside the void his death leaves. It probably won't comfort them now, or even soon, but it also might be the only way they'll someday be able to overcome the emotional devastation they're feeling.

Neshek has pitched in the majors since 2006, mostly with the Twins, but after having Tommy John elbow surgery in 2009 and kind of bouncing around ever since, he posted a 1.37 ERA in in 19 2/3 innings with the A's this season. He's also a strong writer, having blogged way before it became cool or common, and he has run his own website. It might seem unusual for him to announce the worst news possible on Twitter so soon after it happened, but it figures rightly. He has lived a fascinating life and he was looking forward to being a dad. Stephanee Neshek obviously was excited about becoming a mom.

What happened to them wasn't fair.

Uh oh...here come the A's

IMHO, we couldn't have a tougher draw in the playoffs that the A's.

They are as hot as one of those little Chinese red peppers.

You can look at the AL West race as a monumental collapse by the Rangers (possible) or an incredible run by the A's. They were 13 games behind the Rangers at the end of June.

Sure, give Inge some credit, but these guys have put together incredible pitching, clutch hitting and some speed. It's a new kind of "small ball" with relatively low batting averages, lots of pitching and lots of homeruns.

Good news will be that they we have some good pitching of our own, and (now this is backward thinking) they are on a lengthy streak, having just swept the Rangers. The streak must end sooner of later, hopefully sooner.  

ESPN interviews Brandon Inge

Just got done watching ESPN interview Inge.  He is not on playoff roster due to shoulder surgery.  ESPN says Inge is the catalyst that broke the A's out of their slump.  Inge compliments Bob Melvin.  He says it is a loose club with a bunch of "goof balls"  Lots of compliments for inge and he will even be a factor from the bench with his experience and his looseness.  Go Oakland, except when they play the Tigs.

Triple crown for Miggy

So far he is 2 for 2 tonight.  I hope he gets it what a phenomenal accomplishment that would be.  Most worried about Josh Hamilton in the home run department.  Maybe they will sit Hamilton.  Get Hamilton ready to lose to the Tigers in the playoffs.



Tigers clinch a tie!!!

Sit back and enjoy.  We are tied and proud of it.  Naysayers will talk about how weak our division is.  Who cares???
Gotta love it!!

The Magic Number is now 3

Can't get cocky yet (look at what the Sox have been through in the last week), but it is looking good for us. 
It appears that the Orioles and Oakland will be the wild card teams - I am really excited for those teams.
Enjoy your day.

Remember to make some time to Prasie God!!

Your first place Detoit Tigers

This thing is a nail biter.  Too much drama for this Polack.  I still feel great and look for great things to happen in the next five days.  Cal Ripken just said the Tigers are the one team he wouldn't want to play in the playoffs.
Go Get 'Em Boys.
MVP for Miggy - he needs to lead and burn them up!!

Two Game Lead

Some were giving upon the team last week and now look at us.  And Tampa is clawing for a playoff spot.  Looking good from where I sit.  Am I a homie?
Did go to the last home game yesterday.  Sat three rows behind 1st.  Two observations:
1. Perralta made two very weak throws to first - is this typical or is he ailing?
2.  Fister electrified the crowd.  The entire top of the 7th  the crowd was on its feat as he chased a record, that he was not aware of.
2a   But when Fister ran out of gas, he sure was on empty and stayed in too long.

Loving this end of the season.

I'll Gladly Eat My Words If I'm Wrong

but these guys are heartbreakers. Like a jilted lover, they ripped out my heart, and stomped that sucker flat. Ran over it with the truck, then backed up, and ran over it again.

But hope springs eternal.

Look at today's Free Press article. (below) Who's gonna stay, and who's gonna go.  Here's my take: (that's why we have a blog, right?)
  • Leyland - It's all or none, a World Championship or you're gone. But the old boy might surprise us, he might pack up his Camels and go home regardless.
  • Valverde - Like Ken Harrelson says, "He Gone!"
  • Laird - Not a bad guy, but not essential. Let's make a deal, Jerry!
  • Boesch - Adios amigo. He's trade bait. Maybe Leyland could be his agent.
  • Peralta - R U KIDDING? The reason he commits one error a month is that he can't get to 60% of the balls hit to short. Bye Bye JHHONNY.
  • Young - He's been valuable, but he's expendable with Martinez back.
  • Sanchez - Pitching is always in short supply. If he does fairly well for the rest of the season, let's keep him. 
Which means the Tiger's shopping list this winter is a shortstop a reliever, and maybe another starting pitcher. (you can never have too much.)

Several Tigers, including Jim Leyland, could be near end of Detroit career 
Today is the Tigers' final home game of the season. That means that if the Tigers don't make the playoffs, it could be the final home game in the Old English D for several people whose future with the team beyond this season is unclear.

Here are the most obvious ones, listed in order of how long they have been with the Tigers:

• Manager Jim Leyland (seven seasons): He is unsigned beyond this season. The question has circulated widely about whether he'll be back and whether his return hinges on whether the Tigers win the division. That's a lot of "whethers" in one sentence, but when a manager is unsigned this late in playoff race, that's what you get.

• Closer Jose Valverde (three seasons): He is eligible for free agency.

• Catcher Gerald Laird (three seasons): He is eligible for free agency.

• Outfielder Brennan Boesch (three seasons): He's not eligible for free agency, but he has been on the bench lately. There might not be room for him on next year's team, especially if either Avisail Garcia or fellow talented outfielder Nick Castellanos makes the Opening Day team.

• Shortstop Jhonny Peralta (three seasons): The Tigers have an option on Peralta for next season at $6 million. If the Tigers let him go, they will be betting they can find a shortstop who has more range and who produces more at the plate than Peralta has this season. But they might not. And they probably won't find anyone steadier; Peralta headed into Wednesday averaging one error per month this season.

• Designated hitter Delmon Young (two seasons): He's eligible for free agency, and it's not easy to see where he would fit on next year's team, with Victor Martinez due to return to the DH role.

• Pitcher Anibal Sanchez (one season): He's eligible for free agency. But in his shutout Tuesday night, Sanchez was cheered like a man who might have found a home in Detroit.