Quick Links

  • The New York Times takes a look at the Ilitch’s team and casino owernship.
  • My interview on the Daily Fungo Podcast is up. I listened to it, and it seems clear that I’m much more comfortable talking about the Tigers then myself. The um’s, and so’s seemed to go away as we went on.
  • Also notice that the Daily Fungo moved away from MLBlogs to http://dailyfungo.com. I guess everybody is redecorating or moving their blogs lately
  • Former Tiger Chris Brown (barely a Tiger) passed away a month after being injured in a house fire.
  • Repoz at Baseball Think Factory is tallying Hall of Fame ballots. Out of the 47 articles so far, Trammell isn’t doing well appearing on only a handful. Morris has picked up 12 votes.
  • The Feds are going to find out who tested positive for steroids in 2003. We can only hope that the Tigers magical 2003 season isn’t tainted by steroid use thus rendering their 43 wins meaningless.

The week in links

I’m way behind here, and some of this hardly qualifies as newsworthy anymore. But in the interest of completeness…

  • Gary Sheffield will wear Alan Trammell’s #3, and Trammell is okay with it. I have mixed feelings on this. First it is only a number and too much shouldn’t be made of it. But on the other hand it will be weird, to say the least, to see someone else sporting that number. Trammell is too classy to make a stink of it, but I can’t figure why Sheffield would even ask for it. It is sure to not endear him to Tiger fans, but that never seems to be an issue for him anyways. Even with 10 and 11 not available (and if 11 isn’t available is this to mean that Sparky’s # will be officially retired?), there were lots of other numbers to choose from. It almost seems intentional and calculated.
  • Lee has started doing a Runs Created analysis for the Tigers. It is a series of posts, here is the first. I love the runs created stat because it boils offensive production down to a value that all baseball fans can relate to.
  • This is actually 2 weeks old, but Beyond the Boxscores takes a look at former Tiger first round pick Scott Moore who is flourishing with the Cubs.
  • The Lakeland Tigers are no more. They are now the Lakeland Flying Tigers. This will be helpful for me when I write up my minor league wraps next year because I was never a fan of L-Tigers. More importantly, it will help the organization tie in the aviation aspect of the Tigers facilities in Lakeland. The complex is on an old aviation school.
  • This is a new link, but Alfonso Soriano is going to the Cubs for a mere 8 years and $136 million.

Gary Sheffield, Alan Trammell, Lakeland, Detroit Tigers

Bring on the Birds: Tigers and Cardinals in the World Series

For the 3rd time the Tigers and Cardinals will meet in the World Series. Both previous tilts went the full 7 games. In 1934 the Cardinals “edged” the Tigers out with an 11-0 victory at Navin Field. But the Tigers turned the tables in 1968 when Series MVP Mickey Lolich out-dueled Bob Gibson in the deciding game.

But that’s all ancient history. This year the 2 teams struggled mightily down the stretch with the Tigers blowing a 10 game lead over the last 7 weeks of the season. Meanwhile the Caridnals nearly blew a 10 game lead in the last 2 weeks of the season. But look where they are now.

Here’s your first piece of exclusive information: Jim Leyland and Tony La Russa are long time friends.

I’ll be back with more in depth previews tomorrow. In the meantime, congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals. If you’re looking ot hear from some happy fans, you can probably find them here:
Deadspin
Viva El Birdos
CardNilly
Cardinal Diaspora

This isn’t the first time

I’m still miffed about the scheduling of tomorrow’s game. Since I’ll be in Ann Arbor, I wanted to make sure that I’d have access to updates. I contacted Bruce Madej from the Michigan Athletic Department to find out if updates would be provided. He assured me that they would be and shared an interesting anectdote.

On October 13th Michigan was hosting Northwestern while the Tigers were facing the Padres in the World Series. Apparently so many in attendance were tuned into the Tiger game, that when Alan Trammell his a home run (1 of 2 on the day) there was such a loud cheer that Northwestern jumped offsides.

I’m just saying

A collection of observations, links, and items of note from the last week:

Ownership

How many times did we hear this year that the Tigers own the Twins, and the White Sox own the Tigers? Now a popular refrain is that the A’s are a more favorable first round opponent than the Yankees because the Yankees own the Tigers. (I’m not questioning that the A’s are more favorable, just the reasoning). Now did anybody notice that the Tigers went 7-7 over their last 14 games against those same White Sox who owned them. Or more troubling, that the Tigers went 8-8 over their last 16 games against those Twins who they owned?

As for the Tigers 2-5 record against the Yankees, keep in mind that 5 of those games were decided by 2 runs or less or went to extra innings. And as for that last series, the Tigers were outscored by a whopping 2 runs (11-9) over 3 games in the Bronx.

Getting loaded

Since September 15th the Tigers have had 16 at-bats with the bases loaded, or a little more than one a game. During the mighty slump, spanning August 8th to September 14th (34 games) the Tigers only had 12 at-bats with the bases loaded.

I’m not even worried about how they did in those stretches. It’s all about the opporutunities.
Continue reading I’m just saying

Off Day Linking and Site News

  • It appears that comment spam problem is taken care of. It wasn’t a specific attack on me, but Akismet, which is a service that does spam filtering went down. The tide has been stemmed so no need to register for now
  • Tiger blogger night is one week from Tuesday. Big Al will be joining the ranks and I received emails from a couple readers as well. If you’re interested in joining us, we are sitting in mezzanine section 212 row 1.
  • Greg Eno draws parallels between the upcoming series, and a labor day series against the Yankees from 1961.
  • Baseball stat guru Tom Tango (aka TangoTiger) and author of The Book is conducting his annual Fan Scouting Report. In past years the Tigers have been underrepresented in the polling. With a little more interest this year, there might be more response. (Hat Tip Tiger Tales)
  • Kurt broke down the Tigers recent string of losses. It just goes to show there are many ways to lose a game.
  • While I disagree with Pat Caputo on a regular basis, we’re on the same page in terms of Neifi Perez. While other local writers are still defending the move and Leyland’s decision to play him everyday, it’s nice to see one member of the media see what everyone else is seeing.

The Tigers Organizational Family Tree

About a week or so ago, I received an email about a San Diego Padres Family Tree that he created. He was inspired by Will Young who had compiled one for the Twins. Thinking this idea was cool, I decided to try and do one for the Tigers which you can find here.

The tree aims to identify how each member of the 40 man roster came to be with the Tigers, be it through free agency, the draft, Rule 5, or trades. In the case of trades, it traces back to find out how the players involved in the trade were acquired. In some instances this was pretty easy, like when the Tigers traded for Carlos Guillen they gave up 2 players (Juan Gonzalez and Ramon Santiago) who were signed as free agents out of Latin America. In other cases, like when the Tigers acquired Nate Robertson it can be traced back to Brad Ausmus and CJ Nitkowski.
Continue reading The Tigers Organizational Family Tree

Tiger Stadium to get wrecking ball

Finally, something is going to happen with Tiger Stadium. It is going to be demolished this fall. There don’t appear to be a ton of details, but the macro idea is to replace it with retail shops and housing. The area that comprises the playing field will be preserved, along with the dugouts, and used as a little league diamond and park.

I think this is all pretty good news if it comes to fruition. The city loses one more vacant building, and the field area itself will be preserved in some fashion. Also, the people in the Corktown community were invovled in the planning and are on board.

Of course there are plans to auction off anything that people will pay for.

What I really hope they’ll do is allow fans one more time to be inside the stadium. I know there are safety concerns, but people were allowed onto the field for the Super Bowl party. I’d be satisfied with that, and would even pay a nomial fee for the opportunity. It would be a chance for one last glimpse. I would be a chance to show my son where I became a Tiger fan.

Tiger Link Up

It’s been awhile since I shared some link love…

  • Darren McCarty is still pulling for the Tigers. This is only newsworthy because McCarty has been in Anaheim as well.
  • In Rob Neyer’s most recent chat featured several Tiger questions. He was asked about Chris Shelton and had this to say

    I still think he’s going to finish with 35-40 homers, because he really is a guy with fantastic hitting ability. And he’s strong, so some significant number of those balls he hits will carry the fence.

    But there was also this snippet:

    Matt, Boston: What pitcher do you think has the best pure stuff in the game right now?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: Hard to say. But Verlander was regularly hitting 97-98 on the gun in Seattle the other day. He’s gotta be on the short list.

  • The new documentary “Stranded at the Corner” about Tiger Stadium’s plight is gaining some momentum in the blogosphere. Greg Eno says it is a must see. On a related note, Ian is wondering why other cities are embracing Tiger Stadium’s special characterisitics (ie the overhang), and yet Detroit didn’t.
  • And Kevin Goldstein chatted with scouts about Lakeland Tiger closer Kevin Whelan who has been tearing up the 9th inning since he was drafted last year.

    One scout was surprised at Whelan’s arsenal when he recently saw him pitch for High-A Lakeland. “I thought he’d throw harder; he’s low 90s, but he’s interesting because he basically does it with three fastballs,” said the scout. “He throws the straight fastball, a splitter with good fade, and a big forkball that just goes straight down and can be unhittable.” However, the scout was concerned with Whelan’s mechanics. “He short-arms everything. He was a catcher, and it looks like it when he pitches. I put him down as a potential closer, but it could depends on if his arm holds up.”

Opening Day Eve Link-up

Okay, so it isn’t opening day eve if you’re a White Sox or Indians fan. But we’ll look past that little fact for now…

The Bird

Detroit Tiger Tales is hopping on the diary theme. This one takes a look at Mark “the Bird” Fidrych’s magical 1976 season. Here’s the first paragraph of the first entry…

April 1, 1976

Last night

Wind Blown Tiger Updates

Ten homers were hit in a 14-10 slugfest that saw the Detroit Tigers beat the Indians. Me thinks that the wind may have been a factor. With that, on to some Tiger news:

Injury Update

There has been mixed news the last couple days on the injury front. Mike Maroth made the start on Sunday, and so far things sound good. Omar Infante has also returned to game action, and he did so with a flourish. He went 3-3 today with a homer. In other news, there is a chance that Craig Monroe may be starting the season on the DL. While it is bad news for Craig, it is probably good news for Marcus Thames and/or Nook Logan (who has been struggling mightily). Finally, Dmitri Young may be close to returning.
Continue reading Wind Blown Tiger Updates

Cooperstown is in Detroit

Five Hall of Famers:  Sandberg, Jenkins, Sparky, Kaline, KellA traveling collection of Cooperstown artifacts titled Baseball As America has come to The Henry Ford. At a special preview today, media were able to view the Hall of Fame exhibit, as well as some Hall of Famers. Former Tigers Al Kaline, George Kell, and Sparky Anderson were joined by Fergie Jenkins and Ryne Sandberg to kick-off the special exhibit.

Detroit is the 10th stop for the exhibit which began touring in New York in 2002. The Baseball as America display features over 500 artifacts from the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. The Detroit stop was to be the final stop on the tour, but Jane Forbes Clark (chairman of the board of the hall) said that there may be 4 additional cities that will receive the exhibit.

Continue reading Cooperstown is in Detroit