Friday Warm-Up

With the thermometer rocketing all the way up to 7 degrees this morning, and spring training a few weeks away here are some items to try and keep you warm on a Friday. No heavy analysis here, just some diversions.

The Tunes

I was surfing around the WDFN website and came across some great audio. They have a compilation of the Tigers walk-up music. I parsed out a couple of my favorites.

Omar Infante: I know he’s gone now, but I’ll miss his music the most.

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Placido Polanco:

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I don’t think I picked those two because of particular fondness for salsa music. It’s just that those two are specific to nights at the ballpark. Comerica Park is the only place I hear those songs and so they help to take me to my happy place.

The Words

I’ve been reading Inside Pitch: Roger Craig’s ’84 Tiger Journal and it’s been great. I was 10 during that season, so while I remember all the winning and the players, I don’t remember the details.

Craig offers a number of insights and anecdotes that add a lot of flavor to the season. I didn’t know that Jack Morris went on a media boycott for a big chunk of the season. I knew Willie Hernandez won the MVP, but didn’t realize just how remarkable his season was (coincidentally Mop Up Duty just wrote an article highlighting that season). And I had no idea that a police officer stopped Craig and Sparky Anderson while they were walking in Baltimore – because they were shirtless.

It’s out of publication, but used copies can be picked up for as little as a penny at Amazon.

The sights

Roger DeWitt (aka Huey Taxi) continues to hang out at Tiger Town in Lakeland and has been snapping photos as the players start to migrate down there. Also, fantasy camps are now running so he has some shots of old time Tigers as well. Catch it on Flickr.

10 thoughts on “Friday Warm-Up”

  1. Thanks for the WDFN link. However, I listened to the whole thing and they didn’t play Magg’s music. Everytime I hear it, I think of the 9th inning, 2 on, and me with my face covered by my hands thinking he can’t do it again. And with the crack of the bat, my son said ‘it’s gone’ and I looked up and actually saw it floating over the field into the stands and then we all went berserk.

  2. I love Roger Craig’s book. Just like BIlfer says – great nostalgia trip. It goes through every game of the season. So much fun.

    Highly recommended.

  3. Hi Billfer, I agree about Omar’s music. I have often thought it would be a good fundraiser for the Tigers charitable foundation to put out a CD of all of the favorite walkup music –

  4. thanks! I didn’t have anything too profound to add in the offseason. Oh, my son got into U of M! He also won the state tennis championship in his doubles flight. So we’ve been keeping busy, but I am ready for baseball!

  5. I have a copy of “Bless You Boys” which is Sparky’s book about the ’84 season. It’s very cool, in that it has the box score from every game along with Sparky’s thoughts. I’ll have to see if I can pick up a copy of Craig’s book too. Sounds interesting. I was about the same age (11) in ’84 and it’s very interesting to go back and compare what you remember and what actually happened (the two do not always coincide!).

  6. Thanks for the tip on Craigs book. 1 red cent (and 399 red cents for shipping) and it’s on it’s way to me. I have had Sparky’s book since it came out and I didn’t find it that interesting or insightful, though it’s nice to have the box scores…

  7. Willie Hernandez almost certainly sacrificed his left arm for the 1984 Tigers. He appeared in 80 games and pitched 140 (!) innings as a pure reliever. He came back in 1985 and threw over 100 innings. He was never any good after that. Hmm, wonder why not?…

    His case may have helped turn the tide away from the Mike Marshall/John Hiller pattern that was common in the 1970s — getting maximum mileage out of your very best relievers — and toward the modern standard of shorter relief outings, especially for your closer. If I recall correctly, Tony LaRussa was a pioneer in this regard, when he restricted Eckersley to single-inning save situations with the Oakland A’s of the late 80s.

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